Thomas is on vacation for the next two weeks (jealous!), so I will catch us up to this point in the game.
At the macro level, Thomas is extremely efficient. He has the opening moves down, and knows exactly how far he can push it without my being able to bloody his nose. With those caveats, I have had some minor “victories,” and am poised tomorrow (game time, two weeks in real time) to try to ruin his day, a bit.
Location of KB: KB hit Pearl (destroying the fleet), and left immediately. I guess he was happy with the damage he inflicted. He immediately stationed off of Wake, and escorted a stout Wake invasion force, which promptly took the island. The KB dropped off the radar yesterday, I’m guessing (hoping) he had to replenish at Truk. A raid into NoPac could really hurt me right now.
WC/ Canada/ NoPac: Lots of supplies and units moving here. I am aggressively reinforcing Annette Island, Kodiak, Anchorage, Whittier, Seward (a nice rail-linked set of air bases) and Cold Bay. Since I evacuated the units I wanted out of Malaysia and the DEI, NoPac has political point priority until defenses are settled. We have an HR agreement that NoPac can be defended by WC units attached to fighter command, so I’m paying only 1/3 cost for all the WC units I need here. I am a dufus, and sent some extremely valuable APs and AKs to the area to move troops about. I should have used the xAPs and xAKs…. I’m holding my breath that KB doesn’t raid until I get them out.
CentPac: Had he stayed for a second strike, I would have lost all 8 BBs. But, his focus on the fleet left my airfield, Catalinas, fighters, and Forts all relatively unscathed, so I would have hurt him with my CAP. I’m not as depressed as I was on Dec 8th. I have a strong 170 or so fighters on Pearl that, with moral recovered and slowly training, will preclude a raid in the future. Short of an all-out invasion, Pearl is safe. I will have four old battlewagons ready to bombard atolls in about 18 months or so.
Wake fell. I lost the Marine fighters, as I was unwilling to risk the Lady Lex.
US CVs In what could have been a major disaster, Enterprise, fleeing from KB, took a torp from an I boat. Only 4 float damage, I hope Thomas thinks it’s out of commission for a bit. But, we destroyed the pesky AMC that raids SoPac shipping lanes before turning back to Pearl. CVs are teaming up with Saratoga to cover NoPac operations. It will be a week until they are all there.
No Midway strike, I’m getting supplies and the 87th Mountain regiment there as we speak, forts are on the way to level 3. A Marine Raider BN is also prepping for the Island, ready to be flown in at the last minute from FFS.
SoPac: Thomas is being aggressive here. He has already snatched up Lae, Shortlands, and Manus. A strong CA TF bombarded Rabaul, which was really a blessing. For little return on his end, he revealed a strong surface presence in the region. I had the Australian SCTF (3 CA, 2 CLs, 3 DDs) lurking in the area hoping to hit invasion TFs. I will not commit them now, as the Allies lose every surface engagement against heavy cruisers at this stage of the war.
Oz: I have by defense slowly formulating. The victory in Operation Gallant Sir Robin (see Malaysia below) really makes me feel warm and fuzzy about OZ. I got the 8th OZ Division out intact, barring a successful raid between Diego Garcia and Perth, the entire division will be formulated under I Oz Corps in Brisbane acting as a QRF along with 7th OZ and a good chunk of the excellent OZ armor units.
DEI: Thomas took the essential bases quickly and is obviously intent on shutting this area down fast. The MKB (Mini KB) and the Kaga CVTF are at either end of the DEI, sinking fleeing merchants as fast as they can rearm. I lost most of the Philippine merchant marine, including the CL Boise (a very bad omen for the game). Bettys are based at Sinkawang and will soon be based at Manado. All of northern Borneo fell, Tarakan taken. A large group of TFs, including CAs and CVEs has pushed deep into the DEI, past Kendari. Destination Timor?
The most exciting things that happened here was a huge BB TF bombarded Batavia. The CA Takao took a mine hit (reported sunk, but doubtful). I’m very happy about that. Why would someone do this though? Prevent forts? I have two level 4 airfields next to Batavia linked by rail (where most of my planes were), so he’s not shutting down the airfield. Plus, he runs the risk of damaging strategic resources by bombarding. Not sure it was worth it.
A disbanded AK damaged by Tarakan’s CD guns was sunk in port by a Dutch bombing raid.
Tomorrow I have 27 Dutch bombers and 10 Philippine’s B-17Ds hitting the completely undefended oil fields at Tarkan. I have high hopes for this raid. I wondered if it was kosher to do this in our type of game, so I started a thread here: Gamey-ness? The consensus among formuites was that that I would be remiss to NOT bomb the oil.
I didn’t bother trying to get fuel out. I always do against the AI, but Thomas is not the AI! The way I figure, the tankers can carry more fuel from Abadan or LA over the course of the war than they can by getting destroyed in the DEI. They would get destroyed. The area is positively infested with SCTF, CVTFS, and Betties/ Nells, only one week into the war! I did, however, manage to lift about 20k supplies from Balikpapan to Java.
Philippines: The airforce crumbled immediately. I have made good use of the Mindanao B-17s (hitting Tarakan tomorrow). But all else just died. Quickly. I withdrew what I could to my pools, but not a lot was saved. I had no real aerial victories. Ports and airfields at Clark and Manila are at about 100% damaged with only one fort put up before the destruction. PT boats were able to disrupt landings, causing them to withdraw. Thomas opsec violated himself, saying he had multiple collisions. The PTs didn’t fire a single Torp. Just showed up, tried to run away from the invasion TFs, leading to all sorts of confusion. I really like this modeling of the PTs. I imagine that’s exactly the effect 12 fast torpedo boats would have on an invasion convoy: pandemonium, but not a lot of real torpedo hits.
All units evacuated in an orderly fashion to Clark (except a small delaying force at Bataan). I have 55k supply and one level fort. This *should* keep a couple big units tied down for a minute.
Allied Subs: I allocated 20 PPs for the worst S-boat commanders. This has paid dividends in torp launches, but bad torps means no hits of note. A Dutch boat put two DUDs in Kaga (I violently cursed out the computer). A few cruisers got DUDs from US boats. A few AKs and APs (two with troops) are sunk by Dutch and S boats. No sub losses yet (except that one idiot S-boat headed towards Manila that auto-disbanded before I caught it, sunk by a port raid).
China: Oh, I smell disaster in this region. He’s being aggressive here. Hong Kong fell quickly. But for some reason he disbanded about 20 xAKLs in port there. Chinese bombers from Kweilin and Kukong are raiding the port tomorrow to see if they can bag a few. He is aggressively bombing airfields, especially Changsa, but I still have level four forts and no airfield damage. His troops are moving quickly, but he caught very few of my units so far. Tsiaotso is heavily garrisoned and building forts. Very little supply here though. Normal bases fell to Chinese smash and grab: Ichang, the two up by Russia. So far my reallocation of troops is going smoothly. I need a month or so to get settled, then the slog begins. NOTE TO SELF: Don’t forget to turn off resource repair at Chengchow, I did for a week, probably burned through a bunch of supply. I keep repair “on” at the light industry and resources at Changsa until the Burma road is closed. Not sure if it’s a good Idea, but I don’t plan on letting this place fall, and I will need those supplies when Burma falls. See my detailed breakdown of China defenses below.
Malaysia: Thomas is a very proficient player, and it is evidenced by his assault in the area. Singapore will fall early, both because of his masterful tactics, and because I decided to withdraw 8th OZ. By using tanks and paratroopers, he cut off the Alor Star units and retreated Kota Bharu and Kuantan units. This leaves me with two decent Indian BDES, a plethora of weak Bns and Malaysian units, and a little “armor” and arty in Singers. Three BDEs are stuck in the jungle, and I have low hopes for them getting to Singers in time, as Thomas landed at an undefended Mersing yesterday.
Operation Gallant Sir Robin:
On the other hand, I paid the PPs and had the AVG join the fight, allowing level 3 (almost 4) forts to be constructed. I have 60k supply. The AVG, Buffaloes, and a few Dutch fighters performed gallantly, shooting down a bunch of Nells and a goodly number of Kaga’s Kates and Vals. Also, I evacuated the entire Singers navy in a safe and orderly manner (minus PoW, lost on Dec 7th, but plus a moderately damaged Repulse), along with 2 OZ BDES, the RN BF, and the NZ engineers.
It cost me about 40 Buffaloes and 10 AVG P-40s. Below is a screenie of air losses to date.
So, I have a game engine problem: When Thomas transfers fighters to a base, I can see it before my turn giving orders, the Japanese, on the other hand, cannot see when the Allies transfer fighters to a base until after the turn runs. This “tweak” in the game engine was essential for me to get the AVG (with its miserable max range of 14) down to Singers. If he caught the AVG at any of the small-ish bases I had to transfer through, he could have hit them before they arrived. Instead, I think he was shocked when the AVG was suddenly flying CAP over a fleeing navy. This doesn’t feel right, and will probably hurt any Japanese player in the late war when they are trying to be sneaky.
Burma: I am evacuating the Indian BDE detached from 17th Indian Division, two Burma BNs and the British BN, three BFs, the air and the Corps HQ. I need them in India. They strat moved to Katha and will march the long walk to Imphal over the next month or so. Burma division is combined at Rangoon where I am allocating 1 week for it to rest, before I send it SE of Pegu, in the rough hex between Moulmein and Pegu. This will be it. Once he gets enough AV here to shock across the river and retreat the miserable folks in this division, Burma will be lost as fast as he can drive. I am only keeping one BN and one BF in each base along the rail line to protect from paratroopers. I don’t know if this is a viable tactic, but, splitting the Burma division makes it less than worthless. I really want to get NCAC troops into India before I lose Burma, but I cannot afford to buy them until the NCAC HQ arrives in May. May will be way too late.
India: Nothing of note, I have troops and supplies moving to Diego Garcia, Socotra, and Male as I write. Everything else is evacuated off map. See my defense article for a detailed breakdown of my India defense.
< Message edited by jb123 -- 7/16/2012 7:24:53 PM >