Aegean Strike: Battle for North Africa - US Setup

In my previous post, I set up the Soviet ships for the first scenario of Aegean Strike called "The Battle for North Africa".  The Soviets tried to lock out the US surface ships out of the area around the Egypt/Libya coastline.  After the Soviets set up, it's time to get the American ships on the map.  Here's a short post on how and why I did it in a little write-up I call "Justify Your Setup".  Here goes:

US (red) has set up prior to start of play.
Since I'm playing solitaire, I simply rolled a d10 to determine if the US player would set up to the northwest (near Italy) of the conflict area or down south nearer to the Suez Canal.  The die result was the first option so I put my entire surface ships together in one stack (CV-69, DD, BB, and LHA) just north of Naples in AR-03.  This was pretty much the only spot on the map where I wasn't dangerously close to two Soviet submarines at the same time.  It doesn't keep me out of range of Soviet bombers stationed in Benghazi but at least they won't have MiG escorts coming in with them if they do decide to hit me early on.

Both sides will get a roll to detect enemy units prior to play so I'm counting on detecting the Soviet sub in AS-03 from the start and then sending out the P-3 Orion on Sigonella and the S-3 Viking on the carrier to damage or destroy it before carefully moving south.

While the US carrier group cleans up the seas near Sicily, the US SSNs will sink their knives into the Soviet carrier group in AV-07.  The SSN in AV-06 will hopefully detect the ships prior to play and then slice into them in the Reaction Player Segment.  The SSN in AX-06 is there to give the Soviets some hard choices.  The Soviet player will either have to lambaste the Alexandria air base (with two F-16 squadrons on them) with the CGs and SSGN or spend his precious naval movement points instead to deal with the American sub before it becomes a big problem.

I was thinking of putting this sub next to Benghazi to launch its own cruise missiles at the Soviet airbase there but I really want to cut down the Soviet navy as fast as possible in the early game.  Having two SSNs operating very close to the Soviet surface fleet is also a bit of psychological warfare too.  Every decision by the Soviet player will need to be weighed with both American subs in mind.

Any thoughts?  If you would have set up differently, please let me know in the comments!

Comments

  1. Not bad US setup given the Soviets.
    I'd compare the survivability of the deeply sent US SSN's to the ASW capability of the Soviets against them (subs, surface, air).
    If the US SSN's have long range Tomahawks (2 Strategic hexes range), it may be good to setup one SSN close to Soviets to detect them, and the other further away and launch a first massive strike against the most valuable vs vulnerable Soviet asset. Which would be?

    Also in this scenario: does Naval Point Determination before the Action phases work the same as in GS, giving each side an unknown limitation in ability to coordinate the many units?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks again for the comments! Yes, Naval Movement Points work the same as in GS. As for the 2 hex strategic range for the SSN missiles, you're right. I placed one of the SSNs adjacent to the Soviet surface group so it could try and detect the stack of Soviet ships. In this scenario, each naval unit gets one detection attempt before play begins. As you'll see in my next blog post, everything you pointed out was eerily prescient. I played through turn 1 last night before reading your comments here and couldn't believe how everything played out as you mentioned in your earlier points.

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    2. Thanks again! I'll gladly read your solo history as you and Mrs. D10 already decided it could be.

      Then I don't want to intrude too much in this game, or it may become a 1+1-player guided solitaire ;-) where a player does all the mechanics having detailed rule knowledge, and the kibbitzer adding only intermittent, non-timely overall advice in general military terms.

      I did once this sort of guided-solo for a PBEM game ill-suited for PBEM at the time (too many alternating impulses, and we had poor mail-only link). Players alternated the solo-player and kibbitzer-player role for much larger chunks of action, some pre-planned and some given as overall intention to react. Some minor abuse of the solo-player role from both sides - so that is NOT equivalent to a normal full game, and cannot be used for competitive fairness, only for some exploration.

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    3. No worries, Mircea! Feel free to comment as much as you like. I'm just scratching the surface of the system so it's nice to have someone willing to point out suggestions here and there. Always appreciated.

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