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.
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.
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 >