It was a week ago that this game was played, but life just keeps getting busier, so apologies for the delayed playtest.
I compiled two lists of 2000 points to take around to John’s place on Friday night, the Israelis and the Egyptians. Note that I had to add in some WW2 Germans, Brits and US paras as proxies for the dedicated RPG teams. I’ll have this fixed in a couple of weeks with an order to Peter Pig I hope!
We chose to play an encounter scenario with half our points off-board at the beginning of the game. I don’t believe that this favoured the Egyptians, but I’m not sure that anything would have! The Egyptians rolled high and were the attacker for the game.
The initial forces on board were:
Egyptian -1 company of 6 T-55s; 1 mechanised company of infantry with 2 platoons, 6 BMP-1s and 4 attached Saggers; HQ of 1 T-62; and the platoon of 2 ZSU-23-4s. Note that the Egyptians have centralised control and the Hen and Chicks rule the same as if they were WW2 Soviets.
Israeli – 1 platoon of 3 M48A4s; 1 platoon mechanised infantry riding in M113s; the 2 M106 Mortar carriers; and 2 x Sho’t Cal Centurions as HQ.
Initial deployment saw a weak centre and strong flanks for the Egyptians, while the Israelis deployed on top of their objective markers.
The initial turn was not too bad for the Egyptians as they moved forward with the T-55s on the left flank;
but failed to dig in the infantry on the right (despite a reroll special rule for Egyptian infantry digging in..). They even managed to take out one of the Centurions from the HQ section. Then…
Oh, dear… The T-55s decided discretion was the better part of valour until the reinforcements arrived, and hid in the town to avoid further air pummeling:
On the right the Egyptian infantry once more failed to dig in:
It would be third turn lucky for the hapless infantry and their spades, but in that very same turn the arrival of reinforcements saw the Israelis switch over to a counterattack:
The Israeli infantry hopped out of their M113s as the newly arrived Sho’ts of the reinforcement platoon came rolling through;
The Recce jeeps advanced.
Of course the next round of Egyptian shooting convinced me that in a real war I’d much rather be in a tank than a jeep!!!!
On the Egyptian right flank a Sagger forced the Centurions to rethink their axis of attack. They pulled back to dodge the ATGW missile (it is a special rule to account for the slowness of the weapon) and managed to get out of line of sight. Then they went around the hill and struck from the centre.
Finally the Egyptian reinforcements arrived – a company of 5 T-62s and a company of 6 T-55s. The Israeli players looked at all the armour and began trembling.
Then they began shooting…
The Egyptians weren’t without minor triumphs from then on in – here you can see a brewed up M48A4 in the background. But the Israelis closed in on the dug-in infantry:
And another Sagger put paid to one of the pesky Centurions! It was all pretty much over, though, and the HQ T-62 also met its end: The final turn looked like this:
I’ve got a pretty great gaming group with John, Chris and Terry and they all enjoy playing Flames of War. But I’ve never seen everyone have so much fun in a game. Chris and I were the Egyptians, and John and Terry took the Israelis. There was a lot of laughter, and everybody wanted to play this again, which I will put forward as evidence for the success of the rules that Owen has crafted.
In practical terms, I came to a few conclusions. Israeli tanks are dead ‘ard. You can’t outmanoeuvre them and they are not going to break until they are all dead. Their gunnery is exceptional, and in a straight tank on tank combat, the Egyptian player needs three to one superiority I believe. Hmmm, might have to order another half dozen T-55s. Where would I shed the points in the Egyptian list? The ZSU 23-4s were extremely effective on the right flank – you simply have to take them with the Israeli air force about. The BMP-1s were pretty much useless given the points paid for them. They do have Saggers, but you are much better off with a dug-in infantry gun team than a frontal armour 1 vehicle that costs loads of points. The Egyptian infantry are extremely resilient when dug in, so why worry about any transport at all? I’ll reconfigure the forces and have another go, and see how things turn out. Overall, I’m really happy with the look, the feel and the fun of playing FoW for 1973.