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Southern Fury 2010 - 8/14/2020 3:33:04 PM   
fitzpatv

 

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Argentina has regressed to a military dictatorship and makes a fresh attempt to take the Falklands/Malvinas. Despite defence cuts, the UK manages to get a task force in-theatre but, arriving late, the relief has to rely on the sparse local forces to 'hold the fort' during the crucial hours.

As the British (you can only play the UK), you have the destroyer Cumberland (with a few Harpoons), the patrol craft Clyde (which has a chopper but would otherwise struggle to fight a rubber duck), the SSNs Astute and Talent (which have only ASW torpedoes and TLAMS, which are for use against land targets only) and aircraft based in the islands. The latter are a combination of leading-edge Typhoon fighters and Tornado attack planes, with VC-10 tanker support, plus a few recon choppers.

The relief force is split into two groups (carrier Ark Royal and three escorts in one and a frigate and destroyer in the other) with each supported by an oiler. The Ark has Harrier MRCAs and there are numerous choppers to call on. Unfortunately, they won't be available for the first half of the 36-hour scenario and much can happen in that time.

Argentina has large numbers of fighters and attack planes, including a squadron of Super Etendards, armed with Exocets. At sea, there's an amphibious force of three transports and four escorts, with an advance screen of destroyers, frigates and corvettes. Three Argentine subs are believed to be prowling around the islands and these may be carrying special forces for covert ops. Most of the surface warships carry Exocets and one destroyer is a British-built(!!) Type 42 with effective later-model Sea Cat SAMs. The other destroyers have French Aspides, which have limited range.

Set-up the usual patrols and soon discovered lots of ships around the Falklands. Most were fishing craft, but one was a Uruguayan frigate, which seemed a long way from the Plate Estuary. Marked her neutral for the moment.

Presently, Argentine Orions and a Boeing-707 appeared and began to scout the Ark Royal group. Eventually lost patience with them and shot them all down without penalty with my Harriers. The first one scored 5VP but (as has been pointed-out elsewhere in these forums) a bug meant that no subsequent air kills counted. In truth, though, it doesn't matter, as it's all about stopping the invasion convoy.

The Brits have infiltrated four SAS teams near some of the enemy's mainland airbases and these provide helpful intel on opposition strength and incoming strikes. I was keen to locate the Super Etendards, but they weren't on any of the four bases under surveillance, so far as I could tell. I concluded that they must be on one of the other two, Almirante Quijada in the S (where they were based in 1982) or Almirante Zar in the N (nearest to the Ark Royal). Assigned one submarine to each for a Tom Cruise strike.

This was complicated by enemy Turbo Tracker ASW planes patrolling near the RN subs. Cleared these away with Typhoons, then hit Almirante Quijada with Astute. Unfortunately, this was the wrong guess, as it was just a Turbo Tracker base and I destroyed just two of the patrol planes on the ground.

Meanwhile, two Drummond-class corvettes appeared W of Cumberland's position. These ships lack any kind of SAMs and the British destroyer plugged them with a Harpoon each. They score 20VP apiece.

At this point, Uruguay decided to throw in her lot with Argentina (no doubt swayed by a promised cut of the oil wealth around the islands). Cumberland regretfully crippled the frigate with another Harpoon and Clyde's chopper later made itself useful and sank her with a Sea Skua. No penalty, but no points either.

Talent next attacked Almirante Zar base with great success, annihilating the Super Etendard squadron on the ground and bagging an Orion for good measure. A real result!. A last Orion had gotten airborne, but fell to the Harriers (it took four HITS with Sidewinders!).

By now, two pairs of Argentine warships had been detected NW and NE of the islands, with another vessel in-between that proved to be a cruise liner. Fighters cleared away some patrolling choppers. I then probed the NW group with a Tornado, finding an Almirante Brown-class destroyer (the Sarandi) and an Espora-class frigate (the Gomez Roca). The latter lacked SAMs and I found a gap where the former's Aspides couldn't reach to sink her with a short-range Paveway II for 30VP. My plane then strayed into SAM range under AI control and needed luck to avoid a couple of missiles and escape.

Argentine special forces then popped-up and used mortars to take-out all three of my radar sites on the islands. They probably landed by submarine. I could find no trace of them and there were no further attacks. In the end, it didn't matter much.

Belatedly, the enemy began to mount airstrikes from the mainland. Four Mirage IIIs were easily destroyed without loss by a pair of Typhoons.

A Tornado then went after the Sarandi with Paveway IVs, which outrange Aspides. I also used Brimstones (which do little damage to ships) as decoys. My first attempt scored just one Brimstone hit and a follow-up missed completely.

A swarm of 11 Daggers (Israeli-version Mirages) then came-in from the mainland. In an awesome display of what modern fighters can do against outmoded opponents, just two Typhoons shot the lot down without them getting off a missile in reply.

There was then a false submarine alarm ahead of the Ark group. Worth noting because the relief force's ASW aircraft (only) default to Weapons Free, so you need to correct this to avoid wasting ammo on fish, as I did before realising this!! Another annoyance in this scenario is aircraft turning their radars off when unassigned from a mission - this caught me out a couple of times.

The NE pair of Argentine ships was another Brown/Espora combination, so I repeated the earlier trick and used one of my lower-powered Tornadoes to sink the latter (the Robinson). I then attacked the Brown (the Heroina) with a pair of Paveway IV Tornadoes, overloaded her defences and left her badly damaged from a Paveway and 5 Brimstones.

Meanwhile, I got a belated order to attack the wrong bases with TLAMs....

After a bit of a lull, another Dagger and Mirage strike came in. This fared no better than the previous one, with 14 enemy planes destroyed without loss...but I was starting to run low on CAP.

Suddenly, the amphibious convoy appeared to the NW of the islands, three transports escorted by the Type 42 Heracles, the Almirante Brown and two Esporas. The big issue was how to get anything past the Heracles's Sea Darts. These outranged my Paveways and my subs had no anti-surface torpedoes.

I decided to wear down the SAMs with a series of attacks. Sent Cumberland in with 5 Harpoons from a safe distance. To my astonishment, all five missiles hit because the enemy had their radars off!!. Unfortunately, though down to 4 knots, all three stricken transports soldiered-on towards Port Stanley.

Encouraged and incredulous, I manouevred my smaller relief group to cut the convoy off. As I did so, the damaged Sarandi reappeared and tried to intervene. With just 8 Harpoons on the destroyer Cornwall, I spared one for the interloper and crippled her with it. Left her to wallow and continued.

The Fuerza Aerea Argentina then sent-in a wave of 8 Fightinghawks (basically old A4 Skyhawks). Intercepted with a pair of Typhoons and the Ark's Harriers but rolled bad virtual dice with the latter. As a result, two of the A4s got close enough to be knocked-down by the Cornwall's SAMs. I now had very little CAP left available and the SAS reported that the Argentines had enough A4s for another two strikes.

Just as one was taking-off, Cornwall got into range of the convoy and loosed Harpoons. In an act of utter folly, the Argentines kept their radars off and, although two missiles aimed at one transport BOTH malfunctioned, the other two were sunk. This ended the game with a score of 255, with the invasion attempt presumably thwarted. Ground radars apart, I didn't lose a single unit.

Overall, a very enjoyable scenario. It would, however, be much harder if the Argentine convoy had its radars on!!.







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RE: Southern Fury 2010 - 8/14/2020 4:49:02 PM   
Schr75


Posts: 769
Joined: 7/18/2014
From: Denmark
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Hi fitzpatv

Great AAR.

A few things stuck out to me though.

First.
The Spearfish torpedo is not only capable of attacking surface ships as well as subs, it´s extremely good at it.
If you look in the DB viewer you can see that it have both surface ships and subs listed as valid targets as well as a max range for both types of targets.

Second.
You were annoyed that your planes defaulted to emcon passive when you removed them from their missions.
Check your emcon settings under the side doctrine menu. This describes all your units default behaviour when not overridden by mission parameters.
It is set to radars passive, but you could always change this to active if you desire.

Hope this helps.

Søren




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RE: Southern Fury 2010 - 8/14/2020 4:57:57 PM   
Schr75


Posts: 769
Joined: 7/18/2014
From: Denmark
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... and the side doctrine.

You can control a lot of stuff from here




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RE: Southern Fury 2010 - 8/16/2020 6:07:57 PM   
fitzpatv

 

Posts: 142
Joined: 3/20/2019
Status: offline
Thanks for that, Soren. One of the main things I like about these forums is the chance to get advice like this from more experienced players...and there's so much to learn about this game.

The Spearfish issue was a complete blind spot on my part. I checked the submarines' weapons and just didn't read what was there properly. I guess it made things a bit more challenging for me!.

I've never looked much beyond the General page of the Side Doctrine window until now. Just did an experiment and set radars to Active for this scenario, then checked HMS Cumberland. Oddly, her radars stayed Passive (even after I then switched-off the default EMCON setting on the unit's Sensor window) and still needed to be set to Active manually. So I still don't really understand how this works.

What I find irritating about situations like this is that, in some scenarios, units default to irrational settings e.g. fighters taking-off with their radars off or ASW planes being set to Weapons Free, so that they shoot at shoals of fish. It means that the player has to have eyes in the back of their head when they already have lots of more legitimate things to consider. Maybe the designers are deliberately trying to catch people out, perhaps they're just being careless or, in some cases, it maybe reflects the real-world doctrines of the nations concerned, but...

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RE: Southern Fury 2010 - 8/16/2020 7:22:10 PM   
Schr75


Posts: 769
Joined: 7/18/2014
From: Denmark
Status: offline
Hi fitzpatv

Glad to help. That´s what this forum is all about

I just tried to change the EMCON setting my self and the Cumberland went active just fine.
When you set radar to active, did you click yes to the pop-up asking to enforce EMCON on all units (see attached pic)?

About default WRA settings, this is all about the scenario designers own preferences.
Patrol missions are all by default weapons free. This makes sense in most cases. You don´t want your interceptors to try to ID their targets at close range while the enemy is shooting at them

But there is of course situations where other settings would make more sense.
Personally I like to micro manage, so most of my units are weapons hold.

Also, you don´t want your fighters to be radar active if they are under AWACS control as this will give away their position and ID. On the other hand you do want them active if you need them to seek out their own targets.

My point is.
There´s no single correct setting.
Before you start a scen, spend some time reviewing all missions WRA and EMCON settings.
This way all units will behave accordingly to your master plan, and you will not get any unpleasant surprises regarding own unit behavior.
What the enemy does, that´s another thing

Hope you can use this and don´t worry if it all seems a bit overwhelming.
There´s a gazilion things you can control in this great sim but you don´t have to know them all to perform well.
Just dive inn and experiment. When you screw up is when you learn new stuff

Søren




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