Welcome back to the AAR of my solo play of Sixth Fleet. In turn 1 we saw most of the action focused on NATO/USSR attempts to control the Turkish Straits. Turn 2 had a lot more battles between naval units, so let’s take a look at how it went down!
Soviet Turn #2.
The Soviets get two ops points, nothing doing from the random event roll. Sixth Fleet has a refit process that each player can use on his units that have been “eliminated” through combat. By spending ops points, the player rolls to see if those units are placed back on the board, go into the reinforcements pool, or are permanently removed from the game. Since there’s a 50/50 shot of getting any Soviet ground unit “back from the dead” using the refit, i figured I had a good shot at getting a nice chunk of the ground forces back in action right away. The dice had other plans…three in the replacements mug, one on the board.
I (again) decided that the best move was to move the ground troops back in to Istanbul. If the Russians can hold this objective until the start of turn 3, they will get an extra ops point, potentially more if they get a good roll on the random events table.
NATO Turn #2
NATO got a nice roll on the random events table, and ends up with 4 ops points this turn. With the first point, I rolled to refit the strike markers, and got 5, including three cruise missile strikes!
I used the “free” strike you get every turn to launch those missiles at the Russian task force near Cyprus. Two hits, eliminating two Soviet naval units. That’s what you call an effective rollback!
Next, I moved the CVN task force off the coast of Israel, and launched a combined air/naval attack on that same task group. Eliminating the only “real” Soviet carrier would be a big win for NATO.
This was a risk/reward decision. Even after whittling down the escorts with the cruise missile strike, if the higher initiative units can’t land some early hits, there’s a good chance that NATO could lose this entire task force.
The gamble payed off big for NATO. The Soviet task force was completely wiped out, and NATO only lost the CGN unit. That does leave the carrier pretty vulnerable, so it’s going to have to be protected before this turn is over to make sure it doesn’t end up at the bottom of the Med.
With their final two ops points, NATO launches a naval/air attack using Turkish naval forces supported by US air units based in Southern Turkey.
It took two attacks, but NATO was able destroy every unit except the CVH. The Turkish naval force was destroyed, but the Soviets are really on the ropes now. If they lose all their carriers/nuclear subs and NATO get’s control of Istanbul back, it’s a “sudden death” win.
I decided to try and go for the knockout, and used the two available EW strike markers to cheese two more free ops points for NATO. These “electronic warfare” strikes can also be used to increase a units initiative, which let’s them shoot first. But I have yet to use them for anything other then extra moves.
I moved another carrier task force into the Aegean, and launched two carrier air attacks on the ground and air forces in Instanbul. Even if those attacks fall flat, NATO now has the Soviets bottled up in the Black Sea.
Two rounds of combat from the carrier air units were able to eliminate the Soviet ground unit, and the two helo units. No US losses.
So now NATO is officially out of moves. With their six ops points, they have almost wiped the board of Soviet naval units. There is the combined missile boat/diesel sub group hanging out off the coast of Libya, but they can only move one zone per action if they want to stay together, so they won’t be hard to contain.
Take a look at that stack of (potentially) destroyed ships! This game is going to be decided by what happens when the Soviets try to re-fit those units.
I don’t know….I mean the Soviets had some really REALLY bad rolls and NATO had some really good rolls. But I am starting to think that pushing so hard for control of Turkey so early was a bad move for Russia. Starting on turn 2, NATO can use multi-national forces to attack if there’s a functioning base in Naples. If I had used more resources on eliminating that base instead of going back and forth in Istanbul, I think I might have a more competitive simulation going here…well as competitive as a solo play gets. I almost threw in the towel, but I decided to go ahead with one more turn, and see if the Russians could get anything going in turn 3.