RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (Full Version)

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nashvillen -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (3/28/2011 12:36:58 AM)

[&o][&o][&o] [:D]

Ever think about going to Origins?

If you haven't figured it out yet, I am the current FEAR and rjopel is also a staff member. Hence, the shameless plug! [:D]

Cribtop -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (3/28/2011 2:14:30 AM)

Cool. I just might - brings back memories of my dreaded War Eagle Triangle tactics in SFB! Long time ago...

Nemo121 -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (3/28/2011 7:17:09 AM)

Hmm, is there any sort of pbem matchmaking structure available for F&E? Or an ADC module?

Colour me interested :-).

Cribtop: Quick question. What are your strategic goals? Are you seeking to win or not to lose? (they are entirely different goals and the first area most Japanese players fall down IMO.)

Next, how psychological and mean and nasty do you want to get? Are you a " play what's on the map" only type of player or is email and the forum all part and parcel of the game too?

Once we know those two answers it should pretty much define your strategic options for us.

Cribtop -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (3/28/2011 4:54:12 PM)


Per our PM, I'll be answering your questions offline as the discussion could get lengthy. Really appreciate your willingness to share insights.

Cribtop -> RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A) (3/28/2011 4:56:55 PM)

I began working on Turn 1 Sunday night. I have a few weeknight commitments, but hope to get the turn to CF by Thursday or Friday night.

Given these developments, I have removed myself from Cuttlefish's AAR and will regretfully and respectfully ask that he exclude himself from this thread as of now (other than one more farewell post if he so chooses).

In short, GAME ON! [&o]

Phanatik -> Mike? (3/29/2011 1:10:57 AM)


I am the current FEAR and rjopel is also a staff member...

I saw in a different post that you were into trains, and wondered if you knew...yourself. But when I saw FEAR...

Small world, ain't it?

- Jeff

nashvillen -> RE: Mike? (3/29/2011 3:30:57 AM)

Hey Jeff!

Good to see you here! Maybe we can get a game going sometime. I currently occupied with 2xCampain games and one Guadalcanal scenario, but someday I should have some more time... [:D]

Cribtop -> RE: Mike? (4/2/2011 10:34:01 PM)

Gentlemen (and Lady if Grafin Zeppelin is reading),

Turn 1 is away! We embark together on a journey of both literary and military interest.

Let's just hope I didn't forget anything too important. Turn 1 is a bear.

I'll post a summary of first turn moves and a grand strategic analysis soon.

You might want to re-check the first page of the thread as I have now filled in the placeholder post with my commonly used acronyms. This will greatly assist you in reading my AAR and may be added to over time as doctrine evolves.

Finally, as in previous games, I will post a strategic analysis on the 15th of each month and an economic analysis on the 1st of each month.


Cribtop -> RE: Mike? (4/2/2011 11:54:53 PM)

Well, well. Much to my surprise, Cuttlefish has already sent back the turn (he probably only had it in his inbox 30 - 40 minutes). There is little for the Allies to do on Turn 1 of course, but wow. In addition, he informed me by e-mail that he has decided to send Force Z on her glory ride. This has led to some discomfort at Cribtop HQ as our dispositions presumed he would not go this route. Still, assuming he heads for Kota Bharu, we will have the Kongo TF and a lot of Netties waiting for him. Someone will be crying in their beer when I run the turn!

This points out an interesting but obvious truth. Often, CF will choose the more historical path. Sometimes (perhaps often) he will choose the option that leads to a more interesting story. In the case of Force Z, these tendencies combined were enough for him to risk two major capital ships, and it just might pay off for him. We will keep this in mind. FYI, the vast majority of our invasion is landing farther up the coast at Singora, covered by four CAs and a DesDiv. The CAs have enough reaction move allowed for them to intervene at Kota. We also set up a sub cordon near Kuantan and two subs in the Kota hex itself. Lots of things to hit the enemy before they get to our juicy transports, but stranger things have happened.

Disgusted that family is in town so I can't run the turn until later tonight. [:@]

Cribtop -> The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 12:15:24 AM)

Cribtop HQ Grand Strategy

National War Aims

The Emperor has commanded that we prosecute war against the Western Imperialists. The ultimate war aim is a favorable peace in the Pacific leaving Japan in possession of an expanded and self-sustaining Empire.

Grand Strategic Considerations

We have learned much in our prior games and feel more experienced and ready for the challenge of taking on a major Board personality such as Cuttlefish. That said, this should be our most difficult game yet. We have spent time corresponding with Nemo and jrcar concerning Japanese strategic goals, as these should drive operations and tactical moves.

Vital Considerations

1) CF is doing this as a story AAR. This means that he will be concerned with survival of the Gridley (although he has plans to continue of course if she sinks). How this will impact the broader game is as yet unknown, but it introduces an interesting element. In addition, the story nature of the game means that we are both fully committed to playing until an ultimate resolution. Auto victory, already probably impossible in Scenario 1, is thus rather irrelevant unless I choose to view it as a yardstick on the path to moral victory.

2) In AE, Japan has an attritional edge in planes and pilots (at least through '43), while the Allies, due to superior reinforcement rates, have an attritional edge in naval assets. LCUs are relatively even, with an initial edge for Japan eroding with time.

3) Economics and logistics are critical to sustaining the Japanese war machine.

4) Territorial gains are useful insofar as they advance strategic aims such as seizure of economic centers, but it is impossible for Japan to "march into Washington" and thus win by seizing territory.

Strategic Objectives

I subscribe to the Q-Ball theory (at least Q was the first I heard to assert it) that the two main objectives of the Allies are: 1) to cut the flow of raw materials from the SRA to Japan; and 2) to seize bases within range of the Home Islands to allow for a strategic bombing campaign.

Conversely, the strategic objectives of Japan are, at a minimum, 1) seizure of the Oil bases in the SRA; and 2) capture of a defensible perimeter ensuring that convoys can move from the SRA to the industry of the Home Islands.

As we all know, this is not really enough for Japan to survive the Allied hammer blows of 1944 and 1945 in a military sense. However, careful work during the expansion phase and a determined, aggressive defense can prevent an Allied victory on points, and that is probably the best we can do.

How best can these goals be achieved? Successful & rapid Phase 1 expansion is essential. Many players opt for larger than historical perimeters across the board, but Cribtop HQ is not interested in seizing territory just because we like to see the cool Japanese flag on a larger number of bases. We will expand to a relatively historical perimeter and then, conditions allowing, execute a carefully aimed Phase 2 offensive at a target to be revealed later (PS - I'm pretty set on this target but would love to hear arguments for the various options as my mind isn't closed to other possibilities). Target deadline for completion of Phase 1 is April 1, 1942. We would like to be finished with the Phase 2 offensive by July 1, 1942, although there is no magic to that date. Thereafter, we will maintain an active and aggressive defense, meaning that local and even operational counteroffensives and spoiling attacks will be used extensively.

Our august advisors are of the opinion, and Cribtop HQ agrees, that the enemy's center of gravity is the ability to carry out multi-divisional amphibious assaults. Therefore, depriving him of LCUs, 4E bombers, assault shipping, a well trained CV air arm and other tools of this trade will be a focus.

It is true that the Allies can march through Burma and avoid amphibious assaults, but this is a long slog and frankly we WANT them to attack through our buffer zones. Shaping the battlefield to force the enemy to counterattack via a long axis of our choosing will be a constant theme of this game in the defensive phase. In other words, we hope to create conditions such that the enemy feels compelled to mount his attacks via the long approach of SWPAC, Burma or even SOPAC. Stout defenses in NOPAC and, most importantly, the dreaded and commonly used Darwin-Timor axis will be needed asap to make these "preferred" avenues of approach undesirable.

Dispositions of the Fleet

We will generally divide the IJN as follows (all of these divisions will probably grow as we consolidate after the completion of Phase 1):

1) KB will stay together. In fact, we are very likely to form and maintain MKB as soon as KB has completed initial operations at Pearl Harbor and in the 4th Fleet (Marshalls/Gilberts) and SE Fleet AOs. KB will consist of multiple CV TFs and will incorporate some or all of the Kongo class BBs.

2) South Seas Fleet. Based at Truk, this will consist of at least 2 BatDivs, 1 CruDiv, and 2 DesDivs.

3) Indes Fleet. Eventually based at Singapore & Soerabaja, this fleet will consist of at least 2 BatDivs, 2 CruDivs and 2 or more DesDivs.

4) 4th Fleet. Little more than an augmented LCTF for local defense and use as an FT TF.

5) 5th Fleet. We will pay more attention to NOPAC than in our previous games. Initially, 5th Fleet will consist of two older BBs, 3 CLs and 6 older DDs. The BBs will probably leave once we have secured the Kuriles by land and air and seized at least a few outposts in the Aluetians. Offensive ops in the Aluetians will be limited but will begin asap. As has been seen in Canoerebel's recent AAR, the oddities of winter weather can mean that he who invades the unoccupied island base can take it on the cheap and hold it until the enemy can gather significant forces in summer weather. A first mover advantage if you will. That said, NOPAC is strictly envisioned as a defensive sideshow rather than an opportunity for decisive action.

Air HQs

11th Fleet and one of the Air Flotillas starting at Takao will move as quickly as possible to Jolo and Manado so as to extend the Netty umbrella and allow for rapid advance in the Eastern DEI.

The remaining Air Flotilla at Takao is eventually destined for the SE Fleet AO.

The Air Flotilla at Saigon will be shipped to Sinkawang asap to dominate the approaches to Palembang. Cribtop HQ has its eye on the possibility of the recently popular "Fortress Palembang" strategy and will not hesitate to move early on Sumatra if CF appears to be heading in this direction.

5th Air Division will focus on Luzon, augmented by a Sally Sentai bought out of Manchukuo. The HQ iself will move on once the enemy is bottled up at Clark Field with a final destination near Kendari or Timor even if the IJAAF planes stay on to pound the defenders of Clark and Bataan.

3rd Air Division began moving on Dec 7 towards Bangkok and will get into a position (perhaps Victoria Point?) to torp enable a base to interdict enemy naval movements into and out of Singapore and Rangoon.


We will aim for a siege in Luzon. Cribtop HQ has decided to forgo the usual Atimonan invasion and pour forces instead into Aparri. This base can be covered by LBA and is harder for enemy PTs to reach effectively while being close to Takao for crippled IJN vessels. We considered what the enemy gets out of this and it's all to our favor. Either he stands pat, in which case we lose nothing; or he moves in force in some way toward the Aparri bridgehead or even into southern Luzon. Either of these courses of action divide his forces and play into our hands. In return, we avoid the unfortunate torpedoing of IJN assets by American Catalinas that Lone Gunman used against us in our prior game. Fortunately, nothing sank, but a BB and a CA were put on ice for a month each.

We will try to seize Luzon with the historical 14th Army units. 38th Division will be available as an emergency reserve, but we prefer to deploy this unit, along with 21st Div, to the 16th Army AO to effect a rapid but well covered descent on the eastern DEI and Timor.

We will not try the Mersing gambit as losses to enemy aircraft could be unacceptable. Just about every available reinforcement (2nd Div, etc) will be sent to Malaya to make short work of Singers.

4th Div and 90th Infantry Regt (to be bought out of Korea) will be committed to SE Fleet AO.


My sincere thanks to both Nemo and jrcar for their willingness to engage in strategic and operational discussions via e-mail. If I screw this game up, it won't be because I got bad advice! [&o]

I would also like to thank Canoerebel. The game's house rules require me to be reasonable regarding turn one invasions and CR served as my third party reality check since obviously I can't run my targets past Cuttlefish for approval. [:D]

jrcar -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 5:31:47 AM)

LOL looks interesting, some things similar, some different, I look forward to seeing the outcome :)

You have chosen the opposite Philipines option to what we did. We don't think you can be as sucessful as history with the historical forces comitted to the PI... I suggest you plan to comit the reserve here early, and begin positioning shipping ASAP.

Malaya on the other hand can usually be taken easier than historical until you are at the gates of Singapore.

Mersing works if you have neutered the Singapore airbase (or the Allies pull out), if you have the risk is minimal, if you haven't you will die lots :)

Remember Sun Tsu and the use of the "ordinary" and the "special forces"... oh and the use of oxen :)

Good luck!



Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 6:09:56 AM)

Thanks, Rob. Fear not, as I could easily commit 21st and 38th Divs to Luzon if need be. Just hoping I don't have to - a siege is quite acceptable to me as the alternative has two full divisions raging through the eastern DEI towards Timor and an early Java invasion (or Sumatra).

On the whole a good turn. Force Z is nowhere to be seen - interesting given CF's statement via e-mail that it was heading my way.

Dec 7, 1941

Every group, even the elite of a society, has its outcasts. Tail gunners are the bottom feeders of Imperial Japanese Naval Aviation. Hanabusa Amane was justifiably proud of his acceptance into the Naval Air arm, but in the end he was assigned to serve as the rear gunner on a D3A1 dive bomber flying from Carrier Hiryu. His role on the fateful day of December 7, 1941 was to serve as spectator to the audacious attack on the USN's Pacific Fleet base at Pearl Harbor.

There are few experiences more discomfiting than hurtling to takeoff from a carrier's plunging deck. Facing backwards while performing this dubious manuever is doubly problematic. However, repetition can inure one to any hardship, so Warrant Officer Hanabusa thought little of the stomach churning plunge into nothingness. His emotions at the prospect of combat, however, did weigh on his gastrointestinal system as the aircraft gained altitude and joined up with the large group of planes preparing to unleash war in a manner never attempted, or even contemplated, by Amane's ancestors.

The feeling of disjunction continued as the flight to the target commenced. The beauty of Oahu was revealed below as the sun rose over the port wing of the Type 99 Kanbaku Amane shared with pilot LtJG Endo Giichi. Amane reflected that the sun was of course rising over his starboard shoulder, a testament to the ironic existence of the rear gunner.

These thoughts were banished as Pearl Harbor came into view. Expecting enemy fighters, Amane's fingers tightened on the grip of his 7.7mm Type 92 machine gun. Amazingly, the only aircraft in the sky was the vast armada from Kido Butai. Intelligence reports were correct for once, the Americans were caught completely by surprise. Despite his pilot's insistence that Amane remain alert, the tail gunner's practiced scans of their surroundings revealed nothing to arouse concern.

The Type 99s had been ordered to prioritize enemy carriers, but none were spotted in the harbor. Priority two targets were the American airfields, and it was here that Hiryu's planes drew blood. The enemy planes were drawn up wingtip to wingtip! Amane felt his aircraft tilt downward as Giichi sought a victim. Their aircraft happened to bomb Hickam Field, hitting a B-17D bomber and rendering it useless to the enemy. American AA fire whizzed and popped around them, but the gods smiled on the D3A1 the enemy code-named "Val."

It was only after they pulled out of the dive that Amane experienced a sight only a rear gunner could observe. "Battleship Row" was a pall of smoke, with numerous ships ablaze and at least one sinking before his eyes. Flames shot high into the early morning air, while antlike Americans ran pell mell over the once proud facilities of the Pacific Fleet. Amane was amazed and appalled by the horrors of war displayed below him.

Seconds later, the Type 99 bomber leveled off and headed back for the Hiryu. The flight home gave Amane time to think. He first contemplated with elation of the great victory that Japan had clearly won today. Eventually, however, he was troubled by the sights and sounds of death unleashed on an unsuspecting foe. It occurred to him to consider the attack from the American perspective. He wondered how he would feel had he survived such a devastating attack, and could not shake the conclusion that he would be consumed with a desire for vengeance at any cost.

Upon returning to his carrier, Amane shared his feelings with LtJG Endo. Giichi responded: "What would a rear gunner know of such matters? Just keep looking for P-40s and leave the strategy to Combined Fleet." Amane wondered whether such arrogance was warranted. Even tail gunners are right on occasion.

Pearl Harbor

CF did not set any planes on CAP in a gracious acknowledgement of the complete surprise achieved historically. The results are painful for him. For a cost of 10 Vals and Kates, KB's strike smashes somewhere between 24 and 48 planes on the ground, including many Catalinas, P-40s and B-17s. Maryland is sunk outright, California and Oklahoma are likely to join her in the mud, and seven BBs in total are listed as having suffered "heavy damage." In addition, we hit 4 CLs, a submarine, several DDs and numerous valuable support ships, including AE Mauna Loa, an AV, a DM, and an AG. Cribtop HQ is disappointed there is no PM strike, but will take what we can get. We are seriously considering a second day of attacks given that the enemy's aircraft suffered so heavily.

Morning Air attack on Pearl Harbor , at 180,107

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 17,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 30 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 88
B5N2 Kate x 144
D3A1 Val x 135

Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
B5N2 Kate: 6 destroyed, 22 damaged
D3A1 Val: 4 destroyed, 27 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
P-40B Warhawk: 7 destroyed on ground
B-17E Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
PBY-5 Catalina: 7 destroyed on ground
B-17D Fortress: 2 destroyed on ground
B-18A Bolo: 2 destroyed on ground
SBD-1 Dauntless: 1 destroyed on ground
C-33: 1 destroyed on ground
O-47A: 1 destroyed on ground
F4F-3 Wildcat: 2 destroyed on ground

Allied Ships
BB West Virginia, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB California, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 5, heavy damage
BB Pennsylvania, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
BB Maryland, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
BB Nevada, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
BB Tennessee, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
BB Oklahoma, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 5, on fire, heavy damage
AE Mauna Loa, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
BB Arizona, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
SS Dolphin, Bomb hits 1
CM Oglala, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Henley, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL Helena, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
CL St. Louis, Torpedo hits 1
CL Detroit, Bomb hits 1, on fire
PT-22, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
AG Aries, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
AM Tern, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DM Preble, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
AV Wright, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
AM Grebe, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Schley, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CL Raleigh, Torpedo hits 1

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

Airbase hits 25
Airbase supply hits 4
Runway hits 90
Port hits 20

Poor PT-22. Obliterated by an errant torpedo.

14th Army

We sweep and bomb Clark Field to good effect with minimal losses. Bettys from Takao try their hand at torpedoing British DDs fleeing Hong Kong without success.

Laoag and Aparri fall to paratroop assaults.

16th Army

Jolo invaded. Manado and Ternate will be invaded tomorrow. KBL is near Ternate, a cruiser force lurks near Palawan. Search planes sight an enemy CL near Mindanao. Probably That Damn Boise. We assume she will try for an intercept at Jolo and will have a surprise awaiting her.

25th Army

Most of the fun occurs in this AO. We pound Alor Star and Kuantan with IJAAF bombers, achieving a 4:1 kill rate and numerous a/c destroyed on the ground. Enemy planes attack our ships at Kota Bharu four times. A strong but generally ineffective Nate CAP inflicts about 1:1 losses on enemy Buffalos and shoots down or turns back several raids, but eventually some British bombers get through. They achieve no hits. Large numbers of IJA troops pour over uncontested beaches at Singora.

Despite a sighting report of 10 Allied ships one hex off Kota Bharu, Force Z is MIA. Did Cuttles screw up their orders, do something creative, or engage in some playful maskirovka with his e-mail message? We don't know, but every Netty in Indochina will be hunting them tomorrow just in case.

The Sinkawang invasion suffers a setback when Swordfish out of Singers get two lucky hits on two transports. Despite this, our troops all get ashore. We must assume enemy surface forces will be here tomorrow, so only kamikaze xAKs will be left to unload supplies until sunk by enemy action.

FatR -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 12:54:14 PM)

I can advise using only Kates at 9k for second round of attacks. Flak losses will be crippling otherwise, particularly as most of the battleship row still keep contributing to flak barrange. Set Vals to naval attack, in case Cuttlefish tries to move any ships around.

PaxMondo -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 1:28:04 PM)

If you are using the beta patch (can't recall if you are or not), then you can leave the Kates at 10K.  They no longer glide bomb, so no issues with having to change altitudes.

ADB123 -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 1:32:20 PM)


Despite a sighting report of 10 Allied ships one hex off Kota Bharu, Force Z is MIA. Did Cuttles screw up their orders, do something creative, or engage in some playful maskirovka with his e-mail message? We don't know, but every Netty in Indochina will be hunting them tomorrow just in case.

He can try anything he likes, but he will never get those ships into action on December 7. For whatever reason they will only travel a couple of hexes towards the north no matter what you do with them. In multiple tests I've tried multiple combinations of settings, commanders, LR CAP and everything else that can be done and Force Z will not reach the northern bases on the first turn. However, they will get well out of range if you send them southwards.

I've got to suspect that this is something hardcoded deep within the design of the program.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 4:49:55 PM)

Interesting, ABD. Probably worked out for the best. I wonder if it simulates the delay of the real life Force Z? Didn't they dither a bit and then wander around before coming under air attack?

Insano -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 6:32:40 PM)

I think there is only 1 naval movement phase on Dec7 instead of the normal 2. For magic movers it doesn't matter since they can go so far anyway.

witpqs -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 6:59:59 PM)



I think there is only 1 naval movement phase on Dec7 instead of the normal 2. For magic movers it doesn't matter since they can go so far anyway.

Correct AFAIK.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/3/2011 9:22:01 PM)

Ahh, thanks, you learn something new every day!

This also means two shiny Royal Navy capital ships are stuck near Kuantan. If they have the guts, they could charge Kota at night but will almost surely cop it tomorrow unless they withdraw. I'm prepping orders for turn 2 right now and this info helps a lot to locate the bad guys.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/4/2011 5:55:54 AM)

Well, the Dec 8th turn is away to CF. I expect it to take at least three days as the Allied turn 2 is like the Japanese turn 1.

A preview:

We will invade Manado and Ternate while backing off at Sinkawang, Kota Bharu and Jolo.

A powerful SCTF will move to Jolo in case that damn Boise and/or Houston decide to show up.

The Kota Bharu invasion and covering force will withdraw to Pattani. Netties and I-boats are all Force Z will find if they choose to show up (although Cribtop Intel is betting they visit Sinkawang).

KB will move NE and will strike Pearl again (Kates only with Vals on nav attack). In AE, the slow USN BBs are great to bombard and cover invasions. If we truly believe this is the enemy center of gravity, they are worth a few good pilots to finish off. Plus, Tracker seems to confirm 15 P-40s killed at PH, meaning the enemy CAP should not be too strong. Still, a day two strike is not a risk I've previously taken. We shall see how it plays out.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/4/2011 6:59:43 PM)

I see that Cuttlefish has updated his AAR with no doubt a gripping tale of the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is the time when my thread's title hits home. I REALLY wish I could read CF's post! Oh, well, I'll get to in two years or so.

PS - Somebody tell him not to kill off the Texan! I'm worried because our planes really hammered the West Virginia.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/5/2011 11:53:11 PM)

Dec 8, 1941


I-166 misses DD Electra 1 hex NE of Kuantan, proving that Force Z is still on her way to the Malaya invasion beaches. Later, I-156 misses another Force Z DD and is depth charged heavily, she appears to sink but actually barely survives and will try to make Kota tomorrow.

I-20, one of the mini-sub carriers returning to Kwaj, stumbles across CA Indianapolis and puts two TTs into her. There are sinking sounds and Cribtop Intel believes Indy went down at the hands of our I-boat (about 3.5 years earlier than IRL). What an odd way for the mini-sub mission to pay off. BANZAI!

4th Fleet

Sweep by Hiryu and Soryu's Zeros pound Pearl's CAP, followed by a well escorted raid that drops more CAP at a very favorable exchange rate (greater than 5:1 even factoring in Kates lost to flak). We then hit numerous BBs with penetrating bomb hits and torps. Several CLs are hit, including one with massive explosion damage. We think many of these ships are in sinking condition, but are disturbed that only BB Maryland shows as sunk on the lists. As a bonus, we hit the repair shipyard eight times, which could have implications for patching up damaged shipping. Mouseover shows damage to the shipyard at 12. Material but not crippling. On the whole, the decision to stay for day two was very beneficial.

Here's an excerpt from the Combat Report:

Afternoon Air attack on Pearl Harbor , at 180,107

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid detected at 45 NM, estimated altitude 25,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 18

Allied aircraft
P-36A Mohawk x 17
P-40B Warhawk x 42
SNJ-3 Texan x 1

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 3 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
P-36A Mohawk: 2 destroyed
P-40B Warhawk: 4 destroyed
SNJ-3 Texan: 1 destroyed

Afternoon Air attack on Pearl Harbor , at 180,107

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 22,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 40 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 62
B5N2 Kate x 122

Allied aircraft
P-36A Mohawk x 7
P-40B Warhawk x 19

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed
B5N2 Kate: 3 destroyed, 19 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
P-36A Mohawk: 2 destroyed
P-40B Warhawk: 7 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB West Virginia, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
BB Arizona, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
BB Oklahoma, Bomb hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
BB Nevada, Bomb hits 4, on fire, heavy damage
CA Minneapolis, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires
BB Tennessee, Bomb hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
DMS Boggs, Bomb hits 1, on fire
BB Pennsylvania, Bomb hits 1, heavy damage
CL St. Louis, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
AR Vestal, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CL Raleigh, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CL Honolulu, Bomb hits 1
BB California, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage

Repair Shipyard hits 8
Port hits 3

KB is a bit low on torps, but selected CVs have almost a full load. We will head East and then swing SSW and finally West to return to Kwajelein. The hope is that CF gets a bit careless with shipping south of Pearl and we bag a few more victims.

In expectation of the common visit to Tarawa and/or Wake by USN CVs moving to SWPAC, we have landed our Makin/Tarawa and Wake invasion forces. We will saddle up again once KB is in the neighborhood to keep the boogie man at bay. The Fleet Oilers are at Truk and will re-fuel KB at sea in the Marshalls.

SE Fleet

We invade Manus, Wewak, Aitape and Hollandia without incident. 4th Div, Combined Fleet and various base forces are moving to Tokyo for fast transport to Truk, after which we will move on Rabaul.

14th Army

Sweeps of Manila and Clark meet big CAPs and just hammer them. P-40E and B models, along with P-35s, take losses in excess of 5:1. Unfortunately, the Netties fail to launch PM phase airfield attacks on these bases due to weather.

Between Pearl and Luzon, the total butcher's bill for us was a few Zeros and Kates. Two day losses from all causes in Luzon and PH are 16 Zeros and 22 Kates, but pilot losses are far lower. This in comparison to about 64! P-40s, scads of outdated stuff (P-26, P-35 and even a few Texan trainers) and damage to ships, airfields and the repair yards at PH.

We are moving to invade Batan Island to allow Nates to LRCAP Aparri. 65th Bde and an armored regiment will hit the beaches tomorrow, followed by a substantial second wave to be covered by two BBs.

Something hits a mine in the night naval move phase, we assume this is the sub laid offensive minefield at Bataan.

16th Army

We invade Manado and Ternate without incident, except for xAK Iwaki Maru, which "hits rocks trying to unload at Manado" and is probably doomed. All troops and good supplies are ashore. DD Fubuki takes a few shell hits from Manado's CD guns, but no material damage, while B-17s from Cagayan kill fish near the invasion fleet. We have brought more to the party than the initial invasion force here, and hope to take the base quickly. Lightly defended Ternate should fall tomorrow.

KBL sinks an AVD and two xAKLs fleeing Mindanao while providing distant cover for these invasions. We have three CA waiting at Jolo, but neither Houston nor Boise shows up. Jolo falls in the ground attack phase.

25th Army

We had pulled back to Pattani, leaving only one merchie and one PB as kamikaze supply ships. Force Z arrives and makes short work of them. Unfortunately, the enemy's capital ships get far enough away, and under a convenient storm, that fifty-ish Netties that launch to sink them return to base empty-handed. Other Netties sink two HDMLs at Georgetown (bah!). As per the discussion below, this is a lost opportunity on our part to sink a potential threat to future invasions. However, the invasion of Malaya is at least undisturbed.

Likewise, RN CLs visit Sinkawang, sinking one PB and one kamikaze xAK unloading supply, along with the two crippled merchants hit by Swordfish yesterday. Fortunately, their sacrifice gets plenty of supply ashore to order a DA at Sinkawang tomorrow. The main body of the Sinkawang invasion force gets away clean and is spotted by UK search planes about seven hexes NNE of Mersing. CF may misinterpret this as a Mersing invasion TF.

UK air raids on Pattani find 54 Nates on CAP. Sheer numbers of these crappy planes overwhelm the enemy raid and kill or damage all but two planes out of 20ish.

DA Kota Bharu takes the base with 5:1 odds, casualties 2172(162) vs 229(1). We unloaded both an IJAAF air company and battalion (more than is usually in the invasion), allowing an Oscar Sentai to deploy for action tomorrow.

15th Army

Troops are slogging into position to attack lower Burma. Offensive action at Pegu or points north will await arrival of 33rd Division, which will soon be en route to the theater.

We've settled on Chumphon as 3rd Air Division's interdiction base. It is well positioned to interfere with ships near Rangoon or in the Malacca Straits, can be built to level four quickly and is immune to naval bombardment from the Indian Ocean side.


We are assembling forces and attending to the tedious garrison rationalization necessary here to free up offensive forces for China and to allow 21st Div to leave Shanghai. 38th Div and cronies arrive at Hong Kong and will bombard tomorrow while awaiting a few more reinforcements.


Tomorrow should be quieter as we have no invasions scheduled except for Batan Island. Top priority is to get Air HQs in position at Sinkawang, Jolo and Manado to cover invasions of Ambon and Kendari while interdicting Palembang and Singers.

nashvillen -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 12:27:40 AM)

Sounds like a good start. You going to hit PH again or just count your lucky starts and get the KB to other points where it will be needed?

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 1:36:12 AM)

I think a third day of strikes would be pushing my luck as torps are running low and we have to get KB to other AOs to cover landings. Still, Cribtop HQ is generally happy with the course of events.

Smoky Stoker -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 3:00:42 AM)

From the literary side-



Every group, even the elite of a society, has its outcasts. Tail gunners are the bottom feeders of Imperial Japanese Naval Aviation. Hanabusa Amane was justifiably proud of his acceptance into the Naval Air arm, but in the end he was assigned to serve as the rear gunner on a D3A1 dive bomber flying from Carrier Hiryu.

...Ensign Hanabusa...

You have it right at the beginning; Tail gunners are the bottom of the pecking order. Hanabusa would be a junior petty officer. A commissioned officer might fly as a tail gunner, but only if he were a close friend of the pilot going along in order not to miss the action.

FatR -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 9:48:08 AM)

Why you didn't accept a surface battle with Force Z? The situation was nearly ideal, with superior numbers and Japanese aviation ready to kill the cripples.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 3:55:16 PM)


In retrospect I should have. I was unloading at Kota and Singora and feared that CF would somehow get to the transports by going to a different base than my SCTF had it remained at Kota. In addition, I overestimated the ability of the Netties to intercept Force Z at about a 12 hex range. In practice, intercepts over ten hexes are iffy, but I had so many planes of different types on search I thought the odds were better than they were. That plus a convenient rain shower and we missed them.

PS - In looking over my notes to post the full Dec 8 summary, I confess another factor was the strategic assessment to seek attritional combat in the air but not as much at sea. I believed we could beat Force Z, but feared the loss of one of the Kongo class BBs, which I need to escort KB. However, given the likelihood of bagging two Capital ships that can cause short term pain in the DEI vs the lower likelihood that a Kongo would be sunk outright, this may have been a case where rolling the dice was warranted. To prove I really over thought this, I also am assuming that total enemy BB numbers will be substantially culled for the next 18 months given the carnage at Pearl.

kaleun -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 5:14:09 PM)

20/20 hindsight.

Cribtop -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 7:02:00 PM)

Just a quick post to state that I've updated the Dec 8th entry to include the full AAR report.

PS - Smoky, thanks for the tip. I'll retcon the entry to lower Hanabusa's rank. Poor guy gets a demotion, eh?

nashvillen -> RE: The Die is Cast! (4/6/2011 7:53:45 PM)

I have a question: Where is the Hibiki? [:D]

Sorry, couldn't resist...

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