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#136 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 03:20 PM

Harpoon 2002.3

 

This is going to be a single post AAR. I chose to play EC 2000 Battle for the Mediterranean - specifically "Deal Breaker". This scenario, set in a US-Europe war, involves you having to enforce a no-fly zone with aircraft not really meant for it i.e. Tornado IDS, Jaguar and so. It could have been very interesting, especially as many of my planes were not even armed at scenario start.

 

However, in both cases, the game crashed after 15 minutes of game time and so I'm moving on.

 

One thing that disappoints me - the distinct lack of platform pictures.



#137 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 06 May 2015 - 12:06 PM

Harpoon Gold 2003.15 is complete and write up will follow soon.



#138 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 21 May 2015 - 08:56 AM

Harpoon Gold 2003.15 - Two Soviet Corvettes (No.65)

 

Among the many things that I watch is a show called The Blacklist, starring James Spader as a former US Navy officer turned international criminal mastermind who for some reason turns himself into the FBI and agrees to help them catch a long "blacklist" of hidden criminals on the provisio that he work with a rookier profiler named Elizabeth Keen, played by Megan Boone. When I discovered that one of my ships was USS Boone (FFG-28, decommed 2012, FWIW) the jokes started to write themselves.

 

Anyway, I sense Raymond Reddington giving me another death glare (what, did he not like my review of the mid-season two parter?) and moving his finger ever so slightly on the trigger, so it's really best I get on with this.

 

****

I decided for this one that it would be quicker to play a small scenario; I picked "Gauntlet" from GIUK 2. This one involves two frigates (a OHP and a British Type 22 or 23, not sure which) escorting two merchant ships up the Norwegian coast to Narvik. Assumedly to provide assistance to NATO forces and not because they're pining for the fjords... I also have the local airfield to provide SAM cover.

 

One feature that I immediately liked here was the message log that displays all the contacts, missile results etc. A pity that it didn't save the messages between gaming sessions.

So to play...

 

 

 



#139 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 27 May 2015 - 11:51 AM

So to business. The first thing I did was to set up ASW patrol zones ahead of my surface group as it headed north, although I would not encounter a single submarine.

 

Shortly afterwards, a group of aircraft were seen approaching Narvik. They entered SAM range and the local defences opened fire. Six MiG-23s went down faster than a criminal whose gotten on the wrong side of Raymond Reddington, although they did have time to score hits with five AS-7 missiles.

 

Then things went quiet. Very quiet. There are noisier graves. Almost 14 game hours passed before I discovered a Nanuchka corvette ahead of me. I waited until the range was firmed up a bit, while readying a Lynx with Sea Skuas - one ship turned out to be two. Once range was firmer, Boone launched its Harpoons at what I later discovered was called Molniya (lightning). After putting up a defence as convincing as a certain wig, the ship was fatally damaged and I was treated to a rendition of "Rule Britannia", which is a bit considering that it was an American ship (and a OHP to boot) that sunk it.

 

The other ship made no evasive efforts at all. I launched my Lynx to deal with the remaining. It got into range, launched its missiles and then retreated as the radars came on, to no avail as I sunk my second vessel.

 

There were no further threats and I just winded forward until I reached minimum victory conditions. With a bitmap picture of fireworks by Nelson's Column and "God Save The Queen" playing (in a bit of a slip, I initially wrote "King" in my notes), I decided not to carry on.

 

Short and sweet, but still lacking some certain things; like remembering stuff between game sessions.



#140 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 12 December 2015 - 05:17 PM

This isn't dead, I'm resuming this after a long break.



#141 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 11:00 AM

Just completed the penultimate scenario; the write up will appear over the next few weeks.



#142 CV32

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 12:00 PM

Just completed the penultimate scenario; the write up will appear over the next few weeks.

 

Great. Looking forward to it.



#143 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 29 December 2016 - 11:46 AM

Harpoon Gold 2003.16b3: Cruise Missiles, We're Looking for those Cruise Missiles...

 

Playing this, I now realise why the USSR was so frightened of the Gryphon and Tomahawk cruise missile to the point they set up the Perimeter system. When the other side can launch a devastating wave of weaponry from any point in a very large area with the only way you can know for sure is when it appears over the horizon, at which point there is two minutes or less to impact... that's a great big deal.

 

I would ultimately lose this scenario because of Tomahawks.

 

****

For my penultimate go of Classic Harpoon - yes, I know it took me 18 months to get through it, next time I'll play a shorter scenario - I chose Dead Calm, from the Battle for the North Atlantic campaign from EC2003.

 

Playing the Red, i.e. Russian side, I had a multi-faceted mission:

  • Provide Air Defence for Iceland, currently under occupation by my forces (Question: How seriously did NATO prepare for this scenario?). This involves relaying a large quantity of planes from the Kola Peninsula to Iceland and vice versa.
  • Escort various convoys to various destinations, including returning a carrier group to Kola.

I actually had three attempts at this. On the first one, I forgot to set my aircraft on ferry mode and most of them dropped into the ocean. The second time, the game crashed. The third time, I actually forgot to set some units on high altitude and lost a group of Su-25s. Wish the game would actually think about altitude when processing a ferry mission...

 

Barely had I started the scenario that a bunch of TLAMs turn up and two hit one of my airbases. The radars from the ships about to leave went on very quickly and the remaining missiles are shot down. A single Su-33 from my CAG was launched to try and locate the enemy submarine, but to no avail - it was the only resource I had as my dedicated submarine hunters were still on their way. Once that had returned to base, it formed up with the rest of its fellow aircraft and the Su-25s providing tanker support; the ones that would later run out of fuel and crash in Norway.

 

As they were heading back, a F/A-18 showed up and I launched four MiG-25s to intercept it.



#144 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 04 January 2017 - 09:44 AM

Unfortunately the MiG-25s are not exactly the longest range aircraft in the world and the Super Hornet started to flee. So I sent some MiG-29s in its general direction, hoping to get a location for the American carrier group at the same time. These proved neither able to intercept the F/A-18 or find the CVBG.

 

So I sent a Bear and a Coot to have a look. They located a Hawkeye and a Prowler... then were shot down without any warning. This wasn't exactly a good move for me. My personal guess is that they were shot down by Phoenix missiles fired from F-14s.

 

Forty minutes later, a batch of inbound missiles turned up near my helicopter carrier group. Moskva managed to shoot them all down. Shortly afterwards, I picked up a pair of large aircraft contacts, which turned out to be F-14s - not exactly small planes after all. A bunch of Flankers were sent in their general direction, but could not get close enough to engage before having to return to base for lack of fuel. Six Su-35s and 5 Su-34s were then sent on a patrol near the location of the fighters; at which point, I figured out that ones returning to base could engage the Tomcats if they were then diverted to a closer facility on Iceland.

 

This time, they managed to get in range, firing off R-37/AA-X-13 missiles... that ended up missing... a lot. Approaching bingo fuel, these fired off 16 missiles, which finally had the desired effect. In the fact that they actually shot down two F-14s.

 

This, however, merely made the Americans mad and they started to engage my Su-34s, destroying all five of them. I ordered the -35s back to base as it wasn't worth losing them as well. They returned to base and shortly after - at 06:57, eight more cruise missiles turned up, doing 73% damage to one of my bases, only being defended by Strelas, those handheld SAMs only really being good for helicopters if that...

 

Things then got quiet for a while. Until another Hornet turned up. I scrambled fighters to intercept it, as well as launching a AEW bird for a patrol. The Su-35s fired more R-37s at this and again took more than should really be needed for downing a Hornet...

 

At this point, a batch of TLAM-D missiles turned up; but this time I had aircraft in a position to do something about it...



#145 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:52 AM

The Tomahawk missile is essentially a small low-flying aircraft with no weaponry or capability to defend itself. If detected, it is possible to shoot down a cruise missile with an aircraft; indeed, it was done with the V-1s during the Second World War.

 

With modern air-to-air missiles, it is a good deal easier. My Su-35s and MiG-25 engaged the Tomahawks, shooting them all down. They then had to return to base due to lack of fuel, which was problematic as a F-14 then promptly showed up and downed my Ka-31 AEW helicopter. The F-14 was shot down within three minutes, but I had lost a vital observation platform.

 

A Hornet then dispatched two MiG-29s before they knew it and fled before I could intercept it. At which point, more Tomahawks showed up. The first wave of eight went down, but I was only able to destroy six of the next lot of 30 before they took out one of my infantry bases.

 

An hour after that, another MiG-29 disappeared to an unseen assailant. A further hour after that, a single Hornet was detected and this time the Fulcrums did their job; they destroyed the interloper with the superb R-73/AA-11 heatseekers.

 

Shortly after this, I got a ESM detection on an American aircraft carrier...

 

(As a side note, I've just noticed the changing icons in the browser tab for this site. Nice feature!)



#146 TonyE

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 03:37 PM

The Tomahawk missile is essentially a small low-flying aircraft with no weaponry or capability to defend itself.

 

<snip>

 

 

(As a side note, I've just noticed the changing icons in the browser tab for this site. Nice feature!)

That whole post is a great advertisement for HC!    One of the perennial struggles is to keep playing the game engaging while at the same time improving it.  As for the website favicon; it was a fun little creation that I have to remember to restore each time I update the forum software (which needs a major upgrade :( ).



#147 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 18 February 2017 - 08:54 AM

Unfortunately a single ESM bearing isn't in itself very good at narrowing down the location. I sent a group of MiG-29s in that general direction to see if they could find anything, but they had no luck there.

 

Then things started going south. Literally - my SSGNs finished reloading and started their journey towards Bermuda... and metaphorically as I started losing a lot of aircraft. Some of them went with no warning whatsoever. The losses included a batch of modern jets, in one case four Su-35 going without getting a shot off and five Su-34s being lost for only two F/A-18s in return. Speaking of Hornets, these were rather good at avoiding my own missiles.

 

I launched an A-50 Mainstay AWACS to try and improve my warning time... which itself got downed 96 minutes after I ordered it to be launched. Next time assign an escort...

 

I did finally manage to locate the US carrier and as the fighters who located downed two aircraft (a Hawkeye and a Seahawk), I rearmed six of the Su-35s I still had with standoff weapons for an attack on the flattop.

 

Things were not, however, improving. Seven MiG-29s were shot down out of nowhere and I lost three of my strike Su-35s in exchange for only two US Navy jets... I initially ordered the survivors to return to base, but when a F/A-18 turned up on their tail, I decided that they weren't going down without a fight.

 

So the Flankers changed course again for a major air battle...



#148 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 05 March 2017 - 07:22 AM

The Su-35s managed to down a EA-6D Prowler, but now out of missiles, the Hornet was dealt with by a bunch of MiGs that I launched. They continued towards the carrier group, taking out of a pair of Hawkeyes and three helicopters with their guns. I commented that I was dropping choppers like an axeman...

 

The Flankers located the carrier again and decided that it was now time to bug out; at which point 8 SM-2s were launched, destroying two of my fighters. Another wave of the SAMs took out another, but more escaped. This chased down and destroyed a Prowler before it too went down as well. Elsewhere, two MiG-25s were downed by invisible missiles and I lost another one to lack of fuel.

 

There was a slight panic as a Prowler bird arrived over one of my bases, which I feared was the arrival sign of another air strike, but this was quickly dealt with by the local base defences.

 

Over an hour passed before something else happened; namely a sub-launched Harpoon sunk one of my 'Grisha' corvettes. A lot of helicopters were quickly launched to try and locate the helicopter, but to no immediate avail.

 

Twenty minutes later, a Hornet got rather close to a pair of Il-38s. I ordered them back to base, but this was too late for the 'Mays' as both of them were easily downed by the carrier launched jet.

 

My surface group off Canada, heading east, spotted a Seahawk near it. The radars on the ships were swiftly turned on and this proved to be a wise decision. For at 0343, a missile was detected heading for the group...



#149 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 17 March 2017 - 12:42 PM

This missile ended up being three missiles, but fortunately my surface group was packing a modern frigate in the form of Neustrashimyy, whose 'Gauntlet' SAMs, despite having a range of only 6.5nm, dealt with all three missiles. As we learned in the Divide & Conquer PBX, US missiles are slow things and so there is plenty of time to fire again at them if you don't hit the first time.

 

Shortly after this threat was removed, I detected a helicopter on my radar for this group. It wasn't in my range, but I figured correctly that an actual ship was in the vicinity. This helicopter then fired at me with a missile that I'd never heard of; something called a AGM-122 Sidearm and was identified as an Apache Scout. A look at Wikipedia and FAS informs me that the former were anti-radar conversions of withdrawn AIM-9Cs used on helicopters, although all have been expended. The Apache Scout is a hypothetical Special Forces version of the AH-64 created purely for this game.

 

At any rate, the two AGM-122s were shot down before they could cause any damage. Shortly afterwards, a Seahawk came to the party and back over Iceland, a Hornet was spotted.

 

At 0429, a Flanker chased the Hornet, got into range and fired off all six of its radar guided missiles. Unfortunately, during their journey towards the US fighter, the aircraft lost radar lock and the missiles 'went stupid'. Shortly afterwards, the Flanker got shot down.

 

A bunch of large air contracts turned up near the Canada group, but these turned out to be F-15s, with no capacity to do any damage. In fact, three of them got too close to one of my transport ships... and were downed by Iglas!

 

This triumph lasted twenty minutes until 0538, when two missiles appeared heading for my carrier group north of Iceland...



#150 Silent Hunter UK

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:12 AM

Fortunately, I managed to easily destroy the missiles. These had come from a submarine somewhere in the general vicinity of my carrier and I launched my aircraft to take a look but to no real success.

 

My SSGN group, heading down the east coast of the United States, detected a LPD and fired eight missiles at it on a Bearing Only Launch; two of them hit home, but I don't believe I sunk it. Elsewhere, I lost two more Il-38s to fighter attacks - a lesson for the future will be to have escorts with these planes.

 

One of my Grishas came under submarine torpedo attack; while this immediately launched a torpedo back down the bearing (a very nice feature), it was unable to evade the incoming weapon and was sunk. I did not get a fix on the attacker...

 

Shortly afterwards, a Ka-25 was shot down by a Hornet that I had no immediate method of dealing with...

 

At just before 1000, a total of six Harpoons were fired at my Sovvie destroyer. As those of you who read the PBEM forums will be likely be aware, six of those things is nowhere near enough to get through the powerful defences of that class and all were shot down.

 

The carrier group reached its destination in Iceland and after some difficulties, including subs running aground, I asked Tony how to dock the ships and most of them were indeed joined up in a group with the base. I still had four game days left to play, so things were clearly not quite done.

 

Near Newfoundland, my Neustrashimyy-led surface group was slowly but surely closing on the NATO ships there and I fully expected a surface engagement at some point, but it was not to occur yet. What did happen were a lot of large air contacts that were shadowing it but not actually engaging... They dropped off scope, then came back 1 3/4 hours later before disappearing again.

 

At 1233, four of them began heading directly for my FFG group and I believed I was about to be attacked by them...






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