Malayan Ground Force Values (Full Version)

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Enginemount -> Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 5:09:09 AM)

Just to introduce myself – I’m a new recruit to WITP. I bought Uncommon Valour a few years ago, didn’t get it, shelved it, tried it again a few months ago, got it, and immediately bought WITP. What an amazing simulation! And pure magic that the game, with its huge scale, can still evocatively project me onto the bridge of some run-down freighter, plodding scared toward some unknown, ramshackle port. OK, you vets out there will nod knowlingly at the newbie’s new-found ecstasy. Anyway, I just want to acknowledge what an incredible product WITP is, and to thank all those who are bringing about the new Admiral’s Edition.

Having still barely scratched the surface of WITP and, although I have read a lot of forum submissions, I may well be about to discuss some area already covered. In addition, my comments are made in ignorance of any changes between WITP and the Admiral’s Edition and the underlying system and mechanics of either. OK, here goes.

What originally prompted me to write to the forum was that in WITP, LT Col. Varley is listed as the commander of 22nd Bde AIF, when he was in fact the CO of one of its battalions - the 2/18th. The Brigade Commander throughout the Malayan Campaign and the majority of the Battle for Singapore, was Brigadier H. B. Taylor. Suffering from intense fatigue, he handed over temporary command of the brigade to Varley on 12th Feb 1942, just before the surrender of Singapore. I realise this is a minor detail.

Then I started to look at the morale and, more importantly, the experience ratings of the British, Indian and Australian units in Malaya and spotted some very strange values. I realise that this is a fairly small and limited area, given the scope of the Pacific War, but the Malayan Campaign is my research speciality, and it’s representation in the Admiral’s Edition is of great concern to me. My MA research concerned the performance of the Australian ground forces during the Malayan Campaign and the Battle for Singapore, and hopefully my current research into the battalion-level leadership and training of the Australian Army during the Second World War will lead to a PHD in the not too distant future. Whilst I make no claims to be an expert, or to brag about my still limited knowledge, I mention these things so as to establish that I am a little bit more than a casual student of the Malayan Campaign.

WITP allocates some very inaccurate experience and morale values to units in Malaya. But one of the screen downloads for the Admiral’s Edition, shows an Indian unit with completely different, and I think more accurate, values.

Would it be possible to get a preview of the various values that will be used for Malayan ground units in the Admiral’s Edition?
Given all the other factors that affect ground actions, how important is the experience value?
Could we see a timetable for ground-force equipment up-grades? Some Australian artillery units started the campaign with 3-inch mortars, whilst others started with the 18-pounders as listed in WITP. All of these units had been re-equipped with 25-pounders, by the time they commenced action with the Japanese.

Sorry about the length of this posting. Thanks for letting me join the forum.




TheElf -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 2:00:55 PM)

Welcome to the community!!

Have you told your friends and family yet? You aren't married are you?




Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 2:51:52 PM)

Sitting in th eoffice so hard to remember exact values but broadly Indian forces in Malaya start at about 30xp, Australian and British 35ish except for Argylls Bn who start at 55.

None of these formations is viewed as battle ready.

If I get time tonight I will post a full ORBAT of Malaya for a laugh




Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 2:55:18 PM)

p.s. in stock allied forces Malaya were given higher ratings because movement was so easy so they had to be more combat ready than they actually were - stock made one set of compromises to get the game to work I am sure I have made a different set




Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 3:22:01 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: TheElf

Welcome to the community!!

Have you told your friends and family yet? You aren't married are you?


Hello Elf,
Thanks for the welcome.
Yes, I have told my best friend, who lives in another country. In fact, I haven't stopped raving about the game to him in the hope that he will buy a copy and we can get a PBEM game happening. He's already a Matrix Games fan, so it should be easy.
Yes, I'm married and with kids. As Zorba the Greek said: 'The full catastrophe!". I remember reading a message a while back, where the writer said that his wife (or girlfriend?) couldn't understand how he could spend so much time just staring at a map. Well it suddenly occurs to me that WITP is the perfect game for people living with partners. When my wife catches me zombie-like, intently studying a motionless map..... she probably thinks that I'm doing some study! When I'm caught with a joystick clenched in my hand, headphones on, and hurtling across the computer screen is a burning zero that I've just waxed.... she KNOWS I'm playing!




Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 4:45:53 PM)

I actually do find the WITP map educational I had a pub quiz question a few months ago about the geography of Australia and I was able to answer it only because of Andrew's map !!!




Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 4:55:03 PM)

"Could we see a timetable for ground-force equipment up-grades? Some Australian artillery units started the campaign with 3-inch mortars, whilst others started with the 18-pounders as listed in WITP. All of these units had been re-equipped with 25-pounders, by the time they commenced action with the Japanese."

Not easily because which units recieve the few 25 pounders in theatre is a player led decision.

Basically key modern equipment will trickle into operation until the first big convoys arrive. Lots of units will need these scarce devices. In Malaya and Rangoon even the Inf Squads are not up to TOE with les Brens per section than they should have if they were all up to TOE.

Aus and NZ militia need re equipping as do forces in Rangoon and Burma as do forces in India. Even the Canadians need CW equipment.

As a player its your choice which units get the front line equipment and its not an easy choice. If giving the CW forces in Malaya a few of your limited AT guns and modern Arty pieces means that Malaya hangs on for a week extra it may be worth it.

AA guns are another making Singapore into a low level flak trap is very possible but only by accepting the loss of valuable 3.7" and 40mm AA guns.

Those guns may be needed in Rangoon or Sydney.

3" morters, AT Guns, AA guns, Bren Teams, Vickers MMG's, Bren and Lewis AAMG's all are in short supply...

Andy




Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 4:57:53 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Andy Mac

p.s. in stock allied forces Malaya were given higher ratings because movement was so easy so they had to be more combat ready than they actually were - stock made one set of compromises to get the game to work I am sure I have made a different set


Thanks for the information about the values.
It's true that movement was incredibly easy for the British, given the road system. Japanese air superiority really didn't affect this because most road movement was carried-out at night. Units and subunits regularly criss-crossed the peninsula in one night.

What I am concerned about is not the actual values as they stand, but how units compare to each other. The stock WITP values, after I searched around, yielded some pretty weird comparisons. I couldn't understand how some peacetime US garrison unit in Hawaii (Burt Lancaster not withstanding) could have a better rating than the Australians in Malaya at the start of the war. Moreover, the 8th Div AIF in Malaya was rated no better than the militia units in Sydney and Melbourne.

It's great to see that you have recognised the 2nd Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Primarily due to their presence in the brigade, the 12th Bde was considered by Percival to be the best Indian unit in Malaya, and was consequently kept in reserve. Also kept in reserve were the two Australian Brigades, which percival considered to be the best and most reliable units of all his ground forces.

What I don't understand, is why the Argylls and the Australians are considered to be not battle ready. These were units that had undergone rigorous and realistic training in the actual Malayan environment for relatively substantial and certainly sufficient periods. The Argylls for more than two years, the 22nd Bde AIF for eleven months and the 27th Bde for four months. And before commencing their training in Malaya, the Australians had already had more than a year of training designed to make them ready for service with the other AIF units already in action. So these were no half-trained recruits like the poor young Indians. All of these units rejected the colonial, garrison mindset of the other British and Indian units in Malaya and took their training into the jungle and rubber plantations.

Their training was validated when these units actually came into contact with the Japanese. The Argyll's performance is now almost legendary. My area of study, however, concerns the Australians. On the Malayan Peninsula the Australians, in every case, inflicted far higher casualties upon the Japanese than they received. In virtually all cases they retained the initiative, which allowed them to conduct a controlled, delaying defence and withdrawal. It has been said that they "bettered" the Japanese on every occasion. Whilst the operational situation and the numerical odds may have gone against them, unit for unit, the Australians proved themselves to be superior to the Japanese.

By the time they came to defend Singapore Island, some of these units had ceased to exist. The 2/19th and 2/29th Bns had been virtually annihilated between Muar and Parit Sulong, and the 2/18th Bn had lost a complete rifle company in one action. 1,900 replacements were rushed to Singapore. All of them were pretty much recruits, and many of them had been in the Army for just 2 weeks! Even in the defence of the Island the Australians performed well, given impossible tasks alocated to them. Especially relevant to the workings of WITP is the way in which logistical and support units quickly organised themselves into effective combat units.

OK, I apologise for the, once again, long-winded posting. I have a huge amount of research to support my contention, but the bottom-line is that the Australians and the Argylls should be rated at least as highly, if not higher than the best of the Japanese. Of course this will have little effect on the overall outcome of the Malayan Campaign, but will at least cause the Allied player to conserve and marshall his combat units far more realistically, and more like the real commander did.





Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 5:19:11 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Andy Mac

"Could we see a timetable for ground-force equipment up-grades? Some Australian artillery units started the campaign with 3-inch mortars, whilst others started with the 18-pounders as listed in WITP. All of these units had been re-equipped with 25-pounders, by the time they commenced action with the Japanese."

Not easily because which units recieve the few 25 pounders in theatre is a player led decision.

Basically key modern equipment will trickle into operation until the first big convoys arrive. Lots of units will need these scarce devices. In Malaya and Rangoon even the Inf Squads are not up to TOE with les Brens per section than they should have if they were all up to TOE.

Aus and NZ militia need re equipping as do forces in Rangoon and Burma as do forces in India. Even the Canadians need CW equipment.

As a player its your choice which units get the front line equipment and its not an easy choice. If giving the CW forces in Malaya a few of your limited AT guns and modern Arty pieces means that Malaya hangs on for a week extra it may be worth it.

AA guns are another making Singapore into a low level flak trap is very possible but only by accepting the loss of valuable 3.7" and 40mm AA guns.

Those guns may be needed in Rangoon or Sydney.

3" morters, AT Guns, AA guns, Bren Teams, Vickers MMG's, Bren and Lewis AAMG's all are in short supply...

Andy


Thanks for the information on up-grades. I didn't realise that upgrading was done this way. As a newbie, I sort of guessed that one day I would click on a unit and suddenly find that it had received 25-pdrs.
In the case of Malaya, there must have been reasonably large supplies of equipment already in place because when the shooting started, within days, many units were re-equipped. Also, when units lost equipment, such as 2-pdr AT guns and 25-pdrs, they were replaced within 24 hours. Admittedly, Percival gave the AIF priority over all other ground units in Malaya, so they may have got the best deal.
I know I'm going to look stupid asking this, but is this the way it will work in AE, or does it already work this way in WITP?






Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 6:00:45 PM)

Sorry the Argylls are viewed as 100% battle ready the Australians less so but better than the norm.

The Australians are lower experience partly because they recieved a draft of undertrained replacements just prior to the war beginning (the AIF in the M/E retrained a lot of replacements they recieved - 8th Div did not have time to do this)

Pecking order among allied units in Malaya is 1. Argylls then the Australian Bdes - remember the Australians will pick up a few points of XP from rear area training before the Japanese get close to them to reflect training status - they also have most of the very few AT guns in Malaya and pretty much the only 25 pounders (albeit not at full strength).

Basically the Australian units are closer to full strength and TOE than almost any other unit in Malaya - also as they start under Malay Command covering the south and they have high prep levels they will gain xp before the Japanese get there - ironically Indina Bdes also have some prep levels but for the wrong places - 8th Bde gets kicked out of Kota quickly so prep is wasted and the units at Alor Star are prepped for an impossible attack accross the border !!!

Neither of these forces is rated at the same level as the Japanese in the attack they are at the same level as the Imp Guards Div but other Jap forces have higher xp.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Enginemount


quote:

ORIGINAL: Andy Mac

p.s. in stock allied forces Malaya were given higher ratings because movement was so easy so they had to be more combat ready than they actually were - stock made one set of compromises to get the game to work I am sure I have made a different set


Thanks for the information about the values.
It's true that movement was incredibly easy for the British, given the road system. Japanese air superiority really didn't affect this because most road movement was carried-out at night. Units and subunits regularly criss-crossed the peninsula in one night.

What I am concerned about is not the actual values as they stand, but how units compare to each other. The stock WITP values, after I searched around, yielded some pretty weird comparisons. I couldn't understand how some peacetime US garrison unit in Hawaii (Burt Lancaster not withstanding) could have a better rating than the Australians in Malaya at the start of the war. Moreover, the 8th Div AIF in Malaya was rated no better than the militia units in Sydney and Melbourne.

It's great to see that you have recognised the 2nd Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Primarily due to their presence in the brigade, the 12th Bde was considered by Percival to be the best Indian unit in Malaya, and was consequently kept in reserve. Also kept in reserve were the two Australian Brigades, which percival considered to be the best and most reliable units of all his ground forces.

What I don't understand, is why the Argylls and the Australians are considered to be not battle ready. These were units that had undergone rigorous and realistic training in the actual Malayan environment for relatively substantial and certainly sufficient periods. The Argylls for more than two years, the 22nd Bde AIF for eleven months and the 27th Bde for four months. And before commencing their training in Malaya, the Australians had already had more than a year of training designed to make them ready for service with the other AIF units already in action. So these were no half-trained recruits like the poor young Indians. All of these units rejected the colonial, garrison mindset of the other British and Indian units in Malaya and took their training into the jungle and rubber plantations.

Their training was validated when these units actually came into contact with the Japanese. The Argyll's performance is now almost legendary. My area of study, however, concerns the Australians. On the Malayan Peninsula the Australians, in every case, inflicted far higher casualties upon the Japanese than they received. In virtually all cases they retained the initiative, which allowed them to conduct a controlled, delaying defence and withdrawal. It has been said that they "bettered" the Japanese on every occasion. Whilst the operational situation and the numerical odds may have gone against them, unit for unit, the Australians proved themselves to be superior to the Japanese.

By the time they came to defend Singapore Island, some of these units had ceased to exist. The 2/19th and 2/29th Bns had been virtually annihilated between Muar and Parit Sulong, and the 2/18th Bn had lost a complete rifle company in one action. 1,900 replacements were rushed to Singapore. All of them were pretty much recruits, and many of them had been in the Army for just 2 weeks! Even in the defence of the Island the Australians performed well, given impossible tasks alocated to them. Especially relevant to the workings of WITP is the way in which logistical and support units quickly organised themselves into effective combat units.

OK, I apologise for the, once again, long-winded posting. I have a huge amount of research to support my contention, but the bottom-line is that the Australians and the Argylls should be rated at least as highly, if not higher than the best of the Japanese. Of course this will have little effect on the overall outcome of the Malayan Campaign, but will at least cause the Allied player to conserve and marshall his combat units far more realistically, and more like the real commander did.







Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 6:05:35 PM)

That is correct but by turning off replacements for all units except the ones you want to get your stocks of devices you can control which units get the devices.

In Malaya they had low stocks but what happened was a lot of new kit was transported into the island various units in India were stripped of equipment and it was rushed forward.

e.g. the two Indian Bdes sent from India arrive fully equipped the Australians have a lot of equipment (some disabled) but they need time to get ready time they get if the Japanese land in the North.

What I have yet to test in AE is the Mersing or Johore gambit



quote:

ORIGINAL: Enginemount


quote:

ORIGINAL: Andy Mac

"Could we see a timetable for ground-force equipment up-grades? Some Australian artillery units started the campaign with 3-inch mortars, whilst others started with the 18-pounders as listed in WITP. All of these units had been re-equipped with 25-pounders, by the time they commenced action with the Japanese."

Not easily because which units recieve the few 25 pounders in theatre is a player led decision.

Basically key modern equipment will trickle into operation until the first big convoys arrive. Lots of units will need these scarce devices. In Malaya and Rangoon even the Inf Squads are not up to TOE with les Brens per section than they should have if they were all up to TOE.

Aus and NZ militia need re equipping as do forces in Rangoon and Burma as do forces in India. Even the Canadians need CW equipment.

As a player its your choice which units get the front line equipment and its not an easy choice. If giving the CW forces in Malaya a few of your limited AT guns and modern Arty pieces means that Malaya hangs on for a week extra it may be worth it.

AA guns are another making Singapore into a low level flak trap is very possible but only by accepting the loss of valuable 3.7" and 40mm AA guns.

Those guns may be needed in Rangoon or Sydney.

3" morters, AT Guns, AA guns, Bren Teams, Vickers MMG's, Bren and Lewis AAMG's all are in short supply...

Andy


Thanks for the information on up-grades. I didn't realise that upgrading was done this way. As a newbie, I sort of guessed that one day I would click on a unit and suddenly find that it had received 25-pdrs.
In the case of Malaya, there must have been reasonably large supplies of equipment already in place because when the shooting started, within days, many units were re-equipped. Also, when units lost equipment, such as 2-pdr AT guns and 25-pdrs, they were replaced within 24 hours. Admittedly, Percival gave the AIF priority over all other ground units in Malaya, so they may have got the best deal.
I know I'm going to look stupid asking this, but is this the way it will work in AE, or does it already work this way in WITP?








Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/17/2008 7:58:54 PM)

It's true about stripping other units for the good of the Australians. Many units that passed through the Australian lines on their way south, had their equipment removed and given to the Australian units.
As for the Australian artillery regiments, their histories state that they had the full complement of guns when they first went into action. And it is sad for me to admit, as an ex-infantryman, but it was the artillery that inflicted by far the greatest casualties on the Japanese. Moreover, they achieved this despite disfunctional communications with the forward troops.
The great influx of undertrained reinforcements (some having enlisted, off the street 2 weeks prior to arriving in Singapore) occurred just before the Japanese attack on Singapore Island. Prior to commencement of hostilities in December, the 8th Division had regularly received a limited number of reinforcements, who were then processed through divisional and then brigade reinforcement training establishments and finally released to battalions. Reinforcements prior to commencement of fighting on the Malayan Peninsula had little negative impact on the effectiveness of the Australian units.
I too would like to see what would have happened if the Japanese had tried a Johore or Mersing gambit. I think that Mersing would have achieved little, since that was exactly what the British expected, and although the British did little to prepare for the Japanese, what little they did was done here. As for Johore, I dare say that the Japanese could have pinched-off the forces on the peninsula and caused havoc on the Island with a relatively small force. Total speculation of course.
On the speculation front, I wonder how pre-ordained the fall of Singapore is in WITP. The Island fell primarily because there were very few left to defend it. In spite of myths to the contrary, in terms of effective fighting troops, the defenders were grossly outnumbered. and the length of coastline to be defended was impossible. But what if the units that were lost to no real purpose on the Peninsula were withdrawn to the Island to prepare defences, whilst a delaying withdrawal was carried-out to gain a little bit of time. And what if all air assets, throughout the Far East, were concentrated on the Island's numerous airfields. And to cap it off, a greater number of units and supplies were to be rushed from India. How long could the Island have held-out? After all, Percival, who was not the completely gormless scapegoat that he is often made-out to be, envisaged a long siege with the Japanese unable to assault across the Straits. It may not have been a fortress, but there was no military reason why Singapore had to drop into the hands of the Japanese just because they had conquered the Peninsula.




JeffroK -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 1:58:22 AM)

Gday Enginemount,

You raise some interesting comments.

My thougt is that exp pts is only relevant if you know what pts are allocated to the japanese divisions, 30-35 might be high or low.  IMHO, the Brit & Aussie troops got good Press, unit histories we can read etc. Many of the Indian units fought well in their first battles, but lack of unit cohesion saw them incapable of holding any further, maybe the exp/morale mix can handle this.

Yep, the late and barely trained reinforcements arrived late, about the same time as the bulk of 18 Div. They were responsible for much of the reputation the Aussies got for bad behaviour.

Singapore a certainty to fall, I wonder what would have happened if the Allied dipositons were reversed with a heavier concentration in the west with the fresher 18 Div, story goes the japanese had little artillery ammo left at the surrender??

Andy, have you included the 75mm guns in the Aussie AT Rgt?   Might be wasted effort as they had no ammo anyway!




Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 9:17:58 AM)

Hello JeffK,

Good point about 18 Div, and not only that, but Percival ordered all the limited defence stores removed from the Northwest coast and sent to the Northeast coast. Just before the Japanese assault on the Island, he ordered all of it all back to the West, but by then it was too late.

The idea that the Japanese were down to their last artillery shells when Percival surrendered is a bit of a story played-up by the Japanese to elevate the image of their victory. Nevertheless, they had expended an enormous amount, especially in the heavy and continuous bombardment that preceded their cross-Strait assault. If their initial assault had failed, they wouldn't have been able to give the same level of artillery prep for a second one.

My main point about the certainty of Singapore falling, is that it needn't have got itself into the situation where 3 understrength bns (reinforced with basic recruits), had to defend 13 kms of ragged mangrove swamp coastline (I've been there and there isn't a field of fire better than 20 m anywhere), against an assault force of 16 bns with 5 bns in support. If the British had given-up on mainland Malaya, and withdrawn all units into "Fortress Singapore" before the Japanese could destroy them piecemeal, there would have been a lot more to defend the coastline of the Island. And they would have been fresher and would have had more time to prepare the defences.

Of course all of this is fantasy in alternate history and there are many more factors to consider, but I'm hoping that WITP will give me a realistic means to explore it. Right now I am trying an experiment: hunkering down in Singapore and sending everything available in the region. Lots of supply, ground forces from India and all the aircraft that I can find. Incidentally, Singapore is actually a very large island, and the facilities were in place to handle far larger forces than were present in 41-42.

My fear is that the fall of Singapore is somehow pre-ordained by the system, and that by the end of February, regardless of my forces and position in Singapore, they will all suddenly surrender or be overcome.




Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 9:30:42 AM)

Andy,
One quick question.
Will the 2/4th Machine Gun Bn be available in AE? They arrived just before the attack on Singapore Island and were an extremely effective force multiplier for the units to which its MG platoons were attached.




JeffroK -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 11:46:22 AM)

Not meaning to steal Andy's job, I think you will find the Corps troops, 2/3 & 2/4 MG Bns et al are seperate units.

This will allow you to send them wherever you need them, not just Singapore.

I am looking forward to great detail in this, plus with the ability to mod the game be able to make any changes which my warped mind requires.




Andy Mac -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 5:07:02 PM)

Yes they are seperate was just doing the AI last night for those forces so I know they exist as well as some other weird and wonderfull little detachments




Enginemount -> RE: Malayan Ground Force Values (6/18/2008 6:58:00 PM)

As a new boy I'm still enjoying the pleasures of the existing WITP. But this AE expanison is looking better and better.




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