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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 ... - 11/10/2013 4:18:28 PM   
temagic


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Here's me hoping for a first person account:) Yeah, I know... asshole...

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/10/2013 7:49:05 PM   
Cribtop


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Well, there's likely to be one in the very near future! No way CF can save the Burma Army now. The question is whether there will be a series of first person accounts to close out the game. I offered to CF to let him concede and restart, perhaps flipping sides and definitely upgrading to stacking limits. He has neither answered nor sent another replay for a few days, which is unusual for him. I think he is considering his options and there is a chance he will yield. If that happens, I have an idea for a series of first person accounts to close out the story. Then again, he may well choose to fight on. The Allies can never truly be considered beaten, it really boils down to whether or not he is still enjoying the game more than he would a re-start.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/10/2013 8:49:40 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/15/2013 3:42:32 AM   
Cribtop


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Quick update - we are on hold as CF was out of town and is seriously considering yielding. He plans to make a decision soon. I suspect he may concede, but you never know of course.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/15/2013 10:02:28 AM   
obvert


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What would you rather see happen given the choice and a willing opponent?

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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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Post #: 2164
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/15/2013 1:05:49 PM   
Cribtop


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Good question. I could go either way really, but I think I would vote for an end to the game. I've learned a lot about production, R&D and other matters and would like to apply that fresh. Also, I am currently playing on an ancient desktop with no wireless Internet access and haven't upgraded to stacking limits or any mods yet. I plan to get a new lap top for Christmas and it would be easier to upgrade on the new device. Finally, I want to get in a game as the Allies at some point just to improve my understanding of the game (I will almost exclusively play Japan after that, I suspect).

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/15/2013 5:39:35 PM   
obvert


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Yeah, I've got the itch to play the other side after several forays into the Empire. Mainly as you say to get a better feel for things there. Also interested in the DBB changes and stacking limits.

Sounds like this one has less interest if you eliminate this Allied Burma Army after your other successes. He could get back in, but judging from the lack of presence on the forums too maybe family and other concerns are taking even more precedence for him now. I remember hearing about grandchildren at one point.

If I were him though I'd consider playing on just to try a hail Mary at some point, and send 10-12 divisions and the whole navy somewhere important.



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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/15/2013 7:15:17 PM   
Cribtop


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Yeah, assuming the end of the Burma front for quite some time, what CF is left with is to wait until he has the 1943 USN CVs and strike big somewhere in late summer or more likely Fall of 1943. That attack would be met with the full might of LBA and a fully upgraded KB with all CVs and CVLs. Winner take all as if he lost he would suffer 1944 auto victory. Can you say an actual Decisive Battle? Something like that would be great but I suspect both of us are evaluating whether we really want to spend six months of game time on minor ops and sharpening our respective swords.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/16/2013 2:03:35 PM   
el lobo


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Hi Criptop,

I have been reading your aar in all of my very limited spare time for the last two months and have finally caught-up (maybe just in time). I think that your style of writing is tremendous, a real page turner. In the good old days of having the time, I would have read it “cover to cover” in one sitting, like a Forsyth novel. It was easy for me to keep-up because of the way you covered the AOs.

Even as a newbe, I can tell that your playing skills are impeccable. You have really set the bar high for us future players.

If you do not mind, what was the make-up of your “rowboat” and Dot Base Clean-Up TFs?

As a new player, the production and R&D are some of the most challenging learning curves. You mentioned that you had learned a lot about them. Any additional comments about these would be appreciated.

Thanks

el lobo

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/16/2013 5:34:31 PM   
Feurer Krieg


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Not that you asked me, but I use LBs, 1 small xAKL for fuel, and SNLF Coy units. Works great and you can start cleaning up right away since you have a couple of those tiny SNLF units right off the get go.

Once I got ambushed by some PTs, but managed to get a fragment unloaded anyway and the unit is so small it rebuilt really quick.

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Upper portion used with permission of www.subart.net and www.skybirdart.com, copyright John Meeks

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/16/2013 8:08:17 PM   
Cribtop


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El Lobo - thanks for the kind words. I use a similar composition to what FK stated for dot base clean up. Two or three xAKLs (there's a class with 1725 cargo capacity that is great for this), two older escorts and an SNLF Coy. The "rowboat corps" is actually a euphemism for the automatic capture of bases that occurs when you have an occupied base near an unoccupied enemy base. It happens for free.

As for production, I've learned to set your R&D strategy on turn one - decide what planes you want and can afford and go after them from the get go.

Aim to have a reserve of 100K armaments and 20K vehicle points, then turn the factories on and off to stay near those numbers. No need to waste HI on a quarter million vehicle points.

Listen to Mike Solli and nygiants 59. They know their stuff on production.

On strategy, listen to or read the work of Alfred and Nemo. To the extent I've done well I credit their mantra of ensuring that all actions at the tactical and operational level are geared toward a coherent strategic goal. I understood this before following them (I've wargamed since middle school), but their AARs and advice really drove home the need to understand what you are doing and why at all times.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/16/2013 9:14:21 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/18/2013 9:02:16 PM   
Cribtop


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Quick update - an armistice now holds while CF is making up his mind. We are considering calling this game, taking a short break, and then going at it again with the sides reversed. More info as I get it, but I frankly believe we will get a message from Imperial GHQ that begins "TO ALL UNITS" - time will tell.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/18/2013 9:06:02 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

El Lobo - thanks for the kind words. I use a similar composition to what FK stated for dot base clean up. Two or three xAKLs (there's a class with 1725 cargo capacity that is great for this), two older escorts and an SNLF Coy. The "rowboat corps" is actually a euphemism for the automatic capture of bases that occurs when you have an occupied base near an unoccupied enemy base. It happens for free.

As for production, I've learned to set your R&D strategy on turn one - decide what planes you want and can afford and go after them from the get go.

Aim to have a reserve of 100K armaments and 20K vehicle points, then turn the factories on and off to stay near those numbers. No need to waste HI on a quarter million vehicle points.

Listen to Mike Solli and nygiants 59. They know their stuff on production.

On strategy, listen to or read the work of Alfred and Nemo. To the extent I've done well I credit their mantra of ensuring that all actions at the tactical and operational level are geared toward a coherent strategic goal. I understood this before following them (I've wargamed since middle school), but their AARs and advice really drove home the need to understand what you are doing and why at all times.


I'd have to say now, in 45, that I'd NEVER turn off armaments and vehicles. You will always use them.

Good to hear you're moving toward a decision.

_____________________________


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/18/2013 9:11:08 PM   
Cribtop


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Good info - so you would keep them building the whole war or would you go to full production at some point, say before the big '44 LCU reinforcements? Obvert, your game is such a valuable window on the late war with many lessons learned.

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/18/2013 9:27:08 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

Good info - so you would keep them building the whole war or would you go to full production at some point, say before the big '44 LCU reinforcements? Obvert, your game is such a valuable window on the late war with many lessons learned.


In early 45 I'm dropping in armaments steadily from arriving units and a few rebuilding. Pax thinks my armaments/vehicles are way too low at 80k and 20k due to the new units and the coming major battles that will require a lot of replacements/rebuilding.

It all depends on the gameplay of course, but by 45 there should be some major battles going on and if you want to last and fight again I'd say keep a good pool. The HI seems like it'll be my least worry now, with 3.2 million banked and still slowly adding to the pile.

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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 1:56:57 AM   
Cribtop


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May 25, 1943

Daigo Yoshino sat in a wicker chair in one of the Officer's Lounges of Japan's massive base at Truk, reflecting on his boredom. Since the momentous victory at the Battle of Exmouth, the Carrier Strike Force, together with the other elements of Combined Fleet, had retired to Truk for what was, at the time, desperately needed R&R. The flat tops and their escorts had been driven hard, in constant action from Pearl Harbor until the Spring of 1943. Everyone had been exhausted, and many of the carriers had rotated in pairs back to Japan for upgrades and dry dock time. The elite sailors and air crews of Kido Butai had all welcomed the break.

That had been late February. Now, three months of anchor duty later, Yoshino was bored. This was no ordinary boredom, no mere lack of activity. This boredom was palpable - it had a smell, a taste, even a personality. Boredom sat next to Yoshi today in the chair across from his, a chair that to the ordinary observer would appear empty.

Daigo thus barely looked up when a young ensign strode purposefully into the room and posted a copy of the orders of the day. Despite this lack of concern, the Lieutenant Commander eventually decided that sauntering over to the message board by the bar would leave his boredom behind for a few precious moments. He read the text of a Special Order while idly considering if it was too early to order Saki:

SPECIAL ORDER

FROM: IMPERIAL GENERAL HEADQUARTERS

TO: ALL COMMANDS OF IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY AND IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY

All commands are hereby ordered to standby for a special message from the Emperor at 1800 hours, Tokyo time. It is the responsibility of all Commanding Officers to ensure that this message is disseminated to all personnel and subordinate commands immediately. The message will be broadcast by Radio Tokyo in the clear and written copies will be provided later this evening. That is all.

"I wonder what that's all about," Daigo thought to himself. There was no response. Daigo looked over at the chair, but it seemed his boredom had another appointment.




< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 5:47:44 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 2:00:00 AM   
Cribtop


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FLASHBACK
FOUR DAYS EARLIER

May 21, 1943
Headquarters, 17th Army, two miles South of Mandalay, Burma


“Get the Second Division moving up to the jump off point – we need to hit Hill 172 again,” boomed the voice of Lieutenant General Hyakatuke Harukichi. The General was huddled with his Staff over a detailed battle map of the small perimeter held by the Commonwealth’s Burma Army. The tent in which the map rested was a constant swarm of activity moving about a single focal point – the General himself.

The past weeks had seen the Japanese Army pour out of the mountain ridges of the Arakan and into the rear of the combined British, Australian and Indian Army in the Irrawaddy River valley. At that point, maneuver had gone out the window. The largest concentration of artillery in the history of Japan pounded the Allies by day. Each night, Imperial tanks and infantry surged forward, slowly pushing the surrounded enemy into an ever smaller pocket from which there was no escape.

Today at Dawn, Hyakatuke had varied the pattern, committing his reserves to a daytime attack just as the exhausted Allied troops thought their nightly ordeal was coming to an end.

Initial reports were poor, with enemy firepower decimating the attackers, but the normally indirect General had decided that today was the day to force a decision. He was thus ordering Japan’s best unit, the fearsome Second Division, into the cauldron.

“One more push, Futami – One more push!” This was addressed to Major General Akisaburo Futami, Chief of Staff of 17th Army, who had just entered the command tent.

“Sir, if I could have a moment,” said General Akisaburo.

Hyakatuke’s replay was less than patient. “By the gods, Futami, can it wait?”

“Sir, with respect, I think you will want to see this. If you could just follow me outside for a moment.”

“This had better be worth it,” replied Hyakatuke.

Both men exited the command tent and began walking to the edge of the slight rise on which it was situated. As they moved through the ranks of various troops, clerks, officers and men, they spotted the object of Futami’s request, namely a small knot of about 10 Allied senior officers, trudging slowly toward them under a white flag of truce.

“Damnit, man, I don’t have time to arrange another burial detail,” sputtered Hyakatuke, the stress of war numbing him to the callousness of his own words.

Futami’s reply was quiet, focused. “This is not that kind of truce, sir.”

“Oh. I see.”

With those words, Hyakatuke seemed to straighten to his full height. Then, alone, he continued walking toward the Allied party. As he did so, understanding seemed to ripple outward from the two Japanese Generals. One by one, man by man, the crack troops of 17th Army, the conquerors of Singapore, Java, and Manila, of Nanyang, Sian and Changsha, of Akyab, Magwe and Mandalay, turned and came to attention. Officers saluted with their katanas, enlisted men fixed bayonets and presented arms. It was done in silence, and, unusually for the brutally disciplinarian Imperial Japanese Army, it was done out of formation. Each man saluted where he stood in that unique moment. This was not a unit parade, no flashy show of martial spirit. Instead, this was a series of personal messages of respect and honor, given by each of the veterans of the cream of the Army to their undisputed leader; a man in his 70s who had endured the hardships of war with them, giving his all and more for the Empire precisely because he was old enough that he considered his life well lived, over and done with, a man truly able to give everything for the Emperor because to him there was nothing else left. The Allied contingent wrote in their diaries that they were impressed by the show of camaraderie displayed by the Japanese victors, but they entirely misunderstood what was going on around them.

General Hyakatuke reached the men with the white flag and escorted them back to his command tent.

Four hours later, terms were arranged pursuant to which the 130,000 men of the Burma Army surrendered.


< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 5:50:22 PM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 3:29:48 AM   
Cribtop


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May 23, 1943
Hyderabad, India


Sergeants Sanjiv Harashwami and Rahul Purushottam walked into the anteroom of the barracks Command Post of the Hyderabad garrison. Their immediate superior, Lieutenant Murray Gaines, greeted them with a perfunctory salute before getting down to business.

“Right. So apparently there is some sort of disturbance in the City, and we need to turn out the men to deal with it.”

Harashwami spoke first. “What sort of disturbance, Sir?”

“Well, it appears there is a bit of a demonstration getting out of hand,” replied Gaines.

“What about the police?” said Purushottam.

“They are the ones who contacted us – they need our Company’s help putting down the riot,” stated the Lieutenant.

“I thought you said it was a demonstration,” said Sanjiv, suspicion creeping into his voice.

“Don’t argue semantics with me, Sergeant,” Gaines replied with an edge in his tone.

“What are they protesting?” said both Sergeants simultaneously.

“Who knows! Ever since word got around about Mandalay, things have been touchy with the locals,” replied Gaines, who immediately regretted his choice of phrase.

The two Indian Army sergeants shared a look, and then turned back toward their commander. “Sir, are you asking us to turn out the Company to attack our own countrymen?”

“Of course not! It’s just some rabble rousers and we need to deal with them,” blurted Gaines, who by then was quite off balance.

“I don’t think we can do that, Sir,” Rahul said.

“Are you refusing a direct order, Sergeant?”

“I suppose I am,” said Rahul. He pointedly did not finish the sentence with “Sir.”

“Sanjiv, place this man under arrest for insubordination immediately,” Gaines said with iron determination.

Sanjiv pulled out his sidearm, and Gaines visibly relaxed – Until the barrel of the gun swung toward him rather than Sergeant Purushottam.

“I think I shall place you under arrest instead, Lieutenant,” Sanjiv stated.

Gaines looked at him with a mixture of fear and anger. “And what about the demonstrators?”

“I believe we will join them. And by ‘we,’ I mean the whole Company,” Sanjiv replied.


< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 5:37:09 AM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 3:30:09 AM   
Cribtop


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May 24, 1943

Washington, DC

The White House


The Third Washington conference of the Western Allies had been forced to alter its planned agenda. The surrender of the Burma Army at Mandalay, rather undiplomatically described by some American officers as “the Saratoga of the East,” left little to stop the Japanese from invading India for a second time, and the revolts spreading across the Subcontinent showed that Britain’s grip on the Crown Jewel of her Empire was slipping. The argument of how to respond to the crisis had gone on for hours, and now the leaders of the two great democracies were down to brass tacks.

“Look Mr. President, the answer is simple – we need to commit the US Army,” said Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

“Winston, with all due respect, you know how the American public feels about supporting what they see as European Imperialism,” replied President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

“I’m not saying they need to restore order, leave that to us. But your troops could man the front lines – stop the Japanese.”

The President considered this for a moment, but he knew the political calculus of his countrymen well. “No, I’m afraid that’s out of the question. Besides, with the Imperial Navy in full control of the seas, I don’t know if we could land our men safely even if we wanted to.”

Churchill thundered back, “Look, Franklin, if we lose India, we lose everything!”

“Winston, there is another way. I’m not proud of contemplating it, but we MUST defeat Hitler. Perhaps Japan can wait.”

“You can’t mean a separate peace!”

“It may be the only viable option, Winston,” said the President in a quiet voice.

The air went out of the room. The top Allied commanders and their staffs looked around uncomfortably, but a consensus was forming.


< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 6:36:52 AM >


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RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 3:30:23 AM   
Cribtop


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May 24, 1943

Imperial Japanese Embassy, Geneva, Switzerland, 1900 Hours


Ichisada Jisaburo, Assistant Attache for Cultural Affairs, sat at the Embassy’s reception desk. He swirled his tea, disappointed he had drawn the night shift. At least he had just locked the front door and could soon retire to the signals room for the duration of his internment.

His reverie was interrupted by a persistant knocking. Two unfamiliar men stood outside. Glancing at the armed Embassy guard behind him for assurance, Jisaburo went to the door, holding up his hands to bring an end to the pounding.

“Can I help you?”

The men were tall and well dressed, both Anglos. One introduced himself as Thomas Jones of the American Embassy, the other as Sir Reginald Hyde of the British Legation. Jisaburo was startled by this, carelessly spilling his tea on his suit. He later reflected that this was not exactly the best way to begin a moment of great historical importance, but real life was often messy in his experience.

“Why are you here? We are at war.”

The Englishman spoke first. “True, but isn’t the Swiss Embassy the designated liaison between the belligerent powers?”

The Japanese Attache recovered his balance a bit, as matters of protocol were the mother’s milk of the diplomatic corps. “I suppose. However, I am unaware of that channel being used at any time since the war broke out. Further, in theory any such communications are required to use the Swiss as intermediaries.”

The American chimed in. “Yes, yes, but we were instructed this was a matter of highest urgency, so we came directly. We are in possession of an offer from our governments that should be of great interest to Japan. We need to see the Ambassador immediately.”

“You may leave your request with me. The Ambassador is having dinner at his residence. I cannot imagine anything urgent enough to recall him at this hour,” Jisaburo replied.

“Even an offer for an immediate Armistice across the entire Pacific Theater of Operations?” said Jones.

“With the further enticement of the commencement of negotiations for a full Peace Accord?” said Hyde.

Jisaburo stared at the two men blankly for a moment.

“Won’t you gentlemen please come in? Would you care for some tea?”


< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 6:28:58 AM >


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Post #: 2179
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 3:40:49 AM   
Cribtop


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From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
June 15, 1943

Tokyo, Japan


Daigo Yoshino and Genda Minoru stood at attention in their dress uniforms. After attending to the standing down of Combined Fleet as the Armistice took hold, they had flown back to Japan for consultations with the Peace Delegation before it left for Geneva. Now it was their honor, along with several thousand other sailors and airmen, to participate in a victory review of the Imperial Navy by the Emperor himself. The Emperor would be preceded on the balcony by Admiral Yamamoto, who would make a short speech to prepare the men for the Imperial Presence.

The crowd went silent as the Commander of Combined Fleet approached a microphone installed for his use.

“Brave Samurai of the Imperial Japanese Navy, it will soon be my distinct and eternal honor to introduce His Imperial Majesty, who has graciously consented to participate personally in this review of our Kaigun heroes.”

“But first, I owe you all an apology.”

There was a slight rustling in the mass of men, which by Japanese parade ground standards was practically a catastrophic breakdown in decorum.

“Yes, I humble myself before you and beg your forgiveness. I have lost face. You see, before the war, I was asked to give my opinion on the commencement of hostilities. I had been to America and seen its vast industrial might, so I urged that we avoid conflict. I frankly believed that Japan would lose.”

“But I was wrong, and I bear the shame of my timid counsel. For I underestimated you, brave warriors. I did not realize that you had such supreme skill, such boundless courage, such amazing fighting spirit. Truly, you have honored our ancestors by your superhuman efforts in battle. You were the difference, the edge I could not foresee when I considered the dangers of this war. You have made me proud beyond my wildest hopes. Please accept my humblest apologies and know that this victory is yours.”

For a moment, there was silence. Then, the square positively reverberated with one cry, repeated over and over and over:

“BANZAI!”

“BANZAI!”

“BANZAI!”



THE END

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/24/2013 3:21:00 AM >


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Post #: 2180
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 4:18:08 AM   
Cribtop


Posts: 3650
Joined: 8/10/2008
From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
Coming Soon - Retrospective on the War, including an overall analysis and grade as well as a description of key operations and lessons learned.

Author's Notes

What a journey. I have to thank Cuttlefish as he was a fine opponent and a good sport to the very end. He conceded by e-mail tonight and we are considering switching sides and going for a re-match sometime after Christmas. Thanks to all of my readers, too. I really enjoyed all the comments, advice, and friendship of this amazing community.


Finally, a commentary for anyone reading this AAR who is not a member of this unique community and perhaps would see this as a glorification of Fascism, Imperial Japan, or War in general. In brief, it is none of those things. I fully acknowledge the justice of the Allied cause and in no way wish to excuse the brutality of Tojo's Japanese regime. This AAR reflected fictional events in this particular instance of my game with Cuttlefish, and is certainly not intended to represent actual events or my preference for how WWII in the Pacific might have ended.

Besides, I plan to play the Good Guys next time. On to the next episode of this amazing game.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 7:36:02 AM >


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Post #: 2181
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 7:57:07 AM   
ny59giants


Posts: 7049
Joined: 1/10/2005
Status: online
KUDOS on your fine victory sir!!

I haven't posted much as my two games as Allies have kept me busy. Thankfully, I'm on vacation for the rest of the month and should get both of my AARs caught up asap.

Suggestions - I'm glad you are thinking about going over to the modified 'pwhex' files that impose stacking limits everywhere for your re-match. They make it much more difficult than to just take places with a ground "Death Star." I'm playing my newest PBEM with the "Gnarly Roads" 'pwhex' files that make Burma and China even more difficult to move supplies through which is as it should be. Burma should be more like France in World War I and have limited movement and progress. I would strongly recommend that you and CF try a DBB based game with the new aircraft data done by Symon (John). Both of my games are using it and my brief experience with it means there is no need for any HR on aircraft altitude restrictions. The newer planes steadily have higher ceilings and the strato-sweeps over 40k are gone. Symon had made a comment about adjusting the Light Industry for Japan to give them back some of the lost supply from Refineries not producing it. Hopefully, his changes will be incorporated soon. The newest version of RA has reduced capacity cargo which makes it more difficult for Japan to conduct too many early war operations while still shipping in Resources.

OT - Looks like a meaningful game will happen in northern NJ this Sunday. Are your Cowboys rested and ready for it?? Getting MLB John Beason from Carolina for a 7th rounder seems to have help solidify a weakness while the lose of Lee has hurt your defense. Will Romo or Eli be the ones to decide the game in the 4th with a costly turnover??

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Post #: 2182
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 8:30:45 AM   
obvert


Posts: 6968
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
CONGRATS!!!

A fine ending, and great set of descriptions to finish.

Good luck in the next one!

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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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Post #: 2183
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 4:40:57 PM   
Cribtop


Posts: 3650
Joined: 8/10/2008
From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
Michael, in a word, I think the Cowboys lose. I fear the book is out on how to beat our defense, the game is in New York, our morale is plummeting while the G Men are soaring, etc. We could win with crazy individual efforts (by Romo or a returning Ware), but frankly I doubt it. If we do win, the Giants may mentally pack it in, however.

Obvert - thanks! I daydreamed early on about what first person account would end the story if Japan won. That "apology" from Yamamoto was what I came up with. I confess I never expected I'd actually get to write it!

One other note - the surrender of the Burma Army was not an in game occurrence. The last replay we ran was May 20. However, both players agreed that the Army could not be extricated from the trap and that final surrender was only a matter of 2-3 more days. Thus it was the final straw, so to speak.

Also, in the wrap up post I plan to type up this weekend, I think I will give out awards to individual units (Best LCU, Best CV, Best Air Group, Best Surface Combatant, etc).

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/22/2013 6:07:22 PM >


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Post #: 2184
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 5:26:08 PM   
Ol_Dog


Posts: 269
Joined: 2/23/2003
From: Southern Illinois
Status: offline
ATTENTION!

HAND SALUTE

At Ease


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Common Sense is an uncommon virtue.
If you think you have everything under control, you don't fully understand the situation.

(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 2185
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/22/2013 7:35:40 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4210
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

KUDOS on your fine victory sir!!


+1

A game well played, and an AAR nicely written.

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Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to ny59giants)
Post #: 2186
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/23/2013 6:01:12 AM   
SqzMyLemon


Posts: 2869
Joined: 10/30/2009
From: Alberta, Canada
Status: offline
Nicely done Cribtop, well played. I hope you both enjoy your rematch.

< Message edited by SqzMyLemon -- 11/23/2013 7:01:40 AM >


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Luck is the residue of design - John Milton

Don't mistake lack of talent for genius - Peter Steele (Type O Negative)

(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 2187
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/23/2013 9:20:58 AM   
Olorin


Posts: 617
Joined: 4/22/2008
From: Greece
Status: offline
I just finished reading the last pages of this excellent AAR. Very well played indeed Cribtop,a worthy victory against an excellent opponent.

BANZAI!!



_____________________________

"Drang nach Osten"
--A TOAWIII AAR--

(in reply to SqzMyLemon)
Post #: 2188
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/23/2013 11:05:21 PM   
Cribtop


Posts: 3650
Joined: 8/10/2008
From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
RETROSPECTIVE

Wherein we take a look back at the major operations of the war, including the good, bad and lessons learned in each, individual unit awards, and a final grade.

Initial Expansion

The Good: In general, we achieved a standard expansion in good order, conquering the SRA and establishing a pretty historical perimeter in Burma, the Pacific and the Aleutians. We generally avoided the type of bloody noses Allied players like to inflict at this stage, sometimes by skill, sometimes by luck. We paid attention to logistics, in particular moving base forces up at predetermined phase lines to ensure LBA coverage and providing air cover to the numerous amphibious invasions inherent to the early game. This point was driven home when Nells guarding the back door at Port Blair turned back a powerful TF of Royal Navy BBs attempting a counter thrust. We had good instincts and pulled the Kendari invasion force out of harm's way when Cuttlefish tried a carrier raid there. In China, we threatened to get a big surrender at Loyang and eventually closed the deal at Nanyang, destroying 17 LCUs and creating the conditions which allowed capture of the key resource bases of Sian and Lanchow.

The Bad: I was still a rather inexperienced player and it showed in several places. I failed to engage Force Z on the surface early and let them get away, displaying too high a fear of losses and over relying on Netties. We failed to properly suppress forts at Singapore, allowing it to hold two weeks longer than historically occurred. A mix up in orders allowed an Allied cruiser force a free shot at the Bandjermasin invasion, but fortunately our brave escorts bailed Cribtop HQ out. Most importantly, we failed to finish up this phase of operations in time to use the amphibious bonus for Phase II. In part, however, this delay was caused by CF's good play in showing his CVs in the eastern DEI, forcing us to hold up for a week or two on that key vector.

Lessons learned: Choosing to isolate and then ignore the enemy garrison at Clark Field was the correct choice in this game, and IMHO is the correct choice in most games for Japan. It was fun to discover the modestly named Cribtop Lifeboat Doctrine, where an empty merchant ship is included in critical troop transport TFs to facilitate rescue of maximum ground devices in the event a submarine sinks an occupied merchant.

Operation Red Dragon

The Good: The best part of this Operation was primarily the decision to do it. Rather than engage in risky and strategically marginal amphibious efforts elsewhere, we committed the forces freed up by conquest of the SRA for a drive in Southern China with the option to push for either Kweiyang or Changsha and the cluster of bases that surround it. CF responded by attempting to cut off the base of the salient near Wuchow but was outmaneuvered, resulting in both the fall of Changsha and the near total destruction of the counterattacking KMT force. The strategic objective, namely the capture of sufficient industry to starve the Chinese Army and force them into a permanent defensive posture, was achieved with minimal losses.

The Bad: We failed to capture Kweiyang or to have the planned northern pincer of the operation break into the central plain at Kienko, precluding any effort to completely knock China out of the war. One action we were contemplating had the game continued was to send the IJA armored corps from Burma into China to finish the job here.

Lessons Learned: Red Dragon and the China front taught me that careful consideration of hex sides and use of maneuver can turn slugfests into victories and victories into triumphs that dislocate the enemy. This improvement in the ground game was to pay dividends in Burma later.

Operation Kraken

The Good: In the end, there was little to recommend this attempted deep raid by 3 CVEs into the Allied SLoC between CONUS and Pearl Harbor.

The Bad: We lost virtually the entire raiding force in exchange for destruction of a single supply convoy. A debacle, plain and simple.

Lessons Learned: Strategic level deep raiding with carriers is fraught with peril and is usually a misuse of these assets on the wrong side of the risk/reward curve.

Operation Trident a/k/a The Battle of the Torres Islands

The Good: This operation, originally designed as a port raid at Sydney, was quickly scrubbed as it ran smack into the bulk of the Allied Navy attempting an amphibious invasion in the Solomons. Good use of submarines, Glens, air search, and pickets generated a significant ISR advantage. We knew where the enemy CVs were, whereas KB was lurking in the shadows, waiting to pounce. After several cat and mouse moves, we moved into ambush position, only to have a sudden jog East by the enemy result in a head to head fight. The battle was a disaster for CF in which Saratoga, Yorktown, Lexington and Enterprise were lost, together with numerous escorts and aircraft. IJN losses consisted of one damaged CVL and one damaged CS. We got a little lucky with the weather, but probably deserved some luck given the superior intel we leveraged.

The Bad: Not a whole lot to complain about here. One can argue that Cuttlefish never recovered from this defeat.

Lessons Learned: He who sees the enemy carriers first often sinks them first. ISR is key. Also, as at Midway, the defending CV force has an advantage over the carrier force trying to cover an invasion.

Footnotes: Now that the game is over I read CF's AAR, which was awesome - he can really write. I learned a few more things about this pivotal battle. First, I confirmed that Enterprise was sunk the first day as fires from ammo storage explosions sank her after 3 bomb hits (we were a bit fortunate there to overcome USN damage control). Second, the enemy CVs made the fateful move East in an effort to avoid Japanese submarines that were hounding them. Once again, note the value of proper screening. Little things can swing the balance.

Operation Whirlwind

The Good: This effort to invade India was the correct response to the Allied invasion of Burma from a strategic perspective, as the Irrawaddy River valley is indefensible by either side. Although it was conceived and executed in great haste, we were able to bring to bear KB, the entire Indes Fleet, and a well supplied invasion force consisting of our strategic reserve, which had recently left China after Red Dragon. As with Red Dragon, we had an initial objective (in this case conquest of Assam and isolation of the Burma front) and a backup plan (the invasion of the Arakan from the Indian side, which eventually led to Operation Scorpion).

The Bad: The idea for this Op originated in a casual comment I made in one post as I fretted over how to stop the enemy's Burma offensive. Alfred responded that Whirlwind was the decisive and best move available and convinced me to undertake it. However, we flubbed it, in part because of the hasty preparations, in part because frankly my game had not yet reached the level to pull off this kind of move, and in part because I wasn't willing to risk the casualties necessary to take Chittagong, which is where Cuttlefish deployed his reserves to stop Whirlwind. I am still not convinced that further attacks would have taken Chittagong, and in the end Whirlwind led to decisive victories in Operations Katana and Scorpion, but that is beside the point. We needed to bring enough to the party to make sure we took that base, and didn't. That qualifies as bad.

Lessons Learned: Keeping the initiative, not through risky victory disease moves but through measured operations, is enormously beneficial to Japan. In the end we won the war because we never ceded the baton to Cuttlefish. The rapid end game consisting of Whirlwind, Katana, and Scorpion is strong evidence for this proposition. Just remember, this is not to say that willy nilly action solely in the name of keeping on the offensive is a good idea.

Operation Katana a/k/a The Battle of Exmouth

The Good: Not to be arrogant, but I am more proud of Operation Katana than anything else I've done in 40+ years of gaming. When Cuttlefish saw KB in the Bay of Bengal, he went for an Amphibious invasion of Broome supported by his remaining Carriers (Wasp and Hornet) and a good portion of the UK surface fleet. We reacted decisively, pushing KB around the outside of Sumatra (aided by the presence of the fleet Oilers) and into the battle zone astride the enemy's line of retreat. Once again availing ourselves of a substantial ISR advantage, tactical execution worked perfectly, with our cruisers holding up the Allied CVs in a surface action before KB dropped the hammer, literally annihilating the USN carrier TF. Follow on actions by KB, surface ships and LBA ruthlessly exploited the positional advantage created by the geography of NW Australia to destroy numerous Allied surface combat ships and transports. Disastrous Allied losses here left the IJN in control of the entire Pacific and Indian Oceans and created the conditions in which the Allies were threatened with 3:1 auto victory on January 1, 1944. That in turn left CF with no choice but to push hard in Burma and set up Operation Scorpion.

The Bad: Nothing is perfect, but this came close. Can't think of any major negatives.

Lessons Learned: This Op showed me the importance of carrying a valid strategic plan forward into proper operational planning and all the way down to good tactical execution. This is what it looks like when things at all three levels come together. It did wonders for my confidence as a player.

Footnote: Don't overlook the long siege of the two Australian Divisions left stranded at Broome. We pounded them, kept them out of supply, and eventually cleaned them up on the cheap. Coming just before the isolation of the Burma Army at Mandalay, the loss of these excellent troops helped close out the war.

Operation Scorpion

The Good: We didn't panic when Operation Whirlwind came unraveled, but rather transitioned to a new offensive in a unique direction - the counter invasion of western Burma from British India. Things went mostly according to plan, as we leveraged air superiority in Central Burma and a favorable ratio of combat power into the conquest of Akyab and decimation of Commonwealth forces in the area. We then formulated a plan to quietly set up the isolation of the main enemy army at Meiktila using deception and an indirect approach. We had significant forces, including a horde of artillery, in what appeared to be defensive positions near Taung Gyi and around Toungoo. As 17th Army exited the jungles, it attacked Magwe in a seemingly innocuous move to re-establish a line of communication to Rangoon. However, while 18th Army suddenly advanced from the south, three armored divisions raced behind enemy lines to Mandalay and took it. Combined with existing "defensive" positions East of Meiktila, the Allies suddenly found themselves facing encirclement. We used airlift to reinforce Mandalay, held the position, and made sure the isolation was maintained via the river crossing into Shwebo. Finally, we then learned the lessons of Chittagong, accepting both aerial and ground casualties as needed to finish the job.

The Bad: We failed to move up base forces quickly enough to provide proper CAP over Meiktila and Mandalay. This forced us to rely on LRCAP and dissipated our numerical edge in the air. CF almost wrested air superiority from us at a key moment, and we lost more good pilots than was necessary.

Lessons Learned: We refined the use of the indirect approach and hex side control first developed in China to take down bigger game. Regarding the geography of Burma, I hereby assert the following maxim:

The only way to defend Central Burma is to attack it.

INDIVIDUAL UNIT AWARDS

BEST CARRIER:

Carrier Akagi. The Flagship's air groups were the best in terms of EXP, and they delivered killing blows more often than any other IJN carrier.

BEST SURFACE COMBAT SHIP:

Heavy Cruiser Ashigara. Against heavy odds, she led the TF that engaged Wasp and Hornet at Exmouth, sealing their fate.

Honorable mention: DD Maikaze, who single handedly sunk CA Australia in a night raid at Luganville with the dreaded Long Lance torpedo.

BEST AIR GROUP:

1st IJAAF Sentai. These guys were the best of the elite Tojo groups in Burma, with over 135 kills and average EXP of 80.

BEST LCU:

17th Army HQ. This unit led, and came to symbolize, the elite IJA divisions that fought with exemplary valor in Operations Red Dragon, Whirlwind and Scorpion. Plus, the starting General has great stats.

FINAL GRADE: A-

It's hard to give a B for a victory by Japan in a scenario 1 game. However, I take off points for coming too late to a proper plan for R&D and the economy (in the end, nygiants59 and Mike Solli helped me remedy this issue) and for failing to really use high level strategic thinking until the end game. My late improvement in this area is due in large part to interactions with Alfred and Nemo.

Thanks again to all the readers!

Thoughts welcome.

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 11/24/2013 5:20:43 AM >


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Post #: 2189
RE: Wait, I can't read Cuttlefish's new AAR? - Cribtop ... - 11/24/2013 2:04:07 AM   
Cribtop


Posts: 3650
Joined: 8/10/2008
From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
PS - In re-reading the Retrospective I realized that I missed one big thank you. Another forum member who contributed significant advice and support, and whose AARs greatly enhanced my understanding of the game, was jrcar. Many thanks to you, Rob!

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Post #: 2190
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