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AAR: Big Lizzie and Big George


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#1 CV32

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 07:01 AM

After Action Report : Big Lizzie and Big George

 

A scenario by Broncepulido for the EC2003 GIUK battleset and the HCDB2-170714 database.

 

Spoilers apply!

 

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I played this scenario from the Blue side, commanding the combined QE and Bush carrier groups in the North Sea, together with a handful of shore based aircraft assets.

 

At game start, friendly reconnaissance assets quickly discovered a combined Russian/Chinese surface action group in the North Sea centred around the battlecruiser Peter the Great and a Chinese Type 052D destroyer.

 

Although the sides are immediately hostile from start, I chose to permit Red to make the best overtly hostile move. In doing so, I purposefully avoiding approaching the Russian/Chinese SAG too closely.

 

It didn't take long, however, before probing flights by Su-27 and Su-35 Flankers attacked my friendly CAP and maritime reconnaissance assets, as well as my AEW&C. I lost a French Atlantique 2 in the resulting skirmish.

 

Red having drawn first blood, I turned my attention to the enemy SAG.

 

The SAG was too far from its own air cover to guarantee its survival, and its fate was very quickly sealed.

 

A major barrage of Russian antiship cruise missiles from the SAG, fired against the combined RN/USN carrier group, was repelled.

 

Combined SEAD and ASuW strikes against the Red SAG subsequently dismantled it piece by piece, and minimum victory was achieved with 4:06:06 to go.

 

Thanks to Broncepulido for providing the scenario.



#2 Palex80

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 06:39 AM

I played this scenario from the Blue side. 

 

Quickly deploying Sentries and Hawkeyes I was able to spot the Russian and Chinese surface groups in the North Sea that were steaming quite close to each other.

 

Since I was still at weapons tight, I tasked a lone F/A-18C to overfly the Russian battle group. It was fired upon and managed to dodge the missile running away on afterburner. 

 

I decided to deploy a CAP over Denmark and Southern Sweden to defend against possible Russian probing aircraft. 

In the ensuing air battles I lost 8 aircraft to Russian AAMs, mostly to the fearsome long range PAK-50. RAF Typhoons also took some losses with their shorter ranged AMRAAMs forcing them to come quite close to the Russian aircraft before being able to fire. All in all though, my AEW assets allowed me to keep the radars of my fighter aircraft shut off, so that the Russians often found out too late who was tracking them.

 

Repeated strikes against the SAGs resulted in the sinking of all ships. I did have to launch 7 or some strike packages until finally I succeeded. I tried to manuever a Trafalgar SSN closer to the Russian battle group only to have it sunk by an undetected foe. 

 

MINVIC was achieved with 4:03:15 remaining.

After than that I spotted several Russian submarines and tried to hit them, SOSUS also provided me a bearing to another Russian submarine. In the end I had sunk one Akula, one Sierra II and one Oscar submarine, while taking no losses.

Just before ending the scenario, I launched a major strike against Kaliningrad with all my F/A-18s with SLAMs/JSOWs and all my Tomahawks destroying one base and heavily damaging the other.

 

 

Good game!

 

The RAF is a bit underrepresented with only 12 Typhoons maybe and the lack of enough strike assets makes repeated strikes against the two surface groups necessary. I did not see any modern Russian strike aircraft or bombers, perhaps I should play the Red side too? Only Su-27s/30s/35s and PAK-50s as well as Su-24 Fencers, mainly in the recon configuration. I didn't see any Backfires or Fullbacks?



#3 CV32

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 11:21 AM

The RAF is a bit underrepresented ...


I understood this was quite intentional.

#4 broncepulido

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:48 AM

Yes, RAF and Russian forces are intentionally reduced, more or less explained in the scenario orders. This scenario pretends to be historically accurate, showing a limited RAF readiness and response, and also the Russian limitations to covertly deploy air elements to Kaliningrad to prevent an escalate. Also, old variants of AS-4 were apparently retired some years ago, and the new variant (Kh-32) is perhaps not yet deployed.



#5 TonyE

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:15 AM

In the ensuing air battles I lost 8 aircraft to Russian AAMs, mostly to the fearsome long range PAK-50. RAF Typhoons also took some losses with their shorter ranged AMRAAMs forcing them to come quite close to the Russian aircraft before being able to fire. All in all though, my AEW assets allowed me to keep the radars of my fighter aircraft shut off, so that the Russians often found out too late who was tracking them.


Thank you for the AAR! What I really like about this one is feeling the shift in generations of weapons. When I started playing HC back in the dark ages, the Sparrow ruled the roost as it were. Then the AA-10 showed up and required NATO to display some additional piloting skill. AMRAAM later hit the scene and as a player I found myself reloading from Sparrow to AMRAAM at scenario start despite the risk of being pummeled in the opening engagements. It gave me that much of a leg up! Now we are entering a new age where the traditional Blue side has to work for kills and put the key and fragile AEW platforms in exposed positions. I haven't pitted PAK-FA against the networked US force as yet but your AAR makes me want to do that ASAP (alas I'll keep my head down in the code but eventually...)!

#6 rainman

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:41 AM

Spoilers apply...

Just finished this one playing Red.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the RED side, I was at some disadvantage. No bombers, very few effective attack aircraft, and most importantly, no tankers. I would have to maintain a CAP over my surface groups with an average time on station of about 30 minutes. I got 6 SU-57's in the draw, and 12 SU-35's. These aircraft with their long range missiles would prove to be the key to winning. The other problem is that with no really effective attack jets, I would have only the missiles in my ship's magazines available. This meant that a premature attack would disappear in a swarm of enemy SAM's. The only sub close enough to make a difference was an ancient Kilo, with just a few torpedos. I worked on attritting enemy air assets, eventually shooting down most of the carrier's air group, with losses of my own as well. The English Typhoons had a habit of showing up at the worst possible time as well, costing me more aircraft. I used the very long range AAM's sparingly, concentrating on AEW and ASW aircraft. The Kilo got into range, and detected an inbound torpedo. It shot all six of its weapons, sinking a Norwegian frigate and minimally damaging both carriers. It then sank in a storm of torpedo fire. Now it was time for the main event. I launched 3xSU-30 and 4x SU-57 with SEAD ordnance, hoping that both of the enemy CG's would be silenced as the first wave of SSM's arrived. It was not to be- The carrier launched its last few jets, and most of the antiradar missiles (and all seven aircraft) were shot down. A volley of missiles from the Chinese group died next in a swarm of Ageis SAM's, and of a shot of 24X SS-N-26's, aimed at the American carrier, five got through and obstinately attacked a frigate instead. I thought that all was lost, as I would lose a gun battle with these folks, when the last volley of SS-N-19's got through and six hit the American carrier, giving me total victory at 4:09;05 to go. Quite challenging and fun, thanks so much.



#7 Palex80

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 03:22 AM

AAR this time as RED

 

I started by organizing CAPs over my two surface groups. This was quite stressful, since no tankers are available and range is an issue here.

I was not sure if overflying Denmark was actually allowed, since the scenario background said something about nuclear blackmail but did not state I had to use international space to get to the theater of operations.

All in all and the long range AAMs of the Flankers and PAK-50 are very effective and F/A-18s and Typhoons were easily killed. Some AEW assets were also destroyed. 

 

Some air strikes did get through, mainly undetected and I had to face Harpoons and Harms. 

The Chinese group took most of the beating and was finally destroyed. I did manage to get a good bearing on the enemy carrier group before this happening and fired several salvoes of missiles, only to see them get downed by Aegis cruisers/destroyers. I tried switching the loadout of some of the Flankers to SEAD/Standoff roles, but there was simply no adequate loadout other than some very short-ranged weapons, which would mean the aircraft's destruction against overwhelming SAMs.

 

I was able to divert two of my Kilo submarines against the battle group.

The first attack resulted in the sinking of an Arleigh Burke destroyed and a British frigate. My submarine got killed in the process however.

The second attack was more successful, damaging the American carrier and killing two more escorts. My submarine got away, having run out of weapons.

 

Further volleys of cruise missles were launched from the Russian surface group, killing another escort.

But then I ran out of missiles...

 

My Oscan SSGNs were still quite off in the North and out of range, although I had ordered them into the theater at flank speed once making contact with the enemy carrier group.

 

By now, I had achieved air superiority, having killed over 60 enemy aircraft. Attacks from the American came very seldom and were repelled well enough.

 

I moved closer to the enemy group, only to be confroned by a barrage of Harpoon missiles, which killed a Udaloy destroyed and a frigate.

In the end I had to resort to gun fighting, shelling the enemy vessels. 

I considered manuevering a Typhoon SSBN which was in the region closer in for a torpedo attack, but it would have been clearly madness to risk such an asset in order to make a surface kill.

 

Shelling of the enemy group continued, although the Americans shelled me back, killing one missile boat and damaging a frigate.

The Queen Elizabeth went down first, to be followed by the American carrier. I continued shelling the group, until the last vessels were sinking.

 

Total victory already achieved, I spotted a distant enemy frigate, which seemed to have been operating apart from the carrier group. Luckily, an Oscar SSGN was in range and obliterated it with a volley of 6 cruise missiles.

My surface group had to run away from an enemy torpedo attack. Apparently the enemy carrier battle group was escorted by an SSN. I launched some helicopters, but was unable to spot the enemy submarine.

 

 

Having already won, I wondered what was next...

For the fun of it, I granted myself nuclear release and nuked half of Great Britain to rubbles with Bulava SLBMs from my Typhoon. What a nice way to end this beautiful scenario!



#8 broncepulido

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Posted 16 September 2017 - 05:03 AM

Great report, thanks Palex80, and glad you enjoyed it.

 

The Russian nuclear blackmail theoretically keeps Danes and others "looking other way", and its airspace can be trespassed by Russian aircrafts.

 

SPOILER ALERT:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last Russian Typhoon SSBN was historically present, as the other units, returning from Russian Naval Parade.

 

 

 

I tried switching the loadout of some of the Flankers to SEAD/Standoff roles, but there was simply no adequate loadout other than some very short-ranged weapons, which would mean the aircraft's destruction against overwhelming SAMs.

Yes, I detected that problem building the scenario; probably some loadouts of modern Russian aircraft should be modified with more modern anti-surface missiles. Not sure, but I've the vague memory of don't deploy Su-34 in this scenario by the same reason (Or don't use Su-34, because Russian Naval Aviation Su-30SM are actually deployed now in Kaliningrad).

But my main idea was the Russian player should, at last, sink the carriers employing the submarines.



#9 CV32

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Posted 17 September 2017 - 08:58 AM

Yes, I detected that problem building the scenario; probably some loadouts of modern Russian aircraft should be modified with more modern anti-surface missiles.


Relatively few Russian PGMs have been incorporated into the inventories of the Russian air force, or qualified amongst its front line aircraft. Witness the MiG-29SMT just deployed to Syria but still carrying free-fall iron bombs. In this case, the "problem" is often reality.



#10 Palex80

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:43 AM

I actually think this is also a cost-issue.

In Syria there is opposition to bombing, no SAMs, no AAA.

Is it not "cheaper" for the Russians to drop iron bombs, since they don't need to use standoff weapons or precision guided munitions targetted from high above to avoid opposition from the ground?

 

They did deliver a "show" when they launched that barrage of cruise missiles from their coastal frigates and their long range bombers. They probably spent a couple of dozen million dollars on that day...

 

 

 

The Russians still have many operational Su-24s able to carry smart weapons (although not the latest generations) and the Su-34s are probably their platform of choice for launching feature generation weapons.

 

As far as I understand, the Su-30 variants of the Russian Air Force are able to carry the Kh-31 and Kh-59 missiles, making it a potent strike platform.

I think that database should be probably updated to reflect these issues, although we probably do not have all the details.



#11 CV32

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 05:04 AM

I actually think this is also a cost-issue. In Syria there is opposition to bombing, no SAMs, no AAA. Is it not "cheaper" for the Russians to drop iron bombs, since they don't need to use standoff
weapons or precision guided munitions targetted from high above to avoid opposition from the ground?


Expensive is sending front line aircraft to the theater, maintaining and operating them there, sending them on valuable sorties, occasionally losing them, and then missing the target because you brought dumb munitions.
 

They did deliver a "show" when they launched that barrage of cruise missiles from their coastal frigates and their long range bombers. They probably spent a couple of dozen million dollars on that day...


They have done this repeatedly, including recently from the Admiral Essen and from Kilo class submarines. This is using Syria as a laboratory to test new capabilities.
 

The Russians still have many operational Su-24s able to carry smart weapons (although not the latest generations) and the Su-34s are probably their platform of choice for launching feature generation weapons.
 
As far as I understand, the Su-30 variants of the Russian Air Force are able to carry the Kh-31 and Kh-59 missiles, making it a potent strike platform.
I think that database should be probably updated to reflect these issues, although we probably do not have all the details.


The Russian Su-30 in the DB already has both the Kh-31 and Kh-59 missiles, as well as a host of other PGMs, in its arsenal. What version of the DB are you using?



#12 Palex80

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 03:53 PM

Strange, I am using the updated database HCDB-150928 and my Russian SU-30s can only carry Kedge missiles in the Precis-LR role.



#13 CV32

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:39 PM

Strange, I am using the updated database HCDB-150928 and my Russian SU-30s can only carry Kedge missiles in the Precis-LR role.

 

The most recent version of the database is HCDB2-170909.



#14 Palex80

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 04:25 AM

Thank you! This makes the scenario more enjoyable!



#15 CV32

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Posted 23 September 2017 - 07:05 AM

Thank you! This makes the scenario more enjoyable!

 

The scenario was actually designed for the HCDB2-170714 version of the DB or later.






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