Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (Full Version)

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Quixote -> Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/28/2012 6:57:39 PM)

After two years away from the game, both Ctangus and I now find ourselves with enough free time to dip back into PBEM again. Both of us played quite a bit of original WitP, but this will be the first AE game for both of us. This is not Ctangus's first AAR- he's done several of them. This is, however, my first AAR. (I'm looking forward to reading his take on things in a year or two from a different perspective. I've never had the chance to do this before, and I think it's only fair to give him the same opportunity, so I'm giving the whole AAR thing a shot.) You're welcome to follow along if you're interested (or bored), and if you have any questions, observations, or recommendations I'll try my best to address them. That said, on to the details.

Scenario 1, using the beta updates.

Ctangus is Allies, I'm playing Japan.

Only two HRs:
1. Fighter sweeps limited to the second best manuever band.
2. Must pay PPs for using restricted units outside their theater (Kwantung/China, India/Burma)

Although these are the only rules in place to start, we have a gentlemen's agreement to add something if we both find a tactic to be particularly game-breaking. Since we seem to share similar thoughts on play style, this may not be much of an issue. Both of us view PBEM as more of a game than a completely realistic historical simulation, but neither of us is looking for a complete no-rules free for all here, either. For that reason, I'm limiting myself to one port attack on turn one, I don't plan to take six bases simultaneously with one small paratrooper unit, and my invasion of Samoa isn't set for turn two. We'll see how this works out as we move forward.

As we're a few days into the game as I type, I'll try to bring things up to speed in the next few posts, and again welcome aboard.




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/28/2012 7:26:26 PM)

A note on the title of the AAR:

[image]local://upfiles/29916/9C3B713C8D4E45F08322588970A518F9.jpg[/image]

Please don't ask what any of this has to do with an actual war in the Pacific...




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/28/2012 7:38:07 PM)

December 7th

Very little infamy here. Or maybe a somewhat more distant infamy. Not nearly as infamous as Pearl Harbor would have been. Slightly more infamous for the Phillipinos, though...





[image]local://upfiles/29916/F07E5BF1A0964815B71135FAA59EEDE0.jpg[/image]

Manila hit by 4 of the 6 fleet CVs and by most of the land based air starting in Takao.




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/28/2012 8:12:50 PM)

Along with the port attack on Manila, there were all of six invasions on turn one:

Wake - with no CVs starting in that part of the world, I wanted to knock this over while it was still easy to do.
Kota Bharu - usual reasons
Miri - head start on the SRA
Kuching - same thing, get the SRA conquest in motion
Attu - Since I elected not to hit PH, I wanted to get at least some visibilty on that side of the map ASAP. I'm also
working on getting subs, pickets, and float planes set up to provide an early warning should Ctangus decide on an
early raid of my shipping lanes since he thinks my CVs will be busy elsewhere.
Vigan - I want to project a token landing here, so I'm purposely going in at only one base, and with very little.
I know it's a popular strategy for the Japanese to essentially bypass Luzon, and this is what I want it to seem like I'm
doing. I'm hoping he decides that instead of moving instantly back to the Manila/Clark/Baatan triangle, he'll move
forward and teach me a lesson for not commiting enough. If this happens, I plan to land behind him in force and try
to prevent a sizeable number of his units from being able to reach and help defend Manila. I thought Vigan was the
ideal base to try this with.

The only other unusual move I made was to pull two fleet carriers away from the KB (Akagi and Kaga), and send them to
Singkawang. Two reasons for this. One - I want to take Singkawang ASAP, and also, if it looks feasible, to make a very
quick strike at Palembang. I want it before he can turn it into a fortress. I really want it before he can move enough troops
in to cause potentially heavily damage to it when it falls. Two - If Force Z doesn't run, I'd like nothing better than to
get it out of the way ASAP, too. I want a quick conquest of the SRA, and Force Z is really the only thing he has that could
hinder this. It's worth it to me to lose the extra planes on Manila to get one or both of his BB/BCs here. Turns out I got
one, and did a little damage to the other, which is fine by me at this stage.



[image]local://upfiles/29916/B670DAED20EB4FE18375071D0038B3F5.jpg[/image]

Boise managed to do it's usual first turn damage despite my not landing (or planning to land) anywhere near it, as it
intercepted a magically moving transport TF headed to the Menado/Babeldoab area. I lost a couple of AKs and the old CL
guarding the merchants with no damage at all to Boise (no surprise here.) Ryujo then managed to do it's first turn damage,
with it's Kates putting several torpedos into the Boise.




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/29/2012 2:24:31 AM)

December 8th

SRA - Invaded Manado and Singkawang. Left the Palembang invasion forces hanging out off of Mersing with surface cover for another turn, out of range of torpedo
bombers. Most of the Malaya troops are going ashore at bases farther north on the peninsula, so there won't be a Mersing Gambit, but I'd like it to look like one for
as long as possible. Ctangus sent (or elected not to adjust) his bombers in at Singora/Kota Bharu, and CAP mostly had fun with them. Same with the bombers that
attack Akagi/Kaga. Not quite the same story in the air over the Phillipnes, though.

Phillipines - Still just the one small battalion ashore at Vigan. My transport TF retreated, and I'm not showing much in the way of follow up waves yet - just a
couple of smaller TFs with no heavies. In the air, a couple of my bomber groups elect to go in without fighter support (it flew with later groups) and get slaughtered.
The SCTFs off Manila manage to sink a number of fleeing ships, but the KB was clouded in, so it only contributed a couple of merchantmen in the opening air phase,
with no follow-up strike on Manila.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/FCAD043C18AE49AE84118687FC717C73.jpg[/image]

Elsewhere - I landed at Kavieng, and will hit Rabaul in another turn or two. Also have a few small TFs ready to take Tarawa and one or two of the neighboring
atolls. Nothing too flashy so far. I am moving another group of Netties to Kwaj, along with some of the Takao zeroes. I'm hoping Ctangus makes a quick foray to
Kwaj in search of transports to sink since he knows there's no danger of KB intervention, and that Kwaj doesn't start with too much that can really hurt him unless
I got lucky. I've got a few turns to get a feel for what kind of player he is, how aggressive or passive he is, etc., and this is one of those things that should help me
get a read on his style one way or the other.




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/29/2012 4:24:03 AM)

December 9th and 10th

Pacific - Extra Nells and Zeroes arrive at Kwaj, but no sign of any impending raid. Same thing at Wake - one supply ship unloading, but no visits from Allied
CVs. Most of the Kwaj/Wake area shipping has moved out towards the relative safety of Truk even so.

Phillipines - Still acting out the same play, but only for another turn or two. While not absolutely necessary, I've decided that I want to take (or at least
bottle up) Manila sooner rather than later, so I'm going to have to land my larger units one way or another - either at Lingayen if he moves forward, or at Vigan
where I'll have to fight my way south.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/1E504A61658F4CDE8C34C666468BA807.jpg[/image]

SRA - The dash for Palembang early seems to be working. Other than the good old Pro Patria (c'mon, who doesn't like sinking minelayers, even if they aren't
worth much of anything for points), the landing was unopposed. A fringe benefit to putting fleet CVs in the Singapore/Palembang area of the map right at the
beginning is that there are quite a few tankers that start the game here, and I managed to sink a fair number of them between the Akagi/Kaga group and the Netties
at Saigon. Factor in most of the tankers starting in the Phillipines (now also sunk), and this will hopefully give my opponent less flexibility to aggressively fight back
in the opening stages of the war, at least in the west. In the east, he's welcome to fight back all he wants to. I'm personally hoping he's sending at least a couple of
the Pearl Harbor BBs toward Oz - they are much easier to actually sink outside port, not to mention the fuel they burn even if I don't get the chance to put a few
torps into them. I'm sure I'll regret saying this in early 43, but for now the PH BBs don't bother me much.

After four turns, I seem to be fairly good at inducing surface intercepts (he can't have more than ten or so ships that escaped the Phillipines), and fairly bad (or
at least unlucky) at managing my bombers. My fighters are taking out his fighters in droves, which I gather is supposed to happen if he decides to fight back
against Zeroes with anything other than the AVG. Unfortunately, for the third turn running now, at least one of my bomber groups has charged into fighter cover
unescorted and/or before a sweep takes place, and it's been costing me. I definitely need to work on this going forward - I'm seeing a lot more fragmentation
than I'm used to, and I haven't been on the right end of it often enough. I'm all for taking necessary losses while fighting, but I don't need to hand Ctangus any
more freebies...





Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/30/2012 5:04:10 AM)

December 11th and 12th

Central Pacific - All quiet. The extra Betties and Zeroes are in place, but no sign of the Allies. Good for
him, bad for me - I was hoping to catch him off guard here early.

Solomons - No signs of any oppositon here, either. I sank a lone Aussie CL that Ctangus threw at
Rabaul when I landed, but it wasn't a very fair fight. I had a couple of CAs and several DDs, and didn't take
any real damage. Landed a small force at Tulagi, again unopposed.

SRA - Palembang fell, with relatively light damage to the oil and refinery. Landed at Jolo unopposed.
Sank several more fleeing merchants from Manila, and landed reinforcements at Manado since I couldn't get
any better than 1-1 despite bringing what I thought were adequate forces. Moved on to set up for Kendari,
and it looks like Ctangus may be ready to fight back here. (see below)

Phillipines - So far, so good. He took the bait and moved several units forward, so I reinforced Vigan
with a battalion, then landed behind him at Lingayen with 400+ AV, and put some armor ashore at Appari to
race down the east coast. (see below)

[image]local://upfiles/29916/4848F603E32A4F209250813906416743.jpg[/image]

Lest it seem like absolutely everything is going my way, I had another turn where my bombers flew in
unescorted and again got creamed. Fighters - I'm killing him (8-1 ratio or better.) Surface action - haven't
lost anything since the Boise encounter on turn one and have intercepted dozens of his fleeing merchies, turn
after turn. ASW - I'm not supposed to be this effective this early, but I've probably taken out another 3 or
4 subs with my escorts and ASW groups already, on top of the opening slaughter at Manila. With my
bombers, though....sigh. I'm already looking at expanding production, and we've been fighting for less than a
week. With PDU on, I'm looking to convert most of my bombers to heavier models (Sallys/Lillys) to start, and
I'll happily pay the PPs to do so, but at this rate I'm not producing enough to even make up for losses in
existing units much less for conversions. At this point, I'm ready to take a turn or two off from bombing, let
everyone rest up, and just keep sweeping and taking out his fighters. There's nothing on the map that I have
to hit right now anyway, so I'll settle for a few small victories if I can get them and restore some morale and
fatigue.





Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 2:16:22 AM)

December 13, 14, and 15

[image]local://upfiles/29916/6979B23DC7CF4C4B866636501FF023F4.jpg[/image]

Phillipines - The flanking worked, or at least it has so far. I should cut off and kill at least a couple of Phillipino
divisions before they can make it back to defend the siege. As to the siege, I expected it to be
Manila, but from the look of things Ctangus would rather hole up in Bataan. Off the coast, we've
had a few PT boat fights, which have mostly done nothing. He put a torp into one of my AKs (it'll
live if a sub doesn't get it), and I've put big holes in 5 or 6 of his PTs. I've been sweeping both
Manila and Clark with Zeroes for the past few turns, and he doesn't have too many fighters left.
I'm not sure he hasn't moved some of them out, but I haven't run into the P-40s anywhere else
in the area yet, and the kill totals aren't too far off what I'd expect to see given the planes he still
has left.







Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 2:26:06 AM)

December 13, 14, and 15

[image]local://upfiles/29916/F770CA70DDCB4616997BC9F430555CB7.jpg[/image]

Malaya - Chuck (Ctangus) is very late pulling his troops back if he plans to make a real siege of things at
Singapore. Alor Star, Kuantan, and the stragglers from Georgetown and Taiping I'll probably catch with
armor before they make it down the peninsula....not an ideal situation for him. I'm looking to add insult
to injury here and land a division or two behind him at Mersing. I played at it the first couple of turns,
but there's almost no good reason not to do it for real now.





Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 2:53:20 AM)

December 13, 14, and 15

Cent Pac - Still all quiet. I'm starting to send some more supply and support to both Wake and Kwaj, and
will probably use my first round of mines shoring up this area. Since he still has all his shiny BBs
from Pearl available, it wouldn't surprise me if he decided to hit an atoll sooner rather than later
here when he figures out where the KB is (at least when he figures out when the KB isn't here.)
Since Ctangus is being so quiet over here, even when he knew there was no KB around for at
least a few days, I've started sending a few small invasions (couple of AKs and a fast DD
transport) to pick off more atolls south of Tarawa. If he gives them to me free, I'll take 'em.

Solomons - I have Rabaul, and a small force on Tulagi. Since the lone cruiser he sent my way several
turns ago, I've seen no action here, either. Going to do the same thing in this area that I'm
doing in the Central Pacific - a few small amphibs pushing forward on empty bases. Until they
stop being empty.

Mid SRA - I now have Manado, Kendari (I put a few bombs into Marblehead, so Ctangus pulled the rest of
his surface assets out with no naval engagement - just the one mine hit on my CA), and Ternate.
Amphibs are already loaded and in transit for both Tarakan and Ambon - they'll be next on the
list. Mini-KB (not so mini really with Kaga and Akagi still around) are supporting these landings,
along with the BBs that started in the Home Islands.



[image]local://upfiles/29916/AB445B22E5424138916BA46A3AEA30BF.jpg[/image]




geofflambert -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 3:46:14 AM)

Rabbits, Dogs and Windmills. Rabbits make me think of Alice in Wonderland, Dogs, somewhat more traditional Native Americans trying to keep warm at night, but Windmills makes me think of putt-putt. The question is, how many balls do you have, Don, in proportion to your putts? [;)]

You are moving very fast, but aside from the Philipines, do you have immediate plans to move against the Americans and Australians, and if not, do you plan to strike them particularly hard within the not very distant future? What is your view on the importance of PM and do you have a strategy to interdict the American supply lines?




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 4:31:50 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: geofflambert

The question is, how many balls do you have, Don, in proportion to your putts?


Geoff - Even in putt putt, I manage to hit one or two of them into the water. Unlike one of my real rounds, though, I hope to have enough balls to get through
this one :)

In answer to a few of your questions:
1. Yes, I'm moving pretty fast. I have enough CV support where I need it, Force Z is a non-issue now, and Ctangus hasn't put up much of a fight yet. Against
an opponent more determined to slow me down I might be moving more methodically, but for now I'm keeping up with the pace of ops and still not losing much.
Who knows - this may change, but for now it's working quite well.
2. No immediate plans to move against the Americans. I'm still trying to get a feel for Chuck's game. So far, even though he was handed several very low risk
opportunities to use his CVs against my shipping when he knew the KB was too far away to intercede, he didn't take them. I'm guessing that he's just parking
them out of the way and keeping them safe. If I'm wrong, I'll either take a bloody nose somewhere, or I'll get a shot at his CVs.
3. Importance of PM - I want it, but mostly only because I don't want him to have it.

Grand Strategy - I didn't address grand strategy in the opening part of the AAR for a very good reason. (Spoiler alert........ I have no grand strategy yet.)
It's been a couple of years since my last PBEMs. In my later ones (I played a couple against Rader), I conquered all of Australia in stock, and Pearl Harbor in CHS.
I had a good feel back then for what was possible, and what wasn't. With AE, this is now officially as far as I've made it in a game, including against the AI - my
comfort level is nowhere near the same as it was in WitP. I have read a number of AARs, and I don't feel completely clueless, but I don't feel quite ready to plan
a Hawaiian invasion quite yet, either. The goal in the opening phase, therefore, is to take the SRA fast, bottle up Manila fast, take Singapore as quickly as I can,
and shake off the rust. If I can pull that off without losing too much, then I'll still have enough time left while I have an advantage to do something creative. I'd
love to tell you what that is, but I don't know yet. Maybe India...I've never tried India before.

Anyway, thanks for the questions and for taking the time to read along! Who knows, I may even develop some sense of direction as I move forward :)




PaxMondo -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 4:42:24 AM)

[sm=00000613.gif]

Subscribed.




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (10/31/2012 5:00:30 AM)

Welcome aboard Pax :) I'm very used to reading your posts - not so much used to having mine read, at least since WitP. I'll try to keep things
at least quasi-interesting here...




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/2/2012 4:22:34 AM)

December 16, 17 and 18

Phillipines - The two Phillpino divisions cut off were eliminated, and I landed behind him again at Batangas, one hex south of Manila, in force. I doubt I
can cut anything else off before the siege starts, but if he's defending Bataan, I'm still moving to try.



[image]local://upfiles/29916/4B2D5EFC23FF426E88DFBB8A8047938E.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/2/2012 5:01:27 AM)

December 16, 17, and 18

Malaya - Started bombing Singapore to prevent fort build-up and to hopefully take out a few more torpedo bombers on the runway. On the 12/17 a few
defending fighters made it up (five, I think), and by the 18th the bombing runs went in unopposed. Whatever he built in forts in the first 10 days is all he's likely to
get, and with Singapore's port starting the game damaged, that should mean he didn't have enough time to add to the fort level here at all. The AVG is in China
and over Rangoon right now, so barring some sudden shift in strategy on Ctangus's part, Singapore is going to be unable to effectively defend against a landing at
Mersing. I've started loading the Imperial Guards, 4th Division, and whatever armor and assault engineers I could throw together, and I'll likely hit Mersing in four
or five more days. He still has enough units defending well north of Mersing to make this worthwhile, I think. I know he mined this port right from the beginning of
the game, so I've got a couple of AMc's and DMS's that will go in a day or two ahead of the transports. I may lose one or two of them if he still has a few air-worthy
Vildebeests left, but you know what they say about making an omlette....

Cent Pac - Still quiet, no signs of Allied CVs or anything else. I'm moving some minelayers to Wake to make bombardment, sub patrols, or other action by him
more costly should he try something early. If he doesn't try anything early, the mines can just sit there and still come in handy a year or two from now. Still running
one fast transport with DDs to pick up atolls going south from Tarawa - no resistance yet for this, either.

SRA - Tarakan forces have landed. I'm going to wait one turn until I take the base one hex south before attacking so I can just eliminate them instead of
having them retreat and hang around for a while. I used a couple of BBs to suppress the DC guns here - hopefully didn't do too much damage to the oil. Ambon
landing is a couple of days out, and barring anything unexpected I'll hit Balikpapan a few turns after securing Tarakan. He's countering with subs - they've hit an
AK or two - but not with either planes or warships since the aborted Kendari defense.

Lastly, while it's not a theater and I probably won't report on sub actions too often in the AAR unless they involve hitting CVs or BBs, IJN submariners had a pretty
good time on 12/16. All the hits below were from just the one day. Hopefully most of them went down.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/877702DEF78842B49B26C630E04D2E17.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/5/2012 1:47:06 AM)

December 19, 20, and 21

Malaya - No fighter resistance left. Singers has heavy damage to both the port and the airfield. Hit the port to damage/sink the small APs and AKs Ctangus has
had there since the start of hostilities. Started damaging Johore airfield to prevent any sneaky torpedo bombers from hitting the fleet when it lands at Mersing. Not
sure they're still here, but they haven't shown up anywhere else yet, either. A large (3+ division) landing at Mersing should take place on the 22nd.

CentPac - Supplies are going ashore again at Wake, and the first round of mines has been laid. Not a peep from Allied CVs, and no CAs have come calling. I
pushed out to Tabiteuea with a fast transport. Still haven't seen any signs that Ctangus intends to resist anywhere here yet.

Solomons - Took Lae, mopped up a few unoccupied bases on the back of New Guinea, and pushed on to Ndeni in the Santa Cruz Islands. Some scouting from
Cats at Port Moresby, but nothing else yet.

SRA - Landed at both Ambon and Tarakan. Moving a bunch of support (Air HQ, AR, AS, and my lone AKE) to Kendari. This will be the forward base of ops
here for the next couple of weeks. The landing for Balikpapan is in place, and was due to go ahsore next turn. I sent a couple of AMc in to sweep mines there on
the 21rst, but after clearing a few out, they were promptly sunk by CD guns (I should have remembered this, but...) The troops will now be going ashore next door
at Samarinda. Palembang had it's Air HQ in place on 12/19, and a day later Nells and Betties sank several small AOs that were gathering at Christmas Island(IO).

Phillipines - Ctangus has been pushed back to the Clark/Bataan/Manila triangle. It looks like he's either changed his mind or he took some advice and
decided to defend Clark instead of Bataan. A couple of turns ago, he had units moving into Bataan. Now he's got them moving back out to Clark, and the unit count
is down again at Bataan. Manila, though, is down to a three unit garrison, and even they are running hell bent for Clark, so the port should be mine (though not
very useful quite yet) in a turn or two.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/AFB1ECEE6A824755BDD6686E744A16DB.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/6/2012 1:36:15 AM)

December 22, 23, and 24

[image]local://upfiles/29916/34CAE5AE753C455FAF46492F1BC5B20A.jpg[/image]

Phillipines - Manila falls on the 24th. Two more units got cut off from the main retreat to Clark, and fell back on Mauban. They'll be captured shortly. Ctangus
still has a few B17s at Clark, and for two turns in a row they've finally found ships that they can actually hit with bombs. He's had them port bombing
Takao, which I have not completely emptied yet, so a couple of AKs now have holes in them. None will sink, but they'll be the first business my repair yards will
see in the war. More clouds have made closing the airfield at Clark difficult so far. I've been trying, but have been less than successful - want to keep the fort
levels down both here and at Bataan, too, but not much luck yet. On the plus side, Ctangus will have a lot fewer supplies to try to build forts with, even if it stays
rainy for days. When Manila fell, it was captured with a little over 100K supplies which didn't get pulled to Clark, so maybe this won't be all that long a siege.





Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/6/2012 2:30:06 AM)

December 22, 23, and 24

Cent Pac - All quiet. Haven't gone any further south than Tabitueau in the past few turns.

Solomons - I've taken a few more empty bases, and pushed south to Luganville with the small amphibs. Sank an AVD at Luganville the same
turn I landed, but otherwise quiet.

SRA - Samarinda fell, and there were landings at Makassar and Bandjermasin on the 24th. I suffered my first meaningful loss when a Dutch
sub put a torpedo into the Kaga off Balikpapan. Fortunately, Kaga didn't sustain heavy damage, but she's still headed to the yards now and will be out
of action for a while. One turn later, just to keep my adrenaline going, a Dutch sub fired a dud at Ryujo. I've upped naval search, and have multiple
ASW groups with the CVs, but he's still getting the occasional chance to shoot. Without Kaga, and with no immediate op that needs close CV cover, I'm
going to pull the carriers back for a bit and try to sink subs for a turn or three.

Malaya - Looking very good here with one exception. The Mersing landing went well - he didn't even pick it up with patrols before it hit the
beach. I'm ashore in force (enough to take Singapore with, I think), and all the mines were cleared with no accidents. The exception is large, though.
Ctangus took out six of my AKs with his pesky Vildebeests. Nothing flew on the turn I landed (when I expected it to). I meant to switch LRCAP from
Kota, but only got halfway there. I shut down the fatigued group, but failed to assign the rested group.... Lots of old, slow torpedo bombers thus
got a free shot at lots of stationary transports, and they didn't miss much. Since most of the troops were ashore already, at least all I lost were the
ships - the lesson could easily have been much more painful. Along with the AKs, CL Kiso took a single torpedo - not enough to sink her, but she'll be
out of action for a bit.

Note on the air war - Things haven't gotten much better on the lack of coordination front. I still lose 10+ bombers every second or third
turn when they fly in sans escort. The only saving grace here is that Chuck is losing fighters almost as fast as I'm losing bombers, and that I can
make up the losses at this point, where he really can't. At the rate we're going, in another week or two he won't have enough fighters left even to
carve up bombers that continue flying in on their own.



[image]local://upfiles/29916/F4BB811624F347CCB8DEABB712DC78A3.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/9/2012 5:55:12 PM)

December 25, 26, and 27

Cent Pac - All quiet, still no sign of rabbits (or Admiral Bonnie) here. Wake is now mined, and the initial shipping of supplies and troops in
the Kwaj area is mostly done now, so I'm transferring half the Zeroes and Nells to Rabaul. If he decides to raid here, I still have one Datai
of Betties with torps and some Zero escort to take a few shots at him, but I doubt they'll get the chance to shoot at much in the near future.

Solomons - Ctangus fights back (successfully) for the first time at sea. I've been sending smaller landing forces in all over the area, and it
was obvious that I couldn't have a covering force for every one of them, so Chuck finally sent in a SCTF to oppose one. CAs Australia and
Canberra, with several DDs, ran into Milne Bay at night, took out a PB and an AK, and were gone by morning. The troops got ashore the
previous turn, so I took very little real damage, but it's nice to know that he's not in headlong flight with every asset he has - makes things
much more fun. Progess so far - I have Luganville to the south, Woodlark and Milne at the tail of New Guinea, and a couple of small base
forces at Lae and Buna. One of the original Takao Air HQs has finished unloading at Rabaul, so I should have torps for the Datai of Nells
here shortly.

SRA - Balikpapan, Tarakan, and Makassar are captured. Kendari AF is now level 5 with an Air HQ. Going to start looking at what he has or
hasn't moved into Koepang over the next several turns. Landed at Bandjermasin to pick up an AF to sweep southern Java with.

Phillipines - Concentrating at Clark, and resting a turn or two before the first deliberate attack. It looks like I outnumber him almost 2-1 in
AV, so I'll try to push things a bit instead of just waiting for him to starve. I'd love to get this out of they way sooner rather than later, but
we'll see how it goes...

Malaya - Peninsula is cut, and I'll be attacking Johore Bahru next turn. Everyone left down there is fleeing to Singapore, so I may end up
attacking an empty base. Those who didn't make it that far are starting to be rounded up - see Alor Star below. Should be at another four or
five Allied units caught between the hammer up north and the anvil at Johore who won't last long.

Burma - Working my way up the west coast with a couple of smaller units (armor and cavalry), but nothing more interesting than a few
fighter sweeps of Rangoon so far. No major forces committed here yet - going to have to wait for the fall of Singapore until I ship them in.

China - Haven't talked about this at all yet, but nothing very unpredictable has happened. I got kicked out of Ichang (no surprise), but
otherwise we've both just been moving troops into position. I think I won the initial postioning in northern China, where we just had our
first major land battle of the war. We'll see what, if anything, I can manage to do to exploit it.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/526B263104794040B75E38431BEAC195.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/12/2012 4:28:46 PM)

December 28, 29, and 30

Phillipines - Still bombing both Clark and Bataan with shorter range bombers. The first deliberate attack on Clark went off at 1-2, taking the forts to level 1. The attack was close to a 1-1, and I have almost twice the AV he does here, so I'll rest a few turns and try it again.

SRA - I've been cleaning up the area and backfilling bypassed bases. No new forward bases in the past three turns, excepting Makassar. Started fighter sweeps of northern Java. Lost another 24 Nells/Betties who attacked in groups without escort (sigh...) Note: Our whole game has been played with the air coordination bug from beta. Theoretically it's fixed with v1120, but it's devastated my bombers almost every turn we've played. The Allies and Japan are now almost tied in total air losses for the war, and it's not even 1942 yet...

Malaya - Resting up for Singapore. Should start marching in a turn or two from Johore with enough force to take the city quickly. Ctangus is trying to get a few of his troops out by air, but he's been paying for it with transport planes lost to LRCAP.

Solomons - Sank a couple of ships reinforcing Port Moresby with subs and Nells. He has five units (parts of, at least) at PM now, so it looks like he's not just going to let me have it. Since my divisions are all currently occupied with Malaya and Luzon, I'm putting together a collection of smaller SNLF and Guards units which I'll throw at PM in ten days or so. I don't think he's had the time to move enough here to keep me from taking it from him even with a patchwork force, but I'll find out sooner rather than later. We're far enough into the game that he could have all three American CVs down here and things could get interesting, but my guess is that the CVs are elsewhere (like PH or the South Pacific.)

China - Not usually one of my favorite parts of the game, but it's been interesting so far - some good and some bad. Up north I'm winning handily - there's an off chance I manage to encircle a ridiculous number of Chinese troops at Loyang/Chengchow. Down south, I've made it no further than 2 hexes from Canton and will probably have to settle for that for a while. In central China, he's pushing hard. Since I sent a lot of my starting units north at the beginning of the game, he's got more AV than I do between Changsha and Sinyang, and seems to want to attack with it. I don't think I'm in danger of losing any major cities, but I'm certainly not going anywhere fast in this area any time soon, either. Since he was obviously pushing hard through Ichang to Hankow, I waited a few turns and sent the troops who got kicked out of Ichang at the beginning of the game back into Ichang. The idea was to let him go by, then cut off his supply and make him turn around and have to shock attack me across a river. My units weren't very disrupted, and were still very combat effective when I did this. They aren't any more... He only had five smaller units in Ichang when I ordered the attack to re-take the city, but got an additional seven units (including corps and HQs) to move back into the hex the same turn my attack went off. It wasn't pretty.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/C07E663B7D1C4BE6A515F7302926FBC7.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/19/2012 7:54:21 PM)

December 31 through January 7

Cent Pac and Aleutians - I've taken all that I plan to take here with the possible exception of Midway, and Ctangus hasn't tried to interfere. These theaters may get more interesting in several months, but I don't see too much happening in either of them until then.

SRA - Captured Koepang (it had not been reinforced), pushed south from Palembang with infantry to take Oosthaven, and tried a small night surface raid of Darwin which failed, but wasn't a disaster. CA Chikuma and destroyers versus CA Houston and more destroyers - Chikuma has a few more holes now then she did before, but will live. Otherwise there was no other real damage on either side. Most of the bases I want for the Java invasion have been taken, excepting Denpasar - the small island with a decent airfield just south of Java itself. Strafing of Java has started, but after a turn or two Chuck pulled his fighters back. I have not started bombing any airfields on Java itself yet.

Solomons/South Pacific - While waiting for the PM invasion forces to gather at Rabaul (pulled from Truk, Babeldoab, and Rabaul itself - it was going to take several days to get them all ready) I sent the KB to raid Suva and the Fijis. My subs had been spotting action here, and I had the time and fuel for a quick run down and back. I didn't sink twenty ships full of multiple infantry divisons and fighter groups, but it was still a worthwhile effort. (See below)




[image]local://upfiles/29916/1AE9EC8694CB45F68B917310EF2D60AB.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/19/2012 8:04:12 PM)

December 31 through January 7

China - China continues to be interesting. I'm still rolling up north, but Chuck is more than holding his own everywhere else. I'm paying for my Ichang move with a whole Japanese division that will end up eliminated sooner or later. He's been taking divison-sized losses or worse in several of the battles up north. I'm wishing I'd paid a little more attention to south and central China, and I'm sure he's wishing he'd done the same in north China. One of us will come out on top eventually, but for now it's ugly on both sides in places.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/55CF0AF74A2C4712B73987E1F65E5306.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/19/2012 8:11:08 PM)

December 31 through January 7

Lastly, here's a quick summary of shipping losses for the first full month of the war. Give the speed of my expansion, I'm not unhappy with this. (Alas, my bomber losses are another matter, but I'll post some plane losses in the next week or two of action.)

[image]local://upfiles/29916/2C9B638C73F746E1B65B32444E2BA2A2.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/24/2012 12:41:35 AM)

January 8 through January 14

China - Slowing down just a little, but still the same balance - he's still stronger in the south, and I'm still stronger up north. I've fallen back (more or less been forced back, really) to Canton, where I can at least hope to hold out in the urban hex and occasionally bombard his troops with the collection of light cruisers and destroyers I've now got at Hong King. Up north, things are still developing well for me, and I'm trying to surround and eliminate a couple of larger stacks if Ctangus doesn't start pulling back. So far, he hasn't been the retreating type on land if he can help it.

Singapore and Clark - Unfortunately, I've settled in for a slower capture of both the spots. My initial attacks (and several subsequent attacks) have been lackluster at best. The most successful have been just under 2-1, but then the next one five days later does nothing...I guess I'll be forced to excercise at least some patience here. The rest of the Malay peninsula is finished, so the extra 500AV there should be enough to push Singers over the edge when I get them to Johore to help out. Clark is down to zero forts, and I'm getting regular 1-1s, coming close to 2-1. He doesn't have that much supply left (the hits on airbase and port supply are becoming very rare), so sooner or later I'll get a good roll, or he'll run out of bullets.

Solomons - Port Moresby is due for an invasion next turn (January 15th.) I took a slightly longer course around the tail of the New Guinea bird with the fleet, but even this slight diversion seems to have thrown Chuck's search off (I'm guessing he's using search arcs. Or his patrol pilots are just really bad.). He still had transports in the area when he finally picked the KB up 6 hexes out - only smaller xAKs, but most of them are gone, now.

SRA - I took Denpasar and sent in air support to cover the impending Java landings. I've been sending in small minesweeping and SCTFs at Merak on the other end of the island for the past five or six turns, covered by zeroes from Oosthaven, just to keep him honest here. I haven't shown much down south other than taking Denpasar, but that in itself is sort of a red flag. From recon, Ctangus has more defenses up north than he does down south on likely landing spots, so south it'll be. I have paras prepped and ready to land both north and south (I haven't used them at all so far. In retrospect they'd have helped in China early on, but...) Air HQs are now at both Palembang and Koepang. The Palembang area hasn't been at all target-rich this week, but Koepang has more than made up for that. Betties downed a LOT of xAKLs at or headed towards the northern bases in Oz, along with several more AOs and TKs. Since most of their small escorts were sunk too, subs have been adding insult to injury down here by attacking the survivors on the surface and sinking them, also. (That "6 torpedo hits by one sub in one attack" post came from down here. There have been several others just as deadly using fewer torps.)



[image]local://upfiles/29916/17BCB92F1F6C4DA7B01F987D742ADD7C.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/24/2012 7:02:55 PM)

January 15 through January 18

Solomons - Landed at PM on the 15th, and captured it on the 16th (3-1 shock attack.) Since Ctangus had thrown a few units into the defense here, I'm a little surprised it fell immediately - I didn't exactly bring the hammer here. I took Terapo the same turn hoping the forces in PM would just surrender straight away, but no such luck - they took to the jungle. I tried for a quick grab of Horn Island while I was at it (small four ship fast transport with 18AV aboard), but no luck - he's got 5 units here already, though most of them are support. I did a quick evac, and will try again with a larger force in the near future.

SRA - The action has been at Java, and there has been quite a bit of action. I landed at Banjoewangi (southern tip of Java) and took it on the 16th. The next day I dropped Paras on Loemadjang two hexes north and captured the level 4AF there. I don't have enough to push to Soerbaja at this point unless he turtles up, but I did bring enough not to get kicked off the island - my one remaining uncommited division (the 38th) landed here on the 18th, in what was a nail-biter despite plenty of naval and air coverage, and joined the three tank regiments and one infantry regiment already ashore. At this point Chuck decided to fight back, and on the 18th he commited what I assume were most of the surface assets he had left in this part of the world. Banjoewangi was visited by a group centered around the BC Repulse, another centered around CA Houston, and two groups of PT boats. I think there were ten or eleven different rounds of naval combat here this turn. I lost two or three AKs and an escort, and a few of the troops from the 38th Div probably had heart attacks to go along with the disruption they suffered from being attacked mid landing, but in the end this was a huge day for Japan. I've attached part of the naval sequence below - outrageously good luck for the Japanese. In addtion to victories at sea, Ctangus lost another 50 planes this turn, mostly on Java. He's almost out of fighters, so the few groups that did fly got massacred by zeroes for very little return (one AK hit, I think), and the ones that didn't fly got pounded by two large raids that hit Madioen and detroyed lots of planes on the ground. It wasn't the easiest replay to watch (I kept seeing Houston and Repulse pop up and wondering when ANY of my larger groups were going to engage...), but it was one of the best replays I'm likely to get this game without any CVs involved.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/2E9785D4180F4B4BBEE5A8C5B8D5D384.jpg[/image]




Rapunzel -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/24/2012 8:54:58 PM)

Nice AAR, keep it updated [&o]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/29/2012 12:39:32 AM)

Thanks very much Rapunzel - glad you're enjoying the read. Chuck (Ctangus) seems to update/post quite a bit more frequently than I do, but I'll try to keep things up do date to within at least a day or two of game time. That said, let me finish up a picture or two and get this caught up tonight!!




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/29/2012 1:27:16 AM)

January 19 through 27

Here are the plane losses to date. Quick summary, Ctangus has lost a ton of fighters, and I've lost a ridiculous amount of bombers for this point in the game. Having played more than half the game with the coordination bug (or fix, depending on your viewpoint) in beta, I've lost many, many bombers who flew into CAP with no escort. Since the beta update a week ago, things haven't been incredibly coordinated, but they have been better. Even with that,though, the game still throws you a friendly curveball now and then. I was just starting to feel comfortable about re-establishing dominating air superiority over Chuck this past week when I see the "bombers fail to link up with escorts" message on the 26th over Java. Since he has few fighters left, I wasn't worried much about this. Until I watched my Nells and Betties fly again unescorted into the heaviest CAP he'd put up anywhere on the map in the past two weeks. Between air to air and ops losses, down went another 40 of my bombers in one day. Oh well, you can't win 'em all. Hopefully I'm being at least semi-competent with pilot training and airframe production, since it appears that I'm getting to the point where I'll soon need to be.

[image]local://upfiles/29916/607989694F50497D98FB706AFACAB083.jpg[/image]




Quixote -> RE: Of Rabbits, Dogs, and Windmills.........Quixote vs Ctangus (11/29/2012 4:09:09 AM)

January 19 through 27

China - Lots of manuevering going on in the last week, on both sides, but without any decisive or costly losses. Hard to say who's winning or losing at this point. The momentum seems to be swinging a bit in my favor in central China - he's pulling back from Hankow and Sinyang - but I'm not sure at this point if I can really make him pay for pushing early yet, or if it ends up being a good idea on his part.

Solomons, and points south - Ctangus sent his B-17s to visit Port Moresby harbor a turn or two after I took it. Like at Takao earlier in the game, a few of my ships now have holes in them and need some repair. I haven't mentioned it until this point, but my CAs continue to be magnets for mines, torpedos, and bombs. Except for poor Chokai, which took three torps in the same sub attack, none of my CAs are in danger of sinking, but I have yet to find one that prefers combat over yard time. (This was prompted by Ashigara hitting the trifecta at PM - mine hit, bomb hit(s), and torp hit, all on different turns. I don't think I'm reckless with them, but on a "per capita(l) ship basis", they hit more mines and take more torpedoes than every other class of ship I have hands down. As for points south, I landed a small force at Koumac. Recon (albeit from subs) shows Noumea very lightly defended, so I'm marching my SNLF down the length of the island, and am moving up enough in the way of reinforcements to be able to take the island. Not that I plan to defend it tooth and nail later, maybe, but having Noumea early is great for hurting US-Oz cooperation.

Java - So far so good. I've lost a couple of DDs and AKs to LBA, but nothing too substantial. I cut Java in half with dual paratroops landings on the 26th, and it looks like I've split the AV on the island into halves, too. (see below)

[image]local://upfiles/29916/4D2DCFEEF6D349BFA04F5D81413613C8.jpg[/image]




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