Wow. You would be a very scary opponent.
Not scary, much more likely to be viewed as an unpleasant and unreasonable opponent because I would not:
(a) allow any mulligans - one makes a mistake one lives with the consequences, any ten years olds should just move along to the Xbox stand
(b) be interested in assisting the opponent to enjoy playing his game - war is no entertainment, the game attempts to be as true as possible (within it's inherent limitations) to real world considerations, the events covered by the game were deadly serious
(c) be sympathetic to an opponent who has not invested the time to learn the game mechanics or hasn't thought through the consequences of his plans
(d) hesitate to identify an opponent who baled out without a very good reason; death would be acceptable, provided it came as a surprise
(e) disregard the victory conditions set by the devs
And before anyone accuses me of it, never once over the years of me commenting on AE and its predecessor have any of my suggestions been criticised as being "gamey"
Clearly my grasp of the land game is at very average levels.
If by average you mean at a level commonly exhibited by the majority of players, perhaps. This game, precisely because it attempts to replicate (within its limitations) real world considerations places a premium on logistics. Some AE players are drawn to the game primarily by the logistics aspect, but most don't. Most are drawn in by the naval combat aspect, with the aerial combat aspect a close second. This is why so many players get bored if they are not doing some "killing" when in fact, just as it is in the real world, not doing "killing" is usually the better course of action. For the participants at the pointy end, war is a long boring period punctuated by short periods of intense activity. Very few play AE because they are primarily drawn to it's land combat. Those who are generally concentrate on Eastern Front games which are designed with land warfare uppermost.
In your case you are drawn to the naval aspects. Flanking considerations have limited relevance for naval operations. ZOCs have very limited applicability to naval warfare. LOC is significantly different to SLOC, especially when implemented in computer games. It isn't surprising you prefer to see the natural blue of the ocean without the imposition of unnatural hexagons.
Some I did not know, such as the Reserve mode mechanisms and air attacks. I was also operating under the assumption that I had a ticking clock on Chinese replacement at all vis a vis Chungking. Replacements seem to me to have a very large random factor; I have always left the taps open everywhere to try to beat the odds and get some replacements in somewhere. I had not thought through the idea of not replacing in Reserve units. I was more of a "they're safer, put new men there" mindset. Your explanation makes sense and is 180 degrees from my past practices.
Have a read of this current main AE forum thread on logistics
and the link provided back to the Logistics 101 thread. Whilst it is dealing with supply considerations in China it is actually relevant to replacements. The key is to recall the supply path cost which impacts not just on the movement of supplies and raw materials but the capacity to take replacements. The supply path cost together with the operations mode of the LCU are the main determinants on how often replacements are taken. A unit in rest mode will more often look to take replacements than a cohabiting unit which is in combat mode.
I also do not think enough about hexsides. Part of it is playing with hexes off at all. Part of it is too high a focus on roads and rails and an aversion to going cross-country in Burma. But you are completely right on closing off sides with soft, weak, throw-away units, of which I have many in the area. I have made his air targeting job a lot easier. If I were playing this again starting three months ago I'd do a lot differently.
This is common amongst many AE players who are not creative enough in using their assets, instead relying upon frontal approaches. When confronted by an opponent who shares the same mindset, the biggest mass usually wins. Quite some time ago there was a lengthy discussion in Cribtop's AAR of indirect approaches. He has implemented them very well and is well on his way to achieving an auto victory for Japan, by the latest on 1 January 1944 but with reasonable prospects of achieving it in the last quarter of 1943.
I have always said that one of the key tactical ploys is to make one's opponent choose. The more choices to be made the greater likelihood that the opponent will make a mistake.
I have been thinking of Chiang Mai as first a RR problem (Bangkok), and secondarily as a minor AF problem. But Level 4, potential 7, is not minor any longer. And your points about supply seepage to the battle zone is one I had not thought of.
The three units near Moulmein have a checkered past. The brown Indian one on the coast is the Tavoy refugees, pounded to mush and out of supply. I don't know if the Tavoy Japanese are right behind them or if they stayed put. I have no recon available. I had seen them wholly as a hexside blocking force, either on the road from Tavoy, or one hex to the east. They can't survive any sort of supplied attack. The two Chinese I aimed to the rally point two turns ago I think to hold the hex, as well as add low-supply but otherwise good AV to the mix. On the last turn one Japanese LCU appeared in the rally hex. Don't know what it is. Pegu LCU count is the same, but I get a read of one xAP in Moulmein harbor, so it might be new. Regardless, your point about leaving those two Chinese units south of the river to join the stack without the crossing is good. But they are very low on supply.
Oh I do recall the unfocussed wanderings of those Chinese units. It only took Moses 40 days to lead the Israelites across the desert because he was focussed. You instead looked at Chiang Mai first, then Raeheng, then entered an orienteering event, never being quite focussed on getting the units to complement their marching tempos, let alone settling on an objective and a meaningful mission for them.
Regarding their low supply levels, at least for the beat up Indian refugees, you can and should drop some supply from the air. That is one way to avoid the eventual CAP trap I mentioned in the previous post. You won't like this but being on a coastal hex you should interrupt your PA from their usual naval search missions to every so often drop some supply. Place the units on rest mode and being stationary they will start to recover. If they get shattered by a relief force they will have contributed by drawing away from Moulmein enemy units
I hear you on the Auusie 7th. After the two USMC divisions it's my favorite LCU right now. It has taken very, very little damage from the air. I think it has six disabled squads, pretty amazing. I hesitate to move it, but I think it's my best shot. As you say, Moulmein will not have good prep. In some cases virtually no prep. My hesitation is because Chinese units can do OK as they stand, but when they break and rout the losses are fearsome.
Overall I agree with you I have to re-do my replacement settings. They were driven by misunderstanding and misremembering (pick one ) the mechanics of how replacements arrive disabled. Head slapper.
Thanks a bunch, Alfred. Moulmein may not work, but this whole campaign has been a massive learning experience.
There is a distinct possibility that Muttley will not deliver Moulmein. Not least being your own supply considerations in the midst of the monsoon season. It will however be you setting the agenda and forcing your opponent to respond. All the while Japanese access to the oil/fuel of Palembang becomes more and more a moot point.
Lots of gems in here, Alfred. I need to get tot he Sunday turns. But I have read this and will re-read it Monday. In particular the "wandering Chinese" portions hit home. I re-directed them every time he reacted, but in the process didn't get much use out of them.
I give MUTTLEY at best a 50% chance. I expect him to react on the water aggressively once the plan is clearer.