CrackSabbath -> RE: A N00B WHO SHALL LIVE IN INFAMY – Crack Sabbath (A) vs. Kaleun (J) (9/17/2014 12:02:21 AM)
Hello fellow WitPAE nut-jobs,
As I feared, the AAR was biting off a bit more than I can chew right now. I’m keeping up with the game (we’ve had a bit of a lull as my opponent is moving to a new home), but too much is going on in life to give the AAR the time it requires. Full disclosure: I’m also playing PBEM games of Flashpoint Campaigns and Combat Mission. So my lack of time is somewhat self inflicted I’m afraid.
So far in the campaign we’ve had the usual Japanese blitzkrieg and two major carrier battles. The game is currently in turn #260 (23 Aug, 1942). My opponent is leading with 17,148 vp with the Allies having 9,773 vp. This is a 1.76:1 ratio, so I’m not in immediate peril of an automatic victory. Hopefully I can keep it at this level by Jan ’43.
Here is a summary of the current strategic situation by zone/front:
Eastern Pacific/USA-Oz supply line: My engineers are beavering away building up bases to the max or beyond in the Continental US, and I’m furiously training air crews. I’ve reinforced to the best of my ability key bases along the US-Oz supply route (Christmas Island, Pago Pago, Tahiti, etc). Most have at least a regiment of infantry, an AA unit, 1-2 base units and at least one squadron each of fighters, light bombers and patrol planes. None would last long to a concentrated assault, but all can defend themselves to some extent, and will provide some measure of early warning should a big TF appear in the area.
• Threat level – low. So far my opponent seems content not to cause any mischief here. I need to keep my guard up tho as he certainly has the ability to send some raiders in and sink a lot of tankers and cargo ships, whose convoys are lightly escorted. Submarines continue to be a threat, but nothing like the first few months of the war when every sortie out of port was done with white knuckles. I have a good number of ASW TF’s (sub chasers and PC’s mostly) plus several well trained PB squadrons on ASW duty. I’ve also learned to sortie an ASW screen ahead of any major task force leaving Pearl, San Fran etc.
Central Pacific: Very quiet. Too quiet. I did re-occupy Canton Island and have an AV with a squadron of Catalinas on Baker Island in a half-assed early warning set up. I sense Japanese engineers are digging some very deep bunkers in the Caroline, Marshall and Marianas Islands. There will be blood.
Australia: Just like the Continental US I’m rapidly expanding all major bases, and training aircrew and LCU’s. So far no major disruption to my supply lines. I’ve been pushing massive amounts of fuel into Perth, Melbourne & Sydney from the US and Cape Town.
• Threat level – moderate. It doesn’t appear my opponent has any appetite to invade Australia at this time. Nevertheless the entire Eastern seaboard is heavily garrisoned by a mix of Australian and American troops, as are Darwin and Perth. I’ve also pushed a large force of fighters, medium and heavy bombers to Oz. Many are training and/or cycling in and out of the Papua-New Guinea theater, or in the case of the bombers attacking targets in NE New Guinea. Much like the US there continues to be a significant sub threat both in Eastern and Western Australia. I’ve beefed up my ASW forces on both ends, which lead to a very interesting (but mostly ineffectual - whew) raid carried out by my opponent which I will detail later.
Papua-New Guinea/Solomon Islands: This is where I have drawn my “line in the sand” in the SW Pacific, and the action here has been hot. I began reinforcing Milne Bay in March ‘42, which lead to an ignoble defeat. I had two CV’s (Yorktown & Enterprise) covering the op, when Yorktown took a torp from a Japanese SS, and had to limp to Sydney for repairs. I took the gamble and kept the op moving forward, landing the final of three INF regiments (there was also a base force and two squadrons of Kittyhawks there). That TF ran afoul of the KB (or a big part of it) and was smashed; CV Enterprise, CA’s Portland and Canberra, CL Phoenix and 3xDD were sunk, plus the CA Houston and CL St. Louis were heavily damaged. OUCH! I suppose the good news is the Amphib TF escaped after landing the troops. A short time later the Japanese landed a strong force which quickly pushed out my green troops. My stalwart Aussies did retreat in good order, and marched up the coast, arriving at Port Morseby just in time to tip the balance in that battle, as my opponent had landed a strong force there as well. The next phase of the Battle of New Guinea began in May, and led to the 1st big carrier battle, which I will describe in a separate post. Currently I hold strong, well supplied land and air forces in Port Moresby, Milne Bay and Terapo. I have begun an overland probe of Buna. That battle will begin to heat up soon.
As to the Solomon Islands, my opponent advanced as far as the Shortlands, leaving Guadalcanal open, which I have just occupied following the 2nd large carrier battle of the campaign, also to be described later. I have a heavy submarine presence in the Solomon Sea and in the areas surrounding Rabaul.
• Threat level – high. I don’t anticipate another attempt at an invasion of the West coast of New Guinea, but a long, bloody fight is just beginning there. I’m working on my combined strategy for this area.
Philippines: Fallen. I shall return. Maybe.
• Threat level – n/a. (My final outposts on Mindanao are just being cleared out).
DEI: Fallen. I used a “Sir Robin” strategy here, preserving much of the British, Dutch and US surface forces in the area. I’m not sure if I’d follow that course again – kind of a lose-lose for the Allies here. I did pump out as much fuel as I could to Oz during the campaign.
• Threat level – n/a. I have many subs (mainly Brit & Dutch) staked out on likely shipping routes from Palembang etc. to Japan. This hasn’t born much fruit . . .yet. Wait until the USN gets some good torpedoes.
Malaysia: Fallen. While Operation Sardaukar ([;)]), the evacuation of Australian INF units was a success, I did a poor job here. Against the AI I was able to set up a good line in front of Singapore to slow down the advance, and build up supplies etc. in Singapore. My opponent didn’t oblige me thusly. I shall return. Maybe.
• Threat level – n/a. I have a moderate sub presence near Singapore.
Burma: Fallen. I think I did a decent job here of making a fighting retreat. My air forces inflicted credible damage on enemy air and land forces, and my poorly trained LCU’s drew enough blood to withdraw with honor. I also pumped as much supply from Rangoon to up north as possible. My secondary line around Mandalay/Shwebo held for a bit, but I pulled back just in time to prevent being cut off. I did punish the Japanese forces advancing through the clear terrain hexes with constant attacks by medium bombers – often inflicting 100+ casualties per day.
• Threat level – n/a.
India: I’ve created a strong (I hope) defensive line running from Chittagong through Comilla, Imphal, Dimapur on to Lahore. It’s no Maginot line , but it is definitely stronger than what I had in Burma; well supplied troops who for the most part have planned 100% for their locations, have trained up to or are approaching the national max, good fortifications (all LVL3), and I’ve been steadily replacing poor commanders and assigning them to one of three Corps HQ who are within command radius.
• Threat level – high. So far the Japanese assault units are hot on the heels of my retreating forces. Both attempts to delay were brushed aside. The jungle will slow them . . . a little. I’m anticipating the Japanese divisions will continue to pursue my retreating forces into India. I have the LCU’s in the defensive line mentioned above. I do have some Armor LCU’s in the Comilla area which can attack Japanese units who appear in clear terrain hexes. Likewise, I’ve amassed a strong force of fighters and tactical bombers (US & British). I’ve also moved what I’m calling a composite/light division of US troops – 2 Inf regiments, a tank Bn, combat enginner bn, 2x base force and an arty bn into my defensive line. I need a snappy name for that defense – Phase Line Rubicon or some such.
China: It’s a mess.
OK, that about gets us current with the game so far. I’ll post the details of the two carrier battles and my short range plans soon. I’ll try to post more often to keep up with current events.