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RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground

 
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RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 2/12/2017 9:26:44 AM   
Crossroads


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1956 has arrived! The 1956 scenarios added to the scenario pack now stand at:

  • Operation Kadesh
  • Khan Yunis 1956
  • Kusseima 1956
  • Mitla Pass 1956
  • Rafah 1956




    DESIGN NOTES FOR OPERATION KADESH (REVISED) By Alan R. Arvold

    Operation Kadesh is one of the regular scenarios that is in the game Divided Ground. It was designed by Kurt Miller and it shows. Kurt was part of the Divided Ground design team and was largely responsible for the artwork. As it is usual for his scenarios, his order of battle files and make ups for both sides are inaccurate. However they are not as chaotic as are those for his other scenarios. Thus it was an easier scenario to revise.


    The Mapboard

    Miller used a larger scale than 250 meters per hex on his mapsheet. My guess is 500 meters per hex. Thus all units now have twice their normal range for movement and ranges. The original map is very good, but a lot of the terrain features one is used to seeing on the other Rafah maps in the game are either very compressed or missing entirely, again due to the increased scale. The big error on the map was the height of each elevation level. Kurt put the height of each level at 20 meters. But looking at the various elevation levels on the mapboard I could see that Kurt was basing them on the contour levels on a topographic map of the Rafah area. However he forgot that the height between each contour line on a topographic map is 20 feet, not 20 meters. All the terrain on the mapboard is too high. So I changed the height on each elevation level to 6 meters, which is approximately 20 feet. Now all the terrain more or less fits those on the topographic maps. One good thing is that the resulting smaller map will cause the game to reach a faster conclusion.


    The Orders of Battle

    The original orders of battle were generally accurate in force size for both sides, but Miller, as his wont, tends to add additional units to the companies and battalions and he does not assign an overall headquarters and commander for each side. So I scrapped the order of battle for both sides and started fresh using the historical composition of each side’s forces.

    The Israelis have two brigades, the 1st “Golani” Infantry and the 27th Armored. The 1st Brigade had four infantry battalions instead of the usual three, the four one being attached from the 12th Infantry Brigade. The 27th Brigade had three combined arms teams and one pure armored company. One team was attached to the 1st Brigade and the armored company was held back from the brigade for attachment to another but only ended up joining its parent unit a few days after the offensive began. Both brigades were supported by a battalion of artillery and a battalion of mortars each (the 27th Brigade’s artillery was split up among its three combined arms teams). In addition, there was an engineer battalion assigned to this force as well. All of this was under control of the 77th Ugdah, the Israeli version of the division. However, the ugdah was more of an administrative units then an actual command level at this time and each brigade maneuvered as it saw fit.

    The Egyptians had two different commands in the area. One was the 5th Infantry Brigade, of the 3rd Infantry Division. The other was the 8th “Palestinian” Infantry Division which had elements of two of its brigades present at Rafah. The 5th Infantry Brigade was complete and was reinforced by a tank company. The 8th “Palestinian” Division had the 26th National Guard Brigade (minus one of its line battalions which was up in the Gaza Strip) and the 259th Frontier Infantry Battalion (of the 87th Brigade) present. Because the units present were under two overall commands, coordination between the battalions of different commands was almost non-existent. All of the units were equipped with British WWII vehicles and guns. This is in contrast to other scenarios which show the Egyptians equipped partially, if not totally, with Soviet equipment. While the Egyptian Army was indeed undergoing a transition from the British to the Soviet military systems at the time, the units of the 3rd and 8th Divisions had yet to go through it. One thing that I did was to give each branch of the Egyptian force a different morale level, the regular Army at 60%, the National Guard at 40% and the Palestinians at 20%. Each branch also had its own artillery battery, each consisting of two four-gun 25 pounder howitzer troops.


    The Scenario

    I largely kept the scenario exactly as Miller created it. All defensive positions and minefields are present and in the same position where Miller placed them as well as all of the objective hexes, which includes the Israeli exit hex in 0,21. I did have to change the victory point levels to reflect the new composition of forces. I also had to change the Egyptians AI level to 40% to reflect their defensive status. The air strikes remain the same in both games with one exception. The Israeli Mystere IV in Divided Ground was replaced by a Mosquito Mk VI in Middle East as the Mystere IV apparently does not exist in 1956. The Israeli reinforcements were changed to reflect the newer order of battle, but the Egyptian reinforcements were eliminated as all Egyptian units start the game set up on the board. I had a hard time deciding how to classify this scenario in Middle East, but finally after much thought I decided on HISB. Overall, the new version of the scenario plays the same as the original. Enjoy the scenario.




    Rafah 1956

    Actually there is only one real note. In the original scenario Conmy put Level 1 Minefields in most of the Egyptian defensive positions, not in front, but on them. This was to simulate the historical fact that the Egyptians heavily booby-trapped the immediate area around the trenches, improved positions, bunkers and pillboxes as a way to slow down the Israelis because of the relative weakness of the Egyptian forces in the Rafah area. In the Divided Ground version I kept the Level 1 Minefields but in the Middle East version I used the EODs instead because I felt that the Level 1 Minefields were a bit too much. The reason that the Egyptians never used this tactic in later wars, at least with the intensity seen at Rafah in 1956 was because they caused just about as many Egyptians casualties as they were withdrawing from their positions in the dark as they did to the Israelis attacking in.






    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
  • Post #: 31
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 2/19/2017 1:47:32 PM   
    Crossroads


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    Bootcamp4 added to scenario pack. Thanks again, Alan!




    Boot Camp Scenario Four

    Welcome to Bootcamp Scenario 4. In this scenario we will explore the complexities of a paratroop drop and attack.. Here you are given a paratroop battalion whose mission is to capture the town of Chanting and clear the road going off to the south edge of the map. The town and surrounding area is defended by an Egyptian infantry battalion.

    The forces in this scenario are about equal in strength, with the Israelis having a slight edge in machine guns and the Egyptians a slight edge in mortars. But you are the attacker and must attack quickly before the Egyptians rally and bring their full force to bear.

    Several new features are introduced in this scenario. First is that it is a night scenario. Visibility is much reduced cutting down the effectiveness of direct fire. The Egyptians have a small supply of star shells that they can fire with their mortars which can light up hexes for a turn as if they are in daylight. This can make the final approach to enemy positions dangerous if the star shells are properly coordinated with defensive fire.

    Another new feature is improved positions. These improve the defense of those units occupying them. While only the Egyptians have them in the beginning of the game, both sides may construct them during the course of the game. Still another new feature is frozen units. These are units that are frozen in place in the hex that they are in and can not move out of the hex until either they are fired upon or are released during the course of the game. Only the Egyptians are frozen in place at the beginning of the game and this simulates the effect that surprise has on them.

    But the best feature is the paratroop drop. Here the Israelis arrive by parachuting onto the map. There is a chance of scattering occurring which means that some Israeli units could land in the trees, causing some early casualties and disruption. Because of the short time that you have before the Egyptians start to be released you should gather up your good units and move out fast and bring up the stragglers when you can.

    Basics covered in Bootcamp 4

    ● Improved Positions
    ● Frozen Units
    ● Night Conditions
    ● Star Shells
    ● Paratroop Drops

    Congratulations. You have dealt with some of the more advance features of the game. Practice a few times with this scenario before going to the next one..


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 32
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 8:37:16 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
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    1973 Golan Scenarios are now completed by Alan:




    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE GOLAN SERIES SCENARIOS

    By Alan R. Arvold


    The Golan Series scenarios are revisions of existing scenarios in the Divided Ground game as well as a new one. All of these scenarios are from the Israeli/Syrian 1973 Linked Campaign Games. Though these scenarios were initially presented as part of these linked campaign games in the original game, in subsequent patches they were presented as stand alone scenarios in their own right. However they were mostly based on their linked campaign versions, with little or no changes to their order of battles or the scenarios. Thus they were no more fun to play than the Linked Campaign Games themselves. Now I have taken the effort to make these stand alone scenarios more historical.


    List of Scenarios

    The Golan Series includes the following scenarios:

  • The Valley of Tears
  • Rafid
  • The TAP Oil Road
  • Bnot Yaackov Bridge
  • Across the Purple Line
  • A New Enemy
  • High Water Mark

    Note that the Valley of Tears was covered in another scenario set and is only mentioned here briefly.


    History

    Back when Divided Ground was originally being developed, scenario design and development was the responsibility of .Edwin “Mick” Conmey. He had originally planned to use six of the above scenarios as stand alone scenarios only as they were historical actions in the 1973 War. The Bnot Yaackov Bridge scenario was not planned as a 1973 scenario, instead it was another scenario entitled Fatih Allah, based on a battle during the 1948-49 War for Independence. (In that scenario the map was different in that there was a big lake in the Hulah Valley, which the Israelis drained after the war in order to create more farmland for their fledgling nation.) Conmey had prepared all of the mapboards for the planned scenarios in the original game first before embarking on the scenarios themselves and their respective Orders of Battles. (This does not include those scenarios that were offered by other members of the team.) When the word came down from Talonsoft's management that the development team only had one more week to get Divided Ground ready for production, Comney only had completed about half of the planned scenarios and one Linked Campaign game (the Jordanian campaign of 1967). These were mostly from the earlier wars. With only a week left Conmey made a few mini-scenarios using portions of the bigger mapboards which were for scenarios which would never get done. As the deadline drew near he found he still had a lot of unused mapboards. Noting that six of them occurred in the Syrian Front in the 1973, he conceived of the 1973 Golan Heights/Syria Linked Campaign game. He devised a quick Order of Battle for the Campaign game with only minor variations for the Israeli and the Syrian versions respectively. He then quickly devised the scenarios (which did not go through the usual playtesting).

    The scenarios, and the Linked Campaign game in general, have acquired the reputation of that the Israelis can not lose in them and the Syrians can not win. Conmey obviously favored the Israeli. Yet, he did include an extra scenario in the bunch in case the Syrians won. This was the Bnot Yaackov Bridge scenario which was hypothetical, but represented a real fear that the Israelis had if the Syrians won in the Golan Heights. For this he used the Fatih Allah mapboard (he eliminated the lake on the mapboard as it was not there in 1973). In the Israeli version of the Campaign game the scenario descriptions were pretty straight forward and rather innovative, but the ones of the Syrian version were down right silly. Anyway the Campaign game was the only format that these scenarios were in in the original game of Divided Ground.

    Later patches introduce stand alone versions of the Valley of Tears, Rafid, The TAP Oil Road, Bnot Yaackov Bridge, and A New Enemy, but these were just minor variations of the Campaign game versions. The only thing historical about them was that they happened (with the exception of the Bnot Yaackov Bridge scenario), although not in the way that the scenarios presented. However Al Sandrick did his own version of the Across the Purple Line, which was the Mazraat Bein Jan scenario in the Campaign game, giving it a more historical flavor. (I later modified it, correcting the mistakes that Al made in it.) Later on I redid the Valley of Tears scenario, making it into an historical seven scenario set. But the rest were left alone until recently when I decided to make them historical plus make an historical version of the High Water Mark scenario from the Campaign game.


    The Scenarios

    The following are brief descriptions of the five scenarios presented. As I had said before, Valley of Tears will not be listed here as it were already covered in other scenario set.

  • Rafid: This scenario presents the initial Syrian attack on the Israeli positions around Rafid on the afternoon of 6 October, 1973. Historically the attack was driven off because the Syrians had to breach the anti-tank ditch in front of the Israeli positions, allowing the Israelis the opportunity to shoot up the engineering vehicles attempting to breach the ditch. However a second attack that night was successful as the Israelis no longer had their visibility and range advantage.

  • The TAP Oil Road: This scenario presents the Syrian flanking attack on the Israeli 36th Mechanized Division Headquarters at Nafakh on 7 October, 1973. Historically the attack caught the Israelis by surprise but they quickly rallied and beat off the lead elements of the Syrian 91st Armored Brigade. However the main body was fast approaching and the headquarters would have been destroyed if it hadn't of been for the arrival of the lead elements of the Israeli 79th Armored Brigade which stopped the 91st Armored cold and precipitated a several hour long meeting engagement, which allowed the headquarters to escape. By the way, the Israeli Armor School Battalion which is in this scenario, has no numerical designation. Some Israeli sources list it has having the numerical designation of the 71st. However, other Israeli sources listed the Armor School Armored Battalion and the 71st Armored Battalion as being two separate battalions. I chose to designate the Armor School Battalion as being separate from the 71st Battalion.

  • Bnot Yaackov Bridge: This scenario presents a hypothetical Syrian assault across the Jordan River into the Hulah Valley. Historically this attack never happened but could have if the Syrians were successful in breaching the Israeli defense of the northern sector of the Golan Heights. However this comes at a cost as all of the Syrian assault divisions are largely spent and units from the Syrian strategic reserve are required to pull it off. While some members of the Syrian senior leadership would have gone all out for an offensive into Israel, the top leadership knew the limitations of the Syrian forces and would have gone for a more limited offensive to force the Israelis to the peace table.

  • A New Enemy: This scenario presents the Jordanian attack on the Israeli flank in their advance into Syria. Historically the Israelis saw the attack coming and deployed their 17th Armored Brigade to give the Jordanian 40th Armored Brigade a very warm reception. But the Jordanians were not fanatical like the Syrians or incompetent like the Iraqis in their attacks, but were very professional in their attacks. Although the Israelis did beat back the Jordanian attack, they soon acquired a healthy respect for their new enemy's military competence.

  • High Water Mark: This scenario presents the first Israeli attack in the Saasa area of Syria. Historically the attack failed with the loss of twenty Israeli tanks. The Israeli force was tank heavy with little infantry (namely engineers and recon troops) and had little chance against what turned out to be a very strong Syrian defense with fresh troops from the 3rd Armored Division. The Israelis attack several more times over the next two days, finally taking the Tel Shams hilltop on the second night with a paratroop battalion supported by tanks. But they could not crack the defense on Saasa Ridge and so ceased further attacks into Syria for the rest of the war.

  • Across the Purple Line: This scenario represents the main Israeli attack on the Mazraat Bein Jan area. This was originally done by Edwin “Mick” Conmy as part of the linked campaign game for the Golan Front. As a scenario it was not very good. As it was the last of the campaign scenarios the Israeli force would be pretty much weakened from losses in the previous scenarios and it would look like that the Syrians finally had a chance to win. But alas it was not to be. Conmy gave the Syrian force a Morale rating of 10% which meant that any Syrian that got disrupted would usually be destroyed before it could recover. Al Sandrick took this scenario and made it into a stand alone scenario and posted it on Games Depot. His version was certainly much better than the original scenario but it still had its faults. First he was using the Syrian order of battle from the original game, before any patches had come out correcting the errors in them. Second he gave the Israelis all dismounted leaders and then mounted them on existing vehicles in the Israeli order of battle. This is not so bad for the mechanized infantry as they were riding in APCs, but for the tank units it was a disaster. Any tank platoon that was carrying a leader could not fire as long as the leader was mounted on it. This meant that about a third of the Israeli tanks were rendered impotent as long as the leaders were being carried. Third, his arrival of Israeli reinforcements was strange. They would just appear along the the length of road coming from the southwest corner of the map. Not just one unit as a time as it they are moving in column along the road. No, they would all appear along a seven or eight hex length of road as if the Israelis had acquired transporter technology out of Star Trek. Fourth, he tended to overrate the Israelis leaders. Still I liked the scenario so I endeavored to correct the mistakes that Al made. I corrected the Syrian order of battle, made all Israeli leaders mobile instead of dismounted, had the Israelis entering along the road as if they are in column, and lowered the morale ratings of most of the Israeli leaders. Finally that scenario became what it meant to be. Historically the Israelis did capture Mazraat Bein Jan on the 12th of October but did not advance much further north than that before a general halt was ordered for all Israeli forces in Syria.



    Conclusion

    This completes the fixing of these scenarios from Divided Ground. I hope that players find them more enjoyable than the original versions from the game.




    quote:

    This completes the fixing of these scenarios from Divided Ground. I hope that players find them more enjoyable than the original versions from the game.


    We sure do Alan, we sure do!


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
  • Post #: 33
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 1:24:49 PM   
    Big Ivan


    Posts: 347
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    From: Mansfield, OH
    Status: offline
    Crossroads,

    Seems to be a problem with "Tears 5" scenario. After downloading the update on 1st page, extracting it and then introducing
    with JSGME, all scenarios look to be intact. But when I try to open Tears 5 I get a scenario error attached.







    Attachment (1)

    _____________________________

    Blitz call sign Ivan the Big.

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 34
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 2:41:41 PM   
    **budd**


    Posts: 2289
    Joined: 7/4/2009
    From: Tacoma
    Status: online
    Big Ivan,

    Don't know if this is helpful, but i downloaded the new file and had it overwrite my previous install in my mod folder and i'm able to open Tears 5 without issue. I attached a zip with my tears 5 .scn and.org files maybe these will help.

    Attachment (1)

    _____________________________

    Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    "Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

    *I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
    I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

    (in reply to Big Ivan)
    Post #: 35
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 2:45:21 PM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    Hope I did not mess up between DG and CSME files, in putting this togehter. Let me look at this as well...

    EDIT: Works for me as well. Wanna download the zip archive again, and see if that helps?

    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 3/25/2017 2:48:49 PM >


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to **budd**)
    Post #: 36
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 4:57:53 PM   
    Big Ivan


    Posts: 347
    Joined: 6/9/2008
    From: Mansfield, OH
    Status: offline
    Budd & Crossroads thanks for trying to help but unfortunately no joy.

    The tears5 org file doesn't appear to have any Syrians in it only Israelis when I look at it through the game so I'm not sure what is going on??

    Budd I downloaded what you attached, unzipped it in scenario subfolder and same issue.

    Then:
    Crossroads did the same again with what was in drop box and same issue.

    The weird thing is all the other scenarios that were in the drop box work, no issues, just this one.



    _____________________________

    Blitz call sign Ivan the Big.

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 37
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 4:59:50 PM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    OK, let me have a look at this again. I'll maybe not have the time for it today, if so: tomorrow!

    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Big Ivan)
    Post #: 38
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 5:12:34 PM   
    **budd**


    Posts: 2289
    Joined: 7/4/2009
    From: Tacoma
    Status: online
    Sorry it didnt help, that is odd that its the only one that has an issue.

    _____________________________

    Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    "Be Yourself; Everyone else is already taken" ~Oscar Wilde

    *I'm in the Wargamer middle ground*
    I don't buy all the wargames I want, I just buy more than I need.

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 39
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/25/2017 6:18:09 PM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Big Ivan

    The weird thing is all the other scenarios that were in the drop box work, no issues, just this one.


    Good catch John, there actually was an error with the tears5.org file, with an erroneus line break at sixth to last row!

    quote:

    Before:

    B2611214 1096 4 178
    th MRL Battalion


    quote:

    After:

    B2611214 1096 4 178th MRL Battalion



    It showed up when opening the scenario with Scenario Editor, or OoB with Org Editor. Why it showed on your game I have no idea.

    It is fixed now.

    Everyone, please re-download the scenario pack from the opening post.

    Edit: erroneous line in Tears5 of course, not Tears6

    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 3/26/2017 10:59:55 AM >


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Big Ivan)
    Post #: 40
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/29/2017 5:47:04 AM   
    Big Ivan


    Posts: 347
    Joined: 6/9/2008
    From: Mansfield, OH
    Status: offline

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Big Ivan

    The weird thing is all the other scenarios that were in the drop box work, no issues, just this one.


    Good catch John, there actually was an error with the tears5.org file, with an erroneus line break at sixth to last row!

    quote:

    Before:

    B2611214 1096 4 178
    th MRL Battalion



    quote:

    After:

    B2611214 1096 4 178th MRL Battalion



    It showed up when opening the scenario with Scenario Editor, or OoB with Org Editor. Why it showed on your game I have no idea.

    It is fixed now.

    Everyone, please re-download the scenario pack from the opening post.

    Edit: erroneous line in Tears5 of course, not Tears6



    The main thing Crossroads is its fixed now.

    Tears 5 looking fine on my machine. Agree funny how it showed up here
    and you and **budd** couldn't see it.
    This ole Toshiba rig with Win7 still surprises me now and then on what it can do.

    Thanks for running this down Crossroads!



    _____________________________

    Blitz call sign Ivan the Big.

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 41
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 3/30/2017 5:00:15 PM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    Some of the Night scenarios were with wrong Night visibility (20), fixed to (2). Sorry about this, please download the zip package for correct content.

    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Big Ivan)
    Post #: 42
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 5/8/2017 3:39:26 PM   
    Crossroads


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    Added the remaining Golan 1973 scenario Uphill All the Way to the download. Get it from the opening post!




    Design notes by Alan:

  • Uphill All the Way: This represents the third battle for Mount Hermon. This was another of Conmy's “quickie” scenarios that he did in the week before Divided Ground's release. It's not a bad scenario but it tries to portray a real life fifteen hour battle in less than two hours of simulated game time. I made several changes to the scenario. First I made it a night scenario as it should be. Next I increased the game length to twenty turns. Both sides had forces which were not placed on the map, I either placed them on the map or deleted. (Off the board artillery do not need their headquarter and transport units.) I added to the Israeli line battalions their support companies. However I included the mortars and machine gun units, the anti-tank elements were left out as they were not used. I increased the number of tanks that the Israelis had from five to six. (They started with six but one broke down shortly after the operation started and did not get into actual combat. I guess that's why Conmy only gave them five.) For the Syrians I added sniper teams to each commando company. (The Israelis encountered a lot of sniper fire during the operation.) Also I changed the anti-tank weapons that the Syrians had. (Because of the mountainous, rocky terrain, they left their heavier anti-tank weapons behind, opting to use lighter ones.) Thus the weapons company had 82mm Recoilless Rifles instead of 107mm. The line companies had 73mm Recoilless Rifles in the Divided Ground version and RPG-7 teams in the Middle East version. (Historically they were RPG-7 teams but since Divided Ground does not have those units I had to used something else.) One will note a lot of Air defense units in the Syrian order of battle. Historically, after the Syrians captured the Israeli observation post early in the war, they moved up some independent air defense units on their side of the mountain to bolster the defenses against the Israeli Air Force. I lowered the Syrian artillery ammo level to 40%. (The 70th Artillery Brigade which was supporting the commandos had displaced further away during the war and operating at its




    Into Sinai 1973 next!

    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
  • Post #: 43
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 6/5/2017 11:14:06 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads


    1973 Golan Scenarios are now completed by Alan:



    As are the 1973 Sinai scenarios!




    DESIGN NOTES FOR COMMANDO RAID ON ROMANI
    By Alan R. Arvold

    Commando Raid on Romani was one of the original scenarios that came with Divided Ground when it came out. Designed by Edwin “Mick” Conmy, it was one of those scenarios in which a bigger battle was planned but because of a cut short production schedule, a smaller scenario was quickly designed and put into the game without any playtesting. (In other words it was a crappy scenario.) With the conversion of all Divided Ground scenarios to Middle East, the opportunity arose to finally fixed this scenario and make it into the good scenario that it was meant to be.

    The Map
    The map was based on the old British War Office series done on the Sinai during the Second World War. This was obvious by the fact that the coastal railroad was missing and the town of Romani was only a one hex village. This needed to be improved. I added the railroad to the map and increased the village to three hexes to reflect the post war growth. I even added some light woods to provide some vegetation and also a small airstrip. Okay it's not quite like the Rumani maps of Middle East but it's better than what it originally was.

    The Orders of Battle
    The original orders of battles for both sides were a much reduced version of what was originally planned for the scenario. Not only that, the make up of the forces, especially the Egyptians, emphasized anti-tank weapons over anti-personnel weapons. I changed this to a more balanced arrangement of weapons by making the Egyptian commando unit a full battalion. In the Israeli forces I increased the sizes of the reinforcements, especially of the those that come in from the east side of the map, which I raised to a full armored battalion. For the garrison in Romani I gave it a militia company, which I named an admin company as these represent various support and maintenance personnel that are quickly organized into a self defense force. I also added some helicopters and other extra units in Romani. The vehicles that station in Romani belong to the units over at the Budapest outpost on the map. (Being a static force the Budapest unit would not keep their vehicles with them but would park them at a nearby base, in this case Romani.) I gave the Egyptians a morale level of 6 to reflect their elite status. The Israelis were given a morale level of 7 except the garrison at Romani which I gave a morale level of 6 to reflect their rear area status.

    The Scenario
    In the original scenario Conmy had the Egyptians raiding two different sites, the base at Romani and the Budapest outpost. Now historically the Budapest outpost was located a few miles to the northwest off map. My guess is that Conmy combined two separate commando actions into one in this scenario so he moved the Budapest outpost on map. That alone makes this scenario ahistorical which is why I classified it as HISB in Middle East. I extended the scenario to 18 turns to give the Egyptians more time to accomplish their objectives and revised the victory point totals to reflect the changes in the forces. The objectives for the Egyptians have not changed, they are still Romani and the Budapest outpost, plus both sides have unit elimination for additional victory points. Historically the Egyptian commando units caused various amounts of damage and destruction through out the western Sinai in the opening days of the war before the Israelis managed to track them down and destroy them. This raid was but one example of them.

    Conclusion
    This scenario is the start to my conversion of the 1973 War Sinai scenarios from Divided Ground to Middle East. Enjoy it and what is to come




    CRISIS OF OVERCONFIDENCE REVISED DESIGN NOTES
    By Alan R. Arvold

    The scenario “Crisis of Overconfidence” is another example of originally planned big scenario that was abruptly cut short due to the time constraints caused by an accelerated release date. As a result, a small scenario was quickly formulated that only used a portion of the big mapsheet. To make matters worse, the Egyptian order of battle was small and only contained tank and anti-tank units, enough to destroy the Israeli force. The Israeli force, the ill-fated 190 th Armored Battalion, was set up on the road that it historically traveled down to its doom. The scenario was designed so the historical outcome was the only possible outcome. In other words, it was a boring scenario to play as the Israelis. I decided to change this and make it a more challenging scenario for both sides. But I also wanted to make a big scenario which used the whole map. To achieve both objectives I decided to create two scenarios out of the one. I do not know what Edwin “Mick” Conmy, the original designer had intended for the whole mapsheet so these two scenarios are, at best, a guess on my part.

    Yaguri’s Last Charge

    This scenario presents a fuller picture of Lt Col Yaguri’s fateful attack on the 8 th of October, 1973. I only used the northern third of the map as it represented Yaguri’s operational area for his battalion. I gave the 190 th Battalion all of its company and battalion headquarter tank platoons so it is at full strength with 36 tanks in its ranks. I took them off the board and had them entering along Artillery Road. This way they can use one of three different roads leading to the canal instead of just the historical one. I also added a small Israeli infantry force in a bunker at the Hizayon observation fort. Historically, it was still holding out on the 8 th of October, 1973 and one of Yaguri’s missions was to relieve the troops at that location. (Historically, the strongpoint fell to the Egyptians the following day.) I also added to the Israeli force one off-the-map artillery battery. Historically this battery was assigned to give general support to 190 th Battalion but there is no evidence that Yaguri ever called any fire missions from them. I kept the same objective hexes in this scenario as in the original, plus added a new one, that being the Israeli Hizayon observation post. I extended the game length to 15 turns to account for the Israelis entering onto the board instead of being set up on it.

    The Egyptian set seems massive. Historically Yaguri attacked at the operational boundary between the Egyptian 4 th and 120 th Infantry Brigades. Thus he could of attacked either the 4 th ’s right most battalion or the 120 th ’s left most battalion. (Historically he attacked the 4 th Brigade’s battalion.) I thus set up the full force for each battalion east of the canal. Note that the 120 th ’s battalion has a line company, plus the engineers, isolating the Hizayon observation fort. West of the canal I set up what the 2 nd Infantry Division had there. This included two artillery battalions, the MRL battalion, a battery of the divisional anti-tank battalion, the anti-tank company from the 117 th Mechanized Brigade, the division headquarters, and all of the transport units for the battalions on the east side of the canal. Although the infantry brigades were motorized, the Egyptians kept the trucks west of the canal, only bringing only those needed across when a dismounted heavy gun or mortar had to be moved. Those units that could move on foot did so as the Egyptians did not want to needlessly expose their trucks to easy destruction by the Israelis.

    Its looks as though the Israelis still do not have a chance in this scenario and that is probably true. But I am giving the Israeli player a chance to explore different options to score victory points, he does not have to charge to the canal as Yaguri did. The Egyptians may have a preponderance of artillery, but against armor it is largely useless. Yes they can use their smoke rounds to blind the Israelis, but once those rounds are exhausted, then what? Yes, the Egyptians have an overabundance of anti-tank weapons facing the Israelis but that is what their doctrine called for to counter the Israeli superiority in
    armored warfare. The point is that this scenario is more historically accurate than the original and the Israelis have opportunities to explore different options. Oh, by the way, the 190 th was not the true numerical designation of Yaguri’s battalion, it is the designation that he gave to his Egyptian captors when he was captured. As I do not know its true designation, I used the 190 th . There is little difference between the Divided Ground and Middle East version of this scenario, the only major one in that the Egyptian engineer units are using Medium Trucks in Divided Ground while in Middle East they
    are using Engineer Trucks.

    Learning How to Retreat

    This is the name I gave the bigger scenario. It is based on a supposed radio conversation between the Egyptian 2 nd Infantry Division commander and one of his forward subordinate leaders. This scenario occurs after the destruction of Yaguri’s battalion and was the Egyptian original plan for the day before its execution was delayed by the Israeli morning attacks. For the Israelis, it was a desperate time, having to spread out their surviving armor in a picket line over a wide front. Fortunately for them the Egyptians were attacking with their dismounted infantry supported by armor. They were able to use their long range gunnery to pick off tanks and to suppress the infantry. But the Egyptians brought up their dismounted Sagger teams which time and again forced the Israeli tanks to fall back, thus allowing the infantry to move up. Eventually the Egyptians got to the Artillery Road in several places, forcing the Israelis to pull back a few kilometers. The Israeli artillery battalion, which was in a pre-war constructed position, was also instrumental in slowing down the Egyptians, not only the advancing infantry, but also rear area units, using the men in the Hizayon observation post as forward observers. Indeed the Hizayon position held out for as long as it did due to calling down artillery on the Egyptian infantry and engineer units preparing to assault them, thus breaking up the attacks before they really got started. When the artillery battalion had to displaced due to the advancing Egyptians, Hizayon’s hours were numbered (The post fell the next day.). The Israeli 460 th Armored Brigade originally had three armored battalions, however due to casualties it had to reorganize into two under strength battalions, with the third battalion being reduced to only the headquarters unit which was located near the brigade headquarters, awaiting tank replacements so it could rebuild. To the right of the 460 th were the survivors of the 190 th Armored which were organized into a large platoon led by a surviving lieutenant. Since they were part of the 146 th Armored Brigade, that is where they are assigned in the order of battle. The Israelis had eight aircraft attack the Egyptians along the 2 nd Infantry Division’s front during that day, I assigned half of them in this scenario in two attacks (each attack represents two aircraft.) On the Egyptian side of the scenario we have the entire 120 th Infantry Brigade, plus part the 4 th Infantry Brigade as well. Historically it was the 120 th Infantry Brigade that got across Artillery Road that day. The 4 th Infantry did not get as far as they got a later start in the afternoon, due to reorganizing from the Israeli armored assaults which they bore the brunt of that morning. As one can see the right most battalion of the 4 th Infantry, which is set up on the board, is not up to full strength, due to taking some minor losses from their battle with the 190 th Armored Battalion. Also there is a long string of wrecks along the road in their sector which are casualties of the 190 th ’s attack. Supporting the infantry brigades are the 2 nd Division’s rear echelon units. This includes one the artillery brigades, the MRL battalion, the engineer battalion, the recon battalion, and the division’s tank battalion, as well as parts of the anti-tank and air defense battalions. The 117 th Mechanized and the attached 24 th Armored Brigades were not present due to being held in reserve. The SA-6 AD missile battalion was part the Egyptian 2 nd Army’s extensive air defense set up that they had on the west bank. The objective hexes in the game were based on the 2 nd Infantry Division’s operational objectives for the day’s attack. While the Egyptians did take some losses that day, mostly in their tank units, their sacrifice enabled the dismounted Sagger units to maneuver into good firing positions and set up, thus causing the Israelis to back off when they engaged them. Again there is little difference between the Divided Ground and the Middle East versions, basically the same thing I mentioned earlier.

    Conclusion
    I hope that these revised and new scenarios give better insight to the actual battles depicted in them. Enjoy them.




    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE CANAL-CROSSING SCENARIOS
    By Alan R. Arvold

    Back when Divided Ground first came out, Al Sandrik came out with a pair of scenarios which showed the Egyptian Canal-crossing assault against the Israelis, a situation that was sadly missing from the original game's list of scenarios. The first one, Assault at Hizayon, showed a fairly accurate canal-crossing assault. The second one, Shovach Yonim, was a hypothetical what-if type situation showing what would have happened in the Israelis were better prepared. Both used the same mapboard and also the orders of battles for both sides that were part of the original game, before the various patches corrected them. That alone made the scenarios in need of correction. But there were other simple mistakes and I endeavored to correct them as I get these scenarios converted to Middle East.

    Mapboard
    The same mapboard is used in both scenarios and is historically based on the area where the Hizayon Outpost is located. However, it is an approximation of the area, especially when compared to the mapboards used in the Yaguri and Ismailia scenarios. And the mapsheets were rather bland looking, I added the railroads and towns based on what I saw on the Ismailia map. Sandrik was obviously not too interested in providing detail in the map, he only put in the features that pertained to what he is portraying, a cross-canal assault and the subsequent ambush of the reinforcing Israelis. However, he only gave the Egyptians one high mound on the west bank berm, historically they had three in that area. So, I compromised and only gave them a second one since this is not an exact recreation. He also seems to use a smaller scale than 250 meters per hex. I estimate it to be 125 meters per hex. While this does not change the number of hexes that the various weapons' ranges are, it does halve their ranges in real life.

    Orders of Battle
    The orders of battles for both scenarios were almost identical. Only minor differences in the labeling of the Israeli forces. However, I noticed that he gave the Egyptians weak support forces on the high mounds on the west bank berm, so I increased them using support forces in the Yaguri and Ismailia scenarios as my guide. Also, Sandrik overrates all of his leaders so I had to reduce them to appropriatelevels for their command grade. (As a general rule, company grade officers get a level of 1, battalion level officers get a level of 2, brigade level officers get a level of 3, division level officers get a level of 4, and corps and above get a level of 5. Yes, there are scenarios where officers historically performed better or worse that what their command level would indicate, and their respective command levels are raised or lowered to match history. Arab leaders follow the same rules as the Soviets, that is battalion level officers, and any company level ones, get a command level of 1, brigade level officers get a 2, etc. Jordanian officers because of their British background, follow the same rules as the Israelis.) I also gave the Egyptians a have mortar company because historically it was there.

    Scenarios
    The Hizayon scenario shows the historical Canal crossing and the Israeli response to it. The Shovach Yonim scenario shows what would have happened if the Israelis had moved their armor up into position before the war started. I essentially kept the scenario set up as Sandrik had them, the only additions being the additional support forces that I gave the Egyptians. But I also gave each side smoke rounds for their artillery. I also lowered the Egyptian morale the more historical level of 5. The objective hexes are based on the Bar Lev fortification hexes and the ambush positions the Egyptians must occupy further east. Sandrik had a note in the description of each scenario about the boats the Egyptians use to cross the Canal. These were house rules of his about not taking the boats beyond the first hex on the east bank of the Canal. This goes without saying, once the boats have achieved their purpose they become excess baggage and so any player is going to leave them in the disembarkation hexes. I deleted these notes as I found them unnecessary. Both scenarios recommend the they be played as Egyptian player. I quite agree as I do not see the Israelis having any real chance in either of them.

    Conclusion
    I hope that players find enjoyment in these scenarios




    DESIGN NOTES FOR THE MOST TERRIBLE NIGHT
    By Alan R. Arvold

    The Most Terrible Night is a scenario that was originally created by Al Sandrik for the game Divided Ground. It did not come with the video game, instead it was posted on the now-defunct Games Depot web-site. The scenario was based on the boardgame “Suez 73”, which was published by Games Desginer's Workshop in 1981. It was the biggest scenario that Al Sandrik had created for Divided Ground and could justifiably be considered to be his magnum opus. Yet for all of its grandeur, it did have its faults. The biggest telling fault is that Sandrik made this game just after Divided Ground came out, before even the first patch for the game was released or posted by Talonsoft. Thus it was strewn
    with errors. For this reason I basically left it alone and concentrated on my Chinese Farm scenario series. Now that in my program to convert all Divided Ground scenarios to Middle East I have come to this scenario, I am forced to deal with it. The process took somewhat longer for this scenario because of its size and depth. But as I corrected the errors I saw the makings of a great scenario and my congratulations goes out to Al Sandrik for its creation.

    Mapboard
    In studying the mapboard I noticed that the distances and sizes of certain terrain features did not look quite right. I saw that Sandrik based the design of the map on a section of the “Suez 73” mapboard. He patterned it after that. Checking against a copy of a “Suez 73” game map that I have I found that his map was perfect enlarged version of it. However the “Suez 73” was designed for an operational level game. Divided Ground is tactical level game, requiring a tactical level map and so in enlarging the “Suez 73” map, a lot of little terrain features we are used to seeing on the other maps of the Chinese Farm area are missing. Also the distances between locations just did not match those on other game maps of the same area, so I did so measuring and found that Sandrik's map uses about 200 meters per hex, not the standard 250 meters. While this cuts the real life ranges of all weapons down by a fifth, because this battle is happening at night it really does not matter. But since the map was looking rather bland I added some terrain features. I added the railroads that are on both sides of the Canal and also
    that little marshy island in the Great Bitter Lake. None of these will any effect in the game, they just make the map look more accurate.

    Orders of Battle
    Sandrik based his primary order of battle for both sides on the order of battle from the “Suez 73” game, at least as far as the identity and number of brigades and independent battalions on each side. However he used the T.O. & E. data from the original Divided Ground OB Editor. This was before even the first patch came out from Talonsoft, correcting them. Thus I had to go through each major unit and make corrections where needed based on the latest patches for Divided Ground (Patches 1.4 and 2.0). For example, I had to increase the Egyptian artillery and rocket units from four to six strength points each. In another case I had to changed the tanks in one of the armored brigades on the Egyptian 21 st Armored Division from T-62 to T-55. (T-62s were only in special independent armored brigades.) On both sides I added HQ tanks to the tank companies, battalions, and in the Egyptian case, brigade level command units. I added SA-7 units to the Weapons Companies which historically had them in the Egyptian forces. One will notice that the line brigades in the 21 st Armored are understrength. This is because they participated in the abortive 14 October offensive and took losses which have not been replaced. In addition, the 18 th Mechanized Brigade has two of its battalions located off map and out of the scenario as a result. I made some minor changes when converting from Divided Ground to Middle East. For example, I changed the engineer units in the Egyptian 4 th Engineer Battalion to Bridge Engineer as they are located around the pontoon bridge crossing the Suez Canal and charged with guarding it. In the Ain Jolloud Battalion I changed the militia units to Palestinian infantry as is appropriate for that unit. One problem that Divided Ground has always had has been its trucks. Only light trucks rate a six point unit, the medium and heavy trucks only rate a four. Since most passenger units in the game are six point unit, the light truck was the one that was always inevitably used to transport. I guess that the fact that the symbol of the light truck in the game looked like an open back medium or heavy truck also contributed to its almost constant use. Well in keeping with history I changed most of the trucks on both sides to medium or heavy trucks as appropriate, only rarely using
    the light truck for transport. I also gave the engineer units engineer trucks. One may wonder why the Israeli Boats and Rafts do not get trucks for transport in Divided Ground. This is because Divided Ground does not have the mechanism for loading and unloading Boats, rafts, and bridges on and from their trucks, so they must appear on their objective later in the scenario as a reinforcement as if they were transported as they would be in real life. This also applies to the Israeli Gilowa Ferry, it can not move on land, only in the water, so it too must appear at the objective as a reinforcement. However in Middle East the boats and rafts can be carried in engineer trucks so I added them to the Israeli order of battle and now they are transported on trucks from the board edge as reinforcements. Also the Gilowa ferry can now move on land as well as water and so it enters along a road as a reinforcement as well.
    One of Sandrik's problems in his scenarios is that he loves leaders. He has too many leaders on both sides. Just about every company and battery has a leader. If that is not bad enough, he also overrates his leaders. I lowered the ratings of all leaders to those appropriate to their command level, with occasional exceptional leaders with slightly better ratings. But I did not remove the excess leader, I left them in. Excess leaders are those in artillery batteries and companies and the higher level command structures for those units. Also most support and weapons companies do not need leaders as these leaders' functions are usually administrative. But as I said, I leaving them all in as this is Sandrik's scenario.

    Scenario
    As I said before, the scenario is based on the boardgame “Suez 73”, to be specific, the first scenario in that game which is also named “The Most Terrible Night”. Sandrik's original version had a double line of Trench hexes in front of the Egyptian positions, going from the top of the map down around to just south of Chinese farm where they became of series of Pillboxes and Improve Positions. These were based on the Trench hexes on the “Suez 73” map. These were special defensive hexes in that game representing increased defensive positions in those hexes. I believe that Sandrik over-estimated the effectiveness of those defenses. I believe that he put the unoccupied trench lines out in front of the Egyptian positions as an anti-tank ditch because he did not know how to make one in Divided Ground. As it is, regular Trench hexes do not slow down anybody in the game and also they would give the Israelis free defensive positions to move into on the first turn that they did not have in real life. So I removed the trench lines. I also removed the unoccupied Pillbox and Improved Positions south of Chinese Farm for the same reason. In their place I gave the Egyptian forces a series of Blocks and Level 1 Minefields adjacent to their positions. This improves their defensive capabilities and is also what the Egyptians were able to erect during their week on the defensive. Also I gave the Egyptians in the Chinese Farm area Trenches in place of some of the Improved Positions because the irrigation ditches were used as trenches by the Egyptians in their defense. If I could I would change them all to
    Trenches, but the placement of vehicles and mobile leaders requires I leave some Improved Positions so that they may derive some defensive protection. I changed the Pillboxes along the Suez Canal to bunkers on the East Bank and to Improved Positions on the West Bank as these are what they historically were. I kept most of Sandrik's objective hexes even if I do question some of their locations. However, I did move four 25-point ones that were in the south over bunkers that no longer exist. I put them into Chinese Farm to cover more hexes in there. Sandrik did misplace some units that were with other battalions that were not theirs. Most of the time these are support weapons from sister battalions (i.e. a 1 st Bn/3 rd Mech's anti-tank platoon in the 2 nd Bn/3 rd Mech's area and vice versa). These were easy to correct. While converting this scenario to Middle East, I had to make some small changes to units set ups. Most of these were brought on by the changes in the carrying capacity of vehicles and the effects these had in the stacking of units in hexes. This also allowed to some minor changes to the reinforcement schedule.

    Conclusion
    Al Sandrik definitely created an impressive scenario here. It's too bad that he created so early before the patches came out for Divided Ground. If he had waited, many of the mistakes he made would not have occurred. But he didn't wait and as a result there were a lot of errors that I had to correct. Now it has become the scenario that I think that Sandrik meant it to be. Play it and enjoy.




    Thank you Alan for this latest addition to military history converted to CS Middle East !!!

    Download link available in the Opening Post, enjoy!.





    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 6/5/2017 11:31:21 AM >


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 44
    RE: Alan R. Arvold's Ode to Divided Ground - 6/5/2017 11:36:50 AM   
    Crossroads


    Posts: 8856
    Joined: 7/5/2009
    Status: offline
    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Crossroads


    1973 Golan Scenarios are now completed by Alan:



    As are the 1973 Sinai scenarios!



    Except the original Chinese Farm scenarios by Alan himself. Stay tuned, Alan's become the work to converting those as well.

    < Message edited by Crossroads -- 6/5/2017 11:58:35 AM >


    _____________________________

    Campaign Series Legion
    ---
    CS: East Front III | CS: Vietnam IN-THE-WORKS
    CS: Middle East 1948-1985 2.0 DUE OUT SOON
    JTCS: West Front 2.0 * East Front II 2.0 * Rising Sun 2.0

    (in reply to Crossroads)
    Post #: 45
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