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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 8:36:25 PM   
Q-Ball


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Playing Japan IMO is tougher for that reason: There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Every day you lose ground, and you are guaranteed, no matter what happens, to get knocked around at some point.

It's also psychologically easier early-on as Allies, because you "expect" to lose Singapore and the DEI, so it doesn't "feel" like a defeat. In fact, you probably thought holding onto Singapore until Feb 10 was a "victory"; small consolation to the POWs.

Still, I like a challenge, so that's why I play Empire almost always (except that game v Cuttlefish, that will probably be my only Allied game)

< Message edited by Q-Ball -- 8/26/2010 8:43:04 PM >


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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 8:40:09 PM   
witpqs


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Congratulations to both you and Miller!!!



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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 8:52:21 PM   
Q-Ball


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Who does everyone think "Won"? If anyone?

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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 8:54:33 PM   
witpqs


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Who does everyone think "Won"? If anyone?


The fans, the fans!

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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 9:13:47 PM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Q-Ball

Who does everyone think "Won"? If anyone?

My unvarnished opinion? I think Miller held out long enough and in good enough shape to reduce this to a phyrric victory for Miller.

HOWEVER-I think some of Miller's strategic success may have been due to odd gameplay bugs, advantageous OOBs (Scenario 2 vs. 1), mandated replay of a sweeping victory (naval battle of Soerbaja)-reduced to a near draw after replay, unusually vicious submarine warfare, strategic bombing in China, nuclear artillery in same and so forth.

With these gameplay roadblocks to Allied victory in mind, perhaps an overall draw is my 'grade' for this one.

I certainly agree with my Argletonian colleague re: the REAL winners-the AAR readers. No question about that.



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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 9:19:23 PM   
Canoerebel


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It's hard for me to be objective, but here's my thoughts.

Chickenboy's analysis is right on, and he shows remarkable recall to boot. How he kept such close tabs on the game is beyond me. He must be a heckuva veterinarian with a memory like that.

I'd call the game a draw purely from a me vs. him standpoint. I gained strategic surprise on Miller only twice in the game: (1) the Kuriles invasion - and that turned into a Japanese victory both because I made mistakes and Miller reacted violently, and (2) the invasion of China - my best move of the game and a complete success. But as a whole the match was tense and close and bitterly contested.

From an Allies vs. Japan standpoint, the Allies were in good position to finsih off Japan. As Miller noted above, his Navy was basically gone. The Allies also had the necessary bases to engage in strategic wafare for the remainder of the game, and Miller says he had about four months of supply to work with.

Here's another way of looking at it: From a tactical standpoint, Miller won this game. From a strategic standpoint, I might give the nod to the Allies, but not by any overwhelming margin.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 9:36:16 PM   
Q-Ball


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I missed big chunks of the AAR at various times, but my overall thoughts:

1. I thought the first half of 1942 was all Dan. Miller's offensive in the DEI was fairly slow, which delayed follow-on offensives so much he couldn't do any. I feel Miller could and should have moved alot faster early-on.
2. That being said, Miller made Dan pay for sticking his neck out too early, and sinking most of the USN CVs. Though bloody exchanges in the long run favor the Allies, in 1942 they favor Japan. The IJN has greater ability to replace lost aircraft, and the IJN has a "Second team" of CVLs that the USN does not have. As a result, Dan squandered his early advantage.
3. Miller did a consistently nice job at "the little things" like pilot training and Subs, which paid dividends
4. The Kuriles was a nice reaction by Miller (though that is decidedly "Home Turf" for Japan, and very dangerous for Allies)
5. Dan won in Southeast Asia, and managed to eventually muscle through

Hard to say who "won"

The Allies WILL break-through eventually, and by 1945 should have bombing platforms within range of Japan.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 9:44:44 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

It's hard for me to be objective, but here's my thoughts.

Chickenboy's analysis is right on, and he shows remarkable recall to boot. How he kept such close tabs on the game is beyond me. He must be a heckuva veterinarian with a memory like that.

I'd call the game a draw purely from a me vs. him standpoint. I gained strategic surprise on Miller only twice in the game: (1) the Kuriles invasion - and that turned into a Japanese victory both because I made mistakes and Miller reacted violently, and (2) the invasion of China - my best move of the game and a complete success. But as a whole the match was tense and close and bitterly contested.

From an Allies vs. Japan standpoint, the Allies were in good position to finsih off Japan. As Miller noted above, his Navy was basically gone. The Allies also had the necessary bases to engage in strategic wafare for the remainder of the game, and Miller says he had about four months of supply to work with.

Here's another way of looking at it: From a tactical standpoint, Miller won this game. From a strategic standpoint, I might give the nod to the Allies, but not by any overwhelming margin.


I applaud your graciousness in redoing the turn in which the Allies first won the Java Sea battle. I know a replay bug forced the re-do but a less gracious player might have insisted his opponent carry out the same moves for the turn. Sportsmanship is so rare these days!

I wasn't so much surprised by your move to China as the timing of it. You had just won some hard battles in the DEI and had shakey toeholds on either side of the path to China. A less gutsy player might have paused to consolidate a bit and widen the path, but you made the leap of faith right into the lion's den.
Turned out your judgement that the lion was sick was bang on! But then, we should expect gutsy moves from a man who canoes in alligator infested waters ...

Chickenboy, are you saying WITPQS is the owner of that muddy field??? http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/nov/03/google




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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 10:09:53 PM   
crsutton


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Well, it was great fun following this AAR and you really paved the way all of us other AFBs to follow. I would have to say the biggest benefit to me is that your experiences have schooled me on the Allied strengths and limitations. It is nice to have somebody pave the way and go deep into a campaign.

"Canoerebel; he gets trashed so the rest of us don't have to".

Looking forward to yours and QBall's AARs as well.

I would give Miller a draw here due to your massive ship losses. There would have been political hell to pay back in the states for all those poor souls lost at sea. You proved that the Allied player can "damn the torpedoes" and forge ahead and take the losses and bull to a win. However, I have always felt that major ship and troop losses in the last year of the war should cost the Allied much more in VP. Likewise, the Japanese player should be rewarded for preserving his fleet and losses in the last year should cost little or nothing as he is out of hiding places.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  losses          

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RE: Winding Up - 8/26/2010 10:11:24 PM   
JohnDillworth


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quote:

Who does everyone think "Won"? If anyone?

Tactical Japanese, Strategic Allies. Much of that is built in to the game, but both players maximized the advantages that their sides gave them. Miller took advantage of every nuance but also maximized production, submarines, CA's pilot training and concentration of force. CR kept up the pressure and refused to back off if even when losing tons of transports ships and aircraft. The loss of Japanese BB's early continued to hurt. CR was strategically bold and the China gambit is probably the most significant, successful gamble I have seen in any AAR. A conditional draw.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 1:21:46 AM   
pat.casey

 

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Thanks guys this was a very exciting AAR to read.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 2:28:58 AM   
AcePylut


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quote:

Miller and I have pretty compatible schedules since he's five hours ahead most of the year. He could play when he got off work (or before he went) while I can play at work. With that kind of schedule and two-day turns, we blew through the game pretty fast. I think we started last October?


Greeat AAR, good game between yous twos!

Just one question though....

Can I have your job please, so that I can play games at work :)

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 3:31:32 AM   
Chickenboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

Chickenboy's analysis is right on, and he shows remarkable recall to boot. How he kept such close tabs on the game is beyond me. He must be a heckuva veterinarian with a memory like that.

Your kindness is unwarranted, I assure you. Your disappointments with the game engine were...lets just say 'well documented' in the AAR.

Your writing style is easy to follow and easier to remember. Your occupational experience as a writer / editor clearly shows. I found myself doing what I do with well-written AARs-plotting and strategizing against your moves: "If he moves here next would I have seen it?" "What would I do in Miller's position?" This AAR was good training for everyone else-crsutton is right.

The Soerbaja carrier battle stands out to me 'cause I think you got jobbed on that deal. Nothing against Miller, but you got worked by the game. You should have annihilated his carrier force whilest in port. A coup de grace in 1942! Hurrah for you for a bold strike-as bold as any I'd seen! Alas, it turned into a draw at best.

I do have one outstanding question though: Would you would indulge me a 'what if'?

A few months ago (in game time), I suggested a left hook up towards Rangoon / N. Malaya / Thailand with 6-8 divisions and support instead of slugging it out in the central DEI. I wonder if this would have cut Thailand faster and allowed you to initiate your China gambit (good move there BTW) sooner. What do you think of the "Thailand first" alternative in your game?

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 3:58:43 AM   
Canoerebel


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy
A few months ago (in game time), I suggested a left hook up towards Rangoon / N. Malaya / Thailand with 6-8 divisions and support instead of slugging it out in the central DEI. I wonder if this would have cut Thailand faster and allowed you to initiate your China gambit (good move there BTW) sooner. What do you think of the "Thailand first" alternative in your game?


Actually, I think your suggestion came more like a year ago, game time. It was sometime after I had embarked on the DEI operations. I had a bunch of troops on the way to reinforce, and you posed the possibility of diverting them to SEAC for the reasons you mentioned above. At least that's as best I can recall.

The main reason that I didn't follow your suggestion at the time was that I could "feel" how things were going to develop if I stuck to my original plan. I was intrigued by the Thailand idea, but I just didn't have a good enough feel for how it would turn out.

In the final analysis, I think the route chosen worked better. The Allies would have broken through in Thailand much faster with reinforcments, but even had they made the Vietnam coast, supply would have been a real pain. There are no good road connections, and I couldn't supply by sea unless I took Singapore or Palembang and Batavia. That would have turned into a harder campaign than the one chosen.

By pushing through the DEI and then pouncing on China, it was a rough go, but it did give me a direct (well, more or less) route to supply.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 5:45:02 AM   
Kiith

 

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Kudos to both you and Miller for a well played War. Like a few others I’d struggle to pick a clear winner since you both had your moments so an honourable draw is a fine result. I'd also like to add that I really enjoy your AAR style so thanks again for all the time and effort you put into them, and best of luck in the current conflict with Qball.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 6:49:47 AM   
CaptBeefheart


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Well done. Thanks for the highly informative and entertaining AAR with its titanic clashes all over the map. Plenty of kudos goes to your opponent as well for keeping this a draw, at least in VP terms.

Cheers,
CC

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 7:39:48 AM   
scalp

 

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can you post some stats of your and his air and nval losses at the last turn?!

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 11:29:30 AM   
FatR

 

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Considering, that Japanese benefitted from certain early-version goodies, like decent artillery, and Allies did not due to the game being patched before they were in the position of strength, and the replayed turn, that saved Japanese from an early crushing naval defeat, I'd call this game a draw.

Once again I should note, that the turning point of the game, in my opinion, was not Allied entrenchment in DEI. This campaign was a grindfest, that saw titanic (for that stage of the game) Allied ship losses and relatively slight Japanese, until Japan ran out of troops to create a new defensive line in Western DEI. And it did because Allied broke through from Burma, so ultimately unsuccessful attempts to contain them in Indochina pulled a lot of Japanese reinforcements. This allowed Canoerebel to take bases control of which severed Japanese oil flow against minimal-to-nonexistent resistance in late 1944 and paved way for the invasion of China. But before that the campaign actually was both quite slow and put less hurt on Japanese fleet than the invasion of Curiles. Allies would have overran key points in DEI in the end even without the Burma breaktrough, but probably not before 1945. Which would have made the game a Japanese "win".

I still believe that the invasion of China that finished the game was an exceedingly risky move which success was predicated on Miller's tactical mistake (and on luck that finally favored Allies).

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 1:12:17 PM   
nicwb

 

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Great AAR!

Sorry to see it end. I found Miller's continued use of whatever raiders he could muster at the end impressive-he really did well not to completely surrender the tactical initiative and go solely on the defensive. It must be very hard to play the Japanese in the '44-45 period after loosing most of your CV's.

I also liked Canoerebels exploring of non-historic options such as the Kuriles and China.

Don't know what i'm going to do for a read now (focus on Canoerebel's new AAR I guess)

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 1:59:35 PM   
Panther Bait


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Great job with the AAR as always. It was informative reading about the exploits of two great competitors.

Mike

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 2:07:25 PM   
Canoerebel


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I am pleasantly surprised that so many of you can recite events from three years ago game time. I know it's hard to play the game and to follow the AARs of others, so I just didn't expect this level of attention. Thank you. And I'll do my best in the AAR with Q-Ball.

Some comments about important points of the game:

1. Two Disagreements: Miller and I had a few strong disagreements during the course of the game. Most recently, he objected to my use of solo-DDs to scout enemy waters west of Borneo. Prior to that the situation in China - mainly the effect of "nuclear artillery," but also the destruction of the Chinese economy by strategic bombing - caused great angst on my part. I made things tough on Miller, because on the one hand I urged "No house rules, do your worst;" but, after we had put months into the game and discovered that there was no possible way to defend China against the twin Japanese scourges, I changed my mind. But I did a very poor job articulating my feelings to Miller and left him rather confused. We even terminated the game for a few weeks in November.

2. The Re-Do on the Allied Carrier Victory in Java in '42: There was no way to fix this problem. Every time Miller ran the replay, the game crashed. So we had to re-do the turn. Unfortunately for the Allies, the re-do was far less of an Allied victory. But there was nothing else that Miller could do, so I had no qualms with this.

3. Pilot Training: The Japanese airforce remained nearly the equal of the Allied airforce utnil the end of the game in April 1945. That should not be. I assume that the source of the problem was my total failure to engage in pilot training. The Allies had total superiority of the seas, but the failure to gain control of the air kept the Allies in check throughout the game and really ramped up my losses.

4. Two-Day Turns: Love these - LOVE THEM! But I love them to much, I confess. We were moving so quickly, and I wanted to get through the game so badly, that I cut alot of corners and flipped turns almost instantaneously. I didn't watch combat replays for the last year-plus of the game and often times I ignored for weeks at a time entire sectors of the map over the past six months of the game. I also refused to engage pilot training and stopped setting search arcs many months ago. I stopped paying attention to many, many details. This hurt me in the game, but helped us move the game along at break-neck speed. I think one-day turns may be preferable in that they impose a little more moderation, which, in turn, seems to encourage more attention to detail.

5. Turning Point: The turning point came very, very late in the game - autumn of 1944. Miller committed the KB against a huge Allied invasion armada as it approached the southwest cape of Borneo. This was understandable - he was sure that Palembang or Singapore were the targets. Had he withheld the KB for awhile, attacking when my ships were in no-man's-land on the way to Hainan Island, the battle would have been bloody and Allied losses would have been higher. This would have blunted and slowed the ensuing Allied offensive in China. I think had Miller withheld the KB, the results would have been dramatic enough that most readers would have declared the game a Japanese victory by the time it ended.

6. Bad Allied Decisions: By far the worst decision I made in the game was the invasion of Luganville in June 1942. It was awful because I dragged things out so long that Miller knew exactly when and where I was going and had a huge reception awaiting. That and the dreaded carriers-react-against-orders feature combined to devastate the Allied carrier fleet. I actually think the invasion of the Kuriles in March 1943 was a good move, though it ended badly. I achieved strategic surprise and put good troops ashore, but through mismanagement of my fleet and some uber shoreguns I lost most of my supply transports. The other factor was that the invasion released a large number of home guard units - I hadn't realized this would happen - which allowed Miller to put together a counter-invasion when he otherwise couldn't have for much longer. That operation came pretty close to being an outstanding and crippling victory.

7. For want of a nail the shoe was lost: The Kuriles did have one very fortunate benefit. Miller sent in a four-BB combat TF. Somehow, thigns went awry and all four of those BBs got sunk. It started with small things like a PT boat getting lucky with a TT. It was at this point that the serious depletion of the IJN began.

8. Say What?! I reached a pont of utter frustration soon after the massive Battle of Morotai in November 1943. That carrier battle turned out very badly for the Allies - again, the react-against-orders feature was a killer - and was licking my wounds. Then, a strong Allied combat force anchored by BB South Dakota, encountered a weak IJN combat force anchored by a CL. The Japanese TF sank South Dakota. That one nearly drove me to drink.

9. Thanks, General Sherman! The Allies were largely ignoring Burma when I got the idea of using my very weak force to try and outmaneuver the Japanese force at Akyab. This succeeded there and then at Rangoon. Suddenly, a theater I had intended to ignore became the theater of greatest advance for the Allies.

10. Holy Subs! Japanese submarines attained a level of mayhem unparalleled in the history of gaming. I mean I lost an incredible amount of ships - including nearly ten BBs - to Miller's subs. In part, this was due to some code-tweaks that had unforeseen uber-sub consequences; in part it was due to Miller's use of subs; in part my failure to adapt adequate countermeasures fast enough; and in part to pure luck.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 11:20:41 PM   
JeffroK


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Well played both Dan & Miller.

It was a very interesting and exiting approach through a (previously) rarely unused direction.

The game has also put forward some questions as to the game engine, many of these resulted in patches which has made AE a better game for all, thanks.

Who won??

I would say that Dan won clearly, especially as this is Scen 2 which helps the Empire.
My view is also that Miller lost, given his extra resources he should have conquered much more and had Dan running on his external lines plugging gaps. Maybe because Dan was aggressive, and the CV raid on Soerbaja was nearly a war winner, Miller sat on his internal lines and used his originally superior force to counter attack.

In addition, as Dan admits with his lack of attention to detail, the Allied forces could have been in a better position earlier.

Also the problems in China caused both players a problem, Miller suffered because of the nuke artillery problems and his ceasefire, then Dan when his counteroffensive was stopped by the UN reminding him of a ceasefire

If someone was really smart & patient with photoshop, it would be great to see a series of campaign maps of the "war"


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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 11:33:37 PM   
Ketza


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This is one of the few reports I read almost daily and am sad that it is over. Very well done to both of you!

Its amazing how such a long game that involves so much planning and time commitment can be summed up in a few battles or that the results of a few battles can swing the whole war in one direction or another. Just like real life I suppose.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/27/2010 11:41:03 PM   
John 3rd


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It has been a magnificent read.

Dan--Your writing style and constant 'thinking' within the entries made for the read to be truly superior. I think the best AARs feature lots of thinking, questioning, realizations, and serious evaluations. You do all these in a masterful manner.



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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 3:58:12 AM   
JeffroK


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Can someone, set up a sub forum of "Classic AAR", maybe those which get the war into 1945 or have "2000" posts.

These are the result of a fantastic investment of time & effort and are a great advertisement and training aid.

(They could be "stickied" but might swamp following efforts"


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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 5:01:19 AM   
Andrew Brown


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quote:

Since my CAP and flak were pretty ineffective, the results would have been catastrophic had he been able to get everybody to coordinate.


A question if I may: Out of interest (I haven't read the entire AAR, so maybe this is already answered), what do you think is the reason for ineffective flak? Are you talking about naval flak only, or all flak?

Thanks,
Andrew

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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 5:23:07 AM   
vettim89


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andrew Brown

quote:

Since my CAP and flak were pretty ineffective, the results would have been catastrophic had he been able to get everybody to coordinate.


A question if I may: Out of interest (I haven't read the entire AAR, so maybe this is already answered), what do you think is the reason for ineffective flak? Are you talking about naval flak only, or all flak?

Thanks,
Andrew


I think Dan is specifically speaking to the poor performance on USN flak late in the war. Those of us that have played Andy Mac's Marianas scenario have noticed the same thing. At the point where it should be lethal it actually performs worse than IJN flak of the same era. Dan can elaborate but I am pretty sure that is what he was talking about

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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 9:03:53 AM   
FatR

 

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Oh, and I totally forgot to say this: thanks for the good read, Canoerebel! Not often we enjoy a well-presented AAR that goes into 1945.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 11:20:33 AM   
Houtje

 

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Well played both of you & thanks for another great read.

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RE: Winding Up - 8/28/2010 6:14:05 PM   
vettim89


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Dan,

I know this is an odd question to ask at this point, but it has to do with two day turns. How did you work the CAP at PH and Clark using two day turns for the first set of turns. Where you able to set the CAP and it did not fly on 7 december?

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