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The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 12/28/2015 6:29:24 PM   
berto


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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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[SPOILER ALERT! AND NO CROSSROADS ALLOWED. NO PEEKING! ]


The Crossroads - 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads)


Glutton for punishment that I am, I have agreed to PBEM again with fellow Dev Team member Crossroads. Crossroads, if you recall, beat me soundly in a recent PBEM of the Into Africa! scenario, chronicled here (my POV) and here (his POV).

For this next PBEM game, Crossroads and I have selected The Crossroads (ha!), aka Jenin_1_1967.scn. From the Manual:



For this scenario, Crossroads will again play the attacking Israeli Side A, while I will play the defending Jordanian Side B.

From the in-game Scenario Information, it says the scenario is 45 turns long, alternating day/night/day as follows:

1-14[d] 15-25[n] 26-45[d]

We will be playing, and chronicling, this scenario a good long while!

Visibility varies throughout the scenario like so:

1-10[7] 11-11[5] 12-12[4] 13-14[3] 15-25[2] 26-26[3] 27-27[5] 28-32[6] 33-45[7]

The weather is Moderate Dust. The Ground is Dry.

Here is an overview map of the battlefield:



The Israelis will be attacking generally from the north. The Jordanians will be defending, and reinforcing, generally from the south.

We will be playing with all Optional Rules selected except for Armor Facing Effects.

The Jordanian order of battle:



At scenario's outset, the Jordanian forces are



with many reinforcements to follow



A screenshot showing the opening Jordanian positions:



The 25th Infantry Brigade, the Khalid Ibn Walid Brigade, is highlighted (in turquoise). The unhighlighted units near the bottom of the screenshot are the 12th Independent Tank Regiment.

Note the three Objectives hexes, each worth 150 VPs. There is a fourth Objective hex, worth 100 VPs, at Qabitiya, just off the bottom screenshot edge.

The Victory conditions for this scenario are:

  • Major Defeat - 300
  • Minor Defeat - 600
  • Minor Victory - 900
  • Major Victory - 1200

    The sum total of Objectives VPs is 550. This suggests that, as the Scenario Designer (Jason Petho) assesses it, we might expect to see significantly more Jordanian losses than Israeli. Indeed, I can almost guarantee it.

    Again, I am long-time solo player, while Crossroads is a seasoned PBEMer. I have played way more RS games than EF & WF, and tank battles are not my forte. If I lose this bout, indeed if I again lose badly, we should not be at all surprised.

    Strangely, as a long-time solo player (vs. the A/I), I am much more experienced playing the attacking side than the defending. So here too I am at a disadvantage.

    But it all fits the role playing nicely. In the real Six Day War, the Israelis generally outgeneraled, and outfought, the Arabs. Although the Jordanians fought the best of any of them.

    Let's see if I can match up to what the historical Jordanians achieved at least. As a player, let's see if I can do better this time.

    [to be continued...]

    < Message edited by berto -- 12/29/2015 7:44:48 AM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 12/29/2015 8:19:28 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #1

    In the Turn 1, first Side A (Israeli) phase, movement sounds, but no unit reveals. I have no idea what's out there!

    On my part, moving into battle formation. With the Display > Map Elevations (hot key '.') toggled ON, and Display > Visible Hexes (hot key 'V') also toggled ON, I carefully reposition my forces. Ever so carefully, because I know from experience that Crossroads will target my vulnerable, high value special units at every opportunity. Using my Land Rovers for reconnaissance, I scope out the LOS and Visibility where expedient.

    Here and there, in the center especially, digging in.

    No artillery fire, because I have little idea yet where and what to aim for.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 1:



    _____________________________


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 12/30/2015 9:33:43 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #2

    In the Turn 2, first Side A (Israeli) phase, more movement sounds, but still no unit reveals. Eight or so Indirect Fires (IF), but all harmless, because falling on empty hexes.

    If you look closely below, you will see where I have, in turn, directed howitzer fire at various, um, crossroads, where I think the enemy might concentrate.

    With the Display > Map Elevations (hot key '.') toggled ON, and Display > Visible Hexes (hot key 'V') also toggled ON, I continue to reposition my forces. This will be my standard playing style: Elevations & Visibility always toggled ON. I cannot be too careful!

    More digging in, at promontories, also around strategic crossroads.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 2:



    Next turn, will the Israelis finally show themselves?

    _____________________________


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 12/31/2015 8:59:07 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #3

    More of the same.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 3:



    Still no Israeli unit reveals. The suspense is killing me!

    _____________________________


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/2/2016 2:14:38 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    First contact!



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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/2/2016 3:50:49 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    TURN #4

    I'm actively plotting howitzer and mortar IF now, especially around Kafr Dan.

    In the center, continuing to push my infantry companies forward.

    To the rear, I shifted westward units of the 12th Independent Tank Regiment (turquoise circle).

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 4:



    The battle has been joined, but it's still quite early. I really don't know at this point where the Israelis will focus their attack.


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/4/2016 8:16:02 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #5

    First losses!

    With forces coming into view on both sides, artillery fire is now better directed. IF is starting to take its toll.

    The battle for Kafr Dan has begun. It's not going well. Already, I have lost a HMG platoon there, and my forward infantry platoon is disrupted.

    I have managed to score hits on Israeli units (magenta circles), including one Jeep w/106mm RCLR.

    The biggest news by far is the Israeli tanks showing up in force on my far right. I am comparatively weak in that sector, and not well entrenched. It will be hard to prevent a breakthrough on my right. Gulp!

    The situation at the end of Turn 5, first Side A (Israeli) phase:



    _____________________________


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    Post #: 7
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/5/2016 5:16:00 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    Quoting this:

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    To the rear, I shifted westward units of the 12th Independent Tank Regiment (turquoise circle).

    That of course was a dumb move.

    I was thinking I would move the 12th to my far left, and during the night, attack the Israelis at Yamun and northeastward. If lucky, I achieve a breakthrough there, and wreak havoc in their rear. A pipe dream, that.

    No, I might have predicted that Crossroads would attack my far right. I lack defense in depth there. Worse, if he breaks through on my right, he has a clear shot at all of those HQ and artillery units in my rear areas.

    I wish now I had bulked up east of Jenin. I wish now I had foreseen all of this and, instead, directed the 12th Tank Regiment to reinforce my right. I will do so ASAP. But it might already be too late.

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/12/2016 11:09:33 PM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/5/2016 8:47:14 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    TURN #5

    With map elevations toggled ON (hot key '.'), I maneuver cautiously around my right. Must not expose myself to long- or medium-range fire from those massed Israeli tanks.

    My careful positioning of units and double checking Visibility and LOS pays off. 1st Troop/Tank Squadron (attached to the 25th Infantry Khalid Ibn Walid Brigade) (magenta circle, screenshot following) took a couple of direct shots at the Israeli tanks in hex 45,27 (red circle), destroying three Shermans!



    Unfortunately, 5th Troop wandered carelessly onto exposed hex 43,32 (green circle), where some Israeli Opportunity Fire killed both Jordanian Pattons in a single shot. I was quite surprised by that, supposing that when the Israelis moved forward they had expended all of their APs.

    Despite that, despite the worrisome state of my right flank, and despite the dicey situation around Kafr Dan (to the northwest), I am giving more than I am getting:



    VPs from force loss are key to, if not winning this scenario, at least surviving it, gaining a draw:

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    Note the three Objectives hexes, each worth 150 VPs. There is a fourth Objective hex, worth 100 VPs, at Qabitiya, just off the bottom screenshot edge.

    The Victory conditions for this scenario are:

  • Major Defeat - 300
  • Minor Defeat - 600
  • Minor Victory - 900
  • Major Victory - 1200

    The sum total of Objectives VPs is 550. This suggests that, as the Scenario Designer (Jason Petho) assesses it, we might expect to see significantly more Jordanian losses than Israeli. Indeed, I can almost guarantee it.

  • If I can continue to play it safe; if I can somehow manage to keep the SP & Point Losses in rough parity, I might be able to avoid defeat -- despite the worrisome state of my right flank.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 5:



    Belatedly, I am withdrawing my divisional and brigade HQs westward, some artillery also. Must keep them away from the expected Israeli breakout. (Am I being too pessimistic?)

    I have indeed directed the 12th Tank Regiment to head back eastward (see previous post). Directing my RCLR jeeps eastward also.

    But I will abandon my right and will give up Jenin if need be. There is no need to hold it at all cost. I will retreat into my mountainous fastness (large yellow circle) in order to preserve my force.

    In several turns, I will be receiving reinforcements from the southwest (turquoise hot spot hex 0,42). Too far away to save my right, but welcome additions to my center.

    Word has it that the Jordanian 40th Armoured Brigade is racing northward, to reinforce us during the night:



    Ah, good! More Pattons, more tanks! Even better, arriving from the south (off the screenshot's bottom at the game map's southernmost edge). Even if Crossroads manages to puncture my right flank (likely) and break out into my rear (much feared), my reinforcements from the south can then smash his left flank. I chew him up in the middle, in and around the Qabitiya Crossroads. That's the hope. That's the new plan. But The best laid schemes of mice and men Gang aft agley, right?

    _____________________________


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/7/2016 9:28:10 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online



    In case anybody is wondering:

  • Why am I not occupying the TRench hexes on the ridge to my right?

    It's because, the way the elevations work out, those hexes are exposed to Israeli tank fire. If I were to occupy those hexes with the infantry units at hand, the enemy tanks would just sit back, beyond the effective range of the infantry, and fire away at the infantry. There's nothing to be gained in that exchange. So, instead I place the Jordanian infantry in hexes that, if not TRenches, at least are hidden from Israeli view (Visibility doesn't extend to those hexes).

    As for the Jordanian tanks, if I were to position them more forward, yes, they could trade fire with the Israeli tanks. But there are more of the latter. The Israelis would come out better in the exchange.

    No, I have positioned my forces on the right such that, if the Israelis want to engage them, the Israelis will need to move forward, thereby exposing themselves to short-range Jordanian opportunity fire. It's vitally important that I get first shots!

    Also, if the units on my right wing are hidden from view, the Israelis can't spot them, can't blast away with their artillery. Let the Israeli artillery maybe pound my entrenched units in and around Jenin instead.

  • Why is there not more artillery indirect fire targeting the Israeli tanks?

    It's because, fearing an Israeli breakout into my rear area, I have had to move my artillery pieces away from the fight. If you move (expending all of your APs), you can't fire. And the artillery that hasn't moved, some of it is too far away to hit the tanks. I've also been forced to move away my HQs, thereby disrupting the supply chain, causing some artillery units to go out-of-ammo, or fail to resupply.

    I'm frustrated that I can't direct more artillery IF against such juicy targets, but it's a tradeoff. It is what it is.

    Judgment calls. Gambles. Tension.

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/7/2016 11:27:02 AM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/7/2016 6:36:24 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #6

    At Kafr Dan, Israeli artillery IF forces 3rd Platoon/Motorized Infantry Company/30th Infantry Regiment to retreat. A firefight ensues. 3rd Platoon takes casualties. An Israeli infantry platoon enters Kafr Dan (red circle)!



    Still bigger news (see screenshot below): The Israeli armored assault on my far right flank might be blunted!

    Unexpectedly, the Israeli tanks fail to advance. (Unless they are inching their way tentatively forward, out of my LOS.) Did the loss of those three Shermans last turn spook them?

    As expected, the Israeli tanks at hex 45,27 (magenta circle) counterfire at the Jordanian Pattons at hex 42,31, destroying all three (red circle). (No WR marker showing there, because the BK marker displays over it.) I'll gladly pay the price if that dissuades Crossroads from pushing forward on my far right. I am ever so happy if he shifts the focus of his attack toward the center, where I am strongest, and better fortified. Too soon to tell.

    The situation at the end of Turn 6, first Side A (Israeli) phase:



    In the Israeli Side A phase, I lost 3 tank SPs and 2 infantry SPs to his nil. Let's see if I can even the score in my Side B phase.

    _____________________________


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    Post #: 11
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/9/2016 1:44:56 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #6

    Around Kafr Dan, I am calling up reinforcements. I managed to sprint my truck unit (turquoise circle) out of town, out of danger, but not before losing 2 SPs in an earlier turn. Lots of Jordanian counter fire, but little to show for it -- just forcing one Israeli RCLR to retreat (magenta circle). Either bad die rolls, or poor Jordanian marksmanship!



    With Crossroads' hesitation, and possible abandonment of the attack, on my right I am now feeling a bit more confident. I am establishing a defense in depth there, and reinforcements, the 12th Independent Tank Regiment (turquoise circle), if needed, are not too distant.



    The Jordanians managed to destroy an enemy Jeep w/MG troop (red circle), the only Israeli losses I inflicted this phase. Crossroads has pulled ahead in the SP/VP tallies (9 SP/40 VP loss Side A Israeli, 11 SP/51 VP loss Side B Jordan), but I am keeping it fairly close. It's still quite early, of course.

    Except right in and around Jenin, just about every Jordanian unit you see in the above screenshot should be hidden from Israeli view, else out Israeli LOS. I know, because by carefully studying the elevations (with hot key '.' toggled ON), making frequent use of the Visibility hot key (V), I painstakingly checked each and every occupied hex! Keep him guessing!

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 6:



    Mindful of Israeli artillery IF, I am generally spreading my forces out, just one unit to a hex where possible.

    The motorized infantry company in the center rear (turquoise circle) is my other reserve. While waiting, they keep busy digging in around the important crossroads there.

    Again, at the hot spot hex 0,42 (turquoise box, SW map corner), I am expecting reinforcements to show up in a couple of turns.

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/12/2016 10:06:27 PM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/10/2016 8:40:19 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #7

    At Kafr Dan, the Israelis continue to do well, scoring three hits (red circles) and forcing 1st Platoon back (middle red circle). In return, the Jordanian infantry continues to misfire, achieving one disruption (at the turquoise hot spot hex) only.



    No sign of any other Israelis on my left. Is it a good sign?

    On my right, the situation at the end of Turn 7, first Side A (Israeli) phase:



    Crossroads showed up in force this phase. He appears to be mounting a determined frontal push right towards Jenin.

    His artillery pounds my front line at Jenin. Entrenched they are, yes, but stationary. He knows exactly where to target me. I lose a few SPs.

    As he advances, my opportunity fire scores a couple of hits on the forwardmost Israeli infantry platoons (two left red circles).

    Crossroads continues to menace my far right. He is amassing even more tanks for the imminent assault. But in his hesitation, he is buying me time.

    There is maybe good reason for his hesitation. Again, because I was careful to hide my forces on my right, he cannot see how weak my position is there. An indication of his blindedness: Logically enough, he directed six IFs at the entrenched hexes (three magenta circles). But I left those hexes vacant for a reason: Those are precisely the hexes where I expected him to fire. Those hexes are also maybe in his LOS, depending.

    It is vitally important that I stay close in the SP & VP tallies.

    The SP Losses, and VP Losses thus far:



    I am encourage by this. Even it being the Side A phase, even with the Israelis holding the initiative, I still managed (with my arty & opportunity fire) to score 5 hits to his 6. Better, the Israeli VP Loss jumped from 40 to 61, versus the Jordanian 51 to 69.

    The Strength dialog is revealing:



    @ 3 VPs apiece, 6 Israeli Jeep w/106mm RCLR losses so far. Three of them this last phase from Jordanian artillery fire directed against the Israeli left (in the screenshot above, far right circle). Two can play this game. If he can direct his IF at my stationary forces in and around Jenin, I too can now direct my IF at his relatively stationary forces at the forward approaches to Jenin.

    Those Israeli tanks grow increasingly worrisome. Very soon, I expect Crossroads to order them forward. I mustn't permit him to puncture my far right and break out into my rear. Time to bring forward my armored reserves (middle screenshot, Post #12), I think.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 13
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/10/2016 8:41:43 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    The situation on my far right, in 3D:



    Yikes!

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/10/2016 10:09:05 PM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/12/2016 9:57:15 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    TURN #7

    Quite the disaster for Crossroads this phase!



    That's 6 Israeli SP Losses, and a jump from 61 to 97 VP Losses right there. Versus zero losses for the Jordanians. Fortune favors Jordan for a change.

    Around Kafr Dan, Jordanian infantry at the hot spot hex (turquoise square) fire at the Israeli infantry platoon at hex 21,19, forcing it back (to the red circle), 2 SP losses inflicted.



    The Israeli unit at hex 20,19, in Kafr Dan, one hex up from the hot spot, is disrupted.

    The Israeli attack is stalled.

    In the center, more disaster:



    Jordanians at Jenin direct fired at the two forwardmost Israeli infantry platoons (red circles), scoring 2 SP hits apiece.

    Holding my fire, all along the line I am careful to save APs for opportunity fire next phase, in case the Israelis are so bold as to come forward again.

    I opened the Opportunity Fire dialog to ensure that all Jordanian units are set to opfire at Medium range max. On my right, I set opfire to Short range only. I want my shots to be at closer range if at all possible.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 7:



    As stated earlier, I am bringing up the 12th Independent Tank Regiment (turquoise circle) to bolster my far right.

    My motorized infantry center reserve (green circle) have been ordered to cease digging in at the crossroads between Hills 473 & 303 and instead load onto their truck transports and head southeast.

    I am growing somewhat more confident now. I have doubled Israeli SP Losses, and more than doubled their VP Losses, in just this one Turn 7 alone. Not only am I keeping it close in terms of VP Losses, I am seriously depleting Crossroads' force strength.

    Just as important, I am giving him lots to think about, maybe giving him pause. Night draws nearer, and reinforcements are on the way (turns 8 & 9 at the turquoise hot spot hex to the southwest; much, much more from the south beginning at turn 18). On the other hand, if Crossroads is to launch his armored assault -- his tank force opposing me on my far right outnumbers my tanks there by at least three-to-one (gulp!) -- next turn is the time, don't you think?

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/14/2016 7:24:35 PM >


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    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/16/2016 3:11:25 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #8

    At Kafr Dan, Crossroads brings up more 106mm RCLR (recoilless rifle) jeeps (green circles). They fire with devastating impact, causing Jordanian losses and retreats. Jordanian opportunity fire remains ineffective.



    In front of Jenin, Crossroads mounts a determined infantry assault. Heavy losses on both sides, including one Jordanian HMG section entirely wiped out (red circle, screenshot below).

    Crossroads pounds the 3rd Platoon (turquoise circle) repeatedly, but within its protective bunker (BK), no SPs are lost.

    On the far right, Crossroads sends forward a platoon of self-propelled mortar halftracks, either as prelude to attack, else to reconnoiter.



    In stunning response, the Jordanian RCLR jeeps at hex 46,31 blast the advancing Israeli halftracks, obliterating the entire unit (magenta circle).

    The situation at the end of Turn 8, first Side A (Israeli) phase:



    Again, maybe this spooks Crossroads. The massed Israeli armor continue to hold back! I remain mystified why Crossroad hesitates ordering the attack. Indeed, he seems to have withdrawn several tank units and shifted them elsewhere. Is he awaiting reinforcements? Does he think that the sector to the east of Jenin is as heavily fortified as Jenin itself? (It's not.) Does he overestimate my armored defenders there? He who hesitates is lost?

    The current Victory Dialog:



    The VP advantage grows in my favor. I like how this is trending!

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/16/2016 4:37:46 AM >


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    Post #: 16
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/16/2016 2:55:03 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    Oh man, am I happy to see these reinforcements:



    From the southwest, the rest of the 12th Independent Tank Regiment begins arriving!

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    Post #: 17
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/16/2016 5:23:40 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #8

    At Kafr Dan (magenta circle in the screenshot below), I am throwing in the towel. Leaving behind two disrupted platoons in the town itself, the rest of the defenders withdraw.

    With their longer range and superior fire power, the Israeli RCLRs outmatch the Jordanian infantry. Most of the Jordanian SP losses have occurred in and around Kafr Dan. The losses aren't worth it. The town itself is not that important (except perhaps to delay and divert the Israelis from more strategic objectives). Much more important is preserving my forces for the bigger fights ahead.

    In and around Jenin, I fire back at the Israeli forward positions, scoring 2 SP hits, and forcing one retreat. I am careful not to waste my ammo firing at targets three or more hexes distant, and equally careful to preserve APs for opportunity fire next phase.

    Not too much direct fire this phase. Rather, patiently awaiting the Israeli onslaught. Lie low, stay hidden, save APs for opportunity fire, sooner or later they come forward, then -- blam! -- let 'em have it!

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 8:



    I am repositioning my infantry reserve (turquoise circles) around the Qabitiya Crossroads. From there, they can reinforce my center or my right as events dictate.

    The 12th Independent Tank Regiment (green circles) continues heading towards my right flank. At the hot spot hex (green square at map's west edge), I expect the remainder of the Regiment to arrive shortly.

    _____________________________


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    Post #: 18
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/18/2016 5:14:46 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
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    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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    TURN #9

    At Kafr Dan (red circles), the remaining Jordanian defenders are either destroyed or forced to retreat:



    Roughly half of the total Jordanian losses thus far were at Kafr Dan. At little cost to the Israelis. The Israeli attack in that sector was slowed at least.

    At Jenin and eastward, the expected Israeli onslaught finally begins. The situation at the end of Turn 9, first Side A (Israeli) phase:



    Crossroads presses his frontal assault at Jenin. The Jordanians are entrenched, but outnumbered. Especially now with long-range weapons (tanks, RCLRs) supporting the attack from the rear, how long can the Jenin defenders expect to hold out?

    The Israeli force north of Station (large green circle) -- are they poised to attack westward?

    On the right, it's The Sum of All Fears. Dozens of Israeli Shermans charge forward. The Jordanians gape in wide-eyed horror.

    Why did Crossroads wait? Now maybe I have my answer. Behind the Shermans, more than a dozen infantry platoons advance on trucks (large turquoise circle). I might suppose that these infantry are recent reinforcements. I might infer that Crossroads was reluctant to mount a tank attack without adequate infantry support. Now it seems he has it.

    This is perhaps the battle's pivotal moment. Do I fight it out here, on the right, and in the center, at Jenin? Or do I begin a pell-mell retreat, to regroup around Hills 480, 473, 303 & 333, between Kafr Qub & Burdin, to the west? If I am not careful, I risk losing both Jenin and my right wing. On the other hand, with their superior mobility (not to mention firepower), how can I hope to flee the onrushing Shermans?

    Major Jordanian reinforcements -- the 40th Amoured Brigade -- are not expected to arrive (from the south) until later overnight, beginning around Turn 18.



    The 40th will be too late to save the day at Jenin, and eastward.

    Stand and fight? Or retreat? A hard choice! But still

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    Note the three Objectives hexes, each worth 150 VPs. There is a fourth Objective hex, worth 100 VPs, at Qabitiya, just off the bottom screenshot edge.

    The Victory conditions for this scenario are:

  • Major Defeat - 300
  • Minor Defeat - 600
  • Minor Victory - 900
  • Major Victory - 1200

    The sum total of Objectives VPs is 550. This suggests that, as the Scenario Designer (Jason Petho) assesses it, we might expect to see significantly more Jordanian losses than Israeli. Indeed, I can almost guarantee it.

  • If I can continue to play it safe; if I can somehow manage to keep the SP & Point Losses in rough parity, I might be able to avoid defeat -- despite the worrisome state of my right flank.

    ...

    Belatedly, I am withdrawing my divisional and brigade HQs westward, some artillery also. Must keep them away from the expected Israeli breakout. (Am I being too pessimistic?)

    ...

    But I will abandon my right and will give up Jenin if need be. There is no need to hold it at all cost. I will retreat into my mountainous fastness (large yellow circle) in order to preserve my force.

    On the far right, I killed three of his Shermans (red circle) at the loss of one of my Pattons (magenta circle), also two RCLR jeeps. So far, tank losses on both sides are equal: 6 Israeli Shermans vs. 6 Jordanian Pattons. As for RCLR jeeps, so far it's decidedly in my favor: 8 Israeli losses to Jordan's 2.

    The current Victory Dialog:



    Thus far, in terms of losses, I am keeping it close. That may be about to change.

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/18/2016 6:17:22 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 19
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/20/2016 7:12:43 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    While contemplating the looming battles, some unit comparisons:



    Those are

  • Jordanian M47 Pattons, and Jeep w/106mm RCLRs, rows 1 & 3.
  • Israeli M51 Shermans, and Jeep w/106mm RCLRs, rows 2 & 4.

    Tank vs. tank, the Pattons have higher defense, better armor; but the Shermans pack a bit bigger punch. Against infantry, the Shermans outperform the Pattons at all ranges, especially the longer ones. The Pattons are somewhat faster, and their Fire Cost is slightly less.

    The Pattons and the Shermans are not too dissimilar. The problem for me is: Crossroads has (for now) way too many more of the latter!

    Between Jordan and Israel, the RCLR jeeps are nearly identical, except the Israeli jeeps appear to be much faster. At close range, the RCLR jeeps are powerful tank busters. Effective too against soft targets, I really must save them for anti-tank ops. But again, the problem for me is: I don't have enough of them!

    Tough fight ahead ...

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
  • Post #: 20
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/21/2016 7:32:10 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #9

    The remainder of the 12th Independent Tank Regiment arrives from the southwest!



    With a company of motorized infantry, and a troop of RCLR jeeps, just behind!


    < Message edited by berto -- 1/21/2016 8:36:41 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 21
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/21/2016 8:15:47 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    Some more unit comparisons:



    Those are

  • Jordanian Rifle Platoon 61 B & C, first two rows in every quadruple.
  • Israeli Rifle Platoon A & B, last two rows in every quadruple.

    The Israeli infantry outclasses the Jordanian infantry in almost every way. Israeli infantry have

  • higher Assault value
  • higher Defense value
  • greater firepower
  • longer range
  • lower Fire Cost (also Load Cost)

    The Jordanians will lose almost every head-to-head matchup. Defending, holding on to, Jenin will be nearly impossible.

    My only consolation is that, in terms of VPs, every Israeli SP lost is worth two SP losses of my own.

    What about the HMGs?



    Those are

  • Jordanian Heavy Machine Gun 61 (HMG 61), first in every pairing.
  • Israeli Heavy Machine Gun 61 (HMG 61), second in every pairing.

    For HMGs also, Israel outclasses Jordan in almost every category. Against soft (blue) targets, the Israeli HMGs are much more effective at medium and long range. Interestingly, The Jordanian HMGs' Fire Cost is less (33, as opposed to the Israeli 35), so the Jordanian HMGs can get in more shots per turn.

    Grognardy detail. All good stuff to know!

    Campaign Series: Middle East -- the thinking man's war game.

    Thanks again to Arkady for his wonderful Unit Viewer!

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
  • Post #: 22
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/21/2016 10:08:59 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    We have reached a pivotal point in the battle, the point where Crossroads begins his assault in earnest. The choices I make here and now will decide whether we, Jordan, will win or lose The Crossroads (the scenario, the Battle of Jenin and beyond).

    Crossroads (my opponent! ) is an experienced PBEM player. As an aficionado of solo play vs. the A/I, I am not experienced at human-to-human PBEM play. If I am to erase the humiliation of my previous defeat at the hands of Crossroads, I need to step up my game. I need to think good and hard about my moves, my fires, my tactics, my strategy. Here is some of my current thinking ...

    In general, and as mentioned before, I am looking to conserve my forces. If that means giving up territory, and even Objectives, so be it. As much as possible, I am trying to achieve: an eye for eye, a tooth for a tooth. If I can stay even, or better than even, in terms of SP and VP losses, I will draw and even win this fight.

    Making close study of the terrain, and by carefully studying my unit capabilities, and his, I need to get in as many unanswered shots as possible. Offer him no easy targets. A "shoot-and-scoot", defense-in-depth, fighting withdrawal. Make no mistakes! As few as I can, at any rate.

    Fortunately, the new-and-improved Campaign Series (Middle East) gives me some tools to hone and "perfect" my tactics and techniques. (And/or makes accessing those tools easier than ever.) Toggle ON (hot key '.') the Elevations display. Make frequent use of the Display hot keys. Reference the Unit Viewer. Pay special attention to the Units settings. And so on.

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    Campaign Series: Middle East -- the thinking man's war game.

    In the screenshots following, I carefully (!) consider what to do with my Armoured (Infantry) 61 B unit at hex 43,31 (hot spot hex, turquoise square).



    In the screenshot, I have toggled ON (hot key 'v') Visible Hexes (turquoise hex highlights). (Note: By means of the Options > Hex Highlights > Hex Shading option, you can select the traditional dotted mesh map shader "highlight" as you prefer. I much prefer the new colored hex highlights. ) Potentially, that one selected Armoured 61 B platoon is visible from every one of the turquoise highlighted hexes displayed. Wow! That's a lot of exposure. Not good. I'd like to move that unit to a safer, less exposed hex, the bunker (BK) hex 42,31 (green circle) just to the SW, for instance. By studying the elevations, I can see that the Israeli tanks at the magenta-circled hexes, at most, can hit me at the bunker hex, without their moving. By studying the elevations, and from my experience playing earlier turns, I believe that the other uncircled tanks will not be able to fire at the Armoured 61 B at the bunker hex (unless they move to a better position first).

    (Ideally, I'd like to show the Visible Hexes highlights at the bunker hex. But I can't, because I don't have any units there! This is a new "feature" of the enhanced Extreme FOW in CSME: You can only see visibility from friendly occupied hexes. Unlike before, where you could just click anywhere you please on the map and see visibility to/from any hex, friendly occupied or not. With the new rule, it is much more realistic. And much more challenging!)

    Can the Armoured 61 B move to the bunker hex 42,31 (green circle)?



    Toggling ON the Reac(H)able hexes (hot key 'h'), the turquoise hex highlights change as shown. (Note: You can select your preferred hex highlight color via Options > Highlight Colors.) Yes, I can move the Armoured 61 B to the Bunker hex 42,31, and even an additional hex (two hex movement total) farther away, if I so desire.

    But I desire to shoot at that troop of Israeli Sherman tanks just to the northeast, at hex 44,30 (magenta circle) before scooting away in the opposite direction to the bunker hex. Can I?



    Yes, I can. With the Armoured 61 B selected, at the ToolBar, I toggle ON Save AP's for Firing (or I could just as well use hot key Ctrl-F, else the menu option Units > Save AP's for Firing). With the toggle selected, note the newly displayed Save AP's for Firing icon (yellow circle) in the right sidebar Unit List. More importantly, note that, even though the Reac(H)able extent has diminished, because the bunker hex 42,31 (green circle) is still highlighted (in turquoise), I can still reach it after firing.

    With that one unit, I will do exactly that: shoot at the tank unit at hex 44,30 (magenta circle), then scoot back to the greater safety of the bunker hex 42,31 (green circle) -- safer, because less exposed, also because a bunker is better protection than a trench (the Armoured 61 B is currently in a TRench hex, if you look closely).

    Of course, both by shooting and by scooting, I raise the probability of return Opportunity Fire from the mass of Shermans to my front. But if I'm not just going to retreat, if I want to get in my own shots before I retreat, if I want to destroy Israeli SPs in my fighting withdrawal, it's a risk I will have to take. A close-range, adjacent-hex shot at Israeli Shermans is as good as it will ever get for Jordanian armoured infantry (against enemy armour, anyway). I will take the shot! But by both shooting (especially) and scooting, the Armoured 61 B might not make it safely to the bunker hex at all!

    Whew! All that careful consideration just for one unit! Planning my moves to the max!

    Not everybody will like to play the Campaign Series in this fashion, of course. Many fast-action players will just want to "get on with it," to move quickly and fire quickly and the Devil may care.

    But I am not that type of player.

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/22/2016 8:03:19 AM >


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    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 23
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/22/2016 6:38:08 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: berto

    TURN #9

    At Kafr Dan (red circles), the remaining Jordanian defenders are either destroyed or forced to retreat:



    Roughly half of the total Jordanian losses thus far were at Kafr Dan. At little cost to the Israelis. The Israeli attack in that sector was slowed at least.

    The unit compares here and here speak volumes why Jordan lost the Battle of Kafr Dan. Jordanian infantry/HMGs vs. Israeli infantry/HMGs, backed up by RCLRs: the Jordanians didn't stand much of a chance. It tells me what to expect at Jenin.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 24
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/23/2016 12:08:08 AM   
    mllange

     

    Posts: 521
    Joined: 2/5/2005
    Status: offline
    Very nice AAR - great narrative and informative, particularly with regard to the system improvements in the newest version. I look forward to utilizing them!

    In the meantime, how do I access Parameter Data in version 2.x of the Campaign Series? F3 brings up the unit viewer and F4 doesn't do anything.

    Good luck in the battle!

    _____________________________

    There's a simple answer to every complex question - and it's wrong.
    -Umberto Eco

    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 25
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/23/2016 12:52:19 AM   
    Jason Petho


    Posts: 11483
    Joined: 6/22/2004
    From: Terrace, BC, Canada
    Status: online
    Which data in particular are you looking for?

    I believe most of the important data can be found with the Unit Viewer.

    Jason Petho

    _____________________________


    (in reply to mllange)
    Post #: 26
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/23/2016 1:07:15 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #9

    In the "fighting withdrawal" on my right flank, it was more withdrawing than fighting this phase.

    After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 9:



    The Armoured 61 B unit that I obsessed about in Post 23 -- as it happened, I did not fire and retreat; rather, fired twice at the nearby Shermans and scored a disruption only, no SP hits.

    At the hot spot hex 46,33 (turquoise square), you will see another Armoured 61 B, together with an Engineer Platoon 61. LOS Visibility to that hex extends outward in every direction by one hex only. In the Opportunity Fire dialog, I have set the opportunity fire for each unit to Short range (one hex) only. Unfortunately, hex 46,33 is an Orchard hex, no entrenchments of any kind, so those two units are vulnerable there. Still, they are in a reasonably good position to ambush approaching enemy tanks, and both armoured infantry and engineer platoons are more effective than normal infantry in anti-tank defense. I might lose those two units, but there is good reason to hope they can kill a few Shermans before they perish.

    There being no advantageous sites in the vicinity, I withdrew the remainder of my force, taking care to position each unit at a spot invisible to, out of the LOS of, the enemy. I must stay out of line of sight of those long-range Israeli guns!

    At Jenin, I fired at the Israeli attackers, scoring 2 SP hits, a retreat (and a kill, red circle), and some disruptions besides. Every one of the units at the magenta circles (including on the Israeli far left) are disrupted.

    Just to the northwest of Jenin, I wait in nervous anticipation. Will Crossroads launch an attack directed at Hill 294? Or directed southward, towards the Station?

    Around Kafr Dan, I withdrew all units out of range from those fearsome RCLRs.

    All of those juicy targets on the Israeli left, especially the mechanized infantry loaded on trucks. Oh, if only I had sufficient artillery in range! But I don't, so most of my artillery fire targets the enemy attackers north and northwest of Jenin.

    The Big Picture:



    In the center, red circle, Jenin and environs. Fleeing to the west or to the south is folly. The Israelis are too mobile, they would catch the Jordanians out in the open for sure. No, no retreat, in Jenin I will fight to the finish. My finish. I fully expect all Jordanian defenders there to be wiped out. But they should serve to delay the overall Israeli advance.

    On my right, magenta circle, the defense-in-depth, fighting withdrawal. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Keep him guessing, make him hesitate. If I'm lucky, an equal eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth tradeoff in losses. In the end, he will prevail, but by then it will be nighttime, and reinforcements will be well on their way.

    In my right rear, blue circle, I will let the rugged terrain and higher elevations around Hill 361 slow him down. Keeping an eye on him with my recon jeeps. Until night falls, anyway! (Night begins at Turn 15, and extends through Turn 25.)

    On my left, yellow circle, where the rest of my force will assemble, awaiting the arrival of ...

    ... the 40th Armoured Brigade right column, showing up from the south, green circle, on (night) turns 18-21, and somewhat later ...

    ... the 40th Armoured Brigade left column, showing up from the southwest, turquoise circle, on (night) turns 21-24 ...

    ... culminating (as night gives way to following day) in the climactic battle for Qabitiya (south edge screenshot) and the Qabitiya Crossroads (white circle).

    Epic!

    A look at the current Victory Dialog:



    I scored 2 SP hits this phase, with no losses of my own. The two sides are now equal in SP Losses, and Israel is decidedly in the hole for Point Losses. Crossroads is 362 Points short of escaping Major Defeat, is 662 Points short of a Draw, is 962 Points in deficit for a Minor Victory. An Israeli Major Victory is now impossible. Even a Minor Victory now seems improbable.

    I still will not be at all surprised if Crossroads makes up the Loss deficits, and pulls ahead on Loss points. Jenin will surely fall, and likely the Qabitiya Crossroads objective hex also. But I might hope to win it back. So far, Jordan is giving a good account of itself in this battle. If not optimism, at least the Jordanian high command no longer feels pessimistic. But night approaches. Then, who knows what might happen?

    < Message edited by berto -- 1/23/2016 3:09:11 AM >


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    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 27
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/28/2016 7:49:34 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    [Sorry for the delay, readers. Crossroads and I have been busy working on the new Vietnam game, also fixing bugs -- activities that take priority over our ongoing PBEM, and these DAR posts!]


    TURN #10

    Ah! So the Israelis have airstrikes. The Jordanians don't.



    An Israeli airstrike (green hot spot hex) on the Jordanian armoured infantry platoon reduces it by 1 SP, and forces it to retreat:



    A second Israeli airstrike eliminates the unit:



    Two Israeli airstrikes expended, one 3 SP Jordanian armoured infantry unit destroyed. I am unhappy to lose the unit. But maybe not so unhappy that Crossroads expended two of his precious airstrikes on such a relatively unimportant (?) target. Meaning to say, I believe he could have destroyed that unit, and taken that position, without resorting to airstrikes.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 28
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/28/2016 7:53:27 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #10

    Crossroads pounds my positions at Jenin with artillery fire, then long-range fire from his tanks and RCLRs. Resulting in Jordanian SP loss, disruptions, and two retreats (red circles):



    How can I hope to withstand such an overwhelming onslaught?

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 29
    RE: The Crossroads -- 6/5/67 - DAR (no Crossroads) - 1/28/2016 8:02:27 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16516
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #10

    On the Israeli left, Shermans on the move!

    At the map's east edge, Crossroads survives my ambush there. He is poised to slip around the Jordanian armoured infantry and engineers at hex 46,33 and break into my rear. On the other hand, I can direct fire at the passing Shermans this next phase. Maybe I can score some kills. We shall soon see.

    A bit further to the northwest, at the crest of the ridge, I eliminate one Sherman (left red circle):



    A while later, I kill another two (?) Shermans (right red circle).

    At Israeli phase's end, I can see from the Strength Dialog that during this first Turn 10 phase, I kill three of his Shermans to the loss of only one of my Pattons. Not a bad tradeoff.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 30
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