From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
A few more thoughts after looking around in the scenario a bit.
Thanks for the through and well through out feedback!
I think you could make a strong case for using the active sonars (and even the active radars) of the big Russian surface group. Unless the NATO player makes some colossal errors with their AWACS and MPA, they will have radar contact on the group at all times, and will know exactly where they are. Even if the player loses every aircraft, NATO satellites will spot the group at regular intervals. Since it’s almost impossible for the Russians to hide, there’s no advantage to keeping their sensors off.
This is particularly true for the sonars. The Russians have two 40 nm active VDS sonars, including the excellent modern set on the Gorshkov. Since they were in passive mode, my subs were able to creep up within no-escape torpedo range (8 to 11 miles) without being detected. If the sonar was active, I would have been detected long before I could reach that range, and been bombarded by SS-N-15s and ASW helicopters. (ASW weapons free would be very helpful to prosecute active sonar contacts.) So, I think I would not have been able to make such ‘cheap’ torpedo kills of the entire task group if their sonars had been on.
I tend to agree with you. there is almost a religious fervor in the CMO community that "though shalt never turn on a shipboard active sensor!" Three years of living on a ship and the days we were in EMCON Alpha were few and far between!
The Russian Bears and Mays coming around the top end of Norway got absolutely slaughtered by the F-16s at Andoya, who could move in unopposed to take perfect shots at their leisure. I’m not sure there’s anything you can do to defend them in the southern reaches of their patrol zones, but maybe something can be done about the northern corner of Norway? Perhaps a few Su-27s on the Russian MPA side, operating out of Severomorsk 1 with light AA-12 loadouts, could patrol a small zone out to sea NNW of Skarsvag (still within SAM cover, maybe with a tanker out there too?). A long prosecution zone could allow them to head down the coast to attack F-16s picking on the MPA. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it might at least get an F-16 or two and give a few of the MPA a chance. If not, they’re pretty much on a suicide mission.
Actually, there are supposed to be fighter escorts but they keep moving away from the MPA and engaging aircraft too far south, I need to look at the prosecution zone. One thing I was thinking about is a support mission that takes the MPA far to the north of Norway, as they really would then having them enter the patrol area and using a Lua script transition to search mission. Then when they RTB do so along another support mission back. That would be more realistic. I did something like that for "The Gauntlet."
The ‘Launch Blackjack Nuclear Strike’ event has the IsShown box checked, so the player will be warned of what’s coming in the message log. Unchecking it would prevent the player from learning what’s coming. (Or it could be given an innocuous or misleading name, if you want to keep it shown for troubleshooting purposes.)
In my case the mission didn’t happen (there’s about a 30% chance that it won’t occur – I got lucky), but I have to admit I would have been taken aback by the abrupt switch to nuclear war without any other feedback, in an otherwise conventional conflict. It might be interesting to have some intelligence messages about alarming rises in nuclear readiness posture on the Russian side in the hours leading up to the possible strike. It would certainly raise tension and anxiety levels for the player, which is always a good thing.
Out of curiosity, I ran the mission after the scenario ended. The bombers flew a strange zigzag course.
First they fired 34 weapons at the southern Finnish airbase, then 12 more at the northern Finnish airbase, and 6 at the northern Swedish base, turned west towards Orland, but then turned NNE before getting in range, fired 5 at various Swedish radars, headed up through Sweden past Bodo and Evenes, fired 1 at Bardufoss, 4 at HUMRAAMs, 1 at Tromso, turned back SSW again, and fired 13 at targets in the Bardufoss area (1 each at the 6 barracks at Setermoen camp!), fired 1 at Narvik, a massive 59 at Evenes, 1 at the Bunker inland from Bodo, and finally 1 at Bodo port and 6 at Bodo airfield.
I think the scale of the attack is a bit large. One hundred and forty-four 200kt nuclear warheads? Wouldn’t a couple of SRBMs at Bodo alone be quicker, more reliable, and send the same message?
It’s pretty clear that the AI is ignoring the ‘pre-planned targets only’ list you have in the mission, and the zig-zag up through Sweden gives the NATO player plenty of time to find and engage the bombers. Maybe sending the bombers on single-plane strike missions at specific airfields and ports would give better results? Turning off ‘allow off-axis attack’ may be necessary too, to allow the quickest and most efficient route to the target.
I wonder if there’s any way to make a message event that triggers when a nuclear detonation happens, to simulate satellite warning when the bases in Finland and Sweden go up in smoke? The player may not notice this happening off-screen, but I suspect in reality the news would get transmitted very rapidly to all commands.
I'm thinking about dropping the whole nuclear aspect. It was something I threw in when I was tinkering and it really doesn't work.
The Orland AEW and Orland Tanker missions use the same set of RPs. (Intentional?)
Laziness to be honest. I got lazy late one night. I will split those up now that I'm rested !
The Nanuchkas are not assigned to their patrol mission, and remain stationary in the north.
Ooops thank you will fix!
The Russian fighters were making strafing runs on Finnish airfields and my SAM line along the FEBA, which lead to several unnecessary losses. I’m not sure if you wanted this, since these are AAW patrols and intercepts?
I believe I have turned the strafing off. I was playing with more Doctrine/WRA aspects and tried this out. Thought I had turned it off before putting this out there but I'll make sure it is off!
The HUMRAAM units need to have their radar inserted as a sensor in the unit itself, not as a single external unit, otherwise they cannot fire.
I didn't know this! Was wondering why it wasn't working! Will do!
Scenario description typos in red text: “Surface ships with missions teleport, please run the scenarion for 5 seconds before assinging missions.”
Thanks, once again, late night work! Will fix.
Thanks for the help/suggestions.
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, 1985
I was Navy, but Assigned TAD to the 24th MAU Hq in Beirut. By far the finest period of my service!