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Subject: Session Report: B1 rss

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Trevor
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AIW Session Report: B1

Victory Conditions: The Arabs get 2 points for each Israeli unit destroyed, and they get 1 point for each Israeli unit on board at the end of turn 15. The Israelis get 2 points for each Arab unit destroyed, as well as 1 point for each unit exited off the northern edge of the board by the end of the game. This is a fast-moving all-armor situation, with the Arabs having 3 SU-100s and the rest weak T-34/85s. The Israelis have a nice host of Shermans and AMX-13s, all of which outrange and outgun the Arab tanks. Mark let me take the Israelis, while he took the Arabs.

Turn 1: The Arabs moved in from the north end of the board, taking up firing positions behind sand dunes. The three SU-100s moved in toward the center of the map to provide support to either side.

The Israelis came in three columns, one on each of the major roads. My thinking here was to see if I could take out the SU-100s, knowing that the rest of my units significantly outclass the Arab tanks. As long as the SU-100s were out there, though, I’d have to be very careful not to give up any easy shots.

Turn 2: The Arabs retreated back a bit and took up strong positions behind dunes. The Israelis continued to move forward, though they remained out of firing range.





Turn 3: The Israelis moved forward. With their longer ranges, I attempted to take up positions where I could shoot at the Arabs, but they couldn’t shoot back at me. My hope here was to back them out in the northwest corner of the board so that I could slide by on the east side. My real concern is that they may be able to roll a “tank wave” forward and overrun my positions. I don’t have enough firepower to take them all out. That’s why I’m stacking my units together, to make them tougher to overrun.



Turn 4: The Arabs consolidated and moved the SU-100s into good hulldown positions. I realized that I’d probably have to open up some units to fire this turn. I tried to move three stacks into position to shoot at the SU-100s. I’m thinking that I’ll probably sacrifice one of my tanks to his initial shot, but then I should be able to put a huge amount of firepower on the SU-100s and take them out. I’m concerned about theT-34/85s to the northwest, as they may be able to overrun my most exposed group. If they do try to overrun, I intend to take out at least three of them and make it tough. He still has a much larger force than I do, so I’d like to take out a few to even the odds more. Especially if I can eliminate his kill stack of SU-100s, I’d feel in pretty good shape.



Turn 5: This is where things got interesting. I knew I had to close at some point, so I decided to close quickly, concentrate my forces on half of his army, and take whatever lumps I need. I assumed he’d have some great opportunity fire shots, as well as overrun possibilities, but I needed to get the fight going, and this seemed to be as good a time as any.

He ended up holding off on the OF for now because I didn’t have enough movement to overrun. Instead, he wants to take some good shots in his turn.




Turn 6: As expected, he started firing away. He dispersed one of my MK-51 Shermans in B4 and eliminated an AMX-13 in C6. He also rolled his units, including his SU-100s, into position for some overruns. I was fortunate with my AMX-13s to make a 1:1 attack that dispersed his overrunning units (and he was gracious enough to let me undo a math error/careless mistake on my part).

In the Israeli half of the turn, I started firing away and eliminated his three T-34/85s that were on the eastern half of the board. Additionally, I rolled a stack of Shermans forward toward his dispersed SU-100s and was able to overrun and eliminate them.

Here’s how things stood at the end of turn 6 (and they were starting to look bleak for the Arabs).




Turn 7: This turn was somewhat anti-climactic. He had some nice shooting and eliminated two of my AMX-13s in C6. On my half of the turn, I pulled off the rest of my units, with the exception of one Sherman in D5 that was dispersed by opportunity fire from I7 (a 1:2 shot).

We went ahead and called it at this point, assuming he’d eventually eliminate the Sherman. The Arabs had 8 VPs (4 units destroyed), while the Israelis racked up 20 (6 units destroyed for 12 plus 8 exit VPs).

I don’t think either of us played exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly, but as we were playing, it became obvious that any reasonably competent Israeli player should stomp the Arabs in this scenario. There just isn’t a lot the Arab player can do. Still, this was a fun scenario, and Mark is a great opponent. Hopefully, we can play more in the future.

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Lee Massey
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Great little scenario!!
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Trent Garner
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This one is a hard nut to crack for the Arab player, but it's not impossible. There are a few ideas you can work with to give them a much better chance of evening the score, if not exactly winning.

1)Avoid stacking units as the Arab player as much as possible, cover and terrain allowing. A single unit can only attack one hex, at most. If your units aren't stacked they can't all be targeted by the Israeli, who has fewer units than you.

2)Spreading your units out may also allow you to surround and do an overrun attack on Israeli units from so many different directions that OpFire will simply not be able to stop all of your units, almost guaranteeing success, though it may be a bit expensive in terms of losses.

3)Try to attack at a standoff range of 8 hexes where both players suffer 50% reduction in attack effectiveness, with 2-1 or 3-1 odds whenever possible. The idea is to disperse as many enemy units as you can, giving you a little time and opportunity to maneuver other units to better or closer positions, or to cover a retreat if necessary.

4)As the Arab player, try to use the dunes and ridges as much as possible when you maneuver against your opponent, eliminating his range advantage. Maneuver closer for attacks from 1-2 hex range and/or try for overruns! Remember that the Arab player enjoys doubling of his attack strength at 1-2 hex range just like his opponent.

Anyway, nice AAR/Session Report. AIW is a great game!
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Trevor
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Cantatta wrote:
3)Try to attack at a standoff range of 8 hexes where both players suffer 50% reduction in attack effectiveness, with 2-1 or 3-1 odds whenever possible. The idea is to disperse as many enemy units as you can, giving you a little time and opportunity to maneuver other units to better or closer positions, or to cover a retreat if necessary.

4)As the Arab player, try to use the dunes and ridges as much as possible when you maneuver against your opponent, eliminating his range advantage. Maneuver closer for attacks from 1-2 hex range and/or try for overruns! Remember that the Arab player enjoys doubling of his attack strength at 1-2 hex range just like his opponent.


What makes it tough is that all of the Israeli units here outranged the Arab units. If he sat behind a sand dune, I could sit outside his range and pick him off. But if he withdrew a hex behind the dune, he lost LOS, and I could move in closer for the kill.

If we were both in a position where we're 8 hexes apart behind dunes, I'm firing 2:1 with a +1 for his HD. If he's firing back, it's 1:2 with a +2. Those odds aren't conducive to doing much.

And if he continues to keep his units out of LOS, then the Israelis roll through and pick up the exit VPs. This is a tough, tough scenario for the Arabs to win.
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Trent Garner
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The Arab player has an uphill climb, no doubt. He is not likely to win this particular scenario often, but sometimes victory can be measured in other ways.

When playing as the Arabs, I will do everything I can to eliminate the range advantage of the Israeli units first and foremost. Secondly, I realize this will be an attritional fight in most cases and that I will have to sacrifice some units to give other units a better chance at eliminating an enemy unit. It is not an easy thing to do, as there is always the urge to preserve one's forces, but you cannot think like that and hope to defeat a qualitatively superior foe, even if you outnumber them. This is much the same tactics used by Allied forces when fighting the Germans in WWII. It might take 8-10 Shermans to bring down a Panther or Tiger tank, but this was deemed acceptable at the time becuase the USA could produce more tanks than the Germans. It was attritional warfare at the very basic level.

The Arab player has superiority in numbers, which means he can leave some units in HD to try and check advancing enemy units, while manuevering other units around behind the dunes and ridges out of LOS to get closer for those overruns or close-range attacks with doubled attack rating. The Arab player should not have stacked units in many places throughout the game, which means he should have a lot of manuever options with all of those individual units. This does not mean he shouldn't try to get the best combat odds he can, though unfortunately this probably means exposing more units to make a stronger attack.

Also, I try to make sure that when I do expose my Arab units for any reason (mostly to overrun), that I do so in such a way that the Israeli is overwhelmed with targets. His limited unit count means he just doesn' have enough firepower to shoot at them all. That usually lets me get some of my units close enough to destroy the enemy units, though it might cost me more in terms of units lost. Remember that I have more of them to lose, however.

Another nasty little trick to try is to get some Arab units close enough to threaten an overrun, and then manuever other exposed units closer to the enemy afterwards. The Israeli may choose to hold his OpFire on your manuevering units for fear of being overrun after taking those opportuniy shots against you. It is difficult to set this up, but it is also imminently satisfying when you pull it off.

Cheers and keep up the good gaming!
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cartwright wrote:


This is a tough, tough scenario for the Arabs to win.


Not only that, but the Israelis have a maximum victory point total of 45. The Arabs only have a maximum of 30!!!
 
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Ryan Schultz
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As a balance option, how about the Egyptians gain VP for Israeli units destroyed and the Israeli get VP for units that successfully exit the map (and none for Egyptian units destroyed.

In the above game it would have been a tie result, 8 to 8 VP!

Ryan
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Robert McConnell
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I will say one thing here on Arab tactics for this (and most) AIW scenarios: stack your tanks and assault guns to get the best combined attack factors into one attack. The Israeli player is still going to shoot at individual units anyway if you are hull down behind sand dunes (which you should do at every opportunity). I usually spread one SU-100 to a stack of T-34/85s (there I go again) so I can get at least 2:1 against a Sherman (note: two T-34s+ one SU-100= 30 AF; 3:1 vs. one Sherman). My two cents.

Bob
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Robert McConnell
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oceanweather wrote:
As a balance option, how about the Egyptians gain VP for Israeli units destroyed and the Israeli get VP for units that successfully exit the map (and none for Egyptian units destroyed.

In the above game it would have been a tie result, 8 to 8 VP!

Ryan


Ryan, I think this is an excellent alternative Victory condition. Arguably, the mission of the Israelis is to advance to their objective, not destroy Arab tanks. Arabs objective is two-fold: keep Israelis from exiting (mission) and destroy tanks (attrition of attacking force). But attrition is their main aim.

Bob
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