From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
John's had a busy weekend of work, social engagements and bumps and bruises after taking a fall from a ladder.
I believe he's also fighting a bad case of battle fatigue. All the signs are there, behind his comments, between the lines, underlying his actions. I would not be surprised if the most recent turn didn't add to the effect. I'm interesting in seeing it.
In a moment of candor months ago - perhaps before Luzon - John mentioned that he knew what he had to do but that he couldn't bring himself to do it. He was referring to committing KB in a desperate, bloody, and perhaps futile effort to stop the Allied onslaught.
I believe he would've been far better off doing so, both as a military strategy and feeling "right" about his handling of the Japanese military. But he talked himself into what I'm calling the Reverse Sir Robin strategy. There seemed to be some merit to it, making it an alluring concept at first. And it might have worked out under some circumstances. But it didn't. And now he's left with a poorer position to show for it and still the grimmest of choices left to him now - commit KB at this bitter end of the game or just see it wither on the fine.
The game is extremely interesting to me at this point, in part because John still has a strong air force and navy. There is always the prospect of him lashing out suddenly and decisively; of him perhaps getting lucky or me getting careless or making a mistake. And a little mistake in these congested waters might turn catastrophic. So the game is very tense from that aspect and very interesting from the aspect of employing end-game strategies and assets against Japan.
But for the past few months, as much as I've enjoyed the challenge of playing John, I've faced key challenges in (1) playing against the clock - trying to complete the endgame within the right time frame; (2) playing against the map - logistics, logistics, logistics!; and (3) playing against myself - trying to avoid making a mistake, getting sloppy, failing to execute plans, or just plain screwing up in some material way. Those aspects of PBEM have been challenging and interesting.
Some players have previously commented that I've played the game rather methodically - meaning, in part, proceeding deliberately but perhaps at the expense of doing the big things that might be exciting - invading the Home Islands! Sending Death Star into the Sea of Japan! Etc.!
From my perspective the game has proceeded at a rather breakneck speed. The attenuated LOC, the logistics challenges, and the punching forward without every my battle fleet going to port, has seemed frantic, from my perspective.
Then I opened the Obvert vs. Sqz/Historiker game file for 3/2/44. It's just amazing at the lack of bloodshed there. So many ships on the map! All those guys seem to have played much more carefully with their assets than John and I have.
Do you all recall my frequent claims throughout the game that I was playing a "front-loaded" strategy - accruing heavy losses early to put myself in a better position later? That the Allies had expended heavily and that a time would come to harvest victory points - delayed gratification that I expected would pay big dividends?
I was always confident that would prove true. But there was always the chance I'd have miscalculated or that I'd screw something up and never quite reach the long-hoped-for points harvesting stage of the game.
But I think things have played out well.