20 July 2015

Shipwreck AAR - North Atlantic 1963

James and I got together for a Cold War era battle on Sunday afternoon. He'd put together a cool scenario featuring a US carrier group being attacked by a huge group of Soviet bombers laden with cruise missiles. Not your typical Shipwreck game, that's for sure! I ended up with the Americans, commanding the Enterprise and it's escorts. I was in for a tense ride.

My initial deployment. Each inch was 5 miles, as opposed to the typical 1 mile. I had a VERY widely dispersed group, but appropriate for missile defense. My CAP was out wide, each token representing two fighters - F-4Bs and F-8s. 

James' very nice ships.

Early in, the Reds make their presence known. My group pushes hard to port to get as many SAM mounts to bear as possible. CAP moves out to engage.

Another very pretty model.

Gah! Two subs appear behind the group! They've surfaced which can only mean one thing... cruise missiles are on the way.

Phantoms get the jump on an EW plane and take it out with Sparrows.

My other fighters get into contact as EW Badgers begin to drop walls of chaff ahead of their bomber squadrons.

More fighters are scrambled from the Enterprise and two helos head out to the subs.

The guns on the Crusaders are very reliable and shred another EW Badger.

The great wall is up! Recon and EW planes are gone and now I await the arrival of the bombers.

And there they are! 18 bombers with EW escorts. That's potentially 36 inbound AS-5! The interceptors better get to work.

Very nice...

Crusaders gonna do what Crusaders gonna do. Splash two Badgers!

The bomber group further north releases its payload as the fighters engage. I really start to hate using missiles.

Not to be outdone, the Juliets launch eight "Fivers" at the carrier group. The helicopters were too late.

The bombers behind the chaff take a beating, losing three of their group and the EW plane.

The northern bomber group gets away with only one loss. Crusaders and Phantoms pursue the cruise missiles and knock a few down with Sidewinders!

Three missiles from the subs get into my group! Guns knock one down. Two others... BOOM BOOM! Misses! They both missed their targets!

The missiles from the bombers close but the SAM network is remarkably effective and accounts for all vampires! The battle war over - a stunning victory for the US air defenses! 

That was a cool game - quite different from the usual. It was neat to see the Badgers, Bisons and Crusaders out there, mixing it up.

My only issue with it, and we discussed it after the game, was that James' modified plane and missile movement rules created too many shot opportunities for me. I feel that I had too many shots at his missiles and that with the rules as played, it was too easy for the American player. If we sped up jets and cruise missiles to double their current rate, I'd have had half the shots and things would have gotten ugly. I know that the AS-5s are basically pretty dumb but it seems that out of 20 launched, more than one should have reached the ships. My fighters and SAMs accounted for 19, and 6 of the missiles from the subs! The three missiles that reached their targets all missed. The to-hit ratings for the Tatar, Terrier and Talos missiles I had available are abyssmal (3s and 4s), but terrific rolls at the right moments saved my bacon.

In any event, it was a blast and it was good to play Shipwreck again after a bit of a lay off.


  1. A great report- brings to mind the Clancy novel and the potential of a second (though undoubtedly much shorter) battle of the Atlantic.