Wednesday, June 28, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 3

In Part One of this series, I did the mission planning for the Alpha Strikes against Soviet-held Iceland by the USS Oriskany CVBG with USAF assets out of Greenland. In Part Two I began the mission, and immediately had to deal with multiple attacks from Iceland by Soviet forces. In the meantime my USAF Fighter Sweep was refueling and preparing to attack, with the SEAD units behind it, and the B-52s behind them, tasked to destroy the runways.

So far I've fended off the attacks with the loss of a single fighter, and now it's my turn to strike.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 2

In Part One of this scenario I did a lot of math, calculating fuel expenditures and flight times, in the hopes of generating an Air Tasking Order where I could coordinate my strikes. I'm sure I made some mistakes, hopefully none of them critical, but fortunately this is a simulation and real lives are not at stake.  All that's left is to set up all the missions and see how good my calculations were.

My biggest concern is that I'll somehow screw up the refueling, as that isn't my strongest part of Command, so I'm sure that this will be a learning experience. (Note: In my planning I assumed that refueling takes about thirty minutes, when in reality it takes closer to five)

Undoubtedly, I made some mistakes in my calculations, but we'll see just how badly the plan falls apart because of it.  On top of that, no plan survives contact with the enemy, so we'll see how well my strikes actually play out.

The sudden appearance of Soviet submarines or surface units could throw a wrench into my plans as well, so I'll have to be on the alert for them too.

All the planning is completed, so now begins the mission.

Monday, June 26, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 7: The Mighty "O" Part 1


After the initial shock of Iceland being taken by Soviet amphibious and airborne Forces, NATO has resolved to destroy any airfield infrastructure which still remains intact. The initial Soviet attack was conducted by surgical strikes conducted by Badger bombers launching air-to-surface missiles aimed at radar sites and air defences, carefully avoiding to destroy aviation facilities, as it is believed they will be required for their own aircraft and as a staging post for Badger and Backfire bombers.

With the facilities captured largely intact, and damaged assets having been repaired by Soviet army engineer units, Soviet naval aviation will be able to conduct long-range recon and strike sorties into the Atlantic shipping lanes. Unless NATO shuts Iceland down.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 6: The Grey Ghost from the East Coast

Reminiscent of WW2, two Soviet Sverdlov-class cruisers have been sighted by neutral shipping transiting through the Denmark Straits and are hell-bent on getting into NATO's shipping lanes for some commerce raiding. Keflavik airfield has sustained heavy bombing by Badgers launching heavy missiles at the airfield facilities, so no land based recon / surveillance is available at present. The majority of the radar sites in the vicinity have been destroyed, as well as the local SOSUS station. USS Newport News, "the Grey Ghost from the East Coast" (a name she was given during the Vietnam War), is the last 8"-gunned cruiser in service in the US Navy. She was due to decommission in June 1975 but due to tensions increasing in Soviet and NATO relations, and of course with the outbreak of war, her mothballing was postponed. She has now deployed to counter the Sverdlov threat, her escorts a mixture of old and new. Her task: to seek and destroy the Soviet cruisers and their escorts.

Can the Grey Ghost and her group stand up to the Soviet raiding party?

Friday, June 16, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 5

In Parts One, Two, Three, and Four of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway. NATO has fought its way north through submarines and multiple air raids by Soviet Naval Aviation, while also being threatened by Soviet surface forces.

The NATO forces have taken some punches in the loss of several escorts, but delivered some serious counterblows as well, sinking submarines, several ships, and a large number of bombers.  Now they are closing in on their objective, and it remains to be seen if the Soviets have anything else up their sleeves.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 4

In Parts One, Two, and Three of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway. NATO has fought its way north through submarines and raids by Soviet Naval Aviation, but it appears that its luck has run out:  the latest raid by Soviet Badgers managed to get their anti-ship missiles off, and those missiles streak past the now ineffective anti-air assets of the NATO fleet. These anti-ship missiles are headed straight for Ark Royal, an indispensable asset to the NATO forces.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 3

In Parts One and Two of this scenario, NATO forces are attempting to send an amphibious group to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss. The Soviets are determined to stop them. Their level of determination was demonstrated when they used nuclear weapons to attack both Bodo Airbase and radar sites in northern Norway.

For its part, the NATO Task Force has fended off some Soviet submarines but not without cost. But the main attack is about to begin: the Soviets have blasted a path through northern Norway, and raids of Badgers will sent through it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 2

In Part One of this scenario, the Soviets executed a series of air raids against northern Norway, taking out several radar stations and culminating in the destruction of the airbase (and town) of Bodo with two nuclear weapons. Fortunately, Bodo had maintained several underground hangars that survived the nukes, so the airbase was not completely out of action. This was small consolation to the inhabitants of the town of Bodo, who were obliterated.

In the meantime, the NATO amphibious task force continued to head north in a bid to reinforce Narvik and Bardufoss before northern Norway was completely overrun by Soviet forces.

Monday, June 12, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 5: Beware the Badger Part 1

Soviet Forces have crossed the border near Pechenga. Although Intelligence is sparse, Norwegian forces at present are holding their own against overwhelming odds. The objective of the Soviet forces is unclear at the moment, but it could be the start of a major Soviet offensive against Norwegian ports and airfields.

NATO has ordered limited reinforcement of the North Cape area; British airborne forces have been flown in to support Norwegian troops at Banak.

Britain has deployed the 3rd Commando Brigade to Norway, along with Dutch Marines embarked on HMS Bulwark, Fearless and Intrepid along with numerous small landing craft. The United States have also put together an amphibious group comprising of USS Guadalcanal, Ponce, Portland and Sumter.

Reconnaissance flights and satellite imagery have detected Tu-16 Badger regiments fueled and armed with supporting assets in the Kola Peninsula. These forces are expected to contest any NATO movements in the Norwegian Sea.

Can the 'phibs make it to safe waters before Soviet aircrews add them to their kill tally?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 4: Barents Sea Boomers

Introduction Soviet forces have launched a surprise offensive on NATO's northern flank. Norwegian forces have been caught unprepared and are reeling back under the onslaught of Soviet divisions and airborne forces.

No nuclear weapons have been used on land as yet, but over the last 2 weeks nuclear depth charges have already been used.

The deployment of Soviet submarines is markedly increasing, as can be seen with the HMS Revenge sortie incident a few days ago. NATO's own attack subs have been deployed and are now en route to the Soviet backyard to repay the visit.

Intelligence has concluded the remaining Northern Fleet SSBNs, particularly the new Delta-class, are now in the Barents Sea under constant ASW cover by air, surface and sub-surface units forming a protective ring of steel.

But NATO is determined to show the Soviets that their strategic subs have nowhere to hide.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 3: The Fast and the Furious

The Soviets have mobilised numerous motorized rifle divisions, artillery divisions, and an airborne division, which have been positioned to ensure rapid assaults towards critical objectives in northern Norway.

These have been backed up by an amphibious group, which has now been spotted about 140 nautical miles off the coast of Norway, heading directly for the Banak area.

Powerful Northern Fleet fast-attack craft squadrons have sortied from their bases and sailed into the Norwegian Sea 12 hours ago, screening ahead of the amphibious group.

Can Banak be saved?

Friday, May 26, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 2: Goblin on the Doorstep

With the outbreak of hostilities 7 days ago, the British ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) HMS Revenge has just completed a quick turn around, and is proceeding out of Faslane Naval Base to get back to sea.

Fully loaded with Polaris A-3 SLBMs, she has now been tasked to resume her nuclear deterrent patrol close to UK waters but still in range of her assigned targets.

Intel suggests that her passage to her patrol area may be compromised, as numerous COMINT intercepts have made reference to Soviet diesel and nuclear-powered submarines close in to the western UK coast; no doubt trying to corner and sink the Revenge before she makes it out to open sea.

The UK's independent strategic nuclear force must be protected at all costs. To this end all other assets, hardware and men alike, are expendable.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno Scenario 1: Opening Moves

This is the first AAR for COMMAND: Modern Naval/Air Operations: Northern Inferno.

August-October 1975
While shadowing a Soviet Echo II in the Gibraltar Straits, the Frigate HMS Ashanti was sunk with heavy loss of life. In London, the Prime Minister laid the blame for the incident squarely on the Soviet shoulders and has asked the Soviet Premier for an apology and appropriate reparations.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Politburo has accused the Royal Navy of dangerous violations of international maritime law, and has labelled the incident as "tragic but unavoidable". Both sides have placed their naval forces on full alert.

In the Norwegian Sea, STANAVFORLANT (Standing Naval Force Atlantic) has sailed from Faslane and taken a war footing in vicinity of Jan Mayen Island, and assumed an ASW posture. Shortly after receiving news of the Gibraltar incident, all NATO Forces have assumed the Second Degree of Readiness and are now preparing for war!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

COMMAND: Northern Inferno

I have been a fan of the game COMMAND: Modern Naval/Air Operations since it was released in 2013. In addition to the scenarios provided with the original sim and others created by the community, now there are two sets of DLC, Northern Inferno detailed a set of Cold War scenarios in 1975, and Chains of War, a conflict in the Far East in the present day.
In the posts that follow I hope to present after action reports (AARs) for each of the scenarios in the campaign, similar to previous ones that I have done.  Be advised: there will be spoilers galore.

Some of the AARs will be longer and more detailed than others, as some scenarios (fleet actions and air operations) might be be more conducive to narrative writing than scenarios that are pure anti-submarine warfare (ASW).  Either way, I hope that the AARs to follow will give you a taste for what it's like to play COMMAND.  

Northern Inferno (Description below is from the item description on the Matrix Games website)

The year is 1975, the Cold War is omnipresent and beneath the veneer of d├ętente the tension between the two superpowers irreversibly escalate towards the ultimate confrontation.
As an at-sea "accident" results in the sinking of a Royal Navy frigate and the Warsaw Pact is mobilizing, events rapidly spiral out of control. The world is plunging towards another global conflict - but this time, there will be no post-war recovery, only nuclear disaster.
Do you have what it takes to stand up to Soviet/WP forces and avert Armageddon?
Command: Northern Inferno is a stand-alone game that uses the latest version of the Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations (CMANO) engine. It also serves as a DLC for existing CMANO owners.
For the first time after the release of the most realistic and accurate modern warfare simulation, the developer, Warfare Sims, has created a fully-fledged campaign expansion that encompasses 15 scenarios across one of the most thrilling and intense moments of recent history.
While the campaign is fictitious, every single part of this electrifying set of scenarios has been meticulously researched to deliver an entirely new experience to please both novice players and experts.