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No More Tippy-Toes - 5/23/2008 8:11:43 PM   
Canoerebel


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8/28/43
 
Red Planet Summary:  Things went preternaturally smoothly once again; the Japs haven't appeared in force yet; may that continue (pretty please).  Tomorrow will be the real thing.

Tori Shima:  Landing by the 147th RCT went smoothly and the Allies took this base easily (the 101:1 shock attack wiped out the small base force despite 3 forts).  Four small AKs carrying 12,000 supplies are heading this way, along with the part of a Seabee unit that didn't unload today at Chichi Jima.  The Japs had Tori Shima base 23% of the way to a level one airbase.  I didn't realize I would "inherit" that progress.  That was an eye-opener, and explained something:

John's Email:  "Mass confusion within the High Command.  I had come to the conclusion that you were heading for the Philippines where you could tie-in with your CBI LBA.  Guess that I was wrong.  OK.  Lets do this Sir..."  Like I said, John is always way ahead of me.  His suspicions about the PI might have been tickled when he took Iloilo and discovered that it was 90% toward a level 3 airbase.  At the moment, I think I'm glad I didn't proceed to Luzon.

Chichi Jima:  The Seebees landed here, but didn't have the capability of seizing the dot base.  So I've detailed 4th Marine Raiders to land tomorrow.  I've stopped unloading Seabees and ordered the remainder to head to Tori Shima.  I've also ordered three small AKs to head over here to unload supplies.

Status:  No offensive activity by Jap LBA (Tokyo and Iwo had me worried), nor have the KB or combat ships shown up.  The ships at Chichi and Tori are exposed and at risk, so I hope the quiet will continue.

Iwo Jima:  The main assault will occur tomorrow.  Transports carrying 8 divisions (1st Cav, 3rd USMC, and 7, 24, 25, 27, 37, and 43rd Army), plus 19th Combat Engineers, 30th Field Artillery Regiment, 640th Tank Destroyers, 754th Tank Regiment, 1st Paratroops, 4th Raiders, and 72nd Base Force will head in. Cover will be provided by 14 PT boats, a combat TF including 3 BBs, and an escort carrier group (3 CVEs plus two other CVEs embedded in the transport TFs).  The invasion force will be escorted by a small MSW TF (about six of the ships) and I have MSWs embedded in 7 of the 11 transport TFs.  Mines could be a big factor.  My last SigInt showed 6 units at Iwo.  I don't know whether that means a few mixed brigades or four divisions or what.  I hope I can overwhelm the enemy immediately, because all I have in reserve are 503rd Paratroop Regiment plus the Raiders, Paratroops, and 147th RCT detailed to or already at Chichi and Tori.  Geronimo!

SoPac:  No sign of that Mini-KB recently patroling near the Societies, but I have more picket ships on the lookout.

Australia:  I"m pulling back from both Adelaide and Broken Hill.  John has a mixed brigade and division (10th) at the former, and a division (20th) at the latter.  I'm glad he has alot of troops still posted here, because there out of the way and it will take some logistics to get them when he needs them elsewhere.

Burma:  Allied LBA hit shipping at Rangoon and Moulmein, damaging a handful of transports.  Another 1:1 dropped forts to 5 and cost the Japs 2091/51/2 to 3882/58/15.  Unless John brings reinforcements, the Allied could have Rangoon in ten days.  I didn't conceive of such a possibility this early.

Operation Violet Planet:  The RN carrier TF withdrew to the south.  Will the KB come hunting, or does it have bigger game in its sights?

(in reply to Canoerebel)
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RE: No More Tippy-Toes - 5/23/2008 11:45:51 PM   
Mike Solli


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Wohoo!!!! The 37th Infantry Division!!!  The Ohio Army National Guard!!!!

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Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 12:14:40 AM   
Canoerebel


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8/29/43
 
Red Planet:  In a nutshell, the invasion force hits the beaches, runs into countless mines, the KB and Jap combat ships fail to appear, and Iwo is not an atoll so no auto-attack.  Now for the details:

Mines:  Wow, the litany of "hits a mine" lasted forever!   By my count there were 97 mine hits by AKs (many of these were ships with multiple hits, not 97 different AKs), 2 hits on DDs, 22 hits on APs, 2 on PT boats, 1 on a PG, and one on an LST.  Of those, an AP and three AKs went under.  The vast majority of the rest are moderately damaged.  (This was horrendous, but I had alot of MSW and they cleared a vast number of mines).  About 1000 AV troops came ashore, but since Iwo isn't an atoll there wasn't an auto shock attack.  The auto-bombardment by the defenders seemed to indicate the Japs are present in numbers 50,000, but with few guns and no vehicles.  I get the feeling that the defensive AV won't be strong.

Tomorrow:  I've reconfigured my invasion forces.  All ships damaged more than about 7 SYS were ordered to cease unloading and rendezvous with the carrier TF and the balance of the invasion TF (those ships carrying fuel, supplies, crated aircraft, and troops held in reserve).  The undamaged ships were put in four big TFs of about 25 ships each with each TF accompanied by two MSWs.  They will continue to unload, protected by a reinforced combat TF (four slow BBs) and a CVE TF (four CVEs).  The reserve invasion TF and carriers will take position a hex away.

Chichi Jima:  Transports carrying 3rd Raiders arrived at Chichi but refused to unload (although "unload" was ordered).  Hopefully they'll decide to saunter ashore tomorrow.

Tori Shima:  The rest of the Seabees (the ones who didn't unload at Chichi) are unloading here and already working on the airfield and fortifications.  This island is garrisoned by a RCT and paratroop batallion, plus about 18 PT boats.

Japs:  Still no appearance by the KB or combat ships.  This may be the critical turn.  If they don't come now, I could have the island and I already have part of a base force ashore.  (I'm being optimistic here - in actuality it may be very difficult to take this base with 50,000 troops and probably 9 forts).

Burma:  Another Allied deliberate attack comes off at 3:1 with forts dropping to 4.  The Japs lose 2604/29/3 to 1316/48/2.  Could Rangoon be in Allied hands in a day or two?  This is really surprising.

After Iwo:  If the Allies can take Iwo in the near future, I'll sweep mines and then get all the damaged ships into port.  Minelaying operations will begin and the Allies will post a stout combat TF there.  Then, the CVs will probably head back to Midway to gather the reinforcements arriving there.

(in reply to Mike Solli)
Post #: 363
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 12:46:06 AM   
Feurer Krieg


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quote:

The auto-bombardment by the defenders seemed to indicate the Japs are present in numbers 50,000, but with few guns and no vehicles. I get the feeling that the defensive AV won't be strong.


Iwo can be tough... level 9 forts plus the x4 mountain defense bonus. Best of luck!

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Upper portion used with permission of www.subart.net and www.skybirdart.com, copyright John Meeks

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 364
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 12:52:30 AM   
Canoerebel


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Ah, so the defensive AV (raw) may not be particularly high, but the adjusted AV could be a bear.  Uh oh.

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Post #: 365
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 3:09:05 AM   
Canoerebel


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Note:  I reviewed the combat replay to see exactly what units the Japs have on Iwo.  The defense consists of 9th Independent Mixed Brigade, 3 base forces, and 4 construction batallions.  When this force bombarded the invaders, the AV was 209 with 5,224 troops involved in the attack.

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Post #: 366
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 3:51:42 AM   
Feinder


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Just and Ind Mx Bde?  Wow.  I'd say you surprised him.  I would have expected 2 - 3 Divisions.

Guestimate figure :

200 AV for Ind Mx Bde

200 x 3 (mtn) x 3 (9 forts) x 2 (100 prep) = 3600.

Other things that will affect your attack.
Corps HQ = x1.1
Command HQ = x1.9
Supplies = x1 for fully supplied, x.25 for zero supplies (obviously killing his supplies is the best thing you've got going for you).
Disruption thru bombardment and bombing.

You're certainly going to have your hands full.

-F-

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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 3:55:05 AM   
USS America


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The Jap Brigades can be tough, but they should not be more than a speed bump, even with the mountains and high forts, before your 8 Division assault has them in the bag.....along with a lot of Jap diggers!  All those engineers can work on building POW barracks instead of building more forts at other bases. 

Edit: Then again, there's what Feinder says. I'll let you know the first time I personally capture a Jap held base in the game.

< Message edited by USS America -- 5/24/2008 3:56:55 AM >


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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 5:07:51 AM   
vettim89


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Hey Dan,

As an AFB and seeing Johns love of playing Mines in the Pacific, its time to load up some 4E that are in range and start mining his harbors. Just a thought.

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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/24/2008 4:29:51 PM   
Canoerebel


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8/30/43
 
Landings on Iwo continue and Jap combat ships make their first appearance in the theater, although things are still fairly quiet:

Tori Shima:  A compact Jap combat TF including CAs Maya and Furutaka arrived overnight and did battle with PT boats (sinking four, while DD Oboro took a TT and several hits from shells) and a small Allied supply fleet (sinking three 3-ton AKs).  John had reconned the base the preceding day from Tokyo.  147th RCT and a paratroop batallion are ashore, and the Seabee detachment already has 1 fort built.

Chichi Jima:  The Marine Raider batallion landed and should take the dot hex tomorrow.  I want to get this to a level one port ASAP, and the Seabees are ready to begin work as soon as the hex belongs to the Allies.

Iwo Jima:  Another day, more mine hits.  This time there were 27 hits for AKs, 3 for APs, and 5 for LSTs.  More ships succumbed to the damage incurred over the two days of landings:  5 AKs and an LST went under.  For some reason, two of the four big transport convoys set to "patrol/do not retire" and to unload at Iwo instead retired toward Tori Shima without unloading (and still set to "patrol/do not retire").  What gives?  Most of 3rd Marines made it ashore.  Topsys from Japan were intercepted by the CVE Hellcats flying CAP over the island.  The daily bombardments revealed much the same - the Japs have just 9th Independent Mixed Brigade (or part of it) plus several base forces.  The Allies now have about 1900 AV ashore, but my units are rather disorganized and fatigued.  Nevertheless, they will try a deliberate attack tomorrow.  The combat TF in the hex will bombard for the third night in a row.  Good luck, Allies.

Fleets:  Most of the invasion fleets (carriers and supply transports) will move toward Chichi Jima.

Operation Violet Planet:  Since the KB hasn't shown up and since I have no idea where it is posted, and since my RN CVs revealed their location by sinking a Jap transport convoy, I've ordered this force to head back home to Colombo.

SoPac:  I'm still watching out for the Mini-KB recently sighted near the Societies.  I have picket ships out.

Australia:  So John still has at least three divisions in SE Australia (4th, 10th, 20th).  They are welcome to stay as long as they wish to.

Burma:  The Jap evacuation of Rangoon is accelerating as there are a multitude of ships there; most seem to be ferrying the Japs to Moulmein.  Allied bombers have hit a handful - maybe five or ten.  The Allied deliberate attack at Rangoon was a 4:1 dropping forts to 3, the Allies suffering 2070/22/2 to 1100/51 for the Japs.

China:  Quiet.

(in reply to vettim89)
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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/25/2008 12:31:27 AM   
Canoerebel


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8/31/43
 
Iwo Jima:  Another quiet turn - no appearance by the Jap KB or combat ships.  I didn't have any transports in the hex, instead giving minesweepers a day to work.  The combat TF bombarded for the third day in a row (inflicting some 500 casualties, 13 naval supply points, etc.).  Topsys were at work again, although the CAP shot down 20.  There are no "new" units in the hex, so the Topsys are either bringing in elements of units already there, bringing supplies, or possibly evacuating fragments to rebuild.  The first Allied attack - a deliberate attack- revealed that the Japs have four forts.  The attack didn't touch those, came off at 1:1, and inflicted 296/3 to the Japs, while suffering 517/18/1.  I'm sending in three big transport convoys (the three that oddly retired against orders yesterday) to resume unloading men, equipment, and supplies.  Another AK sank, and it looks like another five or six are in imminent danger of sinking (due to damage from mines).

Tori and Chichi:  Quiet on the 31st.  The Raiders took unoccupied Chichi and then informed the high command that the "naval base" is a level zero too.

Rangoon:  In his email, John said that he was shocked I hadn't shock attacked and that he had expected to lose alot more units.  I'm equally shocked that he's surrendering this city.  I've ordered another deliberate attack (my units are pretty fatigued).  Today's attack came off at 4:1, reduced forts to 2, and cost the Japs 1302/14 to 1489/67.  Onward!


(in reply to Canoerebel)
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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/25/2008 10:29:21 PM   
Canoerebel


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9/1/43
 
Iwo Jima:  More transports came in and hit more mines - this time there were 23 hits on AKs and 2 on APs.  During this turn, five AKs and an AP (damaged from previous turns) sank.  The combat TF bombarded and the ground troops tried another 1:1 attack, this one resulting in about equal casualties.  No appearance by Jap carriers or combat vessels.  I'm in a bit of a tight here - this operation is dragging out and I need to resupply my ships and possibly get reinforcements. So I'm sending my combat TFs and carriers, plus some transports, to Tori Shima.  The hope is that they can refuel and resupply without getting hammered.  LSTs will load 147th RCT. Then I'll return to Iwo and land 147th and the 507th Parachute Regiment.  That's if things go according to plan....

Burma:  The Allies took Rangoon on an 18:1 attack, costing the Japs 1999/47 to 948/10.  The Allies will air transport a base force in from Meiktila.  Allied bombers have continued to hit Jap transports each turn, and a number have gone down.  Rangoon is a non-malarial hex, so it's a good place to rebuilt depleted units.  That's what I'll do for a time, while also figuring out where to go next (I actually had a vague plan for SE Asia developed with the thought that the Japs would hold Rangoon for months to come and that I needed to try something somewhere, so I'm reconsidering that plan now that the city has fallen).

Points: Rangoon is worth 1,000 points to the Allies, so it's capture narrowed the lead. The Japs have 43,468 and the Allies 19,862.

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 5/25/2008 10:30:49 PM >

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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/25/2008 11:23:05 PM   
desicat

 

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I check this report every day - thanks for the great entertainment. John probably overexpanded early on and you did a very good job of pressing him, your actions in Burma have been entertaining.

John was in deep trouble with his economy, production, and oil until a couple of readers stepped in and got things back on track recently. To make things fair it would be nice if a few folks could help you as well.

Good luck and keep the turns coming.

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Post #: 373
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 1:01:12 AM   
Redd

 

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Hey Canoerebel, just want you to know that I check every day as well. It's great to be able to read both sides and see what's going on.


Way back in regards to china I gave you some advice about land movement and combat, but you never mentioned it so maybe you missed it. By this time in Oz you should have alot of tank units. They move pretty quick, even in open terrain (go figure),so use them to surround his units. John hates land combat, so he seems to do what a lot of people do which is just run stacks of units up and down the rail lines. They bump into the enemy, try an attack, and then run away if it doesn't look good. Units don't have to stay on the rail lines. Hell, as long as they don't engage in combat they don't even need to be in supply.

Bring up a couple of divisions with at least two tank units right next to his stronghold. send one unit around each way through open country. When they've made the first hex of progress, send in your combat units and just bombard. Keep your tanks moving around. At the very least he'll have to split his forces to protect his supply lines, which will weaken him in the city.

If he doesn't react, when the first tanks converge on the rail line behind him he's toast. As long as a unit of yours is in the same hex as him, he can't move into the rail hex behind him, even if the hex is empty. Have your tanks run up the rail line to see whats cookin' in the rear. If they run into trouble, they can run off into the desert and back to freindly lines.


Once he's surrounded, bombard every day and pound him with everything you've got from the air. Bombers, fighter bombers, even fighters if theres no cap. Just remember to LRCap the base to keep supply transports out. It's not gamey to train your pilots this way, they're on the front lines by God. Bomb the airfield to dust first, then keep it closed and bomb the units to smitherines. When he stops bombarding back, he's probobly running low on supply. Then it's time to finish the job.


Just a little advice to get things rollin' down under.

(in reply to desicat)
Post #: 374
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 2:57:47 AM   
Canoerebel


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Gents,

Thanks for the suggestions.  Redd, I've read every post and appreciate the suggestions.

When I started this AAR it was just to keep a record for myself.  Since the game takes so much time and effort, it seemed like a good way to make it more "substantial" to have a record.  At first, I think I was getting about 14 hits per post.  It's increased since then and it's fun to know others have gotten some enjoyment from my predicament and flounderings and attempts to extricate my tail from a crack.

Desicat, thanks for your sentiment.  Back when I lost CVs Wasp and Hornet due to plain bad luck or bad play, John offered me a "mulligan."  It was a gracious gesture, but I wanted to forge on in hopes that I might be able to still come back and give him a game. If so, I didn't want that to be marred by a mulligan.

By the same token, this game began as me against John.  I prefer to lose or win on my own.  It puzzles me that John would seek help, but our house rules don't prohibit it.

Redd, I am content right now to kind of goof off in Australia.  John's outposts at Adelaide, Broken Hill, and Brisbane are too distant for my aircraft to make a regular appearance, so my ground troops get blasted when they draw close.  I don't want to risk somehow getting a major part of the Aussie army isolated and either destroyed, battered, or bypassed while John springs a major offensive.  Right now the Aussies are fine with holding the Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle line.  That suits me, because the more troops John has stuck down in Australia the better.  For the foreseeable future - possibly for the rest of the game - the Aussies will have to fight on their own.  I think the U.S. forces will spread out from Iwo in that theater.  The Aussies might get a hand from the Brits, but that won't happen soon.

Thanks for reading.

(in reply to Redd)
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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 3:45:11 AM   
Nemo121


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Canoerebel,

Well, I think he's mostly just discussing options and filling in ( some pretty major ) gaps in his knowledge base of the game mechanics. Certainly I think anything I've written will only be of help in his NEXT game as he learns to plan and consider things more fully than he currently does. So I wouldn't get too het up about all the "help" he's getting.


I am curious as to whether you intend to exploit more deeply and just how much supply you have available to drop at Iwo Jima to sustain your troops there indefinitely. It seems to me that your invasion is going to be successful but unless you backfill by invading targets of opportunity again on the way back towards Pearl Harbour ( thus securing your supply lines ) that Iwo is really vulnerable to a strong blockade being mounted.

I do like the whole "strike deep and backfill on the way out" idea though. It has thoroughly dislocated the enemy defence.

< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 5/26/2008 3:47:44 AM >

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 376
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 4:17:35 AM   
Canoerebel


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Nemo, I have plenty of supply - transports and tankers are steaming in circles waiting for the troops to take Iwo.  I think I have 300k supplies and 400k oil.

I'm not sure where I'll go from Iwo yet.  I doubt that I'll backtrack right now.  Foremost possibilities are Okinawa, Formosa, Luzon, Hokkaido; but I really won't know until Iwo stabalizes and I can get my troops and supplies organized.  I have TFs gathering at Midway with supplies, fuel, and troops.  Once I get Iwo in shape, the first order of business may be to return to Midway to bring a convoy back to Iwo.

My main objective will be to create problems in John's rear areas.  If the Allied CV TFs remain intact, that alone will make his job more difficult.  If the Allies are secure at Iwo, expanding, and with a stout CV force, what does that mean for all those troops John has in the Marshalls, Societies, etc.?  When does holding New Caledonia and Australia become more of a burden than a benefit for him?

Bottom line - I think I'll be working forward from here.

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RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 4:27:50 AM   
Nemo121


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Toujours l'audace, toujours.

Forward, ever forward but with intelligence.


Kudos to you for being this aggressive. Just don't overextend and remember two things:
a) slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
b) Encirclement is a frame of mind, not objective reality.

The latter will be crucial to you if you truly are going deep ( for either the Philippines or Formosa... don't even consider Hokkaido, there's no need for that sort of thing yet). Question, what is your strategic aim in going deep? Are you just seeking to dislocate his defensive lines and force a response or are you seeking to establish a proper barrier between Japan and its OIL and resource production centres?

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Post #: 378
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 4:40:31 AM   
Canoerebel


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For the first 1.5 years of the game, John drove deeply and decimated the Allies, so it's late 1943 and I'm way behind.  I don't have the time for a conventional advance.  So I "leapt forward" to take Iwo.  From there, I want to expand strongly to threaten his supply and communication lines to Cen- and SoPac, render somewhat irrelevant a good bit of the territory he took, and threaten his resource lines (eventually).  While Iwo is "out there", it's pretty far from any other Jap-held island, so his LBA won't be a big factor.  I'm worried about the time it's taking to capture the island, but once I do (IF I do), I think it can become a real citadel protected by mines, a big combat fleet, LBA, and Allied CVs.  It's also close enough to Jap heartland that CVs can raid into critical areas.


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Post #: 379
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 11:21:56 AM   
String


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

For the first 1.5 years of the game, John drove deeply and decimated the Allies, so it's late 1943 and I'm way behind. I don't have the time for a conventional advance. So I "leapt forward" to take Iwo. From there, I want to expand strongly to threaten his supply and communication lines to Cen- and SoPac, render somewhat irrelevant a good bit of the territory he took, and threaten his resource lines (eventually). While Iwo is "out there", it's pretty far from any other Jap-held island, so his LBA won't be a big factor. I'm worried about the time it's taking to capture the island, but once I do (IF I do), I think it can become a real citadel protected by mines, a big combat fleet, LBA, and Allied CVs. It's also close enough to Jap heartland that CVs can raid into critical areas.




What level airport does it have? I bet it can hold a LOT of corsairs. When you take it, fill it up with fighters and about 50 PBY4's which can make deep unescorted longrange strikes against enemy shipping that is not LRCAP'ed. They won't hit much and they will suffer losses early on while the morale is still high, but they will do a great job at harassment.

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Post #: 380
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 3:16:57 PM   
Canoerebel


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IIRC, Iwo Jima can be built to level six airfield (it's currently level four in this game).  So, once buit out, the field can hold up to 300 aircraft (per our house rule).  I have transports with far more crated aircraft than I can use (since this invasion force was originally headed for Luzon).  I'll unload the following:  96 Corsairs (4 squadrons), 36 Hellcats (1 squadron), recon (probably 2 PBY squadrons totally 24 aircraft) and bombers (a mixture of SBDs, B-24s, and B-17s). 

(in reply to String)
Post #: 381
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 7:46:57 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

IIRC, Iwo Jima can be built to level six airfield (it's currently level four in this game).  So, once buit out, the field can hold up to 300 aircraft (per our house rule).  I have transports with far more crated aircraft than I can use (since this invasion force was originally headed for Luzon).  I'll unload the following:  96 Corsairs (4 squadrons), 36 Hellcats (1 squadron), recon (probably 2 PBY squadrons totally 24 aircraft) and bombers (a mixture of SBDs, B-24s, and B-17s). 


You brought crated up B-17's That has to be a serious crate.

You will also need fighters that are operational from day one (at least 50 I think). Perhaps Corsairs flown off your jeep carriers or P-38's from China (if they can reach). You would be better off flying in the PBY's and 17's if they can reach from Midway? That way you wont have hundreds of non-operational planes waiting to absorb 8 in and 14 inch shells when he comes to visit, which he is certain to do. You will also need a fulsome surface force to stay behind so the IJN can't have its way with the airfield.

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 382
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 8:04:09 PM   
Canoerebel


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They are big crates.  The CVs will stick around for awhile to make sure the airfield gets operational, with Hellcats from CVEs serving as interim LB CAP until the crated fighters are ready to go.  I don't think Iwo is within range of B-17s and PBYs from Midway, but I'll check as soon as I capture Iwo. 

But it is taking forever to capture Iwo due to the mining.  If John continues to stay away from the island, I'll try to get the mines cleared using my minesweepers.  Then my two reserve regiments will land to assist in the attacks.

I'll update my AAR in a little while, but my combat fleets and carriers were able to replenish mission sorties and ammo at Tori Shima.  That's one thing that has gone right thus far.

If John gives me enough time to capture Iwo, get it mined, get CAP up and running, and anchor my surface combat fleets there, I think it will be out of danger.  It's also going to serve as a great sub base.

(in reply to Cap Mandrake)
Post #: 383
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 8:50:54 PM   
pat.casey

 

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Are you sure delaying to added another 1 or 2 RCTs to your attack is wise?

Seems like you're in a race against time here. You have to capture Iwo before he can force a fleet engagement or reinforce iwo. Even if you win a fleet engagement, you'll have a lot of wounded ships far from home with no port or friendly air cover.

Even with your fleet there, if he's willing to take the losses, he *can* reinforce iwo. Massive barge convoys, hordes of 1 ship AP convoys, or an air bridge can get additional combat forces onto the ground pretty much whatever you do. Admittely the barge convoy or singe ship AP swarm is gamey so your opponent may not go there, but if he's willing to take the losses from air transports (and he should be), then every transport in teh empire should be ferrying light infantry onto iwo right now.

So relative forces on the island is only going to tilt more and more in his favor as time progresses. Waiting days to land another RCT (say a 5% bump in your available AP), will probably give him time to land a divisional equivalent on iwo via air transport, probably bumping his AP at least 100%.

I'd think you should shock attack ASAP. Getting a few of your divisions mauled in the process is well worth it if you can take the island before A) he reinforces or B) he forces a fleet engagement.

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 384
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/26/2008 9:24:04 PM   
Canoerebel


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These are all good points, but you're at a disadvantage because you don't have access to alot fo the detailed information which are factored by players in making evaluations and decisions.  Things can change rapidly, but to date John has shown a reluctance to hazard an engagement with my carriers.  As best I can tell, no ships are heading this way.  He is flying Topsys from the Home Islands to Iwo, but based upon the combat replay each turn he is not bringing in new units - he's either reinforcing the existing units (and he has but one infantry unit on the island), bringing supplies, or possibly even evacuating fragments so that he can rebuild units lost when the island surrenders.  Mines are tearing up my ships and disabling alot of my ground units, plus they are disorganized.  So I'm trying to rest them a bit before assaulting again.  Too, my ships needed to replenish (combat ships their gun ammo, carriers their mission sorties), so I sent them to Tori Shima, so they will have been absent from Iwo for two days, but now they are fully replenished and much better prepared to take on the enemy.

John can wreak havoc if he fully commits his combat ships and carriers to battle over Iwo, but I don't think he's going to, at least not immediately.  So I weighed all this and decided to rest my troops a bit before attacking, and to bring reinforcements as soon as possible.

(in reply to pat.casey)
Post #: 385
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/27/2008 4:38:05 PM   
Canoerebel


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9/2/43 and 9/3/43
 
Tori Shima:  The Allied CVs and combat ships spent a day at Tori Shima and replenished ammo and mission sorties.  John expressed dismay that I used a level one port in this fashion, but I thought it was a clever idea (one of the few I've had thus far that actually worked) and doing so rectified the problem of the massive carrier strikes against lone transports.  On the 3rd, however, some of my TFs became separated from the main transport TF and took hits from Kates and other bombers flying from Tokyo.  I lost an APD, and four DMs were damaged along with a few other ships.  I've tried to corral my ships and get them back under protection of the carriers.

Iwo Jima:  While the carriers and combat ships spent the 2nd and 3rd steaming to and from Tori Shima, the ground troops bombarded.  I've ordered the minesweepers, main combat TF, and CVE TF back to Iwo, with the rest of the fleet to take post a hex to the north.  The ground troops will try a shock attack on the 4th.  Bettys from Saipan scrambled on the 3rd and tried penetrating the main CV CAP; 31 went down in a-2-a and none got through.

On the 2nd, there were 10 more mine hits for AKs and 2 for APs; no hits on the 3rd because no ships were there other than minesweepers.  Over this two day period, Allied ships lost in this area (including the APD mentioned above):  5 AK and 1 AP.

The increased offensive activity by Jap aircraft is a worrisome development.  It would be a big help if the ground troops could take Iwo asap.

Rangoon:  Allied bombers continue to damage a variety of Jap transports.

(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 386
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/27/2008 4:47:40 PM   
DW

 

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I've been following your AAR for sometime and find it fascinating. After watching your opponent spend so much time slapping you around like you were a punk it's heartening to see you go onto the offensive and start giving some back to him. (Great defense of Australia, btw. It was rational, measured and most importantly... Successful)

I have to agree with Pat Casey that time is the critical factor in this operation and that a sudden swarm of reinforcements could easily derail your plans.

As deep as you are into enemy territory, you can't afford to get bogged down.

I understand your concern about ship losses due to mines when landing your reinforcement, but perhaps there's a way around that.

Couldn't you land your troops at one of the nearby bases that you captured, spawn some barges and use them to run your troops onto Iwo Jima, thus sparing your more important ships?

I'm not sure how long that would take in comparison to your mine sweeping operations, but based on other AARs I've read the Japanese players can absolutely flood reinforcements onto Iwo Jima should he choose to so so. And, because of the combat model there would be very little you could do to prevent it.

I think you need to get that island ASAP.

Just my thoughts...


(in reply to Canoerebel)
Post #: 387
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/27/2008 5:23:38 PM   
Nemo121


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Canoerebel,

You lose FAR more through timidity now than through decisive action. All through history commanders have put themselves in winning positions through brave action and then have let timidity take over and persuade them not to deliver the killing blow.

Don't be one of these guys. Unload what you have to to take Iwo Jima, take it, accept the necessary loses and secure your operational victory. Then turn your attention to making it a strategic victory. Without Iwo you have nothing so commit fully and take it and give yourself a safe haven in the midst of Japanese waters.

(in reply to DW)
Post #: 388
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/27/2008 5:35:42 PM   
Canoerebel


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9/4/43
 
DW, that's a clever idea that never occurred to me, but I think John might have a stroke if I tried it.  He seems to be pretty ticked off that I replenished my ships at Tori Shima, and that I have PT boats stationed there.  Fortunately, though, it looks like I won't need the reinforcements, judging by today's action.

Iwo Jima:  The 4 BB Allied bombardment TF really got in a good lick, inflicting 1055/9 on the shell-shocked Jap garrison.  Later in the day, the Allied ground troops launched a shock attack which dropped forts from 3 to 1, came off at 3:1, and inflicted 598/7 to 570/15/2.  If I'm reading things correctly, Iwo could fall tomorrow. 

Tori Shima:  The Maya/Furutaka combat TF returned and tangled with the PT boats stationed here.  The Japs sank 6 PT boats, but three DDs took torpedoes, two of them sinking. 

Sallys and Helens from Tokyo caught some of the damaged DMs and sank one.  Also going under were two APs and an LST.

Rangoon:  The Allies are now attacking at odds better than 100:1.  Today's attack cost the Japs more than 7,000 troops, so the end is very near.  Allied LBA scored another five or ten hits on transports.  When all is said and done, John may have lost as many transports here as I've lost in the Iwo campaign (although I've suffered many more damaged ships, but most of them should be able to repair in port at Iwo).

Allied CVs:  In addition to the big fleet at Iwo, the Allies have other carriers in harm's way.  The RN carriers continue to steam home from the recent raid near Timor.  I have my fingers crossed that they won't bump into an angry KB way down south of Sumatra.  Also, CV Intrepid and CVL Langley arrived.  I sent them toward the Societies in hopes of bumping into that Mini-KB operating there, but didn't have any luck.  They are heading back to Hawaii.

Points:  The Allies just went over 20,000 points.  The Japs have about 43,500.  At the end of '42, with the Japs besieging Melbourne and Sydney, I had real fears of a Jap auto-victory in '43.  After that threat passed, I wondered if I would face auto-victory in '44, but it looks like that threat is dimishining.

(in reply to DW)
Post #: 389
RE: Tip-Toeing through a minefield wearing iron galoshes - 5/27/2008 6:28:20 PM   
Q-Ball


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Looks like Iwo is falling, and that will create the obvious question: What next?

I have stopped reading John's AAR, because I don't feel I can give untainted advice unless I am out of the know. So I am guessing at some things.

SHORT TERM:
It will take maybe a week to secure Iwo, repair the airbase, and uncrate/repair enough planes to put up a decent CAP. 100 or so Corsairs should be enough to protect damaged ships in Iwo port, or at least make him pay way too much to get them. He won't try to bomb the port or base with anything less than KB against Corsairs.

I would immediately take your fast CV's and raid something to the north or west. I would do that ONE turn, then immediately get back to Iwo. You would have to leave your CVE's and BB's behind; even if KB happens to appear THAT turn, they should be able to put up enough Hellcats and Corsairs at Iwo to shoot down hundreds of planes.

A port raid on Osaka or Hiroshima/Kure would really cause alarm. It would absolutely freak him out. I think you have to do it WITHOUT recon, so you may or may not catch valuable ships. Osaka is probably more likely to have ships in port, albeit tranports. Neither probably has much CAP, if he is launching bombers from Tokyo, that is probably CAPed. In any case, there is no way he has enough fighters in the Home Islands that he would have 100 on CAP over Osaka. You could hit it from a point SW of Osaka that the bombers at Tokyo can't get you, and you can steam there in one turn no problem.

The other alternative is to raid straight west for ONE turn, looking for convoys. Your main objective NOW should be the interdiction of supplies from SRA. If you can accomplish that, the Empire will collapse.

LONG TERM:
You probably need to pick your next target now. You can start prepping those troops on Iwo for somewhere else as soon as it falls. Your choices:

1. MARCUS: The conservative choice, this would have the great advantage of clearing your supply line to Iwo, at least clearing it from LBA. Your biggest problem is that everything will need CV escort for the time being, a huge logistical challenge, but one that will be easier when you get more CVE's. RISK: Low REWARD: Low, but will aid in long term.
2. OKINAWA: I prefer this to Luzon. You can expect a horde of aircraft from Formosa or HI, but interestingly, Okinawa is outside the range of the Tojo, Tony, and Jack from those places, so he can only get Zekes over the Island. I bet there aren't alot of troops there right now, and I also bet that is being corrected. But even so, how many units can he have there? HIGH Risk, but HIGH REWARD; the HI would be completely cut off.
3. LUZON: John thinks you were going there. He probably has a large land army there at this point. Even so, getting ashore should not be a problem, it's staying ashore that will be. I am on the fence here, but it's tough to supply Luzon, even with Iwo.
4. LEYTE/CEBU/ISLANDS: If these bases are well-built, might be worth considering. He can't defend them all in Division strength, so taking would not be a problem, or holding. Supplying could be, and there are numerous ways to Bombard the base, unlike Iwo, where he will have to be seen without aircover.
5. ALTERNATE OPERATIONS: John has a huge perimeter to defend, and I would wager that with 8 divisions so close to Home, those troops are all going to be pulled in as quick as possible. All his attention should be focused there. Is there any way to get a lodgement going where there is a cluster of bases, so you can advance under LBA? Like, the Marshalls, Solomons, Gilberts?


(in reply to Canoerebel)
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