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RE: The benefits of active defense

 
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RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 11:31:17 AM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bilbow


quote:

ORIGINAL: okami

Sadly the "Sir Robin" strategy has become an institution.


In game terms the primary Jap objective is an auto-victory, and that is most easily done if the Allied player runs away. The Allied player saves units, true, but more importantly does not inflict casualies on the Jap.

As Jap, I need 4 to 1 in points for an auto. If the allied player fights and trades 2-3 planes for one of mine, he is ahead in terms of avoiding an AV.

If the allied player runs away, the Jap can advance quickly and without loss which opens up the opportunity to go for high-vp locations like Noumea before they are fortified. If I have to fight for everything, I kill units, but take losses myself, and most importantly don't get the chance for these big vp objectives.

The best allied strategy is to fight, trading initial forces for time. A good example of this is my game with Feinder (He updates his AAR occaissionally). He stood and fought, and lost a lot. But I lost enough so there was no auto victory. Now I certainly don't advocate the Allied player letting his carriers get ambushed like Feinder did his, but by then (9/42) AV was out of reach anyway. That bought me an extra year before the roof falls in on me, but hardly won the game.

Clearly the best allied strategy is to stand and fight and make he Jap pay. Anyone who sir robins me will be staring at an AV in short order.


In historical terms, the primary Japanese objective was a stalemate leaving them in control of Malaya and the NEI. The PH attack extended the amount of time they had to hold out to gain a stalemate by a couple of years (at least). Not attacking the American possessions was rejected because the Philippines controlled the Japanese lines of communication, and anything that brought America into the war would activate a blockade. Figure out some way of putting those considerations into the victory conditions!

_____________________________

Harry Erwin
"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to bilbow)
Post #: 31
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 11:38:47 AM   
herwin

 

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I remember the analysis work that led to the active defence. Basically, the idea was to play American football defence with very short command and control loops. It had the Soviets really scared, because it would have worked very well against the tendency of the OMGs to get overextended. I think it would probably work well against the Japanese in WiTP since they tend to get overextended, but it is dependent on having your forces well in hand and knowing where the Japanese are at all times.

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(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 32
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 1:08:12 PM   
John 3rd


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This is a great discussion.  I really concur with jwilkerson about people who have played the Japanese know their weaknesses and then use that knowledge to exploit the Japanese by fighting for every inch of ground wherever possible.  I played against Moses as well and he is a fantastic player who really knows the art of amubush using massed air.  Wouldn't mind playing him again...

I have only played the Allies twice and just for the first few months of the campaigns but I raised Hell with hit-and-run and projected defense.  Managed to throw off the Japanese timetable and cause total and complete chaos.  In short--it was a lot of fun--then I got my taste of Allied power, I shifted back to the more humble, challenging Japanese side...


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Post #: 33
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 1:33:05 PM   
Historiker


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There are several reasons for Sir Robin:

1. There's no surprise.
Even today wouldn't be as much information to an enemy, as the Japanese player has. He only has to start the game as allied player to know exactly to the last man, how many and good the units are. He can run test against himself or the computer to know almoust exactly (there's of course always a dice role) how much own units he needs.
So why should I leave the units there?

2. The ground combat model
It still is a book with seven seals for me. Every time a units is forced to retreat, it looses a significant part of their strength so I try to avoid every forced retreat. I try to fight only where I can hold position.

3. The units aren't lost
The units you leave in the PI, in DEI and on Manila are finally lost. One will really miss them when India or Australia are invaded. Moreover, the more you save, the earlier you can start a comeback, the earlier your offensive can begin.


I don't care about morality here, if I would see a significant benefit in sacrifying my units I would - it's just a game - but I don't see that.
As I don't know anything about the witp-ground combat, I must know where my limits are. I know what I can and what not.

For me, it's defenitly better to save more units for a later counter-offensive than to let them beaten without any benefit. Benefit is here - of course - what I consider to be one. For many, delaying the enemy is enough benefit to finally loose the troops, but I'm defentily ineffective in that, so I have to react the way my experience and my competence allows me.

< Message edited by Historiker -- 4/24/2008 1:46:10 PM >


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Post #: 34
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 4:25:29 PM   
JWE

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
quote:

ORIGINAL: JWE
quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
Historically, Japan delayed its DOW on the NEI. On the other hand, this scenario would show the Japanese player why in reality they attacked America at the start of the war. It makes a lot of sense as a what-if.

Quite right Henry. The 'backfill' scen is based on Tanaka Toshiro's alternate ops plan of Mar '41, with some very 'nasty' embellishments by contemporary members of 1 MEU. Oh .. the horror .. the horror! These guys are good. I'm glad I'm just the referee, if I was playing Jeremy, I'de be toast.

Ciao. John

Could we put together a number of these scenarios (or perhaps just first turns) for people to see?

Sure. Right now we are furiously working on AE finishing touches, but as soon as the alligators are down and the swamp is drained a bit, we'll run a game-month of turns and do an AAR.

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 35
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 5:58:24 PM   
okami


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gen.Hoepner

My experience, as allied player (which is not that good), is that an active defence against a jap player who advance with concentrated forces in the first 6 months is simply a suicide.
Probably some of you took a look at my hold AAR against Trollelite....if i had tried to make a stand on the beaches when he landed in India in mid Jan 42 with 10,000 AVs and the whole combined fleet now i'm sure i would have lost the whole India, Karachi included...while i still hold Karachi, 7 months later 8now in mid august 1942)...even if hardly sieged.

My idea of an active defence against this kind of jap player is to Sir Robin where he attacks and at the same time advance in force where he's weak, conquer a good position and bunker at his shoulders. Japan simply cannot be everywhere with its steamroller.

Having read your AAR and contributed comments on the strategic abilities of your opponent, I believe you are drawing a wrong conclusion. In your game your opponent has used every game engine trick there is and thus the results can not be used in any meaningful argument on strategy. Against his attack there is no clear defense, for you are not fighting an enemy but the computer game. The basic premise of a discussion on strategy must entail that gamey or engine play is not tolerated. To your credit, you have allowed your opponent a great deal of latitude and still persisted in the game. Long after others, including myself would have thrown in the towel. The bunker strategy can and is used to great effect in current games. Many players retreat to Singapore and Manila from the very beginning of the game and try to hold out longer than expected. This usually does not work but sometimes is does. Sid's argument that an active defense, which could include bunkering, is the best solution to the "Japanese running wild in the Pacific" is the correct analysis. By slowing your opponent and damaging facilities he is trying to capture, you set up a ripple effect that will only come to fruition in the later stages of the war. Remember allied losses can be regained while the Japanese can not afford attrition. As the allies you can make mistakes and survive, as the Japanese most mistakes are fatal. As for the "Sir Robin" strategy, if used with the build up of rear area bases(USA, India, Australia)can not be overcome by an auto victory. Simple put by denying the Japanese player the points gained by destroying vast ground units and air losses, coupled with the increase of Base Value when you increase Ports and Airfields, will eliminate the chance of a four to one victory at the end of 42. Is the "Sir Robin" strategy historical? No. But it is effective if done correctly. Does in make for a boring early game? Maybe, depends on how the Japanese player adjusts to the situation. That is my two cents.

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Post #: 36
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 8:07:16 PM   
ny59giants


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The other determining factor is which map system you are using.

If stock, the early capture of the Line Islands can serious hinder the LOC to Australia.

With Andrew's Extended map system the additional capture of French Polynesia can impede the LOC to Australia. The changes in bases (adding and reassignment of capabilites) adds another dimension to any possible "Sir Robin" approach. 

Finally, the new level 7 RHS maps with off map shipping channels and when AE comes out changes what amount of active defense the Allies can conduct changes.

If I know I cannot truly afford to lose a particular area do to map limitations, then I will not be employing much of a passive defense. In some classic AARs like Andy vs PzB, the stock map made any counterattack difficult as Aden is not there to base it from. Combat in China changes from mod to mod. In AB vs stock map, the defense of northern Australia changes due to the lay out. I have just started RHS and with the amount of bases east of Darwin, what amount of running away can I do or not do?? Its a lot more for the Japanese player to defend vs just 4 major bases.

I'm looking forward to the changes in the Allied Air OOB in AE as so many mods have certain planes available at different times in different amounts. The number of P-40s available is just one area that I adjust my strategy around.

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RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 10:02:43 PM   
JWE

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
Question for Matrix: would it be possible to programme the AI to play the backfill scenario?

It certainly can be done, but I don’t think Matrix (or 2x3) would be interested; that’s just not their function. We have been looking carefully at the AI, and think we can help it out, some but, of course, we can’t rewrite it to any significant degree; we have neither the time nor the mandate.

However, the new editor, implementing the new game features, is such a powerful and comprehensive tool that, although you can’t script a campaign, you can certainly conduct ‘opening day’ ceremonies under any conditions, and in any direction, you wish. The AI is not statically scripted, so it can be “bluntly” redirected to respond on an ‘immediate’ basis. Over time, it will drift back into the actions and responses we all see, but what the hey.

I’ve run a lot of <IF> and <IF_NOT> situations, and the AI seems to respond. It ain’t smart, but at least it’s awake. From the standpoint of WiTP-1, it is satisfactory.

My group hasn’t tested “backfill” extensively under AE. One of the issues in developing ‘backfill’ as a general release scenario, is our proclivity for risk; for example, I’ve seen Kuching, Mersing and Palembang hit on day-1 with the KB nuking Singapore and moving on down. So what would the scenario parameters be?

For sure, once AE releases, we will issue a “Backfill” opening day, but it will be our take on how it presents. Gotta say that “Sir Robin” and “The Bunker” will remain valid, but they will have slightly different imperatives.

Ciao. John

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 38
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 11:36:18 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

Well if you go back and re-read my original post you will find that there is nothing in it we actually disagree on - it seems it's just nuances of what I said you differed with, like my example of standing until the end to save the women and children - and then you quoted a story of facing overwhelming odds to save civilians in a village (I honestly don't see what you are saying is different.)

By the way - at Wake Island the Navy and Marines did raise a rescue mission rather than leave them to their fate - it was just 24 hours too late. It was also a good example of why no Allied commander with a soul would willingly leave his men to Japanese mercy, isolated and hopeless.

REPLY: Good points.

quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again
....
You might have picked a better example if you wanted to imply I had it wrong. It is hard to think of a better case for NOT running with a small unit than at Wake. But the generalization about local politics does indeed not apply there - since there was none. Yet the rationale for a defense still existed. Other places add local politics as a motive: anybody get it yet? There are sound reasons for defending - not all of them local.




The whole point is that the Sir Robin Defense angers many Japanese Players because they intuitively know in the grand campaign game it diminishes their longer term chances for victory. For example If the Japanese player can take out most all US Naval strength piecemeal in 1942 for little cost (a typical 8CV vs 2Cv battle), then they will be much better placed to fight an Allied comeback developing in late 43/ early 44.
If the Allied player throws every aircraft he has at the Japanese in the Zero Bonus period (in stock) all he is doing is training up the Japanese pilots to perfection while loosing at about a 10:1 rate - this is not really in the Allied Players best interest.
On the other hand the most Allied Players intuitively understand that they must save what they can to fight another day - so they may make use of what they have most effectively.

I mean, this is just common sense. This is why players build up large bases full of fighters and bombers to dominate sea space - rather than piss them away on scattered airfields outside of mutual support range.

Everyone understands the basic principal of not squandering their assets - it's just an individual interpretation of what is important enough to risk assets over and what is just foolhardy.




REPLY: Not so good points. The reason Japanese players do not like the Sir Robin running deal is that they know how vulnerable they are - and that it means they are not getting a good test of their skill or strategy. Sir Robin OPTIMIZES for Japanese power - giving them too much territory with attendent resources and base infrastructures too soon. It is hard to describe how little Japan will get - it really cannot win if it does not attrit at 6 or 8 to 1 vs the Allies (in ship terms). Everything damaged early is out of it in the critical period. Everything sunk is out of it forever.

However - I do not wish to imply the Allies should defend every last point - nor fight on idiotic terms. What I advocate is to force the enemy to pay for every point of value - EVERY point of value - costing him attrition in every sense (supply, land units, aircraft, probably damaged ships both from combat and from just moving them in numbers over distance - operational damage). The Japanese air power is very fragile - and Sir Robin insures it is always strong when needed. Running it down means they must either stop to recover or become ineffective. Same iwth supplies - Japan has limited capacity - and if you make them USE it - they run out at the front - and must either stop and wait - or become ineffective. Defending valued points means he must attack them en force - and that means you get the chance to hit the LOC or the units at the point - possibly just after they weakened themselves in an assault situation.

(in reply to Big B)
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RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 11:43:57 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

Well, I suppose this all centers on what the definition of running away is (Sir Robin).

AGREED

This thread is about the positives of an active defense. Any such defense that wears the Japanese player down and damages the resource centers that the Japanese player needs is beneficial to the Allied player(s). But the Allied player has no choice but to fight in most areas the Japanese player decides he wants to go (resource areas). No Allied player can evacuate the entire DEI without loss - the Japanese player will not give him the time to do so (unless he is too cautious). The same holds true for the PI, and Malaya.

AGREED with sentence one. But the second sentence seems to have a incorrect word - choice perhaps should be chance? Here the issue is not that the Allied player will lose certain places - surely he will unless facing incompetent play or awful luck - but wether or not he benefits from fighting and still losing. As you said in sentence one - the Allies are STILL winning. The key is exchange rates. These are horrible in Dec 41 but become decisively better in 1942. The Japanese cannot even stay even in air losses to all causes - never mind stay ahead. Yet unless they are losing LESS than the Allies - they are probably losing the war. Land loss rates start as high as 20 : 1 in favor of Japan - but this changes too - and the more the Allies fight - the more it changes in favor of the Allies. Ship losses are even more dynamic. Here the Japanese need an 8 : 1 to be even (estimate of Takishi Hara, Japan's best surface action guy) - and it never happens IF the Allies fight.

So what is running away? Running away with what?

So as far as I can see - the only thing that may constitute 'running away' is to save what ground units that the Allied player can salvage from doomed areas, and especially to save naval and air units for further concerted use.

Therefore, it seems to me that 'running away' is primarily a euphemism for not throwing away valuable units.

I find it interesting that - or should I say - 'it seems to me' that damning efforts to run away has been most pronounced by Japanese players...not Allied players.

I could be wrong - but I get the impression that the biggest controversy has been that Allied players save Dutch infantry to defend other areas, Allied players save unit fragments to rebuild(they won't have many for a good year or so), Allied players don't dutifully take on the KB early and suffer the consequences.
None of the above seem detrimental to the Allied cause to me? At least I never seem to hear Allied players complaining that they have saved too much?

So what is it about 'Sir Robin' that is so good for Japanese players and so bad for Allied players - that seems to leave the Japanese players so negative about the whole thing?

As Shakespeare said - you protest too much?

REPLY: Why would an Allied player, imagining he is doing it right, complain about it? You miss the motive of Japanese players: these are a hardy lot - willing to fight a war they must lose at least 99 times in 100 - not upset by losses or losing. So if they complain they are losing too slowly - you might want to listen. Another problem is that it is hard for a good Japan player to get a game in which he is the Allies - no one is willing to do it. I have NEVER found an Allied opponent - and I know several others with years of play time who say either "never" or "rarely." I also know players who do Allies out of fear of being embarassed as Japan (my friend Scot always says this - and in all game systems) - and who find the economy (in WITP) daunting enough to not want to try it. If you think we are wrong - send me a Japanese turn and we will see.

quote:

ORIGINAL: bilbow


.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 4/24/2008 11:50:43 PM >

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RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/24/2008 11:57:05 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

I am probably starting my 5th or 6th game as the Allies. I have only gotten to early '43 once. But, I have enough experience in learning to deal with the Allied shortcomings in the early war.

The biggest one, IMO, is the lack of Aviation Support except for the few large BF in Malaya, Java, and Luzon. Many of them have disabled squads so they don't have their full potential until some time has past. The difficulty is getting them out of their exposed positions to a place of your choice and then be able to conduct your "bunker" defense. Having just one large base with adequate BF and aviation support usually results in a few massed attacks escorted by Zeros. 

The second is the hindsight of knowing the Japanese BB/CA can only be hurt by very few TB that are available in the SRA area. Unless Force Z gets lucky, they can run around without fear of being sunk in the early months. Thus, a methodical Japanese player will just have them assigned to protect his transports and you have to try the "hit and run" tactics to have a chance without lossing the small surface fleet you have.

Third, is many Allied players (probably including myself) have developed too healthy a respect for massed attacks of Nell/Betty on naval/shipping assets. With many of the more experienced Japanese players knowing which bases have an AF at 4 or at least level 3, these are taken quickly and anything that floats is in danger if it comes anywhere closer than 12 hexes of their base.  

My newest game is RHS (for the second time) and I like the fact that I get my beloved Beauforts in 5/42 with torpedo range of 8.   They should help stiffen whatever defensive perimeter I have at that time. Having the Japanese player fearing his BB/CA can be sunk (along with his CVs) will help the Allied cause and halt any type of "Sir Robin" approach.


The problem with a general evacuation is that Japan then does NOT need to cover his invasion groups - and can go for many points at the same time - instead of a very few. That has compound benefits for Japan - not for the Allies.

It is quite true the Allies need to be careful - to concentrate - and to attack where the enemy is weak.

Note that in RHS you do get many base forces - not all large - but you can MOVE them together - achieving a very large amount. You have much more support capacity than aircraft to use it.



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Post #: 41
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/25/2008 12:02:30 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: John 3rd

This is a great discussion.  I really concur with jwilkerson about people who have played the Japanese know their weaknesses and then use that knowledge to exploit the Japanese by fighting for every inch of ground wherever possible.  I played against Moses as well and he is a fantastic player who really knows the art of amubush using massed air.  Wouldn't mind playing him again...

I have only played the Allies twice and just for the first few months of the campaigns but I raised Hell with hit-and-run and projected defense.  Managed to throw off the Japanese timetable and cause total and complete chaos.  In short--it was a lot of fun--then I got my taste of Allied power, I shifted back to the more humble, challenging Japanese side...



I completely agree - it is knowing Japan well that makes understanding why Sir Robin is a huge mistake. Sir Robin is the way to insure maximum Japanese power longer in time. Attrition forces Japan to do less - because he is repairing what is damaged and cannot use what is lost. And more so because he is afraid of more attrition - so he tries to do less - with better and bigger packages of forces. Sir Robin means anything can be sent anywhere - safely - and you still win.

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 42
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/25/2008 12:04:59 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Historiker

There are several reasons for Sir Robin:

1. There's no surprise.
Even today wouldn't be as much information to an enemy, as the Japanese player has. He only has to start the game as allied player to know exactly to the last man, how many and good the units are. He can run test against himself or the computer to know almoust exactly (there's of course always a dice role) how much own units he needs.
So why should I leave the units there?


REPLY: This is a two edged sword: The Japanese capability and location is far better known by a gamer than it was IRL - and to such an extent this is much more of an advantage to the Allies than to the Japanese. The Allies were ignorant and arrogant. The Japanese were just arrogant - they had good initial intel. Allied players doing a Sir Robin "because they cannot win" are - in fact - doing somthing they would NOT to IRL because they did NOT know they were going to lose (at first).

2. The ground combat model
It still is a book with seven seals for me. Every time a units is forced to retreat, it looses a significant part of their strength so I try to avoid every forced retreat. I try to fight only where I can hold position.


REPLY: Terrible strategy. It means modders need to make more units static - to insure realistic play. I trust players more than Matrix does - but maybe Matrix has it right? There are LOTS of places that MUST be defended for strategic and/or local reasons - and then too there are units that are inherently static (fixed guns for example). And the reasons to defend places are often operational military ones - it means the enemy must concentrate - must supply his concentrated force - and both are OPPORTUNTIES for you to hit him - or his LOC. But even if you do not - that he MUST concentrate means he cannot attack as many points - and every point he does not attack is a victory for you. It helps if you are an AAA guy - this is SOP in anti-air warfare: you seek to minimize the number of points of engagement by increasing the cost of engagement at a point.

3. The units aren't lost
The units you leave in the PI, in DEI and on Manila are finally lost. One will really miss them when India or Australia are invaded. Moreover, the more you save, the earlier you can start a comeback, the earlier your offensive can begin.


I don't care about morality here, if I would see a significant benefit in sacrifying my units I would - it's just a game - but I don't see that.
As I don't know anything about the witp-ground combat, I must know where my limits are. I know what I can and what not.

For me, it's defenitly better to save more units for a later counter-offensive than to let them beaten without any benefit. Benefit is here - of course - what I consider to be one. For many, delaying the enemy is enough benefit to finally loose the troops, but I'm defentily ineffective in that, so I have to react the way my experience and my competence allows me.



REPLY: This is based on a misunderstanding of game mechanics: except for Dutch or Philippine units, all units will regenerate. You can lose them - and get them back anyway. Further - there are great - not merely significant - benefits in fighting:

1) Delay - delay means that Japan gets less far by the time technical things change to the Allied advantage

2) Total resources to fight with - the less Japan takes - the fewer resources, oil, supply points and fuel points he gets

3) Attrition - the one kind of war Japan can win is one of battles with almost no losses - but a war of attrition from the start is one Japan is doomed to lose - faster than any other.

4) Psychology - your opponent is the MIND of the enemy leader - and imposing fear of a fight is better than even a defeat - he will attack fewer points and take more with him - so every point not attacked that would have been attacked on the same day is - well - a victory for you.
Your strategy makes your opponent willing to attack sooner at more points - and so you lose even faster.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 4/25/2008 12:13:16 AM >

(in reply to Historiker)
Post #: 43
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/25/2008 12:52:24 AM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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This seems more an argument about semantics than anything else. Is there truly an allied player that participates fully in the ideal of the Sir Robin and just buggers off? By that I mean evacuates all the frontline lcus, ships and squadrons that he can. Let's face it, most frontline lcus are toast. It suicidal to either reinforce or evacuate Malaya or the Phillipines and there are only a few lcus in the DEI worth saving (DAF, etc.). The state of rear area and initial reinforcement allied lcus only gets better by the day in filling out to&e, recovering damaged squads and eq, experience increases, etc. There's no point in committing them until ready.

Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.

Including what was said by others above, imho Sir Robin appears to be more a myth or a goad to allied players than anything.


Scattershooting:

As far as the "backfill" scenario, that sounds like Hirohito's ideas from a couple of years ago. I forget if he attacked PH or not.

I haven't found a single IJN submarine commander that was executed among the 'usual suspects' of the Class B and C defendants. Nakagawa Hajime and Kusaka Tashio were imprisoned for under 5 years, Tatsunake Ariizumi killed himself, Fukumura Toshiaki and Kudo Kaneo presumably were KIA/MIA. I can't find any record of what happened to Kazuro Ebate and Shimizu Tsuruzo. Any sources Cid?

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 44
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/25/2008 1:14:56 AM   
Big B

 

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I have to agree with anarchyintheuk.

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk
Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.

Including what was said by others above, imho Sir Robin appears to be more a myth or a goad to allied players than anything.


I also agree with this summation:
quote:

ORIGINAL: okami
As for the "Sir Robin" strategy, if used with the build up of rear area bases(USA, India, Australia)can not be overcome by an auto victory. Simple put by denying the Japanese player the points gained by destroying vast ground units and air losses, coupled with the increase of Base Value when you increase Ports and Airfields, will eliminate the chance of a four to one victory at the end of 42. Is the "Sir Robin" strategy historical? No. But it is effective if done correctly. Does in make for a boring early game? Maybe, depends on how the Japanese player adjusts to the situation. That is my two cents.


The bottom line to me seems to be that the debate about playing the 'Sir Robin' defense is more about a good game for the Japanese player, than whether it works well for the Allied player.


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Post #: 45
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/25/2008 9:56:46 AM   
Historiker


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The Japanese can use the situation as welll which is one reason I don't really understand all that moaning.
Is there any way more easy to destry enemy ground forces than sinking the ships they are loaded on?
Every base the Allied player abandons is free to be conquered by Japan - without loss of men and time.
Every undefended Ressource or Oil center has a way lower chance of getting damaged.
The Jap is much faster in gaining ground.

So there are some really good things for the Jap if the Allied does Sir Robin...


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Post #: 46
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/26/2008 1:15:09 AM   
el cid again

 

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THAT is the problem: I cannot test a Japanese strategy alleged to tax limited resources if there is no test at all. ANY force is big enough vs nothing - even a submarine landing party. There is grave risk that Japan might take things like Sydney - Seattle - Bombay. The game is designed to be played in the MIDDLE of the map - and loses validity near the edges.

Anyway - in RHS you are not permitted to do this: it is a violation of the primary house rule: real commanders would never abandon ALL of Malaya, Burma, Philippines - so you cannot either. It is not effective - so I am mystified why you want to do it?

(in reply to Historiker)
Post #: 47
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/26/2008 1:19:33 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

I have to agree with anarchyintheuk.

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk
Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.

Including what was said by others above, imho Sir Robin appears to be more a myth or a goad to allied players than anything.


I also agree with this summation:
quote:

ORIGINAL: okami
As for the "Sir Robin" strategy, if used with the build up of rear area bases(USA, India, Australia)can not be overcome by an auto victory. Simple put by denying the Japanese player the points gained by destroying vast ground units and air losses, coupled with the increase of Base Value when you increase Ports and Airfields, will eliminate the chance of a four to one victory at the end of 42. Is the "Sir Robin" strategy historical? No. But it is effective if done correctly. Does in make for a boring early game? Maybe, depends on how the Japanese player adjusts to the situation. That is my two cents.


The bottom line to me seems to be that the debate about playing the 'Sir Robin' defense is more about a good game for the Japanese player, than whether it works well for the Allied player.



The thread title indicates the rational of the proposition: active defense is ALWAYS more effective for the Allies. It takes a person unfamiliar with Japan in either military or economic senses to believe they don't have severe limits on what they can attempt - IF they are opposed, forced to expend supplies and fuel, and forced to deal with damage and losses. Sir Robin is not an effective strategy compared to an active defense - in any case. Active defense does NOT mean everybody sit there and be overwhelmed - it means - use an intelligent defense of every point of value possible. Force em to concentrate and attrit - and damage the resources and industry taking them. Failure to TRY is the ONLY way to miss this - IF you try - it will work.

(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 48
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/26/2008 11:36:00 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

This seems more an argument about semantics than anything else. Is there truly an allied player that participates fully in the ideal of the Sir Robin and just buggers off? By that I mean evacuates all the frontline lcus, ships and squadrons that he can. Let's face it, most frontline lcus are toast. It suicidal to either reinforce or evacuate Malaya or the Phillipines and there are only a few lcus in the DEI worth saving (DAF, etc.). The state of rear area and initial reinforcement allied lcus only gets better by the day in filling out to&e, recovering damaged squads and eq, experience increases, etc. There's no point in committing them until ready.


REPLY: Yes. There is - there are. This thread is a result of witnessing such play - and it is preventing testing of RHS scenaios altogether. That is - I can use AI (in seconds) to order every unit in Malaya to retreat to Singapore - and trust it never to send any units TO Malaya to defend it (never mind supplies). This means we cannot find out if RHS has moved in the direction of my design intent: does Malaya fall in closer to the historical 100 days than in stock or CHS? It means we cannot test if the forces available in the EOS family are adequate either (they are reduced in favor of many being sent to the Central Pacific). The same thing is happeing in Burma - not a single defended town is in sight. There are no fighters at Singapore, Manila (both bastions) or Rangoon (which appears abandoned except for static units). It is time consuming to conduct human testing - and we won't be able to do it to complete the WITP series (before it is overtaken by AE) if we don't do it well soon - so I find it very frustrating that I might as well be playing AI (and not even have to wait for a reply). I suffered under the illusion that a primary principle would be understood: you may do ANYTHING - but you must not do something which is totally ahistorical. This is so unclear I fear that the ONLY way to get it right is to FORCE it on everyone: if we cannot get a consensus here - every unit that would never leave a territory must be made static. [We DID get a consensus about limited commands - and lots of other things - but here we seem to have only support from very experienced players - not a consensus- not a general understanding Sir Robin is very wrong - and not good for the Allies - never mind not historical or even possible in a political sense.)

Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.

REPLY: Let me be clear about this: Sir Robin is mainly about LAND units. And it is NOT being done AFTER initial battles show there is a problem - it is being done in the first days of the campaign - at a time virtually no Allied commander would know about any sort of major problem. They don't yet understand the range of enemy aircraft, the effectiveness of his torpedoes, or that the IJA is likely to win a battle when outgunnened and outnumbered 2:1. They abandon positions BEFORE they are attacked - and those undefended positions fall undamaged into enemy hands. This is even worse than the horrible defenses of Malaya and Philippines - NEI and Burma were not much less of a defensive disaster IRL - yet Sir Robin is doing far worse than any and all of these. Measured in terms of

1) Time to take a territory

2) Victory points for Japan (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)

3) Loss ratios of planes, ships, land units (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)

4) The total amount of resource/oil/supply/fuel/industrial production available to Japan on any given date (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)

quote:



Sir Robin results in worse ALLIED scores by all measures. I wish this to be understood - so it won't be considered as an option.
If we cannot get this as a consensus understanding I either must modify RHS so it is impossible to move the LAND units that are wrongly being moved out of country - OR I must simply stipulate that any human player needs to agree not to do it (which in my view he has if he claims to want to honor the primary RHS house rule). It is not possible to get the design intent loss ratios if the forces do not engage. And they are NOT engaging.







< Message edited by el cid again -- 4/26/2008 11:46:38 AM >

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
Post #: 49
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/26/2008 11:57:05 AM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Big B

I have to agree with anarchyintheuk.

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk
Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.

Including what was said by others above, imho Sir Robin appears to be more a myth or a goad to allied players than anything.


I also agree with this summation:
quote:

ORIGINAL: okami
As for the "Sir Robin" strategy, if used with the build up of rear area bases(USA, India, Australia)can not be overcome by an auto victory. Simple put by denying the Japanese player the points gained by destroying vast ground units and air losses, coupled with the increase of Base Value when you increase Ports and Airfields, will eliminate the chance of a four to one victory at the end of 42. Is the "Sir Robin" strategy historical? No. But it is effective if done correctly. Does in make for a boring early game? Maybe, depends on how the Japanese player adjusts to the situation. That is my two cents.


The bottom line to me seems to be that the debate about playing the 'Sir Robin' defense is more about a good game for the Japanese player, than whether it works well for the Allied player.




I started this thread because there is a problem. Denying the problem is not going to solve it. While having a good game is probably of value for most members of the Forum - it is completely to misunderstand the motives of the simulators (like me): we are professionals, and we don't give a whit if the contest is fair or fun or even. This thread was not begun by me because I want a "good game" in the sense of fun - but because there is no value to the game as a simulation if it is not played with some consideration to the historical and military realities which should be involved.

My thesis has two threads:

1) Sir Robin is not an option for political reasons (and for that reason also not an option for any person who plays RHS and claims to honor the primary house rule - which restricts one from ever doing what is either physicially or politically impossible - and further is supposed to have each player ask "would these commanders do that in these conditions?". This latter is not something that requires universal agreement - but it DOES mean the choices are going to be conservative. No case should ever occur where it clearly would not have been a possibility. You can push the edge of the envelope - but never - say - abandon Malaya (except for Singapore) - abandon Luzon (except for Manila) - abandon Java (except for Soerabaja) - etc.

2) Sir Robin is not effective. By every possible mechanism it could be gaged it is going to result in less favorable scores for the Allies at key dates (e.g. 1 July 1942, 1 January 1943, etc). There is no reason to hand Japan - gratus - a vast area bigger than the SRA almost wholly undamaged - sooner than history - with vastly less attrition to Japanese forces which has any relationship to a rational Allied strategy.

The latter point should be understood in this additonal context:

Active opposition to Japanese advances is likely (probably = greater than 50 per cent) going to cause Japan losses of a critical sort from which it can not recover. This happened IRL at Midway. After half a century of gaming this theater I can say it almost always happens in 1942. If it does not happen on the first opportunity (the first major confrontation where it is a possibility) it happens on the second or third - but it almost always happens - and only rarely is in 1943. If it is clear that autarky was possibe (theoretically) - if you agree with Parillo in terms of there being "more than enough oil" for example - it is NOT clear Japan can both manage the economy AND the war on several fronts so that NO WHERE can the Allied bombers (never mind other things) cut up that economy? About the only way to almost guarantee this is possible is a Sir Robin strategy - give Japan the maximum area and undamaged resources AS WELL as the least damaged military force to defend it. EVERY OTHER option must be worse for Japan.

In other words the real bottom line is Sir Robin optimizes the best case for Japan and the worst for the Allies. I think this is so clear it should lead to a consensus on the board. If it does not - I am considering just making it clear that I will have nothing to do with anyone for whom it is not clear. It is not useful to a simulator - in any case.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 4/26/2008 12:11:15 PM >

(in reply to Big B)
Post #: 50
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 2:56:25 AM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

This seems more an argument about semantics than anything else. Is there truly an allied player that participates fully in the ideal of the Sir Robin and just buggers off? By that I mean evacuates all the frontline lcus, ships and squadrons that he can. Let's face it, most frontline lcus are toast. It suicidal to either reinforce or evacuate Malaya or the Phillipines and there are only a few lcus in the DEI worth saving (DAF, etc.). The state of rear area and initial reinforcement allied lcus only gets better by the day in filling out to&e, recovering damaged squads and eq, experience increases, etc. There's no point in committing them until ready.


REPLY: Yes. There is - there are. This thread is a result of witnessing such play - and it is preventing testing of RHS scenaios altogether. That is - I can use AI (in seconds) to order every unit in Malaya to retreat to Singapore - and trust it never to send any units TO Malaya to defend it (never mind supplies). This means we cannot find out if RHS has moved in the direction of my design intent: does Malaya fall in closer to the historical 100 days than in stock or CHS? It means we cannot test if the forces available in the EOS family are adequate either (they are reduced in favor of many being sent to the Central Pacific). The same thing is happeing in Burma - not a single defended town is in sight. There are no fighters at Singapore, Manila (both bastions) or Rangoon (which appears abandoned except for static units). It is time consuming to conduct human testing - and we won't be able to do it to complete the WITP series (before it is overtaken by AE) if we don't do it well soon - so I find it very frustrating that I might as well be playing AI (and not even have to wait for a reply). I suffered under the illusion that a primary principle would be understood: you may do ANYTHING - but you must not do something which is totally ahistorical. This is so unclear I fear that the ONLY way to get it right is to FORCE it on everyone: if we cannot get a consensus here - every unit that would never leave a territory must be made static. [We DID get a consensus about limited commands - and lots of other things - but here we seem to have only support from very experienced players - not a consensus- not a general understanding Sir Robin is very wrong - and not good for the Allies - never mind not historical or even possible in a political sense.)


quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

Sir Robin really just concerns naval and air assets. From reading the aars, it appears most allied players leave a significant portion of their starting oob (Force Z aside) in the IO, DEI and SoPac. They also leave air assets until it's obvious that they're getting pimp slapped. Given the IJN/IJA's ability to concentrate and overwhelm an area, their initial advantage in experience and zero bonus and, depending on the mod, the allied player's limited fighter production ability, it doesn't take to long for obvious to happen.


REPLY: Let me be clear about this: Sir Robin is mainly about LAND units. And it is NOT being done AFTER initial battles show there is a problem - it is being done in the first days of the campaign - at a time virtually no Allied commander would know about any sort of major problem. They don't yet understand the range of enemy aircraft, the effectiveness of his torpedoes, or that the IJA is likely to win a battle when outgunnened and outnumbered 2:1. They abandon positions BEFORE they are attacked - and those undefended positions fall undamaged into enemy hands. This is even worse than the horrible defenses of Malaya and Philippines - NEI and Burma were not much less of a defensive disaster IRL - yet Sir Robin is doing far worse than any and all of these. Measured in terms of

1) Time to take a territory

2) Victory points for Japan (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)

3) Loss ratios of planes, ships, land units (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)

4) The total amount of resource/oil/supply/fuel/industrial production available to Japan on any given date (compared to the same offensive vs an actual defense)


Sir Robin results in worse ALLIED scores by all measures. I wish this to be understood - so it won't be considered as an option.
If we cannot get this as a consensus understanding I either must modify RHS so it is impossible to move the LAND units that are wrongly being moved out of country - OR I must simply stipulate that any human player needs to agree not to do it (which in my view he has if he claims to want to honor the primary RHS house rule). It is not possible to get the design intent loss ratios if the forces do not engage. And they are NOT engaging.


My statements were formed from a general observation of aars. Your database/experience is obviously different from mine.

In the context of RHS I agree w/ what you say. However, the ability to retreat at will from forward defenses in Burma and Malaya should be allowable as long as the IJN/IJA can deviate from the historical opening.

Just my $.02.

Edited for visual clarity and the fact that it just looks cooler.

< Message edited by anarchyintheuk -- 4/30/2008 3:02:23 AM >

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 51
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 7:26:45 AM   
bradfordkay

 

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Cid wrote:
"In RHS - defend Baguio City/Balinta Pass (which - as the word pass implies - is mountains). It is malaria free - it has lots of resources and supplies - and a rear area if you keep it also resource rich - an airfield - and it cannot be bombarded by battleships."

Is your map any different from the one used in CHS?

If not, there is a real weakness with defending Baguio: it can easily be outflanked by troops moving from San Fernando through Lingayen and into Clark Field, none of which offer any defensive advantages. It was different at the end of the war when the Japanese holed up in that area in that they were not trying to defend Clark/Manila.

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Post #: 52
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 9:17:49 AM   
1275psi

 

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Im playing my first game as Allies CHS - and Im fighting every step of the way
I tried to reinforce wake -lost CVs
I tried to reinforce the phillipines - got some troops in

Mini bunkered Ambionia, menando -and held him up

Have stuffed PM -and it holds

And turned Kupang into the Mother of all bunkers

And I have been smashed, and beaten, and bruised.
But so is he (quite a few CVs with holes in em now)

And had SO MUCH FUN -every turn has been nail biting.

And the second result - 8/42 -Timor Holds. Allies fighting UP the solomons.
On the offensive PNG, and even though Pearl Hbr fell -there has been NO invasion of India or Australia -and the attrition has been very nice.

Sir Robin I think is a bust - its less fun, less of a mental challenge, and can lead to Auto victory for Japan.
I will always fight for every inch -I can replace my stuff -he can't.

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Post #: 53
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 9:59:09 AM   
bbbf

 

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Bah, what CV has any holes in it!

Well, maybe some - but at least I don't need to put my pilots in scuba gear to get em on the flight deck...

Herbie's been a bit unlucky - I have been able to ambush him at times, but he has also repaid me with some ambushes as well - I have been lucky that my losses have been generally smaller ships.

Koepang is a pain - but it will fall by Christmas.

You can have the rest anyway - Hawaii is lovely.

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Post #: 54
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 6:55:59 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: anarchyintheuk

.
My statements were formed from a general observation of aars. Your database/experience is obviously different from mine.

In the context of RHS I agree w/ what you say. However, the ability to retreat at will from forward defenses in Burma and Malaya should be allowable as long as the IJN/IJA can deviate from the historical opening.

Just my $.02.

Edited for visual clarity and the fact that it just looks cooler.



You lost me here: how could Japan NOT diviate from the historical opening? And why in the world would we play a game in which they had to do that? The complaint that the Japanese know too much about Allied positions should apply here: if they come in exactly as programmed the Allies - knowing exactly what that means - surely can frustrate many of the moves. Further - all scenarios I have seen have vast amounts of the Japanese units not tasked at all: they are just to sit around?

Another aspect of my confusion with your comments is that I do NOT object to retreating from forward bases - I object to retreating from ALL bases, forward, middle and rear - without fighting for ANY of them. The Allies should indeed be free to move - and many players are amazed I don't say "sit in port waiting for air strikes" - although going to sea at PH may be worse than riding out the storm in port - you decide - not me.
But moving should not equate to "everybody run - and no base is ever damaged when attacked." I don't think the Allies are not free to move or even retreat - but I think they are obligated - to the extent a commander who didn't would be imprisoned - to fight. And I also think they should not send LOCAL units to DISTANT lands where that is unlawful, ineffective and impolitic.

(in reply to anarchyintheuk)
Post #: 55
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 7:00:11 PM   
el cid again

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: bradfordkay

Cid wrote:
"In RHS - defend Baguio City/Balinta Pass (which - as the word pass implies - is mountains). It is malaria free - it has lots of resources and supplies - and a rear area if you keep it also resource rich - an airfield - and it cannot be bombarded by battleships."

Is your map any different from the one used in CHS?

If not, there is a real weakness with defending Baguio: it can easily be outflanked by troops moving from San Fernando through Lingayen and into Clark Field, none of which offer any defensive advantages. It was different at the end of the war when the Japanese holed up in that area in that they were not trying to defend Clark/Manila.


Since there is NO Baguio City on the CHS Map - I guess the answer is "absolutely yes." I had to add it. [Maybe Andrew added it later. If so - maybe he didn't rate it as mountains - or resource/supply rich - or an airfield - but I did all three. There is no way anyone who has been there would not rate it as mountains, it is temperate - no mosquitos of either type - a rice rich area, and a mining area. The only road in those days was The Naguilion Road (named for a town 15 km from the coast along it) - and the final couple of miles are on the inside curve of a cliff - which is entirely exposed to fire from anywhere along the arc. Before you get there you must cross many swift rivers at the bottom of ever higher ridge lines. It was a nightmare when we went down it in 1944. But in 1941- a Japanese regiment was unopposed on the same route.]
The route from San Fernando to Linguyan to Clark is a RR route - but the Naguilion Road and the Balinta Pass Road are not RR - nor is the road to the Cayagan Valley NE of Baguio. So the enemy will take longer to get into Baguio - and if you defend the North - it will be fed by Cayagan as well. Yes - it can be outflanked - but it can be DEFENDED - and it does NOT dibilitate the troops with diseases.




< Message edited by el cid again -- 4/30/2008 7:04:32 PM >

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Post #: 56
RE: The benefits of active defense - 4/30/2008 11:08:41 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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Actually, Baguio is on the CHS map, and is in the mountains. I don't recall if it has much of an airstrip in CHS (I'm at work right now and so don't have the game to check), and it has no resources (there are resources in three of the surrounding hexes - San Fernando, Taguigian (sp?) and Clark).

From your description, it will work as a final defensive bastion but you will not be able to either reinforce or withdraw troops that are holed up there. They'll just be tough to root out...

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Post #: 57
RE: The benefits of active defense - 5/1/2008 11:43:33 AM   
Elladan

 

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So it basically works the same purpose as Manila, except it's mountain not urban so you have worse defense modifier, has less port/airfield levels, is not a port, so no way to supply it at all and is much less important hex for Japanese, so they can easily just ignore Allies there and leave only a guarding force. Looks like a poor bargain for me.

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Post #: 58
RE: The benefits of active defense - 5/1/2008 12:01:27 PM   
herwin

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Elladan

So it basically works the same purpose as Manila, except it's mountain not urban so you have worse defense modifier, has less port/airfield levels, is not a port, so no way to supply it at all and is much less important hex for Japanese, so they can easily just ignore Allies there and leave only a guarding force. Looks like a poor bargain for me.


I'm attracted to it because once I take it I'm in a strong central position. But it is a bugger to take. I nearly had it when that **bzfk** shock attack was imposed by the game engine.

_____________________________

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"For a number to make sense in the game, someone has to calibrate it and program code. There are too many significant numbers that behave non-linearly to expect that. It's just a game. Enjoy it." herwin@btinternet.com

(in reply to Elladan)
Post #: 59
RE: The benefits of active defense - 5/1/2008 12:24:39 PM   
Elladan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: herwin
I'm attracted to it because once I take it I'm in a strong central position. But it is a bugger to take. I nearly had it when that **bzfk** shock attack was imposed by the game engine.

Could you explain what you mean? Can't say I understood much.

(in reply to herwin)
Post #: 60
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