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A Road Less Travelled

 
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A Road Less Travelled - 8/7/2013 12:55:11 PM   
Quixote


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Welcome aboard, all. This is the mirror AAR to Cannonfodder's "The old world vs the new." Cannonfodder has the Allies, I'm playing Japan. For those already following Cannonfodder's AAR, I'll do my best to counter all the propaganda I'm sure he'll be feeding you about how well the Allies are doing, how Singapore will never fall, and on what date in late 1942 he expects to invade Japan. For those only following the Japanese side of things, the specifics of the game are as follows:

Scenario 2, non-historic start, PDU On

There are only a few house rules:
1. CAP/Sweep altitude is limited to the best maneuver band plus one level.
2. No low level 4E naval attacks (under 10K.)
3. No Strategic bombing into or out of China.
4. Full PPs paid for restricted units to cross national borders (no buying out an HQ on the cheap and getting the subordinates free.)

First turn rules:
1. Allies may only move existing TFs.
2. Allies may set CAP to no more than 30% for any and all fighter groups, but no transferring of groups allowed.
3. No deep invasions by Japan on the first turn. Japanese transport/amphib TFs will all finish the first turn no more than 15 hexes from a Japanese base.

The first turn has been run and sent off to Cannonfodder, but since I'm not sure if he's seen it or not, and since he may drop in to this AAR to say hi before it becomes closed to him, I'll hold off on the specifics until he's had the chance to watch the turn for himself.

Looking forward to a long and (hopefully) interesting game. Best of luck to Cannonfodder, and let the games begin!
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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/7/2013 2:45:07 PM   
Richard III


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Subscribed and Banzai !!

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"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"
A. Maslow

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/7/2013 5:33:13 PM   
Cannonfodder


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Good luck Quixote! If your opening moves are setting the standard for our game it will be a very interesting match!






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¯ Primo Levi, writer, holocaust survivor


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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/7/2013 7:03:53 PM   
JocMeister

 

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Good luck! I will follow the allied side on this one and just wanted to drop by!

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 2:42:13 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

If your opening moves are setting the standard for our game it will be a very interesting match!


Pearl Harbor gets hit in maybe 85% of the AARs I've read. A straight Manila opening is mostly used the other 15%. What I haven't seen much of are games where Japan commits the bulk of the KB to the Singapore area. Every once in a while someone sends one carrier there (usually the Kaga) to take a swipe at Force Z, but I've never seen a real first turn effort here. (At this point, someone is going to chime in with the link to an AAR I've never read before where Japan does exactly this. That's OK. Having now said I've never seen one, I'm almost expecting it.)

I decided on a Singapore opening after sandboxing a few Mersing attacks on the first turn. While it can be done without carrier support, it often gets very messy very quickly if anything goes wrong, or even if you just get unlucky. Placing significant carrier support here lessens the chances of either of those things happening. It also greatly increases (almost guarantees, really) the chances of taking out Force Z, while also situating your carriers in immediate position to help conquer the SRA before the Allies get a chance to allocate their limited reserves (no Fortress Palembang, Fortress Java, Singapore holding out until April, etc.) There are other benefits to this strategy, but combined these were enough to make me want to try it out in PBEM instead of a PH attack - hence the title of the AAR.

But enough opening philosphy for the moment - we're a whole one day!! into the game now. My goals for turn 1 were to sink Force Z, disable or sink most of the Manila subs with LBA from Takao, and to mount all of three invasions on December 7th. I succeeded with Force Z. I succeeded with Manila. Prior to starting the PBEM, I'd sandboxed the important moves of my first turn several times, to the point where I felt comfortable with the likely results. For all three invasions, I knew more or less what to expect, and what the best and worst limits of the results probably were. All were suitably favorable of course, or else I'd have tweaked them. The funny thing about PBEM is how quickly things can go off the rails, though. Exactly one of my well planned invasions went off as planned. In baseball, that would make me a superstar. In PBEM, it means I may need to start working on my improvisation more...

The three invasions were as follows:
1. Kota Bahru. Very predictable, not very sexy. Went off exactly as planned.
2. Wake Island. Semi-predictable, also not very sexy, but smart if you don't plan to have the KB in this area for several weeks. For some reason half the ships in the bombardment TF didn't bombard (or at least they didn't use any ammo), and I easily got worse odds on my attack (2-1) then any I'd seen in my test invasions, which averaged better then 10-1. Bad news, I didn't capture Wake instantly. Good news, at least I got a 2-1 instead of worse. Good news, I didn't lose any ships to either Wildcats or CD guns. Good news, I'll probably take the atoll next turn in a shock attack, anyway. We'll see.
3. Mersing. Not unheard of, but not quite what you'd call predictable. Good news, 1100AV currently ashore, with a bit more still loaded in transports on site. Good news, I didn't lose a single ship to Vildebeests or Swordfish - none of them got through CAP. Bad news, in the first combat action of any kind in the game, Cannonfodder's three Brit DDs from Hong Kong intercepted another whole division plus armor headed to Mersing. After a pitched battle, during which the captain of one of my own transports easily did more damage to my own force than all three of the Brits combined did, my TF retired to Cam Rahn instead of landing at Mersing. This in itself will not stop Mersing from falling. Nor will it stop Johore Bahru or Singapore from falling. It may stop Johore and Singapore from falling as quickly, though. We'll see on this one, too.

Aircraft losses were acceptable (I was honestly hoping with his first turn CAP rule that more of his planes would fly, because I sent in quite a few sweeps) and I didn't lose a single ship either in combat or at Mersing, so all in all things aren't exactly dismal. They're just slightly more interesting than I thought they'd be.





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< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/8/2013 4:40:39 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 2:52:27 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Richard III

Subscribed and Banzai !!

Thanks Richard. I'll try to keep the Banzais rolling.

quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister

Good luck! I will follow the allied side on this one and just wanted to drop by!

Appreciate the good wishes, and I understand Joc. Playing against Overt and SqzMyWenchow (I want to see if he really does have an automatic web search out on this one) has obviously clouded your judgment about who the good guys are, but there's always hope!

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 3:39:46 AM   
Quixote


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As mentioned briefly above, and in an effort to provide some much needed photographic weight to this AAR, I'll end my commentary on the December 7th turn with the following picture of our first naval engagement of the war, as well as the results. Commander Nagamura of the Siraha Maru in particular managed to distinguish himself by pulling off that rarest of naval feats - the hat trick. Not one...not two...but three collisions with friendly ships during the same battle. I haven't decided yet whether to fire him immediately, or to leave him in charge just to see what his final tally on collisions for the war might be.







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< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/8/2013 3:40:12 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 3:58:01 AM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Quixote;

Do you mean Repulse and PoW were sunk, or did they just disappear?

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 8:09:28 AM   
obvert


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Very interesting start. I'll be following. Good luck!

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 8:32:21 AM   
Walloc

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake

Quixote;

Do you mean Repulse and PoW were sunk, or did they just disappear?


I would assume sunk as to his use of the word "whats left of force Z" and that he said it was a goal to sink force Z and he "succeded".

But i could be wrong,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 8/8/2013 8:33:21 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 9:38:04 AM   
obvert


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From: PDX (and now) London, UK
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Quixote

As mentioned briefly above, and in an effort to provide some much needed photographic weight to this AAR, I'll end my commentary on the December 7th turn with the following picture of our first naval engagement of the war, as well as the results. Commander Nagamura of the Siraha Maru in particular managed to distinguish himself by pulling off that rarest of naval feats - the hat trick. Not one...not two...but three collisions with friendly ships during the same battle. I haven't decided yet whether to fire him immediately, or to leave him in charge just to see what his final tally on collisions for the war might be.



With 38 ships in the TF it's not surprising there were some collisions. Admiralty has to take some of the blame for this one, although it looks like Commander Nagamura is taking the fall.

_____________________________


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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 3:12:51 PM   
Phanatik


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Banzai! And good luck.

I agree with taking out the subs.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 10:27:10 PM   
Quixote


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From: Maryland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Walloc

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake

Quixote;

Do you mean Repulse and PoW were sunk, or did they just disappear?


I would assume sunk as to his use of the word "whats left of force Z" and that he said it was a goal to sink force Z and he "succeded".

But i could be wrong,

Rasmus

Walloc is correct. Even considering FoW, I'm pretty sure they're sunk. Results below.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/8/2013 10:36:25 PM   
Quixote


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quote:

With 38 ships in the TF it's not surprising there were some collisions. Admiralty has to take some of the blame for this one, although it looks like Commander Nagamura is taking the fall.


With the limited number of magic TFs on the first turn, it's a risk you have to take sometimes. I'm not really surprised by the collisions (I'll take the blame) I just thought it was funny that the same ship was involved in all three.

quote:

Banzai! And good luck.

I agree with taking out the subs.


Thanks. I'll post the sub losses and damage later tonight when I get home. Didn't sink them all, but most of them will have too much damage to use, including all four of the S boats with decent torpedoes.


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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 4:14:38 AM   
desicat

 

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Interesting trade off on the first turn strike. Most PH raids sink at least two BB and send five or six others to the yards for many months. Your attack seems to have taken out both Force Z BB's and a few CA/CL's (that were/are on the front lines) - an equivalent strike?

I would think that the Subs damaged/sunk at Manilla is a better result over the aircraft that would have been destroyed at PH.

This strategy seems to be designed to take out Singapore and the DEI at a faster than normal pace - are you happy with the results?

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 4:28:29 AM   
geofflambert


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Good luck to you. What you chose to do is more of a sure thing, and POW and Repulse are the best two BB/BCs the Allies have for quite some time. But delaying the time when the Americans can deploy their huge bombardment ships is worth thinking about, even if you don't sink them.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 7:53:30 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: desicat

Interesting trade off on the first turn strike. Most PH raids sink at least two BB and send five or six others to the yards for many months. Your attack seems to have taken out both Force Z BB's and a few CA/CL's (that were/are on the front lines) - an equivalent strike?

I would think that the Subs damaged/sunk at Manilla is a better result over the aircraft that would have been destroyed at PH.

This strategy seems to be designed to take out Singapore and the DEI at a faster than normal pace - are you happy with the results?


1. I'd call the strike itself equivalent, or even a bit more favorable for me considering the ships that were sunk, and where they start the game. Geoff is right - these are the best two BB types the Allies have in 1942.
2. Agreed - I'll take the subs I sank at Manila over the 50 or so aircraft I might have destroyed at PH any time.
3. Even with my one setback, I'm not unhappy with the result. This early in the game though, the question may be a bit premature. Let's see how it plays out.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 8:17:21 AM   
Quixote


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December 8, 1941

Central Pacific - Wake fell to a 13-1 second day attack. Fast transports landed and took Makin, Tarawa, and Tabiteteau.

Solomons/New Guinea - Strong landing at Rabaul. The base should be Japanese next turn.

DEI - SNLF landed at Ternate. CA Houston either tried to interdict the landing, or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time but set to react. Anyway, no mas Houston. (Low/moderate damage to CA Haguro suffered in the surface action.)

Phillipines - Manila port hit once again by a few Betties. Lots of fleeing ships, from Manila and the rest of the archipelago. Given the surface assets committed, and the two fleet carriers assisting, it was an even bigger duck shoot than usual. According to Cannonfodder (and my map), the only non-sub that started in the PI likely to survive is the Boise. Boise did take one torpedo, but did not cause any of her usual early game mayhem.

Malaya - Kota Bahru fell to shock attack. Mersing also fell to a shock attack, with about 150AV worth of IJA tanks pursuing the fleeing Aussies to Johore Bahru. Figure the retreated Aussies to be good for 10AV, and the Allied units starting in Mersing to be good for another 100 or so, and I stand a fair chance of taking Johore with just the advance armor.








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< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/12/2013 11:44:02 PM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 8:19:50 AM   
Quixote


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For desicat and Richard III, here are the Allied losses after the first two days. Makes for at least an interesting comparison with the usual Pearl Harbor losses if nothing else.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 1:28:31 PM   
desicat

 

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If he is going to contest or attempt to slow your initial expansion he is going to have to import assets since the onsite naval forces that are normally used have basically already been eliminated. If he deems it too dangerous to try and slip forces in due to your carrier and nettie threats your expansion timetable should be well ahead of the norm. If he does try to forces in, opportunity will knock.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 7:43:27 PM   
Quixote


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December 9, 1941

Compared to the first two turns, this one was much quieter. Most of his fleeing ships have either been sunk or have run far enough away that they'll live to fight another day.

Of minor importance, Japan landed at Davao today, and both Rabaul and Ternate fell.

Of greater importance was Malaya. The battle was in the air and on the ground at Johore Bahru today. In the air, zeroes chewed up many Buffaloes, carrier air flew a ground strike which was largely ineffective (not surprising, but I was trying everything I could to tip the odds), and my LBA either got clouded in, or decided Johore looked too exciting, and didn't fly. On the ground, Cannonfodder held. Several Allied units arrived at Johore in strat mode before the attack took place, and despite their penalty for mode they were enough to spoil my attack. (It went off at 1-2.) Alas, it appears I'll have to wait another 2 days for the infantry to walk over from Mersing.






quote:

ORIGINAL: desicat

If he is going to contest or attempt to slow your initial expansion he is going to have to import assets since the onsite naval forces that are normally used have basically already been eliminated. If he deems it too dangerous to try and slip forces in due to your carrier and nettie threats your expansion timetable should be well ahead of the norm. If he does try to forces in, opportunity will knock.


Part of the plan was to make it difficult for his carriers or surface assets to transit to the DEI quickly enough to be able to help. Rabaul is already Japanese, and will have plenty of Netties with working torpedoes very shortly, so shortcuts through the Torres straights could get expensive. If he takes the long way around Australia (or off board), most of his forces should arrive too late to help out much in the DEI.

< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/12/2013 11:43:50 PM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 8:07:54 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Wow. Impressive blitzkrieg across the Malay Peninsula. This must be causing some consternation further North for the Allies. Don't think I ever saw Mersing fall so fast. If I were a Christmas tree lot owner in Singapore I think I would be making other plans.

What happened to Chicago?

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 8:17:49 PM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake

Wow. Impressive blitzkrieg across the Malay Peninsula. This must be causing some consternation further North for the Allies. Don't think I ever saw Mersing fall so fast. If I were a Christmas tree lot owner in Singapore I think I would be making other plans.

What happened to Chicago?


1. Thanks. We'll see how the Christmas Carols sound in a couple of weeks.
2. Chicago starts Scenario 2 with the Lexington over by Johnson Island. Did you mean Houston, maybe? If so, she was sunk in a surface action off of Ternate.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 8:33:52 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Right. I meant Houston.

A remarkable fraction of Allied surface strength to defend the DEI has been sunk already.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 9:02:57 PM   
Richard III


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Amazing first turn....... fireworks and free Geishas for the service boys in Tokyo.

The upside is evdent, be interested if CF keeps his nerve and the long view and refrains from reacting fast to your moves, he`s already well behind the curve in the PI and Malaya IMO. If you can/have sunk the last US AS, USS Otus, his remaining US Subs will have to travel to and from ( I think ) Sidney to re-arm  after Manila falls. 
Not even visiting CF`s AAR, so to see how you unfold the Game here..

< Message edited by Richard III -- 8/10/2013 9:18:17 PM >


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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/10/2013 10:46:02 PM   
VManteuffel

 

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A really nice start, and a nice AAR.
Keep on pushing and BANZAI !

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/11/2013 6:02:21 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

A remarkable fraction of Allied surface strength to defend the DEI has been sunk already.


You are correct, sir. Fighting back becomes much more difficult when you don't really have much to fight back with...

quote:

Amazing first turn....... fireworks and free Geishas for the service boys in Tokyo.

The upside is evdent, be interested if CF keeps his nerve and the long view and refrains from reacting fast to your moves, he`s already well behind the curve in the PI and Malaya IMO. If you can/have sunk the last US AS, USS Otus, his remaining US Subs will have to travel to and from ( I think ) Sidney to re-arm after Manila falls.
Not even visiting CF`s AAR, so to see how you unfold the Game here..


Thanks Richard. For what it's worth, Otus took four bombs on December 7th, and was shown on the Combat Report with heavy fires and heavy damage. She's probably one of the 5 or 6 floating hulks still left in Manila. One of the perks of hitting Manila though, is that it really doesn't matter how many Allied AS survive when there are only a couple of undamaged subs left in the area to make use of them. Otus or not, Cannonfodder probably doesn't have any more than 4 or 5 subs left in the Phillipines that are worth using offensively at the moment.

quote:

A really nice start, and a nice AAR.
Keep on pushing and BANZAI !


Thanks very much, Manteuffel. I don't think the "pushing" part will be a problem, at least for the next few weeks, but we'll see what happens.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/11/2013 6:28:30 AM   
Quixote


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December 10, 1941

Hong Kong - The British stubbornly resist the first Japanese attack (1-2 deliberate, no reduction in forts) although the defenders suffer considerably more casualties than the attackers do.

Solomons - Tulagi and Kavieng invaded.

China - In the south, the Japanese division which starts in Canton wrecks a Chinese Corps and continues pushing on to Wuchow. In Central China, Cannonfodder tries the usual attack on Ichang, but gets a 1-2 (I reinforced instead of retreating.) 600+ destroyed/disabled Chinese squads - a good start for Japan in this area.

Palembang - Captured. Oil and refineries 100% intact. (The first time in any of my PBEMs dating back to original WitP where I can say that.) An IJN tank unit and an SNLF are pursuing the fleeing Dutch towards Oosthaven.

Malaya - All quiet for a turn. The Allied forces in Johore Bahru appear to be moving to Singapore without waiting to be evicted, Japanese fighter sweeps meet no resistance although recon shows Allied fighters are still present, and the torpedo bombers in Singers continue to seem reluctant to attack given the presence of so many zeroes. I'm sure it will change eventually, but to date Japan hasn't lost a single ship in this Op.

DEI - Multiple landings and a few base captures, as well as one or two more random sinkings of fleeing Allied remnants. See below.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/12/2013 1:41:57 AM   
Quixote


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Decemeber 11 and 12, 1941

Phillipines - Aparri and Naga on Luzon taken. Butuan on Mindanao taken.

Borneo - North side - Singkawang, Miri, and Brunei taken. Further east - Tarakan and its neighboring base to the south are also captured.

DEI - Kendari taken. Betties flown in on the 12th, with an Air HQ to follow soon.

Aleutians - Landings at both Adak and Amchitka on the 12th. I was a bit worried I might run into an American CV up here, but thought it worth the risk, ala Nathan Bedford Forrest.

South Pacific - The two Japanese AMCs that start off in the far southeast corner of the map have been making their way back towards civilization (Japanese civilization, mind you) since the war began. On the 12th, they ran into the unescorted Queen Elizabeth, and opened fire at 4000 yards. Then again at 5000 yards. Then again at 7000 yards...going, going, gone. Granted, one shell hit is better than nothing, but unless the QE runs into some of my CVs later in the game, I'm guessing that initial spread of torpedoes fired by my AMC was the best chance I'm going to get to sink the QE this game.

Solomons - Shortlands and Tulagi taken. Landings further south at Luganville.

China - The AVG finally made an appearance, and fortunately it wasn't too painful. Up until now, I've been bombing with reckless abandon in China, frequently without any escort. Looks like I'll have to play a bit more conservatively for a few weeks until I can whittle his fighters down if he keeps them here.

Malaya - I finally cut the rail line to the west of Mersing on the 12th, so no more strat moves into Johore or Singers. The big stack should make it along the secondary road from Mersing to Johore next turn. At present, he has 20 units in Singers, and 9 left in Johore (a quick retreat indeed), with at least a few of the Johore troops headed into Singers judging by movement tabs. In the air, Cannonfodder left his fighters on the ground for the past few days, so my sweeps swept nothing. On the 12th, I got my re-introduction to the beta when on the same turn I decided to start bombing his airfield, he decided to put his fighters back up. Needless to say, the single sweep I ordered on the 12th went in absolutely last, after all of his Buffaloes had already been shot down. (Don't get me wrong - I actually do love the beta, even the revised air coordination part. Most of the time it just doesn't seem to love me back, though.) It could have been worse - only one strike went in with no escort at all - but between China and Singapore my air losses jumped 50% for the game in one turn.

Side note - I finally went over 100 points in total Japanese losses (air, ground, and naval) with the 40 planes lost this turn. Even with the air losses though, I've managed to give up very few points so far, knock on wood. (4 points in shipping losses, 5 points on the ground, and 130 points in the air.)




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< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/12/2013 11:43:24 PM >

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Post #: 29
RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/12/2013 2:54:41 AM   
witpqs


Posts: 14975
Joined: 10/4/2004
From: Argleton
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Your post titles have the wrong year.

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