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Surface Action Guns 1973

 
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Surface Action Guns 1973 - 2/25/2020 2:10:53 PM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 53
Joined: 3/20/2019
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This scenario is actually set during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, which led to the independence of Bangladesh. It is only playable from the Pakistani side, though I can't see a good reason not to be able to do so as the Indians. It would be a decent challenge if the AI were more competent, but...

War has just broken-out and both Indian and Pakistani ships are at sea between Karachi and Mumbai/Bombay. The Pakistani Navy is ordered to seek-out and destroy any and all Indian vessels. There have already been air strikes on Karachi and there's a high risk that this will continue.

Pakistan has a light cruiser, 5 destroyers, 3 frigates, a submarine, 3 minesweepers, 2 patrol craft plus an oiler and merchant ship to protect. In the Karachi area are some F-104 Starfighters for CAP, some Shooting Stars (recon and strike models) and a collection of civilian planes pressed into service for maritime patrol. The warships are scattered and some are still in dock.

Indian forces are reported to consist of a cruiser (larger than the Pakistani one and with better guns), a destroyer, 5 frigates (including a Soviet-built one with very decent search and ASW abilities), a submarine and an oiler. In the air, they have unknown numbers of MiG-21s, Canberra attack planes and Super Constellations for maritime reconnaissance. Properly concentrated, their Navy would pack a serious punch, but...

First order of business was to concentrate the Pakistani fleet, which took some time. The minesweeper Muhafiz has 40nm surface seach radar, so I got her out to sea at Flank to do some scouting while keeping my other radars 'dark'. The merchant ship Jhelum was ordered to get to port and the oiler and other small vessels were kept out of the way. The civilian aircraft were sent out to look for the enemy fleet. As they lacked radar, it was important to keep them below the 20,000' cloud layer. It was reassuring that a score of zero (default) is a Minor Victory, so the onus was on the Indians to change that.

Not much happened for over 6 hours. At this point, the Indians hit Karachi with a dozen MiG-21s, targetting the civilan airport at Dirgh Road. The strike was intercepted by F-104s, which downed 10 MiGs without loss, helped by the Indian planes having fighter-bomber loadouts. Only superficial damage was done to some ammo bunkers.

A Super Constellation then appeared near the fleet, to be shot down by an F-104.

Another wave of MiGs then attacked the Air Force base at Karachi. With my CAP now low on missiles and fuel, it was hard to combat this. Three attacking planes were shot down for one Starfighter, but the raid destroyed another 4 F-104s on the ground, halving my potential CAP strength. It seems to be an AI tactic to overload the player's CAP like this.

At this point, the Indian frigate Tir was sighted by recon planes near the coast. The cruiser Babur and destroyer Badr detached from the fleet and easily outranged and sank her.

Not long afterwards, the Soviet-built frigate Kadmath was sighted to the S of the fleet, escorting the oiler Deepak into the danger area for no conceivable reason. Four of my ships engaged and sank them as they mindlessly steamed straight ahead to their doom.

A half-dozen Canberras then took advantage of my non-existent CAP to bomb the harbour at Karachi. One was downed by flak, but they hit and destroyed nine oil storage tanks. Two Canberras continued to fly in circles when out of ordnance and were destroyed by an F-104 when it finally became available again. I've seen this kind of odd AI behaviour before. Neither plane nor ground target kills score any points in this scenario (just ships), so none of this actually mattered much.

Another Super Constellation appeared near the fleet, but was shot down when I had planes to do the job.

Not long after this, two more Indian warships were sighted approaching Karachi from the SW and High Command sent out an order for me to destroy them. They turned-out to be the frigates Trishul and Talwar, again operating without support (no idea where the cruiser, sub and other destroyers and frigates were). I unleashed the Shooting Stars from Karachi against them. One flight missed the Trishul with bombs, but the other blasted Talwar with ZUNI rockets (I'm converted!) and she soon sank.

There was no time to close and sink Trishul with the fleet and the game ended as a Triumph with a score of 100. Bit too easy, really. Those who like editing scenarios might have some fun improving the AI in this one, perhaps?
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RE: Surface Action Guns 1973 - 2/25/2020 2:56:00 PM   
dpabrams

 

Posts: 133
Joined: 3/29/2005
From: Casper, Wyoming
Status: offline
Thanks for the report. I have looked at this scenario as I like the older scenarios. If the Canberra's were set to opportunity targets and strafing in the EMCON, the will hang around and strafe targets, when they should just hit and run.

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