RogerBW's Blog

Sixth Harpoon PBEM AAR: Gulf Escort Deja Vu III 21 January 2015

As an introduction for new players, I ran this variant scenario: it's Gulf Escort Deja Vu, but with a British Type 23 (Somerset) and Lynx rather than the Canadian Halifax and CH-124A attempting to get the tanker past the Iranian missile boats. Total real time was two weeks.

The missile boats started separately, and moved in, sniffing for ESM hits off the tanker's navigation radar and the frigate's search radar. Blue chose to keep his Lynx in reserve at first.

The first ESM contact was well off to the south.

The eastern boat turned in to try for a cross-bearing; bearing uncertainties and target movement made one boat alone unable to localise the contacts.

By two hours after the start point, both radars were being detected.

And cross-bearings gave good localisation.

Blue's search radar was toggled on and off at five-minute intervals, but it was clearly starting to drift a little from the target tanker.

Red lit up a search radar, and Blue immediately picked it up off to the north-east.

Blue was able to spot both missile boats as they came into range:

Red had a rough location on the frigate, and picked up the Lynx as it was launched. Somerset increased speed to go after the western boat.

The Lynx flew east to track that boat.

It moved in close for a visual ID, though staying out of surface gun range.

The Lynx zigzagged westwards to stay ahead of the eastern boat, while both boats manoeuvred towards attack positions.

The boats continued to move in.

The Iranians opened fire with all missiles. By this point Somerset was well out of position, and unable to do much in the way of missile defence.

Of the first flight of four, three hit the tanker, doing significant damage and starting fire and minor flooding. One of the second flight was shot down, but the remaining three destroyed the tanker's remaining structure, doing so much damage that she was certain to sink.

The Lynx fired on the eastern boat with Sea Skua, sinking it, and Somerset moved in on the other.

The tanker sank in minutes, and Somerset finished off the western boat with Harpoons.

Tactical victory to the Iranians; thanks to Ray (Blue) and Ryan (Red) for playing. The moment-by-moment maps as shown to each player are available here. Things I've learned from running this game:

  • It's very easy to get out of position. Sea Wolf is a rather shorter-ranged SAM than the Sea Sparrow in the standard version of this scenario, and the lack of directors mean that the Type 23 has to stay very close in to the target to be able to defend effectively. This does make things rather more challenging for Blue.

  • On the other hand the Lynx has Sea Skua, and can go after the missile boats on its own once the attack has begun.

  • Red could actually have got in substantially closer before being detected had he not used his own radar.

  • More players always welcome!

See also:
First Harpoon PBEM AAR: Gulf Escort Deja Vu


  1. Posted by Ryan at 05:22pm on 21 January 2015

    Had a blast. Thanks to Roger and Ray.

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