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Subject: Pakistan: April 2013. Day 3. rss

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Steve Norton
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“Well men, you know why you are here. You’ll be pleased to learn that this morning’s mission was a success. Dart had little difficulty mopping up the remains of the battalion that we hit on Day 1.”

Gumby and Daddy-o didn’t say anything.

“He should be back on base within the next few minutes.”

The boss looked a little more tense than usual. This was supposed to be a routine briefing for a mission that had been agreed only a few hours before. It was expected to be a straightforward assignment.

“You’ve been chosen for this one because you are the best. In fact if you boys can do the business this afternoon, the brass reckon that you’ll both be due a promotion.”



Gumby and Daddy-o knew this already and as they exchanged glances they were both trying to work out why they were being told this again. This was about to become clear.

“I’ve just seen the satellite feed. They’ve got this one staked out rather better than we thought possible.”



“The two SAM sites (range 3) seem to be located at opposite sides of the target area in hexes 1 and 10. The bigger problem is that the two AAA units (range 1) are parked up right in the middle in hexes 5 and 6. These four threats have the entire target area covered from every conceivable angle.”

The boss looked up nervously before continuing.

“Now I don’t have to tell you that we need to attack first here. We can’t let them get a shot off. The good news is that you’ll have a fully-armed Predator above you, so there is every chance that you will be able to get the jump on this one. What’s more we should be able to rely on that drone to put a hellfire on one of those four threats. Between you you’ll be able to deal with a second and a third. The bad news is that there will be a fourth threat unaccounted for after the first engagement.”

Daddy-o couldn’t see what the problem was.

“What’s it matter? We’ll just fly in low and keep our heads down. They’ll never know we are there.”

“That’s all very well, but the drone will still be up in the air asking to be shot at. I can’t allow $4 million of Predator to serve as target practice for these boys. Unless you’d rather the drone went in low as well? But then you’d lose the jump.”

Daddy-o and Gumby were beginning to see the problem.

“Can’t I just use one of the GBU’s?” asked Gumby “That way I’ll be able to take out two of the threats in one pass.”

“That would be nice,” replied the chief, “except that we haven’t got any loaded on your Warthog. When we completed the load-out this morning we didn’t think we’d need them. And there’s no time to change. This one can’t wait.”

Silence ensued.

The discussion went on for some time about how best to approach the situation. Seemingly there was no way to eliminate all four threats on the first pass and while Gumby and Daddy-o would be able to stay in the weeds and out of sight, the boss (quite rightly) didn’t want his expensive Predator drone to be shot at. It would have to fly high and there just didn’t seem any way to keep it out of reach.

Or was there?



Forty minutes later Daddy-o’s Apache and Gumby’s Thunderbolt were in the air.

Daddy-o had realised he could loiter behind the ridges in the west and make his attacks with dialled-in coordinates relayed from the Predator. The enemy would never know he was there.

Meanwhile, Gumby would plan to fly low down the gully in the east of the target area. He would be flying straight into a SAM site, but as long as he could knock it out at the first time of asking, he wouldn't have anything to worry about.



Both pilots found their targets, instantly eliminating the two SAM sites. As their missiles thumped home, the Predator swung around and delivered a hellfire from 20,000 feet. Right onto the nearest AAA unit.

Only three of the four AA threats were eliminated, but the enemy wasn't going to get a shot.



Daddy-o made short work of the second AAA unit. And somewhere in that twisted heap of hot metal was the enemy's final hopes of mounting a credible defence of the battalion.

Further west the enemy didn't know Gumby was coming. Eight seconds after he swept over the ridge of the gully, he detonated two Rockeye cluster bombs in mid-air right over their heads.

Far above the smoke and dust, the Predator began a slow, watchful loop over the desert floor.







Gumby made short work of three more units that had the misfortune of finding themselves in his firing arc. Daddy-o remained on station behind the ridge.

With the attack going so well, it seemed as though the enemy battalion might be eliminated all together. In fact, Gumby had a firing solution to achieve just that.



Regrettably an APC managed to find cover in the hills (hex 3) which forced Gumby to abandon his plan - that unit would need to be destroyed with a strike attack instead.



Gumby and Daddy-o would make for home with not a fleck of paint out of place. The same could not be said for the enemy battalion.
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Great AAR. I'm curious, did you not have loiter time to take out the SCUD and SPA?
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I often get put off buying linked aircraft due to the cost, but you've made them look utterly indispensable here.
Really good AAR.
More please!
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Steve Norton
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sproyd wrote:
Great AAR. I'm curious, did you not have loiter time to take out the SCUD and SPA?

Thanks, Sproyd!

I had Daddy-o loaded out with rockets (LAU-61) in order to take advantage of his strike attack bonus. I wasn't expecting to be using him for stand-off attacks. Unfortunately I didn't roll well enough to retain the rockets and so he quickly found himself without any armaments. I left him in play because he was safe and because he could cross a ridge and do a cannon attack if it was called for.

Regrettably Gumby missed the SCUD as he flew out of the target area. Had he been successful then I would have gone bingo with Daddy-o and risked crossing the ridge to eliminate the SPA as well. In the end it proved to be a risk that I didn't need to take.
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Steve Norton
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Holbronx82 wrote:
I often get put off buying linked aircraft due to the cost, but you've made them look utterly indispensable here.

Thanks, Holbron!

I know what you mean. To be honest I don't think I've had another mission where I've used the Linked capability to such good effect. I'm still quite new to the game, and this is the only campaign where I've gone for the higher-spec aircraft - and I did so because I would have three of them (including the Predator). It feels a bit less worthwhile if you only have two (and I'm sure you wouldn't bother with just one).
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Holbronx82 wrote:
I often get put off buying linked aircraft due to the cost, but you've made them look utterly indispensable here.
Really good AAR.
More please!


Don't forget the A-10C and AH-64D in addition to linked have +1 Attack - this makes a huge difference...

- A-10 cannon hits on 3 or higher (that's an 80% hit rate before pilot/chit modifiers)
- LAU-61s hit 80% of the time and retained 50% instead of 70/40
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Yes, they are perhaps worth taking for that reason alone.
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Jonathan C
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Fantastic report! You did a nice job setting up the problem, the plan of attack, and resolution.
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Montana in an AH64-D with a drone would be an absolute beast! He could get battalions below half strength by himself, sitting behind a ridge eating popcorn. I am so doing this next time I play devil
 
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