My dad and I commenced our second play-through of Bar-Lev last night, this time with myself as the Israelis. We managed to get through two turns, and my position is at least as precarious at this point as my dad’s was in the previous game.
Playing as the Israelis definitely feels different. There’s a sense of impending doom -especially in the Syrian theatre- beginning just after initial setup with your handful of relatively weak infantry units, maybe a few kibbutzes, that will have to withstand dozens of Arab armored regiments bearing down on them.
I’m testing my air strategy, alternating flights of Phantoms & flights of Skyhawks and Mirages between the two theatres to try to maximize the potential for Arab air casualties in both. So far, I’ve put a bit of a dent, but it’s too early for the effects to be noticeable. It’s like body blows: there’s not going to be a solid knock-out punch from them, especially this early, but they’re going to build up and hopefully pay off by later rounds.
My situation in Egypt is not good, but I’ve at least established a solid tactical front which I can hopefully maintain and strengthen. Much like in the previous game, the Arabs have punched through in the north and have a lot of tactical flexibility now on the east side of the Suez. However, I’ve maintained a strong contingent in El Shatt opposite Suez which I can allow myself the tactical depth to protect my artillery.
The Golan Heights are another story. Between some poor rolls and the shear outnumbering force of entire Syrian army bearing down on a few scattered infantry, I’ve failed to maintain any sort of front against the Syrian blitz. Too few troops and those that I have aren’t strong enough to withstand an onslaught of T-61s, T-55s and Sagger mech infantry. I have some armor coming up from the south, but the north is lost and I might even lose the center if I have a bad October 9 turn. I wish that the Syrian board had a few more hexes of depth for the Israelis to maneuver in.