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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land Down Under

 
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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/17/2021 7:59:09 PM   
Gunner98

 

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From: The Great White North!
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quote:

I guess you anticipate most players will abandon any moral pretenses and bomb the East Timorese to defeat the Evil Empire.


"War makes strange bedfellows." So my assumption was that most would opt for a militarily convenient solution. From a game perspective I think it balances out:

Pro:
1) eventually getting rid of all those No-Nave zones which makes your critical task easier and more achievable
2) gaining the intelligence network that Indonesia has (MPA, patrol boats, radars etc)
3) emergency basing of some assets
4) something to do with those F/A-18s that, when this option pops up, don't have a real task

Cons:
1) the political and moral cost which is represented by a whopping 500 VP
2) you don't get all the advantages immediately, you have to earn them - by bombing the East Timorese C2 network
3) each of the targets is surrounded by civilian and NGO/IO elements which will cost you VPs if you hit them

From a game perspective your F-18 will have another potential role soon enough and that will cause friction, but not having the NNav zones to deal with will help. The VP cost is largely dissipated over time but the player does not know by how much.

As scenario designer, I think my job is to give players dilemmas and decisions to solve without passing judgment. There are consequences to both choices.

As a story teller; follow on scenarios and the book will assume that the Indonesian option was chosen, either here or later.

Hope that help understand my thought process.


_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
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(in reply to tylerblakebrandon)
Post #: 31
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/18/2021 12:27:16 AM   
tylerblakebrandon

 

Posts: 108
Joined: 5/11/2020
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunner98

quote:

I guess you anticipate most players will abandon any moral pretenses and bomb the East Timorese to defeat the Evil Empire.


"War makes strange bedfellows." So my assumption was that most would opt for a militarily convenient solution. From a game perspective I think it balances out:

Pro:
1) eventually getting rid of all those No-Nave zones which makes your critical task easier and more achievable
2) gaining the intelligence network that Indonesia has (MPA, patrol boats, radars etc)
3) emergency basing of some assets
4) something to do with those F/A-18s that, when this option pops up, don't have a real task

Cons:
1) the political and moral cost which is represented by a whopping 500 VP
2) you don't get all the advantages immediately, you have to earn them - by bombing the East Timorese C2 network
3) each of the targets is surrounded by civilian and NGO/IO elements which will cost you VPs if you hit them

From a game perspective your F-18 will have another potential role soon enough and that will cause friction, but not having the NNav zones to deal with will help. The VP cost is largely dissipated over time but the player does not know by how much.

As scenario designer, I think my job is to give players dilemmas and decisions to solve without passing judgment. There are consequences to both choices.

As a story teller; follow on scenarios and the book will assume that the Indonesian option was chosen, either here or later.

Hope that help understand my thought process.



I get you. My perception via the vagaries of the internet was that you seemed surprised a player would choose the moral high ground in the face of the Red onslaught.

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 32
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/18/2021 10:28:06 PM   
CHM


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Haven't played or even downloaded this one yet but can't wait to start when I have a free day. Cheers Gunner

(in reply to tylerblakebrandon)
Post #: 33
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 12:53:01 AM   
AndrewJ

 

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So, after a disk error wipes out part 2 of the AAR and all my notes, let the rewrite begin...


QUIET DAY

After the excitement of the Russian's opening salvoes, the next day is somewhat quieter, with assorted patrolling and advances. The rebels seem to be quiet in Brunei for the moment, and the Herc finally arrives there with the munitions for the A-4s, so they load up with an multipurpose assortment of ordnance (bombs, Mavericks, and Sidewinders). My ships keep cruising along, with the Newcastle catching up to TG Endeavour shortly before rounding the corner of North Sulawesi and heading NW. The SS Onslow has been preceding the TG, looking for subs, but she can't keep ahead of the formation any more, so she's assigned to keep patrolling here.

Intel lets us know about a suspicious LPG carrier, somewhere out west of Australia. A couple of F-18s go out for a look, and find it much closer than expected. They buzz it, and all seems normal. One of our coast-guard patrol boats is ordered out to meet the tanker, and will probably report in sometime in the evening.

The most activity is in the air, where two flights of F-18s get dragged north on a pair of tankers, hoping to catch the MiG-25s which keep pressurizing me over the South China Sea. Of course, when we get there the skies, which were full of signals from Bears and Flankers and MiGs, are completely empty! The planes press on much further NW than intended, and finally meet and kill a pair of MiG-29s, as well as an unexpected tanker, but it's a risky operation and they end up running away from packs of MiG-21s which come to investigate. They end up dumping unused missiles to increase fuel efficiency, then pick up the last dregs of gas from the two tankers, before finally meeting the third one half-way home with great relief. Overall, a bit risky, and not necessarily worth the effort.

The F-5s show how to do it more efficiently. We've taken to advance-basing one in Brunei, and it manages to pop out and whack an incautious Bear that comes too far south. Fortunately, the MiG-25s either don't spot us, or choose to ignore us, and the F-5 gets away. Another airplane from Brunei takes a moment to buzz one of the merchant ship contacts that we’ve been watching intermittently out by Swallow Reef. It turns out to be a Vietnamese frigate, not a merchant at all, and it’s presumably feeding the Soviets all sorts of spotting reports. But we’re not at war, so our forces (reluctantly) leave it alone.


OPERATION DOLITTLE

Shortly after noon we get more Intel on that Russian convoy, P-9417. It contains multiple large merchants, and a big RORO, packed to the gills with all manner of Soviet military nastiness. HMS Spartan is on station off Cam Ranh Bay, waiting to ambush it, but relying on one sub to stop the convoy is not a sound strategy. I’d definitely like to hit the convoy much earlier and further away than that. The trouble is, that it is so far away that our strike assets can’t reach it in effective numbers.

That’s when the grinning P-3 guys put a folder on my desk labelled ‘Operation Dolittle’. The routes are reviewed, the figures are double-checked, and it all works out. The majority of the P-3s are ordered to finish their patrols, return to base, load Harpoons, and get some rest. They will have a busy night. (Naysayers point out that this will leave us very low on ASW assets in the meantime, but the potential payoff is very high. The operation will proceed.)


REDACTED

As dusk falls, the Patrol Boat Geelong is approaching the LPG tanker Berget Danuto. The ship has been cruising towards Darwin at a steady 18 knots all day, but now it’s nearly come to a stop, and the crew seems to have left in several small speedboats. As the watchkeeper looks on through his glasses, several plumes of white vapour erupt from the decks of the ship, coiling around it in a spreading cloud that obscures the vessel. The young sailor only has a moment to look to his officer with a puzzled expression, before the tanker vanishes in a cataclysmic flash that destroys it and everything around it.

Seismic stations in multiple nations record the effects of the blast, and WMD experts are quick to point out the catastrophic consequences if this had occurred in port. An immediate media blackout is clamped down over the event to prevent public hysteria and panic about further acts of sabotage. Dissemination of this information is on a need-to-know basis only.



GO FOR DOLITTLE

At 8:00 PM we get another Intel update on the convoy. HQ needs it destroyed before it gets to Vietnam, and they’re so serious about it that they’ve given us B-52s and tankers at Guam, and F-111s and RF-111s at Amberley, in order to do it. The trouble is, the first P-3s from Christmas Island are already lifting off to attack!

What the P-3 guys had pointed out was that if you take a P-3, load up 4 Harpoons, and throw out all the other useless stuff – the 8 torpedoes, 140 sonobuoys, racks of sonar equipment, the ASW operators, and even their chairs and snacks – you can get quite an impressive boost in fuel efficiency and range. It’s enough to fly up to the northern end of the Philippines and even get home again. Our first strike wave is composed of 8 P-3s at Darwin, 2 at Christmas Island, 2 at Butterworth, and 2 in Guam, plus two F-18s and their tankers, all lined up and ready to go for a time-on target of roughly 3:00 AM. Three more P-3s won’t be ready on time, so they’re scheduled to form a second wave three hours later.

The planners had considered delaying the attack for just one late wave, but the benefits of an attack in total darkness, delaying visual detection of incoming missiles, was judged superior to three extra planes in a dawn attack. Now, the B-52s can be added to the second wave, and their crews are hastily briefed on the ongoing operation. The F-111s, unfortunately, are too far away to participate in time. Operation Dolittle will proceed as ordered, and the first P-3s get underway on their six-and-a-half-hour journey to the target.

(Getting the partial loadouts requires a bit of editor work. Launch the plane, subtract the torpedoes and sonobuoys from the weapons screen, and then open the magazines in the base and add them back in there, to keep the accounting straight. A bit clumsy, but it works.)


RESCUE

At 8:30 we’re contacted by officials of the government of Papua New Guinea, requesting our assistance. Apparently, a small passenger plane has gone down in the mountains, and they’d like our assistance finding it. Why they think we’re in the rescue business, I couldn’t say, but we need to keep our allies happy, I guess. I only have three P-3s left in theatre, and the closest two of those are 1500 miles away to the south, transiting from New-Zealand to Darwin. One of them is diverted north to join the search, and one of our RF-111s is also sent to look for the downed fliers.

They participate in the hunt for the next couple of days, but nothing ever turns up. The jungle has swallowed the small plane tracelessly. (Some commentators wonder whether the plane suffered mechanical failure, or whether there was some sort of rebel activity which shot it down. So far we don’t know.)


DISASTER

It had to happen.

At 2:11 AM on the 16th, the captain of HMAS Westralia makes a sudden Mayday call. His vessel has been struck by a missile, and more are coming in. He makes a desperate attempt to alter course, but the action is futile, and more missiles hit, turning the Westralia into a flaming wreck and sinking her within minutes.

Westralia, full of vital supplies for the American carrier groups, had been transiting the narrow strait between Seram and Buru Islands alone. Its ‘escort’, the Newcastle, had long since dashed ahead to join TG Endeavour, when the Westralia diverted to pick up a helicopter from Darwin at the start of the operation. The finger pointing starts the moment the news reaches base. Why don’t they have P-3 cover? (They’re all off to attack the convoy, right?) Why wasn’t the strait swept in advance? (It had been, by TG Endeavour and P-3s when it passed through – but the day before.) There’s plenty of time to play the blame game… (It was a reckless decision of mine to send the Westralia out alone, trusting that what was safe yesterday was safe today. Bad idea, and a mistake which keeps biting me in multiple scenarios. Even more heartbreaking was that before I changed my mind and decided to divert for the helicopter, I had it going through a different strait, which would have avoided the issue!)

We know the missiles didn’t come from a surface ship (passing P-3s have seen nothing on radar), and the possibility of a shore-based launcher is remote, so that means a submarine. I had expected SSs or SSKs in this region, but this is probably an SSGN, either a Charlie or maybe an Echo. My other ships have been travelling radar-off, but if there are SSGNs down here I can’t do that any more. Each group of ships is ordered to turn on at least one air-search radar. So much for stealth, but stealth doesn’t help if you’re dead.

The other question is how the Westralia was spotted. It could easily have been the sub itself, but the possibility of shore-based spotters can’t be ruled out. After all, this happened in the very narrowest part of the strait. Some observers even wonder if the Indonesians are complicit in this, trying to exert pressure on our forces to join their push against the East Timorese.


RETRIBUTION

It’s near 3:00 AM, in the dead dark of early morning, when our P-3s converge on the location of Convoy PQ-9417. The Philippine F.27-200MAR has been tracking the convoy from a safe distance, using its powerful radar, and it vectors the P-3s and F-18s in to strike the convoy from the south-east, in its left flank.

There are 11 ships, in a 13-mile-long formation, but their radars are off, and we have no idea which ship is which. Our 14 P-3s and 2 F-18s have 60 missiles between them, and they unleash them in a broad salvo along the entire length of the convoy. The P-3s turn and leave as the missiles drop away to cruise quietly through the night. The enemy doesn’t react until the missile heads turn on, and then the entire fleet lights up, but by then its much too late. The F-18s can see dull distant flashes of light through the clouds, and the loitering F.27 starts losing contacts from the back of the formation. The missiles are getting through.

By the time ten or fifteen minutes have passed, the radar operators report that they only have two contacts left on radar, conditionally identified as a pair of cruisers, and they’ve slowed to approximately 6 knots. The F-18s, who have been refuelling, duck below the clouds and report a distant orange point of light in the direction of the convoy. Someone is burning.

The P-3s of the second wave are ordered to turn back now, and take their missile home with them. They will resume ASW patrols as soon as they can rest their crews and reload. Meanwhile, the B-52s will continue to advance, and they duly arrive at dawn, and finish off the remaining two cruisers without undue difficulty. HMS Spartan, loitering patiently off Cam Ranh Bay, is going to have a very long wait indeed.


THE AIR OFF BRUNEI

Once the F-18s have refuelled they aren’t ordered directly home. Instead, they’re sent to the South China Sea, where they attempt to pounce on the MiG-25s from an unexpected direction, but once again all the planes vanish as I arrive. It’s infuriating! Fortunately, this time a second pair shows up, and my pilots manage to shoot both of them down, and another tanker. Interestingly, a glimpse of the MiGs shows they’re not fighters. They’re the Wild Weasel version instead, and all this time I’ve been tiptoeing around in fear of planes which would not have been able to harm me.

Abruptly, radar operators on the ground in Brunei start calling out Vampire contacts, and my heart sinks. Has another Blinder flown in to sink another tanker? Or is an SSGN about to start destroying my oil platforms? I’ve already taken plenty of damage to the oil infrastructure, and any more could decisively limit our war objectives. Instead, as the contact courses are refined, it looks like the missiles are headed for my Bruneian airbase instead.

The ready F-5 is scrambled immediately, then the A-4s, and anything else which can fly, just to get them off the ground before the missiles can hit. Fortunately, there don’t seem to be too many of them, and the fighters manage to get them all. However, the F-18s report radar contacts on more missiles further out to sea, and it’s becoming apparent that we’re under attack by the SLCMs of a Yankee Notch. It’s probably somewhere off the coast of Vietnam, which means we don’t have a hope of finding it. The one saving grace is that the distances are so large, and the reload rate on a Yankee Notch is so slow, that we have time to fly in more F-5s from the Philippines. Between Sidewinders, cannon, fire, and the F-18s acting as off-shore radar pickets, my forces manage to intercept all the missiles, and keep both airbases safe.

Except, of course, there’s always a leaker or two, and we gradually get reports of a blast at the Shell Oil facility between the bases. The buildings are furiously aflame, and despite their best efforts the local fire-fighting units are unable to stop the conflagration. The facility burns for a day, choking the air with black smoke, until it is completely destroyed.


TAKING STOCK

The destruction of the convoy is excellent news, of course, but it’s almost entirely offset by the loss of the Westralia, and further damage to the oil infrastructure in Brunei. Our forces are definitely pulling ahead, and the sinking of those cruisers will give us more freedom to operate in the theatre, but the lack of supply will definitely slow down the pace of upcoming carrier operations.

The next task is to get our remaining supply ships safely to their destinations, and we can’t afford any more screwups. All it would take is one undetected sub (or, God help us, a minefield) to completely wreck the pace of future operations.

(in reply to CHM)
Post #: 34
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 12:26:02 PM   
Gunner98

 

Posts: 5336
Joined: 4/29/2005
From: The Great White North!
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quote:

So, after a disk error wipes out part 2 of the AAR and all my notes, let the rewrite begin..


Bugger...that sucks

I think I'll put an escorting Bear over the convoy to detect incoming threats.

I'm glad I've finally been able to make those old SSGNs useful. How was she spotted indeed...

Thanks for the report Andrew

_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northernfury/

(in reply to AndrewJ)
Post #: 35
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 1:27:31 PM   
AndrewJ

 

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Joined: 1/5/2014
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HOMEWARD BOUND

The next day (Feb 17) dawns with the P-3s droning steadily homeward, with light planes and light hearts, but heavy eyelids. For some of the crews, their voyage will be nearly 15 hours long. All of them make it home unmolested, and the last of them land at Darwin around 10:30 in the morning. Some of the crews draw the long straw, and get to rest, but for many of them there’s no such luck. Four short hours later they’re re-armed with ASW loadouts and heading out again to hunt for submarines.


A DAY OF SCATTERED FIGHTING

One development is that the returning F-18s spot what seems to be a suspicious port facility of some sort on Tawitawi Island. This is the region where all those Boghammers were operating, so the information is sent back to HQ, and a strike of F-18s with heavy LGBs is sent out to attack the port. The facilities seem to be empty when the pilots arrive, and the facilities are so dispersed and primitive that the bombs do little significant damage. Still, there’s plenty of smoke and noise, so honour is satisfied.

The F-18s split up after the attack, and use their FLIR pods to do a recce through the islands in the region, and they find another pack of Boghammers loitering in the east of the Sulu Strait. The Pangasinan has reloaded by now, and she leaves Rio Hondo and hurries to the area, where she guns down most of the Boghammers (some moving an impressive 50 knots) around mid-day. A few of the dhows move off to the south-west, which makes me wonder if they’re somehow trying to intercept TG Endeavour, which is approaching the area. After a long stern chase, the Pangasinan catches them in the late afternoon and destroys them, before moving off to police the last few drifting hulks which haven’t quite sunk yet.

Other F-18s head north, making use of the American tankers from Guam, and do sweeps and patrols throughout the region. They manage to get two more MiG-25s over the South China Sea, but the Russians are largely keeping to themselves for the moment. They also spot an AGI in the same area, shortly before dusk, and strafe it until it comes to a halt. A-4s find it the next morning, and finish it off with a brace of 500lb bombs.

The best news of the day comes at 14:40 hours, when a P-3 on a dedicated search mission reports a goblin contact in the area where the Westralia was sunk. Passive sonobuoys confirm the contact as a Charlie class SSGN, and it is soon sent to the bottom by a brace of torpedoes.


INTO THE NIGHT

My ships continue to push north through the warm waters towards their objectives. TG Endeavour and TG Green Rover meet and combine into one task group just south of the Sulu Strait, and then commence their passage using the western-most channel. After the Westralia fiasco I’m very concerned about subs in these choke-point areas, and P-3s struggle to maintain sonobuoy coverage ahead of my ships. The distances are so great now that they need to resort to partial torpedo loadouts, only carrying four or even two of their eight torpedoes, in order to extend their range. Some of the P-3s are sent in on Maritime Surveillance loadouts, without any ordnance at all, just so they can continue to monitor sonobuoys dropped by other aircraft.

My submarine paranoia kicks up a notch shortly after 10:00 PM, when the SS Onslow, which had been left behind to patrol the shipping lane around North Sulawesi, detects a moving contact 5 miles to her east. As the contact firms up the Onslow fires a single Mk 48, which catches and kills a loitering Tango. The Soviets are definitely guarding the chokepoints, and there are sure to be more of them around.

My fighter pilots have a little more exercise overnight, when a May shows up where the F-5s can get at it, and the F-18s manage to come to grips with two more MiG-29s, but there are no organized attacks against Brunei. Are they holding fire for the arrival of my ships?


ARRIVAL DAY

February 18th sees the continuation of long-range P-3 patrols, in front of advancing task groups and in the general area north of Brunei.

TG Endeavour rounds the north tip of Borneo at 16:00 hours, using the narrow passage closest to the coast. Transit lanes have been proofed by multiple passages of Bruneian missile boats, sonobuoys are in place, P-3s are loitering, helicopters are up, radar is on, and F-18s are on CAP. Lookouts tensely scan the seas in all directions, and sonar operators hunch over their scopes. Nothing happens, and the task group turns south-west, on the home stretch for Brunei.

First arrivals in Brunei actually come from the west, when the Chatham and Hall escort the Black Rover into rendezvous zone at 9:45 PM. My fears about some sort of local observer are stoked an hour later, when a fast-moving sub is detected coming towards my ships through the sonobuoy field to the north. The attending P-3 hurries over to the target, and identifies it, to everyone’s astonishment, as the Yankee Notch! It’s certainly an unorthodox move, to send a cruise missile carrier against ships, but its torpedoes are no less deadly. The P-3 drops two torpedoes on the Yankee, and they both hit, but the tough old Yankee refuses to sink, which is a problem. The P-3 only had two torpedoes, because of its light extended-range loadout. Now it’s forced to watch as the Hall sends over a helicopter to finish the job and steal the kill.

Most of the Darwin P-3s are being taken off patrol at this point, and given a chance to stand down. A few are engaged in local patrols in choke-points through the southern end of the Indonesian archipelago, but most are finally being given a chance for maintenance and rest after the extremely long flight hours in the last few days. No such luck for the three P-3s cycling through Butterworth, who have to keep patrolling off Brunei for the foreseeable future.


FINAL DAY

The last day sees more P-3 and F-18 patrolling, with some fighter sweeps coming within 150 miles of Cam Ranh Bay. No Soviets show up, just clouds of Vietnamese MiG-21s, which the F-18s prudently avoid. Our fighters do finally manage to provoke another engagement with the MiG-29s, bringing our total score up to 6, but that is the last of the air-to air activity.

TG Endeavour reaches Brunei with 7 hours left to go, and starts sending some ships to refuel (the Perrys are thirsty) while others remain on guard across the mouth of the bay. P-3 patrols continue, but no further subs are detected, and the bulk of our supplies (minus the lamented Westralia) seem to be secure for the arrival of the American carrier group in the days to come.

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 36
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 1:39:01 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Joined: 4/29/2005
From: The Great White North!
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quote:

to everyone’s astonishment, as the Yankee Notch! It’s certainly an unorthodox move,


And not intended I must have the RTB or base setting wrong. I'll put something more appropriate (and quieter) in its place

So if I start the Endeavor another 40-50 miles south, it will be a real race then

Thanks

_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northernfury/

(in reply to AndrewJ)
Post #: 37
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 2:41:41 PM   
AndrewJ

 

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We've got 3 days 23 hours to go 1215 nm, using the route I took.

At Flank (14 knots) that'll take 3 days 15 hour, leaving 8 hours of margin.
At Full (13 knots) that'll take 3 days 21 hours, leaving 2 hours of margin.
At Cruise (12 knots) that'll take 4 days 5 hours, which is 6 hours late.

So, if I wanted any useful schedule margin at all, whether for enemy action or my own miscalculations, I had to run at Flank for the entire trip. I'm no marine engineer, but I suspect that sort of prolonged strain on the engines of a tanker may not be realistic. (Can any of our actual sailors confirm whether this is the case?)

I was actually going to suggest moving TG Endeavour closer to the destination, so that the Endeavour can run at a more prudent Full throttle setting, and still allow the player some contingency time to make route choices, react to enemy dispositions, etc.

Adding another three hours of transit time would actually make the journey impossible at Full Speed, and leaves only five hours margin at Flank. I could have trimmed the distance down slightly to ~1200 by cutting the corners really fine and going through the centre of the Sulu strait, and that would have saved an hour. But the more time and distance constraints that are added to the situation, the fewer chances the player has to execute any tactical decision making.

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 38
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 3:05:43 PM   
Gunner98

 

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From: The Great White North!
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OK, I knew it would be tight and I want it to be a nail biter but won't make it longer

_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northernfury/

(in reply to AndrewJ)
Post #: 39
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 9:09:02 PM   
AndrewJ

 

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A Peek Inside

Interesting scenario. I must learn to measure my distances and routes before committing to a course of action. That might have saved me from my Westralia blunder! There’s plenty of activity in the first day or two, between attacks on Brunei and dealing with the convoy, but after that it slows down as the little task groups make the long approach to their destinations. I’m not sure if there’s anything else which could be added. Maybe there’s coastal merchant traffic in and out of Cam Ranh Bay, only a few of which are Soviet, and the Spartan has to sort them out, while local helicopters and patrol boats (and the May) complicate matters? Maybe a Vietnamese sub, which might draw incautious fire? Or other things of that nature?

The accidental stopping of the convoy left it over 200 miles further north (and thus further from fighter cover) than it would otherwise have been, which probably made it easier for me to spot and engage without interference. Additionally, if players don’t realize what they can do with reduced loadouts, then engaging the convoy with P-3s is going to be a lot tougher for them than it was for me. Certainly, those just using standard missions and loadouts will not be able to do so. (Which, come to think of it, would fill in a lot of the empty end game, as prolonged attacks would be needed, and the Vietnamese might interfere.)

The Indonesian question is interesting. Being able to base planes at someplace like Sultan Hasanuddin, and cut directly across their territory would have made things much easier. Bombing the rebels would also have added to mid-game activity. (Looks like I chose the least active option!) As tempting as those benefits were, I didn’t like the thought of bombing the oppressed, and it seemed like I had a solution that might work, so I chose not to do it.

Looking around, I can see I missed a bunch of things, particularly the other subs which were out there. I got by a bunch of them simply because they happened to be in the wrong side of their patrol zone when I went through. The Victor was the closest call, and it actually went right under one of my sonobuoys, but the helicopter had just landed so I didn’t hear it. I’m also surprised that the Pangasinan got away with it, as she was at risk multiple times during her counter-Boghammer activity. I never did detect that wrecked plane, even though I had searchers back and forth over the area multiple times. I guess I was always just a little bit outside the spotting range.


Assorted Items

I’m not sure why the convoy keeps stopping. The group’s given a manually set speed of 12 knots, which it does for a few minutes, and then it goes to speed zero. I had to set it going twice. Was it doing that for you?

The convoy formation’s 13 miles long, which is rather spread out, and leaves the merchants in the rear half of the formation poorly covered by SAMs. Maybe compressing the formation fore-aft would help?

The Fretelin side is playable.

I found the briefing for the Hall and the Black Rover to be potentially misleading. The Hall is 'to proof the Strait of Malacca', so I initially though I should leave it in the strait, going back and forth through the narrows, until the carrier arrived. The Black Rover is 'heading south out of Brunei area temporarily', and it was nearly down to the bottom of Borneo before I realized I wasn't actually sure where it was supposed to end up. At that point I started hunting through the briefing, and finally resorted to looking through the events to see where they were supposed to go. That's the point where I realized they were both actually supposed to end up in Brunei. Fortunately, I had time to change their courses and get them there in time. Perhaps this could be clarified?

The Fishing boats run out of fuel by the middle of Feb 16 and come to a halt. A Lua event to periodically refuel them might be a nice cosmetic touch. (What’s weird is that they do have RTB orders in their WRA, and assigned bases, so I’m not sure why they aren’t going back in time to get fuel. Maybe pathfinding is sending them on long routes and preventing them from getting home in time?)

There are no reloads for any of the Soviet aircraft at Cam Ranh Bay. This may be intentional for the big missiles, but I suspect there should be at least a few reloads for fighters, MPA, and conventional bombers.

The Yankee Notch, for whatever reason, set a course for Brunei after using its missiles.

Is there actually a way to get those Hueys to Brunei? I don’t see one at the moment. There’s one space on the Westralia, but if you move over to pick it up then you don’t have time to get to the rendezvous. As it is, it’s a flank speed dash with only 3 hours to spare, even if you don’t get the helicopter.

Many of your ground units in Brunei have formation positions which are not in their actual current location. If a player gives a unit a move order, without first ungrouping them, they will try to go to those locations once the move is complete.

The two rebel infantry formations got ‘stuck’ in the mountains of Malaysia, and did not advance into my territory, so I only had to face 1/3 of the rebel attack. I think part of the issue is that they are currently grouped as formations, so any time the lead unit turns the other rebels all try and rotate into position, taking up a good deal of time. Also, if the lead unit (or possibly any unit) happens to get stuck (quite probable in the mountains), then the entire formation will stop. They might have more luck as individual units. You won’t get the formation effect, but the odds of at least some of them making it through will go up.


Missions

The planes on the ‘May ASW Ptl’ mission came right up towards the coast of Brunei on a couple of occasions, presumably because they were investigating false and fish contacts spotted by the Soviet submarines in the area. This lead to them being killed by the F-5s. They are currently allowed to investigate contacts outside the patrol area, which is what is causing this behaviour. Adding a prosecution zone which doesn’t extend out that far (but does extend back to the Cam Ranh coast, where the Spartan will hang out) could solve this.

The MiG-25s on the ‘SEAD Patrol’ mission are loitering in a zone which is ~ 240 miles off the coast of Brunei. However, their Emitter Location System only has a range of 120 miles, so they never detect any of the radars, which is presumably why they never moved to attack me.

The Victor’s patrol zone, ‘K-492 Ptl’, does not let him engage to the limits of the strait he is guarding, particularly the west side.

I’d suggest setting the Charlies, K-302 Ptl & K-313 Ptl, to Engage Opportunities = Yes, just in case the player decides to send a sub into their AO. (I had considered sending the Onslow back south to hunt the Charlie which shot the Westralia, for example.) At the moment they will only engage surface ships.

Dang, that’s a lot of Indonesian missions!


Events, Triggers, Actions

The ‘SAR Wreckage discovered’ trigger doesn’t seem to fire. Adjusting it to ‘Known Type’, instead of ‘Known Class’ allows it to work.

The ‘Lua – Add resources’ action does not add the F-111s or RF-111s to Amberley.

The troop drop-off actions (Lua – Aus 707, Lua – Hurc #1, Lua – Hurc #2, Lua – Kiwi Inf, Lua – Quantas #1 , Lua – Quantas #2 ) mention that the troops are awaiting orders ‘outside the airbase’. However, they actually arrive in dispersed locations, often many miles away out in the field. It may be more realistic to have them arrive immediately adjacent to the terminals and tarmac spaces, and have the player deploy from there. Currently, many of the deployment locations overlap with each other, so the player often can’t see the new arrivals because they are hidden under existing units. The HQ tents from the Quantas #1 delivery show up all alone, 10 miles SW of the airfield, out among the front recce units and completely undefended.


Typos, etc.

Briefing: “He sends his gratatude for your help.” (gratitude)
Briefing: “We have the three large passenger liners on contract”. (Maybe ‘airliners’ instead of passenger liners? For a moment I was thinking ships.)
Briefing: “only the one Hurc load.” (Herc)
Aus Hurc #1 and 2 Arrives events: “Engeneer and support equipment is also on board.” (Engineer)
Convoy Msg 3 Atk Order” “BPK TASKENT (KARA CLASS); “ (TASHKENT)
Msg – Indonesia: “When you were a Junior Officer he was your Captain on HMAS Vampire, and then one of your teachers at Canberra Staff Collage. He is currently Chief of the Australian defence Force (CDF).” (College, Defence)
Msg VOI 3: “you have 24 letters to wright” (write)
Msg SAR 2: “a flair was fired” (flare)

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 40
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 9:51:43 PM   
Gunner98

 

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quote:

Is there actually a way to get those Hueys to Brunei?


Yes, but it is not intuitive and has risk. One of the SH-70s on the Newcastle can deploy to either the Westralia or the Stancliffe. The Huey will then be able to park on the Newcastle and switch later.

It does give the added benefit of an ASW Heli (without reloads) either on the independent Westralia or really beefing up the main convoy with the best heli you have. The SH-70 also has the best legs

thanks for your points, I'll fix and get out an update. Really not sure about the convoy, it did seem to work for me. Perhaps the Ocean Tug is the problem... I'll get rid of him.

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Post #: 41
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/19/2021 10:37:14 PM   
RSMC

 

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You can actually get both Hueys on the Newcastle if you send both SH-70s to Westralia.

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/20/2021 12:46:42 PM   
CHM


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I sent one S-70 to the Westralia and one to the SS PleaseDon'tShootMe

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/21/2021 10:53:43 PM   
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Just wanted to thank AndrewJ for all the AAR style reviews. They are both informative and entertaining.

Thanks!

Rob.

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/21/2021 11:03:28 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Agree!

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/22/2021 10:06:11 AM   
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Fun to play too!

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Post #: 46
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/22/2021 9:46:10 PM   
Vulcan607

 

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A fun suggestion the Philippines had F8 Crusaders till 1988 a few could be brought back into action with maybe a few American F8s being brought back from the boneyard to reinforce and as attrition replacements also the American F8s have a ground attack capability which might be needed

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Post #: 47
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/23/2021 12:27:27 AM   
Gunner98

 

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I had not realized that, but you're right, well spotted. Just checking this from Wiki:

But due to lack of spares and the rapid deterioration of the aircraft, the remaining F-8s were grounded in 1988 and left on an open grass field at Basa Air Base[clarification needed]. They were finally withdrawn from service in 1991 after they were badly damaged by the Mount Pinatubo eruption, and have since been offered for sale as scrap

So I think we could arrange for replacements from the Boneyard for all of them. Looking in the DB the only choices available are the French (all with R.550 Magic msls) or the F-8H of the Philippine AF. None of the American versions are available in DB-3000. Perhaps we could get either the 'J', 'K' or perhaps the hypothetical 'M' transferred over.

For US aircraft the numbers are incredibly small: 61x 'L', 87x 'K', 136x'J', 89x 'H'. So almost half of the 'H' were already used by the Philippines (35) and given the high attrition of the day( In all, 1,261 Crusaders were built. By the time it was withdrawn from the fleet, 1,106 had been involved in mishaps.[14]) I doubt there would be a usable number left so that's why I'm leaning to 'J'.

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 6/23/2021 9:11:48 PM   
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< Message edited by Vulcan607 -- 6/23/2021 9:13:46 PM >

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Post #: 49
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 7/23/2021 1:54:54 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Ok here is an update. I think I've fixed most of the issues pointed out.

The convoy is now working and the whole thing runs fairly well on my system.

Please get back to me with any issues, particularly if the performance is still lagging. I can remove a lot more stuff if needed.

Tx



Attachment (1)

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 7/26/2021 1:23:46 AM   
RSMC

 

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Performance seems to be OK so far. 2 minor points. Exocet reloads in Brunei are MM40, the patrol boats take MM38s. There may need to be an ammo pad or magazine on Christmas Island, I sent two ASW loaded P-3 and the loadout vanished on landing.

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 7/26/2021 1:42:26 AM   
Gunner98

 

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Nice catch, thanks

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RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 8/2/2021 1:25:43 AM   
RSMC

 

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One more small thing - the Soviet Naval Strike by the Mig-29s is set to max strike radius of 0nm.

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Post #: 53
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 8/26/2021 7:40:17 PM   
Gunner98

 

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Anything else on this one guys? Plan to wrap it up this weekend.

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Post #: 54
RE: New scenario for testing PF#4, I come from a land D... - 8/28/2021 5:35:03 PM   
Gunner98

 

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OK guys this one is a wrap. Thanks for your help.



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