I have just completed Gauntlet II, here is my take. (Caution, this is a spoiler from the Norwegian side.)
I played the Norwegian side. I started by ordering the convoy to proceed to Narvik at full speed. I launched a P-3 recon plane and immediately got numerous ship contacts. Most were fishing vessels and the like, but two were immediately identified as hostiles. I started my two patrol gunboat groups up the coast, plotting courses that kept them close inshore. I set their speeds to 15 knots, hoping that if they were picked up on by enemy radars that they would be mistaken for simple fisherman. Meanwhile my P-3 was going on a southward recon leg along the coast and picked up two Russian spy trawlers. One was in striking range of my ASuW Lynx choppers from the convoy. I launched one Lynx to take it out before it could identify my group. Meanwhile, I launched a patrol chopper from Narvik to keep watch on any possible air threats coming from the east. My P-3 patrol then swung west and north and identified two more Russian missile boats Northwest of the first group. I ordered it to orbit in a position where it could monitor both groups. Down south, my Lynx took out the Spy trawler and returned to base. I took a calculated risk and kept the convoy heading north at full speed with no zig zags, and no choppers in the air. I put the Duke about 10 miles ahead of the main body to run sprint and drifts, but otherwise kept all other escorts close in to defend against a surprise cruise missile attack, thinking any sub behind me would be making a racket to catch up. I launched both antisub P-3’s to patrol zones about 50 and 75 miles ahead of the convoy;’ they proceeded to lay down several sonobouy lines to sanitize the convoy’s plotted line of advance. By this time my two Norwegian patrol boat groups were making their way stealthily North. My northernmost group was playing hide and seek among fishing craft and fiords. The southern most Russian group was coming south dumb and happy. The Norwegians had closed to within 14 miles when they were identified. They immediately let loose with two missile salvoes and turned tail. The Russians responded in kind. The Russian Sunburn missiles were much faster, and one Norwegian boat was almost immediately hit and sunk. The other was a bit luckier – it had managed to put two fishing vessels between it and the oncoming missiles. Needless to say, those fisherman didn’t have a very good day. By then, the first round of Norwegian missiles struck home, sinking one Russian. At this point radar from the P-3 detected more cruise missiles heading south from the Northern Russian group. The remaining Norwegian patrol craft fired another round at the remaining Russian in the southern group before being hit and sunk. The remaining Russian boat was hit and started burning.
The southern Norwegian Patrol Group now took a chance and headed NW out to sea to try and close the Northern group of Russians. They kept their speed to 15 knots and managed to close to within 18 miles where they launched a full salvo at the Russians and then skedaddled. Again the Russians immediately counter fired. The Norwegians were not as lucky as the first group, having no cover both were hit and sunk. But their sacrifice was not in vain – both Russian craft were also sunk.
That was pretty much it for this mission – no sub threat ever appeared – and no aircraft threat ever materialized. The only other action was another Lynx strike on the second Russian Trawler, which was sunk. I kept two Orion’s continually patrolling the projected course of the convoy, which I kept at full speed the entire scenario. The gamble paid off – the P-3’s must have kept any subs ahead pinned down, and any that were behind never got a firm contact. Because of the sacrifice of the Norwegian Patrol craft, no Russian surface craft ever got close enough to detect the convoy on Radar, so I guess the Red Airedales stayed on the ground due to lack of intelligence. Overall a very good tense scenario, that gave good practice at setting up various missions and learning the Harpoon3 interface.
by Mike Mykytyn
First, let me say that this was a great take on the classic Harpoon scenario. It is a perfect scenario for those learning the game. This may be a bit of a spoiler so if you haven't played it yet stop here.
Started as the Russian side with the objective of bottling up Narvik or more specifically preventing Norwegian resupply. I quickly plotted a course for my surface group (Tarantul, Nanuchka's) to push south toward the Narvik inlet. Shortly thereafter I began to detect contacts intermediately down the coast. I launched a few Fencers for some recon and soon discovered a surface group around Narvik and a large group moving North. I then tasked my SAG toward the northern group and Fencers toward the large group. First launched SSM's to hit the northern group, which suffered the loss of a Hauk MTB. While this was going on I engaged the large surface group with missiles from the Fencers killing a Container vessel, Fearless, Oslo, and a Broadsword. I then had the hairy experience to get away from the SAMs that were chasing me. Victory Conditions then kicked in and I achieved victory.
Overall this is a great scenario. It is a microcosmos of typical naval operations in the Harpoon game. It's relatively quick and forgiving. You got the time give it a shot.