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VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41

 
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VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 5:39:58 AM   
RagingKrikkit

 

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Situation: AI has begun a Scen 1 historical start by launching a 3-day campaign against PH with KB. The Dec 8-9 raids were met by PH CAP and suffered heavy losses for little gain. Peeking behind the fog of war reveals that KB has lost ~50% of Val and ~30% of Kate strength. KB retains enough torpedoes to launch all remaining Kates with torps for one attack before having to mix bombs in. Zero losses have been light due to fleet maintaining 70% CAP. Enterprise is to SW of KB with full craft and load, Lexington is headed E following interruption of landing at Wake, carries one attack's worth of torps.

Mission: Intercept KB near Midway Island and inflict all possible damage on enemy carriers.

Execution 1: Group Enterprise and Lexington battle groups and endure one day of attacks to engage and damage/destroy enemy fighters, counterattack next day to hit enemy carriers.

Execution 2: Split ships off from Enterprise and Lexington battle groups to make 4+ TFs and divide enemy attention to spread Vals and Kates thin, and launch a heavily escorted raid against the enemy.

I'm looking for suggestions, and am willing to savescum to fully explore this tactical scenario.

EDIT: sorry for huge, I just went and printscreened the shot for time's sake.




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< Message edited by RagingKrikkit -- 10/3/2016 5:40:49 AM >


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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 9:00:19 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

I'm looking for suggestions, and am willing to savescum to fully explore this tactical scenario.

EDIT: sorry for huge, I just went and printscreened the shot for time's sake.


What do the bolded sections mean?

My only advice off the top is to beware the long range IJN strike - they can go one hex further than the SBDs.

Unload the Devastators from your CVs to Midway Island and arm them with bombs. Transfer another naval fighter squadron onto each CV. Carrier battles are more about the aircraft than the ship or TF compositions.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 11:44:14 AM   
RagingKrikkit

 

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Sorry, millennial grammar.

Savescum: Reloading a save file to either change a plan that went wrong or get a different RNG result. Traditionally regarded as a "scummy" thing to do.

Sorry for huge[, screen-breaking image].

Checking the save, I have 8 F4Fs at PH that are exactly max range from Enterprise, as well as 16 SBD-1s and an additional 11 F4Fs on Wake that can catch up to Lexington. That makes 12 squadrons available, with 2 fighters and 3 dive bombers on each carrier, plus the torp bombers on Midway, unless I were to put SBDs on shore and keep the torpedo attacks?

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 3:54:48 PM   
Chickenboy


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Make sure that you offload sufficient air groups from your carriers to avoid overstacking them. Overstacking them will restrict your sorties and likely doom your efforts.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 4:03:37 PM   
RagingKrikkit

 

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That's why offloading on Midway is in the plan. Lexington starts with a Marine bomber squadron aboard and is still able to run as normal, so the plan is to drop one squadron from each carrier off on Midway. Also, in regards to Japanese range: the KB is running 10% search on all Val squadrons, which means that with losses incurred there should be fewer than 10 of them searching. Additionally, the KB lost almost all of its FPs to CAP and flak at PH. Given this, I believe that I have a good chance of avoiding detection as long as I remain outside of the 4-hex 360 degree search zone.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/3/2016 5:26:25 PM   
BBfanboy


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The key stats are:

- a maximum of five squadrons (or portions thereof) on each CV. Over 5 and they cannot launch. Even at 5, they will not launch everything in one strike - you will get a smaller follow-on package.

- you can have number of aircraft up to 10% over capacity without penalty (i.e. capacity 90 can have 99 aircraft without penalty) and you can go up to 15% over capacity with some penalties to strike coordination. Over 15% and no strikes launch/nothing can land but you can transfer aircraft by flying them off to another carrier or base.

Review all squadron commanders while still in port or before they transfer from the AF to the Carrier. Leadership and Aggression are important to ensure the squadron attacks in the face of opposition. Air skill is important for getting in a good attack. All your pilots should have high stats in Nav B (and for the TBDs Nav T).

In addition they need good Naval Search skills to find and accurately ID the enemy TFs. Each carrier will have a squadron designated VS. The S is for search. Set the squadron to Naval Attack but then set 20% to search to maximum range. Also use your cruiser float planes and Catalinas from Midway to search. Until you locate the enemy your strikes will not launch.

Almost forgot - your TBDs going to Midway Is. will not have access to torps unless you put an Air HQ with torpedo stocks there. Early in the game these HQs are few, so resign yourself to using bombs on the TBDs. Set them to 20% search as well.

Midway airfield must be Level 2 or higher to launch offensive strikes. I can't recall what the starting level is but build the AF as fast as you can and get some xAKLs bringing supply in.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 4:55:00 AM   
Canoerebel


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Execution 1 is going to get you hammered, in all likelihood. Execution 2 is a gamble but might work. It's a roll of the dice.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 1:34:05 PM   
RagingKrikkit

 

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I appreciate the pointers, BB, but in this case I've only got a few days to act before the KB gets out past Midway, and I don't want to chase them into Netty range. Currently, I have the carrier planes stood down except for CAP, and the PBYs from PH and Midway have everything east of the islands under surveillance. As for losses, I'm okay with a trade of CVs or better: I'll recover from that faster than the enemy.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 2:36:05 PM   
Macclan5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Execution 1 is going to get you hammered, in all likelihood. Execution 2 is a gamble but might work. It's a roll of the dice.


"Very early engagements" of the KB with American Carriers against the AI do have a chance to work; but as the wise Canoerebel states it is a roll of the dice.

Most often you will end up with sunk or at least significantly damaged CVs.

Its then simply a trade off. Is it worth it ~ the trade off?

Your call Nimitz


1) Lexington still has Buffalo's ? The IJN may be down strike aircraft but they will decimate the Buffalo's and it only takes 1 TPB to get through.

2) CAP on Midway ? Can the Carriers stay within Land Based Air Cover ? Are there any B17 from Hawaii on Midway that will fly Naval Attack ?

3) As BB points out ~ what is the Midway AF support / supply / Airframe status ?

As a number of very smart people here have pointed out ~ try it. If you decide to reload your wont hurt the feelings of the AI.




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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 2:52:58 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RagingKrikkit
As for losses, I'm okay with a trade of CVs or better


As well most would. A 'trade' of 2 Allied CVs for 2 Japanese CVs would be quite satisfactory. But you won't get it.

Why?

Your CV TBs have a torpedo range of 4, IIRC. The Japanese B5N2 torp range is 7.

Your fighter EXP is between 45-65. KB has a number of pilots in the 80s. They will fold, spindle and mutilate your fighters on a much greater than 1:1 basis. Your incoming DBs-fewer in number than KBs return strike-will be annihilated.

No. You will be fortunate if you can hit ONE of their CVs for damage.

These are some of the reasons why we had to chop you today.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 4:19:11 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: RagingKrikkit
As for losses, I'm okay with a trade of CVs or better


As well most would. A 'trade' of 2 Allied CVs for 2 Japanese CVs would be quite satisfactory. But you won't get it.

Why?

Your CV TBs have a torpedo range of 4, IIRC. The Japanese B5N2 torp range is 7.

Your fighter EXP is between 45-65. KB has a number of pilots in the 80s. They will fold, spindle and mutilate your fighters on a much greater than 1:1 basis. Your incoming DBs-fewer in number than KBs return strike-will be annihilated.

No. You will be fortunate if you can hit ONE of their CVs for damage.

These are some of the reasons why we had to chop you today.

Against a human player I would agree with all this. The AI is not known for optimum tactical use of aircraft in stock scenarios.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/4/2016 6:14:18 PM   
HansBolter


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The AI will kick your butt if you go full steam at it when you haven't yet upgraded your equipment or trained your pilots.

Never forget that BOTH sides rely upon the tactical AI for execution.

A player's execution is no better than the AIs execution.

This is a nice experiment to see what might happen, but not a winning strategy.

Yes in general terms it makes sense for the Allies to trade carriers, however, fighting well into '43 with no carriers at all is again, not a winning strategy.

If you're going to put flight decks at risk, just don't risk them all.

Given he won't be risking more than two decks in this experiment it won't hurt him too badly and he can learn for himself the lessons Chickenboy has imparted.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/6/2016 11:08:23 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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The key is how many torpedoes he has left from PH. You can survive 250 kg bombs being so close to PH. With luck your CAP will take care of the torpedo bombers. Your aircraft and pilot losses are irrelevant you will train better pilots you will get better aircraft. Long repair is also irrelevant you will not be using carriers until much later


50% losses means he still has enough power to kick you. I doubt you will get loss parity. But even sinking one carrier and eliminating the best IJN pilots is a risk worth taking. I would say go for it. Worst case you accept defeat and start again. AI won't mind



< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 10/6/2016 11:13:50 PM >

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/12/2016 3:34:53 PM   
Yaab


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In Dec 41, I am disbanding TFs in Singapore and Manila every turn, so they AI doesn't fly its best pilots in CAP-meatgrinders there chasing some AM or AMc, and yet people here ponder how to mangle the poor AI more. Give it a break. Support your Jap AI! Long live the KB!

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 10/12/2016 4:01:25 PM   
Anachro


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Engaging the KB with Buffalos and TBDs. January, 1942.



Sorry I just like showing this pic.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 11/30/2016 12:58:31 AM   
Dirtnap86


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Oh that is a pretty map. I'd very much like to know where you got it.

On the hitting the KB in Dec 41...I've only just played a bit with the Coral Sea scenario (and a decisive victory, despite not sinking Shou/Zuikaku or Shouhou). Going up against the KB is likely to end poorly due to their vastly superior pilots and fighters. A6M2s will butcher Buffaloes and Wildcats not to mention the poor Devastator.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 11/30/2016 1:16:53 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dirtnap86

Oh that is a pretty map. I'd very much like to know where you got it.

On the hitting the KB in Dec 41...I've only just played a bit with the Coral Sea scenario (and a decisive victory, despite not sinking Shou/Zuikaku or Shouhou). Going up against the KB is likely to end poorly due to their vastly superior pilots and fighters. A6M2s will butcher Buffaloes and Wildcats not to mention the poor Devastator.

For the maps, check out Chemkid's thread :

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3599038

Re: the A6M2s, F4F-3 and F4F-4 can hold their own in combat if they have the best pilots and leaders you can arrange and you have parity (or better) in numbers. You also need to set altitudes and mission assignments with care. If you played the Coral Sea scenario several times and experimented with how you use your fighters you will figure out how to beat the Zeke.

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RE: VS AI: Attacking KB in Dec 41 - 11/30/2016 4:59:41 PM   
pontiouspilot


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I would be way more inclined to attempt a surface attack with CAs and Cls. In 2 games I have caught a lingering KB. Yes the attacker suffered but in both instances it was costly to KB. No decks were risked. I have found that the early CV vs. Cv battles are dead losers for the USN.

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