Cold Wars convention 2011:  Mark Kinsey and myself ran two games dealing with Lebanon 1982 and Dr Mercury had two 28mm games covering the conflict as well. All in all the Vista Room in Lancaster was a little bit of Lebanon (in the Middle East that is).

The first fight was “Lebanon 1982 - Fight at Ishiya”. This is a village in the Bekaa where the IDF is looking to move north as fast as possible while destroying as my of the PLO infrastructure as possible.

The Battlefield - Image from Doctor Merkury

The Battlefield - Image from Doctor Merkury

Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. The IDF had a platoon of infantry with Magach support.  While they had two perfectly good roads to use, they set up on the table edge and started to move through the rough terrain. Now as a game master I should have place the figures on the road and said you start here. My fault.

The IDF started by approaching a cluster of houses and found a PLO arms cache, but also civilians, militia and a news crew. Now after failing to spot the news crew (even though I had figures on the table) they proceeded to use the machine guns and Magach tanks on the people and buildings getting a clean kill on the entire news crew. 

Things could not get worse for the IDF, well they could and did. For over three turns they continued to pummel the buildings. It took an order from over the radio to get them moving, ever so slowly. In desperation (on the game master’s part) I said something like, “I paid a lot for that latex road and you guys need to use it. 

Once they got on the road they moved towards a market building and encountered a second PLO team with a machine gun. This slowed up the column again and the reinforcements. The IDF received a jeep platoon. 

At this time the Syrians appeared on blinds (we were using a Lardies rules). It was funny that the IDF was not concerned about the new column approaching the village center. The Syrians had two platoons of T55s and a platoon of BTR60s. 

It was only when the command tank was hit by an RPG and received engine damage that the IDF realize they were in trouble. The command tank earlier lost their commander. The Syrian Infantry and lead platoon of T55s fired on the tank and the crew bailed to a building. More on that latter.

The rest of the IDF column made a run for the edge and it looked like they were going to make it, until the PLO moved their one heavy asset, a Charioteer, to stop them. There is something humorous in having a 1950s tank (or tank destroyer) frightening off the IDF. Only by luck was the PLO tank unable to get the last M113 in the column. (In the future I need to write up some PLO specific tank rules. Should make for interesting and comical battles.)

Back to the tank crew. They were holding up in a building being shot at by a platoon on Syrian and a defiant group of PLO. There situation did not look good, so the jeep platoon went in to recover them. Luck was still with the Syrians as they were able to get into a firing position and disabled the jeeps and captured their crews and the crew of the tank. 

This game was a PLO and Syrian victory. I think the IDF commander was lucky to have been an early causality, if not Ariel Sharon would not have been happy with the results. 

Jon Yuengling