Turn 10 has begun now in my current Gulf Strike game. I have been playing both sides and doing a poor job overall with everyone. The Iranians are having a terrible time trying to conquer Saudi Arabia and have met all sorts of problems as their army approaches the capital. Supply lines have been cut and sabotaged while US Special Forces have set up ambushes on the roads to Riyadh. It seems at every step, the Iranians have been stymied. The Soviets, however, have introduced massive amounts of air power to assist Iran in its ambitions. Will the Americans be able to stop the steamroller in time?
|Soviet Frogfoots on the attack!
Global Political Phase:
Nothing happens here.
Global Military Phase:
Neither side moves reinforcements into theater.
Unit Assignment Stage:
The Iranians place the 5th Armored Division near Riyadh in reserve hoping to get an attack with it early in the turn.The 11th Armored Brigade near Al Hufuh is also placed in reserve. These will be advance units as we sweep east in UAE.
The other Gulf Council states keep their units out of reserves and in frontline mode.
I jostled some air power around for everyone but no major changes happened here.
Initiative Determination Stage:
Despite taking losses in the previous turn, the Americans and Gulf Council states still retain the initiative.
First Action Stage:
First Naval Movement Determination Phase:
Both sides roll a 1 on the die, and are given 0 naval movement points this stage.
First Movement Phase:
- First Initiative Segment:
The US player dispatches his B-52s to strike at Soviet bases in Afghanistan housing Tu-26 aircraft. Although the incoming American bombers are detected and Mig-23s are sent out to intercept them, the B-52s successfully penetrate the base defenses and launch their cruise missiles, scoring two hits on the airbase. The Tu-26 aircraft are each assigned one hit and the B-52s leave off the eastern map edge, returning home.
The Saudis attempt to withdraw their last remaining combat units into Riyadh. The Saudi Guards Mechanized Brigade automatically withdraws from the locking ZOC of the Iranian 5th Armored Division. The artillery brigade supporting the Saudi unit must attempt a withdrawal so it suffers an automatic hit and must roll equal to or greater than the combat strength difference between the Iranian armored unit (5) and its own combat strength (1). We roll a “3” and the artillery unit fails to withdraw.
|Saudi Mechanized Guards withdraw into Riyadh. The artillery unit to the north of the city fails to withdraw.
It is time to start mobilizing the armies in Qatar and UAE. The Qataris send their infantry brigade to the border with Saudi Arabia/UAE and place it in Hasty Defense formation. The UAE shuffles its units around, putting its two infantry brigades in the capital with an artillery brigade as support.
The two mech/armored car brigades are sent east of Tarif and a supply depot arrives there by truck, waiting to be sent east with the HQ and the 1st Mechanized Brigade to help support the defense of the border area.
The UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar disband their joint naval fleet operating (uselessly) along the Saudi coast. They will be destroyed by the Soviet Air Force if they stay where they are much longer. All ships return to their respective country’s ports.
There are no declared combat situations for my ground units in reserve to enter. I could send in my Soviet aircraft to try and bomb Riyadh back to the stone age but with an air defense unit sitting in the city and with the Saudi ground forces near collapse, it’s just not worth the risk nor the supply point expenditure.
We move to the –
Time to see if our luck will hold up. I gamble a raid on the Iranian supply depot in hex 0755. I roll for air defense and get an “8” for the ADA unit and a “1” for the HQ. The US detachment is destroyed as it attempts to paradrop on the hex. The other detachments abort and withdraw. The raid is concluded.
Second Action Stage:
Second Naval Movement Determination Phase:
Both sides get 4 NMPs this stage.
Second Movement Phase:
- Second Initiative Segment:
No ground units are in reserve mode. I don’t feel safe yet moving my carriers up while the Russians have long range bombers still sitting in Afghanistan. The US sub in H-15 sinks the Russian DDG in the same hex. The sub is marked SSM depleted.
Again, there are no units eligible to move or declare combat at this point. Air units are kept on the ground. The Russians CVH south of Yemen sends its helo out to find the US sub and locates it, scoring a hit on it.
Another raid attempt on the Iranian supply depot in 0755 and another detachment of US Special Forces is destroyed as the ADA unit in the hex opens fire and destroys the incoming C-130s attempting to paradrop them into the hex.
|The start to a really bad day for any pilot…
Third Action Stage:
Third Naval Movement Determination Phase:
The US player gets 0 NMPs and the USSR player gets 3.
Third Movement Phase:
The Iranian 5th Armored Division goes into Hasty Assault formation and attacks into Riyadh. The 4th Armored Division moves into hex 0361 and is ambushed by elements of the 82nd Airborne. It stays where it is and licks its wounds.
I start shuffling units down the east coast of Saudi and the airbase in 1758 now has a supply depot in it to help move things along nicely. It’s been a very slow process but I’m starting to figure out how to set up supply nodes and keep the army fed, equipped, and on the move.
- Third Initiative Segment:
No ground units move or attack this turn. We are waiting for the hammer to fall on Riyadh.
We pass all the way to the…
- Third Reaction Close Air Support Segment:
The Qataris come from out of nowhere with their Mirage planes and actually manage to score a hit against the Iranian 5th Armored Division with the aid of LRRP by a detachment of Rangers! Wow…could the Saudis actually manage to hold on for another turn? The smart money is still on “NO”.
|The intrepid leader of the Saudi Mechanized Guard brigade gives a thumbs up.
5th Iranian Armored Division (w/ artillery brigade) vs. Saudi Guards Mechanized Brigade
Attacker Combat Strength: 5
Formation Multiplier (HA): x2 = 10
Artillery support: +2 DRM
Unit Quality: Line
Defender Combat Strength: 1
Formation Multiplier (HD): x2 = 2
Terrain Multiplier: x3 = 6
Close Air Support: 2 shift columns left on CRT
Unit Quality: Elite 3 columns left on CRT
Odds: 10: 6- -> +2 column -> 0 column-> 1-2 column
Roll: 10 + 2 = 12
The Iranian Armored Division takes 1 hit while the Saudi Mechanized Guards unit is destroyed after absorbing one hit.
The Saudi support units (ADA, HQ, and Truck unit) remain in Riyadh and the capital is held but only barely.
The Saudis suffer the loss of 4 supply points as per the Random Political Events Table. Democratic Yemen guerrillas conduct cross-border raids, disrupting Saudi logistics.
The Iranians spend 6 supply points repairing three truck units. The Iranians and Soviets both purchase a supply depot and place it on a supply source at a cost of 4 SP each.