Post mortem soon to follow.
What a fight! And what a AAR, can't make them better than what you did here!
Quite enjoyed reading it, here's a few comments fresh from the Israeli trenches:
**On Advance of the 45th Mech
On the right, it's The Sum of All Fears. Dozens of Israeli Shermans charge forward. The Jordanians gape in wide-eyed horror.
Why did Crossroads wait? Now maybe I have my answer. Behind the Shermans, more than a dozen infantry platoons advance on trucks (large turquoise circle). I might suppose that these infantry are recent reinforcements. I might infer that Crossroads was reluctant to mount a tank attack without adequate infantry support. Now it seems he has it.
This is perhaps the battle's pivotal moment. Do I fight it out here, on the right, and in the center, at Jenin? Or do I begin a pell-mell retreat, to regroup around Hills 480, 473, 303 & 333, between Kafr Qub & Burdin, to the west? If I am not careful, I risk losing both Jenin and my right wing. On the other hand, with their superior mobility (not to mention firepower), how can I hope to flee the onrushing Shermans?
That is a Strength 3 minefield there, you don't mess with a SP3 minefield I was expecting to find the map edge open to fast movement, the 45th Mech did not have any organic Engineers, so quite the nasty surprise to find a continuous minefield even there also.
The fun of playing scenarios blind!
**On the flanking move
On my far right, I am in reasonably good shape. I have two units (green circles), RCLRs and tanks, poised to direct fire at the advancing Shermans next phase. The 12th Independent Tank Regiment will soon join the fray. With his initial overwhelming advantage -- ~ 3:1 ratio of Israeli Shermans to Jordanian Pattons -- Crossroads should have steamrollered me by now. To my relief, that hasn't happened. The thin gray line continues to hold.
What the screenshots don't reveal is perhaps what an utter nightmare that terrain was, even for tracked movement. Often, just one hex if saving APs for firing, at times not even that. Pedal on the medal, they were!
During the game I was quite upset about the flanking maneuver making not much sense in hindsight, but having read your AAR maybe not such a bad idea - if I would have been able to negotiate that minefield faster, instead of idling there for half a dozen turns.
That was one of the early turning points perhaps.
**A rare success
Israeli Shermans at hex 43,33 (turquoise circle) direct fire at the Jordanian RCLR jeeps at hex 43,34 (red circle), eliminating them:
An Israeli unknown (most likely Shermans) at hex 45,34 (turquoise circle) direct fire at Jordanian Pattons at hex 43,36 (red circle), destroying them also. Strike two Pattons:
Israeli M3 Mk. A APCs charge up the hill. Jordanian Pattons at hex 47,37 (turquoise circle) opportunity fire at the halftracks, eliminating them (red circle):
Were those halftracks opportunity fire bait? Probably. Israeli Shermans advance, direct fire at the distracted Pattons, causing their reduction and retreat. Then, the Shermans finish them off (red circle). Strike three more Pattons:
A short while later, Crossroads bags the armoured infantry platoon at hex 44,37 (magenta circle) also.
And with that, my far right collapses.
Just to show a rare case where I was able to have a broad front with ready units. That was the intention with keeping the 45th together, but I don't recall many times I was able to do this outside this moment.
** On Jenin
I am puzzled why Crossroads attacked Jenin frontally and didn't try to outflank it from both the east and the west. I believe he still has the remainder of his armour in support of the Jenin direct assault (and has not sent them on a wide flanking maneuver west of Kafr Dan). Yes, if he sees that gap around Hill 273, he might decide to exploit it. Before committing my last armoured reserves (just two tank squadrons), I considered sending them towards the center, to Hill 273. But finally I reasoned that his breaking out on my far right is the greater worry. I don't want Shermans running about at night surprise attacking my rear area transports, artillery, and HQs!
Playing blind, I was not aware there wasn't any minefield there. So rather than being stuck in the open I opted for those forward Trenches in front of Jenin. Upon capturing them I could feed in more troops, leapfrogging in the hostile entrenchements towards the Jenin Objectives.
On another note: I am glad to observe my Coy strength diversion to Kafr Dan managed to stay in the news for most of the battle
ORIGINAL: Jason Petho
Historically, the Israeli's went up the western flank through the hills and by passed Jenin altogether, eventually ending up cutting off the town at the "crossroads".
Maybe he's a sucker for punishment?
Ha. Playing your scenarios one better be a sucker for punishment (laughs). No, I did not want to just repeat the history here, but to try something different. Was quite the adventure, and who knows, if I would have not made such a mess of crossing the minefields with the 45th...
** On Tank-vs-Tank losses
Beginning my Turn 15 Jordanian phase.
Or maybe not. Maybe I can still stop those Israeli tanks. For instance: The three Jordanian Pattons at hex 40,37 (turquoise circle) are poised to smack those two Israeli Shermans just to their southeast.
Yes! I bagged the Shermans:
Crossroads has by now lost 24 Sherman tanks (to the loss of 15 of my Pattons). The Big Hurt.
So someone else was tracking the tank-vs-tank losses too! 75 to 60, take that, you Major Winner you!
** On reinforcements
At the end of Turn 16, the Big Picture:
Crossroads has captured two Objective hexes (blue circle), worth 150 VPs each. He still aims to capture the Qabitiya Crossroads objective hex (upper white circle), also worth 150 VPs; and the Qabitiya city objective hex (lower white circle), worth 100 VPs. Can he do it?
Maybe not. Beginning just two turns from now, Turns 18-20, elements of the Jordanian 40th Armoured Brigade are due to arrive at the map's southeast edge (east turquoise circle). A while later, Turns 21-24, at the map's southwest edge (west green circle), the remainder of the 40th shows up. (Night ends at Turn 25. Daylight begins at Turn 26, and continues until scenario's end, Turn 45.)
But again (broken record), the unending question: Are the Israelis too being reinforced?
Nope, no reinforcements, the big challenge for the IDF player is to have his troops last the 45 turns!
As for the timing of the Jordanian reinforcements arriving, just imagine if the IDF forces would have entered the area say five turns earlier... I had no idea this went so close as it did.
** Never say die!
The current Victory Dialog:
Crossroads' Total Points have dropped from 33 down to just 5.
Crossroads loses TPs during his phase when, if anything, he should be gaining.
Off-line, I had offered my opponent a chance to resign. But no, Crossroads still wants to pursue this. For a while longer anyway.
Okay, I'm still game!
The lowpoint of the game for me, definitively What did Napoleon say about the two o'clock morning and courage rarely meeting each other...
But as the Scenario Description promised Jordanian reinforcements, I was hoping there would be a Jordanian counter attack at some stage, so I could enjoy the defensive terrain for a change!
** On Flares
Two more Israeli flares. Hmm, I would have fired them a bit further back. Flares illuminate the target hex (white circles) and the six adjoining hexes (yellow circles). With Visibility currently 2 (see the Unit List), the Israeli forward units would have seen most of those hexes anyway. I'm not sure what additional intelligence Crossroads gained by his use of flares here.
But maybe Israeli fire will be more effective firing into the lighted hexes. While the opposite will not be true. So maybe there is something to be gained by firing flares here.
Yes, Flares are your best friend during the night, with no Night Vision equipment available. I had a quite nice supply of them, so was able to enjoy them for the remaining of night turn everywhere I needed them!
** Turning Point
The yellow unit highlights mark the 40th Armoured Brigade, which is still not entirely arrived. There's still more to come next turn!
Note the most forward elements of the 40th Brigade (yellow circles), now at hand to bolster the center sector.
The tide of battle is about to turn!
And so it did! Pattons everywhere! Yikes!
** On stacking
Normally, artillery phases are boring affairs, with shells mostly falling harmlessly, especially at night.
Not this time!
7 Reduces (SP hits) and 3 Disrupteds in two lucky artillery strikes? WTF?!
You were not stacking more than 12SP at one hex at any time, as there is a unit density penalty if so? Those hexes looked overstacked, so I plotted them with my heaviest pieces.
** Constructive criticism
If I may be so bold to critique my worthy opponent:
I think Crossroads' fundamental mistake in this scenario was a strategic one. If he had attacked, and attacked hard, in the center, he would have been unstoppable. Instead, he attacked to his left.
Worse, he attacked piecemeal. He had overwhelming advantage initially, overall but certainly on the flank. Look at some of the early posts in this DAR. If Crossroads had rushed me, no holding back, he could have crushed me.
Instead, he advanced cautiously, allowing my much inferior force to ambush him here and there time and time again. And in the center, around Jenin, he attacked to my strength, not to my areas of weakness.
Now the tables are turned. I fear that I might be making the very same mistakes, but from the opposite perspective. I now have the advantage, I suspect, but I risk frittering it away by hesitation, over cautiousness, and needlessly fancy footwork.
Time for some rethinking...
Those are valid observations. I do believe you have it right, attacking through the center would be the way to go, with 9th Infantry towards Jenin objectives and the fully tracked 45th Mech towards The Crossroads, just west of Jenin. Very difficult for Jordanians to stop that, should it happen, I'd imagine!
As for a cautious advance in the flank: not so! I was taken aback with the difficult terrain, I fully expected to be able to break free with the 45th Mech, a sweet unit to command!
As for the area west of Jenin: right you are, but you would have needed to tell me there's no minefield there as I had no idea it was such an open country there
** The Jordanian counterattack
The fight to retake Jenin. And so it begins.
And what fun that was! I had kept the smallest of reserves (I always do) and sure enough they were tested to their limit!
** Countering the counterattack
Israeli artillery continues to enjoy success, scoring not a few hits, disruptions, and retreats. I need to press my counterattack if for no other reason than to disrupt and hopefully destroy the Israeli big guns.
I don't quite understand why, but my opponent continues to attack toward Ash Shuhada. I mean to say, I understand that he hopes to take the Qabitiya Crossroads just beyond. (So confusing to have an opponent named Crossroads!) I just don't understand how he thinks he has the forces to do it.
With Qabatiya denied by your strong reinforcements, I was guessing if there would be a weak point here, with Qabatiya Crossroads defenses toward Jenin instead of Southeast. One of the decisive points in the battle here, if I could have cut you in half. Of course that was not something I was able to pull off...
** Hammer (and Anvil) Time!
South of Jenin, a fierce struggle ensues as Crossroads attacks my salient on the right (yellow circle).
What a surprise. My opponent has more tanks on his left flank than I imagined!
... so I thought I could cut off your attack instead, as a last hope for a result here! I was aware from the beginning Victory Locations alone would not cut it, so it was bad news you were able to retreat from Jenin in an orderly fashion. Maybe not here so?
** Nope, it's a counter attack!
After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the situation at the end of Turn 32, the center and southward (with my disrupted units yellow highlighted):
Crossroads' entire left wing (large blue circle) is virtually cut off, with his supply lines back to higher HQs broken, or nearly so. It occurs to me that the fight in the center (yellow circle) is Crossroads' desperate attempt to clear a path for his forces back to Jenin.
At this point, I am not confident I can retake Jenin. Jenin and vicinity are a complex of urban area and fortifications. I would most likely suffer much greater casualties attempting to retake Jenin than trying rather to pick off his units at the periphery, and to go after his rear guard.
Rather than commit -- and possibly lose -- my remaining good infantry to the fight in the center (yellow circle), maybe I should part, back away, and let him pass?
As for my own "cut off" forces southeast of Jenin. If I let him slip, that in itself will fix my own supply issues.
In his most recent e-mail communication, my opponent wrote: "Quite the battle, this one!" Indeed it is.
Counterattacking the counterattack
** +1 !!
** The Jordanian Breakout
My armoured force southeast of Jenin (large white circle): With a solid wall of infantry blocking my way to Jenin, I am disengaging that force for now. From its current position, I can attack Crossroads' far left from the rear, swing those tanks etc. back around to rejoin my far right, even hurl them northeastward in the hope of catching some enemy HQs etc. We shall see.
One of the vital decisions done absolutely right I believe!
And so the Jordanians escaped my encirclement... I was indeed relying on my infantry to mop up anything they would engage, but they were not able to keep up with your mech units
** The Highwater Mark
I won't deny it. This was an awful Israeli Side A phase for me. A 70+ VP jump in Crossroads' favor, with his Total VPs now up to 332. With still another 10+ turns to go in this scenario, I feel my Major Victory is slipping away from me, and quite possibly Minor Victory too. Too cocky, too fancy for my own good I guess.
So close, yet so far...
** On importance of reserves
Life is also full of surprises:
From the north, unexpectedly, two RCLR jeeps suddenly appear. One (turquoise circle) takes a shot at my scout car, scoring a 1 SP hit and a retreat (to the magenta circle).
The wily Crossroads had kept some RCLR jeeps to the north in reserve, likely for this very possibility -- my attempting a break-out into his rear areas.
Having fired its first shot (meaning it still has at least one more shot available for opfire next phase), and subsequent to this, that RCLR jeep pulls back in hiding to the north. Then...
Always, but always have at least something of a reserve. The few RCLR Jeeps punched well above their weight here, and with fog of war, when you lose some key units you become concerned what else would be there...
After my Side B (Jordanian) move (Side B is this scenario's second side), the overall situation at the end of Turn 39 (with my disrupted units yellow highlighted):
Readjusting my line only. Except for those units in bunker positions west of Jenin, all or nearly all of my forces should be hidden from view.
Including those scout cars northeast of Jenin. I figure it is safer to leave them be.
With the loss of that 3 SP Israeli mech infantry platoon, Crossroads Total VPs are now down to 218.
Am I sitting on my lead? Why, yes I am!
Bummer. Ha. So it ended, then.
With a newly learn respect for not only the Jordanians but the defensive terrain here as well - and what an ambush county it was - the IDF forces had well lost their appetite for any further action
Until next time!
< Message edited by Crossroads -- 12/22/2016 5:57:30 PM >