From: Exeter, UK
You can ship out some base forces and infantry units, if you can afford Political Points and/or have available transportation. I'd advice against stripping Alaska & Canada during this phase. You'll get soon more troops that are unrestrcted or easier to transport.
You have some Separate Inf Rgts that make very good garrison troops, same with Marine Def Bns. I tried to get Noumea, Suva & Port Moresby to have approx. 1 division worth of troops. It might not stop AI getting the bases, but it'll stop it getting them quickly. That way you well have time to react and reinforce with troops you have available later.
You don't initially need that much air units, but it's always good to have 1 fighter (or 2), one med bomber and 1 patrol unit in base to have some of both defensive and offensive coverage. For Port Moresby, I bought out 5th AUS Div brigades and shipped them there, so that I could use 6th & 7th in other areas. If you got 8th AUS brigades out of Singapore, you can use them to reinforce Noumea. You can ship Separate Inf Rgt from USA or PH and Marine Def Bn to Suva to reinforce defence there. That way you'll have quite strong forces securing SW/Sopac. You can also selectively buy out some smaller NZ units to be used in Noumea/Suva too.
Thanks Sardaukar. Just been reading Andy Macs AAR vs PZB. He has a different approach to you in that he seems to think that the AUS militia divisions need time to get to full strength and instead he uses 18 Brit Div + 3 Aus Mot Bde and 30 Aus Bde in Port Moresby and then adds AA guns and CD unit. As his AAR started ages ago, wondered if his advice was more applicable to previous patches? I've certainly found his advice to disband Aus MG Bns to reinforce the Aus Militia divisions no longer works as you can no longer disband units that are due to be withdrawn.
In my first AI game I basically followed your AAR till Jan and then have kept on reinforcing Aus, Burma border and Port Moresby and now have the Americal Div in Noumea with fighter and BF support.
My top tips after 4 game months of play are:-
- Get at least some fighters and Bombers moving to Oz quickly, you'll need them around Port Moresby quite quickly as you'll have to defend against large air raids on any supply/reinforcement convoys you send there, if you don't have enough fighters you'll lose ships, men and supplies to Bettys. I used the ADBA P40s and then RAAF 75 squadron until reinforcements arrived from US.
- Also handy to get AA guns in as many bases as possible early on. Anything you can do to add to KB pilot attrition helps, and AA guns allow you to wear down KB attacks without losing as many of your own fighters.
- Getting supply, fuel and troop convoy system that works and is safe can be tricky. You'll face raids by BBs, DDs and cruisers and in my game the Ai targetted Baker and Canton Island as early captures forcing me to dogleg via Pago Pago and Christmas I to avoid attacks.
- I also realised any important or large convoys need cruiser escorts as well and anti-sub, even a lone Japanese DD can do damage otherwise! Also your escorts have quite short ranges, so watch out that you don't run out of fuel. I gather ships with fuel to spare can refuel shorter range ships but I'm always wary of some miscalculation creeping in so I try to get fuel stocks on intermediate bases to refuel convoys on route.
- Hub and spoke suuply network is not really possible in early 42 as ports are generally small, escorts in short supply and bases poorly defended. My early strategy is to use Pearl as main hub and route everything via there either for refuel or as staging post to unload supply, fuel and troops until I can form further convoys from Pearl westwards. I also get fuel/troops running from East Coast to Cape Town and from there to Perth and Bombay. Aden is mainly troops which nearly all have gone to Bombay and Abadan is fuel for India via Karachi.
- Use small ships on supply runs locally to smaller ports and big ships on long distance routes between big ports like LA, PH and Sydney.
I'm still not decided on best approach to Darwin. Seems very hard to defend so not clear to me how much I should reinforce it in what strength.
I also decided to take troops from Ceylon as don't think it's possible to defend it early against determind attack, in my opinion, so I leave a brigade, some AA guns and torpedo bombers and get everything else to India to reinforce Madras, Viza and Chittagong