From: Chicago, Illinois
August 4, 1942
I am nearly in position for the landing at Baker. The fleet is gathered behind Canton Is. I am just awaiting some P-40s to get to Canton, if I run into trouble I'll want the extra LBA in the area.
There is also a convoy unloading at Tabietua. I am sending 2 DDs; these guys sank 2 ships dropping supplies at Baker a few days ago.
I expect to lose the front north of Chungking soon. I am in real trouble now, but I foresaw this, so it's worth talking about the long-term plan.
I hope to delay Greyjoy and avoid the fall of the Chungking plain until the end of 1942. I do expect to lose it, as he continues to commit large air and land forces, including most of the tanks and bombers. It's the main effort, and why not; he got a great start on me.
I think I can hold a small area from Kunming to Paotung; it's all mountains, and unlike the rest of China, this area is getting supplies from India. That will all end if he starts bombing, but I think I can keep some guys up there awhile.
The Burma front has been very very quiet, and that's OK. I need to build up bombers and troops before making a move, but I have some plans here. Ultimately, my objective is NOT to conquer SE Asia from Burma, but to tie-down IJA land and air forces, to make decisive moves elsewhere.
I am building a "Free Chinese Army" in India, consisting of all the units I could move per House Rule (had to be "bought" to non-restricted HQs). This is the 6th Corps, and about 5 divisions. Chinese Corps are weak in China, but a 800+ AV one with plenty of supplies is enough to cause some trouble in Burma. The Chinese with some Indian support will attack Myiktinya, while the 18th UK and 2 Indian divisions, plus tanks, will advance on Akyab.
Alot of the defenses in Burma consist of Thai forces; I want in particular to get tanks on them, because they have no AT capability whatsoever. Stuarts will look like Panther tanks to the Thais. 2 Indian Tank Bdes are filling out with Grant/Lees, which to the IJA look like King Tigers! (I read up on these in the CBI theater; the British basically dumped all the North Africa excess M3s on CBI, but they were very successful there. Their strengths, good armor and good gun, were important, and their weaknesses didn't matter when there were no large AT guns around on the IJA side)
OK, so a big question I'll need to consider soon: Where will the main advance be?
I am well positioned to make trouble out of the Indian Ocean. I hold Exmouth and Cocos, which means I have some freedom to operate there if I choose. Cocos is an interesting base; I can't really use it offensively, but it's a useful refueling station, etc, if I choose to attack Sumatra, for example.
Against Cuttlefish, I landed on Timor, and the bases around it. While not directly on the SRA, this is a good area, because there are a ton of islands that can be developed into good bases, and once you land in that area, several options in terms of directions to go. I kind of like that area for that reason.
Sumatra is also interesting. The advantage is that it's right on top of the Oil, so a major major threat. The disadvantages are a) Sumatra is a large land mass that will allow him to get the IJA in play, and he should have massive infantry available once China falls, and b) once you take the West coast, you pretty much have to go through Merak/Oosthaven. The follow-on choices are pretty narrow.
The Solomons I am not a big fan of. The advantages there are lots of bases to advance on, and the IJA can't be used as effectively there. It's also easy to support, as it's close to Oz, etc. The big problem is that it's far away from anything strategic.
Central Pacific also has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the IJA is almost useless out there, and the biggest navy wins. The problem is lack of bases. You really need to get to the Marianas and take them all, simply to have a place to base troops for the next move. Pearl Harbor is too long a haul.
Finally, the Kuriles. I personally love these, but my only hestitation is that I know Greyjoy will heavily garrison them. First, because of his last game, but also I have received lots of intel about whole divisions being moved up there. It would also trigger Kamis instantly, and a whole bunch of reinforcements. Not sure on this one.
Anyway, thoughts are appreciated.