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After Action Reports => Digital Gaming AARs => Topic started by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 02:20:43 AM

Title: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 02:20:43 AM
I thought I'd introduce myself and the Campaign Series: Middle East title (CS:ME) in a form of a During Action Report. I am one of the Campaign Series Legion, the Dev Team that develops the game under the friendly umbrella of Matrix Games. I am not affiliated with Matrix as such, but as a CSL member I am obviously deeply biased nevertheless.  ;)

I am playing a PBEM game vs Berto, our lead programmer. 

There's a DAR going on at the Matrix CS:ME Forum by him (http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3940494) but since I am not allowed for a peek I will post here instead. Berto writes a mean report, so if interested to see the life from the Egyptian side of the trenches, have a peek there.

CS:ME released on Sept 24. Here's a little brief on the game, first.

(http://www.matrixgames.com/images/3dbox/170x220/CSME_Box_3D_170.gif)

A Brief History. Campaign Series begun its life under Talonsoft in late 1990's, with a team of Avalon Hill Boardgame Company grognards led by Jim Rose founding it. All this with a purpose of developing some cool computer games on the legacy of their vast experience with board wargames. Programming efforts under John Tiller's lead the company to develop first a dozen or so titles under the Battleground series. The attention then switched to Campaign Series titles, under which West Front, East Front (two of them, actually), Rising Sun, and Divided Ground (Middle East) were developed. There was also a lot of add-on CDs to them produced, including such titles as Operation Sealion, Fall of the Reich, etc. Under Norm Koger Talonsoft developed the Operational Art of War, another title still being worked upon today.

Talonsoft going slowly into red, with public interest in traditional hex based games dwindling  :( , they were acquired by Take Two Interactive, which soon sold their hexbased games to Matrix Games, where Campaign Series and TOAW continue to be developed by their respective dev teams.

The Campaign Series titles (CS, from now) from Talonsoft / Take Two were combined into the definitive Matrix bundle of John Tiller's Campaign Series (JTCS) in 2007, containing the three titles of WF, EF and RS. Meanwhile, John Tiller had moved to eventually found his own excellent gaming company, and it was a bit quiet for the series for a while.

Then and Now. Some three years ago CS began to be developed again by the collective of the current Campaign Series Legion team in place.

The first big effort was JTCS 2.0, a free upgrade, bringing the games into modern operating systems versions, and under the bonnet: merging the three codebases of EF,WF,RS into a one common codebase. Any code from DG, an unfortunately rushed effort by Talonsoft on their dying days, was not included, which is not to take anything away from DG's excellent dev team. They never got a chance for a proper release as it was. Instead, CS:ME adds a new code base, with new features such as the new Air Model created, for instance.

CS:ME is the first commercial release by the new CSL team. Should it have the commercial success, the series will be further developed and new titles brought in, the initial schedule including titles as Vietnam, Korea, Cold War (a bundle of smaller cold war era conflicts that do not fit VN nor KR), Nato Wars (for a series without a Fulda Gap what-if is not a series), and new versions of East Front, West Front, and let us call it: Pacific Front of World War II.

Our vision is that of a "Living Game", where once new features are developed to new titles they are then introduced into previous titles as well, as new Updates, free of charge.

What is Campaign Series, then? As with the little history I wrote, with 6 minutes(ish) per turn and on 250m hexes, for one the series are a spiritual follow up of Avalon Hill's Panzerblitz, Panzer Leader and Arab-Israeli Wars. Here's a cool picture from Boardgamegeek showing a PL variant with Imaginiative Stragegist Counters:

(https://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic138462_md.jpg)

I am playing CS:ME with 2D view turned on, for obvious reasons, as my avatar gives away. The 2D terrain we are putting together is intended to give the game a distinctive cardboard game feel. It is only 1.00 at the moment, but we are off to a start!

The game comes packed with a wonderful 3D as well. The 3D views are based on tabletop miniature models, and are hand drawn pixel by pixel into the little bitmap sheets. I quite love them too.

By the way, I endlessly tweak my posts. There is hardly any I have not modified. Now you know. It has already started. Also, I am not native in English, so please forgive any typos and grammar errors  :)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 02:38:09 AM
Into Africa - End of Friendly Turn #1

OK, let us get started then. Into Africa! is a Complexity 3 sized scenario, meaning there's between 50-90 units in play, transports included. It portrays one of the battles from the October / Yom Kippur war of 1973.

The scenario is designed by Jason Petho, our CSL Lead. This would mean there's better be some time spent studying the map, the forces available, and the objectives set, or one will find himself short on his targets!

From Scenario Description:

17 October, 1973 [Deservoir, Egypt]: Israeli paratroopers, from the 243rd Airbourne Brigade crossed the Suez Canal during the early morning hours October 16th and established a small bridgehead near Deservoir. Meeting little resistance, they began expanding to the north the following day while the Battle of Chinese Farm was in full swing. As the brigade advanced north, resistance increased from a hodgepodge of units; mechanized infantry, artillery, and commandos. The advance was slow even though it was supported by tanks firing from the east bank.

Here's, then, the map as a whole. 2D Battle Views include four zoom levels:
- Zoom-In (100%),
- Normal (75%),
- Zoom-Out (50%), and
- Extreme Zoom-Out (25%).

They all have their purposes, the two smallest especially for planning and troop movement. This is Zoom-Out, at 50% with everything visible for this is a smallish map, at least in the context of really spending a lot of time with the biggies that come with the game. There's three 3D views as well.

(Apologies on pic quality. What I've done is I take a screenshot, paste it to Powerpoint for these arrows etc, then save as jpg and put to my Photobucket account. )

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_1a_zpsn3id4flf.jpg)

About the game window. On the right you can observe what we call Hex Infobox, or the area that displays, err.., info about the selected hex. This includes information about the terrain itself, plus unit Infoboxes about each unit present. The game has a IGOUGO model, and is based on Action Points (AP), movement and fire missiond deducing from the AP tally.

There is a lot of options on how the display is to be set. I have opted to omit the Toolbar from the bottom, for clarity's sake here. I do prefer to keep it on, the large version of it, for with a 2K monitor there's the estate to do that. In this display I have the hex grid on, too.

My game plan, then.The Red circles mark the objectives as a whole, with some hexes containing Objectives with Victory Points (VP). VPs are gather by killing and capturing enemy units, on exiting Exit Hexes (none here), and of course by taking over and holding (ha!) the Objectives.

The Orange arrows mark my plan. I have elements of Isreaeli Para Bde at my hands, more of that in a bit. The basic plan:
 
- 1st Coy to secure the lower left corner of the map (1),
- 2nd Coy to cross a deep river and hit the enemy in the center, causing some additional confusion I hope (2), and
- the main push with 3rd Coy and (most of) the support units pushing to the North, with a task of securing a couple of bridges on their way (3).

Bridges can be destroyed, so capturing them in tact is a must. My Engineers can build light bridges for foot infantry, but my AFVs require proper bridges in place, and I don't have any heavy Engineering equipment to build any. Shallow rivers with a lighter blue hue can be crossed by all units, with the cost of some extra APs. Deep rivers with the darker blue hue can't be crossed by any units, unless there's a bridge in place.

- You will also observe a friendly Tank Coy in the East of Suez Canal, unable to cross (4). This is the beginning of my turn #2, and I have already moved them towards a hill where they have visibility to opposite banks, and can join in for supporting direct fire missions.

So into turn #2 next
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 03:05:52 AM
Into Turn #2

I have played this scenario once before. It is categorized as a Head-to-head scenario. I played vs AI at the time, had lots of fun, and secured a Major Victory at the end. Upon graduating from the Bootcamp scenarios, I feel this is one of those scenarios where one can find his feet, and if indeed able to beat AI then to know that the basics have been succefully learned.

Here are all my assets on display. I have switched to 2D Zoom-In view, and have opted for Alternate Counters, and to Unit Icons instead of NATO icons. The black profiles are a mod of mine, for I seem to like them that way...

So, the IDF 416th Mech Para Bn it is, with some support elements available too. Here is the situation after my Turn #1 move. Of relevance are my Arm'd Eng Coy, whose three platoons have spread around the deep river, in preparation to lay light bridges in the beginning of my turn #2. Out of my head there's a 20% die roll for a succesful bridge building to take place, so I do hope to get one bridge in place immediately. Fire and Movement, Fire and Movement...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_1b_zpsmxmxvtls.jpg)

My basic force consist of the Battalion's three Coys, supported by one Mech Eng Coy (without their IFVs), and one Shot Kal (Centurion) Coy of the supporting Tank Battalion. There's a friendly Centurion Coy at the other side of the canal too, unable to cross, and I will not expect it to play a prominent role.

Also, I have two batteries of Wolf 200mm rocket SPA available, as well two 155mm M109 SPA batteries. Off map, so I don't need to worry about counter  battery fire.

I do also have two Air Strikes available. They will be called in on a similar manner than In-direct Artillery fire. More of that later. No On-Map Helicopters here. They are a fun to play with, but alas, not here.

I have opted for Orange Highlight Colors. There's 16 available, so hopefully something for everyone.

What else? Oh yes, switched hexes OFF to display Contours. This is a flat piece of land, and the few hills available should be used for spotting where it makes sense.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 03:24:44 AM
End of Friendly Turn #2

So here's the situation then at the end of Friendly turn #2, with each of the Para Coys getting on with their jobs at hand:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_1c_zps0kwybdts.jpg)

Abu Sultan / 1st Coy. As the spotting rules go, a friendly unit has to spend a full turn with LOS to enemy units, for a chance to spot it for next turn. There are calculations for that, terrain and the hostile unit type playing a role. As it is, I don't see any hostiles anywhere, but I know they are there.

There's the other spotting model available, to advance until fired upon. Also known as: Recon by Death. I am not a fan of that, and with a relatively small force pool available early losses will be missed later in the game. In this case I prioritize speed over caution, and will rely if not on Fire-And-Movement, then on Movement-And-Fire instead.

I have opted for Hex Higlights for Visibility, meaning there is a hex grid highlighted to hexes I have a visual. We are playing with Extreme Fog-of-war on, so there's no knowing what is visible from each hex until you have friendly eyes there. So I moved some fire support elements to bridge (red circle), as I noticed there is a good visibility to town hexes from there. Then the unlucky forward Coy received the orders to enter the town without further delay.

An Egyptian force mix of unknown quantity is indeed in town. My platoon was fired by what I believe is a full Egyptian rifle platoon. I take two Strength Points (SP) worth of casualties, and my unit is also disrupted. That was unlucky. My HMG engages the enemy platoon from the bridge, my AA halftrack joins a scoot-and-shoot mission on them together with my one Centurion troop there, and I place the two fresh para platoons to rush in come next turn, after the artillery barrage I plotted now.

Ezab el-Aqqeda / 2nd Coy One of the Arm'd Engineer teams succesfully built a foot bridge. Woo-hoo, free beer on them after this is over! Again I decide to push on immediately, with the leading platoon taking care of Movement (orange circle), and one platoon placing themselves for fire support (red circle). Again I found out the bridge is defended, and again I take casualties, this time 1SP and a Disruption. Sheesh! Regardless, I send the third platoon to recon to north, as my HMG team and friendly artillery is expected to clear the village come next turn.

Ezab Zein el-Abidin Isa / Reinforced 3rd Coy Writing that was a bit of a handful... Speed is the order of the day here as well. This time I take no casualties, not even disruptions, from the LMG unit defending the first bridge. I commited two platoons to entering the hex next to it, accompanied by the Bde Cdr for increased Morale and Command effect. See the Morale on my paras. They are B-level, so morale is normally 6, but with the 3SP Cdr in the same hex, their morale is now 9. Should they be disrupted during the Egyptian turn, I expect them to recover immediately, to continue the push.

Here too, the two Centurion troops were around for close support, but retreated behind the enemy line for the hostile turn. Egyptians are packed with armor in this scenario as I recall from having played this vs AI like a month ago.


This, then, is the end of friendly turn #2. I am confident I can continue the strong advance in the initial turns, before the Egyptians are able to react. This is a nice combined-arms scenario, and with the strong artillery to back me up, I expect to move fast before Berto can put a concentrated counter attack in place.

How will that work out? To be continued! At a leisure speed, I would guess. Busy times

Any questions or comments, just ask. And again, Berto's DAR from the Egyptian POV is available at the Matrix CS:ME AAR Forum.

Til next time!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 03:26:20 AM
Gosh, but the pics came out bad. I may skip the Powerpoint part next...  >:(
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: JasonPratt on October 03, 2015, 07:14:56 AM
Pix look fine. Powerpoint has arrows?! Mental note for my own D/AARs later...

Also, your English is better than many native English speakers on the internet, so no problems there.

Finally, this thread is full of squee.  :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Grim.Reaper on October 03, 2015, 08:21:04 AM
Agree..pictures look fine and really like how your explaining things...very helpful.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: -budd- on October 03, 2015, 08:33:50 AM
(http://i1144.photobucket.com/albums/o484/ronnie8691/download_zpsg8pwgvz3.jpg)

Is this with variable visibility? if not good luck, with 4 visibility your going to have to get close. There's a lot of good defensive terrain by the looks of it. I also didn't know there was an organization dialog box, learned something new.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 03, 2015, 09:08:37 AM
Thanks guys, I will continue this with Powerpoint then. Far easier to add all those texts and arrows and what not for sure.

Finally, this thread is full of squee.  :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:

I assume this is a Good Thing  :D

Budd, yes: All Optional Rules on but Armored Facing for AFVs, for I do not prefer it especially when in 2D mode as I currently am. Close and personal it is, just like my Paras like it! 3SPs of casualties at this stage but to odd guarding units was a bit steep though. Must have been some unlucky dice there...

So while waiting for Berto's turn, a comment about the map. The West Bank of Suez Canal as recreated here in Into Africa! was lush with vegetation, as can be noted here. Almost every hex has some special vegetation, be it vineyards, orchars, scrub or what not, bar the marsh land. So it is a bit busy.

Berto and I both follow the Less Is More design principle, so this portrays the terrain in a bit different light than what it mostly is. Luckily, there's a lot of sand in Sinai, so one does not stray far from irrigation to enjoy it at full.

Ah, the tranquility of it all. Sand. More sand. A patch of forest, a couple of escarpments. Two elevation levels. Guaranteed for those Lawrence of Arabia moods...

(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/226DB2BA9D80493DB1E0E3AAC4904C6F.jpg)

Keep them questions coming.  :)

To be continued....
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: JasonPratt on October 03, 2015, 04:24:39 PM
"Squee" is American slang for the sound teenaged girls make when they're happy. It's usually used by people who aren't teenaged girls, to indicate they're happier than maybe they ought to be, and that's okay.  O0
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: mirth on October 03, 2015, 04:32:45 PM
TeeHee also works.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 09:51:00 AM
Turn #3

"Squee" is American slang for the sound teenaged girls make when they're happy. It's usually used by people who aren't teenaged girls, to indicate they're happier than maybe they ought to be, and that's okay. O0

In that case I agree, plenty of squee going on here and more's coming!

<bling> said the mailbox, indicating an incoming PBEM move from Berto. Time to fire up that game again. Here's the Main Menu:

(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/753DCC0F9F634016BCCAE9BFEF7ABECF.jpg)

The game comes packed with Editors for tweaking the existing ones, or to create complete new ones. Worth mentioning is the OoB Editor, for it contains the complete Orders of Battles for all nations for the period covered here. Stellar job there by Mr Petho.

There's a Random Battle Generator too, to create a battle for any time period, in Battalion to Corps sizes, with various selection criteria such as the battle type (meeting engagement, pocket breakthough, mountain pass, ...), time of the year, season, weather. Endless fun there, and what I often do I actually open the generated battle with the editors to finalize them to my liking.

CS titles typically come with two types of Campaign Game setups, Linked Campaign Games (LCG), and Dynamic Campaign Games (DCG).

LCGs are a set of maps and OoBs designed to form a storyboard, where each success or failing takes you upon a different path. The scenarios included are designed by the designer. There's a few packed in, ready to be played.

DCGs are game generated like random battles, but there's an underlying script that instructs the battle generator in creating the next battle. One has a core force, that over time can receive not only reinforcements but upgrades too. They are very nice there, none included as the short wars covered don't really justify one. They'd be more at home for long campaigns, something that CS:Vietnam should have.

But, Play Scenario it is, to resume the PBEM battle with Berto...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 10:07:07 AM
Israeli Turn #3

Is this with variable visibility? if not good luck, with 4 visibility your going to have to get close.

The Scenarios are designed with various parameters available. Among them is what we call Dynamic Day / Night / Visibility. Or something like that. We really need to come with a better name for that... ::)

This is the Dynamic Day/Night/Visibility setting for Into Africa!

Day/Night: 1-16[d]
Visibility: 1-7[4] 8-11[5] 12-16[6]

So, for the duration of the 16 turns, it is day all the time (the first line), and visibility improves a tad, to 5 hexes from turn 8, and to 6 hexes from turn 12. It is possible to design really long scenarios with day-night sequences, but while possible the typical scenarios picture a long Dawn or Dusk situation rather.

OK. That's a few words on the basics done again, time to play that turn!

Aleph Company

Back to Standard Counters and NATO icons. Thermometers ON, displaying Action Points (APs).

My forward Platoon takes quite a beating during the Egyptian turn, taking two fire missions from the hostile rifle platoon there. As they ended my previous turn two SPs down, and Disrupted, I am a tad worried. Luckily, all that happened is they took a retreat to location shown here. Disrupted, they can't move towards the enemy, and I will keep them in place for now:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3a_zpsueoaflpp.png)

Finally able to perform the art of Fire And Movement, my HMG unit on the bridge engages the hostiles. Twice. No results. I bring forward my AA Halftrack, but no results for the meat choppers either! Dang. That's a Suburb hex they're residing at, there's a nice Terrain Modifier working on their behalf. I then move my Shot'Kal troop for bit of a shoot and scoot, and they finally take a Disruption. That is good enough, although I expected to kill a few SPs. No worries. Time for movement next!

I bring forward the other two Para platoons, first platoon firing at them, twice, but again no results. What is it with them. Kevlar bodyarmor in 1973?

I then decide to try an Assault, mostly to cause a retreat, for I want to fan out a bit. Extreme Fog-of-War is not too helpful here, but I assume the dices are 50/50 and with them disrupted a retreat call is likely. Did not happen the first time I assaulted, but since I am on paved roads, I had the APs to Assault again. This time: Retreat. Yes.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3b_zpsy92ssm2d.png)

I called two artillery strikes not on the hostile platoon, but on hexes I expect them to retreat come next turn. To the north there's the stone high walls that would trap them, so I expect a fire-and-retreat from them next turn to northeast instead.

There must be more hostiles in town, but knowing Berto they are hiding there, Opportunity Fire set at Short, just waiting to ambush any overly eager Para platoon coming their way. As my instructions for Aleph Coy is just to secure the city, I am done with Recon-by-getting-shot-at. Time is on my side here.

Here, then, is the final situation with Aleph Coy:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3c_zpsnavqpqad.png)

The Bn Leader caught up with the forward troops finally, and is now available to boost them against disruptions, or to recover from one. If my lead platoon does not recover from disruption in the beginning of next turn, I will stack the leader with them, for a speedy recovery of their fighting spirits.

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 10:15:44 AM
Israeli Turn #3 - Beth Company

Oops, some experimental Egyptian counters on display here. Really flat, just a 2px border. Too many mods!

The In-direct Artillery barrage I set last turn dislodged the defenders at el-Aqqeda, just as I expected. My leading Para platoon continues to be disrupted, so I leave it at place, and have just the APs with the second platoon to secure the crossing. It is out of APs, and quite vulnerable to Egyptian counter attacks especially as there's the paved road for quick low-AP movement. Can't be helped, here's hoping they are not pushed back. I keep my HMG behind, in good covering fire positions for any soft targets coming this way.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3d2_zpsiwa20lw6.png)

As this is a more of a deception to keep him guessing about my intention and not a real thing, I move my 3rd platoon to north instead, to recon at the two village hexes there. True enough, Berto's got some forces there on Op Fire waiting for me. I don't take casualties, and with the remaining APs I have points just for one fire mission. I engage the Syrian armor at close range, but to my disappointment don't score any hits. Modern infantry is quite deadly at close range, but I guess my Paras were thinking about something else?

I was hoping for a quick push further north to threaten the two Objectives there from their southern flank. I am instead vulnerable for Egyptian countering moves there, as I am out of APs.

See the enemy information with EFOW in place. If it would be an open terrain I'd see their strength. At village, all I see there's the infantry team and a tank troop. Better assume they are at full strength...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 10:18:31 AM
Israeli Turn #3 - North of Gimel Company

A friendly fire base east of Canal reported success in destroying two convoys of heavy trucks loaded with infantry. Wrecks mark the spot they thought to be safe for moving on soft vehicles.

As I mentioned in the opening post, Jason's maps are worth a close study, and there's like two location similar to this to create a fire base at.

There was a hint at this in the Scenario Description too. There often is, it a good practice to read them through carefully  O0

Quote
17 October, 1973 [Deservoir, Egypt]: Israeli paratroopers, from the 243rd Airbourne Brigade crossed the Suez Canal during the early morning hours October 16th and established a small bridgehead near Deservoir. Meeting little resistance, they began expanding to the north the following day while the Battle of Chinese Farm was in full swing. As the brigade advanced north, resistance increased from a hodgepodge of units; mechanized infantry, artillery, and commandos. The advance was slow even though it was supported by tanks firing from the east bank.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3e2_zpsxoriclkl.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 10:24:24 AM
Israeli Turn #3 - Gimel Company

Time to push on then, with my main force.

I observed an Egyptian truck-mounted AA team shooting and scooting during the replay, and as this is a non-paved road that costs them more movement points than paved one, I thought I'd immediately push after them. They are spotted during the same turn, for I had APs to enter the hex thery were in, was not able to enter of course but instead revelaled their counter.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3f_zps5h1kutvv.png)

I also had the AP to destroy them. Ha!

Next, time to rid that LMG section harrasing me.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3g_zpsfrf0hnav.png)

I have a Jeep/RCLR (recoilles rifles) team sitting on a hill behind me, they engage the LMG position first. Then, relying there's no one at the hex immediate to my north, I move my two Shot'Kal troops for close support. Hostile LMGs take a couple of retreats, possibly losing some SPs too, but on EFOW I don't see the firing results, and I don't bother to check the Strength Dialog just now...

Here's then the situation at the end of my turn 3.

I stopped at where I got last turn, and saved some APs for Op Fire should there be an immediate counter attack. It is a bit worrying there's two paved roads at my flanks, allowing for fast movement. The road by the canal needs to pass my fire base east of Canal though, so I am not overly worried. Time to plot some artillery, and finish the turn then.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3h2_zpsak82ggzj.png)

See my Bde leader, leading from the front he is. Leaders can't be targeted alone as long as there's accompanying units in the same hex. A lone leader can be killed though, and even when with friendlies they are suspect to in-direct artillery fire. When attacking, I do lead with my Leaders though. Good for morale and assist in recovering from Disruption. Also, they pack their SP worth of factors to firing missions, as long as they have as many APs as the fire cost of the firing unit. Direct fire only, and they need to be from the same organization as the firing unit.

The other Para platoon is out of APs, while the other one retains enough for one firing mission. Should an enemy move to their LOS and within the set range of my Opportunity Fire, they will be fired at. More of Op Fire in coming turns.

Of my two Rocket SPAs I leave the other one out to secure they've got loaded tubes come next turn. The other rocket artillery will fire, as will my two 155mm batteries.

I put two fire missions to the empty village in front of me, I hope Berto can't resist on putting a forward observing post there...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 04, 2015, 10:32:15 AM
Situation End of Israeli Turn #3

I finally open the Strength Dialog. Not bad! I took no casualties during my active turn, but there's the Egyptian counter move with some of my units unsecured so let us see how it goes...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3i_zps21trsoso.png)

Victory Dialog reports a good start, but I really need to keep moving before Berto can get too organized. I hope he has not really yet detected my strenghts at each sector, and will have to take some thinking as which of them to address first.  :knuppel2:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_3j_zpsgbr8k0kt.png)

It is a fine line between Draw and Minor Win, every loss or kill counts. Often, it is not only about Objectives, but avoiding unnecessary losses too. I really would need to push for the Major Win, so let us see how this goes. Should I feel a Major win is within my grasp, I will notch the aggressiveness level up. The early moves have been pretty aggressive though. Let us see the situation come next turn. Again, Berto is sure to pick on the most vulnerable leading units of mine.

And over to Berto! Working week commencing, it might be a few days until my next move.

Meanwhile, any questions let me know!

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 07, 2015, 10:01:11 AM
Israeli Turn #4

And so it continues. Having received the PBEM file from berto it is time to boot up the game again and to open the file for a replay. I am particularly curious how I guessed his movement with my artillery plotting...

Lucked out, it turns out:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4a1_zpsext7ckub.png)

The Egyptian artillery phase properly wiped out my Jeep/RCLR team from that hilltop. Should have known better than to keep them in enemy LOS for two consecutive turns... During the battle replay, a hidden HMG team pops out in front of my leading Aleph Coy platoon, costing me a SP. Quite nicely, they are now on my artillery's crosshairs...

Also, my leading platoon from Beth Coy in the center lost a SP to Egyptian fire.

That's it though, could have been worse I guess. Time to hit back!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 07, 2015, 10:12:50 AM
Turn #4 Aleph and Beth Companies

The two artillery strikes I called in town during the previous turn managed to both hit a hostile platoon, causing the rifle platoon to retreat, possibly in a retreated state.

I move my HMG team below theirs, and firing at it causes it to retreat too. Time to bring in the armored support team then:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4a2_zpseklk1dkg.png)

With the AA APC and Centurions, the Egyptian rifle platoon takes hits and retreats out of town to the scrubs behind it. Then, calling in the Beth Coy one of their platoons moves south, to trap the Egyptian HMG team. Moving my APC behind it to not allow it to retreat, I call an assault:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4a3_zpsrvoap1nc.png)

Captured! Why the downbeat look fellas, we've got great shawarma at out POW camp! Sometimes assault+capture is the quickest way to overcome a disrupted enemy unit with a low morale. Worked this time!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 07, 2015, 10:17:38 AM
Turn #4 - Gimel Company

The replay left a Syrian T-55 platoon at my LOS. Curiously, it did not fire at my infantry. Or maybe it did not see them. Regardless, knowing berto, it is set there for an ambush, maybe even Op Fire target against armored targets only?

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4b1_zps66ldvncj.png)

Not taking any chances, my forward platoons move in an attack it, causing a kill or two, and a retreat. Then, time to bring my Centurion troops to finish them off, hopefully!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4b2_zpsqmdz8fry.png)

Clear! Finishing my move, I bring forward an infantry cover, and move my few armored assets behing their protection:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4b3_zpspvvclyrf.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 07, 2015, 10:20:18 AM
End of turn #4

Not a bad turn for my paras: loss of 2 Para platoon SPs and 2 Jeep SPs with the line of Egyptian casualties growing...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4c1_zpsjomk0rnq.png)

Here, then is the end of turn situation. One point to Minor Victory.

My plan for the next move is to surround and capture the Egyptian infantry platoons, in disrupted state, seriously hindering their capabilities to retreat out of harms way. Then, Aleph Coy will remain in the area securing the two bridges, preventing any sneaky Egyptian counter attack to my rear areas. Beth and Gimel Coys will then combine a push North, first towards the Objectives there, and depending how it goes, then towards the Northern edge of the map, for the remaining Objectives.

That's where Egyptian artillery park resides too, would be nice to be able to close it down. So far I have prevented from placing random Indirect-fire-by-map counter battery fire there. Might start doing it though.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_4c3_zps0t7negib.png)

Egyptian turn #3  next though, let us see what berto got in his sleeves... As obvious from the screenshots above, the terrain here is very difficult for a consistent LOS in front of my advance. Plenty of ambushes ahead I am sure!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 02:21:11 AM
Turn #5

First, as a reminder, there's a DAR going on at the Matrix CS:ME AAR forum, so if you want to have a look at the life from the other side, here's the link again:

I am playing a PBEM game vs Berto, our lead programmer. 

There's a DAR going on at the Matrix CS:ME Forum by him (http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3940494) but since I am not allowed for a peek I will post here instead. Berto writes a mean report, so if interested to see the life from the Egyptian side of the trenches, have a peek there.

What's new this turn is I just received the second BETA (of many) of CS:ME 1.01 UPDATE, to be released according to the plan come end of November.

On my behalf I am working on the 2D counters and NATO icons for that little detail here and there, so things are smoothing out as there's a chance to touch all the little areas we did not have the time for the 1.00 release.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 02:26:33 AM
Turn #5 - Aleph Company

Having spent their time for three turns now in Disrupted state, my leading platoon now stacked with a Leader recovers as of beginning of this turn. Finally! Time to head straigth to North with them, to catch up that Disrupted Egyptian rifle platoon probably making a slow retreat towards friendly lines (for Disruption affects Movement Cost too, among other things).

On show here are the bit brighter blue Israeli counters being considered for 1.01.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5a1_zps0u8docvv.png)

Next, time to deal with the other disrupted hostile rifle platoon I pretty much surrounded last turn. I move my paras around it, and Assault it from opposite directions. First assault - no result... Second assault - Captured! Planning your assaults in a manner you can have several of them with decent odds rather than one massive one often pays off better, as was the case here.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5a2_zpsw9na6ihg.png)

Things are wrapping up really nicely at Aleph Coys area. No hostiles in LOS any more...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5a3_zps3hopbuja.png)

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 02:30:13 AM
Turn #5 - Headquarters

I have just the single Arm'd Infantry platoon protecting my Headquarters, Fixed for the duration of this scenario.

One of the new features just put in is the ability to show both Contours and Hex Grid at the same time, something visible here as the Arm'd Infantry climbs a small rise to have a LOS around the area.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5a4_zpswuetrtni.png)

With latest BETA, the Counter Stats are placed a bit better now.

The four values, from top left to bottom right are

- Strength
- Morale
- Assault
- Defense
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 02:39:16 AM
Turn #5 - Beth Company

Here is the situation with Beth and Gimel Coys at this stage. You can also observe my Aleph Coy pushing North on the road west of the railroad.

The next step I set up during the previous turn is the capture or destruction of the isolated Egyptian rifle platoon holding the village, and preventing the Beth to move north to join Gimel in clearing the vital bridge, held by yet another Egyptian rifle platoon.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5b1_zps1n59voge.png)

First things first though. I move one of the Gimel platoons to block its route of retreat, then close my HMG team to fire at them, causing a retrat. Nice, it can't escape North anymore!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5b2_zpsud2av0za.png)

To wrap up things, one of the Arm'd Engineer platoons closes in to fire at them, then the two Centurion troops close in for the kill, or in this case, an Assault. With Extreme FOW in place, this is a bit unnerving for not knowing the odds The Egyptians there should be pretty shaken at this stage though...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5b3_zps0plrhcet.png)

Success. POW camp is thattaway lads, plenty of shawarma for everyone!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5b4_zps81laajla.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 02:46:07 AM
End of Israeli Turn #5

This was a nicely smooth turn. It is rare for things to go according to plan. What do they say again? If you're attack proceeds surprisingly well you're likely heading towards an ambush! I guess I will find out.

Here's the Strength report at this stage:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5c1_zpsineadci6.png)

And the overall position of my Para Bde at the end of turn, before plotting my artillery for the next turn:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_5c2_zpsn1h3yoxe.png)

Turn #5 saw 10 enemy SPs killed or captured against a loss of 2 friendly SPs.

Of course, berto's to have his turn 5 moves next to even out things. Regardless, I now moved to Minor Victory range, and hope to remain there for the duration of the game.

Over to you, berto!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 06:07:13 AM
Israeli Turn #6

This being weekend, I receive the turn back from berto pretty much right away. Time to hit the trenches again, then! With the pace this battle is going, there's no time to dig in, though.

Aleph Company

Beginning of turn sees the Egyptian rifle platoon at my gun sights. I fire at it twice with my Para platoon, and then assuming there's no risk of Op Fire anymore bring in my meatchoppers for close support. The Egyptian platoon takes a couple of retreats and finds himself at the edge of the map. Berto's have a chance to take it off the map come next turn, to have it disappear into desert so to say.

There's hardly any clear terrain hexes to see his Strength. With EFOW in place, enemy Strength can only be observed while at clear.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6a1_zpsxc6iupdu.png)

Next turn I'll have my Bn Leader (on foot) moving towards the action again, and will have my sole APC coming to meet him. With the effect on morale, he'll be needed near the front. Incoming artillery alone causes now kills and disruptions, as things have slowed down a bit in the middle with Beth and Gimel coys.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 06:15:18 AM
Turn #6 - Beth Company

Watching the replay was a bit of a painful experience this time. Lost a few SPs and two or three Disruptions to enemy artillery phase alone. Time to hit back!

My routes of advance are both blocked at this stage by enemy counters, one at the Beth Coys route of advance, and two blocking the Gimel company at the vital bridge crossing:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6a2_zpsx4jzyt4a.png)

I will deal with the one blocking Beth from advancing. With LOS at minimum I am only guessing, but it would seem there'd be a chance to bypass it from both flanks. I chose the left flank in order not to receive any Op Fire from the counters at the bridge hex.

So if you look at the pic above, and then this one, what I did I brought the 6SP Para pltn up one hex to fire at the enemy counter. I then had the full 100AP available to my leading platoon, which with Double Time used will allow me to flank the enemy to its rear. Moving there, the LOS rule reveals the trucks that were in the hex. I only saw them because I had the APs to enter the hex.

Time to fix those hand grenades for a close assault again:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6a3_zpsv7zlhmif.png)

"Passengers Eliminated", read the result. Oh wow, they were bringing reinforcements, not retrieving the forward platoon.

Then, time to hit the now surrounded rifle platoon. Moving on paved roads my 3rd platoon moves at Double Time to have the APs at one assault attempt at the enemy. Success. My paras are on a roll here.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6a4_zpsdwecioi7.png)

Not to become complacent, I now move one of the Aleph Coy platoons to guard my left flank. Visible Hexes toggled ON:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6a5_zpscvb7qtoc.png)

With Beth's left flank secured, time to see if I can force the bridge now with the reinforced Gimel Coy.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 06:25:14 AM
Turn #6 - Gimel Company

Before moving with Gimel, I had a look whether I can already deny the enemy there a retreat route. I've got my HMG team on the APCs, and with Reachable Hexes highlighted, while having pressed Save AP for Loading/Unloading, I can observe how far they could go.

For a second I am tempted to have them flying in an unload at the crossroads to 10VP Objective, but since I have no LOS there I decide to move them to hex with my Arm'd Engineers instead for fire support. APCs will then retrieve the Para Bn Leader next turn from Aleph Coy.

Then, as an opening move, I will move the 6SP Para Platoon and the Arm'd Eng Platoon to flank the 20VP Objective from the 1o'clock position:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6b1_zpscybinjlv.png)

Only to find out the area was guarded by an HMG team. My Paras take a 1SP casualty and retreat, using all their APs while at it. I return the fire with Arm'd Engineers to no effect:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6b2_zps3t4covlw.png)

Then I pound the enemy from South with first my HMG team there, then with first Sho't Kal troop, then with another, finally causing one disruption. Villages give a Terrain modifier, which together with unlucky dice denied my access to bridge hex. I was hoping for a retreat at least.

Still, there seems to be a chance come next turn to make a little pocket of the defending forces here, should I be able to close the hexes marked with arrows. Time to plot the artillery and wait for the next turn. I have units in depth, so should my forward counters disrupt I should have fresh troops coming in from behind.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6b4_zpsv1mvtc9b.png)

Finally, time to check that enemy counter under the 25VP Objective next to my Fire Support base East of Suez Canal...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 10, 2015, 06:37:36 AM
Turn 6 - Fire Support Base

Sagger team! ATGMs pack a huge punch where available, so I better hope for good luck with fire resolutions next!  :o

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6b3_zpsvoosl8sl.png)

I select all four Sho't Kal troops and fire at the enemy. Each counter will calculate separately, and with the enemy on Rubble, with a good Terrain Modifier for defense, at least some of them remain there. I could now retreat, but I'd lose the LOS to them, and would give them the advantage. Instead, I fire again, and hope for the best. This time I do check the Strength Dialog immediately, and notice 5SP worth of Saggers destroeyd. So it was a full 6SP team.

With only one of them remaining, and Disrupted at that, I can assume they will be dealt with next turn, against a loss of one or two tanks most I hope.

So here we stand then, with the Egyptian turn 6 to come:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_6c1_zpsgs0wtha2.png)

Egyptians were hit pretty hard again. I racked up casualties worth 3SP of infantry, but they lost like 18SPs worth of units.

I have 234 VPs from kills and captures, agains a loss of 66 VPs of friendly units. In addition, there's 55VPs I've obtained from Objectives.

Often, Objectives are not the route to victory, like is the case here. Regardless, the Objectives around the river crossing are now strongly contested by my Paras.

Over to Berto for his countering moves!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 12:04:12 PM
Israeli Turn #7 - Replay and Friendly Artillery Phase

Back at home after a little trip, and what better way to celebrate it than opening up the email and seeing a new turn having arrived from berto!

Watching replay sees Egyptian with more units arriving to front. So he is not pulling back, but attempting to blunt my attack right here and now. I again watch my men taking incoming artillery and losing a couple of SPs, while the enemy fire I think causes a loss too.

Then, time for my Command Report for the coming turn. I have an IP created by the Arm'd Inf platoon guarding my HQs, while my artillery will only have one tube available for next turn. The latter was bad news, just as it became a 'target rich environment'. The artillery plotting worked a treat again, only one barrage turned out to be against a hex with no hostiles arriving there.

New wreck markers, paying tribute to AIW wreck counters. Turned out beautifully, if I may say so  :smitten:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a1_zpsgyzhpluc.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 12:10:05 PM
Turn #7 - Aleph and Beth Companies

Enemy continues to block my advance on both sides of the river. Here's how it looks at the moment.

My plan for this turn was to see if I can surround and isolate his force here. If I am able to do that, especially at east of river, that's quite a blow to his men. Two rifle platoons, HMG and RCLR team out of fight would be quite a coup.

I will begin a flaning move first with Aleph Coy platoons, and will attempt at swinging to the left of the sole defending rifle platoon west of the 10VP objective marker. I've brought also my meatchoppers to close support here, but they are out of APs to make a difference this turn.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a2_zpsxynznrxh.png)

All the enemy counters are on hexes with terrain granting them with a concealment factor, so I don't see any of their Strength values.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 12:39:11 PM
Aleph and Beth Coys, cont'd

Again, for a little Fire and Movement move, I move my HMG team forward to fire at the enemy counter. Instead, upon entering the hex, a low lying T-54 materialises out of thin desert air and fires at them, luckily for me only causing a retreat. Dang, where did they come from!

Hmm, how to move next? Again via left, or via right with a risk of incoming op fire across the river? Too bad all my Sho't Kal troops are by the wrong side of the river!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a3_zpsavogadmw.png)

But since there's the road, paved road for the most part, maybe there'd be just enough APs I could swing a few of them this side of river to fire at the enemy tanks? Lesse, selecting two troops, I click at Save APs for Firing, and swing them around. Drat. One hex short of firing position!

OK. If those enemy tankers remain on my LOS I will have them next turn.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a4_zpsbfbhtuxd.png)

Instead, I cross my fingers to not take any more Op Fire from the tanks, and move one Para platoon to surround the enemy rifle by next turn.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 12:48:34 PM
Turn #7 - Gimel Company

Time to capture the unit defending the bridge hex then! First, it's route of retreat to east of river needs to be blocked, so I move and Beth platoon to its rear. There's quite intese Op Fire from the stack one hex to North, underneath that truck counter. I take a Disruption but no losses. Not too bad!

Time to bring in my Arm'd Engineers to assault the disrupted rifle counter then. Assault! No result. No APs for another one.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a5_zpsekzeyhlf.png)

Two times lucky so I then bring one Para platoon and the Bde Leader to overcome them. Assault! No result on the enemy, again.
This turn is not going that great at all  :(

As a final attempt at them, and sort of assuming this will not end in capture but a retreat as the route to North is open, I assault the third time from South. A retreat it is, but now I hold the bridge at least.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a6_zpsmjtxp8sx.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 12:56:20 PM
Gimel Coy cont'd

That is a large enemy stack there, most of the Disrupted. That means low morale, and low morale is a bad news against assault. So time for one last charge then! I move the Para and Arm'd Eng platoons behind to North, so hopefully their presence will force a die roll that sees the full stack captured. That would be sweet. Maybe something decisive can be achieved by this turn yet.

Assault!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a7_zpsfaq0p7c0.png)

Oh man, no result to hostiles, but lost my Bde Leader KIA in the assault. That was very unlucky. Bummer. He'll be missed  :-[

That's it, then. Time to fire up that Strength Dialog to calculate what happened this turn.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a9_zpsqmgvaxmi.png)

Six friendly SP losses vs eight enemy SP losses. Not good. I cannot afford a war of attrition here. I am still safely in the Minor Victory category, but I have a Major Win now at my gun sights so better not loose that on foolish casualties. Yet, if I could secure the capture of that one large stack in the middle that could be a key to the success.

Better to close the turn then, to send to Berto, and to see how he counters my moves.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 15, 2015, 01:00:14 PM
End of Israeli Turn #7

So here's how it all looks at the moment. There's the 25VP objective not that far now, with all the center Objectives with friendly flags on them.

Yet, my left flank is open. More tanks from there? I've not seen too many of them around, and I know they are somewhere there. Yet, my Centurion troops are now securely located at both sides of the river, so I should be able to counter any enemy armor movement, especially if it end in my LOS.

I am taking a calculated risk and having a really thin cover on my right flank. I am assuming the Fire Base east of Suez Canal has made berto to concentrate his forces west side of the map instead, where he enjoys free movement outside my spotters. Hmm...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_7a8_zps5hifvnho.png)

So, it was not that bad VP wise after all. Kills on both sides were undecisive at best, but the capture of the center 10+20VPs swung a neat little point tally to my direction after all.

More importantly, if I can now hold my ground, those two enemy positions are in real danger of being isolated and mopped up.  :knuppel2:

And that's it for turn 7. Over to berto!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 17, 2015, 01:36:53 AM
Israeli Turn #8

And so it continues. I receive the turn, watch the replay, witnessing just two artillery barrages from enemy as well. They are running low with their tubes too. The other barrage hits one of my Para platoons rather badly, losing SPs.

Time to hit back, then. Here's the situation in the beginning of my turn:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a1_zpscqicwfbl.png)

Observations:
- Egyptian units in danger of being isolated are pulling back now. Might not be able to create those pockets after all.
- Egyptian tanks retreated too.
- Several anti-tank teams approaching my Fire Base west of canal. LOS rules require them to stay there for one turn before LOS enabling them to fire, so I can again try to push them back first.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 17, 2015, 01:41:24 AM
Turn #8 - Aleph, Beth and Gimel Companies

As I noted earlier, this scenario allows the Israeli player with an advantage to move in a very systematic manner against an enemy that receives reinforcements more in a piecemeal fashion. This is true again, for the 416th Para Bn companies are now advancing in a very neat order both sides of the river cutting the map in half.

Elements of Gimel Coy flanking the enemy via West...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a2_zpstpntkn4d.png)

while elements of Beth Coy do the same via East:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a3_zpslhailhys.png)

Enemy tanks are there, but due to the difficult terrain it seems they've used their APs in pulling back, and I take no Op Fire this time.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 17, 2015, 01:47:06 AM
Turn #8 - Tank Action

Time to deal the threats to my armored units first. Fire Base West takes several direct firing missions against enemy ground forces, who pull back. Despite of my efforts though, they now have an established LOS to my tankers, and can fire back at the beginning of their turn. Also, I took some Op Fire when I revealed my tanks to them (as they opened fire), luckily only a Disruption:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a4_zpstqreatms.png)

In the East, time to deal with those enemy tanks. I don't see their Strength though, for they are not in a clear hex. This area is so full of vegetation due to irrigation that LOS remains a constant issue, as the terrain offers good concealment for staying hidden, or at least hiding unit details.

Regardless, I find a spot from the road where I can fire at them...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a5_zps38atzc6x.png)

and the tankers report a direct hit. Damage Report, as of 1.01, will report more information, as in here reporting the enemy destroyed.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a6_zpsujbotdov.png)

I check the Strength Dialog to check details out. One tank, it was. A leading platoon, so there must be more of them around...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 17, 2015, 01:55:49 AM
Turn #8 - Aleph Beth Gimel Coys Cont'd

Back to infantry action then. In a classic Fire and Movement manner I bring in my meatchoppers first. The road movement allows me for a very neat shoot-and-scoot tactics, to defending Egyptians disadvantage.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a7_zpswatsfxpw.png)

No results though. Then, follow up with Paras and the HMG team and the Damage Report reports them taking casualties. I am not checking the details now though.

Instead, time to move to east side of the river to continue the push north there. In the previous pic I already had caused the forward enemy counter to retreat, so time to move on with an assault as they must be with low morale.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a8_zps5wthpiua.png)

They escape the assault though. so having fired at the visible counters it is time to call it a day and send the turn back.

First, let us check the Strength Report now.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a9_zpsh3z2z63c.png)

Friendly casualties remained low with 2 SPs of Para platoons, while the enemy lost the one tank, quite a few support teams, and a couple of rifle SPs too. Netted some 18 VPs with battle actions here.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 17, 2015, 02:04:13 AM
End of Israeli Turn #8

Here's the overall situation come end of friendly turn #8.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_8a10_zpsbsibcfsr.png)

I brought the IFV to keep eyes on my right flank, together with moving the HMG team a bit east as well. With the Fire Base in place, I don't expect the enemy to pull any nasty surprises there.

The left flank has friendly eyes too. The enemy tanks are somewhere there, but unless they can shoot-and-scoot I am well prepared to engage any of them remaining at my LOS.

The acting Bde Leader is now stacked with one of my disrupted Para platoon. Morale is encouragingly up to 8 now, so hopefully they recover come next turn.

I only have one battery unable to fire at the moment, but I only plot one battery of the three available. Better save the ammos for more juicy targets. I also continue to have the 2 Air Strikes to call upon.

The 25VP town fell to my troops, so I am now encouragingly over the 300 VP limit, if only just, and with Berto's countering turn remaining. There's the 50VP objective some 2 clicks up the road. If I manage to keep the losses to level with the enemy, while capturing that, I will be very near to a Major Win here. That 25VP objective in front of my Fire Base I am not interested at all. Ambush country! Better leave it to hostiles, hopefully they continue to feel threatened there, meaning there'd be forces staying there to guard the area, unavailable to protect against my main push both sides of the river in the center.

Again I feel the Egyptians might have bit of an uphill battle here. I don't know if different tactics would help them, like maybe really avoiding any contact in the opening turns, and giving ground to buy time.

A bit early to get too analytical though. It's been good fun so far, the Israeli troops have very good cohesity now, and I expect things to only get worse for the enemy now, as
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 18, 2015, 04:45:24 AM
Israeli Turn #9

And so it continues. As a reminder, don't forget to check Berto's side of the story (http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tt.asp?forumid=1517) at the Matrix AAR forums!

Time to switch back the hex grid, to make this look like a proper wargame. Replay shows me taking casualties from enemy artillery, with his units now performing a fighting retreat towards the 50VP Objective I have my eyes set on now.

I was quite concerned on the ATGM teams remaining with LOS on my Fire Base, but Berto obviously decided they are needed elsewhere, so they were pulled back too. I mentioned earlier I am not interested of that 25VP Objective at all, but since it is so neatly covered by the lurking Centurions from the opposite bank, I will send a small detachment that way too.

There were a couple of APC convoys deploying troops to that area too. Having unloaded, one of them remains in my LOS so let us see if I can do something about that. This is quite the busy terrain as mentioned, plenty of chances to hide inside those orchards and vineyards.

At the beginning of my turn #9, Berto clawed back 9VPs at the expense of my troops. So here we go again:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_9a1_zps78olsvw7.png)

 
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 18, 2015, 04:50:41 AM
Turn #9 - Gimel Company

So let us get the operation underway. I move the Engineer team next to the deep river, in preparation for them building a Light Bridge there. It will be a 20% chance IIRC creating that, so might be a few turns before I can have it completed. To ensure they can operate without interruptions, I move one Para platoon to cover them from the north.

Again, this area is also covered by my Fire Base so I am in no hurry here. Just need to make sure there's no hostiles spotting for artillery there.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_9a2_zps8ngdenik.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 18, 2015, 04:55:57 AM
Turn #9 - Aleph Company

I tried to surround the enemy counter here again, but since it was not Disrupted and ripe for an assault I fired at it again, causing retreats. Two SP worth of kills were made though finally as the meatchoppers entered the fray again.

Time to deal with those APCs at a distance then. As I had information on LOS from various hexes with my forward Para platoon reconing the area, I move one of the Sho't Kal troops to engage the enemy.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_9a3_zpsficc9m6z.png)

They take some losses and retreat one hex back. My Centurions are now out of APs to move out, so instead I decide to risk it and bring the supporting Sho't Kal troop into same hex, saving APs for Op Fire for any enemy entering their LOS.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_9a4_zpsmg5rhuww.png)

They have a neat LOS of the area, of course if there were already a hunting T-55 platoon there, with their Op Fire set OFF, I'd be not seeing them, while they could take all the time to hit my units come their turn. Feels a bit like Recon-by-death here, but gotta take some chances every now and then to keep the momentum moving forward.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 18, 2015, 05:05:49 AM
End of Israeli Turn #9

At this stage it is time to evaluate the battle field again. Here's my Cunning Plan, then, valid until it changes.

(1) Priority now for Aleph Coy is to push forward as quickly as possible, to secure the single Medium Bridge leading to the 50VP Objective. If Berto's deployed more troops there, and should I be able to cut their route out of the pocket surrounded from all sides by Deep River, this scenario might end right there as far as the winning conditions are set.

(2) The 25VP objective seems to be there now in the open, ready for picking. Something for the Gimel Coy to take care during the remaining length of the scenarios. Requires a successful Light Bridge creation by the Engineering team, so might take a few turns to get there.

(3) Meanwhile, Beth Coy has orders to slow down their advance, allowing the enemy to feed more troops to the 50VP pocket. The trap is closing, I hope. Let us see any mice getting caught.

And that's as far as I plan for now. Once I get there, I can either dig in and remain on a defensive for the rest of the scenario, or re-group and push on. Lesse.

Before End Turn, time to plot some artillery. My 200mm MRLs are with full tubes, but I am saving them for the bridge action to support Aleph. 155mm batteries plotted in my route of advance though.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_9a5_zpskadun8jh.jpg)

Creating the Cunning Plan took all the mental energy I had this Sunday morning though, for I forgot to check the Strength Dialog. Regardless, 14 VPs added to my tally from the ground action alone.

Over to you Berto!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 18, 2015, 07:38:38 AM
Israeli Turn #10

Berto was quickly bouncing the turn back to me. As for my Cunning Plan, trouble ahead!

Berto obviously identified the little town sitting next to the bridges being vital ground, so he reinforced it with what probably is two full Arm'd Inf platoons. Two of them around, it must be at least a full company, so there's likely one or two more, together with support teams.

Good thing I saved my MRLS tubes for now I do have a target rich environment in front of me! Each of them will likely receive a MRLS barrage each, while my other 155mm battery remained available there's that to add to fire power. I still have the two airstrikes, so will probably use them together for a maximum shock-and-awe. Not before I have foot infantry available to charge in against any retreats occuring from battle results though.

I did try out the Engineers with creating a Light Bridge. It failed, but I brought another Eng team to sit in the same hex. Come next turn I have a 40% chance for a success, so it should not be longer than two three turns to be able to move on.

I moved the two Para platoons that I ordered to do the river crossing forward, to see if there's anyone there. Empty it seems, so double timed my single HMG team in the area next to Objective. I might not take it over before the bridge is available, for berto even without LOS to the area will notice the flag changing its color.

There's the APC around, I do have the 4SP Armd Infantry team sitting next to my Fixed HQ counters, so I might move that forward now too, as the area is secured it seems.

What else? Oh yes, the little hill 5 hexes north of my Fire Base took quite a shelling. Berto must be concerned about it, and since the barrage hit the hex 100% spot on, he must have eyes there. Sounds like a proper introduction to send a recon troop there!  :knuppel2:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_10a4_zpsgpagh58x.png)

Mid-game inventory on my troops

Aleph Coy, having been able to secure Abu Sultan with light casualties, and then serving as a flank guard has traveled lightly. Its platoons are at 6 + 4 + 5 strength, so a loss of 3 SPs. Full of fight they are, still.

Beth Coy, who've taken the weight of most fighting in the center, are becoming a bit exhausted. At 3 + 5 + 3 they've lost 7 SPs out of 18. 3SP platoons can still fight, but soon they'd need to be designated to rear echelon security duties.

Gimel Coy, who've mostly spent time behind Beth, are almost at full strength too, with 4 + 5 + 5 platoons, so a loss of 4 SPs.

All three Coys have their HMG support teams at full 2SP strength. Fire and Movement...

Arm'd Engineers are at 6 + 3 + 6 SP, so two of them in excellent condition while one of them might be left behind soon.

My Centurion troops (Sho't Kal troops), are still all around, as are the M3 meatchoppers supporting them.

All in all, not too bad, despite having been in full battle for almost 10 turns now.

Egyptian reinforcements are arriving, this is turning into a full battle again it seems...

To be continued!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 19, 2015, 10:21:18 AM
Israeli Turn #10 - Right Flank

There was not that much happening this turn, so I'll be quick about it. In the right flank I send one of the Sho't Kal troops towards the Hill that received all that enemy artillery attention. My APs don't carry to rise to the top of it yet though. I have to think whether I want to do that before I have foot infantry observing the enemy area though. Could well be a hail of ATGMs waiting for me there...

Meanwhile, the remaing three Sho't Kal troops stay firmly at their Fire Base, to secure the imminent capture of the 25VP Objective front of them.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_10a3_zpsvryfgwzn.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 19, 2015, 10:23:47 AM
Israeli Turn #10 - Right Flank

Not much happening here either. I Double Timed my Para platoon forward along the path there, so they continue to have eyes on the apparently empty desert hexes at my left flank. As pointed out so many times, the terrain here is very busy with vegetation, so who knows what lurks there.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_10a2_zpsjs77cunt.png)

Time to turn the attention then to the center. The enemy APCs are very vulnerable, as is the stack guarding the access to the 50VP "island" surrounded by Deep Water hexes.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 19, 2015, 10:36:22 AM
Israeli End of Turn #10

So here we are then. My Sho't Kal troops west of the railroad promptly destroyed the APCs, while the HMG team at the railroad fired at the enemy counters in the middle. There was a Sagger team, an HMG team and trucks there, and after my meatchoppers and another Sho't Kal troop left the area, all that remains were the burning wrecks.

I decided to move my Gimel Paras back towards west, for I do believe the 3SP Engineer, the HMG team at that side of river, and the approaching 4SP Arm'd Inf platoon are what it takes to capture and hold the 25VP Objective.

Then, time to plot that artillery on enemy counters, also on the hex guarding the access to the 50VP area.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_10a4_zpsgpagh58x.png)

Victory Dialog reports another strong Israeli turn. As visible in the screenshot, my Paras have been able to move very efficiently, closely supporting each other.

Strength Dialog, after having missed it last turn, makes for some grim reading for the Egyptian HQ, with another 12SP worth of units lost.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_10a5_zpsl1pvzy4s.png)

That's it, over to Berto!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 21, 2015, 09:55:02 AM
Israeli Turn #11

Another day another turn! Replay shows another Egyptian Arm'd Infantry platoon appearing, together with T-54 platoon. Things are heating up, again. Otherwise, no friendly losses, enemy had only one battery available, and their direct fire had my leftmost Para platoon Disrupted, but no losses.

Then, the friendly artillery barrages take place, causing at least a Retreat if not casualties. Time to check Strength Dialog later...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a1_zpsle8vy5an.png)

... Time to put my plan in place, first.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 21, 2015, 09:59:42 AM
Israeli Turn #11 - Right Flank

First, let us see if I will manage to build the Light Bridge this turn. Success, the first try!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a2_zpsczngbmdw.png)

Then, time to move my HMG team into Objective. I've had friendly eyes on the location for several turns, so despite of the sometimes tricky concealment benefits the terrain allows, I really expect to find the place deserted. And so it was. 25VPs to my tally. Woo-hoo!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a3_zpsclm7lugu.png)

Then, time to establish a new Fire Base east of canal. I expect to receive a hailstorm of Saggers climbing that hill, but no, it is eerily quiet. I move another Centurion troop forward as well, leaving two of them guarding the Objective I've just taken. The Arm'd Infantry I had guarding my HQs is now set to climb another hill in the area, to keep eye on the north.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 21, 2015, 10:04:47 AM
Israeli Turn #11 - Center and Left Flank

With things very quiet in the left flank, I decide to keep all my Paras in the middle. Come next turn I will move the 3SP Engineers to add to my left flank, while the other Engineer moves forward to build a Light Bridge to flank the 50VP Objective from southeast. I move the Gimel Coy paras to near the river bed as well, to spot any hostiles in the northern shore.

Then one Para platoon together with the HMG team to the bridge hex. No Op Fire. I would have expected them to man the Rubble hex there for the excellent defensive factor the terrain allows. Instead, I can move in there to force the Objective. When I am ready that is. The first priority still remains to trap as many troops in the pocket as possible.

Next, the enemy tankers. I move one Para platoon forward to observe all hexes where I can fire from. I can actually fire from here, utilising the reduces road movement cost for little shoot and scoot. Hopefully I can get the full two fire missions from each troop here?

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a4_zpsdf36npr9.png)

Nope. One fire mission per troop, and additionally they are all on reduced Combat Efficiency, as I've moved quite far from my two HQ's Command Range. Still, let us see if I can dent them. Three troops, three volleys!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a5_zpsur20u2s0.png)

No results. Bummer. Oh well, just to test their  nerves, I will fire at his tanks twice with my Para platoons RPG armament.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a6_zpsi66ahvel.png)

No result gained, but let us see if he retreats his tanks next. It is no fun to observe your armor taking hit after hit during the enemy turn replay...
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 21, 2015, 10:10:54 AM
End of Israeli Turn #11

Here we are, with just the artillery to plot against enemy infantry:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a7_zpskgjzm7no.png)

My troops are quite nicely spread out among the line of advance. I am not overstacking anywhere, so will not receive any penalty from that (the limit is at 12SP per hex minus leaders who are not counted). I am quite exposed though. I have not used Smoke at all yet, come to think of it I have not even checked how much if any Smoke I have available. Smoke can be deployed by either artillery indirectly or by Engineers on the spot. Something to consider come next turn.

Looking at the Victory Dialog I realise I did not manage to knock out a single enemy SP either this turn, not from the direct fire nor from the artillery the before.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_11a9_zpsqrhnhc6y.png)

However, I did pocket the 25VP Objective so I am now in the Major Win territory for the first time.

Five turns to go! Over to you Berto.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 07:15:27 AM
Israeli Turn #12

Into the last 5 turns! The replay showed my Gimel HMG team losing the other gunteam, with enemy direct fire again not hitting anything. The enemy tankers boldly decided to stay in the open, to slug it out with my three Centurion troops. Also, at least one platoon entered the 50VP pocket. That's good news, now I just need to use the remaining turns to seal and mop up anyone who's stuck there.

After the friendly artillery phase the defending Egyptian rifle platoons received retreats, which actually opened the gate to the vital bridge hex.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a1_zpsy9qdngk1.png)

Time to dash forward then!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 07:17:24 AM
Israeli Right Flank

First, let us seal the 25VP objective securely first. Using the light bridge my Engineer's created, the 3SP team moves forward, to dig in on the path towards the objective.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a2_zpsfezimzp1.png)

With one of my HMG teams in the objective, and two troops of Centurions covering the area, I should be safe here.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 07:24:05 AM
Israeli Turn #12 - Clash of Armor

Then, let us deal with the four Egyptian T-54s (T-55s?). With road movement, I move into LOS with them, all three troops having APs to fire two salvoes, then to retreat out of LOS if necessary. First salvo with all troops firing! Nothing.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a3_zpshptcerod.png)

Second volley, two kills and a retreat out of my tankers LOS.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a4_zpsj9vevdhf.png)

Since I see their strength though, I must have eyes on their position. And so it is, from the hex my Engineers are holding. I Save AP for Firing to ensure I don't move there without being capable of firing. One of the Centurion troops must stay behind, while two troops move forward to new firing position.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a5_zpsf5vfp6wl.png)

Firing! A retreat with no losses this time. Also, my other troop can't move out of the hex now, so I leave the other troop to cover it with Op Fire in case the enemy tankers return. Hopefully they were Disrupted at least, so they could not move towards enemy until recovered...

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 07:30:17 AM
Israeli End of Turn #12

With path forward cleared, I move the Aleph coy in wedge formatin forward. It would have been nice to use Smoke to cover their positions, but alas I checked and this scenario does not provide me with any Smoke rounds.

Next, I stack the counters in the middle section to move into the 50VP pocket. Two stacks of three counters, the one with the bridge with two Para platoons and a HMG team to cover them, while the one right to them has two Paras and the 6SP Engineer the latter hopefully lucky with dice to quickly create a light bridge here for a little flanking move.

Time to plot artillery next. All tubes available for the crucial next turn. I have two full 6SP enemy platoons at the village facing me, so it will be tough for my Paras to perhaps hold their ground. Should the enemy tankers remain out of sight though, they can expect full close support from the three Centurion troops and the Meatchopper troop in the area.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a7_zps5cecvupr.png)

Victory Dialog shows Side A adding to their point tally, while the Strength Dialog continues to stack up enemy casualties.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_12a6_zpsi4ychmt9.png)

This turn they can actually hit back at me with vengeance. Over to Berto to find out how bad!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 01:56:41 PM
Israeli Turn #13

Just as anticipated, the replay saw my forward units in a harms way. The 3SP forward platoon took hits from artillery then from direct fire, losing 2SPs, while I took one 1SP loss with another para platoon as well.

The friendly artillery in turn then wreak havoc at enemy platoons, leaving the 50VP hex undefended and with my forward coy with some room to breathe. Enemy tankers were nowhere to be seen, so they must have Disrupted and are staying behind.

LOS calculation with friendly eyes in more advanced positions revealed the enemy artillery and mortar batteries. Priority targets! Also, some trucks were seen retreating at the pocket I've created, retreating north. With nowhere to run, they are unspotted again for now, but with nowhere to go they should be easy to find.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a1_zpswyeutbfl.png)

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 02:05:02 PM
Israeli Turn #13 - Into the Pocket

I had no luck with my engineers creating a bridge, so double timed my two Para platoons towards the existing bridge. Come next turn, I will have four Para platoons and the HMG team to mop up the pocket from any remaining hostiles. Should be more than enough to finish the job there.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a2_zpsptpj5bec.png)

Then, forward with the M3 Meatchoppers to soften the unit defending the entry to the pocket. That done, time to unpin those hand grenades and call in an assault. I only wish to push the enemy back here, shoud work out...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a3_zpslf7adadb.png)

All clear! The road is now open to enter the pocket from West as well.


Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 02:08:12 PM
Israeli Turn #13 - Left Flank

Using road movement, I enter the one Centurion troop who stayed on road to soften the enemy forces next to the river, then an assault it is again. With the river behind their back, I actually hope to capture the lot, but there's a good chance they will retreat instead for there's another enemy platoon securing their flank.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a5_zpsreiztuyz.png)

A retreat it was.

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 02:10:42 PM
Israeli Turn #13 - Right Flank

Things having gone quiet, I decide to move my Centurion coy forward on the eastern bank. There's still a couple of hills towards the north, maybe I can spot something from there.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a4_zpsiisjy3qa.png)

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 24, 2015, 02:15:44 PM
End of Israeli Turn #13

So here we are then, with three turns remaining for me. I am getting quite close to VP Objectives at the north, but I am sticking to my plan to secure the pocket first.

With the 50VP objective now in my hands, the point tally is very decisive now.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a6_zpsmzbtxa48.png)

Looking at the map, I decide to move my IFV on the paved road to the hill there. Hopefully he's withdrawn the anti-tank teams from there after they dueled with my Fire Base a good few turns ago.

Ambushed! Wreck marks the hill the two IFVs entered, but not returned...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_13a7_zps3fojokuz.png)

Should have known better. And since I already deployed all my artillery to fire missions, not much I can do apart calling one of the two airstrikes on them.

And that's it. Over to Berto!


Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 26, 2015, 11:50:09 AM
Israeli Turn #14 - Piper's Bill

Having seen my concentrated push cutting through the groups of resistance with relative ease, wathing the replay proved the tide is changing.

Quite the disaster, enemy artillery and what now was quite a concentrated direct fire from his units in defence, I lose 5SPs of Paras from Aleph and Beth Companies, with one SP lost from Gimel to tick off my worst casualties from a single turn so far.

A whopping -30VP tally at losses tells me it is time to dig in and secure the advance the earlier turns have gained me.

Situation at the beginning of turn with my tanks on a move to establish a new forward Fire Base:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_14a1_zpsgyh7qwxi.png)

Planning my turn, the inventory tells quite a grim story.

Aleph Coy is down to 0 + 4 + 3 + 1HMG. Having had their 1st platoon annihilated, they've lost the organic Coy command post, and will remain in low Combat Efficiency for the remaining turns, as we had the optional C&C rule ON. It adds the 1st Platoons to serve as HQ points, so this is bad news for sure.

Beth Coy is recoiling from losses with 2 + 0 + 5 + 2HMG. Brutal.

Gimel Coy remains in good health, with a strength of 4 + 5 + 4 + 2HMG.

There's not much of a plan available now, so I will order Aleph and Beth on defence, with Gimel orders to mop up the 50VP pocket.



 
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 26, 2015, 11:53:12 AM
Israeli Turn #14 - Gimel Company

So time to move around and capture the Egyptian infantry units.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_14a2_zpsqjjmpslt.png)

Despite of my efforts, they will survive at least another turn, with a loss of only 1SP so far. With nowhere to run, I don't expect them to hang around for much longer. I have one of my platoons disrupted, time to bring in the Bn Leader to rally up them!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_14a3_zps0aatarji.png)
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 26, 2015, 11:56:58 AM
End of Israeli Turn #14

Despite some success, I managed only to claw back for 16VP worth of points, vs a loss of 30 VP of mine, so clearly it is time to call it a job done in Africa.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_14a4_zpspahl57r9.png)

With artillery plotted, after having taken this snapshot I retreated Beth's 2SP 1st Platoon one hex back. Can't afford to lose it too.

I do hope Egyptians have had it too. I still have the full strength Arm'd Engineer there, other wise this would be the perfect moment for an Egyptian counter attack.

Will he retreat towards his remaining 50VP though, or will he attack. Time will tell!

Over to Berto.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 02:35:43 AM
Israeli Turn #15

This is the end
Hold your breath and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then ...


Not quite yet! One turn to go after this one.

Watching the replay was a bit of a painful moment again, as enemy artillery killed 2SP out of my forward Arm'd Engineers. Then a hail of bullets of all ground units in the area wiped out 1SP of my Paras inside the 50VP pocket in the middle. That's it though, so could have been worse I guess. They have rocket artillery somewhere in the North, I could plot some counter battery indirect fire there but so far I've maintained a tactic that I plot only targets I've seen to ensure the effectiveness of scoring direct hits.

So here it is how it all opens up for my turn. Of interest are the trucks, who timbered their artillery and retreated to rear area. Unfortunate to them, some of my units have eyes on them, so that's one of the priority targets for this turn then. The other priority is to mop up the 50VP pocket of the remaining hostiles, for they do keep calling artillery support. Third priority for the remaining two turns is to keep my casualties to minimum. I always put a bit of a role playing into these games, so by now I've come quite attached to my brave little paras, and really wish I could secure the area without further casualties...

I have Highlight Disrupted Units ON, so two of my Para platoons continue to be somewhat out of action. They can fire with a reduced effect, but for instance they can't move towards enemy until they've recovered:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a1_zpsz4hneeas.png)

One little step towards that target would be the elimination of the enemy Sagger team taking pot shots at my Forward Fire Base. They did not score any hits on m Sho't Kal troops, but fortunate to them I only manage to cause a retreat as well. They escape my LOS so nothing further here to do, apart to decide whether to yet send the Arm'd Infantry platoon for some Recon mission along the road.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a2_zpsddf6x2sj.png)

Highligh Visible Hexes ON, as I prefer while moving around.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 02:40:59 AM
Israeli Turn #15 - Mopping Up Action

Then, to rid of the 50VP Pocket of the enemy elements. Without a further delay, at them it is, firing with my HMG support team first:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a3_zpsjbdmkmr6.png)

Their isolated 1SP team is wiped out, so time to add some fire support from behind the river:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a4_zpsi2o4wduv.png)

They kill 1SP of the hostiles, the rest of them seem to have had it, so time to assault and capture the remaining men there:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a5_zpscqhbpxjl.png)

Captured. Still some shawarma left overs for you guys, hut hut!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 02:50:07 AM
Israeli Turn #15 - The Left Flank

Hmm, it seems I am reporting things here in not a chronological order, but so it goes then.

My Left Flank continues to see heated action. Berto's secured his rear area in depth, and I have no intention to stick my nose there at this stage any more. So I will concentrate on sniping his soft assets instead. The retreating artillery battery first. Seen by my Arm'd Engineers...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a6_zps990lyxfu.png)

...they quickly call in some Sho't Kal troops to see them off.

"Sir, enemy artillery has been bothering my men. See them off, will you!"
"Right, right."
Direct hit, and a retreat. Strength Dialog reports four howitzers destroyed.
"Well done! Some shawarma, Sir?"

Trucks leave a wreck mark, so success it was. Some of them retreated out of sight, but having checked the Strength Dialog I see four destroyed 122mm Howitzers as among the wrecks there.

My intention is to have the forward enemy unit retreating, to have some more room for breathing. So time to bring in my Meatchoppers in. As they are quite a soft target themselves, I decide to have my weary Paras in the area to charge in one more time. They did not manage a retreat, but to my dismay neither did the Meatchoppers...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a7_zpskt9mfskn.png)

Since there's the one enemy T-55 lurking out there, time for another shot. Retreat, or a kill, I am not sure.

Just enough APs for one more shot, and to my relief I see the enemy forward Platoon wiped out. My remaining forward Para with only SP2 can breathe a little easier. Should they survive the enemy turn, it is a retreat for them as well to the village behind them.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a8_zpsra3r5rpw.png)

As visible from the picture, I am now bringing my men into the village hexes, that provide a better concealment and combat modifier while on defence.

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 02:58:58 AM
End of Israeli Turn #15

Here we stand, then. Again, the Left Flank sees my units regrouping at the safety of the village hexes, while the remaining action I have on-going is the little search party that is going after the enemy transports that were earlier seen retreating towards the river bend. Nowhere for them to go, so should I have the APs to move one hex into Vineyards, and then still have enough APs to assault them in the Hammada hex, I could capture them all. As movement in this terrain is costly, I can probably only hope for being able to fire at them once.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_15a9_zps4ountw41.png)

Quite a costly affair to Egyptians, this one. With my right flank having been secured by the Sho't Kal Coy from behind the canal, I have been able to use Fire and Movement very efficiently in the middle, having my units in perfect positions to disrupt and destroy any pockets they have encountered.

Over to Berto!

PS As seen in the right upper corner of the map, I did have my Arm'd Infantry stick their nose into that village next to the 10VP Objective there. Berto had a HMG team defending it, and I spotted the retreated Sagger team there as well. I quickly retreated out of their LOS before their Op Fire will cause casualties. As said, with situation mostly secured, time to take it easier now. They did spot the retreated remains of the enemy artillery, so I called an Artillery strike on them.

At the time of writing this I now realise I have completely forgotten to use my 2 Airstrikes. Well, too late now  :tickedoff:
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 10:25:31 AM
Israeli Final Turn

Whew! It's been quite a non-stop action for my Paras heading deep into Africa, as the West Bank of Suez Canal in this area was called at the time.

No casualties despite of some direct fire continuing to rain on my troops. Especially, the enemy is trying to prevent my Paras from reaching their trucks, trapped in the middle. I have a suspicion I won't reach them anyways, the trucks I mean, but at least there's some new targets in vicinity, with their IFVs and MANPAD teams coming into fore in a desperate attempt to stop me...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a1_zps9knxnets.png)

And so it is. Having already double-timed my units last turn, they start Fatigued and do not reach the last hex by the river bend. Since I don't have the Action Points to enter the hex, its contents are not revealed. Too late I realise that hill where I only now moved my Arm'd Infantry platoon was there for a reason, as it would have spotted the whole area.

Oh well, their transports will be saved by the bell, let us see what I can do about their remaining fighting units though...

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a2_zpsfieevurq.png)

Nothing with my Meatchoppers, it seems. I see the 50VP hex and the Mortar team together with some IFVs there, but they are just outside my range. I decide not to risk my soft-skinned M3 troop, and pull them back instead.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a3_zpsduowx2k5.png)

My forward platoon instead spots them, and while the IFV is just outside my Hard range, the Mortars are within their Soft range. I fire at them, and the lucky dice declares the Mortars destroyed.

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a4_zpsjgoxb4dg.png)



Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 10:33:42 AM
End Result - With a Pending Egyptian Turn

And so it ends, at least as far my active part goes.

All my units are out of their LOS apart the forward platoon and the Bn Leader, who are observed by the remaining IFV at the 50VP Objective. The enemy rifle marked by "?" sees them as well, but does not have LOS to anyone else.

So here's hoping they remain out of harm's way during the final action!

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a5_zpsxsytmxgd.png)

Quite a brutal outcome for the Egyptians. So time for a final analysis as for why I was able to nick such a definitive Major Win.

First, I had played this once, so I was somewhat familiar with the original Egyptian set-up. While all plans are out once first shot is fired, I did know that I should be able to quickly send just one Coy to deal with Abu Sultan, all the while if I keep my Sho't Kal Coy East of canal securing my right flank I can concentrate everything else in the middle.

That worked quite well. Every time the enemy tried to put up a delaying action, I had the firepower and the initiative to Disrupt and destroy them with my concentrated show of force.

The other reason might have been the fact my opponent was not happy to trade ground and Objectives for time, and tried to stop me with what forces he had handily available. I have not yet looked at in detail as what the enemy set up in this scenario is (I always prefer to play blind as it is much more fun imho), but he probably should have just pulled back, raining artillery barrage after barrage on my units, and then put up a concentrated counter attack.

Finally, I think this is a tough scenario to play vs an Israeli player who plays this by the book as I did. Yet, as available in the Victory Dialog, it was not the Objectives that decided this scenario but the losses.

Good fun though, over to you Berto for the final turn!
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on October 31, 2015, 10:35:11 AM
Butcher's Bill

With a help of a little Excel Spreadsheet I put together, here are the respective losses:

(http://i900.photobucket.com/albums/ac206/phn_at_cs/IntoAfricaDAR_16a6_zpsndntixl4.png)

Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: -budd- on October 31, 2015, 08:10:21 PM
Well done, nice presentation. Thank you.
Title: Re: The Campaign Series: Middle East 1948-1985 - Into Africa! (No Berto!)
Post by: Crossroads on November 08, 2015, 01:44:30 AM
End of Play Turn #16

Well done, nice presentation. Thank you.

Thanks budd, this was good fun!

So it was Berto managed to sneak in a SP1 rifle platoon during the dying minutes to plant their flag at the 25VP objective at Abu Sultan. I had no idea there were surviving elements there, so I had troops in the area, but not at the hex itself. Well played Berto  8)

(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/C09F828FD65647E389CF8D2DE199F67D.jpg)

On display here are the CS Middle East 1.01 2D graphics, so some revisions here and there. Also on show the Black Unit Profiles 1.01 Mod that will be included.

(http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/32195/17DBCD2AC685479786529E68AB2CD161.jpg)

A very tough fight for Egyptians this scenario. Somehow, with their movable object, they would need to fall back and snipe at Israelis, turning their irresistible force into a resistible one. Then, at that minute, to hit them hard and hit them with strength.

This scenario is also probably a good example that Objectives often are not the way to win, decisively at least. Being able to surround and destroy the enemy force is often a more valuable way to go forward, and then, recon and and using the map to ones advantage can be a great help.

Great fun, thanks for playing Berto!