Thursday, July 10, 2014

Middle Eastern Turkey Shoot

Played a fast-moving game of Cold War Commander today, and my first with my new (used) Roskopf models and Middle Eastern buildings.  The tanks have all been newly basecoated but are all unfinished themselves.

The game was a "meeting engagement" or "encounter battle" between 2 armored and mechanized battlegroups.  The Israelis with 3 M-48 "Magach" and 2 "Shot" Centurions along with a Mechanized Infantry company with M106 mortars in support.

The Egyptians with 3 T-55 units, 3 T-10 units, and a mechanized infantry battalion mounted in BTR-152 wheeled APCs.  Neither side had artillery or air support.  Both were tasked with seizing the small village in the center of the board.

Israeli Battlegroup

Egyptian Battlegroup

my desert board in all its glory

1 Command - the CO traveling in style in an M577 

Israeli armor cruising past the village on their way into the attack!

with your fieldglasses you can barely make out the enemy at the outskirts of the village!  tanks online and begin the assault!v  The BTR-50 in the middle of the pack is the HQs for the Armor battalion

Israelis take up firing positions at the oasis

meanwhile the mech infantry occupy the houses while Shot Centurions rumble through the gaps between buildings

enemy spotted!  engaging!

The unthinkable then happens.  A command blunder of the worst kind.  3 mech platoons take 5 attacks each due to trigger-happy troopers.  2 BTRs would brew up with the crew lost.

Israeli dismounts defending the village.   

heavy fire from the T-10 company drives back a Centurion platoon.

found out the T-10 has a 3+ save!  They are tough to kill.
The battle ebbed and flowed.  Each time the Egyptians would try and advance, the opportunity fire from the Israelis would suppress them and stop them cold.  So a new tactic - the Egyptians shifted tactics to engaging the Israeli tankers in a brutal tank knife fight, trading casualties for casualties, with the Egyptians getting the worse end of things as usual in this game.
Israelis are holding on

Eventually the Israeli gunners overtook their Egyptian counterparts, leaving a field of burning tanks to their front.

advance blunted!

After losing some tank units, including a Magach and a Shot, the Israelis start methodically massing their fire and KOing the T-10s before they could close and do some real damage.

Meanwhile, an Israeli bazooka KOs a BTR, killing more infantry before they even get a chance to engage.

Egyptians finally dismount and begin engaging Israeli infantry targets in the village.  A sharp firefight breaks out!
The Israeli M106 mortars got involved and ended the firefight before the Egyptians closed.

Lessons Learned:

3:1 Odds Favor the Attacker
The old saying that the attacker should have 3:1 odds locally to carry an attack are sound.  The Israeli mech company boasted 4 stands all with anti-tank weapons and mortar support knocking out the Egyptians well before they got into position to assault.

Combined Arms Support
The Egyptians would have been well served to include some artillery either towed or self propelled to suppress the Israelis.  Using the T-10s in an infantry support role might have made sense given they are slower than molasses but tough as nails and could have knocked out those stubborn infantry positions as well as exploited a breakthrough, and not to mention put pressure on a flank to divert more of the Israeli armor away from the main attack.

Command & Control
The Israelis took a gamble by not including a Headquarters and instead relying on the CO to do everything.  By doing so they lost their command advantage as the battlegroup was spread out over 20cms from the HQs unit.  while the points were well spent on tanks, a HQs doesn't cost all that much.  Splitting the command would have made more sense in this case.


  1. Great wee action Steven. All sound and valid points.

    The kit looks good mate, especial the infantry stands. Any progress on the painting front?

    1. Thanks, Paul. They're just basecoated with various shades of tan so far but I figured I'd throw them on the table and fight it out. I will paint the tracks and weather some of them after applying the decals.

      Man - would you believe NO progress on the painting front. Stopped dead in my tracks! I've got some micro-armour infantry drying on bases (for micro-wee flames of war) but all my other painting work has slowed or stopped.

      My next moderns project are all those M113s basecoated in NATO Green. Need to apply the NATO 3 Tone treatment to them and some detailing.