African Safari AAR

In-depth tactical discussion on how to lose the least

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Crusader Scott
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African Safari AAR

Postby Crusader Scott » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:53 am

Exchange Variant War Plan: African Territorial


I had a particularly interesting solo game against three AI territories and I thought I would share it here. I was using the default scenario with default scoring, but I allowed the random assignment of territory. It just so happened that I received Africa, while the AIs received the US, Russia, and South America.

World War Three started in a standard fashion---with a three-way brawl for control of the Atlantic. In this game, I tried a new strategy: I created a battleship-heavy fleet for bait (the anvil), with a second carrier-heavy fleet serving as the real offensive weapon (the hammer). As it turned out, my battleship bait quickly ran into an American fleet, resulting in a nasty skirmish. The Americans launched all their fighters (with some bombers, of course) to assault my battleships. As my battleships monopolized the attention of the enemy, my second carrier-heavy fleet launched all their fighters and then most of their bombers for a surprise hit on the enemy from the south (think the Battle of Midway). It worked! When my fighters arrived, they tangled with the remaining fighters while my bombers went in after the now naked carriers! When it was all said and done, we wiped out every ship in the enemy fleet but one (which escaped back to the coast of America). In exchange, my battleship fleet was reduced to three vessels---50% casualties. I was feeling pretty good until….

A second American fleet arrived with more fighters and bombers. As my aircraft were still recovering from the first battle, we were in no condition to continue the fight, so I pulled all my fleets back to the west coast of Africa where they came under my land-based fighter umbrella. Despite this protection, my mauled battleship fleet was destroyed. However, my carrier fleet did escape to the South Atlantic (while only losing a single battleship)---where it promptly blundered into a South American fleet. A vicious carrier duel ensued with both sides losing half their forces. Fortunately, I had a third fleet that was just rounding South Africa into the South Atlantic and it launched all its bombers for a strike against the enemy carriers (another hammer and anvil attack). After a twenty minute duel, my strategy worked again and we destroyed all enemy South American vessels (only two carriers of my original fleet survived). Well, South America was not ready to give up the fight and started launching land-based fighters and bombers from Brazil and Argentina while I added my own land-based fighters to the air war from western Africa.

Then Defcon 1 was reached….

…And a fleet of American subs surfaced off northwest Africa! For some reason I am usually caught flat-footed when enemy subs surface---but not this time! I had plenty of fighters in the area and sent them to pounce on the American subs, killing three. But three survivors got off some of their missiles with about two heading my direction and the rest towards…South America (I guess there were battles taking place between those two that I did not see). Fortunately, we shot down both missiles well out of range of their targets. I did want to retaliate, but the only way I could have done so was with my land-based missiles for my subs, as usual, were depth-charged and destroyed off the coast of Massachusetts (I have terrible luck with subs---they always die just as I need them!). As I was not prepared to start a full-blown nuclear exchange, I settled for dispatching two token bombers to the American southeast (both of which were destroyed en route). Meanwhile, South America did suffer about two or three hits from the American attack.

The something strange happened….a quiet descended for about twenty minutes! There were no more nuclear exchanges with the only action being the continued air war over the South Atlantic between South America and myself. It became so quiet, that, for a moment, I thought I had discovered a bug in the game or that some sort of non-aggression pact between all the AI players had taken place! It was THAT quiet!

Hmm, this would be a good time to take care of South America, I thought. Now, during the course of the Great South Atlantic Air War, we had identified a Brazilian airbase and an Argentinean radar station. The airbase was really getting on my nerves with it constantly launching fighters and bombers to harass my carriers and my western airbases. With that in mind, I decided that now was the time to silence that base once and for all with a nuclear strike. I dispatched two carrier-based bombers to hit the airbase, while dispatching three land-based bombers to hit the radar installation and any other military targets of opportunity they may find along the way.

Here I would like to digress for a moment. As a matter of style, I do not believe in unprovoked massive attacks against civilian targets. Sure, hitting cities is a great way to rack up points and win the game, but as a matter of realism, I don’t believe any nation would start obliterating cities without cause unless those nations were being run my genocidal madmen. So, for me, I refuse to hit cities unless the enemy first targets my cities---which is why I was deliberately limiting my attacks to military installations in South America.

Back to the story…

The bombers were on their way during this continued interval of low-level hostilities. Both my carrier bombers began their attack runs and tossed their bombs at the airbase with both hitting---destroying the airbase (I did lose one bomber to an anti-air missile on its way back). My land bombers were only halfway to the radar installation at this point when South American silos started popping open and launching missiles! Oh boy, I thought, here comes the retaliation. I immediately retargeted my bombers to hit the identified silos while activating one of my silos to hit their silos as well. Missiles started to fill the air. I realized that with so many SA missiles in the air, he had to be targeting my cities.

You know what that means….

I activated a second silo and started targeting the largest cities of South America. I then sat back and was prepared to watch the mutual carnages when, much to my horror, the majority of South American missiles were arching towards North America and not me! I felt awful! What a tragic miscalculation on my part! As I watched from the African continent, South America and North America began annihilating each other, with North America seeming to get the worst of it. South America could only spare about six missiles in my direction, all of which we shot down, with about twenty of my missiles heading towards them, along with bomber SRBMs. Realizing it was too late to recall them, I figured I might as well make lemonade out of lemons and set about preparing my fleet of missile subs, which was quietly anchored off Argentina, to fire their missiles as well. As usual, just when I needed my subs, they began to get blown out of the water one by one (partly due to fighters, partly due to the serendipitous arrival of a SA fleet!) Not a single MRBM was successfully launched---the entire fleet was destroyed. Oh well, I’m used to that by now.

At this point I sat back, pretty pleased with myself. The vast majority of my ICBMs hit their SA targets, quickly racking up my score. Meanwhile, I had not suffered a single nuclear hit on my own territory! Who says you can’t win a nuclear war?

Russia…that’s who.

Russia, who had been completely absent from my corner of the world, suddenly came to life and plastered the USA (between the Russian and SA attacks, America’s score was in the -40s). But I guess the Kremlin didn’t like my healthy score and decided I must be eliminated too. A wave of bombers started appearing on my radar off the Horn of Africa, lobbing their bombs before my scrambled fighters could intercept most of them. Likewise, Russia started to aggressively probe North Africa with fighters and bombers. In a matter of minutes, a new, ferocious air war was raging all round Africa. Worse, one SRBM breached my air defense network and obliterated a medium-sized city.

I was angry now! Very angry (my scor… people!).

I unleashed every bomber I had and targeted every Russian city in range. And then I unleashed my secret weapon---my missile subs just north of Norway. For a refreshing change of pace, these were neither destroyed nor were in the process of being destroyed! In fact, they were completely alone up there! All six fired ALL their missiles at western Russia---it was a beautiful sneak attack! Russia responded with his remaining silos. Now that South America was completely subdued (abandoned?), I countered with all of my remaining silos—about thirty missiles in all, with a mixed package of cities and military installations. I also lobbed three missiles at the left-wing American cities of Seattle (take that MS!), San Francisco, and Boston (Bean Town wasn’t worth a hill of beans by the time I was done with it) as I was still annoyed about his volley at me. All missiles hit their American targets.

My sub-launched MRBM and SRBMs were devastating---at least 90% hit their targets. My silo attacks were about 60% effective, with only those missiles that were targeted at Far Eastern military installations being zapped from the sky (for some reason, Russia deployed all his silos/air defense units in the sparsely populated Far East). We racked up the points….

His attack was more effective than I hoped. Cairo got nailed twice, along with about half a dozen other cities of various sizes all along the eastern coast of Africa. About 65 million of my people died all told with me killing just over 210 million. Should I be proud of that?

One thing I am proud of is that despite the vicious air and naval battles, I still had functional fighters and bombers, and about four subs and two carriers left! In my previous games, the vast majority of my conventional forces were always destroyed, but this time more than a few survived. It is nice to know that I wasn’t careless with their lives.

So concludes Operation: African Safari.

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Postby unknown » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:10 am

These are the kinds of things I like reading. Even if it's only against the AI. :)
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Postby Crusader Scott » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:29 am

I play most of my games against the AI because I like to play in real time for 95% of the time. :D I will say that the AI does a good job of providing a varied experience.
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Postby sapi » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:00 am

A nice read; the game against the ai is certainly very different to that against other people :D
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Postby ander75it » Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:34 pm

Great AAR, thanks! :)
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Message follows, Alpha, Seven, Eight, November, Foxtrot, One, Five, Two, Two
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Postby VANGUARD » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:27 pm

Awesome AAR (what does that stand for anyway?) Great read, sounds like a fun game. I'll do one tongiht <.<
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Postby ander75it » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:29 pm

VANGUARD wrote:AAR (what does that stand for anyway?)


After
Action
Report
Ander

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Postby Hamerp » Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:08 pm

Awesome! I really enjoy AARs. Roleplaying works well in defcon because of the game's abstract nature. And I'd love to see an AAR forum, especially for mp games.
Keep it up!
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Postby Crusader Scott » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:08 am

Hamerp wrote:Awesome! I really enjoy AARs. Roleplaying works well in defcon because of the game's abstract nature. And I'd love to see an AAR forum, especially for mp games.
Keep it up!


That's not a bad idea for a new forum. :idea:
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Postby Yonder » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:14 am

You should keep your subs a healthy distance away from their cost, also, they really need support. If they are by themselves they have no way of seeing bombers coming to kill them, let alone retaliate. If I don't have fighters/battleships in the area my submarines stay in the quiet deep.
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Postby Crusader Scott » Thu Oct 05, 2006 2:42 am

Yonder wrote:You should keep your subs a healthy distance away from their cost, also, they really need support. If they are by themselves they have no way of seeing bombers coming to kill them, let alone retaliate. If I don't have fighters/battleships in the area my submarines stay in the quiet deep.


That's good advice. I guess I've been sneaking subs in close because that is standard US doctrine. The idea of keeping your subs closer to home, under air cover, is what the Soviet Union/Russia has done historically and continues to do.

Thanks for the advice!

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