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Downtown: Air War Over Hanoi, 1965-1972» Forums » Sessions

Subject: J.D. Webster plays a game of Downtown rss

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J.D. Webster
United States
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J.D. finally manages to get in his first official game of downtown.

Was on an airline layover in Seattle and got together with Boyd S. (playtester). after taking time to tour the Boeing Museum of Flight, and eat a fine dinner, Boyd took me through a full game of DT.

I planned and conducted a USN strike (66-67) time frame with Phantoms and lots of scooters. A few RF-8.

Boyd took a SAM day, no MiGs - heavily defended Haiphong, the north approaches, and Hanoi.

My target was a POL dump just south of Haiphong (no game handy so can't remember what it was).

My flight plan came in just north of entry point 7 and angled straight into the flatlands between Haiphong and Hanoi before making a 60 degree turn straight to the POL dump...and into the edges of the heavily defended Haiphong area. My two EA-1F Jammers were off map.

My strike opened with all flights entering the map at medium altitude and loaded scooter speed, so that Boyd couldn't tell what was an F-4 CAP or a bomber/iron hand. I don't think I fooled him at all. The first four flights on the map were CAP, trolling for MiGs or SAMs.

They got SAMs....boy did they get SAMs. A little ways behind them, and bunched up with the strike boys came the Iron hand.

The Phantoms quickly dispersed the dummy MiGs and found themselves under sustained SAM attack. The plugged in burners and headed for high altitude and feet wet as the strike came in. Boyd quickly activated several hidden SAM sites, one directly in front of the main strike four hexes away. Others engaged the F-4s as they fled. A lucky shot blew up one CAP F-4 and killed both crew.

I swiftly took revenge. An Iron hand A-4 quickly took out the SAM in front of the strike before it could even launch with a shrike down its throat. The Iron Hand A-4s then rampaged around, damaging two more SAM sites with shrikes and causing two radars to go off air, these were then pummeled with CBUs and one was taken out of play. Even my F-4 support flights with bombs got in the act, taking a SAM down. In all the two flights of A-4 and F-4 IH guys took down 5 SAM sites while dodging lots of AAA and a dozen SAMs. An heroic effort...although one A-4 flight caused collateral damage when its CBUs missed a site.

Nevertheless, with the strike package right on the heels of the IRON hand, all sixteen strike birds hit the target POL dump over a two turn period (bombing from medium altitude) and scored, two S2 and two S3 sets of bomb hits.

They then egressed as the last two active SAMs within range tried to engage them. They fired out their missiles only causing one SAM evasive maneuver to one scooter flight after it was heading home.

The only additional damage was a brilliant end game shot by a firecan aimed gun battery that crippled one and damaged one of the tail end A-4s on egress.

Boyd had forgot to put AAA on the POL site so it was fairly easy to thread the defenses to get the photo recon bird in and out...especially given that their were no SAM sites operating or left with missiles left in range of it.

A poor set of bombing resolution rolls only resulted in "H" level damage to the target.

In all a fairly successful feeling alpha CAP F-4 lost with crew, but all the other aircraft made it back to the carrier, even the cripple. The target was pasted good and 5 SAM sites damaged and out of action.

Result:.... a US defeat by 1 point.

I was awarded 9 points total, 4 for the target, 1 for each of the 5 sam sites. I lost two for the F-4 and two points for the KIA crew. Also 1 point for causing exploitable collateral damage.

Net result a +4 point over the NVN, but this is a US defeat. I could have accepted, nay...expected at least a draw.

Looking at the victory point levels, even if I had not lost the F-4, the best possible result for me +8, results in an "inconclusive attack"....only by suffering no losses, and causing no collateral damage did I have a chance of even a minor victory...

not sure if this was Lee's intent. I had fun playing the whole time, but seeing that it is almost impossible for the US to win in that scenario if even a single jet is lost...leaves me a bit doubtful of the victory conditions.

By all my training, this was a successful strike with a only 1 bird lost in the hard fought action.

Anyway - nice game, played out easily in 2.5 hours.

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Robert Wilson
New Brunswick
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Nice report!

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