Arab-Israeli War (1967)

Doug deployed his very nicely painted 1:300th scale Egyptian and Israeli models again last night, while umpiring a second Arab-Israeli clash at the community centre using Modern Spearhead rules. Simon and I were Israelis, with Mal and Patrick on the Egyptian side.

In a replay of the first scenario of a few weeks ago, the Israelis attempted to breach an Arab defensive line using armour, infantry combat groups, plus supporting units. This time the Israelis started a bit closer to the Egyptian defences. While Simon adopted a gradual approach and relied on the firepower of his tanks, I decided to mix things up and managed to drive down the road, and briefly pierced the Arab lines.

Both Mal and Patrick successfully prevented their entrenchments from being overrun, and had masses of men and armour to block the Israeli advance. The Israelis had fewer men and tanks, and were disadvantaged by receiving fire first whenever they moved forwards. The outcome of the game was an Israeli defeat, as one of my (Sherman) tank brigades was destroyed, with most of my infantry decimated, while Simon did not get around to breaching the trenches.

We are still learning the rules and how best to manage our resources in such games, as target priority and different weapons systems really do make a difference to how the game is won and lost. The Israelis need to integrate the superior firepower and protection of their tanks with a steady advance and skillful handling of the more vulnerable infantry, while remaining out of Arab firing range as far as possible.

On the night we discussed the rules as compared to the war itself: was the scenario too difficult, given low Israeli casualties and much easier victory historically? Doug may be bringing aircraft at some point in the future, which could prove decisive for the Israelis who enjoyed air supremacy in the Six Day War.

Overall this was a chilled out and enjoyable night in the company of a smaller group of gamers, and a welcome contrast to noisier and less contemplative occasions.