Thunder Strike Twice

Today, Duncan looks at returning to his #FateofFourGamers Egyptians and reassessing his list based on the contact with the enemy.

I know, I know it’s now after October so the Fate of Four Gamers is officially finished but I’m invested now, I’m on-board and my mind is still ticking over with T-62s, IS-3s and Magrachs!

The Issue

I realise that my game with Lee is but one game but it really did confirm some of the inherent weaknesses that we, as a collective, had been pinging around; namely that the T-62 formation was just too brittle. Knowing something and knowing something are however two very different things and although I only have the data from a single game it has led me to some radical list surgery.

Looking objectively at the game against Lee the elements that worked well, worked well for a reason and those elements are worth exploring more fully in my opinion. Let’s look at them one by one.

Thunderbolt Company
Strong on the defensive, but able to quickly turn that stance into offensive action, the Thunderbolt troops were flexible and had real sticking power.

The addition of the second AT-3 Sagger missile and SA-7 Grail means that each Thunderbolt Company is its own self-contained force capable of threatening all three adversary types; armour, infantry and aircraft.
For 19pts for a mid-sized company, I think that these offer tremendous value and their 3+ morale and rally keep them going far more constantly than you would imagine on the defensive. Their counterattack of an equally good 3+ means that they are great assault troops if you can get them into range. All in all… I’m a fan, not sure if that comes across or not?

Under this specific, I’d be inclined to include artillery in general but the Hails really were stars.

Rockets on the way!

Their only downside is the extended danger close for their honking great template and the complete lack of any protection or direct fire deterrent other than that nothing! I think that psychologically I was completely prepared to lose the Hails I just needed them to lay the smack down on any Israeli infantry that opposes my force. The ability to pin and chip away at troops occupying objective will be essential and in the Hails you have really the tool for the job.

PT-76 tanks
I was impressed with these plucky little fellows. Admittedly, nothing much in the way of heavy AT picked on them but their manoeuvrability and gun proved useful rather than just having the cheap(er) BDRM Spearhead option.

So, circling back round to the root cause of the formation break in the game vs Lee, the T-62’s small, brittle core was very much the cause.   I began working up a list around the hardy Thunderbolt troops instead.

The List 2.0

So with the knowledge that Thunderbolts were the future I based my main formation around a Battalion of these elite troops. The Hails are also in formation and this gives me 4 core units in formation the same as with the T-62s but for the cheap as chips price of 44pts.
Of course I added the extra Saggers and Grails to the units giving me AT punch at range and at least a modest air deterrent straight off the bat.

Thunderbolt Battalion HQ
1 x AK-47 team

Thunderbolt Company
9 x AK47 teams
6 x RPG-7 teams
2 x AT-3 Sagger teams
1 x SA-7 Grail teams

Thunderbolt Company
9 x AK47 teams
6 x RPG-7 teams
2 x AT-3 Sagger teams
1 x SA-7 Grail teams

BM-21 Hail Rocket Battery
3 x BM-21 Hails

If I choose to dig in with this little lot then the Israelis better bring all the HESH rounds that they can muster to dig me out or have invested in some proper artillery (which can get pricey quickly for them).
Now there are two thoughts that I had at this stage;

1) Take the 2nd formation – I’m looking at you T-62s or
2) Take more stuff but include it as support.

I’m still not sold 100% on either option but I feel like the support route might be better for me.
I need some proper AT as relying on the Saggers seems silly given that they killed absolutely nothing on their first outing. The T-54 is extremely tempting but I still really like its bigger brother the T-62 so I’ll take a decent sized unit of those:

T-62 Platoon
6 x T-62

So that now pushes us up and over the 2/3rd point in the list. Thinking back to my original reason I wanted to do the Egyptians over the Syrians was access to the IS-3. I still think that there is a place for the old WW2 warhorse in this list. The Brutal gun is lovely vs. AT Guns or Infantry and the AT14 is still decent enough against the older Israeli armour… and I really love them so in goes some of those:

IS-3 Platoon
6 x IS-3

I can’t leave home without my reliable old PT-76s that served me so well. They were a little unwieldy at 6 hulls so I’m going to with 4.

PT-76 Scout Platoon
4 x PT-76

And to round out my 100pts I’m going to include the trusty 152mm guns and an additional artillery observer.

Heavy Artillery Battery
3 x 152mm Heavy Artillery

Artillery Observer
1 x Artillery Observer

The Summary

I have lost some of the hitting power in the T-62s and IS-3s but have gained another 2 Sagger Teams and a solid formation of elite Egyptian troops to base my main formation around. I don’t feel deficient in AT with this list but do feel it is more rounded and means that the Israelis will have to be able to take on, and out, the T-62s and the Saggers which are very different propositions.

The other good thing is that at 40% reserves I can leave the T-62s and IS-3s off the table and still have decent potency in AT and have mobile elements in reserve to get to where I need them. There is an art to creating a 40% reserve that does not compromise your list and I feel that this is more competitively structured than my previous attempt.

I’ve got the 2nd Thunderbolt formation assembled and undercoated and hopefully I will be able to try this next evolution of my list in the very near future.

Until next time


2 thoughts on “Thunder Strike Twice

    1. Hi Simon,

      I have looked at them – they are are very strong – but they are expensive. The BMP is great so long as nothing is shooting back at them! I think that they have a place but I’m not sure that they are obviously better than the Thunderbolts though and that is what I really like about the Fate of a Nation rules and lists is that everything has a place.


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