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Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025

 
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Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 7/26/2020 7:57:33 AM   
musurca

 

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Eight years after they were driven out of the Southern Ocean by Japan's militarized whaling fleet, the outlaw conservation organization Sea Shepherd is back for some 'direct action'—with extreme prejudice. Thanks to generous donations by concerned Hollywood celebrities, the Sea Shepherds have been able to obtain two missile boats from Myanmar, a submarine from Argentina, and a small fleet of support ships carrying RPGs and machine guns.

Now they're out to send the whaling fleet to the bottom of the ocean, if they can find them in the vast Ross Sea before it's too late—and slip past the two Japanese destroyers protecting them.


If you've ever fantasized about saving (or shaving) the whales, wait no longer: check out this challenging, low-complexity scenario featuring some hide-and-seek littoral combat in Antarctica. The position of the Japanese whaling fleet is randomized at the start of the scenario, so it should (I hope) provide you with endless hours of fun eco-terrorism.

This is an initial beta release, so please tell me what you think so that I can improve it. Thanks! (Note: made with the latest Steam build 1147.4, for db v483.)

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by musurca -- 7/30/2020 11:52:16 AM >
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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 7/27/2020 9:47:28 PM   
HalfLifeExpert


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Hmm, very well funded conservationists vs Japanese Whalers with escort? I'm in!

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 7/28/2020 8:22:37 AM   
lecrop


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A very interesting and original approach to a scenario, I'll try it thanks

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 7/30/2020 11:54:21 AM   
musurca

 

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Thanks guys, looking forward to hearing what you think. If you haven't played yet, I've just updated it to Beta 2 (attachment above replaced), featuring:

-better Japanese escort AI
-more informative briefing
-helpful special messages
-bug fixes/performance improvements

Attachment (1)

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 8/1/2020 11:14:21 PM   
HalfLifeExpert


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I've restarted with version 2. Nothing much to report yet except for one comment.

I noticed in the briefing that a Japanese support oiler is on the target list. While it makes conventional sense, wouldn't it be illogical for a Conservationist force to sink a ship filled with Oil in the very area they are trying to protect?

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 8/1/2020 11:54:58 PM   
musurca

 

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That's an interesting point. The real-life Sea Shepherds seem more focused on preventing illegal fishing and whaling than general habitat conservation, and they have a fairly high "body count" of ships sunk as a result of their activities; there is some evidence that those ships have leaked a significant amount of diesel fuel into the ocean (although it's hard to know how much of that is misinformation spread by the "Institute of Cetacean Research," which is the pseudo-scientific organization used as cover by Japanese commercial whalers).

So my initial thought was that the Sea Shepherds wouldn't necessarily care — but I guess that depends on the scale of the environmental disaster if a fleet oiler of that size went down. I think that particular class carries around 2K tons of diesel oil. The Exxon Valdez, by comparison, carried 37K tons. Would that sort of spill be significant in the Ross Sea?

If you think it would be — or just too ridiculous to imagine targeting the oiler under these conditions — I could add another whaling ship to the fleet, and add an instruction to the briefing to avoid destroying the oiler (with a corresponding penalty if the player does so anyway). Open to ideas here.

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 8/2/2020 12:23:34 AM   
HalfLifeExpert


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Fair enough on the tanker.


I've 'completed' the scenario. And here's my feedback (Spoilers)


So I was able to get a little lucky in being able to position my two missile boats (TF Gryffindor :) ) in between the Japanese DDs and the Whaling fleet. Thus they were able to fire their combined 4 missiles to sink two whaling ships before being quickly blown apart.

Ultimate, the Submarine Lady Gaga did the most damage, as everything else was torn apart in short order with JMSDF Harpoons. She was able to sink the tanker and one of the whalers.

As for my other vessels. The 3 other armed boats really don't have enough firepower to cause more than light damage to the Whaling fleet vessels. Additionally, they are Weapons HOLD by default, which was a frustration in trying to attack. When the last whaling vessel was destroyed, there was no end state, so I sank a destroyer, and there was an even but no apparent change in score. So I left off with 'Disaster- -135'

Most of my aircraft were pretty much useless. The one armed with 2 Hellfires does only minor damage.

Overall, in this scenario, the Sea Shepards spent their money poorly to actually sink ships. They honestly would have been better off using Kamikaze boats packed with TNT.


I think the scenario would be improved by reducing the number of IJN Destroyers to 1, and perhaps cut ASMs in Half?. Those Harpoons make this a guaranteed suicide mission once you open fire. One those missiles are airborne, you have basically zero defense. The missile boats don't even have Chaff. Perhaps they should be another class instead? Or hell, maybe some older conventional torpedo boats if conceivable for use against the whalers?

Additonally, the 3 non-missile boats need some more punch. They were pretty ineffective.

I get that it's supposed to be a challenge, but this was to easy to get massacred.

< Message edited by HalfLifeExpert -- 8/2/2020 12:26:31 AM >

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RE: Scenario for testing: Whale Wars, 2025 - 8/2/2020 1:57:42 AM   
musurca

 

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Thanks for the detailed AAR—very helpful! The default Weapons HOLD state on the Joaquin Phoenix and Susan Sarandon is definitely a mistake. I’ll adjust that in the next version.

I designed this situation to be a bit of a puzzle—and it’s entirely possible that it's too challenging! But before I mothball the Japanese navy, may I ask if you tried/considered any of the following sneaky tactics before the engagement begins—

***SPOILERS BEGIN***

-maintain limited EMCON and use the civilian aircraft to find the Japanese units?
-use an expendable ship to lure the DDs out of Harpoon range of the Gryffindor missile squadron?
-lure a DD into a trap and destroy it with the Lady Gaga?
-use a Hellfire/RHIB attack to disable the whaling fleet, then clean it up with the Lady Gaga?

***SPOILERS END***

It IS possible to complete the mission successfully using variations on these methods, although it takes some patience to find the right positioning, and the briefing may not be very helpful in pointing you in that direction at the moment.

(This scenario is somewhat inspired by “The Battle of the Aegean,” which is the example given at the end of Hughes' Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, to illustrate using deception and expendable ships to achieve a limited objective against a vastly superior force.)

Some chaff for the missile boats is an interesting idea, though — I can play around with that to see how it changes the balance. I could also see giving one of the Shepherd's RHIB-carriers the ability to drop mines, as the group actually used limpet mines to destroy a fishing vessel in the 80s. Swapping one out for a torpedo boat could also be fun, and is worth trying.


< Message edited by musurca -- 8/2/2020 2:05:19 AM >

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