From: PDX (and now) London, UK
The horror...the horror.
Ugh, tough start my friend. I think you were unlucky in terms of getting surprised two surface actions in a row. That definitely came into play and contributed to being unable to evade combat in my opinion.
I hope those 1-2% fires are put out during the repair phase to allow air ops for you. If not the Allies may catch a break if still in strike range during the day.
I'm not sure how I would play this turn either. Part of me wants to tell you to keep everything together. The Allied ships may be low on ammo and attempt to avoid combat, even if they react to you. I think splitting up might allow the Allies a chance to maul you piecemeal. I would definitely abandon CV Zuikaku though.
Have you thought about using the CL and a few DD's as a diversionary force? I'd order them in a direction away from where you want to go and zero reaction in an attempt to draw the enemy SCTF's away from your CV's. Even towards PH, if it means they react away from your CV's.
Removed the more aggresssive response as I'm not sure I'd risk losing all my CV's in December 41. It will be a long war without them otherwise.
Thanks. Yes, tough but not an entirely unexpected start against this opponent. Once someone gets into your thinking process, (in this case knowing his aggressive tendencies and his interest in researching past games to learn about opponents, then making choices based somewhat on those conditions rather than my own best instincts and ideas) the game can become tenuous. This is a great lesson to learn. This game is so much about psychology. Also, I see this as a challenge. If I lose most or even all of the KB in the first days, can I still give Torsten a tough game and push this into 44-45? Not likely, but it would be amazing to do so.
Economically this will change a lot as well. No need to bank HI, right? LBA will be HEAVILY researched and produced. Mostly very early models. I will add 6-8 Tojo research factories today and some more Helen IIa as well. The A6M3a, Jill and Judy will be bumped up also. I will have to abandon my late war research programs. Too bad.
As for tactics, I've taken these past days to wait, think myself and listen to the thoughts of others about the best play to extricate these fragile beasts from the numerous adjacent predators.
The fires are crucial as they would make things get worse in terms of damage should they remain burning, plus the inhibitions to air ops. I'm thinking I have to take the risk of leaving the CVs at mission speed to try to make sure these do not get out of control and that further damage does not slow the ships to the point they will be caught later in a few days. In the past I've had good luck with CVs avoiding surface combatants, but I'm doubtful of the odds of these numerous TFs not getting through if I leave the TF in one piece. The IJN surface ships have good secondary ammo left, even if the main guns are at slightly less than half.
I still think it best to detach a SCTF to deal with the ships in the same hex now and the two other dangerous TFs with CA/CL in the adjacent hexes. If the SCTF can soak up most of the remaining ammo and then go north, they could make it so that only a few DDs actually have anything left to shoot at the carriers once they are engaged. It'll be another all-out assault.
A diversionary force could work. I guess I see that big SCTF as the diversionary force. In the previous day's combat the CL Abukuma and 2 DD were following the CVs to soak up a few SCTF moves. That proved to not be enough, obviously. But, this TF did get detached from following the CVs after a few attacks. I'm thinking that having more ships in the following SCTF could make it more likely to win each battle and stay with the CVs and therefore shield them from harm. If any CA/CL/DD TF gets into the carriers, with the amount of damage they have, a single hit could mean they all get slowed and taken out throughout the day by the next wave of ships and air strikes.
I have to do this turn today. Please let me now if my thinking seems way off base. I at least want to learn from this, and since I can't become any more humbled than I already am by the situation, any last comments or thoughts will be very welcomed.
< Message edited by obvert -- 5/18/2012 10:34:09 AM >