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All of this power and their national will seems to be s... - 1/18/2015 11:53:15 AM   
SierraJuliet


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Early December fog drifts across the Japanese anchorage at Pescadores. Salt water caresses the iron sides of a ship at anchor. A gentle caress for this water is still. Cloaked by damp and heavy fog the sea is motionless and calm, tranquil even; a complete contradiction to the activity going on upon and inside the ship. Ordered activity, however, as the men of Kanno Detachment embark and find their way around their temporary lodging. A mood of expectation hangs in the air between decks for these men know that upon weighing anchor their course will be set; war with the western imperial powers.

On the bridge of this ship stands Captain Akatsuka. His ship is the cargo ship Sanko Maru. A cargo unlike any other he has ever before been responsible… warriors of his Emperor. He has no doubt about the quality of his ship. Displacing over 4 and a half thousand tons she is more than capable of withstanding the demands of the ocean and safely delivering her cargo. Indeed she towers over the bevy of small fighting ships tasked with protecting Sanko and her companions. A good crew, too, to be sure. What concerned him was the perils of sailing into waters no longer free from the man-made terror of warfare.

Akatsuka was abreast of the war which had been in full flight on the other side of the globe for the last two years. He paid attention to the reports of German success against the British merchant fleet. A fleet which had been ravaged by aerial and underwater predation. The British merchant fleet was the lifeline upon which the British nation clung and what is so different about the Japanese merchant fleet thought Akatsuka. He wondered if the Admirals and government bureaucrats had really digested the lessons being learnt by the British. For war was coming very soon and Akatsuka dearly hoped that the navy would be up to the task of protecting the nations precious merchant ships.

As much as he hoped the warships would keep the sea lanes safe Akatsuka sometimes contemplated what he would do should he and his ship ever have to duel with the enemy. He'd heard stories of the German U-Boats prowling around like glorified surface warships using their deck guns to destroy merchants. Oh the glory imagined Akatsuka of giving the order and watching his crew pump shells into an impudent submariner bent on dispatching his Sanko Maru in a surface action.

Catching himself in a flight of fancy Akatsuka snapped himself back to the present. The ship was almost ready. When the order comes the heading would be towards the Philippines. Akatsuka, his crew and the ship were as ready as they could be…. Would the Empire be just as ready?
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At the beginning again. - 1/18/2015 12:39:08 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Welcome to the very soon resumption of hostilities between tocaff and sierrajuliet.

This will be my second tilt at the grand campaign and my first fully fledged outing upon the AE seas. Todd and I got on so well with our last match up that we are going to get at it again. It seems that we are both in charge of the good guys again. Open to argument but some of us just can’t resist planting rising sun flags all over the map.

Our last game saw a cessation of hostilities on 15 December 1945 with Todd well and truly in control although I recall a certain Josef Stalin wasn’t overly pleased with the showing of his men during the dying days of the war. No doubt Josef will once again be chafing at the bit all war long!

We will be playing scenario 1 with stacking limits. House rules still to be completely thrashed out but probably minimal.

Plans… I have some but until Todd says his goodbyes little to be said other than look to improve upon last outing. Neither of us play for victory point per se but we do keep an eye on them. Last time Todd amassed 130 705 to my 49 313 so there is one yardstick to measure myself against. The end date is another… and that really does depend on a lot things. If I’m still not lying down by 1946 I’ll consider that to be some kind of an achievement.

(in reply to SierraJuliet)
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RE: At the beginning again. - 1/18/2015 9:31:01 PM   
tocaff


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Steve is plotting his revenge while I shudder at the thought.

We will be very minimal with HRs as we are like minded concerning things.

Now I'll be staying away until I get a green light to read the AAR some years down the road.

_____________________________

Todd

I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2080768

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RE: At the beginning again. - 1/19/2015 12:04:51 PM   
bigred


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quote:

Now I'll be staying away until I get a green light to read the AAR some years down the road.
about 2017.

_____________________________

---bigred---

IJ Production mistakes--
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2597400

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RE: At the beginning again. - 1/19/2015 8:12:29 PM   
BBfanboy


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To crib a famous quote which may be a blessing or a curse: "May you live in interesting (WITPAE) times!"


_____________________________

I have not yet begun to fight! OTOH I have not yet begun to flee. Hmmmmm - choices, choices -always with the choices.

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RE: At the beginning again. - 1/19/2015 9:51:38 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Gee bigred... no pressure there to get the game over and done with. I do reserve the right go out in a blaze of glory (or a catastrophic debacle ridden campaign)in which case I'll be lucky to see 2016! We usually keep to a steady 1 turn a day when RL isn't interfering.

Indeed BBfanboy... the times will be interesting. I cannot disappoint Todd.

Todd has ISP issues so we won't be up and running until he gets that sorted. In any case I expect to be ready myself by the end of January and then it will be heart in mouth time. I'm alternating between excitement over commencing the conquest again and dreading the moment when some clever Allied Admiral pulls off a neat action to confound my befuddled Admiral.

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Post #: 6
Rules - 1/19/2015 10:56:32 PM   
SierraJuliet


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First day decisions. I still have plenty to be making here but some I have settled on. Time to throw them out for consideration. Comments are very welcome as one GC makes me quite the inexperienced gamer here.

First up the HRs as proposed so far.

Todd proposed being allowed to issue orders to units from the PIs west reflecting the time difference.

No objection to this so we became more definitive (although my iteration of the events has no PH attack, as I will outline later, so I figure that the rule simply means that the western Pacific commanders were a little more on the ball than real life conveys to us).

Modified Allied movement rules:

In the PIs 20-25% or the subs based at Manila get underway on the first turn. The planes based in the PIs are on alert meaning a CAP of up to 30% and bombers set to anti shipping. No troops are to be issued move orders.

The British, Dutch and ANZACS are on alert and their planes are set up to 30% CAP and bombers to anti shipping. Warships can be issued orders, but troops will remain in place.

The significance of bombers set to anti shipping has not been lost on me… it has coloured how I intend to protect the Malaysian Adventure.

The Japanese can attack any number of ports (bases) as they desire, but no invasions further west than the east coast of Malaya, Sumatra and Java (from Soerbaja northwards) until the following bases have been captured;

Malaya: Singapore, Tandjoengpinang (isle off Singapore) and Malacca

Sumatra: Palembang, Oosthaven and Bengkalis

Java: Merak and Batavia

The option of capturing bases further west of the eastern coasts by parachute or land based assault remains unfettered. The rule is designed to limit the IJN from being unrealistic or foolhardy enough to force passage through these confined and Allied controlled waters.

Oh goody…. Lots of first up port attacks!!! Well not really. Todd made an aside that many port attacks will water down the effect and I agree. I will be focussed on one main port attack.

Strat bombing: Not allowed in China until 1945 by either side. Supply problems faced by both sides in this area of the war are the issue here. Other areas can be bombed.

This is significant for my considerations of capturing and protecting SRA oil.

Alt bands: CAPs and Sweeps limited to no higher than 2nd best band for plane type. Bomber escorts may fly within 5K above the bombers being escorted.

Todd’s logic behind the alt bands for fighters is that without limits people try to get as high as possible to get the bounce. That is totally beyond the realm of logic as these planes simply weren't built for that. A limit of 5K above the bombers reflects "top cover." If a raid goes in at 25K and you want fighters at 30K, OK. The problem with this is that bombers were effective flying higher than many of the fighters, but the trade-off is the lack of bombing accuracy. So send them in and don't hit anything.

That is the extra rules so far.

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Post #: 7
Rules - 1/19/2015 11:19:09 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Some graphic portrayal of the bases on the capture list so I can amphib move out of the SRA. Yellow stars represent the targets.




Attachment (1)

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Considerations - 1/20/2015 9:24:20 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Moving onto Pearl Harbour and do we attack or not attack. From reading many AAR it seems to still be a contentious issue on which is the best strategic option.

As much as I like the potential effect I have cancelled the PH raid and shall concentrate instead on the SRA. In our last outing KB failed to deliver on the assigned morning and the Pacific Fleet slept serenely on while the rest of the Pacific commenced fighting. It was very galling but I carried on and found that even without the PH punch I managed to carry on ok. I know it leaves 8 American battleships bobbing around but one thing I have learnt about Todd is that he hates the fuel guzzling ways of the pre-war battleships… I’m happy to oblige him and leave those thirsty heavies to soak up his fuel supply. I know they will come back at me but the first turn is full of trade-offs. Besides… there should always be the opportunity to blue water sink them at some point.

The other thing I know about Todd is that he loves his submarine fleet. Conversely I hate those subs. So…… that leads me straight to Manilla. The sub activation rule means that 6 of the 27 subs in port will be allowed to get underway so those 6 are out of the equation. Still leaves 21 targets and I want to remove as many as possible. I know the results can fluctuate depending on the roll of the die but I hope for at least 10 to be off the board for good… more of course would be excellent. I won’t have the full KB in on this as I have other plans for carrier division 5. So 4 carriers to deliver the surprise attack on Manilla and I will augment that with land based bombers as well. KB will then be well placed to cover either the SRA or the Central Pacific Operations. Not forgetting too that Houston and Boise are close at hand and removing them early is a high priority.

There should also be some culling of the surface ships which will attempt the run out of Manilla so less messing around trying to finish them off which is another a plus for going Manilla

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RE: Considerations - 1/20/2015 9:47:09 PM   
obvert


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Well, the Allies don't really have to think about fuel. I like to kill off a few BBs and the airframes on that first turn. Also I like the KB in the Pacific to support other things. But if you're going for a quick Singapore or even India it makes sense to hit Manila instead for sure and keep at least some of the KB in the DEI.

I'd base the decision less on potential ship kills and more on your first and second tier strategic objectives.

_____________________________


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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Post #: 10
RE: Considerations - 1/20/2015 10:21:49 PM   
SierraJuliet


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I've always thought the allies didn't have to worry too much about fuel and that seemed to be the case when I took on the Allied side in the small scenarios. Todd is a player who likes to have everything squared away before he embarks on an enterprise and I know that he considers those battlewagons to be fuel hogs. Doesn't mean he won't use them but he is very conscious of how much fuel he wants in the kitty before he does move them out.

I hear you Obvert on basing the decision on first and second tier strategic objectives. My planning is for a quick Singapore and that has been my planning focus. It is a plan with inherent risk but I consider the risks outweigh the rewards. Thanks for the input. I appreciate it.

My focus on the subs at Manila is purely from the psychological point of view. I'm sure that if Todd has a choice on which he would prefer to lose between the subs and the BBs then he would ditch the battleships. If I get good hits on the Manilla subs Todd will be a very unhappy allied commander.

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RE: Considerations - 1/21/2015 4:01:28 PM   
BBfanboy


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Sounds like KB's opening gambit should be a visit to Singers! Take out the aircraft and Force Z and the Mersing gambit is a cinch.

_____________________________

I have not yet begun to fight! OTOH I have not yet begun to flee. Hmmmmm - choices, choices -always with the choices.

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Considerations - 1/22/2015 11:17:49 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Mersing is indeed my big opening gamble. Carrier Division 5, plus CVL Ryujo, is assigned to provide the aerial cover for this operation.

The accompanying map represents my intentions for the December 8 phase of operations. Yellow circle depicts Kate torpedo attack range.

Firstly the amphibious TF of choice was TF 91 from Samah. After rearrangement of the composition of TFs at Samah I assigned all the component units of 5th Division plus 25th Army HQ, 15th and 23rd Independent Engineer Regiments and 34th Field AA Battalion to TF 91. Once recombined at Mersing 5th Division will have no trouble knocking out the 22nd Australian Brigade before quickly moving into Johore Bahru. Mersing won’t give me an airfield to work with but a quick capture of Johore Bahru will give me a level 4 airfield on the door step of Singapore.

TF 125 (one of the slow TFs out of Samah) will carry the 2nd wave of Mersing troops being a construction company, an AF Battalion, a shipping engineer regiment, an AA regiment, an independent Engineer Regiment and 2 artillery units. Some good supporting units to get the AF up and running.

I decided not to use the magic move to jump TF 85 straight to Mersing. No desire to bring down the gamey issue for this move. Moving shipping off the coast of Kauntan shouldn’t be an issue. Having a host of shipping hovering off Kauntan might also cause some temporary confusion for Todd as to my intention. Wrong footing him would be a nice side effect.

A simple plan but one loaded with risk. The two obvious pitfalls being the anti-shipping bombers based in Malaya (plus the round one rule allowing for all bombers to set to naval attack) and of course Force Z.

To counter this both of the forward deployed surface action TFs will move into the same hex as TF 85. Plenty more targets now for the aerial bombers.

CVL Ryujo will also be present. She will only have Claudes for fighters but they are there to fix up the stringbags and vildebeast. A single bomb from them is more than plenty to sink a transport and that would really ruin my day… I want all the units in this TF to hit the ground at Mersing.

Finally there will be Carrier Div 5. These two carriers will have their work cut out for them. CAP for themselves (as they are well in land based bomber range) LRCAP for TF 85, aerial ambush for Force Z and possibly a strike on the airfield at Singers if Z does a runner. I know I am putting them at significant risk but I’m confident the zeros will rule the skies. There is of course no accounting for unfortunate luck and should bombers get through and land bombs these two carriers are capable of absorbing the hits.


Assumptions on what will happen here during turn 1.


Force Z will likely do a runner but if it does turn up to play carrier div 5 backed up by nell and betty are ready to play.

A strong aerial response to both TF 85 and carrier div 5. The diversity of ships to target plus the CAP on hand should see off these attacks and allow TF 85 to be at Mersing by the end of December 8.

So have I missed something here which will set me up for a disaster?





Attachment (1)

< Message edited by SierraJuliet -- 1/23/2015 12:20:09 AM >

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Considerations - 1/23/2015 12:32:28 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Does anyone else get carried away swapping out commanders for your ships?

After I realized that most of the merchant commanders can be swapped without PP charge I have changed no less than 19 commanders in the starting TFs at Saigon, Cam Ranh Bay and Samah. All the xAPs have received improved commanders. There was, surprisingly, a couple of well credentialed officers in charge of some ships. For instance xAK Asakasan Maru did have Ban in command with most of the important stats in the high 60s. Impressive destroyer material but not necessarily what I want running a cargo ship.

How about Takatsugu, K in charge of xAP Brazil Maru. Surely an excellent man in charge of this valuable transport but with an air stat of 71 perhaps he really should be given a carrier of some kind to look after.

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RE: Considerations - 1/23/2015 3:23:45 PM   
BBfanboy


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I swap ALL the merchant/TK skippers that I can without using PP or, maybe 1 point for important ships. That is for the Allied side, and the merchant ship skippers are not available for the Naval pool, and with the number of countries represented having their own pools there are limits on the trades.

I am not sure if the Japanese Navy can share from the same pool as the merchant ships use, but I have seen Raizo Tanaka as TF commander of an Amphib TF. That could be because there were naval ships in the TF, or it could mean that the pool is common to both merchant and navy.
I am pretty sure that the size of the vessel has some effect on the skippers made available for swap. xAKLs might get offered a list going into the high 50s Naval Skill, while large xAK-t s get offered skippers up into the 70s in NS.

_____________________________

I have not yet begun to fight! OTOH I have not yet begun to flee. Hmmmmm - choices, choices -always with the choices.

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RE: Considerations - 1/23/2015 4:38:21 PM   
ny59giants


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Kuantan vs Kota Bharu: I think I would land here with 18th ID and recombine it here asap. Along with going here vs Kota Bharu, you can land a few BFs to allow you to quickly LRCAP Mersing and free up your CVs to do other things. Its only 4 hexes, but it would allow a quickier attack on the AFs at Singapore to discourage any fort building. If you want, you can re-embark the 18th for Mersing in a few days.

< Message edited by ny59giants -- 1/23/2015 5:39:15 PM >


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RE: Considerations - 1/23/2015 8:48:35 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Glad to hear that you go in for some micromanaging too BBfanboy. Sure is a lot of ships to look at and a little like opening gifts. Sometimes you make an amazing discovery and sometimes you wonder how an officer with such bad stats gets command of an important vessel.

Thanks ny59giants. I've been thinking that Kota is something of a backwater to land at and hadn't thought through on alternate possibilities for the 18th. I like your suggestion. Dropping them on Kauntan would also confuse the situation with the 5th Div TF sitting offshore and make it appear that Kauntan is my priority. Air cover would be an issue though as I could no longer rely on the Nates to help out.

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Post #: 17
RE: Considerations - 1/24/2015 1:34:17 AM   
ny59giants


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Years ago when I did a "Mersing Gambit" I took the Vals off my CVs and sent them to Singora. In their place I added extra Zeros to provide protection for my CVs and landing forces. Your fear is the Swordfish and Vildebeest (TBs) and Force Z. Thus, the Vals are of little use off east coast of Malaya, but may be useful in sinking fleeing merchants trying to escape via the Straits of Malacca. I would move CarDiv 5 to the NW about 3 hexes from what your screenshot show. Have their Kates set secondary target of ground attack at Kuantan.

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RE: Considerations - 1/24/2015 2:05:39 AM   
SierraJuliet


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Thanks. I was planning on using the Zero unit at Soc Trang (wrong spelling and probably place too... Away from my aids at present) come turn 2 for the very purpose of bolstering a rather thin Zero presence on the carriers. Removing the Vals would free up the deck space nicely and those Vals will do ever so better against merchants than Force Z. The position change is good too... If Force Z runs I won't catch it anyway and the position change should take the carriers out of Swordfish and Vildebeest range??? Have to check that on the map. Who'd have thought just how much thinking goes into trying to get this part of the operation right.

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RE: Considerations - 1/24/2015 2:27:21 AM   
SierraJuliet


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Looking now at TF 85 plus the component units of 18th Division and I remember why I hadn't considered changing.... Simply because the division was prepped 100% for Kota. I wasn't keen on giving up that bonus but Kauntan has slightly less AV so the loss of the prep bonus may not be that big a deal. Kauntan certainly is a better forward position for an airfield.

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RE: Considerations - 1/24/2015 12:07:45 PM   
ny59giants


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I've played mostly Allies, but did play Japan for a few games. Thus, an important thing to consider is an early assault on Port Blair using paras. This base is important in allowing short legged fighters from Malaya making it safely to Burma/India. Something for you to consider.

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RE: Considerations - 1/24/2015 3:40:49 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

I swap ALL the merchant/TK skippers that I can without using PP or, maybe 1 point for important ships. That is for the Allied side, and the merchant ship skippers are not available for the Naval pool, and with the number of countries represented having their own pools there are limits on the trades.

I am not sure if the Japanese Navy can share from the same pool as the merchant ships use, but I have seen Raizo Tanaka as TF commander of an Amphib TF. That could be because there were naval ships in the TF, or it could mean that the pool is common to both merchant and navy.
I am pretty sure that the size of the vessel has some effect on the skippers made available for swap. xAKLs might get offered a list going into the high 50s Naval Skill, while large xAK-t s get offered skippers up into the 70s in NS.


I also get the best possible when I can, and spend a bit more than 1 point sometimes, especially if it's a valuable TF and I need a good commander. I then just get the lead ship's captain to be god for that role.

The Japanese have lots of good merchants captains, but few decent ones for the PBs and Es. For the naval ships there is an abundance and I never chose a leader with less than 60 naval for an IJN combat ship. Thus the Allied side was a bit of a shock at first. Now I'm getting better commanders midway through 43.

_____________________________


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Considerations - 2/4/2015 11:04:32 AM   
SierraJuliet


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Todd continues to have ISP issues which will take a while yet but in the mean time I am still working my through gaining an understanding of what I have at my command.

This week I have delved into the mysteries of the engine and airframe production. I feel I have mastered something akin to a basic understanding of the process.

First of all I must thank Mike Solli and the contributors to his excellent AAR. I have read and re read the discussions relating to airframes and engines. It has greatly assisted my understanding of Japanese aircraft production. At least I hope this to be so. Here come some of my thoughts on how I will approach this during the game.

ENGINES

The Hitachi (early) factory will be converted to produce Ha-32 engines. A shameless copy from Mike… at least it is if my comprehension is up to speed. The Hitachi (early) fits out the Ki-36 Ida and Ki-59 Theresa. With 332 engines in the pool I believe there will be plenty of engines available to keep the Idas in business for a long while.

The Nakajima Kotobuki factory will be converted to also produce Ha-32 engines. The Kotobuki engines fit out the Ki-27b Nate and the A5M4 Claude. Once the Zero and Oscar production kicks in and the Nate and Claude squadrons start upgrading there will be plenty of spare Nates and Claudes on hand without continuing to producing more engines for these two obsolescent planes.

The Kayab Argus factory will be converted to produce Ha-35 engines. The Kayab Argus engine only appears to be necessary to produce the Ka-1 air frame. I do not plan on building this air frame so there will not be a need to pursue the Kayab engine.

Lastly there is the Toko Rocket to be converted to Ha-35 production. I don’t wish to produce the rocket airframes (assuming late ’45 to early ’46 is a place where the Japanese Empire is stilling hanging on to avoid defeat) so this research facility will be converted to building the Ha-35 engine.

The Hitachi (early), Hitachi Amakaze and Nakamima Ha- 5 plus the Ha-31, 32, 33, 34 and 35 engines will all continue with most of these factories receiving an upgrade.

So begins my effort to understand and make sense of the complexities of building Japanese air frames and suitable engines.

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Post #: 23
RE: Considerations - 2/5/2015 4:33:22 AM   
SierraJuliet


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Airframe Research

Delving a little further now into territory that is stretching my confidence levels.

I’ve decided that turning off research into the following planes is a prudent course of action. I doubt I’ll lose much by curtailing their continued production. In all probability I should consider turning off some other late arriving models too but too taken by their stats at the moment to give the order to halt research.

I’ve also indicated what I’m considering converting these factories over to in lieu of continued research. Has Karyu raised some eyebrows?? I know it is such a long way off but I’m kind of swapping like for like and should I ever make it all the way to the end of ’45 and have the stockpiles available I’d love to see some jets putting in an appearance. Happy to hear your views on the soundness of this idea.

I’ve gone for Tojo and Helen as they appear in ’42 and if I can I’d like them a little earlier and in good numbers when I get them.

J8M1 Shusei (Rocket Fighter) convert to Ki-201 Karyn

Ka-1 convert to Ki-49-Ia Helen

Ki-115a Tsurugi convert to Ki-49-Ia Helen

Ki-119 convert to Ki-44 Tojo

Ki-202 Shusei (Rocket Fighter) convert to Ki-201 Karyu

Ki-74-I Patsy convert to Ki-49-Ia Helen

M6A1 Seiran convert to Ki-44 Tojo

Q1W1 Lorna convert to Ki-44 Tojo

Toka convert to Ki-44 Tojo

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Action - 2/18/2015 1:08:25 AM   
SierraJuliet


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The first turn is away and with Todd…. Now for the anxious wait to see if my planning was effective.

To help set the scene here is a little taste of the action in the Malay sky.

On 6 December, three No. 1 Squadron Hudsons were able to take off and search their three allotted sectors. The weather was still difficult, but at about 12:15pm, came a staggering discovery in Sector 1. From his Hudson, Johnny Ramshaw sighted three small Japanese warships 300 kilometres from Kota Bharu. At 12:30pm, he made a second sighting, this time much bigger. After flying the length and breadth of the convoy at an altitude of just 900 feet, the crew counted one battleship, five cruisers, seven destroyers and most ominously, 22 transports. The convoy looked to one of the aircrew like a swimming scorpion with a broad head and segmented vertebrae. It was headed due west, perhaps towards Kota Bharu, some 425 kilometres away. While scrutinising this armada, the crew saw one warship launch a float-plane. Ramshaw flew into cloud cover and signalled his momentous news to base.

I quoted this from a book titled Whispering Death Australian Airmen in the Pacific War by Mark Johnston. Although viewed from the Allied perspective it captures the game of cat and mouse going on in the days prior to the Malay landings.

Todd has to make some decisions on how he will respond should the sighting prove to be the forewarning of anticipated Japanese aggression.

(in reply to SierraJuliet)
Post #: 25
Action - 2/18/2015 1:32:05 AM   
SierraJuliet


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I would also like to pay my respects to all (civilians and warriors from all sides) who sacrificed so much during these darkest of years. Whilst this is a game of pitting ones wits and intelligence against another person we should never forget the awful nature of warfare when it is played out for real.

So with that in mind here is a snippet of an incident that took place the day before the official commencement of hostilities. Also quoted from Whispering Death.

That night (6 December), Catalinas of No. 205 Squadron RAF were searching for a reported Japanese convoy south of Cambodia Point. One Catalina sent a signal at 8am in the approximate area of the supposed convoy. She and her crew of eight were never heard from again. Japanese records show that the flying-boat encountered a ‘Jake’ float-plane. The Japanese pilot fired at the Catalina from behind and below, and then maintained observation as the British plane managed to escape. However, a patrol of five Nate fighters had spotted her too. The British crew fought back but their Cat was soon on fire. Eventually, after attacks from all five aircraft, the Catalina exploded and fell into the sea.

This attack, which occurred 14 hours before the assault on Pearl Harbour, was significant. The dead were apparently the first Allied service-men killed by the Japanese, and this was probably the first Japanese act of war against the British Commonwealth.

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Post #: 26
First nerves over and bombs away - 2/23/2015 10:56:27 PM   
SierraJuliet


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The first turn is history. Pearl Harbour remains pristine and all the Japanese submarines have been withdrawn… including the midgets.

First mistake… I used the magic move to combine and move the Manado and Ternate invasion forces to Babeldoab. I neglected to use way points and the fleet was routed along the Philippines coast. S-39 happily took advantage and slotted 2 torpedoes into xAK Zyuyo Maru and sinking her. Japan has naturally taken exception to this unprovoked assault and commenced retaliatory actions. Zyuyo was carrying elements of 16th Naval Guard and fortunately not the complete unit. I shall have to consider the implications for the assault on Ternate. A irritation as I was hoping to complete the first turn without losing a ship.

In Malaya I was focused on protecting the Mersing invasion fleet and being prepared for a sortie by Force Z. Force Z is so far a no show and I strongly suspect is fleeing at flank speed and was last seen near George Town (no other ships could get that far from Singers on the first turn). Kates from Ryujo attempted an intercept but were butchered by the numerous CAP of Buffalo fighters. I hate seeing Z flee but it comes with hindsight and not much to be done about it… if indeed it is Force Z beating a very hasty retreat. All was not in vain for my Kates as they did find xAK Demodocus fleeing from Singapore and dispatched her with 2 torpedo hits after losing 4 Kates to the CAP.

Most importantly, however, is the major goal… getting 5 Division ashore at Mersing. The fleet is currently positioned near Kuantan and will move overnight to Mersing and begin unloading… a big risky day coming up. Plenty of surface cover available and Carrier Div 5 is in the wings. My initial plan for protecting the fleets came off as planned. 15 Hudson plus 6 Blenheim escorted by 23 Buffalo homed in on Carrier Div 5. They were met by 21 Zero who without loss claimed 11 Buffalo and 1 Hudson destroyed while flak knocked down a Hudson. Hiei sailed on serenely through water thrown up by the bombs. 6 Blenheim followed up and after 1 was destroyed by CAP they broke off the attack. 4 Wirraway escorted by 1 Buffalo then turned up and the CAP went to work destroying the Buffalo and 1 Wirraway… CAP claimed another and Hiei was again targeted.

Near Kuantan 7 unescorted Swordfish were harshly dealt with by the CAP. 5 of their number were claimed as destroyed before the fleet was even sighted.

As for the 4 carriers of KB…. They targeted the port at Manilla along with land based air. At the end of the turn the following submarines were listed as sunk…. Pike, Perch, Pickerel, Salmon, Skipjack, Stringray, Sculpin and Searaven. 8 subs that won’t be pestering my ships for the rest of the war. I’m particularly happy to see Sculpin on the list… she always seemed to be popping up somewhere in our last game. The defenders located KB and launched a strike composed of 8 B-17, 7 P-35A, 7 P-40B and 21 P-40E. The CAP accounted for 1 P-35A, 1 P-40-B and 3 P-40E destroyed for no loss. The bombers dropped their bombs from 15000 feet and Hiryu survived her first attack of the war.

On the land in the Philippines Vigan was taken by sea and aerial assault whilst troops have also come ashore at San Fernando. I was reasonably concerned about the landing here as I only have light forces here and Allied reinforcements may have made the landing precarious. New as I am to AE I understand that the little red dot on the land unit icon gives an indication of where the unit is moving…. Correct? I see that the Allied Unit at San Fernando is already ordered to retreat. This also looks to be the case with land units at George Town, Alor Star and Kota Bharu in Malaya. If this is correct it conforms to my expectations that Todd will look towards a general pull back instead of a forward defence. This is good for San Fernando and if Mersing works I should be looking good to cut off troops bound for Singapore. Tomorrow I shall give the troops at Kota Bharu and helping hand with their exit.





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< Message edited by SierraJuliet -- 2/23/2015 11:57:16 PM >

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Post #: 27
First nerves over and bombs away - 2/23/2015 11:00:15 PM   
SierraJuliet


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Any thoughts on the KB move appreciated. I'm inclined to think that a mix of AF sweeps and another round of port bombing is in order.

The LBA will start going after AF suppression and my AF at Vigan will provide LR CAP for the San Fernando invasion fleet.




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Post #: 28
Demodocus - 2/25/2015 12:39:00 PM   
SierraJuliet


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The sinking of the Demodocus in the Malacca Straits by aircraft from the Ryujo got me looking for web references to this ship. I located the following story penned by Ben Sandham and published in the Maritime Heritage Association Journal Volume 15, No. 3. September 2004. It provides some insight into this ship at the time of the commencement of the Pacific theatre of operations.

In 1941 at the age of 25, I was the Senior Victualling Store Officer in the victualling ship Demodocus alongside in the naval dockyard at Singapore. Demodocus had been attached to the victualling store in Singapore for the previous twelve months supporting the shore side organisation. The ship herself was quite ancient, dating from 1912, and she was a coal burner. She had been requisitioned by the Admiralty at the outbreak of the war, but in spite of her age she was quite comfortable. In early December of 1941 we had assisted with the storing of HM Ships Prince of Wales and Repulse, and I clearly recall one of my storemen complaining that the Prince of Wales had cleared us out of batteries as she had taken a full two year supply!

What happened to these two very fine ships is now part of history, but the swift Japanese advance through Malaya meant that we in Demodocus were ordered to sail. Before sailing, I asked for some naval signalmen and was fortunate enough to get three RN Signalmen who were survivors from Prince of Wales. We also embarked about a dozen women and children an sailed in mid-January some two weeks before the Colony fell to the Japanese.

We headed south at our best speed through the Sunda Strait to Freemantle in Australia, where we disembarked the women and children before heading on Melbourne to re-store. Then it was back to Freemantle before sailing across the Indian Ocean to the Maldives and eventually Colombo. The passage was uneventful, but whilst in Colombo on 5th April we suffered an air raid from carrier borne Japanese aircraft. It was at this time that the warships Hermes, Dorsetshire and Cornwall were all sunk by enemy aircraft.

Eventually after coaling in Ceylon, I arrived in Mombassa in May 1942 and spent the remainder of the year working in support of the Eastern Fleet. With the loss of Singapore, there were now only two bases available to the Fleet, Mombassa in Kenya and Trincomalee in Ceylon. The Fleet at this time included such capital ships as Warspite and Illustrious.

In early 1943, I was ordered home and having handed over to my relief, I left Demodocus in Durban.

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Post #: 29
Day 1 detailed - 2/28/2015 2:47:32 AM   
SierraJuliet


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A more detailed account of the first days of action from the Japanese point of view. I do trawl over some action already mentioned but I include it for completeness.

Hong Kong is blockaded by the destroyers; Natsugumo, Minegumo Ikazuchi and Inazuma. They locate xAK Bennevis on a partly cloudy day. The lookouts on Bennevis spot the Japanese warships and the crafty merchantman manages to evade the Japanese warships.

More on the sorry fate of xAK Zyuyo Maru. She and other ships of her convoy enroute to Babeldaob were located not far from Catanduanes by SS S-39. The Allied sub scored a single torpedo hit (out of a spread of 4) which caused 12 casualties and 1 squad being disabled. Not satisfied with the result S-39 launches another 2 torpedoes and is rewarded with another hit causing 24 casualties with 1 squad destroyed. Still kicking myself for not checking the route setting here. In the scheme of things probably not a big loss for the ground troops but still all so unnecessary…. Stand by for more of this mishap turning up.

HONG KONG

Hong Kong Port receives attention from 7 Ki-27b, 9 Ki-36 and 11 Ki-48-Ib escorted by 6 Ki-44 flying out of Canton. There is no CAP and for the loss of 1 destroyed Ki-36 to flak the following ships are reported as hit; xAKs Hai Lee (2 bombs), Haraldsvang (1 bomb), Hinsang (1 bomb) and xAKLs Kanchow (2 bombs), Yat Shing (1 bomb), Joan Moller (1 bomb) and xAKL Halldor (1 bomb). All ships reported to be on fire. My planes, however, are only dropping 30 and 100 kg GP bombs… still should be enough to mess with this shipping. The repair shipyard took 4 hits, the port 1 hit and port fuel hits 1. Time to lay off on the bombing the port and concentrate instead on the airfield. I don’t want to cause any further damage to the shipyard.

2nd raid by 27 Ki-48-Ib Lily bomb the port. For the loss of 1 they report bomb hits on xAKL Chengtu and xAKs Nanning, Hinsang, Fatshan, Munlock and Hanyang plus 1 repair shipyard hit and 3 port hits.

3rd raid of Hong Kong sees 18 Ki-21-IIa (without loss) report hits on the following shipping… xAKL Yat Shing and Joan Moller. The following xAK were also hit by bombs… xAKs Munlock, MingSang, Haraldsvang, Hinsang and Nanning. Further damage is also inflicted – 2 hits on Repair Shipyards, 4 port hits and 1 port fuel hit.

4th raid on Hong Kong by 24 Sonia – xAK Haraldsvang and Fatshan (2 bombs on each), xAK Ming Sang, Hai Lee and Nanning (1 bomb on each), xAKLs Chengtu and Joan Moller (1 bomb each) and the port takes a solitary hit.

PHILIPPINES

The first morning raid over Manilla is comprised of 81 G4M1 and 9 G3M2 escorted by 31 A6M2 and they are met by a CAP of 18 P-40E Warhawk. 1 Betty is lost for 3 Wahawks and then the bombs rain down.
Destroyers Pillsbury (2 bombs) and John D. Ford (1 bomb), AMs Whippoorwill (1 bomb) and Finch (1 bomb – sunk), PG Isabel (1 bomb), AS Holland (1 bomb), AV Langley (1 bomb), xAPs Rochambeau (1 bomb) and President Madison (1 bomb), xAKL Anakan (1 bomb), xAKs Si Kiang (1 bomb) and Yu Sang (2 bombs) and AO Trinity (1 bomb).

Of the submarines… Sealion – 2 hits, Perch 2 hits and sunk, Searaven, S-41, Sculpin, Seadragon, Stingray and Snapper are all hit by 1 bomb. 6 hits recorded on the port, 4 on port fuel and 1 on port supply.

27 A6M2 sweep Manila and find a lone P-40E and it is dispatched.

A sweep of Clark Field by 13 A6M2 from Akagi is met by 7 P-35A and 7 P-40B Warhawk. 1 Zero is traded for 3 P-35A and 2 Warhawk destroyed.

The four carriers of KB then launch 90 B5N2 Kate and 81 D3A1 Val escorted by 39 Zero. There is no CAP to harass them. Of the submarines… Pike, Searaven, Stingray, Skipjack, Salmon and Pickerel (2 bombs and sunk), Sculpin (1 bomb and sunk). These submarines are hit but no reports of sinking… Spearfish (2 bombs), Snapper, Tarpon, SS S-41 and Permit (1 bomb). These ships are sunk… PG Asheville and Isabel (1 bomb) and the following are reported as damaged… AS Holland and Canopus (1 bomb each), DD Peary (1 bomb), AVD Childs (2 bombs), xAKLs Anakan and Compagnia Filipinas (1 bomb each), and TK Mindanao (2 bombs). 7 ground troops are lost and the bombers also claim 3 repair shipyard hits, 9 port hits, 3 port fuel hits and 2 port supply hits.

The hornets’ nest on the Philippines reacts with 8 B-17D, 7 P-35A, 7 P-40B and 21 P-40E Warhawk descending upon Nagumo’s fleet of carriers. 20 Zero are on hand and without loss destroy 1 P-35A, 1 P40B and 3 P40E. Hiryu dodges the bombs dropped from 8 of the bombers.

The pre-invasion bombardment of San Fernando no reports received of defender losses but 71 Japanese casualties are reported amongst the ground forces. During unloading on the beach 8 casualties (1 squad and 1 non combat destroyed) are reported.

Troops unload at Vigan which is of course unprotected. Vigan is captured by 24th JAAF AF Battalion and airdropped elements of Yokosuka 3rd SNLF.

SS I-124 lays minefield at Bataan ( 78 , 77) and sets course for Takao

MALAYA

At Khota Bharu 29 Ki-27b Nate brush past 2 Buffalo I and report 6 airbase hits, 4 airbase supply hits and 32 runway hits.

Kota Bharu is then visited by 22 Sally escorted by 32 Oscar. The Oscar brush past the 2 Buffalo I on patrol (no loses to either side) – airbase 1 hit, airbase supply 2 hits and runway hits 4.

3rd Kota Bharu raid by 31 Sally results in airbase hits 4, airbase supply hits 1 and 12 runway hits.

Kuantan is hit by 48 Ki-21-IIa Sally and 25 Ki-48-Ib Lily. No allied aircraft meet them and they go on to report Blenheim and Beafuort V damaged on the airfield, 5 allied casualties and 9 airbase hits, 3 airbase supply hits and 36 runway hits.

Ryujo sends out an unescorted force of 12 B5N1 Kate to attack shipping. They meet a CAP of 3 Buffalo I who promptly destroy 4 of the attackers. Undeterred by this the pilots located xAK Demodocus and score 2 torpedo hits and sink her.

After a fruitless morning searching for Allied shipping Yamaguchi gives the order to bomb Singapore. 25 Val escorted by 7 Zero make the assault. 10 Buffalo I are on hand to greet them. 3 Val are lost whilst on the ground a Buffalo I, Catalina I and a Vildebeest III are destroyed and the airbase takes 1 hit and the runway is hit 6 times.

The Allied forces strike back at Carrier Div 5 sailing near Terempa. In clear skies 6 Blenheim IV and 15 Hudson I escorted by 23 Buffalo I make their run towards the expectant Japanese carrier force. The CAP performs very well and without loss accounts for 11 Buffalo and 1 Hudson destroyed. Flak accounts for another Hudson before 3 Hudson get through and make a fruitless run on Hiei.

Next comes a flight of 6 unescorted Blenheim IV. 8 Zero meet them and destroy 1 Blenheim before the attack breaks off.

A third attack is composed of 4 Wirraway escorted by 1 Buffalo against 6 Zero. The Zeros account for the Buffalo and 1 Wirraway. The remaining 3 make their run on Hiei and loose another of their number to flak. Hiei forges on through the bomb splashes.

Near Kuantan the Mersing Invasion Fleet comes under aerial attack. 6 Zero and 5 Claude augmented with 9 Jake, 1 Alf, 4 Dave and 3 Pete are on hand to covers this group of ships. The British have sent in 7 unescorted Swordfish I. A force capable of causing disruption if unmolested but they are dealt with roughly with 5 of their number hacked out of the sky.

In an attempt to cause more damage Ryujo sends aloft another unescorted strike of 8 Kates. They are set upon near Georgetown by 6 Buffalo. The Allied pilots enjoy their hunting and knock down 6 Kates. The remaining head home without having sighted a single Allied ship.

The pre-invasion bombardment of Kota Bharu causes 42 casualties before Japanese troops start their assault on Malaya. 241 casualties (11 squads, 7 non combat destroyed and 3 guns lost) are recorded during the landing phase.

CHINA

China starts out with an aerial bombing of 20th Chinese Corps near Wuchang. 17 Nate and 12 Ann and reports received of 39 casualties (2 squads disabled, 2 non combats disabled and 1 engineer disabled).
Near Nanchang 78th Chinese Corps is subjected to attack from 12 Nate and 12 Sonia for 26 casualties (2 squads and 1 non combat disabled).

At Pengpu 13th Mixed Independent Brigade (64 casualties) pummels 89th Chinese Corps (636 casualties) 25-1 odds and forces a Chinese retreat.

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