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Another Don Of A New Era AAR

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Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/2/2019 12:14:13 AM   


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I will give full disclosure at the start, I had played Don before starting this AAR but for this run Iíve forced myself not to change any aircraft loadouts apart from what I did in my first run, the scenario is also completely unchanged in terms of OOBs, additionally I will only be engaging as the game permits me.

Opening Strategy:
The only things Iíve carried over from prior experience is CAPing HMS Duncan right at the start of the game and a little trick Iíll talk about later. My strategy completely ignores the Ukrainians, I might go poking around for targets every now and again but Iím not going to give them any large-scale help. The outline of my plan is to clear the airspace above the Black Sea to the point where I can launch a large TACTOM strike from the USS Georgia and not be too worried about interceptions from Flankers. Those Tomahawks will take a route through Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania before turning into the Crimean Peninsula. A few hours later [or, whenever Iím bored] Iíll launch a second, smaller Tomahawk strike from the USS Laboon and USS The Sullivans. The job of this strike isnít to kill anything [though I certainly wouldnít complain if it did]; it will be steered straight over the Russian SAG to deplete their ammunition. After that an anti-ship strike of Tornados, F-16s and MPAs will finish off the SAG. Lastly, the cap off the Russianís bad day, the strategic bombers based in the UK will deliver the coup de grace to their forces in the Crima. At least, thatís the theory.

First Engagements:
An hour and a half in I got the message that I could now freely engage Russian forces. The Russians got the first shots off, launching a volley of AShMs at the Duncan and another volley at The Sullivans, but these were comfortably intercepted by the ships. In return I decided to unveil my trick; while the NATO SOF are ostensibly allied, and not player controlled, the player can still issue them with auto-engage orders and they will follow them. I let the SOF teams loose on the Russian SAMs and anti-ship missile batteries on the Crimean Peninsula, while these units only have MGs the SAMs and anti-ship launchers have no armour and a single MG burst can destroy a vehicle. The sum total of their destructive efforts was;
13x SA-21 Growler TELs.
3x SA-16 Gimlet MANPADS.
4x SA-23a Gladiator TELAR
1x SA-23a Gladiator LLV
2x SA-23b Giant LLV
2x SSC-5 Stooge TEL
1x Band Stand vehicle.
1x Cheese Board radar.
While the commandos were causing chaos in the Crimea the Russians were forming up a strike package. Su-30s and Su-24s out of Gvardeyskoye Airbase were moving out over the Black Sea. My CAP in that area consisted of two groups, in one a pair of F-35s and 2 pairs of Eagles, in the other a pair of F-22s and two more pairs of Eagles. I had the F-35 group stay north, while the F-22s and their F-15 buddies vectored to prepare an interception of the Russian strikers. Many of the Russian escorts had fallen behind the Su-24s, presumably because they started chasing my northern group of fighters instead, and thus there were just 2 Flankers in position to help the hapless bombers, but they had their own problems; forced onto the defensive by the F-22s. The other escorts went to afterburner in a desperate attempt to catch up and help but their efforts were to be in vain, I had the northern group of fighters to cut off the escorts, and that they did, the Su-30s flying into a cloud of AIM-120s. While all this was going on the Russian SAG had launched another volley of missiles, this time subsonic seaskimmers most likely to be Kalibrs. 20 of these were now flying towards The Sullivans. While they could likely be dealt with by The Sullivans alone I didnít want to risk it, a pair of Strike Eagles out of Romania were thus ordered to take-off and help thin the herd along with the Eagles of the southern group who had by now cleaned up their part of the Russian strike and still had some missiles remaining.

< Message edited by SakiNoE -- 1/2/2019 12:16:57 AM >
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RE: Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/2/2019 2:30:50 AM   


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With the majority of the Russian strikers and escorts becoming debris in the Black Sea there was only a few aircraft left to pick off. I do think that the initial Russian strike might be a little dodgy; they seem to come in a long, strung-out line, with the rearmost aircraft up to a hundred nautical miles behind the leaders but hey, more points for me I guess? While my fighters killed off the stragglers or begun to pick off Kalibr cruise missiles I began the first Tomahawk strike from the Georgia and 288 million dollars began their one way trip to Crimea. I hear itís lovely this time of year. Overall Iíd say things are progressing pretty much as planned so far, no aircraft or ship losses and Russian air defence and air forces have taken a battering. The Ukranians arenít going brilliantly so far but I donít lose points from them losing aircraft, so Iíll leave them to die a bit longer.

And Breathe Out:
Not much happened for the next 20 or so minutes, until I received a message concerning a pair of bridges that have apparently been captured that I may need to destroy. Shouldnít be too hard. Meanwhile the Kalibr strike from earlier is just now arriving on target, the sailors on The Sullivans may need a change of clothes soon. I didnít realise the Kalibrs have a boosted terminal phase, that was very much an unpleasant surprise. Thankfully the Eagles had taken down enough missiles earlier that The Sullivans was able to fend off the attack...just. Remember what I said about it being able to handle that attack on its own? Yeah nah, not true. Either way, after that moment the situation has very much settled down, with the Tomahawks settling down to their meandering flight through Eastern Europe towards Crimea while the fighter aircraft from the initial air battle begin to return to base. Some more lonely Su-24s were shot down in the vicinity of Turkey [no idea what the hell they were doing there] but other than that all is quiet in the Black Sea.

So Much For Quiet:
I thought the Russians had given up trying to sink The Sullivans, apparently not. More missiles, supersonic seaskimmers this time. Thankfully there were only 4 of them...for now. Iíve noticed that the Russian ships in the Eastern Black Sea are quite broken up and looking a bit vulnerable, apart from the occasional fighter proving top cover that is. Iím going to have a recon pod-equipped F-16 take a look at them and try to work out which, if any, is an AGI [Iíve already sunk a couple at this point, with a pair of Typhoons loaded with Paveway IVs inbound on the last one] and which might require more potent weapons. The Russians are still continuing their valiant, though doomed, efforts to sink The Sullivans but each attack is weaker than the last, and the destroyer effortlessly fends them off.

(in reply to SakiNoE)
Post #: 2
RE: Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/2/2019 12:54:35 PM   


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Skirmish And Scouting:
Iíve sent a lone F-35A to poke around the coast near Novorossiysk and Sochi, I know for a fact that at some point a missile strike against the AEGIS Ashore site will be launched however for the sake of realism I havenít put any sort of CAP up in order to intercept it as soon as it launches. The Lightning is making plenty of interesting contacts, including at one point an Su-57, but has so far been unable to find the strategic bombers. Meanwhile, off the Turkish coast the Paveway-armed Typhoons have made their first strike, sinking an unfortunate AGI and are now en route to an AGI I thought sunk but has in fact been limping away ever since it was hit by a Harpoon. Some Su-27s decided to try to chase off the recon-pod F-16 but were met by the F-16s escorts, another pair of F-16s with AIM-120C-7s that made short work of the Flankers. After this quick engagement yet more F-16s, this time armed with Mavericks, began to kill the Russian missile boats lurking off the coast, picking them off one by one.

Finally! The F-35 has found the lumbering Bears, though that means Iíll now have to watch out for the cruise missiles on AEGIS Ashore and prepare to defeat that attack, whenever it appears. In the meantime though a pair of F-16s have been dispatched to kill the Bears, leaving the F-35 free to kill any HVTs behind enemy lines. Itís risky, but I think a ďshoot and scootĒ approach could pay off well, particularly if I micro the radar to flicker on and off rather then just leaving it on for the whole of the AIM-120ís flight.

Iíve now detected the incoming flight of Russian cruise missiles, cruising over the Black Sea towards what I presume to be their target; the AEGIS Ashore site. Iíve left the Italian Typhoons unused for this reason and immediately launch 8 of them to help out, along with the 3 Greek F-16s that I have on the tarmac. With a bit of luck the cruise missiles might track inside the engagement envelope of Duncan or The Sullivans, but that remains to be seen. Either way, despite my preparation taking out these cruise missiles will still be a challenge and require a fair bit of luck.

(in reply to SakiNoE)
Post #: 3
RE: Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/2/2019 5:12:40 PM   


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Interesting AAR - thanks for doing it.

Note to self - protect missile units with local defence infantry!


Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!:
And our blog:
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook

(in reply to SakiNoE)
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RE: Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/3/2019 1:16:41 AM   


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Impact Blue:
As my forces were mustering to prepare to fend off the Russian cruise missile strike Ivan was having similar problems, the 288 million dollars worth of Tomahawk were beginning the final leg of their flight, much to the presumed dismay of the Russian radar operators who were now picking up this stream of TACTOMs flying towards them. To be sure, some were shot down by the SA-21s and SA-22s camped out on the Crimea, but the earlier SOF raids severely degraded the stopping power of the Russian air defence net, as well as the fact that quantity, quite simply, has a quality all of its own. At almost exactly 1pm local time the first missiles slammed into Sevastopol International Airport. However, while the passengers in Sevastopol were getting an impromptu fireworks display courtesy of the Russian military and the US Navy my Eagles out of Bulgaria were preparing to engage the first echelon of Russian ALCMs. I got a bit lucky in this case; due to what I can only assume was a problem with the auto-generated missile flight paths to formidable attack has been split in two, with the second bunch of missiles 4 minutes behind the first. This should give the Italian Typhoons and Greek Falcons more time to form up in front of the AEGIS platform.

Iím going to skip over the shooting down of the cruise missiles, after all thereís only so many ways I can say ďFighter shot down a missileĒ. In any event, I managed to shoot down the attack, though only with a truly massive expenditure of missiles and, more worryingly, fuel. The Typhoon pilots are now heading to the various tankers or in one extreme case, landing in allied airfields in Bulgaria. F-16s out of Turkey have continued to make attacks on the Russian missile craft, the poor boats barely stand a chance against missile attacks and are quickly becoming homes for local fish. Additionally, the strategic bombers have now been launched from England, along with the Tomahawk missiles from the Laboon. My F-35 that was sent to poke around the Russian rear has now been chased off by a pair of Su-27s. While the F-35 is a superb fighter I donít want to risk it in a battle against two Su-27s, particularly so close to the Russian SAG. Lastly, a pair of F-22s with SDBs dashed into Ukraine and destroyed the two bridges I had been allocated as targets, managing to also shoot down a stray Su-24 ELINT aircraft in the process.

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 5
RE: Another Don Of A New Era AAR - 1/3/2019 5:10:29 AM   


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Joined: 11/15/2018
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After all the excitement of the beginning this ending felt a bit anticlimactic. The Tomahawks from the Laboon and The Sullivans drained the Russian SAG of their ammunition, just as they were meant to. I didnít even bother with a co-ordinated strike on it; it just wasnít needed. The B-52 strike was effectively destroyed in Ukraine by trigger-happy SAM units. Lesson for next time; donít trust your allies...ever. The B-1s however managed to do a good job eeking some more points out of the Crimean units, as well as the Novorossiysk Naval Base. I am happy though, I set out what I wanted to do, a minimal loss + Triumph run of Don. Iím calling the scenario ďWonĒ with 1 day and 2 hours left. I was planning on posting my losses and expenditures, but the forum has other ideas. Thanks for reading!


(in reply to SakiNoE)
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