Divided Ground - October War (Fifteen scenarios)
DESIGN NOTES FOR ODE TO OCTOBER WAR
By Alan R. Arvold
October War was a game by SPI that came out in 1977 in the magazine “Strategy & Tactics”, in issue number 61. It was SPI’s answer to Avalon Hill’s game “Arab Israeli Wars”. It was a tactical armored wargame that dealt with battles in the 1973 “Yom Kippur” War. As I have converted the scenarios from “Arab-Israeli Wars” to Divided Ground, it seemed only natural that I do the same with the scenarios from “October
War”. So here we go.
The original mapsheet was a generic representation of various types of terrain in the Middle East. Depending on the scenario being played, certain terrain types and/or elevation levels were ignored on the map. So what I did was make a master copy of the original mapsheet on Divided Ground, then for each converted scenario, made a copy of the master and made what changes were required by the original scenario instructions to it. Thus each scenario will have its own mapboard. The scale of the original mapsheet was 200 meters per hex, but I kept the scale on my Divided Ground maps at 250 meters per hex. As it turns out it did not make any difference in the comparative play of each game. The distance between each height level is 25 meters.
The Orders of Battle
The orders of battle for each scenario were rather simple, just armored vehicles, both tanks and APCs, and dismounted infantry and support weapons. The only organization was by force, be it battalion or brigade level. Converting these to Divided Ground was not a problem. However I did add Headquarters and Leader units to each side for command and control, and for supply as well. For the infantry I added Machinegun platoons as in October War all of the infantry units are assumed to be reinforced with machineguns from their company or battalion machine gun platoons.
For support units the Israelis had self propelled ATGM’s mounted on jeeps and the Arabs had dismounted Sagger Teams and 100mm AT guns. For artillery in October War both sides have off-the-board artillery which is assumed to reach anywhere across the map. This was easy to
duplicate in Divided Ground. However the Israelis have self-propelled 120mm mortars mounted on APC’s while the Arabs have off-the-board 120mm mortars. Naturally I gave the Israelis self propelled 120mm mortars mounted on halftracks as these are what they really have in the 1973 War.
For the Arabs I found that the 120mm mortars in the off-the- board set up do not range across the board and that the Israelis can stay out of their given range since it is obvious which side of the board they would be set up off of, so I gave the Arabs on board 120mm mortar units and the appropriate transport unit in those scenarios where they have them. In October War, airstikes were just one time artillery attacks for each strike, however in Divided Ground I gave actual airstrikes to which ever side had them in a given scenario.
There are fifteen scenarios in October War, thirteen that came with the game and two more which were published in Moves magazine #32. The time scale of a turn in October War is two minutes, compared to six minutes in Divided Ground. To convert I merely divided the number of turns in a given October War scenario by three (rounding any fractions up) to get the equivalent number of turns in Divided Ground. Now one would think that the units in Divided Ground would move three times as fast as those in October War but as it turns out, units move about the same distance on the map in three turns in October War as they do in one turn in Divided Ground. In scenarios where the defender is given Improved Positions in October War, I gave the same number to the defender in Divided Ground. In October War the defender is given minefields in some scenarios, to
which they also received the same number in Divided Ground. In October War minefields come in three levels which easily correspond to the 1-1, 2-1 and 3-1 minefields in Divided Ground. One of the scenarios in a night scenario, again I made sure it was a night scenario when I converted it.
The scenarios are either simplified versions of real battles or part of the two three-scenario semi-historical campaigns in October War. However I made them each into individual scenarios, each with its own set of victory point levels.
I hope players find these scenarios fun and quick as they are really not much more than that. Still, another Middle East tactical game has been converted to Divided Ground.
Download available HERE.
My sincere thanks to Alan for again sharing his work with the CS community