From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
Last week, John III (Japanese) and I (Allies) started a new game using Big B 1.40 on AB's extended map. John and I were frequent UV opponents, but this is our first time to oppose each other in WitP. John is a very experienced Japanese player, while this is only my second game (my other is ongoing against Miller).
John and I agreed to to play by the "usual" house rules but we haven't finalized those yet. We played historical first turn with the Allies only issuing orders to Chinese troops, TFs at sea, and a few subs in San Diego (only because I forgot about this house rule until I had already issued some orders but didn't figure John would care about them).
We have already reached December 26, 1942. John had bad luck at Pearl Harbor, but has expanded far to the south into New Guinea, Luganville, Tarawa, and the western Aleutians and is making a move on Midway. Here's the skinny thus far:
Pearl Harbor: John sent in his naval bombers on the 7th only, and they performed poorly. No ships were sunk. BBs Maryland and California were the only capital ships to take relatively severe damage - one with 50+ Sys and the other with 60+ Sys. Afterwards, John split the KB and positioned one TF NE of Pearl. I knew they were somewhere out there, so I've kept all my ships in Pearl and haven't sent any supply or reinforcement convoys in from the West Coast yet. The Enterprise and Lexington fled south and are currently parked in Australia. Saratoga is in Panama City.
Pacific: John quickly took Tarawa and Rabaul. Since then, he's been expanding outward and has taken most of the northern New Guinea bases, several Solomons bases including Shortlands, and Luganville. I had a troop transport convoy moving from Tasmania to Noumea when Vals were seen over that port. I sent the convoy west toward Brisbane. John took Wake and it looks like an invasion convoy is heading for Midway. A sharp surface engagement occurred at Rabaul around Dec. 20. The Allies lost a CA Canberra, CL Perth, and DD Le Triomphant. The Japanese lost a CA, at least one DD, and had four or five other DDs take severe damage. The Allied ships performed well.
DEI and Vicinity: John sent two Mini-KBs, a multitude of surface combat TFs, and many invasion convoys, down each side of Borneo. The CVs and surface combat TFs chewed up alot of the Allied ships fleeing south from Manila. The major bases taken thus far include Palembang, Kuching, Dili, Amboina, and Tarakan. He's just landed at Koepang and that will fall soon. One of the Mini-KBs is between Timor and Australia doing heaven knows what. Dutch Martins and other bombers have scored a fair number of hits on Japanese merchant ships (to the point John has repeatedly expressed frustration, but that's what he gets for have so many convoys without air cover). He hasn't moved on Java yet.
Early Phillipines: John left Luzon alone for the first weeks, concentrating on some of the smaller bases. He's just landed a major force at Aparri. Allied shipping fled to the south, east, and northeast. Those that went east got decimated. Those that went south had mixed luck. Those that went northeast have done well - most are about to arrive in Alaska. CL Boise got clobbered by a Mini-KB just two or three days into the war and went down. Allied subs are divided between mining and patrol activities. John is regularly bombing my airfield at Manila, destroying planes on the ground.
Malaya: John isolated several ground units and they have been or are in the process of being destroyed. The Singapore garrison currently has an AV of 910. Bombers from Singapore have scored a gratifying number of hits on unprotected Japanese merchant ships, but Japanese bombing runs have destroyed a good number of aircraft on the ground.
Burma: A Japanese division is 60 miles east of Moulmein, but John isn't making a big push here yet.
China: I don't have a feel for where John will attack, so I'm not sure what's happening here yet. Reinforcements from Chungking went mainly to Changsha, but also to Sian, Yenen, and a few other points. Hong Kong fell around December 14.
KB: I'm not positive where the KB is currently. I "think" one TF was lurking down near Noumea. I know the other was NE of Pearl for awhile, and it may now be covering the Midway invasion. I have some Allied merchants moving between West Coast and Pearl to see if the coast is clear. There are supply and troops transports on the West Coast loaded and ready to go.
Allied Plans: John has so much experience that he'll be pushing further than I might expect. Early in the game, I plan to focus my efforts on strengthening Pearl and Pago Pago. Noumea will probably get a brigade. Darwin and Perth are also being reinforced. In Burma, I plan to contest Mandalay, Akyab, and the cities to the rear. Madras will get a large garrison. A few of the cities in the interior will have small garrisons. Ceylon is on it's own. The best thing I can do is preserve the US CVs and wait until mid-42 before taking any chances.
John: I've followed several of his AARs. He's made major efforts for Pearl Harbor, Alaska, New Zealand, and Australia in the past. He hasn't gone for India, but maybe that's next on his list. He likes to divide the Japanese KB, which usually ends up costing him. Has he learned his lesson?