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The Midway Conundrum

 
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The Midway Conundrum - 6/11/2003 5:48:37 PM   
spruance

 

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As a new player, I am interested to know what people's views
are on whether the Midway carriers should be included in a
given game.

I notice from postings that the most popular scenarios for PBEM
games seem to be those that cover the entire duration
of the South Pacific campaign, namely #17 and #19. Now I
know that in both these scenarios, the four Japanese and one
US carrier sunk at Midway are available to the players.

Doesn't this create an ahistorical situation whereby players
have ships not available to their historical counterparts?
In which case, I wonder why people don't play the scenario which begins after Midway, given most people's preference for historical accuracy.
Post #: 1
- 6/11/2003 5:56:35 PM   
Drongo

 

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It's justified on the basis that, if Midway hadn't occured, players get to find out what would have happened historically. ;)

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Post #: 2
- 6/11/2003 7:05:49 PM   
spruance

 

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You can apply that argument to any of the myriad discussions
on this forum concerning historical accuracy:

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if B-17s could bomb at 100 feet."

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if LBA was stronger than was actually the case."

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if pilot morale had more of an effect on air operations than
was the case"

etc.

My point is that, on May 1st 1942, the Midway operation was
set in stone, most of the forces (except the two Coral Sea
carriers) poised to strike. That would have been outside the players' control. Why is it suddenly cancelled then for these scenarios?

Hmm.. Is it possible to play with a house rule in 17,19 to not use
those ships or is that plain daft?

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Post #: 3
- 6/11/2003 9:12:53 PM   
Drex

 

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NOt every one wants to play purely historical scenarios but would rather go the "what if " route. I don't see why you couldn't leave those ships in Pearl (send them back when you get them) to get the proper historicity.

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Post #: 4
- 6/11/2003 9:29:41 PM   
spruance

 

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yes, true. In fact after I asked this question I started thinking
that in reality the two big IJN carriers and the two US carriers
were earmarked for Midway (Lexington would have
fought in that battle if it hadn't been sunk at Coral Sea). So
you would have to start with those ships and then withdraw
them. Then you start thinking "but with different ships Midway
would turn out differently" and then you just think "sod it
I wish I hadn't asked the quesiton now."

I wonder why so few people seem to play the post-Midway
scenario, the one which starts in July 1942???

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Post #: 5
- 6/11/2003 9:48:04 PM   
Full Moon

 

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I guess it's becuase it's hard to find a IJN player who is willing to play the scenario.:)

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Post #: 6
- 6/11/2003 10:05:57 PM   
spruance

 

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Yes that's what I thought: I presume that without the Midway carriers the IJN has an impossible task to win the game ??

Gosh, surely we're not saying that losing the Battle of Midway
dooms Japan to defeat, in UV as in the actual war.

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Post #: 7
- 6/11/2003 10:27:10 PM   
Nikademus


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For those wishing to play with the "historical" OOB according to Coral Sea and Midway results, there is the long SC#15.

I've played it once in PBEM. I think most players prefer 17 or 19 because it is more interesting to start with....i mean who wouldn't want to see how things go in the SoPac if the Japanese had had the carriers available that were lost at Midway?

Having played it now multiple times, at least for myself....SC 15 started to look more interesting from a challenge point of view. Having less resources available can be as interesting as having more.

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Post #: 8
Midway - 6/11/2003 11:18:35 PM   
Mogami


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Hi, There is a vast difference between the Midway and non Midway scenarios.

In the non Midway scenarios Japan is on the offensive.

In the Midway scenarios, she is reacting to an Allied offensive.

Once the Allies get ashore at Lunga the Japanese will never retake the base. Due to the characteristics of the land combat system, unless you can get 2-1 ashore there is no reason to send anything. While Allied land combat loses count twice that of Japanese is difficult to achieve even a 50 percent ratio. (Japan can lose twice the men and stay even. However it is very hard to do this with less then 1 to 1 and try moving 20k-30k troops to Lunga at once. (Smaller forces are wiped out before the next batch arrives. ) This is the historical result and what player knowing the futility is going to waste assets attempting the impossible. The Japanese are forced into hoping they can win lop sided night surface battles. (very possible but does not yield enough VP to win game)

After the struggle over Lunga conclude and the airfield become operational and supports heavy bombers the game is decided.

In the beginning there is no chance to take Port Moresby. This alone cripples the Japanese defense/counter offensive directed at Lunga (the staging/supply bases of Rabaul and Shortlands are within heavy bomber range.)

It is difficult to find players who will begin a game so disadvantaged. Many will keep playing the scenario 17 or 19 games after these conditions arrive but few will begin with them.

I've found it required to give the Japanese 200percent commitment levels to balance the game.

The Midway battle was a result of the knee jerk reaction to the Doolittle raid. In my first AAR ( "Setting the Stage" (the very first non tester AAR)I tried to outline a logical reason for the offensive in the South Pacific replacing the Midway Operation. (I've pulled the AAR up for viewing) If the reason for Midway was to draw the American Carriers out, then the South Pacific operations will do the same.
(But the "ground" for battle is better).

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Post #: 9
- 6/12/2003 1:40:19 AM   
Drongo

 

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Posted by spruance
[QUOTE]You can apply that argument to any of the myriad discussions
on this forum concerning historical accuracy:

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if B-17s could bomb at 100 feet."

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if LBA was stronger than was actually the case."

"players want to find out what would have happened historically
if pilot morale had more of an effect on air operations than
was the case"
[/QUOTE]

I thought you wanted an opinion, not another debate. :)

The point I was making was that UV is a game that, once you start any of scenarios (historical start or not), you immeadiately start diverging from history. Even with a historical start, you never get to fight the exact battles that followed historically.

Given that, I don't see why playing a scenario that has Midway occuring in the South Pacific would cause anyone a dilemma. I assume they would accept that they're playing a game that cannot recreate the exact historical event pattern, thereby all scenarios are or will become ahistorical. So why not play one that's fun for both sides.

Within that framework, you then get debates arising because some (most?) players do expect historical operational capabilites and weapons performance but differ on what that actually was.

As to your 3 examples,

I'm not quite sure exactly what all of them relate to in terms of player debates but they seem to be about the game mechanics and their influence on play.

The game mechanics are vital in supplying the player with the operational and tactical "feel" for warfare of that period and theatre. In my opinion, whether and where an actual historical event (with its historical outcome) occured is not something that would stop me enjoying the game. Unrealistic game mechanics would.

Posted by Nikademus
[QUOTE]For those wishing to play with the "historical" OOB according to Coral Sea and Midway results, there is the long SC#15.[/QUOTE]

Scenario 15 is a very "ahistorical scenario" with no Midway and the Japanese starting with New Guinea and the Solomons. Maybe you were thinking of scenario 14 or 16?

Might pay to start wearing a helmet when you ride your horse. :p

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Post #: 10
- 6/12/2003 1:47:43 AM   
Nikademus


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Drongo

Might pay to start wearing a helmet when you ride your horse. :p [/B][/QUOTE]


what.....this isn't the forum for Fantasy General??!!!!!

:p

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Post #: 11
- 6/12/2003 1:52:29 AM   
Drongo

 

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Posted by Nikademus
[QUOTE]what.....this isn't the forum for Fantasy General??!!!!![/QUOTE]

If you mean naughty girls wearing uniforms, I can quitely direct you to a nice website.

If you mean that wankerous offshoot of Panzer General......Bye. :)

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Post #: 12
- 6/12/2003 3:06:50 AM   
Yamamoto

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Drongo
[B]Posted by Nikademus


If you mean naughty girls wearing uniforms, I can quitely direct you to a nice website.

[/B][/QUOTE]

I'm up for that. :) Just to keep it semi on topic you can direct us to a site where they are wearing Japanese schoolgirl uniforms..

Yamamoto

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Post #: 13
- 6/12/2003 3:12:55 AM   
Nikademus


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girls? who has time for girls when there's a war to fight??!!

oh.....hi honey.....heh, just kidding......now now dear, put that frying pan down......someone might get h_

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Post #: 14
- 6/12/2003 5:37:58 AM   
pasternakski


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What UV has desperately needed from the beginning is a campaign scenario that builds Midway into the mix. You start with the May 1, 1942 resources, play through the end of June, and then, Midway is resolved (by the computer, outside your control). Then, the scenario resumes, and all reinforcements and replacements are adjusted (again, by the program) in accordance with the Midway outcome. Some provision would have to be made for ship withdrawals (for example, if Lexington survives past a certain date, she is withdrawn for commitment to the Midway campaign. Variable withdrawal of Japanese ships, particularly Shokaku and Zuikaku, could be built in to counter the automatic tendency for the Allied player to be extremely conservative in his play).

There should be an entire range of Midway possible outcomes, from American decisive victory through Japanese decisive victory. After that, you sink or swim on your own in the Southern Pacific.

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Post #: 15
- 6/12/2003 6:27:21 AM   
Drex

 

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Could all those possible outcomes be codable? Are we asking alot of the programmers here?

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Post #: 16
- 6/12/2003 6:42:07 AM   
Mr.Frag


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Not really much point, UV is a *what if?* game. If you terminate the *what if?* aspect, you might as well just read the book, as it will not change.

*What if?* no one wants to show up at Midway in '42? You can't force people into a huge blunder just because you want them to make it.

The premise here is we are free to implement our own battle plans and they may not happen to include the Coral Sea or Midway because *WE* choose a different strategy.

Frankly, if I feel my assets are better spent charging for Townsville starting from turn 1 of the May 1st '42 scenario 17 just because I determine that going for it means I know that your pilots are useless and can't hit my transports and I have a good chance at winning with my starting troops against your starting troops, who are you to tell me not to? Perhaps I feel that attacking Townville on the 8th with everything I can throw on transports and all my navy is a valid battle plan just as someone thought Midway is a valid battle plan.

Adding a external factor that steals my ships in the middle of my well thought out plans is just silly. It's bad enough having to deal with the whims of ships that may never show up without having the game take them back AFTER I finally get them.

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Post #: 17
- 6/12/2003 7:35:20 AM   
Joe 98


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I feel the original poster, has touched on a point I have been making.

The issues in the South West Pacific, during the time frame covered by UV, were as follows:

There was a great shortage of transports to transport men and supplies.

Due to the distances there was a great shortage of air cover for the ground troops.

What air cover there was did a great job of destroying enemy transports. The allies in particular were very successful here.

Due to the overwhealming number of CVs, the player does not get those feelings in scenario 17 or scenario 19

Whilst scenario 15 uses historical forces, it unfortunately begins after Coral Sea

The solution is ti take Scen 17, open the scenario editor, remove most but not all CVs and BBs and save the game under a new name.

This will restore balance.

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Post #: 18
Balance - 6/12/2003 7:41:14 AM   
Mogami


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Hi, Joe I don't think that will restore balance. It will restore the game to the historical situation (which is not balanced.)
Those scenarios are included. (make sure to set historical arrival rather then variable)

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Post #: 19
- 6/12/2003 7:43:49 AM   
ADavidB


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by pasternakski
[B]What UV has desperately needed from the beginning is a campaign scenario that builds Midway into the mix. You start with the May 1, 1942 resources, play through the end of June, and then, Midway is resolved (by the computer, outside your control). Then, the scenario resumes, and all reinforcements and replacements are adjusted (again, by the program) in accordance with the Midway outcome. Some provision would have to be made for ship withdrawals (for example, if Lexington survives past a certain date, she is withdrawn for commitment to the Midway campaign. Variable withdrawal of Japanese ships, particularly Shokaku and Zuikaku, could be built in to counter the automatic tendency for the Allied player to be extremely conservative in his play).

There should be an entire range of Midway possible outcomes, from American decisive victory through Japanese decisive victory. After that, you sink or swim on your own in the Southern Pacific. [/B][/QUOTE]

What you are suggesting with the withdrawal of forces is similar to what Pacwar did with British ships. So it ought to be feasible here ( assuming that major code changes are still being planned for UV some time in the future ).

I'm assuming that the British ship withdrawals will reappear WitP.

Dave Baranyi

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Post #: 20
- 6/12/2003 7:46:07 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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The scenario you all are thinking of is 16: "Yamamoto's Prophecy" which starts 1 Jun 42, and incorporates results from Coral Sea and Midway.

Try playing it at 70% ship committment.

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Post #: 21
RN - 6/12/2003 7:47:20 AM   
Mogami


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by ADavidB
[B]What you are suggesting with the withdrawal of forces is similar to what Pacwar did with British ships. So it ought to be feasible here ( assuming that major code changes are still being planned for UV some time in the future ).

I'm assuming that the British ship withdrawals will reappear WitP.

Dave Baranyi [/B][/QUOTE]


Hi, They will. only it will not be automatic. You be be ordered to send a ship or ships off map by a date. If you fail you lose VP and the next ship of that type scheduled to arrive is moved back to when the ship you kept would have re-entered. (something along these lines )

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Re: RN - 6/12/2003 9:04:50 AM   
ADavidB


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mogami
[B]Hi, They will. only it will not be automatic. You be be ordered to send a ship or ships off map by a date. If you fail you lose VP and the next ship of that type scheduled to arrive is moved back to when the ship you kept would have re-entered. (something along these lines ) [/B][/QUOTE]

Hmmm - that's an interesting twist. Short term pain for long term gain, sort of thing.

Thanks -

Dave Baranyi

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Post #: 23
Re: RN - 6/12/2003 9:56:56 AM   
gus

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mogami
[B]Hi, They will. only it will not be automatic. You be be ordered to send a ship or ships off map by a date. If you fail you lose VP and the next ship of that type scheduled to arrive is moved back to when the ship you kept would have re-entered. (something along these lines ) [/B][/QUOTE]

This sounds like a great system to handle withdrawls. It leaves the decision in the hands of the player as it should be! So if a given ship is part of an ongoing operation and is recalled it doesn't simply disappear off the face of the map.

Hopefully this can be retrofitted to UV!

-g

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Post #: 24
- 6/12/2003 11:35:41 AM   
pasternakski


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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mr.Frag
[B]Not really much point, UV is a *what if?* game. If you terminate the *what if?* aspect, you might as well just read the book, as it will not change.

*What if?* no one wants to show up at Midway in '42? You can't force people into a huge blunder just because you want them to make it.

The premise here is we are free to implement our own battle plans and they may not happen to include the Coral Sea or Midway because *WE* choose a different strategy.

Frankly, if I feel my assets are better spent charging for Townsville starting from turn 1 of the May 1st '42 scenario 17 just because I determine that going for it means I know that your pilots are useless and can't hit my transports and I have a good chance at winning with my starting troops against your starting troops, who are you to tell me not to? Perhaps I feel that attacking Townville on the 8th with everything I can throw on transports and all my navy is a valid battle plan just as someone thought Midway is a valid battle plan.

Adding a external factor that steals my ships in the middle of my well thought out plans is just silly. It's bad enough having to deal with the whims of ships that may never show up without having the game take them back AFTER I finally get them. [/B][/QUOTE]

Well, all you're saying is that you're happy with scenario 17. So am I.

What I am suggesting is design of a new scenario with innovative features that build the uncertainty of Midway into the flow of the campaign. Nothing silly about it. It is the historical situation.

By May 1, 1942, the Midway operation was locked in. Events in the South Pacific had to be held in suspense after mid June until that battle was resolved. Scenario 17 does not recreate this.

Remember that UV puts you in command of the South Pacific area, not the entire Pacific theater. When you agonize over release of ships from Pearl or Japan or your slow aircraft replacement rates, you are acutely aware of your subordinate position. Dealing with lack of resources while the "main event" is played out hundreds of miles to the north-northeast of your command area is all part of what you have to put up with. The drain of men and materiel to support the Midway effort is one more in the long series of frustrations that you face.

I don't know if such a scenario can be designed, but I certainly would like to see it. I was hoping that it would be part of the original package. It doesn't seem too much to ask from a game that is nearly a gigabyte in raw size - and from such a talented design team (okay, I'm an unconscionable suck-up when I think it might help get me what I want).

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Post #: 25
- 6/12/2003 11:45:53 AM   
Drex

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Mr.Frag
[B]Not really much point, UV is a *what if?* game. If you terminate the *what if?* aspect, you might as well just read the book, as it will not change.

*What if?* no one wants to show up at Midway in '42? You can't force people into a huge blunder just because you want them to make it.

The premise here is we are free to implement our own battle plans and they may not happen to include the Coral Sea or Midway because *WE* choose a different strategy.

Frankly, if I feel my assets are better spent charging for Townsville starting from turn 1 of the May 1st '42 scenario 17 just because I determine that going for it means I know that your pilots are useless and can't hit my transports and I have a good chance at winning with my starting troops against your starting troops, who are you to tell me not to? Perhaps I feel that attacking Townville on the 8th with everything I can throw on transports and all my navy is a valid battle plan just as someone thought Midway is a valid battle plan.

Adding a external factor that steals my ships in the middle of my well thought out plans is just silly. It's bad enough having to deal with the whims of ships that may never show up without having the game take them back AFTER I finally get them. [/B][/QUOTE] Hear, Hear!

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Post #: 26
- 6/12/2003 11:52:01 AM   
Drex

 

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[QUOTE]Originally posted by pasternakski
[B]Well, all you're saying is that you're happy with scenario 17. So am I.

What I am suggesting is design of a new scenario with innovative features that build the uncertainty of Midway into the flow of the campaign. Nothing silly about it. It is the historical situation.

By May 1, 1942, the Midway operation was locked in. Events in the South Pacific had to be held in suspense after mid June until that battle was resolved. Scenario 17 does not recreate this.

Remember that UV puts you in command of the South Pacific area, not the entire Pacific theater. When you agonize over release of ships from Pearl or Japan or your slow aircraft replacement rates, you are acutely aware of your subordinate position. Dealing with lack of resources while the "main event" is played out hundreds of miles to the north-northeast of your command area is all part of what you have to put up with. The drain of men and materiel to support the Midway effort is one more in the long series of frustrations that you face.

I don't know if such a scenario can be designed, but I certainly would like to see it. I was hoping that it would be part of the original package. It doesn't seem too much to ask from a game that is nearly a gigabyte in raw size - and from such a talented design team (okay, I'm an unconscionable suck-up when I think it might help get me what I want). [/B][/QUOTE] i hate to put a damper on things, but when WitP comes out everything in UV will be moot. There will be players who will continue to play -WitP is a large scope game- but I can't believe Matrix will devote the time and resources to add new scenarios. they have to do the Med War!

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Post #: 27
Thanks for your views, chaps - 6/12/2003 2:20:04 PM   
spruance

 

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Interesting range of opinions. Due to the time difference
I'm still catching up with all the postings, but many people have
expressed my original thought which is that there isn't really
a scenario which takes in the Coral Sea and Midway battles,
but starts from May 1 1942.

I like the idea of the computer resolving
the Midway battle to increase uncertainty. I agree that the historical outcome should not be enforced, but it should be
possible. I just think, as someone said, you lose a bit
of the flavour of the Solomons campaign when there are
so many CVs floating around that just weren't there historcally.

But as someone else said, all this will be sorted out in WitP...

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Post #: 28
Modified Scenario 17 - 6/12/2003 2:30:40 PM   
spruance

 

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There is a modified scenario 17 on the Spooky website
- anyone played this?

Seems to be the very thing I have been harping on about. Scenario 17 with historical Midway result. From the release notes:

"The Japanese will not receive CV`s Akagi, Soryu, Kaga, Hiryu, CA Mikuma, Sub I-164.
The U.S. will not receive DD Hamman or CV Hornet. The non arrival of Hornet, a Yorktown class CV lost at Midway will make up for you having Yorktown in the Game.

The arrival of CV Lexington has been changed to day 75 to reflect her arrival on or about July 25."

Any thoughts on this new senario...?

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Post #: 29
- 6/12/2003 7:53:00 PM   
Mr.Frag


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I still don't get you guys, you have exactly the same chance at pulling off a Midway anywhere else ON the map within UV? Whats the hold up with a little chunk of rock thats off the map?

Hold your own Midway at Lunga or Gili Gili for all it matters. (which tends to be the realistic happening here). Why do you need an external version of what you are perfectly capable of handling inside the dynamics of the existing game?

A Midway *win* for Japan means Midway would have been invaded, now what do you want to happen? Half supplies for Japan and massive shortages of transports and troops because they are busy holding Midway? What next? Pearl?

Midway by itself means nothing. Quit looking at the HISTORICAL outcome and look at it in reverse. You want a Japan win? What would happen to the whole theater *if* Japan had won decisively? How many divisions would have been tied up? How many US divisions would not be showing up in Noumea, being kept at Pearl? You can't look at a single event in isolation which is what you are proposing here. It means nothing by itself.

This is really why you only have the one option. Play the Midway *loss* scenario or play without it. Too many things make no sense with a Midway *win* in our game.

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