Ode To Arab-Israeli Wars II
Ode to AIW II includes the following situations:
AIW-13, 8 October, 1973, El Firdan, Sinai Peninsula
AIW-14, 8 October, 1973, El Firdan, Sinai Peninsula
AIW-15, 7 October, 1973, Kuneitra, Golan Heights
AIW-16, 12 June, 1982, Marjayou, Lebanon
AIW-17, 15 October, 1973, Chinese Farm, Sinai Peninsula
AIW-18, 6 October, 1973, Shovach Yonim, Egypt
AIW-19, 6 October, 1973, Lituf, Egypt
AIW-20, 6 October, 1973, East of Bir Gifgafa, Sinai Peninsula
AIW-21, 5 June, 1967, Rafa, Sinai Peninsula
AIW-22, 16 October, 1973, Deversoir, Egypt
AIW-23, 18 October, 1973, Fayid, Egypt
AIW-24, 23 March, 1975, Tasa, Sinai Peninsula
DESIGN NOTES FOR SCENARIOS IN “ODE TO ARAB-ISRAELI WARS II”
(Written originally for Talonsoft's Divided Ground)
By Alan R. Arvold
Due to the success of the “Ode to Arab-Israeli Wars” I felt that it was time to complete the conversion of the rest of the scenarios that came in the game to the standards of Divided Ground. These scenarios are converted to the same standards as the ones of the previous Part 1. Variables such as environmental conditions, morale, changing the orders of battle for one or both sides I leave to the discretion of the individual players.
There is an error in one of the scenarios in “Ode to Arab-Israeli Wars”. In Scenario #3 (Situation B-3 in the Arab-Israeli Wars), the date of the battle should be 13 October 1973, not 11 October 1973. I leave it to individual players to make that correction.
Scenario #13 is actually Situation S-9 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. This scenario depicts the Israeli armored assault on the Egyptian forces defending their established bridgehead across the Suez Canal near El Firdan. The mapboard uses Boards A and B from AIW, set up in a rectangular fashion. The defenders comprise of an Egyptian infantry brigade, reinforced with some armor, engineers, and artillery. All of the Egyptian assets start set up on the board. They have no off-the-board artillery or airstrikes to speak of. The Egyptians have ten improved positions, three of which are placed east of the canal along the Egyptian front lines, and the other seven which set up adjacent to the west side of the canal. The improved positions on the west side of the canal have the hex that they are in raised to a Level 1 height. This is to represent the combat positions that the Egyptian historically built on top of the adjacent sand embankments on the west side of the canal, thus allowing them to see and fire over the lower embankment along the east side of the Canal. The Egyptians have two heavy duty pontoon bridges across the Canal. The Egyptian units on the east side of the Canal can not be set up further than six hexes away from it. This leaves a lot of units out in the open although the infantry units can attempt to construct improved positions once the game begins.
The Israelis enter on the east side of the board on Turn 1. Their forces consist of an armored brigade with two armored battalions and an armored scout company. There are no reinforcements beyond what arrives at the beginning. They have one battery of off-the-board artillery for their entire indirect fire support in the scenario. While they have a strong force with which to smash through the front line, the Egyptians have a wide variety to anti-tank weapons, both close and long range, with which to attrite the Israelis down as they move towards the Canal.
The victory conditions are based on units eliminated for both sides and on the Israeli capture of one or both pontoon bridges. In the original scenario the Israelis had to destroy the bridges, but since this would not give them many victory points in Divided Ground, I substituted their capture instead, with an appropriate number of victory point for each bridge.
There is much variation in the set up for the Egyptians, provided that they keep in mind that set up limitations on the east side of the Canal and the fact that the pontoon bridges must be set up at least twelve hexes apart on the Canal (just as it is in AIW). The Israelis can change the entry hexes along the east side of the board.
Scenario #14 is actually Situation S-10 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. This is actually a hypothetical variation of the previous scenario. In it the Israelis are reinforced by a mechanized infantry battalion (in exchange for a reduced scout company), a self-propelled mortar battalion and two more batteries of off-the-board artillery. All of these arrive on Turn 1. This makes the Israelis into a more proper combined arms force and thus gives them a better chance of achieving their objectives. The Egyptian force is not changed, but still remains a potent force and will certainly make the Israelis pay dearly for their victory, if they get it. There are no changes in the set up. I have adjusted the victory point levels to account for the increased Israeli force.
This scenario has the same variations as the previous one so there is nothing more to add to it.
Scenario #15 is actually Situation S-11 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the famous Syrian armored assault against the Israeli positions in the valley that would become known in history as the Valley of Tears, near Kuneitra. Now one would wonder, why create a scenario for this if Divided Ground already has a scenario for the Valley of Tears, not to mention that there is a set of scenarios for each engagement in the Valley of Tears in the Games Depot on the Wargamer website. Well because it is in the game and deserves mention, at least as AIW depicted it.
The mapboard uses Boards C and D from AIW, set up in a rectangular fashion. The Israelis start the game set up on the western half of the board. Their force consists of an armored brigade with one armored battalion set up on the board and another armored battalion that may arrive as reinforcements during the course of the game (33% chance per turn). The Israelis also have an infantry platoon with a Cobra AT missile unit in the initial set up as well. There is no artillery in the Israeli order of battle, however they do have twenty airstrikes. They have a large assortment of defensive positions. There are twelve improved positions and one fort in the original scenario. I placed the improved positions (which represent tank firing ramps) in two lines, one in front and one in the rear. The fort I made into a pillbox and placed in the front line. The infantry and Cobra unit are placed in the pillbox as this represents on the reinforced concrete observation posts that the Israelis had along the frontier with Syria. The Israelis also have plenty of obstacles to the tune of twelve trench counters (in this case representing an anti-tank ditch) and six 2-1 minefield counters in AIW. The minefields I converted to Level 2 Minefields and for the anti-tank ditch I merely chose twelve hexes and ran the anti-tank ditch along their hexsides, two or three to a hex.
The Syrians enter on the eastern edge of the board on Turn 1. Their force consists of two armored brigades and a mechanized infantry battalion. One armored brigade is equipped with T-62 tanks, the other with T-55 tanks. The mechanized infantry battalion uses the BTR-60 as its main APC. The Syrians do not have the BTR-60 in their T.O. & E. in Divided Ground, so I had to use Egyptian ones for them. There is very little artillery in the Syrian force, only the mortars in the mechanized infantry battalion, and no airstrikes.
The victory conditions call for the usual unit elimination for both sides. In addition, the Syrians receive victory points for capturing Israeli owned objectives on their side of the board and for exiting friendly units off of the exit hex on the west side of the board. With only twelve turns, the Syrians have only a short time to accomplish their objectives.
There is a lot of variety possible in this scenario. The Israelis can vary their set up fo a great degree, providing they stay on their side of the board. The Syrians have very the entry points for their units.
Scenario #16 is actually Situation S-12 in Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts an Israeli armored assault into Lebanon against various Arab factions in the region. This scenario is unique in that when it was created back in 1977, it portrayed a hypothetical Israeli advance into Lebanon “sometime in the future”. Yet this very scenario came to pass in 1982 when the Israelis did invade Lebanon. Not only did it occur as the game predicted, but the battle occurred in almost the same fashion and set up as the scenario depicted. This scenario is also unique in that there are three different Arab factions involved in the battle; the Lebanese Army, the Palestine Liberation Army, and the Syrian Army.
The mapboard uses Boards C and D from AIW, set up in an oblong fashion. The Arabs have two factions set up on the board initially. The Lebanese, using the Jordanian units (with a couple of Syrian mortars), set up in between hexrows 21,xx and 31,xx. They have six improved positions with which to set up their forces in and around. The Palestine Liberation Army, using Iraqi units, sets up anywhere north of hexrow 33,xx. They have five improved positions, one fort (which I made into a trench), and six 2-1 minefields (which I made into Level 2 minefields). I used militia units to represent the Palestinian infantry except where commandos were called for. The Syrians enter on the northern edge of the board on Turn 1. They have an armored brigade, supported by a mechanized infantry battalion. The Arabs have various small artillery units in their on-board and reinforcing units, but have a powerful off-the-board artillery force of four batteries. While this force will take heavy casualties during the scenario, it is more than sufficient to contain the Israelis if used right.
The Israelis enter on the southern edge of the board on Turn 1. They have an armored brigade consisting of two armored battalions, two mechanized infantry battalions, a mortar battalion, and a scout company. They have three batteries of off-the-board artillery and five airstrikes. This is a very powerful force and is quite capable of smashing the Lebanese and Palestinians but will probably be deadlocked with the Syrians by the time they meet up with them. Still they can eek out a victory if used right.
The victory conditions call of mutual unit elimination, a series of objective hexes for the Israelis to capture (which they can do quite easily) and for exiting Israeli units off of the northern edge of the board at the two exit hexes (depends on how their battle with the Syrians goes), and they have only 15 turns to do it in.
About the only variation possible is with the Palestinians as they have a rather large area to set up in. The Lebanese are pretty restricted on where they can set up, given their small set up area, and because of the narrowness of the board, both the Syrians and the Israelis really do not have a lot of logical choices of which hexes to enter in on other than the ones they are entering on now.
Scenario #17 is actually Situation S-13 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the Israeli assault to reach the Suez Canal through the Egyptian 16th Infantry Brigade on the night of 15-16 October 1973. Now one would ask, why have this scenario included if there is already a Chinese Farm scenario (“The Most Terrible Night”) in the Games Depot more accurately depicting the same battle? Well that is a huge scenario, with a game length of 90 turns. This scaled down version actually comes in the Arab-Israeli Wars game and is only 20 turns long and thus is more preferable for those players who do not have a lot of time to play the big one.
As was noted in the previous paragraph, this battle occurs at night and is thus a night scenario. The scenario mapboard uses Boards A and B from AIW, set up in a rectangular fashion. At the southern end of the Canal there is a widening of it to include two shallow water hexes. This is not in the original boards but something I created. Its purpose is to allow a place on the Canal for the Israeli pontoon ferries to operate from in the game as they need the shallow water for loading and unloading purposes. These shallow water hexes will be also be on the mapboards for scenarios #22 and #23 as these actions occur in the same area as #17.
The Egyptians start the game with a reinforced infantry brigade deployed on the board within twelve hexes of the Canal, north of Hexrow 27,xx. On the Canal itself there are three heavy duty pontoon bridges deployed in three of the seven “cuts” in the canal where opposite sides of the sand embankment are removed. Each “cut” is at least three hexes from the others and each bridge has two “cuts” in between them and the next bridge. This is in accordance with the original scenario’s set up instructions. There are also ten improved positions and three forts in the original set up. Five improved positions I have set up on the west bank of the Canal in Level 1 hexes, again to represent the firing positions that the Egyptians had set up on the west sand embankment. The other five improved positions and the three forts I have placed east of the Canal. The three forts must be placed within hexes of each other. I have made these forts into trench hexes in Divided Ground as they are to represent the plowed fields around the “Chinese Farm” that was in the area. The Egyptians receive armored reinforcements on starting on Turn 10 along the northern edge east of the Canal. They have plenty of artillery, with one howitzer and plenty of mortar units set on the board, three batteries of off-the-board artillery, and two batteries of MRLs coming in with the reinforcements in the latter part of the game. All in all, they have a strong force with which to defend their bridgehead.
The Israelis have a weak division consisting of two weak armored brigades. (As this scenario represents the opening hours of the Battle of Chinese Farm, there is obviously more reinforcements coming in for both sides later on, after the scenario is over.) One armored brigade, consisting of an armored battalion, a mortar battalion, and an engineer platoon, enter on the east edge of the board on Turn 1. The engineer unit represents the Pontoon Bridge unit. One will notice that the Gilowa ferry unit is not in the scenario, even though there is one in the original scenario in AIW. This is because in Divided Ground, the Gilawa can not travel over ground, nor can it be towed or carried by another unit. Rather than having it enter the board and just lie around in its entry hex for the duration of the game, I just left it out and increased the point values of the entry points to “cuts” which have no bridges in them as compensation. The other armored brigade enters in the southern edge of the board, east of the Canal, on Turn 1. This force consists of an armored battalion, a paratroop brigade mounted in halftracks, and the divisional headquarters with General Sharon. The Israelis have two batteries of off-the-board artillery plus four units of mortars, so they have a fair amount of artillery support. They have no reinforcements during the game. Still it is quite a formidable force.
The victory conditions are based on units eliminated for both sides and on objective hexes captured by the Israelis. All of the objective hexes are either in or adjacent to the Suez Canal. The objective hexes in the Canal are of course the pontoon bridges, the ones adjacent to the Canal are the entry points that the Israeli Gilowa ferry would need to operate from (in real life, not in the game mechanics).
There is plenty of variation in the set up and entry hexes for both sides, despite the size of the set up areas and entry sides. Just remember the set up restrictions listed above.
Scenario #18 is actually Situation A-1 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the initial Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal on 6 October, 1973 in the vicinity of Sovach Yonim. In Games Depot, there is a scenario of this by the same name. It is merely another approach to depicting this crossing and is not an exact copy of the AIW version of this scenario. The mapboard uses Boards A and B from AIW, set up in a rectangular fashion. One will note that on the Suez Canal, the sand berms are missing on every other hexside of the Canal on both sides. This does not mean that the sand embankments were incomplete in this area. It is simply a means of allowing the Egyptians to carry their assault boats to and from the Canal when they cross it. The game mechanics do not allow the boats to be carried over the sand dune hexsides and I had to remove them to accomplish this.
The Egyptian force has a full infantry brigade, reinforced by engineers and commandos. They start the game deployed on the west side of the Canal. In the original scenario, the Egyptians were given 24 assault boat units. I increased that number to 58 in order to accommodate the additional support, leader, and headquarter units in Divided Ground that are presumed to be part of the regular infantry units in AIW. The Egyptians have five batteries of off-the-board artillery, plus their numerous on board mortar units, but hey have no airstrikes. They have six improved positions which are placed adjacent to the Canal to provide for those elevated firing positions on top of the embankment. Although this is basically an infantry assault, the 20 Turns in the scenario give the Egyptians plenty of time to achieve their objectives.
The Israeli force consists of tank heavy combined arms battalion (two tank, one mech infantry companies), and two garrison platoons of the Bar Lev Line. They have two forts, which I made into bunkers for Divided Ground, and four improved positions (which represent firing ramps for the tanks). All of these are placed adjacent to the east embankment of the Canal. There are also six 2-1 minefields in the original scenario which I easily converted to Level 2 minefields in this scenario. Other than the mortar unit in the mechanized infantry company, the Israelis have no artillery assets nor do they have any airstrikes. With their tiny force, they must defend the length of the Canal on the board.
In the original victory conditions, both sides got victory points for enemy unit elimination. The Egyptians got points for friendly units on the east side of the Canal and for each infantry bridge that they built across the Canal. Since the last conditions do not exist in Divided Ground I had to substitute. The Egyptians now have to capture objectives on the east side of the Canal. These include road junctions in the interior, the bunkers, and the two town hexes on the east side.
Not much variation on this one. Given their mission, the Israelis must stay close the Canal and the Egyptians must place their crossing units so they are not seen by the Israelis before the cross the Canal, the gaps in the embankments allowing the Israelis to see far into the west side of the canal.
Scenario #19 is actually Situation A-2 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the Israeli attack on the Egyptians while they are still crossing the Canal and forming their bridgeheads near Lituf. The scenario mapboard uses only one board from AIW, that being Board A. The Israelis set up on the east bank of the Canal. At the start they only have one rifle platoon, acting as a Bar Lev garrison, in a fort that is adjacent to the Canal. In this scenario I made the fort into a bunker as befitting the Bar Lev fortifications. The Israelis also have an improved position, also adjacent to the Canal, representing a firing ramp for the Israeli tanks, which is placed at least four hexes away from the bunker. There is an Israeli armored battalion that enters along the east edge of the board on Turn 1. The Israelis have no artillery or airstrikes in this scenario. In other words, these guys are “on their own”.
The Egyptians have the usual infantry brigade, with an additional armored battalion in
support. They have two batteries of off-the-board artillery plus the mortars in the brigade, but have no airstrikes. They have seven “cuts” in the Canal and two heavy duty pontoon bridges (which must be at least ten hexes apart). They have six improved positions which are deployed on the west bank adjacent to the Canal, where as usual they represent the firing positions on top of the embankment. About 60% of the Egyptian force deploys on the west bank of the Canal. The other 40% deploys on the east bank in two bridgeheads, each one centered around one pontoon bridge. These bridges are rather small, as the furthest distance that an Egyptian unit can be placed away from the Canal is four hexes, and they must be at least three hexes away from the nearest Israeli unit or position. There are no reinforcements for the Egyptians, not that they need any in this scenario.
The victory conditions are based on unit elimination and on the capture of objective hexes. The Egyptians must capture the Israeli bunker and the Israelis must capture one or both Egyptian pontoon bridges. The ten turn game length does not give either side much time to achieve their objectives.
There is not much variation on this one, given the small deployment areas. The Israelis can alter the entry hexes of their tank battalion in order to put maximum pressure on one bridgehead.
Scenario #20 is actually Situation A-3 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts an ambush of Israeli armored units on their way to front by Egyptian commandos in the vicinity of Bir Gigafa. This is an interesting scenario as it deals with helicopter operations. The mapboard uses only one board from AIW, that being Board B. Neither side starts set up on the board. The Israelis enter first on the east edge on Turn 1. They have a full armored battalion in their force and that’s it. No infantry, no artillery, and no airstrikes on call. They must traverse the length of the board and exit off of the western edge before the end of the game. Given what they will be facing, ten turns is probably not enough to do this.
The Egyptians enter on the west edge of the board on Turn 1. They have a commando battalion complete with a full company of Sagger teams. All of this is carried on board on M-8 Hip Helicopter gunships. In the original scenario the Hip helicopters are supposed to be armed with anti-tank missiles, with a twelve hex range (they were supposedly carrying Swatter ATGMs). Unfortunately, that is not possible in Divided Ground as the Hips are permanently armed with HE missiles with a maximum range of four hexes. This gives the Egyptians great direct fire HE potential against targets that can best stand up to them and also makes them most vulnerable to their return fire. The Egyptians have no other units or assets. The Egyptians must come on board and set up a hasty ambush as they have little time before the Israeli tanks are on their doorstep. But they have more than sufficient firepower to do the job.
The victory conditions are based on unit elimination for both sides and for the Israelis exiting units off of the western edge of the board. Since it unlikely that any Israeli unit will make it to the western edge, they will have to make up their victory points by killing off Egyptian units. There is no variation in this scenario due to the fact that nobody starts the game on the board.
Scenario #21 is actually Situation A-4 in Arab-Israeli Wars. The scenario depicts the series of running battles that the Israeli 7th Armored Brigade fought as it plowed its way through the Egyptian 7th Infantry Division on 5 June 1967. This is a unique scenario. It has three battles that were miles apart from each other and also occurred several hours apart. The mapboard in the original scenario is also unique in that there are three different mapboards, each placed in the oblong position, and each separated by a space. Units which exit off of one board on a turn, enter on the next western most board on the following turn. This would be impossible to do in Divided Ground so I combined the three boards into one long one. To do this I made interconnecting six hexrow patches of ground to connect each mapboard to the next. Each connecting patch has just enough terrain to block line-of-sight/fire from one board to another. The three boards used in AIW are Boards A, B, and C. In Board A, only the area south of the Canal is used, the Canal and all hexes north of it are assumed to be the sea. With this in mind I created a coastline on Board A and then extended up both ground patches until it exits off of the map.
The Egyptians have a rather large force, elements of four different brigades plus some divisional battalions. On the eastern third of the mapboard they have two infantry battalions, one medium tank battalion, one heavy tank battalion, one tank destroyer battalion, and two artillery battalions. There are two brigade headquarters located with them, one being the artillery brigade headquarter and the other being an infantry brigade headquarters. The original scenario in AIW gave the Egyptians one artillery battalion with 18 howitzers. Because the Egyptians were historically using 12 gun artillery battalions at the time, I broke this down into two artillery battalion, each with three 3-howitzer batteries, with the total still coming out to 18 howitzers. And since there now two battalions, this required a brigade headquarters to supply them. For the defensive positions, this group was given six improved positions and three forts (which I made into trenches). For defensive obstacles they were given three blocks, three 2-1 minefields, and three 3-1 minefields (which I converted to Level 2 and Level 3 minefields respectively). All of this is set up between Hexows 77,xx and 100,xx exclusive.
On the middle third of the mapboard the Egyptians have a medium tank battalion supported by a motorized National Guard company. In the original scenario in AIW they were represented by commando units but here in Divided Ground I made them into militia units as that is about what the Egyptian National Guard units were worth in their combat abilities. This force was given three improved positions and three 1-1 minefields (which I converted to Level 1 minefields). These are set up between Hexrows 47,xx and 64,xx exclusive.
On the western third of the mapboard the Egyptians have an infantry battalion and an anti-tank battalion. There is also a brigade and a divisional headquarters located with them. This force was given three improved positions, three forts (which I made into trenches), six blocks, and six 1-1 minefields (which I converted into Level 1 minefields). These are set up between Hexrows 07,xx and 24,xx exclusive.
In accordance with the special instructions in the original scenario, all Egyptian units on the board are fixed in place, with no release turn, so they may only be released for movement when they are fired on by Israeli units. The Egyptians have no off-the-board artillery nor do they have airstrkes. They have no reinforcements. Still this is one powerful force for the Israelis to fore their way through.
The Israeli force is an armored brigade (the mighty 7th) consisting of two armored battalions, a mechanized infantry battalion, a self-propelled mortar battalion, two self-propelled artillery battalions, and an engineer company. One of the armored battalions deserves some explanation. In the original scenario there was a battalion of Patturion tanks. Now the Patturion in AIW is the Sho’t in Divided Ground, which did not exist in 1967. So I replaced them with what the Israelis historically had in their place, the old M-48A2’s. The self-propelled artillery also deserves some explanation. In the original scenario, the Israelis had three batteries of off-the-board artillery. However this was supposed to cover all three separate mapboards. Since there are no Israeli artillery units that can possibly cover the entire lengthwise distance of the mapboard, I had to make these into on-board artillery units. Again, like with the Egyptians, the three batteries equaled 18 artillery pieces. But the Israelis were using 12 howitzer battalions at the time. So I again made these into two battalions with three 3-gun batteries each, for a total of 18 howitzers. The Israelis enter on the eastern edge of the board on Turn 1. They have no other off-the-board artillery nor do they have any airstrikes. They do not have any reinforcements, beyond those that enter on Turn 1. The Israelis have a powerful force but have a very constrained time frame in which to achieve their objectives.
The victory conditions are based on unit elimination for both sides, and for the Israelis, capture of objective hexes and the exiting of units off of the western edge of the board. There are plenty of objective hexes to capture, each town hex and each hex with a road intersection is an objective hex. However, the victory levels are pretty high and the Israelis will be hard pressed to meet them.
There is a lot of variation in the set up of the Egyptians, provided that each board force is set up within their respective set up areas. Given the narrowness of the board, the Israelis do not have a lot of choices of where they can enter from.
Scenario #22 is actually Situation A-5 in Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the battle for the Israeli bridgehead across the Suez Canal on both sides of the Canal in the vicinity of Deversoir. It occurs in the morning hours of 16 October 1973 when it was just the Israeli 143rd Armored Division doing all the fighting. (By early afternoon the Israeli 162nd Armored Division would joining in the ruckus.) It is the natural follow on to Scenario #17 (Chinese Farm). The mapboard contains all four boards from AIW, arranged in a rectangular fashion, with boards arranged in the following order from east to west, D, B, A, and C. Like in Chinese Farm, there is widening of the Suez Canal on the southern edge of the map with shallow water in two of the three hexes to allow the use the Israeli Gilowa ferry.
The Egyptians again have a rather large force in this scenario, although it is spread across the board in four groups. The first group is set up west of the Canal, at least four hexes away from it. It contains some artillery units and a commando company. The second group is set up west of the Canal within three hexes of it and north of Hexrow 20,xx. It contains an infantry battalion, backed up by engineer, armor, and tank destroyer assets. One will note the MTU-1 unit in the engineer assets. In the original scenario in AIW this was replaced by the bridge. However the GSP Ferry unit in AIW has no equivalent in Divided Ground so I replaced it with the MTU-1 unit. Also this group has three batteries of SU-100 when in the original scenario it should two batteries of SU-100 and one battery of T-34/100 TDs. However the T-34/100 does not exist in Divided Ground, so I replaced it with SU-100s. This group also contains the only bridge across the Canal as well as three more “cuts” across it. In defense it has one Level 1, two Level 2, and one Level 3 minefields which are used to block the crossing of the Canal by Israeli forces at the four above mentioned ways across. (In the original AIW scenario, the Egyptians were given three 1-1 and three 2-1 minefields, but because of an advanced rule that allows a player to exchange minefield counters prior to set up for more weaker ones or fewer stronger ones I changed the set up slightly.) The third group is set up between Hexlines xx,10 and xx,20, north of Hexrow 16,xx. It contains an infantry battalion backed substantial armor assets and the brigade headquarters for the infantry battalions. For defense it has five improved positions, two blocks, and five Level 1 minefields. The fourth group is set up any where in between Hexlines xx,10 and xx,20, although I prefer to set them up south of Hexrow 15,xx. It contains an infantry battalion, backed by some tank destroyer and other anti-tank assets. For defense it has three improve positions, three forts (which I made into trenches), six Level 1, two Level 2, and two Level 3 minefields. (Again the original scenario had three 2-1 and three 3-1 minefields, but I again traded many of the bigger ones down to get more smaller ones.) The minefields and blocks were placed to form a barrier along the main road in the center of the board, with a few placed at road intersections behind it. The Egyptians have five batteries of off-the-board artillery but no airstrikes. They have three sets of reinforcements, the first one coming in the northern edge of the board east of the Canal on Turn 7, the second coming in along the western edge of the board on Turn 10, and the third coming in on the southern edge west of the Canal on Turn 12.
The Israelis also have a large force on the board, again like the Egyptians, divided up into four groups. The first group is set up west of the Canal, within three hexes of it. It contains a reduced paratroop battalion. Although they can be deployed anywhere within these restrictions, I choose to place them around the bridgehead in order to defend it. The second group is set up east of the Canal, within seven hexes of it, and south of Hexrow 23,xx. It contains two brigades, one armored and one paratroop, though both are rather weak (from the fighting from the previous night). They also have an engineer company, along with the Gilowa ferry unit, the division headquarters and General Sharon. In the original scenario the Israelis were assigned two “cuts” in the Canal. I gave them one “cut” and used the southern end of the Canal where the ferry operates at as the other “cut”. The third group is set up in the hills north of Hexrow 16,xx and east of Hexline xx,11. It contains an armored brigade with two reduced armored battalions, a reduced mechanized infantry battalion, and a mortar battalion. The fourth group is set up in the hills south of Hexrow 15,xx and east of Hexline xx,11. It contains an armored battalion, a reduced mechanized infantry battalion, and a mortar battalion. In the original scenario in AIW, this group also had a bridge counter which it had to tow to the Canal. However, this can not be duplicated in Divided Ground so the bridge is left off the list. The Israelis have three batteries of off-the-board artillery and fourteen airstrikes, but no reinforcements at all in the game. Still it has a sufficient force to achieve its objectives in 20 turns.
The victory conditions are based on unit elimination for both sides, and the capture of objectives by the Israelis. Note that the Israelis start the game with two objectives already in their possession. Most of the objectives are the “cuts” and will require an amphibious unit to swim through the hex in order to claim it. However, both sides have these types of units in the orders of battle.
There is certainly a lot of variation in the set up of the units on the board, provided that they stay within their deployment areas. The set up seen in this scenario was based on a set up for Situation A-5 that was published in the General Magazine years ago. While it is certainly a good one, it is not the only one.
Scenario #23 is actually Situation A-6 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. It depicts the breakout from the Israeli bridgehead across the Canal and the advance down to the town of Fayid. It occurs on the morning of 18 October 1973 after the Israelis spent the previous day defending against Egyptian counterattacks and clearing out Egyptian positions around their bridgehead. It is a natural follow on to Scenario #22. Like in the previous scenario, this scenario uses all four mapboards in AIW. Three of them are arranged in a rectangular fashion which are placed in the following order from east to west; Board B, A, and C. then Board D is placed on the southern edge of Board C in an oblong fashion. Thus the mapboard has a strange shape. I arranged the mapboard in Divided Ground in a large rectangular fashion. I could have blackened out the unused sections of the map but decided that this would not look too pleasing. Instead I put a fictional representation of Bitter Lake with a shoreline that goes off the northern edge of the board. Not only is this more pleasing to the eye, it also contains terrain that will not possibly be used in the course of the scenario. (Yes both sides have amphibious units in the scenario but given the slowness of amphibious movement, it is unlikely that either side will use it.) At the southern end of the Canal is the shallow water point where the Gilowa ferry can operate, just like in the last scenario.
The Egyptians start the game off with two forces set up on the board. The first group is set up west of the Canal, at least three hexes away from the nearest Israeli unit. It consists of a reduced infantry battalion and various engineering assets. These include five “cuts” in the Canal, an MTU-1 (which replaces the GSP Ferry unit in AIW), and a pontoon bridge. For defense this group has an improved position, two blocks, and two 2-1 minefields. I converted the two 2-1 minefields to one 3-1 minefield and then converted that into a Level 3 minefield in Divided Ground. The second group is located east of the Canal at least three hexes from the nearest Israeli unit. It consists of two reduced infantry battalions (along with the brigade headquarters) and a reduced armored brigade. For defense it has been given four improved positions, two forts (which I converted into trenches), and two blocks. The Egyptians have four groups of reinforcements, the first arriving on the western edge of the board on Turn 1. The second group arrives along the northern edge of the board, between Hexlines xx,00 and xx,10, on Turn 5. The third group arrives along the northern edge of the board, between Hexlines xx,20 and xx,30, on Turn 9. The last group arrives along the southern edge of board, between Hexlines xx,20 and xx,30, on Turn 12. All of these groups are mixed mechanized groups although the last group contains a squadron of Mi-8 helicopters. In AIW these helicopters carry bombs and are a one time attack weapon. In Divided Ground I made these into the standard rocket firing helicopters. One will note a discrepancy in the Egyptian 1st Armored Brigade, in this scenario it is equipped with T-55a tanks, while in the previous scenario it is equipped with T-62 tanks. Well even though these are follow-on scenarios, each is designed to be a stand alone type and so any discrepancies are ignored. The Egyptians have no artillery except the mortars in their various groups, plus an artillery battery that arrives with their first group of reinforcements. They do have ten airstrikes though.
The Israelis have three groups set up on the board. The first groups sets up west of the Canal, within three hexes of it and south of Hexrow 22,xx. It consists of an under-strength armored brigade of two reduced armored battalions and a reduced mechanized infantry battalion, plus a paratroop battalion, part of which is mounted on halftracks, and part of which is dismounted. The second group is set up east of the Canal, south of Hexrow 22,xx. It consists of two armored battalions, a paratroop company, an engineer company (with the Gilowa ferry), two brigade headquarters, and a division headquarters. It also has two “cuts”, in which one is located a pontoon bridge, and the other is at the southern end of the Canal where the ferry is. For defense this group has three improved positions and four 1-1 minefields (which I converted to Level 1 minefields). The third group is set up south of Hexrow 09.xx and east of Hexline xx,10. It consists of a reduced armored battalion, a reduced paratroop battalion, a mechanized infantry company, a reduced armored scout company, a brigade headquarters, and a division headquarters. For defense it has four improved positions and four 1-1 minefields (again converted to Level 1 minefields). Other than their organic mortars, the Israelis have no artillery to speak of, although they do have fifteen airstrikes. Still the Israelis have a formidable force and can easily achieve their objectives in order to win in 20 turns.
The victory conditions are based on unit elimination for both sides, capture of objective hexes by the Israelis, and the exiting of Israeli units off of the southern edge of the board. Note that the Israelis start the game with one objective hex already in their possession. There are a lot of common objective hexes in this scenario and the last one, given that they are in the same area, while others have been eliminated as they were no longer relevant in the current scenario.
There is a lot of variation in this scenario, given that most groups have rather large set up areas. The current set up was again based on a set up for Situation A-6 that was published in the General Magazine years ago. Another good set up, but there is always room for improvement.
Scenario #24 is actually Situation A-7 in the Arab-Israeli Wars. This is a hypothetical meeting engagement in the Sinai Peninsula near el Tasa. As this was a future scenario, I set it as happening in 1975. (The Egyptians would still be supplied by the Soviets at this time although this would soon be ending. As for happening in near el Tasa at this time, this is fictional as Israel still held the area at this time.) The scenario uses only one board in AIW, that being Board B, set up in an oblong fashion. It is fifteen turns long, more than enough time for either side to achieve their objectives.
The Egyptians start the game with one group set up on the board. It is placed west of Hexrow 05,xx. It consists of an armored battalion, supported by a mechanized infantry company and other assets, and a brigade headquarters. A second group, consisting of three Mi-8 Hip helicopter units, arrives on the western edge of the board on Turn 2. In the original scenario in AIW, the helicopters are supposed to be carrying anti-tank missiles (probably Swatter ATGMs). Unfortunately that is not possible in Divided Ground so I just give them Hip gunships with the HE rockets, which is what comes in the game. The Egyptians have no artillery or airstrikes.
The Israelis also start the game with one group set up on the board. It is placed east of Hexrow 26,xx. It consists of an armored company, two armored scout companies, two mortar platoons, an armored engineer platoon, two TOW sections (on Jeeps), and a battalion headquarters. The TOWs in the original scenario were mounted on M113 APCs, however that unit is not available in Divided Ground. So I substituted the TOWs mounted on Jeeps for them. A second group, consisting of three Huey helicopter units carrying dismounted TOW sections, arrives on the eastern edge of the board on Turn 2. Again the original scenario required Cobra gunships, armed with TOW missiles. Unfortunately, these are not available in Divided Ground so I had to substitute. Granted, it is a poor substitute, but it is better than nothing. The Israelis have no other artillery assets nor do they have any airstrikes.
The victory conditions are rather simple, unit elimination and exiting off of the opposite side of the board for both sides. Not much variation on this one, given the small set up areas on a small board.
This marks the end for this series of scenarios for Divided Ground. I hope that all players of the game find them enjoyable.
< Message edited by Crossroads -- 7/20/2016 6:36:17 PM >