In the first post of this series we looked at the initial setup for the 1980’s scenario. Now it’s time to start sliding counters!
Soviet Turn #1
Lost One TU-20 unit due to random event. Used a strike to launch a cruise missile attack on Istanbul which destroyed the base and two air units. Launched a joint ground/air offensive from the Balkans into Turkey in an attempt to gain control of the Turkish Straits. Both the initial and a follow up attack with airborne reinforcements failed to remove the Turkish ground forces.
Not only were the straits still under NATO control, but the Soviets were out of OP’s points, and had lost two ground units.
At this point, I decided that the Soviets should use the EW strike maker to get two more OP’s points in an attempt to finish up the Turkish invasion. That final ground/air assault did the trick. With the last action I placed an air patrol in an attempt to help defend the straits from any NATO attack.
NATO turn #1
Nothing to mention from the random event table. NATO has three OP’s points to use this turn. Used a cruise missile strike and then two combined naval/carrier air actions to completely eliminate the Soviet task force with the amphibious assault capabilities. Not only did that knock out six naval units, but the marines on the AWG were lost as well. NATO lost a frigate and destroyer unit.
With the last action, NATO moved a carrier task force into the Aegean Sea and launched a carrier air strike into Istanbul that destroyed a Soviet air unit and the ground forces.
This means that at the start of Soviet turn 2, there will be no “bonus” action for controlling the straits.
Losing four ground units and an entire naval task force has put the Soviets in a pretty rough spot. In retrospect, it is tempting to think that the Soviet player might do well to keep his naval forces in the Black sea where they can be somewhat protected during the initial turns. But I still think that I prefer the threat they posed out in the Med. I didn’t think it would take 3 attacks to secure Istanbul, but it did, and that’s what kept the Soviets from attempting an island invasion of Crete or Cyprus in the opening round. Also the NATO carrier air task forces are just so powerful. Maybe a Soviet cruise missile attack combined with a naval/air strike to wipe out one of those task forces would have been a better opening move.