This weekend will see the release of Fate Of A Nation, this time brought up to Team Yankee standard and with the inclusion of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
Bringing the Arab-Israeli Wars (AIW) in to Flames Of War was something of an obsession for me and I can happily take some of the credit for the initial inclusion after relentlessly and repeatedly reminding people that after the success of our Vietnam releases, AIW would be a great place to turn next. After all it was a period that many gamers recognise, it featured the worlds superpowers fighting over proxy battlefields, and when it came down to it, it was about tanks duelling it out. Perfect for a Flames Of War conversion!
I've tried to pin down the root cause of my obsession or passion and I have no solid idea as to why. I have no recollection of the actual events, both wars happened shortly before my birth and the global impact never really affected me (that I remember). I do recall reading a series of magazines called "War in Peace" and being struck by the destruction of so many tanks as the Syrians pushed across the Israeli built anti-tank ditch in the Valley of Tears.
I am sure that reading about the efforts of a relatively small number of tank crews fighting against overwhelming odds would have left quite the impression on a budding wargamer. The greater history of the conflict no doubt partially lost on me at the time.
Once we received the initial go-ahead to write the very first version of Fate Of A Nation (obviously the name as stuck through multiple printings and revisions) we began to review what was actually required from a workflow perspective. We knew that it was going to be a big job, but so great was the passion to complete it that a number of us volunteered to paint the armies required for the initial photography. Casey stepped forward to paint the Egyptians (closest thing to the Soviets at the time), Evan took on the job of painting the Jordanian armour, whilst Victor took care of the infantry and guns, whilst I charged forward to do the majority of Israelis. Being involved in this original project was certainly one of my favourite experiences of my time at Battlefront.
Jumping forward 4 years and we found ourselves in a similar situation with a new version of Fate Of A Nation being put together, this time with much of the initial writing and editing being completed by Scott Elaurant and Michael McSwiney (two long time contributors to the Flames Of War community). Once again, we needed to add to the range of models. Luckily Aaron (our inhouse painter) had taken care of the vast majority of new releases since the original book and was on deck to take care of the extra items now for the Israelis and Egyptians, however painting enough Syrian models was a problem. It probably comes as no surprise then that I happily volunteered to start building a Syrian force - I say start as it still needs a lot of work to finish...
Over the coming weeks (or months) I thought I might spend some time taking a look at the Israeli and Syrian forces, then look at what I have painted and how it compares to some of the lists I have been dreaming up, and then review what I need to do to complete both armies. The jury is still out as to how much actual progress I will make as I have a few competing priorities on the go, not to mention some future Battlefront projects have been taking my fancy, but I am sure that I'll have something to share.