Alternative Cold War History 1994

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AAR by fitzpatv

Northern Fury #15 – Stab in the Dark

AAR by fitzpatv, Nov 2021

In one of the smallest scenarios in Northern Fury, the Canadian diesel sub, Onondaga has to land some Anglo-Canadian special forces on the Snaefellsjokull Peninsula of Western Iceland. She is supported at a distance by the SSN Phoenix, which is armed with TASMs for use against enemy surface ships. The Soviets are mostly occupied elsewhere, but are known to have at least one Grisha corvette, Romeo diesel sub and Mail ASW plane in the area.

There is a Mission pre-set for landing the special forces, but these are AI-controlled and matters will largely take care of themselves if you can reach the marked zone to seaward of Hraunhals Farm.

Not being spoiled for initial options, I headed Onondaga along the existing course towards the landing zone at Cruise, just above the layer after taking a quick look around at periscope depth. Phoenix was ordered to close the range a bit in support.

Nearly six hours in, Onondaga bumped into a Grisha, only detecting it when already inside its sonar and torpedo range. Phoenix proved to have her TASMs on magazines and, in any case, was too far away to help in time. Perhaps I could have tried sneaking away, but I didn't fancy my chances and chose to shoot it out. As it turned-out, I got very lucky, sinking the corvette for 25VP and seeing its answering Enot torpedo miss twice on 65% chances (Onondaga doesn't even have any decoys).

Just over four hours later, Onondaga reached the deployment zone, sharply down on batteries having left the scene of the crime at speed. This scored another 25VP. I was advised to go to 6' depth (is this possible?) to unload the special forces. The only trouble was that there was a Mail patrolling some 32nm to the W. Coastal shallows meant that I was at 39' anyway. As the flying boat did not appear to have spotted me, I decided to go to full stop and wait it out until she went off patrol.

As it happened, this was sufficient to deploy the commandoes, regardless. I was briefed to head out to sea at 2 knots and await confirmation that the troops were ashore. About half an hour later, this came to pass for a further 25VP and Onondaga was at liberty to head for an extensive escape zone to the W.

Scuttling their RHIBs, the special forces linked-up with their Icelandic Resistance contacts, which scored 100VP and took me into Triumph territory.

Onondaga duly reached the escape zone some eleven hours later, steering to the N of the Mail's observed patrol zone at shallow depth while replenishing batteries. The flying boat did, indeed, go off-station partway through. When she returned, I took no chances and went just above the layer. Getting away was worth another 25VP.

So, it was a Triumph, with a score of +200. The fact remains, though, that I was VERY lucky with the Grisha and it's hard to derive much satisfaction from winning like this. Possibly, I'd have spotted the corvette sooner if I'd been moving at Creep, but there wasn't much else I could have done. Nine times out of ten, I'd have been sunk and lost the game. As I've said before, I don't like single-submarine scenarios.