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Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) vs CF (A)

 
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Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop (J) ... - 3/2/2011 5:42:28 AM   
Cribtop


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Lt. Commander Daigo Yoshino stood on the tower of the Akagi in angry darkness. Dark because the pre-dawn light had yet to fully assert itself, angry because of the noise of dozens of radial engines just below. Rows of naval aircraft arrayed on the flight deck awaited only a signal from the Bridge before leaping into the skies. The Pacific was poised on the knife edge of war. Yoshino felt the moment would last a lifetime, and reflected on the odd twists of fate that found him here, spectator to the boldest gamble in the history of the Imperial Japanese Navy...

October, 1941

The annoying buzzing in Yoshino's ears slowly resolved itself into incessant rapping on the door to his quarters, accompanied by an equally insistent pounding between his temples. "Lieutenant Daigo Yoshino, you are summoned to the Headquarters of Combined Fleet" said a familiar voice.

"Very funny, Jiro, now leave me alone to suffer" drawled Yoshino. The voice belonged to staff officer and intelligence analyst Lt. Katsamata Jiro, who happened to be a good friend and fellow participant in last night's rather rowdy goings on in a posh restaurant in Kure, Japan to celebrate the conclusion of a naval strategy conference held on board battleship Nagato. To Yoshino's surprise, the tone of Jiro's voice remained formal and grew more insistent. "I'm serious, Yoshi, there's been something of a stir this morning and others are being rousted out of bed today. This could be bad for you."

Something in Jiro's voice compelled Yoshino to stumble up to his washbasin. Peering through saki reddened eyes he could see there was significant work to do along the road to presentability...

Yoshino was intimidated and amazed as he was whisked from his quarters to a staff car and thence to the ornate offices of Combined Fleet. Upon entering the room, his ears registered the closing of the door behind him. The remainder of his body froze as he realized that the room was occupied by Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku, commander of Combined Fleet, Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi, commander of BatDiv 3 with his flag on Battleship Kirishima, and Commander Genda Minoru of Combined Fleet. Ironically, it was the presence of Genda that caused the greatest concern. Re-assignments, transfers and other administrative matters were sometimes made in the presence of senior officers, but Genda's inclusion gave this meeting the feeling of a cabal. Yoshino's skin began to crawl. He was uncertain whether this constituted an improvement from paralysis or a worsening of his condition.

Genda spoke: "Lieutenant Daigo, it has come to our attention that you discussed certain proposed operations with members of Kirishima's wardroom at last night's, err, spirited celebrations. Please describe what you were told."

It is rare that a person of Yoshino's aristocratic upbringing misreads a situation. As the first son of an influential family, political dealings and subtext were as common to his makeup as snow in winter. In fact, it was his analytical skills (and his Mother's embarrassing insistence to his Father that he be kept out of combat) that got him assigned to his current staff position in the first place. It was thus a testament to his powerful hangover, nervousness and general confusion that he thoughtlessly blundered into one of the great miscalculations of his life. "Oh, is that what this is about?" he said with relief. "Several of my table mates had overheard some nonsense about a separate set of war-games on Nagato that simulated an attack by our carriers on the American fleet at Hawaii."

Mikawa rumbled an odd coughing sound, but Genda's eyes flickered to the battleship officer for only a heartbeat before resuming. "Perhaps you could explain your assertion that such a plan would be nonsense" he said with a strangely taut voice.

Something in his tone awakened Yoshino's numbed instincts, and he began an impromptu summary. "First, it deviates from standard doctrine, which calls for engaging the enemy fleet near home waters in a decisive battle only after submarines, light forces and carriers have attritted his strength in the long approach. Second, it exposes a very expensive strategic asset, namely the ships of Kido Butai and its elite naval aviators, to extreme risks while engaging the enemy near his main base at Pearl Harbor. Third, the distances involved will strain re-fueling capabilities of the fleet or require that it stop at Truk or the Marshall Islands. The former proposal is dangerous while the latter risks discovery and loss of surprise, which would be essential to the operation's success. Fourth, it would leave our forces in the Southern Resource Area without air cover. While strategic surprise has value, and the proposed operation would certainly be unexpected, I would respectfully remind the Commander of the limited success of the surprise attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur at the commencement of hostilities in 1905."

"A textbook summation of the operation's flaws, Lieutenant. Is there anything to recommend it?"

At Genda's question, Yoshino detected the slightest movement from the heretofore passive Admiral Yamamoto, just a momentary leaning forward, like a whispering breeze in a summer garden. Whatever test this was, he sensed it was crucial. "If surprise is maintained, and if our aircraft are capable of prosecuting an attack against a fleet at anchor, one might expect similar results as the recent British assault on the Italian fleet at Taranto. Crippling or sinking significant elements of the American Pacific Fleet could give us time to seize the Southern Resource Area unmolested. However, given the high risk of loss of our carrier strike force, I would only recommend such an operation if for some reason we believed that Japan was significantly overmatched in a potential conflict with the United States and needed to quickly force a decision."

Yamamoto finally spoke. "Lieutenant, assumptions bear careful consideration and should only be discarded once in possession of all relevant information." With that cryptic remark, he stood, indicating the interview was at an end. Two hours later, Yoshino was informed of a brevet promotion to Lt. Commander and given orders to report to Commander Genda on board CV Akagi. Several young officers from Kirishima were quietly transferred to 5th Fleet bases on the far side of Hokkaido on the same day...

Two months of hard work later, Yoshino watched the first Type 00 fighter assigned to combat air patrol take off as dawn approached on December 7, 1941. He still puzzled over Yamamoto's implication that the war now undertaken by the Empire of the Rising Sun was more of a gamble than the air raid on Pearl Harbor, several thousand miles from home...


< Message edited by Cribtop -- 3/11/2011 9:17:31 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 5:57:54 AM   
1275psi

 

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ooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh

goody
something to read other than combat reports every day -and nicely done too!

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 6:18:23 AM   
Cribtop


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Thanks, 1275!

Thus begins my companion AAR to Cuttlefish's "Ship of Steel, Men of Valor." We plan to await general release of the current beta patch before commencing hostilities, and until that point Cuttlefish is very welcome in this thread.

First, I want to say what an honor it is to be selected as the opponent for Cuttlefish's new "Hibiki-style" AAR, which looks at the Pacific War from the perspective of the USN Destroyer Gridley. I was a huge "Small Ship, Big War" fan - in fact that story was one of the primary motivators to make the leap from an AI player to PBEM.

My AAR will be more along the lines of my previous games, with a full perspective from the halls of Imperial General Headquarters a/k/a Cribtop HQ. However, in honor of the project that these two AARs are undertaking, I do plan to shift to first person accounts of key moments in the war, and the post above is my first effort at such a vignette.

Given the differing nature of the AARs, I suspect many readers of Cuttlefish's journal will also be following my account in order to understand better what's happening in the broader war. I have no problem with that but would respectfully ask all readers of both sides to be extra careful about comments that could violate OpSec for either CF or myself.

So, on with the story. I promise not to intentionally try to sink the Gridley, but my pixeltruppen are known for violating my orders on the best of days...

PS - I notice it is now after midnight and thus officially March 2nd. Happy Texas Independence Day to everyone! Hopefully an auspicious sign that this AAR begins on such a red letter date for us Texans.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 3/2/2011 7:01:50 AM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 6:46:18 AM   
Cribtop


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Here are the agreed upon House Rules (compiled from e-mails and subject to confirmation by Cuttlefish):

- Must pay PPs at the LCU (not HQ) level for restricted commands to cross national boundaries. Exception: Royal Thai Army units are allowed to enter Burma only (due to historical promise by Japan to Thai government that they could occupy parts of Burma).

- PDU On

- No strategic bombing by Japan in China ever.

- No strategic bombing by Allies in captured Allied territory until 1943.

- No 4E naval bombing below 10,000 feet.

- Invasions only in base hexes.

- No abusive paratroop fragment drops (i.e. try to get as much of the unit into the target hex as possible given available resources, don't drop one para LCU on multiple hexes in same turn, etc.).

- Non-historical start. However, Japanese player will not re-direct invasions to implausible turn 1 targets (e.g. Java or Hawaii).

- Allies can only give orders to existing TFs on turn 1. Force Z may be re-directed from its kamikaze run on the Malaya invasion beaches.

- Only one Japanese port attack on turn 1.

- Avoid silliness with high altitude sweeps. We will not develop a hard and fast rule on this unless deemed necessary.

Both CF and I are more historical players and don't anticipate either party pushing the envelope. These HRs may be subject to change after reasonable discussion if an issue arises and both players will of course seek to avoid "gameyness" in general.



< Message edited by Cribtop -- 3/13/2011 4:39:40 AM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 6:48:05 AM   
Cribtop


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A few abbreviations I use commonly. I may add to this list as we move forward.

KB - self explanatory, Kido Butai, the Strike Force of the IJN.

KBL - my shorthand for what many players call Mini-KB (mini-KB takes too long to type and KBL is consistent with CVL).

MKB - Mega KB, the force created when KB and KBL operate together.

SCTF - a surface combat task force, SAG in modern parlance.

LCTF - a type of light SCTF, usually 3CL and 6DD, that we determined is very effective at chasing off or hunting down PT boats and other light combatants.

Air Division or Air Flotilla - a new doctrine, refers not just to the HQ itself but the up to six air battalions and/or companies plus at least 3 AA units that will operate together to ensure good support of major ground or sea operations. In other words, we will make sure that the invasion of Burma has a specific group of base force and AA units that are semi-permanently and informally attached to the 3rd Air Division HQ.

Torpedo enabled - a base that can draw on an air or command HQ to arm strike a/c with torpedoes.

Chain Invasions - Early in Phase I, we often load multiple amphibious TFs and invade multiple targets in sequence covered by a powerful SCTF, an LCTF, an ASW TF and usually KB or at least strong LBA. This is seen as the best early war balance between operational speed while the Allies are weak and force protection. We usually invade the base furthest from safety first and then march back toward home waters.

Dud or duds - a shorthand for a sub attack that hits but does not explode, e.g. "Seawolf duds on a TK near Borneo."

DC or DC'd - Depth charge or depth charged

DA = Deliberate Attack

SA = Shock Attack

BA = Bombardment Attack

DIS = disruption

FAT = fatigue

Casualties. We list the enemy's casualties first, then ours. If a ground battle, we put squads destroyed in parentheses. For example: "DA takes base X with 10:1 odds, casualties 2300(100) vs 150(10)."



< Message edited by Cribtop -- 5/5/2011 11:49:10 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 7:05:44 AM   
LoBaron


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Good luck Cribtop!

And you definitely get my vote for 'Best AAR Title!'
But great start yourself. It will be very interesting to read both.

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All hail the superior ones!

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 7:21:58 AM   
cantona2


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Good luck Cribtop, looking forward to the ride!

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 8:26:33 AM   
Whipple

 

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quote:

PS - I notice it is now after midnight and thus officially March 2nd. Happy Texas Independence Day to everyone! Hopefully an auspicious sign that this AAR begins on such a red letter date for us Texans.


Only a true Texan understands the significance of this day. July 4th is almost as important, but not quite. Man I LOVE being a Texan.

Whipple

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 12:39:53 PM   
Onime No Kyo


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Hi Crib. I saw your AAR title and thought I'd pop in to say "because youre the bad guy!".

Good luck.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 2:42:30 PM   
Cribtop


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Onime, as Pete Townsend said, no one knows what it's like to be the bad guy (unless, of course, they read this AAR)

Whipple, I doubly appreciate March 2nd as I was originally from San Antonio. The fact that the independence deliberations were occurring during the siege of the Alamo was always interesting to me.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 3:03:38 PM   
Canoerebel


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Dwain,

Congrats on a great match. I hope you and Cuttles will have weeks and months and years of pleasant and challenging competition. I know one thing - you guys have drawn reliable opponents. That means that all the rest of us in the peanut gallery get to enjoy lots of good AAR entries for a long time to come.

Best of luck,

Canoe

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 3:38:40 PM   
Cribtop


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Thanks, Dan. I'm really looking forward to it. Just need that darn patch!

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 3:45:39 PM   
Grollub


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Good luck!

Settling in ...

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 8:38:36 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

I would respectfully remind the Commander of the limited success of the surprise attack on the Russian fleet in Port Arthur at the commencement of hostilities in 1905."

"A textbook summation of the operation's flaws, Lieutenant. Is there anything to recommend it?"

At Genda's question, Yoshino detected the slightest movement from the heretofore passive Admiral Yamamoto, just a momentary leaning forward, like a whispering breeze in a summer garden. Whatever test this was, he sensed it was crucial. "If surprise is maintained, and if our aircraft are capable of prosecuting an attack against a fleet at anchor, one might expect similar results as the recent British assault on the Italian fleet at Taranto.


Very impressive command of history. Yoshino might also have pointed out the shallow depth of Pearl harbor, making air-dropped torpedoes unlikely to work. (He would not have known about the wooden-fin modifications.)

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 9:37:56 PM   
Cribtop


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True enough, Capt. That was so critical to the attack that Yamamoto was willing to abort if the torps could not be made to work in the shallow harbor.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 3/3/2011 8:51:11 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 10:29:29 PM   
Whipple

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

Whipple, I doubly appreciate March 2nd as I was originally from San Antonio. The fact that the independence deliberations were occurring during the siege of the Alamo was always interesting to me.


The Alamo....*removes hat* Moment of silence.

I'm from Anahuac, http://www.co.chambers.tx.us/fortanahuac/forthistory.html

Whipple

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1981 RTC, SD
81-82 NPS, Orlando
82-85 NPTU, Idaho Falls
85-90 USS Truxtun (CGN-35)
90-93 USS George Washington (CVN-73)
93-96 NFAS Orlando
96-01 Navsea-08/Naval Reactors

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/2/2011 10:57:24 PM   
Mynok


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South Carolinians with a knowledge of history understand too.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/3/2011 2:09:35 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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Yeah. South Carolinian Martians.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/3/2011 3:08:54 AM   
nashvillen


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Subscribed, will be interesting to see the other side of what CF is doing with the Gridley.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/3/2011 4:03:12 AM   
Cribtop


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As we may have discussed, Mynok, my Dad's family is from South Carolina, so we are very fluent in Palmetto. Our family joke was "grits for breakfast and fajitas for lunch."

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/3/2011 4:58:35 AM   
T Rav

 

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Best of luck!

T Rav
Not a Texan, but my great-grandfather considered it back in the day




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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/4/2011 6:38:05 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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I thought I'd drop by while I still can and wish Cribtop good luck in the game ahead. I'm really looking forward to it. And to say that I enjoyed the opening entry of his AAR and I'm sad I won't be able to read any of the others.

I am a Yankee, born and bred, but in honor of Cribtop one of the protagonists in my AAR is from Texas.

I sure hope that patch doesn't take too long...




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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/4/2011 7:03:39 PM   
Cribtop


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I noticed the inclusion of the Texan and appreciate it, CF.

Like you, I'm dying for the patch. I feel like I have a new corvette convertible with no gas in the tank right now. Still, it gives me more time to plot your demise.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/11/2011 9:31:36 PM   
kaleun

 

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quote:

like a whispering breeze in a summer garden

This simile is so Japanese.

Subscribed and anxiously waiting.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/13/2011 4:41:24 AM   
Cribtop


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Thanks, Kaleun! It will be a challenge to write from another culture's perspective but it's good to see my first effort has hit the mark.

The primary reason for this post is to note that I have updated the house rules post above. Cuttlefish, please review and confirm I got everything from our e-mails.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/13/2011 6:21:11 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Confirmed! The list looks good to me. We are ready for battle. May the Emperor's reign last 1000 years!

No, wait, that's wrong. After all those games as Japan old habits may be hard to break. Remember Pearl Harbor! Charge!


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/13/2011 4:36:34 PM   
Cribtop


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Hehe. CF, that reminds me of the movie Charge of the Light Brigade. When the British generals learn war has been declared they pull out a huge map of France and begin to plan the usual strategies. Then a younger officer interrupts and says "Excuse me, sir, but we're at war with Russia. The French are our allies this time."

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/28/2011 12:19:42 AM   
nashvillen


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Cribtop: Thanks for the compliment on the Sig Art. I will pass it along to the person that put it together for me! (Helps to work on the same floor as a great graphic designer)

As for the HI to build the B-10, There were so many upgrades she spent more time in the Shipyards at Kobe instead of on the ocean killing Allied CV TFs that what was spent making her was wasted...

I look forward to watching you and Cuttlefish go at it! I wish I could discipline myself enough to do an AAR. I have two great games going right now vs. rjopel (Scen #1, me-Japan, just ending Sep 42), and vs. javnavy (Guadalcanal, me-Japan, just ending Aug 42). I am starting another Scen #1 with Rusty1961 with myself being Japan.

I find the non-combat side of Japan to be intriguing and addictive!

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/28/2011 12:27:14 AM   
nashvillen


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Have you ever heard of "Federation & Empire"? It is the strategic side of the SFU and would be right down your ally if you like WITP:AE, which I assume you do.

More information here: http://www.starfleetgames.com/federationandempire.shtml

Myself or rjopel can give you more information, if you are interested.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 3/28/2011 12:32:20 AM   
Cribtop


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Played two campaigns cover to cover, my friend! Attacked the Gorn on game turn one 'cause, well, they're the Gorn!

_____________________________

Follow my latest AAR as I do battle with our resident author Cuttlefish at: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2742735

(in reply to nashvillen)
Post #: 30
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