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Subject: War in the South 1965 Ace campaign rss

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Simon-Pierre Harvey
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Gatineau
Québec
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WAR IN THE SOUTH 1965 : SUPER SABRES IN FORBIDDEN TERRITORY

Long USAF Ace campaign

I like this campaign because it is a little special. No bandits, a few chirurgical targets with a low number of planes to fly. It gives a good impression of the first years of the War before escalation began.
For historical reasons, I decided to go with the F-100 as the workhorse of my squadron. I chose the pilots for their AtG abilities as there are no air engagements in this campaign. The reserve pilots are mostly there for their high SO point value. I’m not planning on using them. I will most probably transfer or replace the F-100s if it’s necessary. The 2 first replacement pilots are Crater and Buzzard (F-100s). Then I’ll randomly pick amongst the F-5 Freedom Fighters.

Taz F-100 Veteran
Honker F-100 Skilled
Misty F-100 Average
Surfer F-100 Average

Bat EB-66 Skilled
Jackpot EB-66 Average

Magic F-102 Green (mainly for the SO points)
Mobster F-101 Green (Only for the SO points)
Ruff F-101 Newbie (Only for the SO points)

That gives us 78 points, plus the 12 basics of the campaign, for a total of 90 SO points. To this I subtract 6 for the High Stress Attack option for a total of 84 points. Since I will use only four attack planes, R&R should be mandatory six of the seven days. There goes 54 points. Priority refuelling will also be mandatory each day, for an estimate of 2.5 per day, or 17 SO points. Remains 22 SO points for priority Recon, which is really important in this campaign.

The disadvantages I have chosen are : Extra Sites, Extra Stress and Improved Sites (This one hurts)



DAY 1

With the use of Priority Recon, Chief of Staff has identified Viet Cong units in the Hue neighbourhood. Some firefights are already going on and a CAS mission is ordered without delay

CLOSE AIR SUPPORT (Target 6) : 2 planes, 0|2|3 VP, 1 politics

It is important to start well this campaign. Intel shows that there is a heavy concentration of deadly KS-19 and M1939 AA guns. It is going to be a rough start. Taz will have 2 M117R bombs and the difficult task to deliver at least 6 hits if we want to have 3 VPs. Misty will have 1 M117R and 2 rocket launchers to ensure some suppression. The approach will be very dangerous as these DCA cannons have High altitude ranges.

Sierra Hotel card is revealed, giving us a +1 on our attack and suppression rolls. A small relief.

The jungles of Laos are rapidly passing by and soon, the flight is over Viet-Nam. After a few more minutes, the pilots can spot the city of Hue and the green land. The over target card is jungle warfare. The target gets 1 hit but I do not draw the 2 bandits due to the special rules of this campaign. (I hope I’m right on this interpretation)

On turn two, still at high altitude, we are entering the AA gun range… This is heavy! 2 M1939 and 1 KS-19 are spitting heavy caliber shells. The stress is already intense. 3 for Taz and 4 for Misty… And now we commence the descent. Bat is staying high but is targeted 2 times, for 5 stress. Misty launches a rocket to suppress a M1939 (Sierra Hotel card plus his stats make a sure shot with +6 bonus…) and a S-60. It is our turn to shoot. Pilots are at 5, 4 and 5 stress. I’m nervous too. First Taz, with a +3 ATG basic, +1 with for the card, +1 for High stress attack, and +3 for soft target bonus, equal a +8 bonus!!! Bombs away… 2… and 1… Bad luck! Only 4 hits! Misty, with a +7 bonus launches his bomb…3… Bad luck! A 4 would have sufficed! We are at 6 hits and needed 7 for the 3 VPs…

But it is out of the question that we stay here any longer. DCA is still raging. Boum boum boum. Leaves Taz with 14 stress. When the thundering hell finally stops, he looks around him and sees the two other planes. A miracle, I tell you

Taz F-100 Veteran 12 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled
Bat EB-66 Skilled 7 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average
Misty F-100 Average 4 stress
Surfer F-100 Average
Magic F-102 Green

MISSION RESULT : 2 VPs, -11 SO points (Recon and R&R, remains 73)

DAY 2

An armed reconnaissance mission is planned in Laos. A dangerous mission where we will remain at low altitude at all time.

ARMED RECON (Target 15) : 3 planes, 0|1|2 VP, 2 politics

We will have to fly over enemy infantry and DCA before reaching the target site, which is protected by 1 Zu-23-2, 2 S-60 and 1 heavy machine gun. Honker (F-100) will lead this flight with Surfer (F-100) in his wing. They will both carry a Mk-84 and a Mk-82. Magic (F-102) will go with them, loaded with rockets. These rockets might prove necessary in order to reach the six hits. Jackpot (EB-66) will escort them.
They quickly cross ennemy fire to enter the central area. Honker is quick to aim and launch and is really precise, for 3 hits. The Viet Cong are taking Jackpot as a target, the bigger plane, but he manages some nice evasive manœuvers!
Surfer is making damages! Magic uses rockets again to open the way out.

Excellent mission!

Taz F-100 Veteran 6 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 0 stress
Bat EB-66 Skilled 2 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 8 stress
Misty F-100 Average 0 stress
Surfer F-100 Average 3 stress
Magic F-102 Green 2 stress

MISSION RESULT : 2 VPs, -15 SO points (Refuel, Recon and R&R, remains 58)

DAY 3

Operations in Laos continue. This time it is a secret mission against an outpost in the jungle. There is no political cost so we will get back to the far left on this chart.

COVERT MISSION INTO LAOS (Target 10) : 2 planes, 0|1|2 VP, 0 politics

This should be a simple mission, quickly resolved. Honker and Misty will approach at high altitude. The AA defenses configuration will allow them to reach the central area out of reach. They will both carry 1 Mk-84 and 1 Mk-82. The plan is to approach, lower our altitude at the last minute, launch the ordnance and then hope for the best. Bat will be ensuring electronic cover.

As predicted, our approach is too high for enemy fire. That is only on turn three that we have to lower our altitude. Honker takes them by surprise. He launches even before the troops on the ground can react! He is good… inflicting four hits, with is +2 bonus (+1, +1 High stress attack). Only two AA guns respond and they aim for Honker, who is quite stressed by all this vengefull fire. But boy, are they surprised when Misty appears just over the trees! His dice result are quite bad but he manages the 2 hits we needed.

On turn four, just before exiting the target area, Honker’s Super Sabre is shaken by the heavy caliber of a M1939! Luckily, the skilled pilot is able to control his bird and will return safely to home base.

Taz F-100 Veteran 0 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 10 stress
Bat EB-66 Skilled 2 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 4 stress
Misty F-100 Average 1 stress
Surfer F-100 Average 0 stress
Magic F-102 Green 0 stress

MISSION RESULT : 2 VPs, -11 SO points (Recon and R&R, remains 47)

SITREP

This campaign is going well so far. We are on target for the GOOD evaluation. We have 47 SO points remaining which is also aligned with our previsions. On the Recon chart, we will have three targets from now on, and the Intel is allowing us to destroy 1 Center site since last mission, which is the best we can hope for now. Politics are on the far left (!). We have to maintain our 2 points production and maybe aim for some three points result. So far we are able to keep the stress level under control, thanks to our regular R&R sessions.
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Simon-Pierre Harvey
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DAY 4

Despite our three target cards, I use a Priority Recon because there are no “three points” target to choose from. No luck... High Command as chosen another target in Laos. A tunnel complex that will need some serious bombing.

TUNNELS (Target 18) : 3 planes, 0|1|2 VP, 2 politics

This target is costly on the politics track and our chances of success are not so good. The “1 less hit penalty” inflicted because we are bombing a hardened structure forces us to load 2 Mk-83 on each Super Sabre (Taz, Misty and Surfer), and nothing else. I think this is the configuration that will allow us to make the most hits. Bat will patrol the area at high altitude.

So we are on a bombing configuration, and we will use the same tactics as yesterday, that is approaching at high altitude to avoid DCA and plunging at the last minute.

On our way to the coordinates, we are surprised by some AAA fire we can’t even identify! Bat is shaken by this surprise attack.

Target is in sight, the planes are descending. Boom boom boom. A S-60 damages Taz! A Zu-23-2 tries to finish him off without success. The stress of the flight leader is at 10! His plane is smoking, and the target as not yet been bombed. The two other pilots try to keep their concentration (for 1 stress) but the chances of success are low now. Surfer makes 1 hit (after target modifications) and Misty 1 hit (idem)...And there is still a M1939 position to overfly. Boom boom boom. Bat is targeted! Evasive manoeuvre successfull but stressfull!

AC-47 “Spooky” is in the area allowing us to make at least 1 VP point.

Taz F-100 Veteran 8 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 5 stress
Bat EB-66 Skilled 7 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 0 stress
Misty F-100 Average 1 stress
Surfer F-100 Average 1 stress
Magic F-102 Green 0 stress

MISSION RESULT : 1 VP (AC-47s), -15 SO points (Recon and R&R, plus Spooky card, remains 32)


DAY 5

Chief of Staff orders the bombing of a Rail Line. This is a high profile target which costs 2 political points. But those VPs are crucial now. We really need to destroy it!

RAIL LINE (Target 14) : 2 planes, 0|2|3 VP, 2 politics

Misty and Surfer (F-100s) are still fit for flying and armed with a Mk-84 and a Mk-82 each. They will have the electronic cover of Jackpot.

The approach goes without problem but again, when the formation is diving for its ordnance pass, on turn three, one of the planes is damaged! Surfer (F-100) struggle to control his bird and cannot launch his bombs. That is bad... But things go fast. On his side Misty is taking stress to make a good strike and is perfect! 5 hits! Now we have a decision to make. Does Misty makes another pass to strife the rail yard? We already have 2 VPs for this mission and another passage would be really dangerous as Misty would take all the fire. No more surprise effect... Nope, that would be too dangerous! The planes stay in formation as a last M1939 is targeting them...

FAC support is removing some stress on the squadron

Taz F-100 Veteran 2 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 0 stress
Bat EB-66 Skilled 2 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 4 stress
Misty F-100 Skilled 2 stress
Surfer F-100 Average 5 stress
Magic F-102 Green 0 stress

Misty is promoted to Skilled level

MISSION RESULT : 2 VPs, -12 SO points (R&R, Refuel, remains 20)


SITREP
For the GOOD result, we now need to make 5 VPS in two missions, which will not be easy. We are 2 on the right on the political chart which means our next mission can only cost 1 political point. We need to go one left on next mission to finish with a big three points. The squadron is in good shape given we are beginning the sixth day. No plane were lost, which is excellent and is helping in keeping a good morale. We have a lot of SO points, as we only have one R&R left to make, so 11 points remain for Recon and refuelling. Those 5 VP points are not impossible...
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Simon-Pierre Harvey
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DAY 6

The Forward Air Controllers have identified the perfect target for our situation. A truck park hidden in the laotian jungle would give 3 VPS if destroyed, and could even displace the political chart one to the left if overkilled!

TRUCK PARK (Target 4) : 2 planes, 0|2|3 VP, 1 politics

All our best pilots are assigned to this mission despite the stress they already suffer. Taz and Misty (F-100) will carry two Mk-117R bombs and Bat (EB-66) will escort them for electronic warfare duties. The site is well defended by two positions. A M1939 will welcome us on our descending approach and a nasty KS-19 will kick our butt in our ascension. Let’s hope for the best.

The long range M1939 is opening fire right from the start of our approach. On turn 1 Misty takes three stress. On turn two Bat is damaged! We are losing our radar jamming! On turn 3 Misty is launching his bombs first, with a +5 bonus... 5 hits! Good. Now the AA fire... Taz takes 3 stress from a machine gun and infantry is shooting at Misty and force him to evade. Now Taz... We need four hits, and he concentrates for a +7 bonus : 5 hits Yeah! But there is not much time to rejoice because the KS-19 is opening fire… Boom boom boom. BOOM! Misty is hit! Misty is going down!

SAR is unsuccessfull. Misty is taken by the Viet Cong and God knows what will happen to him.

Taz F-100 Veteran 7 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 2 stress
Bat EB-66 Veteran 8 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 2 stress
Misty F-100 Skilled MIA
Surfer F-100 Average 2 stress
Magic F-102 Green 2 stress
Crater F-100 Average 0 stress

Bat is promoted to Veteran level

MISSION RESULT : 3 VPs, -14 SO points (R&R, Refuel, Recon, remains 6)

DAY 7

Operations in Laos continue. For our last day, we will go on a very important cover mission. It is mandatory that everybody comes back, as we don’t want to leave traces of our actions in this country. Losing a plane would be really bad and would make us lose a VP.
COVERT MISSION (Target 42) : 3 planes, 0|1|2 VP, 1 politics
F-100s Taz, Surfer and Crater are armed for a bombing mission. FACs observations are very positive and we should avoid the bulk of the defences by staying high. Standard procedure... Jackpot is ensuring electronic warfare. The flight is uneventful. DCA starts raging when our planes approach the target. Right over the target, Surfer is hit! He won’t be able to launch its ordnance. But immediately Taz and Crater’s bombs are rampaging the whole area! Everybody regains altitude

Taz F-100 Veteran 7 stress
Honker F-100 Skilled 0 stress
Bat EB-66 Veteran 5 stress
Jackpot EB-66 Average 4 stress
Misty F-100 Skilled MIA
Surfer F-100 Average 7 stress
Magic F-102 Green 0 stress
Crater F-100 Average 1 stress

MISSION RESULT : 2 VPs, -2 SO points (Recon, remains 4)

ACE CAMPAIGN RESULT : 14 VPs, GOOD!

I’m really satisfied with this result. This campaign is one of my favorites. You never have many planes. It is chirurgical. Priority Recon is very important because the Politics chart is really short. All the targets worth 2 VPs, at the exception of three targets which worth up to three points. In order to attain the GREAT level of 17 points, it is mandatory to destroy these 3 “3 VP” targets and to be perfect with the other “2 VPs” target. No margin for error. Maybe with better jets that would be possible at the ACE level but it’s not sure. The advantage of using old century fighter is that you have a LOT of points, giving you lots of possibilities and R&Rs.

Thank you for reading.
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