The Naval Battle of Omnekotan-Jima
CP has been running cruiser groups (with the occasional battleship or two) to lob shells at my airfields in the Kuriles. About a week or so ago I slipped my CVE group west to support an oncoming supply run out of Attu, I also sent Enterprise screaming north to support the move (this would prove to be a mistake). Because while the 5 CVEs I have on scene are nice...they will die quickly under the torpedoes and bombs from either Kaga or Akagi which continue to prowl the area (despite me putting bombs into both a few weeks ago).
At any rate, as I slid my forces over I spot yet another bombardment group inbound to my Kurile bases, this time I moved my own surface group based around 4 Battleships, the USS Colorado, West Virgina, Tennessee and Idaho from Attu and begun to stalk him. I actually mistimed his move and dropped my heavies off of Onnekotan-Jima a day too soon. Needless to say, my PT Boat crews (who have suffered pretty horribly to the constant cruiser attacks) were very happy to see big brothers prowling the Onnekotan coastline. When he didn't come on the 31st I debated pulling out because while he has not struck my shipping with Bettys since he lost 88 planes during the early days of anvil, Bettys eat battleships for lunch. I decided to stay and I'm glad I did.
It's rare when I will sit and watch a surface fight play out, but I enjoyed this one. I was surprised because my radar sets didn't detect CP's forces until they were on top of us at 5K yards. I am presuming weather played a role in that (helps for immersion).
Needless to say the first volley between heavies went off at 3K yards!
Musashi opened up first with the first volley of the battle lighting up Idaho. Then West Virgina (going on badly reconstructed notes) struck the first American blow smacking two of his destroyers with 5 inch guns leaving them burning. IJN Aqano latched on to Indianapolis and beat her up and I believe was responsible for the torpedo strike which crippled her. Indy responded as did West Virgina and Colorado both striking Agano. Musashi and Nagato then turned on Colorado hitting her several times...then the range closed to 2000 yards!
Colorado and Musashi dueled for a bit and the range begun to grow and reached 5K when the battle, as swiftly as it begun. Ended.
I have to say I lost the night battle, not a bad thing, facing the Imperial navy at night, never an easy thing. Indianapolis is a cripple and limping back to port Idaho and Colorado are shot up but not very badly. I did cripple Agano, Akiguno, and Kazeguno which didn't allow them to get out of range of my bombers and the next morning all 3, plus an escort destroyer were sunk. Sadly, Musashi and Nagato, the main targets of this party got away with fairly light damage.
All in all though a rousing success for the American navy. Hopefully this will force CP to cover his bombardment groups with airpower and bring his carriers back out to play.
One bad note, Enterprise fresh out of the San Francisco yards, so concerned that I would not get her in range prior to this battle I ran her hard and fast and now...she (and her group) have 20ish system damage and need yard time again. That being said she probably wont get it before Arrow goes down.
Other parts of the map life is not so cheery. He has moved his lone pair of heavy tank units ever so close to Chungking. It won't be long now as I cannot move troops in front of his break through fast enough. Worse, I have something happening I really don't understand.
I have about 80-thousand troops "stuck". Not trapped, stuck. I don't get it. I control all the hexes north, north east and northwest of the units but they are trapped and cannot move. I have gone as far as moving a brigade south of the battle attempting to free them up. I need these guys, badly to help with the defense of Chungking. I'm unsure how to move them or what the deal is. I'm assuming I'm simply missing a game mechanic somewhere but without these guys he will take Chungking within a month and worse once he reaches the valley it is in fact game over for China.
In even worse news I got lazy and he made me pay for it at Ledo. I had gotten good about stick and move with my bomber forces in Burma, because I have learned if I leave them on the ground too long 100 Sallys later and there are a bunch of broken airframes. My error cost me 33 birds on the ground.
Finally, I attempted to cut off his retreating division at Paoshan with the Chindits. He finally detected what was happening, pounded them and managed to retreat into the town. It was a close thing and even closer as the predator became the prey. 5 Chinese Corp came to the rescue (I had been pursuing him across the mountains) and it looks like the Chindits will live to fight another day, even if they failed to take down a single tiny outpost of Imperial troops.
It is 1 Febuary and in my next update I will toss up statistics of the game.
< Message edited by rroberson -- 4/30/2013 5:50:37 AM >