I just finished playing the version from Dec 24, so here's how it went for me.
The carrier groups are given orders to hurry into position. America, Coral Sea, and Clemenceau will patrol in the mouth of the Ionian Sea, between Sicily and the Peleponnese, and they should be able to get there before hostilities start. The Saratoga, over near southern Spain, will hurry east, and probably will be just reaching western Sicily when operations begin. The carriers have supply ships in attendance nearby, and I'm a little nervous about them. Do I detach units to cover them? It would be a shame if they bumped into a wandering Libyan Foxtrot. A nice little dilemma. I decide to send them to Toulon, Gaeta, and the Greek Islands to hide for the duration.
Operations begin, and there are Russians all over the place - a Slava group off Crete, a Krivak, a Charlie and an old Whiskey shadowing the America, and another Krivak in the Sicily Strait in the path of the Coral Sea. I hope the Slava group stays in the vicinity of Crete. She could be problematic if she decides to shadow a carrier. The Charlie is also a concern, and the USS Providence is ordered to tail her in case things get messy.
The SR-71 runs along the Libyan coast hampered by clouds, and provides little useful data, but ELINT planes pick up a concentration of Spoon Rest radars in the west in the Tripoli / Al-Watiyah area, and a few more in the east from Benghazi to Tobruk. I had high hopes for the U-2 radar, given the clouds, but it doesn't see anything new either. So strategic recce turns out to be mostly a bust. It does, however, get a nice look at the Libyan Navy, which has a whole bunch of small patrol boats and frigates underway.
Shortly after 5:00 AM on the 14th, we start seeing signs of Libyan air activity. SSN Providence continues to shadow the Charlie, Sirene keeps heading for Benghazi, Ouessant keeps trying to get into position on the Vosper, which is south of Malta, and Jacksonville is in the baffles of a Libyan Foxtrot. Carrier groups are moving into position, but the America, Coral Sea, and Clemenceau have all had visits from Mays flying out of Syria. Happily, the Slava seems to be turning back east again.
By the end of the day, Sirene is off Benghazi, but RF-4 overflights show all the important warships are gone. Ouessant is still trying to get into position on the Vosper, which has spotted her at least once, and Rubis is closing on Tripoli. Jacksonville and Providence are still on the tail of their subs. The Slava's being a pest in mid-ocean, half-way between Greece and Libya. My three eastern carriers are getting repeated visits from Mays and Bears, so the enemy knows exactly where we are, and the Kashin's cruising up quietly to have a look. It should reach the carriers just in time to watch the strikes. I think only the Saratoga, just coming through the Sicily/Tunisia gap, is still undetected.
The subs are the first to shoot. Jacksonville executes the helpless Foxtrot, Rubis kills two Sharara's anchored off Tripoli, and Sea Devil steals Ouessant's kill by sinking the Vosper. General air-to-air fighting breaks out along the coast, and planes from the Coral Sea and Clemenceau make Harpoon and Exocet attacks on Libyan patrol boats.
I have divided my strikes into two phases. The night strike, by F-111s supported by ARM-carrying A-7s from the Saratoga and a few ARM-carrying Mirages from Corsica, will fall on Tripoli immediately after midnight. The remaining strikes, which have a large component of planes without night vision, will happen shortly after dawn.
The Tripoli attack goes well, and the F-111s shut the runways with LGBs, sprinkle the parking areas with cluster bombs, blast the nearest SAM sites with iron bombs, and mess up the port facilities. They also completely flatten the nearby barracks and manage to destroy the bunker, which brings the surprising message that Kaddafi is dead! So much for the deal with the Russians that we wouldn't aim for a regime change... (At this point I think the remainder of the operation would realistically be called off. The consequences of ordering attacks on Americans have been pretty clearly demonstrated, and the diplomatic fallout is already going to be severe.)
The Libyans get their own attack underway even before the Tripoli strike is complete, gunning for my carriers in the Ionian sea. Two big raids launch in the east, coming in from El Beida and Nasser, followed by another in the center from the direction of Al Jufra. I have allocated half my fighters to the night phase, and reserved the other half for the day phase, and I don't want to use them yet. However, the night-phase fighters have already used up some of their missiles fighting the Libyan CAP. Do they have enough capability to take down these strikes?
Fortunately, the Harpoon-carrying F-18s have just finished making their attacks in the east, and these versatile fighters are added to the defense, bringing much-needed extra missiles. Together with my existing patrols, they are enough to turn back the eastern attacks. This doesn't leave a lot for the attack in the center, so Clemencea launches its last F-8s, and these turn out to be enough to stiffen the defenses and defeat what turns out to be heavyweight Blinders. Clemenceau is out of fighters for the rest of the day now, but Coral Sea and America still have half their fighters ready for use, so we should be all right.
Skirmishing continues along the coast as the F-111s retire to safety. The Sirene, patrolling near Benghazi, nearly flattens her battery as she rushes to cut off and sink a pair of Osas, and then repeats the process with a pair of Sharara frigates. She's spending a lot of time at periscope depth, getting position updates and running her diesels, but fortunately the Libyans don't have effective ASW capabilities.
Meanwhile, the Providence, which is still shadowing the Charlie, gets a CZ contact on an SS. She doesn't want to leave the Charlie, so she sticks up a mast and calls some ASW aircraft from the carriers, which ID the contact as another Foxtrot and sink it.
Then there's another sub contact, but this one's north of my carriers, only 15 miles away in the Ionian sea. That gets an immediate response, and an Alize rushes to the area and drops some passive buoys to ID it. It turns out to be a Victor, another Russian snooper. Fortunately it's headed away from us, but it gets its own escort of French aircraft to monitor it anyway.
The French also keep chipping away at the radars near Tripoli, sending pairs of ARM-carrying Mirages down at the extreme limits of their range, and gradually killing off the Spoon Rest radars in the region.
The second wave of attacks arrives after dawn. Planes from Israel and Crete shut the runways at Nasser, Al Bumbah and El Beida, wreck port facilities at Bardiyah and Tobruk, and hit many of the surrounding SAMs. A-10s also get their kicks sinking the remaining ships in the area with a barrage of Mavericks. Planes from America and Coral sea deal with the airbase, port, and barracks complex near Benghazi, while planes from Saratoga (supported by ARM-carrying Jaguars) shut the airbase at Misurata. The Libyans don't seem to have any fighters to oppose us, so once the SA-3s are dealt with, they have little effective defense.
After these strikes, there's little the Libyans can do. They still have some ships operating in the Gulf of Sidra, and presumably some planes at the airbases further inland, but other then Sirte all the coastal airfields are shut. The remaining forces and coastal infrastructure can be picked apart at leisure. So I ended the game at this point.