My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
Scenario #1: Waterloo at Sea
This is a series of session reports of the playing of the introductory and intermediate scenarios of 7th Fleet in which I play the USA and attempt to valiantly defend the American Way of Life (Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of the Almighty Dollar Whoops! I mean Pursuit of Happiness! and Thad defends the Utopian, Communist Workers Paradise or, as I like to call it, he defends the no good Godless, Atheist, Pinko Soviet Union.
And here we go!
This is pretty basic for me: I need to snatch the US flyers and get those SC (Slow Convoy) to the Philippines. Of course, this is easier said than done in the latter case given the distance. The nice thing about this scenario is I can sink US ships and easily get the win as well. With that in mind, I will do the following:
Use my Soviet air power to go after the US force with the BB (Battleship) Missouri. If I can damage of sink the BB then I should be able to pick off a few more ships in that group.
As I move my force with the SC I will try to use the surface to surface (SSM) values to sink what US ships I can. Two my ships have a range of 5 for their SSM to I should be able to hit something at some point.
The most important part of this scenario will be the Cruise Missiles (CM). Tim gets two attacks with the BB Missouri and, if he can cripple my air base where my Soviet units are located, this will be a long game!
The flyers in this game present a problem since they are worth +3 VP to the USSR. That instantly gives him a marginal victory, so I can either us my air power to sink the Soviet Frigate (FF) and Corvette (CO) in Vietnam or I can race my force with BB Missouri down and pick the flyers up, using my SSM value to sink the Soviets. Geography helps me in this game as the approaches to the hex where the SC need to go are confined by the Philippines so I can keep one force in the area and strike when possible and the flyers are not so far away that I cannot get back in time to engage with my BB group. I have to get the CM attacks in on the Soviet base ASAP. And with my first air strikes on the Soviet force with the SC, I must those SC first then go after other ships.
NOTE: When setting up, Thad and I noted that in the VP the USSR gets +6 VP for sinking the CG Long Beach which would be fine if the ship was on the set up chart! So, we discussed it and decided to make the US CG with the force in the Philippines the one worth 6 VP.
US initial deployment: place the force with BB Missouri in the South China Sea (thus making the Soviets choose when it comes time for recon )
USA: P-3 detects both Soviets forces
USSR: T16D detects US force with BB Missouri
USSR: Both Vietnam planes
USA: One F4
1st Action Phase ( AP):
BMB and EW attack BB Missouri force targeting the Missouri.
Defender Die Roll(DDR)= Attacker Die Roll (ADR)=
BB Missouri damaged!!!!!
F4 and EW attack Soviet force with the SC. Put 20pts of bomb value on each SC.
ADR vs. SC#1=
ADR vs. SC#2=
Both SC damaged!
Create Task Force (TF) 2 consisting of ships stacked with BB Missouri
TF 2 launches CM attack with BB Missouri on Soviet air base
ADR= Just barely missed (by one, needed a to hit! )
TF 2 then moves towards downed flyers
Create Task Group (TG) 1 with ships in port at Philippines. TG holds its position.
Create TF 7 with Soviet forces stacked with SC. Move toward Philippines and launch SSM attack on TF 2. Target: DD Prebl.
DDR= !!!!! ADR= Miss! (-3 modifier for not having surface unit adjacent hurts!)
Create TG 5 with FF Drzhy and CO #1 and then move toward the flyers.
USSR: Good start!! Crippling the Missouri pays off as the ensuing CM attack missed the base! However, both SC got damaged this turn With this initial strike on my SC, I may need to race TF 7 forward as fast as I can, take my lumps on the SC, and switch to hunt mode.
USA: The damage to the Missouri hurts However, I did damage both SC which will then free my air units to hunt Soviet surface units. Hopefully I can pick up the flyers before Thad. We’ll see. I have greater SSM range than he does with the ships he’s sending to the area. Now, I’ll use air power in combination with TG 1 when the time is right to hit TF 7 hard. Not sure why Thad put a CAP up. I cannot reach his base from mine, although if I let the Soviet BMB unit through he can damage my base which would be devastating.
CAP Phase: USSR lands CAP; USA maintains CAP
TF 2 moves into downed flyers hex.
BB Missouri CM attack on USSR base.
ADR= Damage level
Other ships in TF 2 then attack Soviet TG 5 with SSM. Die roll allows only top unit (CO) to be attacked!
DDR= ADR= Sink the CO!
TG 1 holds its position
2 Vietnamese M21 attack TF 2. Target: BB Missouri.
DDR= !! ADR= Just barely missed!
F4 and EW attack TF 7. Target both SC again with 20 pts each.
DDR= Possible air unit damage. Damage roll= Miss!
ADR vs. SC#1=
ADR vs. SC#2=
BOTH SC sunk!!!!!!!
FF Drzhny, now all alone (which would mean -2 modifier any time attacked and with only an SSM value of 4) moves into the South China Sea to try to link up with Tf 7.
TF 7 continues on toward the Phillippines.
USSR: Crippling blow this turn! Both SC now gone and my Soviet air base damaged! Now my only chance is to hunt US ships and I’ll move toward the TG 1 since it has fewer ships. I’ll try to get within striking distance and, next morning turn (turn 4) I’ll use my recon to find TG 1 and hopefully sink a ship or two. I’ll have my Soviet base repaired by then as well so I’ll have those units available for the final showdown. And no, I don’t know why I put those 2 M21 on CAP on turn 1
USA: Excellent turn! Now, I will have to watch my ships carefully since Thad will be sure to go into hunt mode these last two turns. Big thing will be the Soviet air units coming back into action on turn 4. If only I had won the first initiative die roll of the game and had been able to form those ships into a TF in time! Well, no matter. I have the upper hand at this point, now I just need to finish the job. Hopefully, I can sink some of his ships in TF 7 with my air power before he gets close enough to TG 1.
USA no CAP.
USA fails to pick up flyers!!!!!!
2 F4 and EW attack TF 7. Target CG Vldvk and DD Bzhny with 40 bomb points each.
ADR vs. CG Vldvk= CG Vldvk damaged!
ADR vs. DD Bzhny= Miss!
2 Vietnamese M21 attack TF 2. Target DD Prebl and DD Thorn with 30 bombing points each.
DDR= ! 2 shots at the M21 units Roll of double Miss!!!
ADR vs. DD Prebl= Clear Miss!
ADR vs. DD Thorn= Miss!
TG 1 moves south
TF closes on FF Drzhy and launches an SSM attack..
Hit, but only damages FF Drzhy
FF Drzhy flees NW toward the PRC
TF 7 chases TG 1
End of turn phase:
Soviet base repaired; all detection markers removed.
USSR: Need to use my Soviet BMB to try to sink at least one USA ship here at the end. I’ll try to hit TG 1 with an SSM attack from TF 7 if possible, but it will be tricky. And Tim has already made one mistake for the last turn: he put both his TF and TG in the same zone so my recon plane will be able to find both Better yet, as I look carefully at the board, Tim has left TF 2 within range of my BMB and INT! So if I can win the initiative die roll, I can hammer him big time! So I stand corrected: Tim has made mistakes already!
USA: Biggest thing this last turn is to avoid losing any ships. I also need to try to finish off the damaged CG since this will give me some needed VP. The flyers are no longer a concern since he raced his FF off toward China, so I’ll pick those boys up after the fighting (just stay in the life raft, don’t drink too much water, and hang in there boys )
USA P-3 finds both TF 7 and lone FF
USSR T16D finds TF 2 and TG 1
BMB and INT with EW attack TF 2. Put all bombing points on BB Missouri.
DDR= (almost a but it rolled one last time!) Chance at damaging enemy air unit, but missed!
TF 2 back to flyers
TG 1 continues southward
TF 7 pursues TG 1. TG 1 within range of two Soviet ships. Launch SSM attack. Target: CG Stert
DDR= ADR= !!!!
CG Stert sunk!
FF stays put
2 F4 and EW attack TF 7
80 bombing points total. Put 35 points and CG Vldvk and 45 on CG Vrshv
DDR= Chance to hit bombers succeeds! F4 damaged!
Reduce attack values to 30 and 35.
ADR vs. CG Vldvk= Hit! CG Vldvk sunk!
ADR vs. CG Vrshv= Miss!!!
Finaly VP Tally:
CG Stert sunk= 6 VP
CO sunk= -1 VP
CG sunk= -3 VP
Final Total= +2 VP Marginal Allied Victory!!!!!!
Post Game Comments:
USSR: The loss of the SC early in the game hurt badly. However, this is not as big a deal as it seems since there are lots of chances for the USSR to pick up VP in this scenario. When I sunk the CG Stert, I thought for sure I had pulled out a marginal Soviet victory. Who’d thought that the sinking of the little old Corvette would become so big in the end??? The sinking of my CG sealed the deal, and I do not think I could’ve prevented that in the end. My biggest self criticism this time is I got too fixated on the BB Missouri. Especially on that last turn when Tim left TF 2 within range of my INT unit, I should’ve went after 2 DD or even a DD given how the game finally ended. Still, I did get lucky with that hit at the beginning damaging the Missouri and thus hindering its CM ability (which was big: it was a one column difference on the attack chart or, to put it another way, it increases the chance to hit making it a 50-50 shot). Good tense, battle, but maybe should not have been so close. I guess I got fixated one the Missouri because sinking it would have automatically given me a Major Soviet Victory. One thing is for sure: the EW units causing a -2 die roll to the DDR makes a huge difference!
USA: Well, the damaged Missouri almost cost me big time, but that stubborn old ship stayed afloat. Just goes to show the power of rule 6.2 which only allows you to place your surface units into TF or TG at the start of your surface action phase. This made for a -4 modifier to our initial air attacks and accounts for both the Missouri damage as well as the damage I doled out to the two SC. In this scenario, the CM attacks are vital for the USA which showed by what I was able to accomplish after hammering Thad’s base with his BMB. Although I won, it more nerve wracking at the end then I figured it would be. When I got the chance to move my surface units further away on turn 4, I figured I had it in the bag given the -3 modifier Thad would have on any SSM attack, but not so! He sunk the CG anyway! I put the CAP up as long as I did because I figured if Thad sent his BMB and EW to hammer my base, I would be in really big trouble, so I held an F4 back until I was able to hit his base. I do wonder if I should’ve joined TF 2 and TG 1 to realign the ships. Maybe look at that for the next time we play this scenario. And I agree with Thad that the EW has a lot more bite in this game as opposed to Sixth and 2nd Fleet. That -2 modifier can be a killer!
In the whole series thus far:
It's just a ride...
Bury St Edmunds
Great report. 7th Fleet was always my favourite of the Fleet series.
The massive three map scenarios are are great fun, although cats seem strangely drawn to it.
The "Long Beach" typo was the first time I ever wrote Avalon/VG for a clarification. I probably still have their response in my game box. It seems the Long Beach was replaced by the other CGs during the game development. The points should say "each" now, but weren't changed.