From: Alberta, Canada
The wheels have come off. I'm really struggling since Singapore fell. The ground forces have recovered disablements and are ready to move, but I'm frozen in place trying to figure out my next move.
Palembang shows 10 enemy LCU's. I'm bombing the base to prevent further fort construction, but I put the forts at level 4 minimum by this time. I can't decide on whether to launch a direct amphibious assault against Palembang and risk the CD guns, or land on Java and deal with Batavia first.
Balikpapan is clear of mines and the port is open for business. The facilities are fully repaired and shipping is arriving to refuel. The combat LCU's will be re-deployed for operations against Java. Seizing Balikpapan intact completely takes the strain off supplying naval forces with fuel from Japan.
Japanese forces advance on Lashio which the Allies appear to be in the process of abandoning.
I'm concentrating on capturing Yenan to secure a supply line for flanking Sian and marching on Lanchow. The Chinese are withdrawing in good order and there's no impetus on me to move quickly against Sian, which is now defended by a considerable number of enemy units. However, I am building up airbases at Kaifeng, Nanyang and Tsiaotso in preparation for the air campaign against Sian and area.
In the south, Jocke sensed trouble around Changsha and is currently withdrawing back into the base. I'm marching on Changsha from two directions, but the intention is to contest the base with a holding force rather than launch an assault. If I had been able to attack the smaller Chinese forces in detail prior to them withdrawing, I might have been able to take a crack at a weakened Changsha defence. I will bypass Changsha and attempt to move on Hengyang. I'm currently blocking the Kukong-Hengyang railway with a Ind. Mixed Inf. Bde., but it won't hold against troops attempting to withdraw from Kukong.
Changsha's airbase was bombed on the 15th, destroying a number of SB-III's and AVG aircraft on the ground. I want to establish complete air superiority in China now to begin the process of destroying Chinese supply instead of interdicting ground troops.
Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a force of 10 Chinese LCU's of roughly 80k around Nanchang that won't be escaping, barring bad luck in terms of movement timing, I'm in the process of sealing off every hexside and trapping this force.
Denpasar fell to airborne assault on the 15th. Air support and supplies will now be flown in. I may risk a number of small supply TF's covered by LRCAP from Makassar to build up supply quickly. I'm shifting strong surface forces to Makassar in preparation for invading Eastern Java.
My fear is the commitment of Allied CV's against invasion shipping and surface forces before I can establish air superiority over Java. There's been no sign of Allied surface forces near Java and I suspect they've been withdrawn to Australia, but I'm not going to risk getting caught unprepared. Jocke has a healthy respect for Betty's and Nell's, so I want to make him have to run a gauntlet of them should he decide to interdict my invasion TF's. All I need is a foothold capable of putting up LBA in decent numbers and Eastern Java will be isolated from interference by Allied naval forces.
Jocke has stripped Bataan and Clark Field of defences and concentrated on Manila. I'm looking at capturing both Bataan and Clark soon to apply pressure on Manila, but that will have to wait until Palembang is dealt with and I'm established on Java. I'm wishing I had the extra troops of Scenario 2 right now. However, I'm in the process of freeing up air units to secure air superiority over Luzon and start destroying supply in the meantime.
The Wake Island invasion force will most likely be spotted on the 16th. The invasion TF is supported by a strong surface TF and Mini-KB. KB is trailing by two days in order to be in position to react if Allied CV's or surface forces attempt to interdict. I'm willing to risk the light CV's if it draws out some Allied CV's. I've established a submarine screen and patrolling AMC to the east of Wake Island to give advance notice of an Allied move. The surface TF will bombard prior to the landings and KB will most likely launch air attacks against the base if the coast is clear. The 90th Inf. Rgt. and a Naval Guard unit are tasked with capturing Wake Island. Forts are probably high, but I'll rely on KB causing enough disruption to the defenders to ensure the base falls.
I wasted too many PP's on things that are not a priority right now, changing leaders being one of them. I'm buying out every air and support unit I can. I'm also converting most single engine Sentai's to two engine bombers. Production is starting to build up a modest pool now allowing for conversion to better aircraft. It's going to take way too long to amass PP's to buy out substantial LCU's from China or Japan for immediate combat operations, so I'll focus on increasing the effectiveness of my air force instead.
I'll be receiving substantial ship reinforcements within two months, primarily the CV's Junyo and Hiyo along with a number of DD's. They will be a welcome addition to the Combined Fleet.
I continue to build up HI pools at 6k a day (total being 340k as of today), armaments and vehicle pools are increasing daily as well. Aircraft numbers are increasing, allowing both replenishment and upgrading. The air force will be in good shape to apply maximum pressure in numerous theatres by March.
Despite struggling, the next few weeks should see me back on track and moving forward. It will be imperative that I start sinking some Allied ships on a regular basis and upset the Allied buildup.
< Message edited by SqzMyLemon -- 11/12/2012 11:03:51 PM >
Luck is the residue of design - John Milton
Don't mistake lack of talent for genius - Peter Steele (Type O Negative)