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18/12/41 - Manado Invasion started

 
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18/12/41 - Manado Invasion started - 11/23/2009 7:38:15 PM   
Smeulders

 

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18/12/41

DEI
The Manado invasion has started, but under the watchful eyes of a BB and 2 CA, Ameriforce (American naval forces in the DEI) will stand down and move to the other side of Celebes, next to Makassar, in case some of the TF sighted in the Celebes move through the Makassar straights. My opponent is escorting each and every one of invasions (except for Singkawang) with strong forces. The lightest I've seen where the Philippine landings, I only spotted DD, but these can't be opposed by allied naval forces.

China
Chinese forces capture Kweisu, inflicting 500 casualties on the retreating Ching An Tui brigades, the Chinese have certainly taken a better start in the war than the Japanese, except for the two unfortunate corps at Kweiteh. A question for those who know, are the respawning Chinese units supposed to be visible in the ground reinforcement screen ? The corps I lost in that battle isn't showing up there.

Subs
Today the sub campaign around the West Coast begins in earnest. A Canadian corvette force patrolling the waters around LA was attacked, but suffered no hits and depth charged the sub in return, again for no hits. The Operations Report warns of glen sightings near San Fran and LA.

SigInt
I've been noticing something rather peculiar in the SigInt reports. Around 75% of the messages about LCU transportation list Samah as the destination. That might of course just be a rallying place for his forces, but all the subs around the place are coming up empty. Could he be 'sending' all the transports to Samah and then changing targets next turn to fool the SigInt ? Or should I be getting reports about this sort of reroutings as well ?



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Post #: 31
RE: 18/12/41 - Manado Invasion started - 11/23/2009 9:33:44 PM   
khyberbill


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quote:

A question for those who know, are the respawning Chinese units supposed to be visible in the ground reinforcement screen

Yes, it should show up on the screen. Unless it died by attrition.

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Post #: 32
RE: 18/12/41 - Manado Invasion started - 11/23/2009 9:49:09 PM   
loricas

 

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go in reinforcement screen same days later

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Post #: 33
RE: 18/12/41 - Manado Invasion started - 11/23/2009 10:07:42 PM   
Smeulders

 

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Thanks I'll look again in a couple of days.

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Post #: 34
The Plans : DEI - 11/24/2009 12:20:38 AM   
Smeulders

 

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No picture this time, the DEI seemed a bit too big to fit in a single screen and the overview map is a bit too cluttered, there will be a Java special with screenshot soon though.

The DEI is an interesting theatre. The force that the Japanese can bring to bear is much larger then the allied, so the goal should be to delay and hit the soft spot at every chance you get. Unlike the land theatres, there is plenty of room to manuever, many bases to hide your ships, and also enough forces that can dish out a fair amount of damage when put up against the right opponent.

Delaying here isn't that much of a challenge, my opponent is doing that himself. He's bringing plenty of forces to bear each time, and certainly after the Tarakan landings, he isn't taking any chances with CD guns. On top of that, he's covered the Tarakan invasion with Ryuyo and the Manado action with Hosho and Zuiho.
This brings us to the problem, how will we hurt him ? I actually haven't found a way yet. With BB covering his landings, my surface forces probably aren't going to do any good and that's if they don't get mauled before that by covering carriers. I'll continue to bring cruiser forces in striking positions each time I see a landing force approaching, but I don't plan on striking too soon though. Opportunities may also present themselves once the landings are over. Hes been bringing in minimal support elements, which mean he'll have to send those later in new convoys if he want to use the airbases, these might have worse protection.

The forces that will try these naval attacks are 3 groups. Ameriforce, consisiting of Boise, Houston, Marblehead and 5 Clemson Class DD, they are operating around Celebes. The Koninklijke Marine, the 3 Dutch Cl and 7 Dutch DD, operating from Soerabaja. Last in the row is Force B, with 3 of the British CL forming the core (one CL is an escort for POW).

Another way to hurt him are the British torpedo bombers in Singapore. Even though they didn't use torpedoes (I'm still wondering why), they did hurt sink and damage several xAK during the Kuantan and Singkawang landings. Once the situation in Singapore becomes too bad, the planes will move to Java and from there be withdrawn. I expect them to turn up again at Cape Town or Abadan, so that they can be later used in India. More on the defence of Java itself will come in a further post.



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Post #: 35
RE: The Plans : DEI - 11/24/2009 1:25:04 AM   
khyberbill


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good luck in the dei bart. the s boats and dutch boats can inflict some pain as well, especially near balikpapan, palembang and soerabaja when his transports come.

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Post #: 36
19/12/41 - The lady has some luck - 11/24/2009 5:43:53 PM   
Smeulders

 

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Khyberbill: The subs are patrolling as much as they can, but unfortunately not hitting a lot. It seems like not a day goes by that I don't get one of those Dutch and s-boats boats attacking and then missing.

19/12/41

Some good and bad luck today, but mainly it's a bit depressing, he's bringing in a lot of force in the DEI so I can't do much but sit and hope that an opening presents itself.

DEI
Remember when I said that the sighted CVL had to be misidentified CS, because my AM were still alive ? Well it's the baby KB, Zuiho and Hosho. The ship who found out is the luckiest tanker in the whole Allied army, Gertrude Kellog. At night, she and her escort ran into the Carrier task force, but both sides declined combat. In the morning fase, no aircraft were launched and in the afternoon, the strike missed the TK, though brave PG Asheville took a torpedo protecting her. I hope her luck holds, because she's still close to enemy forces.

Manado also fell, not really a surprise.

Subs continue to dissapoint and miss. The s-boats are going to get better captains once they enter ports.

China
The Hong Kong forts were reduced to 0, the base won't be holding long now.

Interesting were massive bombing raids on targets all over South China. There are a lot of bombers assambled here, but there doesn't seem to be a specific target. If this goes on for a couple of turns, the AVG may come in and give stern talking to the betties.

PI+Malaya
Continued light air raids. The USAFFE finally scored a winning day, 1 to 0.


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20/12/41 - 11/26/2009 2:10:09 PM   
Smeulders

 

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20/12/41

I've seen some threads on 'react' not working for TF, today Salmon proved that wrong. She launched 4 seperate spreads against a single convoy, resulting in 5 or 6 hits, but only 1 torpedo detonating. It was pretty interesting seeing this play out actually, all the sub attacks in quick succesion, really too bad the torpedoes are so bad or Salmon would have a nigh-unbeatable record of sinkings in one night.

The only other piece of news is that Hong Kong survived another attack today, but will fall pretty soon.

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Post #: 38
21/12/41 - 11/29/2009 8:33:01 PM   
Smeulders

 

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21/12/41

PI
Japanese forces started landings at Dadjangas today. Elements of the 144th Infantry regiment are already ashore. The regiment should be ill prepared for this landings, SigInt reveals it was planning for Guam just a couple of days ago. The landings are weakly escorted in terms of surface forces, but with mini KB still roaming Southeast of the Phillipines I don't think I can risk sending in a cruiser force.

Some minor actions near Luzon, a PT boat group ran into 2 DMS, but declined combat, too bad.

Air raids have been very light here over the past few days, giving the USAFFE a breather.

Japanese ground forces are advancing, but at the moment don't dare enter the plain hexes were my outposts are stationed.

China
Huge bombing effort again, lots of unescorted raids,but I have nothing to strike back yet. AVG is being brought into position.

Malaya
The retreat is going as planned, though air raids continue to pound my forces.

Pacific
The KB has been found, but only because she found merchants escaping the PI. An AO, TK and xAK were lost in the air attacks.
The position of KB is pretty interesting, somewhere halfway between Japan and Truk, is she heading for the Phillipines or is she coming from Japan and heading to the DEI ? Unlikely as a) I'm not sure she could have covered that distance already (PH -> HI -> Current position), b) That would have put her within striking distance of the merchants at least 2 days before.



I'm expecting that the KB will interfere in the DEI within one and a half week, which'll probably up the tempo of attacks.

Subs
Perch made a night attack, but without functioning torpedoes she didn't claim a kill, 10 shell hits though.

Wales-watch
POW is now 2 days out of Singapore and going slow but steady. If she doesn't bump into a sub in the straights near Batavia she has a very good chance of making it.


News of the improbable
Kirishima is repoted as sunk due to a collision, close to the current KB position. Unlikely, but maybe she'll have to head to the yard, let's hope she bumped into a CV.


< Message edited by Smeulders -- 11/29/2009 8:37:55 PM >

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Post #: 39
RE: 21/12/41 - 11/29/2009 10:33:16 PM   
khyberbill


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Hello Bart. I have noticed in AE that if you dont have an aggressive PT flotilla commander that they tend to break off combat. Also, I try to have aggressive sub captains on the fleet boats (named subs). This way, after the torpedo bounces off the hull of the ship, the sub will surface and at least fire a few shots for the benefit of freedom loving peoples everywhere! The cargo ships dont sink but at least they have to go into the yards for a few days.

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RE: 21/12/41 - 11/29/2009 10:38:19 PM   
Smeulders

 

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I'll certainly be looking at the commander of that PT boat flotilla, they were a lot stronger than the DMS, but still retreated. I'm leaving sub commanders as they are at the moment or maybe put some more skilled commanders in the S-boats, they're missing too many shots. (saving PP to buy West Coast units)

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Post #: 41
RE: 21/12/41 - 11/29/2009 10:44:07 PM   
khyberbill


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quote:

I'll certainly be looking at the commander of that PT boat flotilla, they were a lot stronger than the DMS, but still retreated. I'm leaving sub commanders as they are at the moment or maybe put some more skilled commanders in the S-boats, they're missing too many shots. (saving PP to buy West Coast units)

I understand about the PP's, however, PT commanders are cheap!!! And aggressive ones will pay you back with sunk ships! The commander should have high aggressiveness skill and I look at the naval skill of the others and try to get a few good ones. Now your goal should be to get those MTB's from HK to PH. I did in one PBEM. Not sure why, not sure if I will ever be able to do again, but I did it once. Just like Sir Hillary!

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RE: 21/12/41 - 11/29/2009 10:50:09 PM   
Smeulders

 

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I did the same thing, after they arrived they got in a loop of attacking a TF and then retreating from it, running them out of fuel. In the end some got sunk by a couple of DD, 3 made it to Manilla were they have joined their American colleagues.

Another problem facing them is that my opponent is escorting every TF there with DD, and unloading far away from Manilla. The 2 DMS were the best target I found there in quite some time. 

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Post #: 43
22-23/12/41 - 12/1/2009 10:12:25 PM   
Smeulders

 

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22-23/12/41

PI
Japanese forces capture Dadjangas on Mindanao. All other forces on the island are now being pulled together to defend one of the mountain bases at the centre of the island.

On Luzon the enemy is massing forces one hex east of my troops in the clear hexes. I haven't had much intel on combat units being sent to Luzon, so I will keep my outposts a little while longer.

Malaya
Not much happening here, buffaloes are taking large losses against zeroes, but did shoot down a couple of betties over Singapore.

China
Hong Kong fell on the 22nd.

DEI
Overkill is coming at Jesselton, although the base is as good as out of reach for allied naval forces the landings here are escorted by 2 BB and a CA.

Subs
2 victories for the dutch subs in 2 days.
On the 22nd the KIX torpedoes a PB at Dadjangas, no confirmed kill though.
On the 23rd the KXI sinks a TK of Saigon. This sub is getting quite a bit of firsts in this war. It was the first sub to sink a ship on all sides of the conflict and at the same time it sunk the first Japanese ship (excluding mini-subs). In return it was the first sub to get hit by depth charges, which led to it being the first ship to return to combat after extensive repairs (those 2 aren't really the firsts you want, but still). Now it has the honour to sink the first Japanese TK. Quite the war for this ship.

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Post #: 44
24/12/41 - 12/2/2009 1:46:04 PM   
Smeulders

 

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24/12/41

DEI
Jesselton falls and landings begin at nearby Sandakan.

Malaya
Large sweeps begin against the buffaloes at Singapore, vengeance for the betties I presume. Massed buffaloes go up against the Nates coming in the first wave, leading to a British victory, follow up waves consisting of oscars and zeroes meet a depleted CAP and claim the day for the Japanese.

Alor Star is captured

China
A lot of movement in North China, I'm trying to be aggresive in the early months while the Japanese haven't pulled together yet and I'm getting pretty good results at the moment.


In the far North my corps hold an attack from 2 regiments with casualties in my favour. It's only a matter of time before he bring reinforcements, so I'll send the corps up North to attack and decimate the Cavalry Brigades.

More to the centre, my units cut the road behind advancing Japanese, but they'll retreat again, they haven't the strength to hold despite being on a mountain.

The Southern arrow is another attack by me, one 200 AV corps will advance on the dot base. If the defense consits of RGC troops I can conquer the base and take the unit out of the war. These Chinese auxiliary troops are one of the weak spots of the Japanese in China. If I understand it correctly, there is a limit of one Chinese replacement squad per month, meaning there is no way to ever rebuild them once they taken losses. Take them out and your opponent will have to use Japanese forces as garrisons. It's a lot easier than destroying the Japanese themselves and the effect is the same, less opponents at the front.

Subs
I-123 sinks 2 xAKL off Soerabaja
KIX finishes the job it started yesterday, one more PB should now be resting on the bottom of the ocean.


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Post #: 45
25/12/41 - 12/3/2009 11:44:53 PM   
Smeulders

 

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25/12/41 : No peace on earth

Not much happened today, though I hope to have found some chinks in my opponents well guarded offensives.

Malaya
The approach is still slow but methodically, fighters are sweeping Singapore and bombers are attacking units further North in the peninsula. This turn I'll stand down all fighters in Singapore, give them some time to rest and repair. One squadron is sent North to try and catch a betty squadron that has been bombing my troops for the past 2 days, unescorted ...

PI
His first forces have reached my lines in the clear terrain, a single armoured unit, here I'll try to shock attack it today, let's just hope the reinforcements don't show up just yet.

DEI
Another xAKL convoy was caught by a sub, no damage

China
A battle is about to errupt around Nanching, he's trying to clear my forces South of the city, but the forces I'm pulling back from further East are arriving in the area, maybe another bloody nose ? I'll post more on this once I know something about his forces.

Wales-watch
The POW has cleared the DEI and is now on it's way to Capte Town. She still has 44 major flotation, I hope it isn't too dangerous to let her make the long trip.

Logistics
A lot of convoys are already making their way across the pacific, loaded with several regiments for Suva, Pago, Christmas ..., but more on that build-up later. The logistics I want to talk about now are in the Indian Ocean, at the start of the game I sent a lot of xAK to Abadan to load up on fuel before going to CT, that base seems to run dry often when I'm playing. (Mainly because I run fuel convoys from there to Australia, less on-map dangers then straight from Abadan.) This seems to be a bad idea, Abadan just can't handle all those ships yet, a massive build-up of ships waiting to be loaded is the result.

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Training squadrons - 12/4/2009 12:04:35 AM   
Smeulders

 

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A post on training units, what I think is an important new feature to the game. I didn't even know how much I'd be needing them until I made them and pulled in pilots fresh out of training. The only thing they seem qualified for is getting shot down. There are a lot of new dilemmas involving them though, here's an incomplete list of the units I'll be using as trainers and why.

US Army
The Hq Sqn seem logical choices for training units, with the limited number of squadrons per AF, you'll want the larger units first. Problem that I can see here is that they may be too small to provide replacements at a good speed. At least for fighters I've made an extra full size squadron a training unit for that reason. It's one of the P-40E squadron in the WC, not nice to lose these good planes of course, so I'm thinking of using a squadron in Hawaii instead.

US Navy
A problem, all of your squadrons are assigned to carriers and you do not want rookies in them. You could partially circumvent this by training bomber in Kingfishers and Catalinas, but that seems a bit gamey to me and there is absolutely no squadron that can be used to train extra fighter pilots. Anyone got any suggestions for this, except getting my carriers sunk that is.

USMC

I've used the DB and F squadron in Hawaii as training units at the start as they're the only unrestricted units, but I may change this later.

Brit
A bit light on fighter squadrons at the start, but some will arrive soon enough, I figure you can miss one, preferably the Buffaloes at Singapore once evacuated. At the moment I'm using two Blenheim I squadrons for bombers (one will change back to combat once the Burma campaign starts), the Vildebeest at Colombo for TB.

Australia
Most units are restricted here, but the Wirraways are useless, so I've put a couple on naval search to spot subs, all the rest are training as bombers, naval bombers and ASW. I will release some of the squadrons later on, just to be able to make them dedicated trainers.

I hope this is a bit useful for others choosing training units. Any comments or criticism is welcome, I hope to learn from it.


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26-27/12/41 - 12/5/2009 11:21:28 PM   
Smeulders

 

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26-27/12/41

Malaya
For the past two days the Buffaloes have been stood down over Singapore. With most of their planes repaired and pilots rested they will rise again today to fight the sweeps. Up until now the buffaloes have taken the largest losses of all planes in the pacific theatre and the only reason that will change is because I'm running out of them. The ambush at Kuala Lumpur worked, but I should have sent more squadrons. Now only 4 planes rose and shot down 2 out of 25 betties, who know what would have happened if I had sent 3 or 4 squadrons.

PI
On Luzon the situation is pretty good, a recon regiment advanced ahead of the main force and was thrown back, but with only light losses. He now knows what forces are there and is still advancing, he's confident he can take the base.
In the air it were some good days. Another Betty raid was caught, leading to 3 downed and more damaged. A 2 zero sweep was caught and one shot down for no loss.

On Mindanao 2 regiments have now landed, one at Dadjangas and one at Cayagan. This will be enough to take the base. I've snuck a PT TF into a small base just North of Cayagan, I wanted to sortie it against the landing forces, but now recon is again indicating heaps of DD, CL and even BB covering the landings, very frustrating, but at least it's slowing him down to cover every landing so thoroughly.

China
Lots of little ground battles, but unfortunately not many going my way. I'm wondering if I'm not being over-aggresive, but then again, most of the front-line troops are disposable, so losing small battles isn't really a big deal (I hope). We do have a deal that he will not attack nearly destroyed corps untill the bug about non-respawning corps is fixed in patch 2.

At Kweisu 2 regiments and a brigade rout the two corps that were trying to get North to beat up on the 2 trapped cavalry bde.
South of Nanchang 2/3rds of a division rout a corps. I'm pulling together all units that were near the coast and will fight him near Nanchang.
The corps in a blocking position near Yenan now sees a division advancing on its position, they hold an attack (thank god for those terain bonuses), but I am hoping the corps can get out there soon.

Subs
Busy days for subs

Japanese
I-17 sinks xAK Capillo, this is one of the ships fleeing the PI through the pacific, she is in the middle of nowhere with no reason at all for that sub to be there, talk about bad luck.
I-19 runs into my CV TF, it get hits with a depth charge and is claimed sunk, optimitic FOW.

Allied
Busy days for the allied subs
- Seawolf is attacked by an ASW TF, she isn't hit and goes on to attack and hit an xAK, she gets a dud for her troubles.
- Gudgeon and Pollack attack a convoy near Saipan over 2 days. Multiple attacks result in quite a bit of duds, but one torpedo does explode on target. I'm hoping for more attacks today as there are 3 subs in the vicinity of the convoy.
- S-36 puts 2 torpedoes in an xAK of Luzon.
FOW isn't too optimitic in these cases though, no xAK are confirmed sunk. Do any other allied players notice ships torpedoed by subs not showing up on the sunk list ?

Bits and pieces
My CVs are escorting important convoys to NZ and Australia. I'll group them together there and see if any opportunities arise. This could get interesting because I think that an attack is brewing in the SoPac. KB is very likely in the Truk area and mini KB was last seen sailing Southeast past the New Guinea coast.

One last question, how afraid do I have to be for POW? She's up to 50 float damage now (44 major) and still about 12 days out from Colombo. Closer to the map edge though, but far away from CT, is she still in danger of sinking once off-map ?

< Message edited by Smeulders -- 12/5/2009 11:27:41 PM >

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Post #: 48
28-29/12/41 - 12/7/2009 8:09:27 PM   
Smeulders

 

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28-29/12/41

Malaya

The rest day helped the Buffaloes over Singapore. It allowed for a lot of planes to be repaired and the pilots rested and it certainly had an impact. The first sweep consisted off 9 zeroes against 40 buffaloes, no enemies were claimed killed but every single one of the zeroes returned home damaged. Follow up raids by Nates and Oscars did hurt the buffaloes again, resulting in 7 downed for a couple of enemies. Again, not good numbers, but better than the endless row of 0-1 or 0-2 days of the previous week.

A crafty manoeuvre cut off Georgetown the same day other stacks entered that base, that would have cut off all units in the base, had I chosen to defend it ... Only the fortress troops were still there, all mobile troops are at least 80 miles further South ....

At the moment, I'm not seeing a lot of troops in the Northern end of Malaya, one naval guard and one Tank Regiment, but Kuantan is holding 28 units already.

PI
Massive forces are arrayed against me at Luzon. The smaller of the enemy front line stacks is 1000 AV for 15 units, what I think is his main stack consits of 28 units. I'm pulling back to Bataan and see what the siege brings.

Some small victories in the air war though, again 2 betties were shot down bombing ground forces. I think my opponent is making a mistake in using these units against such targets, he's lost 45 betties already, seems like a high number to me.

DEI
Clean up operations in NE Borneo, he's opting to send his forces overland to the various bases, limiting the number of landing forces he has to use.

China
In the Tayuan - Yenan area 3 divisions are operating, yikes.
The little attack at Kaoping meets a Mixed Bde, too big for my corps to take on, I'm retreating.
Battles South of Nanchang are getting confused, I'm trying to consolidate corps in a big stack while he is getting a bit dispersed, but at the moment my forces are getting beat up.

Subs
S-39 get an xAKL of Borneo, according to my opponent is was transporting some troops that just taken Sandakan, if I'm lucky that's a small unit less. She does get a lot of DC hits in return, I'd also rather have hit the AO that was also in the TF.

Edit: To the readers, make some noise. An AAR is a lot more fun for you and me if there's a bit of interaction. Any questions or tips are welcome.

< Message edited by Smeulders -- 12/7/2009 8:11:27 PM >

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RE: 28-29/12/41 - 12/8/2009 9:08:28 AM   
hartwig.modrow

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Smeulders
Edit: To the readers, make some noise...




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Post #: 50
RE: 28-29/12/41 - 12/8/2009 9:58:15 PM   
Norm3


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Good AAR.

POW- did you get a floatation failure? Had it happen to Enterprise in the guadalcanal campaign, a couple times on her way to Australia. Some days there would be no added flooding, and others i would get the floatation failure. That was only time i saw the damage go up.

Good luck

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RE: 28-29/12/41 - 12/8/2009 10:04:02 PM   
Smeulders

 

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@Norm: Not quite sure what happened to her, she's back down to only 46 flotation, I think I'll keep an eye on the weather report, maybe stormy seas may have something to do with the increased damage? Anyway, I've redirected her to Colombo to get the major float a bit further down (30ish is the goal) before she goes to CT.

@Harwig: That's what I'm talking about !

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RE: 28-29/12/41 - 12/8/2009 11:42:44 PM   
british exil


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Would it be possible to see some screenies?
Maybe also your intentions of certain attacks/deployment?
What your gut feeling is!

We want to hear you spill out your fears and hopes. Hear your cries for aid and help!

Well maybe not so intense but somewhere along the lines.

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WitE,UV,AT,ATG,FoF,FPCRS

(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 53
RE: 28-29/12/41 - 12/8/2009 11:53:58 PM   
Smeulders

 

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I do try to put up maps when I can, but at the moment it's pretty standard stuff (Jap lands, takes base). The end of the month is approaching though and my opponent is off for a couple of days, so a couple of summaries complete with screenies are coming up.

As for offensives, I wish, the best I'm managing is catching unescorted bombing raids, his attack is slow, but methodical, so few/no openings for me to get in a counterpunch.

(in reply to british exil)
Post #: 54
30/12/41 - 12/9/2009 6:11:56 PM   
Smeulders

 

Posts: 1878
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30/12/41

Malaya
The air defense in Malaya seems to be getting close to it's end. Today 3 buffaloes were shot down again going in against the sweeps. 2 fighter squadrons are nearly out of the game with less than 5 operational planes between them. The 2 remaining squadrons, with 15 operational planes, have been sent to Kuala Lumpur to try and catch betties which have returned on unescorted raids.

PI
A disaster of my own making. Depsite the large troops amassed here by my opponent, I didn't retreat my screening forces untill it was too late. A total of about 1500 AV attacked in the plain hexes and savaged and made mincemeat out of 4 PI divisions.

On Mindanao, the situation remains grim. A breakout from the landing area at Cayagan has reached Malaybalay, once this base is taken my forces will be split up in 3 small groups.

Subs
Triton attacks and sinks an xAKL of Sakhalin in a surface engagement.

An RO-boat is encountered South of Pago, that's a long way away from major bases for such a small guy.

(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 55
December 41' Summaries - 12/9/2009 9:36:51 PM   
Smeulders

 

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General overview



So far, Japanese offensives have been pretty slow. In the pacific, Wake, Guam and Tarawa fell, but not much other activity has been noted. Incursions in the DEI have been limited to NE Borneo and Celebes.

The two main theatres have been Malaya and PI, more about them in separate posts.

Losses for ships are quite one-sided, not really a surprise there, the losses from fleeing shipping have been pretty high, highlights being 2 AO and a TK fleeing the PI + of course the 3 BB and 1 CA lost in PH and Repulse. At the Japanese side the FOW is trying to get me happy by claiming a BB and SS, but the victory points just don't add up. Most of the sinkings have been due to my subs, which have claimed 8 sunk and damage to a number of other merchants.

In the air war, buffaloes have been the major losers. After about a month of heavy combat over Malaya, nearly 100 have been lost. Other planes in the top 5 are the B and E variant of the P-40 (57 and 37 respectively) and for the Japanese the zero at 84 and betty (46). This doesn't look too bad, with two important planes for my opponent not performing too well. He has also retreated Nate's from the front line for all intents and purposes, haven't seen them for about a week even though they have taken more ops losses than combat casualties.

Now on to the more specific topics.


< Message edited by Smeulders -- 12/9/2009 9:38:18 PM >

(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 56
Dec 41' Malaya Summary - 12/9/2009 9:50:40 PM   
Smeulders

 

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Malaya


The Malaya campaign is of course a standard feature in every game, but the variation with the Kuantan landing is pretty interesting. For one it allowed my planes to get in a couple of good shots, though I haven't seen any sunk reports for that action. It did give him an airbase close to Singapore from which to conduct his fighter operations, which had some good effects for him. With 95 buffaloes downed, my squadrons are running on their last legs, 2 are effectively out of the battle, 2 are still operational at half strength but a couple of good sweeps will do them in as well. I'm not sure he would have had been able to do this already when operating from bases further away. The air war will be wrapped up shortly, most of my units will be disbanded and the pilots sent to new units, the NZ squadron will be evaced by boat to India to use it's experience there in the Hurricanes.

My opponent has been using Kuantan as his main base for ground operations as well. The attacks in the North were nothing more than recon in strength, even a modest defense could have held the bases against the forces I've seen. From Kuantan, however, units are moving West to cut the main road, I'm guessing they will be too late to catch any forces though. I think this wasn't that good a move, the march from Kuantan is slow and it takes a lot of shipping to put everything at Kuantan, it's probably easier to rail in everything and work your way down South, there won't be any resistance before Singapore anyway.

(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 57
Dec 41' PI Summary - 12/9/2009 10:15:05 PM   
Smeulders

 

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Luzon



As seen in the last turn, the PI campaign isn't my finest achievement. On the ground, the forward defence was a disaster as my opponent intelligently waited to get all his troops together before sounding the advance. This resulted in my picket lines being torn apart by masses off Japanese infantry, artillery and armour. I still believe that you've got to keep some presence in those forward hexes, but at the first sight of trouble they should retreat. No sense losing that precious AV in the open when it's much more valuable in the terrain of Clark/Manilla/Bataan. There is still some 1750 AV left, holed up in Bataan that will take a fair bit of power to rout out.

The air campaign has been pretty calm here. After an initial push to close down Clark my opponent has been very quit here. Bombing raids have primarily targeted ground troops and on occasion my fighters have been able to take get into those raids. All in all I'm quite pleased with how this is going.

I'd also like to talk about the evacuation of shipping from the PI. I've got the feeling I haven't handled this how I should, which caused a lot of unnecessary losses. I tried an approach using 3 escape routes
1) North of Borneo then down to Batavia into the IO, this turned out to be a giant mistake. In betweend escorts for Northern Borneo landings, Japanese subs and bombers from Indochina, very few ships made it this way.
2) Straight South through the Eastern DEI: At first I didn't like this option, it's the most obvious one and therfore wel guarded by the Japanese. Often there is a CVE/L there and the area is also frequented by Japanese SCTF. However, it's has actually got quite a bit going for it, there are a good number of ports just North and South of the Celebes sea, where your ships can hide and it's the quickest way to get out of course. The key seems to be patience, he can't keep the route closed down forever, so wait for the right time to cross.
3) Into the pacific and then on to wherever: Even though I've lost a good number of ships there, it's still my favourite. It's near impossible to for your opponent to find you except for sheer luck.


(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 58
Jan 42' and beyond - 12/9/2009 10:26:49 PM   
Smeulders

 

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Jan 42' and Beyond

The look ahead is a bit hard at the moment, as I'm totally in react mode at the moment.

I'm building up bases in SoPac, where Suva and Pago Pago will be my main centres. I should get moving on that faster though, at the moment no infantry bound for Fiji has left the USA yet. Fiji will be garrisoned by the Americals, Pago by the marines. My carriers will be posted in the region as well, most likely in the vicinity of NZ. One other major concern here is the lack of recon. Because of the lack of Air Support at Noumea, there isn't any recon there yet, something I'd rather have remedied as soon as possible. The bases won't be built up or reinforced heavily yet though.

Around Australia I'm primarily building defences in Northern Oz, airfields will come later when I'm feeling secure that I can hold. Northeast Australia getting a lot of airfields. PM isn't being reinforced yet.

The most important question is of course the location of KB. She was last seen in the vicinity of Truk, but whether she will head to the DEI or support a fast SoPac push remains to be seen.

So, that's the last of the overview posts, if you've got any other questions don't hesitate to ask. Don't be afraid to tell whether you liked this or not either, it's a bit of work and it's no use if everyone is thinking TL;DR.

(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 59
The new year - 12/12/2009 12:23:23 AM   
Smeulders

 

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30/12/41 - 1/1/42

Malaya
Two ground campaigns, two serious mistakes by me. Calling the Kuantan offense too slow was quite premature, 2 units are now in the Kuala Lumpur hex, with 2 Indian brigades still North of it.



This is the situation, a tank regiment is now just North of my retreat, it did seriously hurt 2 rear guard battalions, but shouldn't be too much of a problem to my brigades. What is worrying are the two units that have just entered Kuala Lumpur, which will undoubtedly be reinforced fast enough. The brigade just North is only 20 miles away over good road, but I don't dare use move as bombers are constantly pounding them. Now, this brigade I can probably save, but the brigade still on the trail is probably gone, it's about to enter the next hex but that's still too slow I fear.

My opponent did ask me why I didn't use rail movement to retreat to Singapore. Considering the very heavy bombing raids this still seems like the best choice. Getting caught in Strategic mode is a sure ticket to getting a unit virtually destroyed. I should have used more move commands though, nearly all my units are moving in combat mode to minimize casualties, but now it seems I should have just taken the losses so they could have at least reach Singapore. Next, when combat in Kuala Lumpur starts, should tell us a lot.

PI
Not much change, seems like he's pushing for Clark first.

DEI
No combat here for the past two days, but multiple TF are seen just North of Borneo, either the invasion of NW Borneo, or considering the large number of BB sighted an invasion of Palambang.

Sub wars
O20 sinks an APD south of Saigon
Searavan attacks an xAKL convoy, sinking one and damaging another.
2 K-boats got damaged by Japanese ASW on the 31st, they're returning to Soerabaja.




(in reply to Smeulders)
Post #: 60
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