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Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Guadalcanal Biggus63(J)VsAdmiral1(US)-No Admiral1pls

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Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Guadalc... - 8/22/2012 6:22:39 AM   

Posts: 32
Joined: 8/7/2012
From: Perth, Western Australia
Status: offline
The story thus far:-

Episode 1:'Bambi goes to Hollywood'
You've seen the bearded lady, you've seen the man eat his own head (if not, where have you been?) come and laugh at the new guy! I've just found this game (where have I been?) and have been pushing the pretty little pieces around for a couple of weeks and finding out such things as:-"What, you mean I don't put fuel in these here aeroplanes, what you're suggesting is that I open the fuel cap and put condoms, Lucky Strikes and Hershey bars in there?" and that it's almost as fun reading a good AAR as it is playing the game itself. It reminds me both of 'War in Flames' a little and on the tactical level somewhat like 'Flat Top' (remember that one? That was great fun.)

I'm a long-time wargamer (since '73) but as we all know that counts for little when you're crunching the possibilities of a new game system. So I present this once only offer, free! Be the first to deal me a crushing defeat and put this old whippershapper in his place. I've run through Guadalcanal a couple of times as the US so perhaps that would be a good place to start, either side OK. I'm not a 'gamey' player, and would look at things like low level four engine bombing and using merchant vessels as pickets in a dim light. Fine if agreed to beforehand just for fun but not really my cup of tea.

I'm not at all fussed if this takes a week or two to organise since I'm on a pretty steep learning curve atm. It's kinda nice just to be here, amongst other wargaming tragics. At least we don't think we're weird.....much.

Episode 2:'A mysterious caller'
Admiral1 has kindly offered to contest the control of some grotty little specks of dirt in the Solomons with me. As the Emperor has decreed that these specks are to be regarded from here on into eternity as sovereign territory of the glorious and most benevolent empire of greater Nippon and our associated co-prosperity sphere we must deny these soft-serve ice cream eating barbarians a foothold on our holy soil, and besides, I've only just finished the Zen garden at our new airfield on Guadalcanal.......and they said it was a waste of IJN engineering assets! Fools! Anyhow.....If this gets off the ground I may even burst into print on the subject......a cautionary 'coming of age' tale, like 'Catcher in the rye', but with large calibre gunfire and aerial torpedos.....or not. We shall see. I only hope my boys can swim.....

Details with the main bulletin to come...

And now, a message from our sponsor.....

I feel like the dog that, having chased the car and caught it, now has to make up it's mind what to do. Who is my opponent? He doesn't seem to be a doyen of the forum and has relatively few posts, but that in itself doesn't mean a lot. Two posts of his I've seen have him asking for a scen 1 or 2 (hmmm) in the first instance, and a japanese player who isn't 'gamey' but who will play a 'what if?' (even more hmmmm). I don't quite know what to make of that but I make a point of looking at the situation from a deliberately unorthodox point of view anyway, and come to the conclusion that it really has to be Guadalcanal and Tulagi since anything further north or north west would likely allow me to make use of lba in Rabaul and negate any target prepping bonuses. For my part I intend to provide a moving target to my opponent. I have absolutely no intention of bunkering down and waiting for my carriers......

I don't expect that anyone with any great experience with this game will find this AAR to be all that interesting. I suspect I'll look back on it later and cringe. Perhaps some kindly vet will drop by and offer some constructive advice and impose some order on my mayhem. All will become clear as we progress hopefully.

I send the following message to my opponent:-

Well, I hope this works since it’s all rather new to me. I’ve set the game up as follows:-

Realism options:-1) Fog of war-on, 2) Advanced weather effects-on, 3) Allied damage control-on, 4) Player defined upgrades-on, 5) Historical first turn-off, 6)Dec 7th surprise-on*, 7) reliable US torpedos-off, 8) Realistic R&D-on*, 9) No units withdrawals-off.

Game options:-1) Combat reports-on, 2) auto sub ops-off, 3) TF move radius-off, Plane move radius-off, 4) Set all to expand at start-off, 5) Auto upgrade-off, 6) Accept air and ground replacements-on.

*=don’t think these ones matter in a short scenario.

Since I don’t like to play too gamey I haven’t acted on the fact that I know you’re coming this turn, so all the orders I’ve given are consistent with either general housekeeping (ie-supply TFs etc) or the directives I’ve been given in my briefing to expand my footholds in PNG and deal with Milne bay. You will likely be sighted on the first turn. Either at that point, or when I do in fact eventually detect incoming TFs I will consider myself free to act without restrictions. That’s about it......let’s have some fun.
Post #: 1
RE: Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Gua... - 8/22/2012 8:06:40 AM   

Posts: 32
Joined: 8/7/2012
From: Perth, Western Australia
Status: offline
Episode 3: 'Cry Haddock! and let slip the Dogs of War'

Turn 1: I have units to move from Truk to Rabaul and supply as well. These TFs start loading. Since I've said I won't act on my knowledge that he's coming I won't try to get troops to Lunga but trying to supply it falls under 'general housekeeping' and so I set up a Fast transport TF for the job. A small AKL in the Shortlands will try to supply Tulagi. I don't think either of these TFs will make it though. Three subs in Rabaul head off to lay mines at Tulagi. B-17s raid Buna and Lunga unchallenged. I'm keeping my air force on a tight leash for the moment. TFs are spotted incoming from the south of the Solomons (fancy that!).

Turn 2: He's brought his carriers to the south, about 200 miles SSW of Lunga. That's a shame. I'd be happier if he supported his invasion closer in. The supply TFs for Tulagi and Lunga are sunk. Down go a wee AKL and 4 APDs. I'm kicking myself about the APDs. The local sharks think we taste like fish. I decide to try to fly some combat troops into Tulagi from Rabaul. Emily will do her best. The Mavis unit at Tulagi is transferred to Rabaul and will assist. He throws the kitchen sink at Lae. B-17s, Beauforts, B-26s, P-39s, P-40s. Three or four shot down with no losses.

Turn 3: The first surprise, as he lands the amphibious group prepped for Tulagi on Lunga with the other two. Having read enough of the rules to have discovered that landing unprepped forces is considered a bad thing I was nevertheless shocked at the results. They make for some interesting reading:-

481 casualties:-Squads 1 destroyed 87 disabled, Non Combat 0 destroyed 104 disabled, Guns lost 44 (1,43), Vehicles lost 18 (0,18). No coastal battery hits, that's just getting into and out of landing craft it would appear. The local sharks think the Americans taste like chicken.

My decision to fly combat troops into Tulagi last turn is starting to look prescient. The usual unpleasantness over PNG.

Unless I'm very much mistaken I think my opponent has made an awful error, and I find myself wondering once again, "Who is my opponent?" In our initial, admittedly limited, communications with each other I got the feeling that I was dealing with a fairly young person, probably not all that experienced with hard core wargames, and I'm starting to think that's about right, which raises the question of how hard I should go. Of course, every ounce of the gamer in me says, "Tear him limb from limb and scatter his remains to the four winds". Then Ned Flanders pops up next to my other ear and says, "Don't be ding dong diddly mean." Jeez, being grown up is hard work at times.....

< Message edited by Biggus63 -- 8/22/2012 8:09:48 AM >

(in reply to Biggus63)
Post #: 2
RE: Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Gua... - 8/22/2012 1:00:15 PM   

Posts: 32
Joined: 8/7/2012
From: Perth, Western Australia
Status: offline
Day 4:-The usual hate over Buna. US TFs complete unloading at Lunga. PC CH6 runs into bad guys while nosing around Lunga and kaput. Captain Watanabe and the dreaming sheep weigh anchor and head SSE. I've lost his carriers. I was waving some PCs around in front of him and next thing he's gone. The weather is foul so I can't be sure but he may have headed south. Whether he's headed back to Noumea to refuel and rearm or just got spooked by the proximity of the PCs I can't be sure. I'm pretty sure that the CVs are not close enough to provide CAP for the retreating amphibious TFs so I let the Bettys off the leash. This next turn or two could be brutal. I have high hopes but I know the risks are high also.

(in reply to Biggus63)
Post #: 3
RE: Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Gua... - 8/22/2012 4:38:55 PM   

Posts: 3708
Joined: 8/10/2008
From: Lone Star Nation
Status: online
Welcome to the forum! It will be fun to see the Guad scenario play out. Two comments. First, you were awfully generous with the APDs, but it's a sign of non-gaminess indeed. Second, the Guad scenario is considered to be very accurate historically, meaning it's VERY tough for Japan to re-take Lunga and Tulagi, the big VP bases. Thus, I'd argue the scenario is tough enough that I wouldn't pull your punches. If he gives you time to create Fortress Tulagi, he will commit a grave error.

Good luck and BANZAI!

< Message edited by Cribtop -- 8/22/2012 4:41:09 PM >


(in reply to Biggus63)
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RE: Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Gua... - 8/23/2012 5:22:17 AM   

Posts: 32
Joined: 8/7/2012
From: Perth, Western Australia
Status: offline
The situation on the evening of the 10th August '42. Partial success against his amphibious groups but I had hoped for better. In the afternoon he sights the cruisers at Tulagi and put one into Aoba and Tenryu and they're separated and given orders to retire to Rabaul. I'm awfully tempted to turn left with the cruisers and try to get in amongst the CVs, but thus far my opponent has been particularly inclined to back off quickly with them at the first sight of surface TFs, much to my annoyance. My plan was to wave PCs around in front of him, creating a 'white noise' of poorly detected but insignificant TFs, hoping that he would become careless enough to miss the cruiser group I intended to slip into the area. None of this has worked so I decide to take the safer bet and hit Lunga which still has many juicy targets.

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< Message edited by Biggus63 -- 8/23/2012 5:25:55 AM >

(in reply to Cribtop)
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RE: Captain Watanabe and the rage of dreaming sheep-Gua... - 8/23/2012 6:05:51 AM   

Posts: 32
Joined: 8/7/2012
From: Perth, Western Australia
Status: offline
Captain Watanabe is crestfallen! He considers Seppuku but settles for Sushi instead. In the afternoon the bay at Lunga had been packed with enemy vessels according to recon but the night action nets only 3 APDs. The only compensation is they get away without a scratch and are half way back to Rabaul by the end of the day. The wounded ones make it too.

The sub screen south of the Solomons starts to come together and makes a contribution by sinking an APD and putting a fish into AKA Bellatrix. The Bettys don't fly at all today (or tomorrow, for that matter). Their non-appearance gives the enemy breathing space. I must have the Kempetai speak with our esteemed Betty commander. He still hasn't kicked me out of Lunga but gets around to it tomorrow. In my experience that can be accomplished as soon as is possible, even partially unloaded. I wonder if that abortive redirect to Lunga has unsettled him.

At this moment I can't be sure who's playing with whom. I think the invasion has been botched somewhat but the situation an Lunga is only a couple of days behind schedule. Tulagi is another matter I feel, and I think I can build up fast enough there to deny it to him. On the other hand I've been unable to close with his CV TFs as was my intent and I think he's handled them pretty well. I should have left port with the cruisers on the second, not third, turn. I did originally issue orders to do so but cancelled them to wait for two DDs from Truk to arrive. Impossible to know for sure what would have happened but it feels like a missed opportunity.

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< Message edited by Biggus63 -- 8/23/2012 6:08:39 AM >

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