30 May 2017

2017 Memorial Day Bash - Part 1

Sunday May 30th I hosted the third annual Memorial Day Bash at my house. This year's games were Modern Spearhead, StarDust and the late addition of Epic X-Wing.

We kicked this off with MSH - a little 1973 Arab-Israeli War action. The scenario was a slightly expanded Hunting the Hunters from the MRB. The Egyptians gained one T-62 battalion and the Israelis padded out their second battalion to full strength + the three TOW stands. Both forces also got air support because, let's face it, everyone loves watching planes bombs tanks.

Our players! Ziggy and Mark took the Israelis while the Waycross contingent of Mike and Jason led the Egyptians.
Ziggy was the only player with MSH experience, and it'd been a looooong time since he and I had played. I GM'ed and was designated fighter/bomber pilot for both sides.
The Israelis, somewhat predictably, spread their forces evenly to cover the table. The sneaky Arabs however pile two battalions in far to the east with their other two in reserve.
This was the fighting debut of my Pico Armor forces!
Mark's battalion takes up defensive positions on the hill on the east. The Arabs pull up about a thousand yards away. The two sides have spotted one another.
The first of the reserve battalions arrives, again hugging the eastern edge. There is a lot of face-palming in the Israeli planning room.
An A-4 steaks in and in no time thrashes two platoons of T-62s! In the distance you can see the Egyptian mortar has gotten to work planting smoke in front of a platoon of M48s.
Zig's central battalion turns to face the threat and picks off a couple stragglers. The Israelis are holding tough so far!
A turn later and things go sideways for the Israelis! The Arabs have plotted a two-turn pause in their advance to take some stationary shots at what they'd presumed would be a held position. Boy did they guess right. All of those green tokens are "stationary" markers. Both sides' aircraft show up. The Super Mystere takes out another T-62 platoon but the Su-7 from hell takes out an M48 stand AND the Israeli AGC! That's going to leave a mark. Good shooting from the Egyptian tanks takes out another two M48 stands (even being Hull Down, the volume of fire was withering).
A successful change order gets Zig's battalion moving to provide some badly needed help!
Evil Mike brings in the last Egyptian battalion, much further west. Ziggy now is given the "Sophie's Choice" between helping Mark's beleaguered battalion or smashing this new threat.
The Egyptian's two-turn pause ends and they hit the gas pedal hard! Exploit the gap! Imshi! Zig's battalion pauses and platoons turn to face spotted enemy stands.
The battalion on the west flank gets pasted by the M48s in the center, losing three platoons. Mark's last fighting platoon on the hill takes out the sixth stand of the centermost Egyptian battalion. The stand that was killed was the battalion commander! Their morale failed and of course, this was the result....
Mark's BC calls in the last airstrikes of the day. The conveniently positioned ZSU-23-4 battery runs off the Super Mystere and distracts the A-4 pilot enough to make his attacks miss.
Ziggy a l m o s t finishes the job against the western tank battalion. One stand escapes with its life and passes a morale test! Akmed and friends continue north - ON TO JERUSALEM!
Mark gazes despondently at the waves of Arab armor roaring north. His battalion is in ruins on the hill.

Pharaoh Jason gives this battle a thumbs up! This of course is what winning looks like.

It's been way too long since MSH was played in my house. Even as a GM, that was damn entertaining. Mike and Jason were very quick studies. Plotting a halt in front of what they assumed would be a defended hill worked out unbelievably well as did the tried and true tactic of putting everything on one flank and overwhelming it. They also latched onto the reserve battalions right away and exploited their usefulness to the fullest.

Zig and Mark did well, but a couple of crushing shooting phases took all the starch out of Mark's battalion and Z's was just enough out of position to offer substantial help.

A fine game and a welcome return to Modern Spearhead.

Next up... StarDust 'til you puke!