Day 3 has arrived and all sorts of exciting things are bound to happen. We’ve had stormy weather on Day 2, which has prevented much of the important stuff from going on. Both sides get reinforcements as well. The Soviets get some MiGs and a nice shiny nuclear submarine while the Americans get some airborne troops.
First up though, let’s go through the various phases together:
Political Events Phase:
Roll: 4 (+3) = 7
The Armistice marker is moved up one slot. Negotiations between both sides are apparently going quite nicely since neither side wants to be glowing in the dark any time soon. This conflict isn’t going to last much longer at this rate. Maybe a day or two at most, I suspect.
Time to decide Victory Points:
No victory hexes are occupied by either side. We’ll calculate the victory points from enemy sinkings at the end of the game but so far, the Soviets have a slight edge on the Americans thanks to using their airpower for destroying much of the Turkish surface fleet.
The Soviets gain 20 VPs (for a total of 38 VPs) for Sea Denial.
Weather: Just what the admirals were hoping for. Clear weather is forecast across the Mediterranean today.
Command and Control: Both sides have good C and C today. No major problems.
Satellite Recon: Neither side gets any additional satellite intel to play with.
Mig-23s are now available at Saki in the Crimea while a Soviet sub, Drabov, is reported in the Atlantic near Gibraltar. The US and its allies get nothing.
Strategic Air Phase:
Allocation: The Soviets bulk up on Tactical Coordination in the Eastern Med. The Israelis have set up interceptors to try and stop them.
Interception/Bounce segment: Moroccan Mirage fighters bounce the Algerian Su-20s that are on a tactical coordination mission, shooting them down in flames to the sea below. An Algerian F-27 recon plane is forced to return home.
Israeli F-15s encounter a target-rich environment full of Soviet T-16 recon planes on tac coordination missions in the Eastern Med. The Israeli aircraft, however, have some lousy luck and end up having to return to base.
Radar screens light up in the Eastern Med as the storms pass by and everyone detects everyone else. This is going to be a huge fight.
Availability: The USSR gains a commando unit.
US Invasion Segment:
The USS Cayuga lands tanks and US Marines in Famagusta on Cyprus worth 30 VPs for the US. Boo-yah! They come ashore with no resistance.
The B-52s over in Rota are put to very good use, dropping in a company of 82nd Airborne over Beirut. The US gains 30 VPs for taking Beirut.
Soviet Invasion Segment:
The Soviets land Spetsnaz commandos in Beirut along with an amphibious landing of Soviet Naval Infantry to boot. Russian bullets are now entering American bodies and vice versa. Somewhere a UN delegate is weeping. The Soviets gain 40 VPs for taking Beirut away from the US.
The Soviets also start landing marine forces in Istanbul. They need a large number of troops there in order to gain access to the Turkish strait.
The Russians now have 78 VPs to the American 30 VPs but this thing hasn’t been decided completely yet as we haven’t counted the ship sinkings for either side.
Both sides racked up the victory points as the land battle for the Mediterranean began in earnest. Luckily, for the Soviets, they got a group of commandos to add to their invasion of Beirut, which allowed them to take control from the American paratroopers. The US carrier task force still has one ace up its sleeve with the damaged but functional USS Ponce, which carries a huge contingent of US Marines that could be used to take away Soviet control of Beirut if the US ships can move closer to its shore.
I suspect the rest of Day 3 will be fast tempo and full of some serious action as the conflict looks like it just might end on Day 4. Both sides are desperate to grab what they need in order to come out of this thing as the winner.
To give you an idea of where the major players stand at this point on the map, I’ve created this visual aid. It’s a bit hard to see but if you click on it, you’ll get a much larger view that’s easier to read.
AM cycle follow-up is here.