Monday, October 11, 2010

The Battle of El Ishiya

This, our second battle, was to simulate a battle in the Bekaa. This engagement was part of two assaults on the village. One was to heard south to north, while the other was to head east to west. Off board artillery assets were limited. The IDF player had a platoon of Magach tanks and section of infantry in a M113. Reinforcements included a M109AL and another platoon of Merkavas (my latest painting project). The PLO had a unit (20+ troops) in the town with the possibility of additional troops. There was also a HMG at one end of the village, and a recoilless rifle at the other end of the village near a mosque (it was not in the mosque, no matter what the media says).

The village of El Ishiya. North is to the right.

A slight traffic jam on the first turn.

An unhappy HGM seen by two Magachs

Magach tanks approaching the village center.

A corner ambush position.

Close up of the ambush position.

Another ambush position.

The Magach platoon entered the cross roads and underwent an ambush, first from the two buildings and than from the two buildings on the far side. The attack was short lived. The machine guns on the Magach made short work of the RPG gunners as the PLO lost three of the four gunners to accurate fire.

Areal view of the ambush.

The north side of the village.

The Magach approach the mosque and a recoilless rifle position.

The rife from the position held up the Magach platoon for only a short period of time. The only survivor was the PLO Big Man who made off in the GAZ jeep who tried to organize two small troops of reinforcements. His new eight fighters had come on the board without ant RPGs. It was decide that is was a good time to stop the game.

In the last two turns the IDF finally received reinforcements. First was the M109AL...

...and than my new platoon of Merkavas. Well at least they did come on the board.

This was a major win for the IDF. While the lead tank did take a number of hits, none were fatal to the crew. Although the turret was jammed and the gun was knocked out. It became a big machine gun position. The PLO lost a HMG, the recoilless rifle and over twenty men. Not a good day for the PLO.

All in all a great game, and I look forward to playing it again.


  1. Fantastic table (especially those modern blocks), and miniatures - an interesting game too!
    Although the urban terrain favours the defender and gives armour a fright, how do the victory conditions stack up for the PLO vs the Israelis?

  2. Great layout and great AAR as I said on Mark's blog. You need to get into character more for the PLO though, you weren't defeated, it was a 'strategic withdrawal made after inflicting significant material damage'. You didn't lose men, you 'created martyrs'. :D

    From what I recall, even boarding the ferries to finally leave Beirut was hailed as a great victory for the Palestine cause at the time.

  3. Donogh and Jim Hale make a great point. Perhaps we should also look at a way to make a set of victory conditions for "Rock the Casbah" like those in "Charlie Don't Surf". That way you can win militarily while losing politically (or vice versa). While the Israeli's didn't shoot at the Mosque with the tanks' main gun, they did use the .50 and .30 cal. Perhaps the ginormous holes from the .50 cal could be shown to the media... Also, one building downtown was the recipient of at least 4 tank shots from the 105mm. Wrecked and certainly on fire. This is what the Israeli's were trying to avoid by not calling in artillery.

  4. I see a need of distinct victory conditions for this conflict. It would probably of been better for the Israeli to clean out the building with infantry over the tanks main guns. Than again higher IDF casualties would also need to be factored in. I will post something on the victory conditions shortly.

    Yes Jim, the PLO Big Man (need to get a few stock names for the PLO) did create a lot of martyrs. Maybe to many for him to get the opportunity to do this again.

  5. You might also want to decide what particular faction the "PLO units" are from, since with the exception of a few PLA units, almost all of the Palestinian combat units in Lebanon in 1982 actually belonged to a particular PLO group (the vast majority, Fateh), and coordination could be very weak indeed.

    I'm sure you've read it, but Yezid Sayigh's book Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993 is by far the best work on PLO military development during this period.