10 September 2012

Harpoon: 1.56D - These Anti-Shipping Missiles Are Faulty...

USS Cincinnati avoided this one. It didn’t avoid all of them.


Several months after the last post was completed, I have finally gotten round to completing another scenario. So the next post isn’t 10 months in the future, I’m going to be avoiding large-scale submarine ones in future.


For some reason the sound wasn’t working for much of this, but a fix from the lovely people at HarpGamer seems to be have put them all back. Anyway, on to the scenario.


Reconnaissance is from the HDS2 series, specifically the batch of scenarios related to the GIUK area – that’s Greenland-Iceland-United Kingdom, a key area in any NATO-Warsaw Pact war. My mission in this scenario is to take 8 nuclear-powered US submarines into the Kola Peninsula (that bit on the right of the map) – something I have about three in-game days to do.  The briefing is rather vague on what precisely I’m supposed to do, or what the victory conditions are.


The ROE dictates Weapons Tight i.e. I don’t fire until I’m fired at. I treated this with some flexibility during the scenario.


This scenario required several hours to get through, even at 1:10 minutes speed. Like I said, I’ll be avoiding these for later versions.


I got my first airborne contact 17 minutes in (2217 game time) and two minutes later determined that it was an ASW chopper. These would be the bane of my life throughout this scenario, as I could do nothing about them – US submarines in this game, as well as in real-life IIRC, lack any means of shooting down pesky Ka-25s. As it wasn’t firing at me, I ignored it.


At 2235, I got a surface contact off Iceland. This swiftly became two. When another large surface contact turned up near Augusta, I took my boat to periscope depth to get a better look  - and got fired on.


I fired off pretty much everything I had. Augusta went to the bottom, but the sub’s torpedoes then added a Kresta to the Udaloy I’d sunk beforehand.


2350 saw a bunch of ships get too close for comfort to Baton Rouge, so I engaged with Harpoons. There seems to be a problem with these missiles or Soviet SAM defences are super effective here – I got one hit for ten missiles. Ditto with Tomahawks – all four missed. Torpedoes also took ages and they missed. The later discovery that a Slava was in that group explained some of the missile failures, but still.


Also, why I am seeing SAM launches that RL fog of war would prevent me from seeing?


At 1330 the following day, a helicopter came near Los Angeles, so I slowed down to a creeping speed. Ten minutes later, I spotted a carrier, which I wasn’t really able to engage because of the ROE.


Things were about to get worse. At 1424, Groton was detected by active sonar and an engagement involving my dodging multiple torpedoes started. After nearly two hours, that sub was lost, for no enemy damage. Seriously?


The next sub to see action was Omaha, which ran into a bunch of ships. In the fifteen minute long exchange of fire, I lost the sub, while they lost three ships, including two supply vessels. That’ll hurt later.


At 2116, two ships detected Dallas. Three Harpoons all missed, but further fire sunk three Parchim corvettes. Pity it took most of my ammo to do it. Further torpedo dodging ensued, but that sub died as well.


At this time, I found the Range and Bearing Calculator. I worked out that my subs would need to speed up and most of the survivors went to their 18-knot cruising speed.


A new game day eventually begun and things went very quiet. I got one detection at 0324, but the Petya I was too far away to any threat or a proper target for that matter. After over nine hours of this I picked up three ships on the sonars of Cincinnati. When at 1007, these ships turned back, the fight was on – once I’d gotten back to a decent speed.


Six Harpoon missiles shot out of my tubes at 1021, with 8 TacToms and 3 torpedoes following three minutes later. Only one of the missiles actually hit something, causing 30% damage to a large contact. The torpedoes continued to run and sunk a Neustrahimmyy frigate.


The second torpedo hit knocked the large contact for another 16% of damage – at which point I learned it was a Slava class cruiser. My final two remaining torpedoes from that sub, plus four TASMs from Los Angeles managed to miss this thing, which just would not die. Not only that, this thing is carrying ASW choppers.


The two subs made their way past the Slava group and so the game went into a protracted paint drying period, as very little happened bar airborne contacts I could do nothing about and one torpedo tube breakdown as the clock went quickly towards game end. Not quick enough though for me.


Cincinnati spotted a Krivak II at 1127 the next game day (the third). It had no weapons to attack anything with and the Krivak was too far away to be a threat. Something else was going to wreck this sub’s day.


At 1323, I heard a loud pinging noise in my headphones – after repeated patch attempts, the sound was working! I was being pinged by a helicopter’s active sonar – and then I had a torpedo inbound!


A period of dodging torpedoes for just over an hour followed. Two torpedoes eventually hit and with the submarine at 87% damage, I surfaced to get my crew off (they’d probably prefer a Soviet POW camp to being crushed by water pressure. Well, I say probably). At 1429, the sad sinking music played, followed by the Soviet national anthem as REDFOR got its minimum victory conditions. I’d lost.


I sank 10 ships and forced the ditching of 5 choppers, with one further ship (the pesky Slava) damaged. I lost five of my eight submarines.


Now, let’s hope this sound problem doesn’t appear in the next version.

No comments: