Saturday, July 31, 2010


Here is a platoon of PLO militia ready (?) to meet the IDF on the roads to Beirut. The figures are from Peter Pig’s Range 17 line. The platoon has three sections with three AK47s and an RPG. The headquarters has a Big Man and a sniper.

While the PLO is heavily armed, they are weak in command as most of the leadership headed north to Beirut or east to the Bekaa.

There is a much larger IDF force and a Syrian Commando Team based and primed.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michelin Guide Anyone

In the rules supplement Rock the Casbah (RTC), there is an area called Michelin Guide Anyone. As I wanted a physical map for the campaign I header off to my local Barnes & Nobel. While there were no Lebanon maps I did find a Lonely Planet guidebook on the Middle East. It was a cute read with a nice size chapter on Lebanon with nice city maps. Their web site is also well designed.

I like the aerial views of the existing camps. This is a resource I am sure all sides would have loved to have had.

I ended up getting the map from my friends at Franklin Maps in King of Prussia. It is a fun store to wander through.

The map is 1:200,000 scale so it has most of the villages I need. Or at least I think so as the spellings are a little off. That is a problem I have had for as long as I have gamed this part of the world. With an interest going back to the 1916 Arab Revolt to Lebanon in 1982 every writer has his or her own take on spelling. It gives hope to this poor Catholic school speller.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Personally I think the title sounds like a game show, but saying sides made me think of elementary school gym class. What I am talking about here is what are the factions for playing Operation Peace for Galilee. I am initially looking at the first part of the operation from 6 June 1982 to 12 June 1982. Latter I may also add in the earlier Operation Litani, the Lebanese Civil War of the 70s, the battles for the Beirut-Damascus Highway, and the UNMNF.

While concentrating on these seven days a gamer will find a lot to choose from. The IDF and Syrian bring almost very type of formations in the arsenals. The Israelis have every type of tank from the M-48 (ok this one is debatable) to the Merkava I. Syria has both mechanized as well as motorized formations and T55. T62 and T72s added. With Syria you also have Gazelle anti-tank helicopters.

The PLO brings their light infantry with Katyusha rocket launcher, dug in T34/85s and T54/55s and cool run down looking camps.

The Lebanese have the most diverse forces. The troops are as varied as the factions. Transport is limited to personal cars and armored vehicles can include the Panhard armored cars, T34/85s and lent Israeli M113s, M50s and M51s. Troops can be uniformed in either Israeli kit for the South Lebanese Army or in come as you are Middle Eastern kit for the religious militias. As for the faction, there is over a page of known factions in Rock the Casbah.

What is nice is it is easy to get started. A Lebanese militia only requires a few figures for an IABSM/TWT game. Using Peter Pig figures you need a pack of command, one to two packs of riflemen with AK47, an RPG pack and possibly a LMG or heavy weapons pack. For around $25 you are ready to take on…well if you are Lebanese that could mean anyone in the Middle East.

Israelis and Syrians are a little more expensive as you will also need APCs and tanks, but who can turn down those hot looking Merkavas.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Miniatures Bibliography

For this campaign we will be using Peter Pig Range 17 "AK47 Republic" line. These will make up the bulk of the IDF, PLO, Syrian and Lebanese militias. Quick Reaction Force will complete the figures and vehicles we are missing. While both companies see direct to the US from the UK, I will be going to Brookhurst Hobbies for the Peter Pig line and Scale Creep for the QRF figures. All figures used will be 15mm.

The rules are from TOOFATLardies (also from the UK). Set used are “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum”/” Troops, Weapons & Tactics” and the “Rock the Casbah” supplement. They can be purchased directly from the “Lardies” and down loaded by PDF. The team there supports the product and I could not be happier.

The Reason Why

Over the last year my friend Mark Kinsey, has shown me the joys of gaming Africa in the Cold War period. His rational is to game conflicts that happened when he was in middle school. So after playing in several games was there are no good guys I thought it was time to move on to Lebanon.

The Israelis launched their Operation Peace for Galilee (Mivtsa Shlom HaGalil) just as I was graduating from high school and moving on to the US Navy. In junior high school and high school I was very interested in Israel and what was going on in that part of the world (to the distress of my good Catholic mother), but that June I was more interested in what my Company Commander thought of me. I had (oh how I wish I still had them) a great collection of books and magazines on the IDF and the conflicts in the Middle East. (Does anyone remember Born in Battle. I think I had the first six issues of it.)

Fast forward to October 23rd 1983. The USMC barracks was bombed at the Beirut airport. Our Marines were there to keep the peace, even though there was little peace to keep. I was now on my way to conduct “ASW training exercises” in the Mediterranean or so I told my family and girlfriend. Reality was we were there to protect the fleet from unfriendlies and there are a lot of unfriendlies in that neighborhood.

So you could say this conflict is personal and in many ways it is. But with Mark’s help we will study the conflict and set up simulations. I look forward to understanding Operation Peace for Galilee a little bit better.