DAYS OF BATTLE:
Available from Victory Point Games
On October 6, 1973, the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur, the combined forces of Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in an effort to re-claim the territory lost in the ‘67 War. In 1967 Israel captured the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt and the Golan Heights escarpment from Syria. These conquests allowed the Israelis to live in a relative state of peace. The capture of the Sinai allowed Israeli shipping to freely ply the Straits of Tiran, which opened access to the port of Eilat. The capture of the Golan Heights allowed Israeli farmers and Kibbutzim, in the Jordan Valley, to go about their business without being shelled by the Syrians from the heights.
At 0200 local time, the attack started. This time was a compromise on both parties as they wanted to start the attacks when they had the sun at their backs, blinding the Israeli troops. Egypt wanted to go at sunrise while the Syrians wanted the late afternoon.
In the game box are the following items:
- A 12-page Rulebook
- A 16-page Campaign Manual written by Frank Chadwick
- One 11” x 17” game map
- 75 thick, two-sided, multi-shaped game pieces
- 2 Player Aid cards
- 1 Turn record/Reinforcement track card
- 24 Event Cards (12 for each side)
In the boxed version:
- A three-piece mounted version of the map, broken up into an interlocking sections
- A single six-sided die
The game scale is each game turn represents 8 hours of real-time, thereby giving three turns per day. These turns are divided into two day turns and one night.
Ground scale is 3 kilometers per hex. Each unit in the game is either a Brigade or a Battalion.
That said let’s delve into the game itself. As the time frame in which the game is played (8 hours per turn) there would have to be some compromises made in the gameplay. The first of these is during the two daylight turns the Israeli player begins the turn. This gives the Israeli player two consecutive turns, so that he may attack the Syrians twice in a row. The second daylight turn going into the night turn gives the Syrian player the same advantage, making for some interesting maneuvers and follow-up attacks.
The initial layout of the field of battle is included on the last page of the Rulebook and is very easy to follow. First restriction in the game is the Israeli player cannot move on the first turn, thereby eliminating any Israeli combat on turn one, after all they were surprised by the attacks of Egypt and Syria. There are a total of twelve turns in the game, many of which have reinforcements coming in on both sides.
The twelve event cards supplied for each side adds a bit of mystery and intrigue into the playing of the game. The cards include Air Strikes, to be used immediately; Commando Raids and other disruptive events. Cards are pulled during turns 2 thru 10, with their use at the discretion of the General (Player).
Player Aid Card
The Player Aid cards contains the
- Terrain Effects Chart
- Combat Results Table
- Sequence of Fire Table
- Defensive Fire First Qualification Table
Defense Fire First
- Defensive Fire First is based upon the following items
- whether the fight is at Day or Night
- the terrain in which the unit finds itself
The Defensive Fire Sequence is:
- Heavy Units (Armor)
- Mixed Units (Mechanized Infantry)
- Light Units (Foot Infantry)
While combinations of all of these units may attack an enemy unit, firing is done in the sequence of firing.
Unit Losses and Replacements
Unit losses are accounted for by flipping over the two-sided units to the lesser side, or the unit can be eliminated by not being able to retreat through an enemy ZOC (Zone of Control). Units can be restored to action or upgraded to full strength by the use of Replacement Steps. The Israeli player receives one Replacement Step per turn. Starting with Turn 2, both sides receive one Replacement Step for each division that is declared to be in a Resting State. The Resting State declaration causes the subject division to stay where it is and not move or attack. This can make for some interesting decisions by the commanders.
Stacking is limited to no more than two units in a hex, only one of which is a brigade. Any excess units at the end of movement or a retreat are removed from the board, but may re-enter by the use of Replacement Steps.
The Syrian player at the end of each turn’s Administration Phase determines an immediate victory by the occupation of any three hexes marked with a star. Failing this, if the Syrian player controls two or more towns or Star hexes at the end of the game he wins, one town or Star hex game is a draw. No Star hexes or towns are an Israeli victory.
I found this game to be intriguing and fun to play. Every game you play can have a different result because of the playing of the Event Cards. This means that each game never plays out quite the same as the previous game. If a player can get on a good die rolling streak the player can outdo his opponent rather easily, but the dice are fickle and your brilliant operational plan can come tumbling down in a flash.
Days of Battle Golan Heights can be easily recommend to any player interested in this time period. Also any gamer who wants a unique challenge with a simple but subtle game that will give their tactical expertise and a good workout should consider Golan Heights from Victory Point Games.
Boxed Edition is $36.99
Polybag Edition is $12.00