13 August 2013

Beach Blanket Bingo!

Sunday James and I met at Morningstar Games to play a game of Shipwreck. He'd put together a scenario for a Soviet amphibious invasion so we gave it a whirl. I ended up with the Soviets (random draw) and read over my orders.
My force consisted of a Moskva CVH, Sverdlov CL from 1952, Kara CG, Sovremeny DDG, Krivak II FF, one Rogov LPD and three Alligator LSTs. My mission was to deliver the troop ships to the beach marked for landing.
The initial setup. I didn't know that some of the ship blanks were Dummy counters. I was pretty happy when I found out.

Task Force Vodka made its way into the sea area sending the warships first to screen the transports.

No point in being subtle. Lots of active radars. I've got my own "aerial contact" markers on the board for the first of a great many Ka-25s. More Hormones than a group of teenagers!

A P-3 Orion appears about 50 miles out and get a load of active detections. This is normally James' weak suit in Shipwreck but now it seems he's going to change things up. Four Harpoon missiles lurch towards the brave Soviet sailors and their ships. Scant minutes later, the air defense specialists in the task force are queuing up for ribbons as they deal with the threat handily.

TF Vodka makes its way west very gradually. Those dadgummed Alligators are slow. At three inches / miles per turn, this game is going to take forever. The Hormone swarm spreads out, watching for the submarine they know is out there and hunting for 'Wegian ships. A pair of Norwegian F-16s appeared over the horizon. SA-N-3s from the Kara ran the dogs off. More ribbons for the missile crews!

Uh Oh! Two US Pegasus missile boats get lit up by one of my '25s and round the island they were skulking by. They unleash an unreasonably huge fusillade of Harpoons at my ships. Sixteen missiles really is too many.

OK, here we got all kinds of action. My Kara fired eight SS-N-14s at the Pegasi, even though the picture above says "6." My helicopters also located two Norwegian missile boats in the fjord and the Sovremeny sent four Sunburns their way. Hooray for long-range scanning and long-range missiles! I'm starting to get the hang of this game.

The horrible aftermath. Horrible for James, not so shabby for the Evil Empire. Three missile boats gone and although the Moskva took a beating, she's still a) afloat and b) able to move. The lucky Hauk missile boat ate two SS-N-22s the following turn and went away.

The next obstacle was a gun battery situated on a small island at the mouth of the fjord I was to invade. The Sovremeny and Sverdlov parked for a bit and unleashed broadside after broadside until the island's guns went silent.

Things were proceeding rather swimmingly until the 'Wegian sub announced its presence by torpedoing the Sverdlov. The old cruiser took a beating and began listing badly.

The Moskva's ASW helicopters made themselves useful and killed the sub by covering it with depth charges. Unfortunately, the damage to the Sverdlov was too great and the ship went under. Many crewmen managed to make their way to the nearby island and out of the frigid winter sea.

In game terms, rolled a "0" for my repair roll.

All that remained was to deal with the last shore batteries and make landfall. All ships with guns, and the Alligators, with their rockets, fired at the battery and silenced it. Sovremeny took a bit of damage, but nothing too serious.

The Norwegian's last stab at me was to fire off eight Penguin missiles from a mobile missile battery on the shore. All were targeted at the Ivan Rogov. Again, the Soviet air defense was stout and only two found their target, causing some casualties and minor damage but not enough to halt the invasion.

That was a mighty fun game. Lots going on, lots of different things to do. My air defense was very good all day, which always makes things a bit brighter. I enjoyed pushing so many ships around, although it was a tad unwieldy, it was nice to have "fall back" options in the task force. Thanks for the game James and I'm ready for the next one!

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