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Lion's Den 1972

 
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Lion's Den 1972 - 8/11/2019 6:17:55 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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Joined: 3/20/2019
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This is a historical scenario, covering an engagement between US cruisers and destroyers (with some air support) and Vietnamese patrol boats and shore batteries off Haiphong. Command scenarios are of very uneven difficulty and this is one that errs by being a bit too easy.

The enemy have seven patrol boats. Four carry torpedoes, but stand little chance of getting close enough to use them. The other three have only light guns and are no opposition whatsoever. All can be picked-off using Terrier missiles mounted on the cruiser Providence. To do this, you have to change the rules of engagement to enable the missiles against surface targets (they're primarily AA weapons). The game would be more of a challenge if you didn't, but why risk lives and expensive ships when your cruiser has over a hundred of the things on-board?

You are charged with bombarding a wide selection of land targets, defended by batteries of howitzers of varying calibre. Only a pair of 130mm batteries have the range to be a threat, but they can be taken-out one at a time by the heavy cruiser Newport News. They can manage a high rate of return fire (even when badly-damaged) and, unlike the US ships, don't seem to need to pause periodically to reload. One did about 1% damage to the cruiser and a disproportionate amount of systems damage (blast from high explosive with little penetration?), but it made little real difference.

There are also four SAM sites with Guideline missiles. Best to keep your two essentially useless Corsair aircraft well out of the way, which negates the SAM threat. The SAMs and their supporting radar installations can be targeted by the destroyer Rowan, which has Shrike anti-radar missiles. However, like the Terriers, they are ridiculously prone to malfunction. I fired four Shrikes in succession at one site and they all failed to explode. Similarly, over half the Terriers I fired in the scenario malfunctioned. Are the chances really supposed to be this high or was I just unlucky?

Much of the time was spent watching my ships bombard shore targets, missing ad nauseam with the occasional hit, which was less than exciting.

In the end, I sank all the patrol boats and destroyed about 40 items of shore equipment. Not that it mattered much, as a score of zero is a US Minor Victory and (as in other scenarios like Operation Vantage (qv)) the scoreboard NEVER SEEMS TO UPDATE. So, basically, you will win so long as you aren't clumsy enough to lose a ship or plane, which is unlikely.
Post #: 1
RE: Lion's Den 1972 - 8/11/2019 7:19:23 PM   
Randomizer

 

Posts: 1244
Joined: 6/28/2008
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Where is this scenario found? Thanks in advance.

-c

(in reply to fitzpatv)
Post #: 2
RE: Lion's Den 1972 - 8/11/2019 8:07:07 PM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 3/20/2019
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As with Tee Up, it's in the original set of Standalone scenarios, which I'm working through in date order.

Main issues are the missile malfunction rate (which seems excessive) and the apparent bug whereby the scorecard doesn't update (not unique to this scenario).

(in reply to Randomizer)
Post #: 3
RE: Lion's Den 1972 - 8/11/2019 8:47:33 PM   
Gunner98

 

Posts: 4201
Joined: 4/29/2005
From: The Great White North!
Status: online
From the Wiki: Many pilots in Vietnam did not like the Shrike because of its limitations and its success rate of around 25%. It was based on the AiM-7 and the early versions of that missile were notorious for malfunctions. The PDF at the link indicates that they were not popular missiles: https://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/disp_old_pdf.cfm?ARC_ID=1064

The Terrier was even older and air to surface was a secondary role.

This scenario was designed before players had the option to re-role their missiles from A2A into an ASM, so that probably unbalances it a bit. You're right about using them however, I would.

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(in reply to fitzpatv)
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RE: Lion's Den 1972 - 8/11/2019 9:54:21 PM   
stilesw


Posts: 1030
Joined: 6/26/2014
From: Hansville, WA, USA
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Bart,

Thanks for this reference. I've added it to the Dropbox library.

As always, any forum member can have access to this Dropbox resource. Just PM me with your email address.

-Wayne Stiles

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 5
RE: Lion's Den 1972 - 8/14/2019 2:32:29 PM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 26
Joined: 3/20/2019
Status: offline
Seems fair enough then. Not a major problem in Lion's Den, but it makes Down Town almost impossible, as there's no other sane way to combat the (many) SAM sites. I look forward to using better anti-radar missiles as I continue to work through the scenarios in date order!!

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 6
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