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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums)

 
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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 2:03:27 AM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


Posts: 450
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July 29th, 1942

The Americans did sally forth from Noumea against my troops 1 hex away at La Foa, and I decided to roll the dice with a shock attack against what my recon indicated were two units of 3700 men with 30 AFV's. Those two units sallying to La Foa turned out to be the Americal division and the 24th Infantry Regiment!!! Great recon!

The results of are below.

Meanwhile the American battleships did not bombard Luganville like i thought, and my light carrier Shoho's Kate's did no damage during a brief attack. So right now i have a few transport fleets going back and forth in the Coral Sea, and a surface fleet of US BB's and CA's prowling west of Luganville. I don't know what he intends to do with this fleet, because unless it heads back to Noumea or Port Moresby its in trouble. I'll try to hunt it down either way.

IJ troops are landing to take Tanna. My Oscars at La Foa held off a raid from Noumea quite well, looks like i can at least protect my transports in this area. Gaining air superiority might be difficult over Noumea, but not over the rest of the ocean and islands nearby. So I think I'll stick around a while and clobber US troops, planes and ships as the opportunity arises. Like the APD's you can see on the map trying to reinforce Efate. My opponent definitely seems willing to fight it out here, and that's good for me as long as i can keep the fighting on my terms each time.


Ground combat at La Foa (114,159)

Japanese Shock attack

Attacking force 30033 troops, 300 guns, 236 vehicles, Assault Value = 1175

Defending force 13709 troops, 253 guns, 331 vehicles, Assault Value = 508

Japanese adjusted assault: 1102

Allied adjusted defense: 424

Japanese assault odds: 2 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: terrain(+), preparation(-), fatigue(-), experience(-)
Attacker: shock(+)

Japanese ground losses:
4414 casualties reported
Squads: 22 destroyed, 310 disabled
Non Combat: 4 destroyed, 24 disabled
Engineers: 1 destroyed, 56 disabled
Guns lost 24 (3 destroyed, 21 disabled)
Vehicles lost 11 (2 destroyed, 9 disabled)


Allied ground losses:
3645 casualties reported
Squads: 101 destroyed, 100 disabled
Non Combat: 140 destroyed, 98 disabled
Engineers: 6 destroyed, 4 disabled
Guns lost 46 (20 destroyed, 26 disabled)
Vehicles lost 80 (50 destroyed, 30 disabled)
Units retreated 2


Defeated Allied Units Retreating!

Assaulting units:
38th Division
53rd Naval Guard Unit
Maizuru 1st SNLF
86th Naval Guard Unit
89th Naval Guard Unit
16th Recon Regiment
8th Tank Regiment
48th Naval Guard Unit
20th Ind. Engineer Regiment
47th Naval Guard Unit
87th Naval Guard Unit
23rd Nav Gd Unit
88th Naval Guard Unit
16th Engineer Regiment
15th Naval Guard Unit
16th Army
1st Hvy.Artillery Regiment
8th Medium Field Artillery Regiment
26th Air Flotilla
2nd Naval Construction Battalion

Defending units:
Americal Infantry Division
24th (Sep) Infantry Regiment




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/17/2013 2:05:14 AM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 2:31:48 AM   
Saros

 

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Is that a heavy surface force right next your carriers? Oh dear.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 2:41:23 AM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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It is a heavy surface force next to the CVL Shoho and 3 IJ cruisers--- which are on the way to Luganville, where I have 5 BB's and 20 Cruisers. So if he chases me... Also the KB is off map but should be in the area in a turn or two

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/17/2013 2:44:55 AM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 3:06:42 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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July 30th, 1942..

Ouch... That US surface fleet you saw in the screenshot above did catch up to the CVL Shoho and the 3 CA's, and the Shoho didn't make it. My surface fleet nearby did not react either and so his battlewagons are apparently headed SE towards Efate. The KB is in town now, and my battleships are going to protect it lest i lose another carrier :(. That was a very touch and go cat and mouse game-- I had hoped my air force and carrier planes would have attacked his surface fleet and he would have run away. Instead none of my planes attacked in the heavy rain and he got the CVL Shoho and a cruiser. I have no idea what will happen this next round. If his battlewagons stick around it will be very interesting. If not, chalk one up for the Allies. Though at least i got a round in last turn after having smashed the Americal Division and the 24th American infantry regiment at La Foa.

Perhaps I could have moved my BB surface fleet at Luganville after him. I was unsure where he would go and i didn't want to risk him attacking the transports at Luganville. I had played it "safe" and lost the Shoho. Sigh. Also I probably should have had more air power in the area capable of sinking ships-- most of my squadrons are Oscars and Zeroes to protect the transports. Lately I have been playing its safe building up the supply chain of islands in the area and my opponent just tested that. Though I can't count on him slipping up, but if he does i have a lot of nets to catch the American battlewagons...

In other New Caledonia news, the air battle over La Foa did not go as well this round. Successive waves of Allied planes from Noumea and bombers from Fiji and Oz wore down my cap of 30 Oscar's and 12 Zeroes. I had to pull them out this round to Luganville. I think I'll be able to protect transports on the way to Noumea, but the attrition battle for air superiority over Noumea proper may be just that- an attrition battle i think the Japanese player may be unable to fight. Taking Tanna will help distract him. At this point the Allies have almost half a dozen air bases and ports to attack to keep me at bay, and I only need one to build up sufficiently to protect the transports.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/17/2013 3:25:11 PM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 4:42:40 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Ouch!

Still, sending the Americal Div and another regiment packing at La Foa will have disabled about 1/4 of their strength, or more. That is a big win.

The fastest way to lay low the airfield at Noumea is with night surface bombardment supported by the KB to cover the ingress and egress of the bombardment force.

Are we to understand his BB's are continuously on station at Noumea?

What is the composition of the Arried force?

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
Post #: 35
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 4:59:55 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Estimates of Allied Forces in the area:

Naval: 4 BB's, 8 cruisers & 6 DD's moving SE to Efate after destroying my CVL Shoho and 1 CA. I imagine they are on station at Noumea, eventually that may cost him. Some APD's at Efate probably reinforcing, coming from Noumea. His 2 CV's are near Midway last, but could be at Noumea in a few turns if he was rushing them there. Its possible but i doubt it. Some subs at my bases trying to pick off transports.

Ground:
Efate: 1 USMC para battalion, APD's bringing unknown extra reinforcements
Ndeni: 8,000+ men, possibly one tank battalion. Probably 1 infantry regiment + 1 base force. 12 PBY Catalinas (though airfield under constant bombardment). I am prepping some units to annihilate this base.
Noumea: Last, 60,000 men, 1200 AFV's. Americal Division & 24th Infantry Regiment badly mauled, possibly to 50% strength. I don't know why he advanced only half his 1,000 Av to La Foa, which got sent running back home to Noumea, but he also probably wonders why i exposed the CVL Shoho.

Air: Noumea: 80 fighters, 36 SB Dauntless, 40 level bombers. Fiji & Oz: Level bombers that are sporadically bombing the airfields at La Foa, Koumac and Luganville.

The next turn could be either really really good, or really really bad. I did move my BB's to protect the KB, so hopefully it will be a good turn. If the weather is good and he leaves his BB's to protect the APD's at Efate, the KB might maul him. Once Luganville and Tanna are built up a bit more the night bombardments of Noumea will commence :).


Besides my continuing dilemma here, what would you do? I have another question for the forums-- did you ever catch the Japanese this far in and punish them? Seems like the Diego Garcia AAR did. Or did the Japanese win?

p.s. I did finish reading "Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War" by James B. Wood, very helpful in establishing a long term japanese strategy. I've already moved more of my subs towards the Hawaii- SF sea lanes with good results so far. Also i have construction battalions on nearly 15 key islands surrounding japan buildings forts up. My next holes to fill are in Burma, DEI and the Hollandia coast. Thank you Chickenboy for that recommendation


< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/17/2013 7:11:53 PM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/17/2013 6:50:35 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: leehunt27@bloomberg.net

p.s. I did finish reading "Japanese Military Strategy in the Pacific War" by James B. Wood, very helpful in establishing a long term japanese strategy. I've already moved more of my subs towards the Hawaii- SF sea lanes with good results so far. Also i have construction battalions on nearly 15 key islands surrounding japan buildings forts up. My next holes to fill are in Burma, DEI and the Hollandia coast. Thank you Chickenboy for that recommendation



You're welcome. It was kindly given me by my friend and nemesis AW1Steve. Alas, he retained a copy for himself.

Note the images of shipping patterns in the book-describing when they were in use and why. Preserving these and strengthening these is very important.

I think I've already made myself clear about Noumea for you. Your opponent is neutralizing any advantages you have there and you've not evicted him. If you choose to try to do so, you'd best get on it. Otherwise, I revert to my previous recommendation to not become embroiled in this area in a tit-for-tat exchange. Particularly not at the expense of developing your rear bases.


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 4:16:14 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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July 31st, 1942

Alfred Thayer Mahan would be proud-- the finest battleships on both sides slug it out near Luganville for domination of the sea around New Caledonia and Luganville. Check out the screen shot below. I let the battle run (took 15-20 minutes and my baby daughter was mesmerized for by the shellfire thunder), and looks like the Japanese came out on top. Some of my BB's are gonna be in the shipyard repairing for a month but the US battlewagons are probably way more damaged and need to be towed back to Oz or Pearl. Hopefully my subs can pick some off along the way. The KB managed to fly a sortie after rushing from Wallis Island last round and running out of fuel. Unfortunately 2 squadrons of Kate's could not locate the enemy but some other squadrons did.

On a game tactical note, my surface fleet of BB's was given a react of 6 and orders to follow and protect the KB, which was 3 hexes east of Luganville refueling from AO's. The BB's reacted 2-3 hexes south to intercept the US fleet apparently en route to Efate, and half the IJ ships ended up in Luganville, the other half chased the US surface fleet away. So a lot can happen with that kind of order flexibility!

For now, the balance of power around Caledonia remains; Japan dominating the sea, the US dominating air at least around Noumea, and equal on ground. Though on ground i have taken Tanna and Efate and Ndeni are going to be taken soon enough.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Night Time Surface Combat, near Efate at 119,154, Range 8,000 Yards

Allied aircraft
no flights

Allied aircraft losses
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 4 destroyed

Japanese Ships
CS Chiyoda
BB Haruna, Shell hits 2, on fire
BB Kirishima, Shell hits 4, on fire
BB Nagato, Shell hits 3, on fire
BB Yamato, Shell hits 1
BB Ise, Shell hits 1
CA Tone, Shell hits 1
CA Chikuma
CA Myoko, Shell hits 2
CA Nachi, Shell hits 3
CA Aoba, Shell hits 2
CL Sendai
CL Nagara, Shell hits 2
CL Natori
CL Kinu
CL Kitakami, Shell hits 1
CL Oi
DD Kagero
DD Arare, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Murasame, Shell hits 3
DD Umikaze, Shell hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Ariake
DD Ayanami
DD Hayate

Allied Ships
BB Colorado, Shell hits 13, on fire, heavy damage
BB Idaho, Shell hits 2
BB New Mexico, Shell hits 15, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Mississippi, Shell hits 7
CA Northampton, Shell hits 15, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
CA Chester, Shell hits 10, heavy fires
CA San Francisco, Shell hits 1
CL Helena
CL Phoenix
CL Nashville, Shell hits 18, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CL Boise, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Dunlap, Shell hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Fanning
DD Mahan
DD Cummings
DD Lamson, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Case, Shell hits 1
DD Conyngham
DD Shaw
DD Cushing, Shell hits 1
DD Perkins
DD Smith


Then the KB launches, though 2 squadrons of Kate's could not find the target and the Val's fly with reduced bomb loads of 60kg, not sure why (doh!):

Morning Air attack on TF, near Efate at 118,155

Weather in hex: Severe storms

Raid detected at 60 NM, estimated altitude 15,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 22 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 42
B5N2 Kate x 15
D3A1 Val x 9



Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
D3A1 Val: 2 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB Colorado, Bomb hits 6, heavy damage
BB New Mexico, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
BB Mississippi, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1
DD Cushing



Aircraft Attacking:
4 x D3A1 Val releasing from 3000' *
Naval Attack: 2 x 60 kg GP Bomb
9 x B5N2 Kate launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
6 x B5N2 Kate launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
5 x D3A1 Val releasing from 2000' *
Naval Attack: 2 x 60 kg GP Bomb





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/18/2013 4:38:11 PM >


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Post #: 38
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 5:54:27 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Santa Maria! It's Jutland in the South Pacific.

Those are some seriously unwieldy task forces on both sides. Can you imagine a night battle with that many ships? It's a nightmare. Probably many ships never got a round off. Even so the Long Lance did its work.

Of the USN cruisers and BB's only perhaps Idaho, San Francisco, Helena and Phoenix can still fight.

Don't let anything bigger than a DD get within SBD range of Noumea until you are ready to press your attack.

Rearm to the battleworthy BB's, get the recon over Noumea up to 9 and come back and finish the airfield. You might be able to put the carriers SSE of Tanna somewhere to cut off the retreat of damaged USN ships. Most likely, they will go to Noumea but will eventaully have to be scuttled.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 6:03:38 PM   
Chickenboy


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In general, more than 15 ships in a TF is unwieldy. In practice, there is also some diminution of efficacy when combining so many different ship classes as well.

Still, you came out on top. See what you can do with KB about picking off some stragglers too. Remember to not track KB along the pathway of probable retreat, but rather within airstrike range of same.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 6:17:21 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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Good points on the task force composition. After seeing his huge BB force ransack the CVL Shoho, i threw all my BB's and cruisers into that large TF but probably should have had a 15 and 10 ship grouping. The KB is trailing back a bit to avoid Noumea's air power, and I've got 3 subs in the area trying to pick off the returning wounded US battlewagons. Does he tow them to Oz or to Fiji next is the question?

I'm still dubious on the idea of wiping out the American air force on Noumea. At least 80 fighters. I can muster maybe 150 fighters, but no way i could get them lined up at all the air bases to sweep at once. Best i can do is rotate them in and out. For now looks like i'll build up and take his side islands, after that i'm not sure. Also, i'm trying to figure out what he's thinking. A few turns ago the Allied player thought i was evacauting Caledonia on barges and he sent 570 AV into La Foa to get hurled back by a shock attack from my Japanese army troops. Now he knows i'm strong on land but weak or neutral in the air. What would he try next?

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 9:15:36 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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And the KB gets a couple more torps into the retreating US surface fleet near Caledonia... also attached in the picture is a list of the large ship casualties in the war so far.




Attachment (1)

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/18/2013 10:19:43 PM   
Saros

 

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Why is a CS with the battlewagons? It should be providing search for the KB not hobbling your battle line.
As has already been said those are seriously unoptimal surface forces. The fast battleships need to be separate from the 25kt ones and task forces shouldn't be more than 8-10 ships, a pair of BB's with cruiser escort and 4 destroyers is much more effective especially at night battles.

Finally dont put any faith in IJN CL's. They are terrible and about their only use is fast transport and convoy escort. They cant even go 1:1 with modern allied destroyers because their 14cm guns are just that bad.

All that being said it looks like a victory overall to me. Keep the allies back and get your surface ships bombarding Noumea. Don't forget to put the floatplanes on the ships on night recon so the act as spotters for the bombardment.

Oh and the Val's flew with 60kg bombs because of the range. They can only carry 250kg bombs out to 6 hexes.


< Message edited by Saros -- 3/19/2013 1:21:26 AM >

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 3:27:52 AM   
Lokasenna


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Him losing those BBs is going to seriously hamper his later amphibious efforts. Good job.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 1:15:10 PM   
ny59giants


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Put this item on your "honey to do list." Take off the 2 FP groups from your CS and place a non-restricted FP group on to get re-sized to 24 planes. Rotate in as many as you can. Then fill up with Jakes. I would plan to build the Norm FP that comes out in '43 to be used in some places that your Emily cannot cover in Nav Search and secondary to be used for ASW. They have a higher SR, but their range is 12/15. I produce 60 Jake and 30 Norms per month.

I use my fast CS with KB to provide Nav Search. Since the Jake has a range of 8/10, they are ideal in this role.

Having a large 24 FP group of Jakes at Koumac would help right now.

< Message edited by ny59giants -- 3/19/2013 1:17:27 PM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 1:34:26 PM   
obvert


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Looks like you're doing well in the naval engagements, but it might have gone less well if your opponent had made a TF that wasn't so large and unwieldy and hampered by the slow speed of the old BBs. Both of you are using way too many ships together to have them perform at top ability. You should pay special attention to speed and range of main guns when putting these SCTFs together.

Your 25-27 knot BBs should play together with some DDs. Your 30 knot BBs can be used with CAs as they're nearly as fast, and make sure you keep the TFs at 15 ships or less. Ideally smaller TFs like 8-10 ships might do better for you. Some say even smaller.

For the older CLs, you can try them with DDs but they really just suck against modern US ships. The modern IJN CLs are not too bad.

Never use the CS ships for surface combat if you can help it. They are too valuable. Keep them with the KB to increase the DL of anything you're after and to keep the subs at bay. I don't even convert them to CVL, but many do this conversion. Well, I did convert the slowest, the Mizuho, as it gains speed in the conversion and can move with the slower CVs now.

You should be very pleased you got those ships with TT in the surface engagement. Your opponent slowed his entire fleet by placing 22 knot BBs in it. Usually you won't get so lucky hitting DDs and CLs with the long lances.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 2:23:41 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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thanks @Lokasenna :)

@ny59Giants-- i love that idea. Naval search coverage seems to be my biggest naval weakness right now.

@obvert & @saros-- yes, both my opponent and i were wielding clumsy surface TF's. That will be remedied by me, and hopefully by him the hard way (with less ships!). I think my opponent underestimated the IJ forces and resilience in the area. He thought i was weak, overextended and evacuating-- when I am strong, overextended, and staying around to fight (for now).


Out of more than curiousity- has anyone won as the Japanese late into the game? Has anyone stuffed the Allies on few landings and delayed "losing" until 1946? Or at least, made it clear that such a delay was likely and so the Allied player gave up in 1944 etc?

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 4:50:14 PM   
obvert


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quote:

Out of more than curiousity- has anyone won as the Japanese late into the game? Has anyone stuffed the Allies on few landings and delayed "losing" until 1946? Or at least, made it clear that such a delay was likely and so the Allied player gave up in 1944 etc?


Several players have take things quite late. The aztez/erstad game is in early 46 and erstad is fighting hard still. The AAR is currently on page two. Right next to it is another by aztez i just found that is also in 46.

In a very interesting game rader took jzanes into 8/45 at least before both AARs faded away with no word of what happened. The Allies hadn't yet conquered Luzon, Saipan, the Marianas, and parts of China and Korea were still in Japanese hands.

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2347310&mpage=12�

There are probably others.

If you want to do this though, all of these ships in the deep South Pacific are going to cost you in the long run. Lasting late as Japan is not about winning tactical battles as much as carrying out a larger strategic plan that balances aggression with defensive preparation and solid economic policy. When you're in 44 you're going to be wishing you had some of that fuel back. In my game I am.





< Message edited by obvert -- 3/19/2013 4:58:34 PM >


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Post #: 48
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/19/2013 6:00:08 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

Put this item on your "honey to do list." Take off the 2 FP groups from your CS and place a non-restricted FP group on to get re-sized to 24 planes. Rotate in as many as you can. Then fill up with Jakes. I would plan to build the Norm FP that comes out in '43 to be used in some places that your Emily cannot cover in Nav Search and secondary to be used for ASW. They have a higher SR, but their range is 12/15. I produce 60 Jake and 30 Norms per month.

I use my fast CS with KB to provide Nav Search. Since the Jake has a range of 8/10, they are ideal in this role.

Having a large 24 FP group of Jakes at Koumac would help right now.


While this is one of my favorite things to do, I've seen a couple of people post to the effect that they think this is gamey depending on the circumstance.

IMO, 24-plane units (especially patrol planes) aren't despicable, but using a bigger CVL (or CV!) to resize (or to unrestrict a restricted unit, especially a White-restricted one) to the max capacity of the ship and then using that unit in combat ops... It can push some boundaries. I would check with your opponent first to be sure he's OK with it (unless it's already covered by your HRs), but of course maintain operational security ;).

If he is OK with it, maybe you can resize some of your training groups in the Home Islands as well, to push more pilots through your training regime.

(in reply to ny59giants)
Post #: 49
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/28/2013 8:30:14 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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August 8th, 1942

Lesson of the day: Do not underestimate your opponent!!! After fending off the Allied BB fleet and sinking two battlewagons (see previous posts), and knowing the American CV's were at Midway, i thought i was in the clear at sea near Luganville and Noumea... but the British BB Warspite and some cruisers launched a night raid out of Noumea and sank 3 AO's (argh, they are precious) and 2 DD's. Fortunately the transports were unhurt. My surface fleet was disbanded-- ooops. They are back out now and ready for another try. My opponent usually repeats winning "tricks" more than once, so i may surprise him. I also flooded Luganville with TF's and ships so it might be confusing what's really there, and it may seem like a tempting target after his first success.

-A squadron of 36 B-17E's managed to get past a CAP of nearly 20 Zeroes and 20 Oscars over Luganville and damage some ships. This is very frustrating as I have a large amount of fighters but they cannot seem to take down the big 4E bombers. Any suggestions? I do have transports on the way with 3 AA units.

-The Allied troops sallied from Noumea again, estimates are 14,000 troops and several hundred AFV's and guns. I imagine he did not sally with only 500 AV to get mauled like last time. Neither side has bombarded at La Foa so I'm in the dark. I have 1100 AV there so I am not concerned. He may be trying to hold me down at La Foa for an "Inchon" style sweep around to Koumac. I have 250 AV at Koumac though so i think it will be hard for him to pull that off- also I have the KB and he has relatively weaker naval forces in the area.

Meanwhile the vigorous anti-sub campaign around Japan, combined with mines laid around all straits and islands, has apparently bagged 5 subs in the last few turns. The Allies have lost nearly 30 subs so far as of August 1942. I hope that pays off later...
In China, Changsha has fallen and now the rush is on to clear the road to Vietnam and cut off North China :)






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< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 3/28/2013 8:31:41 PM >


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Post #: 50
RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 3/30/2013 8:09:22 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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The only 2 ways to really stop the B-17 are to capture the Boeing plant in Seattle or wreck the airfields they fly from.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/1/2013 6:35:30 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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August, 1942

--I brought in 2 squadrons of Nick's to Luganville to fend off the B-17 raids-- though i did check the Air Losses report and Brian (my opponent) has lost dozens of B-17's to Op Losses. I think his raids might be more costly than i thought. He just blasted oil producing Magwe on the Burma frontier to bits with a surprise raid though :(

--Allies retook Midway, the island where he lost 3 CV's and several ships and I lost 2 CV's. The US fleet now has 2-3 CV's as of August 1942. 4 BB's also pounded the island garrison. I kind of think the operation was a waste of time for the Americans though- he could have bypassed Midway. The Japanese cannot turn it into a substantial base or threat, its more of a liability to hold. I'm not happy about losing 100 AV there, but now i'm starting to think in terms of -- how many islands can i make the Allies invade, and how much punishment and delay can I deliver?



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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/8/2013 6:36:38 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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August 16th, 1942

"Should I stay or should I go now?" - the Clash

Bad news on the air front: In the ongoing saga to either capture Noumea or get my Japanese troops off of it, I've built up Luganville as a supporting base (port 3, airfield 5, 150 aircraft) just to the northeast. Supplies, fuel, reinforcements etc are being unloaded at Luganville almost every day. Last turn 48 P-38's from Noumea swept the skies over this strong base of Luganville, but were given a bloody nose by my 75 Oscars & Zeroes. Next 58 B-17E's bombarded the airfield, destroying a half a dozen planes and damaging the airfield, but fortunately not enough to prevent my CAP from taking off the next day. Those B-17's seem to breeze right through the CAP of approximately 75 fighters, however. Similar attacks the next day ended with 30 B-17's damaged according to the combat report, but none shot down. I shipped in two more AA battalions to hopefully stem the B-17 tide.

I'm still trying to get my fleet in position to bombard Noumea and HIS airfields, but without rainy weather I'm loath to move my BB's into the open sea near Noumea. There's 50 Dauntlesses in addition to other level bombers at Noumea that could destroy the bombardment fleet (they picked off a few fast transports i tried to sneak into Koumac, on the NW end of New Caledonia as well). Sure I could LR CAP the bombardment fleet, but with 50 Dauntlesses and possibly escort fighters, some are bound to get through. I'm also debating using the KB to LR CAP the fleet as well. So for now the bombardment fleet is waiting at Luganville, and I see his BB's and CA's are also waiting at Noumea. Bit of a standoff. We both have mines laid in the harbors too.

American troops at La Foa continue to useless bombard my guys dug in there, and the AV ratios are about even-- 1300 American to 1400 Japanese. At Koumac i have enough AV to stop a landing and i'm trying to build up the port there. Its port 2, airfield 2 right now. My opponent i think has powerful bombers, but is not using them in the right places! But that's fortunate for me... the KB meanwhile is off replenishing aircraft and fuel-- also because i wanted the Allies to lose track of the KB for a while and stay cautious.


Anyway, the tough questions are still:

1) how to stop the B-17's (suggested ideas; bombard airfields, more AA, and land suicidal paratroopers on to the Boeing plant)
2) how to confuse my enemy further so he doesn't bombard the key ports and airfields (so far so good)
3) what to do with the KB and my surface fleet
4) how long can i milk this battle and prevent the Allied offensive from starting? Already its been 2 months!




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< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 4/8/2013 6:45:43 PM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 1:03:11 AM   
Lokasenna


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I think you should try to find a hole in his Nav Search patterns. Use some creative routing via waypoints and come in to bombard from a direction he's not expecting. If you can make a high speed run from north of Koumac to south of Noumea, you might be able to skip his Nav Search arcs entirely...then position yourself 6-7 hexes out from Noumea to account for possible ops points burns for refueling or worse, subs/ASW. If you can sneak KB by as well to provide CAP coverage the day/2 days prior to bombard... On the other hand, if you get caught down there, you might be in trouble from combined air/surface attacks.

How is the air-to-air/pilot situation? Do you have better pilots in the area? If so, can you sweep Noumea prior to conducting an airfield strike by KB?

Lastly, it might be worthwhile to send in lighter ships to bombard the airfield, just to eat up supply and deal at least some damage. You might get lucky and destroy some planes on the ground. Maybe some vets with a lot more experience than I have can contribute some wisdom to that end.

(in reply to leehunt27@bloomberg.net)
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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 2:00:12 AM   
btbw

 

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I wonder why you so passive.
You have KB and BBs but let Noumea operate (or Suva).
BB bombard on Noumea and CA bombard on Suva can temp close bases.
KB must strike port in Noumea with 800kg AP.
For landing operation gather TFs in a close range under KB umbrella then strike AF with BBs and land force at same night after that immediatey retreat again under LRCAP of KB. Repeat it each 3-4 days with refuel and rest.
Gather all free AA units in Lugan, especially 88-100mm, you dont need them in other place since all B-17 fly here.
Fill airgroups with your best pilots (air, def, strafe skills).
Overflow Lugan with engineers so they can very fast fix holes in airstrip and with airsup.
Koumac must have a hundred navsup or even naval HQ for fast unload.
Each assault start from bombarding by ships (even destroyers good if no CD here) and LB.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 12:53:03 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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@Lokasenna- i like that idea of routing the BB fleet around Nav Search likely areas, thanks. The air-to-air situation is such that i can hold my own over Luganville, but I cannot sweep 100 US fighters off Noumea. I tried initially with the KB (my best pilots still) and took too many losses.

@btbw Good thoughts. I will move more Naval HQ into Koumac. I've been passive about bombarding Noumea because I am waiting for some more BB's to arrive from around the empire. I only have 3 in the area, the others were damaged in the huge "Jutland" style battle from a few posts ago. I've also been waiting for bad weather as a screen. The American base at Noumea is kind of like a stationary fleet- over 50 Dauntlesses, 100 fighters at least, and 100 level bombers. The KB can't really take it on, its not worth it (at least to me) to risk losing the fighters or CV's. I can like you said however use it to LR CAp the bombardment fleets. And i did think about bombarding Suva now, which would probably be a surprise attack on the Allies since they are so focused on Noumea... :)



< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 4/9/2013 12:56:43 PM >


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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 1:32:58 PM   
btbw

 

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nm..........

< Message edited by btbw -- 4/9/2013 4:57:33 PM >

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 3:49:47 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: leehunt27@bloomberg.net
1) how to stop the B-17's (suggested ideas; bombard airfields, more AA, and land suicidal paratroopers on to the Boeing plant)


You're unlikely to stem the B-17 tide with what you've arrayed there. Oscars are worthless against them. A6M2s are marginally better, but unlikely to be useful unless you put them there in number. By that I mean >2:1 ratio of CAP A6M2s to attacking B-17s.

quote:


2) how to confuse my enemy further so he doesn't bombard the key ports and airfields (so far so good)


Not sure what you mean by this. Do you think your opponent doesn't know that the key ports / airfields are Koumac and Luganville? If he's a decent player, he'll suss this right away and act accordingly. You can't confuse your enemy about your dug in positions, mate. The time for subterfuge, deceit and guile are long past. You're in an attritional fight now, so you have to set your mind accordingly.

quote:


3) what to do with the KB and my surface fleet


Respect your opponent's OOB and what he likely has nearby. Unless every SCTF sortie of yours is worthy of a carrier clash or exposure to supernumerary LBA, caution would advise steering clear.


quote:


4) how long can i milk this battle and prevent the Allied offensive from starting? Already its been 2 months!


Well, that's well and good, that you've kept him occupied for 2 months here. IRL, the Japanese kept the Allies bottled up at Guadalcanal for 6 months, of course, before leaving the island.

Did the Japanese consider their Guadalacanal attritional warfare a success or was it an ill-conceived meat grinder for their forces, particularly the IJN? What are you doing to ensure that your efforts here will not be viewed accordingly?

Please note the different tone you've adopted since you started this AAR. Initially, you were intent on destroying the Allied presence on New Caledonia. You got lots of advice on how to go about this, including mine saying 'don't bother'. Your new tone suggests you view this as grinding attritional warfare.

I haven't heard you say anything about your existing goal to destroy Allied forces on Noumea. Is that still a goal? Is it your primary goal? What are you planning on doing to ensure that you can break through his defensive lines that you haven't done over the past two months?

I wouldn't be bringing more HQ units onto New Caledonia, Lee. Unless you have a plan on how long they're staying and where they'll be evacuated to, you're reinforcing (sorry, I have to use the word) failure here.

You've bottled him at New Caledonia until August 1942. That's good. Fall back to your next MLR and make him do it again. Don't get cut off and either rendered irrelevant or destroyed.



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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 4:20:39 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

You've bottled him at New Caledonia until August 1942. That's good. Fall back to your next MLR and make him do it again. Don't get cut off and either rendered irrelevant or destroyed.




I think this is sound advice also, since he's been able to prevent you from destroying him there. However, I'm not sure now is the time to run. Not quite yet. You certainly need to run before he's able to shut down Luganville (it will probably take BBs on his part to do it, if you have enough Engi squads and Av Supp there to keep the holes patched and CAP up). And you need to run before he can take the seas from you, which if you preserve KB won't be for a while yet. Or you may need to get out if he lands a vastly superior force at Noumea. Until then, I think you can just continue to lay the groundwork for a retreat back to a fortified area. How are the forts at Koumac, Luganville, Tulagi, New Guinea, etc.? Also be on the lookout for an eventual push from him in the Timor area - since he's short on CVs, he may try to rely on LBA from NW Australia and push up that way.

When it's all over, I'd ask your opponent for information on how close you were to pushing him off and see if you can get any lessons from him.

FWIW, I'd probably try (once, maybe twice) to bombard Noumea from the south and knock out the airfield, going from there if it worked. If it didn't work, then I'd start to cut and run. But I'm also a very aggressive player, which I may have beaten out of me when I pick up a PBEM.

I'd be interested in seeing how this whole game turns out, and more about your plans for defensive lines/places you'll make stands.

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RE: Caledonia Strategic Dilemma (continued from Forums) - 4/9/2013 5:42:10 PM   
leehunt27@bloomberg.net


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[NO B FAGAN READING THIS PLEASE]

Apologies, my tone was misleading. I do not want grinding, attritional warfare, especially not in the air or at sea. I can't afford the fighter losses, and that's why i come across as desparate in trying to resolve the B-17 raids problem. I would like to strike back at the Allies on my terms while I still have KB naval superiority (he has 2-3 CV's at most right now after losing a bunch at Midway in May 1942).

There's a lot of dangerous "mission creep" in this Caledonia scenario. To either evacuate or reinforce the troops on New Caledonia, one needs to establish a base nearby (Luganville, Tanna, Efate). To establish those bases, the Japanese need to deploy engineers, bases, support ships, infantry. To protect the support units, one needs battleships, fighter squadrons.... the list goes on. I'm "almost there" in terms of enough force protection and strength to bombard Noumea & Suva. The Empire's muscle is definitely deployed here, and I'd like to throw a few punches on the way out....

Yes, on the way out. That's the goal. I think its wisest to evacuate New Caledonia and save my 1600 AV worth of infantry, the fleet, the planes, for another day. 1600 AV can't beat the Allies 1300 AV at La Foa, and it certainly can't take a fortified Noumea. Could I land more divisions? Yes, under fire, under heavy losses from CAP and transport sinkings. If I bet the whole Empire maybe i could take Noumea. Strip more garrisons and hurl all my best pilots into the fray. It would make for an exciting AAR!!! But it doesn't seem like a winning bet. Bottlenecking the Allies on Noumea for months (without taking Guadacanal style losses), however, could be a game changer. Everyone on this forum has given me tremendous advice and wisdom in both strategy and tactics on this campaign. I've really learned a ton and I appreciate the advice. On the grand strategy though, I think this is the best decision, though many may protest. But this Caledonia situation has all the makings of a Guadacanal debacle if i don't get out.

The Allies are already behind historically at this point, both in the South Pacific and China. The KB can roam at almost at will right now and my subs are taking a toll on his AK's between California & Pearl Harbor. The vigorous ASW effort around Luganville and Japan is bearing fruit (see screenshot below of US losses) Engineers are digging in the Marianas, Philippines, Bonin's, the Darwin to Davao route, and Port Blair and the Burma coast. Japanese divisions are cutting off Northern & Southern China, establishing the link from Vietnam to Hong Kong. The air force that could not be deployed around Luganville area is training at 70 far behind the lines. I still have 6 CV's against the Allied 2-3 CV's. If every major VP island is fortified at 6 and garrisoned by mid 1943, and my fleet is still alive, it could be a long, frustrating grind for the Allies. I am prepping to destroy his extended garrison of 6,000 troops at Ndeni, and another at Babar near Darwin. I can make those kinds of counterattacks and keep him on his back foot, even as he ultimately will advance and outnumber me. At least, that's my hope, and my goal for now.





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< Message edited by leehunt27@bloomberg.net -- 4/9/2013 7:28:57 PM >


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