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Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(Allies)

 
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Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(Allies) - 12/3/2009 11:35:02 PM   
brett9983

 

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This is a recently started Guadalcanal PBEM. I hope this will be more a discussion of upcoming strategy rather than reporting what has already happened although you obviously can't plan without knowing the situation.

We are using historical settings and one day turns.
The only house rule is no sub invasions.
We are using the Patch 2 Beta.

I am brand new to AE and the Witp series. The closest game I've played to this is the HOI series so in other words nothing anywhere in the ballpark but I'm really enjoying it.

I just sent in my third turn and I'm sure I'm going to get some feedback that I've made some small mistakes already but thats part of why I've started this thread. For you to help me learn and hopefully others will learn as well.

Situation (Aug 9, 1942):
- Landings are underway at Tulagi and Lunga and all three american carriers are spotted 80 miles east of Tulagi and have been bombing my troops. Casualties have been high. Half of the combat troops at Tulagi and Lunga have been destroyed.
- A Japanese cruiser force is sitting in Rabaul. 5CA 3CL 2DD. I plan to use these to raid shipping if he sends anything to Port Moresby while his carriers are supporting the Guadalcanal landings.
- Supply transports are on their way to Rabaul to bring the supply level above 20,000 to allow reinforcements to Japanese air groups.
- Most of the submarine force is headed to patrol the area where the american carriers have been spotted and to sink shipping headed to Tulagi and Lunga.
- No LCU's have been moved. I'm sure they need to be moved, probably toward Port Moresby. I'm looking for some suggestions in this regard especially regarding the engineers. I have plenty of engineers and nothing to build.

My basic strategy right now is wait for the carriers that are due in 9 days. If my opponent keeps his carriers in place for a couple turns I may get lucky with a couple subs (I hit each of the three carriers with a sub torp when I played vs. the AI). Until then, the forces on Guadalcanal are on their own and will most likely be destroyed. I've kept my air units on CAP and search. The Betty's would get demolished by CAP if allowed to strike right now.

I'm hoping for suggestions and tips for this scenario. My opponent has played through this scenario in PBEM at least once so I'll likely need help giving him a run for his money.
Post #: 1
RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/4/2009 8:57:54 AM   
FatR

 

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Attempts to take Port Moresby by land are futile, no matter what you can realistically do. Troops on Kokoda Trail should be extracted, if at all possible. As about what to build, I suggest expanding Shortlands as your stronghold in Solomons, in case you'll tie the upcoming carrier battle (if you clearly win, you can retake Lunga, if you clearly lose, it's all over).


(in reply to brett9983)
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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/4/2009 11:40:53 PM   
brett9983

 

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Fatr - Can it be taken if the allied player doesn't move reinforcements in? It seems Japan will receive enough troops to defeat what starts there but I don't know much at all about land combat so I'll take your word for it.

August 12, 1942
- Tulagi and Lunga fell on August 10th. The 3rd SNLF is still hiding out in the jungle on Tulagi. The battered forces at Lunga retreated north.
- I've started converting a few of the larger xAK's to AP's and converted cargo capacity to troop capacity on several other ships. This will allow the troops that arrive on the 1st of September to be moved out quickly. Where they will go, I don't know yet.
- The American carriers left the area headed South a day before many of the subs arrived in the area. Several of the subs will move south to patrol around Noumea.
- I sent the cruiser force to bombard Port Moresby destroying 4-6 planes on the ground and causing a couple hundred casualties.
- Air casualties have been light for both sides.

Carriers:
- The first carriers will show up in 6 days.
- Is there any particular strategy to CV vs. CV battles or is just get to 5 or 6 hexes away with planes on naval attack and see what happens? In battles vs. the AI I've found that the american dive bombers have a very hard time hitting anything in the rain so maybe watch the weather forecast and plan accordingly?

Political Points:
- The only thing I know to do with political points is change leaders. Is there any other use?
- Some leaders have high leadership and inspiration but low skills for air/land/naval. This is most obvious with air units. Should these leaders be replaced with someone with lower leadership/inspiration but a higher specific skill (i.e. air)?

(in reply to FatR)
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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/5/2009 10:34:29 AM   
FatR

 

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Land movements across the jungle are too slow, and the Allied player can always bring reinforcements faster. And your initial troops cannot defeat the defenders. Port Moresby can be taken by an amphibious operation, if you're winning hard and can control air and sea.

Yes, PP in Guadalcanal scenario are mostly for changing leaders. As about CV battles, there are several tricks. Engage enemy CV within the radius of your LBA, and outside of enemy LBA's radius. Put fast battleships in your carrier TFs, they often draw a large percentage of attacking planes to themselves, due to their high point values, can absorb a lot of damage and have powerful flak batteries. Weather in each hex is determined randomly, with chances depending on the forecast for the area, so it is cannot be depended upon.

< Message edited by FatR -- 12/5/2009 10:46:24 AM >

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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/6/2009 11:18:25 PM   
aprezto


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Hi Brett9983;
My synopsis of the situation you are in:
* You are short of fuel - 1500 fuel a day at Truk will seriously undermine you ability to move the big fleet you have (or will soon have) around.
* You are short of supplies - 2000 a day to run the bases. It is nice to have 20000 at Rabaul to enable replacements of lost aircraft, but it is also imperitive to have a bit of a stockpile in the more forward bases. You will struggle to get supplies forward so you need to get them there early. This is incongruous with the amount of supplies you receive and the allied ability to interdict your resupply efforts. There are about 9000 supplies sitting on the island SE of Truk, with no job to do, seriously recommend you go and get them.
* You have no shipyard in the game area. So you cannot repair major damage and sending the ships back to Japan is tantamount to taking them out of the game (due to return times). You'll have to consider whether you keep damaged ships around or if the damage is too great that it is safer to send them home.
* You have an initial spurt of warships, such that you will actually outnumber the allies. The difficulty you have is using this advantage because -
* you are outnumbered by allied CV airpower. If your opponent has constructed his CV TFs around single CVs then it is going to be very difficult to get a decisive carrier victory. Unfortunately, this is what you need in order to bring your early superiority in surface warships numbers to bear. If he can sit back under an umbrella of CV air this superiority is moot. As FatR has already stated, you therefore must attempt to engineer a battle in which you can use your land based naval ACs to offset this numbers deficiency. A perfect outcome is to have a two+ day battle in which the first day is taken up by your LBA against his carriers, where you manage to get a strike on one or more of his carriers, then a second day of your carrier based air against his carriers.
* the victory point allocation to bases is heavily biased to 3 bases: Lunga, Port Moresby and to a much lesser extent: Milne Bay. In order to win the points game you have to take one of the first two and hopefully also Milne Bay. Saying this is hard really is being euphemistic. Personnally I think it is more possible to take Port Moresby, especially if you actively interdict reinforcement TFs before your invasion. But holding on to it is another thing entirely. You cannot stop Lunga being taken, and it is taken by the marines. They are tough customers and your lift capacity makes it difficult to get enough troops there, in one lift, to engineer a victory.
* With no shipyard you get no ship upgrades. Not so your opponent, and you will really notice the differences, especially with destroyers. They are already very hard to hit with Naval ACs, but when they get the 5" naval gun upgrades and radars they can foot it with your warships and cause damage out of proportion to their value, because they hit so often now. You'll be reticent to go into surface combat. Allied subs will get their better torpedos, and because of their number and your relatively poor ability to destroy them, suddenly all the choke points/areas are very dangerous for your high value capital ships.
* you have enough transport ability to mount a medium amphibious invasion. But these same transport ships have to try and keep the forward bases in supply. This will be your hardest task. Any large loss of transport ships (an enemy surface group gets amongst them and wipes them out), and you're in serious trouble. Because his subs and planes will keep nibbling away at your transport numbers as the game goes on, and those forward bases will be harder and harder to resuppy.
* However, you do have the ability to use warships to carry supplies (fast transport TF). You'll use them alot for this as it'll get awful hard to get the supplies in using AKs etc. Trouble is, you also need these ships being warships... The initial mass of numbers quickly starts to look inadequate once losses start to accummulate and the jobs you need them to do go up in number.
* Allied heavy bombers are unstoppable. Be very very careful about using Rabaul's port for repairing ships. He can hit Rabaul from Oz, so taking PM is not a way to halt this. If he holds PM, he can even hit Truk with some variants of the B-24. If ship repair wasn't hard enough before, this allied ability makes it even more fraught with danger.
So, having bored you to tears with stuff you probably already knew about with the scenario. Lets look at how I think you should approach things:
In order to win the points game you must take AND HOLD (until the end of the game - and there's the rub), either Lunga or PM. Since Lunga will be taken by the marines I chose PM in my PBEM. The problem with PM isn't so much the taking but the holding. It is so close to Oz that he can have strong forces on you, and keep them there, much easier than you can defend the place. In other words, it is a prime location for both sides to invade.
In order to take either you'll have to bring some serious ground forces. If you chose Lunga I think I'd recommend doing it in two hops. Bring the troops you need forward to Rabaul, then invade from there with the ability to go back to Rabaul and bring more troops (rather than all the way back to Truk).
You have to either take out the allied CVs or time things superbly such that he is refuelling and rearming just when you are landing. Even then, it is VERY likely he will do his best to interdict your effort with the carriers. Honestly I think hoping for this scenario is wishful thinking. I don't think you have time to do an invasion without coming to grips with his carriers.
So, lets assume you do have a go at the carriers.
You have to somehow bring the odds down. To do this I would recommend either the option put to you earlier: 2 days of combat with LBA hitting him first, taking whatever you can get. Another option is to round up as many zeros as you can find and defending a TF of destroyers that you purposefuly put in range of his carrier air. You are after attrition and damage of his strike groups. Then hit him the following day, making sure your carrier TFs have BBs in their midst and other targets for him to hit. Get those opposition numbers down. And set your carrier groups up to have about 20% CAP 80% escort. You have to get the strike package to the targets, so at least escort them.
Assumming you manage to pull of a reverse Midway or at very least sacrifice your carriers taking his down too, now you have the surface might to own the seas in the danger zones.
Recon your targets well (so that bombing and bombardment raids do the most damage), use your BBs to bombard and well led surface combat groups made around your heavy cruisers to protect the invasion. Remember that your BBs are likely to have to retire to Truk to rearm (unless you can get some naval support to Rabaul). If you have chosen PM to invade you are still able to put air defence over the invasion, at Lunga you'll have no such luxury unless you've managed to build up one of the Solomons islands, unfortunately this is difficult because all of the islands are zero rated air strips and getting them to level 1 could just take too long. Another reason why I targeted PM.
Having pulled all these things off, without adequate supplies or fuel, you'll now be landing more troops than he can defend against and will take your target. Now you have to hold it.
This is the really difficult part.
Heavy bombers, functioning allied sub torpedos and upgraded allied destroyers making keeping a target in supply very tough. When you can't stop the heavy bombers, and supply hits taking a percentage of the supplies at a base, just loading a place with 100k supplies (actually an impossibility with this scenario, but you get the idea), will also not work as each hit will take proportionally more supplies. The only answer is frequent re-supply efforts. Holding PM I found Buna invaluable - offloading the supplies there and manipulating the supply request at PM, pulling the supplies across the mountains.
Lunga does have the benefit of being a bit more isolated. But if he loses Lunga he is almost certain to build Efate Port Villa, and doing so will make resupply of Lunga just as hard as PM, and there is no nice port like Buna with a land bridge to move your supplies from at Lunga (although there is Tassafaronga but it is as vulnerable as Lunga itself). These land-bridge locations become even more important when you lose air or naval superiority, as you almost certainly will. Because he will simply park naval units at your base and dare you to come and flush them out. Now you are fighting on his terms and with dwindling power. However, if you don't offer battle you can't resupply... tough problems to find solutions for.

The later part of the game is about hanging in there until the clock winds down. Getting those supplies in to whichever location you've decided to hold, is vital. The allies will have better weapons and more of them than you in every arena other than army/land units. Your land units are still very very good, unfortunately they don't go so well without food or bullets. Get some naval support forward too. They will help immeasurably in getting the supplies off the ships. This especially helps with fast transport missions. They want to be in, unloaded, and out by morning. If you don't have enough naval support at a base then they will still be unloading in the morning and that has obvious consequences.
You've chosen a very tough assignment for your first PBEM. But if you do manage to gain a draw or minor defeat/victory other than an allied decisive victory, you'll deserve a pat on the back. Don't lose faith in the game over this one scenario is all I'd say.

_____________________________



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(in reply to FatR)
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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/7/2009 12:03:25 AM   
FatR

 

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I wouldn't advise sending LBA a day earlier. In Guad scenario you have only Betties at the beginning, they are CAP fodder in AE, and there aren't a lot of them. I doubt that they can score even a single hit against a fresh carrier TF. But if launched on the day of carrier battle, they can hope to deliver a finishing blow; particularly valuable if CVs duel, which is almost certain to happen before G4Ms arrive from Rabaul, ends up in serious damage to both sides.

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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/7/2009 12:49:59 AM   
aprezto


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Good point FatR.

I didn't stipulate escorting the Betties. The form being to either restrict the range on the betties to the same as the zeros, potentially using drop tanks on the zeros. Caution using drop tanks though as this seems to handicap the zeros fighting prowess.

Another point I have had some luck with, is trying to get my carriers at 9-12 hex range on the allied carriers such that the kates can hit him with escort but he can't reply. It means you have a much smaller strike package, and that you'll lose the lions share of your Kates. But you will hopefully damage a carrier or two without him being able to riposte, and then follow up with the Vals the following day.

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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/7/2009 1:30:43 AM   
brett9983

 

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Thank you both for the advice. I really appreciate the time it must have taken you to put all that information down apretzo. I will read it and reread it as this progresses. Some of it I knew, some I didn't (like the 9k supplies I need to go grab). Having no shipyard is a PITA. I know the odds are against me in this scenario but I want to at least make things interesting.

August 17, 1942
- I think I am in a good position at this point. I will get my first carriers on the next turn and losses have been extremely low.
- The only shipping losses for me so far was a sub that reacted into a minefield that was layed at Lunga.. Another also reacted and took severe damage(29/93/45) on the same turn (the 13th). Amazingly, it is still afloat.
- One of my subs bagged an AO near Noumea. I haven't been attacked by any of his so far.

Strategy going forward
- I agree with FatR that Betty's get absolutely demolished by CAP so I would prefer to launch a combined strike with Betty's and carrier air on the same turn.
- My hope is to get a CV vs. CV battle before the fourth american carrier shows up but first I have to draw them out some how. I haven't seen them since Lunga and Tulagi fell.
- I have been trying to think of how to draw them into the most advantagous situation for me and I think the best place will be near Milne Bay. I'll begin operations there and see if I can get a carrier response.
- My carrier task force will be composed of:
CV Shokaku
CV Zuikaku
CVL Ryujo
CVE Unyo?? (See below)
CS Chitose (carries 12 Rufe's plus search planes)
BB Mutsu
BB Kirishima
BB Heie
Additional escorts
- Would it be gamey to put carrier capable Zeroes on the CVE Unyo? It doesn't come in with air units and it doesn't seem realistic to throw some zeroes on there and ship them off to combat. I think putting them on there and setting them to train until they become carrier trained is acceptable but I'm not sure about sending them directly into combat. Looking for opinions on this point.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

(in reply to FatR)
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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/7/2009 1:47:17 AM   
brett9983

 

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Quick update. Just got the next turn and prett sure I got a tanker (heavy damage, heavy fires) with a sub.

Also noticed that Unyo's speed is only 21. With the next slowest being 29 and the limited zero air groups available, I'll keep her out of the fleet.

Edit: Added picture to help get a visual of the situation.




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< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/7/2009 2:33:46 AM >

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RE: Guadalcanal brett9983(Japan) vs. commissarhanish(A... - 12/7/2009 2:36:02 AM   
aprezto


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brett9983
- Would it be gamey to put carrier capable Zeroes on the CVE Unyo? It doesn't come in with air units and it doesn't seem realistic to throw some zeroes on there and ship them off to combat. I think putting them on there and setting them to train until they become carrier trained is acceptable but I'm not sure about sending them directly into combat. Looking for opinions on this point.



No, not gamey. That is what they are there for (well maybe you can argue they are plane ferrys). Carrier capable should mean you suffer more Ops losses due to the pilots lack of experience.
You've noted the one big drawback of Unyo. She is slow. I sometimes use her as a seperate target purely to draw strikes away from my main carriers. You can by back the lost air group.

_____________________________



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Betty Bombing - 12/8/2009 4:49:57 AM   
brett9983

 

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August 21, 1942
- One squadron of Betty's escorted by Zeroes using drop tanks bombed Allied transports at Lunga. 8 F4F's were shot down for 5 zeroes and 3 Betty's. This was a one time raid to remind my opponent that he is not invulnerable there. We may do this again but it will be a while as it puts our zeroes at max range with drop tanks. For our trouble we got:
AKA Alchiba, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
AP McCawley, Torpedo hits 1
AP Barnett, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
SC-709, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
- The cruiser task force bombarded Milne Bay destroying an SBD-3 on the ground and inflicting minimal casualties.
- Notice the aircraft losses for the last turn. I have no idea how I could have destroyed 36 F4F-4's. The only combats were the ones I listed above. Even with FOW, this number seems very high.

Carriers
- Still no sign of his carriers but I haven't done anything big enough to draw them out. I chickened out of a major operation against Milne Bay. Images of burning transports just offshore with American carrier aircraft flying overhead kept filling my mind. A major loss of LCU's and/or transports would be disastrous so the carrier battle will need to be decided first.




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< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/8/2009 4:55:07 AM >

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RE: Betty Bombing - 12/8/2009 2:20:09 PM   
d0mbo

 

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In my last game i had something similair, but had listed them as destroyed on the ground. That turned out to be true as one of my subs sank the USS Wasp with just 1 torpedo.... only knew tht after the game of course.

Did he strike at you somewhere with an escort of F4F's? Maybe every fighter your guys fired a bullet at is counted as destroyed. But again, this seems like an uber overestimate. A Fluke.


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Milne Bay - 12/12/2009 7:48:35 PM   
brett9983

 

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d0mbo - It was in fact FOW. The losses for those planes dropped significantly as time progressed.

Long gap since the last update. Basicly, I've run a good example of how to screw up an operation as much as possible and still be successful. I did say I was newb right? I'll run through the mistakes I made.

August 24th - Carriers are moved 5 hexes east of Milne Bay and routed sothwest maintaining that distance. They have naval attack as their primary mission and ground attack as the second with Milne Bay targetted. The Betty's at Rabaul have the same orders. No strikes are launched. I don't understand this. Weather was fine. I probably did something wrong but without being able to pinpoint it I won't start my list with that. The plus side was my opponent spotted the carriers and decided they were headed for Port Moresby or Australia so at least my opponent was as confused as my commanders obviously were.

August 25th - 4 SNLF units are loaded and headed towards Milne Bay.
1st mistake - One of these units wasn't prepping for Milne Bay at all. The other 3 were only at about 15 prep points.
2nd mistake - I failed to tell it to load troops only and no fuel. 15k supplies in these transports and a small amount of fuel. (Hint: Fuel goes BOOM)

Milne bay is bombarded by a BB and a large group of cruisers and air strikes from the carriers are launched against the airfield. The Betty's still did not launch any strikes.
3rd mistake - It's a level 1 airfield. There was no reason to send a carrier strike against it. I should have been targetting ground troops! Nevermind the fact that the surface fleet bombardment turned it into rubble anyway.

August 26th - I moved my carriers back to the North and still at 5 hexes from Milne Bay, changing from airfield attack to Ground. I see that there are ships at Port Moresby. All my intel indicates is a bunch of destroyers so I decide not to strike there or so I thought.
4th mistake - I had moved my carriers just within strike range and did not adjust the range so they wouldn't attack. The attack went well but now I'm almost completely out of torpedoes. What if the American carriers show up? Dropping bombs from torpedo bombers on or near carriers is a crime.

The troops from the transports are unloading. Over 500 casualties when they hit the beach. (see mistake 1)

August 27th - Now the worst decision of all, I send my carriers to Rabaul to reload the torpedoes. Troops are unloading, transports are sitting ducks, and I provide absolutely no air cover well within range of allied LBA. The allied air strike wrecks havoc on me. I lose over half of the fighting ability of my troops, close to 10k supplies are lost (see mistake 2), and each ship that takes a hit goes down (might be that fuel going BOOM but transports are made of paper anyway).

August 28th - I get my act together. Finally I set the betties to attack ground troops only, my carriers are now replenished and hit the enemy ground troops with everything, the surface bombardment fleet had replenished and resumes bombarding and retires before day break. The remaining invasion fleet gets out of Dodge. The troops shock attack and push the enemy out of Milne Bay.

Allied Shipping Losses:
6 xAP (mostly small but one Bay Class 26 VP) 58 VP

Japanese Shipping Losses:
3 APD - 12 VP
4 xAK - 52 VP

So now it's August 29th, Milne Bay was just captured. Reinforcements that were headed to Milne Bay will return to Rabaul. I need to get supplies into Milne Bay if they don't move overland. I can't do much now, the 4th carrier is about to show up and he will have a clear advantage until I get a few more of my own. He has been in hiding for quite a while.

The subs have quieted a little but I got another TK heading east towards Noumea. I think I've got his 3 biggest fuel carrying ships:
AO Sabine
TK Empire Silver
TK Empire Druid




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< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/12/2009 7:55:37 PM >

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RE: Milne Bay - 12/12/2009 8:03:31 PM   
brett9983

 

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Victory Points:






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Sigint works for Japan too! - 12/15/2009 5:10:52 AM   
brett9983

 

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September 2, 1942

On August 31 I got sigint that there was a high volume of radio traffic just 80 miles southeast of Cooktown. I took a guess that these were transports headed for Port Moresby or possibly an attempt to retake Milne Bay. With the amount of warning I had I decided to mount a full attack on the suspected transports. A surface combat force sortied from Rabaul consisting of Yamato, Mutsu, 9 heavy cruisers, and a group of destroyers. The Japanese carriers moved to a position 40 miles northwest of Woodlark Island and all Betty's based out of Rabaul were set to naval attack at a range of up to 800 miles.

On September 1st the Betty's that managed to make contact sent 5xAK's and 1xAKL to the bottom with another xAK heavily damaged. These ships were carrying troops but only 255 casualties were reported. No Betty's were lost.

The orders are sent for the next day. I'm not sure if he will choose to turn around at this point so the carriers have been positioned to hit them whether he continues to Port Moresby or turns around. 2 of the 3 squadrons of Betty's have been switched to search a 40 degree arc leading to Port Moresby with the other mantaining its naval attack orders. I suspect he will have fighter cover over the transports on the next turn and don't want the Betty's to get completely mauled. The surface combat fleet should make contact with the transports if they head to Port Moresby so another reason not to commit too many Betty's. Also, there is a group of 16 Val's based at Lae that will attempt a naval attack as well.

I imagine his carriers will be out to play soon. After this turn all forces involved will move back to the north and will hopefully avoid them.





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< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/15/2009 5:13:43 AM >

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RE: Sigint works for Japan too! - 12/15/2009 7:58:44 AM   
Galahad78

 

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Nice AAR brett!! I'm taking a lot of insights for my game against the AI in this scenario 

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Planned and Executed - 12/16/2009 12:25:35 AM   
brett9983

 

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From: Panama City, FL
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Thanks for reading Galahad. I found a ton of useful information in AAR's so far but I didn't see any complete AAR's for this scenario, part of the reason I decided to do this.

September 3, 1942

The transports headed to Port Moresby turned around and were found at Cooktown. As noted above, I anticipated this possibility and my carrier aircraft found the transports and sent an xAK, PG, and an xAP to the bottom. Another xAP and an AMC each took multiple torpedoes and were both heavily damaged.

I'm glad I set most of the Betty's to just search because the group I kept on naval attack, attacked the transports at Cooktown in the AM and then 4 planes attacked the ships spotted at Lunga. 3 of the 4 were shot down by CAP without scoring any hits. The attack at Cooktown heavily damaged an xAP for the loss of 1 Betty and 12 damaged. I really wish I could exclude certain areas or pick a naval target.

The plan now is to run home and see what the Allies do. I have moved most of the combat troops to Rabaul and many are prepping for Port Moresby. That is my overall objective for this scenario. He should have a certain amount of fear about heading back there to reinforce or resupply without carrier air cover. We will watch how he commits his carriers. He may try to retake Milne Bay or raid Rabaul or maybe even Truk. I don't know if there is much I could do about any of it. His 4 carriers should be able to decimate my 2CV, CVL, and CVE force. On the other hand, surely out of 100 Betty's I would get a few hits if they came that close right?

Question: Will recon tell me if there are enemy mines located at a base?




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< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/16/2009 12:28:48 AM >

(in reply to Galahad78)
Post #: 17
Flying Zippos - 12/17/2009 4:58:40 AM   
brett9983

 

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September 6, 1942

This was a very bad day for the Japanese Empire. 48 Betty's that left base this morning were never heard from again. This was due in large part to poor intelligence the day before. Almost all of these were lost over Lunga. The ships sitting offshore had appeared to move away and several groups of ships were spotted off the Australian coast heading north. This prompted me to let the Betty's strike up to 800 miles away again, unfortunately despite sighting the American carriers, a transport group heading toward Port Moresby/Milne Bay, and several task forces of warships they chose to hit the few ships that were in fact still at Lunga sitting under a CAP of almost 50 F4F-4's.

I know bombers should be escorted especially the Betty's and was very well aware of how easy they get shot down but there were plenty of targets to attack in the area that did not have fighter cover. In fact absolutely any other target would have been preferable. I wouldn't have even cared if they went after the carriers and got mauled like that because if they got even a couple hits it would have been worth it. The allied player can essentially sit a few low value ships at Lunga under a heavy CAP and the Betty's can never strike outside of that range. I don't think my opponent would do this just to influence the location of my Betty's attacks but it could be done.

Slightly on the bright side, we did get at least 3 more xAK's loaded with troops trying to get to Port Moresby again.

As you can see from the screenshot, the Allies are up to no good. I believe he will be retaking Milne Bay with this operation. I don't think there is anything I can do to stop him. My ships are getting out of his way for now. Submarines are converging on the area north of his carriers. If one of them gets lucky, it can do a lot to help my situation. Speaking of subs, he got an APD on the 4th, a destroyer on the 5th, and put a torpedo into an empty tanker. The tanker is at Truk and will repair to about 22 major float damage within a couple weeks.

I'll post a screenshot of sunk ships shortly. Let me know if there is any other information you'd like to hear about.




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RE: Flying Zippos - 12/17/2009 5:22:17 AM   
brett9983

 

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From: Panama City, FL
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The list from the game only tells part of the story. I've kept track of others ships I've damaged over the course of the scenario. Their victory points are listed.

xAP Neleus 5 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage 12
xAP Moreton Bay 2 torpedoes on fire, heavy damage 26
xAP Lycaon 1 torpedo, 2 bombs on fire, heavy damage 12
AMC Kanimbla 1 torpedo, 3 bombs on fire, heavy damage 27
TK Empire Druid 1 torpedo heavy fires, heavy damage 23
AKA Alchiba 1 torpedo heavy damage 24
AP McCawley 1 torpedo 14
AP Barnett 1 torpedo on fire 14
xAP Diomed 1 torpedo on fire, heavy damage 12
AMC Manoora 2 torpedoes, 1 bomb heavy fires, heavy damage 27
xAK Charles McCormick 4 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage 10




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RE: Flying Zippos - 12/17/2009 10:17:59 PM   
aprezto


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Re Betties;
Yup, definately normal modus operandi. They will almost always strike at a base if they can't get good intel on a more valued target at sea.
As such I restrict their range to one hex short of Lunga, which of course does not save you if he makes a small tf of DDs and CAPs them heavily, placing that TF closer to Rabaul.
The horse has bolted somewhat now, with your Betties being savaged, but basing them at Wewak and even Lae using bombs was how I approached denying PM to my allied opponent.
Nice work scaring those ships away from PM. Certainly if you want to invade PM you need to stop it being reinforced. You cannot afford a standup battle, you must crush him quickly (at PM).
Regarding the approaching allied fleet. If he is after Milne Bay, I'd let him have it, sniping with your subs. If he is after PM, I would throw absolutely everything you can at him (well as long as this is your invasion target). If he reinforces you wont be able to take it and you are almost out of your window of strength in this scenario.
My 2 cents.

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RE: Flying Zippos - 12/18/2009 12:27:23 AM   
brett9983

 

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From: Panama City, FL
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Thanks for checking back in Aprezto. I'm learning some things that you just have to learn the hard way, such as the tendency for Betty's to strike at ships in port hexes. I'm sure it won't be the last lesson I learn in this scenario and probably won't even be the most painful I learn. I do still have nearly 50 Betty's with 2 more large groups due within 2 weeks so all is not lost there.

September 7, 1942

A quick update. Despite his carriers closing in, this was a good day for the Japanese. At the cost of 3 zeroes, we have reportedly sunk 3 allied ships and damaged 5 others as well as shot down 20 allied fighters. Most of the ships were attacked at Port Moresby just after arriving there. The damage was as follows:
AM Cessnock 3 torpedoes heavy fires, heavy damage (reported sunk)
AM Ballarat 3 torpedoes heavy damage (reported sunk)
xAP Manunda 3 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Idomeneus 5 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Demoducus 1 bomb heavy fires
xAK Steel Maker 2 torpedoes heavy damage (reported sunk)
PG Warrego 2 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Warramunga 1 bomb

A handful of vehicles were reported lost but no troop losses.

(in reply to aprezto)
Post #: 21
Too much sitting around - 12/18/2009 3:51:33 PM   
brett9983

 

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September 8, 1942

The American carriers parked about 200 miles south of Milne Bay on the 7th. I moved my subs into their general vicinity and got lucky. They did not move between the 7th and the 8th. CV Enterprise took 2 torpedoes and CA Australia took 4. Both are listed as sunk but I have my doubts about the carrier actually going down. Either way the carrier should be out of the action for a while. This evens up the carrier odds a little bit. I'm still not looking for a CV vs. CV battle at this point.

I believe carriers should be moved from turn to turn as much as possible if only a couple of hexes. This forces the enemy to respot the ships, possibly reposition subs, and of course moving one way and then another will keep your opponent guessing where the carriers are really headed. In this case, if he moved the carriers a little east I may have thought he decided to raid Rabaul which could make me wonder if I should evacuate all shipping from the port. A move toward Port Moresby could have made me respond with a full attack to preserve any chance of capturing the base later in the scenario. Because he stayed in place, it seems clear the carriers are focused on Milne Bay and there is no need to take action yet. We'll see what happens next.

Over Port Moresby my Bettys continued to cause damage. I escorted them with zeroes using drop tanks and the results were very lopsided in my favor. The combat report shows 18 allied aircraft lost for 1 zero. The aircraft losses screen shows 29 allied aircraft lost for 4 zeroes (only lost one pilot). Other shipping losses:
xAP Largs Bay 2 torpedoes heavy damage (was reported sunk earlier and after this attack probably really is)
XAK Willimoto 4 torpedoes Sunk
XAP Rhesus 1 torpedo Sunk

Lunga has been so heavily reinforced that it probably can not be taken. Despite heavy attacks against ships heading to Port Moresby, it too has been reinforced and currently has an estimated 15,000 troops. I think I can still overcome those numbers but not much more. This has prompted me to move my carriers to a position northeast of Lae and strike the remaining ships at Port Moresby. Worst case scenario is that some carrier aircraft were rebased at Port Moresby after the last turn and they hit my carriers next turn. I didn't consider the possiblity until after sending my turn so we'll see what happens. He wouldn't have a lot of reason to do this as he did not spot my carriers last turn so he probaly thinks they retired to Truk until this onslaught is over.




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Scratch that - 12/19/2009 9:32:39 PM   
brett9983

 

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From: Panama City, FL
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The results in the post above... you can ignore those. After much debate and with still a strong protest, the hotfix was applied and the Sptember 7th turn was rerun. I will not talk further about why this was done in this thread as my opponent has no chance to tell his side of the story.

September 8, 1942
CV Enterprise took one torpedo from a Japanese sub. No fires or damage were reported so I suspect relatively light damage.

Air strikes over Port Moresby hit the following ships:
xAK Manoa 1 torpedo on fire, heavy damage
DD Warramungo 1 bomb on fire
xAP Largs Bay 2 bombs heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP Rhesus 1 torpedo Sunk

Todays losses include 5 zeroes, 5 bettys and 7 pilots.

< Message edited by brett9983 -- 12/19/2009 9:33:00 PM >

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RE: Scratch that - 12/19/2009 10:32:12 PM   
Nomad


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That's a story I would like to hear.

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The End - 12/20/2009 6:52:36 PM   
brett9983

 

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From: Panama City, FL
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Unfortunately this game has come to a close. Differences in play style and how serious we are about the game were the underlying factors. I hold no hard feelings towards my opponent and he says the same. He has been playing much longer than I have and don't think anyone should form strong opinions about him from this game. These things happen in PBEM and is why it is important to find an opponent with like minded thinking before taking on the campaign game.

Thanks to all for reading. It has definitely been a learning experience.

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Post #: 25
RE: The End - 12/20/2009 8:50:38 PM   
aprezto


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That's a shame, I was following how you were going. Interesting to see your opponent advertising on the 'opponents wanted' list though...

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