Sixth Fleet: Day 2 - Strategic Cycle

Day 2 of my ongoing Sixth Fleet campaign has begun and I'm blogging the results here.  So far, here's a recap of what's happened so far on Day 1:

1.)  The Soviets have angered the Turks by overflying their airspace.  The Turks enter the war on the side of NATO on Day 2.

2.)  Diplomatic attempts to resolve the crisis have actually made significant headway at the UN.

3.)  The US has a carrier task force searching for the Soviets in the Eastern Med.  The bulk of the Russian fleet has been able to avoid detection by sitting quietly off the coast of Syria.

4.)  Israel and Egypt have successfully drawn Soviet subs away from the US carrier task force but they have taken horrible losses in their attempt.

5.)  A group of US surface ships without air cover sits near Sicily and is being harassed by Libyan surface craft and Soviet subs.  The Yugoslavs, who have surprisingly entered the war on the side of NATO, are en route to assist them.

6.)  Each side is gearing up to land troops at vital targets in the Mediterranean.  If the weather is good enough, there should be some attempted landings in the morning.

So, without further adieu, let's take a look at the first part of the Strategic Cycle early in the morning on Day 2 and see what happens:

Political Events:

Roll: 3 (+2: Short Game, +1 Breakthrough):   Negotiations between both sides begin as both sides begin to make conciliatory tones and work through the proper channels.  That's great but until an armistice is signed, it's on like Donkey Kong.

This also means it's time to determine victory points.  No one has landed anything yet and both sides are fairly even in terms of sinkings and air units downed, so we'll just go with Sea Denial here.

The Soviets pick up a handful of victory points in the Central Med and a bunch more for their concentrated forces in the Eastern Med for a total of 18 VPs.

Weather:

Storms roll into the region, affecting the Eastern Mediterranean and the Tyrrehnian Sea Zones.  This severely limits amphibious invasions and other combat operations in the area.

Command and Control:

The US loses C and C and is unable to launch Strategic Air missions from the Atlantic, Western Med, Aegean and Baltic Sea.

Satellite Recon:

The US player rolls low and does not get any SATINT in the area but the Soviets manage to get very good intel with 3 detection markers.  Unfortunately, since we can't get SATINT from storm zones (hey, it was the 1980s) this renders the whole advantage a bit pointless. However, the Russians detect a US sub (USS Drum) near Gibraltar, a Yugoslav DD (Split) near its coastline, and a Turkish sub (an Atilay class sub) in port at Istanbul.

Reinforcements:

Welcome to the party, pal!  The Soviets get a bunch of reinforcements this morning up in the Crimea with a task force consisting of 2 CGs (Moskva and Ochakov) and some other deadly DDs as well as an amphibious assault ship.  The US gets a P3 Orion in Rota and the old but faithful Sturgeon class USS Cavalla submarine, which sets up in the Atlantic Ocean just off Spain.

The Moskva is deployed in the Black Sea and is ready to set sail.


The Turks have also joined up to fight the Russians, deploying a small force of DDs with a sub in Istanbul and a pair of subs in the Eastern Med.

The US has a bit of luck this turn as a B-52 squadron arrives in Rota, Spain.

Strategic Air Missions:

With the storms in TY and EM, this will significantly reduce the number of air missions today.  In the areas of the Med that are clear, we'll have some activity.  The US, with its loss of C and C, has zero Strat Air Missions this turn (ouch) while the Soviets send out some Tu-95s to recon the Aegean Sea and find out what the Turks are up to.  They also send out some Badgers for Tac Coordination in the Black Sea and the Aegean.  To enter the Turkish Straits, the Soviets will need to invade Istanbul, which they are well prepared to do now.

Detection Phase:

No one in the storm zones is able to detect anyone else.  It's a huge mass of confusion.  This may benefit the US player the most, who has a task force hiding near Sicily that was only yesterday constantly harassed and harried by the Soviets.

The Moroccans and Algerians find each other over in the Western Mediterranean and start sizing each other up.  Air units are on standby in both countries to deliver killing blows.

Invasion Phase:

Availability:  The US has an airborne regiment ready this turn.  The Soviets get nothing.

US Invasion Segment:

Amphibious invasion plans in storm zones are scrapped and put off for another day.  The US Marines alike are unimpressed.  With few air units available to perform a drop of airborne troops and the real prize sitting in the Eastern Med, the US decides not to land any troops this morning.

Soviet Invasion Segment:

The Soviets cannot invade anywhere right now but will be positioned for landing tomorrow morning.  Maybe the weather will clear up tomorrow.

Task Force Phase:

The Soviet reinforcements in the Black Sea form up to make a formidable task force (TF7) while the remnants of the US fleet near Sicily pull together and form a task force (TF4).

This ends the Strategic Phase for Day 2.  It's a bit anti-climactic due to the storms in victory point areas but it should be an interesting day ahead nonetheless.


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