Another Saturday morning battle with the Benson boys...but what to play?

Well, my usual default here is to have a look at what hasn't been on the table recently (if ever!) so today's game must be Six Day War and must involve the Battlefront ruined fort. Add on some "tail" that's never been on the table, and Bob's your uncle: one quick scenario coming up...

A column of Israeli recovery vehicles has strayed too close to the front line. As they pass a ruined fort on top of a hill, they spot a force of Egyptian tanks heading towards them.

Israeli Briefing

You command a small force of second line AFVs and infantry assigned to escort an AFV recovery unit towards where the fighting is happening. You are no in the vicinity of a ruined fort, and have just realised that you are closer to the fighting than you are supposed to be! You must protect the recovery vehicles from the Egyptian attack sweeping in from the other side of the hill.

  • Tank Platoon One
    • Big Man One (Level III)
    • 2 x M51 Isherman
  • Reserve Infantry Platoon One
    • Big Man 3 (Level III)
    • 3 x Assault Rifle Squad
    • 1 x Bazooka Team
    • 1 x Light Mortar Team
    • 1 x LMG Team
  • The Column of Recovery Vehicles
    • 1 x 2.5 ton truck
    • 4 x Diamond T M20 Tractors
  • Tank Platoon Two
    • Big Man 2 (Level II)
    • 2 x M50 Super Sherman
  • Reserve Infantry Platoon Two
    • Big Man 4 (Level III)
    • 3 x Assault Rifle Squad
    • 1 x Bazooka Team
    • 1 x Light Mortar Team
    • 1 x LMG Team

UAR Briefing

You are lost! Your force is supposed to be reinforcing the Al Kaba airfield, but you have taken a wrong turn and are not entirely sure where you are. Suddenly your scouts report that there is a column of Israeli tractors coming down the road on the other side of the hill in front of you. They have escorts, but you outnumber them muchly. It doesn't now matter where you are: time to attack!

  • Infantry Company HQ
    • Big Man 2 (Level II)
  • Infantry Platoon One
    • 3 x Assault Rifle Squad
  • Infantry Platoon Two
    • 3 x Assault Rifle Squad
  • Infantry Platoon Three
    • 3 x Assault Rifle Squad
  • Armoured Company HQ
    • Big Man 1 (Level III)
    • 1 x PT-76 Reconnaissance Tank
    • 1 x T-54/55 MBT
  • Armoured Platoon One
    • 3 x T-54/55 MBT
  • Armoured Platoon Two
    • 3 x T-54/55 MBT

The Game

As the game began, both sides rushed forward at top speed. Although the Israelis are fast and have plenty of command to chivy their units on, the cards were really favouring the Egyptians, and they reached the fort, and the hill just in front of it, before the two wings of Israeli Blinds could get there.

A frantic bit of spotting through the desert dust revealed a platoon of UAR T-54/55s on one side of the hill, with a couple of Israeli Ishermans on the other. As the Ishermans were placed on the table, there were several appreciative comments about the size of their guns! Note also the rather snazzy Battlefront desert dust clouds used to indicate that a vehicle has moved that turn (a fool and his money...!) and, perhaps more importantly, that one of the Egyptian infantry platoons has come off their Blind.

Seeing an opportunity not to be missed, one of the Israeli Blinds by the fort revealed itself as the other Israeli tank platoon: a couple of M-50 SuperShermans.

Their commanders immediately deployed their .50 cals, and hammered the closely packed mass of UAR infantry at close range. It was carnage, and just about half the Egyptians were taken out, with the rest Suppressed.

Now that battle was joined, both sides began to seriously try and work out where the other was.

The firing stopped as binoculars were grabbed and goggles wiped: with the result that almost every unit was then deployed onto the table.

note the combination of charlie don't surf rulebook and iabsm quick reference sheet top right. for more details of how I play 6dw games, see the page in the cds section of this website 

Now that everyone knew where everyone else was, it was time to get down to the fighting.

The UAR infantry attempted to storm the fort, but ran into a hail of fire from an Israeli infantry platoon that had just managed to make it up to the battlements in time.

Close range fire from assault rifle backed up by light support weapons is lethal, especially so when you're outside the walls and the people shooting at you are inside or on top of the walls.

Before long, two of the three UAR infantry platoons had been rendered hors de combat, with the third falling back to hunker down on the lee side of the main hill.

Believe it or not, they actually formed a square: the idea being that they would sit there, out of sight of any Israelis, and prevent the Israeli Blindicide Bazooka teams getting at any of their tanks...and it worked. Apart from a couple of ineffective shots from the battlements, the two Israeli Bazooka teams played almost no part in the battle at all.

Meanwhile, the tanks had been exchanging fire. This was interesting: four souped-up Shermans with poor armour but powerful guns versus seven modern Soviet MBTs with good armour and good guns. In the end, as always, it came down to superior command and control. With a plethora of Big Men and three as opposed to two Actions per activation, the Israelis were getting two or sometimes three shots off for every one fired by the Egyptians, who also suffered from their comparatively low morale/fighting spirit.

This ratio began to tell, and before long all the UAR tanks were smoking wrecks. Yes, two of the Shermans had been KO'd as well, but the battle was effectively over: the only way the Egyptians were going to win this battle was by taking out all the Israeli tanks and then bombarding the fort from a distance whilst at the same time hunting down the Israeli recovery vehicles, and without any tanks left, they couldn't do this! Here's some picture of the game as it played out:


A great game that was actually much closer than the above report suggests. It really was down to who got their shots off first, and just a little more luck for the Egyptians and they would have taken out the other two Israeli tanks and been free to run riot over the recovery vehicles.

I'm not sure how historically accurate a game it was: it all sounds a bit close range for modern warfare...but then that's why this report is called Brawl at the Ruined Fort!

Robert Avery