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White Night #2: Save the Choppers


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Revision Log
24 September 2021page first published

383 hits since 23 Sep 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian writes:

At the start of the month, I began a series of scenario starter articles inspired by the novel White Night. The first article involved an intercept of an unknown aircraft.

White Night

The next actions that could be replicated on the tabletop occur on pages 229 through 262. The United Nations force, until now undetected by the rebels, launches a complicated operation to take out FSAD's radar planes, insert 'SEAL' teams on the peninsula, and evacuate stranded researchers from multiple Antarctic stations.

This results in combat as the U.N. aircraft withdraw…

Rebel Side

On patrol are Puma One and Puma Five, Tornado aircraft armed with Sky Flash missiles, located 250km south of Primavera Base at 6,000 feet (above the snow storm). (The red flag marks Primavera Base; the patrol is approximately due south at edge of the map.)

Primavera Base on the Antarctic Peninsula

They have been alerted by the two C-130s, on radar patrol, one of which (Nightdog Two) has just been shot down by unknown forces. Nightdog One is north of Primavera Base somewhere.

Primavera Base is scrambling a flight of four Mirages from Jaguar squadron (probably a mix of Mirage 2000 A, B and C). (A northern patrol flight has just landed.) Primavera Base also has radar.

The Pumas now pick up eight unknown blips: six flying low to the northeast, two are to the west, approaching the coast. By the flight characteristics, the blips can be identified as fighter jets and helicopters (see below); the pilots would need to make visual identification (difficult in this storm) to determine specific aircraft models.

The pilot of Puma One is Roberto Tellez, a impetuous, murderous mercenary pilot. He is an excellent pilot. His radar intercept officer, Jesus Ramirez, is inexperienced and excitable. The pilot of Puma Five is Enrico Salazar; his radar intercept officer is not named.

Leading Jaguar flight is Emilio Suarez de Suruca, an experienced but cautious pilot seeking personal glory.

U.N. Side

Gypsy Moth One and Gypsy Moth Four have just downed Nightdog Two, and are at 16,500 feet (above the clouds), roughly 80km southwest of Primavera Base. They are now HI-CAP. The Harriers are carrying two AIM-9L Super Sidewinders and two AMRAAMs (minus the one used against the C-130). They have Blue Vixen doppler pulse radar.

Gypsy Moth Two and Gypsy Moth Three (Harriers) are about to shoot down Nightdog One, so are far to the north.

Falcon One (Sea Apache) and Copperhead Two (Seahawk) are returning to the U.N. base ship (off map) and are nearing the coast. The Seahawk is carrying 14 evacuated scientists.

Another flight of two Sea Apaches and two Seahawks is inbound to one of the research stations, where the U.N. 'SEALs' will be dropped. One Sea Apache/Seahawk pair will then return to base carrying evacuated scientists; the other pair will hop to another station to evacuate scientists.

Gypsy Moth Five and Gypsy Moth Six (Harriers) are providing air cover to the helicopters.

The U.N. is receiving live intelligence reports using info from a U.S. satellite (image only, it cannot penetrate cloud cover). The Pumas are known to be Tornados. The Mirages are unknown aircraft until picked up on aircraft radar; and specific plane model is unknown unless identified visually, or if they fly above the storm and can be seen on satellite.

The U Thant base ship is far off map in the Drake Passage, and its sensors are out of range.

What Happens?

In the novel, the Pumas split up.

Flying in zero visibility due to the storm, Tellez attacks the two helicopters already returning to the base ship. While the Seahawk continues on course, the Sea Apache turns to confront the Tornado, drawing him in the direction of the HI-CAP Harriers. The Tornado fires missiles twice at the Sea Apache but misses, then a Harrier fires a missile and shoots down the Tornado (Tellez survives).

Puma Four attacks the other helicopter group, is driven off twice by the Harriers, then gets one of the Sea Apaches with a missile. Almost immediately, the Tornado is taken out by a missile from a high Harrier (the other HI-CAP Harrier?).

The Jaguar sortie, flying by instruments in extreme low visibility, come into missile range of the four helicopters (over Anvers Island), but all six Gypsy Moth Harriers have regrouped in defense, and the rebel fighters decide not to engage.