Tuesday, 2 August 2022

WRG Moderns: Oh War It Has Been A Long Time!

It has been a long time, oh my weapon!

I long for you in my struggle!

Speak and say I am awake.

Oh war it has been a long time.

Walla Zaman Ya Selahy (Egyptian National Anthem 1971-79)

Despite having played a few enjoyable games of Arab-Israeli War Seven Days To The River Rhine, being something of a 6mm megalomaniac, I wanted to put more tanks on the table that 7DTRR is really designed to handle. So, through the rose-tinted glasses of memory and at his suggestion, George dug out his copy of the Wargames Research Groups Wargames Rules for Armoured Warfare at Company and Battalion Battle Group Level 1950 to 1985 (catchy titles being the norm in the eighties) and we tried that...

We decided to keep it simple(!) with three companies of Egyptian T-62's attacking a smaller IDF force. The Egyptians, following Soviet doctrine, deploying in three parallel lines.

The IDF had a platoon of AMX-13's to the fore...

Their main force comprising of two Centurion companies, one on the left flank...

The second on the right.

The game started well enough with the Egyptians pushing two platoons of T-62's forward in the centre...

With a tank company pushing up the Egyptian right.

The Israelis deploying a platoon in a hull down position to engage the advancing enemy.

With the two forces now in engagement range, it was time for the firing to begin...

Unfortunately the rose-tinted memories of Cold War games some four decades back faded as George tried to get his head around the firing rules...

The quick reference sheet giving some idea of the issues!

After several minutes of deciphering the rules, the T-62 company opened fire first...

And despite the targets being hull down, managed to despatch half the IDF tank platoon!

The AMX-13's attempted, ineffectively, to engage a platoon of Egyptian tanks advancing down the centre...

Though the survivors of the Centurion platoon eked out a measure of success with their return volley.

As the Egyptians reached the village...

The IDF fired a battery of Soltam Ro-em M-68 (L33) SPG's at them but again failed to score a hit (the models could have been off board but as I had them it was nice to see them on the table).

George was still not convinced he was reading/remembering the rules correctly, and the rulebook was not helping, so after another long vain read through, we decided to call it a day.

It's hard to say how good a set the WRG Moderns are (were?). George recalls it all working quite swimmingly back in the early eighties and it may be that some prep on the stats/ammo type side might have produced a better game, but the need to keep trying to decipher the rules and tables meant that George's old copy of the rules has been returned to its place on the shelf and the search for a big moderns armour game was to continue another day...


  1. Definitely rose-tinted specs methinks!
    Always thought they were a dreadful set of rules.......despite being a platoon or company commander you chose whether each individual tank fired HE, AP, HESH, APDS, APFSDS......etc
    I played a lot of Combined Arms (modern version of Command Decision) in the 1980s and 90s which were streets ahead of WRG but I'd probably run a mile before playing them! I just couldn't be motivated to look up factors and modifiers, however good or "realistic" the games were. ...
    It probably doesn't help you keep playing games where AMX-13s face off v T-62s....or where the rules take no account of training.
    Having just read "Armies of Sand" it helps to put the limitations of the Egyptians in perspective. Soviet doctrine indicated that a platoon of three tanks "usually" needed about 9 hits on average to KO an opposing tank; therefore the doctrine was to fire as a platoon in vollies of three shots with the expectation of achieving a kill after three shots by each tank.
    The Egyptians followed this to the letter, with a platoon delivering 9 shots before moving on, whether they had knocked out the enemy tank or not......!

  2. WRG rules through the lenses of heavy duty rose tinted glasses. No wonder there was a face palm.

  3. Excellent battle report that brought back similar memories to yours. The good old days. (Muted chortle!)

    Regards, Chris.

  4. I have had a similar experience when revisiting old stuff that I was quite happily playing in days of old, but suddenly, with a modern eye, start to see all sorts of ambiguity in the rules.

  5. That 'quick reference sheet' is pretty intimidating! It is a reminder of the era where simulation was winning versus gaming.