|Israeli tankers notice a great deal of dust on the horizon, what could that be?|
A few weeks ago Matt, Rob and I were able to get together at the shop and play a massive Six Days War game for Flames of War. Mostly because Matt is still finishing his British Comets and I have been very busy with the Jordanians lately!
I used the surrounded mission from Flames of War with some slight alterations to represent a what if scenario from 1967. Historically, the Egyptian command had told the Jordanians that on the first day of the war they had smashed the IAF and were pushing up towards Israel from the south. The Jordanians began to move the 60th and 40th Armored Brigades south into Hebron to attack southward and link up with the Egyptian armored spearheads... The only problem was none of that had happened and the Egyptian Army in the Sinai was being rolled up. The 60th and 40th had to then scramble to get back towards Jerusalem and counter the Israeli attacks there, in the process they were attacked from the air by the undefeated IAF. But for our scenario, I had an Israeli force of Infantry being attacked by both the Egyptians and Jordanians while holding out for the Israeli armored to arrive.
The points totaled 4,435 points per side, and let me use some of my newest miniatures. In hindsight the Israelis could have been a little better maximized for taking on lots of heavily armored tanks and not just many cool units...
|All the tanks!|
|Jordanian 40th Armored Brigade with a detachment from the 25th Infantry.|
|An Israeli Infantry and Tank company. Definitely had some rather useless units for this game.|
|Egyptian Tank force, missing the infantry stands in the picture.|
The Jordanians consisted of two companies; tank list with thirteen pattons (M47 and M48s), M42s, ferrets and saladins. Then a infantry company of two platoons, AT jeeps recoilless rifles and six 25 pdrs.
The Egyptians consisted of a single battalion with eighteen T-55's, six IS-3's, six SU-100's, ZSU-57s, a scout platoon with PT-76's and a single platoon of mech infantry on foot.
The Israeli's were made up of two companies with the infantry force having; two full platoons, AT jeeps, 90mm Halftracks, a recon section with two halftracks, two 155mm SP guns, three Magach 2's and three M1 Shermans. The tank force was made up of ten M51 Ishermans, three Sho'ts, four AML-90's and three 120mm Mortar halftracks.
Matt ran the Egyptians, Rob ran the Jordanians and I took the Israelis. I deployed the entire Israeli infantry force in the center of the board with the Jordanians on one flank and the Egyptians on the other. The Arab forces had reserves and the Israeli tank company was in delayed reserve.
|The Israeli's are surrounded.|
|With enemies in front and behind, the little terrain was precious!|
|Useless recon section...|
|Artillery hiding in a small field.|
|Jordanian Armor and Artillery.|
|The Jordanian AT assets.|
|The picture is to grainy but I have some of my custom T-54 tanks in with the T-55's!|
|Nothing on this side of the Israeli board can scratch the front of the Pattons...|
|The Jordanians take advantage of that and push around.|
|The artillery survived a turn of shooting.|
|But time was running out.|
|The 90mm halftacks pushed up aggressively to relieve some pressure on the Magachs, but met the same fate.|
|A Jordanian AT jeep is taken out by an Israeli 20mm Halftrack.|
|These Pattons dominated the whole board.|
|Over watching their flanking comrades.|
The next few turns witnesses the slow erosion of the Israeli support platoons, artillery, 90mm Halftracks, recon and the outclassed M1 Shermans. One by one they fell victim to fire from the Jordanian Pattons and Egyptian tanks, with no where to hide or maneuver. All reserves for the Arav forces had arrived. The 106mm recoilless jeeps finally brought the ten tank T-55 platoon below half strength and it ran.
Turn three and four saw no reserves arrive for the Israelis, only on turn four did a single platoon of Sho'ts and the command roll on the board, but things were grim for the Israeli's. The infantry were holding on tight to the objectives, but the company was getting close to half strength.
|Ferrets hunting for the infantry.|
|Saladins hunting for bigger game.|
|The pressure is on.|
|The Sho'ts taking on the IS-3's.|
|Recon jeeps mg the 106mm guns.|
|Time for close assault!|
|Ferrets are leaving the jeeps to the tanks.|
|The HQ missed all shots at the ZSU-57's and paid the price.|
|10 shots back from the conscripts.|
|Both M51 platoons come on and knock out a platoon of M48's from behind, but fail to pen any Pattons from the front..|
|The Sho'ts knock our the Egyptian Battalion HQ, but can't expose their flanks to either Arab forces.|
|The infantry are crushed between the armored spearheads of two Arab forces.|
|Return fire guts the M51's.|
|Two assaults coming in!|
|The Israeli infantry fight off both, but are much reduced.|
|More reserves arrive, but it is too little, too late.|
|Sho'ts slowly push up.|
|And then the Israeli infantry company breaks, leaving the objectives in Arab hands.|
Both platoons of M51's came on behind a M48 platoon and knocked it out, but fail to kill a single one of the other six from the front. The next turns sees five shermans knocked out by the pattons. The Sho'ts cannot move up as their flanks would be exposed to either the pattons or the hiding ZSU-57's, and side armor 6 will not help them any...
Then the Israeli infantry are pinned by shooting and assaulted by a platoon of Pattons and the seven strong T-55 platoon. They beat back both killing a T-55 and all three Pattons but are severely depleted. The surviving M51's knock out a couple of Pattons and the newly arrived AML-90's knock out a few more AT jeeps but the end has come and the Israeli infantry company fails its moral check and the re-roll and heads home. With six nearly fresh Arab platoons around the objective I call the game.
All in all it was a fun game, and I did make the lists, set up the board and modify the mission... I just couldn't have done a better job of giving the Jordanians and Egyptians the advantage and handicapping the Israeli's. The Israeli's had no room to maneuver and no cover, and were taking devastating fire from in front and behind with reserves slow to arrive. The Jordanian Pattons especially were effective re-rolling misses at long range.
The biggest handicap was me wanting to put my neat new toys out on the board, the 90mm Halftracks, Recon Jeep Platoon and M1 Shermans were almost entirely useless in the is kind of fight but all were newly finished and I had never used them.
But I couldn't help geeking out at how cool the game looked with all the unique vehicles fighting it out!