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Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls)

 
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Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/9/2011 1:05:04 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Downfall PBEM - Captain Cruft (Japan) versus Fallschirmjaeger (Allies)

I wasn't going to do an AAR for this game, but I have decided that this scen just fascinates me too much. So here we go ... Updates may be quite infrequent though.

House Rules (really simple):-

1) Nothing flies above 30,000ft
2) City Attacks on Manpower only
3) No landings on non-base hexes

You could say that the latter of those two favour Japan, and you'd be right. FJ seems an honourable opponent though, and like myself is in it mostly for fun so he agreed without argument.

Here is a map of what I believe to be the key area:





I have highlighted Tsushima since it is the nearest thing to an "invincible" base that exists thanks to the fortress, island status and the vast minefields that I will create there ;-) It also sits astride the sea lane between Korea and the Home Islands, which is obviously important. The only problem with the place is that in this scen it starts out in exactly the same condition as it was on Dec 7th 1941. So I will have to get on with fortifying it ASAP.

So anyway, what is my strategy?

It's simple - I don't really have one, and for those that have read the Armaggedon AARs I don't think that Nemo-esque ultra-optimisation is something I am capable of or indeed much interested in. Fundamentally I play this game tactically and by the seat of the pants, for good or ill.

That said, I do have a basic plan, which is to get all the stuff from China and points west back to either the Home Islands and/or Korea. Whether this is possible remains to be seen, but I will certainly give it a good go. All the non-fleet assets (ships < DD + CVEs) which I have available may be sacrificed towards this end.

The shipping route will initially be Shanghai->Fukuoka/Shimoneski/Tsushima/Iki-Shima but if things get rough I can modify this to a half-way house of Shanghai->Keijo (with an implied ->Fusan->Fukuoka) or even the full scaredy-cat version which is Tsingtao->Keijo. This latter is problematical though since Tsingtao can only be reached via road given the map.

Note: If you haven't looked at this scen one key feature is that while you have vast numbers of troops in the Home Islands, the higher quality part of your army is all in China and there is a boat load (or ten) of aviation support which starts out in Indochina.

I will post more on how I intend resist the inevitable landings later.

P.S. It took me around 12 hours to do the first turn. It's a beast :-)

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/13/2011 11:39:01 PM >
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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/9/2011 2:13:26 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Tsushima

This is the fortress unit at Tsushima. There are identical ones at Iki-Shima and Fusan.





Quite impressive you might think. However, how does it actually perform in reality?

Well, I did a simple unscientific test (using this scen) a while back. Unfortunately I didn't keep the the details but the gist of it was this:

I assembled a bombardment TF consisting of all the US BBs on map (12 or so).
This was accompanied by an amphibious TF with all nearby available US CAs in it and enough APA/AKA transports to transport one of the regimental size units from Okinawa. This LCU had zero prep points, as had the Tsushima Fortress itself.
12 PT boats were created at Tsushima for point defence using the "Create PT Boats" button.

I sent the bombardment TF followed by the amphib "invasion" TF directly to Tsushima. All air units on both sides were stood down.

So what happened?

Well, it was basically a draw, or that was my perception.

There were long drawn out exchanges between the guns of the US ships and the CD guns of the fortress, resulting in (approximately):-

1 US CA and 1 DD were sunk outright.
Most of the US BBs suffered non-fatal but significant damage.
A few transports were sunk and more were damaged - the PTs were involved with this alongside the CDs.
The US LCU was successfully landed but was not in a good state and at weakened strength.
All the CD guns at Tsushima (except the 2 x 40cm) were disabled but not destroyed.
All the US combat ships were basically out of main gun ammo.

The US LCU did a Deliberate Attack next turn which got nowhere (note: fort level was 6).
The turn after that the Tsushima Fortress LCU (which includes infantry etc.) did a Deliberate Attack which resulted in the US LCU being wiped out.

At this point (2 turns after the engagement with the US battle fleet) most of the CD guns in the fortress were ready again.

So ... From all this I sort of decided that if you could stack a division or so of troops at Tsushima plus a few tanks and arty and engineers you might well have the basis of a true Festung Invincible. Air attacks notwithstanding.

To test this theory is one large reason why I am playing this game.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/9/2011 2:37:46 AM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 3:41:35 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Well it took a week but Turn 1 is finally done and I have just run the combat.

There is no night phase on the first turn, so I was not subjected to any strategic bombing. Or at least that's my assumption as to the reason.

I was quite pleased with the way this turn went overall.

Heavy attacks out of the Philippines and Okinawa have closed Takao airfield.
B-25H attack bombers sank 12 ships just off Kyushu - APDs, TKs & SCs. These planes are devastating ...
On the plus side two Avenger groups were caught unescorted attempting to attack some other TFs. Our newbie fighter pilots therefore enjoyed some easy pickings. One thing that hampers the Allies a bit is that you have so many air groups that co-ordination can be a problem.
Nothing over the Home Islands except for recon.

Overall air losses were 87 to Japan and 69 for the Allies. I will take that any day ...


< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/13/2011 6:43:16 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 6:48:04 PM   
Captain Cruft


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OK turn done and back to FJ.

I have 8 CVs, or actually 5 CVs (4 Unryus + Junyo), 2 CVLs (Ryuho + Ibuki) and 1 CVE (Hosho). Most of the pilots are poor but there are few vets sprinkled in there. The thing is, what should I do with this force? It starts in Niigata, which is sort of safe but not really. There were recon flights over the port today and B-29s can hit it albeit unescorted.

It seems to me that if I do leave the carriers in port (wherever) they're just going to get bombed. So, I think we will have to go on a little trip. Just not sure where yet ...

< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/13/2011 10:11:56 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 10:32:38 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I won't be producing any more of these for a few months but you get one unit to start with at Tokyo.



Playing the AI I have found these to be quite uber, so I have put the best airgroup leader I could find in charge and will be slowly drawing in veteran pilots which have been taken from the experienced fighter groups of the 3rd Air Division which start out in various places.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/13/2011 10:35:33 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 11:05:59 PM   
FatR

 

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Well, I'm interested in end-war metagame, so I'll be following this AAR. Don't think you can actually goad Allies into invading Tsushima, though...

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 11:22:03 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I suspect you are right. That's good though isn't it?

The Pescadores is another possible Festung. There are loads of engineers there already and a fair amount of supply. I intend to move more stuff there from Formosa, Hainan, HK/Canton & Indonesia.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/13/2011 11:46:16 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Production Notes

Japan starts out with a generous stockpile of Armaments and Vehicles, so I have turned off most of those factories. The only units with Replacements Allowed set are the Base Forces (all of them). I will see what's what later on in terms of beefing up some actual combat units. There are lots which are at less than full strength.

I have also started to upgrade ToEs where possible. Again this is mostly base forces, who will get a few more AA or CD guns. Definitely useful ...

All merchant shipbuilding has been stopped and virtually all of those factories have been turned off. There is no stockpile of points, but I have many xAKs and TKs already on the map, which will be used to try to suck Shanghai and Fusan dry of Supply, Fuel, Oil & Resources. A bunch of xAKLs and small tankers have also been despatched to Hakodate to clear out whatever Hokkaido produces.

The key thing is to save HI for building aircraft.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 3:06:17 AM   
stuman


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I have been playing Downfall as the Japanese against the AI for several months in game time. And have also started one as the Allies against the AI as well to get a feel for what the Allies can throw at me.

Wow, the Allies have a LOT of stuff. And the Japanese have a lot of mediocre to crappy pilots.

I set out upgrading the ports at Haichow, Tsingtao, Chinnampo immediately. It helps a bit in moving units and " other stuff " from China. I also started to expnad as many air bases in " deep " china and NE Japan as I reasonably could just to house my air units. Shanghai is not really safe, even the AI blew the crap out of every ship there, and bombed the AF base closed.


I also started to expand my HI some in a few slightly remote ( it's all relative I know ) places because if he starts immediately bombing the HI in Osaka , there can be trouble ahead. In fact, as the Allies, I think going straight for Osaka at low level, at night, then following up at a few more easy to reach places ( like Hong Kong , Shanghai and Nagoya ) would really hamper the Japanese production effort. If that happened, and then refinerys were then targeted, then yikes.

_____________________________

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 3:08:51 AM   
stuman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft

Production Notes

Japan starts out with a generous stockpile of Armaments and Vehicles, so I have turned off most of those factories. The only units with Replacements Allowed set are the Base Forces (all of them). I will see what's what later on in terms of beefing up some actual combat units. There are lots which are at less than full strength.

I have also started to upgrade ToEs where possible. Again this is mostly base forces, who will get a few more AA or CD guns. Definitely useful ...

All merchant shipbuilding has been stopped and virtually all of those factories have been turned off. There is no stockpile of points, but I have many xAKs and TKs already on the map, which will be used to try to suck Shanghai and Fusan dry of Supply, Fuel, Oil & Resources. A bunch of xAKLs and small tankers have also been despatched to Hakodate to clear out whatever Hokkaido produces.

The key thing is to save HI for building aircraft.




I also turned off armaments. But I seemed to use up vehicles very fast as I fleshed out units. Just keep an eye out.

_____________________________

" Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room. " President Muffley


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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 3:19:19 AM   
Captain Cruft


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There is a House Rule that City Attacks may only target Manpower. Even with that, I am sort of assuming that at some point I will "go broke". Therefore, we must win the game using Ki-43 IIb Oscars if necessary. In combination with our fearsome 27kt Matsu class destroyers ... ;-)

Nice idea about expanding those small ports on the Yellow Sea. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense since there is a surfeit of supply in those areas.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 3:27:35 AM   
stuman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft

There is a House Rule that City Attacks may only target Manpower. Even with that, I am sort of assuming that at some point I will "go broke". Therefore, we must win the game using Ki-43 IIb Oscars if necessary. In combination with our fearsome 27kt Matsu class destroyers ... ;-)

Nice idea about expanding those small ports on the Yellow Sea. I hadn't thought of that, but it makes sense since there is a surfeit of supply in those areas.



I am sorry, I just noticed that. That will help a lot then. Expanding HI in a few places in China and Korea makes some sense. Especially in China since it allows you to use some of the supplies in situ. I moved a lot of APs and AKs in ones and twos into the Yellow sea as quickly as I could. And I started moving troops to the Yellow Sea ports immediatley as well.

_____________________________

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 8:09:40 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Turn 2 - September 2 1945

Eek!



Those are attacks from CVEs. Amazingly the targeted TF mostly survived, due to the Avengers bombing from 20,000ft. Probably just forgot to set "Use Torpedoes" ...

I really wasn't expecting any landings yet, and there's pretty much absolutely nothing I can do about this one. American ordnance was deposited in large quantities on all the Formosa airfields this turn, and I have no surface assets nearby. I doubt the three Alfs at Amoy are really up to the job of repelling the invasion on their own ;-)

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/15/2011 2:30:31 AM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 8:22:02 PM   
Captain Cruft


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On the plus side, the German imports were in action today for the first time.



A mere 2 planes down for 17 kills ... One pilot has even graduated to TRACOM as a result.

One thing I found surprising about this turn. There were two or three naval attacks with huge numbers of escorting fighters where my CAP managed to break through and get at the Avengers (this plane is not seeming lucky so far). Not sure why. Maybe it's the ubiquitous 20,000ft altitude he seems to use, which as it happens is where most of my fighters fly.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/14/2011 8:24:12 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 8:29:21 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Here is the overall picture for the day.



The additional ships sunk were a bunch of SCs tied up in port at Pescadores and a couple of TKs from the CVE attack. After today I think I might have to revise my idea of making this base a Festung, other than in the very short term.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/14/2011 8:30:20 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/14/2011 11:40:48 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Strategic Bombing

Forgot to mention ...

The B-29s hit Yokohama at night from 25,000ft. Apart from shooting down a few of my utterly useless night fighters the raids did little damage, with small FIRES resulting. He needs to reduce the altitude and/or come over in the day time.

Formosa plan

I have formulated a highly sophisticated plan for the defence of Formosa, assuming that's where he's going to land. One kamikaze unit flying the special Ki-115 Tsurugi planes with around 20 LowN skill will attempt to intervene, escorted (hopefully) by a 50 exp Tojo IIc unit. There is really nothing else to hand, and I also don't want to waste too many planes before I have the pilots trained up to a level where they might hit something.

I am virtually certain that this attack will achieve nothing, but I don't want to seem completely passive.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/15/2011 8:03:41 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Turn 3 - September 3 1945

No landings on Formosa, so it's probably a blockade or raid type of op.



My kami strike went in against one of the CVE TFs, but as expected achieved nothing. The Tojos managed to shoot down a few FM-2 Wildcats but it was not enough. A mere 2 bombers (out of 18) made it through the CAP only to be summarily despatched by flak.

Hengchun was obliterated by well over 200 bombers, with several valuable Ki-15 Babs recon planes destroyed on the ground. Pescadores was also hit but is still alive.

The only action in the Home Islands was more night-time strategic bombing of Yokohama. This time the B-29s came over at 17,000ft and as a result did a lot more damage, though still nothing catastrophic.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/15/2011 8:12:32 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/15/2011 10:21:02 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Turn 3 summary



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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/16/2011 12:03:36 AM   
stuman


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft

On the plus side, the German imports were in action today for the first time.



A mere 2 planes down for 17 kills ... One pilot has even graduated to TRACOM as a result.

One thing I found surprising about this turn. There were two or three naval attacks with huge numbers of escorting fighters where my CAP managed to break through and get at the Avengers (this plane is not seeming lucky so far). Not sure why. Maybe it's the ubiquitous 20,000ft altitude he seems to use, which as it happens is where most of my fighters fly.


Make sure the Ki-201 has plenty of support, and use it defensively, probably not for sweeps.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/16/2011 12:04:56 AM   
Captain Cruft


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That's exactly what I am doing :-)

If I do one Sweep in this game I'll be very surprised.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/16/2011 8:19:05 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Turn 4 - September 4 1945

Air losses for the day. I will comment later, but ...



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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/16/2011 8:23:45 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Oh yes the Me-262s ...



I believe that's 30 to 1 for the day ...

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/16/2011 8:24:49 PM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 1:50:13 AM   
Captain Cruft


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OK so what happened?

Well, first off during the night the B-29s visited Yokohama again, this time at 15,000ft. The Denkos made their first kill, which was nice, but of course they could not stop the attack and subsequent damage.

I have lost about 15 factories to the FIRES thus far, mostly aircraft (Tokas) and engines (NE Turbojets). At this point I am not repairing anything since I have no clarity on the supply situation going forward.

Then during the day we had:-

An unescorted B-29 port attack on Niigata, where the "KB" starts out. I have Georges and Sams (the funny ones) on CAP here with half-decent pilots flying them. They did quite well and shot down 7 bombers, albeit receiving a few casualties in return. However, the main point was that the attack was sufficiently disrupted to achieve little. Two CMcs were sunk, that was about it.

There followed a huge number of sweeps and airfield attacks over Formosa from both the CVE fleets and the USAAF bases in the Philippines and Okinawa. There was little resistance (it has mostly been eradicated) so this was mostly a matter of shooting at thin air and making rubble bounce.

Then we had the main event - A bunch of actual CVs (4 or 5 at a guess) turned up off the coast of Kyushu just to the east of Amami Oshima. I had seen these guys coming from the Marianas direction but sort of assumed they were heading for Okinawa. I have no real way of attacking them anyway at this point so did nothing to prepare except maintain CAP.

Well, I'm really not sure what FJ was trying to achieve here but what happened was that the CVs launched numerous naval attacks on TFs loading/unloading at Fukuoka and Nagasaki. This was without any prior airbase suppression, just fighters escorting the SBDs and TBDs at 20,000ft.

So, my massed CAP, despite being highly variable in plane and pilot quality, managed to shoot down a lot of US carrier planes. While of course taking large casualties themselves. One thing which helped a lot (I mentioned it before) is that for some reason my fighters often seem to be able to get amongst the bombers and pick up some easy kills. I can only think this is something to do with altitude.

A few ships were sunk and badly damaged including a CVE and an E, but considering what would have happened if the carrier bombers were not level bombing from 20,000ft I got off very lightly.

All in all a very pleasing day, but it doesn't really change anything.

< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/17/2011 2:04:45 AM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 2:16:08 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Visual sitrep.

All the Allied TFs that aren't obviously subs are carriers.



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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 2:21:26 AM   
Captain Cruft


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You don't need to be a stupendous flyer to get some kills in this sort of environment ...



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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/17/2011 2:22:00 AM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 3:02:30 AM   
Cribtop


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13 CV and CVE TFs. This scenario is not for the faint of heart.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 9:54:19 AM   
bigbaba


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wow, the ME-262 unit has realy good kill stats. you plan to use them against allied B-29?

< Message edited by bigbaba -- 2/17/2011 9:57:05 AM >

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 12:19:14 PM   
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I'm playing this scenario as the allies in a pbem against Andy. we've got to mid Jan 46 and I've got some things right and some things wrong. Not sure I should give too much away but the allies have a LOT of stuff.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 12:37:40 PM   
Captain Cruft


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bigbaba,

I can't control where the B-29s will appear but if they do show up near the Karyus in the day-time then of course they will have a go at them. They will probably not be much better at shooting them down than any other fighter though.

Admiral Lord sprior,

Nice of you to drop in. Yes indeed the Allies do have a LOT of stuff ... I'll just do me best sir :-)

Even if the Emperor has to be evacuated to Ulleungdo we will carry on the bitter end.

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RE: Downfall PBEM - Cruft vs. Fallschirmjaeger (no FJ pls) - 2/17/2011 12:39:46 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Note

We seem to have contracted the sync bug, so FJ is getting completely false combat replays. I am sending the combat report text file over and hopefully the thing will resolve itself at some point.

I thought this had been pretty much eradicated though?


< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/17/2011 1:01:57 PM >

(in reply to Captain Cruft)
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