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Friday, January 30, 2015

Free for All - Israeli & Egyptian Tank Forces

By Tom Burgess,

Still smarting from my 5-2 loss against my friend Greg while playing Flames of War's Fate of A Nation rule set, a few days later I got the Israeli tanks out to face another friend, Don's UAR Tank Battalion. Don and I decided to play at 2220points. We rolled up Free-For-All as our mission.

We used the same board that Greg and I played on earlier, but with some slight movement of terrain pieces. The above photo is from the Israeli "Attacker" side of the table. Don and I have complete Battlefront miniatures for our forces and this was the first Fate of a Nation game in our area that did not include any proxying (Normally WW2 Soviets for UAR Ground troops & Guns)

My force included:
HQ: 2 x AMX-13
Plt 1: 4 x AMX-13
Plt 2: 4 x AMX-13
Plt 3: 4 x Sho't
Plt 4: Mechanized Infantry with extra Blinidicide
Plt 5: 3 x 120mm Mortar Halftracks

The Israeli Tank Company
Don's force included:
HQ: 1 x T-55
Co 1: 10 x T-55
Co 2: 10 x T-55
Co 3: 10 x T-55
Co 4: 6 x AK-47 Teams, 1 x RPG Team, 7 x BTR-50s, and 6 x PT-76
Co 5: 2 x ZSU-57

The UAR Tank Battalion

Close up of Don's T-55s

Both players maximized the spread of objectives.

On my left I placed my Mech Infantry, without their half tracks and one platoon of AMX-13s.

On my center-right I placed my Sho'ts on a rocky hill with my other AMX-13 platoon and mortars behind.

Don placed his three T-55 companies across his deployment zone. Above are his center and right T-55 Company as well as his mounted Scout Company also in the center.

On Don's left he had his last T-55 Company and his ZSU-57 Co which would have no planes to shoot at today.

Don made his Spearhead move with his Mounted Scout Co. to get them into the board's center town. We then rolled for first turn, which the Israeli's won.

My first turn saw me move up my AMX-13 on my left to get some shots in on the PT-76s from Don's Scout Co before  his T-55s showed up.  Three PT-76s were burned up while one was bailed out.

My Shot's destroyed three T-55's from Don's center T-55 Co.

My Sho'ts were unable to back off the hill and with enough rolls, Don managed a few "6's" and KI'd one Sho't and bailed another.

On my right my AMX-13 pop up for a volley, but only KO one T-55.

On my left I brought in smoke on the lead elements of Don's Scout Company. This is not where I wanted to place smoke as I wanted that to go on Don's T-55's facing my right. But the only Command teams I had that could see that target were tank command teams, which I desperately needed to shoot! So I had to use my Infantry Platoon Command team to call in the smoke and he had much more limited fields of view.

I failed to "stormtrooper" back my AMX-13's on my right, but they got lucky only losing two tanks to Don's T-55s.

On my left Don moved in for the assault.

In the center, Don's T-55's claimed another Sho't. Who decided to make this hill very difficult going!!!

With a little help from the 2IC's AMX-13s and two Blinidicide teams, Don's BTR-50 assault is stopped cold.

On my following turn I continue to have little impact on Don's T-55s. I do manage to get smoke in on the T-55 Co facing my right, but the AMX-13s again fail to stormtrooper back into safety!

So on Don's turn he pushes up against my right to clear the smoke and close in on my AMX-13's which lose another tank and then break.

In my center, my Sho'ts lose a 3rd tank to T-55 fire and they also break.

Back on my left Don again assaults with his BTR-50s.

The BTRs fail to hit, but my Israeli Infantry also fail their Tank Terror test and Don wins the combat and then uses his consolidation move to push up and move much of my infantry from their foxholes.

In my following turn there's not much I can do. I know I'm going to loose, and loose soon, but I still have yet to earn a victory point. So I focus my efforts on the Scout company as  single team loss there will incur a morale check. Though my last AMX-13s and my 120mm mortars achieve many hits, Don manages to make all of his saves! In Don's following turn his T-55's simply mop up the rest of my force leaving only the infantry on the board and the Israeli Company morale folds.
Ouch! Another horrible loss for my Israeli tank force.  I have yet to win with them in a one-on-one game. I think going first really hurt me as my Sho'ts were considered moving in my first turn and so only had ROF 1 and no rerolls. After that do to bailed out and bogged tanks I was never able to shoot with more than two Sho'ts at once. Also not being able to get my smoke where needed also really hurt as even when needing 6's to hit, Don was rolling enough dice to get some! My key learning point from this game was to make sure that my Infantry Platoon Command team is placed to have maximum visibility as he's the "go to guy" for calling in mortar fire in a full tank force.
I think I'm going to have to look at some other options as the AMX-13s are just so hard to do well with against full Companies of T-55s. I have some new boxes of M51 Ishermans, so I guess I'm going to have to look hard at working some of these into my force replacing the Sho'ts or AMX-13s.

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 WWPD as Iron-Tom.

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