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Elusive Victory: The Air War over the Suez Canal, 1967-1973» Forums » Sessions

Subject: EV1a = Israeli misery! rss

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Jon Bryon
England
New Addington
Croydon
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Well, I've just played through my first Elusive Victory scenario - a solitaire play of EV1a. As a fairly experienced Downtown player I found it very quick to pick up, but I failed to adapt my tactics, which usually work well in Downtown, to the different Middle Eastern environment.

The Israeli bombers were set to barrel in from the north at the extreme eastern edge of the map. They were to fly straight until just north of the target (the airfield at Bir Jifjafah), where they would turn slightly west and bomb the runway. The airfield was defended by two Medium AAA installations, two Light AAA installations, and a Fire Can. 6 MiG-21F-13s were ready enough to be scrambled once the raid had started.

The first flight of 4 Ouragans, Shamir, flew in on the deck, climbed to avoid AAA as they approached the target, but fell foul of Light AAA at the IP. The #4 aircraft was unlucky and blew-up in mid-air, and the pilot never had a chance. The three remaining aircraft continued the bomb-run, pressed the attack, but missed the target altogether. As they pulled round the Fire Can lit up, and crippled the #3 Ouragan. Disappointed with failing to hit a runway, the Ouragans continued the turn and made a strafing run, but again missed everything. By now, a flight of 4 MiG-21s had taken off, and were engaged by the remaining Ouragans as they took off. Both Israeli aircraft failed to hit the mark with their 30mm cannon, and were out-manouvered, the crippled #3 being shot down (pilot KIA) and the #2 aircraft being damaged. Shamir was having a bad day.

It was about to get worse. Successfully fleeing the MiGs, the two remaining Ouragans headed for home off the eastern edge of the map. Unfortunately, the damaged #2 plane was leaking fuel, and crash-landed, the pilot being taken POW. Only one Ouragan made it home...

By now, the second flight of 4 Ouragans, Bih, was on its way to the target. As the MiGs manouvered for an interception with Bih bombing the runway, they found themselves caught at Low altitude within Light AAA, and friendly fire crippled the #4 MiG-21. Bih, despite pressing the attack from Low, also failed to hit the runway, and two more MiG-21s were about to take off. Bih wheeled around for a strafing run, failed to shoot anything, but found itself with a damaged aircraft due to intense Medium AAA. Good news was to come as the Ouragans successfully engaged the first flight of MiGs and shot down the crippled MiG. Bih went home. At this stage, the Israelis were three planes (and pilots) down; the Egyptians one. The target was still untouched.

The MiG pilots' morale was low, and the first flight of four aborted, landing back at the airfield. The second flight was up in the air, orbiting the airfield and waiting for more.

The third bombing flight was made up of Mysteres (Mechavi), and they were up at medium altitude for the bulk of the ingress route. This was a mistake, and made them easy pickings for the two MiG-21s. The #2 Mystere was shot down, pilot KIA, and the rest jettisoned their bombs and aborted. The fourth flight, back to Ouragans again, suffered a similar fate, being intercepted well before the target and forced to jettison their bombs. At least they managed to get some shots off, and shot down the #2 MiG-21 before going home.

The fifth flight, Pinto, again Ouragans, was left unhindered by the remaining MiG-21, which aborted, and made it to the target on time. All bombs finally hit the runway, and it was totally destroyed. Trying to improve the day for the Israelis, Pinto made three strafing attacks, but only managed to destroy one MiG parked on the ground. In return, as they were leaving the target for the final time, Pinto #2 was shot down by Medium AAA and the pilot lost.

This just left the Vautour recon flight to complete its run. Mosche entered the map just east of the airfield, made a successful recon run, and scurried home.

The final tally was not good for the Israelis:

Runway destroyed - 10 VP
1 MiG on the ground destroyed - 1VP
2 MiGs in the air destroyed - 4VP
4 flights met their time on target (the other two never made it to the target) - 4VP
5 Israeli aircraft shot down - -20VP
5 Israeli pilots lost - -5VP

-6 VP on balance. Not good!

In hindsight, my main mistake was obvious. In Downtown, being on the Deck is generally bad, since it exposes flights to AAA ambushes and easy pickings by the MiGs. In Elusive Victory (at least in this scenario), being on the Deck is good - it makes detection harder and doesn't expose flights to the Fire Can, plus the chance of a AAA ambush is much smaller. AAA can be lethal (3 Israeli aircraft were lost to AAA), but the flights have a better chance of getting to the target. I flew in the aircraft too high too soon.

Furthermore, bombing the target successfully is quite tough. The Ouragans carry a small bomb load. If you attack from very low, the AAA modifier is huge (-3 for being on the deck). Even with pressing the attack (which all flights did), you need to roll well to get a good result. This is even harder when strafing - a strafing profile against unrevetted MiGs has a total DRM of -1 (if the attack is pressed), which means you need to roll a 7 just to get 1 shot. Then on that shot, you need to roll a natural 12+ to destroy a MiG. Not massive odds, but you only need a little bad luck to miss everything. Failing to damage the runway until the fifth bombing flight really gave the MiGs a free hand to come up and shoot incoming bombers.

Anyway, a thoroughly enjoyable experience, and I'm looking forward to playing some real opponents.
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Tom H
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Thanks Jon. Excellent!
 
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Jon Bryon
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Hey Tom, if you ever fancy firing up a PBEM game, drop me a line. Should be less asymmetric than DT (i.e. you'd have more to do than last time!).
 
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Tom H
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Hi Jon,

Yep, definitely up for a PBEM game. I've just got a few on the go at present as well as the family so I'll drop you a line in a couple of weeks hopefully.

EV is a different beast to DT even though the games share mechanics. Larger boards, harder to hide, more planes, very nasty mirages and not asymmetric as you have mentioned.
 
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