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

 
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RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/14/2017 12:45:08 AM   
berto


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TURN 5

No action, no fighting this phase. Just shuffling of the line. And APCs and one MANPAD exiting off map.

The situation, the dire situation, at Turn 5's end:





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RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 12:33:27 AM   
berto


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TURN 6

Israeli artillery began targeting Saasa Ridge. Little to no damage, fortunately.

To the south, Israeli tanks (turquoise circle, following) blasted the near bunker hex (red circle), killing all occupants.



The way is now clear around the Syrian right.

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Post #: 32
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 12:42:54 AM   
berto


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TURN 6

Israeli tanks (turquoise circle, following) direct fired on Syrian armoured infantry at hex 26,25 (yellow circle), forcing them to retreat southeastward.

In subsequent action, the Israelis destroyed the Syrian RCLRs lurking in hex 27,26 (red circle).



Note the Israeli armoured engineer platoon at hex 24,24 (green circle).

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Post #: 33
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 1:01:56 AM   
berto


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TURN 6

On the Syrian right, emboldened Israeli tanks lunged forward.

Israeli gunnery forced the Sagger Team to retreat (to magenta circle, following). From that position, the saggers have a good opportunity next phase to move one hex northward, then take a close range shot at the nearest Israeli tanks.

After the Israeli moves, at the beginning of the Syrian Side B phase, Syrian heavy artillery, firing from Saasa Ridge, laid down a barrage in front of the Syrian positions southeast of Tel Shams. A lucky strike (red circle) killed that entire Israeli armoured engineer platoon!



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Post #: 34
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 1:21:14 AM   
berto


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Joined: 3/13/2002
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TURN 6

Crossroads finally turned his attention to Saasa Ridge. Israeli tanks (turquoise circle, following) fired at the nearest targets along the ridge, among them light and heavy machine gunners, also the "use it or lose it" AT-3 Sagger Team (magenta circles). Taking no more chances, Crossroads made sure to fire smoke at the saggers, thereby obscuring the aim of any return fire.

The Israeli tanks also targeted the T-12 AT Guns at hex 27,11 (yellow circle). No SP hits, but they did disrupt the unit, rendering them near impotent (like smoke, disruption cuts firing strength in half) in the coming Syrian phase.

After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) phase, the situation at the middle of Turn 6, with the Disrupted highlight (yellow counter outlines) toggled ON:



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Post #: 35
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 1:37:21 AM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 6

That one lucky kill, the loss of that Israeli armoured engineer unit, offset any Syrian losses this last phase. The Israeli Total Points are virtually unchanged from the turn previous:



This is encouraging. The Total Point edge could have been far worse.

With business still unfinished around Tel Shams, Crossroads faces increasing time pressure (15 turns in this scenario). Will the Israelis be able to storm up the ridge and take the town of Saasa? Stay tuned to find out.

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Post #: 36
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 5:02:12 AM   
Jagger2002

 

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A very enjoyable AAR. I am curious what options are you using?

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Post #: 37
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 11:02:41 AM   
berto


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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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Hi, Jagger2002. Glad you are enjoying it.

Crossroads and I are playing with all options turned ON:



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Post #: 38
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 7:56:22 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 6

A gamble.

Let's focus on the one remaining AT-3 Sagger Team I have in the vicinity of Tel Shams:



The saggers are at hex 27,24 (green circle, preceding). With the Visibility display (orange hex outlines) toggled ON, you can see where the saggers currently have no hard targets in view. If they remain where they are, the Israeli recon unit (turquoise circle) will be sure to target them next phase, and likely kill them, since the saggers are in open terrain. The saggers cannot stay put.

If I move them to some ambush position, say one hex to the northeast, there to join the lurking T-55A's, with luck, yes, some Sho't Kals might stumble into the ambush. But look at the Range graph. At one or two hexes range, the saggers (op)fire at much below peak strength.

On the other hand, what if I move the saggers one hex to the north? They would enter a Scrub hex, expending 38 APs, and with a Firing Cost of 60, still have sufficient APs remaining to fire off a shot. At that hex, they can fire at the two Sho't Kals three hexes distant (the near yellow circle) at peak firepower. (At that hex, they could also fire at the Sho't Kal stack, the far yellow circle, but at four hexes away, at somewhat less than peak.)

Question: Do the Sho't Kals have sufficient APs to opfire?

Let's find out ...



... Yes. The farther Sho't Kals (turquoise circle, preceding) opfire at the approaching saggers, but without effect.

I close the Damage Report dialog, then ...



... more Sho't Kals (turquoise circle, preceding) opfire at the saggers, forcing them to retreat.

At which point my brilliant tactics have failed:



The act of retreating has cost enough APs such that the saggers now lack sufficient APs remaining to fire. Their phase is over. And they might be soon finished, kaput. Unless I can somehow shield them from the advancing Israeli tanks, maybe by pushing those Syrian machine gunners out in front?

A gamble. A lost gamble. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

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Post #: 39
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 8:37:13 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 6

An opportunity.

Since those two Israeli tank units just opfired; and since no further opfire followed (even with such a tempting target as that now fully exposed Sagger Team); I am guessing that the nearby Israeli tanks have no more opfire left in them. What if I send forth my T-55As for a little hit and run?

But first, let's see what the Syrian tanks are up against:



Those Israeli tanks are either Sho't Kals or Magach 5s, I am not certain which. At three hexes distance, the T-55As hard target fire with a strength of 46. (You can see where, at every range, the Israeli tanks overpower the Syrian.)

Let's give this a try ...



... Yes! Two Magach 5s eliminated!

I know they are Magach 5s, not Sho't Kals, by a quick glance at the Strength Dialog:



(12 Sho't Kals destroyed previously, so by inference the two new kills are Magach 5s.)

Almost 6 turns done, and already we have destroyed 15 Israeli tanks.

The T-55As still have more than enough APs to withdraw, right back to the hiding place where they started from.

An opportunity. You lose some, you win some.

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Post #: 40
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 9:01:27 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 6

I adjust my lines.

Then Syrian armoured infantry at hex 26,24 (green circle, following) fire at the nearby Israeli recon unit (magenta circle). No effect. They fire again, and ...



... Good shot!

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Post #: 41
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 10:10:02 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 6

I plot my artillery to fall south of Tel Shams. Maybe I will get lucky again next turn.

Hidden from Israeli view, the T-55As of Third Tank Company (green circles, following) bide their time, patiently awaiting just the right opportunity to pounce.

To the north, at Saasa Ridge, I concentrate First and Second Company tanks up ridge from where I expect Crossroads will launch his main attack (yellow circle).

The situation at Turn 6's end (with the Disrupted yellow unit highlight toggled ON):



After six turns, just 78 Israeli Total Points. I feel pretty good about that.

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Post #: 42
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/15/2017 10:12:35 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
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From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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For you 3D fans, a view from north of Tel Shams looking south:



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Post #: 43
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/16/2017 11:47:43 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 7

Turn 7 opens with this astonishing report:



Iraeli warplanes friendly fired on their own forces, killing and disrupting one or more Magach 5 tanks!

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Post #: 44
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 12:02:07 AM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

TURN 7

Israeli combined arms attack the Syrian left flank, with modest success.

More successful: Israeli infantry storm Tel Shams (green circle, following). The citadel falls!



That same infantry fire on the Syrian mortars in the adjoining hex, scoring a SP hit and forcing the mortars to retreat (magenta circle; with the Message Dialog showing the combat results).

On the Syrian right, Israeli tanks (turquoise circle) fire repeatedly, obsessively even, at the Syrian 1st Heavy MachineGun Platoon (yellow circle). Wasted firepower, a waste of time, because except for one SP hit, the machine gunners retreat first one way, then back, then that same way, then back again. The Israeli armour make no forward progress. The Syrian right stands fast!

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Post #: 45
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 12:11:38 AM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 7

After a series of frustrations, Crossroads has something to be happy about. Israeli tanks (turquoise circle, following) direct fire at the bunkered Syrian T-12 AT Guns, destroying them in two or three shots (red circle).



The other Israeli tanks in that group fire long range at the entrenched Syrian infantry on Saasa Ridge, accomplishing nothing.

< Message edited by berto -- 11/17/2017 12:47:08 AM >


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Post #: 46
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 12:44:54 AM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

TURN 7

After Crossroads' Side A (Israeli) phase, the situation at the middle of Turn 7, with the Disrupted highlight (yellow counter outlines) toggled ON:



Except for the fall of Tel Shams, entirely foreseeable; except for the scattering of the Syrian far left, unfortunate but also to be expected; except for the destruction of those Syrian AT guns; otherwise the Israeli main force achieves little. The Israeli left is just about where it was last turn.

Timidity. Crossroads appears to be spooked.

Recall that he has played this scenario before (I haven't). He knows, or strongly suspects, that the Syrians have an entire tank company lurking somewhere east of Tel Shams. Crossroads has already lost 16 tanks. He clearly fears losing even more.

Here we are, with the scenario nearly half finished, and Crossroads has made no appreciable move towards Saasa Ridge. He has probably figured out by now that no way he has any hope to take the town of Saasa, with its 100 VPs, much less exit any units off the map's north edge (thereby gaining additional VPs for every unit exited). Time is too short for that. He probably realizes that as bad as the fight for Tel Shams has been, the battle for Saasa would likely be far worse.

The latest Victory Dialog:



That's better for me than it looks at first glance. Yes, Tel Shams has fallen, and with that the Israelis have gained an additional 100 VPs. But taking those 100 VPs out of the equation, the Side A Israeli Total Points have inched up only slightly from the phase before, when their VPs last totaled 78.

To the north, I predict that Crossroads will stay put, be content with taking long range potshots at the Syrian infantry up at Saasa Ridge. He will stay focused on destroying the remaining Tel Shams defenders as best he can, it seems. In this scenario, Crossroads is gunning (not running) for a draw, I bet.

< Message edited by berto -- 11/17/2017 12:48:32 AM >


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Post #: 47
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 7:14:46 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

TURN 7

The jig is up.

Israeli forces now occupy the Tel Shams hilltop (turquoise circle, following), elevation 12. From that commanding height, they can now sight just about everywhere and everything all around.

Including the Syrian tanks.

With the Syrian T-55As selected at hex 30,18 (upper right yellow circle), and with the Visibility highlight (orange hex outlines) toggled ON, you can see where the tanks can sight Tel Shams (observe the orange hex highlight at the turquoise circle, at Tel Shams). If we can see them, they can see us.

Similarly, the Israelis can now see the other Syrian tank stack at hex 28,23 (lower left yellow circle).



We have been found out, or next phase soon will be!

On both wings, Israeli tanks outnumber, and overpower, the Syrian. If I let Crossroads have the initiative, he will be able to outmaneuver me, and overwhelm my armour as he pleases.

For my tanks, playing the waiting game, hiding out in ambush positions, is over. It is now time to use them or lose them, maybe.

< Message edited by berto -- 11/17/2017 7:21:05 PM >


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Post #: 48
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 8:36:20 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

TURN 7

On the other hand, just because a unit is within Visible range doesn't mean it will automatically be sighted. Those tanks might still be able to stay concealed.

In the following screenshot, I have the on-map Concealment Modifiers display toggled ON. The tanks are in a Scrub hex (yellow circle, following), with a concealment modifier of -1 -- not much concealment, but better than open terrain.



I discover to my chagrin that 2nd Platoon, 3rd Tank Company, the unit that fired earlier on, and killed, that Israeli tank squad to the north -- that platoon of T-55As is now low on ammo (observe the yellow highlighted hollow bullet indicator, following):



Units low on ammo fire at half strength. The chance of that tank platoon soon resupplying is small. At half strength, its best shot will be at very close range. I might just have to keep that platoon where it is, hope it is and remains concealed, let the Israelis stumble onto it, then opfire at one-hex range. Fleeing to the north to join the rest of the company behind that bunker hex is another possibility. What to do?

< Message edited by berto -- 11/17/2017 9:00:43 PM >


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Post #: 49
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/17/2017 8:51:13 PM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
Status: offline

TURN 7

I have some AT assets to the east of Tel Shams that need protecting. A Syrian armoured infantry platoon moves down slope (yellow circle, following). I have the on-map Terrain Combat Modifiers display toggled ON. The infantry are leaving an IP hex with a combat modifier of 75%, meaning opposing units would fire on that hex with 75% of normal effectiveness. The infantry are moving to a Rough terrain hex with a combat modifier of 80%, a bit less protection than the improved position, but it brings them closer to the Israeli recon platoon to the south.

The Syrians make their move, and ...



... Israeli tanks at hex 25,26 (turquoise circle, preceding; hidden before this) opfire, but without effect.

Will the maneuver pay off? The Syrians direct fire at the recon platoon, now just one hex away, and ...



... 1 SP, 6 VPs worth, eliminated. Strike one Israeli recon platoon!

< Message edited by berto -- 11/17/2017 9:01:35 PM >


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Post #: 50
RE: High Water Mark - 10/12/73 - AAR (no Crossroads) - 11/18/2017 1:29:35 AM   
berto


Posts: 14111
Joined: 3/13/2002
From: metro Chicago, Illinois, USA
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TURN 7

A little voice whispers in my ear, saying: "Maybe you should check the Artillery Dialog." I summon the dialog, and ...



... It seems I have many off-board artillery tubes I didn't know about! D'oh!

(That display is after I had plotted several off-board howitzer batteries, thereby removing them from the list.)

I'm not knocking myself too hard, because before now the available obvious targets have been few in any case. Thus far, I have seen plenty of enemy tanks, but few soft targets, which have remained mostly hidden. The artillery I have is nearly useless vs. tanks, with a hard-target firepower at such long distances of 1 or 2 only, so little point in hitting enemy armour. Now however, it's clearer what and where there are soft targets to aim for.

The situation around Tel Shams at Turn 7's end, with the artillery plots indicated by cross-hairs:



As it happens, I decided to leave the T-55As be, except for the 3rd Tank Company HQ Platoon, which has swung around and joined the AT-3 Sagger Team at hex 28,22 facing north. By keeping the T-55As in place in their excellent ambush positions, I may lose the initiative, but I gain the first (opfire) shots.

Tank vs. tank -- it won't be long now.

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Post #: 51
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