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"AAR: Caught napping" Topic


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293 hits since 13 Apr 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Bozkashi Jones13 Apr 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

Henry and I had an afternoon of modern naval action today. This AAR was originally to be "Things That Go Bump", but as will be seen I had good reason to change it.

The scenario was based on the Black Sea Bumping Incident in 1988. In what is commonly regarded as the last act of the Cold War the USS Yorktown and the USS Caron were deliberately rammed by Soviet frigates whilst conducting a ‘freedom of navigation' exercise off the coast of the Crimea. Film of both incidents can be seen here YouTube link and here YouTube link

This scenario imagines the Cold War getting a lot hotter.

To balance things up for the Soviets I, as the Americans, started with just the Caron on the board – the Yorktown would be arriving an hour (four turns) later. Henry had the Krivak class frigate Bezzavetny and the Mirka class frigate SKR-6, as was the case historically. To even things up a bit, he also had the Kashin class destroyer Krasny Kavkaz, which was originally supposed to have been deployed though engine problems kept it away, and two Tu-16 Badgers armed with Kennel missiles.

The objective for the Americans was simple: approach to within 12 miles of the Crimean coast, turn around, get out. Job done.

Ah, if only.

This was the general situation at 1000 hrs on 12 February 1988. The island represents the coast of the Crimea with the markers being radar tracks of the traffic in the area, some Soviet, some merchant. The USS Caron is in the top right corner.

I was really just stalling for time until the Yorktown arrived, but Henry deployed one of his Badgers determined to identify which of the ‘radar tracks' I had deployed was the Caron. He approached one of the tracks, which turned out to be a merchant ship.

As Henry had worked out which was the US warship by a process of elimination, I launched a helo from the Caron while the Tu-16 pulled back to a safe distance and began monitoring my movements.

By this time it was around 1100 hrs and I was able to deploy my state-of-the-art Aegis cruiser Yorktown – oh yes! The Rooskies were in trouble now!

Or not, as it turned out.

For some inexplicable reason I deployed the Yorktown in passive mode. The most powerful radar array on the seas – and I had it turned off? Why, Jonesey, WHY???!!! The result was predictable – Henry had two Tu-16s in the battle area by now and both let loose with their Kennel missiles. This should have been no problem for an Aegis cruiser, but as I didn't detect the attack at first, I was in serious trouble. I did belatedly go active and fired off some SM-1 SAMs, but it was too little, too late.

I did manage to down three missiles but one made it through, slamming into Yorktown's starboard side and causing heavy damage.

It was a disaster, and it was entirely my fault. Henry was rather chuffed. Especially with what happened next:

The Bezzavetny fires a full salvo of SS-N-14 ‘Silex' missiles. The Yorktown, dead in the water and with its main systems still down, was hit again and had to be abandoned. The only light for me was that I realised that Henry had shot his bolt – neither the Kavkaz, nor the SKR-6, had any useful anti-ship missiles and the two Badgers were already out. Henry decided that he'd done his bit for Mother Russia and started to withdraw.

I was after some revenge, though, and I still had the USS Caron. My helo got a lock on the Bezzavetny but, as the Kavkaz was active and acting as radar picquet, I decided to fire four harpoons.

By now it was nearly over, at 1130 hrs I fired my remaining missiles at the retreating Bezzavetny, sinking her, and that was it. We worked out the damage control on the Kavkaz, which managed to restore power and limp back to port.

Although I knocked out two ships, I hardly felt I could claim any sort of victory for achieving the mission. Losing the Yorktown was entirely avoidable and I should have kept things tight.

All in all, an exciting couple of hours with some real tension – the cat-and-mouse of sniffing out where the enemy are, followed by the fast and furious exchange of missiles make a modern game, for me, a game of two halves. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to starting our Persian Gulf campaign.

Nick

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Apr 2019 10:09 a.m. PST

Sounds like fun, and the minis look great.

Like your "sea mat" too.

What rules did you use for your game?

Bozkashi Jones13 Apr 2019 10:52 a.m. PST

Thanks Thresher, we had a really good time. The sea mat is a 2 metre piece of blue leatherette or vinyl from a haberdashers.

I used my own rules, which are simple and play pretty much in real time with up to about ten planes and ships in action.

I should have also mentioned: the ships are all Navwar 1:3000 and the planes are CAP Aero 1:1200.

colkitto13 Apr 2019 12:14 p.m. PST

You know we're all just dying to see your rules – they sound like fun!

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