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High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads)

 
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High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/4/2017 9:03:21 PM   
berto


Posts: 16404
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

[SPOILER ALERT! AND NO CROSSROADS ALLOWED. NO PEEKING! ]


[NOTE: Crossroads is maintaining a companion AAR, both here and at Grogheads. Check them out!]


High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads)


Welcome again to the next installment in a series of public PBEM games I have been playing with fellow CSL (Campaign Series Legion) Dev Team member, forum name Crossroads. We do this because it is fun, but also to showcase Campaign Series: Middle East 2.0, which is due for release Real Soon Now.

For this next game, Crossroads and I have agreed to play Saasa.scn, High Water Mark:



For more background, see here

quote:

On October 11, Israeli forces pushed into Syria and advanced towards Damascus along the Quneitra-Damascus road until October 14, encountering stiff resistance by Syrian reservists in prepared defenses. Three Israeli divisions broke the first and second defensive lines near Sasa, and conquered a further 50 square kilometres of territory in the Bashan salient. From there, they were able to shell the outskirts of Damascus, only 40 km away, using M107 heavy artillery.

For this scenario, and following our usual custom, Crossroads will take the Israeli Side A, while I will play the Side B Syrians.

Crossroads has played through this scenario before as the Israelis. Also following my usual practice, I will be going into this scenario blind. As part of the recently incorporated Alan R. Arvold Ode to Divided Ground scenario mod package, this scenario is entirely new to me. Although not having played this scenario before puts me at a disadvantage, win or lose, I enjoy the uncertainty and FOW.

< Message edited by berto -- 11/8/2017 10:45:53 AM >


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RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/4/2017 9:08:47 PM   
berto


Posts: 16404
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

Here is the field of action:



A broad valley of generally scrub, hammada, and rough terrain, coursed by the occasional gully.

To the southeast, Syrian minefields, trenches, and improved positions (IP) around the high ground at Tel Shams. To the north, extensive Syrian defense works along the Saasa Ridge.

A major thoroughfare, Syria Highway 7, runs south ("to Kunetra") to north ("to Damascus"). This is likely the Israeli main axis of advance. (The Israelis will be advancing from the south.) Another road runs, west to east, along the top of Saasa Ridge. This will help Syrian lateral movement as needed.

The area around Tel Shams in close-up, with on-map elevations toggled ON:



A very tough nut to crack!

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RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/4/2017 9:14:18 PM   
berto


Posts: 16404
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

The Syrian 15th Mechanized Rifle Brigade, 3rd Armored Division, Col Kasib commanding, consists of three mechanized rifle battalions, a tank battalion, brigade HQ, and various specialized support companies.

The 1st Mechanized Rifle Battalion, under the command of Lt Col Atef, stationed to the southeast defending Tel Shams:



The 2nd Mechanized Rifle Battalion, under the command of Lt Col Akwal, defending Saasa and the road to Damascus to the northeast:



The 3rd Mechanized Rifle Battalion, Lt Col Rostom commanding, positioned to the northwest along Saasa Ridge (note the battalion constituent companies):



The 15th Mechanized Rifle Brigade Tank Battalion, Lt Col Bin Haji commanding, defending Saasa Ridge and also Tel Shams (note the battalion constituent companies and platoons):



And the Israeli forces? I am soon to find out!

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RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/4/2017 9:19:46 PM   
berto


Posts: 16404
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: online

The Israelis have three objectives:

  • Tel Shams [100 VPs]
  • Saasa [100 VPs]
  • the exit hex on the road to Damascus [VPs depending on exiting units]



    VPs will also be earned for destroying enemy units, of course.

    This scenario having no CS Event Engine enhancement (it being a mod scenario), there will be no special events happening, or Event Points awarded, in this game.

    Side A, the Israeli side, goes first. I await Crossroads' opening moves!

    _____________________________


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  • Post #: 4
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 11:29:25 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    Barreling up Highway 7 from the south, Israeli tanks -- lots of them!

    The action is fast and furious and immediate. Shots traded back and forth.

    Crossroads knows what to aim for -- the Syrian tank killers. His aim is true. Losses in the very first game phase:



    Argh! For the Syrians, 5 RCLR SPs and 1 Sagger SP lost. (See the diminished and retreated RCLR and Sagger Team, yellow circle, screenshot following.) The Syrians did manage to kill the Israeli battalion (?) commander, and destroy one Sho't Kal (magenta circle, below). But already this is going badly.

    After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) move (Side A is the scenario's first side), the situation at the middle of Turn 1:



    The fight is on!

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:12:38 AM >


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    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 12:06:15 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    Some significant match-ups:



    The Israeli Sho't Kal tanks are a formidable weapon. They pack a big punch out to an extended range.

    The Syrian T-55As can go toe-to-toe with the Sho't Kals, but farther out they weaken fast. Beyond range 9, the T-55As maximum, it is no contest. Beyond range 9, the Sho't Kals are about as lethal as the T-55As are at close range. The T-55As will have to stay out of Israeli LOS, only exposing themselves at times and places of their own choosing.

    As will the Syrian Saggers and RCLRs. The AT-3 Saggers have a good shot at killing enemy tanks, but that's it: With a Fire Cost of 60, each phase the Saggers get just one shot. Saggers are extremely vulnerable to enemy tank fire, of course.

    So too the Syrian RCLRs. They can wallop the enemy tanks, but only up close, at ranges 1 through 3. The RCLRs are exceedingly weak defensively, easy pickings for the Sho't Kals. See the first phase losses for proof of that. If the RCLRs have any value, it will be for ambushes. It is suicidal for them to fight out in the open.

    To win this battle, I will have to study the terrain closely, and position my forces carefully. Especially with Visibility at 20. It's time to go into hiding!

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:12:59 AM >


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    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 6:09:32 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    A predicament.

    Here again is the situation around Tel Shams and northward (with on-map elevations toggled ON):



    The units facing off along that line of minefields and barbed wire blocks:



    Israeli Sho't Kals vs. Syrian armoured infantry, and heavy & light machine guns. At a range of two hexes, at hard targets (the Sho't Kals), the Syrian front-line fire with a strength of 3, 2 & 1; while the Sho't Kals fire back at soft targets with a strength of 18. Even with Syrians in trenches and IPs, the Israeli tanks can blast away at the opposing Syrian infantry with near impunity; and with so many tanks, without too much difficulty, force the opposing infantry to back away.

    If the Sho't Kals immediately enter the block hexes, yes, at a range of one hex, the forward placed Syrian armored infantry fire at strength 12, giving them a decent chance at knocking out a tank or two. But Crossroads is smarter than that. He will fire and fire and force the Syrians to retreat three hexes away and more. His Sho't Kals can then cross the blocks without much fear of any Syrian armored infantry being close nearby to contest the crossing.

    Here is the current Victory Dialog. Focus on the Victory Values:



    The Israelis capturing the 100 VP Tel Shams objective hex is quite likely. Maybe I can hope to deny them Saasa, with its 100 VPs. Much more so prevent the Israelis from exiting off the road to Damascus. The scenario is only 15 turns in length. Time is on my side. But Crossroads can still win the scenario by racking up enough kills. A key here is to deny him easy kills.

    Another problem: The frontal slope of Tel Shams is steep, with few if any reverse slopes to hide behind. If I pull the Syrian infantry back three or four hexes, it matters little. The Sho't Kals are no less lethal at those extended ranges.

    It seems to me a general pull-back is in order. Let the Israelis pass through the blocks unopposed. Stand and fight at and just behind the Tel Shams hilltop. A pull-back will also put the Syrians in a better position if, a good chance of it, Crossroads tries to outflank the Tel Shams defenses around the Syrian right, from the north.

    Deny Crossroads easy kills. What about those Syrian APCs, parked to the east of Tel Shams? They have decent firepower vs. infantry, but vs. tanks it is no contest. Fleeing northward is out of the question. The Israelis already dominate the junction at Highway 7. To the east of the highway, all of that rough terrain blocks APCs. The (F2) Unit Handbook confirms it:



    No, more than likely I will just have to exit those APCs off the east map edge if and when.

    Syrian withdrawal is inevitable. Will it be forced on me, a chaotic collapse of the line? Or will it be a controlled and orderly withdrawal, on my terms?

    Around Tel Shams, the general order is given: Retreat!

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:13:13 AM >


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    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 7:35:15 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    Retreat. Except where it is counterproductive.

    Consider the Syrian B-10 82mm RCLR, Anti-Tank Section, 1st Company, at hex 21,22 (yellow circle):



    ReacHable hexes are toggled ON. There is no good place to retreat to. Better to stand and fight. Let's see that RCLR's Unit Handbook entry:



    At 2 hexes range, the RCLR fires at hard targets (Range display, red plot) with a strength of 29. That Sho't Kal squadron on the other side of the barbed wire is only two hexes distant. The RCLR will never get a better shot than this. It (yellow circle, below) fires, and ...



    ... scores 2 SP hits, and forces a retreat (to magenta circle)!

    And with a Firing Cost of just 20 (see the Unit Handbook above), the RCLR can take still more shots! (It pays to study and know your units.)

    Two shots more, and two misses. I am astonished to see that the RCLR can still fire. It fires a fourth time, and ...



    ... another Israeli tank squadron suffers a 1 SP hit, and is forced to retreat. (Note: I remembered to toggle ON Options > Details > Persistent, so I was able to capture the Damage Report dialog for this latest screenshot.)

    Whoa! Did I totally misread the situation? Aided by the RCLRs, and perhaps also the T-55As coming up from behind, is this forward position defensible after all?

    Amazingly, the RCLR can still get one more shot in. It fires at the Israeli tanks at the far left of their line and ... misses. Um, let's see what optional rules are set for this scenario.



    Darn! Rather than fire at those tanks' frontal armor, I should have fired at the retreating tanks' rear armor in the adjoining hex. Missed opportunity!

    But overall, not bad, not bad at all. More than likely, next turn that RCLR is a goner. Recall that I lost 5 RCLR SPs in this turn's opening phase. But I'll trade a single AT section for three destroyed enemy tanks any day!

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:13:32 AM >


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    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 8:01:06 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    I discover to my satisfaction that I have another unscathed RCLR unit, a B-11 107mm RCLR, 2/Anti-Tank Platoon, Weapons Company, at hex 21,24 (yellow circle, below):



    Let's see its unit characteristics:



    The 107mm packs a bigger punch than the 82mm, but its Firing Cost is higher, 50. With 100 APs to spend, that means it can probably get in two shots per phase.

    It fires at the stack of Israeli tanks across the wire, and ...



    ... scores a 1 SP hit, and a disruption!

    The tanks opfire back, and miss. The RCLR fires a second time, and also misses. I check the Unit List. Indeed, I can see where the RCLR has now expended all of its allotted 100 APs, and is finished firing for this phase.

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:13:49 AM >


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    Post #: 9
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/5/2017 8:20:10 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    There is one more B-10 82mm RCLR at the far left of the Syrian line. But enemy targets are too distant to fire at. Better to move that unit to behind Tel Shams, I think.

    I check the Victory Dialog:



    Wow! With those four tank kills, I have put the Israelis -22 in the hole!

    Hmm, should I reconsider my earlier decision to order a general withdrawal? Maybe not. I still think this observation is a correct one: The Syrian armored infantry are no match for the tanks. It still seems prudent to order them rearward rather than leave them at the front line as cannon fodder for the Israeli tanks.

    I am betting that Crossroads will try to outflank me to the right. (Where I have two T-12 AT Guns hiding in bunkers.) I should shift some units in that direction, while maybe second guessing my earlier decision to move everybody rearward.

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/6/2017 3:14:04 AM >


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    Post #: 10
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/6/2017 3:44:51 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #1

    To the south, around Tel Shams, more withdrawing, more force shuffling. I deploy the 3rd Tank Company on my right flank in anticipation of a possible Israeli push in that area.

    After my Side B (Syrian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the Tel Shams front:



    To the north, I seek to redeploy my anti-tank assets -- RCLRs, Sagger teams, tanks -- away from forward slopes, out of harm's way. It is quite the challenge, because there aren't enough reverse slopes here to hide such units. In a few cases, when attempting to whisk them away to safety, I put a few of my RCLRs and Saggers in, temporarily, exposed positions. My hope is that Crossroads will be so preoccupied with affairs to the south that he won't notice these exposed units. Fat chance! I also reason that if I am to move my AT assets to safer surroundings, now is the time to do it, when Israeli units on map are at their fewest.

    At turn's end, the northern front:



    _____________________________


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    Post #: 11
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/6/2017 8:19:38 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN #2

    In the turn-opening artillery salvo (off-board artillery, apparently), Crossroads hit the 1st Mech Rifle Battalion HQ holed up at Tel Shams, scoring 1 SP hit, and a disruption. When I say "holed up", I mean exactly that. That objective hex is surrounded by cliffs, all sides. For the Battalion HQ, and Lt Col Alef, there is no escape! (A check of the Unit Handbook for those units indicates, by 'Cliff 0', that neither can cross cliff hexsides.)

    Other Israeli artillery fire scored another SP hit or two, and more than one retreat. Israeli artillery will be a constant threat throughout this scenario, it seems.

    With the artillery done, as expected Crossroads blasted away at my front-line infantry, 5 armoured rifle infantry SPs lost.

    Here is the Strength Dialog at the end of the Israeli phase:



    Unexpectedly, and much to my relief, Crossroads remained focused on the Tel Shams front and didn't bother with Saasa Ridge at all. It looks like any exposed anti-tank assets -- outside of field fortifications, out in the open -- will flee to safer ground unmolested. If I were Crossroads (and omniscient ), I would bypass Tel Shams, line up my Sho't Kals at the base of Saasa Ridge, and try to pick off any exposed Syrian AT units on display -- secure in the knowledge that, for the RCLRs at least, whose hard target range doesn't extend out very far, they can give a lot more than they get.

    But maybe, as more and more Sho't Kals show up (see the Israeli reinforcements at map's south edge, screenshot following), Crossroads might still think to do that.

    After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) move (Side A is the scenario's first side), the situation at the middle of Turn 2:



    One Syrian casualty in the Side A Israeli phase: that B-11 107mm RCLR (red circle). They will be missed.

    That other RCLR unit, the B-10 82mm RCLR AT section that inflicted so much damage in Turn 1 (green circle) -- quite fortunately, it survived, no SPs were lost, albeit now it is disrupted. It too is rather exposed -- in rough terrain only. Rather than move it forward to a more sheltering IP or trench hex, and even in its current disrupted state, where it fires at half strength, I will risk leaving it be, to fire up to five times at the Sho't Kals downslope (yellow circle). If I am lucky, those Sho't Kals to the north have no saved APs for opportunity fire, and I get in the full five shots. For that RCLR, I have toggled on Visibility to/from that hex (orange hex highlights). As you can see, they do have a field of fire directed towards those northerly Sho't Kals. Fortunately, they remain invisible to all of those Israeli tanks to the west and southwest (note the absence of Visibility orange hex highlights in those directions).

    The Syrian T-12 AT Gun in the bunker at hex 24,19 (turquoise circle) was disrupted last phase, but good for them, they have quickly undisrupted. They have two full, clear shots at the lead Israeli tanks two hexes to the west. Let's see if they can take out those tanks!

    Oh, and what happened to the M1 minefields to the south of Tel Shams? Where did they go? Nowhere. After my pull-back last phase, those minefields are now out of my LOS. I know from the Israeli Side A playback that a stack of Sho't Kals now lurks hidden, somewhere to the south of Tel Shams. Will they, and others, attempt to cross those minefields and attack from the south?

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 12
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/8/2017 12:12:55 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 2

    quote:

    The Syrian T-12 AT Gun in the bunker at hex 24,19 (turquoise circle) was disrupted last phase, but good for them, they have quickly undisrupted. They have two full, clear shots at the lead Israeli tanks two hexes to the west. Let's see if they can take out those tanks!

    They can!

    The T-12 AT Gun (green circle, following) fires at the Sho't Kals across the way, destroys one, and forces another to retreat (magenta circle).



    The T-12 fires again, and destroys another Sho't Kal (red circle, following)!



    That'll show 'em!

    quote:

    That other RCLR unit, the B-10 82mm RCLR AT section that inflicted so much damage in Turn 1 (green circle) -- quite fortunately, it survived, no SPs were lost, albeit now it is disrupted. It too is rather exposed -- in rough terrain only. Rather than move it forward to a more sheltering IP or trench hex, and even in its current disrupted state, where it fires at half strength, I will risk leaving it be, to fire up to five times at the Sho't Kals downslope (yellow circle). If I am lucky, those Sho't Kals to the north have no saved APs for opportunity fire, and I get in the full five shots. For that RCLR, I have toggled on Visibility to/from that hex (orange hex highlights). As you can see, they do have a field of fire directed towards those northerly Sho't Kals. Fortunately, they remain invisible to all of those Israeli tanks to the west and southwest (note the absence of Visibility orange hex highlights in those directions).

    But with the near Sho't Kals now, um, shot, the remaining Sho't Kals are four hexes away, a hex beyond the RCLR's range. The RCLRs have nothing to fire at. Drat!

    To the west around Tel Shams, I withdraw as much as I dare. Behind Tel Shams, I disperse the parked Syrian BTR-60PB APCs. If Crossroads directs artillery fire in that direction, no sense giving him up to six targets per hex.

    With my two 82mm Mortar platoons just east of Tel Shams, I set them to fire at the Highway 7 hex 16,27 at the map's south edge.

    To the north, Syrian AT assets continue to scurry away to safety.

    But there is no saving that exposed AT-3 Sagger Team at hex 22,8 (green circle, following), I fear. It's use it or lose it. I choose to use it. Guided AT missiles fly across the valley towards the Sho't Kals at hex 21,19 (magenta circle, following). They miss, but do force two of the Sho't Kals to retreat (one hex to the NW). Next turn, those AT-3 Saggers up at Saasa Ridge are no doubt dead meat.

    The situation at Turn 2's end:



    All of those Syrian units to the south and east of Tel Shams should now be hidden from Israeli view.

    Each Sho't Kal SP (Strength Point) is worth 9 VPs (Victory Points). With two Israeli Sho't Kals lost this phase, that has brought the Side A and Side B Total Point Losses back to near parity:



    Alas, Israeli tanks are showing up faster than the Syrians can eliminate them. The Israelis are destroying their share of Syrian tank killers. Very soon, beginning next phase, I expect the Israeli Point Loss advantage to turn decidedly in their favor, and remain there.

    Next phase, will Crossroads start paying closer attention to the northern Saasa front?

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/8/2017 10:41:42 AM >


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    Post #: 13
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/8/2017 11:55:20 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 3

    Israeli artillery fire inflicted no damage this phase, but around Tel Shams it did force several retreats. Maybe in response to that Sagger attack last phase, the Israelis lobbed a few shells in the direction of Saasa Ridge, but they scattered, fell harmlessly short.

    At Side A's outset, four Sho't Kal squads (turquoise circle, following) assaulted the Syrian AT Gun in the bunker hex 24,19, to no effect. Next phase, the Syrians have a golden opportunity to blast the opposing Israeli tanks at point-blank range.



    Israeli Sho't Kals attacked, attacked, and attacked again the Syrian RCLRs at hex 23,23. The RCLRs survived unharmed, albeit pushed back to hex 24,24 (magenta circle, following), where -- importantly they are now hidden from Israeli LOS. Miraculously, the RCLRs escaped!

    With the RCLRs now out of sight, those Sho't Kals due west of Tal Shams turned their fire on the Syrian armoured infantry platoon at trench hex 20,23 (green circle, following). The Syrians immediately opfired back, killing another Israeli battalion commander (red circle, following)!



    Seeking to avenge the loss of their leader, the Israelis showered a hail of gunfire on the defending Syrians. SP loss, then retreat, more SP loss, another retreat, then the coup de grace at trench hex 21,25 (red circle, following). An entire Syrian armored infantry platoon obliterated within minutes!



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    Post #: 14
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/9/2017 12:10:39 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 3

    More Israeli reinforcements arrive, including for the first time some APCs, assumed to be loaded with infantry.

    Crossroads stays focused on the Tel Shams front. No movement northward towards Saasa that I am aware of.

    After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) move (Side A is the scenario's first side), the situation at the middle of Turn 3:



    The Tel Shams front, with map flipped, in 3D:



    Because an earlier Damage Report dialog indicated a mine attack, I know that somewhere within that larger yellow circle at map's edge, the Israelis are braving the minefields. I also know that Sho't Kals now occupy the block hex at 19,23 (smaller yellow circle). The Syrian defensive line is breached! Tel Shams falling to the Israelis is now just a matter of time.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 15
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/9/2017 8:49:11 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 3

    quote:

    But there is no saving that exposed AT-3 Sagger Team at hex 22,8 (green circle, following), I fear. It's use it or lose it. I choose to use it. Guided AT missiles fly across the valley towards the Sho't Kals at hex 21,19 (magenta circle, following). They miss, but do force two of the Sho't Kals to retreat (one hex to the NW). Next turn, those AT-3 Saggers up at Saasa Ridge are no doubt dead meat.

    Surprisingly, Crossroads paid them no mind. The Saggers survived to fight another turn, this turn.

    Let's look at the Saggers' unit parameters.



    Suppose the Saggers were in a hidden position, on the far side of a slope. To direct fire (and unless enemy tanks had somehow arrived at their doorstep), the Saggers would have to move forward one hex at the cost of, best case, 38 APs. When they fire, expending 60 more APs, they have no more APs to withdraw back to their hiding place. Again, they are probably then dead meat.

    At least in their current position, the Saggers are in a trench hex. The target tanks are facing the opposite direction, exposing their weak rear armor. Once again, for the Saggers, it probably doesn't get any better than this, it's use it or lose it.

    In the following screenshot, the Saggers (green circle) have direct LOS to the enemy tanks in the larger yellow circle. The tanks in the smaller yellow circle are in a IP hex. Tanks gain a defensive benefit from being in IPs (but not trenches, bunkers, or pillboxes). I decide to fire at the near tanks in the magenta circle, as they are out in the open in a clear terrain hex.

    The Saggers fire, and ...



    ... disrupted only. I achieved nothing here, because I had targeted two tanks in that hex that were already disrupted. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/9/2017 9:12:49 PM >


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    Post #: 16
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/9/2017 9:10:33 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 3

    The T-12 AT Guns at bunker hex 24,19 (green circle, following) have better luck. They fire at the two disrupted tanks, and ...



    ... score 1 SP hit, and a disruption. They fire once more, this time at the one undisrupted tank, and eliminate it.

    By now, in just the first three turns, the Syrians have destroyed ten Sho't Kals, and killed two Israeli commanders. After three turns, each side has a Total Point Loss of 96, exact parity. I am not at all displeased with this!

    The situation at the end of Turn 3:



    Observe the Israeli infantry that has off loaded from trucks at hex 18,22 (turquoise circle). No doubt they will attempt next phase to enter one or the other of the block hexes directly in front of them (yellow circle). Which one? I am guessing the bottom of the two hexes, for that will take them closer to Tel Shams. Accordingly, I direct nearly all of my available artillery to pound that hex. Nearly all: I commit one of my BM-21 Grad 122mm MRLs up at Saasa Ridge to target the other hex just in case. Those BM-21 Grad's have awesome firepower. Even at this great distance, they have an attack factor vs. soft targets of 90!

    I have lined up my infantry defenses around Tel Shams and southeastward. Most of them are hidden from the enemy. I still have an RCLR among that group, and one Sagger SP. The Syrian T-12 AT Guns north and northeast of Tel Shams are as good and ready as ever. As are the T-55a's waiting in the wings.

    I still fully expect Tel Shams to fall. But the Israelis will pay for their trophy dearly!

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/10/2017 4:15:47 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 17
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/11/2017 11:30:18 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 4

    Disaster.

    Israeli artillery shells the T-12 AT Guns, destroying 5 SPs and disrupting both.

    Israeli Sho't Kals (turquoise circle, following) fire at the Tel Shams promontory, destroying the 1st Mechanized Rifle Battalion HQ, and killing its commander, Lt Col Atef.



    Israeli tanks somehow sight two of the Syrian APC platoons at map's east edge and blow 6 SPs (or was it 8?) of them to smithereens.

    An Israeli APC (turquoise circle, following) destroys an entire Syrian armoured infantry platoon in a single volley (red circle)!



    Crossroads moves to reinforce both flanks. He again ignores that Syrian Sagger Team taking potshots from the north.

    After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) move, the situation at the middle of Turn 4, with the Disrupted highlight (yellow counter outlines) toggled ON:



    Both of those T-12 AT Guns (magenta circles) are much reduced, and disrupted. They are maybe now a spent force.

    The red circle marks the spot where Crossroads destroyed two of my APC platoons. All of the yellow circled APCs are imperiled. I thought they were safely tucked away, far to the rear, and out of LOS. But it seems not. As a test, last turn I exited a couple of APC units to see if removing them from the map costs me any VPs; it does not. This immediate next phase I will be sure to exit as many of my APCs as possible. At close range, the Syrian APCs are effective vs. Israeli infantry, but vs. Israeli tanks they are useless. The Israeli force is tank heavy, with very few infantry units. There is little point to, and much risk from, the Syrian APCs sticking around. So retreat off map they will go.

    To the south of Tel Shams, Crossroads has amassed tanks (and HQs and maybe also infantry) along the Syrian fortified line. By the smoke (white circle), this signals an impending crossing of the minefield. Does Crossroads maybe have some engineers there, or by some other means has he neutralized the minefield(s)? I will soon find out.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 18
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/11/2017 11:38:06 AM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 4

    My losses last phase, outlined in yellow:



    (About half of those Armoured Rifle Platoon SPs were lost in earlier phases.)

    The AT gun and armoured rifle infantry losses I can accept, but the massive APC losses were most unfortunate, and needless. I won't give Crossroads the opportunity to score such easy points again.

    From Loss Point parity last phase now to this:



    Disaster.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 19
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/11/2017 12:01:46 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 4

    Denying Crossroads some easy kills, I will exit the Syrian APCs off map.

    But what about the Syrian infantry? See my earlier analysis here.

    quote:

    Israeli Sho't Kals vs. Syrian armoured infantry, and heavy & light machine guns. At a range of two hexes, at hard targets (the Sho't Kals), the Syrian front-line fire with a strength of 3, 2 & 1; while the Sho't Kals fire back at soft targets with a strength of 18. Even with Syrians in trenches and IPs, the Israeli tanks can blast away at the opposing Syrian infantry with near impunity...

    One could argue that I should now exit off map as many of my infantry as possible. For sure Crossroads will find ways and positions to blast my infantry from a distance, without any effective answering fire from me. Crossroads has the opportunity to rack up some more easy kills around Tel Shams.

    What if I were to load the infantry onto those APCs and head them all to the exits? But the APCs are too far away, it is too late for that. No, the Syrian infantry will either have to stand and fight, or attempt a fighting withdrawal maybe?

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 20
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/11/2017 6:10:11 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 4

    I have the worst luck with artillery. Unexpectedly, that Israeli infantry did not enter either of the two block hexes west of Tel Shams, it seems. The Syrian artillery barrage falls on empty hexes, accomplishing nothing. But then ...

    The T-12 AT Guns at hex 24,19 (green circle, following) may be reduced down to 2 SPs, they may be disrupted, but they still have some fight left in them. They direct fire at the disrupted Israeli tank in hex 23,19, with a Disrupted result. They fire again, and ...



    ... WHAM! Strike one tank!

    That AT-3 Sagger Team up at Saasa Ridge (green circle, following), the "use it or lose it" unit -- they fire a third time at the rear of the tanks (magenta circle) facing that bunker hex (the one with the AT gun), and ...



    ... BAM! Strike another!

    By now, the Syrians have shot up a dozen Israeli tanks. Not bad, not bad. And we're not finished with them.

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/11/2017 6:11:37 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 21
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/11/2017 6:31:51 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 4

    I direct one of the mortar units around Saasa to drop smoke on that AT-3 Sagger Team. Surely Crossroads will fire back at it now?

    Syrian infantry and LMGs are ordered to occupy that bunker hex at the center right of the Syrian line.

    With the loss or relocation of my forward observers, I have no idea where the Israeli soft targets are. Syrian mortars in the vicinity aim for Tel Shams and the hex just to the west of it in case Crossroads makes his move to take that objective.

    Anticipating flank attack, Syrian T-55As move into ambush positions.

    Most but not all of the Syrian APCs exit off map.

    The situation at the end of Turn 4:



    Israeli Side A Total Points now stand at 52. Keeping it close, or trying to.

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/11/2017 6:33:33 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 22
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:12:18 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    Tons of action this next phase, the Side A Israeli phase, Turn 5. Let's go straight to the video tape.

    Israeli artillery fire rained down on the two bunker hexes, scoring a few SP hits on the forward bunker (upper magenta circle, following), and destroying outright the Syrian T-12 AT Guns at the rear bunker (red circle). Ouch! That last one hurt. The AT guns at the forward bunker have managed to kill several Israeli Sho't Kals. The just destroyed AT guns at the rearward bunker never got to fire even a single shot.

    Following the artillery barrage, the Israeli ground forces went into action.

    Having cleared a minefield hex in the previous turn, Israeli armoured engineers (lower magenta circle) pushed uphill. Syrian armoured infantry (green circle) opfired, scoring SP hit(s?) and a disruption.



    The southern defensive line is breached!

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 23
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:18:15 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    Israeli forces pour into the breach. How to stop them?

    Here's one way:



    And here's another:



    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 24
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:23:14 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    "Enough of that!" Crossroads says.



    Israeli tanks step up (turquoise circle), fire at the Syrian RCLRs, score a 1 SP hit, and force them to retreat (to the magenta circle):



    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 25
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:29:56 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    But I have the last laugh. (Well, the next laugh anyway.)

    The retreated RCLRs (green circle, following) are now in perfect position to ambush, and by means of opfire eliminate, some M3 Mk. A Halftracks attempting to flank the Syrian position on the left (red circle):



    With luck, maybe the halftracks were loaded.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 26
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:40:54 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    More Israeli tanks come up (lower turquoise circle, following). They direct fire at Syrian armoured infantry uphill, score 2 SP hits, and force a retreat (to the magenta circle).

    Action then shifts to the other end of the line.

    One after another, Sho't Kal squads step forward to blast the near bunker (left red circle; the right red circle marks the rearward bunker where artillery fire had destroyed the other AT guns earlier). Salvo follows salvo, SPs and more SPs are destroyed. Finally, the Sho't Kals eliminate the remaining Syrian AT guns, removing that particular threat entirely from the picture.



    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 27
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:49:29 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    Curiously, rather than unleash the rest of his tanks to strike boldly around my right flank or perhaps advance towards Saasa Ridge, Crossroads chooses to play it safe. Other Sho't Kals (turquoise circle, following) stay put, blast a Syrian armoured infantry platoon (then at the magenta circle) from a distance, and force it to retreat. More blasts, then a unit elimination (red circle):



    Are those Sho't Kals now gun shy?

    < Message edited by berto -- 11/12/2017 10:03:46 PM >


    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 28
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 9:55:57 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) move, the situation at the middle of Turn 5, with the Disrupted highlight (yellow counter outlines) toggled ON:



    The Syrian defensive line, such as it is, is much thinned. But a few tank-killer RCLRs still survive intact, and the T-55As lie in wait.

    We fight on.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 29
    RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/12/2017 10:00:52 PM   
    berto


    Posts: 16404
    Joined: 3/13/2002
    From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Status: online

    TURN 5

    The latest Victory Dialog:



    Oof! So many Syrian losses this last phase. Israeli losses too, none of them tanks, and not so heavy as the Syrians'. The Total Points drift upward in Israel's favor. I don't think I can much knock that downward in my half of the turn.

    _____________________________


    (in reply to berto)
    Post #: 30
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