The scenario is called Ingress and was inspired by the chapter Dance of the Vampires from Tom Clancy's novel Red Storm Rising.
The reason it took a year to complete was because my schedule would only allow for me to meet up with HH randomly and play for roughly 1-2 hours at a time.
Needless to say with the map area this vast and two carrier battle groups to manage, there was A LOT to do.
Please take a look at the video HH made from his perspective of the battle. For me, the scenario really showed what I thought all along after reading Clancy, Palmer, etc.: 1) It takes an insane amount of missiles to get one hit on a carrier. 2) Ticonderoga Class cruisers are amazing air defense platforms.
Oh and let's not forget, the venerable F-14. The Tom Cat crews really won the 1st day of the battle as you will see. I was faced with a choice, the 'Cats would engage the incoming missiles or go after the bombers. I directed them to go after the enemy bombers and they prosecuted them with impunity. I did have to micro manage quite a bit to keep them from engaging the inbound missiles and a couple of them scored hits on missiles that were targeting the battle group. I remember being nervous about my decision because it was still some time before the salvo reached the surface group and the Tom Cats would be well out of range by then pursuing the fleeing bombers. I chose wisely. The surface group chewed up the missiles with only one hit on a cruiser(sadly sinking her) while the F-14 crews downed 10 Red bombers on their egress.
HH noted that he made a critical error in that he did not fire all of his missiles in the first salvo and if I remember correctly he called that an error. He also said the fact that the F-14's shot down so many bombers really changed the game for him. I was also surprised to see he had mentioned it in an interview with Board Game Geek when he was selected for Video Game Geek of the Week.
Without further ado, I present to you Ingress: a.k.a "Dance of the Vampires" by Herman Hum and posted to his channel dedicated to Harpoon and other great games, HarPlonked. Oh and it was my idea to score it with "Ride of Valkyries."
As I did not have comments turned on Herman was unable to leave one, however he asked that I post this one on his behalf(I have also enabled comments for all to post now):
"We fought many Harpoon battles, but this one also stands out in my memory, as one of the greatest and most intense (not to mention, the world record in length of time required to finish a scenario!)
You can only imagine the pucker factor I experienced while searching for your task forces. At any moment, I was expecting my Bears to be shot out of the sky from Tomcats laying in ambush.
Your decision to engage the retreating Backfire bombers in lieu of the inbound AS-4 Kitchen missiles shows the difference between a good admiral and a great admiral.
Although your carrier was sunk, it should be obvious to all viewers that the margin of victory was measured by mere minutes. Had the Tomcats detected the Bear reconnaissance aircraft or the bombers a bit earlier, they could have ravaged the strike formations before the missiles were released.
Tom Clancy described it best as, "The game was hide and seek, played over a million square miles of ocean. The losers died.""
Thanks Herman. It was really cool that this scenario and our game gave me this choice to make. Experiences in game play like this are hard to replicate and yes it will stick out in my mind for years to come.
I knew you were going to come out on top in the end as I just couldn't cover that much ocean. It was a great fight and as always, you taught me a lot more about this game we still enjoy spending our free time with.
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