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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

 
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 6:23:24 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Actually it's not quite true that there no airfields in range. Below is what 27 Oscars with pilots un-trained in LowG or Staf can do flying at long-range with silly little bombs.

Rather a pleasing result IMO.

Also note the Chinese stack to the W of Loyang, who have decided not to advance any more after receiving some ordnance.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on Sian , at 83,41

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid spotted at 17 NM, estimated altitude 7,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 4 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-IIa Oscar x 27

Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-IIa Oscar: 2 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
SB-III: 1 damaged
SB-III: 1 destroyed on ground

Airbase hits 9
Airbase supply hits 7
Runway hits 34

Aircraft Attacking:
27 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet *
Airfield Attack: 2 x 30 kg GP Bomb
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 8:03:03 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Notes ...

Today we had a lot of re-naming and re-sizing of LBA airgroups. This has led to the following:-

Two more airgroups for the IJAAF Swarm. The qualification for being part of this is that a) the group is not scheduled to withdraw and b) the group will eventually resize to 49 planes. So now there are a total of 16 airgroups involved (15 x F and 1 x FB), which will amount to nearly 800 planes in mid 1944. I am going to put them all under the command of the 1st Air Army, which is heading to Tsinan. I should have said before that the real enemy of the Swarm is destined to be the Soviets, so that positioning seem quite appropriate.

For the IJNAF a F and DB pair stationed at Hakodate has enlarged considerably. This additional protection has prompted me to plan to move 5th Fleet HQ from Ominato, along with the motley collection of warships that I enumerated earlier as being allocated for defence of the Kuriles. Hakodate is 2 hexes nearer the potential combat zone than Ominato, and is on the cusp of becoming a size 7 port. AKEs are already present.

Finally, some bombers are now reported at Rabaul, which has built up to a size 6 airfield already. I am expecting the first 4E raid on Truk any day now.


< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/26/2012 8:04:31 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 9:56:57 PM   
Schlemiel

 

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I'm very curious to see how this strategy will play out.  It seems very theoretically solid, as it is not easy to break a stiff defense of the hive given game mechanics, but in practice I'm curious how the relative ease of operational 4e bombing so early may affect it.  I presume the swarm will have a massive trained pilot reserve by 1944 if all goes as planned?

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 10:09:11 PM   
Captain Cruft


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There should certainly be a large Reserve of LowG pilots due to the abundance of bomber airgroups. Air training is a bit more difficult, currently I only have 3 fighter training units, but you only ever get more airgroups.

I'm curious how the relative ease of operational 4e bombing so early may affect it

Not sure what you mean by that? Right now the only places he can address me with 4Es are in Burma (where they regularly bomb the division at Mandalay), Truk (not happened yet and doesn't matter anyway since the fleet has moved to Ulithi/Guam) and Timor/Ambon (no signs of action).

Look at it from the Allied side. He has to start his Pacific amphibious campaign by going up against well-prepared hard targets, rather than something soft in the Gilberts or Solomons. No practise runs and no Japanese attrition ... I am lucky though that he doesn't seem to want to use the Darwin axis.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 10:42:22 PM   
Schlemiel

 

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I mean he can do the traditional Allied build up a base and start blowing up airfields for the next phase thing a bit earlier (since he doesn't really have to do it for, say, the Solomons before he can invade like some Allied players would be forced to).  It works in the outer zone fairly well, but I'm not sure it can be effective against the hive with the way you are focusing your defenses (and the difficulty of fighter sweeps anywhere near the Hive until, I imagine, the P47-D25 and later P-38s at least).

I agree that denying him the ability to gain experience for his ground units while, I imagine, being able to turn down your own replacements for a while to build a a further HI reserve and avoid attrition seems like a great idea to me.

I know when I play Allied, I end up designating a fair number of rear echelon fighter groups for pseudo training or just set them fully to train, have you done anything similar?  A fighter group with a week's notice can convert back fully to experienced pilots from the pool, but it might as well be training up fighter recruits until it is needed for something else.  At least as the Allies, you can even have, say 10 excellent pilots for a CAP while having (in a group of 25) another 23 pilots that can be training up their skills with something like a 30 CAP/70 training split.  I presume you are, but definitely take advantage of groups that aren't expecting immediate combat (or are not emergency reserves waiting to ship to an emergent combat zone) to help train up a few more pilots if you are low on training squadrons.  As you know, you don't have to limit yourself to just designated training squadrons to train up pilots.  Seems like the hive strategy gives you extra room for that as well, as it will take him some time to threaten the hive where many groups won't be expected to be in combat.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 10:52:41 PM   
Captain Cruft


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As mentioned earlier the IJN has only lost a single DD. So basically my entire combat fleet is still intact, and he mostly doesn't know where it is. Given that he only has 6 USN CVs at this point he probably thinks that he does not have the naval superiority necessary to force an assault anywhere. As I also said earlier, he is definitely risk-averse.

All this means that I don't really have to actually fight to stop him advancing. I believe he will wait until he has more stuff like Essex class CVs etc. Of course I could be wrong but so far it seems to be working that way. Then when he does come I will fight with LBA and light surface forces, and at the same time I will consider releasing the KB on a raid somewhere where his CVs aren't. Or alternatively if his CVs appear to have been exhausted by my LBA I may just pop out and try for a 8 hex range attack. When the tactical situation in an area is obviously lost, I will then aggressively evacuate all the LCUs I can manage using air and expendable sea transport.

This plan applies to the Marshalls, Carolines, Marianas and Philippines.

The whole point is to delay the real battle of attrition until we get to something like the Downfall situation, but with the core of my forces still intact and a very dense and very well-prepared defence, including kamikazes with good pilots. From playing the Downfall scen, it is clear to me that even with the vast preponderance that the Allies possess invading the Home Islands is a tricky job indeed.

< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/26/2012 11:01:56 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 11:01:00 PM   
Captain Cruft


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quote:

I mean he can do the traditional Allied build up a base and start blowing up airfields for the next phase thing a bit earlier


Blow up what airfields and to what purpose? Netties on defence can always stand back out of 4E range. If an airfield or set of airfields become untenable I will simply move out and retreat.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/26/2012 11:29:12 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Here's what I have defending the Marshalls.

The only places without CD guns are Eniwetok, Ebadon, Ailinglaplap and Kusaie Island.



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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 10:32:12 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Nov 3rd 1942

Swarm tactics vindicated?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Afternoon Air attack on 46th Chinese Corps, at 74,54 , near Liuchow

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid spotted at 28 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 7 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-IIa Oscar x 259

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-IIa Oscar: 16 damaged
Ki-43-IIa Oscar: 3 destroyed by flak

Allied ground losses:
1139 casualties reported
Squads: 2 destroyed, 56 disabled
Non Combat: 8 destroyed, 59 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 2 disabled

Aircraft Attacking:
32 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
35 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
31 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
30 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
34 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
37 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
32 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
24 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb

Also attacking 59th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 64th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 8th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 52nd Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 31st Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 46th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 59th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 64th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 8th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 52nd Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 31st Chinese Corps ...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ground combat at 74,54 (near Liuchow)

Japanese Deliberate attack

Attacking force 34686 troops, 502 guns, 2086 vehicles, Assault Value = 1427

Defending force 40226 troops, 228 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 1178

Japanese adjusted assault: 956

Allied adjusted defense: 165

Japanese assault odds: 5 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: disruption(-), fatigue(-), experience(-), supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
1573 casualties reported
Squads: 26 destroyed, 87 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 26 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 17 disabled
Vehicles lost 50 (1 destroyed, 49 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
15000 casualties reported
Squads: 664 destroyed, 154 disabled
Non Combat: 232 destroyed, 19 disabled
Engineers: 20 destroyed, 5 disabled
Guns lost 32 (24 destroyed, 8 disabled)
Units retreated 5

Defeated Allied Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
2nd Tank Division
17th Division
1st Tank Division
7th Ind.Tank Brigade
Guards Tank Division

Defending units:
59th Chinese Corps
64th Chinese Corps
8th Chinese Corps
46th Chinese Corps
93rd Chinese Division
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I lost 10 Oscars in the attack, out of 259 which flew. That's 3.9%, much better than last time, albeit the Chinese stack was smaller.

One thing was really interesting watching the combat replay. The first several flights of Oscars suffered badly from the flak, but at some point the AA puffs of smoke completely disappeared and no further planes were damaged. I think this is because AA and other support devices are a favourite target of the ground attack routine and so at some point all the AA devices in the hex became disabled. Or in other words, the Swarm overwhelmed the defence ...

What really astonished me though was the sheer number of casualties caused to the Chinese by the subsequent ground combat

< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/29/2012 10:33:47 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 11:14:48 PM   
Saros

 

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That isn't really a surprising result for the combat to be honest.  Clear terrain with tired and disrupted Chinese troops = a rout. The AA fire was probably reduced by lack of supplies as well.
That being said you are going to take some really heavy losses against proper ground units with AA support. Look at some of the allied heavy AA units and their huge number of Light Flak guns as well as the organic AAMG and 20/40mm cannons in the divisions. But if the aim is to bust up airfields you will be taking losses anyway as the Japanese so you might just be onto something with the swarm.

Admittedly I am not too sure how you can spare so many fighters from actual fighter duties. Does Scen 2 give you that many more units or have you completely stripped the 2nd Air army out of Manchuria?

< Message edited by Saros -- 2/29/2012 11:18:22 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 11:24:10 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I have no fighter groups in Manchuria. All units were bought out individually.

The reason I can spare so many fighters is because I am not letting the Western Allies fight me anywhere. Except Burma where I can't avoid it. There are about 120 fighters over there duking it out with the Brits and 10th USAAF. Everywhere else the Zero and Netty flotillas are acting as a deterrent. No IJAAF air is in the Pacific or DEI.


< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 3/1/2012 12:01:48 AM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 11:35:13 PM   
Captain Cruft


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One thing about the Swarm is supposed to be its psychological effect. It takes a long time to watch all those Oscars strafe and bomb in flights of 4 at a time. The idea is to dispirit the enemy in much the same way as 4E bombers can dispirit the Japanese player. As in "WTF can I do about this?

In fact the whole reason I conceived this approach was in an attempt to come up with an answer to the 4E menace. Not by fighting them directly but by creating an equivalent "big stick".

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 11:45:08 PM   
FDRLincoln


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I am learning a lot from reading this AAR, although my PBEM opponent is much more aggressive than yours. It's only December 24 and I've already lost 2 CL and 9 DD through various means...I am causing more damage than I've taken, yes, but his aggressive defense is bleeding some ships I will need later.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 2/29/2012 11:56:43 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I am quite surprised to have only lost one DD so far. This was torpedoed by a Dutch sub at Kota Bharu very early on.

After the initial messy invasion phase (which I hate with a passion) all my CLs, CAs & BBs have mostly been tied up in port. He did try to cause some problems with his surface forces in the DEI but at the first sniff of a Netty he would retreat to safety. Therefore we never actually had any surface battles, PT boats excepted.

Throughout the game his subs have been very active though, particularly in the DEI and around Hokkaido. Even with the duff torpedos I have still lost a lot of xAKs, several PBs and a few tankers. I don't use DDs for escorting oil/fuel/resource/supply convoys, only for troops, and these will be supplanted by Es when more become available.

DDs are for fighting surface battles


< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 2/29/2012 11:59:46 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 12:11:32 AM   
Saros

 

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A not insignificant proportion of old IJN DD's are really no good at fighting surface battles and should be relegated to escorting valuble things like oilers and troops. Many have only 2-3 12cm guns, are quite short ranged and sport only a couple of old torpedo tubes. As a good rule of thumb if it doesn't have Long lances its probably not worth bringing to a surface fight.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 12:31:40 AM   
Captain Cruft


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Whether the old DDs are of any use in a fight really depends on who their opponents are and what state they're in.

They are a fundamental part of Torpedo Avalanche, which I will attempt to illustrate in 1944 or so ...

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 12:42:54 AM   
FDRLincoln


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In my game we have had several surface actions already. The Long Lances do good work against slow merchantmen, but against something fast and maneuverable, they have done very little.

The one exception was two Long Lance hits that sank Prince of Wales in a major surface battle. However, those torps only hit after the ship had already been smothered by 100+ shell hits of various calibers, so I doubt she was more than a flaming hulk when the torps hit.

Other than that, I don't think my Long Lances have hit a single Allied warship, although I'll have to check tomorrow for sure.



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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 12:43:44 AM   
FDRLincoln


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Betties and Nells have been similarly ineffective in their attacks for me so far.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 12:44:28 AM   
FDRLincoln


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Not hijacking your AAR Cruft, but more wondering how effective your smother them with torpedoes strategy will be, if they are as inaccurate as they have been so far in my game.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 3:41:19 PM   
Captain Cruft


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I am wondering that too. Numbers will be important, as well as the conditions.

It's all only a vague theory at this point, but in Downfall I have had midget subs put 3 fish into an Essex class CV. They have also had single hits on several lesser types of ship (e.g. APA, AM) under the worst of conditions, with no support from fleet subs or surface units and little from the air. This lends me hope ...

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 3:46:16 PM   
FDRLincoln


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My submarine torps have been OK, so perhaps that part is less of an issue. But surface ship and air-dropped torps (other than at Pearl Harbor) have done very little for me.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 4:37:16 PM   
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Mmmm.  My Kates hit regularly with torps.  No Problem.  Netties hit as well, but are more dependent (from my perspective) on lack of interference.  It doesn't take much CAP for them to miss.  So early on in the DEI, they hit a lot as there is little to no CAP on the targets (xAKL's and the ilk).  Later in the war, they don't hit as much as there is too much CAP.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 4:42:38 PM   
FDRLincoln


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My Kates do well against slow merchantmen, but they consistently miss against warships (except at Pearl). So do Betties and Nells. My LBA has been quite disappointing so far, and they haven't been fighting CAP. Morale is good. Experience levels fine.

It's early in the war though, just December 24. We'll see what happens.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 6:36:29 PM   
Miller


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Saros

A not insignificant proportion of old IJN DD's are really no good at fighting surface battles and should be relegated to escorting valuble things like oilers and troops. Many have only 2-3 12cm guns, are quite short ranged and sport only a couple of old torpedo tubes. As a good rule of thumb if it doesn't have Long lances its probably not worth bringing to a surface fight.



Even the old IJN DDs are deadly against poorly escorted transport convoys. My opponent is down 100+ AP/AK thanks to 12cm guns...........

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 6:59:47 PM   
FDRLincoln


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Checking the sunk ship list, it turns out that I did sink three US four-stackers using Long Lance torpedoes in the Phillipines area early in the war. I think I assumed I sank these with gunfire, but the LLs show up as the culprit on the sunk ship screen.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 7:00:48 PM   
Captain Cruft


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What Miller said ...

One thing I did this last turn was to give birth to 20 midget subs at Tsushima. These are the 9 kt jobbies with endurance of 500.

I want to see if they train up or not from the 50+ exp level they start with.



The other TFs you can see are MGBs, SCs and short range normal subs. Again it's all to see if they can train up.

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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 3/1/2012 7:02:59 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 9:05:02 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Meanwhile, over in far-flung Burma, here is the 33rd Division, which is stationed at Mandalay behind level 4 forts and is the only ground unit north of Rangoon.

Every two or three days, seemingly every British and American bomber in the theatre flies over and gives these poor troops some love. As a result the unit is slowly deteriorating. It doesn't matter though, since it will retreat as soon as the Brits cross the river, as reported earlier.

Far better that the extensive Allied level bomber ordnance be deposited at this target rather than something that actually matters. I suspect that he could have taken Mandalay months ago, but (hopefully) the cognitive dissonance I have attempted to inculcate in him by not doing the expected things has stopped him from trying. Or perhaps on the other hand it's something more prosaic like lack of supplies or something. I don't know, but whatever the reason for his inaction it's good



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< Message edited by Captain Cruft -- 3/1/2012 9:07:19 PM >

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/1/2012 10:02:17 PM   
Captain Cruft


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Random musings ...

I just noticed something. Emilies can reach Ansi and Hami from Tientsin. Why might this be useful? Well, the Chinese airforce has not been seen or heard from in weeks. It does not seem to be hiding at Chungking so where is it? Chengtu perhaps, but also out there in the desert maybe, quietly training.

So, maybe the "special ops" Toko Chutai could pay a visit, it can be there in a day flying from its current station at Kusaie Island. I will also have a sweep and a recon over Lanchow, which is another possible hiding place. I have not visited this base once yet in any way.

Invite him in with the one hand and push him away with the other ...

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/2/2012 2:07:11 AM   
Captain Cruft


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More random musings ...

This follows from playing the Downfall turn where I noticed some things that had previously escaped my attention.

I think it might still be worth building some of the super long-range subs (or "temporarily submersible cruisers", which IMO is a better description). The endurance is awesome and the weapons systems are quite powerful. I just need to work out what to do with the beasties. They're certainly less of a waste of money than the beautiful but pointless Yamatos.

Meanwhile I have decided to do some acceleration of the later Unryu CVs. This is not to get anything stupidly early, but rather in order to get all 6 ships at more or less the same time. A poor man's replacement KB, if you will.

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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan) - 3/2/2012 11:52:55 PM   
Schlemiel

 

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In thinking about it, I like the test of the Oscar swarm, but what precautions are you taking to avoid your opponent thinking about it to much (or use that thinking if that's your direction). Seems using it now gives him a couple years to think of a countermeasure. Do the Soviets have enough AA to put a unit or two with each major advance? (I'd think it possible that the AA units might absorb the bulk of the disruption while the infantry downs a number of planes). What kind of testing have you done for your late war scenario with the swarm? What is your plan if he creates several large, heavily AA supported echelons? I know that would slow him considerably, but it still might make your timetable unpleasant (especially if he pre plans it instead of doing it as an ad hoc reaction to a first experience of the swarm phenomenon)?

Do the sub-cruisers have a significant aircraft capacity? Seems like a glen fragment + some kamikazes might be a nice field raid on the Allied supply lines (or maybe even better on CVEs) They could potentially raid pretty deep too (perhaps Aden to India or Capetown to Singapore to divert more escorts) even from the Hive, I would imagine. Even some port raids deep in Indian Country might divert some additional squadrons of fighters from the front lines (which can potentially make your other tactics more effective outside the edges of the Hive). I think anything that can mess with the sense of security of your opponent would be helpful if he's the conservative approach type player you read him as.

(in reply to Captain Cruft)
Post #: 90
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