Or, how Japan gets crushed by 1944 without the use of carriers . There, there's nothing like having a meta-narrative to keep things interesting.
NB: Pretty much everyone's welcome except for one or two who should be able to remember the lack of invitation. I'd ask that people keep it civil as I won't have a second's hesitation pulling the AAR if it turns into a shooting gallery.
I'm AARing since it can be fun and since Damian has said he'll AAR his side. If it stops being fun I'll stop AARing. Whether or not it is fun is pretty much up to the forum and forumites so.... try to keep it civil. Disagreement, even vociferous disagreement, is welcome as is OT historical or strategic discussion, or anything Deep Battle. The only line in the sand is not to get personal. I'd ask people to respect that.
Floyd and Damian have gracefully allowed me to take over from Floyd in his game vs Damian. The situation is that in mid-August 1942 the Allies have lost all but 2 of the US CVs and the RN CV Formidable ( which is about to be sent back to the UK ). This means the Allies will have just 2 CVs with which to fight until the 2nd quarter of 1943. Overall the Allies have lost 532 ships and the Japanese have lost about 50. The largest combatant lost by Japan are 4 DDs and an AMC. Apart from subs those are the only surface combatants Japan has lost. It is rather amazing that they've lost so little.
Allies have lost 4 CVs and a CVL, 5 BBs, 10 CAs, 18 CLs and 2 CLAAs, 62 DDs, all but one DM and one DMS and, perhaps most worringly of all, all but 14 TKs and 7 AOs on the US side of the Pacific. There are loads more on the UK side but there basically isn't enough fuel capacity to support major fleet operations in the Pacific... Fortunately there isn't much of a fleet to supply so there's probably enough to support.
In total in the Pacific there are 2 CVs, 2 CVEs, 9 BBs, 5 CAs, 3 CLs, 2 CLAAs and 43 DDs ( including damaged ones and ones about to be sunk by KB ). Several of those CAs, CLs and DDs are seriously damaged and within a few hexes of KB so should sink next turn. So, about 50 combat-ready warship in the Pacific.
The situation in the Pacific is rotten with the Japanese having taken Noumea, Norfolk Island and everything to the south-east all the way to Pago Pago and Baker Island. They could have taken more because the Allies seem not to have garrisoned anything beyond a line running from Midway to Johnson Island to Tahiti but it seems they are happy with their current, defensible line.
In Oz the Japanese are about to be pushed into Darwin and from there into the sea. All the north-western bases in Oz are under Japanese control.
China is stalemated with strong IJA and Chinese forces facing eachother in strong defensive terrain. The front line is contiguous, which is unusual in my experience and means there are very few openings for manoeuvre.
Burma is firmly in Japanese hands. Large garrisons wait in the southern Indian cities as they are fortified to fend off the seemingly inevitable Japanese invasion of India. Myitkina is in Allied hands and held by a little over 100 AV. One other Allied force is fighting in the jungle on the Indian-Burma border but, basically, Burma has been abandoned to Japan as the focus has been on defending India.
An amphibious invasion of the Kuriles has ended in disaster with the loss of almost every on-map USN AP, xAP. The USN itself has 2 CVs, a solid core of BBs and a small number of CAs, CLs and DDs left. Losses amongst CAs, CLs and DDs have been horrendous. To put it into perspective apart from the battered USN TFs around the Aleutians I can't find a dozen combat-worth DDs in the Pacific or in CONUSA.
800 AV of troops have been landed but, unfortunately, only 1400 tons of supplies are ashore and the planes which were supposed to defend the islands all appear to have been sunk aboard ship.
What about the USN TFs in the Aleutians? Well, there are about 40 CAs, CLs and DDs there but KB is present in force in 3 separate 10-ship TFs and my minimum estimate for their strength is 9 CVs, which would give them a striking power of roughly 320+ strike aircraft. The Aleutians should provide a shield but have not been occupied or built up with the exception of Dutch Harbour and Attu Island. Attu has no fuel so everything has to run to Dutch Harbour where there are a few thousand tons of fuel, not enough to refuel everything I have. If the IJN pushes eastward they will be able to butcher the USN and literally sink every ship as it runs out of fuel around Dutch Harbour.
Losses have been horrendous, 3300+ Allied planes have been downed. Pilot training and leadership selection hasn't been prioritised with the result that the Allied reserves are paper-thin. The USAAF reserve pool had about 100 pilots in it, many of them with 40 to 50 A2A Exp. Only the top 10 to 20 had A2A Exp in the high 60s to low 70s. USN pools were tiny also. Essentially the Allied planes are flown by pilots ranging from 70 Exp and skill ( if they've survived since the war started ) all the way down to new 30 Exp, 30 Skill rookies. There are no reserves to speak of and it seems replacements are drawn directly into combat squadrons - where they either die or Darwin up over the months.
There are 100 F4F4s in the pool but only 20 to 30 of most other fighter types. Replacements are low at this time also. Basically the Allied air forces comprise 1/3rd good pilots, 1/3rd ok pilots and 1/3rd brand new replacements who are easy meat. There are almost no reserves and thus there is no depth to the Allied air forces. I'll be putting a LOT of effort into establishing a pilot training programme. This is as important as breathing when it comes to the game and I have a real mania for training. I think the training programme in this game is about average for games I've taken over but, really, I think training of pilots is so crucial that I'd easily expend 1/3rd of my in-game time just on training.
So, a good challenge which I think hinges on different things in different areas.
1. The ability to hold Japan back in the Pacific without actually having a fleet to do so.
2. The ability to carry out and support amphibious invasions without a fleet to support them.
This needs to become active or the Japanese will get so much free time and space they will begin seriously thinking about a spoiling invasion of India. They can't take it but taking southern India would delay my advance by a year or more.
The question here is whether to abandon the troops to their fate or to try to support them.
Here it is all about fancy land warfare stuff. Can I find or make a hole which I can exploit into a dislocation of his line such that the nice contiguous front is broken?
Once Darwin is taken how can I exploit that? There's a solid line of enemy bases north of Darwin and I don't have the CVs to push beyond it. The RN is in good shape but it would take horrendous losses pushing north and, frankly, I probably need it to defend India unless I can get Burma to become active.
So, a lot will depend on how a side with no fleet can stop a side with a fleet from advancing or, better yet, how a side with no fleet can attack a side with an overwhelmingly superior fleet. The answer is, of course, to mount operations which don't require fleets.
As a side goal I'd like to try to wrap this up as a going concern by the end of 1943, 16 months time. I don't think I'll have taken Japan by that stage but I think that by that stage I'd like it to be pretty clear that Japan has no hope left. We can then decide whether to play on just to test the mod to failure or we can call it and move on to another game at that stage. That timeline requires going on the offensive now - which is, unfortunately, something Damian will expect.
I'll leave with a picture of the strategic front line as it currently stands. Basically without the use of off-map routing Via Cape Town-the Falklands-Panama CONUSA is pretty much cut off right now. It is marginally quicker to go via Oz and NZ but much riskier. With that said it'll allow me to load fuel in Cape Town, drop it in Oz and Pacific Islands before reaching CONUSA so that'll increase efficiency in my fuel resupply efforts ( which is important since I have so few TKs and AOs in the US side of the Pacific ).
< Message edited by Nemo121 -- 4/22/2013 2:34:28 AM >
John Dillworth: "I had GreyJoy check my spelling and he said it was fine."
Well, that's that settled then.