Soviet Union had man power and more of everything...NATO relied on tactics and better equipment. Key would be Air Superiority...if NATO could gain that...then the Ground Attack and Attack Helicopters could devastate Soviet Armor and Mechanized Units. I think early on the Soviets would inflict a great deal of damage on forces stationed in Germany though. In reality after both sides had nukes....WW3 would have involved nukes no doubt about it.
I very much doubt WW3 would have involved nukes. From a military perspective, a small, tactical nuclear bomb can have its use, but nukes have, above all, some extremely important political, and not only military, implications. Thatīs why they depend on the big boss (the president) and not the military. Using a nuke is using your final weapon. Like saying: “well, itīs all or nothing”. It gives a very dangerous precedent to your enemy and it can easily end in a global nuke war, which would make the war itself pointless, as there would be no winners in that kind of war. Thatīs why I think not even a single nuke would have been used. Itīs one of those things some powers had to get just because the enemy had gotten them.