Tankerace -> The Official War Plan Orange FAQ Revised September 9, 2005. (1/20/2005 5:18:45 AM)
PjilWill Australia be in it
Yes, as will The Netherlands, France, Britain, New Zealand, Japan, and of course, the United States.
Will the French fleet be present?
Three armored cruisers and a handful of subchasers comprise the French Far East Fleet.
Can subs actually 'spot' in the same way planes do?
This works as in normal War in the Pacific. Submarines can detect enemy TFs, which can be attacked. These TFs will then appear on the map.
How will coaling stations work
Coaling Stations work basically the same way as regular bases in War in the Pacific. However, tankers will carry less fuel, and ships require more of it thus necessitating that you keep supply lines open to the bases that you choose to use as your "gas stations". To enforce the use of this, AOs will carry a smaller amount of fuel, making refueling anything larger than a destroyer virtually impossbile.
In addition, Ships of the era are short legged. So, (in the Spirit of War Plan Orange -2), the Allied player needs to make sure he has enough bases, spread out at good intervals, so that his fleet can make it from San Diego to Manila.
The Japanese strategy is to take these bases. If Japan can take Wake, then the US cannot make it to the next stop (Guam) without first taking Wake. In this way, the Japanese can delay the American's use of a more numerous fleet, until Manila, the DEI, or Malay is captured. The chain of US coaling stations enroute are this: San Diego ->Pearl Harbor ->Wake ->Guam->Manila. Once at Manila, the US fleet, taking its supplies directly from the PI, can begin the blockade of Japan as called for in War Plan Orange-2, created in 1920.
The seaplane was a major wepaon system of the time. Do they figure prominantly in War Plan Orange?
There are several different seaplanes available to the US, and a select few to the British and Japanese. The early ones are unarmed and fairly limited in number. However, as more squadrons are created, and larger seaplanes capable of carrying bombs become available, then the USN has a very effective floatscout/dive bomber. Also understand, each floatplane in the game (with the exception of the FU-1 Battleship Fighter) has a variant that can be used from bases, or aircraft carriers. The best example of this is the Vought O2U Corsair.
How will US Industry reflect an increase in aircraft production?
Early model US plane's replacement rates will be fairly low. However, once newer planes become available, their rates will increase. Since this project assumes the Washington Naval Treaty was not successful, battleship admirals were not forced to turn to aircraft. The aircraft will still be regarded as an "expensive experiement", along with aircraft carriers. However, as the war progresses, more planes will become available.
People ask about airships alot, will WPO have them?
Not at this time. I do not believe that War in the Pacific can accurately model airships. However, that is not to say that in future scenarios after release they will not be added. The Airship carriers, Akron and Macon, will not be added to the game. They were completed in the 1930s, wheras the last scenario in War Plan Orange ends in 1929.
I thought The Lexingtons, South Dakotas, Tosas, Amagis, and final Hoods were scrapped?
In real life, they were. However, this project assumes the Washington Naval Treaty was rejected by the Japanese. As such, a bankrupt Britain abandoned all "never-weres", except the final four Hoods. Japan, also strapped for cash, abandoned the super designs, but will complete the Tosas and the Amagis. The US will complete its South Dakotas and Lexingtons. In addition, the US and Japan will retain their newer predreadnoughts.
What was the real "War Plan Orange"?
War Plan Orange was a set of three plans covering a potential war with Japan. At the time, there were several "Color" plans, the main one Black, Red, Orange, and Red-Orange. Plan Black, a war against the Germans, was no longer needed after the scuttling at Scapa Flow. Plan Red envisaged a war over trade between Britain and the United States (who had only recently been Allies. Each contry still distrusted the other). Red-Orange was a combined war against Britain and Japan.
There were three Plan Oranges. War Plan Orange -1, -2, and -3. -3 was used as the basis for the Island hoping campaign during WW2. -2, used in this expansion is a more "traditional" naval war. Japan has enough resources to feed itself in peacetime. However, in wartime, supplies and fuel run out quickly. Therefore, to succeed in a war, it would have to gain the DEI, Malay, or the PI. War Plan Orange stipulated the US Pacific Fleet, either by itself or bolstered by the Atlantic Fleet, would sail to the Philippines, and force Japan into a battle. If Japan did not run the blockade, or did not force a battle, it would starve and surrender. If it did, it was assumed the much larger American Fleet would destroy the Japanese fleet, and force the Japanese to surrender.
How will Q ships be used?
Like regular AKs. In game, their description is AK, but they can be differentiated by the fact that their cargo capacity is 2000, versus a small AKs 3500 or Large AKs 7000. British purpose built Q ships are designated MLs, because they can lay mines. They two will have a capacity of 2000, so they can be recognized.
Q ships can be used singly, or in a convoy. Their main use is if a sub tries to take them on the surface, they can sink the sub with gunfire and then depth charge it. Also, during a convoy battle, they may shoot it out with other ships, to let the real transports escape. By looking like MLs or AKs, they can draw in the AI (and players), and then give them a beating.
How will land combat be treated?
The Land Combat System is virtually the same as in War in the Pacific, but you will notice a drastic change in your units. Gone are the myriad of regiments and battalions, the basic element of your armies is now the division. The Japanese and American Divisional OOB has been painstakingly researched, as have their deployments in the 1920's and their equipment. Individual weapon types and models now replace WitP's generic 75mm Field Gun.
You will also notice as you play that American reinforcements have a "Europe First" feel. This is due to several reasons. Look at World War I. It took from April 1917 to November 1918 to have 42 divisions in France. Of these, 21 were combat ready. Now, also compare that thanks to fighting Pancho Villa, there were 75,000 National Guardsmen called up to help fill out those divisions (Divisions numbered after 25 were National Guard Divisions, only 1-24 were "regular army").
In the 1920's, this did not exist. By 1923 there were 66 Divisions in the mobilization Force, i.e. that could be organized once troops were drafted and trained. Of these, only 11 were standing regular army (9 infantry and 2 cavalry), and of these the 4th-9th Divisions only had a single Brigade, which would be used as a nuclei for when the Divisions were actually formed. The 1st-3rd were all understrength, meaning that while the US Army was larger than before WWI, it still (like in 1917) had no full strength Division in the United States.
There were three overseas divisions. The Hawaiian Division (later renamed to 24th Division on October 1st, 1941) which was minus an infantry regiment until late 1924, the Panama Canal Division, and the Philippine Division, which was down a battalion of infantry after 1923.
For game purposes, to help ease players to the slow mobilization of US Forces, the 3rd Division (in Washington State in game) is at full strength. This gives the Allied player a total of US/Philippine divisions at the start of the game. Forces in the Philippines are limited to the Philippine Division, the 1st Bn 15th Infantry Rgt (the other 2 Bns are at Tientsin, China), a full strength Regiment, 3 regiments of Philippine Scouts, and a single Division in Mindanao, for balancing purposes.
Japan starts the game with 21 Divisions, the 1st-20th and the Imperial Guards. They too gain more divisions, but nothing on the size of what the US will eventually gain.
Australia and New Zealand also have several divisions, as does India. However, all British units at the start of the game (including Indian and Commonwealth, but not including Australia and New Zealand) have a 50-60% disablement value. This represents these units being under equipped, under trained, and necessary to the stability of the region. So, they may be transported for use elsewhere, but at a sever penalty.
No Amphibious units? How can we wage war in the Pacific?
This is exactly the problem 1920's planners faced. That's why, the premis was. Destroy the other guys navy, and he can't land. If he can't land, you dont have to take it back. There will be high casualties, but this represents no doctrine and limited ability to get equipment ashore. Remember, casualties doesn't always mean death.
Why are the Invincibles midship turrets listed as RS and LS. Shouldn't they be center?
While they were designed so that they could be fired on the centerline, their arcs were so limited that it is more realistic to limit them to Left and Right Side firing.
Why are ships decks so thin? The same ship in reg. WitP has like five inches!
In the 1930s, more armour was applied to decks, to give you the 1941 rating in WitP. Ships designed in the 1920's and earlier were notorious for weak decks.
Why is the Kongo a different class than her sisters?
Because the Kongo was a British built ship, Hiei, Haruna, and Krishima were Japanese. So, until their 1929 refits, they differed in appearance.
Why does this No. 19 destroyer have the same armament as a Mutsuki?
Because it is a Mutsuki. From the Kamikazi class on, Japanese destroyers were numbered, not names. In 1928, they received names.
Why is Courageous class listed as a CL? Shouldn't she be a BC?
No. According to Jane's Fighting Ships of WWI (which would be the "bible" of naval planners at this time) she is listed as a large light cruiser. I have thus listed her this way.
How do you think the drastic reduction of the role of the air arm and the absence of amphibious units will affect game play?
Gameplay will be much slower, and more naval centralized. These are factors that had to be dealt with in the 1920's. Amphibious invasions can still be successful, but they can also be suicidal. This will transfer more of the gameplay to the player. As opposed to seeing where the enemy is, you will have to guess, and plan. The game will be more difficult than regular War in the Pacific, but will provide a more rewarding victory.
Given that a major premis of WitP is the interaction between the three services, do you feel that the WitP engine will be able to handle what appears to be an expansion with naval as the most important factor?
Well, before I began this project I asked myself the same questions. And the answer I came up with was if it can truly simulate a War in the Pacific, then it will handle it just fine. If it cannot, then War Plan Orange will be the catalyst needed to bring about changes to allow it to simulate a naval war. In the tests I have done, it has handled it pretty well. Not 100% what I would have liked, but these tests were before they elongated Surface Combat and made it, to quote Mr. Frag, more "bloody".
Will War Plan Orange just become maneuvering prior to the decisive battle?
Playing as the AI, no, it shouldn't. Playing in PBEM, it is player specific. If both go on the defensive, it could boil down into a phoney war, until one side commits. This too was a scenario sketched out by planners. If the Japanese wait to maneuver, then they are inviting defeat. The US doesn't have a timetable, only a mission. Japan has both.
If one sides looses that battle is the game over, or do they have a chance to recover?
If the United States is the winner of the grand show down, then the naval war for Japan turns into a series of blockade runs, in which it tries to get around the US fleet, to at least take one or two bases to get supplies. In addition, for the US to have a tight blockade, that would bring it in range of air attack.
Japans best bet to win is to take Wake and Guam, and then fight a delaying action there while they occupy the Philippines. If Japan can conserve her battleships (roughly the same number as the Americans at the start), she can win. Or, if she can force a Jutland early, destroy the US navy, then fall back and repair, it will stand a better chance.
The US needs to either Force a battle early in hopes of destroying the IJN, or at least stop the Japanese from getting the SRA while it awaits reinforcements. The Japanese need to force the battle early, so that in the later stages of the campaign the combined weight of the US and British fleets won't crush the IJN.
If the US Losses the battle, then the Japanese will have free reign, until significant British and American reinforcements arrive. Then, it can try to force another Jutland, and start retaking lost bases.
What are the victory criteria for War Plan Orange?
The Same as in regular WitP, take as much territory as you can. For the US, this means holding the PI, DEI, and Malay. For the Japanese, this means taking them. The PI will be worth more VPs, because with no Pearl Harbor, the US commander really has no excuse for letting them go without a fight. Being worth more, if the Japanese player can gain all these areas (Which will take longer due to no accelorated movement, and little amphibious stuff) and destroy the US Pacific Fleet, he then has to hold them. Later in the Game, the balance of the US Atlantic Fleet, plus the British Grand Fleet come in to play. I have this spaced out enough, to give the Japanese two options.
Force a Jutland, gather as much resources as you can, and then pick at the second blockade of US and British ships,
Do nothing, which will result in a defeat,
or Tackle the US Fleet, fortify any gains, and then force a second Jutland when the British and US Atlantic Fleet arrive.
In addition, Japan can completely ignore the US fleet, take and entrench on the Philippines. Then, the Allied player will be forced, from a VP standpoint, to retake it.
How long do you envisage games lasting?
I have given the Larger campaigns approx. 4.5 years, though I don't really expect most to last past three. If both players are competent, and cautious, they can easily prolong the war. Also, if Japan wins the grand Jutland Style battle, in a year or two the Allies are going to get another crack at it.
Given the amount of discussion already on the board on naval engagements, do you think that the WitP naval combat routines are sufficiently sophisticated to accurately model a Jutland/Tsushima type battle?
When I started this project, I asked the same question. The answer I came up with was that War in the Pacific can not handle it 100% as well as what was predicted in history. However, considering the real Jutland saw only 5 capital ships sunk, I do believe it can do a reasonable job. And, if it can't, I am sure if WPO is a success then I can push the devs for tweaks to allow it to better simulate a Jutland.
In the surface combat tests I ran (Pre 1.3's modified combat routines), I found the results for the most part too my liking. I have not begun running extensive tests with 1.3 yet, but I am sure they too will be satisfactory.
How does the AI, both Allied and Japanese, handle the changes in the mod?
The Japanese AI is designed to make a thrust to take and overwhelm the Philippines. It will also do its best to secure Wake, Midway, and even Hawaii. It will also, shipping permitting, try and take outlying islands. While PBEM would provide the best experience, AI play should still be fun.
When did the Japanese navy develop the mighty Long Lance torpedo, and will it come online
in the later scenarios for the Japs (as a scheduled upgrade to their existing torpedo mounts)?
The first prototype was teveloped in 1933 (24" Type 93 Model 1), but went into actual use in 1936 (Model 1 Mod 1). This is three years after War Plan Orange ends (December 1930). The Japanese will use a generic 18inch torpedo on older ACRs and predreadnoughts. This is basically a copy of the British 18" MkVIII*. The more modern ships will use the 21" 6 and 8 Nendo shiki torpedo.
A note here. In accordance with Japanese references the weapon should probably be 17.7in, not 18. However, since in WitP Japanese weapons are listed in Standard measurements, and not metric (as was used), I have followed the same convention. In fact, western planners citing the Japanese 17.7" torpedo as an 18in. Doing this allows me to use it as both an airborne and shipborne torpedo.
What sort of torpedoes do U.S. surface ships use?
The US has five different torpedo types.
The 18inch Mark 6, deployed only in H class Submarines.
The 18inch Mark 7, deployed on K, O, and R class submarines, as well as Maine (Ohio) class predreadnoughts and Paulding (Flivver) class destroyers.
The 21inch Mark 8 Torpedo, used on all US destroyers other than the Paulding.
The 21inch Mark 9 Torpedo, used on all US battleships (dreadnoughts and predreadnoughts) that carry torpdoes, other than the Maine class.
The 21inch Mark 10 Torpedo, used on all S and V class submarines.
Before you ask I'll go ahead and explain the British torpedoes.
The British use the following torpedoes:
The 18inch Mark VIII torpedo. In game, this also stands in for the nearly identical Mk VII. This torpdo is mostly used on submarines, but is also used as an air dropped torpedo from the Sopwith Cuckoo, and on some destroyers.
The 21inch Mark II. This torpedo is used on destroyers, and some submraines.
The 21inch Mark II***. This torpedo, an impoved version of the Mark II, is used on all capital ships.
The 21inch Mark IV. This torpedo is used on destroyers, moreso than the Mark II.
Why do the Sendai class cruisers have an a/c capacity of 2, but no planes assigned?
The Sendais, completed 1923-25, were built with a flying off platform over the bow. However, no actual planes were carried until 1929.
What is the time frame of War Plan Orange?
May 31 1922-December 31, 1930.
What about the Washington Treaty, does War Plan Orange include the ship restictions?
The mod assumes that the treaty was never ratified, and as such the only restrection is none of the UBER never weres.
Are their any Pre-dearnaughts in War Plan Orange, if so what desing decisions have you made to include them?
Yes, several. The Guideline is not scrapped or sunk by 1921, and not converted by 1919.
Will there be any "What if" ships
Yes, the Final part of the 8-8 program (The 2 Kagas and the 4 Amagis), the US South Dakota (BB-49) and Lexington (CC-1) class, and the the last 3 Hoods. In adition, there is a special scenario allowing the Kii class dreadnoughts, G-3 class battlecruisers, and a Tillman influenced 18inch gunned South Dakota.
What reference books did you use?
Here are a few sources that greatly aided in the project.
Jane's Fighting Ships of WWI
Conway's All the Worlds Fighting Ships
Jane's Battleships of the 20th Century
US Battleships, a pictoral History
American Military History Volume 1
Over There: The United States in the Great War 1917-1918
Maneuver and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades
War as I Knew It
and several dozen internet sites Including:
the USNI and USN,USAF,RN,RAF,RAN,RAAN,RNZN,and RNZAF homepages and museum sites. DANFS was also a big help in terms of US start positions.
How have you decided on plane data ie maneuverability etc for planes that never saw combat against each other.
I compared data, and where possible used flight sims. Some of it will be refined by testing before shipping.
Mines, will we have them
Damn the Torpedoes! (yep) Q ships can lay mines, and several cruisers also have them.
Does any ship have aircraft assigned at the start of the game?
One. The Yamashiro. In 1921 she had a flying off platform installed, so she could fly off Sopwith Pups and Gloster Sparrowhawks to train future Hosho pilots. In War Plan Orange, she retains this ability, and starts the game with 3 Sopwith Pups. At the time she had Sparrowhawks, and she will upgrade that same day, but this way the player has a choice.
TO avoid any difficulties, I have made duplicates of the Pup and Sparrowhawk, and told the game they are float fighters. Only the Yamashiro Chutai will use them, and they are produced at 1 a month. Other units will use regular Pups and Sparrowhawks.
What scenarios are planned for War Plan Orange?
5 Scenarios, which are discussed below in detail.
War Plan Orange Campaign I: 1922-1926. This is the core of War Plan Orange. A campaign spanning the entire Pacific. This campaign is set early, to allow the use of older, WWI influenced aircraft and predreadnoughts.
War Plan Orange Campaign II: 1926-1930 This campaign is set later, to show various types of later aircraft, as well as to take full advantage of the never were designs. In the first campaign, only the Kagas and 2 South Dakotas are available. In this campaign, all never weres are available, and we see the transition of the US dreadnoughts from the WWI configuration to the configuration they were in at Pearl Harbor.
War Plan Orange: Phase I 1922-1923 This scenario is basically the first year and a half of the 1922 campaign. It is designed mainly to let the players concentrate on the Phillippines, as well as possibly light a fire under the US player to force a fleet action. As this campaign is shorter, the British fleet does not make an appearance, and not even do all of the Colorado class battleships. This means that the US player does not have the luxury of holding off until 1924 or 1925 to come out and fight. Phase One (according to Op Plan Orange-2) centered around Japan taking over the Phillippinnes and Central Pacific bases. This is the move that planners thought would trigger it all. This is analogus(sp) to the Rising Sun: The First Year campaign of War in the Pacific.
War Plan Orange Campaign III: Super Dreadnoughts This campaign is essentially the same as the 1926 campaign, except the Kii, G-3, and 18inch SoDak classes are available for use.
The final 2 scenarios are PBEM only scenarios. They are 1 or 2 month long (still haven't decided) scenarios centered around Formosa, extending as far South as Manila, West as Hong Kong, and East as Kure. The Objective here is to simulate naval combat. Formosa is low on supplies and needs reinforcement. The Japanese objective is to resupply formosa, and keep the sea lanes to it open. The Allied objective is to destroy the Japanese fleet, and to blockade Formosa. While the Japanese and Allies have a good number of troops, given the size of the navies present, and the time involved, that is not what the scenario is about. Each side starts out with an equal number of VPs (I am thinking each base worth one VP perhaps). The way to get VPs is to sink and damage shipping. Score damaged ships are on for these scenarios, so each little pinprick helps. This is designed to simulate large scale fleet actions and convoy battles, without having to play several real time months to get there. Basically, the guy that smashes the other guys fleet wins. Or, you can try a submarine campaign. The sky is the limit.
The Scenarios are:
War Plan Orange: Pacific Jutland In this scenario, the responsibility of blockading Formosa (also where Japan will have to get Fuel and take it back to Japan) falls on the Royal Navy in Singapore. No US ships are involved.
War Plan Orange: Clash of Titans The flip side of the previous. Here, the responsibility falls on the US Navy in Manila. No RN ships are involved. Playing these against the AI is not reccommended. The main point of these are to allow players to fight naval actions, but not play for several months to get to "the big one."
In addition, there are PBEM only variants of Campaign I and Super Dreadnoughts
Q: Do you visualize a landing in China? Would it be worth it? Is it even possible given the manpower constraints?
Yes I do. Even the AI will usually attempt a landing in China. For this purpose, at the outset Japan has a much larger army than any single country on the map. To win, you need VPs. And considering the state of the Chinese army, there are easy ones to be gained in China. At the very least, Japan needs to invest Shanghai, Tientsin, and Hangchow to prevent their use as ports by the Allies.
Q: With the battle line being as short-legged as it is and the lack of land forces, do you expect the PI to turn into a tar baby where precious land japanese forces cannot be supplied, reinforced or even evacuated?
This all depends really. It could and it could not. It basically become boiled down to luck. However, this was the contingent dealt with by 1920s planners. I would estimate that occupation of the 2 main islands (Mindinao and Lingayen) should be the main objective. Leyte and the surrounding areas can be taken at your leisure. This can be done in only a lightly elongated time frame (say, 8 months tops perhaps.) There are plenty of land forces available to accomplish the objective, but a determined American naval response could hamper or cut off forces in the Philippines. You cannot look to the Army and forget the navy, or vice versa.
Q: What land forces does the US have in the PI at the start of the game? How developed are the bases like Manila? Is it simply a void that can be taken over by Japan at will if they can pull off a sucessful landing?
The Philippine Division, which is commanded by US Officers but filled with Filippino equipment, the 34th US Infantry, 1/15th US Infantry, 3 PS Regiments, and the 101st PA Division. The US units are regiments (or actually 4 battalions, in lieu of 6). The 101st PA garrisons Mindanao, and is purely for game play purposes.
Q: Is the Dutch Royal Navy presence modelled? Was it more or less extensive than in 1941?
The Dutch Navy is in the game. It consists of five coast defense ships (rated as battleships, but in reality slow armored cruisers), 3 Light cruisers, 8 torpedo boats, and 13 submarines. Also a number of submarine tenders are present.
Q: What land forces are availible in the DEI?
The same ones as in WitP, less some Aviation forces. That said, they now all use 1920's era equipment.
Q: What side are the French assumed to be on? Are they neutral? Does this give them the same status as the USSR in WitP?
In game terms they are Allies, however as they have no navy or airforce, they cannot attack unless invaded. That said, they do have two divisions (modeled at the regimental level), and can pose a threat if left unguarded, though they need not be destroyed.
Q: Does Indo-china retain the status as a resource base it has in WitP?
It produces a good number of fuel and supplies. Thanks to WitP shutting it off when captured, theoretically by the time you capture it a good supply of fuel should be stockpiled when you take the base.
Q: What cause does Britain have to go to war with Japan if it is not directly attacked? Do the British also take on the "USSR-in-WitP" status?
Same as French Indo China. However, I encourage players to have a house rule if the wish, whereby all British, Dutch, and/or French units are neutral and must lie at their ports, leaving the war between US, Japan, and China.
Q: Can the Japanese even potentially threaten India or Burma? With no mainland bases and, what looks to be a hard slog through the DEI and Malaya in store for Japan, do India and Burma become untouchable/undesirable objectives for Japan?
Potentially, anything is possible. I honestly doubt that Japan could take India and Burma. However, Siam is ripe and for the taking, and if nothing else the Japanese could keep British Far East forces from breaking through to help the PI and other US forces.
Q: Does the game become inextricably centered on the PI, everything else becoming contingent on a positive outcome there for Japan? Can Japan undertake moves in the direction of the SRA before the PI is secured?
Well, according to Op Plan Orange -2, yes. Op Plan Orange consisted of 3 phases:
Phase I, the invasion. By 1922 this was predominately thought to be the PI and PNG.
Phase II, the Counter Attack. Here US forces would begin to take over Central Pacific Bases, in an effort to create a supply line to move the US Battle Fleet towards the PI
Phase III, the counter Offensive. Here, the US would retake the PI, and force a blockade of Japan. Eventually, so the plan went, both fleets would meet, and the US would force Japan to capitulate.
However, Japan can take the SRA, but it is not necessary. I have made War Plan Orange to allow Japan to do whatever they want. Remember, the lack of aircraft, particularly in the Far East, can let Japan sail around the PI to take the SRA, or make landings at both. Or, you can land in French Indo China, or China and confine the war. Its your choice.
Q: What of the USSR? Does Japan still have its Russian Civil War presence in the Soviet far-east? Do the soviets have the ability to defend themselves?
The Soviets have a limited ability to defend themselves, providing Japan does not launch a full scale attack. If Japan limits itself, to say taking Vladivostock to keep Allied Fleets from using it as a staging base, then the Soviets should be fine. Should you launch an all out offensive on Russia, the Russians only have a limited number of troops, as they are assumed to be so weakened by WWI and the Civil War that they would surrender.
Q: What of Shanghai? Do the British/Americans have a presence there.
The American Naval HQ "China Station" is there, along with several destroyers and submarines. Half of the Asiatic fleet is at Shanghai and Tsingtao, while the rest is in Manila. In the later campaign, some of the new gunboats (Wake, Panay, etc) are constructed at Shanghai.... provided it is still in Chinese hands. The British have what amounts to a reinforced Division at Shanghai, modeled at the Battalion level. Japan also has a single SNLF, the Shanghai SNLF, present. This was historically accurate, and can encourage players to mount a relief expedition. In PBEM, should players want Britain to be neutral, I encourage a cease fire house rule to let Japan extricate those troops.
Q: Given how the surface combat routines behave in WitP (namely open-water intercepts require divine intervention to occur) has your testing shown that the game engine is sufficient to model the type of warfare you are trying to simulate?
It is and it isn't. Unless you are fighting for a piece of rock in the middle of the Pacific, and know where your opponent will be, then surface intercepts are rare. OTOH, in WWI, the only real surface battles occured around (say 500mi most) from land, where both forces guessed the enemy would be. Deep ocean interecepts were extremely rare.
That said... if you know where your enemy is, or is going, then yes, you can surface intercept. War Plan Orange takes the science of intercepting ships (With radar and spotter planes) and turns it into more of an art. This also is an advantage for the guy with the smaller fleet. If he can use it more effectively, then it evens the odds on a numerically outnumbered person.
Q: I know that your naval research has been exhaustive and extensive. But how did you research the specifics on LCUs? I wasn't aware that there was enough data out there.
Thanks in no small part to Brady, the Japanese LCU's have been thouroughly researched. And, thanks to the US Army Center for Military History, American LCU's, both in composition, arrival dates, and appearance are as accurate as is humanly possible. British, French, and Commonwealth troops are all based off of WWI TOEs.
Q: I am a bit unclear on this. You posted that the PI and China should give Japan adequate resources. Did you increase the resource production rates at these locations? If you have, is it still necessary for Japan to posess the SRA to keep its economy running?
The way I have made it, and thanks to some wonderful surprises by the game engine, and trying to keep it, is that to keep the Japanese battle fleet moving, all Japan really needs to take is the PI and CHina. I may have to limit this only to VPs and stockpiles of fuel, but no matter how I have to do it, the only bonus for FIC (French Indo China) and the SRA should be VPs.
Are us peeps who put our names down to be caps of ships still being honoured?
Everyone who had put there name in the "Who wants to be a ship captain" thread has been entered into the Leader DB, and thanks to where I am in the scenarios has already been assigned to the ship of their choice.
What is Japan's resource situation?
Since the period of WPO is before WW2, and the Sino Japanese war, Japan is assumed to have a good reserve of fuel and supplies. At the beginning, there is a stockpile of around 600,000 tons of fuel in Japan. Japan does produce fuel, which amounts to roughly 4,000 tons per day in country. This is a yearly production of 1,460,000 tons. So, while Japan will always have fuel, there may not be enough of it for when you want it.
To offset this, you need to take bases in China, or for sure the PI. They produce a lot of fuel. Granted, while after you capture the base it doesn't produce fuel, from the start of the scenario to when you capture it, there should be a good stockpile of fuel. Manila, Davao, Bankok, Brunei, Tilitjap, Soerabaia, and Kendari all have good starting stockpiles just for this purpose. If you take the PI in say, 6 months, you will get around 400-800,000 tons of fuel, more than double your starting reserves.
I have also done the VPs in a way that you can either take the DEI or the PI, not necessarily both. It comes down to 1) How many VPs do you want, versus how much fuel do you want to take. If you are willing to wait for the fuel to be produced, then just grab the PI and hold it. Or, if you want more, go for the gold.
If anyone thinks the 1,400,000 yearly for Japan is excessive, that is 1/8th the fuel output for Mare Island alone. Its enough to get by, but small enough to make you want to get more.
How is land combat going to be handled? Is the WitP model going to be tweaked any?
All divisions, brigades, and regiments have been reorganized to a 1920's TO&E.
On the US side, The Division has been redone according to TO&E's suggested by General Pershing and as reorganized in 1921, the Brigade is introduced to the US forces, and Regimental Combat teams are replaced by Regiments of three battalions. USMC Divisions are gone, the main Marine Unit being the Brigade of 2 Regiments, or the Regiment of 2 battalions.
One thing you will notice is that US and British units are not all that well equipped for Pacific fighting. In reality, no one is, Japanes units being better suited to Russia or China. Still, that was a problem 1920's planners faced.
What exactly will WPO add to WitP?
As of July of this year, WPO is no longer subordinate to WitP. War Plan Orange - Dreadnoughts in the Pacific is now its own, standalone game. This will enable better product updates, more post release scenarios, and a generally better experience. WPO uses the WitP engine. Other than that, everything else is new. If I and the beta testers did our jobs right, we have created the definative 1920's operational PC wargame.