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Subject: Central America - Day #3/3 rss

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Nigel Wright
United Kingdom
Nottingham
England
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Hornet Leader - Carrier Air Operations
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Aviators
*Sick Bay (Not Ready): 2 Aviators; Panther 0/N/0/0 & Blackhawk 0/N/0/0 - unavailble for the duration.
*Pilots Lounge (Shaken): 3 Aviator; Cowboy -1/D/0/0, Wolf 0/A/0/0, Banzai -2/N/1/0
*Briefing Room (Ready): 8 Aviators; Leader 1/A/1/2, Wedge 2/A/0/1, Lightning 1/N/0/1, Hunter 1/N/0/0, Talon 1/N/1/1, Bear 0/N/0/1, Duke 0/N/0/1, Raider 0/D/0/0

Hangar Deck
*Heavily Damaged: 2 Hornets (#'s 302 & 308)
*Ready: 8 Hornets (#'s 300,301,303,304,306-307,310,311)

Misison Target - Fighter Sweep (#23)
*MiGs - 2 flights of MiG-21s and possibly MiG-23s
*SAMs - None
*Hits - 8 x 4 VP per MiG damaged or destroyed
*CAG suggests 4 Hornets

Mission Briefing
*Day mission. Long Range. 2WP, 3 Load Areas
*Certainty 1-7
*Special 1-7, die roll=2, so Special Condition - Replacement Hornet. Handy, but not in the last mission of the campaign!

Determine & Place SAMs, Allocate AAA
*None

Pre-Flight
I'll probably regret it, but I'll take this mission at face value and send out two AtA sections lead by aggressive pilots Leader and Wedge. Since it's the last day of the campaign I'll risk sending Wolf who even though Shaken is still an agressive pilot, with no detrimental modifiers. To be on the safe side, the two wingmen can carry a pair of HARMs each.

Air Combat Sections
*#300: Wedge 2/A/0/1 & #301: Wolf 0/A/0/0
*#303: Leader 1/A/1/2 & #304: Lightning 1/N/0/1
*AtA Leader: 2 x Sidewinder (wingtip, 0WP), 2 x Sidewinder (r.wing, 0WP), 2 x Sparrow (l.wing, 0WP), 1 x E-Pod (centreline, 1 WP)
*AtA Wingman: 2 x Sidewinder (wingtip, 0WP), 2 x HARM (r.wing, 2WP), 2 x Sparrow (l.wing, 0WP)

In Flight
*Condition check die=6 ( 1-8 ) so an event: SAM Site - suffer upto 5 attacks, one HARM cancels 1 attack. 4 HARM expended, so one attack - against Wolf - roll = 10 = destroyed! Pilot attempts to bail out - Lost! Memo to self - that'll be a minimum of 5 HARM to ward off the evil eye.
*MiG Presence: 2 flights of MiG-23s. 2/4/3/2. A+1,A+1,N,D-1.

Attack Resolution - Step #1
*Long-range AtA - Initial Positioning: die roll=7 (+2 for bad MiG) = 9 = Hornets have Advantage
*Long-range AtA - Engagement: Wedge engages A+1, Leader engages A+1; Lightning engages N; the remaining MiG-23 D-1 teams up against Lightning.

Long-range AtA - Attack by Advantaged Hornet pilots
*Wedge v A+1: Fire position roll =8 +2 (skill) +1 (MiG modifier) +6 (for 2 Sparrow) = 17 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 7 = Damage/Jettison/Abort.
*Leader v A+1: Fire position roll =4 +1 (skill) +1 (MiG modifier) +6 (for 2 Sparrow) = 12 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 8 = Damage/Jettison/Abort.
*Lightning v N: Fire position roll =1 +1 (skill) +1 (MiG modifier) +6 (for 2 Sparrow) = 9 = failed (10-).

Long-range AtA - Attack by remaining MiG pilots
*N v Lightning: Fire position roll =6 +2 (MiG value) -1 (Bad pilot) = 7 = failed (10-).
*D-1 v Lightning: Fire position roll =7 +2 (MiG value) -1 (Bad pilot) = 8 = failed (10-).

Attack Resolution - Step #2
*Wingman determination: Wedge is a singleton. Lightning is wingman to Leader.
*Dogfight - Engagement: Wedge engages N; Leader engages D+1.

Dogfight AtA - Attack by Aggressive pilots
*Wedge v N: Fire position roll =7 +2 (skill) +5 (for 2 Sidewinder) = 14 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 9 = Destroyed.
*Leader v D-1: Fire position roll =2 +1 (skill) -1 (MiG modifier) +5 (for 2 Sidewinder) = 7 = failed (10-).

Dogfight AtA - Attack by remaining MiG pilots
*D-1 v Leader: Fire position roll =5 +4 (MiG value) -1 (Bad pilot) +1 (Agressive Hornet) = 9 = failed (10-).

Attack Resolution - Step #3
*Wingman determination: No change.
*Dogfight - Engagement: Wedge and Leader engage D-1..

Dogfight AtA - Attack by Aggressive pilots
*Wedge v D-1: Fire position roll =6 +2 (skill) -1 (MiG modifier) +5 (for 2 Sidewinder) = 12 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 2 = Missed.
*Leader v D-1: Fire position roll =6 +1 (skill) -1 (MiG modifier) +5 (for 2 Sidewinder) = 11 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 1 = Missed.

Dogfight AtA - Attack by remaining MiG pilots
*D-1 v Wedge: Fire position roll =1 +3 (MiG value) -1 (Bad pilot) +1 (Agressive Hornet) = 4 = failed (10-).

Attack Resolution - Step #4
*Wingman determination: Lighting and Leader swap places as Leader has fired all his Sidewinders and Lightning still has two left.
*Dogfight - Engagement: Lightning and Wedge engage D-1.

Dogfight AtA - Attack by Aggressive & Normal pilots
*Wedge v D-1: Fire position roll =2 +2 (skill) -1 (MiG modifier) +1 (for 20mm Vulcan Cannon) = 4 = failed (10-).
*Lightning v D-1: Fire position roll =9 +1 (skill) -1 (MiG modifier) +5 (for 2 Sidewinder) = 14 = achieved (11+). Fire result roll = 8 = Damage/Jettison/Abort.

Post-Flight
* Event check die=3 ( 1-8 ). Event: Quick Hop - add 2 to tje Pilot Check and Hornet Check die rolls.
*Recovery of Hornets: One of the two Heavily Damaged Hornets is now only damaged (die=8) the other is still heavily damaged (die=2).
*Recovery of Pilots: Banzai and Cowboy recover from being Shaken.
* Pilot checks: Leader - ok, Wedge - ok, Lightning - ok (Wolf - lost, MIA).
* Hornets: #301 destroyed; #304 not ready; #300 and #303 ready.

Level of Mission Success
*Target points gained: 4 MiGs damaged or destroyed x 8VP = 32VP
*Hornets not ready: 1 x -1VP = -1VP
*Hornets destroyed: 1 x -7VP = -7VP
*Pilot lost: 1 x -10VP = -10 VP
*Not so grand total: 32 - 18 = 14VP = Failure - Woo Hoo!

Campaign Scenario Points
*Day 1: Complete Failure on a 4-Hornet mission = -1 CSP
*Day 2: Complete Failure on a 6-Hornet mission with media coverage = -2 CSP
*Day 3: Failure on a 4-hornet mission = 0 CSP
*Campaign Result: -3 CSP = Complete Failure.

Campaign Debrief
*So, transitioning from Hornet Leader II to Hornet Leader was something of a learning exercise, and a rather painful one at that. My recollection was that HL was a good deal fiddlier than HL2, and that has certainly proved to be the case, although the experience is not an unpleasant one! On the basis of reacquainting myself with HL, I'll be increasing my BGG rating from 9 to 10 - it is a truly excellent solitaire game.
*Reading the rules doesn't guarantee either 100% comprehension of all possible ramifications nor 100% recall - I completely forgot the Wingman has a saving roll when a MiG gets a firing position against his leader, and I'm sure there are others I still don't realise! The main lessons learned are noted at the end of Day 2.
*Having skimmed through the event deck, Target-Bound there's two SAM Site events (3 and 5 HARM) and one MiG event (5 AAM) that are potential killers. Home-Bound there's one SAM (3 HARM) and two MiG (3 and 4 AAM). You have been warned!

edit: shortened title

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