From: Iowan in MD/DC
Wall of text incoming.
January 23, 1942 - Current situation report:
Global: Industry & Captured Territory
--1055 PPs in the bank. Not too shabby. I plan to use these to buy out the 53rd Division ASAP.
--Wake Island, Port Moresby, Rabaul, Balikpapan, and the northern coast of Borneo are all in IJ hands.
--Vehicle factories are at only 72, and the LCU production curve is below trend needs. I will bump up production to about 110-115 over the next couple of weeks and see where that gets me.
--Lots of naval reserves at Hiroshima, including 4 BBs, 5 CAs, 5 CLs, 40 DDs, and 8 submarines. 10 TKs and 40 xAKs. Also, 16 subs plus midgets at Kwajalein. Lots of unallocated assets here.
--20 R&D factories already working for the Ki-84: wow!
--Unfortunately, not much else looks changed with aircraft R&D other than a small focus on the B6N1 and D4Y1, which are both good things, but nothing has been put towards the Tojo or Zero models yet.
You're right. That's not too abysmal for January 1942. R&D looks borked, but that's OK so early in the war.
The naval reserves in Hiroshima aren't doing you much good there. Were you going to...you know...USE them in the war? If so, pre-position them as naval reserves where they'll do you some good. Truk and Singapore make intuitive choices for forward reserve basing.
Yeah, I'm confused as to why they're at Hiroshima of all places. If it's like Scen 2, then they all started in Formosa or CRB, right? Waste of fuel steaming all the way back to the HI. I'll keep a couple of the larger surface ships (as well as short-legged DDs) back to escort the 53rd Div, which I'm planning to send to Oosthaven while the 33rd Div goes to Malaya first (currently in Bangkok). I will need to scrape up some other minor units to help with Sumatra, but since he has pretty much ceded the skies to me in this area I'm not worried about taking Palembang before Singers (by the "typical" southern route, anyway). Especially not if I bring some naval airpower and surface forces back to the region.
Restructure your R&D program for the Ki-84. I wouldn't go with more than 6 factories for the Ki-84a. Don't forget the independent research tree for the Ki-84b! So you'll have to have another 6 factories for that as well.
Tojo II production / research is a no-brainer. Quickly put at least 6 factories (@ 30) for the Ki-44IIa. As soon as these are repaired, transition them to the IIb and then (the next turn) to the IIc. When the IIa comes on line as a production model, you can change some of the other production factories over to the IIa and allow the IIc research to plow forward. Don't forget the Ha-35 engine pool too. If you get that over 500 (and keep it that way), you'll double your R&D on this very important airframe.
Yeah, I'm glad most of the Ki-84 factories are at 0 (1). I will have to look at the -84b research tree, I'd forgotten about that being difference. I can free up at least 12 of them, or I guess at least 6 of them because of the -84b.
I'll also have to take another look at the Tojo IIc - I must have missed something when comparing it to the IIb. I'm not familiar with how quickly the IIa R&D factories will repair, so I won't expand them to 30 right away as I don't want to get boned and have them not fully repaired when it arrives. I should be able to get close to 30, however... So you skip the IIb entirely by fully repairing the IIa factories, then upgrading to IIb, and the next turn upgrading those same factories to IIc? Interesting. I could do that with any production chain, couldn't it? Thinking Judy (Y1, next turn Y2, next turn Y3), Zero (up to M5c if not M8), Jill (N2a only has radar over N2 right?), and Oscar as well... Seems a bit gamey if it works that way, but only a bit as their arrival dates are farther away so by not focusing on accelerating the next model until it's a month out before upgrading the R&D factory, I'm delaying the replacement of crappy planes like Vals.
I'll keep the 2 Oscar factories online, I suppose. And I'll look at getting 2-3 factories researching its upgrades. Probably 2 (of the 8 extra Frank factories, 6 will probably go Tojo and 2 to Oscar).
G4M R&D is superfluous. Forget about it. Change that to the Peggy (T) if you're looking for a mid-late war bomber to research. H8K R&D is superfluous. Stick with the production date.
D4Y3, A6M5b, A7M, B6N2, N1K2 and the aforementioned Ki-84 research has a priority. J2M3/5 and Tony research is +/-. Align your research on their predecessors so that you can take advantage of the damage-free 'switchover' for your factories.
For sure. I am definitely switching the Betty factories to something else. They arrive when the devices they carry arrive, so no point in R&D. With the comments on Frank, Tojo, and Oscar - I think I will be able to move forward with the turn now.
I keep the Oscar production (and research) at a moderate clip for airframe replacement, limited "ablative armor" escort function and future Kamikaze airframe 'banking'. The IIa and IIb pools will number in the hundreds by the time I get Kamikazes. The Oscar research tree is a pretty straight shot to the top, so it's another excellent candidate to pull forward Oscar IV production as soon as possible. It also benefits from a >500 pool of Ha-35 engines too, which is nice.
I'm researching the Shinden too, but I'm not sure that's the right thing to do.
Don't forget engine R&D! Engine acceleration and numbers built become very important for mid-late war fighters. Get these built up to take advantage of the different system for engine R&D factory repair and airframe R&D factory repair!
I love engine R&D and the engine bonus for the super common engines (like Ha-35 and possibly the Ha-34, if I can build the pool high enough). I forgot about the bonus at first when R&Ding aircraft in my AI games, and then finding out about it made me really happy. Bonus happy.
In general, my plan for China is to move on Nanyang and Sian in an attempt to encircle the troops at Loyang/Chengchow. I then hope to push on to Lanchow and eventually enter the central valley from both north and south. This is ambitious; I will undoubtedly have to revisit and tweak this plan many times. For the south of China, I am to open up the Magic Coast Road by taking Nanning, Liuchow, and Kweilin after I take Kukong. From there, I may try to sneak some units up the dirt road from Naning towards Kunming's/Kweiyang's back door. Overall, this theater needs a lot more supply. Convoys will be organized shortly.
Sound initial strategy.
Chinese forward deployment at Nanyang, Loyang and Chengchow should be seen as an opportunity for you to envelope and liquidate these units in situ. I'd rather kill them on the central plains than have them retreat into the wooded (and more defensible) hexes in front of Sian.
Don't be afraid to liquidate his troops where they stand. These VPs can be a useful bank for you moving forward and forestall or downgrade Allied victory conditions. Yes, they respawn at Chungking after some months, but they'll suck up supply and surprisingly scarce Chinese infantry squads before they can be a real threat.
Your overarching goals in China are to: 1. Kill Chinese infantry squads at a steady rate and 2. Cut off Chungking from resupply efforts. Clearing the Chinese from open terrain, rail hexes or nice strategic goals (Sian and the Northern oil-rich cities spring to mind) are nice secondary considerations.
I'm a bit concerned that I don't have enough forces here, but I have yet to see what the Chinese stack outside of Hangchow looks like. A sizable portion (1800 AV) of my CEA forces are tied up there, but hopefully not for long. I'm thinking of buying out some tanks from Manchuria after I get 53rd Div bought out, and sending them to help cut off the retreat routes in China - particularly around Loyang and Chengchow. Doing so successfully will require careful movement planning, but challenges are fun.
If I don't conquer China, that's fine. This is Scenario 1 after all, and I have to buy out Manchurian units due to our HRs. But I am definitely going after his troops. The more I destroy, the more supply it eats and the longer before he can come knocking on my door from this theater (and if I'm successful enough at neutering the Chinese, never? Where never = not before 1946).
I'm almost clueless here.
Push out the Allied dogs as best you're able. Burmese infantry and their commonwealth overlords are the worst infantry in the game. They S U C K. Good for you! Kill 'em all!
Try to push some engineers and infantry to Ramree island and build forts / airfield. Same with Akyab. This can forestall an Allied push into this theatre. I'm assuming that you guys have no house rules pertaining to the monsoon? If not, don't wait for your opponent to take advantage of the borked supply movement in this theatre.
I feel starved for engineers. I bought 4 small units out of Changchun and am sending them to Fusan (cost me 50-60 PPs). I remember in Scen 2 at the start there are a bunch of ENG units at Pescadores, Takao, and that S-base on the island (Hainan Island?) outside of Hanoi. Do these exist in Scen 1? I need to track them down if so.
SWPAC: You didn't mention New Caledonia. Who has that? What are your plans for Noumea?
It's his. I have no designs on Noumea at the moment. Just pushing for Luganville seems like a stretch goal. Perhaps I'm not being ambitious enough; I am playing the Evil Empire in this game after all . The Allies are pretty weak defensively and unable to move many troops around to different places for a few more months at least. If I can move quickly on Luganville, I may be able to take a small force down to Noumea. I'm not anxious to get into a situation like Lee's, not this early in the war. I have no inkling of where the USN CVs are, and there are 4 of them. If I still haven't been able to get into a fight with them by May or so (and one that ends well for me, preferably with zero IJN CV losses) then I am going to make a move for something valuable to try and force them to show up. If I can pick one or two off before summer, when Junyo and Hiyo arrive I will probably do the "use his own base as bait" trick then instead of earlier.
Jolo is overrated in AE. I remember in WiTP it was a freakin' awesome base, but with limited Nettie torpedoes in this game, there are better choices for scant AV support. After capture, other than building defenses, you can better use your combat units elsewhere in the DEI.
My opinion re: Mindanao is similar to Luzon. You've got the bases you *need* for now. Keep them, build them and start to put a steady pressure on the Allied forces remaining on the island. Bang on 'em every freakin' turn with IJAAF bombers-airfield attacks to score supply hits and prevent defensive building alternating with ground attack to disrupt / damage units. After a few months of this, they'll fall over when you come a 'knockin' with your real forces.
I'm not concerned with Jolo. I'll fortify it a little, but I don't expect to station anything there permanently, except maybe an AV along with a small AF Bn or Coy for FP ASW. I don't plan to build up the airfield - if he decides to come up the Celebes in 44, I don't want to gift him a useful airbase. If he's going to want to use it for one, I'm going to make him bring his Seabees and build it himself. This will go for other places as well, but I don't want to leave holes in my defensive lines. So I'll have to strike a balance.
For Mindanao, I'm not sure 2 regiments (I think that's all I have there so far) are enough to hold him in place just yet. I'll have to land at Zamboanga soon, and should have Cotobato within a few days. I'll probably land on the NE corner of the island and then sit tight with him bottled up at/near Cagayan.
I'm probably going to let units in the middle PI just starve until I feel like dealing with them, as well. I'll keep a 2E presence in Formosa and northern Luzon to pay visits to them (as well as the CF/Bataan defenders) on a regular basis until I'm ready to move in for the kill.
Time to go home, make these changes, and send the turn. Can't wait to get started.