Thanks to speedy answers by Chris Fasulo, the game designer, I decided I would keep Operation Gazelle on the game table, and see how I got on.
I played through to completion, twice, the second Scenario – Chinese Farm – which features the initial crossing into Africa by the Israelis, and the bloody battles for Chinese Farm. It was one win for the Israelis, and one draw, but more importantly it was two quite good gaming experiences. Sure, the combat calculation is burdensome, but the situation is a challenging one for the Israelis, and that makes it worth playing. However, I was glad I was soloing it, as there is very little for the Egyptian player to do, unless the Israeli player foolishly triggers early release of their forces. (To simulate the head in the sand (ahem) attitude of the Egyptian Army Command at this time, the game only allows the Egyptian forces to react slowly, unless they are attacked by the Israelis.)
The nagging doubt at the back of my head is that with a faster combat system – and some cleaned up rules – the game would be worth spending more time on. As matters stand, that’s unlikely. (Of course, being a gamer, this could change in a split second!) Wish I could think of a replacement combat system. As commenters on Consimworld have said, the system does reflect military thinking about force multipliers. But it does so without finesse. Glad I bought, it and glad I played it, though.