My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
Scenario #2: Torpedoes, Mines, and Depth Charges!!!!
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!
USSR: Need to keep my diesel subs (SS) near the VP hexes since they have such a pitiful movement value (1). I’ll use my SN to hunt the USA ships. I will try to get both mines in, but hunting to me is critical for any battle. I should be able to easily get the mine in Palau and a shot against the Amphibious Assault (AA) ships coming from the bottom of the map in the process. This scenario is pretty straight forward so really the positioning, die rolling, and winning the initiative are essential to victory!
USA: I’ll try to race the AA with the Aussie Frigate (FF) to Subic Bay as quickly as possible although I expect to lose at least one AA in the process The forces that begin at Subic Bay I will use to hunt the enemy nuclear sub (SN) below the Philippines. The other two forces above the Philippines I will try to merge as soon as possible as they alone can only make a Task Group (TG) but together would form on massive, bad @## Task Force (TF) with serious Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) capability. I will hunt whenever and wherever possible and, if Thad holds true to form, I should have plenty of opportunities. Detecting the Soviet subs with my P-3 planes will be critical to success. If I fail, Thad will have a huge advantage since all my surface forces are automatically detected during this scenario!
USSR: I38 fails to find SN Salt Lake City
USA: P-3 operating in Philippines Zone found both SS but the P-3 operating in the Formosa Zone did not find either SN but it did find the SS.
Action Phase (AP).
Note: even though I had two activations I will list only one action phase where one of us goes first and then I will activate one of my units then the other or if I win the initiative, then I will activate one type then Thad will move his subs and I’ll activate the other type.
SN Kptnt moves toward Aussie force.
SS subs hold position
SN Sorkn and SN Nfdov move toward the two groups above the Philippines.
Create TG 2 around CG Stert move and attack SS Zrnta.
Attacker Die Roll (ADR)= Miss!
Create TG 5 around FF Jhall. TG then moves toward Aparti and attacks SS Ypter.
Create TF 7 around FF Dwert. Move toward TG 5
Aussie Force (AF) moves toward Philippines.
SN Salt Lake City (SLC) moves and attacks SS Zrnta.
ADR= !! Hit! Just missed sinking sub. SS Zrnta damaged.
SN SLC not found
USSR: Not a bad start. Should be able to sink some AA soon. Will use SN Kptnt to attack AF then head to Palau to lay that mine Hopefully my SS will get some shots in. They are such sitting ducks!
USA: Friction is already busting my chops this game! Cannot believe those ASW rolls! SLC did a good job, but those surface boys need to pick up the pace. Hope to combine TG 5 and TF 7 real soon.
Local Detection: SLC not found
SN Kptnt closes on AF.
SS Zrnta torp on TG 2. Target: DD Oldrf
Defender Die Roll (DDR)= ADR= Miss!
SS Zrnta moves away into South China Sea Zone.
SS Mlnya moves next to Laoag
SS Ypter torp attack on TG 5. Target: DD Bdley
DDR= ADR= Miss!!
SS Ypter then moves back along coast toward Laoag
SN Nfdov closes on TG 5
SN Sorkn moves then torp attack on TG 5. Target: DD Bdley
DDR= ADR= !!! Miss!!
Soviet sub detected after attack!
AF continues toward Philippines.
TG 2 moves south to help AF
TF 7 moves along coast to link up and merge with TG 5
TG 5 ASW attack on SN Sorkn
ADR= (rolled one last time was on a Miss!!
TG 5 moves into hex with TF 7. Two forces finish activation together and thus can merge into one giant TF 7.
SLC moves and does ASW on SS Zrnta.
Sub not found
Remove local detection on SN Sorkn
USSR: Still ok, but having trouble penetrating that USA ASW screen. If this keeps up, I’ll lose for sure! May just send the SN Kptnt right past AF to lay mine and then swing back along Philippines to stalk Subic Bay. I’ll use my 2 SN to stalk TF 7 but I’m going to go for the combat ships first to weaken the sheep dogs some!
USA: Situation ok this turn. Merged TG 5 and TF 7. Next I hope to merge AF with TG 2 to make another TF. TF 7 is still in a tricky situation with SS in front of it and SN hunting it. Still, it does possess a strong ASW value of 24!
USSR Subs! (USA :shakes: head in disbelief)
SN Kptnt moves then torp on TG 2. Target: DD Oldrf.
DDR= ADR= !!! DD Oldrf sunk!
Sub not found!
SS Zrnta deeper into South China Sea
Other 2 SS hold positions
SN Nfdov moves then torp on TF 7. Target: SC#1
DDR= ADR= Miss!!!
SN Sorkn move then torp on TF 7. Target: SC#1
DDR= ADR= Miss again!!!
AF moves along toward Philippines
TG 2 moves into hex with AF and all merge into TG 2 (no chance for TF with DD sunk! )
TF 7 hunts 2 Soviet subs with its massive forces! ASW divided up between ships so 20 ASW on each attacked sub.
Vs. Sorkn ADR= Miss!
Vs. Nfdov ADR= Miss!
TF 7 moves along coast headed to Laoag
SLC moves NE to attack SS Mlnya.
ADR= Hit! SS Mlnya damaged!
USSR: First sinking! Things are looking good for the mine to be laid at this point. Tim’s recon planes will be crucial next turn. I’ll place mine on tactical co-ordination since the SLC is not that big of a deal (probably should’ve done that 1st turn, but the SLC is worth 10 VP if I can sink it; now it does not look feasible to do so ) Another damaged SS is not good news, but at least I’ll keep the one in the South China Sea from being sunk or force Tim to chase it and thus take at least one unit away from the action. Yeah, I said I was going to go all warship attacks all the time, but those slow convoys (SC) are worth 12 juicy VP to the USA and I think Tim may be thinking about trying to run them to Subic Bay which means each undamaged is worth 60 VP and that I cannot allow!
USA: Loss of my best DD stings. On the plus side, my AA and SC ships have been well defended. The defensive ASW has been terrific. Now, why that does not translate into offensive ASW I cannot say. Since defensive ASW has been so good, I’m going to try to run the SC to Subic Bay and pick up the 60 VP for doing so. I need a lot of points to even have a shot at victory, so this seems to be the best course unless I lose a boatload of AA/SC this turn (so to speak ) I really need to win the next initiative die roll to put some distance between myself and the Soviet subs as well as having any chance to catch the SN Kptnt before it lays its mine!
USSR places I38 on tactical coordination in Philippines Zone.
USA P-3 recon in South China Sea Zone. Both SS and SN found! P-3 recon in Formosa Zone finds nothing!
SN Kptnt torp on TG 2. Target: DD Lfwch.
DDR= !!!!! ADR= DD Lfwch sunk!
Sub then moves into Palau to prepare to lay mine
SS Mlyna moves to TF 7. Torp attack. Target: FF Hmond
DDR= ADR= Miss!!
SS Ypter torp on TF 7. Target: FF Hmond.
DDR= ADR= Miss!
SN Nfdov moves next to TF 7. Torp Attack! Target: SC#1
DDR= ADR= Barely misses target!
Sub not found
SN Sorkn moves next to TF 7. Torp attack! Target: SC#1
DDR= ADR= !!! Miss!!!!
Sub not found!
TG 2 AA units to Subic Bay and removed from map.
TG 2 warships pursue SN Kptnt. Move and then ASW
TF 7 ASW attacks again on 2 SS. One attack with 16 ASW the other with 24 ASW
vs. SS Mlyna ADR= Miss!!!! (Only needed a to hit!)
vs. SS Ypter ADR= Barely missed sinking sub. SS Ypter damaged.
TF 7 then moves on toward Subic Bay
SLC moves next to SS Mlyna. ASW attack
ADR= SS Mlyna sunk!
USSR: Those SC must have titanium hulls. That or I need to ream out the SOB command economy idiots who are producing dude torpedoes for me! I told them we should’ve kept NEP! I did sink a 2nd DD so that was good. Need to get one last shot on those AA and SC. Mine will be laid for sure so there is a solid 20 VP for me!
USA: Once again the initiative die roll will be critical as it will let me get those AA and SC home safely to Subic Bay. My defensive ASW has been superb in TF 7. TG 2 is having real troubles as they have lost 2 DD After this battle the first thing I’ll need to do is have the commander of TF 7 drill the men in TG 2 regarding ASW! So far 4 AA home safe and sound. Since I now have no chance to stop the mine at Palau, I need to get those 12 VP SC home. ed Thad did not send the other mine laying sub rushing to its objective hex.
USA Surface (Halla Bloody Leuia I’m first)
TF 7 AA and SC to Subic Bay and removed from map
TF 7 warships hunt SS Zrnta and begin ASW attack!
TG 2 into South China Sea
SN Kptnt lays mine!
SS Zrnta moves out of range of SN SLC.
Other subs no need to move
Final VP Tally:
SC/AA units at Subic Bay= + 240 pts!!
1 SS sunk= +6
2 DD lost= -16
One mine laid= -20
Final VP tally= 210 Substantive USA Victory!
Post Game Comments:
USSR: Well, there is only one thing to say. USA defensive ASW was outstanding and my torpedoes sucked! I made a major mistake in not sending the other mine laying sub out to do its job. That cost me 25 VP, but I thought for sure I could make it up by sinking one of those SC! That would’ve decreased Tim’s VP by 60 pts. If I had only focused on one and laid that second mine that would’ve caused significant VP reduction, enough to drop it to a marginal Soviet Victory. Instead, I placed my
faith (can I use that phrase in representing the USSR???? ) in my hunting abilities and torpedoes and we can see what that got me! I did the best I could with the SS subs which are always a liability to me in any scenario. The USA SN SLC was really a non factor. I was a bit surprised that Tim was so aggressive as to send all his AA/SC to Subic Bay. I thought for sure he’d bail some of them out. That is the problem playing with a gambler like Tim: you never can tell just when he’ll fold or when he’ll go all in. There is only one thing I can say at this point: I really miss 2nd Fleet!
USA: My defensive ASW was superb although the offensive version left something to be desired! Still, if I had to choose between the two, defensive is certainly better at least in this scenario. Denied the USSR one last torpedo thrust by FINALLY winning the initiative die roll! Never have lost that many in a row before! I really thought Thad would go after placing both mines but he is a hunter par excellance so I cannot say I am really all that surprised in the end. Another good scenario although not nearly as much pressure as one finds in scenario #1. It is good to dust off some of these old scenarios. It’s been a long time.
Overall Score in 7th Fleet:
In the whole series thus far: