For the first mission, we end up with "Close Air Support". This is a tough mission because it's so close to friendlies that ordnance misses place more stress on the pilots. It also looks like we have two SA-11s near the target with some AAA and an SA-8 in the center.
For this mission, I take five aircraft plus an E2C-Hawkeye. Getting this mission already places 1 stress on the pilots since there's no time to prepare. It's basically a scramble.
Besides the 3 escorts and the Hawkeye, I've brought along an EA-6 Intruder to help take out the SAMs and an A-6 Intruder to drop ordnance on the target.
On the way to the target, we draw a "Charlie Foxtrot" card (which basically means, "cluster f^*k"), which reduces our time over the target. One of the SAMs gets a shot off at the E2C Hawkeye, who successfully evades the shot. The EA-6 Intruder takes out the three SAMs near the target area plus the SA-8. A Mig-23 flying over the target area is quickly downed by an F-14 Tomcat.
Over the target, there are two ordnance misses with Mk84s, which results in 2 additional stress due to the possibility of friendly fire. THe E-2C pilot is stressed out big time from having to dodge the SAM near the target.
As we get back, there are problems with fleet resupply, which will limit the munitions available on the next mission. Three of my pilots need rest and time to de-stress over that last mission but I'm not sure there will be enough time for it. Day 1 is complete.
My recent playthrough of the first scenario from VG's 1987 classic, Central America, was tons of fun. I really love how insurgents work in this game and how they can pop in and out of existence anywhere on the map. But one of my absolute favorite scenarios from this game (and maybe almost any other game) is Scenario 4, "The SS-20 Incident".
Only one turn long, this scenario pits the US Navy and Air Force against the Nicaraguans in an effort to destroy an intermediate range nuclear weapon that the Soviets have so helpfully provided to a hostile regime in the Western hemisphere. The Americans only get one turn to dismantle the Nicaraguan Air Force and then pave the way for Special Forces guys to parachute out of a C-130 and destroy the missile launcher, Eat your heart out, Michael Bay.
The US gets a huge number of aircraft to start with but so do the Nicaraguans.
The Americans start with:
Pacific Holding Box:
2 x aircraft carrier complements of aircraft (2 x F-14, 2 x F-18,…
The first four turns of Gulf Strike scenario 1 were marked by poor planning, bad luck, and lots of hard lessons learned. Using the few remaining brain cells in my head, I had barely managed to get the Iranian army close enough to within striking distance of Riyadh. Turn 5 would be the time for the Iranian Air Force to serve as a beacon of light - the mighty protector of the army as it trundled down the peninsula fueled by dreams of fanatics. This would be the turn for:
At this point, my guys were already looking worn out just from the effort required to travel south in any semblance of organized fashion and within reach of my supply depots. Thankfully, the Gulf Council states were generous enough not to pound the heck out of the Saudi highways with interdiction missions so the supply chain managed to stay intact. On the other hand, the Iranians were unable to pull off any dazzling air victories of note. Even the navy was having trouble hitting enemy ships.
If you've been keeping up with my latest blog posts about Gulf Strike then you'll know that I've been playing scenario 1 and trying to learn the system as best as I can. The first scenario from Mark Herman's sprawling 1983 epic pits the forces of Iran and the Soviet Union against the Americans and the Gulf Council nations. In the first two turns of the game, Iran barged down through Kuwait, hoping to use air power to destroy the Kuwaiti forces while the bulk of the army kept moving south into Saudi Arabia. It was a gamble that didn't really work. Airpower in Gulf Strike can be a finicky thing and even if your air strategy is golden, you might find yourself without any real gains despite spending lots of supply points to send your planes out on missions.
In this article, I'm going to look at the events of turn 3 and 4 with an eye on what I have learned so far. I'm always thumbing through the rules and gaining a better understanding of how the small things in…