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Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger

 
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Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 12:21:15 AM   
ultradave


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I have carefully avoided reading any AAR's of Northern Inferno until after I've played that scenario. Having made it through Barents Sea Boomers (finally!), I thought I'd try my hand at an AAR. It will be in progress though and I'll update along the way.

Feel free to comment along the way if you like.

The situation (briefly) is that I have to escort a landing task force to the vicinity of Narvik on the mid Norwegian coast, and then land Marines and commandos. I'm to expect Soviet air, submarine and surface action group threats (yeaha!). I have F104s in Bodo, P-3s in Norway and Iceland, Shackleton AEW from Lossiemouth, and 3 TF - one centered on the CV Ark Royal, another on the USS Guadalcanal, and a third with the most of the landing ships. The Ark Royal is the "old" one and is loaded with F-4 Phantoms, Buccaneer bombers, and choppers.

To start, I set out ASW patrols in front and to the NW of my Task Forces, set the P-3s on Patrol areas, launched some BARCAP (preset reference points are in the scenario for these. I figured they are there for a reason and used them. I can always drag the points if I feel the coverage needs to change.

Picture below is my task forces. All those reference points are for ASW patrols. Note the Skunk there. That bears investigation and torpedo armed helicopters are being dispatched. This turns out to be a harmless merchant ship.






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< Message edited by ultradave -- 7/25/2017 1:56:14 AM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 12:25:42 AM   
ultradave


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Meanwhile, a whole buncha bogies appear far to the north. I'm guessing fighters leading Badgers. The leading 4 or 5 are traveling at 580 knots, and the more numerous following ones are at a more stately 380 knots. This looks pretty ugly and I've sent 8 F104s from Bodo to intercept. Yikes!




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/7/2017 2:15:06 AM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 12:27:22 AM   
ultradave


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To be continued. Feel free to add comments.

Also, apologies and I'll try to fix those monster images. It has something to do with getting screen shots on the Retina display on my Mac (I use Parallels Desktop and W10 to play), and the normal resolution of the Mac. I'll have to scale them and replace them.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 1:24:32 AM   
ultradave


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INCOMING!! Some of the bogies from the north are cruise missiles traveling at low altitude. Two radar sites down so far. More incoming missiles behind them.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 1:53:52 AM   
ultradave


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Several of the cruise missiles hit Norwegian radar sites. 4 radars down. My F104s shot down 5 Su-17s without losing any of their own. Good hunting. While that was going on a helicopter from the Ark Royal group gets a contact from a sonobuoy ahead of the group. Just as it's about to drop another bouy, the contact fires a torpedo at HMS Glamorgan (the outer screen port side). Glamorgan runs away at 32 knots to the west to try to outrun the torpedo, while the Sea King drops a MK46 right on top of the submarine. The torpedo finds and sinks K-370. One threat neutralized.





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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/25/2017 1:55:08 AM   
ultradave


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Torpedo chase, and the ASW patrol is just about to make it a bad day for K-370





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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/26/2017 12:30:11 AM   
ultradave


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K-370 gets its revenge, as its torpedo chases down the HMS Glamorgan and sinks it.

Meanwhile over land, F104s are still chasing contacts but the ones in the best position are RTB and the second group is out of position farther north. Meanwhile northeast of Bodo, cruise missiles take out yet another radar site. Two flights of F-4s from the Ark Royal are headed north to assist the Norwegian F104s. Fingers crossed they arrive in time to do something.

A couple of surface contacts appear in front of the Phantoms launched from Ark Royal. The Phantoms continue north and a nearby P-3 is assigned to check them out. They are far enough in front of the TF that I can afford to not waste the F-4s fuel chasing them.

The northern group of F-104s stumble across a few more Su17s. (they seem to be everywhere). They manage to shoot down one more.


< Message edited by ultradave -- 7/26/2017 12:54:27 AM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/26/2017 1:06:04 AM   
ultradave


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Oh, my! Might have just dodged a big one here. You can see in the log, the radar site east of Bodo received and EMP pulse, but two very large nuclear weapons malfunctioned. Unfortunately, even a "malfunction" can cause catastrophic damage, (53,992,712 damage points!), totally destroying the radar. Not sure why the Soviets expended two 350KT nuclear weapons on one radar site, after hitting it with a couple of conventional missiles.

By dodging a big one, there were TWO 350KT nukes that appear to have been aimed at that radar site. The size of that fireball due to malfunctions, appears much smaller than I would have expected, so there could have been wider effects, not to mention I'm not positive the 2d weapon was aimed at the radar or somewhere else! A malfunction could be a weapon fizzle - essentially the weapon "disassembles" before it can completely compress and create a full nuclear explosion. Yields could be less than 10% of rated yield in that case.

(I'm a nuclear engineer with experience in both nuclear weapons in the military and nuclear non-proliferation research and development in civilian life - when I'm not designing submarine reactor plants :-) )






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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/26/2017 1:17:39 AM   
ultradave


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The two contacts northeast of the task forces both turn out to be Soviet spy ships ID'd by the P-3s on patrol. A pair of Buccaneers are launched from Ark Royal to "take care of them".

Things are pretty quiet over northern Norway at the moment. No bogies, and my F-104s have returned to Bodo to refuel and rearm. Well, all quiet other than the fact that there is a large mushroom cloud east of Bodo.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/26/2017 1:09:38 PM   
Eggstor

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ultradave

Oh, my! Might have just dodged a big one here. You can see in the log, the radar site east of Bodo received and EMP pulse, but two very large nuclear weapons malfunctioned. Unfortunately, even a "malfunction" can cause catastrophic damage, (53,992,712 damage points!), totally destroying the radar. Not sure why the Soviets expended two 350KT nuclear weapons on one radar site, after hitting it with a couple of conventional missiles.

In the original version, the Fitters that now target that radar site were targeting I-Hawk batteries. That necessitated a nuclear strike against that radar site.

With the removal of the SAMs, the nuclear strike is, if you didn't catch the Fitters inbound, redundant.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/26/2017 9:39:00 PM   
ultradave


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Thanks. Another malfunctioning 350KT nuclear weapon report. Wonder what this one was going to hit. I didn't see any likely Vampires.

In the words of Han Solo "I've got a bad feeling about this"

Meanwhile out at sea, a pair of Buccaneers from Ark Royal dispatch both of the Soviet spy ships lurking to the northeast of the task forces.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 7/29/2017 3:39:24 PM   
ultradave


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Back to the action after real life got in the way for a couple of days.

The skies over Norway are quiet at the moment. And that's a good thing because my Norwegian AF F-104s need to refuel and rearm. Over the ocean though, following the dispatch of those two spy ships a few air contacts appeared. To the northwest of my 3 TF's an lumbering air contact. Closer investigation by a pair of Harriers from USS Guadalcanal revealed it to be a Bear, snooping around. Just as the Harriers were lining up to shoot it down, a pair of F-4's from Ark Royal rocketed in and blasted it, stealing the glory. There appears to be another one farther to the north, which can be seen at the top of the image below, and just appearing to the northwest a helicopter contact.

The chopper can only mean one thing way out there in the middle of the ocean.... Soviet surface ships lurking out there to the northwest. The now unemployed Phantoms are vectored to investigate. They find it's a Tu-126 Moss AEW aircraft but before they can do anything about it they reach Bingo fuel. The Harriers in the area are vectored north and fill in behind it. With their 3rd and last Sidewinder they shoot it down and then head back to USS Guadalcanal





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< Message edited by ultradave -- 7/29/2017 6:45:54 PM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/1/2017 1:17:31 AM   
ultradave


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Bears everywhere. Another one lurking to the north is shot down by F104s chasing it down on afterburner. No sooner does that Bear go down than the alert "Vampire" is heard. 4 missiles traveling about 650 its to the northwest of the task forces. They appeared out of nowhere and inside the coverage of the Shackleton AEW aircraft and almost directly underneath a Harrier that was sent to investigate an helicopter contact. Conclusion - there's a submarine lurking out there and now we have to deal with incoming missiles.





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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/1/2017 11:27:33 PM   
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Nice AAR, thanks Dave

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/1/2017 11:57:43 PM   
ultradave


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Thanks.

Those vampires turn out to be SS-N-3 Shaddocks and appear to be aimed at the HMS Ark Royal. This could get sticky.




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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/1/2017 11:59:39 PM   
ultradave


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Something tells me those Sea Darts fired by the Sheffield way over to the east are not going to help the Danae much trying to fend off those 4 missiles. The only thankful thing here is that they seem to have homed in on HMS Danae and are leaving the Ark Royal alone.

Thanks heavens for miracles as all 4 Shaddocks are decoyed away by chaff and the Danae lives to fight another day.

Yet another TU-126 Moss is shot down. It was slinking down from the north and a pair of Ark Royal's F-4's dispatched it with gunfire after 4 missiles missed.




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 8/2/2017 12:12:10 AM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/4/2017 12:07:43 AM   
ultradave


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It doesn't show on the previous screen shots but just off the pictures to the north lurked another Soviet spy ship. I accidentally launched a Buccaneer with an ARM load out and when it got there circled the ship complaining that the ship was not radiating anything for it to attack.

Rectified that and launched another Buccaneer this time with a load of 8 x 1000lb bombs. Not the optimum but it would be a 3 hour wait for an ASM load. There were two planes with dumb bombs ready on the flight deck. Off you go. One Buccaneer flew out to the spy ship, dropped down to 2000ft (a gamble) and dropped 4 x 1000lb bombs on the spy ship. Three missed close aboard and the fourth scored a direct hit, obliterating the spy ship, which launched a SAM that then fell harmlessly into the ocean once its shipmates disappeared.

Pretty good bombing run.

I seem to be on a run of pretty good luck. Three nuclear weapons failed to detonate, chaff fooled all the incoming cruise missiles, and I've dispatched a pretty good number of Bears and AEW aircraft. Somewhere out there lurks the SSG that launched the cruise missiles, and there have been helicopter contacts in that open ocean between my TF's and Iceland which signal Soviet surface ships somewhere. P-3's are being sent to investigate north and east of Iceland.

There are still 3 days to go in the scenario. Much more adventure to come I'm sure.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/5/2017 4:30:43 PM   
ultradave


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Today's installment is: "I've got a bad feeling about this"

There's a lot going on in the screen shot. I've got 2 P-3s and a helicopter hunting for the submarine that loosed off the SSM's a little while ago. The search area is highlighted.

But to the north of that a series of contacts appeared. And they are moving at 25 knots. In formation. Hmmm. Those are either some really tricked out fishing boats, or a Soviet SAG. Bingo, a P-3 maritime surveillance plane IDs one as a DDG and unfortunately wanders a little too close and it shot down. The mystery Soviet helicopter no doubt came from these ships.






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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 8/31/2017 12:14:35 AM   
ultradave


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After a bit of a break (insane at work, trip to TX to make sure 88 yr old Mom is ok (she is) ), came back to this.

Shot down a Bear recon plane and an AEW plane, both of them close to the Soviet SAG to the northwest, and managed to loose a P-3 that got a little too close doing its own recon.

Then, bogeys off the Norwegian coast headed straight for my task forces. I'm guessing these may be the Badgers I'm to beware of. Since there appear to be 5 so far, it's unlikely to be more recon or AEW aircraft. Time to scramble some F-4s and F104s to "check them out"

All of those sonobuoys are the attempt to locate the SSG that launched cruise missiles at the Ark Royal task force. It appears he made a clean getaway.




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 8/31/2017 12:16:10 AM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/1/2017 10:43:55 PM   
ultradave


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Badgers. Six of them in pairs. F-4s from the Ark Royal and F104s from Bardufoss head to intercept them. 3 are shot down by the Phantoms from Ark Royal, but unfortunately, the remaining 3 are close enough to launch 6 supersonic cruise missiles. From their speed I'd guess AS-5 Kelts. (Please, please don't let them be nuclear ones!!). And they all appear headed for the Ark Royal group.

Another Badger is shot down after turning for home, and 2 F-4s fall victim to the Badgers as they close in to gun range after expending all their missiles. Missiles are away but it's worth destroying the perpetrators.

[edit] Update: 2 missiles avoid all the AA missiles thrown at them but then miss the Ark Royal. The remaining 4 missiles disappear from radar when the last Badger is shot down by a pair of F104s scrambled from Norway. Whew!




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/1/2017 10:56:13 PM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 11:42:37 AM   
ultradave


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While that little party with the Badgers was going on the Soviet SAG had turned toward the Allied task forces. Buccaneers and Phantoms from Ark Royal were launched in a strike package.

Pretty successful run as a Kresta CG, a Kashin DDG were sunk, and another Kashin DDG damaged by ASMs with no aircraft losses. Picture shows the Buccaneers lobbing their missiles. Soviets wisely shut down their radars so some ARM missiles were unexpended.





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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 9:28:44 PM   
ultradave


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Another pair of Badgers appear following the same flight profile and headed towards the Ark Royal Task Force. Both are shot down by the F-4s that were escorting the Buccaneer strike on the SAG, however not before getting off two ASMs. Fortunately, one pair of F-4s managed to shoot down both missiles, although expended all of the AAMs. So back to Ark Royal they head.

I have to better manage the BARCAP. Badgers are slipping through and the F104s to the north should be finding and intercepting these.

I tend not to play large scenarios (yet) as I'm working my way up. This wouldn't really qualify as large but there is quite a bit going on. My overall management skills need work. Northern Inferno looks like a good way to work up the complexity ladder.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 10:33:51 PM   
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So along those lines, reorganized the BARCAP operating out of Bodo, and since I have 7 Shackletons, I set up a second AEW patrol that should provide coverage to the North Cape and give better warning of intruders. Should have done this before and I would have had an easier time "managing" those Badger strikes.

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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 10:42:00 PM   
ultradave


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Just in time too. While the Shackleton is not on station yet, the F104s from Bodo pick up the chase on what appears to be 8 more Badgers headed toward Allied task forces.




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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 10:55:24 PM   
ultradave


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Oh, I've got a bad feeling about this. Six F104s from Bodo on afterburners failed to down even one of these, and now they march on. F-4s are readying, but I do have 4 I can scramble.

[edit] Yup. Bad feeling. Phantoms on the way to intercept just as several of the Badgers loose of several AS-6 Kingfish missiles (assumed by contact speed). Assuming conventional, they carry 1000kg warheads (1 ton). Nuclear: well, I don't want to think about that. 350KT x several = a bad day.




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/2/2017 11:04:24 PM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/2/2017 11:13:37 PM   
ultradave


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The first 4 missiles appeared to be headed for HMS Sheffield but then turned and headed for HMS Bulward. The first one hits Bulward causing severe damage, some flooding and a fire, and completely destroys her flight ops capability and all her helos.

The second salvo of Kingfish arrives and creates a complete disaster. Missile 1 hits the Sheffield, breaking her in half. Missile 2 hits the water between the halves of the hull. Missiles 3 & 4 are far enough behind that are retargeted. Number 3 hits the Diomede behind the Sheffield, and number 4 turns and targets the already badly damaged Bulwark. That missile finds its mark and Bulwark also goes down.

Losses from 8 AS-6 Kingfish missiles:
HMS Bulwark
HMS Sheffield
HMS Diomede

More Kingfish are inbound. I have 4 F-4s in the air but trying to intercept missiles flying at almost 2000 kts is a tough ask.

The next 4 Kingfish and it appears 2 after that are headed to the Ark Royal group. The first 4 arrive and 1 Kingfish hits HMS Ark Royal, severely damaging her. Two more are on the way but Ark Royal is out of action, on fire, with severe flooding. Two more missiles arrive and one hits the Ark Royal, which is already sinking, and the second flies over Ark Royal's flight deck and hits the replenishment ship Resurgent behind the Ark Royal, sinking her too.

Good Lord, these Kingfish are devastating. One hit will sink anything but the Ark Royal, and one completely took her out of action, the second finished her off.

The F-4s from Ark Royal that were in the air RTB to Bodo. Small consolation since there are no load outs for them there. But they have guns and are fast so they can go after more Badgers if they show up.

< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/2/2017 11:44:08 PM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/3/2017 6:52:12 PM   
ultradave


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It's about time for a little good luck. The northern pickets organization resulted in a raid of 6 Badgers being intercepted by 4 F104s scrambled from Bodo. All 6 Badgers were shot down before launching any missiles. A second raid of 4 got through just after that and launched a total of 8 missiles at the Guadalcanal task force. Miraculously all 8 Kingfish were downed by missiles just short of their targets. 10 Badgers and escaped unscathed. Too bad that luck wasn't with me with the Ark Royal attack.

Meanwhile the Soviet SAG had sped up and was trailing the Guadalcanal group. A pair of P-3s on maritime surveillance armed with Harpoons sank one Kashin DDG, while gunfire from HMS Danae at the rear of the Ark Royal TF and a couple of Harpoons sank another. As near as I can tell there is only one Kresta CG left of the Soviet SAG. He doesn't seem to be able to close to weapons range.

Thank goodness for small favors.

HMS Berwick and Danae are detached to chase down the Kresta. After several minutes of gunfire from both DDs the Colonel Timoshenko slips beneath the waves. I *think* that eliminates the Soviet SAG.

While this was going on a submarine was located out in front of the Guadalcanal group, which was prosecuted and dispatched by a Sea King dropping 2 Mk46 torpedoes right on top of it.

Things seem to be swinging the Allies way now. If it were not for the loss of Ark Royal, I think I'd be in pretty good shape now. (this may be false confidence having just weathered a flurry. Where DO they get all these Badgers?)

< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/3/2017 7:03:12 PM >


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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/4/2017 11:25:04 AM   
ultradave


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Two more Badger raids to deal with, resulting in all 10 (11 maybe?) Badgers shot down, but 3 Kingfish were launched. The first sinks HMS Galatea, the second splashes in to the water where she was, the third veers right and targets the HMS Danae, who miraculously escapes when the missile runs out of gas and crashes into the water next to the ship.

Following that flurry, both amphibious task forces made to the Safe Haven area without further incident (other than dodging a torpedo and sinking its launcher :-) )





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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/4/2017 11:26:04 AM   
ultradave


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Another issue to deal with however. It's like "Whack a Mole" out here.






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RE: Northern Inferno - Beware of the Badger - 9/5/2017 11:12:14 PM   
ultradave


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I'm in the safe haven, boats launched, choppers with Marines on the way to Bardofuss, and a very annoying SS that is driving me crazy. It just sank HMS Devonshire, took a depth charge close aboard, but is still kicking (Goblin 259 in the previous picture). So far it has avoided 6 Mk46 torpedoes and I'm waiting for helicopters to rearm, while HMS Rothesay tries to prosecute with ASW mortars.

I've set up a CAP over Bardofuss. I don't trust these guys not to send me a welcome message as my Marines get to the airbase. 2 Bogeys detected way north, almost off the North Cape. 2 AV-8 Harriers give chase but have to RTB just short of ID'ing them.




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< Message edited by ultradave -- 9/5/2017 11:15:12 PM >


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Dave A.
"When the Boogeyman goes to sleep he checks his closet for paratroopers"

(in reply to ultradave)
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