From: Seoul, Korea
I'm playing the latest Ironman with latest beta patch at Hard, and it's currently early April 1942. I let the two sides duke it out until mid-Fed (I let it go longer twice, but both times in March, as I recall, the USN lost three or four flattops off Saipan--I didn't want that much of a handicap so I started at an earlier save).
Sing and Bataan were still IJA-free in mid-February, but only just. They each fell within a month. It took longer for Sing as there were a lot of piecemeal shock attacks. At that time, Moulmein also held for quite a while. Also, I inherited a good chunk of the Aussie army, much of it restricted, floundering on PNG at Milne Bay and near Moresby. I lost both stacks eventually. Not so good for the Aussie pools. In compensation, I have 3 Inf Div at Suva, 41 Inf Div at Brisbane and even 7 Mot Div at Noumea. All of those are permantly restricted. There are a few other smaller restricted units posted overseas. Obviously the AI did that before I took over. Most of the DEI has been taken except Sumatra less Sabang. Only minor mop up for the empire in the PI as well.
In terms of raids and such, I just got raided at Perth by a mid-sized KB formation and sigint now says an IJA div is on boats heading for Geraldton. I hope to have a decent reception committee waiting there. Something called the "Timber Wolf," an ACM or CM (i.e. the commerce raider type) sank a few merchies between Pearl and Frisco. Bad raider, bad! I assume it's German with a name like that. Looks like I'll have to escort my merchies a bit better. That's the only non-Japanese sounding ship I've noticed so far. I have noticed a few dud torpedos launched at CVEs Kizen and/or Hizen or somesuch. Also, I've noticed a few CAs and CLs I don't recognize from my history books. I assume I'll be meeting a lot of those.
A couple of things the AI could possibly do better (not a complaint, just observation):
1) Not sure how uberman the IJN CV pilots are, but maybe those smallish roving bands of IJN CVs should have more flattops included. Anyway, I'll be spoiling for a fight off OZ if possible in the next month or so.
2) I took out numerous xAKs with a CA group at Milne Bay that went there to bombard (just after I lost the base there). Maybe 20-30 totally unescorted xAKs went down. Such a waste of fine infantry, I mean merchies (well, about 10,000 troops did go down too).
3) Akyab is also getting trickles of merchies and my CA group in region is taking out 4-8 a week. They could probably use more escorts, or else an SCTF should be based in the area.
4) I found the Guards Mixed Brigade and an air flotilla camping on Midway with my Mar Def Bn and USAAF base force (that must be some crowded real estate). They've been there since before February and I assume they are supply-free as I've shore bombarded them a few times and they don't bombard themselves. Probably Midway needs more resources devoted to the initial invasion. I plan to land an RCT there soon and be done with them.
I'll try to post more as time progresses.
Beer, because barley makes lousy bread.