Friday, August 23, 2013

Purple Line Blues - 15mm Yom Kippur War Battle Report

IDF Centurions rolling towards the front
We ran another 15mm Yom Kippur War game last night. The scenario pitted opposing armoured columns against each other in a meeting-engagement-type battle. We used Dallas' "Red Storm" rules for the game, with the addition of a sort of "Hen & Chicks" rule for the Syrian tankers. I also continued with my house rule that AFVs could not pass any closer than 4" to another active friendly AFV on the table (I hate when the tanks horde up Flames-Of-War style).

The table at Turn 1 - IDF table edge at the bottom, Syrian at the top
The IDF had five Centurion Sho't Kals and a squad of mechanized infantry in an M113.  The Syrians had nine T-62s and a squad of infantry in a BTR-60.The setting was the Golan Heights, early on the second day of the war. The IDF column was a group of reservists sent forward desperately to reinforce the "Purple Line", which the Syrians had in fact broken through during the night.  On the way to the front the IDF encounters a Syrian column that has made it through, and the battle ensued!

Syrian T-62s
IDF Centurion rolls up the lead T-62 platoon

Conscripts Hugh and Byron played the Syrians, while Jim played the IDF with a little help from me.  Each side had to block the other from escaping, while trying to set some of its own stuff off of the table - a tricky balancing act.  The table was 6' x 4', with the sides approaching from opposing short table edges.

Turret flew off following a particularly well-placed shot...

Burning tanks filled the table right from the first turn.  Jim and I felt pretty good about things in the first couple of turns - we lit up the leading Syrian tank platoon with only one Centurion damaged in return.  As the follow-up Syrians came on, we were thinking a couple of turns of efficient gunnery would sort them out.

Syrian infantry deploy - to their doom...

IDF troopers hop off of their M113
We were kind of wrong...Byron in particular started to hot-roll for the Syrian gunners, and our tanks started to see some serious damage, especially the loss of main guns! By the fifth turn, we were down to one fully-functional Sho't - although we had managed to eliminate the Syrian infantry. 

Centurion with damaged main gun tried to make for the far table edge - it would end badly for the tank...
In the sixth turn Byron managed to blow the main gun off our final tank, and that was that! With no meaningful AT firepower left, the IDF had to pull back, leaving a one destroyed and another immobilized Sho't on the battlefield, and three more without their main armament. The Syrians had lost three T-62s, a BTR-60 and a squad of infantry.  That's what it was like in those first couple of days on the Purple Line in October 1973...

This blurry photo captures the fate of the IDF tankers in the game
Syrian T-62 firing line victorious at the end of the game
It was a lot of fun to play Yom Kippur again, and Dallas' rules work very well for the battle.  I should probably tweak the tanks' stats a touch for next time, but "Red Storm" is great for this setting. Thanks to Hugh, Jim and Bryon for coming out.

9 comments:

Phil said...

Very nice report, great looking terrain and vehicles!

Dallas said...

Sorry I missed this one! Looks like it was an awesome game.

Impcommander said...

a strikingly nice looking battle. Certainly something to aspire to. I'd love to make some of those lovely smoke plumes.

James Brewerton said...

great looking game, thanks for sharing
Peace James

paulalba said...

Looks great Greg. Very impressive flame/smoke effect to.

Natholeon said...

Fantastic looking game Greg.

Curt C said...

Great AAR, Greg, and nice to see the Syrians get the goose for a change.

Hugh said...

It was a great game. Thanks for hosting it Greg !
Also, thanks for the previous quality of model review on the period. With Flames of War now dipping it's feet into the AIWs I'm looking at picking up some Centurions and so on for the Jordanians.

Greg B said...

Thanks Hugh - yes the Battlefront stuff looks pretty awesome. I can't wait to get some of their Ishermans.