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A Helping Hand 1979

 
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A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/9/2020 10:35:03 AM   
fitzpatv

 

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In this rather far-fetched scenario, WW3 has broken-out in 1979 and the Soviets are following in the footsteps of the Japanese by trying to capture Midway Island as a stepping stone to Hawaii. For whatever reason, the Americans have few assets in the area and a British-Canadian task force just happens to be around to make-up the shortfall.

The latter is based around the carrier Queen Elizabeth, which was never built in reality. She has a variety of surface escorts and auxiliaries and carries Phantom fighters, Buccaneer attack planes, Gannet AEW aircraft and ASW choppers. At Midway, the Americans have a couple of destroyers, a coastguard cutter, Orion patrol planes with Harpoon missiles, Skyhawk fighter/attack planes and some Improved Hawk SAMs. The Canadian diesel-electric sub Ojibwa is also patrolling offshore.

The Soviets' main asset is the helicopter carrier Minsk, which makes-up for a lack of effective airpower (just Yak-38s and Hormones) with Sandbox long-range anti-ship missiles. She has a pair of Kresta cruisers in attendance as well as destroyers, frigates and auxiliaries. The Kresta I Vladivostok also mounts long-range anti-ship missiles, while the force is strong in ASW defences and has plenty of SAMs and ECM. Also around is another task force, consisting of a cruiser and two escorts with a mainly gun-based armament. There are several Soviet subs in the area, at least two of which also have long-range Sandbox and Shaddock missiles. Finally, the Russians have a base in Kamchatka from which they can operate Bear recon planes and Bisons which carry yet more long-range anti-shipping missiles.

Both sides have satellites. This was the first time I'd encountered these in Command and I came away with mixed feelings about them. The US ones provided a small amount of intel over the course of the scenario and there was always the concern that the Russians could use theirs to detect my ships, but they didn't really have a massive impact on play.

You are basically in a defensive stance, protecting Midway and this is underlined almost immediately when two enemy subs appear and open-up with Sandboxes and Shaddocks. My SAM defences were mostly able to destroy the incoming missiles, but a near miss left the US destroyer O'Callahan crippled and she later sank. Orions and choppers followed-up the contacts and sank the two culprits - a Juliett and an Echo II.

Meanwhile, Yak-38 Forgers (Soviet copies of the Harrier jump-jet) began patrolling to the SW, giving away the location of the Minsk and a Bear interloped from the NW. Set-up CAP zones accordingly. The Forgers were no match for the British Phantoms or even the US Skyhawks and four were quickly downed, as was the Bear.

Following-up, I located the Minsk and attacked with a Harpoon-carrying Orion, but all my missiles were destroyed by the defending SAMs. Their 65nm range, however, protected the patrol planes and the surviving Forgers didn't chance their luck against my fighter escorts. I then launched another three Orions from Midway and, swamping the defences with a dozen missiles, these did serious damage. Minsk was hit three times and the Vladivostok and the frigate Vdokhnovenny took fatal strikes (the latter from a missile intended for the cruiser). Meanwhile, my CAP disposed of a second Bear.

Things then took a turn for the worse. I launched a Buccaneer strike from the Queen Elizabeth to finish-off the Minsk. Unfortunately, the planes were carrying AS.37 Martel missiles. These had a range of 30nm which provided a good safety margin against SAMs...but I hadn't realised that they were ANTI-RADAR missiles (why would they be?). I then found that Midway's pair of Skyhawks with Walleye missiles (also 30nm) were out-of-range. Queen Elizabeth had six Buccaneers with the shorter-ranged version of the Martel (16nm) but I didn't want to risk these against the SAMs.

An Echo I nuclear sub (torpedoes only) then appeared to the W of Midway and was sunk by the US destroyer McCain, Ojibwa and a Seasprite from the (big, well-armed)coastguard cutter Jarvis after a long and frustrating hunt.

Not long after this, about six Bisons arrived from the NW and unleashed a shoal of Kipper missiles. Simultaneously, the Minsk opened-up with Sandboxes. Chances are that not all of her launchers were still functional, as there weren't as many as I'd feared. CAP splashed three Bisons, but mostly concentrated on helping the SAM crews deal with the Kippers. They did this successfully and none came close to scoring any hits.

Unfortunately, the Sandboxes were another matter. A couple went wide and a third targetted the O'Callahan just before she sank anyway. However, two more got lucky and, each evading multiple defensive SAMs at about 25% kill chances, hit and sank the McCain and the Jarvis. The Sandbox is fitted with defensive ECM, which contributed to this Russian success.

There was then a lull, with Minsk out of missiles and our forces waiting for strike aircraft to be ready. A third Bear was downed by CAP and a Zulu IV diesel-electric sub was taken-out by choppers (it's tough being a submariner in this game).

Eventually, I was able to send another pair of Orions against the Minsk. It required all eight of their Harpoons, but the carrier was left almost immobile and later died of her wounds. This persuaded the surviving escorts to turn and run.

Meanwhile, though, the cruiser Admiral Senyavin was sighted S of Midway with a Kotlin frigate and Kanin destroyer in attendance. I attacked with the 16nm range Martel 168 Buccaneers, which sank both escorts and left the cruiser sorely wounded. Skyhawks from Midway finished the job with ZUNI rockets and bombs.

There was just time for a pair of Buccaneers with 1,000lb bombs to destroy the oilers Dubna and Boris Chilikin before the scenario ended with a non-judgemental score of 875. Very much an Allied victory, though not a bloodless one.
Post #: 1
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/9/2020 2:13:50 PM   
Eboreg

 

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Forgot to check the weapon stats didn't you? Always a big no-no.

(in reply to fitzpatv)
Post #: 2
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/11/2020 3:04:09 PM   
Gunner98

 

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From: The Great White North!
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quote:

six Buccaneers with the shorter-ranged version of the Martel (16nm) but I didn't want to risk these against the SAMs.


The Buc's were designed for very low level and should be able to close to the 16nm range below the radar horizon of the target ship. A strike by the Martel's while the defences are concerned about the AS.37s would probably do quite well against these defenders. You can BOL your ARMs which will often cause the defender to turn on his radar thus giving them a target, and at the very least will act as a decoy.

I should try this scenario out - thanks.

B

_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northernfury/

(in reply to fitzpatv)
Post #: 3
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/11/2020 5:34:18 PM   
Schr75


Posts: 679
Joined: 7/18/2014
From: Denmark
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If you fly the Bucīs in on the deck, they will not get picked up until itīs too late.
I have used this tactic lots of times and the large warhead of the Martels are quite effective.
Besides. Most of the enemy SAMīs canīt engage targets flying very low, so you should be ok.

I actually quite like the old Bucīs because of their long range, heavy punch and low level performance.

Just remember to time your attack so that the target doesnīt light up their radars too soon and detect your approaching Bucīs.
Also remember that the Martel have a minimum launch altitude of 60m/200ft IIRC, so you have to manually climb your strike planes a bit before you can launch.
And most importantly: The Martel is TV guided, so it doesnīt work at night or in poor visibility, so you have to plan your attack in daytime.

@Gunner98. You should def. try this scen. Itīs a lot of fun trying all the different platforms. Bucīs, Skyhawks, Phantoms, Orions, all with different strengths and weaknesses

S

(in reply to Gunner98)
Post #: 4
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/12/2020 5:13:42 PM   
.Sirius


Posts: 1335
Joined: 1/18/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Schr75

If you fly the Bucīs in on the deck, they will not get picked up until itīs too late.
I have used this tactic lots of times and the large warhead of the Martels are quite effective.
Besides. Most of the enemy SAMīs canīt engage targets flying very low, so you should be ok.

I actually quite like the old Bucīs because of their long range, heavy punch and low level performance.

Just remember to time your attack so that the target doesnīt light up their radars too soon and detect your approaching Bucīs.
Also remember that the Martel have a minimum launch altitude of 60m/200ft IIRC, so you have to manually climb your strike planes a bit before you can launch.
And most importantly: The Martel is TV guided, so it doesnīt work at night or in poor visibility, so you have to plan your attack in daytime.

@Gunner98. You should def. try this scen. Itīs a lot of fun trying all the different platforms. Bucīs, Skyhawks, Phantoms, Orions, all with different strengths and weaknesses

S

That's why I built it

_____________________________

Paul aka Sirius
Command Developer
Warfaresims
Cold War Data Base 1946-1979 Author

Old radar men never die - Their echoes fade away in accordance with the inverse fourth power law

(in reply to Schr75)
Post #: 5
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/12/2020 11:48:24 PM   
Gunner98

 

Posts: 4689
Joined: 4/29/2005
From: The Great White North!
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Fun scenario, the Minsk group is all but gone and the strikes are heading in on the SAG. Not a single sub detected or fired at me so far.

I went in with the Bucs only to realize you cannot BOL the ARM versions, but everyone fired up their radar soon enough then one Buc got the wrong end of a SAM. Two Skyhawks pressed on past the tankers (which were empty - bad management) and dropped their bombs only to miss and ditch on the way home.... grrr. Oh and I lost a P-3 because I was dopy.

I think the Red satellites must have detected you to spot the early game shots. I altered course, saturated the area with ASW and nothing so far. Also there are a bunch of patrol boats at Midway which are combing the area as well.

Going back in.

_____________________________

Check out our novel, Northern Fury: H-Hour!: http://northernfury.us/
And our blog: http://northernfury.us/blog/post2/
Twitter: @NorthernFury94 or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/northernfury/

(in reply to .Sirius)
Post #: 6
RE: A Helping Hand 1979 - 3/22/2020 8:41:39 AM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 99
Joined: 3/20/2019
Status: offline
Afraid so. I spend hours analysing scenarios before I start them and generally take a couple of pages of notes (which isn't everyone's style, I'm sure), but it's so easy to miss details in this game, particularly things like this that you wouldn't logically expect. Planes taking-off with their radars off by default, submarines having the wrong kind of torpedoes loaded and eccentric pre-set Weapon Release settings are all annoying tripwires.

(in reply to Eboreg)
Post #: 7
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