My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
5th Fleet Scenario Six: Battle of the Flattops
As feared, Indian and Pakistan have initiated their fourth war since 1947. With the Soviets supporting Indian heavily, the US lends support to Pakistan in this crisis. The first order of business: unleash the 5th Fleet to sweep away the Indian fleet and secure sea lanes to Pakistan while at the same time getting much needed supplies to Pakistan and getting US Marines near by for any invasion options. With these goals in mind. 5th Fleet engages.........
● Get MP units to Karanji first, then focus on AA units going to Male Atoll
● Hit enemy air bases ASAP
● Sink Indian CV ASAP
● Go after Task Force (TF) that does not have CV Lincoln either stacked with it or in the vicinity.
In the detection phase both USA TF and Indian TF were located along with the USS SN Albany. The USA player had to make tougher choices being confined to only two recon units. The USSR began the battle using its bombing units to attack US TF 3 (the AA group) Their attack damaged the AA unit Gunston Hall. The Soviet bomber escaped without damage back to Bombay (and a nice heavy CAP force to protect it there). The USA launched an F-18 air strike from the CV Linclon, focusing on the Indian CV Viraat. The Fighting was heavy with one F-18 getting damaged and the Indian CV being damaged as well! Both sides began by putting heavy emphasis on the Male Atoll location with the USSR/Indian player sending one TF, the Soviet sub and two Indian subs into the area while the USA sent in TF 3 and the USS Shark. The stage was set for a significant action to come.
The afternoon began with an Indian sub launching a torpedo attack on the AA Taraw. The torpedoes zipped through the water and, thanks to evasive maneuvers by TF 3, the Tarawa remained unscathed. The Indian sub did not have such luck: it was acquired by TF 3 who prepared for ASW action. The USA launched another air strike on the CV Virrat. Again, the Indians put up stiff resistance as an F-18 was destroyed. However, the cost for the Indians was quote high as the CV was sunk! The Soviets responded by launching another air strike against TF 3 this time they managed to sink the Gunston Hall while damaging the AA La Salle. Again, the Soviets planes escaped without damage, leading COMFIFTHFLEET to believe that the Soviets had sent some of their ace pilots into the region (which Washington will be interested in regarding how close the Indian and Soviet governments have become). TF unleashed ASW on the Indian sub that attacked it, damaging the sub. Both Indian TF prepared to close with the enemy to attempt SSM attacks soon. USS SN Shark attacked the Indian sub Bengal sinking it in ASW combat. Meanwhile, the USS SN Albany launched its only Cruise Missile attack against the Indian FF Cauvery, sinking it! The afternoon went to the USA, despite the sinking of one of the AA units.
As the day shifted into late afternoon (I’m writing this in this manner since night rules are not used in the basic scenarios) both sides prepared to hammer away. The result was a knock down, drag’em out fight! The USA launched air strikes first attacking the other Indian CV. Once again, the Indian defenses were quite good as another F-18 was damaged!!! In turn, the Indian CV was also damaged, so again the USA came out ahead, except that now America was starting to run low on air craft..... The USA also attacked the Indian TF assigned to intercept the MP units with excellent success. One F-18 was again damaged, but the Indians payed heavily for this, having the DD Mysore damaged and the FF Kistna sunk! In the Male Atoll battle area, the USS Shark launched a torpedo attack that damaged the Indian FF Gomati. The Indians did manage to detect the Shark in turn, but would their ASW prove to be as capable as their air defenses????? The USS Albany also got off a torpedo attack, damaging the Indian DD Delhi. The Indian subs tried to retaliate in kind, but their torpedo attack missed again and they again found themselves detected. The Soviet sub was clearly superior to the Indian as they attacked the La Salle with torpedoes, finishing off the crippled AA. The Soviet sub was detected in turn, and the hunt by TF was once again on! The MP units in TF 6 were finally within range of Indian land based aircraft, so they attacked damaging the MP Baugh. The Soviets assisted the Indian attack, damaging the MP Fisher as well. The USA Task Forces then went into battle with TF launching ASW against the Soviet Sub (no damage) while TF 3 SSM attack sunk the Indian DD Ranvir. TF 6 launched its own SSM attack, finishing off the DD Delhi. The Indians attempted their own ASW and SSM attacks, but both failed to cause any damage! As the day drew to a close, the US was well on its way to getting its ships through, but the Indian and Soviet air power was still a major force to be reckoned with....
The day began with the AA Tarawa, Denver, and Mount Vernon getting into the Male Atoll. Having neglected this for farrrrrrr toooooooo long, the US CG units Arkansas and Anzio launched Cruise Missile attacks against the Indian and Soviet air bases. The result: the Soviet base was damaged, rendering it ineffective for the rest of the battle! The Indian made the most of their remaining air units by hitting TF 6 again, damaging the Hauge Dam. The USS Albany continued to “rack up” prey, sinking the DD Mysore this turn. The CV Lincoln then sent its damaged fighters to attack the Indian CAP over Rajknt, only to have themselves defeated and turned back with an F-18 destroyed!!!!!! The Soviet submarine stalked TF 3 and sunk the FF Fitch this turn!
The afternoon began with the Soviet sub attacking TF 3. The attack failed, and the no good, Godless, atheist, pinko commie sub fled!!! The CV Lincoln again attacked the Indian CAP over Rajknt (this time with a fresh F-14 taken off CAP over the CV) and in a fierce battle the USA lost both the F-14 and F-18!!!! Obviously, the Indian pilots had ate their Wheaties before this battle!!! The Indians then launched their air strike for the turn against TF 6. This time, they were not so lucky as one Indian plane was damaged! However, they had the last laugh as both the MP Hauge and MP Fisher were sunk (and precious VP with them). TF 3 decided to pursue the Soviet sub, and did so, but failed to make a dent in it. On the other hand, the USS Shark took a bite out of the Indian CV Vikrant, finishing it off! The remainder of the Indian TF failed to find the Shark. The USA Albany moved to intercept the Indian CO Flot 2 and 3 as they closed in on the TF 6. The ensuing torpedo attack damaged both CO and they failed to find the Albany.
The final turn was really anti-climatic, but a blunder by the USA cost them their hard fought victory. The damaged MP Baugh made it to port but rather then send the MP unit ahead by itself ALL of TF 6 went into the port, which is a restricted water hex!!! BIG MISTAKE!!! The CV Lincoln moved out of range of the Indian air base for safety reasons (due to deleted fighter strength). Thus, the Indian air units hammered TF 6 in restricted water hex (a +4 modifier to the die roll for the attacker!!! ) The result: a DD (Ingersoll) and FF (Wilms) SUNK!!! The Shark retaliated by sinking the FF Gomati, then prudently took off. The Albany finished off both CO units with torpedoes. The Soviet sub attacked TF 3 with the Soviet sub scoring a hit by sinking the DD Hyler to end the battle.
1 damaged MP to port=8
52-14= 38 VP A Marginal Indian/Soviet Victory!
Post Game Analysis:
● Poor initial deployment by the Indian/Soviet side.
● USA needed to hit air bases sooner
● Huge blunder in sending ships into restricted waters that did not need to be there!
● USA need to use Cruise Missile attacks sooner
● Indian/USSR need to concentrate naval forces against Male Atoll units and let air units handle MP units.
Great game overall! The Fleet Series Rules!!!!!!!!
Superb session report.