From: USA Me-FL-DC-Guam-WS-NE-IL-?
Expect him to do everything he can to interdict any breakout from Manila or the other PI ports. Expect him to lay submarine mines (I'd send out minesweepers before sending any ship's out of Manila) . I'd also use one of your fighter squadrons to provide LCAP for the same ships. And have them escorted as he will send surface groups and submarines to attack them . I have NEVER had an opponent "just let them go". Most JFB players are greedy , and want to sink any ships they can , especially those that might be carrying troops to safety.
Waiting for minesweepers to sweep the Bataan or Manila hexes of mines is problematic. If those ships don't scramble on day one, they're meat on the table. You're just asking for either surface interdiction of fleeing ships or-more likely-brutal air attacks from Formosa's Betty and Nell IJNAF torpedo squadrons. It will take a couple days for the minesweepers to do their work. You don't have the luxury of that time for anything in Manila.
USAAF LRCAP of USN TFs is problematic. A thoughtful Japanese player will escort his Bettys with A6M2s from Formosa, thus negating the partial coverage offered by this mechanism. Also, if you're LRCAPing the fleeing TF, that's air cover you don't have over Manila. With the scarce Allied fighter support at Luzon, which is it going to be-CAPing Manila or inefficiently LRCAPing a naval TF?
Escorting xAK or TK or other civilian TFs leaving the area is partially effective at warding off submarines. However, with few exceptions, escorting warships that loiter, or attach themselves to slow-moving xAK or other merchants, will enhance the probability of their own destruction by various means.
For the Allied navies, it's pretty simple really: As Allies in the early war, if you fight in place, you'll die in place. If you delay getting out of the hot zone with whatever you wish to extricate, you'll lose it. Get out now, get out fast. Delay=death.
Salvage what you can, upgrade it and send it back into the fray after its crew gains experience and better defensive weaponry. Oh, if it's accompanied by a couple Essex class CVs, that's OK too.
Lastly, I'm not greedy as a Japanese player. Just bloodthirsty.
I didn't say wait till all the mines were gone....I said sweep mines. A sub or two couldn't lay many , 20-40. A very small field. And the sweepers need only clear a lane. That's how it was done historically , that's how it's done now. One lane, one turn, then go. It will take one turn to load the troops you want to save any how. And in the 1st couple of turns, the Japanese player is using his fighters at extreme range...and they need to be many places at once. It doesn't take many fighters (or particularly good ones) to disrupt Netties. One squadron will suffice. Also , if you are particularly bloody minded, you can sacrafice the 10 kt ships (usually AKL's) by sending them as a slower squadron , escorted by slower escorts (Like PG's at 12Kts). They get massacred at a lot lower cost point then your favorite AS,AD,or AP. You might consider leaving a slow AS (Like Canopus---as was done historically) behind at Mainila if you intend to keep subs there.
And Andre? When I said greedy , I particularly had you in mind. You LOVE the "Manila Massacre"! In our game you gave up the PH attack just so you could go after the small ships of Manila. Greedy-greedy-greedy!!! NOW IN CHINA...there you are bloodthirsty!
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