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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J)

 
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/29/2012 2:17:50 PM   
PaxMondo


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A6M series doesn't get armor until A6M5c ... and it has same speed as the A6M3a  (at least when I am looking at Scen 2 in my editor) ... armor is what most players are shooting for.  Sorry if I wasn't clear which model I was comparing against.

Interesting that all of you see such differences where I don't.  And yes, if you are comparing losses at 15 hexes vs losses at 12 hex range, that isn't exactly apples vs apples.   My perception is built from battles where the groups are all fighting as CAP or escorting to 7 hex against the typical allied 43 fighter mix (Hellcat/Corsair/TBolt).  In these two scenarios I've never noticed any appreciable differences.  Both ways the A6M gets shredded with pilot losses roughly equivalent. 

I'm not suggesting the A6M3a is better, only it isn't any worse and I don't fuss about researching the later models that much.  I do try for the A7M as early as I can.  It does perform noticeably better against the allied fighters.

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/29/2012 5:18:39 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

A6M series doesn't get armor until A6M5c ... and it has same speed as the A6M3a  (at least when I am looking at Scen 2 in my editor) ... armor is what most players are shooting for.  Sorry if I wasn't clear which model I was comparing against.

Interesting that all of you see such differences where I don't.  And yes, if you are comparing losses at 15 hexes vs losses at 12 hex range, that isn't exactly apples vs apples.   My perception is built from battles where the groups are all fighting as CAP or escorting to 7 hex against the typical allied 43 fighter mix (Hellcat/Corsair/TBolt).  In these two scenarios I've never noticed any appreciable differences.  Both ways the A6M gets shredded with pilot losses roughly equivalent. 

I'm not suggesting the A6M3a is better, only it isn't any worse and I don't fuss about researching the later models that much.  I do try for the A7M as early as I can.  It does perform noticeably better against the allied fighters.


Good to know about the late models. I wouldn't think they would be much better, but the A6M8 has to be somewhat useful with the 350 speed, 17 gun rating and armor, at least until the A7 can be available.

Curious if there is a database error somewhere, as my game shows 351 for the M5 and 336 for the M3a.





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by obvert -- 11/29/2012 5:19:05 PM >


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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 1:44:46 AM   
fcharton

 

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June 30th 1942

A very bad day for the Empire… Today, for some mysterious reason, the powers that be decided that ALL our bomber squadrons in Koepang and Dili should fly, with little escort, against three xAKL that were detected in the port of Darwin, where my opponent has a large airfield and sports lots of fighters. The outcome was predictable: we lost about 70 planes, to ten enemies, as my zeroes, at extreme range, gallantly tried to protect the bombers, hell bent on those high value targets (which they missed).

This is not the first time the AI decides to slaughter a couple of bombers. Last week, I had a bomber squadron in Rabaul fly unescorted to Port Moresby (of all places! That’s the major enemy base in the region, swarming with fighters), after a Mavis detected … three minesweepers. And a few days ago, my opponent lost half a squadron of Devastators to a lone cargo unloading in Lae.

I am more than a little unhappy about this. I do my quota of blunders, I have nothing against CAP traps, and I understand this cuts both ways, but I just don’t understand what such “commander decisions” are supposed to represent.

Such problems can happen with other missions: order a squadron to bomb an airfield, without saying which one, and you might end up over a major enemy base, swarming with fighters. But you can always avoid this by selecting a specific target. You might fall in a CAP trap, but this will be your decision. No such joy with naval attacks, where the engine will just pick a target in range (highest detection or so, I suppose), we the players don’t get a say.

Now, I understand I can (and should) reduce the range of my bombers, to avoid this. But once more, the logic of it escapes me : “sorry guys, you can’t attack this task force 400 miles west, because there’s a big enemy base 350 miles east…”

Also, as I watched my bombers flying to Darwin, I was wondering whether search arcs could have helped. Somehow, if I had not searched the sea around Darwin, I would not have seen this task force, and maybe the AI would have not decided to attack it. But once more, cancelling searches to keep the trigger-happy commander quiet looks just as ridiculous as reducing the range of my squadrons.


Meanwhile, little happened. In Chungking, we are slowly subduing the garrison. Their strength was down 100 AV for several days (whereas we are restoring about 150 a day). I will probably attack in a week, and have good hopes about a victory in August. Near Luganville, our battleships found the enemy, and it was theirs, and we traded punches with the Mississippi and the New Mexico, and it was inconclusive.

I also have been thinking about plane building, but I guess I’m too angry tonight to discuss this. I will catch up on the rest of the war tomorrow, when I’m calmed down.

(in reply to obvert)
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 4:17:00 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Curious if there is a database error somewhere, as my game shows 351 for the M5 and 336 for the M3a.



Look at the A6M5c version. It is the first one to get armor ... you will see the speed is the same as the M3a

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 4:21:26 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

June 30th 1942

.... but I just don’t understand what such “commander decisions” are supposed to represent.

Such problems can happen with other missions: order a squadron to bomb an airfield, without saying which one, and you might end up over a major enemy base, swarming with fighters. But you can always avoid this by selecting a specific target. You might fall in a CAP trap, but this will be your decision. No such joy with naval attacks, where the engine will just pick a target in range (highest detection or so, I suppose), we the players don’t get a say.

....

Can't say that I have an explanation either. All I can say I do is that I am REALLY careful with putting any unit on NavAttack. I never leave any bomber on NAvAttack after they have hit their target. It is one of my end of turn checks (look at both land and nav bombers to check if they are on Nav Attack).

Even with this, I know that at least once/year (game time) I will have a unit NavAttack a completely different target than intended and usually with terrible consequences like you. So all I can do here is commiserate with you. All those good pilots that take so long to nurture, gone in a flash with no result at all.



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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 5:35:34 AM   
koniu

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Curious if there is a database error somewhere, as my game shows 351 for the M5 and 336 for the M3a.



Look at the A6M5c version. It is the first one to get armor ... you will see the speed is the same as the M3a

It is a price for extra armor and bigger guns. Nothing for free.
Speed back to 350 with M8 version but they make that by using engine with more horse power
and price was range. But Japan not need range in `45 they need speed, armor and fire power

< Message edited by koniu -- 12/3/2012 5:52:35 AM >


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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 8:48:56 AM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: koniu

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

Curious if there is a database error somewhere, as my game shows 351 for the M5 and 336 for the M3a.


Look at the A6M5c version. It is the first one to get armor ... you will see the speed is the same as the M3a

It is a price for extra armor and bigger guns. Nothing for free.
Speed back to 350 with M8 version but they make that by using engine with more horse power
and price was range. But Japan not need range in `45 they need speed, armor and fire power


Got it. Didn't think you were talking about the late A6M5 versions. I will probably try to bypass the 5c with the low speed and go right to the 8.

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

June 30th 1942

.... but I just don’t understand what such “commander decisions” are supposed to represent.

Such problems can happen with other missions: order a squadron to bomb an airfield, without saying which one, and you might end up over a major enemy base, swarming with fighters. But you can always avoid this by selecting a specific target. You might fall in a CAP trap, but this will be your decision. No such joy with naval attacks, where the engine will just pick a target in range (highest detection or so, I suppose), we the players don’t get a say.

....

Can't say that I have an explanation either. All I can say I do is that I am REALLY careful with putting any unit on NavAttack. I never leave any bomber on NAvAttack after they have hit their target. It is one of my end of turn checks (look at both land and nav bombers to check if they are on Nav Attack).

Even with this, I know that at least once/year (game time) I will have a unit NavAttack a completely different target than intended and usually with terrible consequences like you. So all I can do here is commiserate with you. All those good pilots that take so long to nurture, gone in a flash with no result at all.




This is distressing every time it happens. The Port Moresby area is especially difficult I find, as to hit anything heading there you have to include dangerous CAP trap areas. If you get Milne Bay soon and build that up then your idea with search arcs will work and in that spot at least you can avoid the issue.

For place like Darwin I always keep my bombers short of that destination hoping they'll hit something moving on the way there, unless on search only. It's a tough problem, as you have to be aggressive to find any success with the Netties, but you will have days where you lose a ton of irreplaceable pilots. (One note; I've been putting a disposable sub, an RO usually, in enemy base hexes to see if some pilots can be saved. Interestingly I think it is working, and I haven't been losing nearly as many as I should for the losses in un-armored planes).

Later today I'll be posting about my 100 loss day of Bettys and Jills and their escorts, but at least there was some success in one of my 5-6 strikes. On estrike went for LSTs in Terapo, where there is a 150 plane CAP!! So yes, I'm still struggling with this in late 43. I do think it is pretty accurate to what happened in the war though as well. How many Japanese missions have you read about that were decimated due to coast-watchers or something else?

I'm not sure what the numbers are for most successful IJ players, but the best players of Japan that I've read (PzB, Nemo, rader, etc) seem to treat the air war as exclusively a game of volume. If you send enough, and lose enough, you may hold the Allies back in spots to force them to take more time. I am no where near this level of play or understanding of the game, but my losses are way behind in the air column Around 9k to 6k for the Allies right now! (Probably not far enough behind to have been really successful, but I'm improving and losing a higher volume as the game moves on! ).


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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 5:52:54 PM   
SqzMyLemon


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Ack, don't even get me started on this.

There are things the AI does in terms of target selection and force allocation that leave me scratching my head at times. I know your frustration and we've all been there!

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/3/2012 9:03:29 PM   
fcharton

 

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Hi Pax,

quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo
Can't say that I have an explanation either. All I can say I do is that I am REALLY careful with putting any unit on NavAttack. I never leave any bomber on NAvAttack after they have hit their target. It is one of my end of turn checks (look at both land and nav bombers to check if they are on Nav Attack).


I guess I will have to do this as well. I have read a bit about it on the forum, and it seems that putting squadrons off duty and limiting their range are the only reasonable option. I suspect search arcs might help, too: recent detection by planes from the same base/squadron might be a factor in the decision (insofar you can call such silly moves 'decisions').

In other words, there are two possibilities. Keep squadrons in reserve (training, search, whatever, but not naval attack), commit them once something is detected (and pray that the local commander gets the hint), or keep them on "interdiction naval attacks", but with a range smaller (probably by a few hexes) than the closest enemy base.


This has several interesting consequences. First, it stresses, once more, the “air doxa” of the design team. It is all about fighters. Second, it shows that any area behind fighter bases is pretty much immune to naval attacks. In other words, in defense, you need fighters in forward positions, with target ships in the port in order to lure enemy bombers. And since fighters can operate from much smaller bases than bombers, this creates an asymmetry which can probably be exploited to Japan’s advantage.


I must say this is the kind of flaw that often breaks my enjoyment of a wargame. I like realistic games because they force one to think in realistic terms, and hate systems which force one to reason in terms of rules, or AI specs.

Right, back into the war, and into the past since I’ve skipped a few turns.

June 27th 1942

Santa Ana


The troops in Port Blair must be badly unsupplied. Over the last few weeks, I have caught a number of light cargoes unloading in port. Some were caught by my bombardment forces, the rest by the submarines patrolling this area. Today, SS I-154 caught the Santa Ana. She’s probably accounted for.

Regular sweeps by Oscars from Bangkok are not finding enemy planes anymore, and bombers are keeping the airfield damaged. Seventeen land units, including a several Indian Brigades are apparently stranded on the island. I doubt my opponent can evacuate them. If I can manage to prevent them to be resupplied and therefore keep those units out of the war for a long time, the battle for the Andamans might be considered a strategic victory.

The correct battle of Darwin

It would be unfair, after my rant about AI decisions, not to mention this attack on Darwin today. Nells from Koepang detected a small task force off Darwin, and went for it.

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Darwin at 76,124
Weather in hex: Heavy cloud
Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 14,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 31 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 31
G3M2 Nell x 15

Allied aircraft
P-39D Airacobra x 10

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed
G3M2 Nell: 1 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
P-39D Airacobra: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
xAKL Sinabang, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
xAKL Hamakua, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk


This worked, and might explain, in retrospect, why my opponent had several squadrons on CAP three days later, but I probably was lucky that several bomber squadrons were resting that day, and only a small contingent, with adequate escort, flew.

Clubbing Chungking

For several days, despite the number of units in Chungking still going up (111 now), their AV has been decreasing over time. We are destroying or disabling about 120 combat squads per day, and the enemy seems to be losing 30 AV every day. My infantry needs another week to be back in shape for another attack. I have about 1000 AV on their way, and several HQ that should bring more support in, and help with faster AV recovery.

Ground combat at Chungking (76,45)
Japanese Bombardment attack
Attacking force 12867 troops, 987 guns, 785 vehicles, Assault Value = 3249
Defending force 190986 troops, 983 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 5572

Allied ground losses:
357 casualties reported
Squads: 16 destroyed, 45 disabled
Non Combat: 8 destroyed, 4 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 13 (7 destroyed, 6 disabled)


[Edit] Erik and Joseph, I will reply to your posts in the next installment.

(in reply to SqzMyLemon)
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/4/2012 1:17:47 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

... I suspect search arcs might help, too: recent detection by planes from the same base/squadron might be a factor in the decision


Be careful with this ... other plane's search arcs also come into play. I've lost a bunch of Nettie's due to some shipboard Pete FP searching showing up a target with was heavily CAP'ed. I had the Nettie seach arcs in the opposite direction, thought I was safe. Completely overlooked a little TF with a CL that had ONE Pete on board and lit up a target. ...


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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/5/2012 11:39:39 PM   
fcharton

 

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This probably is my laziest work week ever. I have been reading (more about that later), cleaning the small Parisian apartment where I spend three days a week, but not really working. Maybe next week, or after Christmas…

@Joseph: somehow, I am happy you hate those naval attacks too. It won’t bring my planes and pilots back, but I feel less incompetent at once!
@Erik: your point on plane numbers is compelling. Thinking about it, the same is true for naval engagements, and land warfare, if you factor experience and firepower in. Somehow, the game is an “exercise in Clausewitz”. I realize my opponent is concentrating his air force better than me, and I am probably losing the air war because of this. Yet another reason to focus on planes.



June 28th 1942
Music for today: Shostakovich 6th Symphony, composed in 1939 (Mravinsky and the Leningrad Philarmonic orchestra, here)

More Terapo

KB raids over Terapo interrupted enemy landings. I don’t think I have sunk the troops (they did not show up on the LCU VP losses), but they are nowhere to be seen, in Australia, probably. This leaves one unit, an Australian brigade, which suffered a lot of disablements on landing, and probably didn’t fully unload. A full strength brigade is about 150 AV, but they probably have less now. I don’t know how much supplies they could disembark, and how much trickles from Port Moresby, but it is likely that the lone brigade is not well supplied.

I have 30 AV behind level one forts, and am air transporting a SNLF unit, to raise the total to about 100 AV behind level two (three hopefully) forts. It is a race… If the enemy takes too much time to repair disablements, I don’t think they can take the base.

A similar situation is happening in Salamaua. Another Australian Brigade is marching in, from Buna, but I am reinforcing from Merauke, and if they take too long, the battle will be costly.

Enemy bombers are trying to weigh in, but it seems that the jungle is making this difficult. Now, where’s that defoliant? And the helos, those that play the ride of the walkyries, and… ? hmm, sorry, wrong movie.

Afternoon Air attack on 1st Raiding Regiment, at 96,127 (Terapo)
Weather in hex: Light rain
Raid spotted at 20 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Allied aircraft
B-25C Mitchell x 12
Hudson III (LR) x 9
B-26 Marauder x 8
P-39D Airacobra x 20
P-40E Warhawk x 13

No Allied losses
Japanese ground losses:
28 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 4 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


I might be wrong, as usual, but I believe landing in a small port (level one here) was the main problem for the Allies. If the port is small, you need a lot of time to unload, which means enough time for KB to intervene, and not enough boots on the ground when you land.

This would suggest a strategy for the Solomons and other islands: never build ports, keep them as low as you can, as it complicates enemy invasions. Mine and defend existing ports, to make them as unattractive as you can.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/6/2012 2:32:28 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

...I believe landing in a small port (level one here) was the main problem for the Allies. If the port is small, you need a lot of time to unload, which means enough time for KB to intervene, and not enough boots on the ground when you land.

Amphib unload rates are somewhat independent of port size ... in fact I use amphib instead of transport up to port level 3 for moving troops. Even though there is higher disruption, the load/unload speed makes up for it. Even calcing in the recovery time.

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/7/2012 9:32:31 PM   
fcharton

 

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June 29th 1942
Music for today is Bach’s second book of the Well Tempered Keyboard, by Feinberg, a compromise between the dry an analytical versions, a la Gould and the harpsichordists, and the romantic ones, a la Fischer.

The brawl in Luganville

My battleships, on their way to Luganville, met the large enemy task force that recently bombarded Lunga. Was the enemy waiting for me, or on their way to another bombardment of Guadalcanal? The battle was inconclusive, but some damage was probably done, and some enemy ships will be off duty for a while. This is good, I am reinforcing Lunga and Tassafaronga now, the less disturbance the better.

Day Time Surface Combat, near Luganville at 120,150, Range 20,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
BB Nagato, Shell hits 4
BB Fuso, Shell hits 7, on fire
CA Tone, Shell hits 3
CA Chikuma, Shell hits 1
CA Mikuma, Shell hits 1
CL Kashii, Shell hits 6
CL Jintsu, Shell hits 3
DD Mutsuki
DD Kisaragi
DD Mochizuki

Allied Ships
BB New Mexico, Shell hits 5, on fire
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 2
CL Boise, Shell hits 4
DD Russell
DD Conyngham
DD Perkins
DD Clark
DD Hull, Shell hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD MacDonough, Shell hits 2
DD Dale, Shell hits 3, on fire


DD Hull was reported as sunk, but went off the list a few days later, so she probably made it. Nagato and Fuso are around 30 system damage. I am keeping them for a while around Tulagi, in case the enemy tries to be smart in Lunga, then, I will relieve them and send them back to Truk, to escort a carrier division to Japan for upgrades.

Plane production

I have been looking at plane production, and it seems clear that my fighter production cannot cope with the current loss rate.

Zeroes are my main problem. I have lost over 800 so far, have about 500 deployed in squadrons, and need 250 for replacements. My monthly production is 214, and upgrades to the A6M3 will not replace enough of them. I have two A6M2 factories, which I can expand. I might consider opening a third line. This is a tough decision: every new factory you commit is one less model you can build.

Oscars fare better. I have 250 Ic deployed, and produce more than I lose. The IIa arrives in a month, and a good number of planes can upgrade. I also have a few squadrons in China which I can transfer to Burma, or Rabaul. Overall, I probably can commit about 750 fighters, to three theaters : Burma and the Andamans, Timor and Northern Australia, Rabaul and New Guinea.

Overall, I produce about 350 fighters every month, more than twice the number the allies build at this stage of the game. I probably need to increase production to about 500, and be a little more prudent with my Zeroes.


(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 343
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/7/2012 10:00:47 PM   
fcharton

 

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I realise I haven't posted a map in a very long time. Here are my dispositions in New Guinea and the Solomons. I anticipate an early move against Guadalcanal, and want to make it an unpleasant suprise for the Allies. Lunga will have about 300 AV and artillery, Tassafaronga a regiment in reserve. I have not built airfields in the area, should I try and develop one?






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by fcharton -- 12/7/2012 10:02:48 PM >

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/8/2012 2:58:34 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

I have not built airfields in the area, should I try and develop one?


Always a tough decision. Do I want to give the allies something that I built? It really gets back to where is your MLR and where is your engagement area. Solomons are not a MLR for me ... too far away from everything. And even if you save them, if he takes the Marshall's he can effectively isolate you by taking the Marianas and then you're screwed. For me, not a lot of upside in the Solomons ...

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/9/2012 8:46:37 PM   
fcharton

 

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As often, I have left this AAR lag behind the game. Here are a few catch-up turns.

June 30th 1942
The main piece of news today was that horrible naval attack over Darwin. Apparently, a few light cargoes (six or seven, I believe, and mine layers acting as escorts, were detected in port, and this triggered a first naval attack from Dili. The escort was insufficient, and the bombers had no hope of getting through.

Morning Air attack on TF, near Darwin at 76,124
Weather in hex: Heavy rain

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 12
B5N2 Kate x 7
G3M2 Nell x 14
G4M1 Betty x 11

Allied aircraft
Kittyhawk IA x 6
P-39D Airacobra x 9
P-40E Warhawk x 9
F2A-3 Buffalo x 13

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 6 destroyed
B5N2 Kate: 5 destroyed
G3M2 Nell: 5 destroyed, 2 damaged
G4M1 Betty: 3 destroyed, 3 damaged

No Allied losses

Allied Ships
AM Castlemaine
xAKL Hetton Bank
xAKL Noora
AM Benalla


And then, the AI decided to send another strike, from Timor this time. The results were similar,

Morning Air attack on TF, near Darwin at 76,124
Weather in hex: Heavy rain

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 12
G4M1 Betty x 9

Allied aircraft
Kittyhawk IA x 3
P-39D Airacobra x 6
P-40E Warhawk x 8
F2A-3 Buffalo x 9

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 4 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 6 destroyed, 1 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
Kittyhawk IA: 1 destroyed
F2A-3 Buffalo: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
xAKL Minnipa


Of course, those thirty lost planes do not tell the whole story. Real losses including those that didn’t make it back to base, are close to sixty.

In other news, a sweep over Port Moresby traded half a dozen zeroes for as many enemy fighters. I need to do this at some point, but I am probably too short on zeroes right now to be able to afford such losses.

The first order of business is to replace the fighters on KB. Only four carriers are concerned, as Zuikaku and Shokaku are going to Nagasaki for upgrades, and their depleted Zero complements will suffice to protect them on their way back (I am leaving the bombers in Truk, to complement the regular outfits on the other carriers). I am about 40 fighters below maximum on the four others, which corresponds to less than a week production. Once the KB is back to strength, I am considering sending here around Luganville, where lots of ships are detected. I suspect my opponent is mustering his forces for the invasion of Lunga. If I can have KB around at the time…

Once the KB is back at full strength, I want to rebuild a small number of squadrons, which will operate from Rabaul and neighboring bases. Timor, Java, and Sumatra will keep the depleted squadrons, and will wait for the situation to improve.

July 1st 1942

Port Blair again

During the night, another light cargo, unloading in Port Blair, was torpedoed and probably sunk. The bombardment task force that paid a visit in the morning didn’t find anything.

Submarine attack near Port Blair at 46,58
Japanese Ships
SS I-154, hits 1
Allied Ships
xAKL Haiyang, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage


But the interesting piece of news was the reappearance of British fighters in the Andamans. Our Oscars shot down a few.

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 36
Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 25
Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 2 destroyed
Allied aircraft losses
Hurricane IIb Trop: 3 destroyed


When I saw this, I was a bit afraid for the Sallies that were ordered to bomb the airfield. But they apparently flew escorted, and enemy Hurricanes making ready for a sweep, flew high cover (36 000 feet), and could not reach the bombers.

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Japanese aircraft
Ki-21-IIa Sally x 21
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 42
Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 4

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-21-IIa Sally: 4 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
Hurricane IIb Trop: 1 destroyed
Hurricane IIc Trop: 1 destroyed on ground
Swordfish I: 2 destroyed on ground

Airbase hits 5
Runway hits 13


The presence of Hurricanes IIc on the ground, suggest that several squadrons are in the base, some are probably resting after their transfer. Bombing runs have been cancelled, and Oscars will sweep tomorrow, from Bangkok and Victoria Point.

Kweilin and Chungking

A first attack on Kweilin reduced the forts, and achieved 1:1 odds. I have more troops on their way, and should take the base in a week. Then, we will march on Liuchow to open the railway from Hengyang to Liuchow. This might help the supply flow from Indochina.

Ground combat at Kweilin (76,54)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 27273 troops, 193 guns, 2 vehicles, Assault Value = 960
Defending force 14007 troops, 101 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 485
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 1 (fort level 3)
Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 2

Japanese ground losses:
1650 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 148 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 10 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 11 disabled

Allied ground losses:
846 casualties reported
Squads: 7 destroyed, 79 disabled
Non Combat: 10 destroyed, 21 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 7 disabled


In Chungking, the enemy is around 5500 AV, and we are destroying and disabling about 200 squads every day. I am attacking tomorrow, to see if I can take another fort level. Reinforcements are on their way, and should arrive in two weeks.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 346
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/9/2012 9:38:11 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
July 2nd 1942

Port Blair


Our sweeps today were much less successful than yesterday. My planes flying from different bases, with different models (and therefore different cruise speeds), failed to achieved coordination. We also flew too low (I wanted to try setting Oscars are lower altitudes, to see if their maneuver advantage can offset the altitude benefit…). We lost about 50 planes to 25 enemies, this is heavy, but the enemy did suffer too.

The enemy brought lots of planes in Port Blair. Today, four different squadrons were seen, two of Hurricanes, one of Warhawks and one of Lightnings. I am retiring all the bombers bases in Bangkok, and will send four or five squadrons of Oscars all at once, at high altitude. They should make a difference.

Chungking

We didn’t succeed in reducing the forts, but for the first time, we destroyed more enemy squads than we lost. Also, this was the first time enemy adjusted AV was below nominal

Ground combat at Chungking (76,45)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 151426 troops, 2400 guns, 1373 vehicles, Assault Value = 3681
Defending force 192410 troops, 983 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 5510
Japanese adjusted assault: 1164
Allied adjusted defense: 3533
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 3 (fort level 3)

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+), preparation(-), experience(-)
supply(-)
Attacker:

Japanese ground losses:
17853 casualties reported
Squads: 94 destroyed, 1071 disabled
Non Combat: 6 destroyed, 131 disabled
Engineers: 4 destroyed, 232 disabled
Guns lost 176 (8 destroyed, 168 disabled)
Vehicles lost 63 (4 destroyed, 59 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
3580 casualties reported
Squads: 98 destroyed, 387 disabled
Non Combat: 31 destroyed, 148 disabled
Engineers: 11 destroyed, 19 disabled
Guns lost 84 (7 destroyed, 77 disabled)
Units destroyed 1


This is encouraging. I need a week or two to rest, and about 1000 AV and several HQ (ie lots of support) will arrive in the meantime.


< Message edited by fcharton -- 12/9/2012 10:07:33 PM >

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 347
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/11/2012 1:15:29 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
July 3rd 1942

Cold waters, and minefields


A surface task force around BB Mutsu and Yamashiro bombarded Attu island today, and found three enemy light cargoes unloading. It wasn’t luck: Glen equipped submarines had detected a task force unloading in Adak a week ago, and cargoes were spotted in Attu the day before yesterday. We sank xAKL Coloradan, Columbian and Kentuckian. We had the Nevadan, off Horn Island, a few weeks ago. 46 more to go!

The bombardment of Attu revealed an infantry regiment (sep).There doesn’t seem to be any build up. On the other hand, a lot of activity was detected in Adak. I am sending a submarine to check the place. Depending on the result, I might send my BB there on their next visit.

In the Kuriles, all the islands are garrisoned, and I am now mining the harbors, hoping the enemy takes the hint, and tries to pay a visit. I am shooting for 150 mines everywhere, with an ACM to keep them. 300 would probably be best: this is what the Allies had in Surabaya, and it did a lot of damage to my BB at the beginning of the war.

I am slowly evolving a mining doctrine. The general idea is that minefield can play a useful role in preventing naval bombardments, as such, mining islands where you have only one or two potential sites, and far enough from enemy bomber bases to reduce the effect of air bombardment, would probably complicate landings.

I am trying this in the Solomons right now, but have discovered, unfortunately, that ACM don’t work in level zero ports… My nice 150 mines in Lunga are decaying, despite the presence of an ACM. I could turn the place into a level 1 port, but this would slow the fort building.

Since mine production is pretty low, and minelayers are few and short legged, I only want to mine a few areas. The Kuriles, and the Solomons are on the top of the list now. I will then mine the Timor sea, the small islands off the west coast of Sumatra, and the Marianas.

In the Marshalls and Gilberts, I am considering using submarine laid minefields. I do understand they are meant to be used offensively, but I have a lot of them, and believe they can make quite a difference.


Meanwhile in Port Blair

Yet another light cargo with a Chinese name was found unloading, and sunk by a submarine.

Submarine attack near Port Blair at 46,58
Japanese Ships
SS I-154
Allied Ships
xAKL Kwai Sang, Shell hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage


This is the fifth xAKL sunk in Port Blair since May. All were small ships, about 1700 tons, and I am pretty sure very few other made it to the Andamans. I wonder how long their supplies can last.

Planes, pilots and stuff

The more I look at my planes, and pilots and production, the more I realize how lazy I have been. So far, I didn’t really care about pilot training, plane pools, air group, HQ and base force leaders, morale and all that. I transferred squadrons where I needed them, stood them down once fatigue was high, transferred them back once they were depleted, and sometimes harvested a couple pilots from Manchuria to refill first line squadrons. And yes, I do understand this is not how this game is supposed to be played, and I shouldn’t whine about my losses, because I’m the only one responsible for them, and I will pay for that.

Well, I will do better in the next game I play, in five or six year. For now, I can work on changing this. I believe there are four aspects: planes, pilots, support, and squadrons. Here is a quick to do list about each.

Planes, Zero line
As discussed before, I am very short on Zeroes right now. So far, I used to let all squadrons pull replacements as they needed them. I stopped that for Zeroes. Right now, only the KB will pull. Also, I upgraded one restricted squadron in the Home Islands to A6M3: this frees 36 planes, about a week production. Zero production has also been increased, but it will take a while until factories are repaired. The A6M3 is already online, with 36 factories, and 20 planes already produced. I have 108 planes that can upgrade to this model, and all of them upgrade to A6M3a, so there is no need to build too many of those. The only reason why I should increase production is that those factories convert to A6M3a for free.

The A6M3a will be available in September, and is my true next model, with over 500 planes that can convert, and the next step will be the A6M5 in November, with 770 planes that can convert (and almost 1400 with reinforcements). The next step, the 5b, is due around July 1943, no need to rush about it.

On that line, the main question is the conversion of the factories. The A6M3 will convert to A6M3a, for free, but I could also convert some of the A6M2 lines. This will mean less planes built while the factories repair, but save on the HI and supply cost to expand the A6M3. And the more sites I have, the faster they repair.

Planes Oscar line
So far, my production managed to catch up on the losses. I will mostly use those to fight in Burma and over Port Blair. The IIa arrives in August, the IIb in November. Factory conversion is simpler, here, as my current 1c factories can convert to IIa, and then IIb, and almost all my squadrons can update to the newer models.

Pilots and training
I haven’t really trained my pilots so far. I do have training groups in Manchuria and the home islands, and do transfer their pilots to reserve, but I can’t say I have a serious program for training. I most certainly need to organize this. (Any good and short post on the forum about what mission train which skill, and why you would want it?)

So far, I have managed to keep most of my front line squadron filled with pilots with experience around 60. This is not doing me much good, apparently, and I have been losing a lot of pilots lately. TRACOM has been filled with most of the pilots that reach 80. I have 100 Navy, and 45 Army pilots there, and this seems to have a significant effect on the number of pilots in training.

Support
It seems clear that concentrated strikes are important, and that flying from the same base is a great help to coordination. This means I should better have fewer large airbases with a lot of support than many smaller ones. Around Port Blair, Bangkok is such a base, which can field about 150 planes. I might need another one, maybe in Victoria Point, or in Chumphon. I will need such a large base in Burma at some point as well.

In the Indian Ocean, Koepang is my main base. I might want a second one in Ambon. In the South Pacific, it is Rabaul but I might need to develop another one, Malang, or Hansa bay.

Once thing I have noticed is that have just as many planes as you have support does not work well. The air support unit will take a lot of fatigue, and lose morale. In general, you need more air support than planes for the units to work smoothly.

Squadrons
The two important parameters, here, are morale and pilot fatigue. Both then to improve rapidly once the squadron is stood down (somehow, rest doesn’t work that well). As for leaders, inspiration is the key skill, leadership is good for training squadrons, and air for fighter squadrons, but inspiration is the one important thing.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 348
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/11/2012 3:40:19 AM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5621
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

As for leaders, inspiration is the key skill, leadership is good for training squadrons, and air for fighter squadrons, but inspiration is the one important thing.


Yep. Can't have too much.

Bomber leaders have to pass several leadership tests for coordination and number of planes that launch (all in the manual). This is in addition to the training aspect.

_____________________________

Pax

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 349
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/11/2012 7:11:10 AM   
obvert


Posts: 6817
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: offline
quote:

In the Kuriles, all the islands are garrisoned, and I am now mining the harbors, hoping the enemy takes the hint, and tries to pay a visit. I am shooting for 150 mines everywhere, with an ACM to keep them. 300 would probably be best: this is what the Allies had in Surabaya, and it did a lot of damage to my BB at the beginning of the war.

I am slowly evolving a mining doctrine. The general idea is that minefield can play a useful role in preventing naval bombardments, as such, mining islands where you have only one or two potential sites, and far enough from enemy bomber bases to reduce the effect of air bombardment, would probably complicate landings.


After having several early minefields decay and evaporate over time I would say mine only what you think is in immediate threat of bombardment. These little ACMs take a lot of fuel to maintain and you'll be shipping it up there non-stop once you start getting them mined. It's a bit silly really, as if the ACM is running around all day instead of cruising for an hour to check the minefields and heading back in.

You'll also find that mines will work only sporadically to hurt bombardment forces unless there are a huge amount there. I apparently skirted major minefields numerous times much to the annoyance of Jocke while bombarding in the South Pacific.

Late in 43 now and I wish I'd only mined after he had begun to go for a base, and after the minesweepers came in. If you can wait that one you have a good chance to then really hit something.

_____________________________


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

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 350
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/12/2012 11:23:38 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
July 4th 1942

Minefields

Hi Erik,
My understanding of minefield decay and ACM is as follows. To tend a minefield, you need to disband the ACM in the hex. This means only bases can be mined, but as the ACM is disbanded, no fuel is needed.

One ACM will tend 150 mines. In a large enough port, there will be no decay. In level one ports, the decay will be significant (but lower than if there was no ACM), in level zero port, the ACM seems to be useless.

I agree that mines do not always prevent ports from being bombarded. But if a large task force hits mines, the confusion that ensues is often fatal. Prowling submarines seem to be quite vulnerable too. Mines seldom sink ships, but I believe they can keep the enemy honest, and discourage raids (wasn’t that the purpose of minefields in real life?)

Fun with subs

Luganville is full of enemy ships. This is clearly the staging point for operations against the Solomons. As I have quite a few submarines in the area, I am trying a new tactic. Every day, I send one or two subs into the port. They try to sink enemy vessels, Allied ASW get a shot at them, then they retreat a few hexes away to shake detection away, and another pair of submarines moves in. I am hoping to sink or damage part of his invasion force, thus slowing the process. Also, unless he has tenders in Luganville, my opponent will soon lack ASW ammo.

Today, RO 61 and 64 were in town. RO 64 was detected before she could fire. She avoided the grenades, but missed her target, xAK Charles H Cramp. RO 61, on the other hand, put a torpedo into xAP Limerick. She probably will not sink, as she’s in a port, but that will be one less transport for use against Guadalcanal.


China

Our troops are in position in Kweilin, and we are attacking tomorrow.

In Chungking, we had a very successful bombardment

Allied ground losses:
866 casualties reported
Squads: 30 destroyed, 61 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 4 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 2 (2 destroyed, 0 disabled)


And 100 more combat squads were disabled by air bombardment.

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 351
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 2:12:20 AM   
Saros

 

Posts: 250
Joined: 12/18/2010
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You definitely need fuel in the port for ACM's to work. I personally think it should be able to draw from the ACM's internal fuel as well but apparently it does not.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 352
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 4:14:03 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Hi Saros,

Thanks a lot, for the explanation, that would explain something I didn't understand. I had noticed my ACM didn't use fuel, and incorrectly assumed they didn't use any. On the other hand, I had noticed (via tracker) that some of my minefields decayed despite the presence of ACM, at a slower rate than minefields without ACM, though. Fuel would then explain this decay.




(in reply to Saros)
Post #: 353
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 8:10:54 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
July 5th 1942

Do Hurricanes get a bonus when it rains?


And so, after a couple of days spent resting, I sent my Oscars from Bangkok sweeping Port Blair. I had four squadrons, pilots all experienced (60 or so), fatigue close to zero, morale at 99. All were the same model, flew at the same altitude (high to try to benefit from the bounce), from the same airfield. I had changed my leaders, selecting them on inspiration and air skill.

Should have worked, right? Well no of course. None of the squadrons coordinated.

But then, we’re talking about 40 planes in each flight, experienced, this should wear the CAP away, no? Well, no, of course.

Here is the first battle

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Weather in hex: Heavy rain
Raid detected at 29 NM, estimated altitude 38,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 9 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 41

Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 26
Hurricane IIc Trop x 9
P-40E Warhawk x 8

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 7 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Hurricane IIb Trop: 1 destroyed
P-40E Warhawk: 1 destroyed

Aircraft Attacking:
13 x Ki-43-Ic Oscar sweeping at 35000 feet *

CAP engaged:
No.17 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIc Trop (0 airborne, 4 on standby, 4 scrambling)
4 plane(s) intercepting now.
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 35600 , scrambling fighters between 32000 and 35600.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 15 minutes
No.135 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 4 on standby, 4 scrambling)
4 plane(s) intercepting now.
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 2 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 26000 , scrambling fighters between 26000 and 34000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 33 minutes
No.261 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 7 on standby, 6 scrambling)
7 plane(s) intercepting now.
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 3 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 36000 , scrambling fighters between 34000 and 36000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 20 minutes
23rd FG/76th FS with P-40E Warhawk (0 airborne, 4 on standby, 3 scrambling)
4 plane(s) intercepting now.
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 14000 , scrambling fighters to 29000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 12 minutes


As you can see, I’m being detected late (9 minutes to target), at high altitude, 41 planes are seen, but thirteen do sweep (what the others did is a mystery, shopping probably). The enemy has no planes airborne, long interception times, and fight at an altitude disadvantage, in bad weather. Result, 7 Oscars for two Allied fighters.

And then we have this second battle

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Weather in hex: Heavy rain
Raid detected at 15 NM, estimated altitude 38,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 36

Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 20
Hurricane IIc Trop x 8
P-40E Warhawk x 1


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 9 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Hurricane IIb Trop: 1 destroyed

Aircraft Attacking:
9 x Ki-43-Ic Oscar sweeping at 35000 feet *

CAP engaged:
No.17 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIc Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
7 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 1 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 35600 , scrambling fighters between 33000 and 41000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 46 minutes
No.135 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
7 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 26000 , scrambling fighters between 35000 and 36000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 24 minutes
No.261 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (2 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
2 plane(s) intercepting now.
11 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 36000 , scrambling fighters between 35000 and 37000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 72 minutes
23rd FG/76th FS with P-40E Warhawk (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
0 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 14000
Raid is overhead


36 Oscars, 29 enemies now. Detected even later, still no one airborne, interception times like 72 minutes (what is this supposed to mean?). 9 oscars lost for one allied fighter.

And then there is a third one

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Weather in hex: Heavy rain
Raid detected at 22 NM, estimated altitude 39,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 7 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 30

Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 8
Hurricane IIc Trop x 7

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 2 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Hurricane IIb Trop: 1 destroyed

Aircraft Attacking:
18 x Ki-43-Ic Oscar sweeping at 35000 feet *

CAP engaged:
No.17 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIc Trop (1 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
1 plane(s) intercepting now.
4 plane(s) not yet engaged, 2 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 35600 , scrambling fighters to 38000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 35 minutes
No.135 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
4 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 26000 , scrambling fighters between 33000 and 40000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 27 minutes
No.261 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
4 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 36000 , scrambling fighters to 38000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 17 minutes


2:1 plane ratio, one enemy plane airborne, low detection. It is getting much better, loss ratio is now two to one.

And the last one

Morning Air attack on Port Blair , at 46,58
Weather in hex: Heavy rain
Raid detected at 37 NM, estimated altitude 35,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 12 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-Ic Oscar x 40

Allied aircraft
Hurricane IIb Trop x 4
Hurricane IIc Trop x 4

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-Ic Oscar: 1 destroyed

No Allied losses

Aircraft Attacking:
36 x Ki-43-Ic Oscar sweeping at 35000 feet *

CAP engaged:
No.17 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIc Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
3 plane(s) not yet engaged, 1 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 35600 , scrambling fighters between 33000 and 34000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 23 minutes
No.135 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (1 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
1 plane(s) intercepting now.
Group patrol altitude is 26000
Raid is overhead
No.261 Sqn RAF with Hurricane IIb Trop (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
3 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 36000 , scrambling fighters to 36000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 21 minutes


40 oscars against 8 hurries, no one going shopping or flower gathering, only one Oscar lost, I suppose I need to call that a victory.

So, the net result is 19 Oscars shot down, for three Hurricanes and a Warhawk, right? Well no, of course, the end of turn report (confirmed by a look at VP and check on my squadrons) confirms 43 Oscars shot down (air to air), for four Hurricanes and a Warhawk, and almost no ops losses (3 Oscars). I have seen the same kind of discrepancies during the recent battles over Darwin and Terapo, my air to air losses are double those reported, the allies don’t seem to suffer this. There might be fog of war on the allied side, of course, but VP suggest otherwise.

So, at the end of the day, out of the 147 Oscars that flew out of Bangkok (rested, morale high, good pilots, and good leaders), 46, or 30% were shot down, by 43 enemy fighters that managed to scramble in the heavy weather.


Rants, realism, and joy

So, what happened? If I were nosy, I would suggest those results make no sense. My four squadrons didn’t coordinate because the weather was bad and the range was long. That’s fair enough. They were not detected in advance because they flew high sweep in bad weather. That makes sense too. Yet the CAP, which was grounded because of the weather managed to scramble and fly and catch the incoming squadrons in numbers. Less likely, but let’s admit it. But 9:1 losses, in such weather, with a CAP scrambling late and mostly outnumbered?

Right, I’m not nosy, and I agree that I certainly forgot something very subtle and deep. You know, that one fell click that turns 1:3 losses into 3:1. And make the fanboys either marvel at the realism, or shout borked.

See how the effect of XXX (radar, leaders, weather, magic click) changes everything, as in real life!
The game is broken: factor XXX (bounce, flak, lrcap, tanks) is given too much importance.


Somehow, the statistician in me (a nosy bunch, statisticians) objects that such large changes in outcomes over a model with many parameters is pretty much a definition of “irrealism” (this is, by and large, the point of the strong law of large numbers). Factors should average out, not create such large changes. And in this particular case, adverse condition like bad weather should actually “average” the results, not push them to extremes.

Once again, I can see why the sweep failed to coordinate, and why it could not harm enemy fighters. I could also understand higher ops losses (even though I would expect most fighters to have aborted then), but I fail to see any realism in those 30% air to air losses.


Anyway, I will repair my losses, and be back over Port Blair, and maybe those results will go my way, because I will have found that one parameter that makes sweeps go the other way. Or maybe I won’t, but I will get used to them, or just stop sweeping, and wait for the shoe to be on the other foot, or…

This is slightly killing the enjoyment for me. I am fine with the micromanagement and the steep learning curve, but I am slowly getting the impression that the game is becoming more and more like “oh let’s try that and see what happens”, an exercise in testing the system, and managing details. I can understand that this “tactical variance” make for interesting replays, and perhaps fun AAR, and that this is the kind excitement some of us like.

It doesn’t really work for me, or, rather, it makes the whole thing feel unrealistic, a bit as if I, the commander in chief, had to fuel every plane myself or they wouldn't fly, and load every gun, or they wouldn't fire.

I’m committed, though, and will play my turns, and I am interesting in the AAR anyway.

Fun with subs, part II

We had a good day in Luganville. SS I-157 torpedoed, and probably sank, xAK Demosthenes. The ASW patrols arrived too late, and failed to do much damage.

The other sub in town, SS I-161 found an even bigger target

Sub attack near Luganville at 120,150
Japanese Ships
SS I-165, hits 3

Allied Ships
BB Colorado, Torpedo hits 1
CA San Francisco
CL Helena
CL St. Louis
DD Gridley
DD Lamson
DD Dunlap


The Colorado was seen listing, so she’s probably badly hit. She was reported sunk the next day, I doubt it, but she’s most certainly out of the action for a while. This is one less ship available for action in the Solomons.

I-157 and I-165 will now retire, and be replaced by two others…

My opponent is trying to pay me back, and sent a sub in Manus, which sank AO Iro. This was a silly move on my side : she had finished unloading, and I had forgot to disband her.

Ships in ports

Something I noticed about ships in ports. The system makes a big difference between ships in task forces, and ships in port. Task forces use fuel, disbanded ships, don’t, task forces get targeted by naval attacks and submarines, disbanded ships don’t. I understand this as disbanded ships being in the harbor, whereas task forces are around.

This raises two questions:
Ships must be task forces to unload their cargoes, I would have expected the opposite.
Submarines never seem to be able to reach ships in port (and I never so a bombardment task forces achieve this either)

Kweilin, and fun with tanks

Kweilin fell today on our first deliberate attack. Several weeks of bombardments had prepared the battle. The KMT has only four bases left: Chungking and Changsha, both under siege, and Liuchow and Tuyun. I am marching on Liuchow now, it should be easier as it is in open terrain, and its capture will open the railway to central China.

East of Chungking, our tank regiment finally defeated the three Chinese corps that retreated out of Chungking a few days ago. This is another strange aspect of the game. One tank regiment (that’s about 150 vehicles) can defeat three infantry corps (even at third strength, that’s a lot of soldiers), because the hex is clear terrain. I can understand tanks fight at a very strong advantage, but still… (and besides, the Sichuan plain is a plain, but I don’t think it is good tank country)



< Message edited by fcharton -- 12/13/2012 10:55:46 AM >

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 354
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 8:47:55 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
July 6th 1942

Little happened today. My Oscars are resting in Bangkok. In Luganville, submarines found not targets. Try again tomorrow. Over Rabaul, B17-E flew unescorted, they did manage a few shots last week, and were attacked by Zeroes. One B17 was shot down, and, I’m told, two crashed on their way back.

BB Colorado, torpedoed yesterday in Luganville, made it to the sunk list. She is reported to have gone down near Efate, on her way to Noumea. I have my doubts about it, especially as I didn’t see any corresponding raise in my victory points.

The British Carriers were once more detected of the coast of northern Australia. I have moved two squadrons of Nells and Betties to Koepang, with two squadrons of Zeroes and Nicks to escort them. Range was set to seven, which should mean we will only attack if the enemy comes close. We have about 40 fighters, and as many bombers, which should allow for a decent strike, but I doubt the enemy will come close.

Victory Points

My VP ratio peaked in the beginning of June, at 3.1:1. Since then, I have been making up plane losses by ship sunk, and our VP differential remains the same (both totals slowly increasing), which means my ratio went down, to about 2.8:1. It will increase again once Chungking falls, and when the remnants of the KMT are eliminated, but I am almost certain a complete capture of China ths autumns will not be enough to trigger auto-victory.

Of the 29000 points I have now, two third are permanent (losses) and one third are “base points”, which can go down once bases are recaptured or get unsupplied. Land losses account for about 13000 points, 40% of all. This is one benefit of fighting in China, and even destroying Chinese corps and having them respawn. This will bring permanent VP to the Japanese, which will increase the total the Allies need.


(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 355
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 8:58:46 AM   
obvert


Posts: 6817
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: offline
That is one of the worst results I've seen in early IJAAF sweeps. The problem seems to be that you did not get the bounce as several of the Hurri groups were flying above your incoming altitude. I've had trouble with them, but never anything like this. Usually after the first sweep goes in and maybe loses more that it hits, the next 2-3 do very well and make up the losses easily to end up at about 1.5-2:1 for the Oscars. Height, armament and speed are everything though, and all trump the Oscars' huge maneuver advantage.

If you have no HR about maneuver bands, and you can't fly higher than the defenders, you can forget about sweeps. If you're not going to change HRs at this point, the remedy would be to sweep high once and bomb the base with massed 2E with heavy escort from 6k. The high CAP will likely not even get to the bombers and you should theoretically be able to force him to layer the CAP lower. As the Allies get more and better planes though, this tactic will have returns diminishing to zero in late 42. They could fly P-38s high, hurris low, and P-40s in the middle and you're screwed.

Other altitude adjustments work as well. I don't think any planes were battling it out above 30k in 42 anywhere, were they? Some players use increasing height max progressively moving up each year. I think developers either missed how much these things could be exploited or assumed everyone would 'play by the book' and use things in a more historically plausible manner, but they should have put better restrictions on panes going really high, like massive pilots fatigue. So if you flew max height in 42 you'd get to 50-80 fatigue and have to sit out the next 2-3 days.

Here are some of the issues resulting from high flying before pressurization began with the B-29.

Flying at high altitude puts occupants of an aircraft at risk of hypoxia (poor oxygen levels in the blood), altitude sickness, decompression sickness and barotrauma (cause by pressure differences). Despite these risks, bombers at the start of WWII were only equipped with oxygen masks, which restricted movement and were prone to failure.

Until the B-29 Superfortress was introduced in 1944, only experimental aircraft had been produced with pressurized cabins. For this plane, the Americans created the first cabin pressure system, with the nose and cockpit sections linked to the aft via a long tunnel, all pressurised. However, the bomb bays remained unpressurised. Even so, this advancement meant the crew could move around in comparative comfort.

After the war, the benefits of pressurised cabins were rolled out to passenger planes, allowing us all to fly at high altitudes in relative comfort.


< Message edited by obvert -- 12/13/2012 8:59:16 AM >


_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 356
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 10:39:56 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Hi Erik

The Oscar flies higher than the Hurricanes, and the group patrol altitude was higher. For some reason the machine decided I couln't get to the max, but the Hurricanes could, on very short notice. Note also that we are not talking about big differential (a few hundred feet).

I agree about the stratospheric sweeps, but I don't think they are the problem here. I would have exactly the same problem at 25 or 20 000 feet. The point seems to be that weather, rate of climb and detection time are indifferent to the defender, and that fighting four time 40 oscars during the same morning won't saturate defenses, so long the fighters didn't coordinate.

The whole thing is weird. And here's another one...


I am catching up with the game, since I am more in the mood for AARing than playing, today…


July 7th 1942

More fun with planes


It turned out that the British Carriers (Formidable and Illustrious) sailed on. Actually, they closed on Koepang, and ended five hexes away. Two CVs at such short range of a large enemy base, with fighters and bombers, strange idea, no?

A good one actually, here are the results of the morning raid.

Morning Air attack on TF, near Truscott at 68,121
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid detected at 108 NM, estimated altitude 15,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 43 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 28
G3M2 Nell x 18
G4M1 Betty x 23
Ki-45 KAIa Nick x 10

Allied aircraft
Martlet II x 35
F4F-4 Wildcat x 17

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 6 destroyed
G3M2 Nell: 2 destroyed, 3 damaged
G3M2 Nell: 1 destroyed by flak
G4M1 Betty: 1 destroyed, 7 damaged
Ki-45 KAIa Nick: 4 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Martlet II: 2 destroyed

Allied Ships
CV Illustrious
CV Formidable


After the losses in the morning, the local commander still considered it was worth another try. He was correct.

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Truscott at 68,121
Weather in hex: Overcast
Raid detected at 105 NM, estimated altitude 15,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 41 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 12
G3M2 Nell x 12
Ki-45 KAIa Nick x 3

Allied aircraft
Martlet II x 18
F4F-4 Wildcat x 15

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 destroyed
G3M2 Nell: 8 destroyed
Ki-45 KAIa Nick: 1 destroyed

No Allied losses


Total air to air losses are 25 Zeroes, 7 Nicks and 15 Nells, for three Martletts and no Wildcat. We’re keeping with the usual 9:1 fighter ratio, fair and balanced (the Marianas turkey shoot, with significant technological advantage for the Allies, was less than 5:1). The weather was decent, everything happened at very short range (five hexes), and my Zero squadrons were experienced and rested (fatigue under 10, one of them with experience in the high 70s, the other one in the mid 60s, the Nicks had lower experience). Overall, it was a CAP trap: both British CV have a capacity of 33 planes, and 52 fighters flew in the morning.

Not being a history buff, I was amazed by the performance of the Martletts and Wildcats. A quick look at the database indicates both are slower, less maneuverable and with a lower climb rate than the Zero. The Wildcat has better armament, but certainly not the Martlett. They have armor (but so has the Nick, which is also faster and climbs better, and better armed than the Martlett). Oh well, I suppose that clears up the matter.


I am at a loss about what to do now. I can’t sustain such losses, but on the other hand, I am not sure I care anymore, and there is little point waiting until the Allies get technological and industrial superiority. I can rotate more squadrons in tomorrow, and have a CV task force (Junyo Unyo and Hosho) not far, and detected. I could launch a second day, and even third day of attack. Both Martletts and Wildcats have high service ratings, and might fight at a disadvantage. Besides, if the two CVs are loaded with fighters, they can’t retaliate. Of course, there might be more carriers in the hex, with bombers. And of course, I already had more than a few examples of what fighting at parity means to me.

I will certainly rotate fighters into Koepang. For the rest, I realize I should be very excited, and mull plans, and think of revenge, and finally try a bold raid, with squadrons in Koepang and Dili, and the carriers in their back, to try and make the Brits pay. But I feel very bored by all this. Yes, I might turn the tables on him, and get my turkey shoot tomorrow, so what?

I’m interested in comments, of course, but interest is getting difficult to maintain, and the temptation to just botch away and play from afar is great.

In other news

In Luganville, our submarines failed to find their targets, again. Beginner’s luck, maybe?
Over Terapo, the enemy is sending bombers, fighters on long range CAP are preventing losses. Had this funny message today :

Morning Air attack on Sasebo 8th SNLF, at 96,127 (Terapo)
Weather in hex: Severe storms
Raid spotted at 18 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 2

Allied aircraft
Hudson III (LR) x 9
Kittyhawk IA x 7


Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed

No Allied losses

Aircraft Attacking:
9 x Hudson III (LR) bombing from 6000 feet
Ground Attack: 4 x 250 lb GP Bomb

CAP engaged:
Genzan Ku S-1 with A6M2 Zero (0 airborne, 0 on standby, 0 scrambling)
2 plane(s) not yet engaged, 0 being recalled, 0 out of immediate contact.
Group patrol altitude is 14000 , scrambling fighters to 11000.
Time for all group planes to reach interception is 255 minutes


255? Really? Note that my two zeroes still managed to be shot at. It was really nice that the Kittyhawks waited those four hours until they arrived.


In Chungking, units are still respawning, AV went up from 5000 to 5500 lately, but our bombardments are doing more and more damage.

Allied ground losses:
425 casualties reported
Squads: 68 destroyed, 21 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 3 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 4 (2 destroyed, 2 disabled)


I'm now up to date with the game, which means that I have nothing left to do but play the turn. Life is good.

< Message edited by fcharton -- 12/13/2012 10:43:05 AM >

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 357
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 10:51:51 AM   
GreyJoy


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Joined: 3/18/2011
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These are some very strange results Francois, especially the last one against those 2 CVs... usually, under those conditions, your bombers should get trough, even with some heavy losses on the escort (consider that the escort always suffer a huge malus against CAP). This is not, by far, the usual outcome of these kind of engagements.

I understand your frustration, but you have to keep on trying. If you look around the AAR forum you'll see many many people are complaining exactly about the opposite (say the inability for CAP to intercept and halt any kind of raid, even the smallest ones). So i think it's just a matter of settings and dice 'n' rolls. Nothing else.

What was the altitude of your Netties? What was the altitude of that CAP?

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 358
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 11:11:39 AM   
MAurelius


Posts: 198
Joined: 6/28/2012
Status: offline
at what altitude are your bombers flying? - and his fighters on CAP?

for example in my current GC I can almost always fly my B-25s without any harm under his CAP - if I keep them at 1000 feet - his fighters fly at 20,000 - so they don't have time to attack before I hit his shipping...

so if your Netties get mauled - maybe you'll have to fly them at a lower alt....



_____________________________

formerly known as SoliInvictus202

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 359
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/13/2012 11:38:02 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: GreyJoy
These are some very strange results Francois, especially the last one against those 2 CVs... usually, under those conditions, your bombers should get trough, even with some heavy losses on the escort (consider that the escort always suffer a huge malus against CAP). This is not, by far, the usual outcome of these kind of engagements.


Actually, a small number of bombers went through the first time, but failed to hit the CV.
The Netties flew at 10k, CAP was apparently 11k 14k and 19k.

quote:

ORIGINAL: GreyJoy
I understand your frustration, but you have to keep on trying. If you look around the AAR forum you'll see many many people are complaining exactly about the opposite (say the inability for CAP to intercept and halt any kind of raid, even the smallest ones). So i think it's just a matter of settings and dice 'n' rolls. Nothing else.


Yes this is pretty much what I find frustrating. I can swallow the losses, and come back and try, and I'm pretty sure I will get similar results in my favour at some point. I am also ok with randomness and dice, and getting punished when I take wrong decisions, or when I'm just unlucky. What seems strange here is the extent of the losses. 10:1 is huge, just for the sake of comparison, the Mariana Turkey Shoot, which got its name from its implausible loss ratio, was not even 5:1, and the fact I got served that twice in two days. Even if you factor randomness in, die rolls then to average, and create a bell curve, which make extreme events very rare.

Somehow, the game seems to go too far in the extreme.

Now, I understand this is probably more exciting, makes for good roleplaying, and might be one reason why WITP AAR tend to be more interesting to read than many other games. On the other hand, it also makes the game feel like a very big dice/card game, where a random roll can send results in very different directions.

This makes it difficult, for me at least, to take the game seriously, and spend the time that is needed to go into each turn. Somehow, there is a contradiction between the amount of micromanagement the game demands, and the fact that all your planning can be defeated, with severe results, or succeed in incredible ways, because that super special undocumented parameter that you've selected by error, or failed to check, became, thanks to some die roll, the important factor in a specific battle.

Francois

(in reply to GreyJoy)
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