Fate of a Nation: The Cold Shower

Regular readers will remember that I had sorted what armour I needed to buy in order to take advantage of the Battlefront Six Day War 40% off sale. It was therefore now time to look at the infantry contingent.

My intention was not to go too crazy here: probably only looking at a single company of Arab troops and a single company of Israeli troops. So I thought I'd start with the Egyptians.

The Egyptian Infantry Contingent

The immediate problem here is matching the Battlefront boxes with the standard TOE for a UAR infantry platoon.

Battlefront’s breakdown, if you follow the way the box sets are put together is as follows:

Lovely figures, but where are all the LMGs? (Both pics from the Battlefront website)

  • a company headquarters (CHQ) that includes a command element of three, two three-man LMG teams and two three-man recoilless rifle (RCL) teams
  • plus three platoons each of three squads of eight and a bazooka team of two

That’s 93 men in all.

However, as far as I can tell from my reading, the UAR were organised on Soviet lines i.e. squads of ten, each with an LMG. That makes three platoons of thirty-one strong plus the CHQ of eight or 101 in all.

Looking at the TOE for a 1973 Yom Kippur war platoon, for example, they had squads of ten comprising NCO, eight men with AK-47s, one with an RPG and one with an LMG. The CHQ would also add an HQ/Weapons squad of eight men.

Now, if we follow the logic, and assume a Soviet breakdown, that means the Battlefront TOE assumes the heavier weapons have been moved to the CHQ (very reasonable) but is still very, very short on LMGs. Weird!

What I would like to model is:

  • a CHQ of Big Man and two four-man RCL teams
  • three platoons, each of a Big Man, three squads of six AK-47-ers (some models might feature RPG-2s, but I understand they weren’t used in this campaign) and a two-man LMG team, and a two-man bazooka team.

That gives me a company of four Big Men, nine 8-man LMG squads in three platoons, three 2-man bazooka teams, and two 4-man RCL teams: a total of 90 men.

The problem is, of course, that although the numbers are just about the same, the distribution and weapons doesn’t match the BF offering: I’m short loads of LMGs.

Loads.

It must be something to do with modelling game mechanics, in the same way that IABSM doesn't necessarily represent every man in a squad.

 missing!

missing!

Well this has sort of put a kibosh on the whole affair. If I want to model the company effectively, then I'd have to buy so many sets of the Company HQ that the 40% off is negated.

Unless anyone can come up with a solution, it's going to be an armour only purchase, leaving the infantry to another time...particularly as I've now started to look at Khurasan's Yom Kippur range!  Maybe  it's time to turn the clock forward a few years...