Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Next War - Operation Attila, D+6 Air War

General Staff of the Armed Forces of Soviet Union Wartime Headquarters
Chekhov, D+6, 01:00 Zulu Time

Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov stared at his cluttered desk for a couple of minutes, trying to elaborate a course of action. He feared this moment would have come since Operation Attila's start, but kept hoping his evaluations were excessively pessimistic.

They weren't.

Supply consumption for front line divisions had been at least double than expected. The whole offensive now has to draw supply from rear depots in Poland and Bielorussia, using the fragile DDR railroad network.

This would have been a manageable problem if that pompous ass of Korochkin had kept its promise to "achieve and maintain air superiority in the main effort area for as long as necessary", but of course he screwed up. Except for the first day, air superiority had always been contested everywhere, and NATO air strike missions grew exponentially in the last 24 hours.

"Very well," he thought "There is no other way. NATO deep strike bombers have to be stopped, no matter the cost."

Air War, North Sector

Warsaw Pact assigned 6 mig-23 air groups to Air Superiority and 35 air groups to Interception, most of them composed by single mig-21 squadrons. 10 bombers air groups were assigned to Ground Support level.
NATO decided to leave Air Superiority and Interception uncontested, and assigned 20 powerful air groups to Ground Support.

The result was a chaotic furball over Northern Germany, with hundreds of WP fighters trying to intercept NATO fighter-bombers. WP Losses were heavy beyond any possible comparison, with approximately 1/3 of NATO airplanes shot down, damaged or forced to abort. 

Air War, Central Sector

Warsaw Pact assigned 5 mig-23 and mig-21 air groups to Air Superiority, with 5 bombers groups in Ground Support level.

NATO answered with 15 Air Superiority and 8 Interception air groups, with 6 more Ground Support bomber groups.

In the end, Warsaw Pact airplanes were wiped out from Central Sector with heavy losses.

Air War, Overall

From a strategic point of view, Warsaw Pact air force ceased to exist at the dawn of D+6. Fighter losses are up to 40 - 50%, and without their support bombers will be probably unable to penetrate NATO air space.

Pact's air force is surely still able to put up a fight, but not to seriously contest air superiority held by Westerners.

NATO has also paid an heavy price, but retains a substantial capability to perform deep strikes into WP rear areas. In the next few hours we will discover if that's enough to effectively block the supply network running through East Germany.


  1. I was looking forward to an update on this game, thanks. I have never played TNW and always wanted to. Is there a nuclear option? With the WP player losing air superiority, escalation has to start looking like an option.

    1. There are extensive rules covering tactical nuclear weapons, but we're not using them in our game.
      Regarding the air war situation, it's very difficult for WP to maintain even local air superiority except maybe for the first two turns, so it's not really a surprise for me.
      Actually at the present WP has good chances of winning a substantial victory, that is what I consider the minimum level required to achieve the political goals of Operation Attila.

      Moreover, I have plenty of air defense assets and an unbeatable faith in the directives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!

  2. I was able to win as the Pact once (in part) as my opponent bungled his deployment of the NATO air forces. He mixed and matched aircraft, which weakend the combat strength of his air groups, especially the F-15s. I also raided Bitburg AB with some heliborne paras early in the game.

    At one point, the Pact had control of the Baltic, Northern and Southern sectors, with the Central sector contested up through the end of the game.

    He was able to get a number of strike packages through to attack my Front Supply Heads (FSH), but it wasn't enough.

  3. Replies
    1. Right yesterday I've posted the outcome of WP Land Phase, D+6 :)

  4. "...and 35 air groups to Interception, most of them composed by single mig-21 squadrons."

    Don't air groups need to have 3 planes allocated to each group except for the last group? See rule 20.13.

    1. BTW, I really love these AAR! They are wonderful to read.

  5. Yes, that was an aborted attempt to change the air rules, but we immediately decided it twisted too much the overall air war game balance

  6. Thanks Sysco! Stay tuned then, something new is going live in a few weeks....


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