A break from painting Hoplites to carve into the Arab-Israeli section of my lead mountain.
Those who pay attention will remember that I bought a whole load of kit in anticipation of playing a few games based on the 1973 Yom Kippur War rather than the 1967 Six Day War. The lists have been produced (available free in the CDS section of this website…although keep your eyes peeled as I’m about to update them with some extra info received from fellow Lardy Richard Naylor) and all that was needed was some of the new equipment available in 1973.
For the Israelis, this starts with a couple of units almost guaranteed never to get onto the table!
The first is a platoon of M3 TCM-20 Anti-Aircraft half-tracks:
These are very nice models: really easy to put together and paint. I sprayed them with GW Death Forest Green, washed in GW Agrax Earthshade, then highlighted and painted the crews and equipment. Only half of them have the aerial recognition “T” on the bonnet: I ran out of decals and will have to do the other two at a later date.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit harsh about the AA half-tracks never getting onto the table…but I’m almost certain that this next lot are fated to spend their lives “in the box”: jeeps with TOW launchers.
As their minimum range in CDS terms is about 6½’, they will either have to lurk right at the back of the table (I can manage 8’ at a push) or be some kind of table decoration. Perhaps I’ll play a Space Invaders scenario i.e. a mass of Egyptian tanks charging one or two Israeli TOW-mounting jeeps. Might be fun.
I hadn’t gamed with old friend Neil for at least 18 months, so it was a pleasure to get a date into the diary and push some lead around the table again.
We decided to have a battle set in the 1967 Six Day War between an Israeli and an Egyptian (UAR) force. The game would be a fictional encounter battle using the TooFatLardies Charlie Don’t Surf Vietnam rules adapted for the theatre and available elsewhere on this site.
I've now had a chance to finish and post the second set of FOC army lists for a 1973 Yom Kippur War Charlie Don't Surf! expansion: the Egyptians.
This list covers all the various incarnation of infantry and mechanised infantry company, along with their supporting armour, air defence and artillery.
It also covers the possibilities of the initial assault across the canal, where the Egyptians were working to a well-practised fixed plan, and includes the slight variations for commandoes and paratroopers.
As always, let me know if you find any inaccuracies: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quick check on the Battlefront website confirmed that they are currently still running the 25% off anything to do with their modern Arab-Israeli range, so I thought I'd indulge and buy myself an early birthday present.
As I'm currently working on the Egyptian briefing for the 1973 Yom Kippur or October War, I wanted something that they used if only to inspire me to keep hacking my way through all the contradictory and incomplete information that's out there...but what to get? I got most of what I needed some time ago as I put together forces for the Six Day War.
Up to now, I've saved myself a lot of money by avoiding buying anything that would usually sit off-table (i.e. many support weapons and all artillery) but this time couldn't resist the lure of the BM-21 "Grad" (Hail) multiple rocket launchers.
These are cracking models that come in a pack of three. I say models, but what we're talking here is six large bits of resin: three vehicle bodies and three clumps of rockets, if that's the right word to use. This was a very good thing, as I'd been dreading building a traditional set of Battlefront models e.g. fixing 18 metal wheels to a resin body using those slots that never quite fit properly. So the entire build was done in about 15 seconds: blob of Superglue in the hole where the rocket clump sits, push rocket clump into place!
Painting was pretty easy too. Spray yellow basecoat, wash with GW Agrax Earthshade, then highlight in desert yellow. Paint the tyres (the worst bit of the whole process) and then a heavy drybrush to weather them a bit. Finally I did the glass blue with a few dashes of white; and then black-inked the top of the rockets to mimic the sooty residue left after firing. The bases were done with GW Armageddon Dust texture (basically thick paint with little bits in it: a marvellous invention that shortens the basing process by miles) highlighted with GW Screaming Skull and finished with some bushy clumps also from GW.
God knows what I will use them for on the tabletop: they can shoot 12 miles! I think probably as scenario objectives i.e. have them in hardpoints at one end of the table protected by infantry and a few dug-in tanks, and send an IDF force to take them out.
The first of the briefings, covering the Israeli Defence Force, for using Charlie Don't Surf to fight the 1973 Yom Kippur War is now live on the Yom Kippur War homepage.
A tough list to put together, as the sources of information are often contradictory. I can't see why someone who knows can't just post somewhere on the Internet a proper, unadulterated TOE, unadapted for any game system, for an IDF infantry company (mechanised, paratrooper or motorised) in 1973. Someone must have one!
So, as is the usual TFL practice, what I have done is construct a list for an infantry company (mechanised or paratrooper), plus a list for a tank company, that I think is pretty representative of what was actually fielded at the time.
Happy to look at any other information that people have. Either comment here or e-mail me at the usual address (email@example.com)
I picked a box of these up some time ago in one of the many Battlefront sales, but hadn't got round to painting them. A delay, however, in an order of Poles gave them the window needed to get onto the painting table and, once there, they were quickly finished.
It's a platoon of three IS-3M ex-Soviet main battle tanks now in UAR service for the Six Day War.
Something else for the Israeli's to blow to, er, Kingdom Come!
I'm loving adding all the modern AARs using IABSM and/or CDS: some really nice photography of some really nice models.
Here's a quick AAR from Jon Yuengling's excellent blog, Basement Games, dating back to November 2010. The IDF are trying to rescue a downed pilot from in amongst the Syrian militia. Click on the pic to see all...
As an alternative to the reconnaissance platoon featured yesterday, the Israelis can field a platoon of anti-tank jeeps. These are basically a jeep with a 106mm Recoilless Rifle fitted on top of it.
Now this seems a little crazy to me. I can understand sticking a RR on top of a jeep in order to give your infantry a bit of bunker-busting support, but to actively promote said jeep as an anti-tank vehicle? Well, as I said, I think you'd have to be very, er, brave, to take on a UAR T-55 tank, or even one of the ex-Soviet WW2 vehicles, in one of these!
A platoon of four anti-tank jeeps. Figures are from Battlefront.
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 written!
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.
Having promised myself I'd concentrate on the Poles, I immediately took a quick break from early WW2, and smashed out a platoon of T-34/85s for my Six Day War UAR/Egyptian army.
I got these via the Battlefront 40% off sale, which I think is still on for the next couple of days, otherwise I would have gone for plastics again...but these are nice models: suitably hefty.
I've painted them the way I painted the other ex-Soviet WW2 kit in my UAR army: just the same as a more modern tank, but then covered in one of the Games Workshop technical washes to give them a real "twenty years old and a tank the Soviets don't want any more" look.
One thing to note: one of the models (the one on the left, furthest from the camera) came with one side of the hull broken off. You can see the left hand track is very visible, and is visible all down the side of the tank.
Now I do love Battlefront vehicles (I have literally hundreds of them, possible even a thousand) but their quality control sucks! Yes, I could have e-mailed in and got almost an immediate replacement but, as I've said before, that's not the point: get it right first time!
I'm still waiting for the gun barrel that was missing from my Polish AT guns: that's been four days and they have missed their slot in the painting queue! That's four Battlefront purchases painted this week, with two needing a replacement part. Not very good, to say the least!
As it happens, this wasn't a problem for me: the tanks were supposed to be battered, and this one is just more battered than most...still not the point, though!
As regular readers of this blog will know, I have been avoiding finishing my third and final Israeli infantry platoon for a couple of weeks now.
I don't know what it is, but sometimes your painting mojo just escapes you, and no matter how hard you try, you just cannot pick up a brush and go back to those figures that, only days before, you couldn't wait to complete.
So it was with my final platoon of Israeli infantry. They got to the half-way stage, and then no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't face finishing them. First I ran out of black paint, then I decided to clear a couple of backlogged big items from my painting table, then I just had to paint my new Ironclad Miniatures terrain: the sorry tale goes on!
Finally, however, they are done: completed in between waiting for the undercoats and basecoats and basing on the windmill and chapel to dry!
That's a complete infantry company done now, along with all the armour I need for the moment: just the support weapons to go!
The last of the armour for my Israelis for the Six Day War: a couple of French-built, AMX-13 light tanks.
These are more of the extraordinary vehicles that the Israelis seemed to have used. Here, you take a light tank chassis, with its associated thin-as-paper armour, and you put the biggest gun you can possibly fit in the turret. Definitely a case of hoping you get the first shot off!
Here they are:
As usual, these are Battlefront models from their "Fate of a Nation" range. One thing to note: all the pictures on the BF site have the road-wheels as having tyres (i.e. should be black rubber). Looking at photos, however, I can see almost none where the road-wheels are a different colour to the rest of the undercarriage. So, as a compromise, I have painted the tyre onto the spare road-wheel on the front deck, but left them off those in position: the rubber has obviously been covered in paint or dust or something!
Nice looking models that go together and paint up well. Recommended.
Okay, so I'm painting Israelis at the moment...but I needed a break...and these were languishing in the lead mountain looking sorry for themselves...
Two Soviet ZSU-57-2 self-propelled AA batteries in UAR (Egyptian) service during the Six Day War:
Models are from Battlefront.
PS The Scorecard for the Painting Challenge is now fully up-to-date.
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.