This year we pulled out all the stops and played an EPIC 200+ point Arab Israeli War battle from the 1973 October war using Battlefront's FATE OF A NATION [click] rules!
|Ken's reserve platoons move up through the Sinai|
|from the Egyptian side looking towards the Tassa junction|
They're fighting against the battle-hardened Israeli "Steel" Division!
|treeline along the Tassa road|
|empty, lonely desert. or is it?|
|hordes of tanks!|
|SWORD TWO IS IN POSITION ALL SWORD ELEMENTS REPORT REDCON ONE WITH SABOT LOADED|
What's the wargamers rule about new, nicely painted gear? Ken's A4s never fire a shot in anger!
|A-4s scream in for a bombing run only to be shot down by ZSU-57-s fire|
|Israelis weight their right flank and spring their ambushes - excellent shooting takes out almost an entire company of T-55s on the first turn! It's going to be a long, tough slog to get to the objective for the Egyptians!|
|Note the flaming wrecks at almost the other end of the table!|
|ALL SWORD ELEMENTS - GOOD SHOOTING - DISPLACE TO ALTERNATE FIRING POSITIONS TIME NOW AND REPORT WHEN IN PLACE|
|Egyptian 2nd Battalion creeps up the right flank|
|allocating hits from the Egyptian shooting. We missed the "slow firing" rule and the Egyptians probably shouldn't have made 1/3 of the hits they scored. Ugh!|
|3 x Magachs burn! This one is from "second" platoon as denoted by the II on the stand|
|tank battle rages. Ken is not making the reserve rolls he needs, though and it's starting to feel lonely down at this end of the table!|
|Egyptian MIGs show up and bomb the Magachs but don't hit anything yet.|
|Dave eyeing up his shots|
|The Egyptian generals|
|2nd Battalion charges forward. Reminder the Egyptians cannot dash towards the Israelis to represent the apprehensive nature of their attacks on the 14th of October.|
|Egyptian hits taking their toll now but Ken is KO'ing T55s at a rate of 4 to 1!|
|2nd Battalion starting to take casualties|
|all that remains of the 1st Battalion, 1st Company|
|Egyptian infantry tucked in beside cover - the plan is to use them to assault the objective|
|the tank battle rages!|
|Ishermans move into position|
|Reinforcements are too little, too late?|
|Magach-3s moving up to the battle while units forward are hotly engaged!|
The Egyptians start to get bold and move in their companies on the left and right. Ken doesn't have much more room to trade and moves his tanks back to trade shots against single companies, instead of multiple ones.
|2nd Battalion kicks out into line to advance and flank the objective - the Israeli Magach commander is screaming into the radio for his reinforcements!|
|The Isherman platoon burns|
|Ken maneuvers his platoons skillfully to stay in the fight a little longer|
|Magach command team XO and CO would die in savage, close range fighting against a company of T-55s. They gave better than they got.|
|end of tanks 5 and 6. (note the XO and CO on the stands)|
|Endgame. Ken conceded at this point. The infantry, luck b**tards, never made it to the field.|
|Casualty pile. The Egyptian tanks are on the right. Israeli on the left.|
|The "usual suspects" Ken, me, Alex, and Dave from L to R. Heroes of the battle!|
|No HE rounds, Darren, but good stuff none-the-less!|
Post Game Analysis
So the Egyptians actually had 70 MORE points than their Israeli counterparts, which may have tipped the scales in favor of the Israelis. I unfortunately didn't realize this until the morning of the battle and went with it to see what would have happened. I think the scenario specific rules were good and I also think both sides made the best decisions they could with their circumstances (Egyptian maneuvering and targeting, as well as Israeli targeting decisions).
It's a serious shame the fast-air was shot down so fast! Equally sad that the infantry never were able to come to grips.
The guys debated the merits of 6mm vrs 15mm and we discussed at length the changes to the game that result including:
- Using the model or the base for shooting and calculating gaps (this is very important in FOW).
- Command distance and template sizes for 6mm games.
- Metric or Customary.
- Scenario design taking into account turn limits to have an endgame and make a defense viable.
I still contend that FOW/FOAN/TY are perfect microarmor games but definitely need some things ironed out to get the most out of them.
All in all though, considering there were over 100 tanks on the table, we started the game around 12:30pm and finished at 5:00. So a huge, historical battle was played to completion in 4.5 hours. I'm not sure how much better you can get than that!
It was a great day spent with friends with lots of excitement playing with toy soldiers. Thanks to all the guys for participating, and thanks to the reader for stopping by! Another Christmas Offensive MEGA GAME under the belt!