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Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzanes-free zone.

 
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Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzanes-f... - 3/31/2010 3:23:18 PM   
rader


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Since the cat is out of the bag, I'm just prepping up to write the other side of the game report with jzanes, where I am planning to attack the Soviets in May 1942.

For a more detailed description of what has happened so far, you can probably take a look at Jason's game report. I have no idea how much or what kind of information is in it, of course.

So far the Japanese have seized the usual perimeter (Philippines, Dutch East Indies, Malaya, Gilberts, Wake, and Solomons), plus New Caledonia, Port Moresby, & a few Northern Australian ports (see strategic map). Were currently trying to work our way through Burma as we gear up for the big Phase II push against Stalin's Far Eastern forces.






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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 3/31/2010 3:25:24 PM   
rader


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Actually, here's one with the perimeter drawn.




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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 3/31/2010 3:52:20 PM   
rader


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For starters, I have no idea if attacking the Soviet Union is brillant or the stupidest idea to ever hit WITP, but I've always wanted to try it. Seydlitz's AAR helped convince me that it can be done, and I think that by waiting until just after Phase I operations are complete, I can use some of the Southern Army forces in the attack (while not having to worry about having trouble securing the Southern Resource area).

My long term goal is not to crush the Soviets (which would probably be impossible), but rather simply to sieze the trans-Amur region and the Soviet ports, destroy their airforce, fleet, and pocketed armies, and establish a defensive line in Manchuria (see map).

My reasons are as follows, in increasing order of importance:

1. The Soviet Union has resources and oil located close to Japan.
2. Soviet equipment is realtively bad until 1944-45. For example, they only have BT tanks (no T-34s until 1944 or so), and a 1942 Russian infantry squad is worse than a Japanese one.
3. Soviet aircraft replacement rate is low to non-existent, and their early planes are short legged and weakly armed.
4. I believe my opponent is relatively cautious, and something like this might just force him into taking risks with his carriers that he might not othewise take (he might try to invade somewhere if he thinks I'm distracted).
5. I believe I have a window to strike a blow against them in 1942 before the western allies are prepared to counter-attack. I think this game might go the distance, and if I wait until 1945, the Soviets will come in when I am least prepared to deal with them. Vladivostock will be a dagger aimed at Japan and I will have no free troops to stem the tide of brand new Soviet equipment. In 1942, I can use air, land, and naval forces, that will not be available later on. These extra forces, in concert with the Kwangtung army, might just be enough to remove this long-term threat. Meanwhile, the KB still rules the waves, so they should be able to safeguard the empire while much of the Southern Army is tied up in the Soviet Union.
6. I feel as though I am helping out my pal Adolf, and doing something that although it would probably not have won the war historically, probably offered the Axis powers' best chance (in my opinion).








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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 3/31/2010 3:54:53 PM   
rader


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Oh, and I should add that because of the Geography of the region and the trans-Siberian railway, Soviet forces are highly vulnerable to being cut off and encircled.


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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 3/31/2010 4:56:55 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: rader

For starters, I have no idea if attacking the Soviet Union is brillant or the stupidest idea to ever hit WITP, but I've always wanted to try it.


I am really looking forward to this. I have never considered opening up the bear, so this will be VERY interesting to watch unfold.

Good Luck!

_____________________________

Pax

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 3/31/2010 7:21:11 PM   
rader


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Well, the declaration of war ought to be in Stalin's hand by tomorow morning.

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:24:21 PM   
rader


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The invasion of the Soviet Far East begins on May 22nd!

All the main objectives were achieved, but the cost at sea and in the air was higher than anticipated.

Our ground troops' timing couldn't have been better, and all forces arrived on schedule, blocking the Transsiberian railway in many locations (see map). The forces moving to either side of Khabarovsk arrived safely, and now are advancing on the city from the south. The landing forces moved up the Amur at high speed (starting outside of Soviet territory as discussed in the war room), and managed to start unloading at Komsomolsk by the end of the second day (we are playing 2-day turns). This landing is essential to ensure that we can supply the Kwangtung army in the Khabarovsk region. The Kwangtung army is marching into Soviet territority to link up with its supplies being delivered by sea.

The first objective is to secure the line from Komsomolsk to Khabarovsk, iretrievably cutting off all Soviet forces in the Vladivostok region. Eventually, this pocket will have to be liquidated although I imagine he has a huge stockpile of supplies in the area. However, without a source of new supplies, these should eventually dry up. I wouldn't be surprised if the battle for Vlad takes all of 1942, and even a good chunk of 1943.

Now that the Soviets are active, we expect furious air attack on the Amur landing force. The force includes 3 AVs with 2 Chutai of Rufes and one of CAP Petes (with good fighter pilots), and LRCAP will be flown by over 100 A6M2s from Sakhalin (7 spaces away). Hopefully that should reduce the damage.






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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:27:39 PM   
rader


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At sea was where it got ugly. For some reason, I decided that it was important to take Magadan (no idea why, except to cut off air rebase routes from Alaska).

I thought 2 BBs, 3CAs, 1CL, and 8 DDs ought to be enough to handle the CD guns. It disn't quite work that way. The fleet got very badly roughed up. 4 DDs and a few APDs and AKs already sunk, all Battleships and cruisers have heavy system damage. Kako is in deep trouble, and will almost certainly go down. We have 280 AV ashore against 40, so we should take the place, but definitely not worth the cost.






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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:28:22 PM   
rader


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And that was just the first round! Here's poor Kako.




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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:33:27 PM   
rader


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And in the air, the Japanese fighters generally made a good accounting of themselves, achieving about a 2:1 kill ratio. However, many bomber strikes went in without escort, so we lost lots of crappy bombers. It seems as though the Sallies and Helens are durable enough to suck up a lot of 7.7mm ammo and only get damaged, but the Anns, Idas, Marys, and Sonias are toast to anything larger than a peble. Oh well, not a big loss I guess. But my air losses so far this game even before the invasion have been horendous. I've pretty much used up all the army bombers I started with (both in pools and air groups). Most are converting over to the Helens, which are starting to arrive in numbers. Eventually, we will convert most or all groups to the Helen II.






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< Message edited by rader -- 5/16/2010 5:42:59 AM >

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:36:03 PM   
rader


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Now, a question for anyone out there (who isn't influenced by reading Jason's AAR of course). I have no idea what the Soviets will do. Will they try to evacuate the Vlad region? Will the fight for Khabarovsk? Will they attack out of the Vlad region North? Try to come down from the North into Manchuria?

What would you do and how should I handle it? Ideas?


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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/1/2010 7:37:32 PM   
rader


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One of the things that worries me the most is the Soviet subs. They are going to be haning around the main Japanese shipping lanes now, and might be able to interdict the damaged ships on the way back from Magadan. I've set up ASW patrols on the air and surface, but the Russians have a lot of subs! And their torpedoes probably work!

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/2/2010 6:16:32 PM   
rader


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May 26, 1942

Heavy Russian bomber attacks on the blocking units today. My Idas, Marys, Annes, and Sonia continue to come in unescorted, and I don't have many left.

The Sallys and Helens are doing ok though, and the Oscars and Zeroes continue to down Soviet fighters. Air losses were about 60 Japanese to 70 Allied this turn. Soon the Japanese will be out of single-engined army bombers, and the Russians will be out of fighters (that will take a while though!).

IJN Kako slips beneath the surface . She's the second major Japanese ship lost.

Komsomolsk falls, as does the first base in Mongolia, Petrovsky is raided by paratroopers, cutting the Trans-Siberian, and Magadan is brought down to 0 forts. It should fall tomorow.

The battered Magadan invasion fleet limps back towards Yokohama - desperately trying to shake off pursuing Soviet Subs.






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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/2/2010 6:39:26 PM   
Jones944

 

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I'm glad you're posting. This is going to be a very interesting read!

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/3/2010 2:01:06 PM   
rader


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May 28, 1942

Here's what the Soviet Response is so far from his moves (see map).

Essentally, I think he is very clever and is making a bid to try to break out of the pocket with all available forces. In fact, he might succeed in extricating a large part of his force. Don't you hate it when your opponent does something you don't expect?

If he abandons the Vladivostock area but escapes with his army, is that a victory or defeat? I'm not sure. It does help to significantly reduce the strategic bombing threat to Japan and straighten the lines, so at least the main long-term goal would be accomplished, but it also leaves the entire Soviet army to fight.

Anyway, he is moving north and south on the blocking force north of Khabarovsk, abandonning the city. This led to a shock attack across the river into the swamp, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I would have though (around 3000 Russian casualties to 2000 Japanese).

His bombers are very powerful, and he keeps sending 200+ of them to hit that position every turn, supported by figther sweeps. All I can do it LRCAP and bomb back. I woudl say that the Japanese have the better fighter force, but the Russians have the better bomber force.

Right now he has about 1500AV to about 800AV in that swamp, but he's bombarding and bombing every turn. I should have sent more north, and less south. Not sure how long they can hold out. Probably not until help arrives, which means that he will control the swamp North of Khabarovsk. What should I do about it? I might be able to bring in troops from the south in time, but they would shock attack across the river and arrive piecemeal.

My long term goal is just to take Birgodizodan (sp?) and then clean out the pocket, but this will likely be quite difficult. He dosen't seem to be aiming to put pressure on our forces in Western Manchuria. Rather, I think he's trying to get all reinforcements down the rail to the Kuybishevka area. This means that it's a race for Birgodizodan! Not sure who's going to win...




< Message edited by rader -- 4/7/2010 1:08:05 PM >

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/3/2010 2:01:43 PM   
rader


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Here's the map.




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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/3/2010 3:40:08 PM   
Smeulders

 

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What is the quality of forces you have committed ? Are there Chinese units advancing into Russia as well ? You should be very careful if they are as you don't really have any way to bring them back up to strength once they take casualties. On the other hand, the same can be said for the Russian armoured formations. It's a bit stupid, but not only do T-34 not appear before 45, but the light AFVs are no longer built, meaning losses can't be replaced once the initial pools, (+/- 100 various AFV) are depleted.

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/3/2010 5:59:37 PM   
rader


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The Chinese units can't go into Manchuria, but they are the units attacking Mongolia out of China, so a few divisons from China are "involved". I have about 5 divisions from the Southern army also.

Yeah, I know, he gets very few replacements other than INf squads. Once his pools are depleted, he should have serious trouble keeping squadrons and units filled. That's partly what I'm banking on... what makes you think I can't bring my units back up to strength?


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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/3/2010 6:27:03 PM   
Smeulders

 

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I wasn't clear enough, I am talking about the units made up off Chinese troops, so anything with IMA, Chinese or Mongolian squads. These squads have a replacement rate of "1", not enough to replace combat losses.

I do think that there are decent replacement rates for guns for the Russians, only AFV should suffer.

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/4/2010 11:23:33 PM   
rader


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Vicious battles continue in the swamp between Khabarovsk and Birobidzan (see battle). Help is only 2-3 days away, but the first units will shock across into the Russian positions. We are both bombing the units in the hex, but he has mor and better bombers. 200+ bombers a day wears down land units fast, and causes a lot of disruption. We're praying we hold the line for just a couple turns until help arrives.

He's starting to clear the rail line in the north, wiping out 2 hexes of weak blockers.

The units coming from Komsomolsk are moving slowly. Hopefully they will arrive in time to help secure the salient.







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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/4/2010 11:29:50 PM   
rader


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I think he's also trying to breakout of the Vladivostock pocket into Manchuria (see map). We are moving units to counter this, but are fairly short in the area. While units are railing in, I've only managed to scrape together 500 AV or so for the next few turns until more help arrives. It is a swamp across a river, but he might have as much as 3000AV trying to break out. Not sure if we can hold the line. It's the Falaise pocket, Siberian-style.


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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/4/2010 11:30:49 PM   
rader


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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/4/2010 11:52:00 PM   
rader


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I'm also trying to figure out what his response is going to be on other fronts. With much of the Southern army busy up North, will he take this opportunity to attack the empire? If so, where? Or will he put all his effort into helping the Ruskies? The possibility that he might strike means that I'm compelled to keep a sizable portion of my airforce and fleet reserved along likely attack vectors, rather than using them for offensive operations.

SigInt picked up "heavy radio transmissions" at Perth the last two days in a row. I wonder if he's assembling an invasion force there? Not enough to act on, but I might try to organize an Emily air overflight recon.

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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/5/2010 6:47:42 PM   
rader


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June 1, 1942.

The swamp battle rages on. The Japanese were nearly forced from the hex on the last turn. 200+ allied bombers continue to wreak untold devastation every turn on the tired defenders. Japanese bombers respond in kind, but are far less numerous.

The last attack in the first turn of the 2-turn cycle came off at 1:2 by a *single point of AV*!! This single point might turn the entire campaign, because it prevented a follow-up attack the next turn, and allowed time for 2 fresh divisions to link up from Khabarovsk and reinforce the beleagered Japanese. Now there should be little danger of the swamp hex falling, and with the Khabarovsk airbase finally operational, we can start to contest the daily bombing.

Meanwhile, the first of the long-anticipated B-17 attacks on the home islands came off against Nagoya. It was intercepted by a small group of Nicks (I've spread out small divided interceptors around the major Japanese cities). They reduced the damage a bit, but the B-17s still torched a few a/c factories. Meanwhile, the Russian heavies concentrated on Harbin and managed to destroy 17 Mabel factories. Good thing I have a large pool of those in reserve (in fact, it wasn't even producing!). Once it's completely damaged, I'll probably convert it to something else.






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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/5/2010 6:52:32 PM   
rader


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The fierce air battles continue, with the Russian bombers concentrating on Japanese ground troops and the Japanese bombers concentrating on Russian airfields. Severe thunderstorms prevent many sorties from flying, but this barely mitigates the titanic daily slugfest.





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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/5/2010 6:55:41 PM   
rader


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In Mongolia, it's a battle of maneuver. Russian and Mongolian cavalry and light armoured units out of Ulan Bator advance and liberate a town along the road to China. Three Japanese divisions spar with their Russian counterparts in Eastern Mondolia near the Chinese/Manchurian border.




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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/6/2010 5:53:08 PM   
rader


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June 3, 1942.

The B-17s raid a couple of Japanese cities again, torching a few a/c factories. Nicks dutifully intercepted, but only managed to damage a few of the beasts. Losing a/c factories is annoying for sure, but in a perverse way losing factories in Japan to bombing is better than losing oil in the DEI... you don't have to transport the supply to repair them! We traced back the attack vector of the bombers, and estimate that they originated in Voroshilovgrad. This will be the prime Japanese target for next turn.

The Russian heavies levelled Changchun this turn, torching 15 HI. We're going to have to defend our factories better.

He only lobbed over a few "reconnaissance shells" this turn in the swamp hex. The Japanese now have 4500AV in the hex compared to 1700 Russian. The Japanese have indeed secured the swamp, and soon it will be time for the Japanese to strike back. Meanwhile, the Russian medium bombers switched over to attacking a Japanese airfield in Manchuria. The did moderate damage, and the a/c are being diverted to a backup airfield this turn for continued operations.

In return, the Japanese focused on the main Russian airfield this turn (we traced back the vector from last turn to Spassk-Dalny). Two Japanese airfields concentrated their efforts here, and wreaked considerable havoc on the Russian medium bombers (see air losses). Also in the air, a Russian sweep was intercepted by Zeros, and this along with the Oscar escorts over the airfield sliced through his MIG-3s. I was kind of concerned about the performance of that particular plane (397 Mph, armor, a decent gun), but this turn the 1-15s & I-16s made it look bad.












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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/6/2010 6:28:30 PM   
rader


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Meanwhile, the Japanese High Command has just learned that a few days earlier on the other side of the world, the battle around Kharkov has culminated in an enormous defeat of Soviet forces. Soviet casualties have been estimated at over 200,000, in addition to 700 tanks and 3,300 guns. The German High Command has revealed to us that they plan to drive East towards the Volga and the Caucasus this summer, and talks have already begun on co-ordinating Axis global strategy. We are confident that Axis forces emerge triumphant in this struggle! This winter, the Fuhrer will call the Japanese ambassador to discuss long-term postwar German/Japanese zones of occupation in Russia. He has even mentioned the prospect of visiting Tokyo personally!




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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/6/2010 6:33:29 PM   
rader


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Thanks for point this out! I was using them heavily, but I'll drop most of the back to garrison duty and let the IJA do most of the fighting.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Smeulders

I wasn't clear enough, I am talking about the units made up off Chinese troops, so anything with IMA, Chinese or Mongolian squads. These squads have a replacement rate of "1", not enough to replace combat losses.

I do think that there are decent replacement rates for guns for the Russians, only AFV should suffer.



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RE: Taming the Bear - Rader (J) vs. jzanes (A). A jzan... - 4/6/2010 6:49:45 PM   
Q-Ball


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This will be interesting!

Normally using Manchukuo troops to garrison Chinese Bases would be gamey, but I think it's OK in this case, since you freed them up by waking the Bear. Using Manchukuo units will free up at least another Division from China, and you probably need every infantry and tank unit you can lay your hands on for this expedition!

The good news is that you can rely on the IJN to defend the perimeter for now, so you shouldn't need many boots out in the Pacific

The one thing that would concern me is that the Allies control Darwin. Build up Lae/Nadzab area to keep the Torres Strait closed to Allied shipping.

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