From: Arkansas, USA
Have gotten hopelessly addicted to this game... my new crack habit... Even worse than when I had Uncommon Valor.
Actually had this game for a little over a year on the shelf because when I first got it, it tended to bog down with all it's memory & processor requirements on both my (outdated) desktop and laptop. Got a new laptop after Christmas with more mem & dual-core processor, and can finally run at a (more than) acceptable speed.
After cutting my teeth on the Marianas scenario, followed Sardaukar's guide pretty thoroughly to jump into the big game. Started out "quiet China"... not so quiet there... next time will include it with the whole shebang.
Am up to May 1942 and thought I was doing pretty good - until the Japanese carriers started showing up after being released from the DEI when Batavia and SB fell.
To date - Pearl Harbor raid cost me the services of Oklahoma and 1 destroyer, and moderate to severe damage to the rest of the battleships. Nevada is already back in service, and Tennessee just got released from the Alameda shipyard. Maryland is waiting in Seattle for an escort back to Pearl, and Arizona will be ready there at the end of the month. WV and Pennsylvania just made it to Alameda after patching up enough sys damage to make the trip from PH and will be in the yard for several more months, and California is still too damaged to risk leaving PH.
Filipino and USAAF air forces put up a good fight over the PI, giving me a number of experienced pilots and a few aces, but eventually had to be withdrawn when numbers got whittled down to point of ineffectiveness. Singapore held out until Feb, with it's Buffalo pilots shooting down quite a few planes (until the Zeroes started appearing in force) and the Vildabeests and Swordfish making it hazardous on any shipping foolish enough to come into range. Force Z and Doorman's cruisers (including USS Boise) took down a few transport and amphibious TFs until IJN carriers started showing up in force. Eventually evacuated Force Z to Colombo, and Doorman to Darwin, with rest of merchies and auxiliaries from DEI and PI split between two. Air raids sunk a number of them, but a goodish amount made it. Most of the DEI went down towards end of March, ending the agonies of it's mostly useless air force, but it did keep the attention of the IJN carriers, giving me precious time to reinforce the SW and South Pacific. Also Dutch subs were able to score on a number of merchies, and have rebased the survivors at Colombo and Tricomalee.
Lost Rangoon and Burma early and way too easily along with the bulk of its forces while my attention was distracted elsewhere, costing me the services of some useful RAF base forces and two out of the three AVG groups. IJA troops actually made it as far as Cox's Bazaar before I woke up and massively reinforced Chittagong and started raiding their shipping off the coast near Akyab. That front has stabilized and I think I've pinched the Japanese supplies enough to where they can't launch any offensives into India, at least not from the coastal region. Also heavily fortified Imphal and nearby bases to make the northerly routes into India as uninviting as possible.
While Japanese attention was mostly focused on that side of the Pacific, did a massive sealift of troops and airpower from Pearl and the West Coast to reinforce Australia and the convoy routes from Christmas Island (Pacific) to Brisbane, with Pago Pago, Suva, and Noumea as major hubs. Also built up Port Moresby and east coast of Australia all the way up to Horn Island to discourage Japanese moves there. Got A-24s based on PM which with heavy P-40 escort have been making a mess of any shipping in the Solomon and Bismarck Seas - at least until Japanese started basing Zeroes at Rabaul. Have had to scale back since due to mounting losses. Most of Australia's supplies and fuel is actually coming from the west, with CS convoys from Abadan, Aden, and Cape Town offloading in Perth.
Japanese took Luganville, Efate, Funafuti, and Baker Islands, but is having trouble keeping them supplied due to my prowling cruisers, destroyers, and B-26s. Made a doomed attempt to land on Nadi, but Aussie cruisers made short work of that. Also keeps trying to land on a heavily fortified Canton Island, which eventually resulted in my first major carrier battle. That battle permanently cost me the services of Enterprise (moment of silence, please), and put Lexington, Saratoga, and Yorktown in the shop for the month (recently arrived Hornet filling out air groups at Pearl). IJN lost Ryujo and Zuiho, and took a few bomb hits on Zuikaku and Akagi, hopefully damaging them enough to keep them out of service for a month or two. Bomber performance on both sides was horrible, probably due to severe weather conditions, else battle would've been ruinous for both sides. Amazingly TBDs scored a few precious hits on the light carriers, and seemed to suffer less than my SBD air groups, which really got savaged.
Now recently - the other half of the IJN carrier fleet did a raid on the east coast of Australia, mostly concentrating on Sydney. Massed B-26 low-level raids did score four bomb hits on Shokaku, but not enough to seriously damage her and prevent the carnage amongst most of my air forces and shipping in port. All my carriers are at Pearl being repaired except for Hornet, and she still doesn't have her air groups filled out completely yet, so it'll be the end of the month before I can put them back together. Until I get more F4Fs and SBDs in the pools, may have to leave a carrier home just to fill out all the air groups on the others. That Canton/Baker carrier battle really decimated my fighters and DBs, even after disbanding Enterprise's meager survivors into the other air groups there isn't a whole lot left. Already went in and renamed one of the impending Essex carriers as the new Big E, can't wait until late 1943. As Captain Picard once said, "there's still more letters in the alphabet". (cue Star Trek:NG theme)
Am currently concentrating on holding the Burma-India border, keeping an eye out for IJN carrier incursions into the Indian Ocean or Western Australia (not that I could do much to prevent that), and keeping the South Pacific convoy lines open and the Japanese out. AI seems to have an obsession with taking Canton Island, which means that sea bottom between Baker and Canton is getting filled with Japanese ships, courtesy of Marine air groups on Canton and light cruiser forces mostly formed from old Omaha class cruisers, which I've had to almost permanently station off of Canton. Am taking a huge toll of Japanese merchies with air power and hit-n-run carrier raids, plus the efforts of British/Dutch subs and S-boats (the Mk-10 torp being the only semi-reliable weapon the American subs have at this point). At this rate the Japanese won't be able to move troops or supplies by mid-1943, by which time my new carriers will start showing up. Trouble is holding onto what I have right now in case IJN carriers decide to get really obnoxious in force, because I can't afford another carrier slugfest without seriously whittling down Japan's carrier strength in return.
Hope this isn't too long and I'm not hijacking things here. If so, feel free to move to more appropriate forum. But I do appreciate the newbie guide and opening moves, it's made things much simpler for me and for what I have to do to master this game. Now if I could put this away long enough to pay more attention to my family...