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Thread: A Naval Warfare Arctic Circle AAR – The Red Bear Roars

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    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    A Naval Warfare Arctic Circle AAR – The Red Bear Roars






    Greetings fellow commanders. Ive been asked to write this AAR describing a play-through of the first few missions of the Russian Federation Campaign. This short AAR will be written as a factual recounting of the gameplay experienced with thoughts, assumptions and actions highlighted as the situation changes from minute to minute.

    My primary aim will be to describe how to play the game. I also hope to show the thought processes behind each decision made. Especially in terms of any mistakes made or alterations required to the initialplan of action.

    Disclaimer:
    Just a quick note. If you want to enjoy the game without any spoilers then it is best you avoid this AAR until you have beaten the first few missions, at least of this campaign. If you do not mind spoiling what surprises await you or do not have the game and are possibily interested in what sort gameplay you may encounter, then please read on.

    Any questions, points of view, input and alternative strategies are welcome. As are corrections to any mistakes made in my use of naval parlance.


    01- Mission Briefing




    Mission Sypnosis:
    Campaign Mission: Arctic War
    Played as: Russian Federation
    Difficulty:Normal
    Mission:#1 - Swarm
    Date of Action: 2030 July, 2


    Commander Profile
    Name:2Coats
    Rank:Damp Squib
    Trait:Celebrated Land Lubber
    Previous Commands: Battleship, Fleet Command, Silent Service 1 & 2, Carriers At War + Silent War


    02– Understanding the Mission




    Any commander needs to know three basic things in order to achieve success. Firstly, what are the mission goals. Both those requiredto achieve success and those to avoid, which will result in defeat. Next is what military assets we have at our disposal. Their starting locations, capabilities and limitations. Also what enemy forces arearrayed against achieving success.

    For this mission, the known objectives are:
    • Destroy at least 2 enemy spy ships
    • Do not lose 3 aircraft
    • Do not attack neutral units
    So we must make sure that the forces under our command are able to engage and destroy the enemy ships. Since we have no surface ships or submarines in this first mission, our attempts to eliminate our targets will have to be made by any aircraft able to perform the NAVAL STRIKE mission.

    Since one of the mission goals is not to lose more than two aircraft, our precious aircraft will need protection from any other aircraft able to perform the AIR SUPERIORITY mission. So essentially we have a key decision to make; do we attempt to find our targets by guile and stealth (by passive radar) or will we attempt to ping the whole area with radar signals in order to engage at range and deliver the killer blows (active radar). For tipping our hand to the enemy to early will increase the chances of them finding us, and will undoubtedly raise the likelihood that our mission will fail before we are able achieve our goals.


    03– Knowing the forces involved



    Our next step is to catalogue our starting forces and those the enemy already has in the theatre of operations. Once we know these we can better prepare a plan of action and understand which units are likely to be needed. We need to know this in terms of: preparing for action - both reactively, to counter what plan the enemy puts into action, and also proactively, on those occasions when our side will take the initiative.

    In order to do this we move the mouse-over the units on map, or we can access the DETECTIONS PANEL and see what our units see, in more detail. This lets know that the following elements are in play.

    Starting Detections & Active Assets

    The following is a list of known assets that are present at the start of actions in the theatre of operations:

    Foes (Red)
    • Oil Rig
    • Boeing P-8A Posedion FSA (Multi-mission maritime aircraft) @ alt. 10,500 m
    • Frijdtjof Nasen
    • Banak Air Station
    Neutral (Yellow)
    • Boeing767, Aeroflot Flight 331 @ alt. 10,500 m
    Friendlies (Green)
    • OrlanyaAir Base
    • BerievA-50U Shmel
    • Su35-E 'Flanker' (Air Superiority)
    Additional Assets

    These assets are available from the Orlanya Air Base:
    • 4xSu 27-SM (Air Superiority)
    • 2x(+2) Su 35-E 'Flanker' (Naval Strike)
    • 2xBeriev A-50U Shmel
    More to follow...
    Last edited by 2Coats; 25-04-2012 at 15:54.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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  2. #2
    Lord High Admiral General Baker's Avatar
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    Ooh, NWAC's first AAR

    Nice analytical & systematic approach so far. Looking forward to the rest!

  3. #3
    I did this mission by flying my Flanker with variable height to identify/hide while starting my naval strike at mission start with high speed. Mission was over fast. There is also a enemy air unit close to the flanker, so killing it is crucial.
    Last edited by Castus; 18-04-2012 at 13:26.

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    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    I'm interested in this game, but not sure if I want to buy it or not -- I'm sure this will help a great deal!
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    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by General Baker View Post
    Ooh, NWAC's first AAR
    Nice analytical & systematic approach so far. Looking forward to the rest!
    Thank you. It very important for me to find an adequate format so its as informative to read as it is enjoyable.... thats my hope anyhow!

    Quote Originally Posted by Castus View Post
    I did this mission by flying my Flanker with variable height to identify/hide while starting my naval strike at mission start with high speed. Mission was over fast. There is also a enemy air unit close to the flanker, so killing it is crucial.
    Mine was a little more eventful than this, unless you didnt tell us the whole story!

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    I'm interested in this game, but not sure if I want to buy it or not -- I'm sure this will help a great deal!
    No pressure then! I hope you will get to see that there is a great amount of detail conveyed in the game.

    Apologises for the tardiness of these following updates... Im pretty under the weather with a viral infection. Coughing so bad, Ive had a headache for the last few days!

    Anyways hope you enjoy.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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  6. #6
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
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    2Coats,

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this AAR when you're healthy again.

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    04– Situation Assessment


    In addition to understanding the mission objectives and knowing what starting forces are involved, a good commander should use these factors to make an initial assessment of the situation they find themselves in. Any findings from this assessment will provide a good source of possible actions to carry out, during the first stage of the overall plan.

    We should never lose sight that over time these factors will change and new factors will come into play, forcing us to continually re-evaluate our assessment of the situation and consider a change of action. The trick as always is keeping a eye over the assets in play from both sides. To always assess the changes in location these assets may take up. Also to review any impact these changes may cause on your own chances of achieving any mission goal or avoiding negative ones. Finally to make the correct changes to your plan and knowing when to apply them.

    To make an accurate assessment of any situation, the best tool in your armory is INTELLIGENCE. In NWAC, there are two ways to gather intelligence. We will look at these methods in more detail and discuss their pros and cons later.

    Though all assets are capable of providing some intelligence, for some unitsthat is their primary and only role. In this mission, and as we areplaying as the Russian Federation, we will be using the Beriev A-50U Shmel in the primary role as intelligence-gather. (Seen below)




    Other units on the other hand can be used in a dual role to detect their targets and then destroy them. Deciding which to use depends on the effectiveness of the equipment they carry and more importantly, if they are in a position to be used in such a role. In this mission, the SU-35 will be used in a minor role to provide air defence and attack capabilities (Air Superiority) against enemy warplanes. Though predominately it will be used to provide the vital role of Naval Strike missions, to destroy any spy surface vessels that are found in the area. (Seen below)




    NOTE: The above screens are taken from another scenario and used to illustrate the main assets in play in this mission.

    So now we know what assets are currently in play, we can formulate a plan to:
    1. Find the enemy spy fleet
    2. Destroy two surface ships of the enemy spy fleet
    3. Avoid enemy attacks / protect our aircraft from enemy attack
    Though it may be far from complete or fool-proof, this partial plan will allow us to execute the first stage of operations, with what we know. Since this mission is a locate and destroy mission, our first priority should be to identify our targets.

    More to follow...
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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  8. #8
    Lord High Admiral General Baker's Avatar
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    2Coats, would you mind if I ported this to the wiki at some point? I think it'd make a great addition

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    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanH View Post
    2Coats,
    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this AAR when you're healthy again.
    Thx. cough... cough... No really cough...

    Quote Originally Posted by General Baker View Post
    2Coats, would you mind if I ported this to the wiki at some point? I think it'd make a great addition
    Id be honored. You have my permission. Lets make it as good as possible then.
    Though looks like someone has already posted a walkthrough to mission two, so I may skip that one!
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  10. #10
    academic outlaw Moderator safferli's Avatar
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    The first NW AAR, and by 2Coats even! Fantastic, as always, I have to say, 2Coats
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    Infamy: 39/30 Sn3ipen's Avatar
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    Cant wait for the follow-up. This is great read. Maybe I learn a thing or two?+

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    05– The Plan (part 1) – Identifying the Danger & Identifying Targets

    Two additional factors that must be identified before we are able to position our our assets according to the mission profile. These are the potential targets (contacts) and where possible danger mayemanate from (threat axis's). These are shown in the image below and explained in more depth later in this update.



    At the start of the scenario we already have a single SU-35 'Flanker E' running an Air Superiority Mission in the form of a Combat Air Patrol (CAP), south-east of the enemy oil-rig. Its objective is to engage any possible air targets that get into our area of operations.

    Our Beriev A-50U Shmel is on a reconnaissance mission, further south-east from the CAP. It is using passive only methods of locating any enemy units - i.e. IR radar. Its is also flying at medium elevation, so together with zero cloud cover and a nominal amount of visibility, it can attempt to visibly identify a target through direct line-of-sight(LOS). These methods of detection are effective given the very good environmental conditions, and have the benefit of not being giving off any signals that could be used detect our own craft through counter-electronic means. Using Active Sensors amplifies the ability of the enemy to detect our assets, by the emissions of any radar equipment they may be using. So a decision needs to be made on whether the risk of being detected, is worth an increase in chances of detecting our primary targets.

    In this particular case, since the mission becomes a failure if we do not manage to locate and destroy two enemy spy ships or if three of our aircraft are shot down, we can balance the risk of using the full array of available radar equipment against the possibility of our aircraft being found, targeted, and engaged.

    Since we have the aircraft numbers to fly a few CAP missions between the enemy airfield and the area of operations our warplanes will be flying in, the risk is an acceptable one. I will set an operational threshold though, that if two of our aircraft are shot down then I order all craft to switch to passive sensors rather than active ones. To give ourselves the best chance to complete the mission.




    ORDER 1 - So our first action is to select the Beriev A-50 and set its active radar, the Vega Shmel-M to ON. This radar can detect both surface vessels and airborne vehicles, as shown by the ship and plane icon in the unit panel (under the word VEGA). By switching this component on, the radar's operational range is immediately visible on the map screen, shown by the light blue circle around the selected aircraft. (As seen in the screenshot above)

    Though we have additional Beriev A-50 aircraft at Orlanya Air Base, unless we are able to find any mission targets, I do not plan on using them. Having more planes in the air with the best active sensors on and searching for targets, would give us the best chance of identifying any targets, but it will also increase the likelihood of the enemy finding our planes quickly and shooting them down.

    Given the threshold for failure in this mission (i.e. 3 aircraft shotdown) I also doubt that there will be a chance to use them anyway, if our active reconnaissance plane is shot down. I expect that if that were to happen then in all likelihood, our plan will have failed from the outset and two more of our planes will shortly follow.

    With our main reconnaissance asset now set and looking for our primary mission targets, we can now look to identify other potential threats the enemy may possess. Since we know that the enemy has an airfield to the west, we can guess that its likely that it will send out a number of its own warplanes on Air Superiority missions against our aircraft. Therefore it would be a wise move to defend that area of approach (or Threat Axis) from possible attack.





    We select our own airfield (Orlanya Air Base) an examine what aircraft we have at our disposal. There are only six warplanes available formissions. Though only two are available for naval strikes. An additional number of helicopters (helos) are available, but not currently required for any aspect of the mission. While an additional number of warplanes are UNREADY for operations. Though they will be after some game time has passed. You can see how long they will take to be ready by selecting each one and looking at the countdown timer in the unit panel (bottom right of screen)


    ORDER 2 – Our next action is to organise an appropriate level of response to the threat axis poses by the enemy airport. In this case I choose to send a group of two Su 27-SM fighter jets on an Air Superiority. I click on the general vicinity of half-way between the airports. I intend to set a patrol area of this group once they near this destination. So why no more or less?

    Well sending one plane will probably not be enough. If I send three, and they are quickly wiped out, then the mission will be over in the blink of an eye. I will just have to hope that two is enough to do the job in hand. Do not forget that we do not have to destroy any enemy planes to win, we just have to stop their planes from shooting our units down. At least until the job is done.

    Another element in my thought process is that there is another possible threat axis to the north of our area of operations. I do not know if the enemy has any airborne patrols in that area or if they have any aircraft carriers capable of sending out their own planes, or even any surface ships capable of launching anti-ship missiles against our motley crew, thus rendering this mission over before it has even begun. With those limitiations on my mind, I enact my next and final opening order of this phase of the plan.


    ORDER 3 – I select another two Su27-SM fighter jets, organize them into a seperate group and send them north to carry out a CAP against the possible threat axis that exists there.

    Note - that I did not change the default launch settings. I could havesent the launch altitude and speed for any aircraft taking off fromthe airport, but I did not feel I needed to. For instance, if I needto send an air superiority mission in an emergency I could haveincreased the speed to its highest setting, or if I wanted to send ahelo on some stealthy mission, I could have set the altitude to itslowest.

    With the first orders given, to our air groups we must look to position them in the best way possible to achieve success in the mission.

    More to follow...
    Last edited by 2Coats; 03-05-2012 at 12:52.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by safferli View Post
    The first NW AAR, and by 2Coats even! Fantastic, as always, I have to say, 2Coats
    Quote Originally Posted by Sn3ipen View Post
    Cant wait for the follow-up. This is great read. Maybe I learn a thing or two?+
    Thanks guys! Ill keep posting till you get bored, or you start correcting my elementary mistakes!
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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    06– The Plan (part 2) - Positioning our Assets


    Now we have two air-groups on Air Superiority missions in the air, plusan existing jet, we should be in a good position to repel any attempt by the enemy force to send their own aircraft against us.





    I nominate the first group as Red Group. These two SU-22's I send west to patrol an area just over 80Nm in depth and halfof that wide. I do this by selecting the unit and right-clicking onthe map screen, drawing out a rectangle as I move the mouse button.




    The other flight, that shall be known as Black Group I send north, drawing out a similarly sized patrol area for these warplanes topatrol. In this way I have the threat axis' of the likeliest approach routes covered.






    I also decide to increase the altitude of my reconnaissance aircraft, just as I give the order, the results of turning on the active radar component of the Beriev A-50U Shmel is seen in the image above, as several surface contacts are immediately detected. One enemy military vessel is definitely on station (RED), which could cause problems for our few aircraft. Though at least we have found around four neutral contacts (YELLOW) arrayed in and around our area of operations. Some of these “must” be the targets we've be assigned to sink.


    Worryingly though as to be expected, the enemy has decided to launch at least two maybe three, aircraft from its airport in the west. No doubt these will be fighter jets and the likeliest cause of failure in this mission. The decision to go to all out attack, rather than use a stealthy approach (by not using active radar), could be exposed very quickly, and regretted very sooner after!





    I decide not to dally and send the single SU-35 warplane I have on a Air Superiority mission straight into attack mode, by targeting the nearest enemy jet already in the area of operations. This Eurofighter Typhoon must be shotdown immediately if we are to have any chance of achieving victory. This action may go towards our plan of either scaring off any future air engagements or denting the enemy's capabilities to shoot down our own aircraft.
    Last edited by 2Coats; 24-04-2012 at 19:58.
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    07– The Action Unfolds – (part 1)


    Our lone SU35-E changes course, moving on an intercept course towards itsnewly selected target. As it is in range, it takes less than 30 seconds to acquire its target and fire a Vympel R-77 missile. Ithas a medium range, air-to-air capability and uses active radar-guided missile system to close with its contact.


    In a matter of less than a minute more, the weapon finds its target. Now there is one less N.AT.O warplane in the air. Scratch 1. Three minutes into the engagement we have our first kill.





    The enemy however has used its time more wisely than I. As my flights have only been flying at cruise speed, the enemy Typhoon jets look to have accelerated to the fastest speed possible - Military. With the immediate threat over the area of operations, dealt with, I now have to with this new impending threat. I therefore select RED GROUP and target them at the lead element of the flight that launched from theairport.





    The next five minutes sees a lull in the action, as the various units of both close in on each other. The focus of every group is the area of operations, where the purported enemy spy vessels are congregated. With each passing minute, our units are getting lit up by radar. That is to say, that our newly launched SU35-E and SU27-M's are detected by the enemy radar, as no enemy unit is within visual range of those units.


    Although our reconnaissance flight, the Beriev has not been detected yet, Im getting a little worried, so I begin to lower it's altitude from the max. ceiling to the next one down. Just in case I have to lower its height even further. I really can't afford for this plane to be destroyed as its my best chance of keeping the prospective enemy surface contacts lit up for the duration of the encounter.


    YELLOW GROUP is the designation we will give to the two SU 27-M warplanes on the Naval Strike mission. They continue to keep pace with both RED and BLACK groups, flying directly between the two in a NW heading.





    Two minutes later and two of the neutral surface contacts turn red, as visual identification from lone SU33-E flanker jet is made. With our targets identified, YELLOW group is immediately ordered to engage then earest vessel. All the while the enemy Typhoon fighter has closed to within range of our only fighter in the area of operations, thesole SU33-E. I order RED group to immediately engage this target with standard attack protocol.





    At the same time, I order the lone SU33-E to attack the enemy plane undertaking reconnaissance in the area. I have to put a stop to them identifying any more of our assets in the air.





    The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is its next target.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
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    08– The Action Unfolds – (part 2)


    Our original plan continues to evolve more or less, as we would have liked.





    Our naval strike option - YELLOW group, continues its course towards themain mission targets, the enemy spy vessels. Both SU35-E's remain flying at the lowest altitude permissible. To limit the chance of detection from ground-based radar sites located at the N.A.T.O airport.






    In contrast the enemy main reconnaissance gathering aircraft is flying at a high altitude and is active radar to attempt to find our units operating in the area of operations. Unfortunately by doing so, itis increasing its own chances of being detected and shot at. Our lone SU35-E 'Flanker E' obliges firing another two air-to-air from its remaining armaments complement.

    To the south the a single Kamov Ka-27 which I launched a while ago, languishes far behind the pickets (defensive lines) of RED and BLACK groups. I will let it continue on its northwesterly course until either an enemy submarine is detected or it is danger of being shot-down.



    SCRATCH 2. The enemy P-8A Poseidon did not stand a chance. Moments later its silhouette disappears from radar screens. I decided to refresh my order for YELLOW group to attack the nearest identified enemy spy ship. Unfortunately, it still seems to be too far out of range. The weapon it use when it eventually can, is the Kh-35U, a sub-sonic anti-ship missile. Its operational range is around 130 km (70 Nm). Each SU35-E has twelve such missiles loaded. More than enough to get the job done.




    As to be expected, the enemy typhoon finally reaches a position to launch its own attack. Two AIM-120D AARAM missile snake their way towards our Beriev A-50U Shmel on its reconnaissance mission. Will our opponent's move level the playing field?
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  17. #17
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Just a short one for now! More later today.

    08 – The Action Intensifies – (part 1)


    The situation is changing fairly rapidly.




    Though RED group were unable to stop the enemy Typhoon from launching its missiles at our reconnaissance plane, they are ordered to engage the target. At this short range, if we get a kill, it will take the enemy a considerable amount of time to get any new jets into the area of operations. It will have to rely on any anti-air capabilities its surface vessel (the Fridjot Nansen) can use against our jets. That is, if there aren't other assets so far undetected. Though even if our missiles miss their target, it will have least gained us a number of valuable seconds, as the Typhoon will have to undertake evasive manuevers in order to avoid being shot down.




    With our lone SU35-E providing continuous visual confirmation by flying over the detected spy ships, I re-order the YELLOW group to continue forwards to its first target.





    YELLOW group's two SU35-E's in action (above).




    One of the enemy AIM-120D AARAM missiles (above).




    As our own missiles close in on the lone enemy Typhoon, it begins to take evasive action by firing some of its flares, in the hope of diverting the danger away. Will it succeed?




    RED group continues to track the enemy Typhoon, and will do so until the target is eliminate or their fuel reserves reach critical. Currently there are only through 13% of their fuel and so have plenty of flight-time left.
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  18. #18
    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
    Hoi 2 Beta

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    09 – The Action Intensifies – (part 2)


    Incoming, INCOMING!! The enemy typhoon that was targeted a few moments ago, locks onto one of our jets and is able to launch its own attack against the SU-27SM's of RED group. Further east, the AIM's continue their course to impact with our reconnaissance aircraft. All other assets continue their assigned routes on their patrols or to their destinations.




    Worried that our only reconnaissance asset the Beriev A-50U Shmel, will be taken out, I order a drastic change of altitude, hoping that this will increase the crew's chances of evading the incoming missile.




    Also firing off a round of anti-missle counter-measures for increased effectiveness. It's going to be tight!




    Meanwhile, SCRATCH 3. Another enemy typhoon is eliminated from the area of operations. Could this be the killer blow for our side? Though the pilot could get it's revenge given his final act was to launch payback of its own. The enemy missile continues on its course as both jets attempt evasive maneuvers of their own. In a few minites, the missile reaches it's intended target.




    It misses! It looks like the SU27-SM's counter-measures worked. What's more, the enemy AIM on an intercept course versus our reconnaissance plane fails to find its true target. We are ALL CLEAR! However we may have the beginnings of a problem. Notice how RED group's bingo fuel rating is now about a quarter of the threshold (23%) before it must return to base. Its manageable now, but something we need to keep an eye on.

    Unfortunately though, new contacts are spotted on radar, coming from the enemy's airport. It looks like two more typhoons have entered the fray. Judging by the ground they are covering, they aren't waiting for an invite. With the downing of its lone attack asset, the enemy has finally moved. Is it too late!?! Eighteen minutes into the mission, YELLOW group reaches firing range, launching a standard salvo of missiles against its first target.




    With the mission being now entering it's nineteenth minute and still not sign of an enemy presence from the north threat axis, I make a bold decision. I decide to send BLACK group, from its CAP there, to join RED group. Its bingo fuel level is much lower at twelve percent, since it has not had to engage in evasive manuevers. By the time these jets get there, it could well be game over anyhow. On the off-chance it is not though, they will most likely be our last line of defence or attack during the final phase of this mission. I define a patrol perimeter by CTRL right-clicking and drawing a fresh box on the main map screen.




    Soonafter, the SU27-SM's change heading and move towards their new destination. It looks like the action is about to enter the end game.


    More to follow....
    For God, King and Country - A MARCH OF THE EAGLES AAR
    "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearin'." x2 - Marv, Sin City.


  19. #19
    Lt. General Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    I tried the demo last night, and must say that I did enjoy it. Although I must ask. Is the firing of flare automatic or do they need to be triggered? If so, how?
    "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre"

    AARS:
    For the fern! Part Deux A New ZealandAAR Newly Updated! 10/5/10
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  20. #20
    Turbo Tape Games Dev JanH's Avatar
    Naval War: Arctic Circle

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    Raaritsgozilla: Countermeasures (flare, chaff, antitorp) are wholly automatic.

    2Coats: Great AAR! Very exciting.

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