Northern Fury – Plug the Gap
Playtest Report by AndrewJ 28 Apr 2015
Well, finished this one off, and managed to succeed. I fended off the hovercraft with Jaguars and Sea-Skua toting helicopters (which then landed on the islands). I was able to land my paratroopers and liason units without interference later on. Far forward patrols in the NE kept the bombers away. A strong effort to pick off the Russian AEW and long range surveillance units, at the cost some good aircraft, but I think it was worth it to blind them, and their lack of awareness was definitely helpful when it came time to tackle the surface groups.
Once the Baku group was blind, TG De Ruyter was able to stay undetected at long missile range and knock off some of the escorting frigates, while Buccaneers with short range Martels got another one. Moving around the open flank, TG de Ruyter tried a concentrated shot at the Baku with its remaining Harpoons. Three made it through, but that was not enough to sink the tough Baku, which limped along at 50% damage. I could have come in on this with Jaguars and iron bombs, but I think it would have been a total slaughter, so they stayed home. (A test after the game proved this: for the loss of 10 Jaguars I got a destroyer, mildly wounded a Kresta, battered the Baku some more, and briefly set it on fire, but it did not sink. Those SA-9s are nasty...)
My sub was out of position to intercept the Kuznetsov, but did manage to bite off an escorting Sovremenny with Harpoons. Later on, a concentrated off axis BOL attack with every Sea Eagle the British own managed to sink the Kuznetsov, which didn't spot the attack in time for its escorts to weigh in significantly. Most of the Buccaneers and all the Harriers got away, but the ones toting Martel ARMs had to get too close, and didn't escape. (Incidentally, those Martels pack a wallop! They managed to cause significant damage to both the Slava and Kirov, and if I'd concentrated on one they'd have probably sunk it. No piddly HARM warheads there!)