Modern Wars (Yom Kippur, 1973), Seven Days to the River Rhine, 10mm
This was my second game with these rules – and the first for two of us – Nick and Sean 1. Still, they’re very straightforward, and easy to pick up. In this one – a meeting engagement set in the opening days of the Yom Kippur War (October 1973), the Syrians were trying to cut the Tapline Road, which ran north-south through the Golan Heights. An Israeli battlegroup turned up in the nick of time, intent on stopping them.In this one, played out on a 6×4 foot table, Sean 1 and I played the Israelis, while Nick and Sean 2 had the Syrians. Before I go on, let me offer my apologies for some of these photos. The bright evening sun was streaming through the hall’s high windows, and was doing strange things with the light. Anyway, both sides had equally-pointed forces, and began on opposite table edges. The Syrians began with an all-out advance all across the table – they certainly had enough T-55s to pull that off. Sean 2 though, raced ahead with an infantry detachment, as he planned to get his Sagger teams and RPG-armed infantry into the village in the middle of the table. Our advance was hindered slightly by a Syrian “Divisional Artillery Strike”, which hit and hurt Sean1’s battlegroup. For my part I advance on the right with a handful of M-51 Ishermans, moving them up onto a ridge, while my infantry came on behind in their M3 half-tracks. On my left Sean 1 led with his Centurion Sh’ots, but his first problem was dealing with Nick’s Syrian infantry. First blood went to the Israelis- some long-range fire from the hill overlooking the village took out three of Sean 2’s T-55s. The rest of his tanks were out of sight behind ridges and orchards, so when we got the initiative again I concentrated on his APCs. The aim was to stop the Syrian infantry and Saggers getting too close to my tanks – hitting them before they could dismount. Sean wasn’t well-placed to join in, but his recon AMX-13did some damage, knocking out a BRDM-2 recon vehicle before being blown apart by one of Nick’s T-55s. this though was small beer. More importantly, Sean 1 took out a Syrian Sagger team in the orchard, thereby saving his tanks a nasty fate. Nick was creeping forward though, as was Sean 2, so things were about to get messy. In fact for me, it got very messy indeed. My Ishermans were in a good hilltop position, and had pretty much destroyed everything they could shoot at. Revenge came quickly though, as Sean 2 and Nick combined their fire to brew up my tanks – all of them! As if that wasn’t enough, Nick also took great glee in vaporising my jeep with a recoilless rifle strapped to it. Everything got blown apart! In a turn, all I had left was my infantry. They disembarked in the olive trees above the village, and began filtering forward. So, it was now all up to Sean and his Centurions, over to my left. The Syrians had been badly hammered, but they still had a lot of tanks, and the only thing stopping them from doing more was a phase of poor die rolling. That gave Sean 1 a little reprieve to get his tanks ready. That essentially meant recovering morale, finishing off the Syrian infantry and rolling forward to hold the Tapline Road. Nick edged forward, but twice, when he tried to fire, Sean 1 got a reaction fire first, and destroyers something. Over in the village my bazooka round had bounced off a T-55, but it was taken out by a cool clean shot from one of Sean’s Centurions. So, we were still in the game. Actualy, we didn’t really know how well we were actually doing. We had a quick count of break points – based on the break point value of 2/3 of your toys. We discovered that the Israelis just had to lose another two tank or infantry bases to be fored to withdraw. However, the Syrians were just a T-55 away from pulling back.Sure enough, it a little tank duel that followed, Nick missed and Sean 1 didn’t. Another dead T-55 was enough, and the Syrians were forced to withdraw. It was a really hard-fought game, with burning tanks littering the battlefield. Sure, it might have been a little improbable, but the game was great fun, and everyone enjoyed themselves. We’ll certainly play these hugely enjoyable rules again!