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Where There Is Discord: War in the South Atlantic» Forums » Rules

Subject: No surface target for Exocet attack rss

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Richard Feather
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Here is the situation and how I've played it so far.

During phase J, the Argentine Battle Group destroyed HMS Plymouth, the only surface vessel in the S zone of the task force display. I immediately removed the HMS Plymouth counter from the game. The only other asset present in the zone was a Harrier on CAP which failed its attack roll on the Battle Group during 13.9.3. I next removed the Argentine Battle Group off-board as per 13.9.4.a, and left the Harrier in the S zone. I could find no rule which said what I should do with the Harrier so it stayed, even though there was no longer a surface vessel for it to cover.

Then during phase K a Super Etendard raid was launched against the same S zone. According to 8.1 if the zone contains any Harrier Counters or British Surface Vessels it is a valid target zone and receives the Air Alert Marker. I then conducted Air Combat between the Harrier and the Super Etendards which failed, and moved the Harrier back to the Flown box on the Invincible.

I now have two unopposed Etendards with an Exocet in a zone with no targets. What happens now?

1. Does the missile fall harmlessly into the sea or, perhaps more thematically, slam into the already floundering and a-goner HMS Plymouth? Skip ahead to T. End-of-turn?

2. Did I play this wrong and the Harrier should have returned to the Invincible prior to the raid, leaving the S zone empty and the raid target the Task Force Zone instead?

3. Something else I've missed in the rules or the FAQ?

I'm going back to play now using option 1, but I would love to find out if that is correct or not. Thanks, in advance, for any assistance.
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Ryan
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7.1 states:
Scrambled Harriers may not be placed in any Zone where there are no Surface Vessels present. (3.5 also states this in regard to CAP.)
Harriers that are scrambled remain in the Zone for the duration of the Turn, or until they engage incoming aircraft.

So neither of those cases answer your question.

I also didn't find any language in the rules that describe the proper procedure. I guess this applies to any other type of aircraft raid as well, not just S. Entenards.

Of the options you listed above:
Quote:
1. Does the missile fall harmlessly into the sea or, perhaps more thematically, slam into the already floundering and a-goner HMS Plymouth? Skip ahead to T. End-of-turn?
I'd rule this out. Don't know why; just doesn't seem right.

Quote:
2. Did I play this wrong and the Harrier should have returned to the Invincible prior to the raid, leaving the S zone empty and the raid target the Task Force Zone instead?
Rule section 7.1 seems to allow a Harrier to stay in the zone after it attacks an Argentine surface group. But the next line in 7.1 states that Harriers cannot be placed in a zone without a British surface vessel. 9.2.4.3 deals with returning Harriers that survive air to air combat to the carrier. Most importantly 13.9.3 dealing with British Harrier attacks on Argentine surface groups doesn't address this.

This option seems like the correct option to me. I think that since a Harrier can't be placed in a zone with British surface vessels that you would return the Harrier(s) to the carrier after the last British vessel was sunk during surface to surface combat. My gut is that you shouldn't be allowed to keep a Harrier up once any British vessels have been lost due to surface to surface combat.
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Richard Feather
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Ryanmobile wrote:
7.1 states:
Scrambled Harriers may not be placed in any Zone where there are no Surface Vessels present. (3.5 also states this in regard to CAP.)
Harriers that are scrambled remain in the Zone for the duration of the Turn, or until they engage incoming aircraft.

So neither of those cases answer your question.

I also didn't find any language in the rules that describe the proper procedure. I guess this applies to any other type of aircraft raid as well, not just S. Entenards.

Of the options you listed above:
Quote:
1. Does the missile fall harmlessly into the sea or, perhaps more thematically, slam into the already floundering and a-goner HMS Plymouth? Skip ahead to T. End-of-turn?
I'd rule this out. Don't know why; just doesn't seem right.

Quote:
2. Did I play this wrong and the Harrier should have returned to the Invincible prior to the raid, leaving the S zone empty and the raid target the Task Force Zone instead?
Rule section 7.1 seems to allow a Harrier to stay in the zone after it attacks an Argentine surface group. But the next line in 7.1 states that Harriers cannot be placed in a zone without a British surface vessel. 9.2.4.3 deals with returning Harriers that survive air to air combat to the carrier. Most importantly 13.9.3 dealing with British Harrier attacks on Argentine surface groups doesn't address this.

This option seems like the correct option to me. I think that since a Harrier can't be placed in a zone with British surface vessels that you would return the Harrier(s) to the carrier after the last British vessel was sunk during surface to surface combat. My gut is that you shouldn't be allowed to keep a Harrier up once any British vessels have been lost due to surface to surface combat.

Thanks for the reply, Ryan. I agree that option 1 doesn't feel right. It's too easy and provides a major advantage to the player. When playing solitaire games I always have to beware of rules-lawyering in my own favor, and this situation raised a red flag.

I went straight back to playing the game after posting this thread using option 1, because option 2 seems even less right to me for the following reasons.

1. Rules 3.5 and 7.1 explicitly forbid placing a Harrier in a zone without surface vessels during CAP and scramble, respectively. The Harrier was legally placed in the zone during CAP providing cover for HMS Plymouth. In my opinion, once it's been placed, it's been placed. I don't feel that it consequently violates those rules after the Plymouth was sunk in a different phase of the turn.

Thematically, I can see that after the ship was sunk, the Harrier with no asset to protect would return to its Carrier. But there is no way to determine when that would realistically be within the game abstraction of combat and turn sequence.

2. Rule 8.1 specifically states that when making the Argentine Air Targeting Roll, if the Target Zone currently contains any Harrier Counters OR British Surface Vessels then place the Air Alert Marker there. This rule explicitly implies that there may be zones with only Harrier Counters at times, and that they are valid target zones for raids.

It's this rule that makes it hardest for me to play that the lone Harrier would return to the Carrier before the raids start.

So, have I convinced you? . Or am I just deluding myself in order to be more successful in the game?
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Ryan
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rlux202 wrote:
1. Rules 3.5 and 7.1 explicitly forbid placing a Harrier in a zone without surface vessels during CAP and scramble, respectively. The Harrier was legally placed in the zone during CAP providing cover for HMS Plymouth. In my opinion, once it's been placed, it's been placed. I don't feel that it consequently violates those rules after the Plymouth was sunk in a different phase of the turn.
I can buy that.

rlux202 wrote:
Thematically, I can see that after the ship was sunk, the Harrier with no asset to protect would return to its Carrier. But there is no way to determine when that would realistically be within the game abstraction of combat and turn sequence.
I agree with both of these sentences. No need to over analyze timing in regard to the abstracted combat sequences.

rlux202 wrote:
2. Rule 8.1 specifically states that when making the Argentine Air Targeting Roll, if the Target Zone currently contains any Harrier Counters OR British Surface Vessels then place the Air Alert Marker there. This rule explicitly implies that there may be zones with only Harrier Counters at times, and that they are valid target zones for raids.
I can buy this too! I hadn't considered 8.1 initially. Good job with that.

rlux202 wrote:
So, have I convinced you? . Or am I just deluding myself in order to be more successful in the game?
Hey, I can go either way. I actually might go back on my word and support your original #1 idea. Bad timing on the part of the S. Entenards. Surface task group got their first and bombers happened to fly to the same location after the British vessel was sunk.
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Dave Daffin
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My take on this is that Plymouth is not necessarily sunk (the rules state sunk/disabled I think), so the harrier will stay around to protect the stricken vessel during crew evacuation.
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F H
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rlux202 wrote:

Thematically, I can see that after the ship was sunk, the Harrier with no asset to protect would return to its Carrier.

I disagree with this. If you were commanding this fleet and you just had your piquet ship sunk to the north west, that would be the most dangerously open segment of your perimeter. I would leave the aircraft there as it's you're only chance at defence and warning in that segment.

If an attack took out the piquet, they probably did it in order to bring the main strike force through the gap. I would not recall the aircraft.
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Ryan
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FNH1 wrote:
I disagree with this. If you were commanding this fleet and you just had your piquet ship sunk to the north west, that would be the most dangerously open segment of your perimeter. I would leave the aircraft there as it's you're only chance at defence and warning in that segment.

If an attack took out the piquet, they probably did it in order to bring the main strike force through the gap. I would not recall the aircraft.
I agree with this reasoning the most.

However, I find that often times when I try to justify my interpretation of an unclear rule by my citing realism, I start wading off in a downward spiral of over-analysis with other posters. So I tried to avoid that this time!

The one part of the rules that seems contrary to this logic (and it is the most logical) is the fact that you're not allowed to scramble or assign a Harrier to CAP in a zone without a British vessel. So if you can't put a Harrier in those zones (even when you realize it's a big, gaping hole in your defense) in those circumstances, why be allowed to keep one there in this circumstance?

Like I said, I think this makes the most sense thematically; I just didn't want to support it when 3.5 and 7.1 seem to possibly offer a strong counterpoint (even though they don't address it directly).

Since we're on this topic, couldn't we also argue that if a Harrier has to return to carrier after a round of air to air combat, that maybe it should also return to carrier after it makes an attack run on a surface target? Obviously it still has it's air to air missiles, but I could see returning it to the carrier because it had consumed a lot of fuel responding to and making a bomb run on the Argentine fleet. 7.1 only refers to Harriers remaining on post after a Scramble, which occurs after the surface to surface engagement phase in question. So maybe it shouldn't be used as any sort of citation to resolve a question during the surface to surface combat phase.

I'm leaving before I tie myself in an a knot. I can see myself over-analyzing this once more. What do you all think?
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Robert Fabbro
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Wow... Interesting loophole.

At the risk of introducing a houserule, perhaps in this circumstance, the Argentinians simply call off the raid. I would count it as a sortie, but do not expend the Exocet missile.

This could also apply to raids with aircraft that can't strike back at the Harriers.

In other words, if the Argentinians have no way of inflicting any damage to the British on a particular raid, just cancel it, and proceed to the next one.

(I'm currently playing via VASSAL, and I am one turn away from launching Operation Sutton. My Domestic/International Opinion is 3/4 respectively. Wish me luck!)
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Ryan
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In the absence of an official answer, I like your suggestion the best Robert.

How many times can I be persuaded to change my mind in one thread?
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Pete Martyn
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I also have no official capacity to answer this, but I'd personally pull back the Harrier after the naval combat. Two reasons for this:

Thematic reason: Your Harrier engaged an enemy vessel. It's going to need to rearm, and probably refuel. I imagine that several passes at enemy ships is going to burn a fair amount more fuel than just circling on patrol. The 30mm cannon pods carry only 260 rounds total. I imagine it would have expended most of those in strafing runs, since the rate of fire is upwards of 1200/rpm. Is CINCFLEET really going to let a Harrier loiter with only a few AIM-9s to protect it?

Gameplay reason: This game is mean and should make you cry. Having the same zone attacked twice in the same day is a clear indication that the heathen gods who rule over dice have it out for you. The Super Etendards targeted an unprotected zone and get a clear shot at the center of the task force. Don't go looking for ways out of this -- place that HANDBRAKE marker and take a missile to the face!
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Richard Feather
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Blacksmith61 wrote:
Wow... Interesting loophole.

At the risk of introducing a houserule, perhaps in this circumstance, the Argentinians simply call off the raid. I would count it as a sortie, but do not expend the Exocet missile.

This could also apply to raids with aircraft that can't strike back at the Harriers.

In other words, if the Argentinians have no way of inflicting any damage to the British on a particular raid, just cancel it, and proceed to the next one.

(I'm currently playing via VASSAL, and I am one turn away from launching Operation Sutton. My Domestic/International Opinion is 3/4 respectively. Wish me luck!)

This suggestion works for me. I like it a lot.

the pete wrote:
Gameplay reason: This game is mean and should make you cry. Having the same zone attacked twice in the same day is a clear indication that the heathen gods who rule over dice have it out for you. The Super Etendards targeted an unprotected zone and get a clear shot at the center of the task force. Don't go looking for ways out of this -- place that HANDBRAKE marker and take a missile to the face!

It's hard enough already, man, without deliberately making it more difficult on yourself.

I can't see placing the Handbrake marker, but I like the idea of the Etendards, or any other raiders, getting a shot at the Task Force after facing combat with the lone Harrier.

I'm going to make a new combat table with Robert's and Pete's solutions for the next time this comes up.

How did your game end up, Robert? Did you make it to the end? Mine ended up in catastrophic defeat on May 27th after the Argentine Patrol Group got in amongst the Task Force and started sinking and damaging my ships left and right. The Invincible went down first followed by a couple of support ships, and it was all over. Up until that point I was looking at a Stalemate at best. Operation Sutton really beat me up.
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Robert Fabbro
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rlux202 wrote:
How did your game end up, Robert? Did you make it to the end? Mine ended up in catastrophic defeat on May 27th after the Argentine Patrol Group got in amongst the Task Force and started sinking and damaging my ships left and right. The Invincible went down first followed by a couple of support ships, and it was all over. Up until that point I was looking at a Stalemate at best. Operation Sutton really beat me up.
Hi Raymond,

I commenced Operation Sutton on May 23rd. On that turn alone I lost a destroyer to a failed San Carlos recon roll, another destroyer lost to Argentinian artillery fire as it entered San Carlos Bay, and then a third was lost to an airstrike while on picket duty. That brought my Domestic Opinion status down to zero.... Game over.

That's the second game in a row that I have failed just as I launched my ground troops.
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Brian Workman
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>I'm going to make a new combat table with Robert's and Pete's solutions for the next time this comes up.

I've played this game more than a dozen times and it has never come up. I think you just place Handbrake and take your licks.
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Richard Feather
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KillerB wrote:
>I'm going to make a new combat table with Robert's and Pete's solutions for the next time this comes up.

I've played this game more than a dozen times and it has never come up. I think you just place Handbrake and take your licks.

You definitely don't place Handbrake according to both 8.1 and 8.2. I know the rules are a little sloppy in places, but I hate to imagine the designer made a mistake in two consecutive rules.

I don't anticipate it coming up again on my end, and I'm not really going to make a new combat table.
 
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Dan Hodges
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Hi Guys,


It's a very unusual incident, but I'd go with Pete on this.

Once the Harrier has attacked the Argentine surface vessels, it's then withdrawn. In effect, the Argentine surface fleet has done its job and punched a big hole in the Task Force screen.

Any attack that is subsequently launched at that Zone then gets straight through to the Carriers.


Dan
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Richard Feather
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danielhodges wrote:
Hi Guys,


It's a very unusual incident, but I'd go with Pete on this.

Once the Harrier has attacked the Argentine surface vessels, it's then withdrawn. In effect, the Argentine surface fleet has done its job and punched a big hole in the Task Force screen.

Any attack that is subsequently launched at that Zone then gets straight through to the Carriers.


Dan

Well there you go then. Pete, Brian et al you had the feel for the game spot on.

Thanks, Dan, for your ruling. Much appreciated. I can rest easy at night again.
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