From: St.Petersburg, Russia
One Year of War
The game proceeds at relatively rapid pace, due to limited number of active operations, and just recently reached December 7th of 1942. As there was no drastic changes in the situation, I would like to start the overview of the Japanese position with a brief general analysis of the events so far.
As you might have remember, I've posited three goals for myself at the beginning of the game - taking SRA rapidly and with minimal damage, establishing a good defensive perimeter and inflcting severe damage to the Allied battlefleet. The first and third goals were accomplished excellently, through combination of exploiting my opponents' mistakes and good luck. In fact, I don't think Allied suffered such losses during the first year of the war (8 fleet carriers, 11-12 battleships and approximately 30 cruisers) in any of AARs on this forum so far. DEI also was taken with minimal damage.
The second goal remains incomplete, as Allies retain their lodgement in Andamans, which, I feel, remains dangerous, due to gradual shift in the air war balance, and I plan to reduce it further by the end of 1942-43 winter, before the game reaches Hellcat era. Moreover, logistical difficulties and lack of troops forced me to abandon Aleutians, leaving my northern approaches potentially vulnerable to Allied subs and raiders, and my position at Hawaii becomes increasingly hard to sustain. I even stopped basing subs there, to keep a modest fuel stockpile available for emergency fleet operation, as sub patrols off the West Coast yielded little results lately anyway. However, as my concerns about the threat Allied sub offensive greatly lessened over time, due to learning the game better and seeing how my opponents run their subs, I stopped placing as much importance on holding Aleutians.
What I could have done better? Well, I think my Phase 1 plan was significantly flawed. I assaulted in force Luzon, Mindanao, Malaya, DEI, Burma and Solomons area simultaneously, trying to achieve decisive success everywhere at once, while having overwhelming force only in the last of the these theatres. On Luzon I managed to outplay Yubari tactically and secure a relatively swift victory, but Malaya, Mindanao, a few smaller bases, like Ambon, and, later, Java, turned into long-term attritional battles, greatly delaying the resease of my troops for both the Phase 2 operation (Hawaii) and the early defensive redeployments. This greatly delayed my operations at Hawaii, where I was on the verge of disaster a couple of times, and allowed Allies to invade Andamans. Though the Andamans campaign resuted in a massive Japanese victory, it might well have turned otherwise. In fact, had Yubari remained at the helm, he might have held Port Blair.
It is safe to say now, that I've corrected some of these mistakes for my newer Scen 2 game vs. Itdepends, where I, despite having a lot more troops (Scen 2...), strived from the beginning to bypass Luzon, and moved only a token forces to Mindanao and Burma, while concentrating a massive army against Malaya, to ensure a quick fall of Singapore no matter what Allies do. I still got stalled until the third decade of March on Java, due to proceeding with my first Phase 2 target (Ceilon) before clearing DEI.
There was another flaw in my thinking, but it I don't feel safe to discuss at this time.
In China, I must say, I felt hanging on a thread until bigred took over and decided to play without HRs. The siege of Sian likely would have been impossible to win with only China Army, and seeing how much Chinese troops I've destroyed in the southern theater since then, I would have been in dire peril, had my opponent decided to take initiative. Buffed Chinese units forced me to sink alot of extra resources, primarily aviation, into this theatre, and I'm still proud that I managed to push the Chinese back, instead of being overrun myself.
< Message edited by FatR -- 4/16/2011 11:03:04 PM >