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"SIr Robin" Ethimology

 
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"SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 9:39:49 AM   
adarbrauner

 

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Good morning to all.

When i first met the expression "Sir Robin" in this forum, I clearly wondered what could be its exact meaning or origin, understanding from the context that it should denominate a sort of retreating stance.

Quick search in the internet showed a clear connection to "Sir Robin" knight of King arthur in the 1975 comedy representation by Monty Python (I'm not going to watch this movie...!).

"The Ballad or Sir Robin" the valiant etc. etc.

Is it in his name, or this Monty's character has been preceded by something else?


TIA

adar
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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 10:05:38 AM   
Schorsch

 

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the bravest of all

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 11:29:21 AM   
Anachro


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It is a reference to the Sir Robin from the Monty Python Movie, who is a coward that always retreats and calls it strategy. In game, this usually refers to a strategy by the Allied Player in the beginning of a grand campaign to retreat with as many troops as he can from risky positions to be saved for later (many variations of this, but such things as completely abandoning Singapore, Burma, some have even tried parts of the Philippines, etc.). This can also include the complete avoidance of naval combat (i.e. parking everything in San Francisco Bay until later).

The primary idea is to conserve everything until the Allies get better experience, leaders, TOE, ships, planes, etc. that make battles fairer.

Hope you get the idea. Some don't like the strategy, some thing its perfectly acceptable. Some think its a viable strategy, others think it not.

< Message edited by Anachro -- 1/6/2017 11:30:29 AM >

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 11:47:05 AM   
Canoerebel


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Chickenboy is an outspoken critic of "Sir Robin." He's had interesting things to say on the topic over the years, including about a year ago.

Sir Robin came about early in the game, when Allied players (the game was new, so everybody was inexperienced then) got their teeth kicked in because the Japanese player began the game with "god-like knowledge." Quickly learning that losing a navy was a bad way to begin the game, Allied players adapted. They started games by withdrawing their navies (and as many men as possible) as far out of harm's way as possible.

Gradually, with experience, Sir Robin began to evolve as Allied players gained experience. Many of us have dampened Sir Robin greatly, choosing to attack or stand when doing so promised a decent return on the investment or to slow down the Japanese juggernaut. In my current game vs. John III, for instance, there wasn't a Sir Robin.

Some gifted Allied players even tossed Sir Robin out the window entirely and went on the offensive early and effectively. Nemo was one who refined Fortress Palembang and used it to devastating effect. There have been quite a few other instances of determined Allied resistance or offensives unnerving Japanese players and sometimes throwing them into spin they couldn't pull out of.

But Sir Robin remains a viable strategy, especially for a player new to the game or a relatively inexperienced player facing off against a cagey veteran. Until you have enough experience to know when and how to attack, retreating bravely can be a good idea.

But the real fun comes when the Allied player has enough experience to set aside Sir Robin...to instead grapple with the enemy every step of the way.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 12:38:46 PM   
adarbrauner

 

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Is the expression "Sir Robin" known also out of the the boundary of the game, or is it peculiar and in use only here?

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 3:13:54 PM   
Revthought


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I always play the game (I'm an Allied player) like I am fighting a real war. This means, to me, that I am going to put up a fight for things. For example, for me completely abandoning Singapore is impossible. This would never have happened for political and ideological reasons far beyond what is possible to model in the game. Similarly, I'm always going to offer resistance in the Philippines and the Dutch, with the help of the US and the Commonwealth, are always going to try and stop you from landing in the DEI if you're playing me.

Now that being said, I am willing to be more sane about this. Exposed undefendable positions? Abandon them. Force Z sailing straight into the maw? No thanks. Reinforcing Singapore? Not a great idea. In fact, evacuating some Australian forces? If I can manage it!

So for me its a mix. I am going to fight the Japanese player, but I'm going to do it with more thought and composure than was possible during the real war.

The pure "Sir Robin" I do not like, and this isn't because I think its an "invalid" strategy. It's perfectly valid if you are treating WiTPAE and a pure game where everything is just chits and game pieces. Nothing wrong with that. It's just, for me the game isn't fun unless I'm pretending those chits represent their real life counter parts.

It all comes down to whether or not you enjoy WITPAE purely as a game or you enjoy WITPAE as a game and simulation (imperfect of course). Both are totally valid, its just I fall very firmly in the latter category and not the former.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 3:28:41 PM   
Macclan5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Revthought

The pure "Sir Robin" I do not like, and this isn't because I think its an "invalid" strategy. It's perfectly valid if you are treating WiTPAE and a pure game where everything is just chits and game pieces. Nothing wrong with that. It's just, for me the game isn't fun unless I'm pretending those chits represent their real life counter parts.

It all comes down to whether or not you enjoy WITPAE purely as a game or you enjoy WITPAE as a game and simulation (imperfect of course). Both are totally valid, its just I fall very firmly in the latter category and not the former.


It seems to me your logic is backwards.

If those chits are real humans - withdrawing those chits to Australia is "Saving lives" not throwing them away with inadequate training, weapons, supply.

That is the Sir Robin strategy.

What you may be inferring is "defense" of as many positions as possible/logical/ unexposed is "defending real civilians and economic infrastructure" in support of National wishes. i.e Singapore.

Sir Winston ordered the troops to fight to the death !

That is a political imperative.

I would suggest you are roleplaying the political imperative of the war - not the strategic or tactical.

---

I fully appreciation this topic is sensitive.

The "Sir Robin TACTIC" is as valid as any tactic a player chooses. I would think that many Japanese players may object and so ultimately it comes down to a question of player compatibility.

However if an Allied Player is required to role play the "Allied Political Imperative" such as:

1) Defense of Singapore
2) Defense of DEI
3) Halting Japanese expansion and holding the line ....

Then equally the Japanese player should be bound by historical roleplay considerations:

1) IJN / IJA antagonism
2) IJA faction "China focus" that held sway over Imperial Policy and prevented
3) Imperial cancellation / hesitation of plans to invade Ceylon / Northern Australia / Pearl Harbor



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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 6:15:02 PM   
Roger Neilson 3


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I ended a game once where my Japanese opponent would question every move I was making as not being what would have happened - we only got a few days into the campaign. It was obvious we wanted totally different gaming experiences.

I do try to play a pretty historical game, but will not defend every position and will not waste my best assets unnecessarily.

A very pleasing strategy is to look like you are the full Sir Robin then whack the enemy when they get overconfident or leave a gap......

We cannot possibly play this as the reality, we know too much and have too many other options.

Every Sir Robin is different as every player will have different 'red lines'

Roger


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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 7:17:58 PM   
Revthought


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

I ended a game once where my Japanese opponent would question every move I was making as not being what would have happened - we only got a few days into the campaign. It was obvious we wanted totally different gaming experiences.

I do try to play a pretty historical game, but will not defend every position and will not waste my best assets unnecessarily.

A very pleasing strategy is to look like you are the full Sir Robin then whack the enemy when they get overconfident or leave a gap......

We cannot possibly play this as the reality, we know too much and have too many other options.

Every Sir Robin is different as every player will have different 'red lines'

Roger



I think you and I are on the same page here. And despite me enjoying the simulation aspects, what you describe would drive me crazy! I am all for trying to make decisions based in some part on historicity, but obviously, what "would have happened" did actually happen.

WiTPAE is a game where we are allowed to see things play out differently. If I wanted to relive what really would have happened did happen, I would read any number of excellent histories published about the war.

< Message edited by Revthought -- 1/6/2017 7:18:23 PM >


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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 7:36:08 PM   
Big B

 

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Very well stated.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Revthought

quote:

ORIGINAL: Roger Neilson 3

I ended a game once where my Japanese opponent would question every move I was making as not being what would have happened - we only got a few days into the campaign. It was obvious we wanted totally different gaming experiences.

I do try to play a pretty historical game, but will not defend every position and will not waste my best assets unnecessarily.

A very pleasing strategy is to look like you are the full Sir Robin then whack the enemy when they get overconfident or leave a gap......

We cannot possibly play this as the reality, we know too much and have too many other options.

Every Sir Robin is different as every player will have different 'red lines'

Roger



I think you and I are on the same page here. And despite me enjoying the simulation aspects, what you describe would drive me crazy! I am all for trying to make decisions based in some part on historicity, but obviously, what "would have happened" did actually happen.

WiTPAE is a game where we are allowed to see things play out differently. If I wanted to relive what really would have happened did happen, I would read any number of excellent histories published about the war.


Getting back to the OP question - yes Brave Sir Robin is taken from Monty Python and the Holy Grail's song "Brave Sir Robin", second chorus:
quote:

Brave Sir Robin ran away
(No!)
Bravely ran away away
(I didn't!)
When danger reared its ugly head
He bravely turned his tail and fled
(No!)
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
(I didn't!)
And gallantly he chickened out

Bravely taking to his feet
(I never did!)
He beat a very brave retreat
(All lies!)
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!
(I never!)


This originated on this forum as a taunt to Allied players by some Japanese players, for all of the first several weeks redeployment of vulnerable forces - as many have pointed out above.

As for the historicity of it all, I will add the following;
We want things to work reasonably historically as they would have and did - in battle, logistically, and interaction with the game map environment.

The rest is up to us....that's why they made this game.

B


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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 7:49:29 PM   
Revthought


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Revthought
If those chits are real humans - withdrawing those chits to Australia is "Saving lives" not throwing them away with inadequate training, weapons, supply.


Semantics, man! I don't think we disagree at all. Like I said, when I play I do these things for the reasons you just stated; however, I also make my decisions, as best I can, based on the real political and ideological constraints that were involved in the war.

For example, it would have been politically and personally impossible for Churchill to completely abandon Singapore, for more reasons than is worth discussing. To me this means recognizing the inevitable and acting accordingly.

So, for example, I stop any reinforcements from going into Singapore. Evacuate resources and some key units that I need to form an Australian division. I do not pull everyone out because I am looking at the chits as military units I have to make the hard decision to sacrifice to show that the British put up a fight. I do not view them as game pieces worth X points for later use.

quote:

What you may be inferring is "defense" of as many positions as possible/logical/ unexposed is "defending real civilians and economic infrastructure" in support of National wishes. i.e Singapore.

Sir Winston ordered the troops to fight to the death!

That is a political imperative.


Percival is the first to go (and I don't even switch him back into command the day before sings falls!) So I live up to that in some sense, precisely because it is a political imperative. That does not, in my mind, mean that I cannot also recognize that the commitment of further reinforcement to the peninsula, or the piecemeal commitment to sub-units of an important Aussie division are not bad ideas.

One look at the strategic situation on December 8th tells you that Singapore and Hong Kong are foregone conclusions; however, as you point out, for political and ideological reasons it is absolutely impossible to just declare them "open cities." I must make the Japanese fight for them, but I do not need to throw away men and material unnecessarily.


quote:

I would suggest you are roleplaying the political imperative of the war - not the strategic or tactical.


Of course! Well not of course, it's just what I do. I play with both in mind. That's why I'm going to lose a bunch of ships challenging the Japanese landings in the DEI, not evacuating everything not tied down in the Philippines, etc.

Then again, I can also read the writing on the wall. I'm not going to leave units isolated to starve, or throw ships away without any regard for my chances of success.

quote:

The "Sir Robin TACTIC" is as valid as any tactic a player chooses. I would think that many Japanese players may object and so ultimately it comes down to a question of player compatibility.


I agree. I judge nobody for using this tactic in game, it's just not how I want to play the game... and I don't mean that in a pejorative sense. It just wouldn't be that much fun for me


quote:

1) IJN / IJA antagonism
2) IJA faction "China focus" that held sway over Imperial Policy and prevented
3) Imperial cancellation / hesitation of plans to invade Ceylon / Northern Australia / Pearl Harbor


I do not go this far, but every game I play the only house rules I insist on are:

Keep things as historical as possible in the opening months of the war in the following sense: no ahistorical warp invasions of Hawaii, the West Coast, Australia, etc. Keep it to what the Japanese military would realistically have been restricted to; however, once you've cleared NG and the DEI, then Northern Australia is fair game. Take Midway, and clear out and establish a real strategic presence that for East, then try for Hawaii if that's what you want to do.

So, while I don't insist on the Japanese player not invading here or there because the IJN and the IJA didn't agree, I do insist that the Japanese player do the things that would have been necessary for them to agree on that step. The IJA isn't going to land in Darwin or Hawaii when all of the approaches are still owned by the Allies. Just could never have happened.

If I am being honest the only really far fetched thing I do not think a Japanese player could ever "build up to" in a believable is West Coast North America stuff I occasionally see; however, I wouldn't complain if my opponent managed to wrest Midway, Hawaii and the Alaskan approaches from me. Luckily, that's never happened.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 9:45:16 PM   
rustysi


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quote:

Monty Python (I'm not going to watch this movie...!).


Pity. Yes it is ridiculous, but a classic and immensely funny. I think I shall watch the DVD again this weekend.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 9:47:31 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

Monty Python (I'm not going to watch this movie...!).


Pity. Yes it is ridiculous, but a classic and immensely funny. I think I shall watch the DVD again this weekend.

Did you just fart in our general direction?!!

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 10:09:25 PM   
Anachro


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Seriously, I just watched the Sir Robin scene for the first time in a really, really long time. Couldn't stop giggling like a kid.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 10:32:58 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: rustysi

quote:

Monty Python (I'm not going to watch this movie...!).


Pity. Yes it is ridiculous, but a classic and immensely funny. I think I shall watch the DVD again this weekend.

Did you just fart in our general direction?!!


I blow my nose at you, so called Arthur King, you and your silly English K-nig-hts.


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fair winds,
Brad

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/6/2017 10:40:00 PM   
rustysi


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Awe, you guys just won't quit, huh. Now I'll have to watch the silly thing again.

The K-nig-hts was the last straw.

_____________________________

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. Hume

In every party there is one member who by his all-too-devout pronouncement of the party principles provokes the others to apostasy. Nietzsche

Cave ab homine unius libri. Ltn Prvb

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/7/2017 12:21:03 AM   
Will_L

 

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Let's not go to Camelot, tis a silly place.

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was Will_L for a while.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/7/2017 10:08:13 PM   
Macclan5


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Revthought

I do not go this far;...

...however, I wouldn't complain if my opponent managed to wrest Midway, Hawaii and the Alaskan approaches from me. Luckily, that's never happened.


Upon clarification I think we agree exactly

I too cannot divorce the political historical imperative from my limited experience in this game.

And I do *one day* hope to be a capable and cordial PBEM opponent; but I will be much like yourself. Slanted to the historical but open to innovation.


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A People that values its privileges above it's principles will soon loose both. Dwight D Eisenhower.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 1:51:52 AM   
Reg


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I think that is the key to this game.

You don't want every game to be a monotonous replay of history but the variations have to be plausible.....



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Reg.

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Uh oh, Firefox has a spell checker!! What excuse can I use now!!!

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 4:42:34 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Reg


I think that is the key to this game.

You don't want every game to be a monotonous replay of history but the variations have to be plausible.....



No problem - now that the Mythbusters have retired from their TV show, they should be available freelance to test plausibility!

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 4:57:55 AM   
Reg


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Attachment (1)

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Cheers,
Reg.

(One day I will learn to spell - or check before posting....)
Uh oh, Firefox has a spell checker!! What excuse can I use now!!!

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 5:08:43 AM   
gottagofish


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If you want to use the Sir Robin strategy, you have to answer three questions or be case into the valley of death (or whatever it was called, it's been awhile since I last saw the movie).)

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 6:10:08 AM   
bradfordkay

 

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If you use the Sir Robin strategy I think that sooner of later you get eaten...

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Brad

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 6:11:42 PM   
AW1Steve


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I for one feel the need to take exception to the animosity of the JFB's who came up with the taunt "Brave sir Robin". Here's why: I once did ma study of all of the allied forces versus all of the available Japanese forces in the Pacific , and found that with the exception of air craft carriers , the allies SHOULD have been able to slow the Japanese assault to a crawl. Please notice the operative word SHOULD. That's with numbers alone. Quality , well that's another matter. Japanese NAVAL pilots , and aircraft generally had the edge on allied. The IJAAF and ground troops , not so much.

So why did the allies perform so badly? Quite simply , their forces were arrayed as colonial police forces. They were more afraid of their native populations than the Japanese (ESPECIALLY the Dutch). In essence , they were configured in just about the worst possible array to fight invasion as was possible. And many of those troops were colonial , or 2nd rate European troops. Untrained pilots , and troops. Troops that had not srved in the jungle , faced modern weapons or worst of all, armor.

Ships were scattered also for colonial duties , and "showing the flag". The bulk of those ships were older , unmodernized warships considered "unfit for European waters". Planes were whatever could be purchased from available stocks , with the best aircraft and pilots sent to Europe.

All of these resources needed to be reassembled into usable and sizable units , combined , trained and intelligently lead. That means a withdrawal, retreat , regroup, re-organization. Or you can leave them scattered , in small pockets , unsupplied and cutoff. In other words, left to die.

I collect as a hobby books of this period that deal with strategy , military theory and analysis of Sea power in the Pacific. The American books tend to consist of two theories. 1) we can not hold the Philippines , and need to grant them independence as soon as possible so we can reduce our presence and forces there. and 2) The Japanese can't fight their way out of a wet paper bag and we have no reason to fear them. USN Naval officers were divided with 3/4 believing the former and 1/4 the latter. Both Admiral Hart and Richardson DEFINATLEY felt the former , and did everything they could to pare down the Asiatic fleet , remove the Marines ,dependents and gunboats from China , and dependents from the PI. That's a pretty good endorsement of the "Sir Robin" strategy. And considering that until 1943 there really wasn't very much new construction in the Pacific, that means Coral Sea , Midway , Guadalcanal and the New Georgia campaign were fought pretty much with entirely pre-war ships.

USS America (Mike Floyd) followed the theory popular with todays US Army of "Embrace the suck" , and asked the "Magnificent Dixie" to come up with the "Brave Sir Robin Fan boy" banner and the rest is history. In other words , fight where you can , delay, redeploy and remove the units you need later. Or "Don't eat your seed corn".

I personally follow a variation of "Sir Robin". I call it "Vampire Chicken". Lay traps , minefields , and ambushes. Use good defensive ground as much as you can. Sacrifice colonial troops , or those that can't removed (or are not worth the risk of ships). Anything Modern in shipping that can be upgraded needs to be pulled back. Outdated ships , planes and "already dead" (can't be withdrawn) go down fighting. All you can do is pull them back , regroup , update and retrain them. Aircraft should be left fighting till their numbers are too small to matter , then withdraw the few survivors to regroup and train.

IF you can save these units , and send forward new units , you can start the re-conquest sooner. The more you save , the sooner you can start your return. As Churchill said. "Some chicken. Some neck".


So as trash talk goes , "Sir Robin" is excellent. But if a Japanese player some how feels (and I've met a few who did) that "Sir Robin" is unmanly , or somehow "gamey" , I have too ask "how poor is a General/Admiral that can't deal with a retreating/regrouping enemy?". What do you want , the AFB to open his seacocks or line up and advance his ships shooting gallery style? :)

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 7:52:12 PM   
Big B

 

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I happen to be in a new PBEM right now - in the first weeks after Dec 7th (as Allied) and facing this very situation.

My Japanese opponent is intelligent and experienced and is aggressively pressing his advantage - making 'hay while the sun shines'.

The Allied dilemma is simply this:
The Japanese have a crushing advantage at the moment in sea & air power in the Indonesian/Philippine geographical arena....making most counter moves suicidal and pointless.

An Allied player CAN do something to contest this space for a while - but not without first consolidating force. Gather warships and air units into something more than piecemeal unwarranted sacrifices....... this is called Brave Sir Robin.

And to add to what AW1Steve eloquently explained above - I will say this; it's worse than stupid to 'eat your seed corn'....realistically - it's vainglorious and the height of bankrupt thinking.

Furthermore, historically, the Allies didn't really do that.
There was a reason why the British concentrated on saving Singapore, and the Americans retreated to Bataan....they didn't merely stand and die on the spot.
That's also why the ABDA had ships from Australia, Britain, the NEI, and the USA....they left their current stations and Concentrated Force.

If any Allied commander thought the Japanese were a pushover on Dec 6th 1941 - no one thought that by Dec 10th....

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 8:03:49 PM   
Sardaukar


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As Allies, I never abandon defence of Singapore, Philippines or DEI. One thing I do, though, is to evacuate 2 brigades of 8th AUS Div (I'd hate to abandon them), send 18th UK Div to Burma or Australia instead of Singers. 2 Indian brigades and one Gurkha brigade going to Singers go to Burma. Sometimes I also evacuate base force from Cebu and try to get it to Port Moresby.

It is not wise to reinforce failure.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 10:01:20 PM   
Big B

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar
{snip}....
It is not wise to reinforce failure.



Let's face it, if this were the North African Desert(where movement were possible) instead of isolated islands - the Allies would pull back to the Alamein line, and play Montgomery - building up an overwhelming counterattack force

< Message edited by Big B -- 1/8/2017 10:19:57 PM >


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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 10:16:39 PM   
adarbrauner

 

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Were I an Allied, I'd try to pull out my best units from Malay.

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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/8/2017 10:58:50 PM   
Sardaukar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: adarbrauner

Were I an Allied, I'd try to pull out my best units from Malay.


Problem with that is....you need to tie up Japanese units in Malaya as long as you can. If you pull out too many units, IJA will have Singapore earlier than historical. Then all those units will be in Burma or somewhere else causing trouble.

So, it is a balancing act.

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"To meaningless French Idealism, Liberty, Fraternity and Equality...we answer with German Realism, Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery" -Prince von Bülov, 1870-


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RE: "SIr Robin" Ethimology - 1/9/2017 6:24:54 AM   
Barb


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Just like Sardaukar pointed out - you can reinforce and slow down the Japanese tempo and tie down significant amount of troops. I did send both Indian Brigades and 18th UK division (Both Indian Army and UK are low on high-quality equipment/squads at the start, but their later use will just increase your demands on those precious equipment/squads you need to fill other units). I had also performed quite active defense in the DEI area poking here and there with surface raiders and I had actually managed to keep Allied air losses below the Japanese! Not to mention that Singapore fell in April or May 1942 tying down about 5 divisions and lot of additional units...

So sometime a forward active defense can pay off a very nice dividend...

Just a side note: IRL - Allies were hard pressed to assemble any meaningful surface fleet to counter the Japanese moves. A lot of ships was tied down escorting convoys! It is not like in the game where you can sail complete division worth convoy without any escort half-way around the world! Each convoy or oven troopship sailed under escort of a warship when troops were embarked. And I do not mean Minesweeper! Think of BB, CA, CL. Now assign each convoy carrying troops around the map a warship to escort and see what you are left with...

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