Tonight I either turn the tables on the Arabs and make a fantastic comeback, punching through the lines of Egyptian and Syrian armor, or get wheedled down to nothing in my untenable position as Arab forces block the highways.
I’ve managed to wear down the Syrian air force to just about nothing; even with only moderate air superiority, I’m usually able to send interceptors to bounce any planes suicidal enough to try bombing runs. I may finally be able to start focusing more directly on the Egyptian air force, which is really going to be one of the biggest challenges I’ll be facing in that theater. Once I get enough planes to start bombing back, I might be able to turn the tables over there.
In the Golan Heights, I’ve managed to win a couple small tactical victories and a major strategic victory. I’ve established enough of a line to create a pocket to protect my heavy artillery around my one remaining supply line. Concentrating all of my forces in that one relatively defensible area has allowed me break the advance of the scariest of the Syrian tanks AND freed me up to move some heavy armor of my own into the Syrian rear to disrupt their artillery and hopefully divert some of their front-line strength. More importantly, I just barely managed to break the Syrian morale, which will give me a HUGE advantage on that front, as I’ll only need to muster up 1-1 odds for at least a 50% chance of scoring a direct fire kill, and it will all but guarantee that my artillery will start taking out heavy tanks in droves because of the Israeli double-fire rules*. The only reason I’m able to hang on right now is that, unlike when my dad was playing the Israelis, I was able to keep my long-range self-propelled artillery from getting hammered in the initial blitz.
Things in Egypt may take a turn for the worse before they get better, as I’m going to need to spread myself a little thinner to protect my supply line. The north and central troops on the east side of the Suez have been routed finally, which frees up a decent chunk of Egyptian armor. I’ve stemmed the tide a bit of troops coming through on the south end of the Canal, but there’s still a bridge I really want to destroy. El Shatt is holding on largely because of the combined Bar-Lev and village defensive bonuses (it’s probably the last hex on the map that I still get the Bar-Lev bonus from), but the constant artillery shelling coming in from around Suez is really getting to be a pain and has cost me too many Centurions who’ve been taking point against those who’ve made it to the east bank. On the plus side, I still have a LOT of artillery that’s protected well enough for the moment; because I don’t have the numbers to get the staggering odds I need against Egyptian T-62s and T-55s, I’ll need to rely almost entirely on artillery to effectively stop the advance of the heavier armor and focus on stopping the mechanized rocket infantry and APCs with what tanks I have left. I can worry about the foot soldiers later. The other thing I have going for me in Egypt is that I’m down to such a small geographical area that I can cover ALL of my troops with Anti-Air, so yay for that!
It’s only about a week into the war and both sides are in rough shape; I’ll be getting my last big stack of troops mobilized from the heartland, but I don’t know that it’ll be enough to do more than just hold on.
*:Artillery can either neutralize or destroy units; it typically requires 2-3 times as much firepower concentrated on a single target to even have a chance of destroying a unit, however units that are neutralized are destroyed if they are neutralized twice in one turn. For the Arabs, the only way this is possible is by suppressive bombing during the air phase followed by an attack during the artillery phase. Arab artillery fire is considered to occur simultaneously. The Israeli artillery can engage in staggered fire, meaning that multiple artillery units can attack a stack separately and attempt two rolls on the artillery fire tables, while any Arab artillery firing on the same stack MUST combine its fire power for a single attack. The result for the Israelis is a slightly lower chance of inflicting casualties per roll but multiple rolls with the chance to kill units with less concentrated fire. The way the rules describe this is “the shelling would start, then stop, then suddenly start again in hopes [of] catching the target unit out in the open”.