After reading the AARs I mentioned, I realized there’s really not much hope in ‘winning’ in terms of holding the Marianas. They were playing mirror games, where each played one game as Japan and one as Allies, and compared the net scores. We are only playing once thru, so I have to measure my ‘success’ as how long I can hold at least one of the main islands, and how much of a price I can extract from Al in the process. The three primary objectives (Guam, Tinian, and Saipan) are worth more VPs than anything else on the map. If I can hold two of the three, I think that would be a great victory. Normally I would also focus on CVs sunk, but when he has over a dozen, I’m not sure that’s all that significant. Still, every ship is VPs, as are the aircraft and units, so they are worth something.
One lesson I learned from Chickenboy was to play a bit of a ‘shell game’ with my aircraft, massing them for occasional strikes and then trying to avoid the backlash of his CVs. Same with the KB when it arrives.
Looking at my initial forces, Saipan is heavily defended, nearly 1,000 AV w/Level 5 forts and CD guns. Guam is also well defended, 750+AV and level 4 forts. Tinian is the ‘weak link’ initially, level 3 forts and only 248 AV, so I am going to try to reinforce it. Cap Mandrake did a great map in the beginning of his AAR, so rather than plagiarize it I will cite it:
Cap Mandrake’s Map
If you notice, in the lower left, Peleliu has lots of AV for a ‘non-critical’ base. The 14th ID is over 400 AV, and unrestricted, so my initial focus will be to try to shuttle as much as I can to Tinian. I have no APs (or AMCs or even xAPs) to start with, so the initial run will be with a hodgepodge of 4-5 xAKs and xAKLs that start at Babeldaob, and a FT run of the CL Oi with my only DD to carry some engineers. I also take an engineer unit from Truk and head it back to build forts.
I mentioned that the airgroups start out as a mess. Half my airgroups have a dozen or less aircraft out of 27 or 36, and I have no veteran pilots in the pools. Speaking of pools, I have no aircraft in the pools either, and a build rate of like 15 zeros a month (and not much else). Like Chickenboy, I am going to consolidate groups where I can to get full groups, and start training some pilots at the rear bases (Iwo and Peleliu). Truk is too exposed, so I am going to pull the bombers (and night fighters) back, but I will leave some Zeros on cap until it becomes too dangerous for them. I do want some intel, so I am going to try an early gambit, and use my 4 (only 4) Mavis’ to fly some AvSpt to Wake and stage NavSearch out of there.
While I don’t have a lot of surface ships, I do have nearly 2 dozen subs, including several Glen-equipped ones. My plan is to keep one Glen sub near PH, and one near Eniwetok and Kwajalein (his two early forward bases) and use them to spot for 2-3 regular subs. I am also using about 8 subs that start at Saipan to drop an initial minefield at Tinian (which doesn’t start with any).
That was my initial plan, anyway, but we all know what happens when the plan makes contact with the enemy…