Modern Wars, Seven Days to the River Rhine, 10mm
This was something of a new departure. It began when I picked up a copy of these rules on a whim, after reading a few good reviews. I wasn’t that fussed about “The Cold War gone hot” theme, but the rules’ Facebook group had an interesting off-period set of amendments for the Yom Kippur War of October 1973. Before you know it I was painting 10-12mm Centurions and T-55s… This then – a quiet Sunday afternoon game with Sean 2 – was all about trying out the rules – and the period. We rolled for sides and table ends, and Sean got the Syrians, while I had the Israelis. This was Scenario 1 from the rules – a meeting engagement, with both sides trying to secure control of the Arab village of Rama Magshamim in the southern Golan. The four objectives were the two village bases, and the two olive-grove clad hills nearby. Actually there were other hills on the table, made from socks stuffed under the mat, but they don’t show up well in these photos. I came on from the left (west) in the first picture, and Sean appeared from the right (east). In Seven Days.. you have to play a “command token” to activate a unit (a vehicle or infantry stand), hence the white markers. the plan is to eventually paint Israeli or Syrian flags on them, but for the moment they’re still white. You also get five Tactical Advantage cards, and Sean played a great one – a pre-match artillery stonk which caused morale “hits” on some of my kit. They’re the little blue or green mini dice on the table.Sean came on too, leading with his tanks and a couple of APCs carrying infantry squads. Incidentally, Please excuse Sean’s unaesthetic way of showing APCs carrying infantry! By the way, in this scenario we both had to keep a third of our force off-table – they came on from Turn 3 on. For the first few turns then, we had to fight with what we had. I fired first, but Sean’s Syrians drew the first blood, brewing up the Centurion Sh’ot which had reached the western outskirts of the village. I quickly had my revenge though, and destroyed several Syrian T-55s in quick succession, from my cosy little position atop the small olive-clad hill to the south-west of the village. What I hadn’t noticed though, was Sean’s APC unloading a squad of infantry. Suddenly, one of my Centurions blew up – the victim of an RPG round fired by the infantry. It had a range of 12″, and we were just inside it. Until now I’d had the contemporary Israeli tank commander’s dismissal of more infantrymen. Now I paid the price – and kept paying it when Sean brewed up a second Centurion! This wasn’t good – In a few turns I’d lost half of my tank force! I was now a little wary of the village, and actually pulled my guys back behind olive grove hill. Instead I brought up my Israeli infantry – looking suspiciously like Syrians as the real ones were still on the painting table. My plan was to flush them out using a platoon-sized infantry assault, supported at an RPG-free distance by my remaining tanks. However, it didn’t quite work out like that…Instead, Sean advanced his pesky infantry squad onto the hill, passing my burning Centurions. His plan was to repeat the trick with my two tanks hiding in its lee. Instead he was met by an Israeli squad, which fired on the Syrians at short range, and – with the aid of a Tactical Advantage card -made them fall back to the village.We’d both played these cards – a fun part of the game – and we saw a Syrian airstrike – unsuccessful, Syrian electronic warfare which stripped me of several Command Tokens – and the Israelis whistling up a sandstorm. Meanwhile the tank duel was going on, and I’d now knocked out six Syrian tanks. Only his two reinforcement tanks were still in play. This game could still go either way…Throughout all of this, one part of my force that hadn’t moved was my Israeli recon detachment – a puny AMX-13 and an even punier jeep with a recoilless-rifle strapped on the back. Both waited behind a hill for the right moment to strike – and it never came. Instead, I took to popping my tanks out from behind the ill and firing on the remaining Syrian tanks and APCs – without any success. I have to say, I’ve never rolled so many “1s” in a game before, on both D6s and D10s! The laws of probability went completely out the window!Then though, Sean’s infantry struck again. They advanced out of the village, and as I still hadn’t brought my own infantry up they got within 12″ of one of my two remaining tanks, and let fly. It was as neat a brew-up as you’ve ever seen. So, that infantry squad had now seen off four of my six tanks! That’s them up above. That brought an end to the turn – and to the game. We both had suffered a lot of losses, but hadn’t reached our Break Points yet. So, it was down to objectives – I had one hill, and Sean had a hill and the village. So, victory went to the Syrians that afternoon – a well deserved win for Sean (damn him) after a hard-fought but thoroughly enjoyable game. We both were very impressed by the simple but effective rules-and by our new little period!