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NAS Keflavik 071600Z August 1975

Commodore Taylor looked at the air plan.  Not enough planes.  He had only one and a half squadrons to stop the Northern Fleet blitzing through the GIUK gap and to the SLOCs beyond. The Intel types at FICEURLANT believed that only eight subs were heading this way.  But that was a assuming they were right.  And that Intel estimate was just for today.   The Soviets had over 300 subs.  Yes, a lot of them were obsolete.  But an obsolete sub against a merchant or auxiliary was still more than a fair fight.  And Mark Taylor only had seventeen patrol aircraft to cover the entire Atlantic north of Iceland.  PATWINGLANT promised two more MPA squadrons.  But they weren’t here now.  His seventeen aircraft had to detect, localize, ID and track and attack those eight submarines.  Taylor had no doubt his hastily thrown together command of US Orion and Royal Navy Nimrod crews could do it. The USN and RN were the best ASW navies in the world, and VP-26 won the Isbell trophy for excellence in ASW just last year. Regardless of the quality of the crews,   seventeen aircraft meant that he could only keep a maximum of six aircraft on station at any one time.  Realistically, it would be no more than four.  And there were eight submarines out there.   Practitioners of ASW claimed the abbreviation stood for “Awfully Slow Warfare.”  There was more than a bit of truth to this humor.  ASW takes time, which in turn takes airplanes.  A lot of airplanes and flight crews are needed to successfully prosecute an ASW campaign.  And Commodore Taylor didn’t have enough of either.

“OK, let’s go over this again” Taylor said to CDR Stephen McGrath, the CO of VP-26.  “STAFORL ANT is divided into four task units.  That means we don’t have the aircraft to do continual direct support of all the task units.”  McGrath’s acting deputy, Wing Commander Peter Smyth, nodded in agreement.  “We might be able to do direct support of a task unit that is in contact with a sub.  But that is it.  We just don’t have the numbers.”   

“I don’t think that will be an issue, sir” CDR McGrath said.  “The biggest threat to the small boys is those missile shooters.  They can reach out and hit them from over 200 miles away.  With luck, their embarked helos can take care of any diesel boats.  It’s the CHARLIE and JULIETs that are the real threat.  We can’t find them if we are tethered to the small boys.”

Smyth spoke up “There aren’t enough aircraft to do barrier ops over the entire Atlantic.  At best, we can cover part of the GIUK gap.  But any barrier we make will have leakers.  We’ll have to rely on the SOSUS array for cuing.   My guess is that we can conserve our aircraft and crews, since when they fly, they will be flying on at least a possible sub instead of looking all over the ocean for them.  With a bit of luck, we can sink them before they get through the gap.”

“Or close enough to shoot one of Commodore Jenkin’s ships”  Taylor grimly added.   “We’ll see if SOSUS is as good as Washington thinks it is.”


Discussion
For the game, I've created an air plan (see attached).  This is an approximation of the format I used in the mid-80s, giving the aircraft and mission assigned.  For the purpose of this scenario, I will follow the air plan, and only modify it at 0001Z every game day, writing a new one for the next 24 hour period.  A couple of additional house rules I will use:
1) Aircraft will be given a tasking on launch.  If I decide a tasking needs to be changed, I will not actually order the change until 15 game minutes after I determine to make the change.  This is to simulate the delay from the time the ASW Operations Center (ASWOC) descides to make a change in tasking to the time the order is actually transmitted, understood, and implemented by the aircraft.
2) Only one Alert 5 aircraft will be allowed at an airbase.  The other ready aircraft will be played as if it was an Alert 30 aircraft, so it can not launch until 30 minutes after I determine to launch it.  If the Alert 5 aircraft launches, the Alert 30 aircraft will transition to the Alert 5 status after 30 minutes.



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Tabletop AARs / Re: June 15, 1944 -- Hypothetical
« Last post by MengJiao on Today at 05:22:02 PM »

   I should note that by this point -- kind of non-historically -- KG Brassert, which was brought in to defend Tilly -- has been pretty much wiped out.  12th SS is switching West to hold that part of the line while the KG of infantry Division 346 takes over on the eastern edge of the battle area.

    5pm June 16 almost 24 hours into the battle.  A lot happened in the last hour and symptomatically it is the Divisional chit of the 12 SS that goes first in this turn -- Yes!  because they didn't move at all in the 3pm-5pm time frame and the chit rule is last chit doesn't go til next turn.  This at least prevents any chit from getting two moves in a row.  On the other hand the 12th SS was supposed to take over the line at Juvigny as PzLehr shifted west.  That didn't happen and a massive British assault obliterated most of what was left of KG Brasssert and took Juvigny.  Boiselonde Wood fell too (and two objectives moved out to bridges out west) leaving the score at 2nd Army 4, 7th Army 7.   British loses were heavy and will no doubt get much worse when the SS counter-attacks at Juvigny.  The sacrificial placement of some light tanks may not help much.  2nd army ran out of command points just as it took its two objectives leaving them open to a massive counterattack.  2nd Army has two more armored Bdes that it could bring in and with most of the  brigades on the field losing strength fast -- that will probably happen.


 
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by BanzaiCat on Yesterday at 06:24:42 PM »
MengJiao, you can't blame yourself on that. Sometimes these games just play rather blandly and nothing exciting happens. Nothing makes better AAR fodder than a close-run, nail-biting affair, but not all games end up that way. They're usually one-sided ass-kicking contests that don't, honestly, make good press. ;D

Once things quiet down and I get back to OG, I'm probably going to do a full write-up of any AAR I want to do moving forward. For one thing, this will ensure that ALL parts are present before I start it, so it won't become vAApoR (see what I did there?) mid-game. For another, I might be able to tweak some of the game to make it a more interesting read. I don't mean overt cheating or re-rolling dice, either, because that kind of destroys the credibility of the game, as well as the tension it creates.
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by MengJiao on Yesterday at 04:08:34 PM »
I think "views" are a better indicator of interest than actual discussion / feedback.

Other than "great job!" there might not be too much to say about it.

I had a crap-ton of views of the Civ5 AARs on the front page, but not near as much discussion as you might've expected based on those views, and those AARs actually had some commentary & feedback

  In my case at least, some of the AARs I've started have not gone in particularly interesting directions.  This is a risk when a an AAR is really more of a during action report.  I'm usually as surprised as anyone with the twists and turns of what I end up reporting in an AAR.  Sometimes my own AARs just are not very interesting and I let them close down relatively quietly.
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by bayonetbrant on Yesterday at 07:10:07 AM »
I think "views" are a better indicator of interest than actual discussion / feedback.

Other than "great job!" there might not be too much to say about it.

I had a crap-ton of views of the Civ5 AARs on the front page, but not near as much discussion as you might've expected based on those views, and those AARs actually had some commentary & feedback
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by Barthheart on Yesterday at 05:49:27 AM »
...
AFA VASSAL, can you hook up an extra external monitor and slide some of the game windows over to it? Screenshot tools must allow for multiple monitor capture, no?

Yes you can use multiple monitors with VASSAL just as you describe. The regular PrintScreen and paste to MSPaint captures both monitors... at least on my setup. Thought I use the Snipping Tool more that PrtScn.

As for views verses comments, I'm OK with views. It's when you post lots and the view total increase starts to decrease that slows me down.... beside my usual habit of starting an AAR and then getting bogged down in other things... ie short attention span....
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by Staggerwing on Yesterday at 05:40:43 AM »
I prefer VASSAL, then physical game setup, and then video. Video is way down the list mainly because it's a pain to watch, pause, do chores, watch, pause, make lunch, watch, pause, answer a text or call, etc, etc.

With the first two it just feels easier to enjoy in small doses broken up by other things.


AFA VASSAL, can you hook up an extra external monitor and slide some of the game windows over to it? Screenshot tools must allow for multiple monitor capture, no?
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by BanzaiCat on Yesterday at 05:13:07 AM »
Mostly, what I'd like to see is if an AAR gets started, then it gets completed.

 :2funny: :2funny: :2funny:

This is one of the reasons why I ask. Besides my job keeping me insanely busy these last three months, I know I can find time to actually do more AAR pieces (especially Outpost Gamma). Thing is, though, I'm not highly motivated to do an AAR using Photoshop or VASSAL or otherwise through the computer.

However, if that's what people LIKE, then that's what I will do. If they do not, there's not much of a point, is there?

That one (OG) is small enough that I can continue it. And I will...I'm just trying to get through the next few weeks of this project and then things should quiet down for me. I've been having to work nights and weekends on top of normal day work to get this done, so it's affected my production around here. That OG AAR, I have to do it on my work laptop, because Photoshop is on it. And I'm usually on it to do actual work. And after 14+ hours or so of it in a day, I'm not all that motivated to keep working on my laptop. :(

I'll be honest - like bbmike said, I can see a number of views on my AARs, which always blows my mind, but then there isn't that much actual feedback, so that makes me think I'm spinning my wheels with that AAR. I'd like to think an AAR is something of a therapeutic venting of some inner gaming nerd need, perhaps with a big dose of voyeurism when it comes to this hobby. And, many folks around here are perfectly happy with lurking and not saying a word. But it gets to a point where it can become a slog, especially if not much feedback is coming into that thread, and my motivation can evaporate. Views are one thing, but posts are always much more motivating than seeing the numbers, if that makes any sense.

I'm pretty flexible when it comes to HOW I do an AAR. I started this thread to see how the community here ENJOYS...absorbing them, for lack of a better word.

There's also a bit of pressure. For example, the Champions of Krynn AAR I did/am doing, that's a really fun thing for me to do. I look back and actually laugh at some of the crap I put into it. And then when I sit down to do a new post, I completely and utterly second guess myself as to what's amusing and what's not, and I get severe analysis paralysis in that case. Usually if I take a step (or twenty) back from said AAR, that helps me stop doing that. Besides other distractions of course.

Anyway...thank you for your voting/feedback, folks. Much appreciated.
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by bbmike on Yesterday at 04:25:04 AM »
I like the Vassal images as they don't suffer from flash, reflections, poor angles, etc.

Mostly, what I'd like to see is if an AAR gets started, then it gets completed.

I think more might get completed if there were more interest in them. I know I started a Don't Tread on Me AAR and it received a good number of views but no comments. I just guessed that no one was interested and stopped. It does take a lot of time and work to put together a really good AAR.
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Tabletop AARs / Re: Question About Tabletop AARs
« Last post by MengJiao on Yesterday at 03:47:28 AM »
So I'm just curious what you all prefer when it comes to taking in tabletop AARs.


  I read all the ARRs here.  I like the finished and the unfinished.  I like the VASSAL and the tables of miniature things.  I haven't watched very may videos of gaming for more than a few minutes.

   Obviously, I admit to a certain preference for attempting to photograph the game board.  There's a lot going on there (sort of, some times): unstable piles of units and markers, maps from other games showing up on the edges, shadows, murk, indistinct haze.
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