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MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:48:59 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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This is a quick test of my Midway 1942 scenario. It was played with TOAW 3.6.0.xxx. The scenario is not yet available to the public – awaiting the release of 3.6.

This is the fourth naval demonstration scenario I’ve made for 3.6. Previous ones (Jutland 1916, Denmark Strait 1941) demonstrated surface vs. surface naval combat and (Pearl Harbor 1941) demonstrated carrier vs. surface naval combat. This one demonstrates carrier vs. carrier naval combat. Let’s take a look at it before beginning:

Attached is a screenshot of the situation. There is a Jap task force that has just finished a strike on the US base on Midway Atoll. This was mostly ineffective, but, worse, they have failed to detect the US carrier task forces in position to bushwhack them. As a result, their strike planes are being rearmed and are unavailable for counterstrikes at this time. The US task forces are split between the Yorktown’s TF and the Enterprise & Hornet TF. The Yorktown has become somewhat separated from the other carriers, possibly making it vulnerable from its forward location.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:49:51 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here’s a look at the Jap task force. There are four carriers (Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu). The Hiryu, while historically present for the first US strike, is depicted in the game as a reinforcement and is not present until the Jap player-turn. The Akagi, Kaga, and Soryu strike aircraft are in Rest deployment, modeling their rearming status. This prevents those carriers from being able to counterstrike when attacked. The Akagi and Kaga were also used in the strike on Midway Atoll, and have lost a few planes and readiness in the process. Under the hood, the Jap Critical Hit Scalar is x3 to model the presence of bombs and torpedoes all over their decks.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:50:21 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here’s a shot of the Yorktown task force. Note that the Yorktown already has 10% damage (left over from the Coral Sea battle). It has its full aircraft allotment, however.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:50:46 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here’s a shot of the Enterprise/Hornet task force. Both are at full strength.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:51:12 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Finally, here’s a shot of the Midway Atoll. Note that the F4F & SBD groups are out of action, while the PBY & B-17 groups are still set to AS – this enables them to do Sea Recon but not Sea Interdiction or strikes. The land units are just for show, as no land operations are modeled.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:51:47 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now let’s get started.

This shot shows the strikes set up against the Jap task force. The Yorktown is striking the Akagi, the Enterprise is striking the Kaga, and the Hornet is striking the Soryu. The scenario’s MRPB is 2, so only two rounds will be consumed each combat phase despite setting the strikers to Ignore Losses tolerances.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:52:20 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here are the results of that first strike (consuming the first two combat rounds). The Kaga was sunk with all its aircraft. The Soryu has lost 2 of its three air-platforms with the third heavily damaged (losing all its aircraft as well). The Akagi has taken heavy damage on only one of its air-platforms and slight damage on one other.

The air losses are 114 destroyed with 11 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 13 destroyed with 33 sent to “On Hand” for the US.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:52:59 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here are the results of the second strike (consuming the third & fourth combat rounds). Note that the Soryu was sunk and the Akagi took only a little more damage. I erroneously attacked the hex that had contained the Kaga by mistake. This attack sank the CA and CL in that hex.

The air losses are 129 destroyed with 18 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 21 destroyed with 50 sent to “On Hand” for the US.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:53:39 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here are the third strike results (consuming the fifth & sixth combat rounds). The Akagi was finally sunk and even the Haruna BB was heavily damaged.

The air losses are 129 destroyed with 18 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 25 destroyed with 64 sent to “On Hand” for the US.

While there are still four combat phases left in the turn, I chose to end the US player-turn. Further attacks could have been made on the, now defenseless, surface ships. But this would have cost more US aircraft – vital to surviving the coming counterattacks from the Hiryu.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:54:28 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Now it’s the Jap player-turn. The Hiryu has arrived as a reinforcement (just think of it being covered by a rain cloud during the US strike). It had to move one hex to make its initial search – that comes with a small chance of interception. In fact, it was intercepted in that move this time, but only suffered slight damage. It has enough search range to find the Yorktown and so it has been set up to strike it. The Hornet & Enterprise are beyond the Hiryu’s search range from its current location. But note that the strike planes on the Yorktown are in strike deployment. If they survive, there will be a counterstrike.




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< Message edited by Curtis Lemay -- 3/18/2015 8:04:06 PM >

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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:55:27 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Here are the results of the first Jap strike (two rounds). One Yorktown platform has been destroyed and the other two slightly to moderately damaged.

The air losses are 138 destroyed with 34 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 29 destroyed with 83 sent to “On Hand” for the US.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:56:27 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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However, as predicted, the Yorktown planes were able to launch a counterstrike. This caused some slight damage to all three Hiryu air-platforms. They are still all operational, however.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:57:17 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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The second Jap strike sank the Yorktown. This time it did not get to counterstrike.

The air losses are 143 destroyed with 38 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 54 destroyed with 85 sent to “On Hand” for the US.

The Hiryu has lost too many planes to continue any strikes. (It’s down to 12 Zeros, 9 Vals, and 5 Kates). So, even though there are six combat rounds left, that will be the end of the Jap player-turn (and the first turn). While it might make sense to try to retreat the fleet out of US search range, I decided that there was too much risk of interception.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:57:56 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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At the start of the second turn, the US gets 41 of its “On Hand” planes back into action via the replacement routines. The Enterprise/Hornet strike planes then launch a combined strike on the Hiryu (two rounds). The Hiryu is sunk with all its remaining planes.

The air losses are 165 destroyed with 42 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs and 64 destroyed with 51 sent to “On Hand” for the US.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:58:27 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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The US then can continue to attack the defenseless surface ships till the end of the player turn. As a result, the Haruna is sunk and the Kirishima takes 91 damage points.

The final air losses are 165 destroyed with 42 sent to “On Hand” for the Japs (total 207 lost) and 70 destroyed with 70 sent to “On Hand” for the US (140 lost).

The Japanese player turn is uneventful as they wait for the end of the game.




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:58:47 PM   
larryfulkerson


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And then what happened? You're leaving me hanging here.

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Did you ever suddenly realize that you're dead and nobody is telling you?

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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:58:56 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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The US received 200 VPs for sinking the four Jap carriers, countered by 50 VPs to the Japs for sinking the Yorktown. The loss penalties were 117 for the Japs and 10 for the US. The game result was an overwhelming victory for the US (257 out of 300). Here is the Victory Dialog:




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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 3/18/2015 6:59:22 PM   
Curtis Lemay


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Conclusions:

The scenario is reasonably accurate and will give players some quick and easy experience with the new carrier naval combat features.

The air losses on the Jap side were historical, of course (they lost all they had). The US losses were 140 vs. 150 historical. The 150 number includes some lost in the Midway strike that preceded the scenario’s start.

Ship losses were a little worse for the Japs, losing the historical four carriers plus a BB, CA, and CL, with one more BB very heavily damaged. While the Japs did, historically lose some surface ships, they occurred days later in other task forces.

It’s possible that if I had tried to retreat with the Jap fleet after the Yorktown was sunk they might not have been intercepted and gotten away (the US task force had taken a lot of air losses and might not have had the search range they had at the start of turn two). That would have made things more interesting the following US player-turn. That’s something for future investigation.

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RE: MIDWAY 1942 AAR - 2/6/2018 10:43:06 PM   
neuromancer


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Just a random note.

I read once that the Yorktown task force was deliberate bait, it was supposed to draw out the Japanese carriers and planes while the Enterprise and Saratoga hung back to launch their own attacks. In this it worked, as the Japanese fleet commander had decided to attack Midway again when recon spotted Yorktown and the commander made the fateful decision to change his planes to a naval strike from the ground strike, and thus the US air wings found the Japanese carriers with fuelled planes on their decks, and covered in bombs and torpedoes. And of course the counter attack only found the Yorktown while the other two CVs were relatively safe. A strategy, and one that could be seen as a little hard on the Yorktown and her escorts, but when you are outnumbered and outgunned, you have to do such things.

I always wondered what would have happened if the Japanese had simply gone with the attack on Midway instead of rearming the group already on deck, so that when the USN air wings showed up the decks weren't waiting to explode? Would it have changed much of anything? Would that mean they wouldn't have even got the Yorktown? Or would it have meant that the carriers while damaged wouldn't have been utterly devastated, allowing the planes returning from Midway to then rearm and go after the Americans in force?

Of course, historically if it wasn't for an IJN sub, Yorktown might well have been repaired and returned to the war, again.

Also its hard to simulate things like the Devastators getting caught low, slow, and alone, thus getting butchered by the Japanese CAP (36 of 42), but that resulted in the Japanese air cover being down on the deck and out of position to be of much use (and some were low on fuel and ammunition) when the Dauntlesses came out of the clouds - remarkably all at the same time despite one carrier's worth having gotten lost - allowing the SBDs to make their devastating attacks with significantly reduced interference from the Zeros.

Its also worth noting that it is believed at least a few torpedoes from the TBDs did hit, but didn't explode (the infamous Mk-13 torpedo). And strangely, after the battle nobody bothered to look into that. But the attacks helped keep the carriers off balance and the Zeros busy, so the lives of those air crews were not spent in vain. Although it does suck to be the (unintended) diversion.

Midway is such an interesting battle in its interaction of fateful decisions (good and bad) and luck (good and bad). Most of the bad side of that landing on the Japanese (specifically their carrier decks). I suppose that could be said of many things in war, but this is one of those battles that seems like it could easily have turned out completely differently.

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