FreekS -> Harpoon3 After-Action reports (3/4/2011 9:24:30 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.