The situation: Gulf of Sidra, March 1986
US ships have been ordered to cross Qaddafi's "Line of Death" extending from Misratah to Benghazi to exercise America's Freedom of Navigation rights. Libyan reconnaissance has picked up the two destroyers heading south and dispatches a force to run them off.
We started with three players, and finished with four. We diced for forces. Ziggy won the roll and took the Kidd-class destroyer USS Scott. My son chose the Libyan forces (in their entirety), and I ended up with the USS Caron, a Spruance-class destroyer. The Libyan force consisted of 4 Nanuchka missile boats, a flight of MiG-21s and a flight of Su-22s.
I apologize for any blurry pictures that end up in this batrep. Apparently the camera on my phone doesn't like large blue backgrounds - it has done this before when using the blue sheet.
Our starting positions. The Caron has just crossed the Line of Death. The Scott is about 30 miles behind it. The Libyan missile boats are entering the map, coming from Misratah.
The Caron's helo gets airborne. The Libyan Nanuchkas get a move on to intercept.
You can see that I got around to putting rotors on my helos. I really need to put more helos together.
T+30 minutes. The Libyan MiGs arrive to sweep the skies.
Minutes later, the bogeys locate the USS Caron's helicopter and have gotten within 12 miles of a US ship. US rules of engagement stated that we weren't allowed to fire first unless enemies got within 25 miles. Two RIM-7s leap out of their launcher and one finds its target, exploding a MiG. The helo in the above picture is from the USS Scott.
The surviving MiG turned its cannons on the helicopter and shot it to shreds.
The Scott's fore SAM launcher loosed two SM2MR missiles and destroyed the second MiG.
The US fends off the initial engagement well enough but will take a big hit in the world opinion department for firing first and losing a helicopter to a 20-year old plane.
The Libyan command staff. Junior has taken control of the Air Force, while my neighbor Nigel has assumed command of the Navy. They were working on their best Arab "photo stern faces."
Cap'n Ziggy of the USS Scott
Cap'n Ski of the USS Caron - Butcher of the High Seas
"Shit gets real." The gloves are off and both sides' ships unleash swarms of cruise missiles. I made a grave error when assembling only 19 missiles. I need to make about 20 more.
Three Harpoons about to impact. Wave 2 of SS-N-9s has just been launched. (The missile swarm sitting behind the boats)
Caron's AA capability isn't exactly "world-class" and the crew prepares for impact. The fore Mk45 gun is destroyed.
The Harpoons do their damage. One ship is destroyed outright. Another loses its 76mm multi-purpose gun.
No more photos for some reason... :(
The 10-missile volley that the Libyan's had just launched was aimed squarely at the Scott, which was able to defeat all incoming vampires. The Su-22s arrived shortly and made a run at the Caron, but a RIM-7 ran one off and a Standard from the Scott destroyed the other.
The US ships each released the last of their Harpoons, which found their marks shortly, destroying two more Libyan vessels, leaving one undamaged boat heading back to Misratah.
All in all, the game was a blast. It was a bit of a turkey-shoot for the Americans but we kind of expected that. I imagine if the Libyans had massed a larger volley, they could have really fouled up the Caron certainly, with its weak AA and possibly could have overcome the defenses of the Scott. We'll add more planes to the Libyan side for the next battle.