Fiery Cross 2021

Post descriptions of your brilliant successes and unfortunate demises.

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DWReese
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Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Miami, Florida

Fiery Cross 2021

Post by DWReese »

I helped Al to create this scenario, but I stopped short of seeing it completed because I wanted to play it, and I didn't want to be aware of all of his secrets before that time. Today, I actually played the scenario.

This is a fictional scenario whereby the US finally decides to get rid of the Chinese units and end their occupation from man-made islands in the Spratly Island chain. The US player is given numerous heavily-armed air assets in Guam; a decent amount of air units in the Philippines; several subs, including the Ohio, which has over 150 land-attack Tomahawk missiles; a US Carrier Group, based around the USS Roosevelt. There are plenty of air units here, so this scenario seems to be a cakewalk.

The Chinese have a carrier group in the South China Sea; some fortified islands with some heavy SAMs; a bunch of long-ranged air strikers; an undefined number of ballistic missiles. I assume that this meant DF-21s and DF-26s. The DF-21 travels at a speed of 6500 kts, while the DF-21 flies at 10000 kts.

A check of Guam reveals that they have a THAAD battery, and the USS carrier group has a total of 4 RIM-161 Es, and 8 RIM 161 Bs and Cs. The difference is the E-version has a range of over 1300 miles, and the B and C-versions have a range of 200 miles.

I began the scenario by arming almost all of my Hornets with either HARMs or ITALDS. My intention was to bleed the SAM sites on the islands dry, and then use the sub's Tomahawks to wipe out all of the Chinese assets. That was the plan, anyway.

SPOILER ALERT:

The game began with a quick, incoming ballistic missile strike on Guam. I knew this was possible from playtesting, but there is very little that you can do about it. The THAAD knocked out all but two of the missiles, and some of my bunkers sustained some damage. No problem.

A few minutes later, I have 7 incoming ballistic missiles headed for my carrier. Not to fear because I have 12 anti-ballistic missiles to combat it. Wrong! These were DF-26s, and they travel at 10000 kts. While my anti-ballistic missiles can attack that, the RIM 161 B and C only have a range of 200 miles. Within 200 miles, the incoming DF-26s are already below the deck and can't be engaged. So, they are worthless. The RIM 161 Es knocked out 4 of the 7, so I had 3 more to deal with. The aircraft carrier's jammer took care of 2, but the last one hit, causing 1200 points worth of damage, but no loss of any points.

The briefing indicated that China had been involved with war already, and that they weren't expected to have many ballistic missiles. So, I felt pretty good, figuring that I had weathered the storm. My flight operations were still operational, but were limited. That didn't matter because I wasn't flying anywhere anytime soon anyway.

A little while later, I noticed that my CAP was heading for a land base because they couldn't land on the carrier, and my new CAP would not take off. So, I guess that the damage was worse than I believed. Will this last? Who knows?

A little while later a long line of Chinese warplanes made their way south and began firing at the carrier group. It took every RIM 174 that the TG had to defeat the attack. Believing that the worst was now over, and the carrier could soon resume Air Ops, I pressed forward. About an hour later a new threat emerged. More ballistic missiles. And, these were DF-26s again. With nothing to fight back with, the carrier had to just absorb the hits. All 3 struck the carrier, causing about 80 percent damage. This time, I lost 5000 points, and my total score was -4000 and something.

What was worse was the fact that the carrier's reactor was destroyed, so it could no longer move. It was flooding, and had a Major Fire. It was a sitting duck for the rest of the scenario. It was too far away to launch any aircraft (which hadn't been destroyed), so it was nothing more than a target.

I then had to alter my plans. I fired all of the Tomahawks that I could, used all of the air assets that I had available, and managed to cripple the island bases. My score went from about -4500 up to +650, which was AVERAGE.

I ended the scenario after the US carrier had sealed all of the leaks, and extinguished all of its fires. The Chinese didn't seem to be very interested in pursuing after the aircraft carrier, and the US was basically out of missiles on everything other than what could be loaded on the air assets at Guam.

I lost the following assets:
1x E-737 Wedgetail
2x EA-18G Growler
3x F/A-18B Hornet
1x F-35A Lightning II
1x F-35A Lightning II
1x KC-10A Extender

All of which were lost when Chinese planes managed to get too close to them. I believe that the new radar rules might be in play here.

This was billed to be a "shoot 'em up" scenario, which it was. I sincerely saw the point range scale going from -10000 to +10000 and I really couldn't see how this wasn't going to end in a Triumph. But, not having enough assets to deal with the incoming DF-26s means that some of this is luck. If, by chance, the carrier had sunk, then I would have lost another 5000 points, and I would have been back to -4500 again, which would have been a disaster.

So, much of this is fun, with a whole lot of luck involved as well. I don't know if the availability of the DF-26 is randomized or not. If it is, then I probably just got the worst end of the deal. Fewer DF-26s, or more RIM 161Es would have raised my score significantly.

It was fun, and I'd recommend it.

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BeirutDude
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Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:44 am
Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA

RE: Fiery Cross 2021

Post by BeirutDude »

Nice write up Doug.

This scenario has gone through the greatest number of tweaks of any I have done. I just tweaked the missile loadouts for the CSG. At one time experimented with a dedicated DF-21D/DF-26 hunting Surface Action Group with the radar Ttacking vessel USNS Howard O. Lorenzen (T-AGM-25) paired with a dedicated Burke heavy in RIM 174s and RIM-161C/Es but they were taking out the H-6s instead of the missiles. So I took it out without adding more RIM-161C/Es to the CSG. Also early on the DF-26s weren't in there so the strategy then was to stay just out of the DF-21D range and use land based tankers to launch a long range airstrike.

Revised scenario file removed, because it sucked!!!!!! Just saying.
"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!
DWReese
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Miami, Florida

RE: Fiery Cross 2021

Post by DWReese »

Thanks, Al.

I sure had fun testing it for you back in the day. It may of had some help with the RIM-161 E deficiency, but it was still lots of fun to play.

I downloaded the new one, and I'll give it a whirl tomorrow. It was a wild day with this scenario today. I almost pulled a Kushan and lost a carrier. <G>

Doug
DWReese
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Miami, Florida

RE: Fiery Cross 2021

Post by DWReese »

Al,

I sent you a detailed Private Message, as I did not want to mention some things publically.

Doug
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KungPao
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Location: Winnie the Pooh's dreamland

RE: Fiery Cross 2021

Post by KungPao »

Hi Doug.
I don't know what is the original version looks like but I think you can continue the fight.
I remember in my gameplay I wiped out all the PLAN's presence on the Spratly Island chain, crippled the woody island. the CVBG strike package's firepower only contribute to 25% of the total damage. Majority destruction work were finished by USN's SSGN and USAF strategic bomber , F35As.

Sir? Do you want to order a Kung Pao Chicken or a Kung Fu Chicken?
DWReese
Posts: 1879
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:40 am
Location: Miami, Florida

RE: Fiery Cross 2021

Post by DWReese »

Yes, I took the scenario as far as I wanted. The islands were sufficiently wiped out. That was not an issue. The whole scenario seems to be able to end with the destruction of the islands. That is a foregone conclusion.

The only real question is whether the Chinese will be able to damage or sink the US carrier. That's what it boils down to. This is where the luck part comes in. No one knows what the results will be when the ABMs go up against the incoming missiles. If they are good, then the missiles will be wiped out, and the carrier will survive. If they are bad, then the carrier will be hit, and possibly sink. If it is only damaged, then you end with an Average score. If it sinks, then you lose. Everything else about this is really irrelevant.

I believe that Al will revise it at a later date as the ABM functions still need to be tweaked by the CMO team as they are still acting sporadically.

Doug
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