In late January 1991 elements of the Iraqi III Corps crossed the Saudi border and occupied the almost deserted port of Khafji. Iraqi forces defending Khafji are a reinforced motor rifle battalion and an artillery battalion. A tank battalion is available to reinforce. The force assembled to recapture the town consists of a Saudi National Guard (SANG - actually professional soldiers) Brigade with artillery and tank support. A flight of USMC AH-1W Cobras is on call. To add to the fun, hidden in Khafji (and unknown to the Iraqis) is a USMC artillery spotting team, with a couple of batteries of 155s on the other end of the line.
The game used my NATO Brigade Commander rules each hex is 1km across and each stand represents a company.
US helicopters loose off AT missiles at Iraqi armour on the southern edge of town.
The field of battle. Khafji is the larger settlement. Iraq lies to the north (right) and the Saudis enter from the south.
Saudi NG troops (basically mechanised infantry) blundering around in the dark. The first 3 turns were 'night'. The detached T55 company (near the top of the frame) has ambushed the Qatari AMX-30 battalion and sent it scuttling back.
The Iraqis rearrange the defence, moving the artillery to the southern approaches to town. Martin led the Iraqis (again) while Steve commanded the Saudis, assisted by John (in his USMC persona).
The Iraqi gunners were soon taking missile hits from US helis.
Another atmospheric shot of the first (of several) heli attacks. The AH-1 is a GHQ model.
Eventually the Saudis managed to line up two battalions for an attack on the southern defences of Khafji - both of them promptly suffered morale failures! I seem to remember this happened in the initial play test game...
By this time the defenders had taken some hits from the US helis and artillery.
The NBC system uses card-driven activation.
The Saudi gunners were strangely silent!
The Saudi attack continues.
The fighting at the southern edge of Khafji was rather unpleasant. On the left the Qatari AMX-30 battalion can be seen moving round the flank.
The Saudi reinforcements arrive - in the form of an M-60A1 battalion. I keep forgetting to paint up some Saudi M-60s - these are actually from my Israeli forces!
All three of the SANG battalions are now engaged and the Iraqi defences are crumbling.
As the SANG troops move through Khafji, the Iraqi tank battalion arrives (top left). These chaps soon saw off the Qatari tanks before being confronted by the Saudi M-60s.
This surprisingly clear US satellite image shows that the SANG has largely overrun Khafji, while on of the battalions (left) is engaged in a bloody struggle with the Iraqi tankers.
Late in the game Iraqi soldiers found some HUMMWVs in an underground car park. Here they have emerged to welcome the SANG troops.
The Saudis got victory points for capturing Khafji town hexes and the Iraqi VPs were awarded for holding Khafji hexes and eliminating Saudi battalions. On points therefore, this hard-fought game was a narrow Iraqi victory. Martin is already calling it 'The Mother of all Battles'. I really can't think where he picks up these expressions....