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

 
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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/29/2012 11:27:47 PM   
Crackaces


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The big thing is to capture Kaylemo in my opinion. Operation "Extended Capital" cannot happen without a LOC from Imphal to Kaylemo. I assume wazzup is covered well also? If the IJA can bottle up the Brit's in that God awful rough jungle terrain .. you have enough cushion to defend Burma till '44 .. if they can get beans, bullets, and butts with supplies on Kaylemo .. it is Katy bar the door ..

Not sure how his airfield/supply situation looks but nice juicy IJA targets at Cox's Bazzar is sort of inviting .. I might even invite the IJA for tea before the 4E's come to pay a visit ..

Just my .02 ...

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/29/2012 11:34:27 PM   
Cribtop


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I don't disagree but CF has chosen, probably for historical reasons, to keep US air groups ( including all 4Es) in the Pacific.

Definitely plan on getting to the whole arc of bases Imphal to Ledo. Recon confirms they are mostly empty save for the at start Burma forces.

Still, risk abounds, no doubt. Part of the phased landing approach is to evaluate before we commit the big guns. If things go poorly from the start we just plop six divisions into Rangoon and defend the Ramree to Lashio line.

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Post #: 1712
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/7/2012 3:06:43 AM   
adm

 

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It's been a week!

At least tell us if it worked, failed, or is in the balance with how many days they have been on the beach.

Pllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaassssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Post #: 1713
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/7/2012 3:19:16 AM   
Cribtop


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Sorry! Had a business trip but will update tomorrow.

Short answers. We are ashore in good order, opposition is slightly more than expected (one Indian Brigade), and it took longer than expected to unload the first wave. No attacks on our shipping.

Also, CF's CVs were spotted by a picket West of Exmouth! Lots going on.

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Post #: 1714
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/7/2012 3:28:37 AM   
adm

 

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Thank you for the quick reply.

Banzai!

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Post #: 1715
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/9/2012 10:31:33 PM   
Cribtop


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January 20, 1943

A poorly timed intervention by real life sent me on a business trip the day after I sent out the orders for the landing of the first wave at Cox's Bazaar. Time to catch up at last.

Subs

A brave SC crew escorting a resource convoy near Sendai uses its shiny new Mod-2 DC launchers to score two penetrating hits on Herring in deep water. Nice. No sinking sounds, but that sub is headed home the long way and may not make it.

5th Fleet

A sub spots a BB near Adak in the Aleutians. Later in the turn, search planes report 2 CA and 2 DD in the TF. Is this a bombardment run or an FT TF invasion? Probably the former as winter invasions up here are ugly.

SE Fleet

39 B-24s hit the unimproved port at Umboi Island and destroy the small mine tender present there.

Whirlwind

As if for dramatic effect, the rest of the war is very quiet today as the main event begins!

We launch night raids on the airfields at Chittagong and Akyab to try to disrupt enemy air ops.

The troops go ashore beginning in the unloading phase after the night move. Casualties are a little high in the first phase, which is to be expected given the lack of prep for the target. We chose not to prep at all as the odds 20-something prep would help had to be weighed against the likelihood of SigInt giving away surprise. The enemy has 46th Indian Brigade and a small base force present. Two small AA units are in the neighborhood, probably originally bound for Akyab and Cox's Bazaar (CB). There are no CD guns, but Bofors fired from shore damage one xAK. There is no other resistance to the landings from the ground other than an auto BA showing raw AS at 253:131 in our favor. Good news as only about 60% of the two first wave divisions are ashore.

The Royal Navy is nowhere to be seen. It appears surprise was achieved.

In the air, the invasion TFs are repeatedly spotted by enemy search planes, but no strikes are in the offing. Mr. Tojo sweeps CB and brushes aside a weak LRCAP of Hurricanes, followed by major IJAAF raids at CB and Akyab, the former a ground attack, the latter airfield suppression. KB and the second wave TF, lurking over the horizon, are not detected.

All in all, a good start.

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Post #: 1716
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/9/2012 10:41:41 PM   
Cribtop


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January 21, 1943

Subs

Ha-31, moved into the Noumea hex, misses an APD and will RV with its mother ship.

5th Fleet

A TF led by BB Colorado and CA Quincy bombard Adak for damage in the low 30s. We don't care much as the only air groups permanently based here are seaplanes.

SE Fleet

Lae goes to forts 6.

Whirlwind

Unloading continues at CB with nominal casualties. The xAK hit by 40mm yesterday goes down. Japanese forces are on alert for mass air attacks on invasion shipping, but they are met with... Nothing! CF probably decided his Blenheims and B-25s were ill-suited to the task of naval attacks, but we are still surprised at the freebie.

Bassein goes to airfield 2, which is great as it will serve as a fighter base, taking pressure off the busy field at Rangoon.

Allied BA at CB shows revised AS up to 387 vs 128.

Other

Hordes of much needed base forces arrive at Tokyo.

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Post #: 1717
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/9/2012 11:06:44 PM   
Cribtop


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January 22, 1943

Enemy carriers on the move!

Subs

ASW harasses Amberjack near Kagoshima. Thresher misses an xAK near Sendai, and once again Mod-2 DCs hit the enemy.

SE Fleet

The Liberators visit both Umboi and, for the first time, Meruake. Damage is minimal and we will send Nicks to Meruake.

Ndeni goes to airfield 6, Luganville to 8.

Southern Army

CF wisely chooses to exploit the known position of KB by moving his CVs forward. A picket spots SBDs and torpedo planes near Exmouth. Cribtop Intel believes the enemy is re-activating the invasion plans he scrubbed when KB fortuitously transited the Torres Strait to break up the party a few months ago. We estimate the target to be Port Hedland, Broome or Derby. However, there is weakness currently in the defenses of Java. If the enemy is uber-bold, he will be rewarded.

We pull all LBA reserves toward the region, activate the Timor Sea Squadron (4 CA and 4 DD), and sortie Yamato, Mushashi, several DDs and a CVE from Singers. These forces really can't stop enemy carriers, but will be lurking in case an opening occurs.

Assuming the target is NW Oz, Port Hedland is well defended, Broome and Derby are empty. Cribtop HQ would love to get CF into a CV battle before he gets Hellcats, and we judge that opportunity to be more important than holding onto NW Oz, which in 1943 is living on borrowed time anyway.

Great game though. Blow and counter-blow.

Katherine goes to forts 4.

Burma

Mandalay occupied at last. An Allied DA at Bhamo drops forts to 2, odds 2:1, casualties 305(5) vs 597(4). The RTA won't hold here long.

Whirlwind

Today we see the air action we expected yesterday as unloading continues over the now secure beachhead.

Tojos sweep CB and find 20 Hurricanes. It's not even close, and over the course of the day we run up a score of 24:3 in terms of fighters. Our Tojo groups are pushing average EXP levels of 80 now. Yikes.

The Oscar IIa debuts as an escort today as the IJAAF pounds enemy forces at CB. The RAF returns the favor, ignoring our ships to bomb our troops. An enemy raid of Blenheims and B-25s has its Hurricane escorts mauled by KB Zeros on LRCAP but gets through. Damage is material but not unbearable.

Allied BA at CB shows raw AS now at 499:125. DA tomorrow!

Analysis

So far, the big difference in this game has been the effective Japanese ISR work vs the lack of quality ISR from CF. Our pickets, subs and search planes have kept Tokyo in the loop on enemy moves, granting precious time to prepare defenses and counter-attack. In contrast, we have been able to sneak up on the enemy at critical moments undetected.


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Post #: 1718
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/9/2012 11:29:01 PM   
Cribtop


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January 23, 1943

Subs

A new model midget fails to penetrate the harbor at Pago Pago. We prefer just parking them in the hex rather than attempting penetration, but in this case we were trying to get lucky for purposes of intel. We believe Pago Pago is a major hub for enemy convoys based on SigInt and are trying to confirm.

Trusty sinks a PB near Singers. Cribtop HQ commends the Captain for firing on the escort instead of the tankers it was guarding. Later in the turn, two ASW planes report hits on the sub.

Local ASW forces DC and damage a mini sub parked at Sydney. The mini will be forced to retire.

Southern Army

Another picket detects enemy CV aircraft near Exmouth. It appears the enemy will turn East on a course consistent with a target in Oz. Cribtop HQ breathes a small sigh of relief. We will have approx 100 crack Zeros and 100 elite Nells in position by the 24th or 25th. Our naval forces are sailing into position as well but won't intervene unless the enemy moves toward the DEI.

Burma

The short battle of Bhamo ends today with another Allied attack. 7:1 odds force the 2 RTA units to retreat, casualties 207(3) vs 1304(103). The only consolation is that the two Thai units retreat into the mountain hex just over the Chinese border, blocking the road there and perhaps forcing more delay on CF, who must either leave these troops in his rear or clean them up before going for Lashio.

Whirlwind

Another sweep of CB hammers enemy Hurricanes, the tally is only 5:1 because the enemy's numbers are falling off. The IJAAF then comes in to hit the 46th Brigade in support of our assault.

DA Cox's Bazaar drops forts to 2 and obtains 3:1 odds, casualties 117(1) vs 174(2). Banzai! With that result, it appears sure the base will fall within one or two more attacks.

The RAF fighter force in Assam is decimated. Recon before the invasion showed 60ish fighters at Chittagong and 80ish at Dacca. Recon now shows fighters at these bases in the high teens and low 20s, respectively. CF's decision not to use American 4Es and fighters here has thus ceded air superiority to Japan, and that superiority is threatening to become supremacy. Again, kudos to CF as I believe this to be a historical play on his part, but it does make Burma a bit tougher for him.

China

We shift bombing targets to Paoshan because the other two mountain airfields are wrecked. We continue to hammer Chungking and Kweiyang as well.

Cribtop HQ moves forces to the 23rd Army front in preparation for Operation Scalpel, a probe toward Tuyun and Kweiyang. We cannot afford to bring overwhelming force to bear here without stripping the defenses of the central front, but Cribtop Intel is betting the enemy's supply-deprived condition may be bad enough we could break through. If not, nothing is lost by the move.


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Post #: 1719
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/9/2012 11:48:43 PM   
Cribtop


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January 24, 1943

Cox's Bazaar falls!

Subs

Trusty, apparently less damaged than our ASW pilots claimed, is chased off by escorts near Terempa.

Southern Army

The enemy TFs, now better identified by search planes as two CVTFs and one SCTF, are very slowly heading East near Exmouth. Possibly they established position to protect slower moving invasion TFs coming up behind? If they loiter too much longer, a horde of IJN subs formerly stationed around Perth will catch up.

Burma

Chiang Mai goes to airfield 4.

Whirlwind

Another sweep of CB results in a pleasant kill ratio of 7:0. We have a few new IJAAF aces after the last week. Then a well co-ordinated bombing raid pounds the enemy troops, followed by Allied bombers going after our forces. We had no LRCAP today as the invasion TF was almost empty and the KB's air groups needed rest, so we pulled back the ships.

DA Cox's Bazaar takes the base with 8:1 odds, casualties 635(169) vs 247(0). The three enemy ground units present fall back toward Akyab and thus are isolated from India. Banzai!

Decision Time

We have both a problem and an opportunity developing in Oz. Meanwhile, although a little delayed, Whirlwind is so far successful. I am inclined to use the IJAAF to cover Cox's Bazaar now to unload the second wave. Meanwhile, I'll move KB toward Oz via the Indian Ocean (ie around the "western" side of Sumatra), RVing with the Fleet Oilers along the way. We won't get to Oz in time to stop a landing, but if we can isolate and contain an invasion we may draw CF's carriers into a battle at a time and place of our choosing.

The other option is to hold off on the second wave until we can confirm the Allied invasion target. Then if it is something bad (Java or Timor), we can bring a hammer along with the IJN. I'm not inclined to go this way, but I'm curious what the readership thinks.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 12/9/2012 11:49:34 PM >


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Post #: 1720
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 1:03:08 AM   
adm

 

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I would be inclined to finish Cox's Bazaar. Tying KB to an invasion fleet at the the same time you are trying to pick off Cuttlefishes CVs/invasion units sounds like trying to do to much at once.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 3:27:42 AM   
yamo1

 

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Blade of finest steel
Edge hidden in its scabbard
for fear of Sun's glint

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Post #: 1722
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 10:48:14 AM   
GreyJoy


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I'd leave the second wave to the IJAAF for protection. With your air supremacy in Assam, i don't see how the RN CVs could hope to come into action without the help of the USN CVs (that are in Oz). A couple of Netties Sentais, backed up by some consistent escort, could keep them honest in the Bay of Bengal. At the same time, keep a strong surface force there to discourage any further attempt.
Move the KB to the Indian Ocean...it's pretty useless now that you have a forward base to cover your landings.

BANZAI!!!! Great job Crib...i'm amazed by how you managed to keep the whole operation secret... sure CF hasn't invested much in naval search in the Bay of Bengal...from Akyab he could easily track all the movements from the Malacca straits up to the Adamans... why didn't he do that remains a mistery

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Post #: 1723
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 1:33:49 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

The other option is to hold off on the second wave until we can confirm the Allied invasion target. Then if it is something bad (Java or Timor), we can bring a hammer along with the IJN. I'm not inclined to go this way, but I'm curious what the readership thinks.


The real key in my opinion -- is your plan. Was the plan to only seize Cox's Bazzar? If so, then you have a point to deviate the forces. If you had further plans for these forces and now you are receprocating to the enemy's plan/movements, then you are loosing the initiative and reacting. The empire is one big bowl of jello and if allowed a push in a distant part can have reverberations that will shake through the entire strategy.

Is now the time to go on the strategic defense?

I am an AFB with 1 game under my belt and 1 game about to end in Allied AV Jan 1944. Given my sophmoric understanding of this game -- one strategy for the Allies is to feint/ execute attacks while the IJ are busy with their plans to throw a monkey wrench into the works and gain inititative. Once the Allies have gained initiative you will be hard pressed to get it back. On the other hand, if the plan is to now go on the strategic defense then certainly it is the right time to do so.

It will be interesting for sure!

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Post #: 1724
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 8:52:21 PM   
Cribtop


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Great comments, thanks! I will proceed with Whirlwind.

To Crackaces - I have transitioned to a strategic defensive, but my vision is of an active defense employing counter-attacks. Whirlwind is just such an Op (albeit on a larger scale and on a different front than I anticipated). IMHO, passive defense in AE won't work given the vast number of bases just waiting to be captured and built up by Allied engineers. Eventually the hordes of Essexes will force me into a different style of active defense (think Nemo's Downfall games), but we plan to keep it interesting until the bitter end!

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Post #: 1725
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 10:50:30 PM   
temagic


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Great news on Whirlwind, Cribtop. Now, you need to push for total victory in Burma, even if that means the loss of NW Oz. Burma is, after the failed Tulagi offensive, the only place where the allies can achieve dominance for a major front at this time, and destroying the allied pincer, which would be the outcome of a successfull Whirlwind Op, will secure you the initiative until fall of 1943, which is pretty bloody good play. NW Oz is backwaters anyway, and Timor or DEI is much more difficult for the enemy to recapture than NW Oz, which you can, keeping the initiative, recapture after the completion of Whirlwind, should it have fallen to the enemy. BANZAI!!!

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Post #: 1726
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/10/2012 11:53:43 PM   
Cribtop


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I concur. The second wave goes in, covered by surface assets and our elite Tojo groups.

KB sails toward the sound of the guns near Oz.

Banzai!!!!

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Post #: 1727
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/11/2012 1:51:50 AM   
Crackaces


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Measured force on the offense to accomplish a strategic defense is an excellent strategy in my opinion. Especially in your particualr game where you achieved a great CV victory. As long as you see March '44 coming and know the line you plan to draw when this time come ne'r.

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Post #: 1728
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/11/2012 3:40:57 AM   
Cribtop


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Yep, we have to be realistic as Japan's relative capabilities decrease, and know when to bug out! Even if wildly successful, this won't be a long term occupation of Assam. The strategic goal is to halt the Allies at Magwe until the monsoon in two months. Bonus points if we isolate and destroy a few hard to replace Commonwealth units.

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Post #: 1729
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/14/2012 8:50:27 PM   
Cribtop


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January 25, 1943

Subs

We are moving a bunch of subs in behind CF's forces near Port Hedland. If he lingers or even withdraws, we hope to get a shot at his carriers.

SE Fleet

Vava'u goes to port 4. Cairns goes to airfield 7.

Southern Army

We are curious that the enemy appears to have three TFs, but no obvious invasion force, near Port Hedland. There is a CVTF, an SCTF (perhaps an FT TF?), and a tiny TF with two small patrol craft that is hanging back trying to keep our pickets away. If CF tries a small invasion he won't get far. It's possible our pilots are not accurate, but this is three days with multiple overflights by high Nav skill pilots. We should find out more tomorrow as the CVTF is only four hexes off Port Hedland.

We now have a lot of LBA in position in case the enemy turns north for the DEI. Cribtop Intel doubts he will, however.

Siboeret goes to airfield 2.

Burma

150 Helens pound the only advancing enemy stack, causing 332(8) casualties. In the open and with no air cover, this sort of thing should take a toll over time. One enemy recon unit advances from the bombed hex to 56, 48 (2 hexes NE of Prome), somewhat endangering the flank of 15th Army in the Arakan. We'll keep an eye on this.

Whirlwind

Both invasion fleets, covered by SCTFs and CAPed by Tojos, re-enter the Cox's Bazaar hex and will unload over the next few days. No reaction so far from the enemy except that CF claims by e-mail that now I will get to see how many divisions he left behind in India. He could be bluffing, as we believe we can account for 6-8 Indian, 2 Aussie and 2 British divisions in the plains and near Lashio. If it's not a bluff, we can always enact plan B and move over the border to seize Akyab. Bluffing isn't like CF, so either it's legit or he is really worried - and he still has no idea that six more IJA divisions begin unloading tomorrow.

Recon shows that the two British divisions at Bhamo apparently advanced alone. Myitkyina and presumably Warazup are thus empty. We will recon again to confirm and also check Katha, but 18th Army submits a devious plan to drop paras on Myitkyina and force delay on the Brits by cutting their LoC. Then we can just fly the paras out again once they are threatened. Fun!

CB goes to forts 1.

Combined Fleet

KB sails south down the Bay of Bengal and will meet up with the Fleet Oilers soon off Sabang. A devious plan is percolating through my head about future use of our carriers, as well. More on that later as events develop in Oz.

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Post #: 1730
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/15/2012 2:40:33 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

Recon shows that the two British divisions at Bhamo apparently advanced alone. Myitkyina and presumably Warazup are thus empty. We will recon again to confirm and also check Katha, but 18th Army submits a devious plan to drop paras on Myitkyina and force delay on the Brits by cutting their LoC. Then we can just fly the paras out again once they are threatened. Fun!


I concurr with your thoughts on this. In my opinion, Burma requires great attention to LOC and "chindits" type guerrilla warfare is a great operational methodology. I mention the Chindits because they executed this mission IRL not on base hexes, but cut the LOC's between bases.

Gamewise I have observed something else I believe happens when you take a base in the middle of the LOC. The Supply algorithum within the Burma theater gets thrown off for many turns even after LOC's are reestablsihed. This has been my experience N=12 [that is 12 times I had this done and noted that the supply LOC's behaved quite differently than I previously expected] over two PBEM games. Suddenly things get back to normal, but in the meantime I could not plan when my supply LOC's would return to "normal." or at least supply the units that are advancing ...... In my current game it took about 40 turns to reestablish supply from Bangkok to Johore Bahru after such an attack.

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Post #: 1731
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/15/2012 10:43:46 PM   
Cribtop


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Great info, Crackaces! We will definitely move ahead. I'm just going to wait until the Brit troops move one more hex toward me then pull the trigger for maximum aggravation factor.

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Post #: 1732
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/15/2012 11:08:46 PM   
Cribtop


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January 26, 1943

Battle afoot near Broome tomorrow!

Subs

O-24 sinks an xAK near Buka. Gunnel is chased off by convoy escorts near Ponape. Sawfish is reported hit by a Sally near Taihoku.

I-17 evades the enemy patrol ship TF near Exmouth. This sub and about nine more will all sweep through the enemy TFs approaching Broome this turn. We have high hopes for numerous attacks over the next few days.

SE Fleet

We have moved the engineers that built up Munda back to Shortlands and Torokina.

Southern Army

The enemy is definitely headed for empty Broome, and a small invasion TF has separated from the main enemy TF. We have a garrison unit that can outrace them to Derby, however.

Except for one TF, the enemy is out of Zero range from our bases. Therefore we will try for night torpedo attacks with a Nell group, a Betty group and even a group of Emilys. If these attacks go in (60% moonlight), and if our subs get lucky, next turn could be interesting.

Kuching makes airfield 4.

Combined Fleet

KB will RV with the Fleet Oilers tomorrow "West" of Sabang. We are about 7 days from Exmouth and should be able to cut the SLoC of whatever CF unloads at Broome. Intention is to force a naval engagement on our terms.

Burma

Bombay makes port 9.

Chittagong is hit with an effective night bombing raid that kills two Hurricanes and a Blenheim.

Whirlwind

We continue to unload in good order. No sign the enemy is even aware of our presence.

China

Forces for Operation Scalpel have almost finished gathering at Liuchow.

Other

We graduate a large IJNAF fighter pilot class of about 30 trained pilots, a nice shot in the arm to this oft-tapped pool.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 12/15/2012 11:09:22 PM >


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Post #: 1733
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/16/2012 1:41:18 AM   
Mike Solli


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How big is this pool? I'm curious to see how well you're doing here. This is definitely a problem area for me.

quote:

We graduate a large IJNAF fighter pilot class of about 30 trained pilots, a nice shot in the arm to this oft-tapped pool.


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(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 1734
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/16/2012 3:21:03 AM   
Cribtop


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IIRC I've got 115 trained fighter pilots, almost 400 bomber pilots (some only trained in ASW or Nav Search but most for bombing and torpedoes), about 20 recon pilots and 30 crazy good aces in TRACOM.

PS - and you should see the IJAAF pools! Probably 1,000 pilots trained, including 400 fighter pilots!

PPS - In both cases, it's really been a question of light Japanese losses more than any brilliant new training scheme on my part.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 12/16/2012 3:22:36 AM >


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Post #: 1735
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/16/2012 3:26:51 AM   
Cribtop


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Hey, I just noticed I passed the post count to make the Matrix Legion of Merit! Banzai!

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Post #: 1736
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/16/2012 3:29:20 AM   
Mike Solli


Posts: 13933
Joined: 10/18/2000
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Congrats Cribtop! You're officially an old fart now.

My proportions are pretty similar to yours in my game, but the numbers are obviously lower. It is putting a crimp in my land based operations though. I have to conserve my IJN fighter pilots for KB.

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Post #: 1737
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/18/2012 12:01:19 AM   
Cribtop


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January 27, 1943

Everything goes awry at Broome, but we are still sensing opportunity.

Subs

Our subs swoop into and through known enemy TF positions near Broome, but the main sub horde runs out of movement points one hex short of where CF parks his covering TFs. All we get for Christmas are failed attacks on SCTF escorts by I-28 and I-153. I-28 eats a DC for her trouble.

Elsewhere, ASW DDs harass I-2, which is keeping an eye on Colombo as part of the Whirlwind sub screen.

IJN escorts DC Trigger near Truk for no effect, and Saury duds on a PB near Rabaul.

Southern Army

The enemy bombards empty Broome with a British SCTF and then begins to unload the 4th Australian ID. We are disappointed, but not surprised, that our night torpedo attacks fail to come off. Many planes launch, but at the ranges involved they fail to locate targets. We will try again tomorrow night.

This is good news all the same. CF hasn't brought the hammer (unless he has a second wave still embarked). One infantry division is just enough to get bogged down and then cut off by the arrival of Combined Fleet. Cribtop HQ orders 48th Division to load up. Intention is to draw the enemy into the Outback and land behind him while imposing an air/naval blockade with LBA, subs and SCTF. Hopefully we will draw out the enemy carriers and then KB will pounce.

Combined Fleet

7 days out from Exmouth and steaming over the horizon from the coast of Sumatra.

Whirlwind

CF has marched the main garrison unit (believed to be an Indian Brigade) out of Akyab into the jungle hex between Akyab and CB. This could be good news if we suddenly jump him with more troops than he is expecting. We don't yet see signs of massive reinforcement, but the enemy has yet to re-open the rail line at Tezpur, and we wouldn't expect much to happen until that occurs.

CB goes to forts 2. Unloading continues at a good rate. In fact, both armored divisions are ashore entirely.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 12/18/2012 12:03:50 AM >


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Post #: 1738
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/18/2012 9:03:47 PM   
Cribtop


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Conceptual Planning Document

Proposed Operation Iron Triangle

Region: Southern Army Area of Operations

Begin Report

Imperial General Staff has been asked to consider a proposed all arms operation in response to the enemy invasion of NW Australia at Broome.

Friendly Situation

2nd Army HQ is currently responsible for ground and air defense of NW Australia. Assets include 21st Division, well dug in with supporting artillery at Daly Waters, three garrison units and three independent tank regiments spread in an arc from Nokoonbah through points East of Daly. IJAAF assets include a Sentai of Nicks and recon planes, although local reserves assigned to 16th Army could easily increase this strength by adding another Nick group, a crack Tojo Sentai, a Helen bomber wing (3 Sentai), and a specially trained IJAAF recon unit capable of both photo reconnaissance and naval search.

Some additional forces are available from 16th Army (assigned to defend the critical Timor - Kendari axis) and 25th Army (responsible for Java, Sumatra, Malaya and Borneo), but these formations primarily contain base forces and engineers building a defensive chain rather than significant combat troops. SE Fleet Command has been ordered to transfer 48th Division from Truk to Kendari to increase ground combat power. This leaves only 20th Division and four paratroop units for local reserves in the Pacific.

The IJNAF is strongly positioned to defend 16th Army's AO, with key bases at Lomblen and Denpasar, and numerous secondary bases drawing torpedoes from these main depots. An additional air HQ just landed at Batavia and is en route to Soerabaja. Two elite Zero Hikotai (90 planes total), two G3M3 Hikotai and one Betty Hikotai are available for action (99 planes total). All pilots are crack torpedo attackers. A group of Emily search planes and various shorter range naval search assets are present as well. One limiting factor is that unless the enemy approaches closer to their bases in the Lesser Sunda Island chain, ability to launch escorted strikes against shipping hugging the Australian coast is limited, although the immediate environs of Broome and Derby are in range.

IJN assets in place include an SCTF based around Yamato and Mushashi, with a CVE providing air protection for now. Due to speed limitations imposed by the CVE, we anticipate the small carrier will detach prior to any threat of surface action. The long standing Timor Sea Squadron of four Mogami class cruisers is also ready for immediate action.

All fleet and light carriers save Ryujo are currently approaching, along with an SCTF consisting of four more heavy cruisers, ASW assets and the Fleet Oilers with bunkers 98% full. ETA one week.

Enemy Situation

The enemy has invaded Broome, Australia, with what appears to be the Australian 4th Infantry Division. Whether follow on forces are present with the invasion fleet is unknown at this time, but the size of the invasion TF (9 ships) would make this seem improbable.

The enemy has no land based air assets within range except that unescorted 4E bombers operating from Alice Springs might be able to reach parts of the battle space.

Naval support is supplied by the Royal Navy, backed up by what appears to be the surviving USN fleet carriers. Maximum estimated strength of enemy CVs should be Enterprise, Hornet, Wasp, one or two CVLs or CVEs, one UK CV and one UK CVL (and there could be less). While powerful, this force is inferior to the approaching Kido Butai in both quantity and quality.

Desired End State

In the opinion of Commanding Officer, Combined Fleet, the enemy has handed us an opportunity for Decisive Battle on favorable terms and prior to the introduction of the new enemy carrier fighter designated the "Hellcat" by American aircraft developers.

Desired End State is destruction or disproportionate damage to Allied CV forces as a result of an air-naval battle occurring in a battle space somewhere between the waters off Exmouth and Broome.

Execution

Landing of a relatively small expeditionary force in NW Australia potentially leaves the enemy SLoC, running from Perth to Broome, vulnerable to interdiction by Imperial naval and air assets. Intention is to isolate the Allied beach head with subs, LBA and IJN surface forces, while KB waits over the horizon to the NNW of Exmouth. As enemy losses mount and supplies dwindle (see below for operations against his land LoC), Allied High Command may feel pressured to risk its carrier forces as escorts for a reinforcement/re-supply effort or alternatively an evacuation attempt. Once enemy CV forces cross a line running between Exmouth and Denpasar, they will be subject to air attacks from LBA and Japanese carrier-borne strike aircraft.

The weakness of the plan centers around the lack of IJA ground assets. It is not entirely clear that the Army can stop the enemy from marching on Daly Waters or even Darwin. This force structure is consistent with the Japanese strategic plan of using NW Australia as a delaying effort, a defensive foreground in a broader struggle. Indeed, as 1943 begins, Imperial General Headquarters must implement a recognized set of conditions that would trigger Japanese withdrawal from the Australian subcontinent.

However, if intelligence is accurate and the enemy effort is understrength, 2nd Army would utilize armored thrusts around the flanks of the enemy advance, combined with a counter-invasion at Broome or Derby by 48th Division, to seize the Allied beach head at Broome and cut the advancing army off from supply at a key moment. If done too soon, this will probably cause the enemy to abandon his offensive and simply retreat overland to friendly forces near Tennant Creek. The land moves should thus be a coup de grace rather than an opening gambit. Another rationale for eventual re-capture of Broome is to prevent sufficient seaborne supplies from re-invigorating enemy land units outside of Daly Waters currently suffering from poor overland supply routes.

Hence, Operation Iron Triangle, with three co-operating elements: 1) IJN surface, sub and LBA in the Lesser Sunda chain; 2) IJA ground troops in NW Australia; and 3) Combined Fleet operating from the waters near eastern Java.

End Report

Comments welcome!

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(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 1739
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 12/18/2012 9:13:21 PM   
Cribtop


Posts: 3422
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From: Lone Star Nation
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PS - I have a comment. I'm going to move the Air HQ now at Batavia to Koepang to improve LBA ocverage of Broome.

PPS - Recall that Port Hedland is well garrisoned with CD guns, 150 AS and almost level 4 forts, and that CF hasn't built up Exmouth or the other nearby base (name escapes me).

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Post #: 1740
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