Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (Full Version)

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hermanhum -> Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (5/18/2006 9:49:36 AM)

AAR: Indian [Spoiler Alert]
A Harpoon 3 scenario
By Freek Schepers


The NATO-Russian war is 4 weeks old. Russia has suffered crippling losses to its long-range Naval aviation forces and to its submarines in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres.

The US strategy of leaving the defence of the SLOCs in the IO to India, Thailand, and Singapore has failed when China, worried about its oil supply, claimed control over the Malakka Strait. The ensuing fight sank numerous oil tankers and crippled the Allied Navies in southeast Asia. The White House and State Department are at odds whether the Chinese intervention signals an alliance between China, Russia, and several SE-Asia nations.

The US Navy is rushing reserve forces into the IO to defend the critical approaches to the Persian Gulf oil fields. Reserve troop flown to SE-Asia and the Persian Gulf Region must be matched up with their pre-positioned equipment on Diego Garcia to stabilise the region.


Forces of the new Indian-Thai-United States alliance were still reeling from the recent debacle in the Strait of Malakka. The loss of Singapore's forces and the Viraat was a tremendous blow. The survivors were ordered to coalesce around Diego Garcia and re-organize.


As the stragglers were making their way to Diego Garcia, the MPS [Maritime Pre-Positioned Ship] squadron currently stationed there was ordered to sail immediately. Re-enforcements were desperately needed throughout the Indian Ocean. It was a gamble to have them sail without escort, but the three available task groups in the IO were hoping to rendezvous with them enroute since time was of the essence. The Australian Hornets were sent to DG to shore up the defences and, hopefully, provide a modicum of air cover for the departing MPS squadron. As soon as they were available, helos were sent up right away to scan the local area around the different task groups.


As the Hornets were making their approach to Diego Garcia, one of them reported an unknown contact to the south. DG HQ had nothing on their plotting board for a vessel in the area so the Hornets were ordered to make a quick pass before landing in order to identify the contact. As the Hornets closed the distance, all that the flight leader, Flight Lieutenant Ryan, could think about was getting out of his cramped cockpit to stretch his legs after the long flight over water. They had been in the air for over six hours and even that little pile of guano, nicknamed DeeGar, was starting to look good. Had Flt. Lt. Ryan been more diligent, he would have noticed that the speck on his horizon really should not have been visible unless it was a very large target, indeed. Thankfully, his wingman was more alert.

"There's a battlecruiser down there!", he shouted over the radio frequency. It only took Flt. Lt. Ryan a second to shake off the thought of his sore buttocks to order evasive action. The two Hornets pulled up into a loop and thundered away from Russian behemoth while on afterburner. The Radar Warning Receivers [RWR] were going wild. Both pilots could see in their HUD that the radar were still trying to localize them and that fire control emissions were still absent. Thank God. They ran for DeeGar all the while reporting their discovery.


On Diego Garcia, the duty officer wondered aloud, "Where the devil did that come from?" The flight operations co-ordinator brought him out of his reverie by saying, "It doesn't matter Where it came from. It's here now. Request permission to arm all aircraft for ASuW [Anti-Surface Warfare] missions." The officer of the watch duly agreed and also issued a warning to all commands within the IO. The Death Star was in the system and nobody wanted to be around it.

The task group centred on AOE Rainier immediately turned around and ran at flank speed once the warning was received. So did all the other MPS groups. Every vessel was to make its best speed out of the area. The wolf was in the henhouse. The only really useful strike asset was SSN Montpelier and she was over one thousand nautical miles away. She went to flank speed.

The Hornets landed, but one had developed a major electrical glitch because she was down for an estimated 270 minutes! Left with only one Hornet, the crews swarmed around her while ordnancemen wheeled Harpoon missiles out to the B-52s Stratofortresses and P-3 Orions spread across the base. The accompanying tankers came under SAM fire just as they were about to land, but managed to land without further incident. Take-off was going to be another matter. By the time the Tankers were re-fuelled, the BCGN was within 20nm of the base. They were effectively grounded by the BCGN's SAM bubble and would have to take their chances in the shelters.


Missiles appeared out of nowhere and were reported by a nearby helo operating from the Rainier UnRep [Underway Replenishment] Group. There must be a SSGN around here. The launch datum point was quickly plotted and the lone helo set off to try and locate the sub after a warning was issued to Diego Garcia. The crews were able to ready the lone Hornet and it took off to try and shoot down some of the SLCMs [Sub-Launched Cruise Missiles].


At the same time, FF Taksin reported high speed propeller sounds. CVH Nareubet was under torpedo attack! One hit the Nixie decoy before she even had time to launch helos to prosecute the sub. Her helicopters finally did launch and quickly ran down the submarine and killed her, but she still had to outrun her own problems. Another torpedo was already inbound. Luckily, this, too, was drawn to Nixie and exploded a scant 50 yards astern.


The lone Hornet got off the ground and launched her AMRAAM quickly before being chased back to the base by SA-6 Grumbles. Her AMRAAMs got four, but there were many more following them. The SS-N-19 hit DG and smashed the complex. All of the P-3s and B-52s were destroyed in their hangars. The scene of destruction was horrific. Only one Hornet and 4 Tankers survived.


CVH Nareubet was not through her ordeal. A second sub was detected by FF Taksin. The Russians must want this surviving carrier very badly. Taksin quickly sent two torpedoes after her from her own torpedo tubes before heeling and running at flank speed. She was very close, indeed. An explosion was detected even over the sound of her own thrashing screws. No additional torpedoes were detected so the CV group returned to its baseline course towards DeeGar.

Unopposed, the BCGN sailed right up to the little island and began to bombard the field. Installations all around the field were demolished by her naval gunnery. Now that she had been detected, there was no reason to hide her presence. A Helix AEW helo soon appeared and easily detected the fleeing MPS squadron. The first to die was the Hauge. Under a hail of Shipwreck missiles, she exploded in a fireball and took the precious armoured battalion inside her holds with her to her grave. She was soon followed by the Bough and then the Bonnyman. Red Cloud, Watkins, Charlton, and Soderman were also hit, but survived for the meantime and limped along at severely reduced speeds with fires raging aboard most of them.


One of the subs that encountered the Thai carrier must have sent in a contact report because a Russian MPA [Maritime Patrol Aircraft] was soon detected from her distinctive radar emissions. A lone Harrier was sent to deal with it. Unfortunately, the radar on the Harrier was unable to localize the contact and never managed to intercept it. However, the MPA served a very valuable purpose. It drew away one of only two Harriers currently ready aboard the Nareubet. As the first Harrier was being led on a wild goose chase, the SeaHawk providing limited AEW support for the CVG suddenly reported four unidentified aircraft with Badger-type emissions. The sole remaining Harrier was quickly launched. There were sixteen potential Silkworm AShMs [Anti-Ship Missiles] under their wings. If they managed to launch them, they would make quick work of CVH Nareubet. The Thais were finally rewarded with some luck and the Harrier managed to bag all four bombers with her four AIM-9P Sidewinders. With the good news also came the bad; Watkins and Charlton both sank from the damage they sustained under the SSM attack.


The surviving Hornet on Diego Garcia decided to try and keep the enemy blind. It shot down an AEW Helo from the BCGN and then went after an MPA. that had originally been detected by the Thai carrier. Both targets were easy victims.


With the BCGN distracted chasing the lambs, the tankers took off to try and get the Harriers to ferry to AOE Rainier. There might be time for only one strike. Hopefully, it would have to be enough. As they were approaching the rendezvous point, one simply exploded in mid-flight. No warning. One moment she was flying along and the next moment a fireball was seen at her position. No way to know if she suffered an accident or through enemy action. The tankers met up with the Harriers and transferred as much fuel as possible. Most would try to make directly for Diego Garcia, but, with only three tankers available, one of the Harriers had to divert to the Rainier. This turned out to be a good thing.


As the lone Harrier was flying towards AOE Rainier, she spotted a Udaloy-class DD and a Chilikin-class oiler. Talk about a surprise. This must have been the cause of death for the fourth tanker. Once the rest of the Harrier flight was notified, they decided to attack them en passant. The salvo of Sea Eagle and ALARM quickly overwhelmed the defences and left them pyres on the sea. Now, all of the Harriers had to divert to the Rainier to re-arm since she had the only suitable munitions in the region. With the Harriers safely aboard her makeshift deck, Rainier turned around and headed towards the BCGN's last reported position. Instead of acting in support of a CV as she had done her entire career, today, she would be the carrier.

Phillips and Anderson running for their lives when they were detected by a Ka-32 Helix and missiles started to rain down on the Phillips severely damaging her. The only available fighter in the entire theatre was still grounded on DG for another 10 minutes. When she was ready, she took off and stayed low on the deck. Somewhere out there was a Big and Mean BCGN. It was not something Flt. Lt. Ryan wanted to stumble across twice in the same week. A second Helix was soon detected. Hopefully, he could get them both on the same mission.


Flt. Lt. Ryan did manage to kill both helos, but the effort was all for naught. The MPS ships were already within visual range of the Petr Veilikiy. Anderson and Phillips were both run down like a pair of crippled gazelle and devoured by the ravenous battlecruiser.


Finally, the Harriers aboard the Rainier were ready and launched. They crept in at medium altitude before dropping down to low altitude to deliver their strike ordnance. Eight Sea Eagle were successfully launched and they were not counter-detected as they retreated at wave level. A few hits were reported, but there were mostly shrugged off by gargantuan BCGN. There would not be time for a second strike. The IO commander ordered a withdrawal of forces and victory was awarded to the Soviets.

Thanks for another unique situation, Freek. Although I would not normally have expected a BCGN in the convoy raider role, I can certainly see that it might be used in the strike role against the MPSron. One ship to wipe out most of an armour division might be a fair trade in the eyes of Stavka.

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hermanhum -> RE: Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (5/29/2006 8:00:50 PM)

Here's an epic AAR by Dave Steinmeyer. It is re-printed here with permission from the author.

AAR: Malakka [Spoiler Alert] - Thailand
By Freek Schepers

The NATO-Russian war is 4 weeks old. Russia's naval aviation forces and US Carriers have fought several bloody battles around Japan. Japan has defended its islands well, but is now very vulnerable to the closure of its SLOC's.  The Chinese navy has left port but has stayed out of the battle. The US losses in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres have forced it to withdraw the Seventh Fleet from the IO. Only Diego Garcia remains as a stronghold there.  The task of providing security for the Malakka Strait has been handed over to India, Thailand, and Singapore. India and Thailand will use their baby-carriers to escort tankers through the IO.  The War in the Pacific has interrupted oil shipments to Japan and China for several weeks now and resumption of the oil trade has now become a strategic imperative.

Ok, as I take my initial inventory of what I have available, I'm none too happy.   The ONLY air assets ready to fly are a pair Sea Kings out of Port Blair.  No options but to  launch one.  Other than that, I've got 6 Falcons and 4 Tigers on Ready5 out of Korat and  Surat Thani respectively, 6 more Falcons Ready30 at Takhli, and one Orion Ready30 at U  Tapao.  It's gonna be pretty damn hard to get a clear picture of what's going on initially. Now for orders... I send the Indian carrier TF south along the Andaman and Nicobar  Islands, then SE towards the straits.  Thai TF Andaman get orders to head SE to the Straits  at full.  Thai TF 1 is ordered due west towards the South China Sea, and TF Gulf of Thailand  heads SE around the Exclusion Zone and then S to the 10 degree channel.
As per standard operating procedures, all radars in the TFs are passive and all are running with ECMs active to deny the enemy, whoever that may be, as much info as possible.   All SAM sites are ordered to go passive, the only radars I allow to radiate are the YLC-2 Early Warning radars and the weather radar on Car Nicobar.

Once things get started, I am greeted by what can only be described as a nightmare  and a blessing all in one.  There are SO many merchants in the area, spread out over such a  huge swath of ocean, I know right away I can't protect all of them. But, on the up side, the vast majority of them are Blue.  Hopefully, that means I've got dozens of additional eyes out there looking for the bad guys!  I also make a more frightening observation, I'm hemmed in by Red bases all around me.  Some are entirely too lose for comfort.

About a minute and a half later I get my first contact.  It's the ESM track of a Nav radar NW of TF 1.  It sure would be nice to have some helos ready for scouting!  But, since it's just nav radar, I'll keep an eye on him, but not worry too much. My Sea King launches from Port Blair and immediately picks up another skunk running commercial nav radar.  No biggie.  I then get three simultaneous reports of bogies.  They appear to be flying one each out of Butterworth, Kuantan, and Tengah.  Their radar profiles indicate they're probably an F-18, a Fulcrum, and Falcon.  Their bases are listed as neutrals, and that's good enough for me.  I have a feeling I'll have my hands full soon enough.  My next contact is a bogie running an ORB 32 radar some where near Singapore.  Looks like somebody else is trying to get a picture of what's going on.  Then a second one pops up, and I get confirmation from one of the merchants that what I thought was a Falcon, indeed is, and more importantly he's neutral.

At the five minute mark, I have a Harrier and a Sea King ready aboard the Viraat, and four Tigers and six Falcons ready.  I keep one each Falcon and Tiger on the ground and launch everything else.  I send the Harrier N towards Great Cocos Island and Haingui to watch the back door and the Sea King S along the Nicobars.  The Tigers leave from Surat Thani and race N the place themselves between their base and Mergui.  The Falcons out of Korat are tasked with looking out to the NE.  By now, another merchant informs me that the birds flying the ORB 32 surface search radars are Super Pumas out of Singapore.  Interestingly enough, I even pick up the emissions from an AN/APS-145.  Must be one of Singapore's E-2s.  I'm starting to get a case of radar envy!

On the approach to Grand Cocos, my Harrier detects a Gun Dish radar going hot, and decides to give it a wide berth.  One of the Falcons picks up emissions from a pair of N001VE Zhuk radars about 175nm E of Korat, this is a rather unhappy development.  But there are five Falcons and only two of them, right?  By now it's 1230Z and I have several more aircraft ready.  I no sooner get four Falcons off the ground from Takhli, when my EW radars pick up a pair of bogies 86nm NW of U Tapao heading for my radar at 540kts.  So I dispatched a pair of Falcons to investigate. On closing to visual, they ID the bogies as Airguards and HOSTILE!  The lead pilot moves in and let's loose one Sidewinder and begins to maneuver.  As he gains the advantage on the second Airguard, he fires again.  His first missile strikes its prey at the wing root on the port side.  The pilot never saw it coming. The second Airguard pilot takes a snap shot at the guy who just killed his wingman.  Right after his missile clears the rail, another Sidewinder hits home.  His missile never locks on to his killer and goes wild.  Two shots, two kills.

And now for the bad news.  As the first engagement played out between the Falcon and the Airguards, Falcons to the NE confirmed their fears.  Not only is there one pair of hostile Flankers heading W, but now a second pair lit up their radars N of the first pair.  The number of enemy doubled, my problems quadrupled!  A lone Falcon dropped the southern pair of Flankers like a couple of bad habits.  Unfortunately, he was knocked from the sky while doing so.  In the north, one Falcon was lost before I could even pinpoint the Flankers.  I vectored in four more and ordered the launch of my one remaining Falcon at Korat.  One Falcon and one Flanker were lost in a mutual kill.  Another Falcon managed to get a shot at the sole remaining Flanker before the F-16's wreckage was decorating the hills below.  The Flanker nimbly dodged the shot.  DAMN, I hate Flankers!  While my two remaining Falcons pursue the Flanker to the N, my F-16 to the S picks up a pair of Badgers following in the path of the Flankers.  He launches a pair of Sidewinders and the Badgers go down  faster than a couple of cheap hookers!  Back in the north, the last Flanker is eliminated in a mutual kill with another Falcon.  4 Flankers for 4 Falcons, NOT an exchange ratio I want to continue!

Out over the Andaman Sea, a merchant reports sighting a Maritime Enforcer. My airborne Harrier is up near Haingui, so I order one of my Tigers watching Mergui W to deal with it.  Now I notice something else, my radars are being jammed.  No fair!  That's my trick!  A quick look around reveals what must be and EW bird somewhere over the South China Sea.  Nothing a pair of Matadors off the Thai carrier can't handle.  Another pair of Badgers shows up N of the first pair and is just as easily dispatched.  Before their wreckage even hits the earth, a third pair appears slightly further N.  Another Falcon, two more missiles, two less Badgers.  A few minutes later, two more pairs pop up right in front of the Falcons. As I give the orders to intercept, a third pair arrives slightly further N.  Shortly all 6  Badgers disappear in balls of flame.

Now I get a report that reminds me I have made a serious error of omission.  The supertanker Breuklen, within the Malakka Straits, report a visible goblin 3nm dead ahead.  In my concern over the Flankers and Badgers trying to infiltrate to the N, I forgot to launch my one available Orion!  I only hope it's not too late to rectify the situation as I belatedly order it airborne.  My concerns are quickly proven true, as first one, then a another torpedo slam into the supertanker, breaking her keel and quickly sending her to the bottom.  The environmental disaster is the least of my worries right now.  After a brief game of hide and seek over the Andaman, my Tiger tracks down the Maritime Intruder and the plane and crew now sleep with the fishes.  On the other side of my AO, the Matador's hunt for the EW plane pays off nicely as the southern of the two visually IDs a Chinese EW Badger. Bye-bye Badger! 

Time to worry again, I pick up two more Flanker radars to the NE.  Both over southern Laos.  Here we go again!  Have I mentioned that I HATE Flankers?! After a few minutes of angst, the ESM tracks don't appear to be getting any closer.  I only like to pick fights I can win, and this ain't one of 'em!  After my Tiger offed the Maritime Intruder and was heading back to base, he picked up some odd radar signals right off the coast of Phuket. So I sent him to check it out.  It's ID'd as a 412 class PGM and a second is picked up further S.  A pair of Harpoons fired from the FFL Sukhotai in TF Andaman make short work of the gun boat.  As my Tiger set off S to pin point the other gun boat, the Sea King out of Port Blair almost runs right into another of the same class nearly dead center in the Andaman Sea.  He's only 15nm from the Sea King when he's noticed.  Unfortunately, he's out of range of both the Thai TF and the Indian TF.  And I have no ready air assets (AGAIN!) to hit him with.  Bad luck again. My Tiger hits Bingo fuel before he can localize the other gun boat.  I don't usually gamble, I prefer an unfair fight and a guaranteed win, but do throw the dice in this situation and send one of my two remaining Harpoons from TF Andaman towards the area of the second gun boat.  At the same time, I launch another Tiger from Surat Thani to pick up where the Tiger returning to base left off.  He quickly finds the second gun boat, alive and well.  Apparently the BOL Harpoon missed!  He increases to full throttle, dives to 600m above the deck and lets loose with three bursts of 20mm cannon fire.  All three rake the little craft.  The pilot is gratified to see a pair of secondary explosions as turns NW and heads to his patrol station over the Andaman.

Just when I thought I was starting to get a handle on things, the Sea King I had acting as my eyes over the Andaman Sea visually picks up two bogies closing fast from the E. Less than a minute later the Sea King is a stain on the ocean's surface.  I guess a pair of fighters slipped out of Mergui I send three Tigers N looking for paybacks.  I quickly lost contact with the two bogies who took out the Sea King, so I order a Falcon from Takhli to head SW and join in the hunt.  As one of my Tigers is racing NW, he stumbles across a Houxin class PTG 45nm SW of Mergui.   While it's much larger than the little PGMs I've dealt with so far, it looks pretty under armed in the AA area.  Just as the Tiger starts his attack run on the Houxin, another Tiger in the hunting party picks up a bogey heading in the direction of Mergui.  Where there's one, there's probably two.  He streaks off to intercept.  In no time he picks up the second bogey and ID's them as Airguards.  TALLY HO!!  The Houxin proves to be a nice big target, but also capable of taking some punishment.  It takes 11 bursts of cannon fire and two strafing runs to leave the ship dead in the water, burning and listing to starboard.  Before heading N, the pilot reports seeing the crew abandoning the sinking ship.  One more for the Good Guys!  The lead tiger closes in on the two Airguards, firing one Sidewinder at each.  The first one flies right by both planes.  The second, however, flies true and scores a kill.  The remaining Airguard pilot sprints for the safety of his base.  But, he runs right into the loving arms of the other Tiger pilot who just sent many of his countrymen to their watery graves.  And while his aircraft is now short on 20mm ammo to kiss with, he certainly doesn't hesitate to slip the Airguard some tongue in the form of a single Python 3.  It proves to be the kiss of death.

Let's revisit the situation NE of Korat.  One of the ESM tracks has moved close enough to the Falcons I have on CAP that I cannot ignore it anymore.  I vector in three F-16s and start looking for the bane of my existence, ANOTHER f#*%ing Flanker!! As soon as my closest Falcon makes a visual ID, he explodes in a ball of flame. Poor bastard never knew what hit him!  I launch my one remaining Falcon from Korat, as the Flanker makes an aggressive turn right for another of my CAP fighters.  As if he were psychic, the Flanker pilot heads for the Falcon with only one AIM-9M left hanging from the rails.  But if he was one to run from a fight, the Falcon driver wouldn't be a fighter pilot, now would he?!  He does what he's been trained to do, he closes with the enemy, strives for a superior position and fires.  He banks so hard to port after taking the shot that he nearly blacks out.  He is brought back to reality by the voices of his wing mates cheering and telling him he got the Flanker!  He never saw the vampire from the Flanker that went wide and well below his Falcon.  He turned W and headed for home. 

The last time we danced with Flankers up there, they were followed by a fair sized Badger raid.  Let's see if past performance holds true.  As proof of past predicting future, two Badgers soon pop up over a low ridge and right into the sights of a waiting Falcon.  The Falcon doesn't even need to turn its radar on.  Out over the South China Sea, one of the Thai Matadors I have scouting ahead of the carrier TF sniffs the emissions from a Chinese destroyer.  I send him to get a closer look.  I also launch a Seahawk off the carrier since it has a better radar than the Matadors.  Just after lifting off from the Chakri Nareubet, the Seahawk gets the scent of a second Chinese DDG.  Same area as the first.  Back over the Andaman, one Tiger begins an attack run on the 412 class PGM out in the center of the Sea.  A second Tiger hits bingo and turns for Surat Thani.  Another is launched to replace him.   And the Tiger who already sank one Houxin, finds a second while prowling the coast NNW of Mergui.  This time the little 412 class PGM sees the Tiger roll in on the attack and opens up with one of its 40mm cannons.  The gun crew proves its bravery by firing on the Tiger even as the first of three 20mm bursts pierce the aft hull and kill the engine.  The second burst shatters the bridge, and the third rips a gash in the port side that starts the boat rolling over.  The Tiger who is after his second Houxin of the day, is not as successful as in his first fight.  He makes repeated passes on the PTG and expends all remaining 20mm ammo, but is only able to damage the ship.  He is forced to call for help from another Tiger.  As he is returning to base, cursing himself and thinking of how he could have executed the attack on the second Houxin more effectively, his radar picks up a pair of bogeys rising up from Mergui to meet him.  Here's an opportunity to make up for his poor performance against the second missile boat.  They are ID'd as a pair of Airguards.  And just as efficiently they are dispatched with one Sidewinder each.  No muss, no fuss.  He is much happier now, as he returns to base.

Despite his success, he is only human and you can only roll the dice so many times.  The Tiger pilot is RTB for bingo fuel and down to his last missile, when a second pair of bogies take off from Mergui.  This time, he's only 10nm from the enemy base.  A Falcon is 26nm N and sent in to try to relieve the Tiger, but the bogies are the hunters now.  He fires his last missile and dives for the deck.  As if in slow motion, he watches a glowing white dot appear at his 11 o'clock high and guide itself into a steep dive that he knows will eventually intersect with his.  At the moment he is able to pick out the details of the enemy missile, he smiles to himself and knows, at least for him, it's been a good war.

The Falcon from Takhli fared only slightly better.  He managed to take out one of the Airguards that fell the Tiger, but became so focused on doing so, that he did not pay attention to the AAA and fell victim to it.  Although, the pilot was able to eject and survive in a Myanmar POW camp.

It's now 1500Z game time, 3 hours since the start of the scenario.  How about a little half-time report?!  The ViConds at the start said no more than 8 tankers damaged, sink 4 subs, and sink 10 warships.  Here's the score so far.  I've lost one tanker to a sub in the straits, I've only just got a return from a sub running on the surface right before half-time.  My Orion is 24nm away and closing fast.  I sank one Houxin and damaged another.  A Tiger is en route to finish it off.  And while the little 412 class gunboats don't constitute much of a threat, they do technically count as warships and I've downed three of them.  Back to the game!

My strike and ASW capabilities just got a shot in the arm in the form of 2 Trackers and 4 Corsair IIs ready at Surat Thani.  I also decide to do something about the annoying Zhuk ESM track that has been hovering over the northern Gulf of Thailand for a while.  I sent three Tigers from U Tapao to deal with it.  I hope the numbers will make up for the qualitative difference.  I also send one of the Trackers out into the shipping lanes just E of the Nicobar Islands.  The Orion closes on its prey in the Straits and finds an Indonesian/Malaysian Wasp already working the contact.  Since this is very close to the area where the tanker Breukelen was lost, the Orion does not wait for positive ID.  The first MK46 narrowly misses the sub, but the second nearly splits it in two.  The Orion then heads for a patrol area further to the NW, near the tip of Sumatra.  Back up north, another Zhuk radar is detected to the NE.  I'm running out of Falcons to trade!  Along the coast of Myanmar, one of my Tigers is approaching the wounded Houxin and detects a second contact further N, hugging the coast, trying to hide.  We'll check him out later.  The Tiger makes one pass and scores two more hits, damaging the PTG even more.  One more hit should be the final nail in her coffin.  But as the Tiger turns around for another pass, the belly of the plane is riddled with 14.5mm machine gun fire!!  The pilot is forced to break off the attack and eject before the Tiger slams into the sea.  The animal is wounded, but can still bite!

I think I'll try to work smarter, not harder now.  Since I have several Jaguars ready at Port Blair, I'll send a pair each against the wounded Houxin and the unknown skunk further north.  Now I pick up a pair of Slot Back radars out of Haingui, probably Fulcrums.  I'll keep an eye on them for now.  The three Tigers I sent to deal with the Flanker over the Thai Gulf have flushed out their quarry.  The flight leader engages the Chinese Flanker, fires a Sidewinder and is no longer the flight leader.  In fact, he's no longer much of anything!  But his wingmen close and find a chink in the Flanker's armor into which they fire a pair of Python 3's.  It only takes one.  The Fulcrums out of Haingui have either gone silent for now, or gone back to base.  Either way, I've lost track of 'em.
Now things go from not so bad to pretty bad, real quick.  I get a mayday from the merchant tanker, Lady Sterling, about 175nm N of Banda Aceh.  They have a visual of a C-801 ASM breaking the surface less than a mile from them.  And it's heading their way.  I vector in my airborne Tracker, my Orion, and launch a Sea King from Car Nicobar.  It will probably be another case of too little, too late, but at least I now know where to hunt!  The Lady Sterling is hit, slows to 2kts, but continues on course.  She'd 23% damaged, but luckily no fires were started.  The Seahawk scouting for the Thai carrier TF has reached its patrol area and is rewarded with two new contacts when its radar goes active.  Both are in close formation with what I think are a pair of Chinese destroyers.  By now, the two pair of Jaguars have crossed the Andaman to the coast of Myanmar.  The northern pair immediately the previously unknown contact as a third Houxin PTG, null number 473.  They are ordered to intercept.  The Houxin opens fire with its 37mm cannon.  Both Jaguars drop a pair of Mk13 1000lb bombs.  Houxin 473 is struck by two.  What's left of her quickly slips beneath the waves with all hands.  The southern pair of Jaguars repeat the tactic.  They split up and go in low and fast.  The first Jaguar releases both bombs and turns for home.  Before the second Jaguar can release its bombs, one of the first two smashes into the starboard superstructure of the Houxin, leveling the deck.  All four Jaguars are RTB to Port Blair.

One of the Matadors ahead of the Thai carrier TF closes in and gets an ID on one of  the ships in formation.  It's the Siping, a Chinese Jianghu IV class FFG.  And she's hostile.  I order the Matador to back off a bit, I've got the info I need.  If one out of four in the formation is hostile, the other three ain't there to sing kumbaiya and hold hands!  As the formation slowly gets closer to the Seahawk on patrol, I pick up some small airborne contacts flying around the formation, probably helos.  And I'm surprised to find a 5th contact in the formation.  The Thai carrier TF just has to lay low until the Harpoon armed Matadors are ready to strike! 

Unfortunately, I am forced to recall both of the Matadors and the Seahawk because I know have a pair of Flankers prowling the area between the Thai carrier and the Chinese surface group.  Let's just hope the jamming is enough to not give the Flankers a good look at what I've got!  I also notice an EW aircraft over the northern Andaman, as well as another Maritime Intruder, both probably out of Haingui.  Time to rip their eyes out!  I send the lone Harrier from the Viraat and an F-16 from Takhli to take them out.  Now, I am also forced to greet a very unwelcome visitor.  An Airguard is visually ID only 10nm NE of the Viraat TF and closing.  The jig is up!  Might as well light up all the radars 'cause I'm sure the party's gonna start soon!  If he keeps coming, the SAM gunners will at least get some practice.  It looks like the Airguard is making a low level run at the INS Brahmaputra. Two rounds from the 76mm OTO Compact and two bursts from the AK-630 CIWS and the Airguard is no more.  But I'm sure he got a good look and a radio call before he died.  To make matters worse, I pick up another bogey 77nm SE (!) of the Viraat TF closing on a Sea King from the carrier as it is RTB.  The bogey turns out to be another Airguard who must have slipped past.  He made a few cannon passes at the Sea King as he dove for the deck, but the attack was unsuccessful.  I lost contact with the Airguard shortly after that. 

Things are going to hell in a hand basket now! Either the same Airguard I lost before or another one now shows up to attack a second Sea King I have out scouting.  To add insult to injury, another  C-801 ASM pops up RIGHT UNDER the Sea King that survived the attack earlier!!  It seems the missile is headed for the same tanker that was hit earlier, the Lady Sterling.  The second Sea King to be attacked is as lucky as the first, it avoids a burst of cannon fire by hitting the deck and heading NE.  The tanker is hit again, thankfully no fires.  She's 45% damaged when a third C-801 breaks the surface. WHY the F can't I find the sub launching the missiles!!!???  A bit further N, at least there's some good news.  A Falcon has found the EW bird I noticed earlier, it's an EW Badger and it's not long for this world.  That's the first bit of good news.  The second is that the third C-801 missed the Lady Sterling.  And the third bit of good news is that my Sea King has found the sub!  It's not ID's yet, but it's definitely hostile.  But the bastard fires another C-801 before the Sea King can close.  The fourth ASM finds it's mark, setting the tanker ablaze.  She's now 89% damaged.  I vector in a Tracker to help with the hunt.  The pair localize the sub, and three of the Sea King's four Mk11 depth charges later, there's no more contact.  But, that's the last bit of good news.  It seems there are at least two Airguards roving over the Andaman, and they have BOTH found my Orion.  The Orion goes down in a spectacular trail of smoke and flame after being raked with cannon fire.  The two Airguards then turn their attention to what must have been their real mission all along, one starts an attack run on the tanker Port Vendres, the other on the tanker Ilim.  Both are hit by bombs and 34% damaged before the Airguards turn N and head home.  But they are running straight for one very pissed off Harrier pilot.  He had a third Airguard out run him earlier and is spoiling for a fight.  Further N, the Falcon who downed the EW Badger earlier now runs across the Maritime Intruder.  One Sidewinder and the Intruder is gone.  The Harrier spots one of the Airguards, but is too damn slow to intercept.  The he ID's the second.  Now, he's finally in a good position.  He closes and launches one, then two R.500 Magics.  BOTH MISS!!  He's too slow to chase the Airguard and engage with guns, so he makes for the Viraat.

It's 1800Z and it's my turn to get dealt a good hand.  My staff notifies me that several additional aircraft are ready.  These include: 3 Sea Kings on the Viraat, 4 Sea Eagle armed Sea Harriers also on the Viraat, a pair of Lynxes in Thai TF1, 2 Rockeye armed Tigers and another Orion at U Tapao, and the 4 Harpoon armed Matadors I've been waiting for on the Thai carrier.  It's time to PLAY!!  I launch two Sea Harriers from the Viraat to intercept the escaping Airguards (it's personal now!).  Even though they're armed with Sea Eagles, they still carry a pair of R.55o Magics each.  I also launch all four Matadors from the Thai carrier.  The ESM tracks from the Flankers have moved far enough away that if the Matadors stay low, I think they can get a good punch in on the Chinese surface group.  The Harriers managed to intercept the fleeing Airguards, each Harrier fires it's two Magics at the Airguard... ALL FOUR MISS!!!  These DAMN Indian Harriers SUCK!!!  What's the point of even having aircraft on a carrier if they are so F*&%#ing USELESS!!!???  They're slow, have carry little ordnance, have limited sensors.  God, what I wouldn't give for some REAL fighters and some force multipliers!!  AAARRRGGHHHHH!!!!  OK, I'm done venting now.

I have managed to get a Falcon in position S of the Great Cocos Island to lay in wait for the returning Airguards.  He doesn't have to wait long.  He picks up one, then the second.  Closes, fires, kills.  Splash two.  I told you it was personal.  Out in the South China Sea, my Matadors have closed with and ID'd two more ships in the formation.  The Siping was seen earlier, now we have IDs on the Huaibei, a Jiangwei FFG and the Kaifeng, a Luda IV DD.  I don't want to push my luck, so I'll allocate four Harpoons each to the Huaibei and the Kaifeng.  All eight missiles jump from their launch rails without problem.  After launch the Qingdao, a Luhu class DDG is spotted.  Just before the Matadors turn for home, they pinpoint the Siping and ID the Hangzhou.  I now know which ship will be on the receiving end of the next round of eight Harpoons!  Two of the four Harpoons targeting the Huaibei are shot down by the Qingdao, by the other two hit their mark.  They leave the Huaibei a sinking, burning hulk.  The point defenses on the Kaifeng manage to shoot down one Harpoon, but the other three fly true.  All three strike her on the starboard side and leave her dead in the water.  My Matadors have gotten too far away to give me any useful damage assessment, but I'd put money on the fact that the Kaifeng is on her way to the bottom of the South China Sea.

It's 2045Z and things have significantly slowed down now.  I've lost contact with the Chinese surface group in the South China Sea.  I have not been challenged by anything in the air for nearly an hour now.  I sent one of my Falcons scouting around Great Cocos Island and found a Hainan class patrol boat docked there.  I think this is a job for the Corsairs! And while there in the area, maybe they can soften up the facilities on the island.  As the Falcon completes his recon of the island, I pick up a Slot Back radar approaching from Haingui.  The recon Falcon is  bingo fuel, but I have another in the area to fend off the slot Back.  The corsairs lift off from Surat Thani and head NW.

After an uneventful flight across the sea, the Corsairs split up and make their runs on Great Cocos Island.  They all dive to 600m and push their throttles to full power.  The flight leader goes straight in from the SE.  Other than the road base and the patrol boat in the harbor, the only other unit known to be there is a Shilka battery.  He drops a stick of 12 Mk82 500lb iron bombs on the AAA battery, as well as pepper the area with some 20mm fire. The Shilka battery is no more.  As he turns his attention to the airstrip, he is greeted by the muzzle flashes of a 57mm AAA site.  He returns cannon fire and drops his remaining Mk82s.  The AAA site is reduced to a greasy stain on the island.  The second Corsair hits the airfield from the E.  He drops his entire load on the road base, but is unable to get any solid BDA.  Corsair number three heads in from the N and expends a dozen 500 pounders on the Hainan patrol boat.  It sinks at it's moorings.  The fighter's second dozen bombs are spent on the airfield.  This time we have several confirmed hits.  The last Corsair goes in from the S and targets the airfield.  Again there are several hits.  The pilot also sees a second ZSU-57-2 site N of the road base.  He fires a few bursts of cannon fire at the site and is rewarded with at least one hit.  The site is damaged, but still operational.  Rather than tempt fate, he joins his wing mates and goes home.

In the South China Sea, I seem to have developed a problem.  I've got an ESM track of a Zhuk radar that suddenly went hot about 20-25nm N of the Thai carrier TF and it's heading S.  I order two Matadors airborne, but doubt they'll make it up in time.  Let's hope our SAM gunners are good!  At about 14nm, it's positively ID'd as a Chinese Flanker.  Let me tell you one more time how I HATE Flankers!!  The Flanker is brought down without incident about two miles off the Kraburi's bow.  A single Sea Sparrow off the Naresuan was all it took.  Unfortunately, the TF was forced to light up their radars and I'm quite certain the Flanker pilot got a radio call out before he went for a swim.  Now I need to keep alert for any aircraft flying in from the N, as well as any missiles that might be launched by the DDG group that I lost to the S somewhere!
It's now 2250Z and my Jaguars are ready at Port Blair.  A few minutes later, I pick up another bogey approaching my Thai carrier TF.  This time I get him about 65nm out.  His radar profile matches the last one... another FLANKER!!!  DAMN.  My Matadors are already further S and NW, with all the jamming I doubt he can pick them up.  Looks like another live fire exercise for the SAM crews!  Before this situation can develop, the Falcon I have on station between Great Cocos and Haingui gets a return on something low and slow, a helo maybe.  It's about 35nm N.  He steers N to investigate.  At about 8nm the bogey is ID'd as a Z-9A Dauphin Haitun.  This is NOT his lucky day!  One Sidewinder M, and the fat lady is singing!  Back in the South China Sea, the southern Matador picks up the scent of the DDG group I hit earlier, as well as a bogey running an ORB32 radar, heading N, looking for the Thai carrier.  The bogey seems to be well away from the destroyers, so the Matador moves in like a preacher pushing redemption.  What I thought was one bogey turns out to be two, and they're a pair of Z-9As.  The bogey that was to the N is indeed a Flanker, but now he does the unexpected.  He dives to low altitude and turns W, staying out of my SAM envelope.  The Matador to the S takes one helo with guns and the other with a missile shot.  To the N, The Flanker must have been able to burn through the jamming, because he climbs and starts hunting the other Matador.  The two are closing at over 1000kts.  The Flanker gets the first shot, a PL-10 that missed.  The Matador closes and fires a Sidewinder.  A second missile jumps from the rail of the Flanker, but the Sidewinder gets there first ending the Flanker's hunt. 

I launch a Seahawk to track the destroyers I have re-acquired to the S.  Despite my success in the South China Sea, I a given some very bad news from the northern entrance to the Malakka Straits.  The tanker Chattahoochee is struck by a torpedo and is sinking.  CRAP!  This is the second tanker sunk, with one more crippled.  A Tiger also makes short work of an Airguard approaching the shipping lanes from the E.  I send a Sea King and my last Orion to search for the sub.  There are four other tankers following DIRECTLY behind the sinking Chattahoochee!  I am happy to see an almost immediate report of a goblin, but it's not the one I was looking for.  This report comes in from a Sea King on patrol for the Viraat TF.  The contact is only 19nm in front of the TF!  And 13nm from the nearest ship, the Brahmaputra.  I dispatch the two helos I had on patrol and launch another two for good measure.  I also vector in one of my Trackers.  The first Sea King is on top of the contact in a matter of minutes.  He releases asingle A-244 torp, but there's no confirmed hit.  He continues the search.  Further SE, where the Chattahoochee was sunk, I get three contacts from one of the sonobouys dropped by the Orion.  One is a goblin, the other two are torps in the water!  Less than 4nm N are the supertanker Nichio Maru and the LNG tanker Vlaardingin!  As the helo and Orion work the contact, the torps quickly close the gap with the tankers.  The contact is eventually ID'd as a Romeo class and somewhat localized, although no accurate track is established.  Of the two fish running, one misses the LNG tanker, the other hits the Nichio Maru, causing serious flooding.  She's damaged at 62%.  The Sea King attacks with DCs with no apparent effect, as two more torps are heard.  The Orion drops a Mk46 Mod2 and begins to circle.  The Sea King is out of ammo and heads for Car Nicobar.  The Orion's first shot is a no go.  A second longer range shot is attempted, but it will take about three minutes to get there.  A third enemy torp is now heard in the water! I order the Orion  closer and drop another Mk46.  After less than a minute of run time, this one misses too!   The Mk46 dropped earlier is now less than 30 seconds from the sub.  Unfortunately, a second torp strikes the Nichio Maru, setting her ablaze and sinking her.  In a Pyrrhic victory, the Mk46 does hit and kill the Romeo.  The one torp still running for the LNG tanker, misses by a wide margin.  The hunt for the sub in front of the Indian carrier TF heats up as it is joined by a Tracker and several other helos.  However, after nearly an hour, no further contact is established and it is lost.

SITREP:  DTG is now 040030JAN04.  ViConds say sink 10 warships, I've got 9 so far.   They also dictate sink 4 subs, I can only confirm 2.  With the lack of good sonars, I'm finding this one tough!  And I'm required to allow no more than 8 tankers to be damaged.  It doesn't specify more than that, so I assume the worst and figure 1% damage is too much.  So far, I've lost three and had one crippled at 89% damage and two more damaged at 34% each.  I need to find some more subs QUICK!!

OK, good news.  At 0040 on 4 JAN, my Matadors are once again ready for action.  I order them airborne with instructions to attack the Chinese DDG group again.  I've got a Seahawk on station about 35nm E of the DDG group, when he picks up the ESM track of another Chinese destroyer further SW.  The signature of this one looks like a Luda.  How did I miss this one???  My Gulf of Thailand TF had just recently transited the area and is now near the eastern-most point of the Singapore Exclusion Zone with the new contact about 110nm N of their present position.  They never got a hint of another destroyer in the area!  Maybe they were lucky they didn't!!  It also seems that the Myanmar air force still has some fight in it.  I pick up a pair of Sapfir 29 radars out of Haingui moving to challenge the two Falcons I have on patrol near there.  Seems to be time for some SMACKDOWN!!  I bait the two bogies with the nearest Falcon and run interception with the other as lead.  What I hoped would be one sided turned out to be just another trade.  Two Falcons for two Fulcrums!  DAMN!  I now have to give orders to re-fit two F-16a at Takhli with air-to-air rather than the 2000lb bombs they were armed with.  I have one other Falcon at Takhli that will be ready in 15 minutes.  At 20nm from the Chinese DDG group, the Matadors unleash their Harpoons.  Six are targeted on what I believe to be the Hangzhou, and two more on what I think is a frigate with no radars active.  I'll leave the Qingdao be for now.  Of the eight Harpoons fired, one hits the Hangzhou, three hit the other ship I'd targeted and four were shot down. The only damage assessment I get is that the ship I thought to be the Siping is sinking.  If my count is right, that should be the tenth enemy warship to be destroyed.

The Tracker that was acting as cover for the Viraat TF has hit bingo and must RTB.  One of my few remaining Falcons arrives on station S of Haingui and picks up three skunks that weren't there before.  They're all small contacts, stopped in the water and have no radar emissions.  He heads in to check it out.

I now need to take a time out to change my drawers, because a pair of torpedoes just ran right past the Thai ship, Makut Rajakumarn of TF Andaman and scared the crap out of me! They were spotted visually seconds before they missed their target.  Discovering there's a sub in the area by having it send some torps your way is a helluva way to conduct ASW operations!!  Fortunately, I have my Orion slightly to the N, and my other Tracker W of their location.  I give orders for the TF to go active with what sonars they have and send in the two ASW planes.  I just hope I don't run out of sonobouys before I get a contact.  It takes some time for the planes to close the gap, but they eventually do so.  They each lay a line of six sonobouys S of the TF as it rushes N.  As they both begin to line up to lay another spread, I get a contact.  It's between the two eastern buoys that the Orion laid.   The Tracker is the first to the contact, he drops an active buoy and ID's the sub as a PRC Romeo.  As he continues to strive for a track, the Orion takes a shot.  The Mk46 makes its run with no results.  A second is dropped N of the target.  While the fish is still in the water, an accurate track is established.  The torp closes with its prey and buries itself in the subs hull just fore of the conning tower before detonating.  That's three!

Back up N, near Hainan, a Falcon has ID'd the three ships that are just sitting  there.  It's the Dalian, a Luda III class DD, the Jinan, a Luda II DD, and hull number 620, a Shengli fleet oiler.  This should be nothing more than a live fire exercise.  I order four Sea Eagle armed Harriers from the Viraat to head N to deal with the DDs.  Once they are N of Port Blair, I order the four jaguars from there to airborne to deal with the tanker.

Now I notice something very odd...  There are five tankers in a row entering the narrows of the Malacca Straits, about 150nm SSE of Butterworth in Malaysia.  They are all passing very close to the coast.  First in line is the Mobile Condor, followed by the Ridgewood, the Inebolu, the Norbay, and the Santa Ana.  I suddenly get a report of the Ridgewood being on fire.  No report of a weapons hit, no enemy sighted, nothing!  The Ridgewood is 5% damaged and on fire.  Upon further investigation, I see the Mobile Condor isalso 1% damaged.  Suddenly, the fire on the Ridgewood spreads and she's 15% damaged!   Nothing I can do except hope for the best.  I launch a Seahawk from Surat Thani to take a look around down there, but like most things in this scenario, it will probably be another case of too little, too late.  The fire on the Ridgewood spreads and grows.  Engineering is now damaged and the control systems are on fire.  The damage level has reached 47%.  To add insult to injury, the next ship in line, the Inebolu is on fire and damaged has already reached 39%!  Whatever it is that I cannot see or detect is sinking tankers better than the combined navies and air forces of China and Myanmar!!  As I struggle to find a solution, I realize that the Seahawk I launched earlier is far too slow.  I now launch a pair of Tigers from Surat Thani to go S and have a look around.  It's a long shot, but I gotta try something.  The Ridgewood is 59% damaged and the Inebolu is now 42% damaged.  Both are still burning.

The Harriers from the Viraat are 30nm from the Dalian and Jinan when they fire.  Neither ship has any radar active.  The Harriers are rewarded with six Harpoons hitting the Jinan, sinking her, and one Harpoon hit on the Dalian.  A short time later, the Jaguars arrive on the scene.  Rather than one lightly armed tanker to deal with, they have a wounded DD also.  I send three to intercept the DD and one to dispatch the tanker.  Two jaguars are destroyed by gunfire before they can mount their attack.  One drops it's bombs, without a hit, and is shot down as it turns for home.  The Jaguar sent to hit the tanker fares no better and is shot down on his approach.  The loss of four Jaguars for NO GAIN!!!  I HATE when that happens! 
It's now 0425 on 4JAN04 and I've solved a mystery.  One of my Tigers prowling the coast of Malaysia spotted a terrorist platoon right where my ships were getting damaged!  The ships have long since moved out of the area, but the Inebolu is 49% damaged and the Ridgewood is 76% damaged.  Both Tigers move in to attack and wind up expending all of their ammo on the platoon, 16 Rockeye CBs and 54 bursts of 20mm cannon fire!  After scoring over a dozen hits, the platoon is still there!!  I checked the DB and found the reason... 5000 DPs!These are some SUPER BAD ASS TERRORISTS!!! I'm glad the Taliban didn't have big red S's on their chests like these guys do, or I might not be sitting here today!! 
At shortly after five in the morning, another of the Sea Kings I have on dipping sonar patrol ahead of the Viraat TF makes a find.  While dipping with active sonar, he gets a contact about 10nm E, and slightly N of the TF.  Not quite on, but close to the PIM.  I slow the TF to creep and launch two more Sea Kings.  I detach the two that were on dipping patrol and vector in two more Sea Kings from Car Nicobar that are about 10 to 15nm away scouting in front of some merchants.  Within five minutes, three helos are on top of the unknown goblin and establish a solid track.  Suddenly the contact goes from the amber of unknown to the scarlet of hostile with the release of a single torpedo.  No ,more time to play.  I first send in one of the Sea Kings who is getting a little light on fuel to make the first attack.  He is armed with depth charges, so I don't expect too much.  I am pleasantly surprised to see two confirmed hits and the contact disappear!

Just before 0600 hours, I am awarded victory as the fleets of Myanmar and the PRC turn tail and head for their respective ports!
Freek, GREAT SCENARIO!!!  Sorry for the length of this AAR, but I always find a running commentary to be very useful.

On the plus side, the tide of battle certainly flowed back and forth. Just when something would go my way, something in another area of the game set me back!  But I never had the frustrating feeling of having NOTHING go my way.

The air battles were very well matched and evenly balanced.  I'm sure I didn't see everything the Reds had, I haven't opened it up in the SE yet.  When I do, I'll send additional comments.

The trick with the terrorist platoon was impressive!

Your use of EW was well done.  It added to the fog of war.
Speaking of which, getting a real handle on the intel situation at any one time was quite a challenge.  Mainly because of a lack of assets on the Thai/Indian side.  At any one moment, I felt like I had only about a 50% idea of what was going on around me. 

Even though the Chinese did not use front line subs, that I saw, the scenario showed how deadly even old boats can be if the opposing navies are without good quality sonars!

One suggestion, in your posted ViConds, you say "No more than 8 tankers damaged."   At the end I found out I had to keep them from getting 50% damage.  It would be nice3 to know I had that latitude.
Other than that, thanks for a GREAT scenario!  Now that I've played the 7th and 8th in the series, I'm gonna have to find time to play the rest!

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hermanhum -> RE: Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (6/7/2006 9:34:24 AM)

AAR: Malakka [Spoiler Alert] - Thailand
By Freek Schepers
The NATO-Russian war is 4 weeks old. Russia's naval aviation forces and US Carriers have fought several bloody battles around Japan. Japan has defended its islands well, but is now very vulnerable to the closure of its SLOC's.  The Chinese navy has left port but has stayed out of the battle. The US losses in the Pacific and Atlantic theatres have forced it to withdraw the Seventh Fleet from the IO. Only Diego Garcia remains as a stronghold there.  The task of providing security for the Malakka Strait has been handed over to India, Thailand, and Singapore. India and Thailand will use their baby-carriers to escort tankers through the IO.  The War in the Pacific has interrupted oil shipments to Japan and China for several weeks now and resumption of the oil trade has now become a strategic imperative.

As usual, the politicos had issued their orders before the military was fully prepared and positioned.  CVBG Viraat was just leaving Port Blair when the orders came down.  I immediately detached the LST Guldar and ordered her back to port as she could serve no useful purpose in the upcoming operations.  The rest of the group went to full speed and raced to cover the Sea Lines of Communication [SLOCs].  As usual, the region was thick with commercial traffic of all types.  All I could think about was the potential bullseye painted on each and every one of them.

As soon as air assets became available, they were assigned missions.  An Orion rose up from U-Tapao and was sent to cover the Malacca Strait on a sea control mission.  I had no airborne radar assets so she would simply have to suffice.  She immediately detected Flanker radar coming over the eastern border and alerted central HQ.  I decided to be prudent and launched a two-ship CAP [Combat Air Patrol] for Korat and just stacked them over the air base.

Soon enough, my precaution paid off.  A pair of bogeys was detected penetrating sovereign Thai airspace from the southwest.  The Falcons immediately diverted to intercept them and two replacements were launched.  They appeared to be headed for the central radar unit.  Loss of that facility could be crippling and would, essentially, leave me blind over much of the region.  The Falcons pushed their throttles to full military power and closed swiftly on the unidentified aircraft.  When the bogies turned back just short of the Radar site, everyone exhaled a sigh of relief.  However, they were still over Thailand.  The Falcons closed from their six o'clock position and confidently identified them as Burmese F-7M AirGuards.  They immediately engaged each aircraft with two AIM-9 Sidewinders and killed both of them before the enemy even knew that they were in danger.

Korat tower immediately re-called them to intercept a probable threat emanating from the east.  Flanker radar had been positively identified and the contacts were over Thai airspace.  Additional flights of Falcons were launched and the first pair was ordered to intercept.  Fearful of the Alamo and Adder that the Flankers could be carrying, the interceptors closed at low altitude with their radar silent and hoped that they would be lost in the ground clutter. The Flankers turned and the Falcons were able to approach from the rear aspect.  After they visually identified the intruders as PRC Flankers, they lit their afterburners and climbed from the enemy's seven o'clock position.  Once again, a pair of AIM-9s were targeted at each of the unsuspecting quarry.  The interceptors were rewarded by the sight of twin fireballs.

Unfortunately, a second flight was detected approaching at high speed.  They must have been warned by their recently departed cousins.  There would be so simple bushwhack this time.  The interceptors were forced to approach the Flankers from the front - right in the middle of the enemy's radar coverage.  Although they were certainly detected, the enemy must not have been able to positively classify the Falcons as hostile.  They hesitated.  That hesitation cost them dearly as the cries of, "Fox one, Fox one", came over the air, once again.  Both Flankers were killed before being able to return fire.

With plentiful quanties of both missiles and fuel, the Falcons returned to CAP positions and decided to linger before landing.  H-6 Badgers suddenly materialized on the doorstep to Korat.  Thank goodness that a pair of Falcons was also waiting and immediately unleashed Sidewinders on them.  Both were killed just as they began their attack run.  Two additional pairs, bound for Takhili and U-Tapao, were quickly chased down and clawed from the sky.

The first officer on the merchant vessel Breukel reported a submarine periscope and immediately sent out an urgent call for help.  The only ASW asset available was the Orion and she was still over the Gulf of Siam, 300 miles away.  Dutifully, she went to full military power and prayed earnestly that she would arrive in time to save the vessel.

A Burmese F.27 Maritime Enforcer was detected hunting for ships.  The only available interceptor was a Harrier from Viraat so she was sent to silence the snooper.  Equipped with only a puny radar, the Harrier almost lost her target in the ground clutter.  Fortunately, the bandit turned the wrong way and flew right at her.  She promptly did a double-tap with two Matra AAMs into the port engine and sent her into the drink.

Since the late-Enforcer had probably already detected a few of the merchants, a CAP from Surat Thani was ordered to provide air cover for the expected upcoming airstrike.  On their way out, the two Tigers assigned to CAP spotted a Burmese missile boat which quickly took them under fire.  They returned the favour and after a quick strafing run, left her burning on the Andaman Sea.  A quick search of the area revealed another gunboat.  She received the same attention and suffered the same fate.  

The crewmen on the Breukel would never question the power of prayer, again.  The P-3 Orion arrived and quickly dropped a sonobuoy.  A sub periscope was immediately detected and the contact was localized.  The Orion quickly turned and dropped a Mk 46 torp on it.  Unfortunately, it malfunctioned and ran in circles.  A second torpedo was dropped and one minute later, the sonobuoy registered an explosion.  With no further urgent cries for help, the P-3 resumed her mission to classify all unknown surface contacts.

The Burmese base at Mergui stuck like a thorn in my side.  The base harboured many aircraft that would seriously impede operations so it was decided to try and close the base down.  Jaguars from Pt. Blair and Corsairs from Surat Thani were ordered to bomb the base.  The Corsairs were just climbing to attack altitude when multiple contacts were spotted!  This was the ultimate in "Oh Sh*t" moments.  They had inadvertently stumbled upon a flight of outbound AirGuard fighters!  Both sides quickly loosed air-to-air missiles at each other.  In the space of mere seconds, four aircraft from both sides were destroyed.

The subsequent attack on Mergui by four Jaguars from Pt. Blair was a disaster.  The base barely suffered any damage and two Jaguars were destroyed.  Although they did manage to shoot down one AirGuard just as it was rising off the runway, the bombs totally missed their targets.  A follow-on flight of F-5 Tigers from Surat Thani managed to drop one hangar with Rockeyes, but both attackers were shot out of the sky during their egress.  Mergui was turning out to be more than just a thorn in my side.  It was becoming a total meat grinder for men and planes.  It was finally put out of business by an attack of F-5 Tigers from U-Tapao.  Even then, she managed to exact a price of admission.  Both Tigers were destroyed in the process.

CVH Viraat was having problems of her own.  The helicopter assigned to AEW duty was attracting all the wrong kind of attention; like flashing a diamond ring in the poorest part of town.  Soon, F-7 AirGuards jumped her and blasted her from the air.  They continued to snoop around the task force until all four were shot down by AAA from the carrier group.  Luckily, they must not have reported their discovery as no accompanying bombers appeared.

On the other side of the Strait, Harriers from the Thai CV, Chakri Nareubet, attacked a Chinese task force.  The effort was less than useless for it not only failed to inflict any damage, the Orion hold the SAG [Surface Action Group] under surveillance was shot down by a Flanker that was covering them.

With the aircraft from Surat Thani all but wiped out, additional aircraft from U-Tapao, Takhili, and Korat were transferred over.  The Chinese SAGs had considerable striking power in their SSM batteries and there was no way for the two Thai task forces in the vicinity to challenge them without getting themselves blown out of the water before they ever came into range of their own Surface-to-Surface Missiles.

While forces were concentrating at Surat Thani, CVH Viraat was having yet another 'adventure'.  She had stumbled over SS Wuhan.  Luckily for her, the sub was discovered at great enough distance that four SeaKings were able to prosecute the contact while the task force maintained a safe distance.  With that many dipping sonar, the result was pre-ordained.  

However, Viraat's undersea problems were only beginning.  Not long afterwards, INS Himgiri reported, "Transient! Torpedo in the water!"  A submarine had managed to get close enough to fire a torpedo.  All ships in the group were immediately ordered to scatter.  Their propellers quickly churned the sea to foam.  No one wanted to be anywhere near a live torpedo.  Luckily, helos do not require their host platform to move into the wind in order to launch.  Five were immediately launched and one dipped her sonar right away to catch a submarine less than 500yards away.  Whitehead A.244 torpedoes were immediately dropped and an explosion was heard almost instantaneously.  Crewmen on the INS Taragiri held their breath as they watched the torpedo pass through her wake.

Finally, the Falcons and Tigers from Surat Thani were re-armed and re-fueled.  They launched and moved in to bomb DDG Guangzhou then kill DDG Zhuhai.  The Tigers were armed with Rockeye cluster munitions and had to make their approach at low level.  Although they delivered their ordnance with deadly accuracy, half did not return after being shot out of the sky by SAMs.

Another strike of consisting Tigers at low altitude with Rockeyes and Falcons with Mk 84 2000lb bombs at high altitude was aimed at the second SAG.  They were engaged savagely by SAMs during their ingress, but enough survived to kill frigates Huaibei and Siping while damaging the DDG Qindao. However, the Chinese sailors were no slouches, either.  The entire strike was wiped out on their egress.

Although a heavy price had been paid, victory was granted as the Falcons touched down back at Surat Thani.  The Chinese had evidently decided that the operation had been too costly and withdrew from the area.

Thanks for another great scenario.  Freek says that this is the easier of the two sides that are playable.  I can't wait to try the other side!

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hermanhum -> AAR: Power Sweep [Spoiler Alert] (7/14/2006 10:34:11 AM)

Here's an excellent AAR. It is reprinted here with permission of the author:


AAR: Power Sweep [Spoiler Alert]
A Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenario for the PlayersDB
Author David Steinmeyer
AAR by Freek Schepers


The war has not been kind to the Soviet navy; especially their submarine forces. In order to protect their remaining submarine units, the Soviets have been forced to begin escorting their less capable boats with first-line SSNs.

In this engagement, a Soviet SSN is guarding two other units as they proceed south through the Norwegian Sea. Once the group has reached the Atlantic, the SSN will perform its own mission while the SS and SSGN attack surface shipping.

First, though, NATO will try to stop them.

I tried Power Sweep from the NATO side.

As I started the game, I got a passive sonar contact from my brit SSN that was behaving as a submarine; it course was quickly plotted to be right towards me so I calculated intercept time at 2 hours and started moving Kobben at 12 knots at periscope depth to cover the area left by my SSN.

Two hours later the sub, now confirmed as Victor was at 6nm and two 81 knot torpedo's 'flew' towards it. destruction was instant w/o any chance of counterfire!

I next moved the Brit SSN at 20 knots (it would not go to Flank) to cover the Norwegian Kobben. Midway during the sprint a subcontact and torp were detected very close aboard! The torp disappeared and my counterfired spearfish missed.

When I slowed down it appeared a Russian Tango had fired from long range (presumably making a wrong TMA!). I slowed Trafalgar and moved her to the Tango. A few hours later I was in range and killed her with the magic Spearfish.

At the same time Kobben detected a Charly, still 20 nm away. It raced north when I fired at the Tango (even though it was 30nm away!), but now it creeped towards Kobben again. Kobben drifted at 5 knots.

Just when it was 4 nm away and I prepared to fire, Charly fired at me! Kobben 'raced' south at 17 knots after having fired 3 torps. Miraculously, Charlies torp seemed to circle and the third of Kobbens hit.

A pleasant small scen, probably very suitable for MP!

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hermanhum -> AAR: INDIAN OCEAN [Spoiler Alert] (7/24/2006 9:59:15 AM)

Here's another excellent AAR. It is reprinted here with permission of the author:



After Action Report
Scenario: INDIAN OCEAN [21st Century Ocean Wars Battleset] by Freek Schepers.
Reporter: Taitennek



Eyes-only Senior-Captain Petr Velikij.
The President congratulates you on your successful passage into the Indian Ocean.
You are authorized to conduct Operation Breshnjev.


We have been preparing Operation Breshnjev for three months. An obsolete container ship has been prepared to carry a flight of Yak-38 Forgers and their armament. The ship has been cruising in the IO for a month. The Battlecruiser Petr Velikij, the transport Boris Butoma, and the Destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov have slipped into the Indian Ocean last week.


The war in the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Barentz Sea has swung in favour of the Americans. Our long-range airpower has been destroyed and our remaining tactical fighter squadrons are barely sufficient for defence of the Motherland.
However, our alliance with China has brought good results; Thailand and Indonesia have been defeated and India has suffered terrible losses and has secretly opened Cease-fire negotiations with China and Russia.


Your mission is to permanently destroy the US influence in the IO. You are ordered to destroy the airbase and defensive installations on Diego Garcia.
Secondly, you are ordered to sink the Maritime Pre-positioning ships based at DG. These ships are pre-loaded with enough armour, artillery, and stores for 2 fighting divisions now being airlifted to the IO Theatre of war. They must be destroyed.
Upon completion of your mission make your way towards Cochin, India, where repair facilities will be made available under our Cease-fire agreement.


* Damage 10 enemy ships [50%], focus on MPS ships;
* destroy 6 of the airbase units on DG;
* ensure Petr Velikiy survives.

[This is a part of the written orders for Russia, the complete text can be found in the scenario itself].

Game Time: 02:00:00 Zulu
Game Date: 3 January 2004

My Tactic:

I will close in with the BCGN and K-456. The BCGN will fire all SS-N-19 Shipwrecks at the 2 frigates; you [probably] wonder why I fire all long-range anti-ship missiles on just 2 targets; the Underwood-class frigate is equipped with a MK13 Mod. launch system for SM1MR and AGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles; if these ships survive the attack, the mission will turn into a disaster. After firing long-range missiles I have to close in to less than 10nm to destroy enemy surface targets with other systems; that makes the BCGN vulnerable to damage. Only few hits with Harpoon's could cause the loss of the entire Battlecruiser].
I will take out other vessels with medium- and short-range weapons. The K-456 will attack ground installations with SS-N-19 Shipwreck missiles against ground targets and ships with the remaining shipwrecks against surface targets, after she is in firing position.
The Udaloy and AOR are too far from the theatre to take part of the action. The Shaposhnikov will escort the AOR and conduct ASW-operations during her passage to Cochin-India. What will happen with the converted container vessel depends on what is going to happen with the onboard aircraft and helicopter.

Game on!

After 5 minutes I was able to launch a KA-27 Helix helicopter. With her Radar and ECM equipment active, she soon picked up several surface contacts [13 Maritime Pre-positioning Ships, escorted by 2 Underwood-class frigates] in the Bay of Diego Garcia. Some minutes later the ships grouped together into 3 groups. 1 group [without escort] was heading northeast and the other two groups were heading northwest, each group was escorted by 1 Underwood-class frigate.


Suddenly the BCGN came under fire; 16 AGM-84 Harpoon missiles were picked up and I gave the order "ALL WEAPONS FREE". The Pyotr Velikiy survived the attack without damage.
30 minutes after Zero Zulu [02:00:00] I launched 1 Yak-38 "Forger" for CAP around the enemy convoys and 1 KA-29TB Helix-B helicopter, armed with AT-6 "Spiral" short-range [5.7nm] missiles to attack the US Artillery Battery on Diego Garcia.

03:30:00 Zulu Time.

I launched the attack; each frigate 9 missiles. Both Frigates were hit and sank, as well as 2 other enemy vessels...
Meanwhile the helicopter was attacking the Artillery Battery, after firing a few missiles, she was hit by ground fire from AAA-units. The k-456 was rather successful; only 2 missiles did not reach their ground-targets, but she took out 5 of 6 ground targets [the sixth ground-target, the Artillery Battery, was destroyed by cannon fire from the BCGN]; with her other Shipwrecks she took out 5 of 7 enemy surface vessels. After her successful raid the k-456 will conduct anti-submarine/ship operations on the path of the BCGN on her voyage home.

05:12:00 Zulu Time.

All vital installations on Diego Garcia are destroyed now, except the runways. The convoy [5 ships], the one heading to the northeast, is the next target. This convoy leaft the harbour without escort. Now the BCGN is behind the convoy and closing in. The Converted container vessel now is prepared to launch their Forgers again for CAP ahead the path of the BCGN.


05:50 - 06:45 Zulu Time.

Hunting down the remained MP-Ships [the ones heading NE] with the BCGN, sinking one after the other [very hard nuts to crack, these MPS, they are massive and can survive several hits], the BCGN Peyotr Velikiy ran out of ammo. I left the last MP-ship; heavily damaged, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before she would sink.
Operation Brezhnev was very successful!!!

I managed to sink 13 ships, including 2 frigates and their helicopters, only 2 ships could get away, one of them is on fire.
I also managed to destroy Diego Garcia Airbase, including 20 aircraft
I only lost 1 helicopter so far.


Now it is time for heading home.

2 new surface contacts appeared on the radar screen, as well as several air contacts. The BCGN was not longer alone.
I ordered one of the helicopters to investigate the surface contacts.
The 2 surface contacts are the Thai VTOL-carrier Chakri Nareubet and the frigate Naresuan. Suddenly Harriers took off from the carrier [the Chinese information that the Thai VTOL-carrier did not have an air-wing, was not correct]. Soon 4 Harriers were underway to the BCGN. I managed to take them out before they could fire their missiles. The K-456 now is heading to the Thai ships for interception. That will take some time because the distance between the 2 Thai ships and the submarine is still 80nm. Suddenly there were torpedoes in the water. My submarine was detected by one of the helicopters of the Thai TF.
I have to sink these ships. They become a threat to the BCGN. She has only few rounds anti-ship ammo left. I launched the Forgers again to intercept enemy ASW-helicopters, I managed to shoot down 1 helicopter but lost the 3 aircraft by enemy fire.
The K-456 crept towards the enemy Taskforce, surrounded by 2 enemy Seahawks. I managed to sink both ships and even was able to escape from enemy torpedoes. The 2 remaining helicopters were shot down by a Tupolev-142 Bear-F......, the same aircraft managed to shoot down an American Orion some 45 minutes later.....great fun, flying with the Russian Bear.


13:00-17:00 Zulu Time.

The Battlecruiser still has to travel almost 900nm before she reaches Cochin-India. Several new unknown aircraft were visible on the screen. More trouble was underway. During the whole mission, the Battlecruiser was very lucky; it survived 2 massive missile-attacks and still was undamaged. I perhaps ran out of anti-ship ammo, but still have enough SAM's. Although there is a new threat, I turned off all Radar and ECM-equipment and rely on the airborne radars. At least 9 aircraft are approaching the BCGN. Later a Bear-F got exact position of 4 aircraft. A few minutes later a second group's position was clear, 4 aircraft on a distance of 150nm and closing in with 500 miles an hour. Time to ring the ship's alarm-bells again.
1 Hornet opened fire and destroyed the KA-29TB Helix-B. I used the helicopter as an ECM/radar-platform; only a Tu-95 is between me and the enemy formation and they still are coming closer to my ship. I launched another helicopters [the converted container vessel still has 1 helicopter onboard] to act as radar-picket in order to keep my ship's radar off as long as possible. At 115nm one of the Tu-95 identified the approaching aircraft......F/A-18E Super Hornet!!! Big trouble underway!
Soon the BCGN was under attack; 16 HARM-missiles were fired, I rapidly launched SAM's, but these damned rockets are going too fast. Soon the first missiles came in.....After the attack, the BCGN had 14 percent damage, all sensors [4].
During her voyage the BCGN was attacked two more times, but survived without further damage. The Converted container vessel was sunk by the enemy, but the ship was already given up after their aircraft and helicopters were destroyed.
I reached Victory conditions, too bad that the Peotr Velikiy was damaged, but the result is more important; 2 Russian naval vessels [a BCGN and a SSGN] and some helicopters were able to destroy an US-airbase, including aircraft, 13 of 15 US ships, 2 Thai warships and some more aircraft. All Russian warships survived. After repairs to her sensors, the BCGN Pyotr Velikiy soon will rule of the Indian Ocean again.

Wow! I have played a lot of scenarios, but this is a great one!!!!
Thanks Freek for sharing it with us.

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hermanhum -> AAR: Incoming Mail [Spoiler Alert] (8/7/2006 11:21:05 PM)

Here's another excellent AAR. It is reprinted here with permission of the author:



After Action Report

Designer: David Steinmeyer
Database: PlayersDB 6.4.9 [updated 27 July 2006]
Reporter: Frans Koenz [aka Taitennek]
Side: Soviet Union


The Soviets have two weapons that can reach NATO convoys in the Atlantic: submarines and long-range aircraft. Long-range bombers on the Kola Peninsula can easily hunt the Atlantic. With Iceland in Soviet hands, however, they can attack at will and their range would be greatly increased.

A standard NATO convoy crossing the Atlantic would consist of 40-50 merchant ships. Eight to ten escorts, and if they are lucky, a helicopter carrier, will provide protection from submarine and air attack.

Here, a large NATO convoy has been detected by a Soviet Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellite [RORSAT] and Tu-95 Bear Ds are sent out to pinpoint their position. Following close behind the Bears are two squadrons of Backfire bombers.

This could be a very bad day for NATO…

Russian Charlie-II class nuclear submarine
[Photo: www.grazehay.org]

Game Date: 01 May 1991

Game Time: 19:30:00 Zulu

30 minutes after game start, I launched a Tu-95 Bear D to track the enemy convoy.

Suddenly a torpedo was in the water. The K-479, a SSGN [NATO-codename: Charlie II] was under attack. It is perhaps a bizarre manoeuvre, but I had to know what fired the weapon and rose to periscope depth. Immediately several air contacts appeared on my screen. Helicopters! After some time I lost contact with the 1st torpedo, but a second one was launched and another one. I crept to maximum depth and hoped that the enemy would lose contact. No way; sonar buoys splashed into the water. This game of cat and mouse went on for some time.

20:00:00 - 22:30:00 Zulu Time:

Meanwhile, carefully approaching, the Tu-95 Bear picked up 10 air contacts, and a surface contact appeared on the screen of the K-479. It was identified as the HMS Annapolis, a Canadian ASW-Frigate; so far, so good.

British destroyer HMS Birmingham
[Photo: RN]

22:30:00 - 24:00:00 Zulu Time:

9 Tu-22m Backfire Bombers are ready on Keflavik airfield; each armed with 2 AS-4 “Kitchen” missiles. I launched the aircraft in groups of three.

The Tu-95 now is surveying the area and picking up new surface contacts. Later, the whole convoy is in sight; more than 40 ships, including the British VTOL-carrier HMS Invincible with escort.

What you call a “Fette Beute” [Movie “Das Boot”……….ping………ping…….]

Time for tactical choices:

I realise that our submarines are quite noisy and the enemy ASW-capabilities are rather advanced. This convoy is protected by 7 escorts, 1 VTOL carrier, 3 Atlantic Conveyor-class merchants and a navy supply ship [HMS Fort Grange].

I can only survive with fast movements [approach - attack - disappear] with the K-479. The 9 Backfires will be used for an attack on escorts only. If I succeed, the other submarines can take out the remaining ships before they reach their destination.

I have a nuclear option; 4 SS-N-9 missiles with nuclear warheads. The ROE [Rules Of Engagement] don’t mention the use of nuclear weapons, but, if the submarine survives, and all other assets are destroyed and there is still a convoy left, I will use these MD-weapons to ensure the destruction of the enemy convoy.

23:30:00 - 00:30:00 Zulu Time.

My forces now have exact positions of all individual units of the convoy. The 3 bomber groups are now 200nm south east of the convoy and flying to a position southwest of the convoy. The K-479 is approaching from the east and is now within firing distance for the SS-N-9 “Siren”-missiles. But I like to proceed approaching the convoy at creeping speed at maximum depth. The K-438 and K-488 are making best speed to the spot, but both submarines have to travel more than 200nm to reach the area.

HMS Invincible
[Photo: unknown]

Meanwhile enemy ASW-operations are increasing, it seems that the enemy has picked up sonar contact, and I decided to go to periscope depth with the K-479 for a hit-and-run operation; 2 escorts cruising at close distance. Once I was on periscope depth I launched 4 missiles; 2 per ship. I managed to sink both vessels! 4 helicopters are circling around my submarine and suddenly a torpedo was launched. I survived the attack with a short sprint at maximum speed/depth and the launch of decoys, realising that this was only the second of many manoeuvres to avoid incoming torpedoes to come.

As the nuclear option is no option [yet], I now only have torpedoes left. That means I have to close in to the convoy [less than 5nm]. From time to time I have to increase distance to the convoy when British Sea Harriers chasing the Tu-95 Bear, or when SAM-missiles are being fired from the escorts.

00:30:00 - 02:00:00 Zulu Time.

At 00:50 I launched AS-4 Kitchen missiles at the HMS Invincible and the HMS Birmingham. Both ships were hit and sunk. 5 minutes later missiles hit the HMS Fort Grange, 3 Atlantic Conveyor-class merchants and 5 other escorts. The convoy is now protected by only 2 escorts. Meanwhile I lost the Tu-95; she was hit by SAM’s. All Backfires returned save to their base, except 1, she now must take over surveillance duties. When I checked reports of the Backfires, I noticed that 1 Backfire has a missile left. I already noticed that many helicopters landed on 1 ship. I fired the last AS-4 at that vessel and after it was hit it sunk. It was the HMCS Huron, a Canadian destroyer.
Suddenly another torpedo was in the water; once again I survived an attack on the K-479.

Soviet Tu-22M Backfire with AS-4 "Kitchen" missiles

The score so far:

8 destroyers/frigates
1 VTOL carrier
3 Atlantic Conveyor-class merchants
2 Merchants

The K-479 now has fired all her weapons except the nuclear SS-9-N missiles. She is now on course outside the convoy. I now have to wait until the 2 other submarines have arrived at the scene. It takes 17 hours before I can launch aircraft.

At 04:00:00 I launched a Backfire to guard the convoy. The K-479 now is cruising west of the convoy at a distance that she can launch the nuclear missiles if necessary.

Sea King HAS-5
[Photo: RN]

Several hours later, on the 3rd of May 1991 00:00:00 Zulu Time

The Convoy is cruising north eastward without air protection, only [8] helicopters are circling in front of the convoy.

The Tu-95 Bear is circling above the convoy and 8 Backfires are underway.
I managed to destroy 6 helicopters with cannon fire with, however, 2 survived. 7 more merchants were sunk after the attack with the Backfires. Now it is up to the submarines to inflict as much damage as possible. 22 merchants left, 5 are damaged.

May 3rd, 1991, 03:00:00 Zulu Time.

The K-513 fired her first torpedo in this operation and sank a damaged merchant. Soon, she destroyed the second one. The K 438 and K 488 are now in position to fire torpedoes, as well. The K 479 is cruising at 80nm east of the convoy. The Tu-95 Bear is still circling above the convoy as a lonesome guard with enough fuel aboard for another 20 hours flight. Dinner is served.

Russian Victor-I Submarine
[Photo: via www.hazegray.org]

One after the other merchant was hit by torpedoes.

Suddenly the K-438 disappeared from my screen. I have really no idea what happened; the only helicopter just landed on a container vessel. There are no other submarines nearby, all torpedoes she fired hit target. Very strange…. Could it be an overheated reactor? Perhaps it was the fact that I made the voyage to the convoy at maximum speed at 600m all the time? A secret weapon?

The 2 other submarines had fired all their torpedoes and were heading north. Only 3 ships are left, 1 of them is heavily damaged. At day 3, 20:15:00 Time. A Backfire fires 2 missiles and hit both ships. The mission was a success!!! Not a single ship survived the attacks.

Russian losses:

1 Tu-95 Bear
1 SNN Victor II

Thank you for sharing this scenario with us!

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mikmyk -> RE: AAR: Incoming Mail [Spoiler Alert] (8/8/2006 7:08:45 AM)

Great AAR Franz[:)]

Keep up the great work.

hermanhum -> RE: AAR: Incoming Mail [Spoiler Alert] (8/8/2006 10:55:33 AM)


Suddenly the K-438 disappeared from my screen. I have really no idea what happened; the only helicopter just landed on a container vessel. There are no other submarines nearby, all torpedoes she fired hit target. Very strange…. Could it be an overheated reactor? Perhaps it was the fact that I made the voyage to the convoy at maximum speed at 600m all the time? A secret weapon?

This incident piques my interest. I wonder if it might have something to do with the bug reported:

Bug Report: Weapon ignores range limitation

Any chance of a saved game available?

mikmyk -> RE: AAR: Incoming Mail [Spoiler Alert] (8/8/2006 3:22:56 PM)

Ouch Nice catch Herman. Have you posted this to an appropriate place so it'll get addressed?

hermanhum -> AAR: Western Approaches [Spoiler Alert] (8/14/2006 1:08:26 AM)




After Action Report.

Scenario: Western Approaches [21st Century Ocean Wars Battle Set]
Designer: Freek Schepers
Database: PlayersDB 6.4.9. [latest version]
Reporter: Frans Koenz [aka Taitennek]



The war in Europe is swinging into our favour. Many convoys have been decimated by Tu-22 naval bombers and submarines. NATO has switched tactics from large convoys to small ones.


A 4-ship, 2-escort mini-convoy has been sighted in the Atlantic 2 days ago. Lately convoys have used Liverpool, Portsmouth, or La Rochelle as disembarkation points.
Expect strong ASW-patrols by fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft. Sub threat is unknown.


You are ordered to find and destroy the convoy before it reaches the safety of the protected UK coastal waters.

A RORSAT satellite will pass through your theatre of operation daily at 13:00.

In recognition of the spectacular successes achieved by your command against the convoys, you are awarded the Order of Putin.

[Putin Order]

Captain, we need to count on you one more time. We have received your contact report and know that you are short of torpedoes. Use them wisely and return to base after this mission.


Destroy 3 of the merchants;
Protect 2 of your submarines;
Scenario duration: 44 hours.


Game date: 02 April 2004.
Game time: 12:00:00 Zulu time.

Akula-class Submarine underway
[Photo: USN]

I’m in command of 3 submarines, 2 nuclear submarines [the K-157 and K-263, both Akula-class subs], and the B-401, a conventional powered Kilo-class submarine.
Soon all three submarines picked up the first sonar contacts. At 13:00 the RORSAT flew over the area and all surface contacts and some air contacts became visible; including the enemy convoy. 4 merchants and 2 escorts, both Underwood-class Frigates of the US Navy, cruising at a distance of 340nm west of the English Channel.

Time to the hunt for the convoy.

Underwood-class frigate [Photo: USN]

My tactic:

I will move my nuclear submarines towards the French harbour La Rochelle.

Together they have enough torpedoes to engage the enemy convoy. The B-401 Novosibirsk will continue with her patrol in the Irish Sea and guard the entrance to Liverpool. She is fully armed and capable to attack the convoy on her own. Too bad that I have no long-distance reconnaissance aircraft to patrol on the Atlantic. I now have to rely on the sonar equipment aboard the submarines. The next fly-over of the RORSAT is scheduled for the next day at 13:00 hrs. Till that time I have to survive with my submarines. I cannot risk the loss of a single unit.

Several hours later [19:50:00].

Sonar buoys are splashing in the water around the B-401 Novosibirsk [SSK Kilo]. A rather critical situation because the submarine has no space to manoeuvre vertically. With minimum speed at maximum depth [100 meters], the B-401 slowly moves away from the sonar buoys. After 1 hour, the sonar buoys disappeared. A quick rise to periscope depth learned that a Lynx helicopter was circling at a distance of 5nm. Back at the more comfortable depth. In the meantime a new day has come. There are still aircraft nearby the B-401, but it is now 4 hours ago that the last sonar buoy was dropped.

Lynx helicopter of the RN
[Photo: unknown]

03 April 2004, 03:10:00 Zulu Time.

Sonar buoys were dropped again nearby the B-401. The enemy was still searching for the submarine. Amazing that this submarine still is not attacked and destroyed. The enemy ASW-capability is superior and the submarine is still in shallow waters at a depth of 90 meters.

Still ten hours to go before the RORSAT flies over.

The 2 other submarines are now cruising southwest into the Biscayan Gulf; distance: 200nm from La Rochelle. Only 3 fishing vessels are visible on the screen. 15 minutes later, another aircraft was spotted by the passive sonar of the B-401.

I will recommend promotion for the captain of the B-401 if he survives this operation. Perhaps he will be honoured with the Putin-Order as well… His submarine is now 90nm away from the entrance to the Irish Sea.

03 April 2004, 10:00:00 Zulu Time.

The B-401 is now in shallow waters of the Celtic Sea and creeping towards the Irish Sea. From time to time her passive sonar picked up air contacts, but she is still not detected. I am a bit concerned about an unknown surface contact at a distance of 16nm. Meanwhile the 2 other submarines have reach the coastal waters of the French Harbour La Rochelle and now ready to ambush the convoy if it is heading to La Rochelle. 3 hours left until the RORSAT will show the position of the convoy, as well as the surface vessels in the Celtic Sea.

SSK Kilo-class submarine [Photo:unknown]

03 April 2004, 13:10:00 Zulu Time.

The RORSAT has passed the theatre and provided all the information I need. The exact position of the convoy, as well as other surface, and airborne contacts. My concerns about the unknown surface contact near the B-401 were right; a frigate of the Royal Navy [FFG Duke, Type 23] at a distance of only 12nm.

Now the B-401 is not longer necessary for the operation; she must leave the Celtic Sea and return to base. It seems that she has to fight her way out to the safe depths of the Atlantic Ocean.

The K-157 Vepr and the K-263 Delfin are in position to intercept the convoy and her escorts. The convoy [position: 45:14N –06:03E] is heading westward and 220nm away from La Rochelle. Now it is only a matter of a few hours.

Type 23 Duke class frigate [Photo: RN]

03 April 2004, 14:13:00 Zulu Time.

A very short visit to periscope depth. The enemy frigate has made a sprint and is now on a distance of less than 4nm. The frigate is on an interception course with the B-401. Immediately I fired 2 torpedoes [53-63 K/KE WH].

The first 2 torpedoes didn’t hit, so I fired a second salvo. Bingo! The torpedoes hit the frigate. Now she is sinking. In this environment, a Kilo-class submarine is in its element.
After destroying this dangerous opponent, I plotted a course to the Atlantic.

Both nuclear submarines have 4 torpedoes ready and 2 more in their magazines. 12 torpedoes for 6 ships. I have to deal with 2 deadly opponents; The American Underwood-class FFG is perfectly fit for ASW-operations.

03 April 2004, 17:00:00 Zulu Time.

Time for the end run; The K-263 is now intercepting one of the frigates. The K-157 is creeping at maximum depth and waits for her turn. The convoy is less than 20nm away from my Akulas. 2 airborne contacts have been detected, probably ASW-helicopters based on the frigates. 1 Torpedo is now in the water; the K-157 is under attack. After an emergency dive to maximum depth with a speed of 35kts and the use of decoys, I managed to survive the torpedo-attack. Soon the 2 frigates were destroyed by the K-263. She took out one merchant as well. Without relevant weapons left, she leaves the area.
Now it’s up to the K-157…

Soon she fired torpedoes at the three remaining ships and managed to sink them all. Mission accomplished. Another glorious victory for the Soviet Navy!

Losses: for NATO:

1 Duke Type 23 FFG
2 Underwood class FFG
2 Container Ships
1 Merchant, General cargo
1 Cruise liner

Losses for Russia:


Thanks for sharing this scenario with us.:smoke:


hermanhum -> AAR: MatchPlay [Spoiler Alert] (9/3/2006 8:35:41 PM)

Here's an excellent After Action Report by Peter Frank. It is re-printed here with permission from the author.


AAR: MatchPlay [Spoiler Alert]
A Harpoon3 scenario for the PlayersDB

By Freek Schepers


Terrorist attacks on the Belgium Royal family have left the Dutch Crown Prince next in line to the throne of Belgium. Popular mourning and an uprising has quickly resulted into civil war between the French-speaking Walloons in southern Belgium and the Dutch-speaking Flemish in northern Belgium.

Holland has quickly moved ground forces into Belgium to assert its claim to the throne, while France has tried unsuccessfully to mobilise the UN. But as the Israelis showed in 1967, the UN cannot operate at the pace of modern warfare...

In the most natural way I'm playing with my own country: The Netherlands. In the mission orders I found an interesting remark about the superior AAM's (Air to Air Missiles) and the superior AEW. After a few minutes of hard thinking I found the solution and it worked quite well in the game.

Started off with sending 2 Apaches airborne from Gilze-Rijen bound for the French Demolition team in The Hague. At the same time two pairs of F16 equiped with AMRAAM airborne from Leeuwarden, along the coast to the South.

The first pair went feet dry approximately 20nm north of Dover at an altitude of 100m, trying to find a juicy target (keeping well clear of any groun units/bases). Off course assuming that the air defence belt of the French will be up north. They found the wanted E3F just south of Reims. Approaching it on afterburner and one AMRAAM shot left me discovered in the middle of some frenchies. I think it was a nice trade. Two F16 for 1 E3F and a mirage 2000.

The second pair stumbled (!) across two E2C's going on station. After this engagement, one of the two was killed by a hidden SAM site.

The Apaches in the north worked like honey on the French AD fighters. The ZPRV (HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën) and the HMSK (HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck (my old ship)) was at the westerschelde. Keeping weapons tight and waiting to kill the superior AAMs with their SAMs. Almost the same happened with the patrolling F16s in the East and the Patriot site.

Meanwhile the good old navy at the North Sea was working like a horse. The two walrus SSKs in the channel were passing targeting info the the southerly naval TG. Identified the targets with a lynx hovering over the south coast of England, just south of the NAV zone. Two pair of AMRAAM equipped F16s kept the area clear of any French helo/MPA or Super Etandard. The Southerly TG fired their harpoons in salvoes of two per ship at the French ASW screen. Those units are not very capable of AD. Then the wolfpack with the two SSKs. The northerly crept in front of the force and firing at fours DDG's with its Mk48 ADCAPs. Oops, counterfire by one of the DDGs with a rocket propelled Torpedo? It plunged in the water behind me and started a search turn. The walz began. It turned towards me and I turned after it. The Torp with 30 knots left me in the inside circle with 12. It worked, and every time the TG passed me in the front I could fire two Mk48s. Killing the whole carrier battle group in just an half hour!

After these (winning) opening moves an almost boring, compared to the first hour, air (dutch) to ground (french) battle began. I searched for an airfield for Very Large Aircraft (remember the E3Fs). Found it, and killed just the aircraft revetment with a twoship F16 armed with 8 AGM65s. This, afterwards, golden move killed three (!) E3Fs. Probably no more left in the french airforce.

As in every battle: Take the initiative, but be wise. In this scenario, a dutch frontal assault with dutch courage will leave you immediately empty handed. Go for the golden points! Be smart and you will find this a challenging scenario.

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sharker2003 -> RE: Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (2/8/2007 1:20:29 AM)

Here's Herman's half of the AAR...it pretty much sums it up, though from my perspective once I zeroed in on the sub I was forced to treat it like a cornered bulldog...let it expend its energy (torpedoes) before we got in too close with the ELMA's. A few too many beers and a bloody mary (BAAAAD Composite Warfare Commander!) led to some poor attention to detail that allowed a couple of my ships to be lost needlessly. That and the nine passes I made over the Kilo trying to drop ELMA's that wouldn't fire! But once the FSG's screamed in with the SET-65's his goose was cooked.

Thanks to Herman for the great game and the scenario and Tony for the server.


Brandon and I met up for another match, tonight. We decided to try
Matrix Shield made with the favourite
database of Harpoon3:ANW
, the PlayersDB.
This scenario has not yet been published, but anyone wanting to give it
a try can find it on the HarpGamer ANW

The scenario is a training exercise between a CIS submarine against
combined Swedish / Polish Baltic ASW groups. Brandon elected to play the
Hunters while played the role of the Hunted. But, as is often the
case, the tables can quickly be turned around.


My Kilo-Class sub was just creeping around, patiently awaiting targets
to appear. Soon enough, a pair of Hugin missile boats was detected to
the NE and she crept off to intercept. Not long afterwards, a Goteborg
corvette was detected nearby the Hugin and they were heading right for
the Kilo. Minutes later, they were both in torpedo range and a pair of
TEST-71 torpedoes was fired at the Goteborg and a single torpedo at the
Hugin. As the torpedo room crew hurriedly re-loaded, the attack centre
counted down the seconds. Less than 1nm from the target, the torpedoes
must have been detected for the Hugin abruptly turned about-face and
raced off at 36kts! The torpedo was only capable of 40kts so the prey
would escape, this time. However, the Goteborg was not so fortunate and
she was caught in a tremendous explosion. I didn't know if the enemy
had pinpointed me, but he had to know that their target was in the
general vicinity.


The surviving Hugin was not finished and she tried to locate me. I had
the answer to that pest in the form of a 53-65 Wake-Homing torpedo.
These babies were capable of running 70kts and she would not escape,
again. Or so I thought. Once again, she came forward seemingly oblivious
to her fate. A single 53-65 torpedo was launched after her and the crew
anxiously awaited the explosion. Once again, she turned to run.
However, the torpedo elected to chase a target on the opposite side of the
map! (Oh, great. Looks like the targeting bug is back.) There went
half my torpedo inventory rendered useless.


The surviving ASW forces started to swarm into the area. They knew
that a diesel boat couldn't run very fast. However, this diesel boat
still had some teeth. Although she was seemingly surrounded by hostiles,
she gave a good account of herself with her remaining TEST-71
wire-guided torpedoes and sank another Goteborg and 3 Hugin boats before the
Polish corvette, Kaszub raced in to deliver a SET-65 torpedo that killed
her. It looks like both sides had their technical problems. The 53-65
torpedoes did not work for me, but neither did the ELMA ASW rockets work
for the Hunters! In the end, the sub was sunk before it could bag its
goal of 6 ships. Another excellent game even if it was a bit
frustrating to see that some bugs just won't die.


Thanks to HarpGamer server for the use of their server and to Brandon
for being a crafty opponent.

Anyone looking for an MP game can drop a line here or look for us on
pHp chat room
or the HG
mIRC chat


sharker2003 -> RE: Harpoon3 After-Action Reports (2/8/2007 1:22:08 AM)

We've still got to finish this one, I'll hold my AAR until the end. I goofed a bit in not reading my orders carefully in the beginning and realizing I needed to escort those ships all the way, but the situation is far from decided. I do however wish I had been a bit more conservative with my helos...


Brandon came ashore from his little cruise in the Gulf and immediately
came onto HarpGamer to look for a game of ANW. Can you believe this
guy? He didn't even call his girlfriend before setting up a game with
us. Now, THERE is a guy who has his priorities straight! [:D]

We selected Matrix Siege made with the
favourite database of Harpoon3:ANW, the
PlayersDB. This scenario has not yet been published, but anyone
wanting to give it a try can find it on the
HarpGamer ANW Server.

The scenario is a European training exercise matching a USN force
against a combination of European naval forces in the Kattegat and
Skaggerak. I took the European command.

I knew that the USN force had an Arleigh Burke destroyer so it was
going to be a tough nut to crack. I tried to try and mask my ships by
running behind a few merchant vessels travelling through the Kattegat. I
had my ships match their speed of 15kts. This was successful until his
helicopters showed up and surprised my northern flotilla.

Both of them were quickly shot out of the air with a combination of
Stingers and AAA, but The Jig Was Up!

Soon enough, a wave of Harpoon SSMs was detected. Forunately for me,
most of them locked onto a nearby freighter, Laekonda, and pummelled her
mercilessly. However, two of my missile boats must have also been in
the cone of detection for they each sucked a Harpoon down the windpipe.
I decided to volley-fire my own SSMs down the bearing of the incoming
missiles in hopes of distracting the hidden enemy. I figured it was a
matter of, "Use'm or Lose'm".

We had to call it a night at this point, but we certainly look forward
to completing this game. Thanks for the game and the use of the HG ANW

Anyone looking for an MP game can drop a line here or look for us on
pHp chat room
or the HG
mIRC chat


FreekS -> Harpoon3 After-Action Reports INTERFET-STABILIZE (on behalf of Herman) (5/18/2007 11:25:07 PM)

AAR: Interfet-Stabilize [Spoiler Alert]
Harpoon ANW scenario for the PlayersDB
by Freek Schepers
[indent]East Timor is an old Portuguese colony which was annexed by Indonesia in 1975. In August 1999, the citizenry overwhelmingly voted for independence, and, almost immedately afterwards, Indonesian-backed militia bacame active. By September, 250.000 people had fled the killings.
In September, President Habibi of Indonesia finally agreed to the deployment of a multinational UN-peacekeeping force in East Timor so long as it was primarily Asian troops.
While US, New Zealand, Italian, Singaporean, Malaysian, and Norwegian troops began the long preparations for deployment, Australia was ready and an amphibious convoy put to sea.
Indonesia objected strongly to this breach of the agreement.[/indent]

Although this scenario has not yet been released, Tony and I decided to give it a try on the HarpGamer ANW Server.  Anyone else interested in this scenario can also try it out there, too.  In order to preserve the element of surprise if Tony should decide to play this scenario solitaire, I commanded the Indonesians while Tony took the UN forces.

My orders were to destroy several troop transports carrying soldiers for the Interfet operation as it is much easier to destroy units while they are embarked on ships than after they disembark and deploy.  Several contact bearings were reported by submarine so I launched an unarmed Super Frelon helo to triangulate the contacts.

Once the convoy was solidly pinpointed, the submarine was ordered to dive and creep along at maximum depth.  The convoy path would take it right overhead and she did not need to make any extraneous noise.  Strangely, FF Anzac seemed to accelerate and pull away from the rest of the group at 31 knots.  Luckily, she was still running directly towards the SS Cakra.  When she was only 2nm away, I decided to launch a spread of torpedoes.  I knew that she was not my main target and that I might be revealing myself early, but I was following the adage of "the bird in hand...."  In addition, she held a potential inventory of 8 Harpoon missiles that could wreak havoc among my approaching ships.

The spread of four SUT torpedoes broke the surface 1 nm away from their target.  An alert lookout must have noticed them as the ship began immediate evasive manoeuvres.  Although the ANZAC was able to flee at 31 kts, the range was too short and the 34 kt torpedoes soon caught her and cut the SSMs available to the UN in half.  Yahoo!

Unfortunately, turnabout is fair play, too.  Soon afterwards, a salvo of Harpoon missiles was detected from the surviving NZ frigates.  After one was shot down, I went onto the chat channel to boast about my excellent gunnery.  Meanwhile, a second wave of missiles demolished both of my own Harpoon-armed Ahmad Yani missile boats before they could fire their missiles.  Argggh!  Moral of the story was: "Don't gloat during combat."  I only had two more boats armed with the shorter-ranged Exocet.  One "good" outcome of the Harpoon attack on me was the fact that one of the missiles started tracking a local fishing boat and blew her out of the water.  Now world opinion would turn against the UN for harming civilians.

On the East coast of Timor, FF Hasnuddin detected the fast ferry, Jervis Bay rounding the point and set her ablaze with old-fashioned gunfire.  Luckily, she did not try to escape with her phenomenal 42kt maximum speed as the frigate was only capable of 24kts in pursuit.

Back to the Amphibious convoy, a Mandau-class missile boat silently crept up on her prey.  She maintained EmCon to prevent the Kiwis from ascertaining her exact identity as she was getting navigational cues from the orbiting Super Frelon helo.  A second helo armed with Exocet missiles launched to try and coordinate a pincer attack with the Mandau.  Just as they arrived to simultaneously deliver Exocet from the surface and the air, fire control radar was detected from the frigate!  The tattletale helo exploded in a fireball, but she had done her duty and 6 Exocets were sufficient to overwhelm the little frigate's defenses.  The Mandau did not live to see the results as she fell victim to return fire.
At this point, just when I thought things were getting interesting, Tony conceded defeat.  With only one frigate left to protect the convoy, he didn't think that it would be sufficient to accomplish the mission. We saved the game in case he changed his mind.
Thanks to Freek for another superb scenario and to Tony for a great game.  It was too bad that I had the opportunity to help test this scenario during development, but I tried not to take advantage of my prior knowledge.
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hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (8/5/2008 11:10:44 PM)

AAR: Surprise, Surprise! [Spoiler Alert]
Harpoon ANW scenario for the PlayersDB
by Herman Hum


This is the worst-case scenario for Middle East affairs. With Iran now in control of the majority of the world's oil, long silent Russia has announced a mutual defense treaty and has vowed to help protect the Gulf for their Arab friends.

U.S. forces find themselves in a very hostile world a very long way behind enemy lines. With the Russian declaration, all Russian forces operating in the area should be considered hostile. Of primary concern here should be the sub threat. All American forces should make best possible speed for Diego Garcia and the safety of U.S.-controlled air space.

From the Russian perspective, things could be much worse. A long-time Russian goal has been completed without firing a shot: that being the eviction of U.S. forces from the Persian Gulf. To stop future offensive plans, the U.S. Navy may be ordered to attack and destroy the amphibious group operating in the area.

Although this scenario has not yet been released, Freek and I decided to give it a try in MP play. Anyone else interested in this scenario can also try it by asking for it. In order to preserve the element of surprise if Freek should decide to play this scenario solitaire, I commanded the Russians while Freek took the USN forces.

My mission was to eliminate the evacuation fleet. I had a number of SAGs assigned, but the Indian Ocean is a big place. With the Intelligence report of the USN fleet departing the Persian Gulf, I ordered all my units to converge on the Gulf of Oman for a showdown.

Both sides tried to stay radar silent, but I knew that EmCon would serve the USN better than it would me, so I ordered some Flankers airborne and the AEW helos to start radiating. Soon, a small task group was detected. Further investigation revealed a number of UnRep vessels and frigate escorts. I decided to try and get in a few quick blows and order CVH Minsk to fire half her Sandbox battery in a salvo to take out the two Perry-class frigates. This turned out to be a major mistake. My miserly allocation of weapons meant that they were easily and quickly shot down. Arrgh. If I'd only fired the entire battery, some might have succeeded.

I fired a second salvo, but did not expect any better results. I was not to be disappointed. All four Sandbox SSMs were preremptorily shot down.

Frustrated, I called upon a nearby Oscar-class SSGN to fire her SS-N-19 Shipwreck SLCMs. Again, being the miser that I am, I only allocated 6 weapons / Perry. I watched sickeningly as his task group shot them all down!

Tired of this unraveling fiasco, I fired a second salvo of Shipwrecks and included all 6 nuclear-tipped weapons. I was fully expecting him to shoot down the nukes first and then the conventional would nail his hide to the wall. I didn't realize until later that Freek had re-positioned a few AMRAAM-armed Harriers to the little group and they had, in fact, done most of the shooting. When the Shipwrecks arrived, they promptly obliterated the frigates. Although the little force was virtually annihilated, it had served its purpose well and drained much of my long-ranged weapons assets.

At this time, we saved the game for completion at a later date. This scenario is starting to size up as another titanic struggle. [8D]

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FreekS -> RE: Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (8/6/2008 7:31:52 PM)

Always my rotten luck!

I have to get 3 surface groups at near flank speed over a long distance, through sub-infested waters.

All I have for air defence are some AV-8B Harrier II+ armed with AMRAAM but without radar, and some Osprey heli-planes which at least have a good radar.

Anyway, I'm moving my ships at flank speed, hoping for a passive detection of noisy Russian subs (hasn't happened yet) and sending out helos, Osprays and Harriers to Recce and to defend my ships.

Ive detected a Sov surface group (Bearing-only but I can see it has Kiev in it) and seen some Flankers and Fulcrums - just the kind of planes my Harriers are not equiped to intercept.

Then missiles start flying, two groups of 4 were defeated by the Harriers loitering over my TF. Then when my Harriers are Winchester and RTB (you can just see them leaving on the attached pic), a group of 12 Shipwrecks arrives, from a slightly different bearing than the previous missiles, thus likely from an Oscar. My Knox and Perry shoot down these 12, and then another 12 arrive. Herman has fired his full load, this time including the nukes, and three Shipwrecks hit and take out three escorts. My reflenishment group will have to do without.



hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (8/19/2008 11:10:07 PM)

AAR: Surprise, Surprise! [Spoiler Alert] Part II
Harpoon ANW scenario for the PlayersDB
by Herman Hum


This is the worst-case scenario for Middle East affairs. With Iran now in control of the majority of the world's oil, long silent Russia has announced a mutual defense treaty and has vowed to help protect the Gulf for their Arab friends.

U.S. forces find themselves in a very hostile world a very long way behind enemy lines. With the Russian declaration, all Russian forces operating in the area should be considered hostile. Of primary concern here should be the sub threat. All American forces should make best possible speed for Diego Garcia and the safety of U.S.-controlled air space.

From the Russian perspective, things could be much worse. A long-time Russian goal has been completed without firing a shot: that being the eviction of U.S. forces from the Persian Gulf. To stop future offensive plans, the U.S. Navy may be ordered to attack and destroy the amphibious group operating in the area.


After squandering my potent SSMs against the replenishment group, I tried to cull some of the pesky Harriers. I sent in a flight of Flankers to see if they could detect the little beggars. I didn't see anything until two contacts popped up at at 20nm range. They didn't have any active radar, so I was unable to classify them as either hostile or neutral. I knew that the troublesome Indians were in the area, too. I didn't want to start a shooting war with the Indian Navy, so I ordered the Flankers to close for visual confirmation.

They got close enough for visual identification and the first thing they saw were missile launches! These were USN Harriers and the AMRAAM were inbound. The Flankers quickly returned fire with Alamo and turned to flee on afterburners. However, both Flankers and both Harriers were soon shot down by each other's missiles.

To make matters worse, the loss of the Flankers meant no protection for a nearby AEW helo and it was quickly shot down by another Harrier without reprisal. However, the score would be evened soon enough.


An E-3 Sentry had been probing around my other task groups. A team of Flankers had been sent to intercept, but had lost him when he dove down low. Now, low on fuel, they Flankers were returning to base. Much to their surprise (and pleasure), a Sentry (possibly the same one that had eluded them earlier) appeared across their return path! The pilots did not look this gift horse in the mouth as the promptly blew it out of the sky with an Archer shot.


Without even time to rejoice from their victory, a second group of targets showed up on their IRST (Infrared Search and Track) sensor -- Six Big Fat B-52s! These lumbering giants were also quickly dispatched with AA-11 Archer.


With the threat from Diego Garcia effectively neutralized, efforts re-concentrated on the evacuation fleet. An Akula was lazily waiting for them when a subsurface contact was detected nearby. It was a San Juan-class sub and it was less than 12nm away. The Akula quickly loaded SS-N-15 Starfish and SS-N-16 Stallion into her tubes and crept up to Shallow depth. She managed to reach firing depth and quickly dropped 4 rocket-delivered torpedoes onto the American sub. After a valiant evasive effort, the sub was struck by one or more weapons.

At this point, Freek conceded. He just didn't think that he had enough surviving assets to contest the issue any longer.

Thanks for an excellent game and for helping me test out this new scenario for imminent release.

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hermanhum -> AAR: Matchplay #4 - Battle of Britain II [Spoiler Alert] (10/14/2008 7:56:27 PM)

AAR: Matchplay #4 - Battle of Britain II [Spoiler Alert] - Dutch
A Harpoon 3 scenario
By Freek Schepers

The purpose of this scenario is to investigate war between pretty much the entire military forces of two modern countries.

Holland has moved ground forces into Belgium and defeated French attempts to interfere. The Charles de Gaulle has been sunk and the French air force is licking its wounds.

The UN has authorised all members to take steps to reverse this situation and the UK has taken up the call of duty.


The Campaign against Belgium and France has concluded. Flanders has rejoined the Kingdom. A daring raid against Denmark has resulted in the liberation of 30 Danish F-16s previously sold to Netherlands. Delivery was withheld due to the war.

The Queen has re-instated the "Militaire Willemsorde" and more Willemsorde's have been awarded for this one raid than in all of WW2. Losses have been severe, but Belgian and Danish F-16s, now operational in the KLu, have made up for combat losses. All airbases except Florennes are operational. AMRAAM and Patriot Missiles are still scarce. The Navy has been hard hit and its surviving Frigates are short of SAMs.

The Security Council has issued a resolution urging all UN members to force the Netherlands to relinquish Belgian territory. Germany is thought to remain on the sidelines due to the stranglehold we have on the Ruhr through the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp.

The UK, however, has mobilised its forces and has issued an ultimatum requiring unconditional Dutch compliance with the UN resolution within the next 24 hours.

Jonkheer van Hoorn was the S-4 officer for the wing of F-16 Falcons based at Volkel. As such, he was responsible for providing and coordinating supply and maintenance. He was just finishing up his part of the briefing to the pilots gathered around the theatre.

“As you know, our operations against the French have severely depleted our supplies of the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The Brits are coming into this war and they have their bunkers full of the damned things. Now, I’ve managed to find a few more in, of all places, the bunkers of the Belgians that the army has overrun! So, if you fire off your AMRAAM, divert to the airfields at Kleine Brogel and Florennes. It’s easier for you to go to the missiles than for them to come to us. However, if you use them up the way ‘Piss’ does, then there’s no hope for you or any of us and you’ll end up throwing rocks at the Tommies when they come over the coast.”

This brought a wave of laughter from the assigned pilots as the briefing broke up. Lt. Jeroen (pronounced ‘urine’) “Piss” Girerd had acquired his nickname during combat with the French. His Falcon had stumbled upon a French E-3F Sentry. In his excitement at such a prize, he had pickled off all six of his AIM-9M Sidewinders when he could just as easily have shot down the lumbering plane with his internal Vulcan cannon. Except for the scathing rebuke he received from his squadron commander, “Piss” was pleased with himself over his first combat experience. He was more than happy to bear his new nickname so long as no one ever found out about the little ‘accident’ he had when his plane was ambushed by a Mirage over Belgium. His flight suit had dried by the time the mission was over.

Reports were coming in from all around the UK. Many aircraft were seen to be launching and the Royal Navy was planning to sortie. SSK Walrus detected multiple ESM contacts from her periscope mast in the direction of Liverpool and moved to investigate while SSK Dolfijn was ordered to block the channel near the Pas de Calais.

Since the Netherlands did not operate any dedicated Airborne Early Warning [AEW] aircraft, a P-3 Orion from Valkenburg and two helos from de Kooy were launched to provide surveillance and a modicum of early warning. Expecting a sortie from the Royal Navy, frigates van Spejik, van Galen, and van Heemskirck moved south-westwards to intercept. They kept close to the Dutch shore in order to be protected by the SAM umbrella provided by the Zeven Provincien and land-based Patriot batteries.

More information was coming in from the submarines. One vessel was confirmed as DDG Exeter. The jamming environment was fierce so FFG Zeven de Provincien was ordered to radiate her radar systems. The picture cleared up quickly, but not quickly enough. An Orion had moved in to try and pin-point the RN ships apparently departing Liverpool. Only ESM bearing-only [BOL] contacts were detected and more precise data would help SSK Walrus to intercept them. She promptly ate a missile just off the coast. A second Orion crew noted that a radio transmission from her was interrupted in mid-sentence and quickly surmised the fate of the crew. They would not venture as close as their fallen brethren.

Sky Flash met AMRAAM for the first time that day, high over the skies of the English Channel. A pair of Falcons intercepted a Tornado contact. After loosing a pair of AMRAAM, the Falcons turned and fled on afterburner. The Tornado, to her credit, managed to return fire with a pair of Sky Flash Super TEMP, but these dropped into the sea after losing guidance when the Tornado was destroyed by the AMRAAM. Two more Falcons repeated the performance on another unsuspecting Tornado. That was the most common story of the day. When AMRAAM met Sky Flash, the Falcons usually walked away from the scuffle.

And then Typhoon radar was detected! At about the same time a Lynx helo providing AEW support exploded in mid-air! Surprise... Both Falcon flights went to afterburner to close the distance and managed to loose four AMRAAM. They got her, but lost three of their own from return fire. Typhoons are Scary! Another was detected loitering over the Mid-lands. It was decided to postpone the ground missions until aerial superiority could be achieved. Even one Typhoon was very bad news for lightly armed strikers.

The Falcon Combat Air Patrols [CAP] re-grouped just off the Dutch coast. Rather than venturing over English territory, they would fight under their own radar coverage. The English obligingly cooperated. Soon, many flights of Tornado GR.4 were detected at low altitude. They were expertly covered by their Tornado ADV [Air Defence Variant] cousins. KLU high command had decided that each pilot would engage “according to his ability”. It was planned that the AMRAAM-armed Falcons would concentrate on their equally deadly counterparts while the planes armed only with short-ranged AIM-9M Sidewinders would close on the enemy strikers. The arrangement worked exceptionally well and the skies were soon cleared of the Tornadoes.

As everyone was congratulating themselves on their good fortune and expertise, the second wave appeared and they blanched. They had already expended a considerable number of AAMs [Air-to-Air Missiles] in repelling the first wave. Now, low on weapons, they were facing a wave as large as the first. The second wave was even more dangerous than the first for it contained the more advanced Tornado F.3. This version was capable of carrying the same AIM-120 AMRAAM carried by the Dutch.

Orders went out to quickly re-arm the bomb-laden Falcons with AMRAAM. Wing S-4 van Hoorn protested, but was mollified when the Wing Commander asked him if he would prefer the enemy to destroy them on the ground.

Again, the waves of English strikers were well timed with their escorts. The escorts engaged the Dutch interceptors at the cost of their own lives. However, they enabled the Tornadoes to reach their launch points and release their ordnance. A storm of Sea Eagle AShM [Anti-Ship Missiles] dropped off their pylons enroute to the few surviving frigates of Her Royal Majesty’s Naval Ships. Although the majority of them were eventually intercepted by a combination of Sidewinder missiles and Sea Sparrow from the ships, one leaker got through and slammed into frigate van Galen. Like in a lottery, you only need one ticket to win. Today, the number for the men of the van Galen would finally be up. The impact was directly over the ship’s torpedo magazine for its Lynx anti-submarine helicopter. The resulting sympathetic explosion left very few survivors.

The furball over the North Sea consumed missiles, planes, and men at a prodigious rate. The Klu was holding their own, but they were using up every missile they carried in order to do so. Finally, something had to give. After receiving appalling losses to its strike formations, the controllers aboard the E-3D Sentries circling over the British mid-lands decided that they could not complete their mission and withdrew. In the test of men and nations, they had lost their nerve. Not until many years later would they learn just how close they came to victory for every single missile aboard Dutch planes and ships had been expended. A window of vulnerability existed, but the British failed to take advantage of it. They would later live to regret it.

Meanwhile, in the English Channel, SSK Walrus was caught with her periscope up just a little too long. An English Lynx ASW helo saw the feathery wake and closed before dropping its Stingray torpedo on her. The Walrus sent one final report before the torpedo struck.

SSK Dolfijn would avenge her. The carrier task force sailed up the Channel and right into the waiting arms of the Dolfijn. By positioning herself directly on their Path of Intended Movement [PIM], she simply sat and awaited her prey. Vengeance would be swift in coming. Once the task force drew near, she launched three Mk48 torpedoes at the carrier and another at the nearest escort. With her cloak of invisibility removed, she immediately increased speed to full and ran directly at the formation while her husky torpedo men raced to re-load.

Sonar immediately called out, “Transient! Torpedo in the water! Bearing 269.” Evidently, the frigate had detected the attack and launched her own fish back down the bearing of contact towards the sub. It was a race between the ‘steel eels’. The Mk 48 caught the frigate first and snapped her keel with 600lb of high explosive.

Although the crew of the Dolfijn heard the explosion through the hull, they had problems of their own. The Stingray had locked onto them and was in continuous-ping mode. It was time for their ‘last-best move’. The skipper ordered white noise countermeasures dropped and hugged the bottom while everyone kept their fingers crossed. Another explosion was heard, but everyone realized that you had to be alive to hear it. The torpedo must have detonated on the sea floor.

Not willing to look a gift horse in the mouth, the Dolfijn immediately sent out a second volley of lethal Mk 48 torpedoes even before their first torpedoes had arrived at the carrier. Every ship in the formation received a present from the men of Dolfijn.

The torpedoes arrived at the carrier and detonated nearly simultaneously and ripped gigantic holes in her hull. She would eventually turn turtle and take 300 of her crew with her after two hours of damage control efforts.

The second round of Mk 48s was just as lethal and gutted the entire formation. Three air-defence destroyers and another frigate were left sinking. Only one stubborn frigate remained. However, this frigate was cagy and refused to approach the little submarine. Instead, he coordinated the approach of several Nimrod ASW aircraft. A second Stingray torpedo was soon in the water. Out of torpedoes and out of luck the Stingray did not miss and the crew of the Dolfijn soon joined their British adversaries on the floor of the Channel

Over the Kent coast, the wave of retaliation was quickly closing on English airbases at Cottishall, Waddington, Wattingham, Marham, Cottismore, and Wittering. With most the air defenders floating in the Channel, only a few Harrier rose in futile defence. Unlike their Battle of Britain predecessors, the Harriers were unable to exact any meaningful price from the Falcon strikers before being torn from the air with AMRAAM. The Dutch survivors quickly dropped their Mk 84 2000lb bombs onto the hangars and crushed them atop the defenders along with any hopes the British had of launching future defences. As they touched down back at their bases, the Queen announced that a message had been received from 10 Downing Street. It acknowledged that the affair between the Netherlands, Belgium, and France was not a concern for the United Kingdom. For now, the war was over.

Thanks for a really fun and challenging scenario.


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FreekS -> AAR: Fortress Kevlavik (1/6/2009 8:48:59 PM)

I had played this scen in MP against Silenthunter and liked it so much that I decided to try solitaire.
I played this scen from the Russian side.

My first air strike (Bears from Russia and Badgers from Norway), destroyed what I thought were all aircraft containing ground units in Stornoway. There was no opposition to the strike, which came in along two axis (North and South). In fact I had so many Bears left that they continued on towards Kevlavik (approaching from the South). I launched all 27 Backfires and they came in along two routes, one over my KUG and the other following the Bears over Southern England.

I used the Flankers, Fulcrums and Forgers to clear a route for the Northern Backfire group and ensured my KUG had radar on to give additional warning.

Two Flankers were lost without warning on ingress, 6 more were lost shooting down F15s (probably only 5 or 6) but they fulfilled their purpose (see image how the fighters cleared the way for the bombers). Kevlavik was hit be Kelts and Kitchens and no detectable aircraft handling facilities remained. All bombers returned home successfully.

The threat now was the SAG detected by submarines. I moved all subs to interdict it and a Victor and Forxtrot intercepted first when the SAG was about 300nm from my KUG.
I used 20 long range SSMs from the KUG to target the two ASW-pickets. Both died. Timed to strike at the same time were 8 Shaddocks from an Echo-class, which sank an amphib and the Battleship Iowa (yes I was including nuclear SSMs in the strike!). The Victor then sank the 3 SAM-cruisers, another escort and another amphib. A Charley finished off the last Coontz class destroyer.

I was then in for a surprise; I'd been monitoring continued F15 flights from Kevlavik (I though landing and refueling on the runway as the hangars and revetments were gone) but suddenly Buccaneers sank a merchant in my formation before being shot down (not sure how many there were, maybe just one or two). Harpoon attacks by P3s and Nimrods followed, but the harpoons and sea eagles did no damage. But clearly I'd missed some facilities. The F15s were destroyed with SAMs as my KUG sailed underneath their patrol zones.
My next attack reduced Stornoway and Kevlavik to 3 facilities each (runways and taxiways). Still P3s and F15s were still seen flying after that. Brave Forger pilots finished off the F15s and P3s (I suspect the F15s were flying with gun ammo only as their ammo dump was long gone), and apart from an unfortunate encounter with a whale (I think) nothing stood in the way of my invasion of Kevlavik, which I supported with some Bears and Forgers looking for any hidden ground units and finding a Patriot after it had Stingered two Forgers.
So I lost one ship, 8 Flankers, and 4 Forgers against all ships and land Facilities of NATO!

Conclusion: A Human Player Always Beats The AI; and Multiplayer was much nicer than solitaire!


hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/6/2009 10:34:21 PM)

Thanks for testing it out. 

I've made some changes according to your feedback.  Hopefully, we'll get it released publicly, soon.

I agree that a human opponent always gives a better challenge than the AI.  [:)]

Kip -> RE: Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/9/2009 3:41:01 AM)

I wonder how this would have gone without nucs.

hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/9/2009 4:16:02 AM)

The only way to know is to try it out.

I know that Freek would love to try it again against a human opponent and I can play, too, if you want an MP game. 

Or, you can play it solitaire from the ANW server offered by AoA.

FreekS -> RE: Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/9/2009 3:10:12 PM)

It would have been won without nukes too; I had 7 subs on intercept course with the NATO TF and thouse type 65 torpedoes are leathal. It just would have meant waiting a few more hourse for the next Victors to come in range. Little chance of NATO being able to deploy those 406mm guns!

MP is MUCH more difficult for the Russians, the long ranges of the E3s and the F15s are an enormous advantage.


hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/9/2009 9:57:43 PM)

I saw from your attached screenshot that you had a nicely spaced out multi-regimental attack on Iceland.

I am curious if you spread your bombers out far enough, would NATO even have enough F-15s to be able to get to each group? I think that if they were far enough apart so that a single fighter could only get 1-2 bombers, then the situation would really be interesting. The Soviet side doesn't need all that many to get through to cripple the base, IIRC.

Oh, well. That's what the game is for: to test out "What if's" [:)]

FreekS -> RE: Harpoon 3 [ANW] scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/9/2009 10:10:58 PM)

Actually, I was flying groups of 4-6 bombers and basically used two routes on ingress. If an F15 had intercepted he could have killed a good number of the slower Bears and Badgers. The Backfires were effectively screened by fighters and the SAG.  I guess I was a bit lazy and could have used more routes (but then I know how weak the AI is and I was vLow on ingress). I did actually detect F15s on ESM in the vicinity of the Bears when they rose to launch altitude so I bombshelled the bombers along 5 routes home but the fighter never came close.

In MP Russia would have had to use many more tracks, but when I played NATO against Silenthunter I managed to keep 7 pairs of F15s plus 3 E3s up at all times, and at 500+nm from Kevlavik. I also broke up my NATO SAG to and used the AAW-cruisers as radar pickets. A good player would have to fly maybe 25 pairs of bombers to defeat that (and then theres the Patriot). I think for MP Fortress Kevlavik is a real nice player vs player scenario.


hermanhum -> Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/11/2010 8:12:33 PM)

AAR: Matchplay #4 - Battle of Britain II [Spoiler Alert] - UK
A Harpoon 3 scenario
By Freek Schepers

The purpose of this scenario is to investigate war between pretty much the entire military forces of two modern countries.

Holland has moved ground forces into Belgium and defeated French attempts to interfere. The Charles de Gaulle has been sunk and the French air force is licking its wounds.

The UN has authorised all members to take steps to reverse this situation and the UK has taken up the call of duty.


The UK government has observed the aggressive behaviour of the Dutch government over the past week.

The attacks on Belgium, France, and Denmark are unacceptable, and, in view of the huge losses taken by the Dutch, may not have been wise.

The RAF and RN will now implement the recent UN-resolution and do so in a manner as to take away the ability of the Dutch to wage war.

The Royal Air Force is in transition. The Joint Force Harrier is being created, preparations are being made to replace the older Tornado F.3s with the Eurofighter, and the Jaguars are about to be sold. As a result, many airframes are unavailable.

HMS Spartan had been sitting off the port of Antwerp for the past week in order to monitor Dutch and French actions. Although it would never be revealed to the public, she had been ringside to watch the immolation of the French amphibious group from the Dutch SSMs [Surface-to-Surface missiles]. The latest FLASH message received in the radio room indicated that the Prime Minister had decided to heed the United Nations’ call to action. Spartan intended to play her role.

Multiple contacts scattered around the plot and mixed in with many civilian craft that simply refused to recognize that a state of armed conflict existed between nations. "Can't really blame them, either," though Cmdr. Naismith as the periscope rose from her sheath for the umpteenth time. "I'd have to try and earn a living if I was in their shoes, too." At the same time, he ordered Harpoons loaded into tubes one, three, and five. Spearfish torpedoes are nice, but nothing beats the ability to 'reach out and touch someone' the way UGM-84 Harpoons can.

The first order of business, as always, was to get some ‘eyeballs’ into the air. The two E-3D Sentries from Waddington lumbered into the air. One was destined for a patrol off the east mid-lands while the other would loiter over Luton. Hopefully, they would be able to triangulate on most contacts for more effective management. No sooner had they taken to the air when Falcon radar transmissions were detected. Like the prettiest girl at a country dance, this kind of attention is expected. Tornadoes from Leeming and Leuchars moved to parry the Dutch.

Jamming was intense so DDG Cardiff was ordered to support the AEW aircraft with her radar systems. It was a gamble, but MinDef decided that it was worthwhile. All actions in time of war are risky. To support the move, the only two Typhoons in the Order of Battle [Oob] were also sent to support the effort with their sophisticated radar.

Just off the coast of Cottishall, the first flight of Tornado received a rude surprise as one of the three quickly exploded in mid-flight without any indication of missile launch! Immediately, the two survivors engaged afterburners and hoped to close with the fuzzy contacts on their radar screens. They were not to be so lucky, today. All three Tornado were destroyed within a matter of thirty seconds. The second Battle of Britain had begun.

The Typhoons immediately went to afterburner to protect the priceless Sentries. It took four AIM-132 ASRAAM, sixteen AIM-120C7, and six Sky Flash air-to-air missiles [AAMs] to finally destroy a flight of two Falcons in exchange for three Tornadoes destroyed. This was a most inauspicious start for the RAF since most of the AIM-120C7s in all of Britain had just been expended in one sortie! It was going to be a hard day for the UKADF [United Kingdom Air Defence Forces].

Two more Falcons came roving over RAF Marham and three more Tornadoes moved to intercept. Only a single Tornado walked away from the ensuing fracas. The battle-hardened veterans of the KLu were exacting a terrible toll from the RAF and driving the AEW Sentries from their patrol positions. At this rate of exchange, could the RAF survive as a viable force? There seemed to be no end in sight from the onslaught as yet another flight of Falcons flew over Cottishall to attack the AEW aircraft.

The last unengaged Combat Air Patrol [CAP] moved to intercept and two captured Belgian Falcons were rubbed from the sky. However, the attack had been cunningly planned. Unable to intervene, additional flights of Falcons hammered Cottishall mercilessly and destroyed the hangars along with many strike aircraft preparing for counter-air operations. The defending Rapier battery managed to get four of the attackers, but this was cold consolation for the dozen smoking wrecks now lying under ruined hangars and revetments. Eight Falcons had caused more havoc than an entire air flotilla from the WWII Luftwaffe. The KLu would gladly exchange their four losses for the thirty-six wrecks they left behind.

Three Danish Falcons were detected approaching RAF Leuchars by an outbound CAP flight. AMRAAM were quickly exchanged with the planes stolen from Denmark and one was quickly destroyed. However, the survivors continued on doggedly. It looked as though no base in the entire UK would be free from attack. The Tornadoes closed to re-engage with AIM-132 ASRAAM. Theoretically, they would out-range the AIM-9 Sidewinders the Falcons might be carrying. However, the AIM-120 trumped them all, if there were any left on the Danish planes. Four ASRAAM / Falcon were needed to finally destroy the flight. However, the Dutch were very persistent. A second flight approached and three Tornadoes with AMRAAM barely managed to clear the runways before engaging and destroying them on their ingress.

Meanwhile, one E-3D Sentry had been able to positively classify Dutch frigates Van Speijk and Van Galen in North Sea off the midlands. A flight of Tornado GR.4 configured for maritime strike with Sea Eagle AShMs [Anti-Shipping Missiles] quickly paid them a visit. Unfortunately, the ECM environment was so hostile that their attacks failed as the missiles were blinded by the jamming from the frigates.

At the south end of the North Sea, HMS Spartan decided to try and “pull a fast one”. She had detected FFG de Zeven Provincien from her distinctive radar emissions. Although she only had a warm fuzzy feeling about the exact position of the air-defence frigate, Cmdr. Naismith decided to gamble and fired all of his Harpoons at the current solution. The unexpected move must have taken the frigate by surprise as three of the four Harpoons slammed into the frigate and left it a pyre.

Throughout the skies over the North Sea and British coast, Tornadoes clashed with Falcons. The advantage of Dutch AMRAAM over the British Sky Flash was sorely felt this day. All the brave British aircrews could only do their best by running towards the Dutch on afterburner and accepting heavy losses in order to return fire with the near obsolescent Sky Flash AAMs. Like the tactics employed by American Sherman tank crews in WW2, every Dutch Falcon was swarmed by at least four Tornadoes and UK HQ expected two not to return. The price was appalling, but had to be paid for the years of neglect in the British armed forces.

While the RAF fought the Dutch KLu to a bloody standstill, Strike command paid a return visit to FFG van Speijk and van Galen. This time, they carried ALARM Anti-Radiation Missiles. The combination of Sea Eagle and ALARM were sufficient to set both ships ablaze. Without adequate air cover, it was only a matter of time for the little frigates.

Over the Channel, the Dutch proved that they could be just as cunning and devious. With UK radar severely degraded by jamming, RAF Wattingham did not notice an air raid by AH-64 Apache helos until they appeared on their doorstep, literally! The local Rapier battery commander immediately ordered his unit to engage. However, it was already too late as the stream of Hellfire missiles slammed into the airbase. Made to smash the armour of main battle tanks, the missiles had little difficulty demolishing the relatively thin ‘armour’ of the base facilities. Although too late to prevent the attack, Tornadoes from Leeming did manage to bring down all the helicopters as they attempted to make their egress over the Channel.

However, it was the last gasp for the KLu. Their ranks were severely depleted from the near continuous demands of the previous week. Although they acquitted themselves well, there simply weren’t sufficient resources to defeat a second fully equipped air force. With no one left to vie for supremacy of the skies, Strike Command decided to conduct phase two of the orders from MinDef.

Led off by a stream of Storm Shadow ALCMs [Air-Launched Cruise Missiles] from Tornado GR.4s, additional Tornado strike teams followed closely behind. The Tornadoes excelled at low-level penetration attacks and they were hugging the earth at 20m off the ground. However, in order to release their ALARM, they had to climb to 100m and the Patriot SAM batteries could engage them at that altitude. It was a race between inbound and outbound missiles. Both sides scored successes. Six Tornadoes fell to the lethal SAMs, but the concentrated ALARM volleys also silenced the ground batteries.

With no enemy aircraft rising to contest the airspace, the Tornado crews calmly climbed to 20,000 ft. in order to release their GBUs [Glide-Bomb Units]. Instead of hurriedly delivering their payloads, crews worked in teams to assess the damage from previous strikes before re-attacking from a different angle. Although strike doctrine normally called for a single pass, these were basically undefended targets. Slowly and methodically, Strike Command shut down every airfield in Holland and Belgium. Once this task was complete, the Jaguars proceeded to hammer the invading army formations in Belgium. After hours of incessant air attack, the Dutch government recognized its inability to even hold onto the gains it made during the past week and signalled its intent to withdraw behind its borders. The Second Battle of Britain was over and, once again, "Never was so much owed by so many to so few".

Thanks for a fun and challenging scenario.

Harpoon3.6.3 users can get the
Complete Harpoon 3.6.3 Library

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Complete Harpoon ANW Library


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FreekS -> RE: Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (1/15/2010 9:29:12 PM)

Great AAR Herman, Thanks a lot. Glad to see that OLD scens can still play their magic!

FreekS -> RE: Harpoon 3 scenarios for the PlayersDB (3/4/2011 9:29:17 PM)


ORIGINAL:  Herman Hum

Facundo, Capitan Piluso, and I got together to try out Freek Scheper's new scenario Baltic Sea Struggle, made with the community's favorite database, the PlayersDB.  This Scenario has not been published and can only be found exclusively on Wolff's ANW MP Server.  This was a real treat for me since I had never before seen the scenario.  So, it would still have the surprise of the unknown and that 'new scenario smell' to it.  :)

    In the winter of 2011, the tension between NATO and Russia increased.

    A Russian strategic pipeline was cut during winter, causing a giant environmental disaster.  Sweden, Finland, and Russia accused each other of negligence, terrorism, and state initiated protectionism of own industry.

    All three nations sent their ready squadron of patrol ships into the Baltic.

I was assigned the Swedish forces, Facundo commanded the Finns, and Mario played as the Russians.  My orders were:

    Maintain neutrality and defend Swedish seaborders with Finnish and Russian waters (indicated by a sub nav-zone).

I ordered my ships to maintain radar silence and patrolled carefully along the border.  I kept my speed down so that I would not reveal myself as a naval vessels since merchantmen rarely make 25+ knots.


During my first sweep south along the international boundary, I encountered a ship making 25kts and immediately classified it as hostile.  It was a calculated risk, but it paid off as the Bofors gun crew from Stockholm quickly riddled it.

After completing the sweep south, my three ships turned northward.  I started using intermittent radar sweeps with long periods of silence in between emanations.  On one sweep, I detected two ships traveling in close proximity.  Once again, I deduced enemy activity as though he was trying to hide in the shadow of the much larger merchantmen.  Luckily for me, my ships were armed with RBS-15f missiles and these had a data-link back to the ship. If my ships had been armed with the unguided Harpoons, I might very well have inadvertently hit the civilian.  Instead, I managed to shoot the flea off the dog's back and sink the skulker with four RBS-15F missiles.


However, my radar emissions must have revealed my position, too.  Not long afterwards, radar reported two inbound missiles apparently materializing out of nowhere!  I gambled that there was a hostile ship just over the radar horizon so I launched a brace of RBS-15F on Bearing-Only-Launch.  Luck was with me as my guns brought down the inbound missiles.  My luck held as the outbound SSMs activated their radar and detected a ship making 41kts.  This was definitely a military vessel.  All four missiles closed on the target and destroyed her.  She tried to take me with her by firing a second salvo, but I shot down one and the other detonated in a cloud of chaff.  That was close!


Things were going well.  I had destroyed three of the six vessels needed for victory.  However, fate would turn a blind eye to me.  As my flotilla continued to patrol the imaginary boundary, a ship was detected making 14 knots.  The Bofors crew engaged and mistakenly destroyed an innocent fishing dhow.  A board of inquiry will definitely be held.

FSG Stockholm was out of missiles so she was the ship selected to radiate intermittently.  On a second sweep, she detected a second vessel and once again engaged with guns.  This one turned out to be hostile after all.  As well, a faint target was detected on the horizon doing turns for 41kts.  This had to be another missile boat so Visby engaged with four more RBS-15F.  41knots may be fast for a boat, but is virtually standing still when compared to a missile.  The target was caught and negated.

At this point, we called it a night.  Mario had his fleet sunk, but Facundo still had one vessel survive.  I had destroyed a neutral so I deemed myself ineligible for victory.

This was a great and challenging scenario for me.  Thanks very much to Freek for writing it.  Also thanks to Facundo and Mario for a great game.

I think that there may be problem with the orders.  Everyone has basically similar orders.

Both Facundo and I wondered what would happen if no one had crossed the borders.  No one had any orders to cross them, either.  Normally, this would mean that there would be no cause for combat.  Right to the end, I kept my Swedish ships on my side of the border even though they shot 'over the line' into foreign territory.

The ViConds are pretty stringent.  Each player had to sink the three vessels of the other two players for a total of 6 ships destroyed in order to achieve victory.  I wonder if this condition might be a bit too steep.  If everyone plays a modest game, I am not certain if victory is possible.


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