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The Sands of War» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Session Report: Mansour rss

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Lebanon is a subject of interest to me since it's where my wife is from. One of the numerous times the Israelis invaded their northern neighbor was at the height of the bloody civil war. Like the US 3 decades later, rolling tanks in was easy. What came after the days-long blitzkreig was the true test.

Mansour is one of the three 1982 Lebanon scenarios in the SOW game. In it an Israeli brigage-sized task force is racing southeast to get to the Beirut-Damascus highway before the cease-fire at noon. The often-used mountainous maps of 4 and 3 are the battlefield. One bit of errata: The town of Mansour should be the two-hex town on map 3, not map 4, or the Israelis would start the game literally on top of the Syrians. One other item of note is the terrain; unlike the other two Lebanon scenarios, vehicles CAN ascend levels while not on a road. So the Israelis don't necessarily need to drive straight through Monsour into the Syrian tanks. Also, I don't have any of the Syrians set up in firing positions since the scenario doesn't specify that (other scenarios do). Anyway, at this point in my SOW journey, I've realizes it really sucks to be the attacker. (Maybe every tactical game is like that where the defenders can fire at moving units)

The Israelis only need to exit 10 units off the south edge of Map 4 on/adjecent to the road. They have two tank battalions (one of Merkavas!) and a mech platoon of infantry and M-113s. And a LOT of FOs. And a drone. (Sorry, RPV). And lots and lots of artillery. And two F-4s. The Syrians have 9 T-72s. And a mech platoon with BMPs. And an ACRV (why do they need that?). But they have to set up within 5 hexes of Monsour so they basically cover the area. The T-72 set up west, ready to engage.

Turn 1 the Israelis move their FOs onto the high ground and hide the M577. Then the tanks come in, rushing south. All 6 of the DPCIM falls on the Syrians, and damages some tanks, but otherwise doesn't do much. When the Syrians realize the Israelis are going to flank south and then cut east, they move all of their BMPs south.

And then I learn how powerful missiles can be.

The Israeli tanks did not have good aiming and did not affect the T-72s much. But the BRDMs and BMPs took a heavy toll. The Mech battalion was devestated. There was a mad push to the exit by a few tanks of both battalions and few stray M113s, but as they came over the hill toward the southern road, many were hit by the BMP missiles. Eventually the Israeli Mech battalion broke and that was it for the victory conditions. The Syrian ZSU-23 never took out the RPV, the F-4s never did much, nor did the artillery. Here is the point the Israelis realized how bad their situation was:



I realize now the "mad dash" strategy was a bad one. Also, should have used the smoke rounds. Adding missiles really changes the game for the non-infanty units!
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Barry Kendall
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It's nice to see this game get some coverage.

I bought the first volume in the series, but passed on "Sands" because of the awful presentation of information on the counters. I thought they were hard to see back then, with the tiny numbers.

So much wasted space on the nice large counters, yet they made the numbers microscopic. I'd need a magnifying glass to read them now.

Disappointing; good system, poorly thought-out presentation.
 
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