RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (Full Version)

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Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 6:14:48 PM)

Bridge of HMS Prince of Wales
34 miles due south of Singakwang
0400 hours 11 December 1941

Captain A.C. Collinson had little time to ponder over the suprising events that led him to command a mixed TF flagged by Britain's best ship in the PTO.  The day had been filled with gunfire proxmite and distant as the enemy closed in force, apparently intent on making a forced passage to southwestern Borneo.

The Allies had either been lucky or good in implementing the Fire Team protocols that had positioned a large percentage of their assets in this region.  There was a chance, even amidst the frightful confusion of events unfolding rapidly and unpredictably, that the Allies might strike effectively.

This had come at a cost, though.  The RN had not expected the Japanese carrier force that was bedevling the Philippines to move so fast and so far to the south.  Then Japanase army and navy strike aircraft had targeted Forze Z, flagged by Repulse, stationed just west of Singkawang.  Bettys and Nells from mainland Asia had been treated roughly by a mixed bag of Allied fighters, which were then out of position so that they couldn't effectively contest a sizeable raid by IJN strike aircraft.  Repulse had taken three torpedoes and was burning fiercely in Singkawang's little harbor.  About the best that she could do would be to serve as bait tomorrow.  Java had taken two torps, but that tough little ship might well live to fight again.  She was already enroute to Soerabaja. 

The Japanese carrier force was less than 200 miles NW of Kuching, the vanguard of what appeared to be an armada making for Kuching and/or Singakwang.  There was at least one large combat TF, including battleships, trailing, along with what had all the makings of an invasion fleet. 

The Japanese carrier TF had flown a series of missions since the start of the war.  The Japs had to be running low on ordinance, but Collinson knew that there was always a tendency to undertestimate the remaining stockpiles.  Nevertheless, the Allies might force a delay in the enemy invasion if the IJN carriers had to retire to re-supply.

With this in mind, orders had been issued to effect a full concentration of force - ships and aircraft - to face the enemy.  By use of radio and the highly effective chain of command that allowed a surprisingly efficient distribution of aircraft on short notice, the Allies had the makings of what might be a strong airforce along the Singapore to Palembang to Borneo triangle.  Heck, even the Americans were involved.  The plan went like this:

1.  A mixed force of bombers at various bases in Malaya - anchored by two USAAF B-17 squadrons just arrived at Singapore from the Philippines - would target the enemy airfield at Kuantan in hopes of disrupting the land-based component of the Japanese air force.

2. 31 attenuated torpedo bombers at Singapore had sufficient range to strike at any enemy ships that might stand far enough west of Borneo to fall within striking range.

3.  Two small float-plane squadrons had moved to Groot Natoena and Soebi to offer close-range reconnaissance.  A variety of good patrol squadrons would operate from the nearby big bases.

4.  Two American A-24 dive bomber squadrons were at Kuching and were the closest strike aircraft.  Palembang could contribute 32 139WH Dutch bombers and 29 Blenheims.

5.  The Allies had scraped together 111 fighters based now at Singakwang, Kuching and Pontianak.  This included 18 P-40Es fresh from Australia, a good Hurricane squadron, and several decent squadrons equipped with Buffaloes.

6.  Collinson was disappointed that Prince of Wales would retire to the west. The idea was to keep her out of harm's way until the situation developed more fully.  However, a number of small cruiser TFs would be posted near Singawang to serve as bait - as would the stricken Repulse.

Reports indicated that the Japanese carriers could be expected to put up 60 fighters and 100 strike aircraft. Zeroes and Bettys might also come from Kuantan, but after costly raids the previous two days, that threat seem diminished.  Overall, the Japanese could put up a powerful force flying modern aircraft, but it was not invulnerable.  To Collinson's way of thinking it made sense for the Allies to choose this place and this time to fight. 






witpqs -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 6:39:22 PM)

quote:

...the highly effective chain of command that allowed a surprisingly efficient distribution of aircraft on short notice...


[:D]




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 6:46:42 PM)

You think that's surprising, just wait until you see what Japan is capable of doing!  We have it on good informatin that Japan can make instaneous decisions to rebase Betty squadrons a 1,000 miles or more and - get this - on the same day fly coordinated missions against Allied shipping another 400 to 600 miles away.  It boggles!




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:03:59 PM)

I don't know much about this mod's OOB and nothing about the planes. To have P-40s in Oz and Hurricanes on 12/11. Wow.




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:22:21 PM)

I know what you mean.  I'm in the same shoes.  I know next to nothing about this mod.  I intentionally refrained from reading anything about it so that I would be in the dark.  This, I hoped, would lend some excitement and realism to the game, limiting the "god-like foreknowledge" that is inherent in the game.  I've kind of left myself an out - if playing in the dark is too much of a hindrance, I'll just snap my fingers and, voila!, the Allies will suddenly get some infomration from a well-placed asset in Japan.

Due to my lack of familiarity with the game, I keep finding little things here and there - for instance, there is an American TF loaded with some base force personnel and aircraft that begins and Darwin.  There's also an Aussie brigade aboard ships near Milne Bay (I just found that one and redirected those ships to Luganville).

I don't think the Allies get nearly as many pleasant surprises as Japan gets.  My opponent, the creator of this Mod, modestly claims it puts Japan in position somewhere between Scenario 1 and Scenario 2.  I'm skeptical.  I wouldn't be surprised if Japan is considerably stronger.




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:24:34 PM)

I'm playing Scen. 2 now and he's blowing smoke. On the economy? Maybe. On hardware? This thing is JFB Disneyland.

I have looked at the naval OOB a little. Beware. Just beware.




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:25:45 PM)

I know Japan has or gets additional carriers and cruisers.  But I don't know when.  IE, I have no idea how many carriers Japan has when the game opens.  So I'm really flying a bit blind.  That's dumb, but it's fun.  So far.




GreyJoy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:28:33 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I'm playing Scen. 2 now and he's blowing smoke. On the economy? Maybe. On hardware? This thing is JFB Disneyland.

I have looked at the naval OOB a little. Beware. Just beware.



AFAIK, the economy in this Mod is very fragile compared to Scen 2 and that's because the OOB... so if Japan doesn't achieve some great achievements in 1942, the whole economy may be crumbling in 1943 (fuel, supplies, HIs etc)

But i admit that i know nothing (like jon snow) about it




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:28:55 PM)

By the way it looks like that Japanese carrier TF moved 17 hexes in one day (from the middle Philippines to four hexes from Kuching - see map near end of previous page).  Is that possible at flank speed?  What gives?




GreyJoy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:30:04 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

By the way it looks like that Japanese carrier TF moved 17 hexes in one day (for the middle Philippines to four hexes from Kuching - see map near end of previous page).  Is that possible at flank speed?  What gives?


9+9=18...possible but very very difficult




GreyJoy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:30:23 PM)

Sure it isn't another CVTF??




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:31:43 PM)

I don't think it's a different one.  If it is, then Japan starts with about 92 carriers in this mod.

Seriously, I picked up the TF in the PI, then a similar TF (same number of fighters and bombers) near Kuching.  One day.  17 hexes.  Is that possible?




GreyJoy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:35:53 PM)

double post[:@]




GreyJoy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:36:28 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

I don't think it's a different one. If it is, then Japan starts with about 92 carriers in this mod.

Seriously, I picked up the TF in the PI, then a similar TF (same number of fighters and bombers) near Kuching. One day. 17 hexes. Is that possible?


Possible? Yes. A jap fast CVTF (meaning with a shokaku class CV for example) can travel up to 9 hexes per phase at max speed...so 18 hexes is the possible max range in one day...but it's very hard to obtain cause even 1 sys damage point will slow it down and you end up with a 8+8=16 max travel distance...




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 7:48:34 PM)

John made a good decision in issuing the "flank speed" order. It gained him a near-kill on Repulse. I don't think I would have done the same thing with my carriers. I use flank speed only when there's a good carrier or important amphibious target in range.

Overall I think the day was pretty good for the Allies. They down 50+ aircraft to about 20. Some of those were Kates lost to flak (I think this mod has the Babes-enhanced flak, but I'm not positive). If John's carriers incurred some SYS/FLT/ENG damage in running at flank speed, all the better.

[image]local://upfiles/8143/8C8A863733B248AC81E7820DEEA4593C.jpg[/image]




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 8:14:47 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

By the way it looks like that Japanese carrier TF moved 17 hexes in one day (from the middle Philippines to four hexes from Kuching - see map near end of previous page).  Is that possible at flank speed?  What gives?


Are you sure it's the same TF? [:'(] (Beware!)




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 8:24:50 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop
CR, it's way too early to have any real read on John's plan, but what does your gut tell you about his grand strategy? Is he sure to go for auto vic? If so, what are his targets?


John is aggressive and might start out with a general notion that he wants to pursue auto victory. Unless Reluctant Admiral puts Japan in a position stronger than Scenario Two, however, I don't think there's much of a risk of auto vic. There are a number of reasons I feel this way. Part of that is that John is so aggressive that he tends to lose points faster than a more cautious player. (For instance, he just lost two xAK well to the east of Tarawa making a grab for Baker Island. No big deal, but it illustrates just how bold he is and how prone to taking chances that don't always work.)

Earlier in the game, Chickenboy noted that there are ways to cobble together an Auto Vic score through conquering high-value real estate in the Pacific. He's right, but I think that's the least efficient way for Japan to try for AV. The distances and exposure make this path harder, IMO, than targeting Oz or India or China or some other combination.

I bet John will move on India or Oz (probably the latter) with other moves against important targets. I also bet he'll devote a certain amount of attention to the Pacific - like many historians and WWII fans, he is fascinated by the PTO and cannot shake the urge to go that way. That's understandable and it suits me.




Cribtop -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 8:50:53 PM)

Well, whatever he does, so far this is already fun!




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 8:52:01 PM)

I'm having a durned hard time deciding what to do with the PoW TF.  While unlikely, it is remotely possible that the IJN carriers could move at flank speed again tomorrow, catching the Allied warships somewhere without CAP.  I think I might leave PoW between Pontianak and Singakwang.  The Allies ended up with a total of 128 fighters between the three bases.  While many of these aren't good aircraft, I think tthere's enough to handle what this carrier TF can offer.  Maybe.  Stil mulling it over.




Cribtop -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:05:49 PM)

I don't think he'll move flank again. The DDs will be gassed, re-fuel and kill his Ops points in the middle of Indian Country. OTOH, consider that Japanese players often mentally equate PoW with effective surface naval force in the DEI. While not necessarily accurate, this perception can mean that keeping PoW alive slows up the IJN out of apprehension alone.

PS - send in the Boise and end the war already! [:D]




pws1225 -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:08:35 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

Well, whatever he does, so far this is already fun!


+1 to that. Two good players both willing to provide informative and entertaining AARs - it's Witp-AE nirvana.




Chickenboy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:09:04 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

I'm playing Scen. 2 now and he's blowing smoke. On the economy? Maybe. On hardware? This thing is JFB Disneyland.


Yup.




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:17:29 PM)

I've just about decided to turn this into the Shootout at the OK Corral.  On the basis that I don't want to allow John to bombard Singkawang unchallenged, I'm going to protect the port with four TFs.  PoW will be the strongest.  There will be two CL/DD TFs and one small Dutch DD TF in support.  The Allies have enough air power in the area to do some damage if things go right.  I'm taking a chance since the odds are about as good as I can get at this point in the war.  If I can blunt or stop an early grab at Sing/Kuching, it'll be worth it.  If I get hammered then I'll have Pensacola, Houston and Boise almost on the scene (these three will reach the eastern Java Sea tomorrow).




Chickenboy -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:44:22 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel
On the basis that I don't want to allow John to bombard Singkawang unchallenged, I'm going to protect the port with four TFs. 


Why opt for port / anti-bombardment duties versus carrier TF plinking? I think your decision is most likely to result in nighttime surface action, for what it's worth, but I'd be interested in hearing your logic against a carrier TF intercept in these confined waters.




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 9:51:56 PM)

Trying for a carrier intercept is tough.  I have probably a 25% chance or less of succeeding, but if I try and fail, my ships may end up hung out in no-man's-land, much more vulnerable to enemy carrier and land-based strike aircraft (in part because they'd be closer to the enemy airfields and further from friendly CAP).

Early on, I had decided to try for an intercept, vector two combat TFs to patrol "out there."  I ultimately decided that I'd prefer not to dilute my forces. 

I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing or the best thing.  I'm taking some chances here, but I think there's at least a 50/50 chance the Allies could have a good day.  It won't be often that I'll get a crack at enemy capital ships distant from overwhelming enemy LB or carrier air cover.  So I'm going to roll the dice.




Encircled -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 10:03:03 PM)

Good luck!

I have to admit I'd have lasted about 10 seconds before checking the Japanese naval assets in this mod, but fair play to you for resisting the temptation.




Panther Bait -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/5/2012 10:04:08 PM)

I believe the RA mod gives the IJN a lot of new goodies in the form of ships, planes, and navy troops (SNLFs), much better than Scenario 2.  I don't think it does much at all (or possibly anything) to beef up the IJA relative to Scenario 1.  So while the extra navy and planes will make it harder for the Allies to wage war via amphibious invasions, it probably makes largely land-based routes (e.g. Burma) more attractive.

Mike




Bullwinkle58 -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/6/2012 12:29:27 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

I don't think he'll move flank again. The DDs will be gassed, re-fuel and kill his Ops points in the middle of Indian Country. OTOH, consider that Japanese players often mentally equate PoW with effective surface naval force in the DEI. While not necessarily accurate, this perception can mean that keeping PoW alive slows up the IJN out of apprehension alone.

PS - send in the Boise and end the war already! [:D]


He has Miri, so there's gas there. He could detach the DDs. They don't do a lot for him yet; no ASW to speak of and the carriers have their own AA. That would be a scrambler. Dump the DDs into Miri and send the carriers after POW naked . . .




Canoerebel -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/6/2012 12:58:37 AM)

I've had five good WitP or AE opponenets over the years. Here's the odds I'd assign to any one of them shedding the KB's destroyers under these circumstances:

John III: 0%
PzH: 75%
Chez: 3%
Q-Ball: 40%
Miller: 20%

If find that odd, because John III may be the most aggressive of the group, but I also think he's very protective of his carriers and so in tune with actual operations in the war that shedding destroyers wouldn't cross his mind.




Crackaces -> RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent (12/6/2012 1:02:55 AM)

quote:

no ASW to speak of and the carriers have their own AA


One thing DD's do is ensure only one shot. Even if the sub gets off shots the presence of ASW means diving deep rather than continually shooting torps ..




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