From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
So before going over everything, I'm seriously thinking of scrapping this one as a failed attempt. C:MO just can't handle the nuances of a campaign like Grenada, thus it's no surprise I haven't seen anyone attempt it before. Not a waste of time as I learned a few things and honestly I was working on another NEO scenario that I think would be better than this when I diverted to Grenada.
I set up all the airborne forces from CONUS to take the Point Salines airport as they came online. The Combat Talons were a nice touch. I did notice that the drop zone was at the very ragged edge of all the C-130s' range - I had to cancel a number of RTB orders as they passed by the CVBG.
So a trick there is to rebase the C-130H's to San Juan or Roosevelt Roads as they are in transit to the drop points. I did place tankers at Roosevelt Roads but they can only refuel the Combat Talons. Canceling the RTB would work but might be dangerous.
EDIT: mentioned rebasing and refueling in Notes.
My first immediate action was to send the airborne S-3 on what was intended to be a low-altitude over water reconnaissance mission, where it strayed over land and was promptly shot down. The issue was either that the ignore plotted course setting was enabled, or the plotted course was too close to land. Notwithstanding my poor tactical decision-making, I was impressed by the effectiveness of its FLIR - I'd read about it, but not really had an occasion to try it out before this. It spotted the presence of probably 60% of the forces on the coasts of the island.
I was impressed with their FLIR in the 1980s when I was doing ASW at Cecil Field! You should have seen the imagery for Soviet snorkels and periscopes (not to mention drug runners). I almost always leave Doctrine/WRA to the players, except certain things like surge and Nukes.
Edit: no action on my part. Player option here.
The Night Stalkers didn't have any ground units to carry, so I ferried them over to the USS Guam to accelerate its airborne deployments. These forces from the sea were overwhelming (giving artillery a fire mission on all hostile identified targets took a significant load off of all the CAS forces), and probably the reason my ground losses weren't even higher.
Yes that was an issue, cargo missions. You should have been able to use them to ferry the landed forces on Grenada around the island (as they were actually used). That said, there really is no reason to as the U.S. forces just roll over the PRA/Cubans. This is a problem with doing historical scenarios, the balance of doing things the way they happened vs. conducting other options.
Edit: Suggested basing them at Point Salinas Airport and using for ferrying troops in notes.
The 3 simultaneous SEAL deployments were executed as directed - or at least I tried to. I think the wrong airframe picked up the Governor, and also I may have pressed the special action button too early. Either way, I don't think I got those VPs, and I think it might've been my fault. Was that button supposed to be pressed before the mission began or after the aircraft was on-site?
Not sure myself about the points, my first attempt at using Special Actions. When play testing I always hit the just button before extraction and I got the points.
As hostilities began, the southern SEAL detachment engaged the enemy, which had not been my intention, and was annihilated.
That sort of happened. They were not annihilated but took major losses. In the real event they destroyed the radio transmitter and took a boat offshore to be picked up by a destroyer. They were combat ineffective after that.
I did notice the SEAL deployment aircraft made several trips out, and it wasn't clear whether or not that was your intention. Should those missions be configured for one-time only?
I'll look at that. I just assumed once the SEAL missions were done the player would repurpose the airframes. That's an issue with scenario design, my assumptions are not always what a player will do!
EDIT: The SEAL Team Cargo Missions do not have a One Time Only option. The C/CAR "Snatch and Grab" mission does so I set that to "One Time Only." Will mention repurposing them in the notes.
At this point, I noticed that some aircraft in the ARG weren't outfitted optimally - a couple of Sea Stallions on the Guam were ready to carry 14-ton payloads, but the vessel had only infantry aboard. I chalked it up to the inter-service coordination problems it sounds like plagued the operation and used it to ferry a couple of TOW teams ashore. Incidentally, is there a reason you didn't want the transport helicopters executing the USMC deployment to be able to execute a quick turnaround?
So in real life, we used to keep the CH-53s on the LPH and use them for large teams like TOWs and Mortars. More importantly they would fly over to the LPDs and LSDs and pick up cargo to ferry ashore. Just those platforms didn't have the deck space to carry them routinely. We would keep the alert AH-1's on USS Austin so they could utilize that deck space and not have to contend with normal ops on the LPH when taking off on an alert mission.
EDIT: Adjusted the CH-53s to 24x Marines
I think I tried to set them for quick turn around and it wasn't an option. I will look again.
Edit: I checked and they don't have a quick turn around option for cargo ops. THEY SHOULD, I might make that suggestion to the Developers.
The airdrop happened as planned. There was some significant friendly fire as the US forces engaged hostiles at the airfield. Most of the ground forces maneuvered as required, though one C-130 chalk wound up immobilized, apparently because it landed partially in the ocean, and another pair of ground units became stuck in wetlands. If I might make a suggestion, it could be worth implementing via Lua the addition of aircraft storage facilities for the airport once it is captured, to allow follow-on force deployments via ferry mission as opposed to cargo mission. This might also mitigate the risk of landing in the ocean.
So I wanted to do something like that, have the C-141s land and drop off troops, but In cargo missions I am not sure can you generate a ground unit from "Cargo" ferried to the base? I thought about generating the units via Lua when a 141 landed but again seemed like a LOT of work for very little impact on the scenario. I can tweak the landing area a bit to help mitigate stuck units. BTW, friendly fire happened in the actual operations (one of my friend was injured in a friendly fire incident). Some Rangers were killed by friendly fire.
EDIT: Adjusted drop zone a bit more inland.
ASuW patrol missions from the CVBG with two-plane elements on station took out most of the targets fairly quickly thanks to conservative WRA from airborne weapons, and the landed artillery prioritizing AAA. The star of the show the A-6 Intruder, which I hadn't had a chance to play around with before in such an uncontested environment. Aside from the AC-130, the USAF air support never deployed because it was never needed.
Yes this is my biggest issue with the scenario. The ground units are what they are meant to be TARGETS. So any other use of them is ancillary for the game engine and this is where this scenario really breaks down CAS is much more effective than in real life and artillery dominates. This is why I may scrap it
I called it and ended the scenario with about 1 day to go and a score of 2330 (average) when I couldn't figure out what else to try to accomplish - I didn't see any more hostile units, and all the locked RP zones seemed to be captured. I do think it might be worth locking the landing/drop zone RPs - I accidentally moved one inland for the Marines and had a hard time straightening it out again. This was my first game in a bit, so it was something of a comedy of errors.
They are supposed to be locked. I will look at that.
EDIT: I didn't find any that weren't locked. Did you play in Scenario Editor?
also mentioned it will probably only go one day, unlike the historical event.
I was confused about how the amphibious landing was meant to happen - was the ARG supposed to transit around the island to execute it?
Historically, Phibron4 back loaded some units and yes they entered the Caribbean to execute the landing (where they landed their M-60s).
What ARG forces were meant to be inserted by helicopter as opposed to by landing craft? Clarity on this would be helpful.
I thought there was a portion of the notes where I mention that SEAL Team 4 had determined the beaches near Pearls Airport was suitable for helicopter insertion only? As to the actual landing beaches on the Caribbean side, you can land whatever you want there. C:MO will actually allow you to land LCUs/LCM's, etc. near Pearls to be honest, but historically only helio insertions occurred near Peals and Grenville. Incidentally, Pearls Airport was briefly named MCAS Douglas to honor Sgt Major Fredrick Douglas, who I served with in Beirut, and was killed in the BLT Bombing two days earlier. Great man and a great leader. The look he gave me one day when I was screwing up is forever etched in my mind and all he had to do was give you the look and you knew you needed to get your act together!!! SF Sgt Major!
Also, it might be worth adding a special message after the three sets of forces come ashore to identify what exactly their objectives are.
Crap in real life they didn't know what their objectives were! Seriously they didn't know until Rangers arrived at "True Blue Campus" that there were students at Grand Anse Campus and the Hospital!!!! They were using tourist maps. Same with the Marines they called a LOT of audibles during the operation, and especially the amphibious landing which was NOT in the original plan. So I don't want to totally script it. I thought scripting the SEAL missions and initial landing was enough. Honestly I'm not sure the Amphibious landing is necessary for the scenario, but is historically accurate for those who like to replay history.
It looked like there were some neutral buildings without RPs surrounding them, and I wasn't sure what to do about them.
Just there for historical accuracy. 18 patients were killed at the Mental Hospital in a USN air strike and the other fort was used for refence by forward observers but didn't play a role. If I keep it I will mention that in the notes.
When I play the scenario again, I intend to detach some of the escorts from the CVBG and use them for shore bombardment. I have a feeling they might do a better job of target identification and SEAD for the airfield than the S-3, and have more loiter time than the F-14 with a TARPS loadout.
This is historically accurate. In the Beirut Scenario and Hammana, Lebanon airstrike scenario I removed the escorts so this could not be done, BUT here it would be historically accurate to do so.
< Message edited by BeirutDude -- 9/20/2021 1:23:58 PM >
"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!