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Subs on the Attack!

 
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Subs on the Attack! - 2/4/2010 4:25:06 AM   
ADB123

 

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12-20-1941 – Hmmm, my opponent has been hinting at some devious plan, and I just may have spotted it this turn, thanks to my penchant for checking all over the map. After spending several hours doing this turn, much of that due to the fact that I finally decided to implement Search Arcs for my LBA, I decided to review what I had going in the Soviet Union.

I started building Soviet fortresses right away in this game, and I also redistributed the Soviet air force just in case my opponent might decide to take a swipe at Stalin's rear. So things were progressing nicely and quietly. But I happened to notice that one of the Japanese border bases seemed much darker red than usual. I put my cursor over the base, and lo and behold, it read 30 units there! I checked a few other border bases and there were several more with 14 or 15 units in each. When I looked over the rest of Manchuria I noticed that most of the other bases looked empty.

Is my opponent planning an early Winter blitz of Eastern Siberia? I'm not certain, but just in case I set all Soviet troops to "Combat", and also turned on Replacements for all of them. This will definitely change the flavour of the game if a Soviet Gambit is in the cards.

Otherwise, the turn was fairly benign, other than a few of my subs becoming surprisingly active and successful around Borneo. Two out of four subs got off successful attacks, and only one sub was hit in return.

My Dutch PTs at Kuching attempted a feeble attack there, but ran off when they encountered the enemy. They then ran into a BB/CVL/CVE TF and once again ran away successfully. If that area isn't part of the "Yellow Sea", it ought to be…

In addition to the Kuching invasion my opponent made a quick landing at Singkawang. The Dutch sub that was there laid some mines, but was hit was depth charges afterwards and is limping home.

My B-17 raid on Kuching ran into one persistent Zero on CAP. The Zero couldn't shoot down the Fortresses, but they couldn't shoot it down either, and the bomber squadron was distracted enough that they missed the target. So I sat down that squadron and brought another fresh one to Batavia. Next turn their target is Singkawang.

My opponent sent another sweep against Clark Field this turn, but I was resting my P-40s, so he came up empty. I decided to move the P-40s to another PI base and I have set them to try a Naval attack next turn. There are plenty of Japanese transport ships at Cagayan, and an air attack there would definitely surprise my opponent a bit.

Otherwise, the rest of the Japanese air attacks followed the same pattern as recently, with my retiring troops in Malaya, Luzon, and China all being hit. I did get an air strike in myself on the Japanese troops at Ichang, so my opponent doesn't have the skies entirely to himself. BTW – I may be able pull off an encirclement of Ichang if my opponent isn't careful. We'll have to see how it goes.
At the end of the day my opponent captured Kuching, Naga, and Laoag. All-in-all, things haven't gone too bad so far for me.

BTW – this turn I finally sent off my first transport TF from San Fran to Pearl. I loaded a couple of infantry regiments and a couple of coastal defense units. I set a couple of waypoints in order to avoid subs and any wandering enemy surface units. Once I get those troops to Pearl I will feel a lot better about the situation there.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 31
Sub vs Sub - 2/6/2010 6:34:09 PM   
ADB123

 

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December 21, 1941 -

So close, and yet so far... I-162 was cruising along at night on the surface and S-36 caught it in its sights. The S-boat fired off 4 torpedoes at 4000 yards. They were duds! I-162 continued along its merry way and the crew of S-36 wondered what they had to do to get some luck. Actually, they were luckier than the crew of SS KVIII, who were forced to the surface at Menado and then sunk with gun fire. Add to this a couple of other unsuccessful Allied sub attacks, and this turn wasn't one that most Allied submariners wanted to remember.

The invasion of Singkawang continued. The Dutch PT TF sailed in again, spotted the Japanese invasion fleet in the darkness, and immediately retired without firing a shot. It's too bad that the game doesn't give an option to court martial TF commanders...

The day phase brought plenty of Zeros out sweeping the skies over the Philippines. But there were no Allied fighters there to oppose them. I waited and waited for my “ambush” with the P-40s to go off, but nothing ever happened. Then I got a vague memory, and when I checked the turn afterwards, sure enough, I had moved the squadrons to Cebu, which is only a level 1 air base. Oooops... I then disbanded the P-40Bs because they don't carry bombs, and I moved the P-40Es back to Manila where they will once again get a chance to try to surprise my opponent.

My opponent continued with his level bombing of Allied ground troops in Malaya and northeastern China. My Chinese bombers flew again this turn (because I forgot to rest them) and they were lucky to face only one Nate over Ichang. So the Chinese bombers were able to hit their target and not take any losses. This time I specifically checked to make certain that I sat them down for next turn.

Next, my fresh B-17 squadron at Batavia flew in and hit the invading troops at Singkawang.
However , that wasn't enough to affect the outcome of the subsquent ground attack and the Japanese captured Singkawang easily. But to my surprise, the Allied troops retreated to Sambas to the east instead of into the jungle to the south. I've never seen that against the AI. This is actually better for me because the additional troops in Sambas means that it will be a little bit harder to capture the base, and my opponent will have to use more than some garrison unit. Never-the-less, I am still pulling troops out of that region, so I moved a third naval patrol group to Palembang to allow me to remove more troops from Sambas to Sumatra.

Finally, my opponent surprised me with a daylight invasion of Lingayen. My CD unit battled bravely and put shells into a CL and two SCs. But the Japanese invasion force was substantial and the lone Philippine division there collapsed and fled at the first attack. In addition, my opponent's other troops in Luzon captured Bayombong this turn too.

As far as the Soviet Union goes; there still haven't been any Sigint alerts about units preparing for Soviet targets. However, those big stacks of units are still sitting at the border. So I left everyone on alert, and I also upgraded a group of Soviet biplanes to Mig-3s. I want to stay prepared.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 32
A Scary Mess - 2/9/2010 1:15:51 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 22, 1941 -

I'm back to my original pbem, and it is quite the shock. I'm looking at things and saying to myself, “Why did I do that there?” Why did I place that here?” “What in the world was I thinking?” I've made a huge mess of Malaya, China is starting to fall apart, TFs are running out of fuel, and I seem to have missed putting together any coherent strategy. Oh well, I'll soldier on.

This turn saw landings at Manado, Pakhoi and Mersing. I'm going to try to get my Dutch PTs at Singapore to interfere with the Mersing landing, but I think that the result will be the usual – running away at the first sight of the enemy.

My opponent is getting his subs back into action. One of them sank a TF off of Batavia, despite the presence of an escort. And one of my Dutch subs was whacked off of Miri.

There were lots of Japanese bomber attacks all over Malaya, China and the Philippines. My B-17s at Batavia actually flew and hit the air fields at Singkaway hard. I'm resting them now and waiting for another opportunity. My P-40s in Manila didn't fly their naval attack missions – I suspect that there are too many Japanese fighters in the region. So I set them to attack some ground troops in southern Luzon. I want to make some use of them before I disband them.

A Sally/Oscar air attack on Moulmein ran into a number of skilled British pilots in Buffalos. The Brits roughed up the Japanese planes with no loss to themselves. I wonder how long it will be before my opponent starts to sweep the air over that region.

I got some lousy luck on the Singapore road just outside of Georgetown. My retreating troops were attacked by an armoured column and easily defeated. But they retreated into Georgetown instead of further down the road. That's it for them.

My opponent now has two artilliary units at Ichang. The artilliary duels are still fairly even, and I have some of my own artilliary on the way.

A Japanese infantry unit attempted an assault on Tsiatao. My units there repealed it at a 1:2 result. Japanese losses were much higher than the Chinese losses.

Pakhoi was captured against no opposition. The Chinese unit there had been moved away long before. Now my opponent can worry about the Partisans there.

And there is a sizable Japanese transport TF sailing through the eastern DEI, and it appears to be heading toward Ambon. I've got several cruiser/destroyer TFs in that region so I'm sending them towards the area in case I get an opportunity to raid the invasion.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 33
Miracles on the Water - 2/12/2010 12:18:38 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 23, 1941 –

Japanese invasion troops continued to unload at Menado and Mersing. Small escort ships such as PBs shot at the defending troops but there were no naval bombardments. There were no CD guns at either location to shoot back at the invaders. Dutch submarines continued to attempt to interfere with the invasion at Menado, but were chased off by the Japanese ASW. However, there were bravely lead PT boat TFs that attempted to disrupt the Japanese onslaughts.

First up was a group of three British MTBs that had been assigned the defence of the strategic base of Jolo at the border between the Philippines and the DEI. The British were ready for trouble, but not quite on the scale that came sailing in on them in the dark. This was a massive invasion TF consisting of CAs, DDs, assorted minesweepers, various patrol escorts, and of course the invasion transports. The MTBs sailed into the fight and the night was lit up with hundreds of shots being fired by the Japanese ships at the scurrying British torpedo boats.

The end result was something of a miracle; the MTBs sank a Japanese DMS with torpedoes while emerging unscathed. However, despite this show of valour and skill the Japanese still sailed on to their target and started to unload.

The second near-miracle occurred at Mersing where the half dozen Dutch PTs which had refused to engage in previous nights finally engaged the Japanese invasion forces. The Dutch found an even bigger Japanese force, complete with battleships, light cruisers, destroyers and all the rest of the ships required for a truly massive invasion.

Once again the Allied ships faced an immense hail of fire, but this time some of that fire hit its mark as one of the Dutch PT boats was sunk. Despite this the remainder of the Dutch PT boats were able to get off their torpedoes and sink an AK, as well as hit a PB with gunfire, after which the survivors retired to Singapore for replenishment. Again, valour alone was insufficient and the Japanese force shrugged off the attack and continued about their business without further interruption.

In one other ominous night time action, an Allied DD detected and attacked a Japanese sub off the coast of north-western Australia. This means that my current retirement route to Perth is no longer safe for unescorted TFs. I need to bring Air Search units to that area quickly.

The daylight hours brought a lot of air attacks from the Japanese. Heavy aerial bombardments hit Allied troops in Northern Malaya, the Philippines, and China. I’ve decided to move one of the AVG squadrons to north-eastern China in an attempt to discourage a bit of the Japanese aerial onslaught there.

In a somewhat surprising move, Nells from Cagayan bombed Dutch troops at Menado. This is a reminder for me that Japanese naval air power is now positioned to strike into the DEI.

Then there was an even more surprising air attack as Jakes flew in to Ambon from a Japanese TF to the north and twice attacked a US TF that was at the port. The second attack resulted in a 60 Kg bomb hitting the armour on CL Boise. A Japanese transport TF also appeared at Namlea and is likely planning to attempt to invade Ambon. I have two other surface combat TFs in the region, in addition to the US TF at Ambon, so I set all three to hunt that Japanese TF. So for now I will take my chances with aggressive Jake pilots.

The only Allied air attack this turn was in the Philippines where the Manila-based P-40s finally flew a ground attack mission against Japanese troops in Naga. The fighter pilots achieved no hits in heavy rain. At this point I looked at the unit, which currently consists of 10 P-40Es and 25 fairly well-skilled and trained pilots, and I decided to withdraw it because those pilots will be much more valuable to me in two month’s time then they are at the moment, and I see no good reason to waste them at this time. So the Philippines are now at the mercy of the Japanese Air Force.

There was some land action in China. The Japanese forces at Ichang fired off a more successful artillery bombardment against my besieging troops this turn. I have more troops and some artillery of my own marching towards the battle, but it will be a while before they get there, so I’ll have to revert to air attacks to try to even things out for now.

A Japanese unit moved into Tsiaotso and attempted an artillery attack this turn, but the attack was unsuccessful. However, my troops at the base fired off a very successful artillery attack of their own. It looks as if my opponent intends to contest the current frontier in China, so I am continuing to move my forces around to meet and confront his troops. I’m not keen on pursuing a war in China, but I will fight if forced to do so.

The other ground attacks this turn were at Mersing and Menado. At Mersing a very strong Japanese force consisting of two infantry regiments, one armoured regiment, one artillery regiment and a combat engineering regiment attacked and easily defeated the Malay battalion that I had left there as a place-holder. The Malays wisely surrendered. At Menado I was surprised to see that only two small and weak Japanese infantry units had partially landed. They attempted an artillery bombardment that failed with no results.

Otherwise, things are generally quiet. There has been no sign of the KB for some time, and Sigint is not warning of any surprise invasions.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 34
Malaya looks bad... - 2/16/2010 11:15:33 PM   
ADB123

 

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December 24, 1941 –

My opponent is off on vacation but he still has the time to do the occasional turn. From the looks of the results, my judgement and planning seem to be “on vacation” in this pbem…

The night time saw troops landing at Jolo and Manado. A Japanese sub picked off an AK off of Sumatra. A Dutch sub hit a Japanese CM at Jolo, but SS Pike tried to sneak into the invasion at Manado and was whacked hard.

Daylight saw lots of bomber attacks in northern Malaya. But the bombers that counted were a handful of Kates that flew off of a CVL near Ambon and put a torpedo into CL Marblehead. I then thought about having Houston go off after the Japanese TF, but a late afternoon attack by three more Kates put a torpedo into Houston, so it was bye-bye to any offensive moves and hello to run-away-time.

Chinese bombers hit the Japanese troops at Ichang and some more outside of Chengchow. Japanese CAP over Georgetown discouraged Dutch Catalinas from evacuating more of the troops that are trapped there. Surprisingly enough, none of the Cats were shot down.

In land action, artillery bombardments at Ichang were a wash, and Jolo was captured unopposed. A Japanese attack at Manado failed 1:4 with the Japanese taking many more casualties. Manado appears to be a very tough base to take for some reason.

And most importantly, some Japanese troops from the Mersing landing have moved over and cut off the rail line. The rest of the troops in Malaya are on their own now.

Otherwise, I spent a lot of time scratching my head and asking myself “Why, why, why…” as I went over my previous moves. Nothing truly disastrous is occurring, but I am certainly set up to have my initial defences fall apart totally. Oh well, it’s a learning experience.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 35
Back from a break - 2/25/2010 3:03:26 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 25, 1941 -

My opponent in this pbem is back from vacation and it appears that we are also recovered from mixing up turns. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get back into some sort of regular routine for this game.

A lot went on this turn. This opponent is doing things quite differently from Nomad, but equally effectively, so it takes a lot of effort for me to adjust between the two different styles. And since now both pbems are roughly at the same point I am getting mixed up as to what I have done in which match.

In any event, Emirau Island was occupied this turn, Manado was invaded, one of my subs shot off a number of dud torpedoes at Japanese ships at Kuching, and a Japanese cruiser TF bombarded Ambon at night, causing a fair amount of airfield damage as well as damaging a number of Hudsons. I expected to see an invasion TF at Ambon once the day phase started, but instead the Japanese TFs had cleared the area. I guess that this and the CV attack during the previous turn were just raids with the intention of keeping me off balance in the area. In any event, both raids accomplished that and more.

I did have one offensive action, sort of, during the night phase. A small PT TF sailed from Singapore to Mersing and intercepted a Transport TF, but my PT captains turned and ran as soon as they made contact. Now a big Japanese combat TF is heading to Mersing, so there is no point in sending my PT boats back again against that.

There were a number of Japanese fighter sweeps and bomber attacks throughout the Philippines, Malaya and China. At Chengchow I applied the same AVG trap that I used on Nomad and this time the AVG caught a number of unescorted Sallys on a bombing run. The AVG had a good time and my opponent was ticked off because he had thought that he had stood down those Sallys.

Some of my Chinese bombers hit Japanese troops near Chengchow, and some B-17s attempted to attack the Japanese armoured unit that is blocking the road to Singapore, but the B-17s didn't have any luck.

The only ground attacks this turn were unsuccessful artillery attacks at Tsiaotso and Manado. There are a number of Japanese units in on the attack at Manado. I'm not sure why there are so many small units and not one large unit, but I'm certain that they will eventually capture the base if they persist long enough.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 36
Caught at PM early - 2/26/2010 3:50:44 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 26, 1941 -

I'm now down to one pbem, the original one that I started, so I spent some time to look over things carefully. It wasn't pretty at all. To a good extent it looked as if I had planned my original set-up as if I were playing the AI again, which is a Very Bad Thing to do against an agressive human opponent such as Richard. So I spent a LOT of time this evening re-planning, reorganizing, and doing a huge number of drop-back-five-yards-and-punt type moves all over the map.

Now down to the details of the turn. First off, the night phase. Burias was occupied automatically, after which landings kept on occuring at Manado. Then the first taste of the approach of my opponent appeared as a Japanese sub attacked and sank an AK near Wyndham. The sub commander was very persistant and stuck around to be attacked by some US DDs, and then to try to attack more DDs in turn.

Daylight brought Bettys plus Japanese Army bombers hitting the troops at Clark Field. There were also plenty of Japanese bomber attacks over coastal China. But then various Japanese aircraft started to show up in novel places, such as over Suva, and my own Patrol planes noticed some Japanese ships just south of Port Moresby.

Huh???!!!

Sure enough, later on in the day phase the Japanese TF near PM turned out to contain some CVs which happily launched some deadly short range Val attacks on the AM and AKL that were unloading supplies at PM. It's usually hard to keep PM supplied, but not usually THIS hard this early!

In ground combat there was an artillery duel at Tsiaotso that ended up with no effect on either side. There are also an artillery duel at Ichang that caused few casualties. It appears that my opponent is pulling back at least one unit from Ichang, but I don't think that he is giving it up to me yet.

And yes, Manado finally fell this turn. The garrison surrendered and the Base Force retreated to the nearby dot base.

Later, while I was working on the turn I found more interesting observations:

- There is a Japanese sub hanging around the south-west corner of Tasmania

- Japanese troops are marching up the road from Naga to Altimon

- Japanese troops appear to have stopped in Cabanatuon and Lingayen

- There is a big stack of Japanese troops crossing the jungle towards Moulmein but they aren't on the coastal road.

Right now it appears that my opponent is going to mix lighting naval raids with systematic ground attacks in order to keep me off balance. My forces are not currently set up to respond effectively to this approach, so I am pulling my forces further back while I take the time to come up with an appropriate response. I do not want to react piecemeal to my opponent.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 37
Port Moresby Invaded! December 27, 1941 - 3/1/2010 9:48:03 PM   
ADB123

 

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December 27, 1941 –

The might of Imperial Japan struck in a decisive manner this turn as what appeared last turn to be a raid on Port Moresby became a full-fledged invasion this turn. And my opponent is not fooling around with this attack; in addition to a contingent of the KB standing off the coast, the invasion TF includes BB Yamashio and a CL, and there is also a surface combat TF near by that contains BB Kirishima and another CL. There is no force that I have in the entire Pacific that can stand up to the power that is present at Port Moresby. One of my US subs did attempt an attack, but it couldn’t hit any of its targets.

Surprisingly, my Australian troops were able to hit the incoming invasion transports repeatedly, although there aren’t any dedicated CD guns at PM. But the various anti-aircraft guns were used very effectively and a number of Japanese ships were damaged at close range. Never-the-less, the Japanese 4th Division was able to land and my troops are no match for it.

BTW, one thing that compounded the surprise of this Japanese operation was that there have been no Japanese landings on the north shore of PNG. I presume that my opponent will pick up those bases later at his convenience since I already airlifted all of the Australian troops out of the region and into PM.

This display of force has convinced me that there is no hope at all at this time for my attempt to establish a Forward Defence since there is no way that I can bring into play any significant quantity of forces at this time. So instead of throwing away piecemeal my current forces I am pulling them back even further and regrouping. Port Moresby will fall in a turn or two, and afterwards there is no way I can stop a further Japanese advance like this outside of the US West Coast, or maybe the southeast corner of Australia or the Hawaiian Islands. North-eastern Australia and the South Pacific Islands cannot be held or even contested strongly at this time.

The other thing this emphasizes is the horrific position in Australia due to a lack of fighter units. Once my opponent captures PM he can bomb north-eastern Australia to his heart’s content and I have no means to stop him. It will take a month or more to move any US fighters from the West Coast to Australia, and even those P-40s that are due to arrive in Australia in mid-February are too weak and untrained to accomplish much. So I have decided instead to start to move the British fighters from Singapore to Oz. Singapore is already a lost cause and if I can get the British Buffalos to eastern Australia I can prevent unescorted bomber attacks from Port Moresby. But if my opponent lands in north-eastern Australia next, even the British Buffalos won’t help against Zeros on escort.

So the overall situation looks grim and I am re-thinking all of my current plans. One major change that I am implementing immediately is that I will not attempt to set up a major defence of Ceylon. Instead I will move out my better units and put them in India. I am also re-building units all over India and Australia. There is no point in having lots of little broken-up base forces and infantry units spread all over the map because I am not going to be defending against small raids, but against Division-sized attacks. So I will give up territory in order to concentrate my forces into areas where I can form better and stronger defences.

Back to the turn, there were lots of Japanese bomber attacks throughout the Philippines and northern Malaya. My opponent is not giving any of my forces in those regions any time to rest and prepare. Japanese carrier bombers also attacked my forces at Port Moresby. There were lots of reports of damaged planes, but AA fire can only do so much. The only ground combat reports this turn were of inconclusive artillery duels at Tsiaotso and Ichang. And some dot-base named Vanimo was automatically occupied by the Japanese.

I’m only glad that I’m not playing Scenario 2!

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 38
Port Moresby Captured! December 28, 1941 - 3/1/2010 10:00:33 PM   
ADB123

 

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December 28, 1941 –

The disaster at Port Moresby continued to unfold this turn as more invasion TFs started to land their troops. The valiant Australian defenders once again used their AA guns to fire at and hit the invasion transport ships, but the big guns of the escorts answered back even more. Then an additional show of force appeared – a Japanese bombardment TF containing three more battleships and two more light cruisers came in to hammer the defenders.

Daylight brought more air attacks on the beleaguered Australians from the carrier bombers offshore. Plenty of planes were hit by flak, but losses were light and the damage inflicted by the aerial bombardments was high. Then another part of the picture fell into place as a different Japanese transport TF started to land troops at Milne Bay.

By the end of the day the Japanese invaders were ready and with one massive attack they dislodged the Australian defenders, capturing Port Moresby and pushing the Australian troops up the jungle road towards Buna. I gave the Australian troops orders to march towards the unoccupied coast instead of towards Buna in the hopes of eventually trying to pull some troops out via seaplane. But as I went over the turn there was already an Aircraft symbol at Port Moresby, so the chances of pulling off any sort of rescue became even dimmer.

Things didn’t go much better elsewhere. Swarms of Japanese bombers hit my troops in the Philippines and northern Malaya. A Japanese sub followed and harassed a TF that I had retiring from Suva towards Auckland. My escort ships kept the Japanese sub at bay, but the progress and direction of my TF was made obvious by the pursuit of the persistent submarine. The only Allied sub attack this turn resulted in a missed attack by a US sub on a Japanese heavy cruiser in the Philippines.

The only other land combat was at Ichang where a single Japanese regiment attempted an artillery attack on the besieging Chinese troops. This was not a good idea and the Japanese troops took a number of casualties while inflicting none on the Chinese troops. As I had suspected, my opponent is pulling his troops back from his salient at Ichang. It makes sense, and once my opponent pulls out that last regiment I’ll capture the base and stabilize my lines in that region.

So I ended up spending almost as much time on this turn as I usually spend on the second turn of a Game. I gave marching orders to scores of LCUs, repositioned and changed orders for dozens of Air Units, and moved countless ships to safer locations in response to the changing state of the front lines. Already the Philippines are isolated, Malaya is cut in half and Singapore is isolated, Rabaul and Port Moresby are in enemy hands, and I still have no idea of where the bulk of the Japanese forces are currently located or are heading.

My opponent did a masterful job of feinting at Ambon while bringing his invasion forces to Port Moresby without my noticing them. Of course, one of the reasons that I didn’t notice the incoming invasion forces was that I had all of my Australian seaplanes flying troop recovery missions rather than being on Patrol. But then, even if I had seen the oncoming Japanese earlier I would not have been able to do more than I already did. I have no fighters in Australia or the South Pacific to provide air cover, and the only battleship that I have in the entire Pacific just got out of the repair yards in Seattle.

So I am continuing my attempt to find a way to set up some defensive lines. Right now my immediate plans include making stands at New Zealand, south-eastern Australia, Pearl Harbor, and mainland India. I will not actively contest Japanese landings at north-eastern Australia, the South Pacific, or Ceylon for at least the next few months. However, if Timor and Darwin are not subject to lighting raids during the next few days I should start to get some of the British fighter squadrons from Singapore into Australia.

I am doing the best that I can to amalgamate my forces in the Philippines, Dutch East Indies and Malaya. I will have my troops in those regions huddle back into a few strongholds and fight as best as they can against the eventual Japanese attacks. In Burma I’ve changed my plans totally and will no longer attempt a stand at Rangoon. Instead I am moving every unit that I can to India.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 39
A Dutch sub goes wild - 3/3/2010 3:21:24 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 29, 1941 -

This was a much less traumatic turn for me, and there was at least one dim little light at the end of the tunnel. The turn started out with Tioman Island being automatically occupied, and then a Dutch sub got into action near French Indo China. The sub first put a torpedo into a Japanese tanker, and then got into a surface fight with a Japanese AK. The Dutch sub eventually sank the AK through a combination of shells and torpedoes, although the AK did get on hit on the sub. But the sub will be okay and they will have much to celebrate when they get back into port for repairs and rearming.

Japanese air units were busy all over the Philippines, Malaya and China. My opponent had Zeros sweeping over Tarakan and Kendari for some unknown reason. Perhaps he thinks that I am going to try to set bomber traps there with my Dutch fighters. And the retiring Japanese CV TF sent off a couple of spectacular strikes against my retreating Australian troops in the jungles of PNG. That seemed to be an strange use of valuable aircraft, but I won't complain if the odd Kate or Val go down thanks to flak.

The only ground battles were artillery duels at Tsiaotso and Ichang. The battle at Tsiaotso was a wash, but once again the lone Japanese regiment at Ichang got the short end of the stick in it's attack. I'm getting a little tired of this so I am sending some bombers in to hit that unit next turn. And finally, Milne Bay was captured this turn.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 40
Enemy Subs Everywhere - 3/4/2010 3:56:24 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 30, 1941 -

Although nothing particularly momentous happened this turn a lot of small things gave indications of what my opponent is considering for his next moves. After another undefended island in the Philippines was automatically occupied some Japanese subs showed up to harass my task forces.

First off a Japanese sub bothered a Dutch CL/DD TF off of north-eastern Australia. The sub missed and so did the DD, but my opponent is getting a pretty clear picture of the naval traffic that I have in that area. I get the feeling that I will need to pull out the rest of my ships from Darwin sooner rather than later, because I suspect that Darwin will see a CV raid sometime in the near future.

Next a Japanese sub found and bothered my first reinforcement TF as it neared the Hawaiian Islands, despite my use of multiple and changing Way Points. The sub shot six torpedoes but missed its US DD target, after which the US DDs attempted to find the sub but couldn't. But now my opponent has his first view of one of my transport TFs in that region.

Finally, the Japanese sub that I spotted a while back off of the western coast of Tasmania took some shots at an Australian AM that was escorting a couple of Resource-laden AKLs on their way to Melbourne. Surprisingly, the AM hit the sub with at four depth charges.

Daylight brought the next signs of interest from my opponent. First off some Zeros from Port Moresby swept the skies over Townsville. That's a very strange one from my perspective. How did my opponent expect me to have any fighters in the air over Oz at this time. I only this turn finally transferred two of the British Buffalo squadrons to Darwin, and I'm certainly not going to put them in the air over Townsville or anywhere else where Zeros can sweep – I intend to hold them back in case Japanese bomber raids go beyond their escorts.

There were also Japanese fighter sweeps for the first time over Singapore; the first by some Zeros and the second by some Oscars. I had a British Buffalo squadron on high altitude CAP, but even with the altitude advantage my fighters couldn't down any of the Japanese planes and instead lost a few of their own. This tells me that there is no point in leaving those Buffalos over Singapore any more, so I started them on their way towards Oz to join their colleagues.

Japanese fighter sweeps also showed up over Tarakan and Ambon, but I don't have any fighters there. The Dutch fighters are back on Java training away, but I'm not certain there is a lot of point to that. I might be better off just withdrawing them before they are swept out of the skies.

Which brings up a question – if you withdraw the Dutch planes just before the main DEI bases fall to the Japanese, do the Dutch planes return in Australia later on?

In addition to the Japanese fighter sweeps there were also a number of Japanese bomber runs over northern Malaya, coastal China and the Philippines. I assume that my opponent wants to wear down my ground forces in those regions before he sends his troops in to battle.

On the ground while my opponent is still taking his time in the Philippines and Malaya, in China he has stepped up the pace substantially. Three of the coastal bases that I abandoned – Wenchow, Pucheng, and Chuhsein – were all captured by Japanese troops this turn. That's fine with me, because now my opponent has to worry about garrisoning them instead of me. But more worrisome, there was a strong Deliberate attack on Chengchow this turn that achieved a 1:1 result and reduced the fortifications down to Level 2. I have continued to reinforce Chengchow, but my opponent is sending in very strong Infantry units so it is becoming a very tough battle there for me. I need to buy some more time as I have additional strong units on their way, so I have the AVG flying CAP over Chengchow and I am sending bombers in to hit the Japanese troops there next turn.

In the meanwhile the Japanese Regiment at Ichang didn't try an artillery attack this turn, so it didn't lose any troops. I am still waiting for more of my troops to arrive before I attempt to drive out the Japanese regiment and capture the base. I don't have a lot of confidence in my Chinese troops.

Elsewhere, my pull-back in Burma is gathering steam, and my opponent will soon have the malarial mess to himself. And in Luzon I am moving more and more units into Bataan. I'm going to try a Last Stand there instead of going down piecemeal at the other bases. My opponent will undoubtedly just bomb my troops to bits, but I'm hoping to claim a number of bombers with flak during the upcoming siege.

BTW – I decided to start a major shift of assets over to the Far East by sending a couple of Carriers and associated escorts to Balboa and then on to Cape Town. I'm hoping to pull off a surprise in the Indian Ocean by having my Carrier TFs appear without making the long and risky traverse of the South Pacific. This will take my ships out of the action for nearly two months, but there realistically isn't much that they can do during that time anyway. I also intend to send US Air reinforcements that way too. We'll see how this goes.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 41
Big Guns at Tarakan - 3/6/2010 4:16:35 AM   
ADB123

 

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December 31, 1941 -

My opponent and I upgraded to the latest official patch before this turn, so we will now enjoy all of the improvements as we battle across the Pacific.

New Year's Eve 1941 saw Basilan occupied automatically, and then it witnessed an overwhelming Japanese surface combat fleet sail into Tarakan where it faced the Might of the Allies in the region - three MTBs. During the first round of combat the MTBs got within 8000 yards of the Japanese but they couldn't get off any shots. However, the Japanese TF, which consisted of 3 BBs, 2 CAs, and 5 DDs had no such problem and all of the Japanese ships fired one or more of their weapons at the British sailors. But for some reason the MTBs escaped unscathed.

Now, because I had Tarakan set as the home port of the little MTB TF, the three ships came in again later on in the turn. Luck failed the British as the Japanese ships were still there. This time the Japanese didn't miss and they sank one of the MTBs at 18,000 yards before the other two MTBs were able to escape.

And despite all of that shooting by the Japanese ships they were still able to fire off a shore bombardment which caused quite a lot of damage. If my opponent sends in an invasion TF soon the ships in that TF won't have much in the way of CD guns left to fire at them.

But an invasion TF didn't show up at Tarakan. Instead one started to drop off troops at Buna on the north shore of PNG. It's just as well that I didn't set the defeated troops from PM to go to Buna, it will be in Japanese hands long before my troops can make it over the mountains.

My opponent continues to send his submarines to all corners of the map. A Japanese sub appeared off of the south east corner of Australia and attempted an attack on a mixed convoy, but the one torpedo that reached CL Adelaide was a dud. The sub was then chased off by the escorts in the TF. Another Japanese sub appeared just to the east of Kodiak, Alaska. And Sigint reported radio signals just west of Perth. I've increased my air patrols in all of those regions in order to keep an eye on the situation.

Daylight brought the usual mass Japanese air attacks all around Malaya, the Philippines and China. Zeros swept the skies over Cairns again. I can't come up with a reason why, but I'm happy to see those Zeros take Operational losses.

Chinese Hudsons and a B-17 squadron took off from Chungking and attacked the besieging Japanese troops at Chengchow. The Hudsons went in first and had to contend with some pesky Nates on CAP which threw off the aim of the Hudsons. Then the B-17s flew in and the Nates were gone. So the Forts dropped their loads accurately and hit a Japanese infantry division hard.

That bombing raid was well timed because the Japanese troops at Chengchow attempted a Deliberate attack at the end of the turn. The attack succeeded in reducing the Fortifications to Level 1, but it still ended up with a 1:40 result and the Japanese took huge losses against trivial losses for the Chinese. Maybe that will cause the Japanese to back off a bit and give me a breather to bring in more troops.

A Japanese attack at Moulmein was more successful and destroyed the Railway BAF Battalion that was trying to hold the base. Surprisingly, there are no big divisions in the Japanese stack. My opponent is going into Burma with a number of strong but small units. I wonder where the usual big Divisions are if they aren't invading Burma.

Finally, my first reinforcement TF arrived at Pearl Harbor. There are two Infantry Regiments and two Marine coastal defense units in the TF. Once they unload I'll start to feel a lot better about the situation at Pearl. And I have several more reinforcement TFs sailing towards Pearl too. If I am given two more weeks of relative quiet in the Hawaiian Islands I should have the defences there set up too my liking.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 42
Porpoise nails an AO - 3/7/2010 3:05:16 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 1, 1941 -

USS Porpoise celebrated the New Year in the best possible manner by putting a torpedo into the Japanese AO Notoro off of Sandakan. The Porpoise get another chance later on in the day but hit Noroto with a dud the next time. Never-the-less, that is one Japanese AO that won't be replenishing any Japanese TFs for a while. Otherwise the night phase was quiet with only the continuing off-loading of Japanese troops at Buna and the automatic occupation of Namatani to disturb the quiet of the evening.

The day phase brought the usual Japanese heavy duty aerial bombing of various bases in Malaya, Borneo, Luzon and coastal China. The routine was interrupted, however, by the appearance of some AVG planes over a Japanese Tank Regiment that has been heading towards Chengchow. The AVG flyboys chased off a few Nate pilots who happened to be attempting to fly CAP over the Tankers. Afterwards, when Chinese bombers flew in they found the skies to themselves and happily hit the Tankers hard.

Daylight brought a Japanese landing at Iba, but the Philippine troops that were originally there have long since been moved to Clark Field where they got to join in on its defence this turn. My opponent actually attempted a Deliberate attack on Clark, even though he only had smaller units in the attacking stack. The attack brought the Forts down to Level 2, but with a 1:2 result the Japanese took twice the casualties of the Philippine troops, and the best Philippine troops are still happily resting and preparing in Bataan.

A Japanese deliberate attack was also attempted at Tsiaotso this turn. The two big Japanese infantry divisions leading the attack had a bad time, getting a 1:2 result, not reducing the Forts, and taking three times as many casualties as the Chinese. The Japanese troops at Chengchow only did an artillery bombardment this turn which accomplished little. Afterwards the Forts at Chengchow were rebuilt up to Level 2 again. It appears that at least one of the Japanese units at Chengchow is moving away after this turn. Maybe my opponent is realizing that War in China is no longer a cakewalk for the Japanese and will back off for a while.

The Japanese did capture one base this turn as Buna fell to a small infantry company. I am really surprised that it took a couple of turns to unload only a single company.

In other news further away from the Front Lines my first ship upgrades - three DDs - took place this turn. I intend to upgrade my ships religiously in order to take advantage of the early radar and ASW installations and improvements. I have no other good use for my ships at this time, so I may as well prepare them for the future.

And yes, my first reinforcement TF unloaded successfully at Pearl Harbor. It's nice to see the AV level there go up over 900. Two more reinforcement TFs are closing in on Pearl and ought to arrive within the next few days. At that point I'll start to redistribute smaller LCUs to the other bases in the Hawaiian Islands in order to set up a more balanced regional defensive system. I want to make certain that if my opponent attempts any raids or invasions of the Hawaiian Islands that any such actions will cost him dearly.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 43
RE: Porpoise nails an AO - 3/7/2010 11:44:55 AM   
Carny

 

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Has your opponent shown some evidence of planning Hawaiian adventures? Also, have you been putting much thought into an overall strategy? I like your style of AAR, but sometimes the big picture gets lost in the day to day events, so I'm curious about your thinking, in larger terms.

It sounds like you are getting decent results in China, well done on that.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 44
RE: Porpoise nails an AO - 3/7/2010 7:00:23 PM   
ADB123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Carny

Has your opponent shown some evidence of planning Hawaiian adventures? Also, have you been putting much thought into an overall strategy? I like your style of AAR, but sometimes the big picture gets lost in the day to day events, so I'm curious about your thinking, in larger terms.

It sounds like you are getting decent results in China, well done on that.


You've raised a very good point - at this time my opponent has very effectively hidden his major plans. He has been sending out a lot of diversionary attacks and feints, but I have the feeling that he is preparing a major, overwhelming thrust in one direction. Unfortunately SIGINT has not given me any hints of his intentions.

What my observations are:

1 - He is using minimal forces in the Philippines, DEI and Malaya - just enough to capture important bases but there are a number of the "usual suspects" missing - that is, the big strong Japanese divisions.

2 - He has used locally overwhelming force for key invasions, such as at Port Moresby, but a lot of the Japanese fleet is unaccounted for at this time.

3 - The numbers of Japanese units at the Soviet border remain very high - he isn't pulling units out and I keep on getting the feeling that the numbers are creeping up ever so slowly in the key southern border area

4 - He has not moved towards anything in the Central Pacific since taking Makin and Wake

5 - He has not moved towards Guadalcanal yet or elsewhere in the South Pacific

So what I am trying to do is to:

1 - First and foremost, not get major forces caught, trapped and destroyed by raids-in-strength. Therefore, I have been pulling back my ships beyond the range at which the KB can raid in "stealth mode".

2 - Build up Pearl Harbor and bring to Pearl enough forces to eventually build up some strong and destructive forces on the other Hawaiian Islands

3 - Establish the best British forces I can in mainland India, deliberately at the expense of Ceylon. I don't want my best LCUs trapped and destroyed where they can't retreat

4 - Build up the forts in the Soviet Union in case of a surprise attack. I allowed replacements there for a while, but the Soviets were using too many Support and Engineering troops so I have shut that off again for a while.

5 - Build up the Northwest Pacific, but not Alaska at this time. Prince Rupert is a very, VERY interesting base - it has very good potential to be built up, it has a shipyard, and most interestingly, it has a Rail Line to Seattle!!! This means that I can ship LCUs by train to Prince Rupert instead of risking ships through the straights between Victoria, Vancouver and Washington, and my opponent can't see what I am doing. I can then send forces out to Alaska from Prince Rupert if I wish.

6 - I am attempting to rationalize my forces in Australia and New Zealand, but I am not sending additional units, other than those US base forces and artillery units that were at sea near Canton Island on December 7.

7 - I am starting to set up Cape Town as my major gateway into the Indian Ocean and use it to support Australia and India, as I see the need. That is why I have sent two CVs there, and I will send some US fighter squadrons there too. I will then send off the units where the best opportunity arises to prepare for traps for the Japanese.

So at this time I would say that my estimate of my opponent's most ambitious plans are the following:

- Most probably - a major assault on the Soviet Union

- Next most probable - a major assault on Eastern Australia

- Still probable but becoming less so - a major assault on the Hawaiian Islands

- Longer term - An invasion of Ceylon and India

In addition to the above I expect my opponent to continue to move on the Philippines, Malaya, Burma, the DEI and Burma. I will attempt to bog him down in the first three areas, but I am pulling out of Burma and inteade I will defend the Indian and Chinese borders in force. I want to defend the rail lines, not jungle bases.

I also expect my opponent to go after more strategic bases in the South Pacific, and probably the East-central Pacific, but I won't contest those attacks unless they are unsupported raids where I can do CV hit-and-run attacks at low risk.

I don't care if my opponent goes after the Aleutians - I will simply use any Japanese bases there for 4E bomber training in 1943.

Long Term - unless my opponent makes a Midway-style mistake somewhere and loses a number of his CVs early on, I intend to attempt a Massive Asian War in 1943, and move overwhelming forces through Burma and Southeast Asia to threaten the DEI. In this way I will neutralize the power of the Japanese CVs, all the while maintaining an even growing threat from the US CVs in the Eastern Pacific. If at all possible, I do not intend to try any Island Hopping until 1944 at the earliest.

(in reply to Carny)
Post #: 45
RE: Porpoise nails an AO - 3/7/2010 10:45:25 PM   
Carny

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ADB123


quote:

ORIGINAL: Carny

Has your opponent shown some evidence of planning Hawaiian adventures? Also, have you been putting much thought into an overall strategy? I like your style of AAR, but sometimes the big picture gets lost in the day to day events, so I'm curious about your thinking, in larger terms.

It sounds like you are getting decent results in China, well done on that.


You've raised a very good point - at this time my opponent has very effectively hidden his major plans. He has been sending out a lot of diversionary attacks and feints, but I have the feeling that he is preparing a major, overwhelming thrust in one direction. Unfortunately SIGINT has not given me any hints of his intentions.

....<much snipping>....

Long Term - unless my opponent makes a Midway-style mistake somewhere and loses a number of his CVs early on, I intend to attempt a Massive Asian War in 1943, and move overwhelming forces through Burma and Southeast Asia to threaten the DEI. In this way I will neutralize the power of the Japanese CVs, all the while maintaining an even growing threat from the US CVs in the Eastern Pacific. If at all possible, I do not intend to try any Island Hopping until 1944 at the earliest.


Nice. I really like that approach. I'm not sure what attacking Russia would give your opponent, though if he can do it fast enough to free up much of his Russia-oriented forces, it wouldn't be good for China, certainly.

If he does what you think most likely, it really will be a huge land war in Asia.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 46
RE: Porpoise nails an AO - 3/8/2010 12:16:50 AM   
ADB123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Carny


quote:

ORIGINAL: ADB123


quote:

ORIGINAL: Carny

Has your opponent shown some evidence of planning Hawaiian adventures? Also, have you been putting much thought into an overall strategy? I like your style of AAR, but sometimes the big picture gets lost in the day to day events, so I'm curious about your thinking, in larger terms.

It sounds like you are getting decent results in China, well done on that.


You've raised a very good point - at this time my opponent has very effectively hidden his major plans. He has been sending out a lot of diversionary attacks and feints, but I have the feeling that he is preparing a major, overwhelming thrust in one direction. Unfortunately SIGINT has not given me any hints of his intentions.

....<much snipping>....

Long Term - unless my opponent makes a Midway-style mistake somewhere and loses a number of his CVs early on, I intend to attempt a Massive Asian War in 1943, and move overwhelming forces through Burma and Southeast Asia to threaten the DEI. In this way I will neutralize the power of the Japanese CVs, all the while maintaining an even growing threat from the US CVs in the Eastern Pacific. If at all possible, I do not intend to try any Island Hopping until 1944 at the earliest.


Nice. I really like that approach. I'm not sure what attacking Russia would give your opponent, though if he can do it fast enough to free up much of his Russia-oriented forces, it wouldn't be good for China, certainly.

If he does what you think most likely, it really will be a huge land war in Asia.


I look at all of those armor units and heavy artillery units in Siberia and I almost welcome a Japanese attack.

And if he has his good independent infantry divisions tied up in Siberia then that really changes things elsewhere. Right now I am operating under the assumption that invasions will normally consist of 1 or more strong Japanese infantry divisions. If that isn't the case because many of those divisions are in Siberia, then my general defensive strategy changes and I no longer have any great fears about India or Australia.

Never-the-less, I am still planning on a Land War in Asia. If I get it in the Soviet Union first, so be it. I can't wait to start flying B-24s into Siberian bases...

(in reply to Carny)
Post #: 47
Too quiet. - 3/8/2010 3:15:24 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 2, 1942 -

This was a quiet turn, probably too quiet. My opponent isn't doing anything obviously unexpected and SIGINT isn't reporting anything of significance. Or is it? There were two reports of radio tranmissions at Eniwetok this turn. Hmmm – is the Eastern Pacific about to receive some Japanese attention again? Just in case, I started to send non-combatant ships away from Pearl and out of potential Harm's Way. I also increased my Air Patrols in the region significantly. Those B-17s are getting a lot of mileage now.

The only activity at night was the automatic occupation of Treasury Island, and the continued offloading of Japanese troops at Iba. Eventually, when Iba was captured later on in the turn I finally got to see where a second Japanese Infantry division has popped up. In this case, it was the 38th Division that showed up along with plenty of artillery units. Things will obviously get much tougher for my troops at Clark Field very soon.

Daylight brought plenty of Japanese bomber attacks. Tarakan was hit yet again, and sure enough, SIGINT reported that some Japanese troops are on their way to there. The other usual spots – Clark Field and northern Malaya also got their daily doses of bombs. There were also plenty of Japanese planes flying recon all over the Philippines and DEI.

The main aerial surprise this turn was that a Zero sweep appeared over Palembang. I still had a Dutch Brewster squadron on CAP there, which was a Not Very Bright Idea. However, AVG pilots also shot down a number of Nates that my opponent had flying over Tsiaotso, so things evened out to a good extent. Some Chinese bombers flew in to hit Tsiaotso after the Nates were brushed away, but the bombers didn't find their target.

Land Combat brought, in addition to the Japanese capture of an empty Iba, Japanese artillery attacks at Tsiaotso and Clark Field that had no effect. There was no action at either Chengchow or Ichang. However, my opponent appears determined to find some weak spot in China, so it looks as if he is sending more troops to Tsiaotso. I'm running out of good units to use in that region, so I may have to give up on Yenen and pull those troops back to backstop my more important areas in China. The only problem is that it takes a long time for troops to get from Yenen to Sian or somewhere else useful.

The other important bit of news was that enemy troops finally started to besiege Georgetown. It will be interesting to see what my opponent does in Malaya, because he has left some useful Allied units relatively free in the center of the penninsula. If the Japanese LCU stack that is building up on the railroad line north of Singapore leaves an opening once it moves I may send some Indian troops behind it to try to recapture Mersing and cut off the Japanese supply route.

Otherwise, I've got two more reinforcement TFs due at Pearl over the next couple of days, so my build-up there ought to work as planned.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 48
Zeros Over China - 3/10/2010 2:53:18 AM   
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January 3, 1942 -

It was only a matter of time before my opponent would get tired of watching the AVG whack his Nates in China, so this turn he did something about it. That “something” was, of course, sending in some Zero squadrons. Fog of War must have made him think that the Zeros did really well because he was almost apologetic about it, but the results were pretty much a wash, although I'm not telling him that. But what I did do was put the H81s at their ceiling for the next turn. Sure, it bothers me that I have to fly my fighters at unrealistically high altitudes, but it doesn't bother me enough to not do it and then have my planes wiped out.

There was a fair amount of action during the night phase for a change. New Hanover Island was occupied automatically, and then I-5 attacked one of my 4-stack CLs off of Christmas Island (the one in the Eastern Pacific). The sub's torpedoes missed, and so did the depth charges of the DDs that were escorting the CL. We both gained a bit of knowledge from this exchange, and while it doesn't surprise me to find a Japanese sub off of that base, seeing that CL doesn't really tell my opponent much, other than that I'm not keeping all of my combat ships hidden in distant ports.

A bloodier exchange occured at Ambon Island where another BB/CA bombardment TF came in and slugged it out with the CD guns. I LOVE the new CD gun activity in the latest patch! The 150 mm guns fired back at the ships, causing some topside damage and generally holding their own. In the end there were 5 hits on Hyuga, 2 on Fuso, and 1 on the CA Sugera. And best of all, at the end of the exchange when the ships departed there was no damage to the CD unit!

Then daylight came and so did Zero sweeps everywhere – Tsiaotso, Balikpapan, Palembang, Kendari – along with the usual escorted bombing raids in Luzon, Borneo, Malaya and China. Interestingly enough, my opponent didn't follow up his Zero sweeps over Tsiaotso with any bomber raids, although I sent in my bombers. The Chinese Hudsons were roughed up a bit, but the B-17s that followed just brushed off the Zero LR CAP. And, best of all, those Zeros were flying a long ways to sweep and LR CAP Tsiaotso, which means that Operational damage is definitely rearing its ugly head in those fighter Daitais.

Land action started out with a Japanese amphibious landing at Kwangchowan. I guess that my opponent saw the AI do it and figured that he might as well also, instead of marching over to the empty base. Then came a no-effect artillery dual at Tsiaotso. The Forts at Tsiaotso also increased to Level 3 this turn, so the next action there ought to be even harder for the Japanese. Chengchow was quiet again, but another big Chinese unit marched in, so the next time that the Japanese try something there they ought to receive an unpleasant surprise.

In Luzon the Japanese units besieging Clark Field fired off an artillery attack but it had little effect, even though I pulled back a number of my better units into Bataan ahead of it. Two Japanese Infantry Regiments and a Recon Regiment captured the empty Antimonan. And a dozen Japanese LCUs moved in to besiege the lone Philippine Infantry Division that was left behind in the rush to evacuate Manila. It shouldn't be hard for the Japanese troops to kick that Philippine Division out.

In Malaya two Japanese Infantry Regiments, assisted by one Engineering Regiment, captured Georgetown easily. Other than the Static fort there were only two already-demolished infantry fragments there. All three surrendered.

At Moulmein my Burmese Rifle unit that stumbled into town after Moulmein was captuered was easily wiped out by the collection of Japanese Infantry, Armoured and Artillery Regiments that are there. Never-the-less, I am getting the feeling that I was Bluffed Out of Burma by my opponent. There is no sign of any big Japanese Infantry Divisions on the way, and even my reconstitued British Burma division could have held Rangoon against the stack of Japanese troops that are currently at Moulmein. Oh well, such is hindsight. And anyway, maybe those missing Japanese Divisions are being prepared for an attack on India, in which case I will be very happy to have the Burma Division free to join in the defense.

Once again there was nothing definite in the SIGINT reports, although there were a lot of reported radio transmissions in Manchuria. I have the feeling that I am being snookered in a big way, but I can't seem to find the key to understand what is coming and where.

In other news, my second reinforcement TF arrived at Pearl Harbor this turn. It ought to unload quickly, and the third reinforcement TF should arrive next turn. So things are coming along well at Pearl. I also sent out another big TF full of non-combatant ships on a circuatous trip back to the US West Coast. And hopefully within a week I will have my first functional BB in the Pacific arrive at Pearl – Warspite is sailing smoothly towards the cauldron of shadows that is the Pacific at this time.

Finally, I received 3 P-40 squadrons in Eastern US this turn, along with one of those silly 5-plane Headquarters units. I topped up the three squadrons with planes and then sent them on their 38 day journey to Cape Town. I then withdrew the Headquarters unit so that I could have the planes in the Pool. Once the P-40s reach Cape Town I'll most likely send them on to Australia and New Zealand. They aren't much, but they are so much more than what I have there now.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 49
The KB Hits Brisbane - January 4, 1942 - 3/12/2010 4:42:36 AM   
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January 4, 1942 -

I've been wondering where the KB was, and also what my opponent was planning to do next, and this turn I found out the answer to the first half of my question.

The night phase started out with Japanese invasion troops continuing to land unopposed at Kwangchowan. Next, SS Permit fired some torpedoes at a fuel transport TF off of northeastern Borneo. Then came the major action of the night – an invasion of Tarakan.

The invasion TF had a couple of CLs, an AV, and assorted escorts that all fired at the Dutch troops at Tarakan. The Dutch CD unit attempted to fire back but it was fairly unsuccessful and only scored a hit each on an xAKL and an SC. I guess that the previous Japanese Naval and Aerial bombardments distrupted the Dutch defenders too much.

The daylight brought Japanese air attacks all around the Philippines, Borneo and Malaya. Zeros swept Balikpapan but found no fighters in the air, and Japanese bombers hit Tarakan, Samas, Subic Bay, Manila, and various Allied units in northern Malaya.

However, in a very interesting turn of events, there were no Japanese air attacks in China. So my opponent didn't test the AVG two days in a row. That went over well with the two AVG squadrons in China who got to rest up nicely while still flying guard over the Loyang/Chengchow region.

And in another interesting occurence, a Pete was spotted over Ambon, which suggests that the Japanese TF sitting a few hexes to the north may well be another BB bombardment TF. I guess that I'll find out next turn. However, Sigint says that there is a Japanese LCU enroute to Kendari, so those ships could be going that way too.

But the big news came off of the East Coast of Australia as bombers and fighters from the KB flew in to hit the airfields at Brisbane. I have no fighters in the region so the only losses I suffered were a couple of bombers that were destroyed on the ground. The KB lost around three times that number of planes to flak. It will be interesting to see how far south the KB sails – I haven't left any valuable naval targets in the region, and I'll be happy to trade more flak for Japanese Naval bombers if I get the chance.

Does this mean that there might be an early Japanese invasion of Eastern Oz? I don't know, but I do have a couple of squadrons of British torpedo bombers resting up at Sydney, just in case my opponent sends in some transports within range. And I'm hoping to get some British Buffalos to the East Coast of Oz within a few more days too.

In land combat news, three Japanese armoured regiments easily kicked three Allied LCUs out of the base south of Georgetown, but none of the armoured units were set to follow along the retreat, so my troops will get to slow down the Japanese advance a bit longer yet. In Mindanao, a couple of Japanese units attacked and captured Butuan, but my Philippine infantry unit there retreated the “wrong” way and is now isolated from the rest of the Philippine troops in central Mindanao. There are also an artillery attack at Clark Field that accomplished nothing.

Japanese forces attempted a Deliberate attack on Manila, but they only achieved a 1:1 result and lowered the Forts to Level 1. There is only one small infantry unit in the Japanese stack at Manila, along with 4 artillery units and 6 mixed engineering units. Again, my opponent is attempting to capture bases “on the cheap”, which likely means that the big infantry divisions that would usually be used for these attacks are on their way to somewhere else.

The only action in China was the unopposed capture of Kwangchowan, and a Japanese artillery attack at Tsiaotso that backfired fairly badly on the Japanese attackers. But there are more Japanese troops marching towards the Chengchow area, as are more Chinese troops, so the stalemate won't last too long in that region.

As far as Burma goes, surprisingly, it doesn't appear that my opponent is planning to move forward from Moulmein in the near future. I wonder if he is unaware that I've pulled back to the Indian border? He hasn't been using much Aerial Recon most anywhere, so he may not know that there are no troops between him and Myitkyina.

And my next two reinforcement TFs unloaded successfully at Pearl, and at the same time the Port was built up to Level 8 and maxed out. I'll now have the engineers build the fortifications higher. With the KB off of the East Coast of Oz, I'm also taking the time to spread some Marine coastal artillery units to the other bases in the Hawaiian Islands, along with some Base Forces to the bases without any. I want to build up the Forts and have the air support to allow me to spread out my air units in case of a Japanese second attack on the Hawaiian Islands. And if my opponent doesn't attack, this will allow me to build up multiple bases for staging eventual attacks into the Pacific.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 50
Is Kendari next? - 3/13/2010 8:22:31 PM   
ADB123

 

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January 5, 1942 -

Empty bases seem to be getting occupied on a nightly basis at this time in the game. This turn it was Langhawe, an island off of the west coast of Malaya. But my opponent isn't depending solely upon the mechanics of the game to turn the map “red”, as the invasion of Tarakan continued. Once again the invasion escorts fired at the Dutch defenders, and once again the Dutch defenders had little luck at firing back. Only one Japanese PB was hit by a 75 mm CD shell this turn.

One of the oddities of the Game mechanics showed up this turn as a 2-ship MTB TF from Balikpapan made a very tentative trip over to Tarakan. When the MTBs were halfway to Tarakan a message appeared that the TF was “retreating” because of enemy TFs at Tarakan. But it didn't retreat back to Balikpapan or anywhere else. Instead it continued on towards Tarakan because I had set Tarakan as its home port as well as its destination. The MTBs did this four times until they finally reached Tarakan and ran into the very large (26 ship) Japanese invasion TF. The Japanese TF pulled anchor at the approach of the MTBs, but the MTBs sailed off before attempting an attack. What I did learn from the endeavour is that two of the Japanese ships in the invasion TF are burning heavily, so the Tarakan CD guns did accomplish a little during their two days of attempting to fire back at the Japanese.

Finally, a Dutch sub put three torpedoes into a Japanese xAK just off of Kendari. The troops on that ship are unlikely to be participating in the upcoming invasion of Kendari.

The day phase brought a Zero sweep of Pontianak, and Japanese bomber raids on Tarakan, Sambas, Manila, Clark Field, and the retreating troops on the western road in central Malaya. Then a squadron of B-17s from Soerabaja hit the invading troops at Tarakan hard. There was no CAP over the Japanese troops, so the B-17s had a textbook run and all got home in great shape. I don't fly my B-17s too often, but when I do I select my targets with the intention of keeping my opponent a little “honest”.

China continues to be nicely quiet. The only action this turn was a Japanese artillery bombardment at Tsiaotso that accomplished nothing. My redistribution of forces in China is proceeding according to plan and I expect to have a manageable position soon.

There was a Japanese artillery bombardment at Clark Field, but the results were trivial. Things shouldn't change there until that Japanese Infantry Division shows up. The Japanese besiegers of Manila attempted a deliberate attack, but once again given that there is only one small Japanese infantry unit in the attacking stack, the results were poor – 1:2 and no loss of Fort level. The Japanese also lost more troops than the Philippine division.

It turned out that the invading force at Tarakan consisted only of 4 small infantry units, but they were enough to achieve an easy 4:1 result and kick the Dutch defenders out of the base. The Tarakan CD unit surrendered as usual, but since it didn't do much that wasn't much of a loss.

But this still raises the Big Question – where are the large, good Japanese Infantry Divisions? They sure aren't turning up in the Philippines, DEI, Malaya or China. I've only seen two of them so far – one at Rabaul and one at Iba. Where are the rest? Unfortunately, SIGINT hasn't been telling me anything useful.

In other news, enemy troops showed up at Sambas this turn, so the Dutch and British troops that are trapped there ought to be captured or destroyed soon. And enemy units also arrived at Lucena this turn. The base is empty, so it will be captured next turn.

Finally, there was no sign of the KB this turn. The raid on Brisbane turned out to be a one day affair. I keep on wondering if this was yet another diversion by my opponent, or if he sent the KB down there just in case I was silly enough to have some TFs sailing in the region.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 51
A Bad Night for MTBs - 3/15/2010 3:23:05 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 6, 1942 -

The Kendari invasion started with a 36-ship Japanese invasion force arriving at night. There were no major combat ships in the TF, but since there are no major CD guns at Kendari, that was fine for my opponent. A small, 2-ship MTB TF attempted unsuccessfully to interfere with the Kendari invasion force. The first time in the two MTBs ran off upon contact. But they went back in and the second time the small escorts in the Japanese TF blew the two MTBs out of the water.

Nearby, the two MTBs that had unsuccessfully attempted to interfere with the invasion of Tarakan were intercepted at sea by a small Japanese TF consisting mainly of small escort ships, but also containing an xAKL. However, despite the presence of a transport ship the Japanese TF shot up and sank one MTB and attempted to chase and intercept the second retiring MTB. That's one cheeky Japanese TF commander.

Daylight brought a small Zero sweep over Pontianak, followed by Japanese bomber raids over Kendari, Tandjoengselor, Sambas, the Allied stragglers in far southern Burma, the Allied stragglers in central Malaya, and some of the troops in Clark Field. B-17s from Chungking flew over to Ichang and were unopposed, but they missed their target. Surprisingly, my opponent still isn't flying many Recon flights anywhere. That may well hinder him in the future when he advances further.

The big news in the afternoon was that the KB showed up to the southwest of Noumea and sent off a long range attack of Kates and Zeros that hit the Port. I'm presuming that this was a secondary attack after the KB didn't find any Allied TFs to attack. I wonder where the KB will go now – further to the East, or south to New Zealand. In any event, there isn't much there for the KB to attack so I don't mind at all because this way I know where at least some of the KB is located.

A bit further north some Japanese troops began to land at unoccupied Lae. My opponent has left most of PNG and the Solomons alone, so I presume that he will start to pick up the more important bases in both areas in the near future.

Land combat was pretty quiet this turn. There were Japanese artillery attacks at Tsiaotso, Clark Field and Manila that all had little or no effect. One thing of note occured at Clark Field – the 38th Division arrived to join the siege. Lucena was captured without opposition, and Sambas was capture by three small but strong Japanese LCUs. The Punjab Bn and Sambas BF there surrendered but the Dutch West Borneo Bn attempted to escape into the jungle towards Pontianak.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 52
One Month of War - 3/17/2010 4:12:31 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 7, 1942 -

The night phase was fairly peaceful with only the Japanese invasions of Kendari and Lae disturbing the quiet. Then as daylight came USS Salmon put a torpedo into an unescorted Japanese xAK off of Saigon to give a nice note to the day. After that it was all Japan.

The KB was still off of Noumea, but now a few hexes to the East. Several good-sized air attacks flew off of the KB to hammer the base and facilities at Noumea. A number of Vals and a few Kates took flak damage for their trouble. With this much effort I've got to suppose that a Japanese invasion of Noumea is imminent, but Sigint hasn't indicated that so far. But then, Sigint hasn't been indicating anything out of the ordinary, so I shouldn't really read too much into the lack of news for Noumea.

There were the usual Japanese air attacks on Allied troops in the usual places in the Philippines and DEI. What is interesting is that Japanese air units stayed grounded in China again. I'm certainly happy to be able to rest the AVG's 2nd and 3rd Squadrons, but I've got to wonder just when the air action will pick up again.

B-17s from Soerabaja flew in to attack the invading troops at Kendari, but the Forts were intercepted and pestered by a few persistent Zeros. The Forts didn't suffer any damage but they were distracted enough that they didn't hit their targets. But at least the bomber pilots are getting some training in action.

In the Ground War, three Japanese armoured regiments wiped out a couple of Allied stragglers on the western road in central Malaya. Singapore is still being left alone to (painfully slowly) build up its fortifications as there are still plenty of Allied units sitting and waiting at the bases along the rail lines.

In China the only ground action was another Japanese artillery attack at Tsiaotso. The Japanese took the only casualties again, so I don't mind this. BTW, I'm going to send B-17s against the defending regiment at Ichang again next turn.

In Luzon the big Japanese LCU stack at Clark Field attempted a Deliberate Attack. They achieved a 1:1 result and lowered the fortifications to Level 1. Both sides took a fair number of casualties, so I wouldn't be surprised if my opponent went back to an artillery attack next turn. Japanese troops at Manila attempted an artillery attack but they didn't accomplish anything.

The invasions of Kendari and Lae were completed with captures of both bases by the Japanese. The two Dutch units at Kendari retreated while the attack at Lae was unopposed.

In other news, the fourth big reinforcement TF is nearing the Hawaiian Islands and ought to reach port in another three days or so. This is the last of the reinforcement TFs for this time. I will probably send in a supply TF, but Pearl and the rest of the Hawaiian bases will have to stick it out with what they have for the foreseeable future.

Stepping back a bit and considering what I am seeing in some of the other AARs I now have less confidence in my ability to seriously damage the KB if my opponent sends it to Hawaii at this time. I have five of my better fighter squadrons at Pearl and they all have my most modern fighters and reasonable pilots who are being trained every day, but I don't think that they could do a lot against an escorted 300 bomber strike if one were launched at Pearl. I have another four reasonably good, unrestricted, and full-sized fighter squadrons on the West Coast, but I am reluctant to send them forward at this time because I will be losing most of my restricted fighter squadrons in a month's time and I don't want the West Coast to be helpless in the face of a particularly bold Japanese raid.

I'm starting to feel a little more relieved in Australia now that some of the British Buffalo squadrons are reaching there and settling in to some serious training. The Buffalos won't stop a KB raid but they can discourage nuisance Betty and Nell raids from PNG.

Burma remains an empty no man's land, which is more than fine with me because I can use all the time I can get to set up my defences in India. Likewise, I am more than happy with the current near-armistice in China because I am getting near to having all of my Chinese LCUs where I want them.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 53
Dud Torpedoes - 3/18/2010 3:07:27 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 8, 1942 -

There was a surprisingly quiet night phase in this turn. The only thing that happened was that Calapan was occupied automatically.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese bomber raids all over the place – Dadjangas, Palembang, Kuala Lampur, Malacca, stragglers in southern Burma, and Clark Field. Once again there were no Japanese air attacks in China. However, my opponent is not sitting back in China. He has pulled another LCU out of the siege army at Chengchow, but he sent another LCU into the stack at Tsiaotso, and more Japanese troops are on the way. I guess that he is hoping to outflank me on the East. There were also finally some Japanese Recon flights over Burma. I wonder how long it will be before he realizes that Burma is his for the taking.

My B-17s in China flew out of Chungking this turn and hit the defending Japanese Regiment at Ichang nicely. I haven't bothered to try an attack there yet because I still have three large Chinese LCUs on their way. Only when I feel that I've got a really good chance will I attempt to capture Ichang.

The only naval action was USS Tarpon sending off some dud torpedoes against a DMS near Indochina. Tarpon received a depth charge hit in return, but the damage was negligible.

I have been trying to move Houston away from Perth, but the Floatation repairs sprang a leak near Broome, so Houston will be back to a portside repair scheme again soon.

In ground combat, the Japanese attackers at Clark Field didn't rest this turn and instead attempted a Deliberate attack. They achieved a 1:1 result, caused three times as many Allied casualties as Japanese casualties, and knocked the Fortifications down to Level 0, but afterwards the Allied troops rebuilt the Forts back up to Level 1. Never-the-less, in the absence of a very lucky dice roll for me, the next time the Japanese attack they ought to capture Clark.

In a surprising result, a Japanese Infantry unit attacked an already defeated Burmese unit on the road between Tavoy and Moulmein, but the Burmese unit retreated instead of surrendering. That Burmese unit has also been the target of numerous Japanese air attacks, so I am at a bit of a loss to understand why it is still trying to escape.

The KB rested its planes this turn as it turned to the northeast and sailed towards Espiritu Santo. I'm guessing that it is going off to refuel at Truk.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 54
RE: Two Observations - 3/18/2010 4:37:10 AM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arnhem

Regarding PoW and Repulse, there was a time I thought like you too. Thing is they didn't put to sea till 10 Dec so letting them sink (which I did in one PBEM game, it'll be my last) isn't really historical,



Actually, they put to sea on the evening of the 8th (Singapore time)..., which in game turns is the 1st (night) phase of turn two. The were sunk on the 10th after turning back from Singora. But you are basically correct that sending them out to be sunk on turn one is a-historic.

(in reply to Arnhem)
Post #: 55
No Moving Targets, Please! - 3/20/2010 4:55:34 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 9, 1942 -

The night phase saw Boac occupied automatically and Japanese invasions started at Beaufort and Gasmata. Beaufort on the northern coast of Borneo contains the remnants of various British base forces that were kicked out of other bases in the region, while Gasmata is empty.

Daylight brought the usual Japanese aerial bombing campaigns against the usual targets – Bataan, Sidate (which contained the retreated Menado Base Force), Palembang, Allied stragglers in southern Burma, and isolated Allied forces in bases in southern Malaya. Surprisingly, my opponent hasn't started to bomb Singapore yet, which means that my troops there are able to continue to ever-so-slowly build up the fortifications.

There was also a daylight Japanese landing on Nauru Island. Only when I started my latest Patch 3 game against the AI did I realize that the little Australian units on Nauru and Ocean Islands can be easily removed if an Allied player moves quickly enough. All one has to do is to send those two APs that are with the US heavy cruiser north of Nendi up to the two islands as “Amphibious” transports. Then you simply “buy” the two Australian units and change them to some unrestricted HQ such as Pacific Fleet and you can take them away and put them safely where you like. But this realization came too late for the troops at Nauru Island in this particular game.

My opponent also learned a lesson this turn – don't leave ships in port where enemy LBA can hit unless you have CAP in place. My opponent left several ships in the port at Tarakan, so I sent a B-17 squadron that was sitting at Soerabaja to take a shot at the port at Tarakan, just in case I might get lucky. Well, I did get lucky:

Morning Air attack on Tarakan , at 67,91

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid spotted at 45 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 12 minutes

Allied aircraft
B-17D Fortress x 8

No Allied losses

Japanese Ships
CL Kashii, Bomb hits 3, on fire
CL Sendai, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
xAK Syoto Maru, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
AV Kamikawa Maru, Bomb hits 1, on fire

Aircraft Attacking:
8 x B-17D Fortress bombing from 6000 feet *
Port Attack: 4 x 500 lb GP Bomb


I like to save my B-17s for this type of raid. I feel that it is a waste to try to hit moving targets with B-17s, but stationary ships in port are too good to pass up when the opportunity presents itself.

The Map shows a ship-in-port symbol still at Tarakan, but I am not sending the B-17s again – my opponent undoubtedly has either put some CAP over the base, has moved the ships that can move, or done both. There is also a ship-in-port symbol at Kendari, but I'm not attempting to bomb that port next turn either. Instead I am sending some B-17s from Darwin to fly Recon over the base. This ought to make my opponent even more nervous. Sometimes psychological warfare is better than actual warfare.

Japanese troops were very busy with ground combat this turn. Two big Japanese Infantry Divisions, accompanied by a couple of smaller infantry units attempted a Deliberate attack at Tsiaotso. The Japanese achieved a 1:2 result and lowered the Forts to Level 2. However, there were around twice the Japanese casualties as Chinese, so the result really wasn't so bad. I am sending in some bombers next turn to try to rattle the Japanese besiegers a bit.

There was also a deliberate attack on Clark Field this turn. The attackers achieved a 1:1 result and lowered the Forts to Level 0, but by the end of the turn the defenders had rebuilt the forts to Level 1.

Dadjangas was captured this turn and the hapless Philippine infantry units retreated into the surrounding country side. There is no where for them to go so I'm surprised that the just don't surrender. Sidate was also captured, and for some similarly strange reason the Dutch Base Force there retreated again instead of surrendering. Finally, Nauru Island was captured – the tiny Australian units on those islands couldn't hold out against a handful of Tokyo Hostess Club girls, let alone a real Japanese attack.

In other news, the first fighter unit (other than the British Buffalos that I flew in from Singapore via the DEI) arrived in Australia this turn. It is hardly worth the effort to feed the pilots and fuel the planes, because the unit consists of 17 P-40Es and 17 pilots with an average experience level of 30. That effectively means that half of the pilots can't even recognize an airplane when they stagger into one in broad daylight, while the other half are wondering when the stewardesses will start to serve drinks. I see no good reason to waste this unit in anything resembling a Front Line, so I set them to training and sent them by rail to Wagga Wagga in the hopes that they will behave themselves before I have to send them back in mid-March.

In more promising news, my first two West Coast-bound TFs reached San Diego safely this turn. These TFs include two survivors of the Pearl Harbor raid. I dropped BB Tennessee into the Shipyard in San Diego where it will be repaired over the next 100 or so days. I also set it to receive the January 1942 upgrades. I sent BB California up to Los Angeles, accompanied by the Bagley Class DDs. Once California is safely dropped off in the shipyard in LA I will send the Bagleys up to San Fran for upgrade. I have lots of big ports on the West Coast so there is no reason to crowd any of them.

(in reply to mike scholl 1)
Post #: 56
Luck of the Devil - 3/21/2010 3:25:08 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 10, 1942 -

My opponent was a bit ticked off at his sub captains this turn because they missed opportunities at an Allied TF off of the Hawaiian Islands. I felt lucky about that, and when I watched the replay I found out that I was doubly lucky because the TF that was attacked was returning empty to the West Coast rather than heading towards Pearl with reinforcements. The attacks were interesting to watch: first I-21 launched six torpedoes at a DMS and missed, then in the next hex I-169 launched four torpedoes at the same DMS and missed again. Of course, my escorts didn't hit the Japanese subs, but I was still happy with the result.

Then I happened to think about the situation and I was less happy with myself, because that particular TF had sailed past two Japanese subs specifically because I had recently become somewhat cocky at my luck at ducking out on Japanese subs and so I had removed all of my Waypoints from my TFs that were sailing between the West Coast and the Hawaiian Islands.

That was obviously a Not Very Smart Move on my part. I hadn't been seeing Japanese subs because I had chosen rather circuitous and changing Waypoint-based routes. It wasn't because my opponent had moved his subs somewhere else. Instead he had them on the AI-generated Standard sea lanes that I hadn't been using.

So I re-set Waypoints for all of my TFs – there is no use testing my luck again if I don't need to do so. And this experience will probably encourage my opponent to redouble his efforts along the Standard sea lanes, so it will be even better to stay away from them.

BTW – my opponent was probably even more ticked off afterwards because Dutch sub O19 hit and sank a Japanese DD off of Babeldoab.

Otherwise the night phase was fairly routine. Salamaua was occupied automatically and Japanese invasion forces continued to land at Beaufort and Gasmata.

The day phase brought the usual Japanese bomber attacks on Luzon, Mindanao, Borneo, Central Malaya and Southern Burma. My Chinese Hudsons hit the defending Japanese troops at Ichang, while my B-17s from Chungking ran into a persistent set of Nates over Tsiaotso and so missed their target. I'm going to try something different from my usual approach next turn – I ordered the two AVG squadrons in China to sweep the Japanese controlled base from which those Nates are flying. It will be interesting to see what happens. Whether it works or not, I will pull both units back the following turn and let them rest up away from the Front for a while.

There was a fair amount of Ground Combat this turn. A Japanese Tank Regiment kicked an already beaten up Philippine Infantry Regiment out of Surigao. This is another case where I can't see why the defeated unit didn't surrender. Beaufort was also captured and the two British base forces also retreated into the jungle. And undefended Gasmata was captured.

My opponent attempted a reinforced Deliberate Attack on Tsiaotso this turn, but the results were worse for the Japanese as they only achieved a 1:4 result, the Forts stayed at Level 2, and the Japanese took twice as many casualties. The Japanese besiegers at Clark Field attempted an artillery bombardment but their results were almost unnoticeable.

Finally, Pego was captured by a small Japanese column. I expect my opponent to start to move through Burma pretty quickly now. However, the troops that he has there won't do much at my strong points further up the trail unless some stronger Japanese units are brought forward.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 57
No So Lucky - 3/22/2010 2:11:17 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 11, 1942 -

I obviously should have been even more aggressive with my placement of Waypoints last turn, as Japanese sub I-169 followed the TF that it missed last turn and put a torpedo into DD Ellet this turn, sinking the DD. It's a bit ironic that Ellet was in that TF because I wanted it to undergo upgrades on the West Coast. The upgrades might have helped it a bit against I-169. Oh well, I shifted my waypoints once again to try to move my TF further away from the Japanese subs that are in that region to the northeast of the Hawaiian Islands.

In contrast, Stingray shot off some duds, and otherwise the night phase was quiet with the exception of Torokina being occupied automatically.

Daylight brought lots of Japanese bombers out against all the same Allied targets, plus a few. Some Sallys hit my besieging troops at Ichang for a change. I guess that was a tit-for-tat for my last raid on the defenders at Ichang.

My opponent is generally staying one step ahead of me in the Air War. My two AVG squadrons didn't sweep anything this turn, so I pulled them back to Chungking for R&R. If my opponent continues to use hit-and-run Air tactics on my bases and units in China then there is no way that I can effectively stop them with only those two small fighter units.

The Ground War brought a fair amount of action and some results for the Japanese. The now rather large Japanese force at Tsiaotso shot off an artillery attack this turn, but they didn't have any effect. The situation was similar at Clark Field where some 22 Japanese LCUs bombarded the remaining Allied troops, but only caused a couple of dozen casualties. The Japanese stack at Clark includes 8 Artillery units, 4 Armoured Units, 4 Engineering Units, a Division, various other Infantry units, and for some reason that I can't fathom at all, an AA unit.

But the Japanese achieved success at Manila where the same stack of Japanese LCUs that had failed before easily captured the base and drove the now somewhat shattered Philippine Infantry Division into Mauban. Oh well, that Philippine Division held out a lot longer than it was supposed to do.

In other news, BB California went into refit and repair at LA this turn. The BB will be in the Yards for 59 days. So come Springtime I'll have several upgraded US slow BBs available, if I can find a good use for them.

More pitifully undertrained US fighter squadrons appeared at Brisbane today. I set them to Training and sent them out by rail to backwater bases where I have Base Forces with nothing better to do but support nearly useless air units.

And more importantly, CVs Yorktown and Saratoga reached Cristobal today. Since they had already refueled themselves automatically I sent them directly out to Cape Town. I already have an AO on its way there too, so before long I will have a nice surprise arriving in the Indian Ocean.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 58
A Night of Misses - 3/23/2010 3:29:55 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 12, 1942 -

The night started off with Finschofen being occupied automatically by the Japanese, and then turned into a series of misses for submarines from both sides. First off Sailfish took a shot at a Japanse DD off of Rabaul. The torpedoes missed, after which Sailfish was chased by the escorts from what turned out to be a fairly strong Surface Combat TF that included BB Hiei and CA Chikuma. Next S-39 attacked and missed a small transport TF near Sangi, and then Permit went after a PB near Tawi Tawi and missed too.

It was Japan's turn next as I-15 missed a DMS in a small transport TF near Christmas Island that was returning to Pearl Harbor. Then I-23 shot six torpedoes at DD Benham but missed. This is now the third night in a row that this particular TF has received a sub attack as it sails back towards the West Coast. So I once again changed the Waypoints for the TF in the hopes of finally shaking the persistent Japanese subs in the region.

Then came daylight and the Air War which was all Japan this turn. Japanese bombers pounded the Allied units at Clark Field multiple times, and other Japanese air units hit Allied troops throughout the rest of the Philippines, DEI, Malaya and China. My opponent continues to use his Air Power to soften up my ground units prior to his Ground Attacks, and this worked out fairly well for the Japanese this turn.

First off, the big stack of Japanese troops carried out a Deliberate attack on Tsiaotso this turn. This attack was not preceded by aerial bombing, so the result wasn't as good as it might have been for the Japanese. They achieved a 1:1 result and lowered the Forts to Level 1, however the Japanese suffered twice as many casualties as the Chinese.

There there was another Deliberate attack at Clark Field. Here the effects of days of heavy aerial bombing showed up as the Japanese finally captured Clark with a 2:1 result. All of the Allied troops retreated to Bataan with the exception of the fixed fortification. The only good thing was that there were a lot of Japanese casualties.

Finally, Japanese units captured Malacca this turn. The Allied forces there retreated towards Kuala Lampur, but I doubt that they will reach it before a Japanese column reaches the base from the north. The only good thing about the situation in Malaya is that Singapore still isn't being assaulted yet.

In other important news, the first two reasonably good RAF Hurricane squadrons reached Aden this turn. I immediately put them onto ships and sent them towards Karachi and the Indian front. My opponent has been flying Recon over Akyab, so I expect a thrust into India sooner or later.

But my Indian Surprise continues to progress as the TF containing Yorktown and Saratoga is now “in the box” on the way to Cape Town and should arrive in 20 days. Add some transition time after Cape Town and the CVs ought to be in position by early March.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 59
Night Off for Subs? - 3/25/2010 3:35:35 AM   
ADB123

 

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January 13, 1942 -

This was a quiet night. Nazab in PNG was occupied, a Japanese unit started to land at Kudat in north-eastern Borneo, and no subs on either side found anything to attack or run from.

The most interesting news of the turn was a report from some Catalina pilots up at Dutch Harbor that they spotted a Japanese TF steaming NE of Adat at 19 knots. Huh? 19 knots? That's KB-speed. But when I checked the area afterwards there was nothing there. Were my Search pilots imagining things again?

SIGINT hasn't been helping things either. I've had no “Unit XYZ is planning an attack on ABC” sort of messages at all for several weeks. I do get lots of reports of Japanese units in Manchuria, and this turn there was an odd report of “Heavy Radio Traffic” at Ominato. Whatever my opponent is planning, he is doing a great job of keeping it secret from me.

The rest of the turn was pretty standard – there were lots of Japanese air attacks on the Philippines, DEI, Malaya, and China. There were also more Recon flights over various regions including Burma. I sent one squadron of B-17s against the Japanese besiegers at Tsiaotso. It's a good thing that I sent Forts and not Chinese 2Es because there were Zeros on LRCAP over Tsiaotso. But the Forts fought their way past and actually hit their target, despite the additional interference of bad weather.

The only ground action was also at Tsiaotso where the Japanese tried another Deliberate attack. They achieved 1:1 odds and lowered the fortifications down to Level 0, but after the attack the Chinese quickly rebuilt the forts up to Level 1 again. I suspect that the Japanese will be able to capture the base within one or two more attacks.

(in reply to ADB123)
Post #: 60
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