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""A Birthday Gift for Uncle Ho" Virtual Campaign round 1" Topic

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Windward01 May 2020 3:50 p.m. PST

Round One of "A Birthday Gift for Uncle Ho" (Kitty Litter) a Virtual Campaign using Check Your 6! Jet Age and the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club scenario book.

A history of the campaign and rules can be found here:


A Birthday Gift for Uncle Ho Part 1 "Kitty Litter"

May 19th 1967 Southwest of Hanoi 1510 hours

As the USS Bon Homme Richard's strike package moved towards Hanoi, the diversionary strike on the Van Diem truck park from the USS Kitty Hawk has turned into a firestorm. An F-4 and an A-6 are lost to AAA and SAMs, in the ensuing chaos, the VPAF MiGs slipped in. A single A-6 gets cut from the herd, and forced west by the MiGs.

Three F-8E of VF-211 (107, 109, 111) are pulling up the rear of the formation, keeping a wary eye on a group of trailing MiG-17s that have been following the strike for a while.

Looking east, a single A-6 is seen fleeing towards the formation, chased by a single MiG. The F-8s react to aid the A-6, and in turn, one of the trailing MiGs starts accelerating towards the formation.

As all the aircraft move northeast, they see a waiting cluster of flak sites concentrated towards the East. This is a lot more flak than intelligence has predicted (VPAF Variable Rule: Even More Flak!) One of the F-8 pilots is feeling pretty good (109) (USN Variable Rule: "Dialed In" Skilled (+1) upgrade to Veteran (+2), this bonus will apply for the length of the campaign).

The A-6 is low, really low (TAL 2). As it runs towards the F-8s the A-6 turns north, kicks off its drop tanks, and dives for separation from the chasing MiG-17. The F-8s try to maneuver to deal with both the line of MiGs behind them and the single MiG coming in from the East.

Suddenly, the RWR gear sounds on (107) as a distant SA-2 site to the northeast locks up the Crusader with its FAN SONG radar. At the same time, the MiG that broke from the trailing cluster of MiGs was also closing on the same F-8 (107). The Crusader pilot in (107) dumps his altitude and dives for the deck heading Southwest, much to the surprise of the MiG (Super Gomer) who watches the Crusader drop and disappear behind him. The third F-8 (109) is caught between two maneuvering MiGs and is unable to commit to an effective attack on either.

The A-6 flying nap of earth, races Northeast, with a MiG chasing. The flak opens up with a withering storm of fire. The A-6 narrowly avoids the tracers but his violent maneuvers nearly cause him to crash into the ground. (A part of Rule 3.16, I had not noticed before, at TAL 1, Surface Low, if green or skilled pilots are shot at by flak they have to take a skill check to avoid crashing!). The chasing MiG lights the afterburner, and races to close distance on the A-6. Overenthusiastic flak gunners think the MiG is another Navy fighter and try to shoot him down (fortunately missing).

Crusader 111 is now behind the MiG chasing the A-6 but unable to launch a missile at the afterburning MiG from a perfect 6 O'clock position, due to turning so hard (extreme turn rule prevents missile fire). Both the MiG and F-8 fire guns at their targets and both hit! Both targets survive but with airframe damage on both the MiG and the A-6.

The Intruder continues to flee northeast, but pulls up out of the weeds, as flak continues to burst all around. The MiG with airframe damage flies over the flak sites and turns to mask his rear arc. Crusader 111 decides that flying into a mass of flak is unhealthy and bears off seeking a clean exit in the northern sector, away from the concentrated flak.

Further to the South, Crusader 109 decides to turn Northeast, as the MiG from behind has passed him, but in turning, he flies in front of the brace of lingering MiGs that have been passively following the strike. Provoked they start diving into the fight.

The SA-2 site having lost Crusader 107 to ground clutter, switches targets and locks up Crusader 111.

As the fight pauses for a moment, F-8 (111) flies north, avoiding most of the flak, the damaged MiG over the flak turns trying to find an interception course with 111. F-8 109 turns to the North as well and starts accelerating towards the exit. F-8 (107) having flown away at full speed is well out of the fight. The MiGs decide to ignore him and try to chase the rest of the strike package (they gain VPs for exiting the USN edge early). The wounded A-6 slips away to rejoin the Kitty Hawk formation, thankful for Crusader 111's intervention that prevented the MiG from taking another MiG gunshot.

The F-8 pilots look worriedly to the East, anticipating another A-6 showing up. If so, they are not in any position to help and the MiGs are all heading in that direction (this is special rule, that another A-6 can be chased on to the table). Fortunately for the Navy, no other Intruder arrives. With a sigh of relief, the F-8s looks at rejoining the strike and getting the hell out of here. There is a clear exit path free of flak beckoning to the North.

A SA-2 launch rumbles off the ground flying towards Crusader 111, who is now in a difficult position. If he dives he makes himself a target for the cluster of light flak below. The climbing SA-2 isn't a great threat if he maneuvers, diving isn't required, but he must extreme turn. Turning away sets him up for a possible interception by the wounded MiG. Turning in moves him in range of another medium flak site. He decides to break in towards the flak, giving the MiG no chance to intercept and the SA-2 missile passes harmlessly by.

As Crusader 111 breaks, he sees the USN exit edge just a short run away… But it's not to be. The newly engaged 57mm AAA tracks the twisting F-8, and blows its wing off! The Navy pilot ejects but so close to Hanoi, there is no hope of rescue. He floats down towards captivity.

Crusader 109 slides away to rejoin the formation, but 107 is too far to the South. 107 moves towards the cover of the Kitty Hawk strike, but is unable to continue with the strike escort mission.

Not a stellar start for the Navy. But actually pretty historical. The A-6 got away (damaged), and the Navy lost a F-8 to flak, and one to the campaign, for a damaged MiG. The only difference was that the A-6 historically escaped unscathed, and no MiGs where hit.

This scenario is difficult for the Navy, there are lots of points on the table for them, and few opportunities to recoup losses, due to the turn limit.

USN Post Game tests for random damage to the strike package was passed without any incidents.

VP for Kitty Litter: USN 2 VPAF 11

This game was played over the internet using the Roll20 interface. We plotted all of our movements on pencil and paper then moved in order. Roll20 provided the dice rolls. Not a perfect solution, but better than not gaming at all!

We have players from Boston to Honolulu, with a guest appearance by the infamous "Super Gomer"!

Screen shot of the death of F-8 111


BattlerBritain01 May 2020 11:15 p.m. PST

Nice AAR.

I've been playing some of the Tonkin Gulf scenarios using Miniatures and an enlarged Flight Leader map board.

Piccies in here:
CSW Forum – Flight Leader (AH)

Windward02 May 2020 3:46 p.m. PST

We just finished round 2 "When You Care Enough…". I'm working on the write up.

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