This Saturday, my friend Tim & I finally got some more Crossfire gaming in. The setting was Lebanon, 1982. Our first battle was the basic Meeting Engagement from the rulebook, which saw Tim as the Syrians - with a platoon of regulars & a platoon of 'hunter-killer' AT commandos; & me as the invading Israelis, with a platoon of Golani regulars, & a platoon of Sayeret Golani veterans. We also each had a single piece of self-propelled AA as armoured support. This was the largest game we had played so far. The objective was to take & hold the designated objective for five consecutive Initiative Phases (or kill/capture two thirds of the enemy units).
Tim took advantage of the staggered deployment rules which allow for smaller forces to begin moving before the other side has fully deployed - he surged forward & took the objective ('building 4'): an apartment overlooking the crossroads in the centre of the map. However, after his Syrian vanguard failed to suppress my .50cal HMG & infantry squad on a nearby hill, I was able to use it to chew-up & supress Tim's forces in the apartment ('building 9') adjoining the objective, before rolling my VADs (supported by a squad of Sayeret Golani, who entered a house next to it) along an alley to mop-up with it's Vulcan chaingun. The VADs had to stay in the alley though, due to all the Syrian ATGMs covering the roads.
Regaining the initiative, Tim's Syrians reinforced their position with commandos, & brought up their DShK HMG, which made better work of pinning the nearby IDF & halting their advance across the open ground near the water tower.
The advance of my Israelis was really faltering now in the face of determined Syrian resistance around the objective building. & then Tim moved his Shilka (with it's quad autocannons) up to the crossroads...
I began moving my whole Sayeret Golani platoon forwards, entering the block of flats across the road from the objective from the rear. However, I missed my chance to launch a couple of RPG-7s at the Shilka in favour of a firefight with the Syrian regulars who were covering the crossroads from the roof of the town hall across the board. This was a mistake, because when Tim regainedt he initiative, his Shilka pounded the squad with it's hellish rate of heavy fire.
My Forward Observer near the vineyard managed to call down a couple rounds of smoke from my off-table 81mm mortar to block the Shilka's line-of-sight, but the victory timer was almost expired; so I rushed more squads forward to occupy the buildings adjacent to the objective, & to assault the objective, but Tim's HMG & commandos defending it massacred an entire squad, & pinned the others in place, resulting in a bloody victory for Syria (I lost 2 fireteams, whilst Tim lost 7). I really enjoyed this game, there was a lot of drama, & for much of the battle the result could have easily swung either way.
In my next post: The battle for the town hall, where we switched forces, & played the board across the opposite axis.