Saturday, February 3, 2018

Fate of a Nation Historical Scenario: 2000 Point Sinai Game

This past Friday night we Rocked the Casbah with a large "Fate of a Nation" 2000 point game using my semi-completed microarmor that was tagged and hurriedly spray-painted to take part in Alex's "Oil Cheaper than Water" mega game. 

This battle was taken out of the Six Day War in the Sinai Peninsula and took place with the Israeli 4th Armored Division's Blitzkrieg style assault to capture key passes while the Egyptians traded space for time.

The Egyptians, with their massive 2060 point force featured 2 x T-55 companies, 1 x Mechanized Infantry Company in 6 xBTR-152s (RPD Upgrades for the Infantry), 1 Scout Company with 4 PT-76 / 4 BTR-50 with dismounts, an SU-100 AT Company, and if that wasn't enough, 2 x ZSU-57-2 SP AA and a 6 x Gun 122mm artillery battery.  (41 total vehicles)

The Israelis, with their small but mighty 2080 point force featured a Magach-3 command element (2 x Magach 3s), a platoon of 4 x Magach-3s, and a small 3 x tank platoon of Centurions.  They also had an infantry platoon in halftracks (M113s sub'd for Halftracks until I get them painted up), and a 120mm SP mortar platoon.  (16 total vehicles)

Looking at the force list, the Israelis are outnumbered 2:1 in Armored Fighting Vehicles.  You'd be forgiven for wondering how the heck they could possibly pull out a win here.

We incorporated the V4 rules as you can see from the picture.  We ended up playing the "Counterattack" scenario which wasn't much different from the historical battle.  The Israelis are attacking.  They start with their entire force on the table.  The Egyptians are defending and have 60 percent of their force on the table, with 1 unit on ambush (a T-55 company).  The objectives are the hills.  The left hill is the Israeli objective, while the right hill is the Egyptian objective.

Israelis will start in the upper right corner of the picture.

Reconnaissance company.  PT-76s and BTR-50s with the rifle teams.

Egyptian T-55 company awaiting the Israeli attack.  

Israelis have the first turn.

Dave maneuvers the Centurion platoon up, not fully realizing just how awful my "TRAINED CONSCRIPTS" are.  My T-55s are hit on a 2+

The stabilized Centurions knock out 4 T-55s in the first volley alone.  It's gonna be a long night!

The SUPPRESSED marker means he's bailed.
 Dave moves his infantry halftracks (m113s subbing for HTs) to move towards the objective.  He admitted at the end of the game he hadn't really comprehended how much "stuff" I was going to get in terms of reinforcements and in ambush.  Dave's infantry tracks are accompanied by his command Magach-3s (M48s).  Guess where my ambush is going to be placed?

T-55s come on right in the infantry's path!  It's a turkey shoot.

I knock out 3 HTs, including one of the 120mm Mortar carriers.  Dave's uncharacteristically bad rolling sees the mortar platoon bug out.  His infantry are pinned around the burning tracks.  (we are using infantry chits from the board game ARAB ISRAELI WARS since I dont have enough micro infantry painted up)

The game so far.  My Ambush company advancing on the left.  My shredded T55 company on the right and the scout company doing just fine.  I plan on bringing on the SU-100s and the mech company if i can get my reserves to start coming on.
 I should probably note that Dave waxed teh ZSU-57-2s early on as well.  Okay I really underestimated just how AWFUL these  UAR troops are.  Dave's content to sit online with his Magach tanks and shoot the crap out of my units! 

Note the mess of blue chits along the road.  Dave's infantry digs in on their next turn.  He fires a blindicide at me and it hits!  But we quickly realize you need a flank shot to kill with it.

burning tanks

The Israeli juggernaut is just getting started.

Second T-55 company taking casualties now.

My SU-100 tank destroyers finally arrive and I place them on the objective.  They relieve in place the recce company, who cross country dash to the left objective to try and hold it.  Those PT-76s should at least discourage the infantry from trying to get froggy and take the left most objective!

SU-100s!  They should be able to kill something, right???

Dave tucks into the treeline.  There would be some fierce fighting around these trees over the course of the battle.

Close up action

Dave's tanks start to advance now moving through the rows of knocked out Egyptian T-55s.

The SU-100s move up and start firing at the Israeli tanks.  My characteristic bad rolling returns!

Those BTR-152s should have been sent to the rear.  The Forward Observer BTR-50 is on the left.

recce company at the left objective.  Frantic cries for help on the radio.

Remember those SU-100s?  Neither do I.  They're part of the tank graveyard now...The mech company dismounts and will dig in.  Transports will be sent to the rear (should have been at this point but I forgot about that rule)
 Dave remembers the .50 cals on the halftracks and starts going cyclic at my infantry with ROF 3.  He ends up pinning them almost each turn but my infantry save or his bad rolling keeps my infantry company around much longer.

The ENGINEER symbol is the blindicide team and the commando symbols are RPD teams.

Meanwhile I counter attack with my T-55s.  Dave's characteristic luck starts to return.  The Israeli tanks can beat a hit by rolling a 4 or better.

Probably my last chance to really blunt the Israeli assault.  Dave beats all my hits with his saves.  I'm in big trouble now!  The fight in an amongst the burning tank carnage is almost over.
 On my left, I try to launch a feeble counter attack into the Israeli penetration by moving the recon company over.  Dave responds with the left-behinds of the Mech platoon who nestle themselves in amongst the treeline and dig in.  I move up infantry and PT-76 armored support and start pumping HE rounds into the woodline and my FO calls in 122mm artillery against them as well.  Dave's teams hold out valiantly but all that firepower is tough to resist against for too long.  Eventually those teams break.

note the remaining blue chit in the treeline.

Dave's whittling away at my dug in infantry with MG and tank gun fire.

Down to 4 teams on the objective.  This game is almost over!

Dave's HT's move up with their .50 cals and start knocking out more Egyptian teams.

An RPD team (commando NATO symbol) and 3 x infantry teams are all that remain!

Scout platoon is the last unit in good spirits on the table.  The 122mm battery is "Across the Volga" and doesn't count towards my morale points.  
This was a massive fight.  We had 60 vehicles on the table not including the infantry teams.  Care to know how long it took to play?  2 hours, 11 minutes to fight all this hardware!  Long range tank duels, sharp tank knife fights in among the dead and burning tanks, infantry close assaults and artillery all played a part in this battle.  Dave learned quickly the value of pinning down an adversary prior to close assaulting as well.

I learned that I need to push my equipment further if I'm going to pull out a win as the Egyptians.  I should have been much more aggressive with those T-55s and gone after Dave's infantry platoon while they were still mounted (and before he waxed all of my tanks!)

This was a great game and tons of exciting fun.  I have to say it also had a very historical feel to it as well.  I wish I would have had my infantry all painted and based but that will come soon.

Personally, I really like the feel of the modern FoW/TY stuff in 6mm.  It would probably look pretty awesome in 15mm but not sure how awesome on a cramped 6 x 4 table. 


  1. Steve,

    Another great fight, and I love seeing the 6mm stuff on the table, it’s perfect for large scale combined operations (in my opinion).

    You ran into the big problem I have with gaming the Arab-Israeli Wars: who wants to play as the non-Israeli side when you’re looking at parity in gear quality (or worse for Israelis, with Ishermans going up against Jordanian M-48s or Syrian T-62s!), advantages in gear/troop quantities, but you’re going to sit and watch the Israelis run circles around you and hit on 1+ on a D20. And please note that I agree it has to be that way if you want historical accuracy.

    So, with that being said, I think you did pretty well ;) The only issue I had with the game was (and, to be fair, I don’t know how big a factor it was in your game, but...) with the comment “...Dave was content to have his armor sit on line and blast the Egyptian armor,” not verbatim, but that was the gist. In my opinion, the Israeli armor should have to keep moving, and if they sit still the Arabs should get big bonuses.

    As you know, the ability of the Israelis to break Arab command and control by pounding the pace of operations and getting inside their OODA Loop was the key to everything in 56, 67, and 73, with Israeli casualties being just as heavy as anyone else’s would have been when they were forced to go nose to nose.

    This is where I think card-based activation games can really stand out, with various mechanisms to aid the better C4ISR and hinder the worse.

    But please don’t take that as a shot at FOW/FOAN/TY, I’ve really enjoyed these batreps and it looks like they’re working out well.


    1. Thanks Jack. It was alot of fun. I was grinning when i looked at the points and all the hardware i was getting, not fully realizing just how difficult it would be to fight with these troops.
      To your points, and i agree on all of them, i think these battles take place as a result of all that israeli maneuver, hence no fortifications or improved positions. So in the timeline, the israelis have already outfoxed the egyptians and wound up fighting this battle even though they probably should have taken a few more days to reach these passes. This is operational level surprise for the egyptians.

      FOAN gives the israelis an advantage from shooting outside their normal range as you can reroll misses.

      In this case, i think Dave played it right playing to his equipments advantages. had he charged in without softening up the defenders i think he would have paid for it.

      When i shot up his HTs after the T-55 ambush he started fighting a little more cautiously.

      I mentioned in a previous post that we are going to experiment with card based activations. I plan on talking through that in a future blog post so stay tuned!

    2. Gotcha man, and it all sounds good to me! I’m in a rut right no, lots of painting but no games for the past few weeks, so you’re keeping me alive. Please keep the train a-rollin’!


    3. Stay tuned! More blog posts on the way. I'm trying to keep the blog up to date with all the crazy activity over the last couple of weeks.