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Downtown: Air War Over Hanoi, 1965-1972» Forums » Sessions

Subject: D3 - "You keep me hangin' on" - CVW-16 rss

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Si Tyler
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Planning over
As I want to play out options from the publish scenarios. I split the D3 into 3 packages, one with the USAF, and two with the USN to enable using both the carrier air wings. So I end up with the USN having the following possible targets on a D6

1 = Vu Cha Railroad bridge
2 = Bac Giang POL storage
3 = Doung Nham POL storage
4,5 = Haiphong POL storage
6 = Co Trai Railroad bridge

The target roll was a 1, so the target is the Vu Cha railroad bridge..

I had previously decided which complexes the located SAMs would be in and I rolled for the actual placement hex which gives the following:

2315
1122
1129
1138
2626

The AAA roll gives me two unplaced concentrations.

Onto the raid planning itself. The Oriskany Air Wing for the mission comprises the following

Pre-Raid Jamming
2 x {1} EA-1F, Jamming

Iron Hand
2 x {2} , A-4E, SEAD
2 x {2} , F-8E, Armed Escort

MiGCAP
2 x {2} F-8E, CAP

Strike Mission
4 x {4} A-4E, Bombing
2 x {2} , F-8E, CAP

Post Raid Recon
1 x {2} RF-8G

I also chose to site the USN Rescue Helo and nominated a Rally Point in 1607.

The EA-1Fs will be kept over the Gulf of Tonkin, The RF-8G has a simple job of following up the strike so just needs to be timed remembering that I need to leave at least five turns from the last bomb to the photo bird arriving. The CAP normally need to cover Phuc Yen, Kien An, Kep and Gia Lam but as this is a solo game the MiGs are only going to come from Kien An and Kep.

As there are SAMs in the game I am going to take the strike mission to the East of Haiphong, down behind Phantom ridge and a similar route going back. This should limit my exposure to SAMs to the target complexes CHARLIE and BRAVO. The SEAD will need to close off DELTA on the ingress and TANGO during the run in as well as possible FIRE CAN units on the target and at Kep Airfield.



With the planning completed it was time to fly the raid against Vu Chua RR Bridge. This run demonstrates how different the games can be even though you are flying the same" scenario as the one which generated the USAF mission. There is a lot of replayability in nearly all the scenarios. Why different? Because this is a US Navy mission and as such has to ingress in the area around Haiphong which is normally a hot bed of defensive activity. No simple way past all those possible SAM sites.

So, there are a lot more SAMs for the US to worry about this far East, but for some reason it was the MiGs which got my attention in the first couple of turns. With some raid warning they had a flight over Kien An at the start of the game. This was joined on consecutive turns by two more flights so by the end of turn 3 I had 3 flights of MiGs that could ruin my day and the Bomber force hadn't even entered.

I started off with the pre-raid forces already on map and turn 1 was the entry of the Iron Hand mission with 4 flights of aircraft, 2 each of Armed Escort F-8E Crusaders and SEAD A-4E Skyhawks


The aim remains as per the plan to get a one SEAD division around Thud Ridge and clear the target area while another section clears the area around Haiphong. Could be interesting as I only have one Shrike Shot per A-4E due to a Shrike shortage.


Strike mission on table. Airspace is pretty crowded and one division of bombers is still waiting to come on (skyhawk fully laden speed 3 ).


This is going to be a SAM day. As soon as the bombers enter and a BSAN of 13 this was going to be hard. Haiphong is a heavily defended target and two SAMs come on the air for a quick acquisition in the Acquisition phase (strange that).


And another THREE turn their RADAR on in the Admin phase. Luckily these last 3 won't be able to shoot next turn just attempt to gain an acquisition. So my two SEAD flights are now faced with at least 3 SAMs which can interfere with the strikers.


The models were only there as the markers hadn't dried. They only go on table when a site is detected. This is what the US player is actually facing at the moment


From a solo perspective I have also made up some "Poss SAM" markers just to remind me where the SAM locations are on the playing surface.


The DRV have a partial acquisition on the closest SEAD A-4E and the Northern most EA-1F so will get to shoot next turn. I can get close with a Armed Escort flight by going to 'burner but not close enough.

What I forgot about is that Haiphong can have double SAM coverage under the solo rules. This means there will probably be 8 SAM batteries up and radiating.

Will post part two up tonight
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Charles Lewis
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Awesome stuff!
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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Question one: where did you find those SA-2 models?

Question two: routes.
I checked rules recently after seeing your routes cutting hexes at odd angles. In example I've seen routes drawn to conform the movement rules in straight line (either perpendicular to hexsides or over them). I thought that this was the only way to draw routes between waypoints, but after checking the rules I didn't see any written constrains for that, so maybe example routes were made like that just because of convinience and I got just bad idea.
Did you check anywhere if this is the case or is this just your interpretation?

For new players, I think that it would be helpful to mark "corridor" in which planes can move around (at least just onc time for reference).
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Si Tyler
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The SA-2 Models are 1/600th from the SA-2 Pack by Oddzial Osmy. They are carried by picoarmor in the US and fighting 15s in the UK.

I have always assumed the flight path is imaginary (it only appears on the planning map) and that the
Quote:
Each hex moved into must be closer to the next waypoint than the
last hex.

applies.

In the D6 walkthrough I might need to explain how you can use the movement rules to drift while complying with the rules and the flight path.
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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CAG 19 wrote:
The SA-2 Models are 1/600th from the SA-2 Pack by Oddzial Osmy. They are carried by picoarmor in the US and fighting 15s in the UK.

I actually live in the same city as guys from Oddział Ósmy, so it should be easier for me to obtain them if needed
But this figures show that I need to recheck their current product list, because I can't remember them last time I check their offer (which was some time ago I must admit).

CAG 19 wrote:

I have always assumed the flight path is imaginary (it only appears on the planning map) and that the


I don't think it is that much imaginary, because I think there is rule entry that states you cannot vere off this line more than two hexes. I will give you exact paragraph as soon as I return from work.
 
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Si Tyler
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I think I received the SA-2 a while ago. I use the UK catalogue so don't know what he has on the Polish site. SA-694 is the pack number


"Imaginary" is also the word used in 8.31, what I meant was that it doesn't appear on the game surface.

There isn't anything which says you can veer two hexes off the line AFAIK.

8.32 allows you to enter away from the ingress hex which means that for the first couple of moves (depending on speed) you might not be on the line but you are heading towards the next way point so you will gradually converge.

8.32 also introduces the idea that you can move to the next way-point without actually reaching the current one. The RAW could do with a bit of subtle rewording if that isn't the case. I tend to ignore it as I actually want to use the WP, otherwise I have to offset it to get the correct run in on targets. This is where I think you get the veer two hexes piece from, as it says "No flight may intentionally stray more than two hexes from this line".

I think it is possible to turn on the 2 hex limit at Dash and not be able to turn quick enough to align with the next way-point and if it is a fair distance away find that you are more than 2 hexes from the line (I would have to draw it out to check).

What could happen is SAM avoidance or scatter at the 2 hex point and that puts you off. You would then have to move back towards the flight path first rather than navigating directly towards the next way-point

8.33 Allows you to move freely in the vicinity of the target obeying your IP requirements for the ordnance or mission, you can use this to create simultaneous ToT and change your exit heading if you so wish. Once you leave the two hexes though you are heading back toward the next way point and you still have to obey 8.32.

When you play D6 you ignore the 24.1 rule about turning and having to declare the IP for each individual hex (so possibly need to put that in the PBF run through.

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Tomasz Niedzinski
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8.32 Navigating the Flight Path (second paragraph)

Bombing and Recon flights enter the map within two hexes of the ingress hex. They must fly direct to their next waypoint, following the line plotted on the Planning Map. No flight may intentionally stray more than two hexes from this line.

Intentionally I interpret as - it can go further via any scatter (after dogfight or SAM attack).
 
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Si Tyler
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I finished off playing this at Pete's last night. I forgot to take the SAM launch markers down and I must admit the game looks quite bare without them. Iron Hand is almost swamped by the number of threats. The Iron Hand F-8E is making a attack run with rockets while the rest of the defence suppression effort head for the cluster of SAM sites North of Haiphong. The SEAD A-4E reacts to a well guided SAM by having to do a SAM avoidance roll but at the expense of dumping his Bomb ordnance. I need to go and re-read the SAM shooting rules though (solo) as I couldn't get it take a shot at the Jammer. We decided to drop acquisition and try a different target. The rest of the strike package continues towards the next way point.



The crusaders lead the way in the south the first section comes off its run and watches the secondary explosions from his run as the first SAM site is taken out. Frustration sets in as another site comes up to take its place. In the North the other Iron Hand group haven't got visual on the sites but continue in on their runs. The F-8E is acquired by two SAM sites.


The SEAD team get eyes on the SAMs and a shrike from the A-4 causes one RADAR to be switched off. Two others ignore the launch and fire salvos at the F-8E which results in a hit on one aircraft.


One benefit of the Salvo shooting on the last turn is that this turn after they fire again they are out of missiles.


While a good chute is seen the rest of the force continue on.


With no MiGs to contend with it would be too easy to elect to abort the fighters. In reality they don't know there aren't any more MiGs out there so establish a barrier to let the strike through.


Back over the Gulf, US Navy aircraft head back to the carrier in dries and drabs as they expend all their ordnance.


The last SEAD flight is head for the target area, he has already fired off his shrikes and has bombs remaining to either suppress the target hex or the new SAM threat.


Another SAM avoidance roll and the SEAD is Winchester and heads home. The strike mission has no protection going onto the target.


Mid 1966 and with no RWR another A-4E is hit by a SAM. The rest of the strikers are off target and reform for home.



When a FIRE CAN comes on air at Vu Chua and a second one at Kep Airfield. With no defence suppression left it means the photo recon is going to be met with a hail of RADAR guided AAA as it comes in.


It is a bad day for VFP-63. The DRV AAA fire over the Target hit and shoot down both aircraft in the Photo recon flight. FIRE CAN units were responsible for both shoot downs.


We played out the CSAR. And, again had the frustration of watching the DRV capture a downed pilot while Chink-69 was in the same hex. Only one of the four pilots was rescued.

With no BDA report, the target will have to be struck again. In VP terms the US get a pasting scoring 2 for damaged SAM sites. The DRV score 14 points -12 Significant Defeat. Even if I hadn't lost the recon aircraft I would have scored 7 v 5 so +2 and even that is a defeat.

A couple of lessons to be learned, mainly on SEAD tactics and route planning around Haiphong. The loss of both Recon birds was a fluke Don't underestimate FIRE CAN as it caused a number of problems and lastly get the RWR and Densive Jamming units fitted to the entire carrier air wing.
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Si Tyler
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I am off to watch the Army v Navy rugby at Twickenham this afternoon so staying at a friends house so don't have my drawing tools.

This is the how the SAM firing options chart looks like if you show the information in a different way. Essentially you can only shoot at a non Bombing, SEAD or Armed Escort flight at a range of upto 5 hexes.
 
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David Dockter
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Wow. Very cool.
 
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Roger Taylor
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Quote:
Don't underestimate FIRE CAN as it caused a number of problems

I haven't crunched the numbers, but it looks to me like Fire Can-guided AAA is the deadliest ground-based system. SAMs might be more effective at getting mission kills on strikers (i.e., jettisoning ordnance in SAM avoidance maneuvers), though.
 
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Tomasz Niedzinski
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rtaylor wrote:
Quote:
Don't underestimate FIRE CAN as it caused a number of problems

I haven't crunched the numbers, but it looks to me like Fire Can-guided AAA is the deadliest ground-based system. SAMs might be more effective at getting mission kills on strikers (i.e., jettisoning ordnance in SAM avoidance maneuvers), though.


And I think it should be, this was prbably the most succesful system, but it worked to limited altitude. The AAA made the most kills in Vietnam.
SAMs primary mission was to force aircrafts down into the AAA altitude.

Actually Lee made great background analysys on his page:
http://www.google.pl/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=...

 
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