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Subject: Iraq 1991 Second Surge - Alternate Ending rss

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Erik Racer
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I finished my second attempt at the Iraq 1991 Surge Campaign with a rating of 20 ("Great") by paying three SO (Special Option) points for a "B-52 Strike" to eliminate the second target of the final day. To put it bluntly, I had performed brilliantly through the first five missions. But what if I had decided to take on the battalion Command Unit 1C? To answer that, I interrupted the time-space continuum to have another go at it.

Instead of paying the three0 SO points to carpet bomb the target into oblivion, I used them to offset the weight point penalty (due to the target residing in the Enemy Rear) and to load out my aircraft. All of the pilots had seen previous action so two were rated as "Skilled". To keep my Apaches on target longer I outfitted them with additional fuel as well as ECM (Electronic Counter Measure) pods to hopefully foil any enemy attacks. Gator in his Cobra would get in, strike, and get out. I went for the heavier AGM-65's due to their accuracy and range to quickly negate the threat of the SAMs (surface to air missiles). By my calculations this would be short, sweet and successful.

Loiter Turn 1

Both the terrain and enemy placement immediately presented real problems. All of the SAMs were in separate hexes. Also, as all of my pilots were slow, there was only one hex (#4) which provided me the cover I needed from the SAMs. I decided to start out there hovering at low altitude. It was my intention to shift to high and eliminate three of the SAMs as well as the two command units placed with the SAMs. While it wasn't ideal, it still would put in a good position to accomplish my task.



If the tile and enemy placement first enemy didn't expose my overconfidence (and poor planning), the first enemy cover roll certainly did. It resulted in any one enemy unit in each hex being moved into cover, fully protecting them from all of my missiles. All of the ordinance I carried could only be used for Stand-Off combat against targets in the open and 50% of my targets just went into hiding. My pilots moved to high altitude and and their first salvo eliminated two of the SAMs and one command unit. The pilots then advanced to the edges of the hex in order to bring the fight to the enemy.


Loiter Turn 2
The second loiter turn began with all three pilots at high altitude. Because of this, three pop-up counters were drawn but no enemies appeared. Even though the ECM pods were ineffective, the boys escaped serious harm. Gator and Eagle were forced to low altitude, Eagle's cannon was interrupted for a turn, and Judge took both structural and console damage.

Loiter Turn 3
The third loiter turn proved to be disastrous for Judge. His being at high altitude resulted in an infantry popup being pulled and then it subsequently going into to cover. Also, as Judge was now the only remaining target, all of the enemy fire was concentrated on him. Of the six attacks he suffered, only one was interrupted by his ECM pod. The rest found their mark resulting in Judge being increasingly battered and eventually his Apache going down.

Eagle and Gator opted to stay low to reduce some of the attention they would receive as they moved into the neighboring hexes. Flying over the ridges at low altitude cause them to suffer additional stress, but still within acceptable levels. Gator attempted to take out the command unit in his hex (#1) and missed and Eagle couldn't do anything as his cannon was still “jammed” from the prior turn's damage. At this juncture I decided the best plan was to extricate my pilots as quickly as possible.


Loiter Turn 4
Loiter turn four brought further mayhem. Gator was tagged by the command unit in hex #5 and then by the infantry in hex #8. The results were tragic as Gator was KIA.

Even though Eagle's ECM kicks in he still takes pylon and engine damage. Luckily, neither is of any real consequence for the current mission.


Loiter Turn 5
Things begin to turn around a bit in the final loiter turn. Eagle's ECM staved off two attacks and a third was thwarted by his evasive skill. His cannon now fully functioning again silences the SAM in his hex before he exits the sector map. Another happy occurrence is the recovery of Judge during the search and rescue step.

There are 19 remaining enemy points on the battle field. Not enough to reduce the enemy to half strength or earn me any victory points. In fact, the loss of Gator and the two aircraft deducts three from my total leaving me with a score of 12 or merely an “Adequate” rating.

So, while I had actually finished the original campaign with a “Great” rating, playing through the final mission as a “what if” scenario reduced my score significantly and forced me to see the shortsightedness of some of my tactics. Here's hoping I take that lesson to heart.
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Nate K
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Quote:
Gator in his Cobra would get in, strike, and get out. I went for the heavier AGM-65's
Can Cobras carry AGM-64s? I'm on vacation and don't have my copy with me, but for some reason I feel like that's not a weapon they can equip...
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Ryan
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eracer68 wrote:
I outfitted them with additional fuel as well as ECM (Electronic Counter Measure) pods to hopefully foil any enemy attacks.



I don't think you can outfit Apaches with ECM pods. Neither the Cobra nor the Apache have ECM pods listed as available ordnance/counters. All the fixed wing manned aircraft have ECM listed. Expand those images to see what I mean.
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Ryan
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kurthl33t wrote:
Quote:
Gator in his Cobra would get in, strike, and get out. I went for the heavier AGM-65's
Can Cobras carry AGM-64s? I'm on vacation and don't have my copy with me, but for some reason I feel like that's not a weapon they can equip...


Correct Nate, Cobras cannot equip AGM-65s. I missed that one when I read through.
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Ryan
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Nice session reports, Erik. And nice photos as well.

I just finished an Iraqi Show of Force this morning. I lost one of my AH-1 pilots on the second mission, though I managed to destroy both my targets on the second day moving me up to a barely adequate rating.

There is a lot to consider when starting a campaign, more so than even Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations. I've been juggling between nice aircraft and pilot promotions. More capable platforms are nice, but so are pilots with +2 modifiers and Fast ratings. The random terrain setup often throws a wrench in my plans. I don't think I've finished a campaign yet without losing one of my pilots.
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Russell Woodland
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Erik,

Nice report, keep it up. I must admidt I have not yet pulled the KIA chit "Yet"

To clarify on a couple of things, the Cobra can only carry the AGM-114 not the heavier AGM-65 and no yes to fuel tanks on the Apache's.

Edit: Corrected fuel tank on Apache, guess I never really considered it over weapons.

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/80490/tal-aircraft-weapon-...


Ryan, I have sometimes had my plans go out the window when doing the random placement of units and have had no "Safe" zones from AAA/SAM LOS.

Looking forward to the next report Erik, have some
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Erik Racer
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kurthl33t wrote:
Can Cobras carry AGM-64s? I'm on vacation and don't have my copy with me, but for some reason I feel like that's not a weapon they can equip...

Ryanmobile wrote:
I don't think you can outfit Apaches with ECM pods. Neither the Cobra nor the Apache have ECM pods listed as available ordnance/counters. All the fixed wing manned aircraft have ECM listed. Expand those images to see what I mean.

Thanks guys. Can't believe I missed both of those obvious mistakes. I did not have an ECM pod on the cobra. I'm going to blame it on the euphoria of getting the B-52 strike that allowed me to circumvent this whole hypothetical mess. Also, with apologies to Fat Boy Slim, AGM-65s are my Weapon of Choice.

I think I was also doing ridges incorrectly. After reading through another thread it would appear you roll for ridge evasion when you enter a ridge. So, I believe I should have rolled for evasion on my very first turn or started at high-altitude.

I was going to try the Iran 2014 campaign next, but I'll think I play through this one more time to make sure I'm getting everything right.
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Erik Racer
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Rusty1982 wrote:
To clarify on a couple of things, the Cobra can only carry the AGM-114 not the heavier AGM-65 and no fuel tanks on the Apache's.

I believe those are reserved for the aircraft. I found this document really handy for equipping my aircraft:

http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/80490/tal-aircraft-weapon-...

Looking forward to the next report Erik, have some


Thanks for the tip (both for the GG & the link). I did pull the Apache card and you are correct on everything but the fuel tank. As I have pictures of this mission, I may set it up one more time and play through it correctly to see what happens.
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Erik Racer
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eracer68 wrote:
I think I was also doing ridges incorrectly. After reading through another thread it would appear you roll for ridge evasion when you enter a ridge. So, I believe I should have rolled for evasion on my very first turn or started at high-altitude.

Nope. I did ridges correctly for this map ... but it was a fluke due to the starting hex not having any. I've been thrown by the "crossing the ridge" description, so in other missions if I entered a ridge at low altitude (and ended my turn there) I wasn't rolling for ridge evasion. I think I've finally got that down. If you enter a ridge at low altitude (whether you cross it or not) you roll for evasion. But you only check once per ridge. So if I stopped on a ridge I would check then but not when I continued on the next turn.
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