Friday, September 19, 2014

One More Sho't - Fate Of A Nation AAR

Oy vey...not again...
Following last week's unlikely Egyptian triumph, we decided a part two was in order to see if the IDF forces could get their revenge.  So we played "Fate Of A Nation" again this week.  I used the "Hold The Line" mission from the Flames of War rule book, with the idea being that a second IDF column was arriving to deal with the breakthrough the Egyptians achieved last week in our imagined encounter near the entrance to the Mitla Pass in the Sinai Peninsula.

IDF Company - Sho't as company commander, a platoon of 3 Sho'ts, a platoon of 4 M51 Shermans, a mech. infantry platoon and priority air support from Dassault Ouragans

UAR Tank Battalion - T-55 as battalion commander, one company of 9 T-55s, one company of 8 T-55s, one company of 6 IS-3Ms, one mechanized infantry company (with two platoons plus RPDs and B-10s) and a pair of ZSU-57-2s
Jim played the UN force (pictured above)
Two 1685-point forces were set up (very odd, but the point totals matched out exactly that way *shrug*).  Some slight adjustments to the forces this time compared to last week - even more T-55s for the Egyptians, but no SU-100s (Dallas was out of town) while, inspired from a request by Fawcett Avenue Conscript alumnus Sean M (Hi Sean!!) I added some Centurion Sho'ts into the IDF force.

Initial deployment - line of UAR T-55s supporting UAR mechanized infantry to the left, IDF advancing from the right
The Egyptians wait for the IDF attack to begin
The Sho't was a fabulous MBT, particularly in 1967, and they are expensive points-wise in "Fate Of A Nation", so that is why the Egyptians had/needed even more T-55s than last week - just to keep things balanced.

M51 Shermans - I love these models, I think I want to paint 10 more, just because

Now THAT is how it's supposed to go! IDF gunnery starts to burn out the first T-55 company
Byron and Mike F. played the Egyptians, while Graeme (I am so sorry, sure I am not spelling that correctly) and I took the IDF side.  Graeme had a tough outing last week with his M51 Sherman platoon getting shot to pieces - he anticipated much more fun with a platoon of Sho't tanks at his disposal.  Jim also came out, but mimicking the UN role in the 1967 conflict, he simply observed for a couple of turns before he had to leave.

Sho'ts moving out into battle
The table was 6' x 4', with both forces using opposing deployment areas tied to the short table edges. Two objectives were placed in the Egyptian zone (the defenders).  The Egyptians were required to put half of their units into delayed reserve.  Byron and Mike opted to put the mechanized infantry company on to the table, as they could start the game dug-in.  They back the grunts with a company of T-55s and the battery of ZSU-57-2s.

Uh oh...T-55s knock out a Sho't
The IDF had six turns to get one of the objectives, or just break the Egyptian battalion.  I had high hopes with the Centurions in the game, and indeed we blew away a large number of Egyptian tanks, but the IDF would be defeated again!

That !#$!#$ing T-55 company took three turns to are some lucky ones crowded around the hill
On the IDF side we made a cautious advance, knocking out a healthy number of T-55s while moving toward the Egyptian infantry.  Unfortunately we had terrible luck with our air support.  Even with "priority" air support, we often failed the roll to have the aircraft arrive, and when they did, they were usually driven off or reduced by the Egyptian AAA tanks.

M51s back off in the face of losses from T-55s...the M51 front armour cannot stop the T-55's 100mm shells
Mike and Byron watched their T-55s burn with some alarm, but they made the motivation checks when they needed to, and so we couldn't get a turn of exclusively concentrating all of our fire on the infantry - as we finally finished off the first T-55 company, the second one arrived, and once we torched them the IS-2s arrived...and so on and so on. The game would eventually turn on this.

Finally! The first T-55 company is wiped out! Things should roll from here, right? But look at all of that infantry...
Mike and Byron also scored a few hits, taking out two Shermans (yikes!) and a Sho't (oh no!) as we approached.

IDF mechanized infantry roll out
With the arrival of the 6th turn, Graeme and I had to go all-in, so we sent in the infantry and charged with the remaining tanks we had.

B-10 recoilless rifle team blasts away at the approaching IDF tanks
The close assault was punishing on the Egyptians - they got mauled.  But they also passed the motivation checks they needed in order to stay in the fight, meaning they held the objectives, meaning they won! We had torched two companies of T-55s and really chewed up the infantry, but still didn't get the job done.  Congrats to Mike and Byron. That's two in a row for the Egyptians!

Sho'ts deliver a blistering round of fire
These #@$@ing things kept the IAF at bay for most of the game
The stars of the game for the Egyptians were their infantry and their ZSU-57-2s!  Byron and Mike made good use of the enormous infantry horde (there were 20 teams in the company), leaving them static and dug in, very difficult for the outnumbered IDF troops to pry loose.  Some air strikes would have helped us, but even when the IDF air support did show up, the ZSU-57s blazed away and usually drove the Ouragans off.  I have to say I find the Flames Of War rules seemed to deliver a neat experience on this score, with the hapless conscripts able to hold out if they were dug in and not moving.

IDF mechanized infantry continue to move up...the burning M51 is a bit of a grim thing to pass by...

Now that is how the air force is SUPPOSED to good run with the cannons and there are many burning T-55s...sadly this is the only successful pass the Ouragan would manage
The IDF air support did have a single good run, torching three T-55s in a single pass with cannons, but overall we didn't get nearly as much help as we needed from the fly-boys.  And just like last week, the IDF doesn't have a margin for error - losing even a couple of tanks can really set you back.

IDF infantry dismounting and preparing to assault the Egyptian line
So - two straight Flames Of War games in a row...I'm actually starting to get a bit more familiar with the rules.  "Fate Of A Nation" and Flames Of War are not deep simulations of combat or anything, but it was pretty fun.  Lots of tanks, lots of dice, lots of stuff on fire, and a result in six turns.

The close assault under way - defensive fire from the Egyptians fails to stop the Israelis
Sucks to be these guys...the M51s did their part to try and break the Egyptian mechanized infantry company
Again, probably the worst part of a Flames Of War game is the proximity of the tank models to each other on the table.  The T-55s companies looked like black powder musket lines in some respect.  But on the other hand, when you have 25 tanks and tank-sized vehicles in your force, even a 6' x 4' table will be crowded before you know it. 

There were so MANY Egyptians...the UAR mechanized troops hold the line in the face of heavy losses, winning the game for their side!
Thanks to Byron, Mike F and Graeme for coming out play.  The IDF revenge will have to wait for another day...


Stan M. said...

Great write up and a really great looking table. Your figs, as always, are looking outstanding!

Keep up the fight. Good luck.

Dallas said...

Wow - great batrep. Looks like I missed an awesome game!

Troop of Shewe said...

keep the AAR's coming, inspirational. Where did you get, or how did you make the smoke/explosion markers?

Greg B said...

Thanks guys.

@Troop of Shewe - the smoke/explosion markers are from Dream Pod 9 - a little pricey, but worth it.