Ocean of (Allied) Blood. (Full Version)

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yubari -> Ocean of (Allied) Blood. (6/13/2010 3:58:02 PM)

Welcome to an allied only AAR of my war against FatR using scenario 70, the Reluctant Admiral. This scenario gives Japan a number of advantages. At the start, three Japanese light carriers are placed in a fast movement task force at Badelbaob. Each carrying a full complement of Zeroes, this enables them to dominate the British and Dutch air forces early in the game. Using this carrier force for support, Japan was able to land at Mersing on the 3rd turn, and at Palembang a couple of turns later. Also at the start, the Japanese battleships start deployed forwards, and a couple of divisions that normally start in Japan are situated in Indochina, allowing a much faster earlier advance for the Japanese.

Other advantages that Japan receives are a reorganisation of the carriers to be built. Out goes the Taiho and Shinano, these are replaced by three enhanced Shokaku class carriers, to come in at various points during 1943. Japan also gets a couple of extra heavy and light cruisers as well as two extra battlecruisers. Another big change is that Japan gets better AA guns for their ships later in the game. Japanese naval fighters arrive earlier than in stock as well, and are faster. Finally, Japanese army fighters gain from small speed increases.

Japan also has disadvantages compared to stock. The starting pile of supplies and fuel is smaller, and the demands of its increased industry greater. Additionally (and this seems to be a bug in our version of the mod), the Chinese start off hugely more powerful than in the stock game. All in all, this mod should give the allied player a much harder challenge in defeating the Japanese.

We are playing with a minimum of house rules. The two main ones are that restricted units are not allowed to cross national boundaries, and that fighter sweeps cannot be performed at an altitude higher than at which they have their maximum manoueverability. This is an excellent rule that removes much of the, I think, unfair advantage that fighters on sweep have and leads to a much more realistic air war. I would recommend all players to use it.

Let us take a look at the scores so far, on the 11th January turn.


PaxMondo -> RE: Ocean of (Allied) Blood. Yubari (A) vs. FatR (J) (6/13/2010 4:01:19 PM)

<oops> [8|]

yubari -> RE: Ocean of (Allied) Blood. Yubari (A) vs. FatR (J) (6/13/2010 4:03:58 PM)

This has been by far the most violent game of WITP that I have ever played. The Mini KB with 3 light carriers was near Palembang by turn three of the game sinking a couple of British cruisers and numerous tankers. A micro KB of two escort carriers was also in action in the Philippines, and the Japanese battleships, which start deployed much closer to the action in this mod were used aggressively in the Philippines and DEI.

Facing such a formidable naval presence, I decided to attack aggressively with the surface units that start in the DEI. On the 15th December, a British task force of the CLs Mauritius and Danae with 3 destroyers escorting attacked what looked to be a transport fleet at Jolo and ended up sinking nearly 20 ships, before itself being destroyed by the Fuso and Yamashiro. The day after, the Marblehead task force sailed into Badelbaob harbour, and in the biggest victory of the was so far for the allies sunk the CSs Chitose and Mizuho. All but one of the destroyers escaped. Finally, CV Lexington attacked a Japanese task force near Kendari, which turned out to contain 4 Japanese battleships. Unfortunately at 6 hexes range, all of the 13 bomb hits scored against the battlewagons bounced off causing little to no damage. I think that all of these ships are still in the DEI. Also in the DEI is what I think is the entire Japanese carrier force, possibly still searching for Force Z and the allied carriers, all of which have long left the theatre.

I intend to use the period of time that the KBs location is known for two purposes; bringing planes and troops into the south Pacific area, Samoa and Fiji in particular, and of launching a hit and run raid with the US carrier force.

yubari -> RE: Ocean of (Allied) Blood. Yubari (A) vs. FatR (J) (6/13/2010 4:14:30 PM)


I have played very badly here, and allowed the Japanese to retreat my troops on 2 separate occasions. A division surrendered at San Fernando, and nearly 500AV of troops were destroyed when a Japanese shock attack at Manila acheived 3 to 1 odds. This was particularly upsetting, as all of the troops were at 45 miles of the way to Clark. Both times, I was caught out by a new division arriving unexpectedly. Cagayan on Mindanao still stands strong, and has twice defeated Japanese deliberate attacks. 10 submarines are trying to keep the place supplied.


The Japanese have just arrived at Singapore with a large force, 5 divisions. With the Japanese landing at Mersing on the third turn, there was no chance to do any kind of forward defence. I expect the city to fall in late January. Japan has tried a shock attack and a deliberate attack and the forts are already down to level 2. The city will probably fall by the end of January.


It is in China where the most action has been. The Japanese have used their bombers to devastating effect to slow down and disrupt Chinese troops fleeing the plains area near Nanyang. Around 4000AV of Chinese troops were destroyed in the fields, and another couple of thousand destroyed in defeats at Nanyang and Loyang. Chinese troops are now fortifying in the mountains north of Nanyang. The Chinese have made gains elsewhere however, taking Ichang very early on and Sinyang in early January. Now, the Chinese are on the attack in the South. With the increased strength of the Chinese, I wonder if they will be able to steamroll Japan and so it might be worth us discussing a ceasefire if that is indeed the case.

Dutch East Indies.
The Japanese took Palembang very early in the game, and have since taken Kendari and Makassar. A landing at Ambon proved unsucessful and the island is still Dutch held. Patrol planes based here are able to scout large areas of ocean.
I think that most of the Japanese navy is in the area at the moment, carrier task forces have been spotted south of Java in the past. Seeing that Java was to be cut off very quickly, all Allied naval assets left the area early in the war.

I am defending forward in Burma largely to get the Japanese to move more assets to the theatre. Moulmein was taken by the Japanese in early January and British forces are setting up fortifications at Toungoo, and air bases at Mandalay and Magwe. I am trying to bring the decent number of Hurricanes that Britain gets in January 1942 into the area as quickly as possible to fight the Japanese airforce, mostly Oscar 1bs and Nates. Destroying these planes over my bases is the best way to kill the pilots, and the Hurricanes are the best planes the allies get until much later in the game.

The air battle

The Japanese have used their bombers incredibly aggressively in ground attack roles and this has enabled them to get some big victories, particularly in China. It has also allowed allied fighters to shoot down a huge number of them. Here are the top scoring allied pilots, from the 30th December turn, when CPT Brownewell became the first triple ace. Is he the fastest ever triple ace?


topeverest -> RE: Ocean of (Allied) Blood. Yubari (A) vs. FatR (J) (6/13/2010 4:17:28 PM)

Your opponent definately is playing agressive response where KB isn't. You have a great opportunity to give back, since he will be out there. Expect agressive counterpunches. get betties and nells into DEI on naval missons. If the pattern remains, your opponent will continue to fight agressively for this area until he loses every ship he has comitted...which probably is his plan. give him a surprise!

yubari -> 12th to 16th January 1942 (6/14/2010 6:54:07 AM)

Welcome Topeverest! I have been playing an aggressive defence, at times it has cost me as in the Philippines and other times I have scored some big successes as at Badelbaob. There are definitely a lot of Nettys and Zeroes in the DEI, in addition to most if not all of the Japanese carriers. The only forces I have are a couple of PT squadrons. Force Z is now at Bombay, and the Lexington is sailing past Suva.

The big news of the day is the appearance of Japanese carriers near Perth. They are spotted ten hexes from Perth on the 15th and then even further south for the 16th. From the number of planes reported, it looks to be anywhere between four and six carriers. I am very pleased for the carriers to be here; there is nothing of any value in range and it allows my units freedom of movement. The second point is very important. The Enterprise, Saratoga and Yorktown are close to Hokkaido and will be sailing past the Kuriles tomorrow in an attempt to sink merchant shipping in the area.

Chinese troops arrive at Chaochow and take the city, it having been abandoned by the Japanese. Chinese troops also arrive at Nanchang but the city contains a full strength Japanese division and Chinese troops are ordered to retreat. In the north, Japanese troops launch an attack at Tsiaotso which gets 1 to 1 odds, destroying the level 1 forts but causes the Japanese much higher casualties. As the city lies in rough wooded terrain, I shall keep the Chinese troops here for the time being. The AVG manages to ambush a small unit of Nates on a strafing raid, shooting down about 8 of them. The Japanese air raids remain massive. On the 16th, there are 409 Japanese combat sorties in China alone.

Burma. the first Hurricanes reach the front line, and a large aerial battle breaks out over their airfield at Magwe. For the loss of 5 Buffaloes and 5 Hurricanes, 5 Oscars and a Tojo are shot down. For the moment I am happy with these ratios, partly because none of the British pilots were killed, and partly because the Hurricane units are due to withdraw soon. Two more Hurricane squadrons are landed at Karachi and should be in the front line within a week. Level 3 fortifications have been completed at Toungoo and the British will fight here, at least for a turn or two to try to slow the Japanese down. The flak at Singapore remains deadly, about 8 IJA bombers are shot down on the 16th as they attack at 11000 feet.

The Japanese take Clark Field on the 14th. The battered allied forces at Bataan number 1075 AV and have no spare supplies. With 1708 Japanese AV at Clark Field, the siege will be over very quickly indeed, probably by the end of January.

Dutch East Indies
Lots of action here. More carriers are spotted on the 15th south of Koepang. The Japanese bombard and then launch an invasion of that town on the 14th, taking the base with their first attack. Ambon remains Dutch controlled. The Nagato leads a large bombardment task force there on the 16th, and another infantry regiment is dropped off on the same day.
On the 13th, Japanese Zeroes launch a sweep over Soerabaja and take a fearful toll on the defending Dutch fighters. 14 are shot down and another 7 are written off for the loss of just 2 Zeroes. Evidently control of the air over all of Java has been lost. Worse is to come as Bettys and Nells attack on the next day, sinking a PT, a small support ship and damaging a couple of subs that were in harbour there. Allied forces launch a couple of small attacks, Martins missing an xAK at Miri, and Catalinas putting a dud torpedo into the side of CA Ashigara.
With the relative ineffectiveness of Japanese bombers against large airfields so far, the Dutch fighter force will stay mostly grounded until the Java invasion fleet has been spotted. I expect Java to be invaded within the next 2 weeks.

Japan is starting to scout the area around Darwin, and I expect an invasion here soon. Japan lands a regiment at Horn Island and takes the base on the 16th January. 4 Japanese CAs sink a force of a small PG and 4xAKLs that had delivered supplies to Darwin.

Japanese future planes.
I am unable as yet to determine the main axis of the Japanese attack. Units have been spotted preparing for Suva, Midway and Perth, but these could certainly be merely false propaganda. I would be strongly tempted to fight a carrier battle in defence of any of these three places.
Here is the world map. Note the Japanese carriers near Perth and the US carriers near the Kuriles.


topeverest -> RE: 12th to 16th January 1942 (6/14/2010 2:53:54 PM)

Humble pie for me! I thought you were the Empire...

Since you are allied, I think you are doing exactly the right thing in DEI. Agressive defenses are the most effective way I know to turn the tide. I am curious about your raid on Hokkaido. Sahkalin is just as important and more exposed. Taking the outermost Kuril islands are both doable and very damaging to the Japanese early efforts, but youprobably only get one surprise shot at them. either way, he will now be forced to think about the raid the whole game. Dont get too greedy there. Let me suggeest keeping the CV's back and run in a bunch of expendable DD and CL's in close - but do raid by air somewhere so he knows you brought your A game. I woudl also stock a few DD's at points along the expected Jap island campaign. Make your opponent feel he has to bring KB every time he invades, and the war is already half won.

As far as KB down by Perth, that is very odd if it isnt your green air search crews. I can't imagine what he could be doing down there, as it is too early to have an invasion force for Oz. KB can be used far more effectively elsewhere, but what do I know about his intensions...

yubari -> 17th January 1942. (6/14/2010 8:44:19 PM)

Topeverest, I usually play as Japan so the first couple of turns were a bit confusing for me as well, having to learn not to cheer the Zeroes on!

I think that FatR has got stuck into a target fixation mode. The raid of the Lexington, but in particular the Marblehead task force means, I think that he is becoming overly fixated on sinking these ships to the exclusion of sensible strategic analysis. Where he can do the most damage to me at the moment is in the South Pacific, another month or two of being able to build up should make Samoa and Fiji real fortresses and untakable by all but the strongest of invasion forces. I have a couple of lone cruisers wandering the South Pacific as well following your suggestion. Anyway, as todays battle shows, it was most definitely the KB!

A tale of two carrier strikes.

The allied carriers reach a position east of Hokkaido in hope of finding Japanese resource convoys running between Shikuka and Hokkaido. They are not dissappointed and in a number of strikes sink a large number of small PBs and xAKLs in the morning phase. In the afternoon phase they launch a large strike, 51 Dauntless plus 30 Devastators, at a Japanese oil convoy. Absolute carnage ensues and the 16 ships task force is completely destroyed. Most of the ships were small PBs but four of the small Japanese tankers were also sunk. As these ships are the biggest potential bottleneck in the Japanese logistical pipeline, this is a good result.
The strike is not over however. Having dished out some damage, the US carriers now have to make good their escape. The carriers will be slowly withdrawing to the east but I had a bit of a panic attack immediately after sending the turn. I expect that Japanese has withdrawn most of its aircraft further south, but what if a couple of Zero squadrons remain, and the Japanese have brought in air headquarters units into Hokkaido. I await the next turn with a certain amount of trepidation.

The Japanese strike.

The Japanese launch a huge strike against Perth harbour with 112 Kates of the best trained Japanese aviators around screaming into attack carrying their deadly 800kg bombs. The two coastal minesweepers that were stationed in Perth are sunk almost instantly. The combat replay suggested that the carriers involved were the Shokaku, Soryu, Hiryu, Zuiho and Shoho.

The usual huge number of Japanese bomber raids in China. The AVG manages to catch another Japanese raid over Nanchang. Escorting Oscars shoot down 1 of the AVG, but 2 Sallies fall to earth in flames. The AVG squadrons two and three have been hugely successful in China but are now almost out of planes, with around 10 airframes each. I will be taking these units out of the front lines very soon and moving them back to Calcutta to refit into P-40Es, a slight improvement over their current H81s.
Ambon still holds strong. The troops here have held for the past couple of weeks behind their level 2 fortifications, and with the coastal gun battallion there, landing more troops there will be difficult for the Japanese. This base must be becoming really annoying to my opponent.


topeverest -> RE: 17th January 1942. (6/14/2010 10:10:12 PM)

Good showing. This is a big blow to Japanese Psyche, even if there appears to have been no large tankers present. A suicide invasion is the only better thing to do, as you know how lightly held Hoikkado is held early on. My guess is you get out clean. I am also guessing you thought to lag in some AO's so you can sprint out. You can send a few long range DD's with a CL from Attu, Adak, or Dutch thorughout the game. Doing it again in a few months will really convince him to divert prescious forces there.

Use up your DEI fleet in similar attacks / defenses. I like to disperse them in small ports and activate them once my opponent commits. It doesnt matter if I lose all of them, because it reinforces his need to escort every invasion, which slows him down further. Let me suggest you attend to Darwin's supply and fuel with Capetown before Timor is history. Agree that Fiji is the logical allied start point.

You have a good set of tricks in your bag.

yubari -> RE: Ocean of (Allied) Blood. Yubari (A) vs. FatR (J) (6/18/2010 7:14:31 PM)

That is an evil idea topeverest, disbanding the Dutch surface forces at some of the small bases in the DEI. It would be impossible for Japan to scout all of them quickly and they would be able to play merry havoc with Japanese shipping in the area. It is too late for me to do that now, but I still have the CL Sumatra to arrive at Soerabaja. With the KB probably still in the vicinity of Java, there is very little chance of it escaping to safety.

Three relatively quiet days

US Carriers.
A task force containing two light cruisers was ordered to bombard Shikuka on the 18th. On the way there it met and quickly sunk two Japanese patrol boats, gaining a significant amount of night experience for most of the ships. Bombardment destroyed about 10 Nates on the ground and damaged around 20 small ships that were stationed in port there. Not wanting to get greedy, I have retreated the US carriers and they are now refueled and about 8 or 9 days away from Pearl. I want to use them on another hit and run raid before the April upgrades if the KB shows itself somewhere else.

Japanese carriers.
There has been no sight of the carrier force that hit Perth for the past three days. I am not entirely unconvinced that he isnt going to send this force to Melbourne. All of the ships that have been repairing there are set to readiness, and will be ready to flee towards Sydney. With a second carrier force that was last spotted near Koepang about a week ago, I am feeling terribly weak in Australia. I dont even have enough patrol planes to provide good enough coverage against a surprise raid.

Burma and Malaysia.
The Japanese are now performing low altitude bombing raids against Singapore and are managing to keep the airfields closed, or at least just about damaged enough so that progress cannot be made on forts. A deliberate attack on the 20th takes the forts down to level 1, and I fear that the end is now not far away. In Burma, the Japanese are now approaching Toungoo with 7 units. I will start withdrawing from there very soon.

Cagayan still holds firm, fending off another Japanese deliberate attack and rebuilding the forts to 1. It is possible that it will survive longer than the garrison at Bataan, where supplies have now completely run out and the Japanese have arrived. The level 3 forts there wont hold them for long.

Dutch East Indies.
After weeks of heavy bombardments from battleships and Bettys, Ambon finally succumbs on the 21st January. On the same day, three cruisers bombard Broome. Somewhat surpsisingly, the Japanese have yet to attack Tarakan or Balikpapan, two of the largest fuel producing bases on the map.

yubari -> 22nd to 26th January. (6/23/2010 9:14:29 AM)

The Japanese are continuing to bomb at low level, 10000 feet, and are suffering heavy losses to flak. Around ten bombers are destroyed by flak on the 24th January turn alone. A deliberate attack on the 24th takes the forts down one level but causes the Japanese twice as many casualties as the defenders. Japanese bombing attacks have been causing airfield damage, which has delayed the construction of forts, they are now only at level 1.

Both Bataan and Cagayan still hold strong. The previous Japanese deliberate attack Bataan forts from level 3 to 2. Cagayan is now back to level 2 forts and the Japanese will probably need to land at least 200AV more to take this base. Bataan is at level 2 forts and another 2 or 3 deliberate attacks will probably finish it.

A full Japanese division manages to take Toungoo, forcing 180 AV of Allied troops to retreat and causing a brigade to surrender. My troops are now on a full speed retreat to their position at Shwebo. On the 25th, poor weather over Magwe stops the majority of the Hurricanes I have in theatre from flying LRCAP over Toungoo and so the sweeping Zeroes shoot down about 5 planes. I send the RAF Hurricanes on a sweep to Toungoo but the battle is inconclusive. I had hoped to shoot down quite a few planes with the Hurricanes, but short range and poor weather has meant that they have been ineffective. I will be withdrawing them to India soon.

The US carrier force continues on its journey back to Pearl Harbour. I send an AMC to Paramushiro Jima and it sinks a coastal minesweeper. The loss of the ship is insignficant but it should hopefully encourage the Japanese to send more planes up there and away from the real battles. In the Aleutians, I am beginning to build up a group of bases at Umnak, Cold Bay and Dutch Harbour. There are also float plane bases at Attu and Adak. Most of II US Fighter Command is to be sent over the next month or so.

The Japanese take the city of Tsiaotso in the north of the country. With this base being in rough wooded terrain, and being a supply generator, its loss is somewhat disappointing but inevitable after the Japanese had brought in a massive 4400AV army. In the south of the country, the Chinese take another of the coastal cities, Foochow. The massive Japanese bombing attacks are continuing but with the AVG being upgraded to P-40Es, there is nothing I can do to oppose them. We have also agreed to a house rule of no strategic bombing in China, with the allies also being restricted by strategic bombing not being allowed until 1944.

Dutch East Indies.
Lautem is taken on the 26th to give the Japanese almost complete control over the DEI, except for Java, Western Sumatra and the bases around Tarakan and Balikpapan. The Japanese are now launching regular recon and bombing raids of Northern Australia, though I think that there are no troops available yet for a landing.

Plane losses.
The Japanese are continuing to launch huge bombing raids all over the map, but particularly in China and their plane losses are mounting very quickly indeed. On a typical day they are losing more than 10 planes, mostly to flak or ops losses, and this figure is without any major aerial engagements. How long the Japanese can continue with this level of losses is unclear.

Japanese carriers.
Where are they? There has been no sighting of any of them since the 16th of Jan when Perth was attacked. The mini KB hasnt been spotted since about a week before that. There are two alternatives. 1. They are having short refurbishment periods before the landing on Java. 2. They are in transit to launch a surprise attack at an unknown location; Ceylon, South Pacific, Melbourne and Sydney, Pearl Harbour?

topeverest -> RE: 22nd to 26th January. (6/23/2010 12:11:16 PM)

I would not expect that enemy plane / pilot losses will amount to any material advantage to you in the first 150 days, but it is good to use the AA units wherever you can. Buffalos are good for a few sweeps too, if you plan them right. I wouldnt waste time trying to bomb enemy bases.

As far as KB, your opponent's raiding of Perth was either a huge gamble that you would be in heavy supply mode there, or a deliberate attempt to throw you off. What seems most likely to me is that he will be securing his northen flank with KB, and use mini KB to get deeper into DEI. Everything else seems pretty in order for him, even if he seems pretty far advanced in Burma. That said, the Empire seems to be being played pretty eratically, perhaps on purpose. It is at that point in the game where he could have a large invasion force for Oz - or elsewhere about to strike. Pay close attention to signal intel and your spotting in the event you can either make it painful or actually stop it.

Think carefully on your battleplan if you intend to meet KB head on. The threat of your carriers is perhaps your best weapon.

yubari -> 27th and 28th January (6/25/2010 1:05:51 PM)

Topeverest, you are exactly right in stating that it will take a long time until I can get any material advantage over the Japanese flyers. What do you mean by securing the Northern flank, the Aleutians? FatR has made very fast progress in Burma, he completely ignored Tavoy at the start of the game, instead taking it with paratroopers.

One of my strategies in this game, with its more powerful IJN is instead to try and destroy the IJAAF, particularly the Lilies, Sallys and Oscars and to try to stay out of range when the Tojos become available. I have already made a long-term plan for the first Allied counter attack which is designed to minimise the opportunity for the IJN to become involved and maximise the chance for the short ranged allied fighters of Autumn 1942 to fight. However it is at least 4 months before I will start preparations for this. I am fully of the opinion that it is worthwhile for the allies to launch their first counter attack before the Japanese have completed their defensive perimeter. The longer that the allies wait before counter-attacking, the stronger the Japanese become.

Japanese carriers
The Japanese carriers are back but fortunately for me, to very little effect. On the 28th, carrier planes and Jakes are spotted by two New Zealand cruisers based near Suva. Evidently poor weather stops them from attacking in the morning phase but 26 Vals attack in the PM phase getting just one bomb hit, which does little damage. There are a few transport ships in the region, but these are nearly all already unloaded. The 2 NZ cruisers plus the CA Peanscola which is at Pago Pago will all make full speed retreats from the area, but a couple of transports are still unloading at Suva and will probably be unable to escape. I have two squadrons of dive bombers plus 50 P-39s at Suva and all are set to attack tomorrow. I would be happy if I even get 1 bomb hit.
The other half of the KB is unspotted now for 12 days. With FatR`s hyper-aggressive play so far, I will retreat the British fleet from Columbo back to Bombay. Hopefully a couple of months of non-stop movement should mean that the Japanese carriers are in need of a refit fairly soon.

The Japanese are continuing to advance in Burma but hopefuly the British should just be able to outrun them, particularly with B-17Ds at Calcutta slowing down the Imperial Guards unit with ground attacks. These attacks are coming at a cost however, with ops losses for the planes coming in fairly high.

The end is nigh at Singapore as the airfield remains closed and forts are only at level 1. At Bataan the situation is just as bad with supplies gone and forts only at level 2. FatR hasnt tried an attack at either base for the past few days, I wonder what he is waiting for.

Relatively quiet for the past few days, but the continual bombing raids go on, getting more and more irritating for me. I cannot wait to get the AVG back into the action; they had to withdraw to the level 6 airfield at Columbo to be able to upgrade to P-40Es which has meant they have been out of action for a couple of weeks now. They should be back in China by the second week of February.

One of the best potential battlegrounds for the allies in early 1942 and the Japanese have shown no interest in it at all, aside from a couple of AMC raids. If he leaves the area until about May then I will be putting a large US force of a couple of divisions onto Adak and Amchitka.

topeverest -> RE: 27th and 28th January (6/27/2010 2:06:36 AM)

I'd get a regiment out to Adak immediately with a CD. Much easier to defend than take it. If he is giving you Adak, get that area strong. I perosnally dont like moving to Attu until I am ready the threaten or feint the northen route. A more aggressive move is to go right at northern Japanese islands.

I am surprised you didnt try to counter raid KB with surface ship combat forces and LBA.

yubari -> RE: 27th and 28th January (6/27/2010 12:27:53 PM)

A good idea topeverest, if only I had the troops available. All of my marine defense batallions are in or en route to the South Pacific. I would be very strongly tempted to try an invasion of the Kuriles in late 1942, but I think that doing that triggers a lot of extra Japanese reinforcements. If it is to be done, then I would only attempt it either in October 1943, when a lot of Essexes, Corsairs and Hellcats are available, or after any battle which gives the allies carrier equality.
You will see how my attempted air strikes against the KB went on next, but I had too few surface ships in the area to really attempt to engage the carriers.

A tale of two carrier strikes, part 2.
The KB is divided into two sections. As best I can tell the Shokaku, Zuikaku, Soryu, Hiryu, Shoho and Zuiho form the main part of the KB, the part which hit Perth. The second part of the KB contains the Akagi, Kaga, Ryujo, Hosho and Chuyo and is in the south pacific. Also potentially available are the Nisshin (which becomes available as a CVL in this mod) and the Junyo (which comes available a lot earlier).

Carrier strike 1.
On the 29th, the main KB launches a strike against Columbo. Fortunately the only ships in harbour were a couple of tankers and a coastal minesweeper, and these are sunk by Kates. Vals manage to destroy a convoy of frigates and minesweepers, these had been moving from Trincomalee to Columbo prior to an escape into the Indian Ocean. A few Kates are shot down by the flak, but most importantly the British fleet is safe, and the 6th Australian Division is around 4 days sail away from Columbo, I want to land this as soon as possible in the event of any Japanese attack on Ceylon. The Japanese force moves towards Port Blair on the 30th and launches no further attacks, but preparations are being made for an attack against Calcutta, over 100 Hurricanes are ready to move in.
Also on the 29th, the Chikuma and Tone meet an evacuation convoy from Sabang and sink 6 of the 10 ships, they had been carrying most of the coastal guns from Medan.

Carrier strike 2.
On the same day, the other half of the KB launches strikes against Suva. The P-39Ds there perform creditably on CAP, shooting down about 8 Zeroes for the loss of 12 of their own. An attempted allied strike on the carriers goes terribly wrong as all of the allied planes fail to co-ordinate. In 4 separate strikes 10 P-39s, 6 Dauntlesses and 6 Vindicators are shot down by the Japanese CAP. I am fortunate that a lot of the unescorted bomber pilots decided to withdraw. On the 30th, the Haruna and Kongo bombard Suva but do almost no damage. The Japanese carrier force heads towards Australia. All ships in Australia are to be moved to relative safety (or the best I can manage) at Sydney, I have around 120 fighters available to protect the harbour, I expect a player as aggressive as FatR to go there looking for more blood. Another potential target is Auckland and it is being evacuated.

At Pearl Harbour, the US carrier force has completed refueling and replenishing its planes, and is heading to the South Pacific, some 10 days sail away. Sigint notes a unit preparing for Johnston Island.

Singapore is back up to level 1 forts, the 25 or so Japanese bombers on airfield attack failing to do significant damage. Could it finally be that the huge bomber losses are causing FatR problems? Bataan is still unattacked and with level 2 forts. Submarines are bringing in more supplies.

A dreadful mess. Japanese tanks take Magwe on the 30th and look to be trying to cut my troops off at Mandalay. I shall try to use my Blenheims on ground attack to slow them down but foresee a big defeat.

One side effect of taking the Chinese coastal cities is that it allows my S-Boats to refuel there. I might be able to use these valuable ships in the South china sea for a while if FatR doesnt realise what is going on. In Northern china, there is a 24 unit stack at Nanyang. Is it heading towards Nanyang, Sinyang or Sian? Chinese bombers on recon are trying to determine.

Dutch East Indies.
The Nagato, Mutsu, Ise and Hyuga bombard Tarakan and a regiment is landed here, the coastal guns doing decent damage to a Japanese CA and a couple of destroyers. A shock attack takes the base the next day. I am sending patrol planes to try and pick up the survivors and take them to Balikpapan.

Plane losses.
The allies lose about 60 planes in these 2 turns to take them up to total losses of 865. The Japanese lose just under 40 but now have total losses of around 1030. It really is utter carnage.

yubari -> 1st to 4th February 1942 (7/5/2010 6:38:47 AM)

Some difficult turns for the allies.

The Japanese take Bataan on the 4th with a shock attack, 1806 Japanese AV managing to destroy 781 AV behind level 1 forts with just 1 attack. At Cagayan, the Japanese launch shock attacks on the 3rd and the 4th. The Japanese have nearly 700 AV at this hex, including the Guards Mixed Brigade and take the forts down to level 0 with the first attack, and get a 1 to 1 odds attack on the next attempt.
It is interesting to note that the Guards Mixed Brigade was last used in the invasion of Port Moresby about a month ago, evidently there are few spare troops around the DEI.

A Japanese shock attack on the 4th takes the forts down to level 0 causing 5000 allied casualties and 3000 Japanese. The airfield is still slightly damaged, so it seems unlikely that the forts will be rebuilt again. The base will fall within a few days.

The Japanese invade Tarakan and take it quickly. 4 Battleships assisted with a bombardment just beforehand. Balikpapan is surely the next target and a major source of fuel. A unit is spotted to be preparing for Soerabaja, surely the Japanese wont be landing straight here? There is an almost welcome reappearance of the main KB about 4 hexes west of Batavia on the 4th February. I shall use this time to try to bring in the Australian 7th? Division to Columbo.

South Pacific.
For two days on the 3rd and 4th, torpedo bombers are spotted in Sydney harbour, and I have to assume that the smaller KB is in the area. All the fighters I have available in Australia are defending Sydney and Melbourne harbours and nearly all of the ships in Australia are in relative safety here. I feel truly feeble having to defend like this.

All action here as the Japanese open up two new lines of advance. A large army is moving towards Sian. A massive Chinese army is preparing to meet them in the rough wooded hex to the south east of Sian. A defeat here would mean complete disaster in China.
In the south, there are 3 units heading towards Pucheng. More units are heading here from Shanghai. In retaliation, the Chinese are marching on Nanchang again with 6 full strength corps, and the AVG is back in theatre to try to shoot down around 60 Sonia and Anns which attack these troops every day.

US carriers.
The Saratoga was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine near Pearl Harbour a few days ago, but the damage was not severe, system damage went to about 25 and there were a couple of points of flotation and engine damage. After much thought, I decided to continue her, along with the Enterprise Yorktown and Lexington towards the South Pacific. If the main part of the KB (Hiryu, Soryu, Shokaku and Zuikaku) is still known to be in the DEI, I shall try to fight a carrier battle against the Kaga and Akagi.

Planes lost.
The Japanese have now lost 1069 planes and are using Marys in the front lines. Hopefully the Japanese bomber pool is really limited. The return of the AVG to action in China with shiny new P-40Es should hopefully increase the losses further.

Shock attacks.
Having seen the power of shock attacks, I think that if I were to start another game, I would have some kind of house rules to limit the frequency of their use. Maybe they can only be used when a deliberate attack has been performed in the previous four turns. Otherwise they seem to be far too powerful and can overwhelm even strong fortifications very quickly indeed. Of course, shock attacks will be very useful when the allies come to attack.

topeverest -> RE: 1st to 4th February 1942 (7/5/2010 6:01:09 PM)

The constant raiding by KB will serve to bleed his trained pilots unneccisarily. IMO that plays into the allied hands. I would not be in a hurry to have a fleet battle with KB, but if you can nail half of it with your whole force, that is a good goal to have. counter surface combat seems to work the best for me in early months.

the threat of American CV's is more important than fighting them. If you want to announce your CV's you might want to raid Kwajalein or invade an island in the outer marshall chain right after you certify the KB is elsewhere. risk to be sure, but also plenty of reward.

Your opponent seems to have a fast and loose strategy that you can exploit through sudden aggressive counterpunches.

yubari -> 5th to 7th February 1942 (7/7/2010 5:07:12 PM)

You are reading my mind topeverest. With no sign of the Japanese carriers since their strike at Suva, I am instead sending the US fleet to raid Kwajalein. Hopefully there are still no Zeroes in the Marshalls, Zero losses have so far been fairly heavy

The Japanese are currently conducting two major campaigns in China. In the north there are nearly 6500AV of Chinese troops sitting one hex south east of Sian. The Japanese now have 18 units in the hex and another three are on the march. Hopefully the wooded and rough terrain will enable the Chinese to survive an expected Japanese onslaught in the next turn or two.
In the South the situation is somewhat more fluid. Two Japanese divisions try a deliberate attack against Pucheng and the Chinese defenders hold, even keeping forts at level 1. There are 8 more units heading in what looks to be a westerly direction. Are they trying to block all of the Chinese units in? The Chinese also are advancing, I have 6 corps moving towards Pucheng, and this should block the Japanese troops in the hex. In the air, the AVG returns back in theatre and gets 9 Sallys, 3 Kates and 3 Sonias over Pucheng.

I had one of those terrible moments where I think I forgot to input an order and so I think that I have left an Indian Brigade to be destroyed in Shwebo. The Japanese have taken Mandalay and continue their inexorable march. Most of the rest of the allied units have been railed out to Katha. I will leave them there so it forces the Japanese to send a decent amount of troops to take the base.

The KB is just south of Java and launches a number of attacks on the Java airfields on the 5th; there are now very few operational planes left in Java which is fortunate as there are also very few operational airfields as well. On the 6th, a number of search planes are shot down, an estimate of 6 Vals and 3 Kates.
The Japanese land completely by surprise on Java, at Loemadjang near the eastern end of the island. For some reason none of the naval search planes spotted them. It is a surprisingly small landing force, with just one regiment in the initial wave. I plan to send a large Dutch force of around 500AV to contest the base for two reasosns; i. I think that there are very few available Japanese troops within range of Java as yet and ii. I hope that FatR will use his carrier planes to attack these troops. I think it unlikely that the Dutch will be able to take this base back again, but I can at least try. On the sea, the Dutch PT boat fleet sorties and fights a series of battles. It first meets and retreats from the KB (with 4CVs and 2CVLs) and is then destroyed by a cruiser task force in four separate battles.
Elsewhere, Kuching finally fell on the 6th February, the only significant base left outside of Java is Balikpapan.
There have been no further attacks at Singapore and forts are back up to level 2.

The Japanese are marching back to Manila and minesweepers have already cleared out the mines from Bataan. At Cagayan, the Allies amazingly continue to hold the hex despite being outnumbered nearly 4 to 1. It is one of the few bright spots in what has been a difficult start to the game.

Troop buildup is continuing here as more artillery and flak is brought into Umnak. I have scraped around the US and come up with a force of tanks, a batallion and a small coastal defence unit and I will try to take these into Adak at the end of February, more troops transports are en route to Seattle now to facilitate it. An excellent idea Topeverest.


topeverest -> RE: 5th to 7th February 1942 (7/7/2010 7:40:54 PM)

Raiding Marshalls (Kwaj & Roi Nam) is pretty darn easy. You can sprint in at speed 9 with the CV's and send a few DD/cl convoys ahead. Coming in from the NE is the easyiest, especially if Wake is still yours. You might even raid Wake on the same day with a different force if it isnt. Best if you bring enough carriers to keep 50 wildcats in CAP and send subs in advance. That will minimize any potential air threat there.

Until you verify your opponent puts KB in a central threat location, there definately is a calculated risk opprtunity to take a few assets early. Taking into account this risk, if KB is spotted elsewhere and you have a bonified invasion fleet, Assaulting the furthest Empire expansion in the gilberts is always an option. Their size allows for 2 whole divisions to hold one of the 30K capacity islands...virtually impossible to dislodge if you commit to the defense. February 42 is pretty darn early to do this, but the empire is almost certainly not prepared.

dare i say you have a rare early war option. I will eagerly await your AAR.

yubari -> 8th February 1942 (7/8/2010 10:58:30 AM)

The situation is somewhat odd in the Marshalls as Japan hasnt taken either Nauru or Ocean Islands yet. I wonder if that is being done deliberately to try to get me to launch a premature invasion in the area. Wake fell early so it makes the approach to Kwajalein a little more difficult, I will have to hope that the Japanese search planes perform as poorly as mine have so far. I dont think I dare risk an invasion yet, particularly so close to a decent Japanese port at Kwajalein. I would certainly be tempted were the KB to be spotted near India in the next month or two.

A tremendous day for the allies, possibly the best of the war so far. South of Sian, the Japanese immediately launch a shock attack on the Chinese fortified position and suffer a terrible defeat, as shown in the combat report here.

Ground combat at 84,42
Japanese Shock attack
Attacking force 101072 troops, 863 guns, 796 vehicles, Assault Value = 3795
Defending force 188396 troops, 1112 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 6468
Japanese adjusted assault: 1072
Allied adjusted defense: 13219
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 12

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), experience(-)
Attacker: shock(+), disruption(-)

Japanese ground losses:
19502 casualties reported
Squads: 208 destroyed, 844 disabled
Non Combat: 27 destroyed, 1279 disabled
Engineers: 13 destroyed, 128 disabled
Vehicles lost 504 (12 destroyed, 492 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
3921 casualties reported
Squads: 18 destroyed, 337 disabled
Non Combat: 26 destroyed, 392 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 8 disabled

That makes the equivalent of three divisions disabled in one day. I was surprised to see a shock attack launched immediately, without even a bombardment as reconnaissance. This victory should safeguard Northern China.
In the south, the Chinese are moving quickly towards Pucheng, the site of the battle last turn and the Japanese dont seem to realise the trouble that they are in there; the Chinese control all of the hex borders and so I think that the Japanese troops will be stuck there and outnumbered about 5 to 1.
Meanwhile in the air over Changsha, there is a large battle as the Japanese try to attack the airfield. First come Oscars on sweep and despite being outnumbered they get about a 1 to 1 kill ratio, with about 8 Oscars going down for 8 P-40Es. The following bomber attacks arent so lucky and suffer badly. Totals for the day are 12 P-40Es for 20 Oscars and 11 Sonias.

There are massive attacks on the Dutch troops at Loemadjang and the Japanese have brought in more troops, my attempted counter attack will likely result in another defeat. Among the attackers are 90 of the KB Kates, the KB is still staying near Java, 2 battleships, 4 cruisers and over 100 Bettys/Nells. I order a quick retreat but fear that the Dutch troops will be routed.
There are still no attacks at Singapore and the bombing raids seem to have ceased as well, more evidence of big trouble in the IJAAF bomber pools. Two more days will see forts up to level 3 again.

I did remember to input orders and so the troops at Shwebo are trying to move into strategic mode, they need one more day to change mode and then another to evacuate the city. Hopefully the Japanese will send their units further up the Jungle paths towards Myitkyina, I want those troops to remain in Burma as long as possible.

A Japanese sub spotted a troop transport moving to Ceylon and so FatR has to know that the island has been reinforced, there are now nearly 2000AV on the island. Another Australian division is arriving at Aden separated into Brigades and I want to bring that to Columbo as soon as possible.

US carriers.
These are now two days away from their raid at Kwajalein. A sub in the Marshalls was spotted so I know that there are at least some air search planes in the area, I have to hope that the long distance will make spotting my carriers more difficult.

I have noticed a lot of Japanese units prepping for bases in Russia, surely FatR isnt planning an attack against them? That would certainly be very exciting and put further pressure on the IJAAF.

yubari -> 9th and 10th Feb 1942 (7/9/2010 1:41:02 PM)

US Carrier raid.
The US carriers raid into the Marianas on the 10th, but the raid doesn't go particularly well, partly due to a unit of Zeroes which fights particularly well and partly due to poor US bombing against destroyers which proved to be particularly difficult to hit. Dauntlesses on naval attack manage to sink a fleet oiler, a large patrol boat and a coastal minelayer and put a large bomb into an old destroyer.
The port attack in the afternoon was particularly disappointing, with just 1 bomb hits scored, a 1000lber against the CL Tatsuta. An airfield attack in the afternoon by the Torpedo bombers is more successful, getting about 70 hits on Maloelap and hopefully putting it out of action.
I expect the Japanese carriers to be around Rabaul or Truk, FatR mentioned in his email about them so I dont expect him to try and attack with them.
Total losses; 10 Zeroes, 3 Petes (on CAP), 3 Mavises, AO Endo, PB Taian Maru, 1 Amc, CL Tatsuta and 1 old DD damaged
8 fighters, 10 Dive bombers, 1 torpedo bomber. CL Trenton suffers damage
For tomorrow, 4 CAs will bombard Kwajalein port, recon shows there to be 48 ships in port. The rest of the US force will retreat back towards Pearl Harbour, a lot of the ships are in need of repair after two months at sea.

I sent the Dutch airforce to attack yesterday and a feeble effort it was. Zeroes over the Japanese landing base shot down about 8 fighters and of the bombers that got through, not a single hit was scored. I shall try to send the bombers in on night attack but don't expect anything, there are now just 5 operational Dutch fighters on the map and so attacking in the day will be mere suicide. The three Dutch regiments I sent to Loemadjang are all forced back and are now at the mountain fortress of Malang. There looks to be another transport fleet heading to Java, and Dutch coastal gun units are in strategic mode trying to guess where it will land.
There are still no bombing attacks at Singapore and only 1 Japanese bombardment. Forts are at level 3 and another Japanese unit is approaching from Johore Bahru. Cagayan in the Philippines also still holds out.

The allied force has managed to evacuate to Katha, there is about 440 AV there and another 20 at Myitkyina. A total disaster has been avoided but the Japanese have still managed to take nearly all of Burma in double quick time.

Preparations are continuing for a large convoy to Adak, it will be about a week before the xAPs are ready to load at Seattle and another 10 days or so of sailing. Forts are at level 3 now at Dutch Harbour, Cold Bay and Umnak Island. I will probably land the regiments of the Americal Division there in mid April if the Japanese show no signs of interest in these islands. By that stage, it would take the full KB and a multi-division landing force to take these islands.

Japanese airforce.
From a position where I thought I was putting pressure on the IJAAF a few days ago, the number of planes on attack seems to be actually increasing. On the 10th, there were over 140 Oscars sighted on attack all over the map. With the estimated 50 or so already shot down, that suggests that Japanese production has been rapidly expanded to at least 150 a month. With the decreased starting pile of supply and the greatly increased demands on Japanese industry in this mod, the Japanese economy must be coming under great pressure already. In many ways it feels like being in a Zombie film, no matter how many of them you kill, they keep on coming in ever greater numbers; the number of combat sorties in China on the 10th February alone was 516.


topeverest -> RE: 9th and 10th Feb 1942 (7/9/2010 2:59:20 PM)

You weren't in range of your TBD's. If you were at 4 hexes, I bet the attack would have been much better. How many CV's did you use? In any event, you are giving your opponent much to think about. The results are less important than the event itself.

I bet he will try to raid something big as a counter. I'd keep PH well stocked with aircraft and scour the skies while the navy is there repairing. he does come, you want to have a good reception there. Still hard to say / too early to tell where his 'guadalcanal' effort will be.

yubari -> 11th February 1942 (7/10/2010 5:26:25 PM)

Good idea, TE. I would not be surprised by another Pearl Harbour attack if he thinks that I will move my carriers back there for replenishment. I have nearly 150 fighters there now who should be able to do a decent job on any Japanese carrier strike. I had all four carriers, Lexington Saratoga Yorktown and Enterprise in action but didnt want to move to close in case they were spotted and didnt want to move them too fast because of the speed of system and engineering damage buildup. It has been an action packed war so far, Lexington has already steamed around Australia once.

Psych warfare.
FatR completely unprompted sends a message about how he will be able to use the forces from the Philippines to be able to crush Java by the end of February. I have a recon unit in the Philippines and will use it to try to look for any transport fleets leaving Manila but this merely makes me think more that he will be invading Russia. Lack of any invasions of Australia, and the lack of any buildup of Lunga and action further south makes me think this is becoming more likely.

US carrier raid.
I send four of the US cruisers into Kwajalein to bombard the large number of Japanese ships spotted there. The result is very disappointing indeed, not a single hit scored on any Japanese ships and just 18 hits on the airfield and one Zero destroyed. Worse is to follow in the morning phase as the cruisers fight a battle against 10 of the oldest Japanese destroyers. Despite being in the daytime, in which the US fleet has a reasonable level of experience, only 5 shell hits are scored against the Japanese 16. None of the Japanese ships look to be in any danger of sinking but one US destroyer is lost and another is certain to sink due to heavy fire damage. The results could have been even worse as the US fleet proceeds to spend the day one hex away from Kwajalein but fortunately there are no aerial attacks, it looks like all of the Netties are in the DEI. Whether the poor performance is due to lack of ammo, the inherent poor performance of ships in the bombardment mission, the poor general performance of allied units this early or previous damage caused by the high speed movement this battle is worrying.

The Japanese land a unit on a non-base hex north of Cagayan. While not specifically included in the house rules I send a message about how easy it will make it for the allies to advance later, using non-base hex invasion. Hopefully this particular unit will not advance any further. There are 26 units at Manila, presumably most of the Japanese force from Bataan.

Rapidly going downhill. Dutch forces are making a defensive position at Malang but more transports are spotted near Batavia. With the fall of Palembang in the first week, the Japanese were able to very quickly destroy any air defence of Java and hinder the construction of fortifications. The end will be quick.
Singapore is unattacked and now three more units are spotted approaching. I transfer a handful of Dutch bombers to Sumatra and order them to attack. If I am lucky they will not all be shot down instantly and may delay the attack on Singapore by a day.

The Japanese use Sallys to attack Katha and do almost no damage but lose another 4 to flak. Every little helps. The first Japanese units are now arriving at Shwebo.

The huge Japanese attacks against Changsha continue, doing a lot of damage and destroying 7 P-40s on the ground, evidently it is unsafe to use as a frontline base any more. A unit of Chinese Hudsons attacks the Japanese ground troops approaching Pucheng and there are apparently just 8000 men there. With 6 Chinese corps just a day or twos march away, there is potential for a major victory here.


yubari -> 12th to 14th February 1942 (7/13/2010 8:59:06 AM)

Japan continues its bombing raids over huge areas of China. The AVG manages to gain a victory as Lilies and Sallies attack a badly damaged Chinese corps retreating from Canton, 7 Sallies and 3 Lilies are reported shot down. There are lots more attacks against Changsha and the base appears now to be unusable.
At Pucheng, the 6 Chinese corps have all arrived and a deliberate attack will be launched next turn. Japanese units are approaching and are probably a couple of days away.
In the north, the Japanese appear to be slowly retreating from the site of their defeat south of Sian.

Japanese ships are using Oosthaven on the tip of Sumatra as a base and the Dutch are unable to stop it, I cant remember a Dutch plane getting a single bomb hit in the whole war. On the other end of Java, a US sub sinks an xAP. If FatR wasn't bluffing then I expect the majority of 14th Army to be landing on Java in the next week or two.
There is very good news at Singapore as a Japanese deliberate attack only achieves 1 to 2 odds while taking the forts back down to level 2. Japan apparently takes 2400 men as casualties compared to 1300 allies. Included in the Japanese casualties are apparently 113 destroyed combat squads and 133 destroyed non-combat squads, Japan is paying a severe price here. I think that Japan has made a mistake by not attacking at Singapore more frequently and not using bombers on airfield attack to hinder fort construction, for the last two weeks at least. There are now 4 divisions here, plus 3 regiments and the 40th Brigade (where does this come from?) so the siege is keeping a lot of troops occupied for a long time.

The unit landed on a non-base hex is not being used for three days, a sensible compromise. I expect Cagayan to fall to the first attack afterwards.

North Pacific.
The CL Phoenix with four destroyers, while attempting to raid Shikuka is spotted by Mabels near Paramushiro Jima and hit by two bombs. With fire damage over 50 she seems almost certain to sink.

Japanese carriers.
The mini KB hasn't been spotted since the end of January when it was near Noumea. I imagine that it is near Truk but have no evidence for that. A couple of turns ago, a US submarine spotted a Japanese fleet apparently containing the Fuso and Kirishima just north of Ambon. More tellingly, since it seems to me they are a lot less likely to be misreported as fog of war is the spotting of several destroyers which were previously spotted with the main KB. Although there is no spotting of any carriers here, I can be 90 percent certain that the KB is heading towards Truk, with a possible destination of Pearl Harbour for a third attack?

US carriers.
They are short of fuel after their recent full speed move and also have a lot of system and engineering damage. With a possible attack against Pearl Harbour I will not retreat them there, preferring the West Coast .

yubari -> 15th to 17th February 1942 (7/15/2010 10:34:42 AM)

The Heroic Percival.
Despite the early Japanese invasion of Mersing, the Singapore garrison has survived past its historical fall date and with forts now back at level 3, there is a good chance it will survive until March, the latest bombardment suggesting that the Japanese have 2050AV compared to the 758 allied AV. I sent FatR a message stating that Ceylon and India should now be safe although India is still horribly empty of troops, I could really do without having to deal with an invasion here.

US carriers.
The Hornet arrived recently and is now 5 days from the Panama Canal. All of the US carriers are now 1 day away from Pearl Harbour where they will refuel and head towards the West Coast. If, as I suspect, FatR is now going to use the full KB to try to destroy the US carrier fleet, then I shall retreat very quickly indeed.

Japanese fleet movements.
As can be seen in the picture below, there looks to be a large Japanese fleet heading towards the Indian Ocean through the straits between Java and Sumatra. It looks to be three cruiser task forces, although it could of course be an invasion fleet heading for the south coast of Java. If there is evidence that the KB is elsewhere, I would be happy to fight these units with the Royal Navy.
As to the Japanese carriers, the mini KB was last seen near Noumea at the end of January, the main KB was last positively identified near Java on the 7th February, but ships that were spotted previously escorting it were sighted near Ambon on the 11th. I also have to assume that the CV Junyo and the CVL Nisshin are available.

There have been three days of massive aerial attacks on the Chinese troops at Pucheng, and more Japanese troops are now reaching the area. Among the planes attacking are Kates and Nells, I am pleased to see these planes being used here rather than either training new pilots or in more important theatres. One of the Kate units is the Nagasaki-ku, among the 200 or so extra IJNAF planes that the Japanese receive in this mod. On land, the latest bombardment showed Japanese 1766AV, Chinese 4216AV. A Chinese deliberate attack on the 15th February failed, getting 1 to 2 odds.
In the north, the Japanese have retreated from the site of the battle south of Sian.

Northern Pacific.
With the complete disappearance of the KB, I have decided to cancel the operation to Adak Island for the moment. I wonder if Japan is waiting for the winter weather period to end before invading. CL Phoenix sunk from its 2 bomb hits near Paramushiro Jima.

Japanese plans.
These are still very difficult to discern. I am spotting more messages showing Japanese units preparing for Russia and there has been no sighting of any shipping leaving Manila to the South. There are now only 4 units reported at Manila so I think that all of the 14th Army has been already moved. With the appearance of the KB to be readying for a third Pearl Harbour strike what about the possibility of 14th Army attacking Hawaii? There appears to be very little activity in the South Pacific. Why have Ocean and Nauru islands not been taken? Finally, what is happening with the cruisers near Java, a cunning attempt to get me to commit the Royal Navy?


yubari -> 18th February 1942 (7/15/2010 10:11:27 PM)

For about a week, Japan has been sending hundreds of bombers on ground attack raids against the troops of Pucheng and disruption to my units is slowly increasing. To try and slow this I divide a number of the corps to see if they are attacked individually. I shall also send the AVG into battle once again, and with it a unit of the Chinese airforce, pilots handpicked and using the H81. Japan is making a full scale effort here, I estimate that at least half the bombers on the map are targeting Pucheng.

Dutch East Indies.
Japan lands two invasion forces, one at Merak which has been previously occupied and one at Buitenzorg, just south of Batavia. Additionally a paratrooper unit is landed at Tjilitjap. A lot of the units at Batavia were already in strategic move mode and so I should be able to evacuate most of the units with few problems, I shall try to make a stand at the mountain hex south of Tjilitjap. The power of mountain hexes is shown on the other end of Java as a Japanese deliberate attack at Malang gets 1 to 5 odds and causes the Japanese 3 times the number of casualties. This base is secure for a while. Surprisingly, Japan has not made any attempt at taking Balikpapan.
Still no attacks at Singapore, I need this base to hold out a bit longer yet.

South Pacific.
An allied float fighter is spotted over a transport fleet carrying an Infantry Regiment to Suva. It could be merely a Glen from a sub, or it could be the reappearance of the KB2. There are three other transport fleets in the area from what was to be a major reinforcement effort in the South Pacific but they are all turned around at full speed and sent back towards Hawaii because of the following piece of information.

Sig Int.
Allied Sigint achieved a major coup today with a report that the 16th Infantry Regiment is planning an attack on Lahaina, a large and at the moment relatively undefended base near Pearl Harbour. I am now 99 percent certain that FatR is to launch a full scale invasion of the Hawaiian Islands.
FatR has played it very well, it is only in the last three or four days when I became suspicious about it when there were few signs of any transport ships heading south from Manila. Manila was emptied around 5 days ago so that would suggest that invasion of Midway and Johnstone Island are around two weeks away.

Hawaii defence plans.
There are nearly 200 fighters at Pearl Harbour although a lot of these are obsolete, 11 P-26s are still there and I have nothing better to replace them with. I shall take all of the battleships out of the shipyards, but most of them are still heavily damaged and would be unable to make the journey to the West Coast. I think that the best thing I can do is to put them in a task force surrounded by a lot of destroyers and leave them at Pearl Harbour.

The Americal Division is at Fort Ord and is immediately set to strategic mode to move to San Francisco. From there it will be transported to Lahaina. Two regiments which were moving to the South Pacific are recalled and will be sent to Hilo and Lona. Lots of other engineering units and tanks, the units which were due to be sent to Adak are already loading at Seattle, as are around 100 fighter planes there. There are around 30 B-17s in the US and these should be absolutely crucial in closing airfields, if Japan is able to get two decent airfields in the Hawaiians open, then Pearl Harbour will likely be completely cut off and the US battlefleet destroyed. I will not commit the US carriers unless the Japanese carriers suffer a serious number of plane losses to land based air. With this mod the Japanese are considerably more powerful, probably holding carrier superiority into early 1944.

Hopefully I should be able to get all of these reinforcements into Hawaii in the next two weeks, but will FatR give me that time? The next month or two should be very exciting indeed.

topeverest -> RE: 18th February 1942 (7/18/2010 2:05:05 AM)

Think carefully about your execution at Hawaii. Remember, you dont have to meet him immediately. Let him commit inside PH range and suffer your wrath. You probably have some time to get things in order. He will be bringing everything if he plays the way you suggest. I would consider this in your defenisve plans. I dont think you cant have too much there. when the fight starts, remember he has to replenish a long ways away. Surface raiders work very well in the defense of PH. get AA and CD's into the zone too - and at least 20 subs. Use a wolf pack with your best commanders. Oh, and surface raiders from his rear a few days in will drive him bonkers...

This is a great chance to deliver a decisive blow, but I would not chase him. He is taking a huge risk and playing a decisive battle strategy.

yubari -> 19th to 22nd February 1942 (7/18/2010 11:14:56 AM)

A nice idea with the surface raiders TE. I think that he should have about 2000AV available at the moment, which is a lot more than I can bring in the next two weeks. Now I have 480AV at Pearl, 150 at Lahaina and two other bases have nominal forces.
You are right, I think that distance will be the key factor if we do indeed have a Hawaiian battle, any battleships performing bombardments have a long long journey back to Kwajalein for more ammunition.

The first reinforcements for Hawaii have arrived, a tank battlion which is now completely unloaded at Lahaina. The US carriers have all refueled and are heading back towards the West Coast. All of the battleships have been taken out of the shipyards and are set into a task force which will stay at Pearl Harbour. As you can see in the picture below, six of the battleships are still heavily damaged and I dont want to risk them on the long journey back towards the West Coast. Arizona has left for the West Coast and is making good speed with no additional damage so far.
There is more evidence suggesting a Pearl Harbour attack, but nothing definitive. A part of the 38th Division (previously at Bataan) is reported to be on a transport heading towards Truk, as is the 24th Regiment, previously at Port Moresby. This sighting is particularly important, it would seem illogical to send a unit from Port Moresby to Truk and then towards the South Pacific.
FatR has mentioned in his emails that 5 of the Pearl Harbour battleships have been reported as sunk by his intelligence. He must know that something is going on at Pearl Harbour.

The Japanese have taken Buitenzorg and have also arrived at Batavia, but that town has not yet been taken despite now being empty of Dutch troops. My recon reports 3 units with a total of 30000 men.
There are no attacks at Singapore in the last four days, and another unit is spotted approaching from Johore Bahru, I shall try to attack with the Dutch bombers again. I don't know what FatR is waiting for here.

Japan now has nearly 900AV of troops at Cagayan compared to 189 Allied AV but there is still no Japanese attack. As at Singapore, I wonder why FatR doesn't attack here. Elsewhere, small units are now beginning to take some of the smaller islands, Puerto Princesa is taken on the 22nd. I still have an operational AS somewhere at large in the islands.

Japanese troops are now approaching Katha along the jungle track. Withdrawal through the jungle from Myitkyina to India looks like it will take about 6 weeks, a small battalion is making progress at 4 miles a day in move mode.

Some Chinese victories in the South near Pucheng.
Japanese pressure continues over Pucheng. On the 20th, I try an ambush with reasonable success. Sweeping Oscars get 5 kills for no losses but then the AVG gets 6 Sallies, 5 Kates and 5 Nells. A Japanese deliberate attack on the 21st takes the forts down to level 0 but only gets 1 to 2 odds. Japanese casualties are also greater than Chinese. On the 22nd, the Chinese try 2 small counter attacks; in the first two Chinese corps force a Japanese brigade to retreat and in the second, A Japanese tank regiment defends well against a Chinese corps. The corps was attacked by the massed Japanese bomber force and will now retreat, hopefully drawing the attention of the Japanese bombers and allowing the units at Pucheng to recover from their disruption.


topeverest -> RE: 19th to 22nd February 1942 (7/19/2010 2:48:58 AM)

Exciting time to be allies. It is rare that an active defense of Hawaii occurs.

A tip on BB repair. You can set to pierside ciritcal and get off the system damage and non major other damage very quickly. You will be 3 days in coming back online from any port, so keep that in mind. You probably can tkae your three lowest sys damage BB's and do that in pearl. Take the others to hilo for reserve if you are worried about immediate attack. I prob would leave the others in PH also and do the sames. If you are convinced it is pearl, I would divert all supply, reinforcements (air,naval, and ground), and fuel there. Decided the islands you are going to defend, and strip the others of anything useful. IMO construction engineers will be very important, even more important than more AV, as you want to be able to repair airfied and port damage immediately, build up fortifications and potentially airfields. IMO, PH with up to 1200AV with many AA and CD. It is pretty darn secure already, but you can build it up more. Second base to defend IMO Lahiana with 1000AV and balance of your forces. Dont forget to get the minelayers out there and dump them in your defended ports heavily.

Good hunting

Alfred -> RE: 19th to 22nd February 1942 (7/19/2010 7:43:39 PM)

IMHO you are making a terrible mistake keeping TF 12 at Pearl Harbor. Those battleships are far too damaged to be exposed to combat (whether from the air or sea). You still have time to send them at cruise speed to safety on the West Coast.

If your opponent is moving on Hawaii, you should meet the initial onslought only with air power. Your limited naval assets should be kept out of range in reserve (between Hawaii and the West Coast) to hit when the KB and any Japanese SAGs have expended their initial sorties/ammo/fuel.


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