Monday, 10 December 2012

Further notes on the Battle of Al-Gebra.

Now the desert dust has settled and a modicum of calm has returned to the town of Al-gebra I thought I might make a few notes on the logic and method of this my first attempt at a "modern " game- given the exceptions mentioned earlier. For a start I wanted some meaty tanks- back in the bush whacking days in Zingola Hi Tech was a T-34/85- even then a bit out of date. Also in previos "post WW2" games I'd never deployed any meaningful air support- never to put it one way - had my chopper (s) out! . Also in those early 90s days ther wasn't that much kit about- sure you could get some in 20mm- mainly Vietnam and some Cold war but no real 15mm and the next down were teenies- "what's that hiding under that speck of Fly shyte- Oh is a chieftain tank " No not for me. The 2 forces on the table last Saturday hadn't existed 6 months ago but I suppose the genesis was when I first laid eyes on the OG 15mm Challenger tank modeland soon after when I got Percy to do the Apache for the Lil' Flyin' Fokkers range. There had to be I though a way to get such tasty kit onto the table. A bit of ebaying later I got hold of a set of "Combined Arms" the Command decision "modern" set- actually 1980s but with addenda in the Command post Quarterly magazine which brought the system more up to date. Now I've been a CD fan for years. IMHO its the only WW2 set I've tried that doesn't patronise the arse off you or is so oversimplistic that its "WW2 for the Hard of Thinking" so I do keep going back to it. So Combined Arms - having similar systems was a bit of a No-brainer really.I even had some Iraqi strengths and equipment lists in various books and magazines- Mil Mod and Military Illustrated as well as the aforementioned CPQ. However I hit upon a bity of a problem when building the British force. Now normally I shy away from Imagi-nations! yeaach) It just doesn't suit . But here well how csan I put this. It simply didn't seem right or proper to pick one Real unit over another 40 Cdo over 42 or 45 1 Para over 3 Para etc etc. Yet I still wanted units that- however dimly reflected the style of the British Army So enter 69 Commando Royal Marines- Regimental Knickname the "Muffs" . The Queens Malabars have featured in this blog previously and the Prince Regents Own Heavy Hussars first saw the light of day in a small piece by Richard Nelson in a Mill Mod a couple of decades ago.Organisations would be as correct as I could make them. In game terms the opposition would be a problem. I couldn't assume that my players be they ever so under the influence of beer would fight as stupidly as the Irquis did- even though Jim the Painter(in real life a Builder and Roofer) expected to get a kicking So enter the Great Leader
One might say... "It's Jim but not as we know him...." Since many in the west suspected that the war was mainly about Oil I needed an Oil company Andrew the Tekkies surname is Oyston which aliterates nicely so...
The actual model I found - assembled- on ebay for about a fiver. Trenches and shell holes came from an outfit called Ironclad miniatures- nice stuff if a tad brittleand a decent price. Here are the orders of Battle for both sides in CD/combined armes terms.
Battle of Al-Gebra December 8th 2003 69 Commando Royal Marines Battle group. OC Col. Myles Overlap DSO. Intention. Prevent the destruction of the oil facility by the enemy if at all possible. Secure the town of Al- Gebra. Drive enemy Irregular forces from the banks of the Schatt –an Harab waterway. Enemy forces. The garrison of Al-Gebra is of low morale and is not expected to pose much more than a Token threat. These forces strength Approx. 1 understrength Infantry battalion with minimal heavy weapons.They are however dug in . Local Irregular forces from the “72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade” of the Fedayeen al Rufa however pose a more serious immediate threat s they are highly motivated if poorly trained. They have mortars and some RPG and may have heavier weaponsd. They appear to be based in the Old fortess of Hal- Farta on the banks of the waterway. However Republican Guard Armoured forces are in the area to the North of the town in strength with T-72 tanks and APC’s . Own Troops. Elite Morale 10 HQ 69Cdo Royal Marines 1Command stand 1Landrover. 1 HMG stand 1 Recon sniper stand 1 81mm Mortar stand 1 Milan Stand. 2 companies each with 1 command Infantry stand 2 infantry stands. Any stand from the HQ company (other than the command stand) may be attached to either of the infantry companies Manovre Support group. 1 command WMIK 2 WMIK Armoured group HQ no1 Sqn Prince Regents Own Heavy Hussars 1 Command Sultan 1 FV432 TOC. 1 landrover 1Sabre Squadron with 1 Command Challenger1 2 Challenger 1 Attached armoured Infatry – 3rd Bn Queens Malabars 1Command Warrior 1 Warrior 1 command Infantry Stand 1 infantry stand 1Weapons stand Air Support In addition you may call upon “Ugly Six Nine “ callsign 1 x AHU64D Apache gunship –Army Air Corps
Battle for Al-Gebra. December 8th 2003. Jhimhi Hussein Al- Rufa Al Kahol. President and “Great Leader“ of the Republic of Harraq. (Allah Help Us !!!) Objective. Deny the Town of Al-Gebra and its Oil facilities to the invading British Forces. Troops Infantry Battalion 19th Reserve Infantry Division Trained Morale 6. Bttn HQ with 1infantry Command Stand 1 Recon BDRM AT Weapons Company with 1 81mm Mortar stand. 1 weapons stand. 3 infantry Companies each with 2 infantry stands. These troops may occupy any of the trenches and bunkers on the table. Elements 3rd Saladin Armoured division. Experienced Morale 8 Tank Battalion with 1 Command T-72 1BMP TOC. 1 “Shilka” SPAA 1 Recon BDRM AT Tank Company with 1 Command T-72 2 T-72 2 Tank Companies each with 2 T-72 Mechanised Infantry Company 1 Command Infantry Stand 1 Weapons Stand 1 Infantry stand 3 BMP2 1Recon BDRM AT These troops deploy anywhere along the North edge of the table or may be held back off table for 1 or 2 turns before appearing.
As it turned out Jim couldn't make it until late so Flaoting Jeff was deputised as commander and his command was dropped from the game- deliberately withoput telling the British. I enclose their OB for completness.
Mullah Mustapha Narsul High Commander “72 Virgins Martyrs Brigade” Fortress of Hal –Farta. The Infidel Cruasders are upon the Holy soil of Harraq. They must be destroyed , slaughtered Martydom is upon us Brothers. Allah a Akbar !! Available forces Trained Morale 9 1 Command Stand. 1 Recon Jeep with HMG 2 Recon Motorcycle stands 1 Jeep with sneb Rocket pod. Mortar Company with 4 81 mm Mortar Stands (ROF1). 2 Infantry Companies each with 2 Infantry Stands 1Weapons stand You must protect your base if it falls to the infidels and they discover your stash of Heroin – which you wish to sell to finance the Holy War....
All Politically Incorrect Jokes are entirly intentional. THE RESISTANCE LIVES ON.


  1. And I thought Al-gebra were fanatics who used weapons of Maths Instruction !

    1. It too0k longer than I expected and the format was neater but I saw that one coming.... -The old 'uns are still the best...