Comments and AAR for Buccaneer
This scenario really accomplishes one of its primary objectives Ė showing why Buccaneer never happened! Lord, talk about a lash-up! The first thing that hit me was the pathetic nature of the British Invasion Attempt. The land based AC available are pathetic: Everything except the Liberators is ridiculous or short ranged (well, maybe not the Wildcats). A few of them are both.
Then there are the land units assigned the job of taking Port Blair. Itís a rather weird collection of units. The numbering of the Brit battalions suggests that maybe they are a once or future division. The other stuff is just weird. By US standards there isnít anywhere near enough engineering support available, nor artillery. Still, itís enough to get the job done, that is if you can get it on the ships. Then get the ships to Port Blair without getting them sunk. I managed against the AI, but a human player could have made it tough.
Finally there is the Brit carrier force Ė the AC available just arenít really up to the task. Almost all the fighters are sea hurricanes. That means that the attack AC will go in without escort at anything beyond knife range. Dealing with that is something I didnít handle well at all.
I was surprised at the effectiveness of the one Brit engineering unit. It did allow me to upgrade the airfield at Port Blair with reasonable speed.
The lack of transport available also surprised me. The lack of beaching craft always was the big show stopper. Still, the lack of everything else surprised me. All the transport is xAP and xAK except for the LSTís on loan. And then it still isnít enough to lift everything in one trip. Well, not at the default settings anyway. Thatís a part of AE that I must learn more about.
What I Did
First turn, I started loading up all the combat units I could, formed up the surface and air TFís and began heading for Port Blair. I bombed the place as best as I could while the invasion was forming up and on the way. The bombing was quite unsuccessful.
Once my invasion TF was in range I told my surface TF to be a bombardment TF. That worked quite well. My forces landed and had little trouble capturing the place. Then those sneaky Nips did a night attack. I was quite shocked when they just sailed right by half the Royal Navy and went and shot up my invasion TFís at Port Blair. I simply ass-sumed that the Glorious Royal Navy would do an interception if required. HA! Iím not sure if the problem was simply bad luck or some kind of mistake on my part. Perhaps something like running out of ops points or the surface TF commander feeling like he didnít have enough ammo for a fight. What ever the reason, my combat TFís never reacted to the Japs during the scenario. As you might expect, the big Jap TF with lots of DDís and 2 BB shot the BLEEP out of my invasion TFís.
Then there was the big carrier battle. The mini-KB showed up and attacked from a, for the Japs, lovely distance. To my vast surprise, they didnít manage to do much of any damage, just a hit or two on one CA. My TBís went in, they mostly didnít come back. They didnít hit anything. In the future, Iíll set all the Sea Hurricanes to high CAP percentages and the Wildcats to zero CAP but I wonít expect much. The Brit CVís have got to get into knife range to escort the very vulnerable TBís.
After that, it got kind of tame. Only one big land attack came in and was easily handled by the AC from the combined CAP.
Once the airfield at Port Blair got to 5 I brought in some Liberators and tried bombing. Donít send your AC over Rangoon at 7 thousand. I managed a few raids but only hit U88 down south and a few hits on the BBís at Rangoon.
My experience with WitP definitely spoiled me. I held on to the Flying Tigers and rescued some Dutch units so I had enough long-range air to function reasonably well in the CBI. This scenario shows how it was IRL. The Brits had crappy, short ranged AC and not many of them until much later in the war.
Three Walrus II show up off the Brit CLís ---
"No. 700 Sqn FAA-S-15 moved ashore from Birmingham at Colombo." I got the same message from Glasgow and Newcastle (CL's).
This doesnít look like it was intended. It appears to be a consequence of the fact that they have search planes assigned by default but in this scenario they have been upgraded to the point they canít carry them anymore.
There doesnít seem to be enough Jap land air power. According to the intelligence summary, they have been staging in for weeks. Somehow I never got attacked by land air all that much. Was I just lucky, had too much CAP for the AI, or what?
The experience of the various units didnít seem high enough. These units have supposedly been in combat for most of a year. I havenít checked yet, but by behavior, the Japs have the same problem.
Then there is the big item unloading problem at small ports. This is a feature with AE not the scenario but it bit me big time. Itís rather annoying. Yes I know its realistic but it still is more than a little annoying.
Operational losses seem to be high.
Maybe Point Blair should be somewhat damaged at the start. Presumably the Brits have been pounding the bleep out of the place for some time.
Apparently there are different version numbers for some of these scenarios. I spent a few minuets looking, but I didnít spot a version number. Would it show up somewhere?
Thanks again for a well-done scenario of a bit of not well-publicized history.
The U boat(s) is a nice touch! For some reason Iíve never read anything about the Germans who served in the Pacific other that a bit about the Raiders. I wonder if it might have something to do with the high losses and difficulty in getting home. Still, it would be interesting to read about the German, Japanese interactions, how well the boats were maintained and shore leave, etc.
Points for a reasonable intelligence summery Ė this is a glaring omission from other scenarios. Now a few more details would be nice, but at least there is something.
I would like to see something in these scenarios like:
The operational order for this attack calls for you to launch an attack on xxx by xxx. The Japs have massed approximately xxx aircraft and xxx ships to counter your attack. The primary threat will be fromÖ
"Mines reported in the fairway,
"Warn all traffic and detain,
"'Sent up Unity, Cralibel, Assyrian, Stormcock, and Golden Gain."