From: Ashington, England.
Hello all. Just finished reading through the AAR.
It has been a privilege to take part in this epic encounter, and I think Dan has already summed up most of the game in his comments. However if anyone has any specific questions for me I will try my best to answer them.
Thanks, one quick comment and a couple of questions.
It seems that keeping the KB in one big DeathStar is the only way keep your carriers intact until the end of the game. Sorry, that airstrike hit the CVE's at the end.
Could you outline how you trained pilots?
How close were you to activating the Russians?
Where were the largest concentration of troops left (trapped)?
Were the home islands striped of airpower or did you have significant forces left to counter strategic bombing?
Did the Central Pacific have any significant defenses (Mariana's, Truk) or were these pulled back?
What would you do different during the first year of the ar?
Yep, one thing I learned reading other AAR's is to keep the KB together, even in the first few months. The Stonage vs Spruance AAR shows what happens if you split the big six up.......
One tip is to accelerate all the Unyru class CVs, halt the Taiho/Shinano, Musashi and the later subs to pay for it. With these extra 6 flight decks at least you will have parity until early 44. Convert all the CS to CVL as well, pointless having them in a search/ASW role when you have plenty of LBA to do that job.
Re your questions:
1) The Japs get plenty of training sqds. I simply filled them with replacement pilots and set them to 100% training, range 1. Once they reach overall exp 50, specific skill 70 they are ready for duty, as they gain little after this. I did not bother with TRACOM, I think its a waste of time.
I'm not sure if having a leader with high exp made much difference to the speed they trained either. I always had a ratio of at least 1 a/c for every two pilots in a training group, I think having one plane for 48 pilots is rather gamey.
2) I always made sure I had enough troops in place to avoid a Russian activation. IMO this would be a disaster for Japan, as it leaves the HI open to strategic bombing. I'm not sure why any Jap player would want to invade Russia, far too much risk for little gain.
3) I had large pockets left in Bangcock, Singapore and Hong Kong, but these were mostly restricted units that could not be air lifted out. Java was almost empty. Look after your air transports if playing as Japan, they are vital later in the game. Build plenty of the H8K-2L, these monsters can lift a large unit in a few days.
4) The JAAF fighter units were still in good shape with plenty of trained pilots in reserve. I was producing approx 500 fighters a month but this would have gone down as my HI reserve ran out (I'm guessing around Jul/Aug 45). The few B29 raids that had taken place had been surprisingly ineffective.
5) Cenpac was a total non-event, just like in our WITP game. I did have a Div at the bigger bases early in the game but most of these were shipped to China or the PI by the end of the game. Most of the bigger islands were left with around 100AV each.
6) I have seen several comments saying I did not expand far enough in the game. This was simply not possible due to the early CV battle near Suyabaya (the one which had to be replayed). I suffered heavy damage to several CVs that put them out of the game for months, so covering any far off invasion was likely to be very risky.
Can I just add the difference in outcomes from the replay of that turn was not great - Dans losses were identitcal whilst I lost one less CVL and a couple of the bigger CVs took less damage, although of course this still had knock on consequences for the rest of the game.