Author Topic: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR  (Read 28114 times)

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Offline undercovergeek

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2015, 04:11:45 PM »
thanks for your answer - i know a lot of people here boot up Gary Grigsby games and stare at the menu and then switch off again, ive done it twice in the last week with CMANO - i need to put some time to one side to jump in

this is a vanilla scenario you say?

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2015, 04:13:33 PM »
You've been writing like Tom Clancy man ;)

Beyond the technical aspects, it's very readable.
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2015, 05:58:39 PM »
thanks for your answer - i know a lot of people here boot up Gary Grigsby games and stare at the menu and then switch off again, ive done it twice in the last week with CMANO - i need to put some time to one side to jump in

this is a vanilla scenario you say?

It's a user-created scenario. It's actually pretty overwhelming when you first start it up because so many things start happening at once, but if you take the time to look at what you can control it's much more manageable. I started off with some of the smaller scenarios, like ones where you control one sub, and worked my way up from there. This one is actually less complicated than others because all the aircraft loadouts are already set, and the challenge is getting them in the air and in the right places to try to stem the Soviet tide. Others I've played can start to get overwhelming when you have to start choosing between a dozen kinds of LGBs and missiles for dismantling an air defense net. Again, it makes me go read up on the weapons before I use them. Fun and educational!

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2015, 06:00:37 PM »
You've been writing like Tom Clancy man ;)

Beyond the technical aspects, it's very readable.

Thanks!

I do have this idea for a novel where a low-level but very capable CIA analyst figures out how to steal a Chinese missile submarine with a super-secret silent propulsion system... :D

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2015, 06:07:03 PM »
Workingt title : Hunt for General Kung Pao's October Chicken?
"45 minutes of pooping Tribbles being juggled by a drunken Horta would be better than Season 1 of TNG." - SirAndrewD

"you don't look at the mantelpiece when you're poking the fire" - Bawb

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Offline jomni

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2015, 06:43:55 PM »
Airborne, are your squadrons in "surge" mode or normal turnaround times?

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2015, 07:04:58 PM »
Airborne, are your squadrons in "surge" mode or normal turnaround times?

The scenario designer has them in surge mode. This particular scenario is set to last just 24 hours, and the airfields only have enough ordinance to rearm each fighter once.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2015, 07:05:19 PM »
The situation in the air is starting to improve. The flocks of Russian Mig-23s that have been sweeping across north Norway are now turning for home, probably low on fuel. At the same time I am starting to get some respectable numbers of my own F-16s into the air. Encouraging news comes from Akershus fortress as well. NATO command has assigned the American 493rd Tactical Fighter Squadron from RAF Lakenheath with twenty-four F-15Cs to reinforce Norway, and their first flight will be wheels up in minutes, headed for Bodo. It will be several hours before they can take part in the action, but for now itís good to know at least that I will have some very capable replacements for my losses.

As the Russian Migs make for home, my Falcons pursue and begin to pick them off. But the enemy still has teeth, and lots of missiles. A couple of my fighters fall prey to Russian pilots who turn and fight, but the exchange rate is heavily in my favor. As this fight is going on, the AWACS begins to get intermittent returns off of numerous low-flying helicopters that appear to be heading northwest across Finland on a heading for Banak. They vector a flight of -16s to afterburner between two streams of withdrawing Migs to investigate. As they drop through the clouds the pilots acquire a mixed flight of Mi-24 gunships and Mi-8 transports. While splashing Hinds would be satisfying satisfying, the pilots know that the infantry that are certainly in those Mi-8s are the real threat to Banak. They sweep in, loosing their remaining Sidewinders at the hapless helicopters, then banking and coming back in with guns. In seconds eight Soviet helos are oily fires on the snowy tundra, along with their cargo of Russian paratroopers. The Russian gunships continue on, but without the landing force they no doubt were meant to support. This victory comes at a price, however. Several of the Mig-23s headed for home break off to try to defend the slow-movers, and their missiles claim one of the F-16s. The other escapes at low altitude and heads for home, all ordnance expended.

At the same time, another strike of six fighter-bombers is detected over Finland, heading for the Backstop complex. The Russians must really want those radars shut down. However, with their fighter cover streaming west, these birds are easy prey for Falcon drivers who swing around onto their tails and knock them down long before they can launch their ordinance.

I now have two strong groups of fighters up, one over the North Cape and the other over the Backstop radar site in Finland, though some of the fighters are low on missiles and others are low on fuel. The action has slowed down enough that I feel comfortable detaching a single fighter from each group to go and hunt the Soviet EW aircraft that are playing havoc with my radars. At the same time, my F-5s and AMRAAM equipped F-16s are landing at Evenes and Tromso and will be available as soon as the ground crews can refuel them. My detached Falcon from the North Cape CAP locates and downs a Tu-16 Badger recon aircraft, while the southern loner closes with and destroys an An-12 EW aircraft over Finland. Iím beginning to wonder if weíve really given the Russians a bloody nose. Then the other shoe drops.

The AWACS begins to pick up dozens of Russian aircraft coming west in a steady stream. The jamming makes identification difficult, but this river of radar returns is led by another flight of eight Su-27s. There wonít be any ambushing this group. The air controllers begin making frantic calls to the dispersal airfields to get every available fighter into the air, and the first flight of AMRAAM equipped F-16s rises from Tromso, followed seconds later by a flight of four F-5s from Evenes.  My fighters already aloft scatter north and south from the incoming Flankers with their long missiles until I have a better grasp of the situation.

Slowly the situation begins to become clear. The AWACS begins to identify the incoming stream of blips as dozens of An-12 transports escorted by pairs of Mig-29s and Su-27s along the entire length of the lumbering column. The lead flight of eight Su-27s shows where they are headed; they slow and begin circling at 36k feet over Banak. Obviously the Russians understand that this location is the key to north Norway, just as we do.  I have to defeat this CAP if I want to have any hope of interfering with what is shaping up to be at least a brigade-sized airborne operation to capture Banak. The transport helos I downed earlier were likely carrying an advance pathfinder unit for this drop. The gunships that had been escorting this group  are just now arriving over the port, but they are all quickly brought down by concentrated RBS-70 missiles and 40mm Bofors fire. Ivan will have to learn not to be so careless with those things.

At the same time I receive more bad news. My coastal radars and AWACS pick up more supersonic missiles of unknown origin, heading for my two remaining groups of missile boats. Itís unclear how they were detected and identified, as they were both operating under EMCON. Perhaps a diesel submarine in the fjords? Regardless, the missiles streak in and reduce my two groups of three boats to one missile craft each. I had been counting on these units to stop any further naval landings by the Zubrs or the slower trailing convoy. Now the survivors are heading deeper into the fjords, just trying to survive. For good measure, the Russians also destroy a Coast Guard cutter that was outbound from Banak headed for central Norway. The Utstein is creeping west to try to ambush the oncoming squadron of Tarantuls.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2015, 07:03:14 AM »
To try to get at the incoming river of Russian transports, Iíll first need to defeat the CAP of eight Su-27s circling over Banak. If I can do this, the I can send sweeps of F-16s rocketing in on the north and south flanks of the Soviet airborne column to engage the escorts while flights of F-5s follow them in and poach the wide-bodies. It wonít be easy, and it will probably be bloody, but the Russians are forcing my hand. We canít let those paratroopers get to Banak if we want to have any hope of stopping the Russians east of the Cape. NATO command must understand the situation as well, because Akershus fortress informs me that I will receive further reinforcement in the form of the Royal Netherlands Airforce 332 squadron with another twelve F-16As. I have a feeling Iím going to needing those replacements.

My plan for tackling the Russian jets over Banak is to use my flight of AMRAAM equipped F-16s coming in from the west to pare down the Russian numbers. This flight will follow their missiles in and be joined by another two flights coming from the north and south. The plan works. The performance of the AMRAAMs is disappointing, with only three Russians killed by the eight missiles, but theses also have the effect of disrupting the Russiansí formation and forcing them to evade as my Side-winder-armed flights bore in. A furball develops, with fighters turning and jinking, launching missiles and firing cannons. The remaining five Sukois fall to my pilots, but two more F-16s are lost as well, and the rest have expended all their remaining missiles. They stay aloft to hopefully use their remaining gun ammunition to bring down some lumbering Antonovs.

With the Soviet CAP destroyed the AWACS orders the remaining fighters north and south of the Russian airborne stream to turn into the attack. F-16s bore in from the north and south, and two flights of four F-5s follow the southern group of Falcons in. The escorting Mig-29 and Su-27 pilots must be the Russianís A-team, because they effectively interpose themselves between my fighters and the transports, launching missiles and buying time for the escorts further back to rocket forward into the flanks of my own attack. The action becomes confusing, and aircraft on both sides explode and drop through the clouds.

Lower down, flights of fighter bombers, Su-17s and Mig-27s, stream towards Banak. My pilots have to let them go. We donít have the numbers to both stop this raid and interfere with the airborne drop. My staff reasons that we can repair bomb damage if we still own the town. The bombers come in low over the airfield and release their bombs, cratering the runways and setting fires across the field. Banak airport is effectively closed. RBS-70 SAMs reach up and knock down several of the raiders as they egress, but the damage is done.

Back above the clouds the weight of my F-16s start to tell against the Russian escort fighters defending the transports, and twin-engine heavies  begin to go down as well, paratroopers spilling from the jump doors. But my planes are taking losses as well as more Russian Migs and Sukois join the fight. A flight of four F-5s darts in among the transports, downing five An-12s before they are bounced by a pair of Mig-29s. All four Tigersharks go down in the span of ten seconds. Another F-5 falls prey to the tail gun of an An-12. The exchange rate of F-16s to enemy fighters is not as favorable as we would like, but the Russians are taking a pounding. Then, suddenly, there are no more Russian fighters! My own jets have won the fight against the escorts and the transports like completely undefended. My remaining pilots show no mercy. The Russian pilots show courage, pressing ahead to try to deliver their paratroopers to the drop zone, but F-5s and F-16s flash into and out of their formation, littering the white tundra southeast of Banak with nearly fifty oily pyres, each marking the death or at least scattering of dozens of Soviet paratroopers. The drop on Banak has been defeated.

At this point nearly all of my airborne fighters are out of missiles, many are out of gun ammo, and several are critically low on fuel. More Russian fighters are taking off from their own fields, but this doesnít appear to be a major strike. The AWACS orders most of the fighters to RTB, and the remaining flights, those with missiles and fuel,  pull back to the west. This isn't a time to suffer any more losses. Two F-5s (note: I just realized Iíve been calling these Tigersharks, the name of the closely related F-20, but these are actually F-5A Freedom Fighters) are vectored north past the cape to try to hunt an Su-24MP jammer aircraft. A single F-16 is sent back over Finland to down a second An-12 jammer that replaced the first, which was destroyed earlier. After a long search in the gathering arctic dusk the F-5s locate the Fencer south of the Cape and manage to bring it down, but on their way home they run afoul of two Su-27s headed for a CAP station over Banak and one is lost. The F-16 downs the Antonov and then heads for home as well. For now, the air controllers decide not to challenge the two-ship Russian CAP over Banak, instead maintaining a two-ship CAP of our own to the southwest. Other than these four aircraft, the only planes flying now are flocks of Russian EW and reconnaissance jets over the Arctic Ocean and Finland, and my own AWACS and EW bird. The first three hours of World War III in the north have passed, and they have been bloody.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:11:00 AM by Airborne Rifles »

Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2015, 09:29:38 AM »
*Reminds self to take a breath now*
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Offline jomni

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2015, 09:36:12 PM »
Did the designer use different training / skill levels?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2015, 08:23:11 AM by jomni »

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2015, 07:28:28 AM »
Hi jomni, no all aircraft are at veteran skill level. It will be interesting to see if these change in subsequent scenarios. I'm sure several of my pilots have made ace in the first few hours of the war!

Offline Silent Disapproval Robot

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2015, 08:08:29 AM »
Good read!  I'm really getting back into the game now that they've added in the targetting priority system.  Used to drive me nuts when my CAP would unleash all their long range missiles at a single ASW helo and have nothing left when a wave of bombers showed up.

Offline jomni

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2015, 08:24:35 AM »
Hi jomni, no all aircraft are at veteran skill level. It will be interesting to see if these change in subsequent scenarios. I'm sure several of my pilots have made ace in the first few hours of the war!


I asked because it's quite a turkey shoot. Could those Soviet planes be that bad against F-16s?

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury - H-Hour: A CMANO AAR
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2015, 08:48:05 AM »
I've been micro-managing my planes and taking advantage of a lot of the AI's quirks, like their fighters rocketing west on afterburner and then running low on fuel and turning back. On the other hand, my missiles do seem to have a much higher hit percentage than the Russians, but I don't know if that has to do with the experience level of the units. I also know from looking at the log that the Russians are not detecting or not identifying my fighters until very late because most of the action is taking place beyond the coverage of their ground and aerial radars, and my fighters are only emitting at the last minute. I'm able to rely on my AWACS and ground radars to maneuver my fighters into positions of advantage, while the AI is operating largely blind. Having said that, I agree, it's been something of a turkey shoot and I think living breathing Russian pilots would have established complete air dominance very quickly due to the mismatch of forces.