Today, Lee and Ben look at their Israeli forces
I hadn’t originally planned to do anything with Fate of a Nation as there has never been much interest in the period locally. But one of the locals, Simon, had started asking if I was going to do it and the other guys in the crew were all enthusiastic so I figured, why not.
There were a few drivers for my army selection:
- Minimise painting time. I only get a couple hours each evening to paint so I need a small army with no elaborate colour schemes
- Minimise financial outlay. Most of my gaming budget is being reserved for tiny giant shooty/stompy robots so I needed the army to be cost-effective. The T-62 horde will have to wait a little longer.
- Ideally, be a historical opposing force to whatever Simon was doing, as well as avoid duplicating one of the other chaps forces.
Simon had stated he was going to do Arabs so straight away my force options narrowed to the Israelis which was no bad thing. Israelis tend to be expensive in points so a small elite army which will fit nicely in the painting queue! Further aiding this was that Simon was looking at Egyptians (and with T-62 and elite Thunderbolt infantry, who wouldn’t) which meant that I could look at the M60A1 Patton in its Magach 6 guise.
The Magach 6 has a couple of appealing points in its favour.
- As a plastic kit of a high-performance tank, its maximum bang for the buck.
- As a high armour/mobility/firepower unit, it means you don’t get many in 100pts, minimizing my painting queue!
As Ben noted in Episode 0 of Shoot and Scoot, the Magach 6 starter offers seriously good value for money with 70pts in a £40 box!
The M60A1 is very much the alpha-predator of the AIW, combining a high frontal armour value of 15 with the excellent L7 105mm gun and with little sacrifice in mobility. However, this all comes at a high points cost so, even at 100pts, most my units will be paired tanks; not ideal for the new morale rules. Still, they have to kill me before that becomes an issue and even then the Israeli high motivation should see me through.
That’s at least 60pts of tanks right there!
The box also comes with a pair of Priests (Rabbi’s surely?) and a pair of TOW Jeeps. The Priests provide some artillery punch to help deal with the Saggers, either by blinding them or splattering them. The TOW provides a handy bolstering of long-range anti-tank firepower to help deal with the superior numbers of Arab tanks.
With my core force in place, I just needed an extra thirty points to complete it. I needed some infantry to round out my combined arms so added an M113 platoon to keep with the Yom Kippur theme (although the M3M is just as applicable). This will give me a platoon that can sit on an objective or clear the enemy off of one. Initially, I planned a full-size platoon but had to drop down to a minimum sized platoon. They did get an additional anti-tank weapon though.
The reason points became tight was because I remembered I already had a spare M60 from TY so added the sixth tank, using up another 12 points. This made at least one of the platoons a full strength unit to help keep it in the fight.
Finally, I added two Priests to bring the artillery to full strength (four guns is better than two!) and a third TOW jeep to remove another two-vehicle platoon as a risk.
That brings total RRP of spending to:
- 1 Magach 6 starter box – £40
- 1 Blister of TOW jeeps – £8
- 2 “Tanks” Priest blisters – £14 (this seems to be the only way to get the two in the starter box to a full battery)
- 1 M113 box – £26
- 1 APC Stowage set – £9 (somewhat optional)
- 1 Infantry platoon blister – £14.50
Total spend – £111.50. But the current 25% off sale will save some money on all but the starter and Priest sprues (which can likely be had for 10% off at most stores anyway). Not a bad outlay and helped by having a couple spare M60 already.
I want to get games in at the 60pts stage (HQ M60 + 2 X 2 M60) so my painting priority is the M60 with the HQ and the two tank platoon in Month 1 and the three tanks strong platoon in Month 2. That will leave the Jeeps, Priests and Infantry in Month 3 which is a little backloaded for my liking. I’ll see if the guys don’t mind me at least getting the airbrushing done on the rest of the vehicles in the other two months!
So that’s the new boy in town, now to go retro…
When the idea was floated to do Fate of Four Gamers after we finished recording the latest Shoot and Scoot podcast, I was on board. We talked about what we wanted to collect and while I really wanted to get some new T-62’s and collect a Syrian army I was still quite happy to end up on the Israeli side of the challenge. As I write this sat next to me is 21 Italian and 31 Soviet tanks that need painting for tournaments in July and August, so the idea of a smaller army was fine by me.
I knew Lee was going to focus on a Magach 6 force, so I wanted to do something a little different. My first thought was to go for Sho’t’s as I love Centurions, but they were a little too pricey for me and I feel are very common in AIW gaming as most factions have access to them.
Then, in our group chat, Eddie and Duncan were talking about how they would massively outnumber us no matter what tanks they take.
Well, challenge accepted!
This led me to consider the Isherman. The modified Sherman has a really good gun, with AT 17 and the HEAT special rule meaning I will penetrate all but the IS3 half the time. It’s also cheap enough to get a large number of them without crippling the rest of the army. Finally, while it’s armour is low, it’s hit on a 4+. A wise man, from a now defunct podcast, once told me “The best armour is being Veteran” while Veteran doesn’t quite excite anymore, being hit on a 4+ is basically the same thing, if they can’t hit you, you don’t need to make a save and the armour value is irrelevant. The armour being low is also a benefit; why pay all those points for armour that is at best a 50/50 save, at worse 1/6 save? This is part of the reason it is so cheap, so in my eyes a bonus as you don’t need the armour.
Plus there is something fun about using a WW2 tank upgraded to the max with a gun powerful enough to take out any other tank on the battlefield.
So, with all that, the core of my force was based on ten Ishermans; a two tank HQ and two full strength platoons, each of four tanks.
Instead of a 3rd platoon of Ishermans, I then mixed things up a bit and added a platoon of 3 Tiran 5s. I wanted something mean looking to take the attention away from my Ishermans and this was originally going to be a platoon of Sho’ts, but I needed to save some points and the Tiran 5 was 6 points cheaper. As I’m planning on this being a more mobile platoon the loss of 1 ROF when stationary wasn’t a big loss.
Add to this the Tiran is something new and I love using captured equipment and I was sold.
Next up I added options to round out the force in the form of some recce with 4 Sayur Jeeps, some infantry with a full platoon of M113 infantry, and a full 4 strong M50/155 platoon of artillery with the observer (the only none mechanized options in the whole list).
Finally, I had 10pts left and if you know me and my love for planes there was only one place I was looking and that was a full 4 Mirage III Flight.
I picked the Mirage over the Skyhawk for nostalgia reasons; for me, the Mirage is the classic image of the Six Days Wars, the daring pre-emptive strike on the Arab Air Forces which gave the Israeli’s air superiority. Now the Skyhawk is probably a better option (and more historically correct for Yom Kippur), especially if I dropped the observer and took Napalm, but cooler looking models and nostalgia will always win out for me.
Well that’s my 100pts lists. It doesn’t seem to have many weaknesses; it has 13 good tanks, a big platoon of infantry that can look after itself, strong artillery to dig out infantry and the always unpredictable air power that, if nothing else, will mess with your opponents unit placement.
Thanks for reading and until next time