Head to Head Solo Campaign (Full Version)

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MrBoats -> Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 9:03:34 PM)

I've finished two scen. 15's against the Japanese (AI) and enjoyed them both, but after late '42 or so the outcome was obvious and it was just a matter of collecting bases and finishing off the IJN and merchant marine. Both campaigns ended in early '44. I'd like to undertake a solo head-to-head 15 and see if I can't, as the Japanese commander, give the Empire a better chance at, at least, holding on until the nukes arrive.

I think I will use a die-based system wherein I present two or three possible strategic decisions to the commanders, then choose one via a die roll. For example (as Yamamoto), whether or not to launch extra raids against Pearl harbor or to attempt an invasion of Midway. Once a strategy is assigned the commander will be committed for a certain length of time or until circumstances require another decision. It's always hard to "forget" what you know, but I think this system might lead to some interesting encounters.

Has anyone played a full campaign H2H solo? If so, what house rules have you used? I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. I hope I can finish a campaign by the time AE arrives, but I won't be broken-hearted if it's here by August!


NormS3 -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 9:16:48 PM)

Thought through like a true dice hurling rolelpayer![:D]

Wish I had thought of that

khyberbill -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 9:36:21 PM)

If you would like to go one on one against a human, I am game to be the allies.

MrBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 9:36:23 PM)

Yeah, I nearly got carpal tunnel syndrome from hurling dice, but mainly in wargaming. I devised a solo system for Squad Leader back in the 80's that worked pretty good, and I thought a similar (simpler) system might give H2H WITP a little balance.

I did have to go out and buy dice -- all of the hundreds of them I had by the late 80's were thrown out in the 90's! Damn, I wish I had those games back!

MrBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 9:42:23 PM)


Thanks for the offer. I've never tried PBEM -- it might take me a litle while to get up to speed. Otherwise, I'm game -- I have gaming time available at home and at work, and I have e-mail access at both. I'm new to the Japanese side of things, but I'd like to see if I can't plant the Rising Sun on Mt. Kilhuea (I know I've spelled that wrong). Let me check the manual and threads for PBEM basics.

NormS3 -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 10:55:39 PM)

Yeah I had gotten many via yard sales growing up. Still have dice, but many of the games were lost when my mothers shed burned down, when I was in college

Feinder -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 11:04:14 PM)

It's still gonna make it hard to pull off a surprise attack...  [;)]


MrBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 11:26:15 PM)


Yeah, that's all too true. But it might allow for a Dec. 8th -- 15th confrontation between the KB and the US carriers, if the IJN commits to seeking them out and Nimitz commits to ordering them back to PH ASAP. I've never had the AI do anything other than order the KB back to Japan immediately. As Nimitz/Halsey I generally order the carriers to give the KB a wide berth and return to Pearl via Johnston (where, by the way, my Dad spent some time with the USN). No strategic surprises, but perhaps a tactical upset now and then, resulting in a Midway-style battle. I don't know -- it's too early to tell. But just about anything would be better than another predictable game vs. the AI.

TulliusDetritus -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/25/2008 11:49:51 PM)

MrBoats, yes, I am H2H freak [8D] I started my current game on july (so 11 months ago). I use some rules. I may share my "system" so feel 100% free to PM and ask whatever you want [:)]

PBEMs are obviously much much much better... but some of us er... don't want to think every bloody day "holy sh**, I must send again one (or 2 or 3) turn today..."

Knavey -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/26/2008 9:21:43 AM)


ORIGINAL: TulliusDetritus

PBEMs are obviously much much much better... but some of us er... don't want to think every bloody day "holy sh**, I must send again one (or 2 or 3) turn today..."

Actually, its more like "Where is my turn...how come I don't have a turn in my box!!!???" That is normally what ends up happening when you become addicted to PBEM.

panda124c -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/26/2008 8:08:38 PM)



It's still gonna make it hard to pull off a surprise attack... [;)]


Dual personality is the way to go (I know the correct word but we are way to lazy to look up the correct spelling) [:D]

wernerpruckner -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/26/2008 8:18:05 PM)

fremen played a head to head solo campaign with a wonderful AAR ( until he screwed up the japanese industry )

Andvari -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/27/2008 4:12:52 AM)

I started out playing a PBEM (as Japanese), but it only lasted a few turns. Now I'm playing both sides/H2H. When I get stumped, I send Ops, Combat and Asigint Reports to my brother or cousin to reposition TFs, LCUs, and air units. The sigint is usually a little meatier with hints to impending attacks.

I use MrBoats system "wherein I present two or three possible strategic decisions to the commanders, then choose one via a die roll." This is generally only for the Allies, as I have worked out Japanese Strategy several months in advance.

Just using a few House Rules: except when moving PT boats from one base to another, no PT boats in a task force with other ships; no Corsair's allowed on US CV's until 1/44, except for transport missions; no Night Bombing; 4 Engine Bombers must attack above 10,000 feet (Flak Gap Rule); PDU on but no 2E conversions to 4E except with Historical precedents; no Japanese 1E to 2E. I think that's it, but don't have the HRs at hand.
Still only 8 days in...only play about an hour a day.

1275psi -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (6/27/2008 4:42:58 AM)

Ive basically given up on playing the AI while I wait for turns -have 2 head to head games going -and I am learning an awful lot -I admit surprise attacks are pretyy hard[:D], but tactically you learn a lot in seeing the effects of land combat ect.

In one game I just chose -Japan is going to follow this strategy at the start -and the allies atotally different one -and lets see what happens.

The other one is just a muck around -got into the editor to build "a fantasy fleet" ect ect ect[8|][8|][8|][8|][8|]

It fills the time while Cantona or tabpub is asleep!

TulliusDetritus -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/4/2008 1:10:51 AM)

Mr Boats, I have sent a PM (with the H2H tips), but er, it looks like you have disabled the "PM thing": I mean, you cannot receive PMs [8D]

Well, I paste it here then =>

First of all, sorry if I haven't sent my tips before. I was busy and could not write this doc. Well, the first thing when you think about a H2H game. "Surprise, uncertainty are impossible". Obviously true. But I think there are some workarounds (at least it works for me).

First thing: Operations. How to launch them and when? Here I follow a tip given by a contributor from these forums. Years ago, he said something like this (someone asked on the forums about H2H games): "let's say you want to start an operation. You will have to use a dice. The limit line: 4 weeks (this is arbitrary, you might say 5 or 6). On the first week you will have of possibilities of launching the operation; on the second week ; on the third. If you fail each time then on the 4th week you AUTOMATICALLY launch that operation.

Ok, so you launch an operation. Since you are in charge of both sides, you obviously know what's coming. Will you send your forces en masse to intercept the enemy? If you are the Japanese: NO. In order to react, FIRST you MUST detect the TFs coming (your patrol planes that is). If you are the Allies, I merely follow history. As you already know - I guess - the American code breakers cracked the Japanese codes. BUT after the death of Yamamoto (april 1943), the Japanese finally realized (quite late though) that the Americans were cracking such codes and therefore changed them. In other words, until april 1943, the Allies are aware of ALL the Japanese movements and CAN react = possibility of ambushes ( la Midway).

Now we know how and when to launch operations and what the other side will be doing. So what about the engagements? We have obviously a problem here, as you will inmediately notice. Let's take a naval engagement. The Japanese send 4 DDs. But hey, the normal thing is: the opponent will try to send overwhelming forces! And since you know that 4 enemy destroyers are coming you might send (why not?) 2 CAs + 8 DDs! In other words, we have a serious problem here, since the passive side (the one which moves the second) naturally tends to send huge, superior forces.

So here is my "solution". When you will be reacting (or "passive" player), you will have 3 possibilities (just use a dice):
1) you will send a relatively inferior force = 1 or 2
2) you will send a relatively similar force = 3 or 4
3) you will send a relatively superior force = 5 or 6

[needless to say, the "relatively inferior, etc." thing is indeed arbitrary, subjective. Just use common sense]

In fact, you can apply this last rule to land and air engagements too. Let's say the Allies send one regiment to hex y. A dice will decide wether the Japanese send an "inferior (1 Bn?), similar (1 Rgt) or superior (2 Rgts or 1 Div?)" force or not. I guess you get the picture.


F6frc -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/4/2008 3:39:47 AM)

I think the best part of the game is the surprise of what happens, kinda lose that when you know what's gonna happen. OTOH.... at least you will win!

kokubokan25 -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/4/2008 12:20:25 PM)



fremen played a head to head solo campaign with a wonderful AAR ( until he screwed up the japanese industry )

It's true! A long ago....[:D]

Basically simply try to thinking as allied Supreme command when play allied and japanese supreme command when play like japanese.
The first part of the play its easy, because the japanese simply must taken all the DEI.
After i used a system very similar to old PACIFIC WAR of VICTORY GAMES, asigning "command points" to japanese operations.
Obviously, in head to head game it's impossible the "carrier embuscade" Midway type.

MisterBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/5/2008 9:40:05 PM)


First, thanks for the info. -- I really appreciate the work.

Second, an explanation: I was trying to update my e-mail address for MrBoats and somehow locked myself out of my own account! I can't figure out how to get back in (and am too embarassed to ask the techies) so I reincarnated MrB. I've been "with" Matrix from the beginning but I guess I'm back to raw recruit status once again. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Your system makes a lot of sense and I will put it to use. I am spending many hours on the Japanese setup, using all of the utilities and tips I've found at Spooky's site. I don't know when I'll actually start the campaign, but it will be all the better for the preparation. I'm tempted to give the IJN a little advanced intel of their own for Dec. 7th (knowledge of the location of the carrier TF's in the Wake area) but that will depend on the luck of the dice, as well.

Thanks again -- sorry for the screw-up -- I appreciate your help.

TulliusDetritus -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/6/2008 3:27:36 PM)

Mister Boats, no problem [:)] As long as I can paste it here and you can read it, then it's fine.

For sure this "system" can be polished. And you will certainly create, develop your own rules.

"I'm tempted to give the IJN a little advanced intel of their own for Dec. 7th (knowledge of the location of the carrier TF's in the Wake area)"

Why not? It is your game after all [:)]

Oh, another thing that I forgot. I mostly talked about the passive player (the one who reacts). But even the active player can be forced to use a dice.

Because after all, as I have said we tend to concentrate mega forces. A dice may decide wether you will send a relatively small/normal/big force when you launch an offensive operation.

An exception would be if you want ro recreate a Battle of Midway. In this case, you can send a mega force = almost all the Japanese navy.

Anyway, I didn't mention it because I thought that was obvious. The Japanese are free during the first months of the war, as long as you assault historical places (Malaysia, Philipines, Dutch Indies etc.). I mean, no need of dice here. Operations are launched automatically. Now, if you play a "what if" thing, feel free to experiment.

Have fun [8D]

MisterBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 4:28:14 AM)

Some years ago I read "How they Won the War in the Pacific" -- I cannot recall the name of the author but I will post it later -- and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think it makes an excellent reference book for WITP. It gives a nearly week-by-week look at Nimitz and his admirals and staff from December '41 unti the end of the war.

I am wondering about keeping all invasion units in their bases until they have reached the 100 point prep levels for their objectives. In the scen 15's I've played I've been island-hopping like mad and I know it's not terribly "historic." Although, to be fair, I did put SWPAC on the back burner and focus on the CenPac objectives.

What about the 2nd Marine Division? What's the consensus on it's use? I think I may keep it in the US until 1/43.

bradfordkay -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 5:01:09 AM)

IIRC, the 2nd Marine Division spent the majority of 1942 protecting Samoa. Weren't they part of the January reinforcement convoy, or did they ship out a few months later?

MisterBoats -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 5:43:22 AM)


I'll have to check the unit history. I've always used them as soon as I can for garrisoning Guadalcanal, but it seems wrong to do so -- to use them before the 1st Marine Div. is available. I know that anything is technically possible in the game, but I want to keep it as realistic as possible.

bradfordkay -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 6:14:04 AM)

A website I just found says that the 2d Marine Defense Bttn, the 8th Marines and the 2d Bttn, 10th Marines arrived at Samoa on 21 January to reinforce the 7th Marine Defense Bttn that had been there since March '41. So it was one of the regiments of the 2d Marine Division that was delivered to Samoa in January.

JeffroK -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 7:10:12 AM)

Thanks for the interesting hints guys,

Some of these can also be used angianst the AI to control the push of the allies.

I try to have a garrison rule, about a RCT equivalent at all times at major bases (L4 port & AF), 2 Divs at Hawaii, 1 Div Melbourne, Sydney. NZ 1,2,3 Inf & Mtd Infantry Bdes must stay in NZ. 

This makes sure you secure your rear. (I have similar limits on Japan).

My latest adventure was a blitz on Bataan & Manila, how quickly can they be taken??

Grotius -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 7:29:33 PM)

I used to play board wargames H2H all the time. Like you, I'd assign big decisions to a die roll. Not sure why it didn't occur to me to do the same with WITP. Good idea!

NormS3 -> RE: Head to Head Solo Campaign (7/7/2008 8:07:07 PM)

Just wanted to add another thanks, especially to TulliusDetritus for all responces and ideas.  I hope to be putting together a possible set of tables, for what if's, before I start again.

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