ARAB-ISRAELI WARS CLARIFICATIONS AND QUESTION BOX
Alan R. Arvold
The following is a compilation of the ARAB-ISRAELI WARS (AIW) Question Boxes from the GENERAL and various rules questions that were sent into and answered by Avalon Hill but never published (though some were posted on the Internet). There are also some rules questions about the variant rules that I have presented in previous articles. These will be answered by myself. The purpose of this article is combine all the questions and answers into one source for easy reference.
There have been many articles and attempts to use the rules from AIW to update both PANZERBLITZ and PANZER LEADER. This is fine for players in the privacy of their own homes or gaming clubs. But in public tournaments and even on-line tournaments and games, it is the original rules which reign supreme. Even though all three games are related and come from the same game series, each is a different game and should stand or fall on their own individual set of rules. With that idea in mind, all questions and clarifications in this article will be answered and defined solely by the letter and intent of the ARAB-ISRAELI WARS rules.
Gamers will note that there are some questions in this article that have also been listed in the “Clarifications and Question Box” articles for PANZERBLITZ and PANZER LEADER, found in the Boardgamer Special Issues for those two games. This is understandable as the three games were progressively developed, one by one. Some questions will have the same answers as in the previous games, others will have different answers depending on the rules in dispute. Also, some questions have to do with rules that have been presented in new articles on ARAB-ISRAELI WARS in the e-mag “OLD SOLDIERS”. Players are encouraged to get hold of back issues as well as current issues of this magazine as new articles will be coming out in it.
TERRAIN EFFECTS ON COMBAT
Q: If a unit is HULL DOWN and in an Improved Position (or Fort), does it get credit for
both, so 4 is added to the die roll (for non-Soviet tank units)?
A: Yes. Additions to the die roll are cumulative.
Q: The rules say that the TI-67 gets a +1 to the die roll for being HULL DOWN, but the
Unit Function Chart in the rule book says +2. Which is right?
A: The rules are right, the TI-67 (captured Soviet equipment) gets a HULL DOWN
bonus of +1.
Q: In Rule II.A.2.a (Indirect Fire) it says that only units with “M” or “(H)” type weapons
Types may use indirect fire. What about the 76mm, 81mm, and 82mm mortars (both
dismounted and mounted varieties)? These counters have an “M” printed on their
counters but on the Unit Function Table they are listed as having a weapons type of
A: Treat these mortars as “M” for indirect fire purposes and as “H” for direct fire
Q: In Rule II.D.3.b (Overruns) it says that overrun attacks may not be made against
defending units in a town hex or in the same hex with a fortification counter. But in
Rule II.D.4.b (Overruns) it says that five is added to the final defense strength if the
defending units are in a town and ten is added to the defense strength of each
defending unit under a fortification counter, thus implying that overruns can be made
against those hexes. Which is correct?
A: Rule II.D.3.b is correct. Ignore the reference to town hexes and fortification counters
in Rule II.D.4.b.
Q: If the units involved in a single overrun attack originate from several hexes, may they
only attack one hex?
A: They must attack only one hex.
Q: When a unit expends movement points to move from one hex to another, in which hex
is the movement point(s) considered to be expended? This can be important during
A: The movement points are considered to be expended when the unit enters the new hex,
i.e. when the new hex is entered. Thus if Opportunity Fire was triggered during the
movement from one hex to the next, the attack would conducted with the target unit
in the new hex just entered.
Q: When an infantry unit makes an Opportunity Fire attack as it is being overrun, it uses
the CAT section of the WEC to calculate its attack strength. Does this mean that the
opportunity fire attack is -2 on the die roll, like other CAT attacks in Standard Rule
A: No! The CAT section is used to modify the effective attack strength, not the die roll.
Q: When an infantry unit executes an Opportunity Fire attack against units spending 2
MPs to overrun the unit, must it attack the entire stack of overrunning units?
A: No, it may attack individual units or the whole stack in one hex.
Q: Can a unit be attack by Opportunity Fire as it makes a CAT attack?
A: No, making a CAT attack does not count as an expenditure of movement factors,
although if a attacking unit moved in the same turn as the CAT attack, the movement
could trigger an Opportunity Fire attack by the defending unit before the CAT attack
is carried out.
Q: A unit with a movement factor of 8 is moving along the hexgrid toward an enemy unit
five hexes away. Between hexes 2 and 3 is a sand dune hexside. In which hex is it
activated for Opportunity Fire so the enemy unit may fire on it?
A: In the first hex it enters in the LOS of the enemy unit it is seen and in the second hex it
can be fired at for movement factors of 6, 7, and 8. For a movement factor of 9 it can
not be fired at until the third hex in the LOS of the enemy unit.
Q: Do defending units get the town and woods defense benefits when attacked by air
A: Yes. Basic Rule VIII.C.6 applies to Hull Down only.
SPLIT MOVE AND FIRE
Q: An Israeli tank unit capable of Split Move and Fire is dispersed by Arab fire. During
its turn it becomes undispersed, Can it move half of its movement allowance?
Q: Why are there so few Wreck counters in AIW as compared to PANZERBLITZ and
A: Because of the wide open nature of desert terrain, wrecks are far easier to go around
and do not clutter up the hex that they are in, like they do in the other games where the
terrain is more restrictive. The only terrain where they would be a problem is the
towns and roads where they would be harder to get around or the passing vehicles
would have to leave the road, thus slowing them down.
Q: Can four wrecks be placed in a hex?
A: No, the limit is two wrecks per hex.
Q: How are wrecks removed?
A: A battle tank unit that starts the turn adjacent to the wreck counter expends its whole
movement allowance to move one hex into the hex with the wreck. As the tank enters
the hex, the player removes one stacking point’s worth of wrecks.
Q: Can a unit move into an empty fort or improved position belonging to an enemy
player and receive the defensive benefits?
Q: What happens when a bridge on a trench on land (i.e. not on the Suez Canal) is
“dispersed” by combat (D or DD result)?
A: It is treated like a “dispersed” pontoon bridge (Standard Rule VI.F.5.b); a “dispersed”
counter is placed on it, it must roll for MORALE, units may move off of it, but not
move on to it, etc..
Q: Can blocks be built in hexes that contain crest hex sides (but not ridge hex sides)?
A: Yes, as indicated on the Neutral Counters Chart.
THE SUEZ CANAL
Q: There are two rule sub-section E’s in this rules section, “The Banks of the Suez
Canal” and “Combat in the Suez Canal”. Which one is actually sub-section E?
A: Sub-section E should be “The Banks of the Suez Canal” and “Combat in the Suez
Canal should be sub-section F.
Q: Do you subtract one from the die roll when attacking a dispersed bridge?
A: No. This applies to both bridges on land trenches and on the Suez Canal.
Q: Can AVLB units “pick up” bridges from other destroyed or dispersed AVLB units?
A: No! AVLB bridges must have been unloaded in trenches in order to be picked up.
Q; Is the number of bomber counters a reflection of tactical doctrine or counter mix
limitations? (i.e. Would it be unrealistic to make up more aircraft counters so six
airplanes could combine in one attack?)
A; Tactical doctrine, making more counters would be unrealistic.
Q: Can H, M, (H), and G type attackers make direct fire attacks against “F” targets?
A: No! (as indicated on the WEC)
Q: Can (H) type air strikes be used for “DEST” and “INT” type attacks?
Q: Can a helicopter move and then attack in the same turn?
A: Yes, if it is face up. A helicopter unit that is face up is not inverted when it moves
during the AIR PHASE, unless a “DOWN” counter is placed on it at the end of the
Q: Can the Israeli UH-1 helicopter be given an air strike?
SPECIAL UNIT CAPABILITIES
Q: Can a unit “bail out” (Advanced Rule II. B) when its carrier unit is destroyed?
A: No, only if the carrier unit is dispersed.
Q: Can Cobra and TOW units switch reloads like Saggers (Advanced Rule II.F.9.c.)?
Q: Can the Israeli Armored Infantry unit separate into an infantry and an M-113 unit?
Can it “bail out”?
A: No to both questions. The Armored Infantry unit was special unit where the men were
trained to fight mounted only. They had no training in dismounted infantry tactics.
INDIRECT FIRE ADDITIONS
Q: Can an artillery unit pre-record a “DEST” or “NEUT” attack while it is still making
an “INT” attack (that will end at the end of the friendly player turn)?
Q: Can Off-Board Artillery do Destructive Fire attacks (Advanced Rule III.C.2 a.)?
Q: Do Interdiction attacks occur when a unit enters an Interdiction Hex?
A: No! Interdiction attacks occur when a unit expends movement in the Interdiction Hex
(such as loading, unloading, or overrunning), makes a CAT attack, or attempts to
leave the hex.
Q: A unit enters an Interdiction Hex and triggers an Opportunity Fire attack upon it when
it moves into the hex. Does the Opportunity fire still occur?
A: Yes as it is only entering the hex. The rules that state where Interdiction Fire attacks
occur before Opportunity Fire refer to when a unit attempts to leave an Interdiction
Hex and would trigger Opportunity fire in the next hex it entered.
Q: A unit enters an Interdiction Hex which also contains a Minefield counter. Which
occurs first, the Interdiction Fire attack or the Minefield attack?
A: Only the Minefield attack would occur as the unit is entering the hex. The rules that
state where Interdiction Fire attacks occur before Minefield attacks refer to when the
unit attempts to move out of the hex, thus triggering both type of attacks.
Q: Can a unit that moves through several Interdiction Hexes during the course of a turn
be subject to Interdiction Fire in each of those hexes?
SUEZ CANAL CROSSING
Q: What is the defense strength of an infantry bridge?
Q: When an Israeli tank unit moves one hex while towing a bridge counter (Advanced
Rule V.D.2), does it count as its whole movement factor (for Opportunity Fire, SMF,
Q: Can pontoon bridges be attacked while being transported?
A: Yes, see Advance Rule V.D.3.
Q: Does a concealed, un-spotted wire-guided missile unit become “spotted” when it
attacks (Optional Rule I.B)?
Q: Are “G” air strikes considered to be wire-guided (Optional Rule I.B)?
Q: Can Indirect Fire attacks be made against “DOWN” helicopters (Optional Rule
A: Yes! On the WEC, note “10” applies to indirect fire attacks (except “INT” attacks).
Q: Can you double or triple your attack strength (using the SUPPLY optional rule) when
making Overrun or CAT attacks?
A: No! Overrun and CAT attacks rely on technique for success (and their combat
bonuses) and more ammunition does not result in more technique. In Overruns and
CAT attacks each attack can only use one supply.
Q: When using the SUPPLY rule, can a unit CAT attack at double or triple strength (so
an Egyptian infantry unit with a CAT strength of 18 could attack with 54 points, using
three attacks worth of ammunition)?
A: No! When ever a unit using its CAT multiplier (either in a CAT attack or an
Opportunity Fire), it can fire with only one attack’s worth of ammunition.
Q: Does a CAT attack count as a SUPPLY attack (one of the 12)?
Q: When using both SMOKE and the SUPPLY optional rules, does creating smoke
count as one of a unit’s twelve attacks?
A: No! Each unit capable of firing smoke is assumed to have smoke shells in addition to
its twelve attacks worth of ammunition.
Q: Why does the game include units (such as the Arab MLG minelayer) and rules (such
as the cut building and bridge building rules which require 40 and 60 turns
respectively to complete) that can not be used in any of the situations?
A: Not all of the weaponry and techniques that were important in the Middle East
fighting could be included in the limited number of situations provided. Rather than
simply ignore these factors, it was decided to include them in the game even if they
weren’t in any particular situation. Many players of AIW style games
(PANZERBLITZ and PANZER LEADER) enjoy making up their own situations – so
it was made sure that such players would have all of the important Middle East
technology to work with.
Q: Why are the counter factors for the SU-100 the same as they are in PANZERBLITZ
while those of the T-34/85 are substantially different?
A: The SU-100 is a battery (company) size unit while the T-34/85 is a half company unit,
thus its counter values are significantly reduced.
Q: Are all of the situations correct?
A: No, the following changes should be made.
S-6: The “North” arrow should be pointing down.
S-9: The Egyptians should have 7 trench/cuts instead of two.
S-11: The “North” arrow should be pointing down.
S-12: The Israeli 7th Brigade should have seven M60A1 and nine Patturians, instead of
the other way around. The Israeli NATKE unit should have three M113A1 units
instead of three M-3 units.
A-4: Board A should be turned 180 degrees.
A-5: Egyptian Group B should have one bridge counter placed on a cut on the Canal,
instead of on MTU-2 unit.
A-6: The Israeli bridge counter should be set up on a cut on the Canal. Israeli Group B
should be set up on Board A. Egyptian Groups A and C should each have one
Construction Engineer unit apiece, not two.
(Note: These corrections are the official Avalon Hill answers, the more extensive
corrections seen in the article “Arab-Israeli Wars Updated” include them as well as
list new ones never published by Avalon Hill.)
Q: In Situation S-11, are the MTU-2 units each carrying three bridges?
Q: In Situation A-5, can the MTU-2 unit pick up the Israeli bride?
A: No because it is a pontoon bridge and because the MTU-2 unit has been replaced itself
as noted above.
Q: In Situation A-5, must the Israeli bridge be adjacent to a trench counter on the Suez
Canal to get the 15 victory points?
Q: On which boards are the seam hexes considered to be part of?
A: Both boards. Note that this is a change from the answers for this question in
PANZERBLITZ and PANZER LEADER question boxes.
Q: Must all units belonging to a group entering the board, enter on the same turn?
A: Yes or they considered to be destroyed.
Q: What happens when an enemy unit occupies an entry hex when a friendly group must
enter through that hex?
A: The friendly group may enter through the nearest hex to the entry hex that is
unoccupied by an enemy unit.
Q: What happens when a player sets up his units in such a way that precludes the
opposing player from entering the board at the beginning of the game?
A: Nothing happens, no battle, no victory points for either side despite what the Victory
Points section of the situation says. However, the set up instructions of the published
situations prevent this from happening.
Q: What happens when a game is set up and both players refuse to attack each other?
A: Again nothing happens, no battle, no victory points for either side.
Q: May a unit be set up in a hex that it could not normally move into or be transported
into during the course of the game?
A: No, unless the Special Rules of the particular situation allows for it.
Q: What happens if the Special Rules of a situation allow for a violation of the rules in
A: The Special Rules take precedence but in only in the situation in question. (Special
Rules usually reflect unique occurrences in the battle being simulated.)
These questions and answers have to do with the Night Rules found in the article “Arab-Israeli Wars Updated”.
Q: Why are the LOS/LOF ranges at night so limited for un-illuminated hexes?
A: These reflect the night sighting devices and techniques in use and practice during the
war in question.
Q: Are all types of attacks (Direct Fire, Overruns, CAT, Opportunity Fire) subject to the
+1 die roll modifier when attacking a unit in an un-illuminated hex?
A: Yes, except Indirect Fire and Minefield attacks which do not have this die roll
modifier applied to them. Incidentally, this includes all forms of Indirect Fire
(Neutralization, Destructive, and Interdiction).
Q: Are more wreck counters potentially needed for situations that occur at night?
A: Yes, since wrecks light up the hex that they are in at night. This means that a wreck
counter is place in any hex that an armored unit has been destroyed in, not just road
and town hexes, at night.
Q: Can wreck counter be removed at night?
Q: What happens when wrecks are removed?
A: Like in daylight, the wreck counter is removed from the board. (What is happening is
that the individual wrecks are being moved to different hexes so the cumulative effect
of several burning wrecks close to each other is not lighting up the whole hex.)
Q: Do wreck counters have stacking point values at night?
A: Only in road and town hexes, just like daylight. In any other hex, wreck counters are
ignored when counting up stacking points.
I hope that these clarifications and answers to rules questions help out players of the game. It should be noted that AIW has less rules questions than the two previous games in the series do to the extensive development that AIW went through compared to the other two games. Enjoy the game.