The basic setup is this: the previous day, a large Soviet fleet got beaten up pretty badly and is heading back to port as quickly as it can. A rag-tag group of NATO ships has located it and must attempt to sink the Baku carrier. Most of the Soviet ships began with damage and reduced weapon loads. The NATO ships, though weaker, were in fine condition. The weather was terrible causing detection and "to-hit" penalties.
I drew the Soviet fleet and set up my ships to defend the carrier.
The NATO force is towards the upper right of this picture.
The NATO force splits. I steer the Sov and the Kresta towards "group A." An SA-N-3 from the Kresta streaks towards a Dutch Lynx and damages it, forcing it to return to its ship.
The Sovremenny launched its four SS-N-22s at the German Destroyer (the only one it got a detection on). The missiles underperformed in my estimation. Two were confused by chaff, one hitting the surf two hundred yards past the ship and the other re-homing onto the USS Caron. The Caron's Phalanx took care of the missile. The other two missiles hit home and quickly sank the Hun. So far, so good!
I re-arranged my ships. The Sov was out of SSMs so it was relegated to fleet defense. The Kresta II and Baku got solid detections on enemy vessels and loosed another Soviet volley of 10 missiles at the US and Dutch ships.
The NATO task force unleashed a massive wave of 20 Harpoons, Exocets and Penguins. Panic Time!
Contrary to previous experience, Russian air-defense was absolute rot. Eight missiles made it through, sinking the Kresta II, Krivak I and Sovremenny. I can already hear the court-martial getting under way. I'll start packing my bags for Siberia.
On the other side, their AA fire was pretty tight, killing 7 of the incoming missiles. One SS-N-12 hit the US ship but failed utterly to damage it. Are you KIDDING ME? The Dutch ship did what you'd expect when hit by two SS-N-12s and noisily went away.
My heavily depleted group re-arranged again. I managed to get another six missiles in the air. Four SS-N-3s from the Grozny targeted on the Spanish ship and my last two SS-N-12s on the small French frigate.
My joy didn't last as another large swarm of missiles was sent up by the NATO boats.
Soviet air defense didn't improve any since the previous attack. But when all else fails, rely on you opponent to roll poorly. The desperate captain's tactic worked rather well!
The Baku was only hit by three of the six incoming Harpoons and was not seriously damaged. The Bessemenny was struck by three Exocets and although crippled, did not succumb!
My missiles fared poorly, but one was distracted by chaff onto the HMS London and stuck her square, sending her under. Woohoo!
I was in the enviable position of having the last SSMs on the table at this point - the Kynda class ship had four left! I sent two each at the French and Spanish vessels. With my last breath I spit at thee!
Two missiles were knocked down, but the other two connected, sinking the French ship and Crippling the Spaniard. Only the US ship remained and it was out of missiles. Surely I could hold on!
Movement only. The Spruance closed the gap. I managed to repair the Bessemenny and get it moving. The Spanish ship botched its repair and sank.
Four British Buccaneers appeared on the horizon. I had six Yak-38s on CAP just for this occurrence. The Spruance and the two smaller Soviet ships were very close now and began exchanging gunfire.
The ships all take a hit of damage. Ol' Bessie finally is out of commission.
The God-forsaken radars on my ships could not manage a detection on the blasted British bombers who were able to unload EIGHT MORE EXOCETS at my preciousssss. With no detections, I was unable to steer the CAP aircraft towards the assailants.
Some miraculous AA and chaff rolls later, the Baku was unscathed and the replenishment ship exploded like a newborn star. Lucky > Good.
Four more Bucs fly in. Are you KIDDING ME?!?! I managed a detection quickly and got the Yaks headed over right away. Turns out, these planes were armed with LGBs and needed to get very close. Lucky me, right?
The Grozny "Crossed the T" of the Caron and gave her both barrels. Scratch another ship.
The Yaks account for three of the bombers. There was a tense moment while we diced to see if AA or bombs happened first.
I won the roll and managed to finish off the last bomber! It's a miracle!
Wow, that was a catastrophe if there ever was one! Eleven of thirteen ships sunk. Easily the bloodiest game we've played yet and terribly entertaining. I really can't believe I did as well as I did. Getting very fortunate at just the right moments was the long and short of it. The Grozny was absolutely awesome taking out four enemy ships - the Spanish, British and French ships of "Group 2" and killing off the Caron with gunfire! Ridiculous.
For what it's worth, we both lost the scenario. James needed to sink the Baku to win and I needed to keep my fleet more or less intact. Trading my five for his six isn't a very good exchange rate for either of us.
Great game James!