berto -> RE: Into Africa - 10/17/73 - DAR (no Crossroads) (10/13/2015 8:29:49 PM)
Several days without any DAR posts. Why the delay? Quoting Crossroads (in his turn reply e-mail):
You forgot to fire some of your units, I forgot to send the turn back, What next...
Sorry for the delay, dear Reader!
The situation at the end of Turn 6, first Side A (Israeli) phase:
From bad to worse!
Those two reinforcement AT-3 Sagger Teams I had trucked up to the front last turn? He got one! Making effective use of the obstructing terrain and limited Visibility, Crossroads snuck up an Israeli parachute infantry platoon through the Orchards and Scrub west of the railroad then assaulted and captured the defenseless trucks. The top red circle marks the spot.
One hex just below, he assaulted and overran the Disrupted Egyptian infantry platoon defending the village. The lower red circle marks that spot.
I have three sagger teams remaining (green boxes). A stack of four Israeli tank platoons east of the Canal (blue box) fired on the one sagger unit in that rubble hex across the canal (green box), reducing its SPs from 3 down to 1. Ouch again.
That's the bad news. The good news is that the Egyptian Rifle Platoon 71B at Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa (turquoise box) continues its brave defense. I must remember to award them all medals (if they aren't killed first).
I need to plan my defenses carefully around Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa. Let's inspect more closely the underlying terrain. I hit the Toggle Units hot key K(ill unit display) and see this:
Ah, just west of the river, the current hot spot hex (black box) -- that's a clear hex, not a village. Good to know, must take note of that.
Over to my turn, screenshots following.
Let's see if I can create a proper defensive line at long last. I advance my LMG platoon (top yellow box) to that 25 VP village hex. On my right, I move up the rifle platoon (bottom yellow box) to that village hex just west of the railroad.
The one surviving truck-loaded sagger team -- I take the chance to sneak it across the river, through Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa, and on to the north side of the town, where I unloaded it. None of the Israelis opfired back. Whew! That was fortunate!
The heroic Egyptian rifle infantry platoon at Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa (turquoise box) -- instead of medals, I give them the chance to die martyrs' deaths. I will leave them at at Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa as bait. My hope is that the Israelis amassed to the south (red box) will assault the rifle platoon, and that hex. Probably they will succeed in the assault, and likely they will consume all remaining APs in so doing. This hopefully will be my chance to fire the full-strength AT-3 Sagger Team (magenta box) at the advancing Israeli tanks, both opportunity fire in the Side A Israeli phase next turn, and direct fire in the Side B Egyptian phase following.
To ensure that the saggers fire at the tanks, not at infantry and other targets, with the sagger team selected, I Ctrl-P summon the Opportunity Fire Dialog. Against Soft Vehicles, Helicopters & Other Targets, I select N(ever) -- don't ever opfire against such targets. Against Hard Targets -- the Israeli tanks -- I specify to opfire at S(hort) range only. One often forgets to fine tune opportunity fire settings in this way, but one shouldn't forget. These are the kinds of subtleties that often win battles.
That reduced strength 1 SP sagger team near the Canal. I target the Israeli tanks east of the Canal. Wow! Even at just 1 SP, the direct fire tooltip reports "66/0" -- i.e., a hard target Attack Factor of 66 (and a soft Attack Factor of 0). I fire the saggers. No hits, but I did disrupt one of the Israeli tank platoons. Impressive!
To my rear, I am trucking up the one reserve sagger team to the rubble hex west of the Canal, and trucking a reserve rifle infantry platoon around to my right.
Time to plot my artillery etc.
I have just two airstrikes available. I commit the first one to attack those four Israeli tank units sited atop the hill just east of the Canal (magenta circle).
For the one supplied 82mm Mortar, I plot indirect fire against the Clear and Vineyard hexes to the NW and NE of Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa. There are no Israelis there currently, but my expectation is that next turn, Crossroads will move his forces into one and/or the other hex.
For plotting my artillery fire, I have summoned the Artillery Dialog. As you can see, I have two artillery units Out of Ammo. The BM-14/8 MRL -- it's rather unfortunate that I can't have it fire close in; the ranges are too short. So I can't use it to strike the Israelis clustered around Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa. No, I would have to target farther out -- where there are no Israelis, or they may be hidden (red circle), or to the west they might move away from their current positions. Rather than risk wasting ammo on such iffy, low chance of success IF, I decide not to fire my MRL this turn. Better to hold it in reserve.
After my Side B move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the Victory Dialog at the end of Turn 6:
I'm scoring some Israeli SP Losses, but suffering more than my share in return. The worst of it in turn 6 was the loss of the infantry and saggers west and southwest of Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa.
With luck -- man, could I ever use it! -- I am poised to inflict some serious SP losses against the Israelis the immediate next turn. With luck, my saggers will take out some of those tanks. I think the key for the Egyptians doing well in this scenario is to make effective use of their saggers, and their artillery -- neither of which I have been doing so far. Let's see if my tactics, and luck, improve next turn.
Over to you, Crossroads...