Fate of a Nation Preview

Today Lee takes a look at the new version of ‘Fate of a Nation’ and shares his thoughts.

Fate of a Nation first came to existence as a limited booklet of army lists in “Wargame Illustrated”, copying earlier success with the format for Vietnam.  This booklet had mechanized and armored lists for the Israelis, Egytians and Jordanians to cover their exploits in the 1967 “Six Day War” and was supported by the existing WWII and Vietnam range, plus some limited new releases such as the SHO’T Centurion.  Content with the success of this first dip of the foot, Battlefront followed up with a full book that refined the existing lists and added some additional content.

After ” ‘Nam” took the v3 era “Tour of Duty” Vietnam war book and turned it into a self contained rule-set, it was always going to be the case that Fate of a Nation, would go the same route.  A bit like ‘Nam, the book is designed as a stand along product containing the rules – based heavily off v4 with Team Yankee equipment rules, army lists and missions.  This makes it a one stop shop for AIW gamers to enter the rule-set.

The Background

Fate of a Nation has also continued to increase the scope from just covering the Sinai and West Bank portions of the ‘six-day war’.  Now, not only do we gain the previously online exclusive Golan Height stuff, but thanks in part to ‘Nam and Team Yankee giving us a bunch of new toys since the first AIW book, we also cover the 1973 Yom Kippur war too. The book gives a brief overview of the run-up to both wars, the events that unfold, and the immediate aftermath, all without getting hugely bogged down into the ever convulted local politics.

It’s a fairly broad taster that suits new players and will hopefully lead them to more on-depth research.  The army section later in the book does look at some more detailed aspects of each force in the two wars and notable operations to provide some depth.

The Rules

After the brief background, we come to the rules.  These are, as noted, very much the v4 Flames of War rules but with many of the special equipment rules from the very similar Team Yankee rule-set present, such as “accurate”, “bazooka plates” and guided missiles.  In my opinion, the Team Yankee/v4 rule-set lends itself well to the mobile warfare of the AIW although I do worry that the way unit morale works may penalise small Israeli tanks units, fearless or not.

The rules are, as ever, well presented and follow the format of previous v4/TY rule books in layout, with plenty of diagrams to help anyone new out.  I did wonder if we’d see a Golan Heights table set-up added to the terrain section to join the other theatres from the last book but sadly there isn’t.  One neat addition is the “fast jet” rule, which means that non-guided/radar AA struggle versus the high-performance fighters.  Makes the difference between a Shilka and a ZSU-57 notable!

Well, mostly notable…  Good old Dassault A4 Skyhawk too.

The Army Lists

Next we get to the army lists.  The addition of the Yom Kippur war translates to the addition of new units and new formations, sitting alongside the existing Six Day War units.  We gain:


  • Magach 6 Company – the Israeli name for the M60 Patton tank
  • Tiran 5 Company – What do you do when you have a pile of captured T-54/55 at the end of the last war? You re-gun them with the L7 105mm gun and call them Tiran 5!
  • M113 Mechanised Company – A combination of captured Jordanian APC and new-build US ones. Better armoured and more mobile than the WW2 halftracks the IDF used in Six Days War

The IDF also gains the A-4 Skyhawk fighter bomber and Jeep mounted TOW teams.

The existing armoured lists are split out by type into SHO’T, Magach, Sherman and AMX lists.  The infantry retain the M3 halftrack infantry and paratrooper infantry of the last book, as well as the Sayur jeep mounted Commando list.

Egyptian Army

  • T-62 Battalion – Basically a stretched T-55 fitted with the first of the modern high velocity smoothbores, the 115mm. The 115mm outperforms the L7 in terms of penetration but suffers from the normal shortcomings of Soviet turret ergonomics.
  • BMP-1 mechanised battalion – one of the first IFV and sporting a deadly ATGW meaning it can help deal with IDF tanks at range. Its infantry can also bring an SA-7 Grail MANPAD to ward off the IDF airpower.
  • BTR-60 mechanised battalion – another TY cross-over, not everyone can get the fancy ride but the BTR-60 does provide more firepower than the older BTR-152 wheeled transport. The infantry bring Sagger ATGW in the companies and as stand-alone units (four stands for 12 shots a turn!)
  • Thunderbolt Infantry Force – elite infantry tasked to breech the canal defences and man-portable Sagger ATGW to give any Israeli armour counter attack a bloody nose.

Egypt also gains the Hail rocket launcher and BRDM scout car.

The existing armoured lists are split out by type (T-55, T-34/85, IS-3, Centurion) and the BTR-152 is rolled in with the BTR-60.  The static infantry remains an option too.

Syrian Army

The Syrians entered “fate of a nation” as an online only list so I’ll be honest and say I don’t know much about them in the previous incarnation.

The Syrian gain the T-62,  BMP-1 and BTR-60 battalions, plus Hail and BRDM support units, whilst retaining static infantry lists – now with Saggers, and T-55 and T-34 tanks forces, as well as BTR-152 mounted infantry (again rolled in with the BTR-60)

Royal Jordanian Army

Whilst Jordan largely sits out of Yom Kippur, it does gain a 105mm armed Centurion list to join the Six Days War 20pdr armed version.

M48 tanks and Infantry, static and in M113 are also all options still too.

Overall, I like the additions the Egyptians gain and whilst there will still be a element of being a horde army, the higher quality kit like the T-62 and BMP-1 do go some way to making them less of a dauting prospect to collect than previously, whilst the high quality “Thunderbolt company” of Egyptian commandos provides a high skill, high morale infantry option backed up by Grail MANPAD and up to two Sagger anti-tank guided missile stands per company!   I would note that the TY minimum sized company “issue” does reoccur here – a single full company of ten T-55 being 2pts more expensive than a formation of three “companies” of three tanks each and a HQ tank.  Its partly dissuaded by the morale rules and the middle of the road Egyptian morale, though.

The only issue with all this is that the lists don’t really do anything to differentiate between kit that is only in one of the conflicts so its going to be up to players to do the leg work and research it themselves.  Some of it is obvious and supported by fluff text (for example, the Sherman entry notes them as being Six Days War units), but others have no guidance.  Some symbols to reflect the conflict of use may have been helpful for correct force selection.  On the bright side, it all appears to have been pointed as one big conflict so there shouldn’t be any balance issues to contend with.

And the rest…

After the army lists we have the normal selection of mission rules (Fate of a Nation uses the v4 60%pt reserves method) and mission types although I was surprised that “Contact” from Team Yankee ‘more Missions’ didn’t make an appearance.  There are no historical force scenarios here, just the generic mission types.

Next, we have the painting section, using the existing WWII range of “Colours of war” paints.  This has the normal mix of “osprey” style pictures of the infantry and actual model examples of the tanks, but lacks any step-by-step guides nor has it any painting pointers on the air power options for either side.

Finally, we have the catalogue pages to show the range off.  Not only do we have a re-use of the existing plastic kits (M3 Halftracks, Priest, M60, M113, BMP, BTR-60, T-34, SU-100, T-55) but it’s also nice to see a new plastic T-62.

Its a shame there isn’t a multi-period plastic Centurion kit for it to face off with though.  It’s also worth pointing out the Tiran 5 is a resin kit (two tank pack) rather than a plastic/resin Hybrid kit as some of us anticipated.  Presumably its just too different to convert from the plastic kit.


All in all, the new Fate of a Nation book does a good job bringing rules and armies into one place.  The emphasis on manoeuvre that the v4/TY ruleset brings suits the Sinai operations well, whilst still being suitable for the other areas of operation.  We also get a bunch of new toys with the shift to Yom Kippur, some of which goes some way to making the Egyptians more attractive as anything other than a T-55 horde.

If the Arab Israel War is your theater of favour, then the new Fate of a Nation is well worth a look.

7 thoughts on “Fate of a Nation Preview

  1. Nice Preview, thanks; really looking forward to thus release. Couple of notes to add….
    The book looks to be a stand alone offering from the unit cards. The book will cost £30 from Osprey I believe which is about twice the TY core book but you do get 4 factions rather than 2 as well as covering two wars. Looking at the Battlefront website there are Packs of cards per faction (£18) so looks to be a separate offering from the book and is meant for folks who have got existing kit; so even for one side it is getting on for £50 to upgrade from existing FoaN which seems a bit steep. If you are a new starter to the period I assume unit cards come with kit purchases as per TY.
    Also there is no indication of points values. Is this likely to be the current FoaN or revised TY simplified values.
    On a lesser note, but a concern as an Israeli player, the M60 comes with a rate of Halted rate of fire of 1, with current M48’s and Centurions the ROF is 2. Surely a typo?
    On the subject of typos I also laughed at the Mirage Skyhawk hybrid comment. With the Centurion also seeming to become an M1 during a shoot and scoot I hope this is not the shape of things to come from an Editing point of view.

  2. The editing of the ‘Nam book was terrible, so I expect a similar experience. Quite disappointed there’s no clear distinction between ’67 and ’73 kit. Was told previously that that would be covered.

    You don’t have to buy the cards. They’re mostly a convenience factor.

  3. What I don’t understand is why they giving the Israelis only the option on the Tiran-5? Most of the captured T-54s and T-55s of the IDF in 1973 were ummodified Tiran-4. I don’t see were the Problem was giving the Unit Card a Stat for the old 100mm Gun.

    1. Agreed. I was surprised that it wasn’t an option but it may come down to the point system making the difference academic (one ends up over costed/under costed).

  4. What I Miss is:

    Bar Lev Defense Line Fortiefied Infantry Company
    M3 Halftracks with SS-11 ATGMs
    M47 Patton
    M52 SP-Gun

    1. There’s certainly scope for further additions. A fortified Israeli company for the early stated of the Suez crossings in Yom Kippur would be a good addition.

      1. Such a List would be a interesting oportunity. Some of the Strongpoints had captured Soviet/Egypt Guns, IS-3M Turret Bunkers and Dug-in T-34/85.

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