Best IntentionsWhat began an attempt to duplicate the instructions offered on the Architects of War website for how to make forests took a turn. I have the canopy well started. I managed to cut it to shape and since I did not have a black piece of foam core, I pained the foamcore. Of course it warped when I had painted the first side. A heavy coat on the reverse side did nto help but just bent the board in new directions. So off to the garrage to place something heavy on top of it for a while.
Well there I was next to the games cabinet and started thinking. Always a dangerous proposition. So instead of finishing up my Zulus, I dragged out my forces for the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon (1982).
IsraelisI looked at what I had ready to go and was pleasantly surprised. My Israelis were in good shape. I have enough troops for either a Regular infantry platoon or a reservist platoon. For transport, I have three Old Glory M113 carriers and a command track that is one of the Peter Pig Zelda's with the Toga armor. For armor support, I have a Magach 5 that started life as a Old Glory M48. I had made applique armor for it and it looks servicable. All ready to go to the table top. But there was more. There was the makings of two other squads there. I had painted up a bunch of extra infantry back at one point. I have enough Isrealis with M16s for another squad and spare Peter Pig troops for an additional squad.
Then I looked at the unpainted pile of lead. There is a M113 mortar carrier that I have no clue what to do with in a skirmish game. Objective or something? No idea. But the useful piece of kit was a Nagma Sho't carrier. It is basically a Centurion with no turret and four machineguns. It was a very successful personel carrier design used in Lebanon.
That lead me to think of what was missing. The most notable, to me anyway, was the lack of Israeli figures with a 203. There is supposed to be one per squad. I could try to scratch build it of course. But the way the front hand is on all of the soldiers carrying a Galil, I would have to file off part of the hand or their hand would be under the 203. Peter Pig does not make Israelis with 203s. They have Modern Marines with them though. That means I would have to attempt a headswap. That is a task that I do not like doing in 15mm. I have done it several times and the result has never been pretty. I guess it is time to break out the file. Strange that neitehr Peter Pig nor QRF do these as there was a 203 gunner in every squad (both regular and reservist) in Lebanon.
Next up was armor. The Merkava tank is just cool looking. I have never gotten around to getting one. That needs to get on the to do list. QRF and Quality Castings both do them. QRF's is the Mk I model while QC is the Mk II. I also want an M109A3 self propelled gun. Granted that the M109A3 is nearly useless for skirmish games, I have an interest in the vehicle. Mainly because when I was in college, my Dad did the Sar-El program. Having helped a friend of his take apart and repair a deisel Volkswagen Bug, he believed he was a qualified deisel engine mechanic and convinced the Israeli army of the same. I received pictures at school of my Dad working on the engine deck of 109s in the Negev. I just hope he did more good than harm. For the last few years of his life, he just loved to tell stories about that summer. Still makes me smile thinking about it.
Did I mention that I wanted Israelis with a 203? Oh, I guess I did. Well lastly for the Israelis, I need casulaty figures. Fortunately, Peter Pig has these guys.
SyriansThen once I had looked at the Israelis, I just had to jump into the drawer of PLO and Syrians. Again, another treasure trove.
Recently, I had been gifted some of the new 15mm Khurasan miniatures of their Syrian infantry. (Thanks Jon!) As I looked at them, I thought they would make a great commando squad that caused the Israeli armor so much fits.
I have all of the miniatures that I need for a Motor Rifle Platoon with BTR60PBs to mount them in. The paint jobs on the BTR60s was a bit bland and probably could use a little update. I also noted I am just one RPG figure away from having all of the needed figures to field a Armored Infantry Platoon. They are nearly the same organization but have less guys with AKs and an extra RPG guy. But what about their vehicles? Sure enough, there were 3 unpainted and unassembled Old Glory BMP-1s right there in the drawer. Sitting on my painting table was some super glue and a few minutes of work and I have 3 assembled BMP-1s.
Great, this is looking good. But what about the designated Marksmen? Each squad is suppoesed to sport a designated markman hauling a Dragunov rifle. Well, I did not have one of those. I honestly am not sure if the Syrians had enough to equip all of their squads or not. Then there is the Sagger team for the Motor Rifle Platoon. I have some prone guys from QRF that are tinkering with something that I think is supposed to be a Sagger. I may pull the Sagger from one of the BMP-1s and use it there instead of the awkward looking sticks that came with the figure.
For my Syrian armor, I have a nice Old Glory T55 that I had painted up years ago. I thought it was great. Then, for Christmas, I received Santa (Thanks Fran) a marvelous Peter Pig wrecked T55. Aw man! The wrecked one looks better than my one in working shape.
I want to beef up my Syrian armor. I think a T-62 would be a good addition. That and two more T-55s. That and I need more casualty figures. Always more casualty figures.
PLOThe PLO are another kettle of fish all together. I have a squad worth of them painted up and ready for the table. The job I did on their head scarves are not great but passable. I have two more packs of these guys unopened. I would love to get one of the Peter Pig Toyota Pickup Trucks with the Vehicle mounted MG and crew. That would round out the force rather nicely.
What to do with them?That is the question. I have gotten in a number of games of Troops, Weapons and Tactics with these figures. I want to give Chain of Command a try.
Looking at the master weapons table, I think the bulk of the infantry weapons are already present in the main rules. From my Rock the Casbah supplement I can calculate out some basics for the armor I have. The changes in Rock the Casbah separate armor values against RPGs as compared to a main gun. It also has separate armor values for ATGM's as well. What it does not have is the HE values for the main weapons on the vehicles. I may try to tinker with this by the weekend.
Here is what I am playing with.
|M113||0/0||1*||MGs||Fast||Has 4 mounted MGs|
|M133 Toga||1(2)/1(2)||1*||MGs||Fast||Has 4 mounted MGs|
|Nagma Sho't||4(5)/3(4)||1*||MGs||Average||Has no less than 4 MGs|
** The 3 is for the 73mm main gun and the 5 is for the Sagger ATGM
@ Wild ass guess
Infantry AT Weapons