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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) - 3/2/2013 9:38:10 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
To Elgar’s Sea Pictures, strange music, one never is quite sure if it is great, or just plain and cheap. Call it British genius…

August 31st 1942

Lost and found


The US transports were found unloading in Merauke today, an Australian division is ashore, and will probably take the base tomorrow. There were very few losses on landing, which suggests preparation.

Not all the transports and ships seen in Horn Island two days ago were seen unloading, and it is quite possible a second landing is in the making. Taberfane maybe.

Merauke is paying the price for my lack of involvement during August. I could, and should, have reinforced it, and the prospect of having the war move into the East Indies is not a nice one. This said, Merauke is probably very difficult to support, and an early offensive around Timor looks like a very daunting task. I am developing the air bases on the northern coast of New Guinea. Let’s see how the Australians handle that.

The possible opening of a second front raises an interesting question. So far I could have all KB based at Truk, operating in the Bismarck sea (when my opponent invaded Terapo), or in the Solomons sea (last week around Ndeni). This allowed me to keep KB concentrated while my carriers upgrades in the Home Islands. Now, if things heat up around Timor, I might have use for my carriers, there, but I need to keep the enemy honest in the Solomons, and in the Coral sea, too.

The temptation to split the KB is great, but I believe this would be a wrong move. The recent carrier battle, and what it might have been if the Allies had concentrated their force, shows that two ship carrier divisions are dangerous gambles. I need a large, six ship KB, and might try to keep a smaller reserve, with Zuiho, Soryu and the CVE and CVL that arrive in a couple of months.

So we are back with a KB/Mini-KB division of work. Truk is the natural base for the fleet, and carriers there can intervene in the pacific and in the Banda sea over the small isthmus around Nabire. But what about later, when the enemy moves up towards Ambon, or Java? I’m realizing Manila (the next level seven port north of Truk) is a bit far away. Should I begin work on a second fleet base, closer to the Indies, and where?

No port between Truk and Manila can be build to level seven, so it would have to be a level six or five port, with plenty of naval support. Ulithi and Davao look like good potential sites. Both are level three ports now. Davao can be better supported by land based aircrafts, but is easier to bomb once my opponent gets bases in the area. I think I will develop both.

I really should have thought of all this three months ago, in May or June


Found and lost

Two Australian armored merchant cruisers were spotted off the western coast of Sumatra by Betties operating from Georgetown.

Morning Air attack on TF, near Batoe-eilanden at 42,83
Weather in hex: Partial cloud
Raid spotted at 40 NM, estimated altitude 4,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 14 minutes

Japanese aircraft
G4M1 Betty x 22

Allied Ships
AMC Manoora, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
AMC Kanimbla, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk


No troops were reported lost, so I suspect they were raiders, trying to catch coastal convoys, or on their way to northern Sumatra.

Or did my opponent try to setup a beachhead on one of the small islands? September seems a bit early to do this, but then, the Allies seem on the move everywhere. They landed in Ndeni, bombard Lae and Madang, are going for Merauke, and are marching south in Burma. So they might as well consider Sumatra.

But I’m happy they’re gone : it sends the enemy the correct message…

Tommies in the jungle

In Burma, the British are moving forward. Two infantry brigades crossed the river east of Akyab, five units are marching south from Kalemyo, and Magwe was bombed for the first time in several months.

I am not sure I understand the logic of this. Enemy air force is thin in Burma, so any overland advance will be very slow. And even if the campaign succeeds, Chinese divisions will be here in a couple of months.

Anyway, I have lots of fighters and flak in Magwe and Rangoon, and we are flying over short ranges once the British move in. The raids over Magwe cost them another Wellington, and I am sweeping Akyab and the jungle hex east of it tomorrow. This might be the perfect time to deal with the RAF.

Over the long river

East of Chungking, 5000 AV of infantry crossed the river today. Only one, the guards division, shock attacked, but the KMT units were too disrupted to take advantage of it.

Ground combat at 77,45 (near Chungking)
Japanese Shock attack
Attacking force 12040 troops, 122 guns, 47 vehicles, Assault Value = 7249
Defending force 102690 troops, 349 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 1153
Japanese adjusted assault: 64
Allied adjusted defense: 217
Japanese assault odds: 1 to 3

Combat modifiers
Defender: morale(-), experience(-), supply(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
388 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 61 disabled
Non Combat: 2 destroyed, 8 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 4 disabled

Allied ground losses:
3308 casualties reported
Squads: 104 destroyed, 98 disabled
Non Combat: 53 destroyed, 233 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 38 (5 destroyed, 33 disabled)
Units destroyed 1


The rest of my troops (7000 AV) is in perfect shape, and will attack tomorrow. This should hurt Chiang and his cronies…

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 451
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/9/2013 1:40:01 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
September 1st 1942

Planes of the month


As it is the first day in the month, we are getting new plane models. This month, we get the A6M3a and the H6K4-L. I am producing 61 A6M3a a month, and will increase production, but this should be a short lived model as the A6M5 should be available in November, and all A6M3a can convert to them.

Most of my naval fighter production is still A6M2, though. Those factories won’t upgrade (not before 44 when I have the Sen Baku, which can then upgrade to A6M5b), and I don’t think converting them into A6M3a makes sense, because of the cost in supply and the delay to get them online. I should have researched the Sen Baku earlier… I will do this now.

As for the A6M5, I have 61 A6M3a factories that will convert, together with 24 Rufe factories. I can probably expand both. I could also convert some of the R&D factories. I have five of them on the A6M5 (one repairing), which should bring the A6M5 in November 42, the A6M5b in July 43, the A6M5c at the beginning of 1944 and the A6M8 in July 44. Converting one of them into A6M5 might speed up production in 1943, at the cost of several months delay in research. This might also allow me to continue production of A6M3a, interesting in their own right because of their range.

This means I could have something like 100 A6M3a / month, that I will keep, and perhaps as many A6M5, half from the upgraded Rufe factory, half from the R&D factories.

With respect to Army fighters (Oscars, since we are PDU off), I made a big mistake a week ago, converting all Ic production into IIa. This is good for the IIa, as they hold their rank much better against the Hurricanes (see below), but I still have quite a few Ic squadrons, that will only convert into the IIb (that should be produced in November 42) I am converting another small factory (Helens, who need those in PDU off?) to get Ic back…

To summarize, we are keeping the A6M2 as our main navy fighter, and will produce A6M3a for a pretty long time. Then we will probably convert two factories (Rufe and R&D) into A6M5 and grow them as large as I can, keeping four to research later A6 models. Our Army fighters are Oscars, and we’re producing as many IIa as we can, before turning to IIb in November. With 3 factories researching it, we should have the III model in the second half of 1943, and the IV model in 1944.

By the jungles of Merauke

… there we were defeated by the First Australian corps, yea.

But interestingly, my troops didn’t retreat, or even lose many squads and devices.

Ground combat at Merauke (89,124)
Allied Deliberate attack
Attacking force 8753 troops, 102 guns, 137 vehicles, Assault Value = 305
Defending force 1462 troops, 1 guns, 2 vehicles, Assault Value = 50
Allied assault odds: 6 to 1 (fort level 2)
Allied forces CAPTURE Merauke !!!

Japanese ground losses:
425 casualties reported
Squads: 8 destroyed, 13 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 6 disabled
Engineers: 4 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 1 (1 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Vehicles lost 2 (2 destroyed, 0 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
51 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 11 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


I don’t know what to do with them. They certainly won’t attack, and marching to the closest base (that would be Hollandia, on the other side of New Guinea) looks like a strange idea. Can I try to move them along the coast and evacuate them from a non dot base?

What do you usually do with stranded units?

In the skies of Burma

We had a pretty good day today. Over Akyab, two squadrons Oscars IIa swept Hurricanes and Warhawks, we lost three Oscars for nine Warhawks and six Hurricanes IIc. Bombers flew unescorted over Magwe. Five Blenheim IV and three Wellingtons Ic are reported lost.

I am quite happy with the Oscar IIa. Against Hurricanes, they have same speed, better maneuverability, and their centerline machine gun seem to make quite a difference. Right now, I have a squadron in Rangoon, one which just converted in Hankow, and another one half converted in Magwe. The plan is to use those three squadrons in Burma, together with Tojos.

My old Ic Oscars could be used elsewhere in the DEI, and this means the Zero squadons, with their longer range, could be send to New Guinea and the South Pacific.

In the plains of China

Since Chungking fell, two weeks ago, the 105 units that retreated into the plains to the east have been trying to march into protective terrain. Today, only one of them managed to cross the river south, into an infantry regiment. It was very lopsided.

Ground combat at 78,46 (near Chungking)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 2820 troops, 17 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 53
Defending force 3592 troops, 26 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 123
Allied assault odds: 1 to 99

Japanese ground losses:
11 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled

Allied ground losses:
711 casualties reported
Squads: 27 destroyed, 19 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 9 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


I am attacking tomorrow, and will probably either destroy them, or throw them back into the plains.

East of Chungking the big stack was attacked, and 39 units, out of 96 remaining, surrendered.

Ground combat at 77,45 (near Chungking)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 197907 troops, 1816 guns, 904 vehicles, Assault Value = 7257
Defending force 97036 troops, 316 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 998
Japanese assault odds: 20 to 1

Japanese ground losses:
4691 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 473 disabled
Non Combat: 3 destroyed, 36 disabled
Engineers: 4 destroyed, 78 disabled
Guns lost 28 (1 destroyed, 27 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
41009 casualties reported
Squads: 2128 destroyed, 224 disabled
Non Combat: 1891 destroyed, 589 disabled
Engineers: 8 destroyed, 5 disabled
Guns lost 188 (133 destroyed, 55 disabled)
Units destroyed 39


Those units are now stuck in open terrain. Our divisions took very high disruption, I am not sure why, stacking, perhaps… I don’t need the 7000 AV in this hex, and will probably move half of them out tomorrow to Tuyun, and then Changsha. The rest will finish this stack off, and then transfer to Burma.

Off the coast of Ndeni

KB attacked today and sank several transports and a destroyer in Ndeni.

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Ndeni at 120,143
Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 44
B5N2 Kate x 59
D3A1 Val x 28

Japanese aircraft losses
B5N2 Kate: 4 damaged
D3A1 Val: 2 damaged

Allied Ships
DD Stuart
AMC Westralia, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
DD Farenholt, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
AK Arcturus, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
xAP Republic, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Anderson, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk

Allied ground losses:
302 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 22 destroyed, 21 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


KB will now retire. Submarines off the coast will probably take a few damaged vessels down, and the sea will have her toll too.

This concludes the battle for Ndeni. I am happy with the outcome: the Allies took this small unbuilt island, and defeated a marine company, but this cost them the Lexington, badly damaged the Yorktown, which lost most of her plane complement, and today, two more ships were lost, and three more are in sinking condition.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 452
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/9/2013 1:59:10 PM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5913
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton
As it is the first day in the month, we are getting new plane models. This month, we get the A6M3a and the H6K4-L. I am producing 61 A6M3a a month, and will increase production, but this should be a short lived model as the A6M5 should be available in November, and all A6M3a can convert to them.


Playing PDU OFF, I prefer the A6M5 for all of my CV groups, and then use the A6M3a for some of my LB groups. A6M5 is 15 faster and 5 higher DUR giving up about 1/6 of the range. On a CV, all you have to be able to do is 9 hex as that is the max CV attack range. A6M5 can do that with DT's. LB, it is nice to have that extra range sometimes to escort Nettie's .... but eventually I convert most of my LB fighter groups to A6M5 ... speed and DUR mean fewer pilot losses and on defense range isn't that important.

Do a LOT of testing. upgrading units to different ac will 'open' up NEW options for upgrades. There are several (6? 8?) groups that can upgrade to George AFTER they upgrade to the A6M5c .... but only after. Before you upgrade, you won't even see George as an option. This is true for a LOT of both IJN and IJA groups. I think tracker can show this now ... when I last played PDU OFF, I had to setup a test bed to test all of these. A lot of BIG surprises (nice ones) of what you could upgrade to. Just remember that you can't downgrade, so you have to be careful with all upgrades. Meaning, some upgrades will CLOSE off upgrades to other models.

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton
With respect to Army fighters (Oscars, since we are PDU off), I made a big mistake a week ago, converting all Ic production into IIa. This is good for the IIa, as they hold their rank much better against the Hurricanes (see below), but I still have quite a few Ic squadrons, that will only convert into the IIb (that should be produced in November 42) I am converting another small factory (Helens, who need those in PDU off?) to get Ic back…

Shouldn't IIa replacements free up enough Ic's to keep them ok? Generally does for me unless your losses with the Ic's are really high ... then maybe you need to cycle the groups out so that the IIa' are there? Just suggestion.

quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton
To summarize, we are keeping the A6M2 as our main navy fighter, and will produce A6M3a for a pretty long time. Then we will probably convert two factories (Rufe and R&D) into A6M5 and grow them as large as I can, keeping four to research later A6 models. Our Army fighters are Oscars, and we’re producing as many IIa as we can, before turning to IIb in November. With 3 factories researching it, we should have the III model in the second half of 1943, and the IV model in 1944.

IV is of course one of your best fighters for the IJA in a PDU OFF game. For many groups this is the ultimate upgrade. So get it as fast as you can. You will need LOT's of these.


_____________________________

Pax

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 453
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/12/2013 12:22:27 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
September 2nd 1942

Meet I-4


Off Ndeni, Allied ships retreating from yesterday’s battle were met by my subs.

Submarine attack near Utupua at 120,145
Japanese Ships
SS I-4
Allied Ships
AK Arcturus, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
Allied ground losses:
7 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled

Sub attack near Utupua at 120,145
Japanese Ships
SS I-4
Allied Ships
xAP Republic, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage

Arcturus is listed as sunk, Republic is not, between yesterday and today, she’s one torpedo hit behind. She’s probably not in good condition, though.

4E killers

B17-E, probably from Luganville, are bombing Tulagi, and I am having success against them with… a small Rufe squadron.

Morning Air attack on Tulagi , at 114,137
Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Japanese aircraft
A6M2-N Rufe x 3
Allied aircraft
B-17E Fortress x 9
Allied aircraft losses
B-17E Fortress: 1 destroyed, 1 damaged


I suspect the 20mm cannons are making a difference. Flying at long range probably doesn’t help the Allies, too. We are now around 50 B17-E shot down.

I am keeping those Rufes on front line island duty, and will move forward other squadrons (I think I have three squadrons of Rufe). Apart from B17-E, I suspect they can hold their own against enemy recon and patrol planes. Of course, if my opponent brings his carriers and sweep, they’re toast, but it is worth the investment (and I have plenty of replacements in the pool).

Grinding Chiang

Mopping operations are continuing in China. In the South, we are marching on Tuyun, from Liuchow, pushing defeated units before us. We are three hexes away, and should be in Tuyun in about ten days. Meanwhile, my artillery is closing on Changsha, and should arrive in a couple of weeks.

In the forest near Chungking, remnants of the 7th Chinese Corps that crossed the river yesterday, are fighting at impossible odds. I want them eliminated, so that the big stack near Chungking has nowhere to retreat.

Operations in China are pretty slow, but we are keeping our schedule. The big stack will probably be gone by the 15th of September, which will free several thousand AV that will move to reinforce Burma. At about the same time, 1000 AV should be attacking Tuyun, and Changsha should be bombarded. This means we can have Burma reinforced by the end of October, and several divisions ready for the Pacific in December. Five divisions have already been bought. One is in Shanghai, ready to go, the four others are near Chungking. I also have 5700 PP in the bank, which should allow a few more units to be bought.

I am not rushing, though, and this might give my opponent an opening. On the other hand, if he extends too far when all those divisions are ready…

VP chart

Since the fall of Chungking, VP ratios are back around 2.95:1. The destruction of the KMT will probably bring this up again. Here is the VP graph, since the beginning of the war. The jumps in Japan total correspond to the fall of Singapore (February), the conquest of Java (2nd of May), the fall of Bataan (22nd of May) and the capture of Chungking (late August).






Attachment (1)

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 454
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/16/2013 11:06:28 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
September 3rd to 10th 1942

This AAR is falling back, again, so here is a catch-up post.

China

Most of the action, this week focused on China. Near Chungking, the remnants of the KMT garrison were attacked and destroyed.
On the eighth, we had

Allied ground losses:
38820 casualties reported
Squads: 1009 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 5326 destroyed, 241 disabled
Engineers: 3 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 100 (100 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 33


On the ninth

Allied ground losses:
24427 casualties reported
Squads: 698 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 2218 destroyed, 6 disabled
Engineers: 3 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 56 (56 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 17


And the last unit, the 92nd Chinese corps, surrendered today

Allied ground losses:
1830 casualties reported
Squads: 48 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 225 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 1 (1 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 1


All the 105 units that retreated out of Chungking have now surrendered, and the KMT probably has about 90 units out of 220 left now, most of them in Tuyun and Changsha.

About 8000 AV are freed for operations elsewhere. 1000 are remaining in Sichuan to eliminate the last enemies there. The rest is going to Kweiyang, half of them will march on Burma, and the other will take Tuyun and then Changsha.

Our artillery arrived in Changsha today, and will commence the bombardment tomorrow. This is the strongest enemy garrison, and it certainly needs some softening before we attack.

We also arrived in Tuyun, where the enemy has a large, and untested, stack. Until reinforcements from Chungking arrive, I am probably outnumbered there, but the Chinese should be badly unsupplied. We’re testing tomorrow.

Burma

It now seems clear that the British are on the offensive. Four units are marching down the road from Akyab to Rangoon. I have a guard division, five hundred AV behind level 2 field fortifications, waiting for them. They should be able to hold. If they don’t, I am a bit short. Another column Is marching south, from Kalemyo, into the Imperial Guard division.

I don’t think my opponent can break through in Burma, but even if he does, holding it will be a problem once reinforcements from China arrive.

In the air, over Akyab, we have been damaging the RAF. Oscar IIa seem to be pretty efficient against Hurricanes. I am trying the Tojo IIa tomorrow.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 455
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/17/2013 7:55:51 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
I am trying once more to get the AAR back in line, writing reports as I play the replays
Music for today is Brahms op34 piano quintet. I’d love to play that, all I need is four musicians in the area… and learning all those notes (it is really full of notes, never quite the same on repeats)


September 11th 1942

Peacekeeping


With the capture of Chungking, and the destruction of the force defending it, China is conquered from a military standpoint. The last two cities help by the Kuomintang, Tuyun and Changsha have been bombarded today, revealing 27 units and 2400 in Changsha (probably behind forts), and 25 units, but only 340 AV in Tuyun. This is a nice surprise, as it suggests I might not need to divert troops to take it.

Here is a map of the situation in China, twelve KMT stacks remain, which I named from Chinese dynasties. From top right to top left, clockwise:





Qin: 14 or 15 units defeated around Sian in March, which have been wandering in the woods since then. Their strength in unknown, but they have been far from any supply source for a long time, and should be in bad shape. A brigade is marching on them, two divisions will remain near Chungking, in case they prove stronger than expected.
Han: two corps, probably depleted
Jin: two red Chinese divisions, at 25 AV
Sui: one shell corps, defeated on several occasions
Tang: the largest KMT stack, 2400 AV, 27 units, in Changsha, behind forts, all hexsides cut-off,
Song and Liao : one corps each, untested but should be fairly depleted
Shang Zhou and Ming, one corps each, retreated from the Kweiyang Chihkiang sector
Yuan: the Tuyun garrison, 339 AV, 25 units
Qing : former Kunming garrison, 8 units, including two RAF base forces, 29 AV

At present, most of my forces are concentrated around Chungking, where I have 8000 AV. They are marching on Kweiyang, and will probably continue on Burma, save a few corps that will move through Changsha, and then to Shanghai. I have about 1000 AV around Tuyun, which should be enough to take the city, and 1600 in Changsha, with lots of artillery, which might or might not be enough, depending on how unsupplied the KMT is, and how strong their forts are. I expect most of the twelve stacks to have been destroyed by the end of the month. Changsha will probably last until mid-October.

Peacekeeping in China will be left to collaborationist units (RGC and NCPC), and the Manchukuo garrison will be left at the lowest size possible. All other units will be sent out, and a huge “China shuffle” is about to begin. I am planning to send most of my restricted divisions to Burma and Malaya (we don’t have PP for border rule) where they will relieve all unrestricted units on duty there. I have four divisions already bought, that will be sent to the Pacific, I might add a few more, but right now, I’d rather buy engineers and base forces to help build my bases in the Pacific and Indies.

It takes about 40 days to march from Chungking to Lashio, in Burma, and so I can probably expect Burma to be reinforced by the beginning of November. This means the Pacific and DEI will be reinforced with troops from China and Indochina by the end of the year.

In the air over Burma

We had another pretty good day today, as our Oscars shot down a dozen Warhawks and Hurricanes, for just one Oscar and a Zero.

The British must be short of fighters, now. Out of 46 Hurricanes I delivered or built, 35 were shot down, for Hurricanes IIa the ratio is 35/42, for IIb 198/230, and for IIc 48/114. In addition 13 Sea Hurricanes were shot down out of 40 produces, and 30 Martletts out of 54. This means there should be about 120 fighters in squadrons and reserve, production rate is 36 Hurricanes IIc and 5 Sea Hurricanes, and won’t increase until late 1943.

I believe this means the Allies will soon need more US fighters in Burma. Until now, we have shot down 500 P-40E out of 700 built so far. As they are used in New Guinea and Burma, and the Allies only produce 35 Warhawks per month, I suspect we might see less escorts around.

On a more general level, plane losses over the last two months were 460 and 480 for the Allies, and 500 and 520 for Japan. Fighters represent about three quarters of these losses (a little more for the Allies), but Allied fighter production runs around 250 units per month, whereas Japan produces over 500. The current rate of loss is probably barely sustainable for the allies. Over Burma, this means few fighters will be left to defend against my bombers, once they transfer from China…

The second phase of the war, ie post-China, is getting clearer now. I want a fighting retreat in South Pacific, and Central Pacific. New Guinea, Gilberts and Marshalls are expendable. I would like to keep Keopang and Ambon, and might actually move carriers in this area, to prevent an early move there. This is my weak point. Meanwhile, my Chinese armies will march on Burma, and try to create pressure there, so that the US has to reinforce this second front, lest India becomes a mess.

If I can force the Allies to divert reinforcements to India at the end of the year and in the beginning of 1943, I believe I can delay the reconquest of the East Indies by a year, and use that time to build a very strong inner perimeter, probably Philippines, Sumatra, Borneo, Marianas, and the continent of course.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by fcharton -- 3/17/2013 7:56:34 PM >

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 456
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/18/2013 12:28:26 AM   
Saros

 

Posts: 250
Joined: 12/18/2010
Status: offline
Don't forget the allies get a good proportion of their planes from airgroups appearing at full strength. They don't have to fill them out from the pools like you do. For some models this initial plane dump gives a lot more than is received as replacements.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 457
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/18/2013 8:32:50 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Saros
Don't forget the allies get a good proportion of their planes from airgroups appearing at full strength. They don't have to fill them out from the pools like you do. For some models this initial plane dump gives a lot more than is received as replacements.


Hi Saros,

This is true. But I believe Tracker's Air Production tab has the necessary information : in the TBO.YTA column, you have two numbers. For Hurricanes IIc, for instance, those are 55 (112). Now if I understand correctly 112 is the number of planes arriving as reinforcements, and 55 the number of those I need to build, 55 here. So, I am getting 112-55=57 reinforcement Hurricane IIc, on top of those at start (Grp Planes in Tracker, here zero), and those built (36/month beginning in June 42).

And actually, in the air group tab, I can see seven squadrons arriving with Hurricanes IIc (3, 9, 79, 123, 134, 607, 615 RAF), with 57 planes. But, 43 of those 57 only arrive late in the game, so the actual number of planes arriving via reinforcement is 14 so far. And the total number of Hurricanes IIc at the end of August should be 36*3+14=122 (yeah, there was a mistake in the above post), make it 140 in mid September 42.

What is not taken into account here is the number of planes lost due to transfers to other theaters. The manual says so squadrons lose their planes upon withdrawals. I don't know which ones are concerned. This means there should be less planes than I think.

Since we're PDU off, what should be done to complete the analysis, would be to count the number of squadrons that "seem to" have upgraded to Hurricane IIc. Losses so far are 48, so we're talking about 92 Hurricanes IIc. My opponent has three squadrons of 16 planes that arrive with IIc, and eight more that begin the game with earlier Hurricanes (which should have no pools or production left), and can upgrade to IIc. 92 planes means he can equip a little less than 6 squadrons with IIc, so long he doesn't use more than, and has enough planes for three IIb squadrons... once. Once the pools of IIb run out (in a few weeks at the current rate), this means eleven RAF squadrons will have to share whats left of the 92 hurricanes, and 36 replacements per month until Spitfires Vc come online, which should be in a year, unless he manages to use Australian Spit Vc, which I don't think is possible, and would mean stripping other squadrons that need those Australian planes.

In other words, it seems that the British might soon run out of planes, and have lots of empty squadrons waiting for replacements. In semi historical terms, Britain is very thin on the ground, now. She's been in the war since 1939, has fought the Battle of Britain, is now in North Africa and other theaters, and she can't put up with heavy losses over Burma. From a Japanese perspective, now that China is gone, Britain is the weakest of the Allies (the US are very strong, and Australians and New Zealanders are fighting for their home land), and it makes sense, I think, trying to break her over India, and force the US to reinforce that theater, and slow its advance in the Pacific. Well, that's the plan, anyway...

Francois

< Message edited by fcharton -- 3/18/2013 8:40:43 AM >

(in reply to Saros)
Post #: 458
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/18/2013 4:43:01 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
September 12th 1942

Mines


I used to think that mines seldom work. Over the recent weeks, they seem all too efficient. Today, an US submarine fishing in Tulagi got hit, and is now reported sunk.

TF 262 encounters mine field at Tulagi (114,137)
Allied Ships
SS Grenadier, Mine hits 1, on fire, heavy damage


In the Aleutian, my bombardment force also hit a mine… Does adding DMS to the bombardment force help?

TF 73 encounters mine field at Attu Island (153,49)
Japanese Ships
DD Ariake, Mine hits 1, on fire, heavy damage


CL Yubari and the remaining destroyers still bombarded Attu, with little effect. They apparently missed a task force in port.

Milk runs

The situation in New Guinea is stable. Salamaua and Wau are garrisoned and fortified, and my opponent is trying to bombard them from the air, perhaps before sending troops on foot. I don’t think it will work, have a look at today’s results

Morning Air attack on Yokosuka 4th SNLF, at 98,127 (Salamaua)
Weather in hex: Partial cloud
Raid spotted at 18 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 8

Allied aircraft
B-25C Mitchell x 8
B-25C Mitchell x 12
B-26B Marauder x 7
P-39D Airacobra x 15

No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
B-25C Mitchell: 1 damaged
B-26B Marauder: 1 damaged
P-39D Airacobra: 2 destroyed

Japanese ground losses:
14 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


My Zeroes are operating from Lae, and getting very little damage (and I could operate more from Wau, in fact), four Airacobras are reported lost today, for no Zero. As for the damage done, it is very low, because of the jungle and level three forts. So far, it seems enemy advance in this area is blocked, and will be slow. I have to think, though about extricating the troops stationed in this theater. I have no less than three divisions here (one in Wau, another on in Madang, and yet another in Rabaul), which should make allied attempts at reconquest bloody affairs, but which I want to evacuate somewhere in early 43, once I fall back on prepared positions.

Turkey shoots

The area between the New Hebrides and Truk is swarming with enemy submarines. So far, they never did much damage, and I had little success sinking them, so they’re around. I also have a couple task forces on ASW duties, and one of them probably remained too far south, as it was detected, and enemy carriers had a try at them.

The first pass wasn’t very successful.

Morning Air attack on TF, near Stewart Island at 117,139
Weather in hex: Heavy cloud
Allied aircraft
F4F-4 Wildcat x 27
SBD-3 Dauntless x 17
TBF-1 Avenger x 3
Allied aircraft losses
TBF-1 Avenger: 1 damaged
Japanese Ships
DD Amatsukaze
DD Okikaze
DD Suzukaze


But the second raid did get through

Morning Air attack on TF, near Stewart Island at 117,139
Allied aircraft
F4F-4 Wildcat x 9
SBD-3 Dauntless x 27

Allied aircraft losses
SBD-3 Dauntless: 2 damaged
SBD-3 Dauntless: 1 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
DD Okikaze, Bomb hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
DD Hatsukaze, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Amatsukaze
DD Suzukaze


Okikaze sank, Hatsukaze (something about the wind, I suppose) is in bad shape, and will try to make it to Truk. I did something stupid, and I pay for it.

The silver lining is that carriers are now detected. Intel says only one carrier, and a second battleship target. By the fact that two strike package arrived in the morning, I believe there are two carriers. With Lexington sunk, Yorktown most certainly in the yards for a while, and the British back home, the US should have four CV. There was a division in the Aleutians about a month ago, and probably four carriers during the battle for Ndeni two weeks ago. All this suggests a two carrier division operating from Suva, another one on its way there, and a British carrier and a half (that’s Hermes) around Ceylon. I would be happy with such a disposition. I now have seven fleet Carriers, one light carrier, and two escorts, and can probably prevent raids into the Pacific for a while.

The great leap southwards

All Japanese units in northern China are now on the move, and converging on Wuchang, so that they can help capturing the city en passant, and then march south either to Burma or to Indochina, taking advantage of the railway.

In the south, there was another nice surprise in Tuyun. After discovering the city only had 300 AV guarding it, today’s attack reduced… level one forts.

Ground combat at Tuyun (74,51)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 21053 troops, 171 guns, 94 vehicles, Assault Value = 713
Defending force 17360 troops, 190 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 341
Japanese adjusted assault: 425
Allied adjusted defense: 160
Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1 (fort level 1)
Japanese Assault reduces fortifications to 0

Japanese ground losses:
492 casualties reported
Squads: 1 destroyed, 37 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 3 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Vehicles lost 1 (1 destroyed, 0 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
1654 casualties reported
Squads: 32 destroyed, 105 disabled
Non Combat: 6 destroyed, 49 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 1 disabled
Guns lost 15 (2 destroyed, 13 disabled)
Units destroyed 1


I have a full strength division crossing the river north of the city tomorrow, with the damage done today it seems that the battle for Tuyun could be over earlier than I thought. In retrospect, I should have marched on Tuyun earlier, as it would have deprived retreating KMT units of a target base. That will be for next time.


Speaking of which… I am beginning to wonder if I will play as Japan again. It is not that I don’t like the Empire, quite the contrary in fact, but I also have a lot of difficulty imagining I could play Japan and not go for China. Of course, there are many things I would do differently, better prepare for Chungking, so that I don’t need three months once I’m there, probably work earlier on central China, and herd the defeated KMT stacks better. But taking China looks like a must to me.

On the other hand, I am hearing more and more Allied voices describing such China first strategies as gamey, or a consequence of a flaw in the system. My opponent is among those voices, and I have to say this worries me a bit. Such a long game has to be fun, and I like my opponent. In the long run, this means what looks like my best strategic proposition as Japan is considered gamey (a bit like a Sir Robin for the Allies). You don’t want to embark in such a game.

On the other hand, all the ideas suggested to “cure” the problem are extremely unappealing. Basically, they amount to trying to prevent this IJA from taking China in 42 (or early 43), by adding garrisons, reducing supplies, but they don’t address the other side of the problem: the sheer size of the KMT in late 43, once the Burma Road reopens (or earlier, some proponents suggest more supplies for the Chinese). I don’t see how such remedies can succeed, and I fact, I believe their proponents will live to regret it. From a Japanese standpoint, the whole Pacific war, and fighting the US and British, is predicated upon the idea that China is “almost done with”, and will remain a buffer throughout the war. But anyway, I have to say a game without China and its complex interaction with the rest doesn’t sound very interesting, to me at least.

So, what then? The more I think about it, the more I believe I’d like to defend against a China first attempt, taste my own medicine if you like. Maybe China will turn me into an AFB, after all…

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 459
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/18/2013 5:56:15 PM   
obvert


Posts: 7228
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
quote:

In the Aleutian, my bombardment force also hit a mine… Does adding DMS to the bombardment force help?


Yes, it will usually keep you from hitting them and sweep a few, but there is still the chance to hit one. This is a reason to keep a lot of the fast DMS, if not all of them, from converting to E.

Also, if you bombard farther out, like where only the 20cm and up guns can hit, then you have less chance to hit them.

quote:

Speaking of which… I am beginning to wonder if I will play as Japan again. It is not that I don’t like the Empire, quite the contrary in fact, but I also have a lot of difficulty imagining I could play Japan and not go for China. Of course, there are many things I would do differently, better prepare for Chungking, so that I don’t need three months once I’m there, probably work earlier on central China, and herd the defeated KMT stacks better. But taking China looks like a must to me.

On the other hand, I am hearing more and more Allied voices describing such China first strategies as gamey, or a consequence of a flaw in the system. My opponent is among those voices, and I have to say this worries me a bit. Such a long game has to be fun, and I like my opponent. In the long run, this means what looks like my best strategic proposition as Japan is considered gamey (a bit like a Sir Robin for the Allies). You don’t want to embark in such a game.

On the other hand, all the ideas suggested to “cure” the problem are extremely unappealing. Basically, they amount to trying to prevent this IJA from taking China in 42 (or early 43), by adding garrisons, reducing supplies, but they don’t address the other side of the problem: the sheer size of the KMT in late 43, once the Burma Road reopens (or earlier, some proponents suggest more supplies for the Chinese). I don’t see how such remedies can succeed, and I fact, I believe their proponents will live to regret it. From a Japanese standpoint, the whole Pacific war, and fighting the US and British, is predicated upon the idea that China is “almost done with”, and will remain a buffer throughout the war. But anyway, I have to say a game without China and its complex interaction with the rest doesn’t sound very interesting, to me at least.

So, what then? The more I think about it, the more I believe I’d like to defend against a China first attempt, taste my own medicine if you like. Maybe China will turn me into an AFB, after all…


Many things in game disturb what could be the 'right' balance between the sides. I think the Babes fixes with the stacking limits should allow China to be held and still make it difficult for the Chinese to mount any early offensives. It's probably very boring to play the Chinese side well as the Allies. A lot of sitting back and forming MLRs in good territory. A lot of behind enemy lines guerrilla ops to cut supply and LOCs. Getting your air force pummeled and losing supply and troops to constant bombing. Risk troops in Burma to keep the supply lines open longer. Few stay with it until the Japanese force them back.

In both of my games I felt I committed to China, but the Allies weren't offering defense in the most secure places, and Torsten even went on a massive and disastrous offensive. Jocke defended well, but probably because it was his first time at it, pulled back when supply got thin. I didn't have to take most of the difficult bases, even.

Our HR has worked well though. I have the large majority of Chinese territory including the mountains, but he kept the major industry from falling into Japanese hands and forces me to keep most of the original Chinese Ex. Army in China. I've only moved two divisions and a few brigades of those troops out. So it's a good compromise.

< Message edited by obvert -- 3/18/2013 6:14:05 PM >


_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 460
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 9:15:57 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
September 13th 1942

Burma heating


The British are on the move in Burma. Two columns are moving south, one along the Akyab-Prome road, the second across the jungle from Kalemyo, and both have made contact with my troops guarding the area.

South of Kalemyo, the enemy has five units, I have the imperial guards behind level two field fortifications, and the guard armored division arriving in a few days. I suspect this advance is doomed.

The situation south of Akyab is more worrying. Three units, including the 4th British brigade and the 3rd carabiniers regiment, have made contact, three more are on the move. I have one overstrength guard division, behind level two forts, with a good leader. Experience is a bit low (58), but morale is excellent.  Two experienced Infantry brigades are closing on Moulmein, and I have another guard division in reserve in the plains, and a tank brigade in Prome, but if the Akyab column manages to break through, we are in trouble in Burma, until the Chinese cavalry arrives, that is. Tanks could be there in three weeks, infantry in six.

For now, I have transferred Sally squadrons to Rangoon and Magwe, and am bombing the Akyab column. Their supply should move slowly as is it still moonsoon season here, and we probably can delay them a bit.




Tuyun falls

That was all too easy. An infantry division crossed the river north of the base, and shock attacked, supported by the troops I already had there. All the defenders have surrendered, stack Yuan is no more.

Ground combat at Tuyun (74,51)
Japanese Shock attack
Attacking force 33399 troops, 275 guns, 94 vehicles, Assault Value = 1152
Defending force 16137 troops, 186 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 248
Japanese adjusted assault: 359
Allied adjusted defense: 127
Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1 (fort level 0)
Japanese forces CAPTURE Tuyun !!!
Japanese ground losses:
     710 casualties reported
        Squads: 0 destroyed, 68 disabled
        Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 7 disabled
        Engineers: 1 destroyed, 1 disabled
     Guns lost 6 (1 destroyed, 5 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
     17750 casualties reported
        Squads: 813 destroyed, 0 disabled
        Non Combat: 675 destroyed, 0 disabled
        Engineers: 14 destroyed, 0 disabled
     Guns lost 127 (127 destroyed, 0 disabled)
     Units destroyed 24


Meanwhile, the red Chinese divisions (stack Jin) and the corps attempting to flee towards the Kweilin railroad (stack Liao) have been eliminated. Nine stacks, and 57 units, are left in China.

The fall of Tuyun deprives the Chinese of their last “open” base (Changsha is under siege). This probably means most remnants units will now surrender instead of retreating. It also means my troops can now move into Burma. As a side note, all those surrenders brought the VP ratio over 3:1 again. I am at 3.01:1, close to the highest ratio of 3.09:1 reached at the end of May.

It is now a race to reinforce Burma. First, I need air support moved there, as I badly need bombers in this area. Transport squadrons from all around the map have been sent to central China. I am planning an air bridge from Wuchang to Kunming to Burma, and operate from Mandalay and other bases in central Burma.

Over New Guinea

My opponent is bombarding my bases, but his fighter cover seems to be less important than it once was. As a result, my zeroes are shooting down bombers.

Raid spotted at 19 NM, estimated altitude 13,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 5 minutes

Japanese aircraft
     A6M2 Zero x 9

Allied aircraft
     B-25C Mitchell x 5
     B-25C Mitchell x 6
     B-26B Marauder x 4
     P-39D Airacobra x 6

No Japanese losses

Allied aircraft losses
     B-25C Mitchell: 1 destroyed, 4 damaged
     B-25C Mitchell: 1 destroyed
     B-26B Marauder: 1 destroyed
     P-39D Airacobra: 1 destroyed

Japanese ground losses:
     9 casualties reported
        Squads: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
        Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
        Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


Are the fighters just on hold, or have they moved to another area (Darwin)? I am giving it a few days, and might then organize a sweep on Terapo and Port Moresby, if his guard is down, my opponent should live to regret it.



Attachment (1)

< Message edited by fcharton -- 3/20/2013 9:21:22 AM >

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 461
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 9:38:14 AM   
GreyJoy


Posts: 6292
Joined: 3/18/2011
Status: offline
Hi Francois,

about China: with DBB with stacking limits the allied player has his chances to prevent any collapse of Chinese inner perimeter. Look at what NY59Giants is doing against Oloring in a DBB match
In my game against QBall i managed to advance only because QBall made some early strategic mistakes that let me penetrate into his perimeter...but it took the whole southern Army to do that and something like 600k additional supplies and yet i had to stop in early 1943 because i could'nt proceed any further...I soon abbandoned the idea of conquering Kumming, Tsuyung, Paoshan and Chungking because, with stacking limits, it was simply a dream.

About Burma: are you sure there aren't any more units in the jungle hexes advancing south? Your perimeter really looks incomplete... Katha is abbandoned and he could easily fly in some paratroopers... you better check it out!
Also i think, against a division in a jungle terrain you are right: those advances are doomed, but consider the possibility that those may be just feints to pinn down your best units, while more columns advances in the jungle hexes towards the Valley

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 462
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 10:10:11 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Hi GreyJoy,

I think there are cases of good defenses of China, even without stacking limits. AdmSpruance seems to be doing a good job at it in his current AAR (against Erstad, not a rookie JFB like me). In this game, I believe my opponent did two strategic mistake : not defending the sector between nanyang and Sian, and then the Tienshui-Kungchang area after Sian fell, and failing to defend Changteh, which allowed me to isolate Changsha. The more I think about it, the more I believe that whereas most JFB have a pretty good "overall plan" for taking China (clear the plains, march on Sian, and turn it north, move around Changsha to turn it into a salient, threaten Kienko and cross the rough terrain south of Sichuan with tanks, that kind of things), AFB strategies still remain to be formulated. Once this is done, we'll probably discover China is more defensible than we thought.

As for Burma, you are certainly right. I used to think the Allies couldn't advance before the end of the year (after Moonsoon season, and then take a couple of months to march in), and my plan was to have the China troops there in time (we have no PP for borders), but NYGiants is showing this can be achieved early on. Maybe the right strategy for Burma would be to deploy in Spring 42 a line of 'border guards' in the jungle, small units, company or battalion sized, meant to spot Allied advance, and shuttle the large 'masse de manoeuvre' the IJA would keep on the railway...

I can probably still work on such a plan. Let me see where I can press small units...

Francois

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 463
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 10:23:30 AM   
JocMeister

 

Posts: 5210
Joined: 7/29/2009
From: Sweden
Status: online
To be fair Ny59Giants is one of the better players out there and so is CR. To my knowledge those are the only two that have managed to hold on to China in any of the active AARs. Please correct me if I´m wrong.

I think fcharton is in a very good position to knock China out of the war. I know many people claim the constant collapsing of China is due to Allied player error. That is probably true to some extent but if the allied player has to play a perfect China without room for just a single mistake something is not entirely right.

In my second game (vs SqzMyLemon) I probably have lost about half the Chinese army and I´m still suffering from massive supply issues preventing me to recover disabled squads or reinforcing. Once China starts to go downhill there is NO way to recover. It will just spiral out of control faster and faster. This is perhaps my own personal pet peeve. Its hard to find motivation playing China when you know 6-12 month in advance it will fall regardless of what you do.

But I don´t think you should feel bad about conquering China fcharton. I don´t think any allied player starting a PBEM today expects to be able to hold on to China. If your opponent thought he could its his own fault for not doing his homework properly. Go for it!

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 464
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 12:57:18 PM   
obvert


Posts: 7228
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
Add Dan Nichols to the list of VERY good China defenses. He hadn't lost an inch in June 42 when he disappeared. ()

Canoerebel seems to be doing well in spite of losing the central bases around Changsha. Or at least he is very optimistic about keeping the rest.

_____________________________


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

(in reply to JocMeister)
Post #: 465
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 1:56:28 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Hi guys,

In this game, many 'sensible plans' emerged from an AAR. Against Cuttlefish, Q-ball proved the feasibility of an early move against the Timor-Ambon area, which is now a standard trick in Allied repertoire. Fortress Palembang was not a real option before Nemo showed how to implement it, and what it could mean. In China, I believe Fletcher was the first one who showed a total conquest could be achieved, but China first strategies were common for a while. Jocmeister, Joseph is by no means "new" to China, his AAR against Smeulder should prove that.

My feeling is that there are a certain number of "basic rules" when defending China which have not emerged yet. Once they are understood, China will become more defensible. As Jocke said, one of the reasons why we don't have them is that defending China doesn't appeal to most AFB, while conquering it is a good way for JFB to keep "winning" well into 1943...

I will take China out, this was my goal in this game, and it seems futile, now that Chungking is captured, to let the KMT avoid annihilation. I believe my opponent was warned: my previous AAR made it clear I'm interested in China. I just hope this doesn't take the fun out of his game.

Francois



< Message edited by fcharton -- 3/20/2013 1:59:31 PM >

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 466
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 2:17:44 PM   
obvert


Posts: 7228
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
This forum needs a historian! You might be the man, Francois.

_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 467
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 3/20/2013 10:04:53 PM   
JocMeister

 

Posts: 5210
Joined: 7/29/2009
From: Sweden
Status: online
quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton
I just hope this doesn't take the fun out of his game.
Francois



It probably will for a while. But as all things he will recover in time. Loosing China will probably in the end make it a better game for you with a more competitive Japan in late game. But that might be hard for him to see right now. You can always direct him to my AAR. I had lost pretty much everything there was to loose in 42 to early 43 including all the carriers...seeing how someone did it worse probably cheers him up a little!

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 468
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 4/17/2013 5:22:57 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Music for today is Bach violin and keyboard sonata in G (here’s Gould: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nql0iet_SCU) , I found a violinist who wants to play it, so I’m learning the piano part, and the darn thing is full of notes…

October 3rd 1942

I can’t keep up with the AAR, but the game is moving forward. The second half of September was quite eventless.

In China, most of the KMT stragglers were eliminated, and the allies are left with three stacks: the Changsha garrison, a dozen units in the woods north of Sichuan, and two depleted corps in the woods south of Chungking.

In Burma, the Allied offensive along the coastal road did not succeed. The Guard division, with a good leader, resisted several rounds of bombardment and a shock attack, and tank brigade is two hexes away. South of Kalemyo, I am waiting for two indian divisions and two tank regiments to cross the river into a well-defended hex. Reinforcements from China are on their way. About 600 AV of armor are around Paoshan, and about 6000 AV of infantry are between Kunming and Tsuyung. We should be ready to counterattack in November.

In New Guinea, my opponent has been bombing Lae and Madang, I’m losing zeroes, and damaging his bombers, I am not sure this is a good use of resources. In the Solomons nothing happened, save a small unit that apparently landed on Rennel Island today. I suppose it was sub transported.

Overall, the situation suits me fine. My opponent is obviously prepping for new invasions, but the sinking of the Lexington and the damage done to Yorktown probably slowed his southern advance. This is buying me time to finish China off, and shift my main force to Burma, ready to roll on India.

My strategic plan for 1943 is clear now: yield slowly in the Pacific, while turning India into a mess, forcing the US to reinforce the Brits there, and therefore delaying their counterattack in the Indies and Pacific.

I have less time for the game than I used to, which means I am not playing as seriously as I should. The economy is still in pretty good shape, but I’ve let a few things fall behind, pilot training and convoys notably.


The carrier battle that was not, again

A strange situation occurred today, south of the Gilberts. For several days, my Mavis from Tabiteua were monitoring a slow moving carrier task force, south of Ellice islands, on a path from Suva to Hawaii. Reconnaissance suggested one carrier and a screen, and I was sort of thinking it could be the Yorktown, on its way to the yards.

I had four carriers cruising near Kwajalein, the two kakus, Hiyo, and Junyo (Kaga and Akagi just return to Truk after upgrade, and Hiryu is ready to sail to Japan. It is a pretty lightweight KB, but with two US carriers out of action, and most British flattops retiring now, this was acceptable.

And so, yesterday KB was ordered to sail south and intercept the slow CV… and found itself three hexes away from the concentrated enemy carriers, probably three of them in three task forces, maybe with escort carriers.

In the morning, search planes detected the enemy, CV Hornet was reported hit (whatever this means)

D3A1 Val has spotted CV Hornet at 141,141
:::::::: CV Hornet is reported HIT
Search D3A1 Val destroyed by CAP at (141,141)
Search D3A1 Val destroyed by CAP at (141,141)


… but no combat took place. Neither my squadrons nor the allies did fly (weather was overcast).
In the afternoon, both task forces were detected, but still no combat.

I don’t quite understand what happened. I doubt my opponent had no planes on naval attack in such a large carrier group. My squadrons certainly were ordered to attack, and the enemy was detected in the morning, and the range was short.

But anyway, I’m not keen trying my luck at a close range 4 vs 3 CV engagement. Reconnaissance suggests three 85 fighter+bomber CV task forces, probably the three remaining Yorktowns with their screens, against four fleet carriers, a Midway situation (except there are no land based aircrafts).

Discretion being the better part of valor, the KB has been ordered to disengage and sail away at flank speed, while the pipers and minstrels sing and dance. I considered ordering the screen for a night action against the enemy, but there are like 30 ships in three task forces, and my screen is made of two BB and half a dozen cruisers. They would certainly damage the enemy, but I’d probably lose all of them.

If enemy carriers retreat, stay put or sail forth at low speed, the carrier battle will not happen. If they try to pursue at flank speed, we might have one, and the KB is at risk, but so are enemy CV. I suppose I could live with a trade: the loss of my carriers would hurt in the long run, but the Allies do not get fleet carriers for a while, and running low on them would further delay them. Of course, a Midway-like defeat would make my situation very difficult, but I suppose my continental strategy can cope with it. It would sure make the game interesting too…




Changsha falls

The capture of Changhsa was the other big piece of news today. Compared to Chungking, it was an easy battle.

Ground combat at Changsha (82,52)
Japanese Deliberate attack
Attacking force 87275 troops, 1646 guns, 1539 vehicles, Assault Value = 2150
Defending force 61721 troops, 431 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 1277
Japanese engineers reduce fortifications to 0

Japanese adjusted assault: 1321
Allied adjusted defense: 325
Japanese assault odds: 4 to 1 (fort level 0)

Japanese forces CAPTURE Changsha !!!

Japanese ground losses:
3841 casualties reported
Squads: 34 destroyed, 317 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 28 disabled
Engineers: 2 destroyed, 79 disabled
Vehicles lost 40 (1 destroyed, 39 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
62338 casualties reported
Squads: 2281 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 4420 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 235 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 534 (534 destroyed, 0 disabled)
Units destroyed 26


Changsha was the last enemy base in China. Only two KMT stacks are left (Qin and Han on the map above). Han will probably surrender tomorrow, Qin will take a few more days, or weeks, but anyway, the conquest of China is over.

Burma holds

On the road to Akyab, the British launched their second shock attack today.

Ground combat at 55,46 (near Akyab)
Allied Shock attack
Attacking force 14429 troops, 325 guns, 304 vehicles, Assault Value = 577
Defending force 13996 troops, 147 guns, 47 vehicles, Assault Value = 448

Allied adjusted assault: 510
Japanese adjusted defense: 1499
Allied assault odds: 1 to 2

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), leaders(+)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
639 casualties reported
Squads: 11 destroyed, 85 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 7 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 9 disabled
Guns lost 9 (1 destroyed, 8 disabled)

Allied ground losses:
1470 casualties reported
Squads: 12 destroyed, 160 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 33 disabled
Engineers: 11 destroyed, 16 disabled
Guns lost 19 (1 destroyed, 18 disabled)

Assaulting units:
6th British Brigade
5th British Brigade
4th British Brigade
3rd Carabiniers Regiment
16th British Brigade
6th Medium Regiment

Defending units:
5th Guards Division


The 5th Guards are holding their ground. I bought them a good leader, they are behind level two field fortifications, and they are still worth 380 AV. The Guard Tank Brigade is two hexes away, and should reinforce the hex in two or three days.

The enemy counterattack in Burma is not going well. In a few weeks, my armored units will arrive in Burma, in a month and a half, I will have lots of infantry to relieve the guard divisions. If the British could just damage themselves a little more, this would help the counterattack.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by fcharton -- 4/17/2013 5:24:23 PM >

(in reply to JocMeister)
Post #: 469
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 4/19/2013 10:54:19 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
October 4th 1942

And then nothing happened


The carrier battle didn’t happen. KB retreated north at flank speed, and enemy carriers stayed around the same positions, now split over two hexes.

I suspect my opponent didn’t detect KB, for some reason (not enough planes on search, perhaps), and my squadrons did detect then enemy, but didn’t fly. An opportunity was probably missed, since a first strike from KB would probably have sunk another carrier or two. But then, this also suggests that enemy carriers are on a mission, and my opponent doesn’t realize KB is around.

What are enemy carriers doing here? Since they don’t seem to be moving towards Hawaii, or returning to Suva, the only reason I can think of would is supporting an invasion of Tabiteua.

KB will remain in range, and the rest of my carriers will join them. If an invasion is on the way, this might be the perfect time to sink a few transports.

The last redoubts

The two stacks dubbed Qin and Han are all the KMT forces left in China. Han was attacked today as a division and a brigade crossed the river from the north. The shock attack achieved 15:1 odds, and the two Chinese corps are probably close to surrendering.

Qin is being surrounded, and a regiment will attack in three days. This is probably not enough to defeat them, and an infantry division from Chungking is about ten days away, but it is probably safe to assume that China will be KMT-free by the end of the month.

The long march to Burma is on its way. Right now, the plan is to concentrate around Mandalay, and decide whether I want to advance on Kalemyo, or on the road to Akyab. The former seems easier, as Akyab is better defended, but holding the coast from Akyab to Chittagong has a lot of merit too.

I will probably test the waters near Kalemyo, and let my opponent do the fighting around Akyab. Once the armored spearheads arrive from China (in about two weeks), I will need to decide if I try to send those tanks into the jungle, on Kalemyo, and then towards Ledo, or just move them along the coast, to break the enemy attack. Then I need another month for the infantry to arrive.

Slower days

This week was the slowest in our game so far, with only four turns exchanged. My daughter is taking on of those big exams we have here. You prepare it for two or three years, can try two times, they pick 75 out of 2500 students, and there is only one school. Talk about elitism!

The first part of the exam consists in six six hours exams, either essays or translations, which selects the 180 lucky people for the second round in June. She had four this week, the last one, today, being a translation and commentary from Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. Yesterday the philosophy subject was “cause” (yeah, just one word, grab it and run with it, son), and the history subject was “The French and their Army, 1851-1945”. So I spent most of the week cheerleading. She is very unlikely to succeed this year, or even next year, but those exams are good nevertheless, they build character…

Next week, I “have” Latin and Greek, and then my opponent is out for holidays in Eastern Europe. So the game will probably be slower until mid may. I will try to use the time to work on, and discuss the economy.


< Message edited by fcharton -- 4/19/2013 10:55:30 PM >

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 470
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 4/21/2013 5:12:20 AM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5913
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: offline
Trust the exams go well.

_____________________________

Pax

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 471
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/15/2013 9:56:47 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
The daughter’s exams are over, my opponent is touring Central Europe, and I’m enjoying one of those long bank holidays the French are famous for. The game has been moving forward, at a slow pace, we are now in mi- October and little is happening. I suppose this is the right time to try and catch up with the war, and discuss various aspects.

October 12th 1942

War on the continent


China is now down to one KMT stack, which took refuge in the mountains between Kienko and Ankang. Several divisions are on their tracks, it might take a week or two, but the campaign is effectively over, and this theater should be comfortably mine for two and half years.

In Burma, an Indian Division crossed the river, south of Kalemyo, on the 7th. I had a Thai division, and the guard armored division waiting, and so it was a bit bloody, and the counterattack, the next day, left them no chance. On the 8th, the Imperial guards also attacked, and defeated an armored brigade south of Kalemyo. This concludes the allied offensive towards Mandalay. I have ordered the Imperial Guards to march on Kalemyo, but might change my mind in a few days, and wait for the reinforcements from China instead.

There are no signs of Allied advance in upper Burma. I have token forces there which should be enough to delay the enemy, until the boys from China arrive.

The road to Akyab is the next battlefield. The Allies are reinforcing, I have added a tank brigade to the guard division. Akyab is where all my armored elements from China are going.

My plan for Burma is to wait for the reinforcements from China. So far, the enemy is fighting over extended supply lines, and damaging himself attacking my positions. I hope this can continue for a month or two. Then, I will have about 7000 AV in Burma, ready to move into India by early 1943. I believe I should have enough to break through, either from Kalemyo, Akyab or Ledo, threaten auto-victory in mid-43 by capturing India (or at least a large part of it), and force the US to reinforce this theater.

War in the Pacific

This was pretty calm too. Enemy bombers have been attacking Madang, and then Lae, and then Wau, and by the time they were finished, Madang was repaired, so they turned back to attacking it… The New Hebrides and Solomons are pretty calm. I am running supplies from Truk, enemy bombers try to sink my cargos, I shoot enemy bombers.

Preparations seem to be underway in the Central pacific. Ships were detected in Funafuti, and enemy carriers were spotted north of Fiji. This suggests a move on Tabiteua, which my opponent is welcome to, and Tarawa, which should prove a much harder target.

Finally, a carrier task force, probably just one carrier and a few escort ships, raided the Kuriles yesterday, and sank a coastal minelayer in Paramushiro. I have sent a few zeroes to Ketoi Jima, in case my opponent tries a second raid, but I am playing dumb there.

So, here I am, in October 42, with two theaters: one when I am, or will soon be, on the offensive, and intend to go on attacking throughout 1943, and the other one where I am in a defensive posture already. The fall of China frees an awful lot of units, which should be redeployed in Burma, Indochina, or in the Pacific. In the long run, I am shooting for a fairly small inner perimeter, Marianas, Philippines, and the continent, definitely, but probably Borneo, Sumatra and bits of the Celebes. This is where I intend to redeploy my Chinese troops, and those troops freed elsewhere.

Meanwhile, I have not been playing very seriously, and a lot of game aspects must be corrected. So here is the first of a series of updates on the situation, and future plans. 

State of the Empire

The economy is fine so far. Fuel reserves are over 7.5 million tons, up 8k per day these days. Oil is around four million, and resources over 15 million tons. Supplies are a little under 5.5 million tons, slowly increasing. I have 1.7 million HI points in the bank, and am saving over 7000 more every day. Vehicle and armament stocks are at 16k and 32k, and up.

Resource convoys to Japan are working: the home islands now have stable resource stocks, around four million tons, and Pusan is nicely drawing resources from China and Indochina. I still have large untapped resource stocks in the Indies, and will probably try to bring back those close to the continent. I won’t bother about Ocean Island, Nauru and other forlorn places.

Oil is ok. Half my reserves, two out of four million tons, are in Japan, but I am not importing enough, and my stocks should run low in 1944 if nothing is done about it. There are about 1.5 million tons on the continent, one million which seem to be stuck in Singapore. I am considering operating a very large convoy from there. There are about half a million tons to be collected, notably in Balikpapan (200k) and Palembang (100k). But right now, the main problem is less getting the oil from the fields to the hubs (Singapore), than bringing it back to Japan.

Fuel is pretty much the same as oil, just slightly worse. Japan has a hefty supply of 2.4 million tons, more than a year worth of usage, but the stocks in Singapore keep increasing and never seem to go down. I certainly need convoys, or something.

Supplies are the part that needs to be corrected. I have transferred huge amounts to China in order to support the offensive here, and stocks in the home islands are running low, at only one million tons. This is easy to correct, though.

I am considering growing the industry and the refineries in China and Manchuria, as those factories would probably remain undamaged late in the war, and this might help use resources locally.

Plane production

I am producing 1060 planes per month, more than 60% of them fighters. PDU off constrains my plane production, but so far, not too many errors were done. I overproduced Oscars IIa, and didn’t accelerate the Kawasaki Ha-60 enough, so the Tony was ready a month before its engine. I can live with that.

Next month, we get the Oscar IIb, the A6M5 and the Tony at last. Then in December, we should have the SallyIIb, the Judy, and that weird two engine fighter (ki-46 KAI, that is used by only one group, but sports a 37 mm cannon, which should prove deadly against enemy 4E).

Engine production is keeping up with the frames, I am using too many planes to build pools, but then, so is my opponent, I suspect.

My main problem, at the moment is training and air support.

I am badly lacking trained pilots, especially Navy pilots, because I probably committed too many Zero squadrons to frontline duty. I need to replace them with army squadrons, and use more squadrons to train, especially my KB pilots. I need to better organize training, too. Moving over all squadrons, I found a decent number of pilots with ASW skill around 70. I probably have enough to man two squadrons of Helens, and then a third that arrives in a few weeks. My idea is to use the Helen as my main ASW platforms, and small Sonia groups as training outfits.

< Message edited by fcharton -- 5/15/2013 10:05:25 PM >

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 472
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/16/2013 8:48:30 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Music for today is Schnittke’s Prelude in memoriam D. Shostakovich, and Silent night
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7vzQ94nbEA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGUed4Ki8xM

October 13th 1942

Silent service


Along the coast of New Guinea, I-33 managed a lucky shot at an Omaha class cruiser. An explosion was seen, and the damage is probably heavy. The return strike did not achieve much. I am retiring in order to clear the detection level, but another submarine cruising in the area will try to intercept the task force.

ASW attack near Port Moresby  at 98,132
Japanese Ships
     SS I-33, hits 1
Allied Ships
     CL Raleigh, Torpedo hits 1
     DE Chew
     AP Crescent City
     DE Dent
     DE Talbot


My two squadrons of Helens are now manned with decent ASW pilots (skills in the 60s). One was sent to Kobe, to try and see whether something can be done about detected subs off Japan, the other one is in Manado, and will rebase to Truk or Manus. I want to use both in the Pacific, between Tarawa, Truk and Rabaul, and see whether good pilots can really damage enemy subs.

I am pulling all pilots with ASW skills in their high 50s now, and will probably man a squadron or two, to operate in the Celebes and in the Andamans.

4E fighters

Night raid over Rabaul, 14% moonlight, unescorted 4E bombers, but who needs escorts, and moonlight, then?

Night Air attack on Rabaul , at 106,125
Weather in hex: Light rain
Raid detected at 34 NM, estimated altitude 7,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 11 minutes

Japanese aircraft
     A6M3 Zero x 7

Allied aircraft
     B-17E Fortress x 4
     B-24D Liberator x 7

Japanese aircraft losses
     A6M3 Zero: 4 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
     B-17E Fortress: 1 damaged
     B-24D Liberator: 1 damaged

Japanese Ships
     DD Oshio, Bomb hits 1


My zero pilots were decent (A2A in their 60s, but that’s probably not enough) and not too fatigued (less than 10 anyway), the A6M3 has 20mm cannons, which, I’m told, should work against armored bombers, and I have flak in Rabaul, and AA regiment, with two Ta-chi3 radars, and search lights and 88mm AA guns, and an AA battalion with 75mm AA guns, and a base force with 88mm DP guns, but they don’t seem to ever shoot or detect anything…

And unfortunately, this is not the first time this happens, about once a week, in fact… I will probably try to move Nicks in, just in case armor can make a difference.

There certainly is something I don’t get about air combat, but on a typical day like today, where most enemy bombers fly unescorted over relatively long ranges (12 hexes and more), I lose 15 zeroes to two or three enemy bombers, over my own bases.

I believe I’m doing things by the book, rotating squadrons, limiting fatigue to less than ten, keeping most pilots with 60+ air to air, resting them, never overstacking, but it hardly seems to matter.  I am all ears for any advice you might have, dear reader, and I am ready to be told this is normal, historical, and all that (even though, well, 1:10 odds, really…), but I have to say such situations where nothing seems to matter makes it difficult for one to care or even try to be serious.

I am moving more zeroes over Rabaul tomorrow. Let us see if it gets any better.

Harvesting pilots

As you might have guessed, the game is a bit dull these days. I am waiting for the last stack in China to die, for my troops to arrive in Burma, and I am watching my zeroes being shot down over New Guinea. I should probably spend some time reinforcing some of my front bases, but I am mostly killing the time combing my squadrons for high skill pilots.

So far I have been pulling high ASW pilots and sent them to two Helen squadrons. I want to see tomorrow whether they can sink subs. I also have noticed I have quite a few pilots with very high ground bombing skill (over 85, that is). I am considering manning one Sally squadron with those and trying them on some jungle unit in Burma.

The next step would be recon and naval search. I believe I can field a number of units with those high rating pilots. Recon would certainly be useful over Burma, naval search, I don’t know.

It is still early, but I am planning to report on the efficiency of such high skill squadrons, as a way to keep interest.

< Message edited by fcharton -- 5/16/2013 8:51:02 PM >

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 473
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/16/2013 11:13:02 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
October 14th 1942

More of the same


B17 and B24 came back over Rabaul today. I had a mix of A5M2 and A5M3a, most flying at night, and a squadron of A6M2 flying CAP during the day.

At night, 14 Zeroes fought 4 B17-F, flying very low (3000 feet) against heavy flak. One zero was reported shot, but five actually went down, for no harm on the B17.

During the day, two bomber raids arrived unescorted, about 30 bombers against 27 zeroes, and then nine vs nine. 12 zeroes went down for three B24. Enemy fighters (P38) arrived later, but there were no Japanese fighters left by then, so they did little damage. Net result is fifteen zeroes for three bombers, and half a dozen more destroyed on the ground. In an alternate reality world, you might expect bombers to have a hard time hitting runways and hangars when confronted with fighters and flak. Not here, or course.

Overall, those raids over Rabaul achieved 1:8 results, against fighters in equal number, and flak. Who needs fighters?

In another event, a squadron of Betties, escorted by Zeroes, attacked two coastal sweepers near Darwin. Both Betties and Zeroes flew low (1000 feet), enemy CAP (Kittyhawks 1-A and P40-E, not the best planes in the enemy arsenal) were in equal numbers and badly misplaced (18 000 feet), but still managed to shoot down 5 zeroes and 10 betties, ie half the attackers, for one Warhawk. I sank the sweepers, though…

Overall, I lost 40 planes today, to four enemies. I did check my pilots, and fatigue, and leaders, and do understand those might be bad rolls, and there might be some exquisitely well thought reason why this happens, but honestly, this doesn’t make for a very interesting experience, as the time invested in rotating squadrons, and pilots, and setting parameters, seem to be wasted when some game parameter, die roll or design, seems to trump everything and result in those 1:10 outcomes that NEVER existed in reality (the Mariannas Turkey shoot was like 5:1, and Midway less than 1:3).

I’m going on with the game, but I have to say I’m more and more disappointed as time goes by. The personal investment in such a long game, with such a steep learning curve, is huge, and it is only normal that a player expects something in return. As a JFB you do know that victory is not a likely outcome, so you would expect to achieve some mastery, or at least understanding of the system after several years of play. But you don’t, and your campaign seems to proceed from one frustrating outcome to another, and odds just get worse and worse.


(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 474
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/16/2013 11:45:15 PM   
zuluhour


Posts: 3113
Joined: 1/20/2011
From: Maryland
Status: online
quote:

… but no combat took place. Neither my squadrons nor the allies did fly (weather was overcast).
In the afternoon, both task forces were detected, but still no combat.


Do you have a percentage of the Kido Butai DBs and TBs on search? I find this always triggers a reaction from the USN perspective.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 475
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/16/2013 11:52:12 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: zuluhour
Do you have a percentage of the Kido Butai DBs and TBs on search? I find this always triggers a reaction from the USN perspective.


I have. As a rule, I have between 20 and 40% of my squadrons searching. This seems to help getting a first strike. In this case, enemy carriers were spotted, and some of my search planes were even shot down by the CAP.

B5N2 Kate sighting report: Allied CV at 141,141 near Vaitupu , Speed 10 , Moving Northeast
B5N2 Kate sighting report: 2 Allied ships at 141,141 near Vaitupu , Speed 14 , Moving Northeast
D3A1 Val sighting report: 3 Allied ships at 141,141 near Vaitupu , Speed 16 , Moving Northeast
D3A1 Val sighting report: 4 Allied ships at 141,141 near Vaitupu , Speed 11 , Moving Northeast
D3A1 Val has spotted CV Hornet at 141,141
:::::::: CV Hornet is reported HIT
Search D3A1 Val destroyed by CAP at (141,141)
Search D3A1 Val destroyed by CAP at (141,141)



(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 476
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/17/2013 2:10:19 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
October 15th 1942

Rabaul again


So, today, I stacked Rabaul with fighters, A6M2 and A6M3a, all the groups I could find. Rabaul is a level seven airfield, with plenty of support, so there was no overstacking.

The night raid featured three unescorted B17F, against 16 zeroes on CAP. The zeroes lost, of course, and the buffs managed to hit something, none of them being reported lost. The flak, as usual, was nowhere to be seen.

Night Air attack on Rabaul , at 106,125
Weather in hex: Moderate rain
Raid detected at 27 NM, estimated altitude 7,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 9 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 8
A6M3a Zero x 8

Allied aircraft
B-17F Fortress x 3

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M3a Zero: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
B-17F Fortress: 3 damaged

Airbase supply hits 1


During the day, 38 bombers were met by 52 zeroes. Two B17-E were lost to damage, a few zeroes were shot down, and 20 fighters were destroyed on the ground. Numerical superiority doesn’t seem to work, here.

Morning Air attack on Rabaul , at 106,125
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 38 NM, estimated altitude 13,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 11 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 49
A6M3a Zero x 3

Allied aircraft
B-17E Fortress x 14
B-24D Liberator x 15
B-25C Mitchell x 9

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 20 damaged
A6M2 Zero: 6 destroyed on ground
A6M3a Zero: 3 damaged
A6M3a Zero: 6 destroyed on ground

Allied aircraft losses
B-17E Fortress: 5 damaged
B-24D Liberator: 3 damaged
B-25C Mitchell: 1 damaged

Airbase hits 5
Airbase supply hits 2
Runway hits 22


But then, we took our revenge against the sweeping P38. At 45:8 odds, we managed to lose only a handful of planes, and shoot town SIX P38.

Morning Air attack on Rabaul , at 106,125
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 35 NM, estimated altitude 32,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 7 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 44
A6M3a Zero x 1

Allied aircraft
P-38F Lightning x 8

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed

No Allied losses

And

Morning Air attack on Rabaul , at 106,125
Weather in hex: Clear sky
Raid detected at 47 NM, estimated altitude 11,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 10 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 40
A6M3a Zero x 1

Allied aircraft
P-38F Lightning x 13
Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 4 destroyed
A6M3a Zero: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
P-38F Lightning: 2 destroyed



Overall, with more than 50 fighters flying CAP over a large airbase, against unescorted bombers, and then sweeps by P38 outnumbered by more than 5 to 1, we lost 35 zeroes (20 to bombing, 15 to A2A) to 6 P38 and 2 bombers. Over the last three days, I lost 105 planes, to 30 enemies, mostly defending large airfields against unescorted enemy bombers. And we’re only in late 42. I can’t wait until 44.

There’s a silver lining, of course: the next turn took three minutes to play. One squadron put to rest in Magwe, more planes in Rabaul, click on end turn, save, email, and voila.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 477
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/17/2013 8:34:07 AM   
obvert


Posts: 7228
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
quote:

Overall, I lost 40 planes today, to four enemies. I did check my pilots, and fatigue, and leaders, and do understand those might be bad rolls, and there might be some exquisitely well thought reason why this happens, but honestly, this doesn’t make for a very interesting experience, as the time invested in rotating squadrons, and pilots, and setting parameters, seem to be wasted when some game parameter, die roll or design, seems to trump everything and result in those 1:10 outcomes that NEVER existed in reality (the Mariannas Turkey shoot was like 5:1, and Midway less than 1:3).

I’m going on with the game, but I have to say I’m more and more disappointed as time goes by. The personal investment in such a long game, with such a steep learning curve, is huge, and it is only normal that a player expects something in return. As a JFB you do know that victory is not a likely outcome, so you would expect to achieve some mastery, or at least understanding of the system after several years of play. But you don’t, and your campaign seems to proceed from one frustrating outcome to another, and odds just get worse and worse.


I feel your pain. Early in the war there were dramatically large Allied successes against bombing raids in the Solomons, usually the unescorted ones. The intel advantage gave the Allies a head's up that let them exploit a numbers and surprise advantage. The Japanese planes were not as well maintained and pilots and machines suffered from long range fights, the climate and even the volcanic ash mucking up the engines at Rabaul.

Some of this stuff can be shown by the game, some not so much. The large scale results though are an issue and it doesn't get better as you go. Prepare for the 10:1 days against P-47 sweeps where your best 70-80 exp pilots are uselessly lost and completely ineffective. Maybe through balancing the Japanese player's ability to control pilot training and production the developers felt it necessary to overpower advantages such as speed and dive. I can see that. Good Japanese players can stall the Allies' advance and the resulting cries as to the inequitable production system drown out any arguments against other balancing Allied advantages.

About your planes fighting 4Es. A6M2 just can't do it because of it's low durability. As you get into better versions they have more of a chance, but not much more. You need armor, canons (ideally centerline) and higher durability. The Nick is the only early plane that has all of those things, and they work. I'm still making them in mid-44 and will be until the Randy arrives (finally) later in the year. At night? Forget about it. No chance until NF come online, and they just take a 1-2 plane tithe and disrupt bombing, plus they don't die in droves like normal fighters used at night.

This game is frustrating in so many ways. My frustrations are actually naval at the moment, which is supposed to be the more accurately modeled part of the game, but still has a plethora of unplausible mechanics that will cause immense frustration in certain circumstances. In spite of all of this, for me it's still a lot of fun.



_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 478
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/17/2013 11:30:43 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 953
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
Hi Erik,

quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert
Early in the war there were dramatically large Allied successes against bombing raids in the Solomons, usually the unescorted ones. The intel advantage gave the Allies a head's up that let them exploit a numbers and surprise advantage. The Japanese planes were not as well maintained and pilots and machines suffered from long range fights, the climate and even the volcanic ash mucking up the engines at Rabaul. Some of this stuff can be shown by the game, some not so much. The large scale results though are an issue and it doesn't get better as you go.


This pretty much summarizes my problem with the game.

Allied intel is already modelled, as is the lack of air support and various technical difficulties Japan experienced during the war. As a player, I am trying to fight that, by concentrating support on Rabaul, building the airfield over its standard size, not packing it, keeping my fighters there instead of having them escort, sweep, or work on long range missions, bringing in flak, and radar equipped base forces, keeping pilots trained and rested, and ranges low.

This, of course, comes at a cost. Rabaul is better defended, but the Solomons or other places in New Guinea aren't protected as they should, and good Allied intel means I can't hope to trick my opponent into believing Rabaul is undefended. I am fine with all that.

What I have trouble accepting is that all this preparation is useless, because some aspect of the model, which I failed to understand yet (after several years of play) seems to trump everything. I did detect the bombers, my fighters did scramble and fought and were shot down because even at night 3 B17 will fight 15 zeroes anytime, and shoot some of them down, and because during the day 53 zeroes and flak are greatly outnumbered by 28 bombers, and no, it is not the dice, this is the third turn in a row where this happens. This looks a bit strange to me, but the best was that none of this managed to disrupt the bombers, and prevent them from hitting a DD in port on a 14% moonlight night, or hitting 20 planes in hangars and doing 35 damage on a level seven airfield in a day. And I do realise this is only the beginning, it will just get worse and worse as the war goes on.

I still believe this is yet another manifestation of a real problem in the model. Outcomes tend to be very extreme, and this probably results from the fact that phases in a game turn are not correlated enough. Here, once the air combat was over, the remaining bombers could fly a perfect approach on the airfield, under clear weather, without flak or CAP. You have exactly the same kind of problem when a squadron of bombers falls unescorted into a CAP trap twice in a day... In real life, you tend to have more friction, which makes every victory more costly, and never as massive as you'd expect (again, look at plane losses for famous victories, everything is much more balanced than what we have in game), not here.

Of course, there is certainly something very special I could do about it, which might change the outcome, and once I know it, all this will seem oh so trivial, but I think this only proves my point that the model is way too extreme and deterministic, and it turns the game, from a japanese perspective, into a strange sort of "guess the model" riddle, where you spend most of your time trying to figure what happened, and why, and what you've forgotten or missed, and guessing correctly (or thinking you have) is your only reward, because it will only get worse as months go by.

From a player perspective, it makes the time spent building a strong defense a waste. In fact, the only solace I can find is that, since the system is very unforgiving, it would be even worse if I hadn't prepared. But then, the temptation not to care, and turn into some kind of "human AI", where you play the "red force" for your opponent, to enforce some long term commitment grows over time.

And this, by the way, is probably the reason why many of us write AAR, and socialize on the forum: AAR and talks about the game create the motivation the game sometimes fails to provide, just like compulsive micromanagement, or complicated calculations.

Francois



< Message edited by fcharton -- 5/17/2013 12:15:26 PM >

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 479
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 5/17/2013 12:17:54 PM   
obvert


Posts: 7228
Joined: 1/17/2011
From: PDX (and now) London, UK
Status: online
I agree to an extent. The most historically relevant tactics don't always pan out in game, which is too bad. Other tactics do pay off, but they are lessons learned over many hours and usually with much anguish involved!

The Babes might fix some of it, according to those who play it, but even in standard games the new betas should address some of these problems by the lack of the coordination bug. Not sure which version you're playing.

Once there is less coordination the model approximates different pieces of sky (and time) where combat is happening on smaller scales, and this will usually result in less extreme outcomes. It also leaves the defender an advantage of having more planes at the point of contact than the attacker. The flak is also somewhat stronger, although not quite at babes levels.

With babes the bomb effect is lowered as well. With advanced weather missions are more sporadic. All of those things will give a slightly better 'feel' to the air model, and I can't wait to try them out.

In the meantime ... I had one great thing happen to me in my second game very early on. That was a very unlikely scenario where a 22 knot BB TF caught up to the 28 knot KB and pounded it into oblivion without the embedded BBs offering any kind of a fight. It felt like I got shafted, in other words, but that moment also freed me once I made the critical choice to voice my concerns, applaud my opponent's good play, and make the decision to continue. After losing the biggest advantage the IJN has for the first year or more of the game I was able to take it more lightly, to play with things and take more risks, to not get too frustrated by a game so obviously limited by it's internal code and so defined by the computing era in which it was designed. It is the best we have, even though we all know it's failings. I'm having even more fun now than I did before I knew the limitations.

For now think about the advantages you have over historical. You can produce whatever you want and use the IJNAF and IJAAF to mutually plan and support each other. You can fly planes all over the map instead of needing to ship them on vulnerable transports. You can still hide your forces better than the Japanese in the actual war and get surprising results like bombarding well protected bases behind enemy lines that the IJN wouldn't even have considered. Your pilots can be uniformly quite good. You can mitigate some logistical issues they had by overloading certain bases and neglecting others. Your economy is not nearly as shackled by a lack of shipping and resources as historical. You know how much he will get in his fighter pools and can adjust your play accordingly throughout the game. You can develop and implement an entirely unhistorical ASW program on sea and in the air, and render almost useless the dominance of US subs. you can re-allocate forces from Manchuria and China all over the map and get the kind of engineers the Japanese could only dream of in the Pacific and other critical areas. You can replace crap leaders. Even in PDU off you can move the best fighter platforms to the front rather than letting them rust in Japan and China. There is a lot to be happy about!

Not to mention much better wine than the Japanese! And yes, also, you have us!

< Message edited by obvert -- 5/17/2013 12:20:48 PM >


_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
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