Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Painting Guide for Fate of a Nation

The various forces included in Fate of a Nation provide a fairly wide array of camouflage and painting options for the player. The main rulebook itself includes a painting guide, but this appears to have been copied wholesale over from the original release of Fate of a Nation and therefore applies more to the 1967 conflict than the 1973 conflict. A study of some of the available references for the various forces that saw action during these two conflicts demonstrates that there are many more options than are discussed in the rulebook.

Back in February I detailed a decent "one book" reference covering Middle East conflicts, AK Interactive's Middle East Wars 1948-1973. This book has a wealth of color drawings which appear to be reasonably accurate based on the original photographs of the subjects I've seen. SabIngaMartin Publications also has a very detailed series of books dealing mostly with Israeli topics, but there are some good references on Arab armor (especially T54/55 and T-62) as well.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Fate of a Nation Force Table Updates

Just a heads up - I've updated the Egyptian and Syrian tables for Fate of a Nation. Based on better data, it appears that the BTR-60 was not used by either nation during the 1967 war. Egypt may have had an early version of the vehicle, but regardless it wasn't deployed in 1967. There is hard evidence of both Egypt and Syria receiving the standard BTR-60 model as represented by the stats in the book in 1970 and both nations deployed the AFV during the 1973 war.

I'll continue to polish the force organization tables as I get more data. I've even put in a call to some of my friends in Israel to see if I can lay my hands on some additional data.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fate of a Nation - 1967, 1973, or Both - Jordanian Forces

So the first three installments of this series detailing the various force in the new Fate of a Nation game have caused quite a bit of discussion, and I already have some additional reference data coming my way. That means that there may be some future edits to the Israeli, Egyptian, and Syrian force tables for the 1967 and 1973 wars. That being said, I wanted to get something up for the Jordanians, even if it was an early draft to see if I can get some additional references to come out of the woodwork.

Jordan has always been in a fairly unenviable position in the Arab world. They've continued to look West for aid and support, even as many of their neighbors looked to the Soviet Bloc. This preference can be seen in a lot of their equipment, and in their relations with their neighbors during the inter-war years. As such, most of Jordan's equipment firmly dates to the 1967 Six Day War, as they were most integral to that conflict. Jordan only reluctantly came to Syria's aid late in the Yom Kippur War, and only with one or two Armored Brigades.

Unfortunately as the table above shows, details about the force organization of the forces Jordan sent to Syria in the 1973 War are sketchy. I have at least one photo of a Jordanian Centurion during that conflict, so I'm 100% comfortable saying that the 105mm armed version was definitely there. There are wide reports of Jordanian artillery being involved in attacks as well. I'll continue to dig and hopefully clear some of the "yellow" out of the chart over the next few weeks!

Fate of a Nation - 1967, 1973, or Both - Syrian Forces

Like the Egyptians, the Syrian experience in the Yom Kippur / October War was drastically different than the earlier Six Day War. In 1973, the Syrians were on the offensive and managed to recapture a fair portion of the Golan Heights threatening northern Israel itself before the Israelis counter-attacked and force the Syrians out yet again. As such the equipment used and available in 1967 and 1973 differs slightly when playing the newest version of Fate of a Nation.

I've gone through the new book and worked to identify which formations and equipment would have been available during each war. Bear in mind, however, that the new game is not only meant to be played with what ever mix of equipment you choose, but it is also points compatible with the new 'Nam game, so you can mix and match (Israeli vs. NVA anyone?). Therefore any segregation of forces based on Six Day War or Yom Kippur War is purely optional!

As you can see from the chart above, given their position in the Soviet orbit during the time period, Egypt and Syria shared a great deal of equipment. There are, however, a few units unique to each nation based on what they were able to obtain in the early post-colonial era.

Hopefully this chart will be helpful as you build your forces from Fate of a Nation.  I'll be adding Jordanian forces in the future as well as some modeling and painting guides.  Watch this space!

Edit June 25, 2018 - Removed BTR-60 as a 1967 option - Syria does not appear to have purchased the AFV until 1970 based on better references than were originally available.

Fate of a Nation - 1967, 1973, or Both - Egyptian Forces

As mentioned in an earlier post, in the new Fate of a Nation rules, it isn't always clear which units were used in which conflict (or if they were used in both). A lot of that detail was originally included in the unedited unit flavor text (where available), but due to space constraints some of it was lost.

In this installment we'll look at the Egyptian forces available in the new Fate of a Nation rules, and which units were available for which war. Again, I'd like to emphasize that segregating the forces into 1967 or 1973 organizations is purely optional! When actually playing the game, feel free to mix and match as much as you'd like as the book is written to be used that way. This chart merely gives the player an option to focus if that is how you'd like to play the game.

In the 1967 War, the Egyptian Positions were in many cases more static and lacked the advanced man-portable anti-tank rockets like the AT-3 "Sagger". In 1973, the Egyptians were focused on attack, and both their infantry and armored formations were organized with assault on the Bar-Lev line and establishing a foothold in the Sinai as their top priority.

Hopefully this chart will be helpful. There are a few more entertaining, though rare, Egyptian units like the heavily modified T-34/100 which aren't in the book that I hope to see as "unofficial" cards some day. As before, I'm hoping to get some painting and modeling information up in the future as well.  Enjoy!

Edit June 25, 2018:  Removed BTR-60 from 1967 options. Egypt may have had some in country, but they were a very early model and not deployed. Standard model not imported until ~1970 along with Syria.

Fate of a Nation - 1967, 1973, or Both - Israeli Forces

First I'll apologize for my forced absence. Things have been more than a little crazy in my world and while I've been working on miniatures a bit, the craft room has been a little quiet these days. That being said, unless you've been under a rock you will have seen the release of the new Fate of a Nation set of rules from Battlefront/Osprey. I'm credited as having contributed "additional writing" in this particular book, and this time around it amounted to writing and updating a lot of the historical background as well as the unit flavor text.

As Battlefront was trying to create a fairly unified set of rules that would be compatible with 'Nam - in effect creating "Early War" Team Yankee - no distinction was made between kit or formations which were used only in 1967 or 1973. The goal was to create one game, not two. That being said, where information was readily available I tried to highlight equipment or formations which were used exclusively in either the Six Day War or the Yom Kippur/October War as I know many players would like to focus their force (or at least differentiate camouflage schemes).

Unfortunately you have only so much space with which to work in a book of this type and some editing occurred along the way. So I've been going back through my notes to make as definitive as possible a list of what was used in each conflict. Starting with the Israelis, I've compiled it into an Excel file which I will update as I get more information.

As you can see, most of the Israeli infantry equipment was shared between the wars as the IDF budget was focused elsewhere (tanks, aircraft, etc.). Remember, this is just a guide at this point, I'll be continually trying to update and validate the list going forward. I'm also hoping to get some decent painting and marking guides available as well - so continue to watch this space!