With the planning completed it was time to fly the raid against Vu Chua RR Bridge. This run demonstrates how different the games can be even though you are flying the same" scenario as the one which generated the USAF mission. There is a lot of replayability in nearly all the scenarios. Why different. Because this is a US Navy mission and as such has to ingress in the area around Haiphong which is normally a hot bed of defensive activity. No simple way past all those possible SAM sites.
So, there are a lot more SAMs for the US to worry about this far East, but for some reason it was the MiGs which got my attentionin the first couple of turns. With some raid warning they had a flight over Kien An at the start of the game. This was joined on consecutive turns by two more flights so by the end of turn 3 I had 3 flights of MiGs that could ruin my day and the Bomber force hadn't even entered.
I started off with the pre-raid forces already on map and turn 1 was the entry of the Iron Hand mission with 4 flights of aircraft, 2 each of Armed Escort F-8E Crusaders and SEAD A-4E Skyhawks
The aim remains as per the plan to get a one SEAD division around Thud Ridge and clear the target area while another section clears the area around Haiphong. Could be interesting as I only have one Shrike Shot per A-4E due to a Shrike shortage.
Strike mission on table. Airspace is pretty crowded and one division of bombers is still waiting to come on (skyhawk fully laden speed 3 :( ).
This is going to be a SAM day. As soon as the bombers enter and a BSAN of 13 this was going to be hard. Haiphong is a heavily defended target and two SAMs come on the air for a quick acquisition in the Acquisition phase (strange that).
And another THREE turn their RADAR on in the Admin phase. Luckily these last 3 won't be able to shoot next turn just attempt to gain an acquisition. So my two SEAD flights are now faced with at least 3 SAMs which can interfere with the strikers
This is what it should look like now I have put the correct markers on. The models only appear when the site is detected, which hasn't happened yet :)
Something else that I am trying it is the Possible SAM markers just to remind me of where the SAM locations are
The DRV have a partial acquisition on the closest SEAD A-4E and the Northern most EA-1F so will get to shoot next turn. I can get close with a Armed Escort flight by going to 'burner but not close enough.
The crusaders lead the way in the south the first section comes off its run and watches the secondary explosions from his run as the first SAM site is taken out. Frustration sets in as another site comes up to take its place. In the North the other Iron Hand group haven't got visual on the sites but continue in on their runs. The F-8E is acquired by two SAM sites.
With no MiGs to contend with it would be too easy to elect to abort the fighters. In reality they don't know there aren't any more MiGs out there so establish a barrier to let the strike through.
Another SAM avoidance roll and the SEAD is Winchester and heads home. The strike mission has no protection going onto the target.