From: Chicago, Illinois
12-18-42 to 12-21-42
Taberfane: I forgot to mention, a few days back we destroyed a convoy unloading what appeared to be an engineering unit at Taberfane. Greyjoy told me it was 2 units, and were engineers, not base force. All I know is engineers were seen in the sinking vessels. I sank these guys with the cruisers squadron I have in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Almost immediately after this, two things happened.
First, a large surface force with "BBs" present anchored at Taberfane. If those truly are BBs, I can't tangle with them.
Second, a convoy that intel reported was headed to Christmas Island was heavily escorted by a cruisers force. I had hoped to jump with with a couple CAs out of Cocos, but I can't take them on without adequate nearby support.
He also has at least a CVE in the Indian Ocean; I know because Kates sortied and put a couple bombs on HMS CARADOC, who was out hunting for a picket ship I had spotted a couple turns back. CARADOC will live, but that's interesting he is out there with a CVE.
We have had several airbattles over Kunming. He is sweeping with Tojos, and we are trading 1 to 1, or even a little worse on my end. I don't think I can keep this up, a couple more turns and we'll throw in the towel. The reality is the Japanese have more planes than I do at this point, even though I am purposely using older types over Kunming (like Hurricane 1s)
On the Central Plains, the IJA is finally moving; I block all the roads, but he has plenty to knock me around. I have a number of units in the open because I don't have room for them in the cities, so they will get run-over by IJA tanks. It's bad!
Air Wars Elsewhere:
Over Burma, he is not contesting daily bombing runs on Akyab and Myiktinya. I can't really break thorugh on the ground, so I'm just burning his supplies at this point, and building GrndB skill. The other option is to go after Mandalay, where he has 200 fighters, but that is a tall order right now. I would lose alot of planes, and I can't afford a war of attrition.
The other point of contact is New Guinea. I have most of my 4E in NE Oz, and we are making bombing runs on the bases near the Torres Strait. Woodlark Is is rubble, and I am bombing Port Moresby as well. We hit Nadzab and Lae, though Nadzab we ran into some Zeros who shot down 5 P-38s. I am probably going to shift the 4Es once I have Darwin, but for now I want to keep these bases supressed if I move on Milne Bay, and also burn his supplies. At Port Moresby, in particular, getting a convoy there for him could get risky, which means he'll either have to move supplies from Buna, or not get any.
I am in a quandary, and can't decide what to do.
I am ready for a move into the DEI, and his preparations are likely not complete, but pretty far along in terms of using LBA. If all I was facing was LBA, I could make a move and take this to the next stage.
However, I am concerned about KB. Facing KB, with LBA backup, when all I have is carriers, would not go well. Greyjoy is smart enough to be able to focus his airpower quiclkly, and I know he has Air HQs all over, with a cluster of bases around each HQ. This is smart. So, any move can be greeted by massed LBA pretty quickly. I am not worreid about an IJA Air Fleet by itself; but couple that with KB, and that could be bad. Real bad.
If I go, I have to go soon, because after January I probably need to wait for the Dauntless groups to re-size, and I start getting Hellcats in March. Plus, APs upgrade to APAs. So, by April, I should be much better off, with lots of invasion shipping and modern planes, but the problem of course is that gives him another 3 months to dig and prepare.
Decisions, decisions......what do you think?