I'm playing through Live scenarios, so Don of a New Era had its turn. Played both sides:
- it was confusing to me that the friendly army movements were not visible. In my first playthrough I thought I need to be much more aggressive than I had to be.
- I attacked the enemy armor groups in 3 phases:
1) SEAD/DEAD of S-300s with Kazoos and Kryptons from Su-24s. Kazoos served as cannon fodder, Kryptons killed the radars
2) DEAD of short range SAMs with Kh-35s from Su-34s. The cluster variant were amazingly effective in killing the armor groups
3) Attack on remaining ground targets with Su-25s and Mig-29s, with unguided weapons and Vikhrs
- in the Krym area, I disabled most radars of my SAMs so not to attract too many HARMs. In the end it was mostly war of attrition in this area. My S-300s and S-400s used up all of their ammo and took some losses, but most of my resources survived
- I attacked the enemy ships with antiship missiles from my ships and surface units, in the end I simply overwhelmed them. The aegis ship didn't defend itself as well as expected, not sure why.
- I attacked the aegis ashore installation with cruise missiles from Tu-160 and Tu-95 - they flew from the north and the enemy had no real chance
Triumph : 457
What could be done better:
- I didn't use the Mig-31s well, their CAP missions simply weren't planned well
- I lost a pair of Su-57s, sent them deep into enemy territory relying on their stealth too much and the forgot about them
- I could have used some of the cruise missiles to shut down airports, sending them all against aegis ashore was overkill
- cluster munitions are awesome against armor groups
- combining cannot fodder missiles with ARM missiles is a good combinarion (see Kazoos and Kryptons above).
After playing Russian side I tried the NATO side. This of course helps a bit in the playthrough.
My 2 main goals were:
1) protect the ships - I sent them max speed to the Dardanelles area to make one well defensible group. The main defense from antiship missiles were strong anti-air patrols - basically most of my AAW patrols were just defence of the ships. I was able to protect the Aegis ship, but the Type 45 was lost when its AAW patrol was depleted shooting at cruise missiles heading probably for Aegis ashore - and new antiship missiles arrived before new airplanes.
2) attacking Krym - the decision here was whether I should lead with a big Tomahawk strike (and deplete the S-300/400 with them), or first supress the air defenses with JASSMs and HARMs and then follow with Tomahawks. I chose the latter, and basically my Tomahawks were the last assets to strike the targets. I think this was the right decision. My initial strike on Krym was with SDBs from F-22s which ate lots of missiles and did some damage.
- attacking the surface group around Moskva was challenging, basically I used up all their anti air missiles and only then killed them. I should have used the submarines more, or better jamming
- it was hard to use assets in north Italy - they needed much tanker support for limited firepower
- sensor fused cluster munition is awesome. It deletes whole groups per 1 missile
- JASSMs are great to attack high-tier SAMs. Will not kill them completely, but will weaken them
- it's good to use cruise missiles after weakening air defences