looks interesting. Seems like a suicide mission for the USSR supply ship convoy, but maybe I am selling it short.
Well, If the Missouri TG + Sterrett TF + the F-4 squadrons combine then, yeah the supply convoy is toast! A couple of variables though:
1. The Missouri TG has a long haul to NE Cay to pick up the survivors (it's primary mission). Depending upon the randomness of how long it takes to locate the survivors once they arrive at NE Cay they may not be able to make it west in time. They will run straight over the Soviet FF/FFL TF at Cam Ranh Bay that's racing them to NE Cay...they simply serve as "missile wasters" to the Missouri TF that could be better served to save them for the supply group...assuming they can make it West in time to help. I feel a gun battle coming on here!
2. Even if they quickly locate and pick up the survivors at NE Cay with enough time to spare to assist with intervening the Soviet supply group, and survive the Tu-16's, their SAM stores are likely to be heavily depleted (or gone) from fighting off the Tu-16 strike. It would be suicide to take on the CGs and DD in the Soviet supply group with no SAMs, but if they conserve their SSMs (go guns against the FF/FFL TF), keep ship losses small, and stay undetected they may be able to aid in the destruction of the supply group from a safe distance regardless.
3. The Sterrett TF alone will get pummeled by the Soviets (they have a fair number of SSMs of good quality), but if coordinated with the F-4s providing CAP and dropping LGBs and with a little luck they may together kill the supply group without any aid from the Missouri TF....but it's definitely not a sure thing. The fate and aid of the Missouri TF is a big unknown.
Ultimately both sides need to gain air superiority over the central South China Sea (over NE Cay) first to succeed. Hunting the other's recon units is a priority to keep their TG/TF's hidden for as long as possible. The battle tends to unfold:
1. A nice big Cold War furball over NE Cay and central South China Sea, with the winner gaining a huge advantage to the ASuW battles to come. Losses in the air battle will aid or hinder the US's ability to deal with the supply group...if the F-4 take substantial losses there may not be enough left for an effective strike on the supply group.
2. Establish Recon as far East/West as possible to locate the others' surface units.
3. Battle around NE Cay, both a surface battle and an Air to Surface battle. Pick up Survivors and hightail it West to get that Supply Group if practical (assuming the TG survives the Tu-16s!).
4. Air to Sea strike (coordinated with the Sterrett TF) by the F-4s on the supply group...maybe or maybe not with the aid of the Missouri TG.
Although it's probably not tactically wise (the Mig-23's don't have the range for escort), if the Soviet's Tu-16s are able to successfully and quickly dispose of the Missouri TG they have the range to hit Clark Field and knock'em out before they strike the supply group.
The Missouri TG has some Tomahawks...could they take out some of the Soviet Tu-16 and Mig-23's on the ground at Tuy Hoa? There likely isn't enough to have chance to do any damage, but if they get lucky that could change the US's fate.
There're definitely opportunities for some tough choices, tension, and twists in this scenario if the Soviet AI can be properly programmed, appropriate SAM/AAA and radar defenses added to both sides' air bases, scoring system tweaked, air base munitions fine tuned, and randomness to the survivor pick up can be all come together.
< Message edited by miller7219 -- 7/6/2019 6:58:59 AM >