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Friday, August 16, 2013

Six-Day War Pincer

by Tom Burgess

Ron has been continuing to expand his Arab-Israeli collection so we devoted another day to trying out Flames of War Six-Day War scenarios using the list published by Broke Low.

Ron had increased his T-54 collection enough for us to now field a battalion of tanks and we pieced together the following force:

Egyptian Tank Battalion - Battalion HQ (confident trained) – 60pts
Tank Company (confident trained) – 420pts
7- T-54/55's
Tank Company (confident trained) – 420pts
7- T-54/55's
Infantry Company (confident trained) - 300pts
Cmd SMG + 2 Platoons w/ 5 Rifle/MG and 2 RPG-7 teams each
Commando Company (confident veteran) – 125pts
Cmd SMG, 4 AK-47 teams and 3 RPG-7 teams
Towed Artillery Battery (confident conscript, off-board) – 270pts
Staff team, Cmd SMG team and observer team 6-130mm B-13 Heavy Howitzers
Total - 1595pts

Ron had also increased his Israeli collection with some Recon AML-90s and various models of up-gunned Sherman tanks. With some additional infantry and artillery support the Israeli force looked like this:

Israeli Tank Company - Company HQ (fearless veteran) – 95pts
Company Cmd one M-51 Isherman w/105mm
Tank Platoon (fearless veteran) – 285pts
Cmd + 2 M-51 Isherman w/105mm
Tank Platoon (fearless veteran) – 285pts
Cmd + 2 M-51 Isherman w/105mm
Tank Platoon (fearless veteran) – 195pts
Cmd + 2 M-50 Sherman w/75mm
Reserve Infantry Platoon (confident veteran) - 185pts
Cmd SMG + RPG-7 team, 6 Rifle-MG teams, one LMG team and one 60mm mortar team
Reserve Infantry Platoon (confident veteran) - 185pts
Cmd SMG + RPG-7 team, 6 Rifle-MG teams, one LMG team and one 60mm mortar team
Recon Platoon (confident veteran) - 80pts
Off Board 155mm Artillery (confident veteran) – 300pts
Staff team, Cmd SMG Team, Observer team, 4-155mm Howitzers off board
Total – 1610pts

Ron had set up a typical desert board for us to use and we rolled up “Pincer” as the mission with the Egyptian defending. We rolled off for sides and I was to be the Israeli player with Ron taking the defending Egyptians.

The battlefield was typical desert terrain with some ridges built up to form a bit of a canyon with a road running through it.

Ron deployed his large infantry company on the high ground on either side of the main road. His Battalion CO tank was hidden safely behind a ridge and one of the T-54 Companies was placed in ambush. In reserve was the second T-54 Company and the Commando platoon.

I deployed the two platoons of M-51 Ishermans on the left, the M50 Shermans on the right, with the AML-90’s ready to recon the road and the Reserve Infantry poised to move into the small town.

The initial Israeli move was straight forward while their main guns, machineguns and artillery had minimal impact on the Gone-to-Ground and dug in Egyptian frontline infantry company.

In the following Egyptian turn, Ron had to deploy his onboard Tank Company using the concealment provide by the ridgeline to try to attrit the Israeli tanks before they could close on the defending infantry.

Ron’s T-54 volley accounted for three destroyed Ishermans, but not all in the same platoon and the one platoon that lost two tanks made it's fearless morale check to stay on the board.

 On the next Israeli turn, the M-50 Shermans moved toward the objective in the pass.

Meanwhile, the M-51 Ishermans traded sabot rounds with the T-54s on the ridge which destroyed enough to cause a morale check. The T-54s failed. So Ron and I had another great game of Arab-Israeli battles using Flames of War. Our quick game allowed us to switch sides and try the game again resulting in a 4-3 win for the Israelis, but in this game both T-54 Companies started on board and the two infantry companies were in reserve.

The Israeli artillery, assisted by the AML-90’s lifting the Egyptian Infantry’s Gone-To-Ground status, called in smoke. The purpose of this was to help protect the assaulting M50s from RPG-7 defensive fire. But the Egyptian RPG-7’s still managed to bail one M-50. The tanks drove the Egyptians back away from the objective.

The game is not yet up for the Egyptians! The Egyptian Battalion Command tank swings around the edge of the ridge and knocks out one of the M-50 Shermans. Additionally, the Egyptian infantry manage to muster the courage to move back into the smoke to destroy the operational M-50 Sherman and capture the bailed tank. Unfortunately, though they were able to close, they failed to get a hit and the lone M-50 Sherman automatically counter-attacked and drove the Egyptian infantry off a second time.  Thus securing the objective and the game as a 6-1 win for the Israelis, despite the loss of nearly half their tanks.

Broke Low is getting ready to add Syrian and Jordanians to his PDFs soon so no doubt we’ll be trying those out soon as well.

Tom has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007. He maintains a gaming website for the BattleVault Gamers of Kentuckiana and posts and moderates as Iron-Tom on WWPD

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