From: the bridge of the DNTK Kitakami
I really, REALLY, like the concept of the Da Babes "mod". So, now that the Lite version is out, I will play a game as Japan, vs. the AI, as preparation for a PBEM game after the "Heavy" version of Da Babes comes out. As the game will be against the AI, any and all comments are welcome. I will also post my thoughts, not only facts, and I would appreciate comments regarding my rationale for doing things. I do not expect all who read this ARR to agree with my decisions, and I am sure I will make many mistakes along the way, but those are precisely the reasons for the first run to be against the AI... a human player would be much less forgiving, I am sure.
I will play with FOW on, Advanced Weather on, Allied Damage Control on, PDU on, Historical First Turn off, December 7th Surprise on, Reliable USN Torpedoes off, Realistic R&D on, No Unit Withdrawals off, Reinforcements at +/- 15 days for both sides, Auto Sub Ops on, and Historic Difficulty. It is, after all, a learning experience :)
Also, the order in which I do turn 1 as the Japanese is a little... unusual. It does help me, though, to follow this order but, again, any comments are welcome :)
Step 1: ACMs
Yes, an unusual way of starting the turn, I know, but this I do first so I don't forget. There are 29 locations with defensive mines at the start of the game and, if I don't want those minefields to degrade, I need 73 ACMs to keep them from doing so (or so my calculations tell me). Problem is that there are only 18 ACMs at the beginning of the game, and 3 of those should be redeployed. That means I need 55 more ACMs, which can only come from conversions.
There is also the fact that only the To'su class can be converted to ACMs, and that the To'su are also a candidate for conversion to PBs. Furthermore, once a To'su is converted to an ACM, it cannot be converted back. Still, I decided to convert all To'su hulls to ACMs for two reasons: first, because most are needed just to maintain the starting minefields anyway and, second, because if I want to set up new defensive minefields I'll need more ACM's. So, those that were in place were converted on turn 1, while the others were sent to their destinations to be converted there.
Step 2: PBs
As an outgrowth of the decision to convert all the To'su hulls to ACMs, I decided to convert all of the Kiso and Ansyu ships to PBs. A number of them are already loaded with troops as part of invasion fleets, so they will have to be converted later, but I converted all I could on turn 1.
Although the Ha'chi (125 load capacity as xAKL) and Kujira (225 load capacity as xAKL) will be converted to PB's in '43 (I do not believe Japan can have too many escorts), they will be used as xAKLs for the time being, making up for some of the cargo capacity lost with the conversion of the other three classes. There is also the Ku'dai hulls, with a cargo capacity of 100.
Step 3: xAK-t's
I decided to convert 33 xAK with capacities over 6K to xAK-t's. They will be needed to move troops quickly in Jan-Feb '42 and, although they could be converted later, I decided to do it now. Those hulls should be able to move 66K load points of military units, which I hope will be enough (I was just too lazy to calculate shipping needs 3 months in advance. If anybody does it, please share!).
Step 4: APDs
It is a fact that I will convert all DDs armed with 533mm torpedoes to APDs, so the Momi, Wakatake, Minekaze, and Kamikaze classes are a given. What I am not sure about is if I will convert the Mutsuki class or not. On turn 1 I converted 9 Minekazes and 3 Momis, with others moving to the closest repair shipyards.
<more to follow... Turn 1 as the Japanese is a long and detailed process which can't be done in one sitting>
Tenno Heika Banzai!