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Ordeal by Exocet 1982

 
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Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/27/2020 5:22:24 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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This is a small scenario set during the Falklands/Malvinas War, based on the sinking of the destroyer HMS Glamorgan by a land-based Exocet attack. In addition to the Glamorgan, the player (you can only play the Brits) gets the frigate Yarmouth.

Both ships carry helicopters with AS.11 and 12 anti-tank missile loadouts. They are ordered to support ground forces advancing on Port Stanley and reduce Argentine positions in their way. While the British troops have a couple of batteries of 105mm guns, they are under AI control and do precisely nothing all scenario.

Facing them are a collection of Argentine infantry, with 120mm mobile mortars and 155mm howitzers. At sea, Argentina fields a couple of Intrepida fast patrol craft with 76mm guns and guided torpedoes. Their airfield near Stanley hosts a mix of Macchi MB.339 and Pucara attack planes, the former mounting the dreaded ZUNI rockets. Above all, there is the ever-present threat of an Exocet attack.

Glamorgan and Yarmouth start too far out to sea to engage land targets and have to close the range. I sent their choppers on ahead in the hope of finding and eliminating the Exocet launcher.

Argentine artillery opened fire, but bizarrely ignored the British troops and guns and shelled some civilian buildings instead. Though some were destroyed, this doesn't matter in victory point terms. Farcically, the enemy 120mm mobile mortars strayed into the bombardment and one battery was wiped out by friendly fire!!

Yarmouth's Wasp chopper found a mobile radar unit and, after much searching to pinpoint it, killed it with an AS.11. It turned-out to be an AN/TPS-43F air search radar, worth points but not part of the Exocet system. The Wessex from Glamorgan had less success against a 155mm battery and returned home.

Once in range, the warships demolished almost all the Argentine artillery with their 114mm guns, leaving just two 155s (individual guns, not batteries) remaining. I felt this was the best help they could provide to the ground forces. An enemy infantry platoon was also taken-out. This amply satisfied the briefing requirement to destroy at least five ground units, but this achievement actually isn't crucial when it comes to scoring.

Meanwhile, a second mobile radar was detected near Stanley but, again, it was imprecise and endless to'ing and fro'ing with the Wasp at 1,000' failed to pinpoint it. This proved crucial.

All this time, the two Intrepidas had been loitering NE of Stanley. Out of gun ammo, Glamorgan sank the pair of them with Exocets...yes, the Brits had them too!!

Running low on fuel, the Wasp tried and failed to finish-off the 155s. As there wasn't anything left to do, both ships retired to sea at speed.

A brace each of MB.339s and Pucaras then took off from Stanley and were promptly massacred by Glamorgan's Sea Slug SAMs. Planes score no points. So far, so excellent...then it all went wrong.

Two Exocets were launched at Glamorgan from the shore. As the enemy still had a RASIT mobile radar with a 20nm range, this probably explains why I was detected. Perhaps I should have turned my radars off, but I'm not sure how much use that would have been. It would have prevented emissions being detected, but would not have blocked radar. Possibly it would have thrown-off the Exocet's radar homing?. Speculation aside, the sea-skimming missiles flew below the Sea Slug's altitude floor and the short-range Sea Cats and guns had just 1% chances to hit. Glamorgan was struck twice and crippled.

I'd launched the Wessex for a second sortie as soon as the Exocets were detected, but she searched in vain for the launcher. Too late, anyway. Another quartet of Argentine planes then sallied forth. Even though two fell to the destroyers' SAMs, one had already fired its ZUNI rockets and between them, they sank both ships.

Despite this, the final score of 30 was still assessed as Average. Given that my high-point score of 110 was also Average, it seems that the scenario will always be a 'draw' unless the Brits get points for surviving until the end (unconfirmed) or totally fail to kill any ground targets. As it was, I wasn't sure what more I could have done.
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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/27/2020 9:16:01 PM   
ronmexico111


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I had a somewhat similar experience on this as well. I made sure that all my ship's radars were turned off and had only the Glamorgan's jammers up at the beginning of the scenario. I launched my Wessex to destroy the enemy air search radar right off the bat, going in at minimum altitude towards the target but with radar on. After destroying that radar my helo was out of missiles (it only had 2 AS.12's to begin with) so I sent it west along the coastline to search for the other radar as well as the Exocet launcher. Finding nothing I took the helo up to 2000 ft. and sent it over the water to the gun line area offshore. By this time I had already detected and fired on the two Argentine patrol boats with my Exocet's, although all 4 locked on to the easternmost boat which was disappointing. The other boat was finished off with gunfire and a couple Sea Slugs (which all missed by the way). While I was attacking the enemy patrol boats the Argentine air/surface search radar was found so I sent my other helo to destroy it, although every one of it's missiles missed the radar site (this was taken out by gunfire after my ships destroyed the 2nd patrol boat). Up to this point my concern was to make sure the enemy was as blind as possible.

After destroying those targets my ships turned west and took up station on the gun line facing to westward. It was when I began to bombard the enemy artillery positions that the Argentine's launched a set of aircraft, which were shot down by missiles. Then it was back to the gun line. Then the Exocet's came in.

When the Exocet launch was detected I set a reference point directly over the spot and ordered my ships south at flank speed. The two Exocet's were fired upon by missiles and guns from my ships but both bored in on Glamorgan, which took one hit (the other Exocet missed the target and went into the water). Glamorgan actually wasn't badly damaged from the one hit and her crew quickly brought the flooding under control. At this point my two ships set off in search of the Exocet launcher to the east (both of my helos were rearming at this time).

Nearing the suspected area where the enemy Exocet launcher might be the Argentine's again launched a set of aircraft to attack. My missiles were not near as successful as before and with only Sea Cats left the final two enemy planes were able to launch rockets on my ships, badly damaging both in the process as well as destroying one of my helo's within it's own hanger. The enemy aircraft then returned to base. I never was able to launch my remaining helo due to shipboard damage which kept it aboard and time ran out without my force being able to spot and engage the Exocet launcher.

As far as use of radar, you should be free to do so once the enemy patrol boats are sunk, they are the only Argentine unit's which have ELINT units (no Argentine units have radar warning receivers at all). With the two Argentine radars gone they can only use visual sight to find and engage you, I believe this may have been why the Exocet's didn't fire on my ships until dawn. You will never stay completely hidden anyways in this scenario, though I would definitely use your jammers, it can't hurt.

My saved game is below if anyone wants to take a look at it.

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"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/27/2020 9:20:16 PM   
ronmexico111


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I'm wondering if turning off my jammers when the Exocet's were detected may have helped in any way during the engagement (I can't remember if those missiles had a home on jam capability in this scenario).

EDIT: Turns out they do have a home on jam capability.




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< Message edited by ronmexico111 -- 3/27/2020 9:30:07 PM >


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"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/27/2020 9:31:13 PM   
ronmexico111


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My final score.




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"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/28/2020 7:34:11 AM   
ronmexico111


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Just a little trivia. HMS Glamorgan was not sunk in the Falklands but was indeed struck by an Exocet missile. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Glamorgan_(D19)#Falklands_campaign

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"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/28/2020 3:31:12 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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Interesting to compare, thanks. I had more success with my own Exocets against the patrol boats because I fired them one at a time. On the other hand, I must have overflown the area of uncertainty containing the second radar and Exocet launcher ten times with my Wasp without locating either.

Just played the finish again from a save at my high water mark of 110. Immediately headed off SW at Flank with both ships. The first Argentine airstrike was harder to deal with this time because they got lucky, but all four planes were still downed before they could attack.

I then turned my radars and other emitters off and continued to run. Just as I was getting to the limit of probable Exocet range, the missiles appeared. I then had a lot of trouble overcoming both ships going to Engaged Defensive and turning their radars back on instead of carrying on fleeing. Kept the emissions off using a setting on the Doctrine Window (ignore EMCON when under attack = NO). This may have saved me or perhaps the Exocets were just out of range. Regardless, they lost me and missed.

The second airstrike duly happened, but because the Macchis and Pucaras were flying low, they lost me over the radar horizon and I escaped.

It was still scored as Average (110), though, with no points for ships surviving.....

(in reply to ronmexico111)
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RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/29/2020 7:01:10 PM   
ronmexico111


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Well I gave this one a try again. I used the same plan as before except after destroying the radars and patrol boats I headed south at flank speed to get at least 25 miles from land by dawn to avoid the Exocet launch. Meanwhile, as I was well out to sea, the first set of 4 Argentine fighters took off. I could see them on my ship's radars circling in an area south of Port Stanley but they were far enough to the north of my ships that they didn't spot me and attack. So, I shot them all down with Sea Slugs.

Dawn eventually came and with it came the inevitable Exocet launch, however they must have been firing on a bearing into what they thought was an old position for my ships to the east of where I actually was because I watched the missiles on my radar fall harmlessly into the sea without ever getting a track on my two ships. Then I headed north back to Port Stanley at flank speed to get within range to be able to fire my guns on the Exocet launcher and to give my helicopters (which were rearming) the maximum time to hunt for the launcher.

The other 4 aircraft had already been in the air by the time the Exocet's had fired and I engaged them with my Sea Slugs. The whole time I kept turning my ships further south and then west to try and keep the enemy planes on my ship's port quarter to keep them within the engagement arcs for my missiles. It looked like they kept trying to get around my ships for a shot from the direction of my bow and since I kept turning they never got around me. I ended up shooting them all down without them ever firing a shot at me. As a matter of fact, the only shots fired at my ships during the entire scenario were the two misguided Exocet shots.

After that I was able to launch my two helicopters into a patrol area near Port Stanley and the airfield to search for the Exocet launcher, which was eventually found and destroyed. I then managed to destroy both Argentine artillery batteries and was engaging the Argentine mortars when time ran out on the scenario. I still did not score a triumph though on this scenario, not sure what to do for that.

My saved game is below.

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

(in reply to fitzpatv)
Post #: 7
RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 3/29/2020 7:03:07 PM   
ronmexico111


Posts: 132
Joined: 1/24/2019
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My final score, this time with no losses on my side or any damage.




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"Never get out of the boat" Apocalypse Now

(in reply to fitzpatv)
Post #: 8
RE: Ordeal by Exocet 1982 - 4/2/2020 12:40:58 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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Joined: 3/20/2019
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Well done. Sounds like a good approach and an interesting variation on what I did. Guess we just have to conclude that the scenario can't be 'won' in its own terms and the player just has to judge for themselves how well they did. There are a number of Command scenarios like that...

(in reply to ronmexico111)
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