Author Topic: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR  (Read 8787 times)

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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« on: January 05, 2017, 06:51:18 PM »
Hey all, after a long, busy hiatus, I finally got around to playing through Gunner98's next several scenarios. I will do write-ups for 9.3, 9.4 and 9.6 (they are all small and fun) after I tackle this one, which is another biggie. Here's the setup:

We're a week into World War II in 1994. Iceland, as well as North and Central Norway have fallen. In the last scenario, the Enterprise CVBG withdrew under pressure and was replaced by the fresh Carl Vinson group. Also, the Eisenhower CVBG fought its way north from the Med through a screen of Soviet submarines. Both battle groups are now approximately four hundred miles south of Iceland, ready to start offensive operations to retake the island from the Soviets. See below:



The Soviets have not been idle. They have managed to concentrate a large amount of combat power on Iceland, including two air Divisions of fighters, including many modern ones (Su-27s, MiG-29s, and MiG-23s), an air Division of bombers (Su-24s), an air division of support aircraft, and a division of SAM batteries, mostly concentrated on Iceland's southwest peninsula around Keflavik and Reykjavik. This will be a tough nut to crack, but the carriers only have part of it.

The strategy to take down the Soviets on Iceland will consist of a series of one-two punches, with the US Navy punching during the day, and the USAF punching at night. This scenario encompasses the first phase of this operation.

Starting at 0600 tomorrow, both Carrier Air Wings will conduct a massive sweep north to engage the Soviet air forces on Iceland. The sweep will consist of two full squadrons of Phoenix missile-carrying F-14s and two squadrons of AMRAAM-carrying F/A-18s. These will engage the enemy and then withdraw to rearm. The plan is to conduct this sweep three times during the day tomorrow in order to annihilate the Soviet aerial defenses on the island. Then at 1800 the USN will clear the air over Iceland to make way for a massive USAF strike coming in from the UK and Greenland during the night.

Of course, while all this is going on, the carriers and their air wings will need to defend themselves from Soviet subs and remain hidden from the Soviet bombers. TO this end, ASW aircraft are up, and the air wings have aloft a picket line of EA-6B Prowlers to screen the formations with electronic noise as well as E-2C Hawkeyes for early warning. Ahead of the advancing carriers, a line of US Los Angeles-class attack boats are moving towards Iceland to clear the way for the carriers, gather intel on the Soviet defenses, and rescue downed aviators from the icy waters of the February North Atlantic.

Will the might of two full CVBGs be enough to defeat the Soviet air forces on Iceland in just twelve hours? Read on to find out!

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 06:52:15 PM »
"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

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline Excroat3

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 07:06:13 PM »
 :D

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 08:19:27 PM »
I just got my wish for Christmas. Sounds like an awful lot of machines in this one AR. How many units do you actually have to control at any one time?
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2017, 06:02:58 AM »
I just got my wish for Christmas. Sounds like an awful lot of machines in this one AR. How many units do you actually have to control at any one time?

In CMANO you have the option of micromanaging everything down to individual aircraft and ships as well  as creating "missions" with pre-set parameters and assigning units to these missions, in which they will act autonomously. I use a mix of both, since I like to micromanage individual planes at the point of attack to get better results (for example, I may want a F-14 to use its Sparrows against a MiG-23 and save the Phoenixes for the MiG-31s that are coming on behind) but let the AI handle areas where the threat is lower.

You can also group your units into formations as large or as small as you want. The CVBGs are all one big unit, in which I can manage each ship's station within the formation. I can also attach or detach ships from these formations at will. For the aircraft, in offensive sweeps like I'm conducting in this scenario, I usually group them into formations of four, rather than the two-ship flights I usually use for defensive patrols. In previous scenarios, I've made groups of aircraft as large as twelve for anti-ship strikes.

For this scenario, there will be as many as fifty friendly fighters in the air at once, as well as AWACS, jammers, ASW patrols, etc. All the latter are assigned to mission that require no attention from me once they are running. The fighters I usually assign to a "holding" mission and then feed the flights into an A2A mission as they are needed, then once they arrive at the point of contact I start to micromanage them.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2017, 08:50:32 AM »
Good thing it's a little more manageable for you anyway. Still sounds like a lot of Air Traffic Control duties to perform. Looking forward to this one.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2017, 09:05:54 AM »
The two pairs of F-14 Tomcats of the Combat Air Patrols for the two American carriers, Carl Vinson and Dwight D. Eisenhower, thundered down their steam catapults and into the sub-arctic dusk. The two carriers, each surrounded by powerful rings of escorts, were about four hundred miles from each other, and each was about four hundred miles from the south coast of their objective, the southwest peninsula of Iceland. While the two pairs pilots ascended in their big fighters and flew north to screen their floating homes, the two American battle groups continued to steam in the same direction, angling slightly towards each other to provide increasing mutual support. The savaging of the Enterprise battle group earlier had taught the Americans the importance of mass against the powerful Soviet forces on Iceland. Tomorrow, however, the Soviets would be getting a taste of their own medicine, when the mass of the combined air groups if the US carriers swept north.

In the carrier’s air group ready rooms, squadron officers were finalizing the plans and rosters for the coming sweep. Pilots were being sent to eat hearty dinners from the galley. Once fed, the pilots would turn in early (though few of them would sleep easily) to get some shut eye before their zero-three-hundred wakeup call. Around the ship formations, helicopters from the escorts buzzed to and fro, lowering their dipping sonars and dropping sonobuoys to screen their vessels from the ever-present threat of Soviet submarines. To the north, a picket line of EA-6B Prowlers, E-2C Hawkeyes, and ES-3B Shadows both watched for Soviet aerial threats and sent electronic noise forth to confuse any enemy sensors that tried to reach south.

The American battle groups needed to push north through the night to close the range with the Soviet bases on Iceland. This would allow the Navy fighters scheduled to engage the Russians tomorrow to remain on station longer and fly more sorties, since less time would be spent transiting to and from the carriers. But steaming closer to the Soviet bases increased the threat to the American ships as well, both from submarine and from air attacks.

The Soviets on Iceland knew the Americans were coming. It had been the intervention of Vinson’s air group that had saved the Enterprise from destruction earlier, and the Ike group had plowed through a screen of Soviet submarines in its transit north. But without precise knowledge of the American carriers’ whereabouts, there could be no effective attacks from Soviet missile-armed bombers or missile submarines, which were proving to be the most dangerous weapons in the Soviets’ arsenal. But the previous week of combat had taken a heavy toll on the Russians’ dedicated long-range-maritime reconnaissance aircraft, so much so that few were now available to search for the American ships.

Instead, the VVS (Soviet Air Forces) commander on Iceland decided on an unorthodox tactic to find the American flattops. At the same time as the American Tomcats were thundering off their decks, flights of Su-27 interceptors, the most capable fighters in the Soviet inventory, roared down the runway at Reykjavik airport, ascended to cruising altitude, and turned southeast to set course over the North Atlantic.

The Soviet commander determined that he did not possess the ability to find both American carriers, so he had ordered his fighters to sweep towards the probable location of the eastern one, as this one would be closer to the Soviet Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers now operating from Norway, and would thus be easier to strike once found. The four Flankers flew south through the darkening sky.

---

Two hundred miles to the west of Iceland, the chief petty officer overseeing the sonar room aboard the Los Angeles-class submarine USS Newport News called, “Con, Sonar, I have a faint submerged contact ahead —designate Goblin Three—bearing zero-nine-zero, range approximately one five miles. Seems to be moving from north to south.”

The American submarine’s captain, Commander Anheiser, responded quickly but calmly, “Helm, slow to five knots. Come to new heading zero-seven-five. Let’s figure out who we’re dealing with, then slip in behind him.” Hunting Soviet sub’s wasn’t Newport News’ assigned mission right now, but if one had just happened to stumble across the American hunter submarine’s path...   

Newport News’ course angled slightly north of their previous easterly course, and the American submarine slipped slowly and silently through the dark, icy waters to the contact fifteen miles ahead.

---

North of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the two pilots of the carrier’s CAP, who had now been circling in their racetrack pattern for nearly an hour, heard one of the Hawkeye controllers call over their radios “Red Lightning Three-Five, this is Seahawk Three. Two bogeys bearing three-one-zero. Come right to three-four-five to intercept. Keep your radars off, over.” The flight lead clicked his transmit button twice in acknowledgement, then banked north and pushed his throttles forward to full military power.

Heart rates for both pilots began to climb as they flew north. The Americans knew that anything approaching from the north certainly sported red stars on its tail. Both aviators had been disappointed to see their names on the CAP mission line of their air group assignment board instead of the next day’s sweep, but that disappointment was forgotten now as they flew towards the first engagement of the night. As they flew, the pilots heard the AWACS controllers order the pair of ready F-14s standing by on Ike’s forward catapults into the sky as backup.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2017, 05:48:17 PM »
The Soviet pilots flying south in their Su-27s were operating at a distinct disadvantage to the Americans coming to meet them. First, they were operating beyond the range of support from any of their electronic assets, which included A-50 Mainstays AWACS and as well as electronic warfare assets operating over northern Iceland. They were thus blind to what was ahead of them until and American plane either switched on its radar or flew within the detection range of the Russian fighters’ own radars. The Soviet aviators, knowing that they were operating within the detection range of the blasted American Hawkeyes, were not making any pretense of stealth, but were instead flying with their radars on and radiating. Instead of stealth, the Soviets would rely upon the impressive maneuverability of their aircraft to fight through American opposition and get close enough to detect the US fleet.

The American Tomcats had taken off with a mixed air-to-air loadout of AIM-54 Phoenixes, AIM-7 Sparrows, and AIM-9 Sidewinders. The Sidewinders would be of limited use, since dog-fighting at night over the water would not be the favored choice of either side. The Phoenixes, on the other hand, outranged anything the Soviets brought to the fight, and were active radar homing to boot, which meant that they could guide themselves to their target in the terminal phase of their attack profile. Their disadvantage lay in the fact that the big AIM-54s were not the most maneuverable weapons with which to engage the nimble Flankers. The semi-active homing Sparrows, on the other hand, needed to be guided to their target by the firing aircraft’s radar, though these missiles too outranged the R-73 missiles carried by the Sukhois.

As the pilots of the two American jets close to within Phoenix range of the Soviets, directed by the controllers on Seahawk 3, each Tomcat pilot switched on his powerful AN/AWG-9 radar, acquired the oncoming bogeys, locked an AIM-54 onto the contact, and fired a missile, both pilots announcing, “Fox Three!”

 The two huge Phoenixes ignited their engines and accelerated to mach 5 as they arced upwards to the upper edge of the stratosphere. Reaching their apogee, the big air-to-air missiles then tipped back downwards and dove towards the Soviet jets, whose pilots still did not know for sure that they were under attack. Only when the AIM-54s were in their terminal dive and emitting their own targeting radars the Russian pilots begin to react.

Still, the Su-27 was an incredibly maneuverable jet, and the Sukhois were piloted by the best airmen the Soviets could train. They responded quickly, throwing their twin-engine, twin-tailed jets into violent evasive maneuvers. It was already too late of one of the Soviet pilots, however. The first AIM-54 exploded just as he was throwing his stick over. The expanding cone of shrapnel riddled the Soviet fighter from above, killing the pilot before it also destroyed both engines. The Su-27 fell from the night sky.

The second Soviet pilot was quicker on the uptake, and managed to both deploy chaff to confuse the missile and get his aircraft on a course perpendicular to the threat. The Phoenix, unable to compensate for the maneuver, exploded its warhead into the empty air just behind the Russian fighter’s tail. Feeling the air buffet his aircraft, the Soviet flier turned his nose back towards his attackers and searched his radar screen for something, anything, that he could shoot back at. His only reward was to see that another of those blasted missiles was already inbound. He threw his jet into yet another violent turn and evaded this one as well, all the while trying to work his fighter closer to the Americans so that he could bring his own missiles to bear.

The surviving Soviet pilot evaded a third AIM-54, the last carried by the American fighters, and now he was within missile range, as the USN pilots had been continuing to close the distance as well. The Russian brought his radar to bear against the nearer of the two American jets and loosed an R-27 missile. Just as he pressed the trigger though, his RWR began chirping, telling him that his fighter had been locked onto by a fire control radar. His dilemma now was to evade the missile he knew was bearing down on him from somewhere ahead in the dark sky, and thus abandon the missile he had just launched, or to keep his nose pointed at the American fighter to guide his own missile in and take his chances. He chose the latter option.

Keeping his nose pointed at the American, the Soviet pilot scanned the darkness ahead for any sign of the incoming missile. There! A flicker of light high and to the left. The Russian punched his chaff dispenser and gritted his teeth. His own missile was approaching and… BOOM! The Sparrow missile exploded in the chaff behind the Flanker, buffeting the Soviet fighter but leaving it undamaged. The Russian let out a breath and refocused on his own weapon, which was almost to the enemy F-14, whose pilot was not performing his own defensive maneuver...

In his concentration, the Soviet pilot failed to notice that his RWR was still chirping. The second Sparrow missile, fired by the other member of the CAP, exploded into the Su-27s starboard side. The jet’s aviation fuel ignited, and the entire aircraft disintegrated in a yellow fireball that lit up the inky arctic night.

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 09:20:01 PM »
Poor bastard. His incredible luck ran out.  :hide:
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 07:40:32 PM »
Ike’s CAP, the two F-14s of flight Red Lightning Three-Five, didn’t have long to celebrate their victory. They had expended the bulk of their long-range armament in downing the two Flankers, including all of their Phoenixes, and behind the first two Soviets was coming another flight of Flankers. These had been on a different part of the Russians’ search pattern and had responded to calls to help from their compatriots, as were another flight of two from further away. With only two Sparrows left between them, the American pilots followed the instructions of the controllers on Seahawk Three and turned south. The Soviets came on riding their afterburners.

These two Russians were eager to avenge their squadron mates, and they bored in on the withdrawing Americans. Too hard. Before they knew what was going on, the Soviet pilots were dodging Phoenixes from the reserve flight of Tomcats from Ike. Four AIM-52s were sufficient this time to down the two Soviet interceptors, and then the four Americans turned north on the remaining tow Flankers, who were arriving late to the fight. AIM-7s and R-27s crossed paths as the two sides played a high stakes game of chicken with their radars and semi-active homing missiles.

The result of this engagement was another Flanker going down in Flames, and his wingman fleeing for Reykjavik, though none of the Americans had enough weapons remaining to pursue. Overall, the Americans could be very satisfied with their performance. Taking advantage of the aerial radars, control, and jammers, they had downed five of the Soviets’ best fighters in just a few minutes with no losses. But the Russians kept coming, with more flights of Su-27s now showing up at the northwest margins of Seahawk Three’s radar display. To counter the relentless Soviets, Eisenhower’s CAG would have to start launching jets that were earmarked for the following day’s sweep. Reluctantly he ordered a flight of AMRAAM-armed F/A-18Cs into the air.

Despite the losses they were inflicting on the Russians, the American Battle Group was in danger. If even one of the Soviet Flankers penetrated the American screen far enough to detect the American ships, then the pilot could radio a report and two regiments of Soviet missile-armed bombers would be on their way to deliver a heavy blow. So the Soviets continued to come on, and the Ike’s CAG continued to feed aircraft into the fight to keep his flattop safe.

---

USS Newport News had been working around to the north of their contact over the past hour. The American submarine was now in the baffles of what they had identified as a Victor III-class boat. Captain Anheiser was trying to work his own boat close enough to put a pair of Mk48s up the Soviets’ ass when the sonar room reported a course change on the contact.

“Con, Sonar,” called the Chief, “contact is turning to starboard…he’s coming about…he’ll have us soon if his turn continues!”

Damn! thought Anheiser. He wasn’t nearly as close as he had intended to be, but now he had no choice.

“Weps!” he ordred, “snapshot on the contact, tubes one and four…fire!”

Two MK48s ejected from Newport News’ tubes and accelerated to sixty five knots on a course for the Soviet Victor six miles distant.

The crew of the Russian submarine had not known they were being tailed, but the high-pitched whine of the two American torpedoes disabused them quickly of their sense of security. But the Soviet captain had ace up his sleeve. Hi didn’t know exactly where the American submarine—it had to be a submarine—was at this moment, but the incoming torpedoes gave a decent idea. The Soviet captain ordered his boat to continue its turn until it was headed directly towards the enemy weapons while at the same time ascending to shallow depth.  Then, when his boat was just below the surface of the chppy waters, the captain ordered, “Fire the Vyuga!”

Aboard Newport News, the sonar chief shouted, “Transient! The contact just launched a weapon! He…turning away now and accelerating…that launch sounded like a missile, not a torp. No screws.”

That was odd, thought Anheiser. The…SS-N-15! Russian submarines carried the RPK-2 Vyuga missile, which was essentially a torpedo strapped to a rocket that could be used to conduct stand-off attacks against other submarines…

As if on cue, the sonar room called, “Con, Sonar! High speed screw to stern! Sounds like a torpedo, sir! Range one mile! It’s circling.”

“All ahead flank! Hard right rudder.” ordered the captain. Then, “Take us down as deep as you can, helm!” The defensive maneuver forced the Americans to cut the wires on their two MK48s, which continued south autonomously.

Newport News almost escaped the search pattern of the Soviet torpedo, but not quite. The weapon detected the diving American submarine at the edge of its active sonar search range and altered course to pursue. Captain Anheiser knew he was in trouble when the sonar room reported “constant bearing, decreasing range.”

As the Soviet weapon closed on Newport News’ stern, the American skipper ordered noisemakers launched, then a radical course change to create a knuckle in the water for the torpedo’s sonar to home in on. One or the other of these evasive maneuvers worked, because the Soviet torpedo plowed into the bubbles and the knuckle and emerged through the other side to find…nothing. The weapon had missed, and Newport News was coming around to put yet more space between herself and the threat.

The Soviet crew was not so fortunate. Though without direction from the Newport News via their wires, both torpedoes managed to acquire the Russian submarine and bored in. The Soviet captain maneuvered his boat wildly and launched noisemakers, but to no effect. In quick succession, the big American weapons struck the hull of the Soviet boat and exploded, ripping the submarine open like a tin can both fore and aft. There were no survivors.

After taking several minutes to ensure that the Soviet boat was truly dead, Captain Anheiser ordered his boat back onto its eastward heading, towards the west coast of Iceland.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2017, 03:52:19 AM »
The Sovs really know how to lose fighters.
"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 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2017, 03:20:52 PM »
The sparring between the Eisenhower CVBG's CAP and the Soviet Su-27 pilots trying to find the American carrier continued through the night, with disastrous consequences for the Russians. The American CAG kept a steady stream of fighters airborne to counter the repeated Soviet thrusts, which were delivered blindly and with increasing desperation. Before the night was out, nearly an entire regiment of Su-27s, forty aircraft, had been shot out of the sky by long-range American missiles, with no loss to the American air group other than the ordnance necessary to complete this feat. More importantly, the Eisenhower and her escorts remained masked from Soviet radars and thus safe from Soviet bombers and missiles.
 
Soviet submarines stalking the American carriers suffered a similar disaster. The captain of the most dangerous Soviet boat in the vicinity, the Sierra II-class hunter submarine Nizhniy Novgorod, had been slowing working westward on a hunch that this course would put him astride the course of the carrier Carl Vinson, which had intervened so improvidently to save the Enterprise earlier. The Soviet captain had been correct in this assumption, but slightly off in his execution of his plan. Instead of finding himself sitting astride Vinson's course, he now looked through his periscope at the silhouette of an oncoming Perry-class frigate, part of the carrier's outer screen.   
 
Knowing that he could not increase speed for fear of being detected, the Soviet captain decided instead to try to fight his way in towards the carrier. He would sink the frigate, then use the ensuing confusion to work further west and attack the flattop. 
 
"Weapons officer," the Soviet skipper ordered, "fire two torpedoes at the American frigate contact from tubes one and three!"
 
Hi listened as his orders were carried out. Nizhniy Novgorod shuddered twice as compressed air ejected the two homing torpedoes from their tubes. Next he ordered, "Dive two forty meters and make your course two-four-zero degrees, speed five knots."
 
The sonarmen aboard the American frigate heard the Soviet weapons almost immediately. In moment they had discerned that the torpedoes were headed for their ship. The frigate's captain ordered up a course reversal and flank speed, while the ASW officer called to the airborne ASW helicopters and S-3s of the screen to come turn the hunter into the hunted. 
 
The Soviet captain's gambit had been a mistake. The Americans had not known he was there, and if he had simply continued westwards  rather than engaging the Perry, he might have achieved a shot against the Vinson. As it was, the courses of his torpedoes acted as an arrow pointing straight to the location of his boat, nullifying his submarine's stealth. In minutes, the swarming American ASH helos had localized him. A few minutes more, and Mk46 lightweight torpedoes were splashing into the water to neutralize the threat. 
 
The Soviet captain did not live long enough to know whether or not his own weapons had achieved success against the American frigate. Had he lived, he would have been disappointed with the result. Deprived of the guidance from Nizhny Novgorod, the two Soviet torpedoes failed to locate the evading American warship. They continued on into the vastness of the North Atlantic, eventually running out of fuel and sinking to the ocean floor.
 
Two more Soviet submarines, a Victor III and a Victor I, achieved even less success. They were located by the American screens of the two carriers without ever detecting one of the escorts, and sunk in quick succession by aerial torpedoes. The seas south of Iceland were becoming increasingly safe for the carriers to begin their dawn offensive.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2017, 04:05:43 PM »
Rough one for the Sovs.
"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 mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2017, 04:11:01 PM »
Those Figs are tough to get at through Prairie-Masker.
"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

"Can’t ‘un’ until you ‘pre’, son." - Gus

Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 9.5: Here Comes the Cavalry - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2017, 08:46:45 PM »
Looks like there are going to be a whole lot job openings in the Russian Navy.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.