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Red Storm: The Air War Over Central Germany, 1987» Forums » General

Subject: Solo Test Game rss

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Douglas Bush
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I'm testing the third solo scenario, tentatively titled "Nike Nixing". In it, a Soviet raid with strong jamming and SEAD support has to cross the NATO SAM belt near the front and attack long-range Nike Hercules SAM batteries further to the West. NATO CAP flights will also try to engage the attackers.

In this image you can see the lead Soviet units in Turn 6. There are two Tu-22P escort jammers out front, followed by some MiG-23 flights doing a fighter sweep. Further back are some Su-24s doing SEAD and some MiG-21s laying additional chaff corridors for the raid that's following.

So far the SAM/Jamming/SEAD flight is going the Soviet's way. They've taken out a critical Patriot SAM unit with Kh-58 ARMs and have so far been able to overwhelm several HAWK batteries with strong standoff jamming. The red arrows show ARM shots and the blue ones attempted Lock-on-After-Launch HAWK SAM shots.

Doug

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Douglas Bush
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End of T9 movement phase. At the top edge, the two MiG-21 chaff laying flights are about done dropping their chaff loads on the ingress/egress routes. Over on the left you can see a pair of MiG-23 flights have dropped to low altitude to try to engage two NATO CAP flights, one of FRG F-4Fs and the other Belgian F-16s. Both MiG flights tried BVR engagements, but couldn't get any results. If NATO gets initiative the bot flights may engage in dogfights or try to slip past to get at the jammers, chaff flights, and bombers behind the fighters. The big Soviet Tu-22 escort jammers have turned tail due to the NATO CAP flights getting close. They will circle back and lead the bombers through the main SAM zone.

Aside from taking down the one Patriot battery, WP SEAD operations haven't been effective, although the Kh-25s and Kh-58s did get a few shutdowns. However, horrible dice by the SAMs have led to just one damaged MiG-23 despite a ton of shots. Hopefully better luck for the SAM bot with the bombing flights.

The bot CAP flights have been released to move but have mostly hung back so far. Their moves are dictated by a movement action "tree" on a play aid, so in a given turn they may try to engage if close enough, "hold station" in place, close on enemy flights, or even drop back a bit. Mostly hold stations so far, but that will change once the Soviet fighters get closer.

Doug

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Douglas Bush
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Soviets do some nice work in turn 10. First, an Su-24M tasked with SEAD used cluster bombs to destroy a pesky HAWK missile site. Next, one of the MiG-23M flights ("Dolina") in the fighter sweep managed to avoid detection and surprise a flight of West German F-4Fs. No damage to either side, but the Luftwaffe flight blew it's morale check and heads home on an Abort result. Then, another MiG-23M was able to get a clean BVR shot kill on a Belgian F-16 using R-23 (AA-7) missiles from 8km. The Belgians blew their morale check badly and will also head home aborted. Images show the the situation after the two air-to-air combats. The Soviets have now sent home two of the four NATO CAP flights.

Doug



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Douglas Bush
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Middle of turn 14. Soviet strike package of Su-24s just hit the route release point. Each one will split off next turn to go to its target (that is a new feature in Red Storm btw, raids can "split up" at a release point rather than having to stay in one "conga line", with the intent of showing how improved navigation would provide more freedom of maneuver for individual flights in a raid, all the flights have to meet back up at a "rejoin point" for the transit home).

Soviets have also aborted the last of the 4 bot CAP flights. Due to good dice, the MiG-23M fighter sweep did a lot better than I expected (the MiG-23M is the oldest of several Flogger models the Soviets can get in Red Storm). The mostly Belgian F-16 CAP (3 out of 4 flights) held its own in Air-to-Air combat, shooting down 3 MiGs to 1 loss. However, morale rolls let them down so they were unable to get past the fighters to the strike and jammer flights. A different set of CAP flights could have been a lot different story though (F-15s, F-4 FGRs, and the like).

Soviet SEAD has been a success. One Patriot damaged and two HAWK sites destroyed. One more suppressed/out of ammo (marked with the Xs). One Nike site had its radar destroyed by an ARM shot. Chaff corridors are in place.

The main show is up next. Each Su-24 flight has one of the Nike-Herc sites as a target. Each Nike site has several sub-targets in the hex. Weather is iffy (broken clouds @ deck/low) so the Fencers will have to get down low, which will be sporty with lots of AAA near the targets.

Doug
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Douglas Bush
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First Su-24 bombing flight rolls in on a Nike site. This flight has 4 x EOGMs (Electro-optical guided missiles, here AS-10 "Karen" missiles). IP will be 3 hexes out, attack at 2 hexes. Weather is scattered @ Deck/Low, but there is a cloud break over this target so the Fencer will be able to attack from Low altitude instead of down on the Deck. There is one NATO flak that will activate as a Gepard or light AAA, which could be trouble.

Before and after pictures attached. The NATO flak was a Gepard, but it blew the attack roll so only put a -1 DRM on the EOGM shots. One clean miss, but two solid level 3 hits on the radar and a big level 4 hit on the launchers. EOGM warheads are smaller than bombs, so didn't try to hit the command bunker. Still, the Nike will likely be out of action for the day...

Doug



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Douglas Bush
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The last two Su-24 flights had regular bombs, and a random event made the cloud situation even worse with dense clouds at low/deck, so they had to go in at Deck and do level bombing runs. Both had mixed loads, so both used cluster bombs first on Nike launchers, with good effect (one heavy damage and one slight). They both circled back for a second pass with regular bombs on the tougher command bunker targets at the SAM sites and didn't even chip the paint on them.

One flight lost an Su-24 to inherent light AAA in the target hex. That is one of the perils of going low. The other Su-24 avoided any damage, but didn't get great results (slight damage on launchers, total miss on the bunker).

Recon flight of Su-24MRs was chugging along and getting recon through the clouds with his SAR sensor (another new feature of some recon birds in Red Storm), so I decided to wrap it up. Soviets ended up with 39VP to NATO's 17VP, so the net +22 difference resulted in a WP victory (just barely). Aircraft losses were 5 Soviet (3 x MiG-23M and 2 x Su-24M) to 2 NATO (Belgian F-16As).

Three of the four target Nike Herc sites took damage and the WP SEAD effort also damaged a Patriot battery and two HAWK batteries, so not a bad morning for the WP. If there was another big raid combing behind this one (likely) it would have a much easier time penetrating off the map to the West to hit rear area NATO targets like airbases and POMCUS sites.

This was a test drive of the full solo system. I made tweaks to the flight and SAM bot but overall both bots did ok. The SAM and flight morale check dice were really bad, and it was still not a blowout, so feels about right.

More testing to follow!

Doug



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Dan Beckler
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Doug, what's your hex scale?

Great write-up! And I'm excited to see that the solitaire capability is becoming more robust. I'm very much looking forward to peeling the WP air defense onion.
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Douglas Bush
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wedgeantilles1971 wrote:
Doug, what's your hex scale?

Great write-up! And I'm excited to see that the solitaire capability is becoming more robust. I'm very much looking forward to peeling the WP air defense onion.


Scale is 2.2 nautical miles per hex, or just about 4km.

Solo rules development has been fun so far. I'm hoping the bot will actually be a good learning tool for players since it shows different tactics new players may not think of on their own.

I'm testing a regular scenario now that is night + bad weather with two NATO raids going after bridges. Lots of F-111s and Tornadoes. Should be a good one.

Doug
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