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

 
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/27/2013 9:24:12 PM   
obvert


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First of all, well done. You're oddly morose about wining a one sided CV battle!

I don't think you would need a flank move from 7 hexes away. He won't flank after you with those ships in jeopardy and none of yours damaged. If he does it'll only be fast CVs. So Hornet and Sara with damaged air groups.

_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 691
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/28/2013 11:00:43 AM   
fcharton

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert
First of all, well done. You're oddly morose about wining a one sided CV battle!


À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.
(A victory without peril is a triumph without glory)

Seriously, I'm not really in the game these days. I am trying to play as well as I can, and to keep the chronicle alive, but interest is at a low point, even after a carrier battle. And I was a bit in a rush when I wrote the report, yesterday, too.

I'll gloat more in a further installment, I promise!

Francois





(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 692
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/28/2013 11:12:19 AM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert
First of all, well done. You're oddly morose about wining a one sided CV battle!


À vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire.
(A victory without peril is a triumph without glory)

Seriously, I'm not really in the game these days. I am trying to play as well as I can, and to keep the chronicle alive, but interest is at a low point, even after a carrier battle. And I was a bit in a rush when I wrote the report, yesterday, too.

I'll gloat more in a further installment, I promise!

Francois



I understand. I've gone through quite a few periods like that in the game.

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 693
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/29/2013 7:28:58 PM   
fcharton

 

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February 14th 1943

Mr Butai hides in the shade


Kido Butai, at flank speed, retreated towards Nauru Island. There was no pursuit. KB will now retire to Truk, take replacements and pilots, get minor repairs, rearm, and get ready for its next foray. VP totals suggest that the neither Wasp, nor South Dakota were sunk. Both must be limping home, and will probably be out of the war for a long while, provided they don’t sink on their way home.

Thinking of the battle, today, and looking at my carrier squadrons, I noticed there is a good margin for improvement.

On the bright side, we had the first strike, managed a rather coordinated attack, and did all our damage there. I believe this is due to two reasons. First, I had a squadron of Jakes in Tulagi, on night search, acting as spotters. I believe this kept enemy detection high. Second, all my bomber squadrons have about 20% of their planes commited to naval search. This means my pilots tend to have high search skills, but also that I usually achieve good detection of enemy targets. The same happened when we sank the Lexington a few months ago. Of course, this also means less planes in my strike packages, and heavy losses to CAP in the search phase. But I believe it is worth the cost.

Also on the bright side, our CAP worked fine against incoming bombers. Instead of giving all my squadron a fixed percentage of CAP (30 or 40), I have a few squadrons with high CAP % (50 or 60), others with light values (10 or 20), and I keep one squadron of Zeroes on night duty at all time, better safe than sorry. All my planes fly the same altitude, as a way to maiximise coordination. This seems to work.

On the less bright side, I noticed KB was far from battle ready when it sailed. Some squadrons had just upgraded to Judies, and had several damage planes, others were short on pilots, or had inactive ones. More importantly, TF commander was set on auto-selection. For KB proper, captain Okada, Kaga’s excellent skipper, was selected, and was quite up to the task (good inspiration, 69 air skill), but for the second task force, instead of the excellent captain Kaku, Hiryu’s skipper, captain Beppu, from the Hiyo was selected, which was a much weaker choice. I also noticed that my ship skippers deserved more than a few changes.

On the even less bright side, most of my losses happened when some squadrons flew unescorted. I am not certain how I can improve this, but I suspect cruise speed it the problem. KB now fields a mixture of Kates (160 cruise speed), Vals (180), and Judies (265). And the Judies were the ones that lost coordination and flew alone. I suspect I must split the strike packages between the Judies and the rest, and probably fly them at a different altitude, with some fighters dedicated to their escort.

How do you do this?


Oh frabjous day, calloo callay

I promised I would gloat, so here it is…

Meanwhile, near Ndeni, my submarines tried to catch the retreating carriers, and we had two shots at them, one at the Saratoga

Sub attack near Ndeni at 120,142

Japanese Ships
SS I-24, hits 1

Allied Ships
CV Saratoga
BB Indiana
CA San Francisco
DD Balch
DD Selfridge
DD Gillespie


And another one, and a hit, at the Yorktown

Sub attack near Ndeni at 120,142

Japanese Ships
SS I-170, hits 9, heavy damage

Allied Ships
CV Yorktown, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
BB North Carolina
CA Astoria
CA Chicago
CA Indianapolis
DD Lansdowne
DD Kalk
DD Gansevoort
DD Frazier


She won’t sink of course, but a torpedoed carrier must be a good thing. I-170 is in bad shape, but will probably make it to Nauru. Note the way my opponent organizes his task forces. Having a battleship in each make them difficult to attack with surface forces, on the other hand, it also slows them by a few knots. This is good to know.

Three carriers (Saratoga, Yorktown and probably Hornet) are keeping guard north of Ndeni. The others, Enterprise escorting Wasp, I believe, seem to be sailing south, towards Fiji or Noumea.The escort carriers were detected in Ndeni.

Valentine day in the air

We had a couple of good sweeps today. Tojo from Rabaul swept Kiriwina island, and shot down a few Wildcats. Oscars from Hollandia swept Dobo and found Kittihawk III and Wildcats. Over India, Oscars swept Dacca and found P40-K, and Tojos caught Hurricanes IIc over Chittagong. Finally, 12 Wildcats tried to sweep Nabire, and found a full sentai of Oscars there. It wasn’t fair.

Overall, the Allies lost 46 planes today, including 18 F4F-4, 13 P40-K and four Hurricanes, and we lost 24 including 10 oscars, 5 Tojos and 3 A6M5. This helps evening out yesterday’s losses.

I am very happy with this state of affairs. A few weeks ago, my opponent told me he needed to refill his plane pools before he could be on the offensive. He has lost almost 300 planes since the beginning of this month, and about 500 over the last 30 days. I lost even more planes (460 since the beginning of this month, and 600 over the last 30 days), but I am also producing a lot more than him.

If we can keep that rate of attrition for a few months, we might delay the Allied offensive for a while.

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 694
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/29/2013 11:56:24 PM   
PaxMondo


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The fundamental problem is that the Jill/Judy was designed for the SAM. Both have high cruise speeds that the A6M can achieve. It will be a problem until SAM arrives and I don't know anything to do about it ...

_____________________________

Pax

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Post #: 695
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/30/2013 9:12:08 AM   
fcharton

 

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Hi Pax,

I had a look at those cruise speeds today. On think I want to keep in mind is that KB must win battles in 1943 or early 1944 if I want to delay the allied advance.

First, I believe the Sam is just too late to make a difference. I will research it, and try to advance it as far as I can, but it is due in June 45, even with a lot of work, I might get in the last months of 1944. This is just too late, by that time, chances are that KB has become irrelevant, and I need naval victories in 1943 and early 1944. So, escorts are, and will be, Zeroes, which have 230 cruise. Right now, I have Kates (161) and Vals (184) in my complements. The Jill (207) will close the gap opened by the Kate, and the Judy 3 and 4 will close it again, getting every one between 200 and 230.

The problem is with the dive bombers, until the Judy 3 arives (in early 44 I believe). Judy 1 and 2 are too fast, have bad service ratings, but also have 500 kg bombs. Earlier models, the vals are another problem : Val2 is a bit short legged (in situations like the last battle, fought at seven hexes, they become useless).

Right now, KB has a mixture of Val1 and Judy1 (and one squadron of Val2 which just performed very poorly). I believe I have three options, right now (keep in mind I'm PDU off).

- keep a 50/50 mix of Val1 and Judy1 and then 2, until everyone upgrades to Judy 3 at the end of the year (this means building more Val1, I'm afraid)
- upgrade every one to Judy,
- change the composition of KB complements, having less DB and more TB. I think I have enough squadrons to do this, ground most of the Vals and the Judies, keep some Vals2 for close defense and Judy for recon, or maybe add some recon squadron (Judy 1C)

Do you think such a torpedo intensive reorganisation for KB would make sense, until I get the Judy 3 that is.

Francois

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 696
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 11/30/2013 2:02:02 PM   
PaxMondo


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Francois,

Every IJ player faces this dilema. As you note, the SAM arrives so late that it can't contribute. You really want the 500kg bomb, but then your cohesion will suffer. Truthfully, I do not beleive there is an ideal solution. The Kate is just so slow and the Val's 250kg bomb just too small. As you note, the later models of both Jill and Judy have lower cruise speeds to better match the Zero. Note: then they don't match the SAM well so be sure not to use them together later on.

I think you can do either and be as successful as everyone else. In reality, the IJ had the same problem, and had a mix of units until the late war for just this reason. Me, I tend to switch completely over to the Jill/Judy as soon as I can. I am trading cohesion for bomb size. Absolutely not ideal and I know it. But, I rather risk an attack that if they get through will hurt the allies versus knowing that even if they get through the damage will not be that great. However, I've simmed enough attacks to be able to state that the results tend to be idenitical. Jill/Judy's tend not to get through and the hits are few. The Val/Kates tend to get shredded by the CAP as they are so slow and their hit percentages are low as the groups are disorganized by losses.

Basically from my POV, the KB is a tooithless tiger once the Hellcat comes on the scene. That is why I am always amazed when someone gets a good attack in on the allies in mid-43 or later. Once the Sam arrives, then things change, but by then of course the KB is no match for the Allied Deathstar without a lot of LBA assistance.

Whatever you decide to do, I'll be watching with interest.

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 11/30/2013 3:03:37 PM >


_____________________________

Pax

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Post #: 697
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/15/2013 9:42:56 PM   
fcharton

 

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February 23rd 1943

We’re pushing turns. The Allies are on the move in the Solomons. After Lunga, Tassafaronga fell easily. Tulagi should be next, and regular bombardment of Shortlands suggests it will come after. It might prove a bit more difficult as it is in range of Rabaul. The Allies carriers are gone. Wasp and Yorktown probably made it to port, as I didn’t see any significant increase in victory points. But Wasp is out of the war for a while, which is fine by me.

In Burma, we invaded Chittagong again. I sort of hoped my opponent would attack and hurt himself, but he doesn’t seem very cooperative. I believe I will retreat soon, as I can’t really supply my troops so far from my bases, and begin working on my defenses.

We had a series of battles in the air. I am shooting down fighters but the price is getting very high. Loss rates are getting close to 2:1, and I don’t think I can sustain this for very long. The solution would probably be to mount a massive training effort. I need to take some time and work on it.

We are losing a lot of submarines to enemy DE. They really are very efficient, even a sub with low detection, in deep water, has little chance against them. In contrast, my air ASW claims a few hits everyday, but my ships hardly ever hit anything. Again, this would need some work.


I am struggling to stay in the game. Interest is at an absolute low. I am not throwing the towel in (I owe it to my opponent), but most of my turns are played very fast, setting a few squadrons to sweep, cap or rest, and moving a few subs. The rest, the economy notably, is left alone. It would certainly need some attention, and I have been promising myself I’d do something about it tomorrow for quite a while. But motivation never seems to be there, and I am beginning to doubt it will come back.

I have no real problems with the game itself, or the system. I think my lack of interest stems from the comparison with other hobbies: compared to music, programming, or translating, and unless one is a fan of military hardware, or totally dedicated to this era, AE is not very cost efficient. A game takes ages, needs a lot of dedication, yet one learns very little, and all the lessons are very specific. Playing Japan is probably a little more interesting, as you have more to do, and you’re on the wrong side of the reinforcement schedule.

This AAR is in the balance. I find little point spending time updating it if I don’t spend time playing the game. On the other hand, I have found writing an AAR creates some motivation for playing, and motivation is what I need. I can of course turn it into into a quasi-blog, and talk about music, books and modern Chinese poetry (my main hobbies these days), but this would be strange wouldn’t it? I am curious about what others think…

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 698
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/15/2013 9:58:13 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton


This AAR is in the balance. I find little point spending time updating it if I don’t spend time playing the game. On the other hand, I have found writing an AAR creates some motivation for playing, and motivation is what I need. I can of course turn it into into a quasi-blog, and talk about music, books and modern Chinese poetry (my main hobbies these days), but this would be strange wouldn’t it? I am curious about what others think…



This sounds good to me. It's your space, I'm sure you'll indicate if something major happens. In the meantime, why not talk about what you're interested in right now?

_____________________________


"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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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/15/2013 10:03:58 PM   
witpqs

 

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Hey, nobody is forced to read this AAR - I say "Go for it!"

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Intel Monkey: https://sites.google.com/site/staffmonkeys/

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/16/2013 2:25:43 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: witpqs

Hey, nobody is forced to read this AAR - I say "Go for it!"

+1

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Pax

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/16/2013 3:03:15 PM   
SqzMyLemon


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Blog away. I tend to enjoy following wherever your thoughts take you.

_____________________________

Luck is the residue of design - John Milton

Don't mistake lack of talent for genius - Peter Steele (Type O Negative)

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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/17/2013 11:11:58 PM   
fcharton

 

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Music for today is this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe1vF0bgmb4
The playing is not too good (I suspect Jarrett), but it was the only “fugue only” version I could find.


February 24th, 1943

It was a bad day in the air today. The beginning was nice, as during the night, enemy Blenheims visited Magwe and met the heavy flak I concentrated there. Six are reported lost, for a grand total of 162. Then, in the morning, P38-G swept Sorong, and met my CAP. Six of them were shot down, for an equal number of Oscars.

Then it got worse. B24D visited Ambon and Dili, and destroyed a dozen planes on the ground, for nothing in return. And then, KB tried to attack ships in port in Dobo, for very little result. We landed three bombs on an APD, and lost 25 planes in return. Overall, we lost 54 planes for 22 enemies. Not good.

An invasion force is in the making in Dobo. I suspect Boela is the next target, which suits me fine as it stands in the center of a pretty fortified area.

My troops in Chittagong are in supply, for a change. I am trying bombardment tomorrow, to assess enemy strength. The forts are probably very high, but it is clear terrain. It might be worth a try.

So far, the situation is fine, but I am very thin on the ground. I should have worked on my defenses in 1942.


That will be all for the war, now for the blog part!

News from Japan

Karate is a girl thing, in my family. We had no particular interest in it, but a friend of my second daughter (10 years old now) dragged her in, and then her mother followed, and the little one (six year old) joined this year. I hope they all work hard and improve, so that when I’m old and crippled I can have my female bodyguards, Gaddafi-style (and perhaps insult passers-by from my wheelchair...)

Anyway, today my wife received her yellow belt. Nothing too impressive, I know, but I’m proud of her.

Meanwhile, at work, I spent the day writing a small reader for some JSON files we have to deal with. JSON is one of those modern and universal file formats which must have been invented by professionals who were abused by zen monks in their childhood, and ended up hating anything simple and elegant. It is ridiculously verbose, impractical to read for humans and machines alike, and invariably used to represent ordered tabular data as unordered trees. A pervert’s format, if you ask me, but go tell that to a young project head, or scrum master, freshly out of one of those expensive schools, who loves complicated solutions all the more as he will never have to program them. AFB, all of them!

Still, it was a lot of fun. Such problems invariably offer a few nice and elegant solutions (and a lot of the very ugly and computing intensive ones that our professionals love so much). Here, the point was to try to avoid backtracking (ie you read the data only once, and no, you’re not allowed to keep everything in memory), and the ugly recursive stuff that always pop-up in tree-like structures, and make your program unreadable and slow.

At the end of the day, I had a very small set of five core functions which I believe can be used to parse pretty much any JSON file following a predefined specification. And this JFB was happy, and proud.

Why am I telling you this? First, because it is my blog and I do what I please. But more importantly because it is the one thing I thing I think AE is lacking. As I said before, I have no real problems with the system, the OOB or the situation. But I think I don’t like the user interface, because it doesn’t seem to allow for simple and elegant solutions. You can play AE very well, but it will always mean a lot of clicking, and watching, and interacting.

Christmas upon us

In his AAR, Joseph asked about our Christmas presents to ourselves. Mine were two Chinese books I had ordered a month ago and received last week.

The first one is a new edition of the collected works of Haizi, a Chinese poet who would be my age, if he didn’t choose to commit suicide on his twenty fifth birthday (on a railway track, near Shanhaiguan, hex 9942). There are a lot of similarities between Haizi and Rimbaud. Both were bright kids, who wrote early, over a very short period if time. Yet, whereas Rimbaud, the bad boy, got a life after poetry, Haizi had no way out.

Here’s Haizi, his most famous poem, now a middle school textbook thing, and a Chinese new year TV show regular (in the end, we’ll all end up as kitsch, says Kundera, translation mine, neither English nor Chinese being my mother tongue, caveat emptor)


Facing the sea, flowers in spring

From tomorrow on, be happy
Raise horses, chop wood, see the world.
From tomorrow on, care about food, eat vegetables
A house facing the sea, and flowers in spring.

From tomorrow on, write all the family
Tell them about my happiness
This spark of joy, its message
Let everybody know

Give each river, each mountain, a warm name

You too, stranger, wish you the best
Wish you a brilliant future
Wish you a lasting marriage
Wish you happiness in this world

Me, I just want to face the sea, and flowers in spring.



The other one is from another poet, Duo Yu, a younger, living one. I intend to translate him this year (Haizi will probably take longer).

(in reply to SqzMyLemon)
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RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/20/2013 9:01:53 AM   
fcharton

 

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February 25th 1943

We had a strange day today… In Chittagong, bombardment revealed 1200 AV for 2400 ours. Fort levels are probably high, but it is open terrain. If I can get supplies to flow, some damage can certainly be done.

In the air, we had an awful day, we lost 80 planes for 28 allied. A task force was detected in the Indian ocean, west of Sabang, which turned out to be CVL Hermes and friends. Betties from Sabang flew, some escorted some not, and had a very bad day at the hands of sea hurricanes. We did put two torpedoes into Hermes, which should be in pretty bad condition now.

The enemy had a bad day too, as hurricanes and vengeances attacked a surface force which was LRCAPped. As often, he lost many planes for nothing in return.

I believe my opponent spent a lot more time training his pilots than me, this can be seen in his number of sorties, which are much higher than mine. After more than a year of war, this makes a lot of difference in his fighter squadrons. I obviously need to do the same, just like I’d need to take care of a million other details.

That won’t happen today, though. I brought reinforcements to Sabang, if the Royal Navy decides to linger, they’ll be in trouble, retired a few squadrons in Burma, sent supplies to Tarawa, and pushed the “done button”.

I am on holidays, though, and might decide to take a day or two to put the game back on tracks. I need to organize convoys, which is boring but simple enough, look after upgrades and ASW task forces, move reinforcements to forward positions (which again is not very complicated), and probably take care of pilot training, so as to have something to fight with later this year.

Does anyone know if there is a simple pilot training guide, something that would say: for skill XXX train mission YYY and ZZZ alt, need DDD days? I did find a lot of complicated explanations, but nothing basic.

News from Japan

It is holiday seasons here. Yesterday afternoon, I took my last train home, and will probably stay off work for two weeks, maybe a little more. Like every time I’m on vacation, I have made a pretty long list of things I want to do, and which will be competing with my intention to take care of the Japanese economy and pilot training.

Maths feature prominently in my list for this year. I returned home yesterday with a fat book I took from work. The title is Modern Computer Algebra (von zur Gathen, and Gerhard, Cambridge 2003, in case anyone is interested), and it seems to cover algebra from a calculation standpoint (hence the “computer” in the title). Unlike many such books, which tend be a long list of irrelated methods, without much theory inside, this one focuses on just a few topics, which the authors consider as important.

So, you get five “themes”: Euclid’s algorithm; fast Fourier transform and applications; polynomials, finite fields and lattices; integer factorization; and symbolic calculations. Each of them get about 200 pages. As I said it is a fat book. I skimmed through it yesterday, and it doesn’t seem to be very difficult or involved, so it will probably be good holiday reading.

In the same vein, I have been working (again) on the project Euler problems, recently. This is a long series of problems (450 as of today), which mix mathematics and computing. Most of the time, you can’t solve them (or at least not in a reasonable amount of time) without maths, but you need a machine to calculate the result. The problems cover a pretty large field of mathematics, and have varied difficulty (the early ones are pretty simple, but it gets more and more involved as the numbers grow). For someone interested in maths and computing, it is a very good resource.

If you don’t care about computers, but do like maths and numbers, I heartily recommend this
http://www.isinj.com/aime/250%20Problems%20in%20Elementary%20Number%20Theory%20-%20Sierpinski%20(1970).pdf
one of the best exercise book ever.

And while I’m talking about maths and computing, here are a few books now sitting on my shelf, sneering at me, and which I want to read, maybe next Christmas :
- Iverson’s A Programming Language, this is the book APL came from
- Curry’s Foundations of Mathematical Logic, I began that one many times, which tries to discuss what maths is all about, I will read it, eventually
- Hardy and Wright, introduction to the theory of numbers, don’t get misled by the title, this is no introduction at all
- Zaus, Crisp and soft computing with hypercubical calculus, this is one of the weirdest books I ever tried to read, full of very strange ideas about binary calculations, and parity

How does this relate to Japan, or AE? It doesn’t. Just me blogging, while I try to shake myself, and work on my economy, and my pilot training, and invest man-hours in my inevitable defeat in the face of superior numbers and material …


(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 704
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/20/2013 11:58:53 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

Does anyone know if there is a simple pilot training guide, something that would say: for skill XXX train mission YYY and ZZZ alt, need DDD days? I did find a lot of complicated explanations, but nothing basic.


I cull my training groups twice/month ... 15 and 30th of every month. In general my fighter pilots will train up to my min standards 50/65 (exp/ A2A skill) in about 75-90 days. BUT, there is a lot of randomness involved. Some are much faster ... so I cull twice/month. Other pilots take much longer depending upon how many skills I am training. TB pilots, of course, take the longest as they train at least 3 skills ... and you lose them so fast.

_____________________________

Pax

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Post #: 705
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/20/2013 12:12:08 PM   
fcharton

 

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Hi Pax,

I used to follow the same method, except I wait until my fighter pilots have 70 A2A skill. One thing I have noticed, though, is that they tend to be low on defense, which is not a good thing.

My question was more : which mission/altitude for which skill? (and which skill for which future mission)

My opponent just sent a turn back, and won't be around until tomorrow night. I have a bug to kill, a version to commit, and then I'm off. So I might as well try and setup a decent training system...

Francois

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 706
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/20/2013 12:21:56 PM   
PaxMondo


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My math interests lie in different fields than yours ... although things like Eulers theory cross many boundaries. Dating myself badly here, but 2 of my favorite works would be Neumann and Morgenstern seminal work: "Theory of Games and Economic Behavior" and then Feder's "Fractals" which is just fun. I've often wondered if some of Gary's randomness in his games is fractal in nature.

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Post #: 707
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/23/2013 12:26:30 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
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February 26th 1943

Nothing happened today. West of Sabang, then enemy task force seems to be slowly moving away. The Hermes is most certainly afloat, but in very bad shape. I have reinforced the squadrons in Sabang, and raised their search percentage, but they don’t seem to have found the enemy. Try again tomorrow.

Over Chittagong, another sweep traded Oscars for Warhawks. Losses were 11:10 today, which is fine. Over the month, my opponent lost over 450 planes, most of them fighters. I lost 650. Here’s hoping it can delay them.

February 27th 1943

We got the Hermes. Betties from Sabang found her in the afternoon, and she was a rubber duck in a tub (as we might say in Japan...)

Afternoon Air attack on TF, near Sabang at 32,70
Weather in hex: Severe storms
Raid detected at 14 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 4 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 4
G4M1 Betty x 10
Ki-43-IIb Oscar x 26

Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
G4M1 Betty: 8 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
Albacore I: 5 destroyed
Sea Hurricane Ib: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVL Hermes, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk


This is not a huge victory, but it should teach my opponent a healthy lesson about not meddling with Sumatra (which is the last place I want another front to open). And Hermes, after Wasp, might calm him for a while.

We also had a few hits on an Allied submarine, off Phuket. Three E-class ships, with Type 2 depth charges. Type 2 seem to be the only real ASW weapons I have now, coupled with a few squadrons for detection, they seem to work. Some of my units are also getting radars, I think I even have a few classes with radars and depth charges.

I have been beginning to look at my pilot training program. I will discuss it more in a later post.


(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 708
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/23/2013 12:57:25 PM   
PaxMondo


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Type 2 is your best DC now and for the rest of the war (unfortunately). Saying this because it actually doesn't have the depth to get to most allied subs.

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Post #: 709
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/23/2013 8:20:48 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
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February 28th 1943

Over Chittagong, a squadron of Tojos IIb was chewed by a very small group of Spitfires. My Tojos are faster, and outnumbered the Spitfires by a good 3:1 ratio, but the Spitfires flew higher (at their ceiling), and here you go: 10:1 ratios… I will send Zeroes tomorrow, which have an even higher ceiling, and see what happens, but I still believe the air model is way too deterministic. The next sweeps, from lower altitudes, seem to have fared better. Overall, we lost 10 tojos and one Oscar, for four Spitfires.

That was pretty much all the action today. In other news, KB is back in Truk and took lots of replacements.

As this is the end of the month, I am getting new planes. In March, I get the Emily 2, which I will produce and use, and the Tony 1b which I won’t. In PDU off, the Tony 1b is one of those weird models you don’t need when then come online, because there are no squadrons upgrading to it, but that you will eventually have to produce, since you have several reinforcements using it.

I am not too sure what this is supposed to model, but I will keep my Tony 1a factories, and wait for the 1d model, which should arrive in October or November 43. Then, in 1944, I will need to produce a few Tony 1b to fill and upgrade those reinforcement squadrons, and then upgrade them to later models.

The Emily II is good news. This is the end of my Patrol Plane research tree (in PDU off, you can upgrade 12, yes twelve, planes to the Ka-1, no point at all researching it). I will phase out the Mavis, and gradually upgrade everything to Emily 2. This probably means losing a few hundred Mavis in the pools, but I have to say I don’t mind.


I also have been working on pilot training. Here is what I figured so far (feel free to criticize).

I have been sending most of my 80+ pilots to TRACOM, and this is paying dividends. I now have 160 IJN and 70 IJA pilots in TRACOM, and my IJN pilots come out of flight school with an average experience of 45. IJA are only at 32, and I need to add more pilots to TRACOM. I also suspect TRACOM reduces training duration, and therefore the number of pilots in school, and their monthly HI cost.

Now, TRACOM only helps with experience, not skills, but I suspect trainees with higher experience learn faster.

As for training, I am gradually organizing my dedicated squadrons. There seem to be a consensus that the best solution is to set the squadron to 100% training, on a specific mission (to train one skill at a time), and to change the squadron leader to one with good (>60 if possible) inspiration and leadership (the former helping with fatigue, the latter with experience). Then, just fill the squadrons to max and wait.

Does the airfield size and the presence of an AirHQ nearby help? I don’t know yet.

As for missions, fighter pilots train escort at 10 000 feet. This usually helps a lot with air skill, and defense to a smaller extent. I have not yet felt a difference between training escort and training sweep. I don’t know if there is a fast way to train defense, either. I am interesting in opinions about that.

Bomber pilots are a bit more complicated, as they usually need several skills. My understanding is that everyone needs defense (and again, how should I train for it?), and other skills fall into three categories: bombing (naval, torpedo, ground), search (naval, recon, ASW), and navigation (low naval, low ground, strafing). The combination then depends on their future role.

ASW pilots obviously need ASW and naval bombs, low navigation probably helps too. TB pilots need torpedo, search, probably bombing too, and low naval. Those are the worst. DB pilots seem to be the easiest as they only need bombing and search.

As such, the typical training would begin with naval bombing, and either search or ASW. Then low navigation would be an option, and torpedo a special skill for TB guys. This means bomber pilots need a lot more training than fighters.

As for skill levels, I want to operate on a squadron basis, and move everyone from one course to the next, when the skill level is in the top 60s (between 65 and 70, say).

This is the plan so far. I have a couple of questions :
Re Fighters : is there any difference between training escort and training sweep?
Is there a sure way to improve defense?
What are the point of LowN and LowG? They seem to be useful for kamikaze, and perhaps torpedo bombers. Are they useful for others?
Does recon serve ground bombing the same way naval search serves naval bombing?


(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 710
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/23/2013 9:38:51 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton
I also suspect TRACOM reduces training duration, and therefore the number of pilots in school, and their monthly HI cost.

Now, TRACOM only helps with experience, not skills, but I suspect trainees with higher experience learn faster.

Tracom should only be helping pilots "graduate" faster. You should get notes in your Operations Reports stating something like "7 pilots advance this month". Since pilots spend fewer than their normal 6 months, this will save you some HI in the long run.

The exp that they graduate with is set in the scenario. For Scen 1, 1942 they graduate with (on average) 35 exp. I generally see this range from 28 - 42.

Higher exp pilots acquire skills slower than low exp pilots, at least this is what I see. I'm not suggesting this is correct, but this is what I observe in the alogrithm. I put it down to "old dogs don't learn new tricks".

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Pax

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 711
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/23/2013 10:49:05 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fcharton

Now, TRACOM only helps with experience, not skills, but I suspect trainees with higher experience learn faster.

As for training, I am gradually organizing my dedicated squadrons. There seem to be a consensus that the best solution is to set the squadron to 100% training, on a specific mission (to train one skill at a time), and to change the squadron leader to one with good (>60 if possible) inspiration and leadership (the former helping with fatigue, the latter with experience). Then, just fill the squadrons to max and wait.

Does the airfield size and the presence of an AirHQ nearby help? I don’t know yet.

As for missions, fighter pilots train escort at 10 000 feet. This usually helps a lot with air skill, and defense to a smaller extent. I have not yet felt a difference between training escort and training sweep. I don’t know if there is a fast way to train defense, either. I am interesting in opinions about that.

Bomber pilots are a bit more complicated, as they usually need several skills. My understanding is that everyone needs defense (and again, how should I train for it?), and other skills fall into three categories: bombing (naval, torpedo, ground), search (naval, recon, ASW), and navigation (low naval, low ground, strafing). The combination then depends on their future role.

ASW pilots obviously need ASW and naval bombs, low navigation probably helps too. TB pilots need torpedo, search, probably bombing too, and low naval. Those are the worst. DB pilots seem to be the easiest as they only need bombing and search.

As such, the typical training would begin with naval bombing, and either search or ASW. Then low navigation would be an option, and torpedo a special skill for TB guys. This means bomber pilots need a lot more training than fighters.

As for skill levels, I want to operate on a squadron basis, and move everyone from one course to the next, when the skill level is in the top 60s (between 65 and 70, say).

This is the plan so far. I have a couple of questions :
Re Fighters : is there any difference between training escort and training sweep?
Is there a sure way to improve defense?
What are the point of LowN and LowG? They seem to be useful for kamikaze, and perhaps torpedo bombers. Are they useful for others?
Does recon serve ground bombing the same way naval search serves naval bombing?



Leaders: we have been told that inspiration is the most important attribute in training pilots. No real comment on the other attributes that I am aware of.

Air HQ/AF Size: Never observed any impact, but then my training groups are always in a AF=9/10 so that I need the minimum amount of AV to be present.

Fighter Pilots: escort/sweep are the same for Air skill. To train defense use sweep @ 100 ft. I can usually get these trained up in 75 days to 50 Exp / +60 skill in Air + Def.

Bomber Pilots: Depending upon the number of skills. I tend to train NAV and GRND into separate pools, since Grnd only need one skill. Nav bomber need Bomb for sure, and most need NavSearch too. Then I hate TB as they need NavBomb, Torp, and Search. Patrol need Search and either NavBomb or Torp as well. Multi-skill bomber pilots for me are +120 days to train.

Kami: of course, I start training kami pilots early ... they are trained in LowNav.

Recon: I train the pilots in both recon and NavSearch.

LowNav/LowGround: as IJ I don't train these much (except for kami as noted above). The IJ doesn't really get any a/c with armor and high enough DUR to withstand allied AA IMHO. Losses are just too high. Allies though, can use both and are really deadly. TB's do not use LowNav, they use NavTorp.

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 12/24/2013 12:07:40 AM >


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Post #: 712
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/24/2013 2:37:18 PM   
fcharton

 

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From: Nemours, France
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News from Japan – Christmas wine

Since my two last installments came without the blog part, here is a standalone blog update (Pax, I’ll reply on training tomorrow).

I am not playing today, as I need to focus on a difficult matter: the choice of wine for tonight and tomorrow… We have two Christmas meals. The first one, on Christmas eve, is with the close family, the two of us and the four children. The second one, Christmas lunch, features the inlaws, nine people, and a lot more food, too.

The evening menu tends to be an odd mix of dishes, as we try to suit everyone’s tastes. Tonight, we have oysters (my son and me), snails (the daughters), and shrimps (everyone), for starters, and then a stuffed guinea fowl and aligot (mashed potatoes mixed with fresh cheese and cream, a local dish), and then ice cream. We are only three drinkers and the goal is to find one bottle that matches everything.

Now the oysters demand white, dry if possible, but the fowl would rather have red, or a slightly fatter white. Champagne would do, but it is already scheduled for tomorrow…

I’m going for a Burgundy white (that’s Chardonnay), but still hesitating between something dry that would fit the oysters and aligot better, and something slightly fatter for the fowl and dessert. The first one would be a Chablis, the second a Chassagne Montrachet (I have two bottles of each). A middle of the road solution would be a Mercurey, which I wanted to taste anyway. This is still undecided.

Tomorrow is different. We are six drinkers, which means two or three bottles. Also the menu is longer. We have small food for appetizer, foie gras on toasts, dried tomatoes with cheese, that kind of things. Then whe will have homemade marinated salmon for starters, and then roasted lamb and gratin dauphinois (potatoes sliced and cooked in milk and cream, I posted the recipe in “the thread” a couple months ago) as the main course, and then, salad, cheese (a selection of the local Brie, and desserts.

The idea is to avoid mixing too many different wines, so that we still can taste the food at the end of the meal. We will have a St Estephe with the lamb and cheese, and champagne with the rest. For appetizers, I’m planning to mix the champagne with blackcurrent wine (yet another homemade product, recipe available upon demand).

Merry Christmas, readers.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 713
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/24/2013 3:15:20 PM   
SqzMyLemon


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Merry Christmas to you and your family Francois. Your meals sound amazing and I'm envious. Enjoy the Holidays, food and wine!

Joseph

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Don't mistake lack of talent for genius - Peter Steele (Type O Negative)

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Post #: 714
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/24/2013 8:07:27 PM   
PaxMondo


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Francois,

Like you, we have two meals to plan: tonight and tommorrow afternoon. Tonight is my family and my Aunt (Dad's side). Tomorrow is with my family and my Mom's family. Both my parents are long gone, these are youngest siblings on both sides. It is good that the younger son has at least some family to connect with.

Tonight's dinner will be Mongolian hot pot and Peking Duck. I think I mentioned that my wife is Yellow Bordered Clan, so this is appropriate meal. Besides, it is one that both of the boys like a lot. My Aunt and Uncle not as much, but then next year we will have Beef and they will be happy.

Tomorrow will be more traditional American dinner: Ham, Lasagne, etc.

Beverages for both meals will be varied as there is no way to pair a wine with the meals ... too much variety. For both I will open a few bottles white and red and allow the guests to choose as they wish.






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 12/24/2013 9:09:12 PM >


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Post #: 715
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/24/2013 8:13:51 PM   
fcharton

 

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From: Nemours, France
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Hi Pax,

Is Mongolian hot pot what they call "shuai yang rou" in northern China? And do you get millet soup with the duck?
It has been almost 25 years, but I still remember those fondly.

We're done with the evening meal. Had champagne after all, and champagne and oysters are quite something...

Francois

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Post #: 716
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 12/28/2013 2:17:46 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
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No plan ever survives contact with the enemy, as the saw goes. This is true for wine plans as well. And so, we had the champagne on Christmas eve, and switched to regular white on Christmas day: some low end chardonnay to go with the blackcurrant wine, then a Riesling with the salmon, and then St Estephe, the only part of the design which went as planned, with the lamb. I’m now on a diet until the end of next week, when I’m eating at my father in law, who wants to try some white from 1974 (we had a Sauternes of 1974 two years ago which was impressive), and I’m bringing a Chateau Giscours 2000 (that’s a Margaux, which should be quite impressive) to the party.

Meanwhile, we went on trading turns, here is a short summary.


March 1st 1943

We had a pretty good day in the air. Sweeps from Nabire shot down 13 F4F-4 over Dobo. Over Ambon, my opponent, elated by his recent ground bombing successes against Dili, sent his B24D1. My Tonies proved once more they are pretty good 4E killers, and six Liberators hit the dust. I am not sure why Tonies work so well, but they seem to do just fine.

Betties sortied from Sorong against ships in Dobo and Taberfane, but missed a transport and some sub chasers stationed there.


March 2nd 1943

With the recent upgrades, I am having quite a few type 2 DC armed ASW vessels. Coupled with trained ASW squadrons (only on ASW now, but I am now training those pilots on bombing), I am getting quite a few hits every day.

Yesterday, SS Growler took four hits in the Taiwan straits. Today SS Pike took seven near Borneo, and SS Haddo three in the Taiwan straits.

Dauntlesses from Taberfane sank a patrol boat resupplying Boela. With fighters based in Ambon and Sorong, I will soon be ready for a CAP trap in those areas.


March 3rd 1943

Albacores from Port Blair attacked an ASW task force, and sank one of my E class sub killers. I need to CAP those. In Burma, my front line troops in Chittagong are now in supply. Supply also seems to be moving north, for some reason. Akyab had 600 tons of supplies today, for the first time in the game.

Enemy ships were detected in Munda. I have a lone SNLF company there, but I will try to disrupt the landings. Two ASW task forces (three and four destroyers) were sent at flank speed on a suicide mission. KB is a few days behind.


March 4th 1943

As expected, the Allies landed in Munda. It began with a bombardment, featuring two New Mexico battleships.

Allied Ships
BB Mississippi
BB Idaho
CL Trenton
DD Preston
DD Fanning
DD Hammann
DD Gansevoort
DD Frazier
PG Soerabaja
AP George Clymer

Japanese ground losses:
91 casualties reported
Squads: 1 destroyed, 4 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


Then, there were landings, with quite a few disablements. My opponent obviously doesn’t prep much.


Allied ground losses:
471 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 76 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 75 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Guns lost 42 (0 destroyed, 42 disabled)
Vehicles lost 34 (0 destroyed, 34 disabled)


Then, my first DD squadron arrived, hit a few ships, but couldn’t stand against the enemy battleships.

Japanese Ships
DD Asashio, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
DD Minegumo, Shell hits 14, and is sunk
DD Katsutade, Shell hits 6, and is sunk

Allied Ships
BB Idaho, Shell hits 4
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 9
CL Trenton
DD Frazier
DD Gansevoort
DD Hughes, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
DD Hammann
DD Fanning
DD Preston
DD Downes
DE Edsall
DMS Southard, heavy damage
AM Skylark
AM Heed, Shell hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
AP Zeilin, Shell hits 1, on fire
AP Henry T. Allen
AP U.S. Grant
AP Henderson
AP President Hayes
AP Arthur Middleton, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
AP George Clymer
AK Fomalhaut
AK Betelgeuse
AK Alchiba, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
PG Soerabaja


And then the second squadron joined the battle, and had more success

Japanese Ships
DD Takanami, Shell hits 39, and is sunk
DD Oshio, Shell hits 1
DD Asagumo, Shell hits 6, on fire
DD Yudachi, Shell hits 3, heavy fires

Allied Ships
BB Idaho, Shell hits 15, on fire
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 68, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL Trenton, Shell hits 11
DD Frazier
DD Gansevoort
DD Hughes, Shell hits 13, and is sunk
DD Hammann
DD Fanning, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Preston
DD Downes, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DE Edsall
DMS Southard, Shell hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
AM Skylark, Shell hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
AM Heed, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
AP Zeilin, Shell hits 1, heavy fires
AP Henry T. Allen, Shell hits 1, on fire
AP U.S. Grant, Shell hits 24, heavy fires, heavy damage
AP Henderson
AP President Hayes
AP Arthur Middleton, and is sunk
AP George Clymer, Shell hits 1
AK Fomalhaut
AK Betelgeuse, Shell hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
AK Alchiba, Shell hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
PG Soerabaja, Shell hits 7


Carrier based bombers then sank two of my remaining destroyers, and I doubt the last one will survive.

I lost six out of seven destroyers in the battle. The Allies lost two destroyers (Hughes and Fanning), a troop transport Arthur Middleton) and a mine sweeper (AM Heed). But the Mississippi is probably a goner, as are AP Grant, and a pair of AK. I don’t know how damaged Trenton and Idaho can be. I would say 15 hits on a light cruiser is quite something, whereas a battleship shrugs off similar numbers. But anyway, I am happy with this kind of actions. As the war goes on, most of my ships will become targets, and I would rather have them take enemies with them.


Meanwhile, in Burma, my opponent decided to bombard Chittagong.

Allied Bombardment attack
Attacking force 27414 troops, 591 guns, 657 vehicles, Assault Value = 1253
Defending force 68455 troops, 979 guns, 1607 vehicles, Assault Value = 2385
Japanese ground losses:
13 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 1 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Vehicles lost 3 (1 destroyed, 2 disabled)
Allied ground losses:
177 casualties reported
Squads: 7 destroyed, 18 disabled
Non Combat: 1 destroyed, 1 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 5 disabled
Guns lost 18 (4 destroyed, 14 disabled)
Vehicles lost 5 (1 destroyed, 4 disabled)


I’m now out of supply again, but a dozen lost squads are always nice.


(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 717
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 1/2/2014 6:23:56 PM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
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March 5th 1943

It looks like DD Oshio, the only surviving ship of yesterday’s attack, will make it. She fought the fires, sailed past Rekata, and is now almost out of fuel off Ontong Java, but also out of range of enemy bombers.

Munda fell today, I had a SNLF company there… KB is a day away, tomorrow might be interesting.

We had a bad day in the air. Enemy B-17 bombed Rabaul during the day, at 9 000 feet, and were very successful. My CAP didn’t do much, and flak was inexistent (I have flak in Rabaul, but and the base is supplied, and it is a large airfield, and it has support, but B17, as we all know…) At the end of the day, I had lost 40 planes for 11 enemies, most of the on the ground.

I will ramp up the CAP tomorrow, but I suspect the only reason why I will lose less planes is… the B-17 service rating…


March 6th 1943

There was another air battle over Rabaul. A P38-G sweep was relatively unsuccessful, and then 33 B-17 arrived, unescorted. I had six squadrons of fighters on CAP, most of them in good shape despite the earlier sweep, but B17, you know… We did shoot one down, though, so I think it will go down history as a resounding victory. Results were slightly better than yesterday, thanks to the allied fighters lost to the sweep.

Then, KB took position near Ontong Java. Enemy ships had left Munda, and we only managed one attack against a small cargo force in Lunga, landing one bomb on an xAK. Still we had a good day, as 16 Dauntlesses flew unescorted against the KB, and Avengers then attacked with a meager escort. The net result is 67 allied planes for 52 ours. Not a huge victory, but not bad either.

As usual, most of the losses were due to allied bombers flying unescorted into the waiting CAP. And as usual, most of my bombers didn’t fly. They only seem to do it when enemy CV are around. Maybe I should just use KB as a CAP platform, and try to reduce the Daunlesses my opponent seems to stack on every forward base.

I am amazed, by the way, at the number of planes the allies can put in a base like Lunga. I counted more than 80 today, and Lunga is a mere level two airfield. Is air support so cheap for the allies?

March 7th 1943

KB remained north of Ontong Java, but could not find targets today. I might need to try a port attack some time (I never do).

Most of the action took place near Dobo. I had dispatched a small force to try and sink ships there. A first night battle proved successful.

Night Time Surface Combat, near Dobo at 83,116, Range 2,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
CL Agano
DD Harusame
DD Inazuma
DD Satsuki
DD Fuyo

Allied Ships
xAK Nisqually, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
PC Morris, Shell hits 5, and is sunk


But then, my retiring squadron was intercepted by enemy cruisers


Night Time Surface Combat, near Dobo at 83,116, Range 6,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
CL Agano, Shell hits 6, on fire
DD Harusame, Shell hits 1
DD Inazuma, Shell hits 1
DD Satsuki, Shell hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Fuyo

Allied Ships
CA Minneapolis, Shell hits 1
CL Boise, Shell hits 2
CL Honolulu
DD Nicholas
DD Monssen, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Laffey
DD Barton
DD Russell
DD Morris, Shell hits 2


Satsuki sank on her way back, and Agano, having been attacked by land based planes, is now on fire, near Ambon. If she can fight the fire, she will make it.

The rest of the day was pretty nice. Dauntlesses and Beauforts suffered as they raided my retiring ships, and sweeps from Nabire shot down half a dozen Wildcats over Dobo. Overall, the enemy lost 15 planes for nine ours.

In the Andamans, we sank a light cargo. My opponent seems to have changed his method for resupplying Port Blair, sending small forces instead of larger and escorted convoys. I don’t think it will work better, and I suspect the troops in Port Blair are not faring well.

In Burma, my troops besieging Imphal were bombarded for the third day in a row. Disruption and fatigue are still very low, I have field forts of level two and three, if the Brits decide to sortie, they should suffer…


Thoughts on the war


I don’t think I am in a great shape, but the situation is under control. My opponent is paying for every advance, and the war in the air is certainly keeping his pools low. Over the last 30 days, he lost 500 planes (10% of his losses for the whole war), and I lost 700. This is less than my production, but probably more than his…

I want to go on with the small naval raids. First they’re fun, and the game is dull. Second, I believe I can force my opponent to be a little more on the defense, and third, I will lose those ships one the Allies get naval superiority, so I’d rather use them now.

For the rest, I am still playing my five turns a week, and hope to see the end of 1943 in 2014. I find the game a bit dull, right now. Somehow, AE reminds me of the old role-playing games, where you were supposed to spend a lot of time learning details which only made sense in the game universe (like the armor class of a gargoyle), but where the rules were a bit incomplete, and everything in the end was decided by the die, and the whims of the game master.

Like AE, RPG would take inordinate amounts of time, have a dedicated fanbase, and tended to spill over the rest of your life, as you’d end up reading fantasy, reading about the game, thinking of the game, and the game would teach you some practical things. And like AE, they would never really end. There would always be another campaign, another character.

Yet, interesting and immersive as RPG were, everything was predicated on your interest for the underlying universe, ie the fantasy setting. Stop reading fantasy, or just play with people who had a different vision of the “dungeon world”, and everything, interest, immersion, dedication, vanished. I see the same kind of problem with AE. It only works while you’re in the “AE universe”, something which mixes a bit of history, a lot of hardware, and some role playing elements, and it comes to no surprise that our community includes a lot of retired servicemen and people who have a personal link to that era.

I’m afraid this is my current problem. I’m not enough in the AE universe.

But I’m not quitting, I want to know how it ends…


News from Japan

My two weeks of holidays are ending. Next Monday, I’m back to Paris and a new work season begins. My corner of the software market works in years. You get new clients (or lose old ones) at the end of the year, to do so, you need to convince them in autumn, which means they need to test in summer, which means you need to demo something different around May. From a developer’s point of view, everything happens in the first quarter, when you need to pick, and implement, the killer ideas which are supposed to make you rich next year. This makes January the most interesting part of the year.

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 718
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 1/2/2014 8:26:45 PM   
obvert


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

For the rest, I am still playing my five turns a week, and hope to see the end of 1943 in 2014. I find the game a bit dull, right now. Somehow, AE reminds me of the old role-playing games, where you were supposed to spend a lot of time learning details which only made sense in the game universe (like the armor class of a gargoyle), but where the rules were a bit incomplete, and everything in the end was decided by the die, and the whims of the game master.

Like AE, RPG would take inordinate amounts of time, have a dedicated fanbase, and tended to spill over the rest of your life, as you’d end up reading fantasy, reading about the game, thinking of the game, and the game would teach you some practical things. And like AE, they would never really end. There would always be another campaign, another character.

Yet, interesting and immersive as RPG were, everything was predicated on your interest for the underlying universe, ie the fantasy setting. Stop reading fantasy, or just play with people who had a different vision of the “dungeon world”, and everything, interest, immersion, dedication, vanished. I see the same kind of problem with AE. It only works while you’re in the “AE universe”, something which mixes a bit of history, a lot of hardware, and some role playing elements, and it comes to no surprise that our community includes a lot of retired servicemen and people who have a personal link to that era.

I’m afraid this is my current problem. I’m not enough in the AE universe.

But I’m not quitting, I want to know how it ends…


Just getting back after a two week break in the states and I've left the universe just long enough to re-discover the other interests not as accessible in the AE world. My half-sister's brother in law is a poet and runs a small press. On our visit I was able to see a short demonstration of an old printing press in action, complete with two very knowledgeable assistants in his children, ages 7 and 9. They practically ran the thing, which was amazing to see. I was also gifted far two many books to read in the after-holiday quiet days, including several poetry books which are starting a bit of a snowball.

Coming back to two games in progress I'm much less invested in the game all of a sudden, but I'll keep going too.

_____________________________


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

(in reply to fcharton)
Post #: 719
RE: Perfection, of a kind, spence (A) vs fcharton (J) - 1/4/2014 11:37:45 AM   
fcharton

 

Posts: 949
Joined: 10/4/2010
From: Nemours, France
Status: offline
March 8th 1943

I had my very first 8 hex CV strike today. KB had retired towards Nauru, but the enemy CV chose to advance, we reacted, and they ended eight hexes away. This means I had a couple of free shots at the enemy carriers.

Cool eh? Well, not so sure… Only my Kates flew, and they were equipped with bombs, and the long range was taxing, and of course, escort fighters do get killed, in numbers. Overall, we lost 80 planes (40 zeroes and as many kates) for 25 enemies (20 wildcats and 7 martlett IV, yeah my opponent flies british fighters from his US CV, I suspect this says something about the shape of his pools…)

We did get a few shots at the ships, though… Here are the results of the three runs which went through.

Allied Ships
CV Saratoga, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CV Enterprise
CLAA Atlanta
BB Washington
BB Indiana

Allied Ships
BB Washington, Bomb hits 4

Allied Ships
BB Indiana, Bomb hits 1
BB Washington, Bomb hits 3
CA Northampton
CV Enterprise
CV Saratoga
CLAA Atlanta


I’m not sure it was worth the loss in planes, though, but I’m still winning most of my carrier engagements, which is good. But I don’t think I can afford many such victories. This conforts my opinion that the air system tends to overestimate battle losses over all other causes (ops losses, notably). For the Allies, this means waiting for the built in replacement rates to compensate this is a good strategy. For Japan, you cannot wait, as the Allied replacement rates work against you, and you need to ramp up air production, which is very cheap in HI terms (compared to shipbuilding). This leads to those huge battles, and a tendency to keep all carriers grouped (which is not historical at all…). I believe it also creates a very strong demand on HI and supply which is untenable in scenario 1, but might be doable in scenario 2. My supply levels are still up, over 5.9 million tons right now, increasing by 150 000 tons a month. So far, I can afford the war.


KB is retiring to Nauru, if the enemy CV want to follow, let them try. I think I still pack more punch than they do. I believe he has three CV, and no more than 250 planes after the losses today. I have about 360.

In other news, CL Agano made it to Ambon, but had to be scuttled due to fire damage. Something I’ve noticed with fires aboard ships is that they tend to be very hard to put out once you’re in base. In other words, you need to fight fire at sea, and then, only, return to port.


News from Japan

Yesterday was the last new year lunch, at my inlaws. I had brought a bottle I wanted drink, a Chateau Giscours 2000, (that’s a Margaux, a 3ème cru classé). This bottle, and a few of her sisters, has a nice history. A couple of months ago, on a Chinese forum where I sometimes lurk, I helped a guy read the seals and markings on a set of paintings he had bought. It then turned out that copies of the same work existed in the imperial palace museum in Taipeh, said to be early copies (Qianlong, for those who know about eras) of a much earlier, now lost, work. So we made a good case about the antiquity of those works, which turned good enough to allow the seller to make a small fortune out of the three painting (which will be nothing in comparison of what the Chinese buyer will make if he can push the argument further, and sell on the Chinese market). Those bottles are my reward for the job, six Giscours 2000 and six Brane Cantenac 1998, perfect to drink in the upcoming years…

But drinking plans never survive contact with my father in law... He had already opened a (white) Corton Charlemagne of 1973, which had turned bad unfortunately (this is the risk with very old wine, even great Burgundies like the Corton), and so we had a Menetou Salon of 2004 which was past its prime but fine, and a Chassagne Montrachet (red) of 1982, which was great. Very old wine is something special. It tastes is very different from recent wine, much sweeter and lighter.

The weekend will probably be spent translating poetry. This is a major hobby for me. I don’t think I can write, but I like to read, and translating sits somewhere in between reading and writing. Translating poetry is very interesting because poems deeply relate to language (Mallarmé once said poems are not made with ideas but with words), and interpreting them in another language means striking a balance between fidelity to the original and keeping the translation a poem in the destination language. And if you throw free verse and modern poems in to battle, you get confronted to the central question of modern art : is this art, or just another fraud?

My poet of the moment is a Chinese author named Yu Jian. He was born, and lives in Kunming (no need to tell you where this is, readers), and many of his work talk about the jungles on the border of Burma, a river the Chinese call the Nu Jiang, and we know as the Salween. The Salween is the river that goes (upstream) from Moulmein, to Lashio, to Paoshan.

Yu Jian was born in 1954, which means he was too young to be a Red Guard, and went to work in a factory instead, while all the universities had been closed. He then attended university in the late 70s, and became and editor and then a poet. He is one of the few contemporary Chinese poets who live from their pen. He claims strong influence from Whitman, and more recently Larkin. I am translating a set of 600 short poems, entitled “notes”. I have started last month, and have about 55 done now, so it will probably take a year.

Some of those notes have been translated into English, under the title “Flashcards”. Here are two Yu Jian (translation and errors mine)

In the zoo at night fall
When the bats shriek
I met an old lady
Standing before the iron railing
Looking into the pitch dark wolf pen
When she turned
I found out
she had
A wolf face
smeared with make-up
And told me in mandarin
We are closing
Comrade


It begins with a rabbit
And you know that behind comes the big bad wolf
But you believe the theater must have an exit
That it is early
That you can watch some more
Wait some more
That perhaps lo and behold
A tank will roll across the stage
And when the wolf arrives
You finally resolve to go
But the beginning is nowhere in sight
The rabbit is gone
I must exit through the big bad wolf





< Message edited by fcharton -- 1/4/2014 12:39:24 PM >

(in reply to obvert)
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