Agree with you here. On SAM busters, I eventually figured out a way to win, but it is soooo gamey. Basically after getting my ass kicked many times, I won by doing this:
1. Set up a CAP from your HAWK batteries extending 10nm east. Make sure you set your doctrine engagement zone to 10nm for the HAWKS otherwise they will fire too early and miss a lot. I then launch all 8 of my available Mirages.
2. Set up a small marshaling area just west of the northern most HAWK site and another just west of the southern most. Send one pair of Phantoms with shrikes to each and have them stay until the Mirages and HAWKS wipe out the 2 waves of Syrian MiGs.
3. Set up a recon mission that goes just to the forward line between your infantry and theirs and run it north to south AFTER air superiority is established. You may have to save a few times before this as you can't get so far east that you enter the SAM belt. However, it will help localize SAM locations, but won't identify them.
4. Now unleash your two flights of shrikes and VERY SLOWLY push them towards the unidentified emitters to the east, with one flight up north and the other one south. Once you get a missile launched at you, pause the game and manually engage with 1 shrike. Rinse and repeat until all SA-6 radars are destroyed.
5. About this time, you should get a request to support the ground troops, which you will need to do ASAP before they get attritted too much and cost you points. Once I sent the shrikes in, I simultaneously set up strike missions that I have hovering at my northern marshaling area. As the SA-6s die, you can then send in the strikes on the infantry. About the time the first set of planes is done, your second set of strike aircraft should then be about ready to go. I used the second wave to hit the remaining SA-6 that won't launch at you, being careful to also target AAA near them. At this point based on how close you are to victory, you may not need to kill the SA-6/AAA and focus on the infantry because you can/will lose aircraft to AAA.
So, is it winnable? Yes, but I basically had to go God mode by knowing exactly what was coming ahead of time before I could win, which IMHO, in NOT a good scenario design. I bet I spent 8 hours trying to win this scenario. TBH, once I got to Bekaa, I quit the campaign and went onto other scenarios as I could see it being a repeat of the previous SAM busters scenario. You should be able to muster a winning score by following good doctrine and not in the gamey manner in which I did. Either that, or give a better briefing. For example, had I written that scenario, here's my briefing.
You are tasked with hunting SA-6 locations along the battle lines of our infantry. Expect the Syrians to launch everything they have in fighter aircraft to deny the destruction of their best SAMs, so use your own SAM umbrella to survive. Once air superiority is established, recon and SEAD assets will go hunting, with SEAD clearing the way.
Instead, this briefing has you believe that you should recon the area first, which I either lost to the swarm of initial MiGs or to the SA-6s. Also, without HAWK support you will lose too many Mirages trying to gain air superiority to win and advance. Anytime you have to use a cookie cutter approach in order to win a scenario, I don't like it.
< Message edited by actrade -- 12/16/2019 2:28:54 PM >