Tuesday, May 31, 2016

First Fate of a Nation Game

My friend Tom and I got together a couple of weeks ago for our first 6 Day War game using Flames of War Fate of a Nation.  Tom has a Jordanian tank company and I have Israelis.  The scenario was Encounter and we played 1500 points.  This as actually the first of two games we played that day but I only took pictures of the first game.

The battlefield for the game consisted of a small village with a mosque and a ruined church.  To the north (left in this picture) is Crusader heights with part of a ruined fort.  On the southwest corner is another heights.  This is the area just beyond the vineyards.  The Jordanians placed and object there and in the far eastern edge of the village.  The Israelis had objectives on the highway to the northwest of the village and just off the highway on the southeast.

This scenario calls for both sides to keep half their platoons in reserves with the delayed reserves rule.  The Israeli commander (me) promptly ignored the golden rule of reserves which is to always bring your highest point units first.  The Israeli for would initially consist of the command tanks, a couple of AA half-tracks and a but load of Jeeps.  The Jordanian commander (Tom) wisely lead with a strong force of tanks.  In this picture you can see the initial deployments of both armies.

The Israelis place both of their tanks as well as the Sayur platoon on the heights west of the vineyards.  This was not a bad position but it was fairly exposed.
The Israeli objective on the northwest of the village was covered by the AA platoon that consisted of two half-tracks with 20mm cannons.  Their deployment behind the wall would allow them to claim gone to ground for most of the game.  This was a very good thing as they really could not harm much of the Jordanian force.

The Jordanian commander placed a three tank Centurion platoon to the east of the vineyard covering the southeast Israeli objective.

The Jordanian 2iC deployed south of the ruined church with a platoon of AT Jeeps covering the objective on the eastern edge of the village.

The Jordanian commander deployed on the eastern edge of the village with a two tank platoon just north of town on a small hill.

The Israelis aggressively took the initiative and moved to attack. Considering the incredible weakness of the Israel force this would prove to be extremely unwise.  Here the 2iC has move down from the heights west of town to take cover behind a rocky hill.  The two Israeli AT Jeeps who had initially help this position moved forward and can just been seen taking cover next to the ruined church.  The plan was to move forward the Jeeps and get a couple of cheap tank kills early but I forgot that these are awkward layout and cannot move and shoot.  

Meanwhile, the Jeep patrol and the CO advanced up the right in and effort to put pressure on the objective.  This was a fools errand as they had nothing in play to follow-up this advance.  Here we see the first patrol jeep go up in flames.

The Jordanians moved around the north side of the village with their eyes on the Israeli objective at the base of Crusader heights.  With only two AA half-tracks covering this objective the Jordanian command was confident of a quick victory.


The Israeli CO tank is destroyed.

The remainder of the Sayur platoon is destroyed.  First platoon destroyed for the Israelis.

Jordanian Centurions press the Israeli left.

The Jordanian commander passes the mosque to provide fire support for the center of the battle.

The Israelis are taking a pounding.  The first of the AT jeep is knocked out and the rest of the platoon was not far behind.  This platton, like the Sayur platoon, would contribute nothing but easy kills to the battle.

Things are getting grim for the Israelis.  The Jordanians make it to the objective at the base of Crusader heights but are unable to dislodge the AA platoon.  The Israeli 2iC threads the needle and get the first kill of the battle for the Israelis.

The Jordanian commander, smelling blood, gets to aggressive and is caught in an exposed position.  The Israeli 2iC M51 makes short work of him. This marks the last chance for the Jordanians to score the quick and overwhelming victory.  Now the fight turns into a real slugging match.

The first of the Israeli reserves arrives just in time to secure the Israeli right flank.  The Jordanians had started to press this flank and could have easily grabbed this objective if not for the timely arrival of two Sho't tanks.

The Israeli good fortune was tempered by the loss of the 2iC (acting commander).  The Israeli force is now leaderless and down 2 platoons.

More bad news for the Israelis in the form of Jordanian reserves.  A platoon con Centurions enters the fight on Crusader heights ready to slam into the Israeli left flank. 

Once again, timely reserves keep the Israelis in the fight.  This time a two tank platoon with M51 Isherman tanks enters the fight coming up the highway.  They quickly dispatch the sole Jordanian Centurion and provide temporary relief.  This would not last long as a fresh Jordanian platoon is bearing down on them.

More reserves for the Israelis.  This time a platoon  of M50 French Shermans.  The tanks would initially support the Sho't in shoring up the Israeli right flank.

Back on the Israeli left fire is raining down from Crusader heights and an M51 is knocked out.  The Israelis are running out of tanks and things are getting dire.

On the Israeli right the Jordanians make a foolish attack through the vineyard and are destroyed.  This marks the second platoon destroyed for the Jordanians.

The Jordanian 2iC (acting commander) moves out of the village and takes up a position next to the knocked out command tank.  He immediately pours accurate fire into the French Sherman platoon knocking one tank out.

With the attack bogging down for the Jordanians on the left they move their AT Jeeps and AA tanks to wards the center.  Seeing an opportunity for some soft kills the Israeli AA platoon breaks cover and advances on the enemy.  In a brief exchange of fire the Jordanians take the upper hand and the sole surviving Israeli half-track returns to his original position.

The Israeli M50 platoon tries valiantly to kill the Jordanian commander but the 75mm cannon is not much use against the Centurions armor.  The commanders return fire removes another platoon  from the Israeli side.  One more platoon and the Israelis will break.

The Sho't platoon moves to cover the center and hopefully provide support to the hard pressed Israeli left flank.  More deadly fire from the Jordanian commander bails out a Sho't.

On the Israeli left furious fighting knocks out another Centurion but the return fire takes out the last M51.  This was the final platoon for the Israelis and the company breaks off.


It was just as well as the Jordanian AT Jeeps had snuck around the flank and were parked on the objective and there was nothing for the Israelis to do.

This game as a BLAST!  Seriously, this was one of the best games I have played in a long time.  I made so may mistakes in this game starting with army design (boo jeeps and M50s), to deployment (no tanks platoons to start?), to tactics (attacking with jeeps?), to special rules (what, Israelis get semi-indirect fire?).  I really had no business getting this game to a 4-3 loss.  Tom really did everything right and I got lucky at just the right times to keep things going.

So lessons learned from my first couple of games.  First of all, the Jeeps are cool but not of much use.  Second, M50 Shermans are a waste of points, just pay a little more and get M51 if you have to take Shermans.  It now seems foolish to not have air support.  And finally, read the damn rules!  These guys are not just Germans in the post war era, they are their own thing and you must get those rules down if you are going to have a chance.

So back to the drawing board for this army and also time to start planning my Egyptians.

2 comments:

Tom O said...

It was a fun game. Like "The Great War", I was skeptical about Arab-Israeli providing a good game for both sides. So far after 2 games it has. I hope it continues so I can fully commit to doing an Israeli army too.

Crucible Crush said...

Hello Druken Samurai,
Test of Battle Games is looking for some photos of Arab-Israeli War vehicles and tabletop games. You have some great pictures.
Do you think we could use some of your pictures for our publication.
We would like to get high res copies of your photos if you have them. We could give you credit and a copy of the publication if that would help.
Please contact me to let me know if this is something you would allow and we can work out how to get the photos.
Thanks