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A walk through the H3 versions


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Here we are! Harpoon 2.1.13 running under the Dos version of Windows 98.

Original Database.

Scenario is 'Taking of the Black Sea Fleet', Battleset Global Conflicts One.

One of my all time favourites. Played it many times, under all H3 versions, too.

Side: Ukraine

Order of Battle:


Three squadrons, six birds each, of Fulcrums. All have order to launch asap.

Three squadrons, four birds each, of Backfire bombers, all have my order to launch asap.

 

Eight Badger J Jammers.

 

Four Bear-D Recon birds.

 

A Charlie SSGN II and one Tango Class SS.

 

A small SAG, centered on a Kashin Class DDG.

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Playing this scenario under the Original Database (ODB) means that Shipwreck SSMs are land attack capable. And they wreak havoc on the Ukrainian bases. Maybe this is why I like to play the scenario using the ODB.

 

Anybody knows about the Shipwreck missile? Was it ever land attack capable?

 

I have my doubts that a Mach 2 missile can do terrain following and can score precise hits.

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Scenario started!

 

Dozens of Vampires inbound!

 

I hope that as many ac as possible have taken off before the missiles hit.

 

At first the SAM sites assigned to Sevastopol AB are hit. Then the base itself. Many Fulcrums die grounded. Only half a dozen makes it into the sky.

 

Saki AB is hit, too. But here, at least, no ac are destroyed on the ground. And most took off early enough.

 

The SAG gets a pounding, too, losing one ship.

 

All in all a hard first blow, but not a decisive one. The Ukrainian forces are alive and can strike back.

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Counterstrike!

 

Since the Heart of the Problem is not the hostile carrier, but the landing flotilla, I set up the following plan:

 

Distract with the remaining Fulcrums, the Badger Jammers and the Kingfish armed Backfires the carrier group.

 

Fly with the four Kickback armed Backfires a half circle and attack the landing flotilla from the South East.

 

Part one:

- The Fulcrums go into the dogfight with Russian Flankers. They score well and down eight.

 

- The eight Backfires fire all their missiles at the Kusnetzov. No hit, but the carrier group fires tons of SAMs in order to survive the missile strike

 

- The four other Backfires attack from the South East and sink one LST.

 

And now the playing field is level. If Saki´s runways are repaired, I can launch the next attack wave.

 

Meanwhile I try to close in with the Charlie II SSGn which is not easy. Russian helos seem to have detected it.

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oops...I had forgotten, that this old H2 AI is far more aggressive than the ANW/UE one.

 

And so... I lost...

 

...the Charlie SSGN by rocket boosted torps

...two Bear recce birds

...more Fulcrums, leaving me with four, grounded at Saki

...the whole little SAG

...some more Badger jammers

 

All I have is now grounded at Saki AB and waiting for the runways to be repaired. And yes, there´s still the sole Tango SS, my only asset currently in service.

 

In the meantime I got 11 Flankers, still only one LST and one Udaloy. And eight choppers which attacked my SAG with torps.

 

Rather poor tactics on my side.

 

The question is if I can launch my aircraft in time or if the landing flotilla will land its troop sfirst and thus conquer Sevastopol.

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The Russian carrier group relentlessly closes in towards Sevastopol. Its Flanker Fighters sweep over my bases and kill my last four Fulcrums, the last Badgers and even four Backfires.

 

On the other hand, the Backfires damage several Russian vessels, though not enough to stop them.

 

And now the great day of that Tango class diesel sub has come: It manages what the Charlie II nuke sub could not perform - to penetrate the Russian carrier group. The helos simply seem to be unably to get exact fixes on the Tango. And now the tide changes and Ukraine has badly needed success: the sub sinks a FFG and a DDG, and damages both the carrier and the Kirov class BCGN.

 

All torps are gone and the Tango leaves the carrier group unscathed, what a performance.

 

It closes in on the landing flotilla and shadows the reamining Alligator LST and the Ivan Rogov LPD.

 

Eight Backfires left to do the job. All are rearmed with short ranged Kickback ASMs.

 

One by one they are launched. One is shot down by Flankers but the others first sink the Alligator and the the Ivan Rogov.

 

Though the carrier group lies directly at Sevastopol harbor, Ukraine has won! The landing flotilla litters the bottom of the Black Sea.

 

This was a real tough fight.

 

And how tense it was and how unclear the outcome.

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IIRC, the Tango is much quieter than the Charlie II.

 

Yes, obviously. But I never thought the difference could be that huge. While I never, in all my sessions with this scenario, managed to penetrate the hostile formation and save the Charlie II, it was rather easy with the Tango SSK.

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Silent Hunter´s AARs displaying his way through the HC versions are fascinating. I will start a similiar walkthrough, based on the H3 version.

 

Very much looking forward to this. H3 is a long time waiting for me, stil have all versions on my box, only I got immersed in HCE after instaling HUE :).

Features / changes comparision between the versions, like Silent Hunter Uk did, would be much appreciated.

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If I can get my old rig running, I´ll even start with Harpoon 2, running under MS DOS 6.2 ! Will find out today.

 

Ah, H2, that was the version which made me hung up on Harpoon for like 20 years.

Can't exactly recall it was some bug/crash, I remember I did all the tutorials but one of the first scenarios had some deep problem with, I think, SAM engagements.

Probably I was running it under some Windows version though, not DOS.

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