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Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice

 
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Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 5:47:42 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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[BY SUGGESTION, THIS THREAD IS BEING MOVED AFTER PAGE 3 TO HERE ON THE AAR FORUM: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3270286&mpage=1&key=?]

hi everybody, I could use some advice on two important matters for the Japanese in a Grand Campaign game (please my opponent B. Fagan don't read!); thank you for any and all suggestions!

1. How best to evacuate a busted invasion Japanese force from Koumac (NW of Noumea)? I need to evacuate about 20 units under air bombing at a size 1 port at Koumac. The Allies have a strong airbase at Noumea with 26 B-26 marauders, 36 SB Dauntlesses and 50 fighters. I have the KB still, but the KB's attempt to demolish the Noumea airfield failed and i don't want to risk losing more of my best pilots again. Koumac is 100% under my control (US troops are holed up in Noumea) and the Allies are bombing Koumac repeatedly to keep the airfield and port out of commission. What are the best ships and mission types to get units off a tiny port like that fast with allied bombers overhead? How should i structure a KB based CAP over Koumac and the evacuation ships?

2. With "naval superiority" over the ocean what should the Japanese player do next in mid 1942? I've done what the Japanese did historically so far, and i reached for more at Noumea (and got slapped back). So now i'm wondering, what works best in your experience? Without the amphibious landing bonus i'm wary of attacking high point value bases like Pago Pago or Fiji. My opponent does seem to be very front heavy, most of his units are at the nearest base to each sector's frontline. Noumea, Akyab, Dutch Harbor and PM are heavily defended. The high point value Allied bases have large airfields too with plenty of fighters and bombers now.

Strategic background for further info--I "won" the battle of Midway in May 1942-- sunk at least 3 US CV's (maybe 4) at the loss of two of mine. The USA cannot really counter the KB on the open ocean, yet... My opponent has some strong BB surface fleets and strong air bases at Noumea, PM, Darwin, Akyab, India etc. After I captured Midway I then turned my KB and amphibious fleets south towards Caledonia.

--and my invasion of Noumea was a bit of a bust. Landed 1200 AV (at least 20 different units) at Koumac, tried to cut off the retreating forces (250 AV US army) on the beach further down but they escaped to join 2 US divisions at Noumea. Though I ravaged one of the US relief convoys, my opponent snuck in a division and brought Noumea up to 1,000 AV before fortification adjustment. My recon led me to believe there was about 400 AV at Noumea originally, so I thought i could win when i first landed. Now i realize its time to cut and run and save all that combat power for another day. But how to get them out effectively?

--I am by the way, realizing that I probably should not have had any pre-planning for Noumea for all those units. My opponent most likely saw intel reports indicating Caledonia was a target. I think i may just land "where he isn't" in the future without preplanning. I could have taken Koumac without planning for it and then preplanned for Noumea afterwards. Lesson learned!




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< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 2/14/2013 8:02:59 PM >


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 6:09:53 PM   
geofflambert


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Use BBs to bombard Noumea, they're much better at suppressing airfields than carrier planes. I haven't played the IJN side, so I don't know what kind of training your KB air crews have, but normally I would make ground attack the last thing they learn how to do after naval attack, naval search, ASW and maybe recon. The BBs will have to hit every few days or at least once a week so I hope you have rearm refuel facilities nearby.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 6:21:54 PM   
aphrochine


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+1

Create 2 BB forces to rotate bombardment. This should keep the airfield in pretty rough shape. Use the KB to CAP/LRCAP Koumac while loading. Also, you can fly in a squadron of zeroes to provide direct cover and then fly them back (assuming you have some airfield at Lunga or Shortlands).

Unfortunately, with a level 1 port, you gonna have a rough time quickly loading heavy equipment. If you want to get some heavy equipment, create a small TF that can dock, load tanks/guns/etc. Everyone else, load over the side and be happy to get get out the troops, Dunkirk style.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 6:45:29 PM   
Chickenboy


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As far as evacuating units from Koumac, have you considered the flying boat transport units? Your H6K5-L (or similar '-L') formatted aircraft are ideally suited for this mission. Fly 'em out of Koumac and back to Shortland, Lunga or other bases within range. The great thing about the flying boat transport is their range, payload and ability to move troops without runways being intact.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 6:47:20 PM   
Encircled


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Where are his carriers?

If they are not a factor, then regular bombardment and sinking his attempts to resupply will turn this around for you.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 7:21:53 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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thanks, these are great ideas. I will probably use all of them, won't be easy to evacuate over 50,000 troops! My big problem for bombarding is i think he has Noumea heavily mined- i lost 2 subs in there from mines.

My intel report says that 4 of his CV's are sunk, but Allied ships have been known to "re-appear." I don't think he wants to risk them near the KB. I also have a few light carriers around that could cover the rotating BB fleets.

And i love the idea of using the flying Mavis transports. Thankfully time is on my side since i have "control" over the seas.

It is a somewhat embarassing "Dunkirk" dilemma but the game is still winnable if i get the troops out! thanks for these suggestions, i'm open to more

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 7:39:20 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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You don't provide any detail on what the LCUs are except there are 50,000 men (!!!) A level 1 port is your problem. Not only wil you have ot leave a lot of gear on the beach, loading will take a year.

I'm more direct--why not march down the island and take Noumea? Load there, sail away?

Edit: just looked in between the hexes and see 1000 AV versus 200. Really? What did you land? Are you sure of the 1000 AV? Can you keep it unsupplied and then attack? If he tries to wipe you out by air he will burn supplies.

If you have 20 LCUs and no AV, can you get a new division or two in there to stiffen the REMFs you seem to have stranded? Regardless, the only hope you have of getting these guys off is to take a bigger port, and there's only one available.

Edit edit (gotta stop posting while eating lunch): It looks like you have 1200 AV to his 1000. Same advice, just better for you. Get more force in, some tanks if possible, for sure some engineers, and take the port you need. You need to keep sea superioroty in the vicinity to do this. So either roll those dice or write off the 20 LCUs.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 2/12/2013 7:48:24 PM >


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 7:45:15 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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I wish Bullwinkle58--- Noumea has 2 US divisions, 2 regiments, other support units, and is probably fortified beyond level 3. So unadjusted AV there is 1,000 (i have seen it during first attempt to bombard it with my ground troops, units i pulled out next turn). I have a dozen or so SNLF type units, 2 divisions, artillery and engineers, but not enough of them. Fortification Adjusted with a deliberate attack my 1200 AV would probably get massacred in the barbed wire at 1 -2 or 1-3 odds. I know from Changsha (6,000 AV vs. 2000 AV, fortification level 4) that it can be really painful if you don't massively outnumber the enemy on land.

I had after this landing loaded convoys up with 2 more divisions, but realized that even that was not enough combat power. And then Caledonia would become my Guadacanal quagmire, which i am desparate to avoid!


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 7:53:32 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: leehunt27@bloomberg.net

I wish Bullwinkle58--- Noumea has 2 US divisions, 2 regiments, other support units, and is probably fortified beyond level 3. So unadjusted AV there is 1,000 (i have seen it during first attempt to bombard it with my ground troops, units i pulled out next turn). I have a dozen or so SNLF type units, 2 divisions, artillery and engineers, but not enough of them. Fortification Adjusted with a deliberate attack my 1200 AV would probably get massacred in the barbed wire at 1 -2 or 1-3 odds. I know from Changsha (6,000 AV vs. 2000 AV, fortification level 4) that it can be really painful if you don't massively outnumber the enemy on land.

I had after this landing loaded convoys up with 2 more divisions, but realized that even that was not enough combat power. And then Caledonia would become my Guadacanal quagmire, which i am desparate to avoid!



Combat effectiveness goes to 25% if unsupplied. You need to run him out of supply, and you need more combat force to take the port. You wanted to know how to evac 50,000 men through a Level 1 port. I'm telling you it ain't possible, and what you can get out is subject to loading limits, which means time loading while he bombs you. If you want you can try to build that Level 1 to its max (3? I don't have the map open), but that takes a lot of time too.

Fight or die. FWIW I think you're screwed either way, but if it were me I'd fight.

< Message edited by Bullwinkle58 -- 2/12/2013 7:57:52 PM >


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 8:05:48 PM   
Canoerebel


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If it's still early/mid '42 and you have carrier superiority, why not turn this into the Gettysburg of the war?  You'll need to be able to replenish your combat ships and carriers.  Assuming you can do that efficiently (through the use of big ports and/or AKEs, etc.), you should be able to assert dominance around Noumea.  As others have stated, BBs should be able to whack down supply (and keep the airfield suppressed) at Noumea over the course of perhaps one month.  In the meantime, your carriers should prevent supply or reinforcements from coming in.  Once Noumea is out of supply, your 1,000 AV army would vanquish his 1,000 AV army.  You'll have to maintain CAP over the field to prevent him from sneaking in supply by air transport.  If lightly held, take Tanna and Efate, give them base force personnel, and use the fields to augment your fighter coverage and/or patrol aircraft. 

Implementing a plan this complex is very difficult.  Consult with knowledgeable players (Bullwinkle and Poulry Lad aka Chicken Dude are good sources!).  But this may be your chance to achieve a massive battle with odds to your liking.  Your biggest problem is logistics.  If you can't replenish, you can't do this.  In that case, withdrawing cadres of your army by long-range patrol boat will be your most efficient, least costly method.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 8:22:45 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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These are good points Bullwinkle58 and Canoerebel. I appreciate the ideas and advice, i asked for a reason- was a bit confounded. I originally wanted to stay at Noumea and fight, but I'd seen my guys get mauled at Changsha by undersupplied Chinese behind level 4 forts. So i doubted how my guys would do at Noumea. However, the Allies would have to sacrifice a lot of ships etc to keep it supplied and I didn't realize troops fight at 25% combat value if unsupplied. Maybe i can just keep pouring troops and planes in and beat him up.

I have a two divisions on ships near Truk and another convoy with 100,000 supply. Bullwinkle58 I have 1,200 AV on the ground in Caledonia, with 20 units or so (support etc)I have the KB and surface fleets, and i could probably establish some bases nearby (Efate etc as you mentioned) to help ferry in planes and regain air superiority. Its july 1942. Maybe its worth it to fight...


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 8:41:28 PM   
Lokasenna


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I think trying to take Noumea is your best option. If you can cut off his supplies, you can starve him out. It's harder to do than at say, Bataan, but you could do it... It's just a question of whether you're willing to risk your other assets beyond those 20 LCUs. I'd do it, but if you lose your CVs before the US even gets its Essexes...

How does the surface combat scene look? What major ships have you each lost, i.e. BBs, CAs (/US CLs)?

Reasons why I'd do it:
-He's committed a fairly substantial ground force here. If you can achieve victory, not only will you be adding a nice port to your perimeter but it will (at least somewhat) blunt his eventual counteroffensive. You only have about a year before he gets more CVs and vastly upgraded planes.
-Noumea is out of range of his fighters, so if you can maintain interdiction via your CVs and any nearby airfields then your job is easier while his is harder.
-It might divert some of his effort from other theaters. [Perhaps to prevent this, maybe give him some rubbish intel by prepping for some bases you don't intend to invade: Pago Pago, relatively vulnerable Australian bases, etc. This might influence any reinforcement decisions by him.]

Things you'll need:
-AKEs, AKEs, and AKEs. I like Tulagi, do you?
-The nearest port capable of resupplying your CV sorties and refueling stocked with plenty of fuel and supplies for replacements, in case he finds out about your AKEs. I like Rabaul as an option here, or you can just use Tulagi with NavSupp (but beware that you won't be able to replenish CV Torps without much more NavSupp).
-I see that Noumea is mined, however once you run him out of supply you can sneak some minesweepers in there without risking much from any CD gun batteries (IIRC...). You can also try to mine the port either before or after doing this, to further hamper any last-ditch resupply efforts by him.
-Tanks and engineers to help with the ground combat.

It really would be a Gettysburg. And as the Romans used to say, "The ram has touched the wall" at this point.

Alternatively, you can try to airlift and raft out as many troops as you can in an attempt to at least save the unit so you don't have to buy it back, but you'd still have to rebuild it... Otherwise, I can't see how you can salvage this.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 9:03:10 PM   
ny59giants


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I would look to spend some time in TAKING Noumea. The use of BBs in Bombardment TFs is a great idea. Just remember to set your escort to NOT bombard and set the range at near 20k for the first few run ins (if you don't hit a mine, slowly lower it). Include a few DMS to hopefully clear some mines.

I would build up Luganville and get an Naval HQ there along with your largest AE/AKEs. I would have BOTH an Army/Corp HQ and a Command HQ (the Command can add 90% to adjusted AV totals along with 10% for Army HQ) prepping and moving down to New Calendonia. Your choice of Command HQs will be Southern Command or 5th Fleet. Build up La Foi and maybe a dot base off Noumea so you can at least base Vals and some Kates. Force him to use his few CVs to resupply.

Prep another two divisions for the assault along with some combat engineers.

FYI - I play both sides and at this point you still have the strategic edge.

BANZAI!!


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 9:46:54 PM   
Blind Sniper


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If your Intel about American CVs is correct I think the toasted player is him and not you, you can starve the enemy and reinforce your Army.
I would use BBs/CAs on bombardment and after the runway damages are enough I would attack Noumea with the KB, then I would build up Koumac base (airfield 4th level) and keep the enemy base under pressure.
Use subs as pickets and FPs to discover enemy sorties (if any).

In the meantime advance your units at Noumea and identify the real enemy strenght.

No retreat, no fear!

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 10:13:19 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: leehunt27@bloomberg.net

These are good points Bullwinkle58 and Canoerebel. I appreciate the ideas and advice, i asked for a reason- was a bit confounded. I originally wanted to stay at Noumea and fight, but I'd seen my guys get mauled at Changsha by undersupplied Chinese behind level 4 forts. So i doubted how my guys would do at Noumea. However, the Allies would have to sacrifice a lot of ships etc to keep it supplied and I didn't realize troops fight at 25% combat value if unsupplied. Maybe i can just keep pouring troops and planes in and beat him up.

I have a two divisions on ships near Truk and another convoy with 100,000 supply. Bullwinkle58 I have 1,200 AV on the ground in Caledonia, with 20 units or so (support etc)I have the KB and surface fleets, and i could probably establish some bases nearby (Efate etc as you mentioned) to help ferry in planes and regain air superiority. Its july 1942. Maybe its worth it to fight...



Summarize what Canoerebel said this way: one of you is trapped. Why does it have to be you?

Sea control is the key. Sea control gives you supply denial gives you air denial gives you AV reduction gives you forts immateriality. It would take some time, but it's possible.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 10:39:22 PM   
Tophat1812

 

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Just coming back to the game after a 9 month hiatus myself. I agree with the majority here,your opponent is the one trapped not you! He has placed 2 divisions in an unsupported prison camp along with support units no doubt.

Be alert for allied subs! If i was playing you I'd flood that area for subs looking to interdict your transports and hopefully knock off a capital ship or get lucky and hit a CV.

Grab Efate and Tanna both with SNLF or whatever naval infantry you have at hand. Place flying boats on both islands,one for recon coverage the other for anti-sub patrol range out to 10. Also from Lunga asw as well again out to 10 hex range to cover Tulagi area.

If you are operating KB or mini CV TF's make sure to fly a group of kates as asw cover.

Post what happens or start a thread in the after action section,my bet is you'll do well.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 11:34:32 PM   
Cribtop


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I concur with the majority opinion as well. Make sure to post how you're doing - should be a heck of a battle!

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/12/2013 11:54:53 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Ha, ok you guys convinced me. It is a game after all and its more fun to go for it. This battle for Noumea will certainly be an epic one-- basically going to end up with both sides concentrating all their major fleets and troops! I'll keep you guys posted. Going to be a long organizing turn scrounging for support units and HQ's and ships to send them to all the bases i need to build up around Koumac

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 2:02:43 AM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Yes, been through an epic battle for New Caledonia myself....and eventually lost on the Allied side, albeit with massive losses to Japan as well

It might well mimic your fight. You can see how big a role BB bombardment played. BTW, you can also take Tanna and Norfolk Is to isolate New Caledonia and prohibit Allied reinforcement/resupply.

You need to build up Koumac and gain air supremacy over Noumea or at least parity. Then you can grind down his ground troops.

Fight started here

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2341315&mpage=26&key=New%2CScotland

and then reached rough homology with your fight here

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2341315&mpage=35&key=New%2CScotland

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 2:13:41 AM   
n01487477


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Almost anything can be done with enough force applied. I'll summarise what I've just done in my PBEM.

1. Built up Luganville to AF 4. AKE's to rearm (see 4)
2. Koumac AF4 and port2.
3. Blockaded Noumea from supplies with CV/SS's.
4. Multi-times Bombarded Noumea with 3-4 BB's, CA's etc.
5. LB from Luganville and sweeps from Koumac.
This will stop forts being built by destroying his airfield and air superiority. Use up his supplies and disrupt the troops.
6. HQ's and LCU's prepped. Plenty of Engineers, Art and AV.
7. Swimming in supplies.
8. Move in and once his supplies have dwindled, make them all prisoners.

Good luck, Noumea is the new Guadalcanal ;-)

< Message edited by n01487477 -- 2/13/2013 2:16:27 AM >


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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 3:03:31 AM   
Chickenboy


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@OP: I'll further your original post for evacuation advice and forego the epic battle advice you've received above.

Another good way to evacuate your troops as Japanese is via fast transport TFs. Set them up from Tulagi / Lunga or other region nearby. You can select 'pick up unit' from their orders and they'll move to target, pick up the specified unit and return what they can load to the mother base. A good way (like IRL) to evacuate fragments or whole units.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 3:21:45 AM   
jeffk3510


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You are better off fighting to take Noumea, and put the burden on his shoulders. Not yours. You can take Noumea, if done properly.

With the advice above, you shouldn't have much trouble taking it IMO.

Very curious to hear about your results.

I really like the fact of your CV superiority at the moment. That is a big plus for you. You could make Noumea a very nasty situation for him.

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 5:21:30 AM   
Commander Cody


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Wow, just another aspect of this great game: A guy comes to the forum looking for advice on how to mitigate a defeat and the forumites encourage him to do a 180. I'll be closely following this to see how it turns out.

One question: Is this Scenario 1 or 2?

Cheers,
CC

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 6:03:15 AM   
Capt Hornblower


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I have a couple of questions: Is Command By Committee really in the spirit of the game? Shouldn't someone taking on the role of CinC have to make his own decisions?

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 8:53:56 AM   
JocMeister

 

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I agree with the rest here. Why are you going to evacuate? You have him trapped. Bring the KB down, isolate Noumea, bomb the snot out of it and voila. He has lost about 3 IDs worth of troops. Once you close the AF there and bring the KB Noumea is completely cut off.

Btw, loosing 2 IDs plus 2 RGTs in a big disaster at this stage in the game for the allied player. Your opponent will certainly miss them...

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 8:56:56 AM   
janh

 

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Bullwinkle and Canoerebel nailed it. I'd also aim to turn this into an opportunity to destroy at least two high value US divisions, two that won't come to haunt you elsewhere in the near future then. Plus an opportunity to attrit his little air force there. If you use KB on cap, and still have a decent fighter crew on the ships, all his strikes will get massacred for little return.

I faced a similar situation in my first AI game, also invaded pretty late in July with about 1000 AV at Koumac. Turns out AI had level 7 forts up and 250k supply waiting when I loaded the save later to look back. Ugly. Took a while to finish off other offensives, get some 2000 AV there, and finally reduce it. Lesson learned -- Noumea is a key location and ought to be taken in the 2nd wave, by April at the latest.

Keep us posted how it went!

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RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 9:15:39 AM   
JocMeister

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt Hornblower

I have a couple of questions: Is Command By Committee really in the spirit of the game? Shouldn't someone taking on the role of CinC have to make his own decisions?


With that reasoning we wouldn´t have any AARs?

(in reply to Capt Hornblower)
Post #: 27
RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 11:00:55 AM   
Uncivil Engineer

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt Hornblower

I have a couple of questions: Is Command By Committee really in the spirit of the game? Shouldn't someone taking on the role of CinC have to make his own decisions?


All commanders get advice from their staff. The OP asks his ops guy whether (and how) to evacuate; the ops guy says don't evacuate - go for it, pointing out the advantages and disadvantages and how to maximize the advantages and overcome the disadvantages. That's what good staff officers do. The OP is still the one making the decision. (He didn't ask for a vote - that would be command by committee).

(in reply to Capt Hornblower)
Post #: 28
RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 1:48:29 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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The advice is greatly appreciated. I think I overestimated the enemy's position and underestimated my own. I had made the long leap from Truk/Rabaul to Noumea, but now realize that i can build up bases along the way and keep a strong line at Noumea and use the KB and subs to blockade him. I even used a surface fleet to smash one of his resupply convoys earlier (i wonder if any Allied troops were on board).


In response to questions above:
1- its scenario 1 GC. I stuck around and bombed PH for a second day on December 8th
2- I had planned a surprise attack on Noumea and had thought best to evacuate since i didn't capture the city within 2 weeks (busted surprise). But based on these responses, it seems its worth a fight and I have a slight advantage-- and the reward for slugging it out could be a game changer.[/quote]

Ok, so now i have 1300 AV (some recovered from initial disruption, landing losses etc) at La Foa and 333 AV at Koumac. So more strength has recovered. Unfortunately they are not prepped for Noumea anymore but it will be a month or two before I attack the city anyway (they are now re-prepping for Noumea). I have 2 full divisions on ships at Truk prepped for Noumea that can be on their way to secure the line of bases. Then those two divisions can move in for the final kill probably. I am sending base forces, engineers and aviation support down to the island chains from Rabaul through Caledonia. So I'm pretty sure I can get 2000 AV into the fight, maybe more.

Attached is a screenshot of the troop situation, and I'm going to attach two more of the overall situation. Thanks guys!




Attachment (1)

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John 21:25

(in reply to Uncivil Engineer)
Post #: 29
RE: Strategic dilemma- looking for some advice - 2/13/2013 1:49:07 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Joined: 9/6/2004
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and the overall situation in this game:




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

John 21:25

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 30
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