Planes and Tanks, but No Subs (Full Version)

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ADB123 -> Planes and Tanks, but No Subs (3/26/2010 3:08:15 AM)

January 14, 1942 -

Sub crews from both sides effectively took the night off this turn. Obviously, my opponent is working as hard on keeping his TFs away from my subs as I am keeping my TFs away from his. The only action during the night were Japanese landings at Jesselton and Kudat.

Daylight brought plenty of action in the form of Japanese bombing attacks on Allied positions. There were a number of Japanese air attacks on the troops at Bataan, and the Allied AA units there did their job nicely as numerous Japanese bombers suffered flak damage. A similar thing happened at Singapore where my opponent finally started a serious bombing campaign.

Never-the-less, neither of those two strongholds are optimized for long survival. I now know what I should have done, but “should 'a, could 'a, would 'a” will have to wait for my next pbem and won't change the fact that both bases will be roadkill as soon as my opponent attacks them in a serious manner. So I'm not spending PPs on substituting good commanders for the lousy ones in either place. For that matter, what I may do is “buy out” those few good commanders who are there so that I don't lose them in the eventual surrenders.

I hadn't planned any Allied air attacks this turn, but I forgot to turn off the bombers in Chungking, so the Chinese Hudsons got wiped out when they ran into Zeros on CAP over Chengchow. I withdrew the group because I have no more planes for them. The side effect of this was that the B-17s at Chungking got a free pass over Tsiaotso, but even with no CAP in the way the bombers missed their target, so I've sat them down for a while.

There was a fair amount of ground action again this turn, and it all favoured the Japanese. First off, the big Japanese stack at Tsiaotso made good use of their recent successes and finally pushed my Chinese troops out of the base. I am now sending the four Chinese units which were at Tsiaotso back to Chungking where they can rebuild. Now, will my opponent go after Chengchow or Loyang next? Both bases are defended much more intensely than was Tsiaotso.

Next, a Japanese infantry regiment and an armoured regiment captured the empty city of Rangoon. Partisans have wiped out the Port and Air Fields, so my opponent will need to bring some engineers in to fix it up. (Having troops trapped and wiped out costs me a lot more in Victory Points than the occasional single point lost to the Partisans, so I don't bother to try to garrison Lost Cause bases.) Just for fun I've ordered the B-17s at Calcutta to hit the airfields at Rangoon next turn. I want to see my opponent's response.

Pontianik was also captured by a Japanese infantry regiment and an armoured regiment. Kudat also fell to the invasion by a Japanese infantry company, so Northern Borneo is almost totally in Japanese hands at this time.

Surprisingly, nothing has happened in the area around Kendari since the Japanese invasion, but since my opponent has left the Mini-KB there I'm not going to nose around the area with anything other than the occasional Patrol plane.

Kuola Lumpur is now under siege, so I expect it to fall as soon as it is attacked. My opponent will need to spend some time cleaning up my forces in Malaya, but it shouldn't take him longer than the rest of the month of January unless he really gets slowed down on the jungle roads.

The Big News this turn was that the Allies got scores and scores of ships all around the map. It will be nice to have a British BB back in play in the Indian Ocean.

And has been the case from pretty much the start of this match, SIGINT still isn't telling me anything useful or interesting. I have no idea where most of the Japanese Infantry Divisions are located, nor what they are planning, and I also have no idea of where the KB has vanished to again, nor the rest of the Combined Fleet. So I continue to keep almost all of my forces on Alert.

ADB123 -> Flak vs Bombers (3/27/2010 4:02:17 AM)

January 15, 1942 -

Once again we had a quiet night. The only activity was the continued Japanese landing at Jesselton. No sub action occurred for either side. However, daylight brought some Japanese sub spottings off of the US West Coast and the southeast coast of Australia, so maybe my opponent was replenishing his subs for a while.

My opponent is certainly hiding his task forces well. Only three Japanese TFs were spotted this turn. One TF quickly ran in and out of Mersing – I suspect that it was a Supply Fast Transport. Then of course, there was the invasion TF at Jesselton. But interestingly enough, the Mini-KB appears to have sailed away from Kendari and off to the northeast.

All of this makes me think that my opponent is organizing a major strike somewhere, but I have no clue where. For the first time in quite a while SIGINT reported that a Japanese unit was preparing to attack an Allied base, but the report wasn't worth much because it was regarding a field AA unit that is getting ready to attack Singapore. Uh, that isn't news.

There were numerous Japanese bomber raids on Bataan and Singapore today, but for the most part they accomplished little other than to collect a fair amount of flak damage. Actually, that isn't quite accurate – these air attacks are causing the Supply level at Bataan to drop daily. The good times for the Troops at Bataan won't last much longer. My opponent is also sending out more Recon flights of late. For example, two Recon missions flew over Palembang today.

My planned B-17 raid on Rangoon didn't fly, so I set those bombers to fly a Recon mission instead. I also set the B-17s at Soerabaja to fly Recon over Kendari so I can see just what has been left there. And I ordered my B-17s at Chungking to attack the Japanese LCU at Ichang. I'll be interested to see if there is any CAP flying there.

In ground action, Japanese forces captured Jesselton against no opposition. In Malaya three strong Japanese armoured units crushed the defenders of Kuala Lumpur, destroying the Base Force and causing the weak Malay Infantry unit to retreat.

The big news for today was that the Forts at Bataan reached Level 4 today. It's only too bad that my opponent is showing patience and appears to be waiting for my troops to run out of supplies before he tries an attack. I would love to be able to use my troops to do at least one serious attack before they are too weak to do anything.

ADB123 -> Today's News and a General Update (3/28/2010 4:39:25 AM)

January 16, 1942 -

Today's Report:

Lubang was occupied automatically, and other than that, all that could be heard across the Pacific was the sound of the occasional bored cricket. Yes, we had another night without any action. I'm not sure who turned the Pacific into a “No Sub Zone”, but it certainly gives a nice false sense of security.

During the day phase my Patrol planes did spot a couple of enemy subs, and enemy Patrol planes spotted a couple of my subs, but other than that things were very quiet. My Air Patrols and subs are not spotting enemy TFs anywhere, and the only reasonably firm reports that I am getting are from Coast Watchers in PNG.

There was one report that was a bit irritating - one of those “multiple enemy ships are sailing quickly nearby” sort of reports that never turn into anything. This time it came from a Seagull near Tahiti. I call this one “irritating”, because if there did happen to be a Japanese sub there, and if the sub reported the Seagull, then my opponent knows that I have at least one Seagull-equiped combat ship way down there at Tahiti, and I don't really want my opponent to know that right now. In fact, I have a lot more than just one Seagull-equiped ship down there, but I don't want my opponent to know that either. I am attempting to set up the capability to spring a serious surprise on any Japanese expansion into the South Pacific, and I need my forces to be pretty much undiscovered for some time yet in order to make this happen. Oh well, we will see what transpires.

Even the Air War was a bit quieter. My opponent sent plenty of bombers against Bataan again, and once again the Japanese planes were hammered by Flak and didn't hit their targets. And once again, my units continued to use up supplies, so, unfortunately, the fun and games won't be continuing too much longer. Other Japanese bomber units hit my isolated and weaker units in the Philippines and Malaya without problems because those Allied units have no supply and no AA to fire at the Japanese planes.

Interestingly, there were no Japanese attacks on Singapore this turn. I guess that the Flak was a bit too painful for my opponent. However, some Japanese LCUs finally moved in to besiege Johore Bahru. That will be an easy target because I only have one weak Malay Infantry unit there as a “place holder”.

Away from the Front Lines the news was up and down, with the emphasis on “down”. Two more fighter units turned up at Brisbane, but once again they are full of 30-experience “heroes”, so I banished both units to backwater training bases. A British CV turned up at Aden and I am sending it to Karachi, but those 30 planes on that CV aren't going to Turn the War Around in any manner. I'll just keep them training away from the Front until my US CVs arrive in the Indian Ocean in a month or so. And the temporary flotation repairs on Houston sprung a leak again, so I'm hoping that Houston can make the two hexes to Port Hedland and more pier-side repairs.

And what was the news from the SIGINT folks? Well, at least one Japanese Division is “planning” for an attack on Chengchow. Okay, what about the other two Japanese Divisions that are already at Chengchow? I feel like sending my entire SIGINT team to the front lines in Chengchow to see if that helps them see the obvious more easily.

Current Status Update:

West Coast – Limited numbers of Japanese subs have been showing up and are being chased in a haphazard manner by my LBA. I am not sending out many TFs, so the Japanese subs have few targets to practice upon. I have left all of the Restricted LCUs at the West Coast with the exception of the one Marine Regiment that I changed over to Pacific control and is now onboard a TF headed for Hawaii and the rest of the Marine Regiments.

Alaska - I've done little to Alaska other than to send in some supplies and some S-boat subs. I have sent the bulk of the Northern reinforcements to Prince Rupert which continues to be built up as my primary Northern base. I do have the Colorado, Lexington, some CAs and DDs in Seattle in case my opponent gets overly ambitious in the region.

Hawaiian Islands – I have distributed CD units to the smaller islands, along with Base Forces to the bases that were empty, and some AA units. My intention is to maintain a capability to provide mutual air support from the various islands in the case of an attack. I am also building fortifications on all of the islands. Pearl remains my main base and contains my main combat units. The Port is now at its maximum and the Forts will reach Level 4 soon.

Midway, Johnston, Canton, Palmyra, Christmas Islands - I have left all of the islands the same, other than flying in to Midway the Base Force from Wake, and moving that little British unit from that dot island near Christmas Island to Christmas Island itself. I have Catalinas flying out of all five bases. I have also sent supplies and fuel to all five bases, but I have not attempted to “top off” any of them. If a “serious” (“serious” meaning an attack that includes CV and Surface Combat support) Japanese attack is made on any of those bases I will pull out the Catalinas and allow the attack to occur.

South Pacific – After the short “tour” by the KB the South Pacific has remained quiet. I have sent supplies to the bases that already have troops but have not reinforced them, other than the Air Force Base Force that I dropped off at Noumea in order to base Patrol Planes there. I am setting up supply and fuel depots in the region around Tahiti and am starting to send the beginnings of a land support force to the region too. I have surface ships and a CV in the region to prevent any minor Japanese incursions, but if a serious (as defined above) Japanese operation moves into the region I will pull back too.

New Zealand – I have not reinforced NZ with Ground forces, but I have set up a Naval support capability at Christchurch, and have based most of the ANZAC combat ships there. I am not using Auckland because it is too vulnerable to attacks by the KB. I have the Warspite on its way to join the ANZAC ships in order to make a viable threat in the region.

Australia – I have rebuilt all of the broken up Australian LCUs that I can. (There are still some Base Forces that are slowly marching to meeting points to allow rebuilding.) I don't want totally helpless fragments all over the place – I would rather build them up to something resembling minimal competence. I have left most of my stronger Ground Forces in southeaster Australia. Adelaide has become my main Naval base due to the ease of raiding by the KB of any of the bases on the North, East and West Coasts of Australia. Currently the four British fighter units from Singapore are rebuilding and training in Australia, as are the pretty much hopeless American “loaner” fighters and dive bombers. I can't fight off a serious attack by the KB with what I have in Oz, but I can deter long range, unescorted bomber raids.

Dutch East Indies – My opponent has inexplicably stopped expanding in the DEI after his capture of Kendari. Sorong, Ambon, Timor, and Balikpapan have been pretty much left alone, other than the occasional small bomber raid over Balikpapan. Japanese LBA at bases in the southern Philippines, northern Borneo, and Kendari, along with the reappearance of the mini-KB at Kendari, are dashing any thoughts of Allied surface combat intervention. One also has to remember that I threw away the Prince of Wales and the Repulse on December 8, and that the Houston TF was ambushed and whacked hard at Ambon, so in reality I have little with which to fight in the region anyway.

Philippines – I made a mess of my troop placements in the Philippines right at the beginning and I've never recovered from that. I also didn't get enough Supply into Bataan before I was cut off. In retrospect, I should have moved everyone to Manila on Day 2 and taken my chances there, but that's hindsight and there isn't anything more I can do now.

Malaya – Malaya is another place where I messed things up right from the beginning, so I ended up with half of my forces spread out and trapped in central Malaya where they are being steadily picked off by Japanese armoured units. Singapore has plenty of supply, but only half of the combat power that should have been there, so I haven't bothered spending PPs changing the bad commanders for better ones. I can only hope that my opponent makes the mistake of sending one or two small, fast moving units over the Causeway first and allows me to whack them, but my opponent hasn't shown signs that he is about to start to make those sorts of mistakes.

Burma – As I mentioned a while back, my opponent bluffed me out of Burma and now has it essentially for “free”. So far he hasn't moved beyond Rangoon, but then he really doesn't have to at this point. I haven't changed my plans and I still have most of my Burmese units moving towards the Border bases in India. I don't intend to go back into Burma until I have good units available to me and the threat of Japanese attack to the rest of India is gone.

India/Ceylon – I continue to fill India proper with my better British/Commonwealth units. Ceylon isn't empty, but I won't fight hard for it either if it is invaded. India is a different matter and I am building up my capabilities at Karachi, Bombay, Madras and Calcutta. I have also recombined the broken-up Indian Base Forces so that I now have decent Air Support bases back from the coast along the Bay of Bengal. This way, in case of a Japanese invasion, I have good air bases that are free from the threat of Naval bombardment.

China – I have almost finished my pull-back to the Rail Line Bases. The Supply situation in China is ugly, but that's how it goes. I still haven't attempted an attack on Ichang, and I'm concerned that by now the fortifications may be too high for my troops to overcome, so I'm not certain if I should really attempt to capture the base or pull back instead. I would hate to waste a lot of troops there on a lost cause. Otherwise, my opponent is pretty much as laid back in China as he is elsewhere.

Which brings up the Big Question – just what is my opponent planning to do? He has committed only about 20% of his forces so far. Where are the other 80% headed? He has the KB, the Combined Fleet, and Eight Divisions available, along with the bulk of his transport fleet, and most of his good land-based fighters have vanished from sight too. It's not like he won't take chances – his blitzkrieg of Port Moresby showed that he will. So what will be the next PM?

ADB123 -> Subs Come Back, as does the KB (3/29/2010 1:14:24 AM)

January 17, 1942 -

Well, two of my lingering questions were answered this turn as subs on both sides got back into action, and I found out where the KB is located. And I can say that I was almost relieved at seeing the KB in action.

The night phase started with yet another empty Allied base, Banngi, occupied automatically by the Japanese. Then SS Shark found a Japanese TF full of damaged ships outside of Tarakan. Shark sent some torpedoes off towards a smoking APD, but the torpedoes were all duds. A damaged Japanese DD halfheartedly chased Shark, but it couldn't connect with the unlucky US sub.

Then an inevitable result finally occurred – Japanese sub I-21 found one of my Way Point Enhanced TFs on its way to San Diego. The TF was halfway between Balboa and SD, and a couple of hexes away from the map edge. S-21 hit a DMS with a torpedo and sank it. The DDs in the TF attacked S-21 but couldn't hit it. So my “secret” is out and I will have to send my TFs on different pathways once again.

Daylight brought a lot of Japanese bombing of ground units, but only ground units that are isolated or stragglers. No Japanese planes braved the Flak of Bataan or Singapore.

Then my B-17s at Soerabaja attempted to “get lucky” at Kendari since some ships had been reported in the Port there. The B-17s ran into Zeros and Claudes. At first it appeared that the Forts got by the Japanese CAP okay and dropped their bombs on target, hitting the Port but not finding any ships. But the cumulative damage from the raid caught up to five of the B-17s, causing them to crash on the way back. Two out of the three remaining B-17s were also damaged, so I decided to Withdraw the squadron rather than trying to rebuild it. That particular bomber squadron was due to be Disbanded in a couple of months anyway.

Another B-17 squadron flew against the Air Fields at Rangoon. A handful of Oscars and Tojos rose to meet the Forts, but the Forts blew past them and dropped their bombs successfully on the Air Fields and Supply Depot. This time the Forts got home okay from the attack, so I sat them down to rest them for a while before I attempt another raid.

And in China the B-17 squadron in Chungking flew an unmolested Recon mission over Ichang. I sat down those bombers afterwards and will rest them until an opportune time comes to fly a Ground bombing mission against Ichang.

Then the BIG NEWS of the day occurred – a massive multi-hundred plane Naval Bomber attack hit Ambon. Yes, the KB was back in full force and sitting a half dozen hexes northeast of Ambon. The Naval bombers all attacked the Dutch CD unit at Ambon. And here is where my opponent became rather dismayed – the amount of damage on the little Dutch CD unit was negligible My opponent asked me if the report was affected by Fog of War, but when I checked, sure enough, the CD unit was in pretty good shape. Some how, a couple of hundred bombs dropped from a few thousand feet altitude missed the CD unit for the most part. My opponent will be a bit discouraged by the news.

However, what I think happened was this – my opponent hasn't been flying Recon over Ambon, and that probably affected the targeting of his bomber pilots. I suspect that he has been trying to keep his “intentions” secret. Of course, realistically, it is no “secret” that a Japanese player is going after Ambon sooner rather than later, and since so many other bases in the DEI are targets too, Recon over Ambon isn't going to stand out in any particular way.
In any event, I expect an invasion of Ambon to occur soon despite this, and my opponent will take his lumps and eventually grab the base. But that doesn't matter because I had no expectation of holding the base anyway. But the great thing about this is that my forces everywhere else across the Pacific can sigh a great big collective sigh of relief and get about their business without the fear of 140 ace fighters and 250 crack bombers appearing out of the blue to ruin everyone's day. The Cat is Away, and the Mice will definitely Play as long as the KB stays in sight in the DEI. [sm=00000622.gif]

Now, this also means that things have gotten a whole lot riskier for poor, old Houston which limped into Port Hedland with all seams leaking this turn. I've got the old wreck tied to a pier, but the ship needs weeks to become safe enough to try another leg on the way towards Perth, and I don't think that Northern Australia will get weeks before the KB comes-a-hunting. Oh well, such is life in the Big Ocean.

I actually got a third bit of definitive Intel this turn as the Japanese 21st Infantry Division showed up at Johore Bahru, along with an Infantry Regiment, an Engineering Regiment, and another small unit. The Japanese troops easily kicked the Malay Infantry unit back over the Causeway to Singapore. Interestingly, two of the smaller units were reported after the battle to be “pursuing” the retreating Malay unit, so I hoped that they would show up by themselves in Singapore where I could kick them back out again with a Shock Attack, but when I checked Singapore afterwards there were no Japanese units there. Maybe the Causeway negated the “pursue” order.

So now I've seen a third Japanese Infantry Division and there are only seven more to account for. But I really doubt that any of those seven will show up anywhere far from where the KB is located. (And if they do, I have some ships and planes that will be more than happy to “welcome” them. [:D] )

In other news, Cotabato was captured against no opposition. My opponent may well need to spend much of 1942 sending small units to all of the dozens if not hundreds of Allied bases that are empty in the DEI and Philippines.

Finally, the Fortifications at Pearl Harbor reached Level 4 this turn. I'll keep on building them up to Level 6, but I am starting to feel that it is becoming ever more unlikely with each passing day that my opponent will attempt an invasion of the Hawaiian Islands. [&o]

ADB123 -> BBs vs CDs, and the KB returns to Stealth Mode (3/30/2010 2:30:04 AM)

January 18, 1942 -

This was a night for Japanese battleships. First off, Coast Watchers spotted BB Mutsu at Port Moresby. Why would a Japanese BB be there at this time? I wonder if the Mutsu will be visiting any of the northeastern Australian bases in the near future. [&:]

Then a Japanese bombardment TF with two BBs, two CAs, and a CL showed up to hit the troops at Ambon. The CD guns at Ambon fired back, but they only hit armor on the Japanese ships. However, the amount of damage done to the Dutch units at Ambon, including the CD unit, was minor, although the Facilities there continue to get more and more damaged. Afterwards, Dutch sub O21 missed with a couple of torpedoes when it tried to hit a DD in the retiring bombardment TF, resulting in O21 having to duck a fairly lengthy ASW attack from the escorts in the Japanese TF. O21 got off with minor damage.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese air raids in Mindanao, Borneo and Malaya. A large number of Lilys and Sallys attacked Singapore for a change, but they were caught in a lot of Flak, even at their attack altitude of 20K feet, and didn't hit any targets.

And the KB went back into Stealth Mode. My opponent commented that he didn't want to waste more effort from his Imperial Pride and Joy, so I guess that I'll see the KB show up elsewhere in the near future.

The situation in China is getting interesting and a bit unpredictable. Since capturing Tsiaotso my opponent has been pulling some of his units back from the region instead of attacking Loyang and Chengchow. I was suspicious that he is trying to move into some other locale, and sure enough, a half dozen LCUs have appeared a couple of hexes from Ichang. So it looks as if my opponent is going to try to break my siege and reinforce Ichang since I haven't attempted to capture it. I have a number of strong LCUs only a day or two march away from Ichang, so if they get there ahead of the Japanese troops I may finally attempt an attack.

BTW – I forgot to mention this in my post where I gave a status report on the general conditions around the Map, but things are still surprisingly quiet around most of the South Pacific. My opponent has not attempted to capture any of the following areas:

- Eastern Solomons
- Santa Cruz Islands
- New Hebredes
- New Caledonia
- Fiji
- Samoa
- even the Gilberts!

And my subs are not running into Japanese transports in the Marshalls. I'm not sure how to handle this situation.

ADB123 -> Sending Kaga Back to the Shipyard (4/1/2010 2:19:55 AM)

January 19, 1942 -

This turn started out as if nothing much would happen. The only news during the night phase was that Coast Watchers spotted Mutsu at Rabaul. There were no sub attacks and no invasions.

The day phase started out rather routinely as Japanese bombers went after a number of Allied straggler LCUs in the Philippines, DEI and Malaya. The only thing that livened up the raids was a large Sally attack on Singapore that gave the AA units there more chances at target practice. The Sallys were up at 20K, but the AA still hit them, while the Sallys missed their target again. My opponent will have to lower the altitude of his air attacks and take his medicine if he wants to cause some damage at Singapore.

Then B-17s from Chungking hit the Japanese 34th Division at Ichang. The Forts had a good run and they hit the Japanese troops well.

But the really unexpected highlight of the turn came next as, in the middle of the day, Dutch sub O21 put a torpedo into CV Kaga! Kaga and the KB had returned to the region near Kendari, and Kaga was caught just west of the little dot base called Bara that is on the unnamed island just west of Ambon. O21 gets to go back to Soerabaja for replenishment and some celebration, and Kaga gets to go back to the shipyards in Japan. That's a fair trade from my p.o.v. [:D]

In Ground Combat, Kanhsien was captured against no opposition. My opponent is slowly picking up the bases that I abandoned in southern China. He is also continuing to pull back from the Loyang/Chengchow region. There are now only two Japanese units at Chengchow.

Japanese troops also chased down and attacked stragglers in Malaya and the panhandle of Burma. And the Japanese finally captured the empty Tavoy.

One thing that surprised me this turn was that I noticed that I lost 2 Strategic Points somewhere. I don't remember seeing this happen. I wonder if I lost them because of some of the bases that I abandoned.

ADB123 -> Ambon Invaded, Ichang Recaptured (4/2/2010 4:05:47 AM)

January 20, 1942 -

The night started out quietly as Dumanquilas was occupied automatically and the rest of the usual night time activities quickly passed over the screen. Then Dutch sub KXVI sailed into the wrong place at the wrong time and was sunk by a massive ASW attack from a massive Japanese Invasion TF on its way to Ambon. There were 2 BBs, 4 CAs, a CL, at least 7 DDs, 2 TB, at least 6 PBs, 2 DMS, and all of the Transport ships.

Strangely enough, just after KXVI was sunk there was a quick message saying that Narwhal was sunk too. I didn't remember seeing the old rustbucket getting involved in any altercation with the Japanese, so I checked afterwards and sure enough, there was old Narly chugging away without a care in the world. Fog of War is rather odd in this game at times. (Speaking of FoW, the Scorecard tried to tell me that Kaga sank last turn – yeah, sure...)

There was one other sub attack during the night phase; Japanese sub I-164 tried to intercept some PT boats off of Darwin, but it couldn't keep them in its sights.

Then the invasion of Ambon started. First off a number of minesweepers came in and attempted to clean out mines while the CD guns fired away at them, hitting most of them at least once. Then came the main attack, with the CD guns exchanging fire with the big ships in the Invasion TF. The CD guns got hits on a BB, a CA, a CL, an AK, some PBs, and a DMS. The second time the CD guns hit 2 more AKs and 3 PBs. Then on the third try there were only Japanese PBs in the sights of the CD guns and the Dutch gunners did a good job of shooting up most of the ships. All-in-all, it was quite an impressive job for the handful of CD guns.

Surprisingly there were no air attacks on the defenders of Ambon. I'm not sure why my opponent hasn't been using LBA on them, but I'm not going to remind him. Japanese LBA did hit the usual Allied stragglers in the War Zone, and a bunch of Sallys tried hitting Singapore from even higher this time – 23,000 feet – but they still suffered plenty of flak damage while doing almost no damage on the ground.

Then Japanese troops in the Field continued their task of trying to hunt down various Allied straggler units in the Jungle. In most cases the stragglers took their lumps and melted back into the bush, but at least one Dutch unit was finally wiped out in Borneo. At this rate my opponent will be hunting stragglers for most of 1942.

But it was not all Japanese this turn, as the Chinese finally attacked at Ichang. I was expecting the worst, and hoping for a result that wouldn't be too painful, but I was surprised to the point of astonishment as the Chinese troops easily captured the base in a case of massive overkill. It turned out that the Japanese place-holder unit at Ichang was the 13th RGC Temp Division and only contained around 2600 men. Against this I had 12 big, strong and well-prepared Chinese Corps totalling over 106,000 men! The Forts at Ichang were at Level 3, but my troops brushed through them as if they weren't there on the way to a 4387 to 1 combat result! [X(][X(][X(]

I could learn to like those sorts of results... [:D]

In other news in China my opponent pulled back the rest of his troops and lifted the siege of Chengchow. So right now none of the bases in China that I am defending are under attack. If my opponent leaves things this way, I'll be more than happy.

ADB123 -> Permit Shells a Ship (4/6/2010 3:04:11 AM)

January 21, 1942 -

Wau was occupied automatically this turn, while the Japanese invasion TFs at Ambon continued to unload. The CD guns at Ambon once again exchanged fire with the Japanese ships off shore, but the tired Dutch defenders were less effective than the previous day, with the exception of their ability to hit Japanese PBs at close range. Never-the-less, it's good to see those guns still firing back.

The only other night time action was Permit attacking a Japanese transport in the middle of the Sulu Sea. Permit's torpedoes were duds, so the sub's captain surfaced and proceeded to hit the Japanese ship with 14 four inch shells. By the time the exchange was complete the Permit was out of torpedoes and only had a couple of rounds of gun ammunition left, so I sent the sub back to Soerabaja to replenish.

Japanese LBA started to hit Ambon this turn, as well as the usual attacks on the Allied troops at Mauban and the stragglers in central Malaya and southern Burma. There were no air attacks on either Bataan or Singapore. Surprisingly enough, most of the Japanese air attacks were rather ineffective, even against already weakened Allied LCUs. I wonder again if this is due to the scarcity of Japanese Recon flights.

The Japanese invaders of Ambon attempted a Deliberate attack this turn, but the three relatively small Japanese units could only achieve a 1:1 result while lowering the fortifications to zero. I expect that Ambon ought to fall next turn.

Otherwise, things were extremely quiet. There were no Japanese operations in China or Burma. China has gotten quiet enough that I have been stopped my Fort building and have set most of the Chinese combat troops to Rest. Supply is scare in China so I want to use as little of it as I can while things are generally quiet in the region.

BTW – I am still not getting any useful info from SIGINT.

ADB123 -> Stealth Invasion (4/7/2010 1:35:05 AM)

January 22, 1942 -

The night phase was quiet except for continued Japanese landings at Ambon. The Dutch CD guns also continued to fire back, hitting several AKs and PBs.

Daylight brought Zero Sweeps over Ambon and Balikpapan. I was really puzzled at that because the airfields at both locations have been damaged too badly for me to try to base fighters, so I don't know why my opponent bothered. Afterwards Bettys flew over and bombed both bases. This time the Bettys came in at 6000 feet and thus were able to hit some of their targets. This was perfectly safe for them because my troops in those locations have been pounded too much and too long to be able to put up any AA fire.

Singapore is a different kettle of fish, and so when a bunch of Sallys flew overhead at 16,000 feet they were met with heavy and accurate AA fire, suffered a lot of damage, and missed their target.

There were also the usual bombing runs over isolated Allied stragglers in the Luzon, Borneo and Burma. Those attacks slow down the movements of my units but don't do a lot otherwise. The lack of supplies will eventually do in all of the stragglers anyway.

Japanese forces finally captured Ambon this turn with a solid 5:1 result from a Deliberate attack. So the short but reasonably successful operational career of the Ambon CD unit is now over. That's rather too bad – I certainly wish I could have more CD units like that one.

I was very surprised by a sudden Shock attack on the Base Force at Ternate. Something called the 1st Raiding Regiment appeared out of nowhere to easily wipe out the Allied unit. I don't know if that Japanese unit was a Paratroop unit or was sent in via Fast Transport, but it certainly caught me unprepared.

There was another, more favorable, surprise this turn. The Ops Report told me that the Forts at Ichang had been built up to Level 1, but when I checked the base it turned out that the Forts were actually at Level 2, +8%. I guess that is because I have so many units there at this time. Oh well, I won't complain.

BTW – things remain totally quiet in China without even any Japanese Recon flying. Burma is still also quiet, but there is the occasional Japanese Recon flight showing up there, so I expect to see some additional movement by the Japanese in Burma sooner or later.

Finally, the KB showed up off of the Eastern coast of Borneo, apparently heading towards Tarakan. I guess that it will refuel there. It's good to know that it is still in the DEI.

In Reinforcement News, another Marine Regiment is about to land at Pearl Harbor. That will make six Army Regiments and three Marine Regiments at the base. That ought to make the base safe and secure. I also have another large TF of mixed LCUs on its way to Pearl. It appears that my opponent has moved his subs far to the south of the usual shipping lanes between the West Coast and Hawaii in response to my earlier moves in that direction, which is good because now I have my TFs back in the northern shipping lanes again. [:D]

ADB123 -> Shootout at Balikpapan (4/9/2010 2:15:37 AM)

January 23, 1942 -

This was a night of nothing going on at all, which is great from my point of view because it means that I got another night in which my plans and actions were able to continue along uninterrupted.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese bombing of various Allied straggler units. For whatever reason the Japanese bombers had better luck this time in hitting their targets, so those woe-begotten Allied units were brought a bit closer to oblivion. That's fine with me; I don't care if the Japanese air units get practice on trapped units because it means that they aren't getting practice on the units that I am building up along the various Fronts.

There was one large Sally attack on Singapore. Fifty-five Sallys flew in at 17,000 feet and attacked a British anti-tank unit. For once the Japanese planes actually hit their target and caused a handful of casualties, but at the same time the Singapore AA shot down one Sally and damaged three dozen others, so I'm not displeased with the results. My massed AA is probably causing more damage to the Japanese than if I sent Allied fighters into the fray, and this way I'm not losing fighters in a lost cause.

There were also a number of fairly strong Japanese air attacks against Balikpapan, so I figured that my opponent would be invading it soon. What I didn't figure was that the invasion would start in the afternoon, right after the air attacks finished. For whatever reason my opponent didn't send in a surface bombardment TF to start the attack, although the KB was a little ways up north and keeping a watchful eye on the proceedings. Instead the attack started with minesweeping, followed immediately by a landing. I wonder how my opponent felt after this experiment:

TF 11 encounters mine field at Balikpapan (64,97) - Coastal Guns Fire Back!

50 Coastal gun shots fired in defence

Japanese Ships
DMS W-19, Shell hits 3, on fire
DMS W-16, Shell hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
DMS W-15, Shell hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
DMS W-6, Shell hits 8, heavy fires, heavy damage
DMS W-3, Shell hits 11, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Matsukaze
E Susuki
SC Ch 9
SC Ch 8
APD Tade
CL Oi, Mine hits 1

Balikpapan Base Force firing at DMS W-19
Balikpapan Base Force firing at DMS W-16
Balikpapan Base Force firing at DMS W-15
Balikpapan Base Force firing at DMS W-6
Balikpapan Base Force firing at DMS W-3
31 mines cleared

Pre-Invasion action off Balikpapan - Coastal Guns Fire Back!
Defensive Guns engage approaching landing force

146 Coastal gun shots fired in defence

Japanese Ships
CL Oi, Shell hits 5
DD Kuretake
DD Wakatake, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Harukaze, Shell hits 1
DD Asakaze
xAK Arizona Maru, Shell hits 3
SC Ch 8
SC Ch 9, Shell hits 2, on fire
APD Tade
DMS W-3, heavy fires, heavy damage

Japanese ground losses:
62 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 5 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 5 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled

CL Oi firing at Balikpapan Base Force
DD Kuretake firing at Balikpapan Base Force
DD Wakatake firing at Balikpapan Base Force
DD Harukaze firing at Balikpapan Base Force
DD Asakaze firing at Balikpapan Base Force
75mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging xAK Arizona Maru at 5,000 yards
CL Oi fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
120mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging xAK Arizona Maru at 5,000 yards
CL Oi fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
SC Ch 8 fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
CL Oi fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
120mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging xAK Arizona Maru at 5,000 yards
CL Oi fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
75mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging xAK Arizona Maru at 5,000 yards
CL Oi fires to suppress enemy troops at 5,000 yards
SC Ch 9 firing at enemy troops
75mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging SC Ch 9 at 2,000 yards
120mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging SC Ch 9 at 2,000 yards
SC Ch 8 firing at enemy troops
75mm CD Gun Coastal Battery engaging SC Ch 8 at 2,000 yards
Defensive Guns fire at approaching troops in landing craft at 4,000 yards
Defensive Guns fire at approaching troops in landing craft at 2,000 yards

I'm amazed and rather pleased that a few 120mm and 75mm CD guns would do so well. The Japanese eventually landed two SNLF units and part of an Infantry Battalion, but the Japanese troops didn't attack this turn, so I won't know their real strength until at least next turn.

Otherwise, things were nice and quiet everywhere else. I'm really pleased that China and Burma continue to be still and battle free. I keep on moving more and more of my troops into the Rest state and I'm more than happy to sit back and do nothing as long as my opponent continues to do the same.

BTW – A milestone of sorts was reached this turn: the Shipyards in Pearl Harbor are finally back up to 100% operation. That was a long, slow climb. Now I need to be able to set up things so that the Japanese will never be able to do that again.

ADB123 -> Final Resistance at Balikpapan (4/10/2010 3:53:15 AM)

January 24, 1942 -

The Japanese landings at Balikpapan continued during the night, and the Dutch CD guns at the base continued to hit Japanese ships, particularly transports and small escort ships. My opponent wrote about his pain during invasions; apparently things have been even worse for him in his other pbem. I guess that this means that I will eventually have to face a similar level of pain once I start counter-invasions.

Six weeks later than usual, Japanese forces invaded Tarawa during the night phase. The sub that I had prowling around the island attempted an attack but its torpedoes didn't work. I was surprised to see that only a small Naval Guard unit landed and there were no Base Force troops in the landing party. It seems to me that the most important Japanese use for Tarawa is to base Patrol planes.

The air war brought a large number of bomber attacks on the defenders of Balikpapan. Japanese bombers also attacked the usual Allied stragglers, but this time my opponent lowered the altitude of the straggler attacks and so the bombers took a fair amount of flak damage.

Japanese Recon flights showed up over Java for the first time, and returned to China and Burma. I also noticed afterwards that my opponent lost three Topsys to Operational Damage this turn, which suggests to me that he is attempting to position troops and transport planes for another paradrop. I wonder if he will attempt to cut my lines in Java.

SIGINT was useless as usual. I was told that a Japanese unit was preparing for an attack on Koepang. La di da... what else is new? And in the “yeah, sure” department, there was a report of radio signals from Japanese xAKL Nichirei Maru at 208,54. Huh? 208,54 is a couple of hexes to the southwest of Astoria, Washington. I'd love the opportunity to slug it out with a Japanese invasion of the US West Coast, but somehow I don't think that my opponent is quite that reckless.

In the ground war, the three relatively small Japanese LCUs at Balikpapan made short work of the Dutch defenders and captured the base with a Shock Attack. All of my units retreated to Samarinda. The Japanese unit that landed at Tarawa also captured that base easily against no opposition.

Otherwise, things were peaceful over most of the Pacific Rim. I'm enjoying the opportunity to build up defensive positions and accumulate forces. Interestingly enough, a small British Air Recon unit that was scheduled to show up in Rangoon showed up in Aden this turn, because Rangoon is in enemy hands. One has to wonder why the same thing doesn't occur for ships.

ADB123 -> Makin at the end of January (4/10/2010 11:17:36 PM)

January 25, 1942 -

The IJN continued with its six week delayed move into the south-central Pacific this turn as a night time invasion arrived at Makin Island. Eventually at the end of the day a small SNLF Company captured the empty dot base. That was it for the night phase.

Daylight brought heavy Japanese aerial bombardments of the Dutch troops at Samarinda. The Japanese bombers flew lower and caused more damage on the already weakened Dutch units, but the Dutch were still able to put up some flak and damage a number of bombers. Commonwealth stragglers at Temuloh were also hit hard by multiple bomber attacks. My opponent has a number of units in middle Malaya, but he isn't moving them in too fast to finish off my troops. I guess that he wants to trap and finish off the stragglers once and for all instead of chasing them through the jungle for months.

A Japanese ground unit finally moved into Mauban this turn. The two Philippine Infantry Divisions that were trapped there supposedly have around 200 AV, but after weeks of bombing and starvation I don't expect them to be able to stand up to any sort of attack.

Finally, my opponent continued with his increased quantity of Recon flights, particularly over Burma. Japanese planes have been flying recon over the coastal bases fairly regularly; I wonder if those “missing” Japanese Divisions will show up in the Bay of Bengal once Singapore is captured.

Well, if they do, SIGINT probably won't warn me about it. Once again there was no useful info in the Intel reports at all. There wasn't even any obviously wrong info.

In any event, I'm taking advantage of this time of relative quiet to continue to move units and build bases. Ichang reached a fortification level of 3 this turn, so I turned off the build and set the troops to Rest in order to save supplies. China continues to be stable and quiet, and I'll be happy to leave it that way for a year or more.

I've decided to try out the bit about moving resources to Pearl Harbor. The level of Japanese submarine activity around the Hawaiian Islands continues to be rather low, so I don't mind risking an xAK and a patrol ship on this experiment.

More importantly, another Marine Regiment unloaded safely in Pearl Harbor. I'm sending the transports back to the West Coast, along with another semi-repaired battleship, the West Virginia. Actually, this would be a “fun” (for me) Transport TF for a Japanese Surface Raider TF to try to intercept; in addition to the West Virginia I've got CA Louisville that is due for upgrade in February, two Canadian AMCs, and a bunch of DDs, DMS and DM escorts. I also took the time, effort, and PP cost to improve the skippers on all of the ships in the TF. A number of the escort skippers were rather weak and essentially transport skippers, and some of the transport skippers were abysmally bad rookies who didn't know one end of a ship from the other. I want to see if improving the skippers improves the results if there are any encounters with Japanese subs.

In other news, the Saratoga and Yorktown TF is seven days away from Cape Town. When they arrive I will send them to join the RN at Bombay.

Yes, I said Bombay. I have no intention of leaving the RN as sitting ducks in Colombo so I moved them to Bombay quite some time ago. I can move them forward easily enough and I can cover their move with LRCAP from the coastal bases too, so Bombay is a great location while the Bay of Bengal remains quiet. I've done similar things with the other bases like Sydney and Auckland that can also be raided too easily by the KB. I have no intention of losing ships to raids.

ADB123 -> The KB vs Soerabaja (It isn't pretty.) (4/11/2010 9:48:30 PM)

January 26, 1942 -

One of the most fascinating aspects of this Game is how you can get lulled into a sense of security and then very suddenly jolted back into a very unpleasant reality.

The night phase saw Fergusson Island occupied automatically and then a couple of Allied subs were run off by strong ASW escorts. US sub S-36 was spotted and chased near Taliboe while Dutch sub KX was spotted, chased, and depth-charged near Ambon. My opponent is starting to put more escorts into his transport TFs in the DEI, which is making life much more difficult for my submarine captains.

Then the Big Wake-Up occurred. Japanese Naval Zeros swept the skies over Soerabaja, easily knocking the Dutch defenders out of the sky. I had only very recently set my Dutch fighter squadrons on CAP because I wanted to discourage long range Japanese bomber raids or paratroop drops. But I wasn't expecting the KB to appear in the waters between Java and Borneo.

The Zero Sweep was only the beginning. Next came the main event, a full-fledged Naval Air assault on the Port and Air Fields at Soerabaja. 107 Vals and 118 Kates flew in and bombed at will. Several Allied PT boats were sunk in port and Dutch sub O20 was bombed and severely damaged in the shipyards.

While the IJN Air arm was taking aim at Soerabaja IJA air attacks continued on Mauban, Temuloh and various isolated Allied straggler units.

The only land attack this turn was done by a lone Japanese Infantry Regiment that captured the long-abandoned city of Kukong in southern China.

Afterwards, Dutch light cruiser Sumatra appeared in the ruins of the Port in Soerabaja. I always wondered why that ship was shown “arriving” at Soerabaja instead of at some off-map base, so I dug around on the Web a bit and found out that the Sumatra actually did go to sea from Soerabaja on January 27, 1942. The ship had been decommissioned in Soerabaja in 1940 and was recommissioned in a rush once the war with Japan started. So in Real Life it was rushed out of the Port and sent to Colombo where it was brought into something resembling combat capability. However, it was eventually expended as a sea wall during the Normandy invasion.

I certainly don't want to let the KB turn Sumatra into a “reef” in Soerabaja Harbor, so I set the ship to try to escape at Full Speed. But I'm having it sail to the south away from the KB.

ADB123 -> The KB vs Batavia (It's even less pretty.) (4/12/2010 1:36:24 AM)

January 27, 1942 -

I find that this Game requires a lot of concentration. In the absence of concentration there are a lot of ways to make silly mistakes. This turn I found a very effective way to make a silly mistake.

The night phase brought more Allied sub action as Japanese TFs sailed all around the DEI. US sub S-40 missed its shots at a big Japanese transport TF near Samerinda and got chased around for its trouble. Then Dutch sub KXIV found a lone Japanese xAKL off of northwestern Borneo and put a torpedo into it.

Then the day phase came and the KB continued its tour of the Java Sea. Somehow last turn I figured that the KB would be sailing towards the Celebes and Timor. But instead the KB sailed the opposite direction and sure enough, a Zero Sweep hit Batavia. The Dutch B-339Ds dove down on the Zeros and damaged a few, but the skill of the Japanese pilots combined with the agility of the Zero turned the tables quickly and the Dutch lost more of their best fighter pilots. Then came the Main Event: 108 Vals and 118 Kates, escorted by 50+ Zeros rained bombs upon the Port and Airfields of Batavia.

Here's where my silly mistake became painful. After the attack on Soerabaja last turn I decided that I would put the PT boats in Batavia into a TF, and send away the MLs and HDMLs that were sitting in the Port. But somehow, (due in part to the typical interruptions that occur during a weekend) I forgot. So the Japanese Naval bombers had a perfect opportunity and made the most of it – sinking all of the little ships in Port – 4 PTs, 2 MLs, and 2 HDMLs. So much for harassing any upcoming landings.

Oh well, it could have been worse; I could have had “real” combat ships in port. BTW – CL Sumatra got clean away and didn't get much increase in its damage level. So I set it back to Mission speed and sent it on its way to Australia.

Elsewhere, the quiet period in China appears to have ended as a bunch of Sallys attacked a Chinese cavalry unit north of Loyang. There don't appear to be any Japanese troops moving around near the Front, but I guess my opponent couldn't resist the chance to hit an easy target in the open. Next time I'll send my troops on a more northerly route.

The only ground combat was in far southern Burma where a Japanese Infantry unit finally caught up with the British Base Force that had been wandering through the jungle, and forced the Brits to give up.

Finally, to add a somehow appropriately frustrating end note to this turn, I got a message that the West Virginia started to leak again, a couple of days' sailing from Hawaii.

Oh well, such is War.

ADB123 -> The KB vs Palembang (I Can Learn from Mistakes) (4/13/2010 2:13:03 AM)

January 28, 1942 -

The night phase was quiet, except for Dutch sub KXIII missing a DD escort in a Japanese Transport TF off of the northwestern coast of Borneo. KXIII got depth-charged for its trouble in the shallow water, but received minor damage.

The day phase started out with the KB sweeping the skies over Palembang. I haven't had any fighters there in a long time so the Zeros got to fly around and look impressive, but there was nothing there for them to fight. The subsequent Naval Air Attack took place in the afternoon as 92 Kates flew in to bomb the Port. But since I didn't have any ships in the Port the Kates didn't do much damage. I'm assuming that the Kate attack occurred in the PM because the Kates were set to Naval Attack with Port Attack as the secondary orders.

The IJA was very busy this turn, with help from land-based IJN planes, as lots of Japanese bombers hit Mauban, Samarinda, Malaybalay, and Temuloh. In New Britain a number of odds-and-ends Japanese planes, including Zeros and even Jakes, bombed the Lark Battalion survivors who had stumbled into Japanese occupied Gasmata. Afterwards the Japanese troops at Gasmata kicked the Australian troops back into the jungle.

There was also a lot of Japanese Recon over the Front Lines in China and over the Dutch controlled bases in the DEI.

Oroquiota was captured unopposed by a small Japanese armoured regiment, leaving only one base still under US control in Mindanao.

It looks as if the Japanese troops that have been waiting outside of Singapore are finally starting to get on the move towards the city. I guess that I'll find out if my opponent has adjusted the marching orders for his troops so that large combat units arrive first rather than fast and small recon units that can be Shock Attacked back over the Causeway. But I'm not going to try to be “cute” about Shock Attacks on the incoming Japanese units – I tried that in my parallel game against the AI and I guessed wrong and lost half of the Combat Troops in the city in one unfortunate attack.

ADB123 -> The KB Takes a Pass on Singapore (But the IJA Doesn't) (4/14/2010 1:44:41 AM)

January 29, 1942 -

A quiet night...

Daylight brought the usual Japanese bombing campaign – Mauban, Malaybalay, Samarinda and the remnants of the Lark Battalion in New Britain. Then Japanese bombers attempted to bomb Singapore.

The first attack consisted of 52 Sallys at 15,000 feet. One Sally was shot down, 31 were damaged, and the British anti-tank unit suffered a handful of casualties. Next another 25 Sallys came in at 12K and attacked the port, causing a couple of points of damage and suffering a bunch of damaged planes. This sure beats sending Buffalos up after the bombers and taking the chance that the Buffalos will be swept out of the air. (A bunch of Oscars accompanied the second Sally attack.)

One thing that surprised me was that another bunch of Sallys flew all the way up north to hit a British Base Force that is in the jungle a hex from Lashio. I've always wondered at this sort of thing – just how does an Opponent spot a small unit in the jungle hundreds of miles away? I've always assumed that the AI just “cheats”, but it seems very strange in PBEM. Oh well, once the Base Force reaches Lashio in a few turns I'll put some Hurricanes there and the Sally pilots won't want to fly in that region again.

The afternoon brought a number of Bettys out over Samarinda. I wonder if they were on Naval Attack orders and switched to a Secondary target in the afternoon. In any event, with the KB back in Stealth mode there is no way that I am sending any of my remaining combat ships into the DEI, regardless of what the Bettys are attacking.

Finally, at the end of the day a Japanese combat unit started to land at Sorong.

BTW – the West Virginia returned safely to Pearl Harbor without any increase in damage levels. I'll leave it on Pierside repairs for a week or so and try again afterwards to send it to San Francisco.

ADB123 -> Only Sorong (4/16/2010 2:55:36 AM)

January 30, 1942 -

Things continued to be reasonably quiet as my opponent consolidates his position in the DEI and I build up my forces in the Backwaters of the Pacific. Some no-name base called Siquijor was occupied automatically during the night, and the Japanese invasion TF at Sorong continued to off-load troops. The Dutch Base Force at Sorong is so pitiful that it can't even shoot back at a couple of nearly-unarmed ships. The only other night action was Dutch sub KXV getting chased away from the waters near Miri by some Japanese DDs.

Daylight brought the same bombing patterns as we've seen for the past little while. Japanese bombers first hit the pretty much defenceless trapped Allied units at Mauban, Samarinda, Malaybalay and Temuloh. Then several large groups of Sallys hit Singapore and were roughed up by Flak for their trouble.

There was one Japanese air attack in China – a little Chinese HQ unit that has already been kicked around several times was bombed a couple of hexes from the safety of a Chinese base. This is the last of the mass of wayward Chinese units that started out the game as easy target practice for the Japanese Air Force. All the rest are out of the open.

At the end of the turn Sorong was captured by a very small SNLF unit and a small, generic Japanese engineering unit. I guess that my opponent wants to build up Sorong a bit.

In any event, we are about to reach another long hiatus in this game, as I will be without a Game PC for the last two weeks of April. I may get in one more turn tomorrow, but otherwise it will be May before I once again return to my glacially paced pbem. This is definitely turning into the Thirty Years War. It's a good thing that my opponent is very patient.

ADB123 -> Back at it, again (5/4/2010 9:45:57 PM)

January 31, 1942 –

Wow! That was a long break from the Game. But I’m back, and back at it against my opponent.

The night phase of the last day in January 1942 started out with some dot base called Maiana being occupied by the Japanese. Then some sub action started on both sides.

First off, Dutch sub KXI took a shot and missed a PB in a big Japanese TF off of Balikpapan. That TF included TKs, AKs, and an AV, as well as PB escorts. The Japanese escorts punished the Dutch sub for its miss and hit it a couple of times. So now KXI is on its way back to Soerabaja for temporary repairs.

Next, Japanese sub I19 took a shot at a US DMS just off of Hawaii and missed. In turn the US escorts in the big transport TF chased after the Japanese sub, hitting it once or twice. More importantly, my Transport TF reached Pearl Harbor safely.

The a BIG surprise arrived at Palembang as a very large and strong Japanese Surface Combat TF showed up to challenge the handful of Dutch PT boats that were on patrol in the area. The Japanese TF consisted of 5 CAs, a CL, and 8 DDs. All five Dutch PT boats were blown out of the water at long distance and none of them got any shots off at the Japanese. Afterwards the Japanese cruisers fired off a strong naval bombardment of Palembang which caused significant damage. I guess that a Japanese Invasion force will be on its way to Palembang soon.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese air attacks on Mauban, Malaybalay, Samarinda and Temuloh, but it also brought a number of air attacks on Palembang, which reinforces my expectation of an imminent invasion there. All I can hope is that my Dutch engineers will get the time and luck to destroy some of the Facilities at Palembang once the invasion occurs.

Otherwise, things were quiet with no Japanese Ground attacks anywhere. Bataan and Singapore remain isolated but not under active attack. This is fine for the troops at Singapore who have lots of Supply, but the troops at Bataan are running out of supplies. The situation in China also remains stable. I continue to stand down my Chinese troops and have now stopped reinforcements to the Chinese in the hopes of stabilizing the Supply situation there. Reinforcements continue to arrive in India and the Hawaiian Islands.

Two US CVs will arrive at Cape Town next turn. I will see where they can provide the biggest surprise to the Japanese forces in the region. (I have oilers already in the region, so I will be able to fuel my CVs away from the usual places.)

And with the February 1 turn coming up I have a number of ships that will be receiving upgrades. I am doing the great majority of the upgrades far, far from the Front Lines because I don’t want to be caught by the KB sailing in to hit places like the East Coast of Oz, New Zealand, or Ceylon. (If my opponent wants the KB to venture near Pearl Harbor I’ll be glad to test out my new defences there.)

ADB123 -> Singapore Assaulted! (5/6/2010 2:04:06 AM)

February 1, 1942 -

The night phase was unusually quiet in the sense that no empty Allied bases were occupied by the Japanese. The only action during the night was Dutch sub KXV that was run over by a Japanese Surface Combat TF near Singkawang. Fortunately for the Dutch, the Japanese DDs in the SC TF didn't find their mark.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese air bombardments of Mauban, Palembang, Samarinda and Temuloh. But then a Daitai of Sallys flew over Singapore for the first time in quite a while and bombed the defenders. As in the past, the AA defences did a good job, damaging most of the Japanese planes and shooting down several. For some reason the Sallys only bombed the British Anti-Tank unit that is sitting in Singapore. That's been the same thing each time they have flown in to attack. I can't figure out why that particular unit is singled out.

In the midst of the Japanese bombing raids there were a couple of interesting Japanese Recon flights too. There was yet another Recon over Akyab – that has been going on for a little while now. And there was a Recon flight out of Port Moresby over Coen in the far northeast of Australia. Is my opponent considering a Paratroop drop out to start an attack on Australia? (It would be nice if SIGINT would give me a hint of some sort, but it still isn't giving me any useful information.)

Then just as it seemed that things would end up nice and quiet the Japanese Army got into action in a BIG way. A huge Japanese Army moved across the Singapore Causeway to attack the Defenders. There were four Divisions, at least a half dozen Infantry Regiments, a half dozen Combat Engineering Units, and seven or eight Artillery units for a total of 92,000 Japanese troops. The only units that weren't there were Armoured units. (I think that the Japanese Armoured units are chasing my stragglers near Temuloh.)

The Japanese Shock Attack was quite successful, getting a 1:1 result and knocking the Fortifications down from 4 to 3. The Japanese took 5590 casualties against 4759 casualties for the Allied defenders. This result likely means that the Japanese attackers will be in position to do their next attack in another turn or two. So Singapore's days as an Allied Stronghold are very numbered. Therefore, I went through the Leaders of the Allied units at Singapore and pulled out the good leaders that I had put in a while back. My opponent didn't make any “rookie” moves during his assault, so there is no chance that my Defenders can hold out no matter who is leading them.

But that was only the beginning, as the Japanese Infantry Regiment and Recon Regiment that have been besieging my troops at Mauban finally attacked. The Japanese troops achieved a 3:1 result and drove the Fortifications down to Level 1, so the base ought to fall on the next attack. And finally, two Japanese SNLF units along with two Japanese Infantry Battalions kicked out the Dutch stragglers who had been occupying Samarinda for the past while. As is typical of the Dutch units, they retreated instead of surrendering, so my opponent will be able to use them for Target Practice for some time yet.

And there will be more action to follow soon as Japanese troops appeared at Toungoo in Burma this turn. I don't have any defenders there, but I will send some B-17s for Target Practice. We'll see if the Weather cooperates.

But all is not bad news – the TF containing Yorktown and Saratoga arrived and refuelled at Cape Town this turn. I set them up for Battle and sent them out to Diego Garcia and whatever opportunities present themselves in the upcoming month.

ADB123 -> An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 1:37:25 AM)

February 2, 1942 -

The night phase was totally devoid of action of any sort. Considering that any action is unlikely to benefit my current plans, I don't mind that at all.

Daylight brought the usual air action. One thing that interested me was that once again my Patrol planes were spotting more Japanese subs than usual around the Hawaiian Islands. And equally unusual, my Patrol planes haven't spotted any Japanese subs off of the West Coast for quite some time.

Japanese bombers flew against the “regular” targets – Malaybalay, Palembang, Mauban, Temuloh, and the Samarinda refugees. The skies over Singapore were quiet as my opponent's Sallys recovered from the Flak Trap over Singapore last turn.

Once again Japanese Recon flew over Ichang. I can't figure out why my opponent is doing this. If he wanted to keep Ichang he could have by just leaving in his good troops and sending more early on. So why is he interested in it now?

There was an interesting Japanese Recon flight in Burma too, over the little, jungle-trapped dot-base of Bhamo. If the Japanese Recon was good it would have noticed that there is a Burmese Infantry unit sitting there. Bhamo controls the jungle road between Lashio and Myitkyina, and I don't intend to let a simple Paratroop drop cut off that road. (I also have AVG squadrons in both bases, which will help to control any Paradrops in that region.)

One of the Game's Strange Moments occured this turn as my B-17s from Calcutta flew off to attack the Japanese troops that had marched into Toungoo last turn. But for some reason the Forts flew and hit a Japanese AF Construction Ballalion located at 57,56. Toungoo is located at 57,50.

Huh? Did the Forts overfly their target by 300+ miles to hit a unit that I can't spot on the map? Or is Fog of War that strange?

In any event, a lone Oscar attempted to intercept the Forts, but it couldn't do anything other than to distract them. So the bombers missed their target on the ground as well as missing their bombing point. I'm sending them out again next turn to see if they can find the Air Field at Toungoo. (I've been flying a British Recon unit over Toungoo too, so I should be getting some Intel about it.)

The Land Combat phase started and I was surprised to see the Japanese besiegers of Singapore fire off an Artillery attack instead of attempting another assault. The Arty attack was ineffective and both sides took a handful of casualties.

Next the Japanese troops at Mauban finally captured the base and accepted the surrender of the two Philippine Divisions that had been trapped there for so long. Now my opponent has to decide what to do about Bataan.

And Toungoo was captured by a small Japanese Infantry unit. There was no sign of an AF Construction unit in the attack. So the whole affair remains baffling.

Things will liven up for Palembang soon as a Japanese transport TF was spotted between Singkawang and Palembang. I am sending my last PT boat flotilla towards Palembang. It consists of US and British PT boats, with the best skippers available. Maybe they will get lucky. On the other hand, a big Japanese Surface Combat TF was spotted at Singkawang too, so the chance for “glory” for my PT boys may be very brief and very painful.

Finally, an old Bug reappeared at a very inconvenient time – the CV TF containing Saratoga and Yorktown that just left Cape Town for Diego Garcia is now showing it's Trip Distance in the “red”, and it won't let me change the Home Base from Colombo. The TF screen says that the TF will pop out in the Indian Ocean in 9 days, so maybe I'll get lucky and whatever has goofed up in the database will fix itself. (I've seen the same thing in the past in AI games with CV TFs going from Balboa to San Diego.) But until I see the TF in the clear I am going to be on edge. This is not how I want to use my Carriers...

jonreb31 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 4:34:28 AM)

I'm very dissapointed, you aren't doing nearly bad enough for your enemy to reach San Diego and live up to your thread's name. [:D]
This AAR reminds me a lot of when I first picked up WiTP. You'll be learning new things constantly.

Fairly good that up to February Singapore is still holding and Bataan is only under a light siege. This'll keep quite a few of his troops tied up which is obviously slowing down his advance.

Also it could be interesting to see screenshots of the current information screen and a list of sunk ships.

ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 11:06:36 AM)



I'm very dissapointed, you aren't doing nearly bad enough for your enemy to reach San Diego and live up to your thread's name. [:D]
This AAR reminds me a lot of when I first picked up WiTP. You'll be learning new things constantly.

Fairly good that up to February Singapore is still holding and Bataan is only under a light siege. This'll keep quite a few of his troops tied up which is obviously slowing down his advance.

Also it could be interesting to see screenshots of the current information screen and a list of sunk ships.

Ah, good point about screen caps; I'll have to take some later on today and post them. The Sunk Ship list is still basically all of those ships that were caught and sunk in the Sulu Sea during the first week or so of the game, along with the Repulse and PoW. And FoW keeps on trying to convince me that Kaga sank thanks to one torpedo, but I'll believe that when I see the diver photos... [;)]


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:44:51 PM)

Okay, here is the Intel screen as of February 3, 1942. As you can see, my losses have been reasonable, other than the Slaughter in the Sulu Sea early on which accounts for the majority of the Allied ships that have been sunk.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:46:40 PM)

Here are the Allied ships sunk, in order of point value. As you can see, the PoW and Repulse are the only significant combat ships lost so far.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:48:00 PM)

Here are the Japanese ships sunk according to FoW. There is no way that I believe that Kaga is sunk, but I think that the rest of the list is fairly accurate.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:49:47 PM)

Here are the major damaged Allied ships. The Pearl Harbor BBs survived, but they aren't doing any fighting for some time yet. And I still want to get the rest of them out of Pearl and over to the West Coast ports. All I need is time.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:52:20 PM)

Here are the air losses. Note that most of my losses are P-40s. I deliberately pulled out the older US planes and used them to fill out back water air units so that I could get better planes to the Front. I have also deliberately not thrown away Buffalos if I can help it. They are good for replacing Hurricanes in British units that I have to withdraw early.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:53:39 PM)

Here are my air pools. Notice that I have been stockpiling P-40s. That is because I will be getting back a number of withdrawn units soon, and I want to fill out the good ones with P-40s.


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:57:46 PM)

Here's the current situation in China:


ADB123 -> RE: An Old Bug Re-appears at a Poor Time (5/7/2010 9:58:39 PM)

Here's the current situation in Burma:


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