From: La Salle, Colorado
Lew and I have gotten the game rolling again and things have been pretty interesting. I will do Regional Reports prior to making some comments.
December 7-12, 1941
I've already detailed the Port Attacks with the Posting above. Very satisfied with the Pearl Harbor attack results and managed to inflict some damage at Manila.
Am moving more slowly here. Have sent TF to each of my three Kurile bases (Paramushiro Jima down to Etorofu) with severl small engineering units as well as supply and fuel. These bases start with a CD unit in place and the two bases just mentioned also have small Base Forces at start. In a forever memory from CR (Dan's) epic WitP Game, I will NEVER allow the American Hordes to come by the Northern Route!
Have gathered about 12-14 older DDs at Etorofu. They will provide the major warships carrying out operations in the Aleutians until I can free up some serious warships.
Planning: Will make the standard moves grabbing everything from Unmak West. Dutch Harbor will be targeted as well.
KB I had planned to hit PH again on the 8th, however, the weather gods closed that option. I took it as a sign from above to NOT hit PH! The four CVs move due west to provide direct Cover for Wake and Midway. They are not spotted after the 8th so I will imagine that Lew thinks they are racing towards Rabaul. They aren't. Last time he staged a STF out of Midway and I want to hit it HARD if he does it again. Sinking modern CAs and CLs is a top priority. Don't want them adding and thickening the CV Screens.
The AOs supporting KB were sent to Kwajalein for the opening move so they were not risked. These valuable ships are now moving to rendezvous with the KB and provide plenty of fuel for their operations.
With the stacking limits placed into this game the earlier version of 4.0 had Truk WAY over-stacked so I had to alleviate this problem. Did so by moving an SNLF Assault Brigade to Saipan. That Brigade is the Wake and Midway Invasion Force. I began loading it on the 8th and it set sail on the 9th arriving at its destination on the 12th. Providing protection for this force is 3 CL and 6 DD. The Invasion Force ran into trouble on its approach by being attacked by Wake F4Fs and PBYs. The 11th saw 11 F4Fs hit 3 AKs with a single bomb each. The Force landed on the 12th after getting two more AKs hit by both PBY and F4F. Hoping to destroy BOTH Squadrons, my assault unit got a poor roll on the initial attack. Got a 2-1 and dropped Forts to 0 but did not get the surrender. Imagine that the PBYs will be pulled out when I capture the base tomorrow.
As soon as the base falls I will immediately reload the Brigade and move to Midway. I WANT the TF to be seen approaching Midway so I can lure a STF out and destroy it with the KB.
Make the normal landing elsewhere and grab the following bases: Guam, Ocean and Nauru (12-9), Tarawa (12-11), and Tabiteau (12-12). With each landing I immediately pull the TF back expecting single Allied ships to appear. The Nauru TF is sunk by CA Louisville as it retreated directly into the US Cruiser. Oooops. Down go 1 PB, 1 AK, and 4 AKL. No troops on board luckily. My Daitai of Betty drop a total of 54 bombs during the two attack phase and score ZERO hits. Those boys need practice it looks like...
It is here that I want to score some serious blooding of the Allied Fleet. There will be no repeat of the last game and our original campaign. I am moving here but only with overwhelming force. Problem is I have to make it LOOK like I'm doing the same thing! OK. Form-up and send two Invasion Forces to Wewak and Madang. Both have Lvl-1 AF so I can use that for recon. Additionally load two smaller Inf units onto a Fast TF to grab Kavieng. These operations go well and not too much trouble occurs. LOTS of Allied warships here though! Madang and Wewak fall on the 12th while Kavieng surrenders on the 10th. Am sending a Fast TF to Madang with Construction Troops and a large BF to expand the AF.
Important note: As my TF withdrew on the 12th, they were attacked by a single squadron of SBDs flying from Rabaul. Will bet that Lew felt I was try to get to Rabaul PRIOR to Lexington reaching the area and he flew off some planes to get a crack at my 'invasion' force. They manage to ding a CL with a single bomb but nothing else occurs. Not bad at all.
Am waiting for the 4 BB from Hiroshima to provide heavy gunfire support for the Southern Operations. They will join the remaining warships (4 CA, 3 CL, 11 DD) and form the TFs designed to crush Allied warships in the area. Want to sting and move until the KB gets down into the region. Lew needs to remained 'fixed' here so I can arrive with the 4 CVs and CRUSH whatever is present.
The normal air raids occurred at Iba, Clark, and Manila over the first week of fighting. There were nice results at Clark and Manila where planes were destroyed in decent numbers on the ground. Have to watch out though because Lew did not put up a bunch of P-40s for CAP. This is a smart move since I destroyed them last time. There are 4-5 Squadrons of P-40s hiding somewhere...just have to carefully find them...
Bases Taken: Cotabato (Paras) 12-7, Naga and Laoag 12-8, Surigao 12-10, Dadjangas 12-11, Aparri, Antimonan and Legaspi 12-12
This is a pretty massive IJA Operation for me. Units assigned:
Luzon: 48th ID, 21st ID, 2nd ID, 56th ID, 33rd ID, and 65th Brigade
Mindanao: 90th Inf Reg, another Inf Reg, and Tk Reg
Will drive on the major Luzon targets from both directions. The 33rd and 65th move up from Antimonan to grab Manila while the rest move south and grab Clark.
The shipping massacre that occurs around the Philippines is the worst I have seen. Perhaps, with just playing the start of this, I was more aware of possibilities but I've never seen so many ships go down in the first week:
1. Nearly 100 Allied ships are gone from this region alone.
2. Lew recognized the threat from Cotabato and bombarded it on the 8th with Houston, Marblehead, and 4 DD. He then kept warships in the area and has paid the bill for that. CL Marblehead, the 3 Brit DD, and 6 US Four-Pipers have been sunk.
3. CA Pensacola was sunk by CL Naka and 3 DD east of Legaspi.
Eastern and Central DEI
Normally I would already have everything to Ambon by the 12th, however, I am playing this differently. The SNLF Assault Brigade used at Guam is loading and will take Koepang. Once I get all by shipping back from Mindanao I will load another Assault Brigade for Ambon. Shipping is at a premium so this area shall suffer for a little while.
The 3 CVLs started in this area and have moved westward below Mindanao, across from Balikpapan, and are now preparing to rendezvous with CarDiv2. As can be expected they have done well. I've rotated the TTs with each of the CVLs so that at least one set of Kates were carrying TTs and the other two bombs. The biggest moment of stress/panic occurred when (near Balikpapan) the TF was attacked by 27 B-339 and 6 A-24 (HATE those things!). They bore right through my 36 Zeros on CAP and managed to plant a 1,000lb bomb on Ryujo. CRAP! In doing this they pay for it by losing 15 Fighters and 4 A-24 for the loss of 2 Zero. After the turn was completed I (with considerable concern) opened the TF and was gratified to see that the bomb had passed right through the Flight Deck and detonated in the water causing only minor damage (Sys 9, Flot 5, Eng 1)! Thank goodness!
Grab Ternate by Paras on the 12th and am airlifting in a Base Force. Move 6 Jakes and 16 Mavis there for air search/recon.
I have moved the two Brigades from northern Indochina down to Cam Rahn Bay. They will be used for Tarakan and Balikpapan then land in NW Aussieland.
CarDiv2 moves from the Manila area into the area off Palawan sinking ships and then skirts the western coast of Borneo providing Cover for various landings. As they approach Singkawang they spot the Force Z on the 11th and hit it from extreme range planting 8 bombs on Prince of Wales, and 7 on Repulse. NICE but it doesn't impact the BB and BC as we shall soon see. As noted above the CVs will rendezvous SW of Singkawang tomorrow to provide Cover for the Palembang Landing. Sorties are starting to get a little low but should be OK for the two days prior to the landing.
Landings: Miri 12-9, Brunei 12-10 with Singkawang and Kuching scheduled for tomorrow.
KNOWING that planes will be at Singkawang, I order the two old BBs (Yamashiro and Fuso) to bombard the AF as well as Hiei and Haruna from a 2nd TF out of CarDiv2.
BATTLE: To my surprise the Fuso--Yamashiro TF (with CL Jintsu and 4 DD) run into Force Z (Prince of Wales, Repulse, CL Danae, and 4 DD). The Forces are evenly matched, however, I expect a WONDROUS naval victory. The problem, as it turns BB Fuso had some sort of electrical short since she decided to stay out of the fight for nearly 10 gunnery rounds! This left Yamashiro to fight two heavies alone. NOT GOOD! Have to say that she did OK hitting Repulse with 6 heavy shells and PofW with 7. In return the Yamashiro was forced to eat 14 large caliber shells. Once Fuso arrived (finally) that BB added two more hits to both Repulse and Prince without taking any damage herself. The small boys took little damage while two of the Brit DDs were heavily damaged. The damage was too severe as Yamashiro went down around dawn. Too bad but at least she disabled Force Z and will, hopefully, set-up the chance to sink them in Batavia or Soerabaja.
The 2 BC find no targets and deliver a decent bombardment.
I order the BCs and Fuso (2 of the 3 still have decent AMMO to turn around and hit Singkawang again. There escort is thickened to comprise 3 CL and 9 DD. The Singkawang IF has 4 CA and 6 DD protecting it and they should land tomorrow.
4th ID is going to begin the approach to Palembang by moving tomorrow to 3 hexes NE of Singkawang and then shot across heading for its target. Plenty (hopefully) of Zeros will provide cover for the convoy. The 4th has an Air Floitlla, 3 Con Bn, and 3 TK Reg with it. This is a sizable force and it will take out all of Sumatra. Once things are secure at Palembang the 4th ID will immediately load and land at Merak.
The movements here look pretty good. Have pasted the northern and central AF to good effect. I did elect to land at Kota Bharu and it fell on the 8th. There are 4 ID detailed here for the moment. Pending on things I may add another if needed to drive the Brits down to Singers.
Took Victoria Point with IJA Paras on the 7th. Began landing at Pt Blair on the 10th and have managed to drop the Forts to 0 without, as yet, taking the base.
Am moving on Changsha and in the Central Plains. Have already taken Kweiteh, 83,51, 83,52, 90,49, and Pengpu. Am using all the air not involved in the Philippines to hit bases throughout Central and Southern China.
Hong Kong: In a big surprise the base fell on the 10th to a 3-1 attack! Am minesweeping it right now and tomorrow a number of TF will be there with load up the 38th ID as well as Engineers and Artillery.
Ro-33 hits AP Bloemfontein and sinks ACP Niagara near Iliolo
Ha-34 SINKS AG Antares outside of Pearl Harbor
Ro-34 sinks both AP Republic and AKL Paz at Iliolo
I-124 sinks AO Tan 1 and AG Albatross near Tandjoengselor
I-159 sinks CMc Pro Patria near Muntok
I-123 sinks AKL Magellanes near Tawi Tawi
Ro-65 sinks CL Adelaide at Port Moresby
I-121 sinks AKL Nam Young near Malacca
I-166 sinks CM Willem v d Zoor at Tobaoli
I-157 sinks AP Australia Star at Koggala
I-153 sinks DD John Ford near Balikpapan
Ro-33 sinks AKL Joan Moller and damages AKL Chengtu near Lucena
I-168 hits AP President Coolidge and sinks AP Hugh Scott at Pago Pago
I-160 sinks AK Ellenga at Tambelan
I feared Lew and I would both change our play styles and things might seriously be whacked. Certainly doesn't appear that way. I want to make him PAY for deploying his warships in tiny penny packets and operating them in so brazen a manner. This is requiring me to take deep breaths, sit back, gather forces, and then move in with great strength to CRUSH the shipping. I do not want to damage---I want to SINK these ships. Everything planted now is less to fight when I begin the Grand Adventure in Australia.
"So let it be written so let it be done!"
< Message edited by John 3rd -- 2/7/2012 6:10:57 PM >