From: Winnipeg, MB
Welcome Leandros, to the wild and wooly world of WITP-AE! Chronicling a game against the AAR is entirely OK - the best way for Newbies to get help with this enormous game's learning curve. I have made some comments below.
Iím not sure if this place (AARís) is meant purely for duels between two players or if itís acceptable for a Rookie to put in one against the Japanese AI? Some may have picked up that I have ventured into WitP to hopefully use it as a tool, sort of filing system, in a book project Iím fiddling around with Ė the working title
is ďSaving MacArthurĒ. Just now I have a non-updated version of the game just to get the feeling of it and how it works. Iím trying to keep relatively close to
the RL except for items which differs because of the revised pre-requisites Iím working from. I shall get back to that as it develops. This exercise shall be a sort
of thinking-aloud test for me and I shall appreciate any inputs which goes on how Iím using the system and the results (or lack) thereof. Iím sure the veterans
here shall easily see what Iím doing blatantly wrong - in thinking as well as in execution. Eventually, I hope to use the editor to develop the scenario Iím
striving for. I started with the basic scenario and I can only say that it (the game) is getting more and more interesting. I think I Iíve already got a better
understanding of the logistics system, as it were, even if Iíve just scratched the surface. It seems I shall be able to use it relatively well to the purpose I
hope for. But, itís a long way to go. My book project is presently at 2-300 pages and is only approaching end of January. Here Iím only in
the beginning of January.
Keep in mind that the game is not entirely historic - changes were made to make it more playable for both sides. Against the AI, the game works from a random choice of 13 scripts that set their strategy, i.e. the priority of their conquests. It will react somewhat to unexpected opposition but it is not up to a human opponent's problem solving. This means you can get away with some things that would not have been successful against the real life Japanese.
Besides that, there is the hindsight factor - because we know what happened in real life during the outset of the Pacific War, we will do things differently (like not sending Force Z into waters patrolled by Japanese torpedo bombers). That said, your idea to follow historic strategies to see what happens sounds like a good approach.
My main object now is to test how fast US, Australian and Dutch reinforcements can be fed forward to the Philippines under a somewhat different pre-requisites
than the RL, while most of them in the beginning are used to secure what I like to call The Philippine Relief Route Ė through the Moluccas. To that effect
The sequence is based on time available and defense status. First, a little so-far summary. Here goes:
January 3rd 1942.
Only recently have problems developed with the supply system as it took some time before I grabbed how it worked. I have presently auto-convoyed most actual bases.
To compensate my delay in this I have initiated a lot of independent convoys. I see now that it all has to start from the supply bases, and to work from there
forward towards the front. Time is of the essence. Presently Iím just concentrating on The Philippines and the securing of the supply lines there. China, Russia,
Burma and Malaya are allowed to live their own lives. Only a couple of occasions have I ďloanedĒ a few extra resources from the Allies. The Dutch and Aussies are
very cooperative. Iím not drawing on British resources, other than to compete a little with them about Dutch resources.
I like your plans. Sneaking supply in is the key to everything at this stage. Fighting a war uses huge amounts of supply and your bombing campaign at Davao could not have continued long.
1. MacArthur is withdrawing into Bataan in an orderly fashion. His air force has survived surprisingly well but the fighters and bombers have been withdrawn
to Mindanao. I hope to return the fighters shortly.
2. Manila is emptied with a consequent loss of transports. One large convoy got away.
3. Iím trying to redispose the Visayan forces, transferring several regiments from the other islands to Mindanao. It has not been without hick-ups, I still
have a little problem with the coupling between transport resources and ground or air units to be moved.
The ship amphibious TF loading system IS tricky. I approach it like this: Look at the "Stacking Limit" and "Cargo Load" for each unit to be transported. Add up all the limits and then all the cargo loads. Amphibious ship loading does not use space effectively so you need at LEAST 10% more space for passengers and for cargo. For amphibious invasions later, you will also need even more cargo for supply of the landings.
After you have your figures for passenger capacity and cargo capacity needed, create the Amphibious TF and start choosing ships based on their capacities until you have just over the target amount. You need at least one AP type ship for each unit loaded. Unless you are trying to strip all the goodies from the base, choose "Do Not Load Fuel" and "Do Not Load Supply". Click on "Verify Load" and see if all units show loading 100%. If not, click "Add More Ships" or, if there are no more ships, decide which unit you will not load and use the back button to go back to the unit load screen. De-select the unit(s) you are not taking and click on "Verify Load" again. When you are happy with the load click "Accept Load".
4. Zamboanga is being reinforced. USN Canopus has set up base there for a part of the submarine force. One P-40 and one P-35 squadron is based there.
5. The Japanese have invaded Davao and Jolo. They have been chased out of Davao with a constant pressure of bombing and submarine blockade. Ground forces
also closed in on them. Presently the base is used by the PBYís again. A strong submarine force is patrolling on the outside.
6. Jolo is being harassed by our submarines as well and there has been a couple of nightly DD bombardments and daily bombings by B-17ís flying from Cagayan
and Dutch Martins from Menado. Several Jap transports have been sunk but also DD Pope.
More and more you will find that reloading your ships with ammo is difficult because all the ports big enough are seized by the Japanese or the supply is gone. Be sure to pull back and regroup when supply and damage to your ships dictates.
7. On the 27th two enemy convoys approached Menado, a CV/BB force from east and some escorted transports from west. A US/Dutch DD force drove off the
transports, later a sea battle between an Allied Cruiser/DD force and the Japanese carrier TF took place in the Eastern part of the Celebes Sea. CA Canberra,
CL Marblehead and DD Bulmer were sunk. They took with them BB Hyuga, CL Nagara and DD Ykaze. Harassed by bombers from Menado, Ambon and Cagayan the Japanese force
withdrew towards east (I hope). Only two days later some transports, I donít know if they were new or a second convoy, popped up outside Ternate and started to
land troops without any resistance. Three Japanese transports, a PB and DE Saga has been sunk in and around Ternate.
Claims of sunk ships by Allied intel early in the war are greatly exaggerated. Unless you put 4 or more torpedoes into BB Hyuga I doubt she is sunk. You will need to learn to copy Combat Reports to post for assessment by experienced players.
8. Menado has been reinforced with the Australian Gull and Sparrow Force and an Aussie Ind. Coy. Menado is essential to keep the Relief Route open.
Japan started the war to gain access to the oil in the Dutch East Indies, so that is ALWAYS an area targeted by the AI scripts. You might hold Manado for a while but by March the IJA will be on Sumatra, Java and Borneo. Air patrols will make sneaking ships to the Philippines virtually impossible.
9. All available B-17Eís, and some PBYís, have been ferried westward across the Pacific. Twelve B-17Eís are now assembled on Ambon. The B-17Dís are operating
out of Cagayan.
At game start Allied pilots are at a poor state of training and throwing them into battle too soon will waste the planes and the pilots. Until they train to 70 level in one skill (like land bombing) and 60 + in defensive skill they are not going to gain much against their losses.
10. The Japanese have struck in New Guinea and The Solomons, in this sequence: Mabang, Guadalcanal, Rabaul, Kavieng only a couple of days ago. They are now
firmly established on Guadalcanal.
11. The Langley convoy has departed Brisbane with 47 A-24ís (27th BG - Light). (Thatís cheating a little - OTH I lost the artillery brigade being off-loaded
by mistake in Pago Pago. I have sent transports from Brisbane to pick them up but the loading takes time). The convoy left Brisbane unescorted but I have now
arranged for a link-up with a cruiser/DD force that was ahead of it.
Where is this convoy headed? If the Solomons is the target, are you prepared to lose all those aircraft and ships? After Pearl Harbour, the Japanese Carriers (KB) usually go to Truk and react to any Allied invasions within three days sail.
12. CV Enterprise has just passed through the Torres Strait Ė destination Ambon where it shall fly off 15 P-36ís taken onboard in Pearl. When passing the
narrowest part of New Guinea a SBD squadron flew over on the other side and bombed Madang port. All planes returned safely. Enterprise is escorted by two CAís and five DDís.
Do a few raids to give the pilots experience, but most of the time it is best to keep your carrier's location unknown, so the enemy has to be cautious on moving forward.
13. 2nd Marine Brigade, an infantry regiment and various support units, Seabees and Army, Navy and Air Force Base Forces are ďsomewhere in the PacificĒ Ė
heading west. They shall be dropped off as the situation demands.
Don't keep them on the ships for too long. Not only do they suffer fatigue and morale hits, IJN subs are superb at this stage against very weak Allied ASW.
1. Various Philippine inter-island transports have been sunk. This has delayed the reinforcement of Mindanao.
This is the normal course of events in this game. Submarines can bring in a little supply, but ships are on a suicide mission.
2. A transport carrying another Australian Ind.Coy was torpedoed north of Rockhampton. It sank while trying to reach port.
Start training some of your bomber/patrol groups in Naval Search and others in ASW patrol. It will take months, but eventually you can drive the subs away from your coasts.
3. CV Yorktown experienced some sort of trouble just after departing San Diego on her way to Pearl. Due to lack of fast escort she ventured out on the journey
on her own. Big mistake. Sheís still on fire and is taking in water. Has returned to San Diego now.
Check the Yorktown's ship screen over on the right side where it says "Last Damaged By", to see if it lists a cause. IJN subs sometimes lay mines in coastal hexes. Collisions also happen, especially in large TFs.
More to follow.
No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth