Wow, what great insight in your mail.
Currently at work, so there would be comments on your comments, but the screenshots will be for this evening. Thanks anyway for your advices.
A few preliminary comments pending receipt of additional information and further cogitation. You should also note that the best advice you can be given is not to do x and y but advice which makes you understand the causes and consequences of actions.
(1) If a Japanese player intends to invade Hawaii, he should:
(a) launch the 7 December Pearl Harbor strike to cripple the American fleet and airforce, and
(b) in December grab at least one of the atolls on the approaches (preferably Johnston Island) so that Bettys can enforce an aerial blockade against Allied resupply convoys, and
(c) having accomplished both (a) and (b), in January 1942 capture one of the key vulnerable air bases (Lahaina, Kona, Hilo) with the assistance of the KB.
=> i was aware (thanks to others players) that the fact there was no Pearl Raid leave my fleet in good shape, and that it could be used to counter an hawain invasion. So far, from what i've seen from recco, there are no bombers in Johnston to start a blockade of Pearl.
Based on the information provided to date, on the balance of probabilities I doubt that an Hawaiian invasion is forthcoming. Of more importance is that sending a division to garrison Lahaina is most unlikely to deter or adequately defend Hawaii from a January/February 1942 invasion. Consider these factors in support of my tentative conclusion:
(d) by not launching the 7 December Pearl Harbor strike, the entire American fleet and airforce is available to interdict the long SLOC to any of the bases captured in (c) above,
(e) Japan only needs one (two at the most) of the bases listed in (c) above in order to effect a close air blockade (combined with the long range air blockade from Johnston Island) of Pearl Harbor. Consequently if you only garrison Lahaina but leave Kona/Hilo weak, the enemy merely captures them instead of Lahaina. You simply do not have the resources (nor would it be a good use of them if you did) to strongly garrison all the Hawaiian bases.
For the time being you should merely garrison the key Hawaiian bases witha battalion equivalent to:
(f) prevent their capture by enemy paratroopers, and
(g) provide you with time to rush in (via Fast Transport/air transport) reinforcements against a naval landing
=> an inf div in Lahaina was an idea i had because Kona/Hilo are base to be developped, giving time for me to bomb them or to hurt the resupplying TF if ever a Jap land on these points, but Lahaina is already a good airport (level 4 airfield already).
Adding to the thinking: If it would be unwise for the japs to go for the Hawain with Pearl intact, if Johnston has been seized, and if 6 japanese div are not seen anywhere, what could be the future? I try to think of it but can't see what...DEI should have been started before, as for Philippinas or even China or Malaya. So ?
A SoPac offensive to totaly cut West Coast and Australia ??? That's my biggest fear/interrogation
(2) In early 1942, the coastal north Australian bases (Broome, Derby, Wyndham and Darwin) can not be held against a determined Japanese invasion. Because Japanese players:
(a) know the vulnerability of these bases and the difficulties attached to any offensive operations launched from them aimed at conquering Australia,
(b) usually attach a higher priority to either terminating early the Malaya/Phillipines campaigns, or capturing the high oil value bases in the DEI,
(c) plan their 3rd wave of offensives to be either an Indian invasion or moving down the Solomons/New Hebrides/New Caledonia to cut off the West Coast-Australia SLOC,
the Allied player more often than not is given sufficient time to march overland Australia Command restricted brigades to garrison the northern bases. It is a mistake to garrison the northern bases with brigades on whom PPs have been spent to make them sea mobile. It is a mistake because:
(d) garrisoning Derby and not the other northern coastal bases too achieves nothing (note the similar comments made under (1)(e) above)
(e) it is a misallocation of PPs to defend the indefensible
(f) having wasted those PPs, there are strategically far better places to send the sea mobile brigade.
=> Advice well hurd...gee, i didn't thought i was so bad a Commander in Chief. The idea to bring a brigade in Derby was, well, to help defend North Australia with much more than a few battalion and escaped dutch base force.
If the brigade should be put somewhere, so, where ? Putting in Java seem to leave Derby empty, and not really to strengthen the island position....Will think about this, thank you.
(3) Have you checked that you have appropriate leaders for your air units. As you are currently experiencing a shortage of PPs, you should concentrate your PP expenditure on having the correct air leaders (one of the most cost effective ways to spend PPs). Ensure fighter units are led by leaders rated best for air combat, bomber units are led by bomber experrts etc. Try to have frontline units with high morale leaders. Examine all air units (include transport, patrol, recon, rear area units) of all countries (do not overlook Dutch and Chinese units).
=> Not a bad idea, as it is some of the more frustrating part of my game right now. I have read many AAR or Posts in "war room" forum saying that the planes will, in a few weeks, gain experience and start to hits things. Well, i've had a few experience, but i really would like to see some hits.
A point to explain lack of result: there are no Transport TF in range of my planes (considering Singapore airport damaged, Kuching not enough air support), so they usually attack Combat TF; rather then aiming small DD wich would suffer from even a 250lb bomb, my Martins and Blenheim aim cruiser....my Vildebeest are too short legged (and the swordfish are recompleting in Ceylon). There are a few B-17 in Soerebaja, but they prefer drop their bomb in water, and no japanese base are in range for them.
(4) Your opponent concentrates his naval assets into large TFs. You should do so too for your combat TFs. Aim to have at least 15 ships (provided they are of similar speed) in your air/surface/bombardment TFs.
=> I would like to concentrate . Seriously, there is a lack of everything; i will say there is just one large Surface TF in Indian Ocean, from rendez vous of Force Z and Doorman cruisers. Of course Winston had already ask for a ship (CLAA).
(5) I assume that you are aware of the early war limitations of Allied subs, so I will limit myself to a couple of points which you may have overlooked. Regarding the combat effective classes, you should:
(a) move each sub 1 hex every turn, even if it is from A to B back to A back to B back to A etc,
(b) place them inside/just outside captured ports in order to firstly interdict enemy resupply convoys to its schwerpunkts, secondly to place your subs as far away as possible from the major concentrations of enemy air power, thirdly it provides vital intel, fourthly it improves the chances of rescuing downed Allied airmen and fifthly, it reduces the travel time to/from station for these subs which generally are short legged.
This leaves you with a fundamental decision to make regarding the combat impaired American subs. With the exception of the 2 Dutch and 1 American dedicated minelayers (do not upgrade the American sub or you will lose its mine carrying capacity) which should be used to only lay minefields, the combat impaired American subs need to be concentrated into large TFs to conduct either transport or minelaying operations. Personally I would choose transport operations because they can be so employed in the SRA on relatively short trips whereas if you opt for minelaying operations, they probably will need to be based at Pearl Harbor thereby increasing their to/from station travel times.
=> Was well aware of my subs capability for the US; some are mine laying: had succes, because 2 japs DD and an AP destroyed at Johnston by the sole use of this weapon ! More effective weapon of the war to date !. Others are making transport runs...i think my opponant can't imagine how many squads have been lifted this way from isolated places. I wish i had 50 more subs just for these secondary missions ! The S subs had been sunk in Philippinos after having try to intercept merchants TF. The dutch sub are trying to find japs TF, but not much successes to date.
(6) Don't forget to conduct "shakedown" cruises in safe backwaters to improve crew experience levels.
(7) Your DM and DMS destroyers are too valuable to be exposed in dangerous waters. For the next few months use them exclusively in Hawaii under the cover of friendly air cover.
=> That's exactly what is done, and mines are laid all over the hawain. Job for scuba divers for 10 years after the war !
(8) Either you received a very bad die roll when you lost 43 B-17s against 5 Zeros over Johnston Island, or the air raid was very poorly planned. Make a note of which type of enemy air fighters are located at each base and what that type's ceiling is. Try to fly unescorted bombers above the enemy fighter ceiling. At the moment, you are probably better off sacrificing bombing accuracy for pilot survival (and consequent experience gain) by increasing altitudes. Experience is gained quickly after each mission.
=> At this time we had a Sync Bug. The first result i saw was 9 zero for 28 bombers. After many replay and correcting the sync bug, the result was 5 zeros for 37 bombers, i think the 6 others crashed on the return way....These were B-17E, so their ceiling is not as high as B-17C. If "C" model i had, i would have fly higher then zeros, but it was "E" model, i decided to crush the airfield, thinking that a force of nearly 60 planes was enough (in fact 80 planes were ready, not all did fly....). So, bad luck , for sure, i think someone else looking at all my game since the beginning, and well, all my others game since 20 years, could prove it. Bad planning ? Why not, i am more and more thinking i am more stupid then i hoped.... i had recon on the place, i knew there was some zero on cap (trying to intercept my Coronado's reccon), but 60 zeros i didn't guess.
(9) I assume you have PDUs on. It is therefore important that you spread your airframe losses amongst your different aircraft models. There are no useless Allied aircraft, even the Wirraway is useful if employed correctly, for example on naval/ground attack. Every Allied plane which attacks a Japanese ship causes the enemy ship to increase its fuel consumption and this benefit occurs whether or not a bomb is dropped or the bomb bounces off the ship. If enemy ship flak is too effective (something I find very surprising at this point in the war because Japanese ships, particularly their merchantmen, are not well endowed with AA), just fly higher. Pilot experience is the key to more effective bombing and for that you need to improve pilot survival rates. They will not improve if they keep on being killed off before they learn how to aim.
=> the term "useless" was, in fact, and to be honest ( and there is a saying here that's say : " a shame moment is so quickly away" ), because in different AAR i seen people having results with their planes. But thinking of it, maybe it's more AP/AK target they aim at. At first, i did fly 15000 ft to avoid flack. Having no results, i asked for advice on the forum, and received advice to get low on fly: 6000 feet or around. So i did try 6000 (or sometime 7000ft) but with no more hit rate. Just to clarify the hit rate i give yersterday: 0,5%; my daily work is statistics ....and from beginning of play, i note on a paper my raids, nbr of planes, nbr of hits....and reading this results i was so disgusted, hoping at first for a little 5% rate.....
(10) In stock Allied AKs come in only two sizes, 4000 and 7000 tones, whereas there are three sizes for APs, 1500/3000/6000. You should transport troops only in APs (using the load troops only command) for these reasons:
(a) the smaller size of the APs means you spend less time in port loading/unloading troops - thus you minimise the opportunities for the enemy to locate and then vector bombers against the TF,
(b) the APs tend to have better AA - in fact British/Commonwealth 4000 ton AKs have no effective AA,
(c) the APs tend to have a higher speed - with the obvious benefit of quicker travel times but also the less obvious benefit that if you add faster DDs or APDs for ASW protection, the combat ships are not so heavily speed penalised. Use your slow MSWs as ASW escorts for the slow AK TFs.
=> Advice well receive. From previous turn, i usually put every ship in have in harbor to lift a unit, so it can embark troop and supply. Convoy of AK only are when there is supply only. On place lacking AP, well, some troops are aboard AK.
(11) You have 2 Dutch air transport units. Both have the range to reach Singapore from Dutch airfields. Use them to fly supplies daily into Singapore whilst your opponent is not LRCAPing Singapore. Dutch float plnese and bombers can also be used to fly in supply. Singapore's Heavy Industry needs sea delivery of oil and resources to generate supply. Provided the requisite raw materials are present, Heavy Industry continues to produce supplies even if enemy troops are present.
=> Was already trying to supply Singapore . But in two turns, a japanese Cap had destryed many planes. The total of these is probably around 10 trying to fly supply in the town....it's very few (i can't even see a change !). So i tried supplies convoy. The first, 2AK with 9000supplies, make it, and the 2 AK were sunk after delivering a good part of their supplies; 3 others attempts only lead to more then 8 AK sunken by misses Nell and Betty and Sally and Ann and all the others ugly japaneses girls, with the prowess of one AK landing 500 supply point before sinking in port...
i have to precise that these TF were LRCAPED by buffalos or P-40 ( a sqadron of AVG is in Singapore) but these were leaky CAP....
I will anyway try many more TF toward Singapore, because i feel a good amount of supply in there is important.
(12) Be wary of which Dutch base forces you reassign to an unrestricted command and are set to receive reinforcements. The Dutch naval base forces begin mobile but if they are allowed to receive reinforcements they will receive static guns which make the units immobile.
=> yes, already read this somewhere, so each time a dutch base force reach a remote place (i should probably not use the word "safe", so i use "remote" ), it is on the coast, where it will be always useful.
(13) You receive several different types of Filipino infantry squads. Whilst the rate is not large and their firepower is weak, you must rescue one Filipino unit of each infantry squad type in order to use up the pools.
=> For the time being, PP are to high for these troops. I will wait some beating of them before catching some, but it was indeed an advice you have already given in an AAR, and i was going to follow it as soon as possible.
Anyway these are some preliminary views. When you get around to providing the additional info don't forget to provide details of how far down the Solomons the Japanese have gone. It is still very early days in the war and I rather suspect that your opponent is not pursuing it vigorously. The fact that you still retain all of Mindanao and Dutch Borneo, and probably retain air superiority over the Maccasar Strait, leaves open the tantalising prospect that you might be able to defeat completely the Japanese invasion of Luzon (need to see those screenshots and force dispositions etc).
=> I don't even dream of this ! No more AC in Philippinas: withdrawed after beating in the air/ground for 2 weeks. Some P-40 sqadrons disbanded in others sqadrons or groups, and remainder yet in Java, with a few B-17 ( a sqadron). No possibility to detter anything.
3 Days of fight at Naga, still resisting but fort dropped at zero tonight. 2 philippinos div and a tank batt against 2 japs divs,and a tank reg. Expected to fall in 3 days maximum. Japs coming toward Clark but it seems with few units in the north.
LAST NEWS (because i played one more turn with my opponant). On 4th of january, a landing occured on Gili Gili. 4 AP seen, covered by just a CVL, no idea of the amount of troops (65 disabled on landing), base will fall tomorrow. Of the 8 hudson in Port Moresby, 4 still alive (2 destroyed by CVL flack, 2 by cover of 7 zeros, no hit on anything). No others japs landing in Salomons (will try to give a screenshot this evening) except for Rbaul of course.
And thanks for comments.
Edited for a few typpo
< Message edited by gladiatt -- 8/14/2009 1:45:19 PM >