So last Friday we fought the second playtest of the 1973 Israeli and Egyptian armies for Flames of War. Unfortunately I completely forgot my camera and John’s wasn’t charged up, so there are no pictures of the battle in progress, only a couple of photos ripped from other sites, but I do want to make a few notes.
Rule changes couldn’t prevent a battlefield full of these…
1. I was concerned that the points costings might be a little broken when the Egyptians got wiped off the board last time. Now this could have simply been my poor generalship, but I did think that the Egyptians needed a little more to balance out the Israelis at 2000 points. I rejigged the Egyptian list, replacing the BMP-1s with more infantry and a unit of five SU-100s. This proved to bring a lot more balance to the game we played.
2. I removed the rule around the Saggers that allow wary Israeli tank crews to dodge the first missile if they pass a skill test. This is a fairly sensible rule given that the Israelis soon developed tactics to deal with Sagger attacks, but takes away one of the few ‘cool toys’ that the Egyptians possessed and used to devastating effect at the beginning of the conflict. So I proposed to Owen (the guy that wrote the lists) that maybe the ‘Sagger dodge’ could be a ‘Late War’ extra, with crews paying 20 points per platoon for the ability. Incidentally, I credit the change of this rule with the better showing of the Egyptians in the second playtest.
3. The lists as they stand allow you to choose only one type of tank in your company – either T-55 or T-62. I have to admit that I simply ignore this stricture, because of the models that I have available.
4. Finally I allowed my HQ T-62 to be Confident trained, assuming that the commander of a tank battalion would have some decent experience to fall back on.
…But they did make sure that there were plenty of these left behind as well.
The battle was once again an encounter scenario, but this time the Egyptians fought the Israelis to a bloody stalemate. Probably a fairly good simulation of the early days of the Yom Kippur War, although the IAF was getting a pretty free ride from the SAM umbrella’s absence. I think that if the game had gone another two turns we would have ended up with an Egyptian victory, as they were only a move away from taking an undefended objective. Quite an impressive turn-around from just a couple of little tweaks!
(images were taken from http://idf-armor.blogspot.com and http://www.qwiki.com/q/#!/Tanks_in_the_Cold_War ). The first is an excellent resource that I have gone to many times for ideas. The other answered my google call for a broken Patton…)