After a 15 year hiatus, I'm finally dusting off my copy of Gulf Strike (one of my old favorites) and getting back into it. I thought it might be of some interest to discuss strategies that can be used in Scenario 1, the Iranian invasion of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. As a starter, I'd like to address the following topic:

*** Scenario 1: Positioning of Iranian F4 (EW) in the early stages (prior to U.S. activation) ***

It's very difficult to locate this EW aircraft properly, due to the very limited detection range (4 operational hexes max). Initially, you'd like to have it near the leading edge of the Iranian ground forces invading Kuwait, but that leaves it vulnerable to the Gulf Cooperation Council air forces .
(Note: although the rules state that an EWDA unit is eliminated as soon as an enemy unit on an Anti-Air Mission enters the hex, I always modify that rule to state that the defender has an opportunity to abort the attack via air-to-air or ground-to-air combat first. That is to say that the attacking air unit must be eligible to actually fire on the EWDA unit before it can claim the kill)

Until Iran secures forward airfields in Kuwait, there are no airbases in range to launch successful interceptions anyway. Basra is just too far away to effectively cover the ground forces surrounding Kuwait City. Once past Kuwait City, there are no airfields until you are well inside Saudi Arabia, in and near Al Kubar on the Gulf coast, so Iranian ground forces are on their own during that stretch. They must rely on their Air Defense units and their inherent Anti-Air capabilities. There won't be any interceptors coming to the rescue. So maybe it's a better idea to utilize the F4 (EW) differently.

Iran also must protect their supply network. There will have to be supply depots in the vicinity of both Basra and Kuwait City to extend the network. There will also have to be a depot somewhere on that desolate stretch of Saudi desert along the coastal highway. Maybe it's a better idea to station Air Defense units with the forward depots and sit the F4(EW) on top of the depot closest to the advancing ground units. This way, you're given an additional chance to detect any attacking air units, thereby insuring that your Air Defense unit gets a shot at the attacker before it can drop ordinance. Also, by protecting the depot closest to the ground units, you can always expend that depot to supply them for that turn.

Another consideration is the protection of the Iranian AMPH and HC naval transport units. Bahrain will certainly have to be taken via amphibious assault, and it may end up being more efficient to secure Qatar and/or the tip of Oman via amph assault as well. While Iran does have a C-130 and a few CH-47's, I think it's important to insure that there is enough overall transport capacity to move troops in overwhelming strength anywhere they're required. Therefore, placing the F4(EW) in, or just south/southeast, of the Al Faw Peninsula can help effectively defend the AMPH and HC naval units that can initially be placed in the port at Bandar e Shapur (hex 1640). Additionally, an F4(EW) so placed can be most effective at helping to defend the entire Abadan/Basra/Kuwait City area.

Looking forward to feedback on this topic, as well as the addition of some new, focused points of interest related to tactics or strategy in this awesome game.

-Mark

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I have also dusted off my GS after about 8 years of non-play. It has been some time since I have played this scenario, but here are my idea on AWAC type units. The problem with Iran's F14EW, is that it must be in detection range of both the enemy air AND the Iranian airbase that is going to launch the interception. This makes placing of the EW far from its airbases a bad thing IMHO, why you ask? Simple it increases the chance of air strikes against Iranian airfields. I always leave my EW units within range of their airbases, if fact that range is always within support range of protecting the EW unit.
David,

A few of the guys in my group are going to be playing some Gulf Strike over the next few months so I'm sure that this topic is going to be getting a lot of traffic. We're just finishing up a campaign game of Korean War (another great Victory Games title), and then we're going to do Gulf Strike.

-Mark
Mark,

I am working on a 2012 scenario, that will follow the scenario's Iraq invasion of the GCC. I am thinking about this, and picking up info..out on the internet. CV-63 is not around anymore, we now have 11 carrier groups instead of the 12 we used to have. The old CV's have been replaced with CVN's...ect. I wonder how much of a change from 1 would be needed...

David
This should come as no surprise, but I am having problems with Iraqi supply. (Desert Storm) Iran will suffer less, since they have more trucks, but it is not easy to keep the US player from blowing away supply depots. What is your experience, scenario 1, 6 or 7. On a related topic how do you deal with the growing US airpower, and your growing distance from air cover?
David,

We're going to be bringing this game out of dry-dock within the next month or so, and I'm sure the conversation will start to pick up at that time. We'll try to focus on specific strategic issues, such as your question about dealing with growing US air power, etc. I think this game is long overdue for a good workout, and am looking forward to it.

-Mark
Hey Mark, Looking for to getting this on the table, across from breathing opponents for the first time since 1983. Broke out my rules etc., last night.
Brace yourself for my Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Pete. It's going to be ugly.

-Mark
Can't wait...really.
Which Scenario first?, 1, 2, or 3?
Where you guys playing??
Steven,

We belong to a gaming group on Long Island, NY.

-Mark
Hey, lingering question from solo play. Povided a ground unit has the required movement point allowance to do so, could it move in an MC formation adjacent to an enemy ground unit, and then change to a DA formation by paying the required 3MP, declare combat, and resolve that combat in that "First" Actions Stage's "First" Combat Phase?

Can't find any prohibition, but one might think locking ZOC's might have an effect?

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