New Fate of a Nation Book (FW902)- Review

Hi all,

James here with the new Fate of a Nation book!

Eight companies, cold war tanks and games under a burning sun! What more could you want from a new book?

Battlefront’s Fate of a Nation book FW902 covering Israel’s six
day war with the Arab states surrounding it, is fantastic and expands out on
the Wargames Illustrated booklet released previously.

At seventy three pages long it’s jam-packed with interesting
history, new units and information needed to expand your Flames of War fun into
this theater and I for one am hooked having priced up in points and pounds a
Jordanian force to paint and play! Let’s face it; given all the complete nature
of this book, if you ever built a mid-war desert table to go with your World
War Two collection then you’re most of the way there!
Earlier in the year I heard reports from events noting how
one sided the Fate of a Nation (FoaN) booklet was in favour of the Israeli
list, but this new book certainly balances things out. Not only are there
reworked lists and rules for the companies you’ll be familiar with but a
further five companies to try!
But before I cover each of the three nations; here’s what
else is in the book

     A detailed history of the Six Day War conflict
which certainly taught me a thing or two about the background to the war; Given
that my knowledge was restricted to History Channel documentaries it probably
wasn’t hard to teach me something new but the book, written by Phil Yates is
well put together.
     A terrain guide for the region including features
unique to FoaN (a little like elephant grass from Tour of Duty) and some resurrected
rules from prior Flames of War books. After seeing Steve Charlton use dust clouds
for aesthetic purposes at Reading Warfare I’m keen to pick up a set as I build
a board suitable for The Sinai!
      Painting guides for all three nations giving the
usual illustrations and colour pallets to help you decide how to paint your
tanks and infantry for FoaN.
The quality of production is also good. It’s bound nicely,
in the same style as the rest of the softback source books, which of course we
should expect as Battlefront has signed a new deal with a publishing company;
however, there is the odd typo or missed word that you’d expect with the first
edition of any published book. Hopefully these will be cleared up for future
print runs, though nothing I noticed reading it cover to cover impaired my
enjoyment of the book!
There are some big
differences to the other Flames of War theaters out there. This game isn’t like
Tour of Duty, it’s primarily objective based like the World War Two theaters,
however; there are a lot of tanks… even the fortified companies can take a lot of
armour. What there aren’t though, are pioneers and recce!
Given that there are minefields in the UAR and Jordanian
lists and ambushes in the Flames of War missions you’ll be playing, you’ll need
to think carefully as no recce to block ambushes and a lack of an easy way to
clear obstacles might play havoc with your heavy armour!

… Then there are the special jeeps for the Israelis and Jordanians; given the above they’ll be interesting… 

Now, on to the lists, inside the descriptions of which I’ve
talked about some of the special rules!

P’Lugah Tan’Kim (Israeli tank company)
Very similar to the booklet version but with some very
interesting extras like Fearless Veteran Paras, jeeps patrols, lots of artillery
options to back the myriad of tanks up and the option for priority air
support.  See below for some notes on the
support options as the majority of your points will be going on tanks on this
list and all the favourites from the FoaN booklet are still there!
P’Lugah Sayur: Long Range Patrol Company (Israeli
Mechanised Company)

The first new list I turned to; this isn’t a recce list,
though at first you might think it would be… though you won’t be stopping
ambushes with these aggressive jeep patrols or armoured cars, both of which can
launch assaults by the way, you will be spearheading forwards! Backing up these
Fearless Vets are anti-tank Jeeps, self-propelled mortars and artillery, their
own tanks, infantry and air support!
P’Lugah Ch’ir Mamochan (Israeli Armoured Infantry List)

Mounted Assaulting halftrack toting Veterans backed up by
all the options we’ve discussed so far and their own tank platoon of Super Shermans
these boys are like Germans with the coolest American kit. Israelis have their
own version of Storm Trooper and Mission Tactics and get a chance to auto
attack at dusk or dawn so there are lots of ideas in my head of how to attack
with these guys!

P’Lugah Tzanhanim (Israeli Paras)

Fearless Vet infantry with all the support above and the
option to buy halftracks to mounted assault from these boys are versatile and
again have their own tank platoons (all the companies have at least two
armoured slots!) but there is no sign of any spoon bending going on here! Given
the iconic reputation of the Israeli Paras this list may be popular and it certainly
has the tools to do the job! Just be careful as you’ll be very elite with very
few models whatever you pick so make those Usi sub machine guns count!
Useful product guides for each nation inside!

Kateybat Debabbat (UAR Tanks)

Much like the Israeli tank list you’ll recognize this one
from the FoaN booklet but will appreciate the extra support in the form of more
APC equipped infantry, assault guns and artillery and air support. If you’re
used to playing Soviet and PAVN tanks and like them, or want to try something a
little like them then you won’t go wrong here! Big platoons of tanks and the
options to take Centurions now, but you’ll need to make sure you’ve got enough
armour to leapfrog your platoons as Taa’A (hen and chicks) is still a factor.
Kateybat Moshaa (UAR Infantry with fortifications)
Big platoons of quality of quantity infantry with trenches,
guns and nests in the core platoons and minefields and wire a compulsory choice
too, this confident conscript army is certainly different to anything I’ve ever
looked at before! Three platoons of armour and lots of guns in pits and sporadic
air support round off the list, the Israeli’s will have a hard time assaulting
this if the right platoons are deployed well. You’re certainly going to
outnumber your opponent and have obstacles in the way too!
Now onto my choices as I picked Jordan as my force to
collect a while ago… I wish I’d been picking them as I’d seen them on shop
shelves now!
Sareya Mudar’Aa (Jordanian Tanks)

Again, similar to the FoaN booklet list but with anti-tank
jeeps and more artillery, these Confident Trained tanks lose hen and chicks
rules and gain their own version of Semi Indirect Fire! They’re an interesting
mix of trained personal with good tanks, equipment and their list is… Always
Defend! An order of Centurions and Pattons will be making its way to
Battlefront soon!

Sareyat Moshaaa (Jordanian Infantry with Fortifications)
In the same way as the UAR infantry has fortifications, so
does this company chart. Backing up the infantry are two armour slots,
anti-tank jeeps which get a 3+ save like recce vehicles (all the mentions of
jeeps above get this too!) and artillery. Interestingly, Jordan gets no air
support but given that the one of the Israeli jets can’t be intercepted anyway
it’s probably not the biggest loss.  Add
onto this list that you can’t shoot at the core platoons with direct fire until
they’ve fired and you’ve got a tough list to defend with!
So, you’ve now got more lists, more infantry and combined
arms lists and a book out for a cold war game more about pitched battles than guerrilla
forces against air’cav in Nam (no wounds tokens here!) Israel rules the skies
and is on the offensive 24 / 6 (… get it…) and the they’ve got the tools and
rules to do it, but now, the opposition should be a little stiffer and comes
with prepared strong points! If you’re playing an Israeli force, get ready to
attack
As I said at the start; If you’ve ever done as desert army
and have a board for it you’re half way to a new theater for Flames of War
games…

So, who is going to join me ?!

Category: Arab-Israeli WarReviews

4 comments

  1. I've already got the needed terrain and two 3.000 points armies.
    Now, up to 1973 and the Yom Kippur War; which would give the Israelis a run for their money (and hopefully a phantom jet)

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Article by: Mark Goddard