From: Chehalis, WA
ORIGINAL: Commander Cody
CR: Congratulations on the victory! You have provided some excellent strategic lessons in this AAR.
That he has!
The quote below is a copy what I sent to Dan after my surrender.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the game. While it wasn't the type of game I was expecting, It certainly turned out to be entertaining and more than a bit frustrating, I might add. I did truely enjoy it and I can now say that I have been expertly schooled on how to conduct a defence!
From the very first move you had me reacting to your moves instead of you reacting to mine and that, my friend, is not a good place to be when one is supposed to be on the offensive. Those early troops losses you inflicted on me also hobbled me more than I could ever say. That forced me to wait for reinforcements which in turn gave you a chance to do what you wanted to. Certainly took the wind out of my sails time and time again.
Festung Sumatra was brilliant. While I don't think it belongs in a historical game, it certainly is a strategy well worth considering in a more open game. If the Japanese player fails to recognize it early (guilty) or if he does not have enough uncommitted troops to prevent it (again guilty), then he is up a creek without the proverbial paddle. Once established, it is near impossible to penetrate without stripping forces from every part of the empire. That then allows the allied player the freedom to go and do whatever he wants.
And even more frightening was your Kurile Island gambit. Had you kept going, you could have gobbled up the Kuriles and then landed virtually unopposed on Hokkaido. Japanese Home Island forces are restricted to the Home Islands and cannot deploy to the Kuriles (5th Fleet) so there would have been nothing to prevent the Kuriles from falling. The only reinforcements Hokkaido can receive is via airlift. Even the air forces are restricted. I had to bring in troops from the Philippines and China to sep up a defensive line. All of the IJA aircraft came from Manchuria and much of the IJN aircraft came from the 4th Fleet.
The Kurile Island and nothern Japan force structure are one of the things AE got very, very wrong IMO. It definitely needs to be reworked.
Dan proved to be a very wiley opponent. He did everything right and I, well, not so much. He kept me off balance from day one. There were many times when all I could do was look at the map and think, "How in the heck did he do that?" or "Where did that come from?"
I would like to recap the state of the Japanese fleet at present...
Carriers: 6 CVs, 4 CVEs in Manila ready for action. I CVL without an airwing (Ryuho arrives 9 months before its airwing does!)
Battleships: 2 ready, 2 heavily damaged. Huyga is available and Kongo almost ready to come out of the Osaka yards. Yamato at Hiroshima yards with 247 days to go, Yamashiro enroute Japan with heavy damage.
Heavy Cruisers: 3 with minor-moderate damage (Nachi, Chikuma, Ashigara), 3 with heavy damage (Takao, Maya, Haguro)
Light Cruisers: 5 available, 1 other with moderate damage and 1 with heavy damage
Destroyers: 56 available, 17 others with moderate-heavy damage
The IJA is is similar straits. Of the 45 IJA divisions on the map, 35 are restricted to China, the Home Islands or Manchuria. Of the 10 unrestricted divisions, 4 are full strength, 3 at 75% strength, 2 at 50% strength and 1 at 25% strength. The 4 full strength divisions are located at Hokaido, Singapore, Batavia and Cam Rahn Bay. The remaining divisions are all pinned down by Dan's forces and unable to move. They are at Padang, Kuching, Pegu and Magwe. These all represent the understrength divisions.
The airforces are in much better shape though both the IJA and IJN airforces are suffering from experience losses. Having PDU off is both a boon and a bust for the Japanese. It helps prevent the late war allied machine from getting too strong but it also limits the Japanese in the ame way so many units are still flying obsolete fighters.
Currently the IJN has 246 fighters in 16 units with one unit still flying A5M2 Claudes. The IJA has 616 fighters in 34 units however 21 of those units are restricted and still flying Ki-27b Nates. 10 units are flying the Ki-43 series Oscars and 2 are flying the Ki-44-II. One special unit is flying the Ki-46 KAI. Experience levels are averaging around 50. Bomber strength is good with ok experience levels.
The last turn we played what his air force is capable of. I lost 53 fighters and 17 bombers in air-air combat compared to his 2 fighters... OUCH!
One last thing I would like to mention is the move that scared me the most was Dan's invasion of the Kuriles. The Japanese simply do not have enough forces to prevent a dedicated effort to take the islands. The only forces located nearby are restricted Home Island forces and they can't be moved to the Kuriles. Indeed you have to airlift the Home Island forces to get them onto Hokkaido!
Once taken, Hokkaido is then wide open to invasion. Just stationing heavy bombers in the Kuriles will allow the allied player to completely devastate Japan from the air very early on. This might be worth an HR to some players.
Anyways, I have appreciated this game. We are different type players to be sure but I have a feeling that Dan would still have been giving me fits even in a more historically based game.
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98