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RE: A Road Less Travelled

 
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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/28/2013 3:38:08 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

Lashio fell to paratroops (from Haiphong.) Note: There are non-restricted units in both Moulmein and Haiphong that can reinforce Lashio by air. I had these troops in position seven days ago, but hadn't decided to pull the trigger yet. It's amazing what a full week of down time can convince you to try.... Either way, the Burma Road is about to be closed.


The expansion of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere is going at an impressive rate. How do you evaluate the chances for auto-victory at the end of 1942?


OK, it's official - I'm really having fun with this opening. When was the last time you saw someone asking about the chances of auto-victory for a game that was still in 1941?

Capt. Harlock, I have not one but two answers to your question.

1. I am playing for at least the chance of auto-victory. I've seen Allied players quit, but I've never seen an AAR'd auto-victory, so I thought it worth a try. We're only three weeks into the game, but I haven't made any colossal mistakes yet, so Japanese auto-victory remains on the table.

2. The game is still in 1941. If you want an educated guess based on potential victory points (I did honestly look at this before starting the game), I'd say I have a 50/50 of pulling off an auto-victory at this point in time. While I haven't given him a very enviable position, Cannonfodder is not playing a bad game. He's made a few minor mistakes, but everyone who plays the game for more than a turn or two makes at least a few minor mistakes. I've made a dozen so far, and I'm still fairly happy with my play. Against a new player, I'd give you 90/10 odds. Cannon isn't new, though. We'll see how it goes.

< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/28/2013 3:39:22 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/28/2013 3:51:08 PM   
Quixote


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December 27 and 28, 1941

SRA/Northern Oz - The last base on Timor (Dili) falls. The 56th Division with tank support lands at Darwin, covered by four BBs. Two Japanese xAKs are lost to CD guns, but the troops make it ashore in good order on the 28th. Not that I expect to sink much more shipping in the Java area, but an Air HQ begins unloading at Denpassar (the island just south/east of Java) on the 28th, also.

South Pacific - Notable more for the absence of action than for anything else. Cannonfodder probably knows (or can guess) where most of my CVs are, but even so he's made no moves to counter the Japanese landing on New Caledonia. (Or at least none that I've spotted - my search in this area is still on the thin side. There is still the possibilty of one or two flaming transports down here a few turns from now...)

Java - Air coordination (or lack thereof) got the better of me on the 27th, as Japanese sweeps at Batavia (and Rangoon...and China...) all go in last. The Japanese lose 60 planes total on the 27th, for only 20 Allied fighters shot down. No fun, but as Cannonfodder pointed out via email, the Japanese do not exactly lack for army bomber pilots in Scenario 2... On the 28th, Cannonfodder pulled his fighters down almost everywhere, and all sweeps went in unopposed. The port attack on Batavia also went in unopposed, and sank CM Gouden Leeuw and five AMcs. (This means Cannonfodder now has exactly one minelayer left between the SRA and India - CM Prins von Oranje.)

Singapore - The slingshot is loaded. Mines have been cleared, ASW is in place, and troops are on board transports. Transit of the sub-infested Straits of Malacca began on the 27th and continued on the 28th. Multiple ASW attacks (mostly useless, but they did keep the subs down) took place, and no IJN ships were lost either day.

Burma - 250AV or so of troops (mostly components of the 55th Div) arrive at Moulmein and start heading north. Almost every transport in the Japanese military is also in this area, ferrying additional troops and supplies to Lashio. (Even against the extremely poor quality Allied troops that start in Burma, 30AV isn't enough to hold a base. Sadly, 100AV just might be.)

Cocos Islands - A Japanese SNLF landed and took the Cocos unopposed on the 27th, covered by a strong IJN cruiser force.




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< Message edited by Quixote -- 8/29/2013 3:28:19 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/29/2013 12:20:38 AM   
desicat

 

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What is happening up in NorthPac?

I just read your "Rabbits" AAR and noted that the opening attack there was focused on the PI with 2 CV's sent to Singk.... to hunt Force Z and to set up the invasion of PB. The allied ship loss screen you posted showed fewer losses than this current opening. Both games left the US Fleet free to operate yet in both games it is seemingly impotent to slow your advance. Any thoughts on this?

< Message edited by desicat -- 8/29/2013 1:52:25 AM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/29/2013 3:27:21 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: desicat

What is happening up in NorthPac?

I just read your "Rabbits" AAR and noted that the opening attack there was focused on the PI with 2 CV's sent to Singk.... to hunt Force Z and to set up the invasion of PB. The allied ship loss screen you posted showed fewer losses than this current opening. Both games left the US Fleet free to operate yet in both games it is seemingly impotent to slow your advance. Any thoughts on this?


With regards to the first question, almost nothing has been going on in the North Pacific, which is why I haven't written much about it, I guess. As of December 30th (I'm two days behind and need to do an update), the Allies have lost exactly one 2-point ACM near Dutch Harbor (to a Japanese sub) and the Japanese have lost a 1-point PB near Adak (to an Allied sub.) Not the most exciting theater in the war at the moment. Wouldn't surprise me if Cannonfodder decided to make an early-game push here, or to make an early-war push on the Kuriles, but I think December 41 might still be pushing it.

Regarding the second question, I think the answer is that I learned lessons from Rabbits (it was my first game of AE) that I've applied in this one. I did a better job blockading Manila in this game. Putting the extra two CVs over by Singapore allowed me to sink a lot more shipping in this area that I didn't sink in my last game. I'm moving slightly faster this game than I did in Rabbits, and it's presenting me with a few more opportunities, etc.

As for why the untouched Allied fleet in the Pacific has been unable to do anything in either game, I think it's because those units are too valuable to risk against LBA early in the game. BBs are hard to sink in a level 9 port. They're much easier for Betties to sink when they're caught attacking Tabiteuea. Early war, the US CVs are even worse off. They could create plenty of havoc in the Aleutians, Marshalls, Solomons, etc., but when facing the possibility of zero-escorted strikes from torpedo-carrying Netties, not many Allied players seem to feel comfortable using them this aggressively even when the KB isn't around on the off chance Japanese LBA penetrates CAP or a sub gets lucky. In addition to this, it's tough for the Allies to really commit to the offensive in any of the above areas before maybe mid-March. (1. Prep matters for the Allies, where it really doesn't for Japan at this point, and 2. If the Allies take a base too early, Japan can probably just take it back as long as the Amphibious bonus still in play.) You mentioned it in one of your earlier posts, and I agree with you. Using this approach, the Allies are left with a perfectly good fleet in the Pacific, but have nowhere they can really use it until April 1942.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/29/2013 6:26:24 PM   
Quixote


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December 29-31, 1941

NorPac, CentPac, SoPac - It's not just NorPac. The whole Pacific has been quiet save for the odd sub attack.

Horn Island - The lone Japanese DD (Oite) patrolling the Torres Straits runs into 3 Dutch CLs and 7 DDs on the 29th, twice. During the night phase, neither side achieves even a single hit. In the following day phase, Oite only takes 3 small caliber shell hits, and the Dutch retire. I almost feel bad about this one...

China - The Japanese appear to be winning to race to Sian. Another 6 or 7 Chinese units surrender over the past three days, and 16 more look to end up on the wrong side of the Japanese move on Sian. Lead Japanese units are now one hex SW of the city, with a clear supply path back to Nanyang.

Darwin - I think I mentioned above having made at at least a dozen dumb mistakes so far this game. At Darwin on the 29th, I upped that count to 13. After bombarding, I ordered a shock attack, hoping his fort levels were low, and hoping to take the base quickly. The 56th Division shocked, but all 80 tanks in support of it just stood by and watched, since I neglected to issue them orders. 1-2 on the attack. We'll rest up (the division at least) and try again in a few days.

Indian Ocean - As the Japanese have been bombing Port Blair regularly for the past week, Cannonfodder assumed when he saw my transports headed towards Blair that it was the target. He put together what he could to contest the landing (CA Exeter and 3 CLs) and positioned them NW of Blair to set up a night run. Unfortunately (for him) the Japanese skipped over Port Blair and continued on, towards Ceylon. This resulted in his cruiser force being caught within range of carrier air. CA Exeter and CL Mauritius were sunk. The remaining CLs took damage, but both will most likely will get away. On the final day of 1941, Japanese invasion forces are 10 hexes southeast of Ceylon.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/29/2013 8:20:32 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Cannonfodder assumed when he saw my transports headed towards Blair that it was the target. He put together what he could to contest the landing (CA Exeter and 3 CLs) and positioned them NW of Blair to set up a night run. Unfortunately (for him) the Japanese skipped over Port Blair and continued on, towards Ceylon. This resulted in his cruiser force being caught within range of carrier air. CA Exeter and CL Mauritius were sunk. The remaining CLs took damage, but both will most likely will get away. On the final day of 1941, Japanese invasion forces are 10 hexes southeast of Ceylon.


Once again, I'm highly impressed by the speed of your advance. (I imagine there will be a fair amount of mopping up to do once you've established the perimeter.) Is oil starting to flow from any of your captured bases?

_____________________________

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/30/2013 5:01:43 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

Cannonfodder assumed when he saw my transports headed towards Blair that it was the target. He put together what he could to contest the landing (CA Exeter and 3 CLs) and positioned them NW of Blair to set up a night run. Unfortunately (for him) the Japanese skipped over Port Blair and continued on, towards Ceylon. This resulted in his cruiser force being caught within range of carrier air. CA Exeter and CL Mauritius were sunk. The remaining CLs took damage, but both will most likely will get away. On the final day of 1941, Japanese invasion forces are 10 hexes southeast of Ceylon.


Once again, I'm highly impressed by the speed of your advance. (I imagine there will be a fair amount of mopping up to do once you've established the perimeter.) Is oil starting to flow from any of your captured bases?


Thanks again, Captain.

To answers your questions - Oil, no. Fuel, absolutely. I've already had at least one convoy each from Tarakan, Miri, Balikpapan, and Palembang actively contribute to the forward supply/fuel situation.

As for mopping up, I've been trying my best to clean things up as I go. Except for Luzon and Java, which I guess could be considered behind Japanese lines at this point, almost every Allied base within my sphere of influence has been taken. The notable exceptions are: Sorong (which I suspect still has some air search capability, but which will be hit on Jan 4th regardless), Boela (plus a couple of the empty nearby bases in the southern DEI), Port Blair (behind the lines as of two days ago), and a few mostly empty bases in the western and southwestern DEI (Bandjermasin being the only occupied one I haven't worried about yet.) Even counting empty non-dot bases, I'd say 85% of the mopping up has been done already.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/30/2013 2:37:48 PM   
Quixote


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Jan 1-3, 1942

Darwin - Using both the division and the tanks this time, Darwin fell on the 3rd. As the 1rst Raiders paradropped on the empty Fenton base behind Darwin on the 2nd, the Allied defenders didn't fall back on the road but have already taken to the countryside. The Japanese should be able to take the next couple of bases south in the chain without too much effort, and perhaps manage to finish off the Allied units through attrition.

Java - Air raid on Soerbaja sinks 8 AMc, a TK, and one Dutch sub on Jan 2nd. I don't think there's much left in the area, as only one little xAKL was caught running away the following day.

Sumatra - As of the 3rd, the only occupied Allied base left was Sabang, where Cannonfodder has gathered the bulk of the Dutch for a final stand. The 144th Reg starts marching north towards Sabang from Langsa on the 4th.

Aukland - Japanese subs sink AKE Mobile City two hexes from port. Haven't looked at this part of the OOB recently, but I don't think the Allies have too many of these guys yet at this point in the war.

Ceylon - Trinco was captured on the 3rd. Cannonfodder didn't have any air present - I assume the Hermes and whatever Swordfish/Vildebeests he has left retired towards Karachi. The landing itself was still rockier then I expected, though. The pre-landing bombardment (despite great DL and use of spotter planes) did almost nothing to disrupt the CD guns at Trinco Fortress, and those guns then proceeded to put holes in a lot of Japanese transports. Between holes (and fires) Japan lost 10 transports in this invasion. Mostly good ones too, darnit. Overall the Op was a bit more expensive then I'd hoped for, but still worth it.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/30/2013 3:01:30 PM   
HansBolter


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Quixote


Aukland - Japanese subs sink AKE Mobile City two hexes from port. Haven't looked at this part of the OOB recently, but I don't think the Allies have too many of these guys yet at this point in the war.

quote:



Depends a lot on what effort your opponent allocated to conversions. There are about 20+ odd potential candidates sitting in various Allied ports that require about three weeks to convert at game start. More potential conversions enter over time. It doesn't take very long for a player who emphasizes it to have more of them than he has opportunity to use for a long time to come.

_____________________________

Hans


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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/31/2013 2:34:35 PM   
Quixote


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Thanks Hans. Guess I don't have to get quite so excited next time I sink one of them, then.

We've run one or two more turns - Japan is now halfway to Colombo on Ceylon - but I'll post a more thorough update when I get home later tonight.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/31/2013 4:13:30 PM   
Richard III


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Quixote

Jan 1-3, 1942

Darwin - Using both the division and the tanks this time, Darwin fell on the 3rd. As the 1rst Raiders paradropped on the empty Fenton base behind Darwin on the 2nd, the Allied defenders didn't fall back on the road but have already taken to the countryside. The Japanese should be able to take the next couple of bases south in the chain without too much effort, and perhaps manage to finish off the Allied units through attrition.

Java - Air raid on Soerbaja sinks 8 AMc, a TK, and one Dutch sub on Jan 2nd. I don't think there's much left in the area, as only one little xAKL was caught running away the following day.

Sumatra - As of the 3rd, the only occupied Allied base left was Sabang, where Cannonfodder has gathered the bulk of the Dutch for a final stand. The 144th Reg starts marching north towards Sabang from Langsa on the 4th.

Aukland - Japanese subs sink AKE Mobile City two hexes from port. Haven't looked at this part of the OOB recently, but I don't think the Allies have too many of these guys yet at this point in the war.

Ceylon - Trinco was captured on the 3rd. Cannonfodder didn't have any air present - I assume the Hermes and whatever Swordfish/Vildebeests he has left retired towards Karachi. The landing itself was still rockier then I expected, though. The pre-landing bombardment (despite great DL and use of spotter planes) did almost nothing to disrupt the CD guns at Trinco Fortress, and those guns then proceeded to put holes in a lot of Japanese transports. Between holes (and fires) Japan lost 10 transports in this invasion. Mostly good ones too, darnit. Overall the Op was a bit more expensive then I'd hoped for, but still worth it.



What impresses me so far, is success has not seduced you into over-reaching. Yet.. So maybe Darwin and Trinco are spoiling attacks. Still, as in the Rader-Grayjoy game, the temptation to try and be the first JFB to knock India out of the War must be lurking there. Lots of points up there I think.

_____________________________

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 8/31/2013 4:36:03 PM   
desicat

 

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What impresses me so far, is success has not seduced you into over-reaching. Yet.. So maybe Darwin and Trinco are spoiling attacks. Still, as in the Rader-Grayjoy game, the temptation to try and be the first JFB to knock India out of the War must be lurking there. Lots of points up there I think.

If you are going for an auto victory then the Indian foray makes sense, otherwise I would think that giving him the line-triggered reinforcements would negate many of the bonuses you gain from playing Scenario 2. The SE Indian coast still looks to make sense as a buffer to Burma and to drain off some of his supply and industrial ability to expand the Indian Army.

At some point I'm expecting you to consolidate and try to force and decision in either the NorPac or CentPac to reduce the so far untouched US fleet.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/1/2013 2:51:41 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

What impresses me so far, is success has not seduced you into over-reaching. Yet.. So maybe Darwin and Trinco are spoiling attacks. Still, as in the Rader-Grayjoy game, the temptation to try and be the first JFB to knock India out of the War must be lurking there. Lots of points up there I think.


Richard, you hit awfully near the mark with a couple of those observations...

Whether or not I get a sudden case of victory disease or choose to show some constraint will have a lot to do with what I find in Colombo. I told pontiouspilot in an earlier post that I'd make adjustments based on where the Brits sent their starting reinforcements. I don't know the answer to that question yet (but I'll know more in a few more turns...)




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/1/2013 3:07:32 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: desicat

What impresses me so far, is success has not seduced you into over-reaching. Yet.. So maybe Darwin and Trinco are spoiling attacks. Still, as in the Rader-Grayjoy game, the temptation to try and be the first JFB to knock India out of the War must be lurking there. Lots of points up there I think.

If you are going for an auto victory then the Indian foray makes sense, otherwise I would think that giving him the line-triggered reinforcements would negate many of the bonuses you gain from playing Scenario 2. The SE Indian coast still looks to make sense as a buffer to Burma and to drain off some of his supply and industrial ability to expand the Indian Army.

At some point I'm expecting you to consolidate and try to force and decision in either the NorPac or CentPac to reduce the so far untouched US fleet.



I haven't made a secret of it - I am playing with an eye towards auto-victory. I may not be able to pull it off, but it is one of my goals. With a year left to play before this becomes even possible, Cannonfodder will have a lot to say about my chances of getting one.

As far as triggering emergency reinforcements goes, I agree with you. The only time where it would make sense to do this would be if Japan honestly thought they could capture both Bombay and Karachi (and Socotra) regardless. That line is nowhere near Ceylon or Calcutta, though.

As far as consolidating goes, I've already started at least some of it. As to where I can force a decision, (or better yet if I can force a decision), we'll see.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/1/2013 2:27:00 PM   
Quixote


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January 7, 1941

Here's a quick look at where things stand outside of Ceylon.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/3/2013 3:26:23 PM   
Quixote


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January 8-12, 1942

China - Forts at Yenan down to 1. Forts at Sian down to 2. Japan has just over 2x more raw AV at Sian than China does, and Japanese tanks broke through a roadblock NE of Sian and are attempting to move into position to prevent a Chinese retreat towards Lanchow and the mountains when Sian falls.

Phillipines - Down to the Manila/Clark/Bataan triangle. The 16th and 21rst divisions will march into Manila on the 13th. Recon shows 20,000 troops still in Manila, so it looks like Cannonfodder will make at least some stand here.

North Pacific - A small Allied bombardment group led by BB Warspite hit Adak. Very little damage from the raid, but worth noting since it's one of the first spots Cannonfodder has chosen to be aggressive.

Noumea - A small Allied bombardment in support of the defenders (by 2 CA and a DD) causes the first attack on Noumea to go off just shy of 2-1, so the base is still in Allied hands for now.

Burma - Rangoon was captured on January 12th. While he put up a fight for a couple of turns at Pegu, Rangoon itself was almost empty (one small base force.)

Indian Ocean - Small CV raid on Socotra turns up nothing. The larger raid supposed to hit Karachi the same turn gets clouded in, but is still spotted nonetheless. No CVL Hermes for me. Colombo captured on the 11th. Unfortunately, not one of the mobile Commonwealth defenders had been sent to bolster the defense. This means that either Cannonfodder managed to sneak them into the Burma area before I got around to it, or more likely that the British 18th division and those Indian brigades starting at sea are now solidly entrenched in either Bombay or Karachi. 1000 Allied AV in Bombay would make it a tough nut to crack, even with the 7 divisions Japan could throw at it right now. So it's now East or West. Decisions, decisions...

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/5/2013 3:51:42 AM   
Quixote


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January 13-15, 1942

Noumea - Captured on January 15th. We've been playing tag with a couple of smaller cruisers and/or destroyers, but no sign of anything heavier in the area (on either side.) Where are his CVs? I still don't know.

Indian Ocean - The last base on the island (Jaffna, at the top of Ceylon) will fall on the 16th. The former Columbo defenders were trying to make it to Koggala (bottom of Ceylon) but this was taken by amphibious invasion on the 14th. It now has a few units that were railed in from Columbo ready to act as the greeting committee. Further out in the IO, Diego Garcia was captured on the 15th.

Java - Landings began on the 14th at the southern (eastern) tip of the island at undefended Bandjoewangi. Only 100 Japanese AV ashore so far. Not nearly enough to take anything important, but just enough to give Cannonfodder something else to worry about. He did respond by sending in the torpedo planes from Soerbaja, but as the invasion was covered by zeros from Denpassar just one hex away, and since he has almost no Dutch fighters left, all were shot down before even getting to the transports.

China - The north is turning into a full-scale rout. Sian fell sooner than expected on the 14th with massive Chinese casualties, leaving the road to Lanchow (and maybe even the road to the Central Plain) looking fairly open.




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/5/2013 6:36:33 PM   
pontiouspilot


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You are likely in unknown territory for most of us as you proceed west...at least at this early stage. Is there a way in the post Ceylon victory to co-ordinate a grab of Karachii and Bombay before the effect, largely unknown to me in quantity and quality, of the magical Indian reinforcements? It seems that if your goal is Auto-vic that you have little choice since you are so far down that road and in that direction already?? It is an interesting dillema. I wish I knew more about the quality and quantity of these Indian bonus troops.

I suppose the alternative is to create fortress Ceylon to interdict the Brits/Indians for several years and shift your focus to the Pacific Fleet. Without significant diversion of US assets I doubt the Brits alone could retake a fortified Ceylon until very late in the game.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/5/2013 11:08:33 PM   
desicat

 

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quote:

I wish I knew more about the quality and quantity of these Indian bonus troops.


Read GreyJoy's AAR against Mr Kane to get an idea of impact of the Indian reinforcements.

I don't think crossing the line is worth it, but I have never played as the Japanese.

I like the bull rush idea, plus with the advanced timeline I think there are points available in other places that could work towards an auto-victory. These are just my thoughts, Quixote knows significantly more than me as to what is possible here.

< Message edited by desicat -- 9/5/2013 11:13:22 PM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/6/2013 2:29:54 PM   
Quixote


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Pontiouspilot and desicat - You guys bring up some good points. I'll try to address a few of them.

First, it is possible to take Bombay. It is also possible to take Karachi. The challenge is taking both. I don't think it's been done before in PBEM, and as I see it, here's why:

If Japan goes for Bombay first, they have two choices:

1. Land right on the hex and try to take it before the Allies have time to rail in additional reinforcements. Since Bombay is heavy urban terrain, its defenders get a huge combat bonus even with no fort levels. For this reason, trying to take it quickly makes a lot of sense because if you don't take it quickly, the odds are good that you never take it at all. Once the Allies get 1000+ AV into Bombay, it becomes almost impossible to capture. (See the recent efforts of Mr Kane and njp72, both good Japanese players who tried but failed to take Bombay.) The problem with landing directly at Bombay is that it has both mines and 6" CD guns. If Japan lands here, whatever the structure of the invasion, they will take losses. (Lost transports, lost escorts, lost troops, considerable disruption on landing, damaged BBs and CAs, etc. Not ideal for auto-victory giving all those points away.)
2. Land at bases either north or south (or both) of Bombay, then try to rapidly close off the railway lines into the city before reinforcements can be sent in. This way Japan avoids the inevitable losses a landing directly at Bombay would suffer, but pays for it with lost time. (If the rails are not closed quickly enough, extra Allied AV will arrive by train and Bombay may never fall. Even if the rails into Bombay are closed down, the Allies will have plenty of time to rail reinforcements into Karachi instead, making that city almost impossible to take.

If Japan goes for Karachi first, they face essentially the same choice, except that if they elect not to land directly in Karachi, there aren't any good alternative bases nearby. It'll take a long while just to get troops to the city, nevermind actually capturing it. Karachi also triggers automatic reinforcements (one divison of which shows up right in Karachi itself, making things even more difficult.)

Opt for Bombay first, you don't trigger emergency reinforcements, but you do give the Allies time to rail in reinforcements to Karachi.
Opt for Karachi first, you do trigger reinforcements, but most of them will be stuck in Aden for the rest of '42 if your attack succeeds and you take the city (along with Socotra.) Along with triggering the reinforcements though, you also give the Allies time to rail in reinforcements into Bombay...
Taking them both at the same time would seem to be the ideal solution, except that even in Scenario 2 I don't think Japan has quite enough to pull this off.

As to being forced to commit to India in order to maintain the chance for auto-victory - desicat is correct, that's really not the case. If Japan were to stop advancing right now, and instead just consolidated everywhere (meaning finishing with Java and the Phillipines, but conquering nothing else outside of China) they would still be right on the verge of a 4-1 victory point advantage when all was said and done. (It would end up roughly 19,000 Japanese VPs against 5,000 Allied VPs as things stand now.) Since Japan doesn't really need to completely stop expansion yet (remember it's still only January 1942) it may still be possible to pick up enough points elsewhere on the map, India or no, to tip the scales.

Lastly, to pontiouspilots' point about Ceylon: Yes - owning Ceylon, along with Diego Garcia, Addu, the Cocos, etc., and having months to turn them into defensible positions should make any advance against Japan on this side of the map very difficult. As Japan you only have one weapon (the KB) which can completely assure the stability of any given flank, so it defintely helps to have one or two fewer flanks. For that reason alone I think Ceylon is worth the effort, even if Japan doesn't plan any further advances in the IO.

< Message edited by Quixote -- 9/6/2013 2:32:31 PM >

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Post #: 80
RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/6/2013 2:43:02 PM   
Cap Mandrake

 

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Mid January '42 and you haven't even captured the Boeing plant in Seattle yet?


Bah, I'm losing interest.

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Post #: 81
RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/7/2013 12:29:34 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cap Mandrake

Mid January '42 and you haven't even captured the Boeing plant in Seattle yet?


Bah, I'm losing interest.


Tough crowd around here.


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Post #: 82
RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/7/2013 1:28:46 PM   
Quixote


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January 16-18, 1942

China - Yenan forts to go zero, the end is near. The last 5000 Chinese troops trapped in Sinyang surrender. The 1rst IJA Panzer Army (as Cannonfodder calls them) is pursuing the former defenders of Sian northward towards Lanchow.
Indian Ocean - Port Blair is captured by the 33rd division. Half the Japanese CVs are off of Goa (just south of Bombay), escorting a small landing force destined for here. A base force will land on (hopefully) unoccupied Male island next turn and set up air search.
Malaya - The last Allied base on Malaya is taken (Temuloh.) There are still three or four small Allied units remaining on the peninsula, but all are in the jungle.
Oz - Daly Waters taken by the 8th Tanks. All the Allied base forces surrendered on this drive, so the the Japanese are lonely down here for the moment. In the waters off of Exmouth, Cannonfodder scores his best naval engagement to date on the 17th. A SCTF built around CL Marblehead intercepts (not once, not twice, but three separate times) an IJN AV and two DDs and sinks them all on the third try. About 40 points lost, but you can't win them all.

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/7/2013 2:15:17 PM   
desicat

 

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quote:

Mid January '42 and you haven't even captured the Boeing plant in Seattle yet?


Maybe not capture WC cities but if you are playing for Auto-Victory have you considered strategic bombing in Oz? This gets mentioned occasionally but is rarely done.

PJH did do some bombing on the WC in his game against Canoe Rebel. Too gamey?

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/7/2013 3:08:49 PM   
Quixote


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I don't think it's too gamey (OK, maybe the West Coast is), but gamey or not I'm not sure it's a worthwhile use of either the KB or of Japanese fuel. If the KB found itself down by Oz in the normal course of the war I might think about it, but I can't see sailing down there just to Strat bomb.

< Message edited by Quixote -- 9/7/2013 3:19:44 PM >

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/7/2013 3:19:18 PM   
Quixote


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January 19-22, 1942

China - Yenan falls. The Chinese for some reason retreat SE, directly away from the nearest Chinese bases? The Panzer army continues to roll north to the mountains, with the bulk of the infantry following close behind. Further south, Cannonfodder pulled back into the Changsha pocket, but for some reason also left a very strong garrison at Kukong (the city just NE of Canton. Japanese troops near Changsha have already cut the rail/road line from Changsha to Kukong, and are now marching south to surround and capture Kukong.
Indian Ocean - Goa falls on the 21rst to a tank unit. It was undefended, but the harbor was mined. A single Japanese DD hits a mine, but should survive. Other than continued bombing of the airfield at Madras, things are quiet here. I'll start ramping things back up in this theatre in two or three more days.
Phillipines - Manila falls on January 21rst. Japan had two divisions just sitting in Manila with the Allied defenders for the last four or five days. No Japanese bombardments or attacks, and no Allied probing either. (I was waiting for the Japanese units in Lingayen to march into Clark before ordering and attack on Manila so that the Manila troops would have nowhere to retreat.) I think Cannonfodder assumed that the two Japanese units in the hex were just the little SNLF units I used to walk up from Naga/Legaspi with, and he may not have really looked at troop counts. On the 20th I guess he finally did, since after five turns of nothing he all of a sudden started marching out of Manila. I was hoping to be able to wait two more turns for the troops moving on Clark, but with Cannonfodders movement I didn't have much choice. Given only one Allied combat unit in Manila (but also a lot of support troops), the city was taken on the first deliberate attack.
Noumea - For several turns now, we've fallen into a pattern down here.
Step 1. Allied ships arrive to bombard Noumea.
Step 2. Japanese subs fire torpedoes at these ships.
Step 3. All torpedoes invariably miss.
With one or two exceptions, Japanese subs have done poorly thus far. I was very lucky last PBEM with subs, but I think the law of averages may be catching up to me in this one. C'est la guerre....




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/8/2013 9:39:52 PM   
Quixote


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January 23-27, 1942

China - North of Canton, the city of Kukong is captured. Roughly 800AV in Chinese troops get surrounded. Further north, IJA tanks are now one hex from Lanchow.

Java - Slowly working north. Progressed to Malang (one hex from Soerbaja) as of the 27th. Moved the Air HQ from Denpasar onto Java itself (the AF4 base at Loemadjang) though the complete absence of Dutch shipping in the area makes this sort of an afterthought. (Not sure Cannonfodder has anything larger than a PT boat left here.)

Oz - Broome is taken and Mavis's flown in.

NorPac - More (apparent) Allied buildup at Unmak. Japanese subs quit missing everything in sight a couple of turns ago, so we sank an AK or two up here.

Noumea - Very quiet since the last update. Engineers raise Koumac to AF2. Subs sink a couple of tankers transitting the area to the south, but no sign of any other surface or air forces.

Indian Ocean - All the IJA divisions are now fully loaded and at sea. It will be another 4 days before they land. The sequence below should give you a decent idea of where Japan will be landing. Remember, loose lips sink ships - no posting anything silly in Cannonfodders AAR. (Kidding aside, it's not so much the sinking ships I'm worried about, it's what he does with all those troops in strat mode railroading their way towards Bombay...)




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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/9/2013 12:52:25 AM   
Richard III


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Wow !!  First I don`t visit his AAR so let me say here what a Grand Sport he is to stay with the Game at this point...hopefully some of his advisors are telling him it`s well past time to go Last Ditch, and pull back and dig in at Karachi and at the Dutch Harbor - Hawaiian Island chain lines.  

_____________________________

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

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RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/9/2013 12:52:51 AM   
zuluhour


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You JFBs are so manipulative.

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Post #: 89
RE: A Road Less Travelled - 9/10/2013 5:23:00 AM   
Quixote


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quote:

ORIGINAL: zuluhour

You JFBs are so manipulative.


Flattery will get you nowhere Zulu!

quote:

Wow !! First I don`t visit his AAR so let me say here what a Grand Sport he is to stay with the Game at this point...hopefully some of his advisors are telling him it`s well past time to go Last Ditch, and pull back and dig in at Karachi and at the Dutch Harbor - Hawaiian Island chain lines.


Cannonfodder has been a very good sport so far this game. He really has the right attitude to play the Allies in the early going - He still makes the occasional joke when something unlucky happens, he's been complimentary of Japanese strategy so far, and despite all the Allied setbacks he still doesn't seem to be panicking. He hasn't done anything rash with his CVs either, darnit! So far, so good.


Long day today, so just a short update. The invasion is now one day out. It was partially spotted just this past turn (he's seen the carriers, and one SCTF, but I believe not many of the transports.) Troops will hit the beaches tomorrow...

< Message edited by Quixote -- 9/11/2013 2:24:10 AM >

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