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What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller please)

 
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What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller please) - 12/22/2012 2:11:12 PM   
guytipton41


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Hi Folk,

It's January 1943 and I'm itching to start striking back against the Evil Empire. This my 1st PBEM game and I'm playing another newbie. Mark has an advantage in spending a decade playing and modding SPIs PacWar. We both have four decades of war gaming under our belt.

1. Standard game, Scenario 1.
2. We are playing Quiet China.
3. The KB is intact and I have lost the Hornet and Indomitable.
4. Allied fighter and 4E pools are empty.

I've created a little chart to help understand my offensive possibilities and would like would like some feedback on my analysis.

In the Pacific are of operations the Japanese are still on the offensive with a major operation to take Fuji. (see AAR Cherry Poppin Torpedoes) Nadi has fallen and Japanese forces there are over 100,000 men - which implies that Suva (875 AV) will eventually fall. The Japanese can interdict supply runs to Suva using LBA. Pago Pago is being built up to 1k AV to dissuade further adventureism.

1. The Aleutians are a contested area however the Japanese haven't taken any offensive operations since the April 42. Tactical surprise seems possible.
2. Wake Is looks possible in a coup-d-main from PH, it has been re-conned and a quick in/out invasion looks possible. Resupply looks no worse that Canton Is.
3. Baker Is looks marginally possible but hardly worth the risk that the KB is only 1/2 a day away.

In the CBI the Japanese don't seem to be pushing hard toward the Indian border. I'm seeing signs that five-six divisions are committed in this area.
1. The major problem I have is that the Allied Air Forces aren't strong enough to protect an offensive force once it gets in to clear terrain.
2. Port Blair or the Cocos seem possible using the newly arrived 9th AUS ID. USN carriers would need to swing over to the IO to support these operations. Tactical surprise seems possible.
3. Jumping right into Sumatra seems impossible to supply in the face of LBA.

In Australia I think that the IJA has pulled the divisions that conquered WAus out and sent them to Burma.
Phase A. I think that 2k AV can clear the Japanese out of NEAus in the next three months.
Phase B. It seems to me to be impossible to walk to WAus in the face of LBA so an amphibious invasion of Esperance or Albany would be required. It is impossible to stage the forces to Melbourne without the Japanese getting some indication. The KB might decide to stage a spoiling raid from NewCal.
Phase C. After WAus is clawed back from the IJA an amphibious campaign up the coast toward Darwin would be in the offing.
The problem with the Phase B and C is that the strong IJA forces in SWPAC might jump directly into Brisbane or Sidney if I strip the required forces out to support the offensive.




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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/22/2012 2:12:10 PM   
guytipton41


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This is the strategic overview.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by guytipton41 -- 12/22/2012 2:13:17 PM >

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/22/2012 6:37:12 PM   
Alfred

 

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Your analysis is predicated on a few eroneous premises.

1. Air power, in particular Japanese air power, cannot stop a land army from marching to its destination. All it can do is slow it down.

2. With the last official patch, and the subsequent beta patches, the effectiveness of flak has been considerably improved. Even without any friendly air cover overhead at all, marching with flak units will a toll of enemy planes, again particularly the flimsy Japanese airframes.

3. There is considerable British flak available in the DEI to accompany any marching columns. Combined with terrain benefits you are overstating the damage which can be inflicted upon you.

4. Whether it is inflicted from the air, or from land forces, or even from the sea, enemy attacks rarely kill outright land devices. What usually occurs is a device is disabled and an outright destruction ensues only if an already disabled device is subsequently hit. Given adequate supply and support squads, which the Allied player is usually better blessed with than the Japanese player, disabled devices will recover to a ready state before they are destroyed.

5. There is no reason why Melbourne should be the assembly point for an armada aimed at recovering north west Australia. Firstly, you can use Perth as the assembly point. That cuts down on the time spent at sea which disrupts LCUs. Even Adelaide and Albany are better embarkation points. Secondly, see point 1 above. There is nothing wrong with just marching overland.

6. So what if the enemy sees you are assembling a counter force whether it be in Australia, the CBI or anywhere else for that matter. A weakness is only a weakness if the enemy can exploit it. Other than in the first six months of the war, Japan has limited capability to exploit Allied weaknesses. Which leads to the following point.

7. From what you have posted, I surmise (not having read your AAR) that there is very little active contact throughout the globe between Allied and Japanese forces. That is a fundamental error. You must engage the enemy simultaneously everywhere. That includes China. So what that the KB remains intact. It can only be at one spot at a time and it cannot project sustained effective power over terrestrial continental campaigns. Nor can Japanese airpower be strong everywhere. The Allied player must probe everywhere simultaneously and then, based on the enemy priorities, reinforce success. Allied reserves of materiel is ultimately much deeper than Japan's.

Alfred

(in reply to guytipton41)
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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/22/2012 8:12:52 PM   
MAurelius


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I believe I can see a red dot where Exmouth should be.... now if Exmouth is Japanese - I doubt that Perth is Allied ;)

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/22/2012 8:15:56 PM   
JeffK


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Alfred, I think the japanese hold WA so he needs to recapture Esperance, Kalgoorlie, Albany etc to get back the bases from which to start his push to the Kimberley.

Guy,
before deciding which approach to take, what are the benifits, apart from smashing JFB asstes, of each operation. Where is it going? What new direction can it open up? What would be the JFB reaction?.

IMHO, this is the time where you work out the way to the Home Islands and you should plan your ops to met this purpose or to support it and divert JFB attention.

I might have a read of your AAR now to discover you have done all of this

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/22/2012 8:23:00 PM   
Alfred

 

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I did say Adelaide was still better than Melbourne as an embarkation port.

But the fundamental point is that he can still drive overland. There is no need to launch an armada at all. In fact an overland drive, using the Trans-Australian railway, is an excellent situation for an Allied player who most commonly engages in an overland drive from Alice Springs with the poor transportation links of the Northern Territory.

Alfred

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/23/2012 1:33:46 AM   
bradfordkay

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MAurelius

I believe I can see a red dot where Exmouth should be.... now if Exmouth is Japanese - I doubt that Perth is Allied ;)



I've lost Exmouth before and managed to hold on to everything else on the west coast of Australia.

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fair winds,
Brad

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/23/2012 1:52:49 AM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: guytipton41
Hi Folk,

It's January 1943 and I'm itching to start striking back against the Evil Empire. This my 1st PBEM game and I'm playing another newbie. Mark has an advantage in spending a decade playing and modding SPIs PacWar. We both have four decades of war gaming under our belt.

1. Standard game, Scenario 1.
2. We are playing Quiet China.
3. The KB is intact and I have lost the Hornet and Indomitable.
4. Allied fighter and 4E pools are empty.


I can't tell you what to do, but I will say that 1/43 is perhaps the happiest time to be an Allied player who has not blown it in 1942 as you have not. All things are still possible, but you're not living hand to mouth.

To what others have said about not getting blindered to all possibilities I would only add that one way to structure a plan is to go to 1/45 and work backward to 1/44. Where do you want to be in 1/45? In that month you should be putting the final actions in play which will end the war and the game. How do you see the end happening? Base VPs? Destruction of the IJN? Economic war? Strat bombing the HI? Is auto-vic in 1944 an objective and if so how much risk can you live with?

You should probe everywhere, but you can't attack everywhere. Each of the classic routes has pros and cons. What parts of the game do you enjoy playing? Which parts do you perhaps not enjoy but still want to emphasize for your personal development? Do you care if your approach follows any sort of historical pattern?

Start with a clean sheet of paper. Do a 1/45 and a 1/44 statement. Then back up to 6/43. What do you need to do in the next six months to get to that standing point? Six months is a good planning horizon for LCU prep, ship repair, supply dumps, fuel dumps, buying COs, PP accumulaiton, etc. 6/43 will be right after Aden opens to the Med as well; this changes a lot of logistic considerations.

Think big. Focusing on Western Australia is thinking small. After you think big, think medium. Then think small. IOW, the next month.

2 cents. Have fun.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 12/23/2012 1:54:30 AM >


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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/23/2012 5:50:22 PM   
OldGuard1970

 

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Moose said it well.

Guytipton, You have absorbed the opening Japanese blows. Now you have the fun of building a long-range plan to win.

Pawn-grabbing is a problem with chess players who do not know what they are trying to do. In AE, the equivalent is a player who is absorbed with the technical details of an attack here or a raid there. Without a "big picture" plan, the player happily fritters away his assets and his time without making steady progress toward victory. Your original post shows you are aware of the "pawn-grabbing" trap and wish to avoid it. Bravo.

The only thing I can add to Moose's fine post is to suggest you adopt the old maxim that a "good plan has many branches". Backwards plan your route to victory. Then anticipate major moves the Japanese player might make to thwart your efforts. Once you detect such moves, how do you intend to respond? (Your enemy cannot be powerful everywhere. If he has committed his forces to effectively block your preferred course of action, then he cannot be well positioned to deal with a different course of action. Your plan should include the ability to shift from one course of action to another or to a third.)

AE is such a grand game because it requires this kind of thinking and planning.

< Message edited by OldGuard1970 -- 12/23/2012 5:52:06 PM >


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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/23/2012 9:40:44 PM   
guytipton41


Posts: 282
Joined: 2/26/2011
From: Houston, TX
Status: offline
OMG!

I go visit family for a day or so and incredible amount of good advice gets submitted to my question. It will take a while to absorb all that has been said, so let me start with a Christmas thanx to Alfred, MAurelius, JeffK, bradforfkay, Bullwinkle and OldGuard.

I have in fact lost all of West Australia. Sigh... it was just there a second ago. On the retreat from Kalgoorlie it seemed like the IJA bombers were smashing my retreating units. Time to learn to do it right I guess!

The planning is much tougher than World In Flames (my spurned ex) and there is a lot to learn.

Cheers,
Guy

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/24/2012 11:55:10 PM   
DivePac88


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Hi there guytipton41,

Just a bit of advice about being a JFB, as I have only recently been converted to a AFB. I have played all of my Pbem grand campaigns as the Japanese player, and have passed though 1943 three times, so I’ll tell you what I think is the mindset and strategy of your opponent at the moment.

First of all about KB: If your opponent is a good player, he will have kept up with the ship upgrades, his air-groups will be equipped with his best available airframes and well-trained. So KB will still be a superb weapon, but compared to your Hellcat equipped carrier TFs KB is a one-shot weapon.

KB is one-shot in the respect that if it takes any significant damage, he looses it’s value as a deterrent, and leaves his outer defensive lines unsupported. He looses KB until he can replace his air losses, and he only has a few new carriers arriving to replace any carrier losses. Whereas your carrier losses can be easily replaced, and even reinforced in the next 8 months.

A carrier battle is a slugging-match, with both sides normally taking equal losses and lots of damage. My experience from the Japanese side is usually shredded air-groups, and I few badly damaged carriers. With similar damage to the Allied side, but the difference is damage control, and it’s the carrier killer for the Japanese. As most often their damaged carriers are going to burn and flood like crazy, whereas the Allied carriers have a chance.

Now this is where he will be regretting his far-flung empire, because he now realizes how spread-out it is. This is a common mistake of inexperienced and/or aggressive Japanese players, and a lot disappear from the face of the earth about now. It’s called victory disease and the Japanese know all about it in real life. So now it’s all about planning and having a common strategic goal for victory. You now have most of the cards, and can even make a few mistakes. Your opponent doesn't have those cards any-more, and can’t make any mistakes, none.

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You understand now, Why you came this way

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/25/2012 5:23:15 PM   
crsutton


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I will avoid giving you specific advice but only general advice for the Allies for the coming year of 1943. Considering your position and your strength. Congratulations, you have not been defeated by the Japanese player in 1942. You should go on to win the game from here. I am assuming that you are playing scen 1 and not scen 2.

Your weaknesses at the beginning of 43 are.

1. Limited air power and poor replacements of all types of aircraft.
2. A weak Indian Army that is just beginning to rebuild.
3. Considering the loss of two carriers, you are still inferior to the Japanese fleet in a head up battle until late 43.
4. Limited power in your tank and infantry units. They are not superior to Japanese units but will be by the end of the year.
5. Limited amphibious capability due to lack of specialized shipping until mid year.
6. Quiet China...In my opinion a terrible mistake for any Allied player to accept. You have handicapped yourself severely as China is a critical front and no fighting there removes a massive drain on Japanese supply, devices and manpower. In my opinion, fighting and losing all of China is much better than doing nothing there.

Your strengths are.

1. A real flood of devices and manpower both in the air, sea and on the ground. Each month the Allies get stronger compared to Japan. You can plan accordingly.
2. Hellcats. Your go to fighter in mid to late 43 and a match for any plane the Japanese can field. Finally a tojo killer.
3. An over extended empire. The shift in power through the year makes all outlying Japanese conquests vulnerable.
4. Radar, working torpedoes, deadly ASW, modern Allied CAs,CLs, and the Fletcher class DD. (just the best)

The advice given here by the others is all sound. Land campaigns are relatively safe in the face of stronger air power and are a good way to start grinding on your opponent. This is especially important since you are not draining him in China. Does not matter where.

Look to seize a point on the map that the Japanese will not want you to have. It has to be a place that you have a reasonable chance of holding or can at least fight over for a long time. This should gain you the initiative. It is time to start an battle of attrition such as the Allies campaign in the Solomons. It does not matter if you lose a few more ships than Japan as long as you are sinking Japanese ships. I personally would avoid an action that would bring on a major carrier fight unless you are sure the odds favor you.

Forcing Japan to focus on a critical point will give you the opportunity to attack elsewhere with little fear of massive retribution.

Beware of attacking atolls in early 1943. You don't have the right ships for it and they can end in disaster. Late 43 and you should be good to go. Besides there are plenty of non atoll targets.

No matter what your plan is for 44, the best thing you can do is to attack Japanese oil production as soon as possible. Not only does it hurt him to lose oil but threatening his oil forces him to react and play defense. Believe me, KB will not be galloping around the Pacific if you are sitting in Sabang.

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 12/27/2012 4:54:00 PM   
guytipton41


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Hi Folks,

I have read the advice and started implementing it. In an unabashed plug for my AAR the high level plan is post 95 at http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3169801&mpage=4&key=�. I am working on the detailed plans for 1943 operations and it is very difficult to plan at that level of detail. We used to play a modded version of SPIs PacWar with plotted WEGO 3-day game turns and this requires even more paperwork! (Spreadsheets, power-points, schedules, oh my.(1))

Cheers,
Guy

(1) However I refuse to put this into MSProject, there are depths of evil I will not plumb.

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RE: What, what, what should a 1943 AFB do? (no MMiller ... - 1/2/2013 8:24:55 PM   
aphrochine


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Having just finished my first 1943 and now moving well into 1944, I'd say that operations do not move as fast as you'd like on paper. Most of my current operations are well behind schedule...albeit largely successful, just behind schedule. My advice would be to keep your plans loose and maintain a flexible reserve so you can react accordingly as your various operations face difficulties or realize exploitable oportunities.

Vague I know, but there's a lot of heavy artillery and rather specific advice in here and I felt this was the only contribution I could make.

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