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Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwig.modrow (A)

 
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Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwig.mo... - 9/12/2009 9:08:05 AM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
I've started my first PBeM so I had the brilliant idea to write the related AAR as well. I guess this might be of help to other newbies, but the first goal is to collect some feedback on what I'm doing wrong. So, even if I might appear to be sharing my experience with AE, I'm actually trying to take advantage of your willingness to share your own AE experiences ;)

Basic game info
Scenario 1, historical start, dec 7 surprise
standard "realistic game" settings (FoW, allied damage control, realistic R&D, unreliable torpedoes) except PDU on.
Fixed reinforcements (on hindsight I would have preferred to change this, it means I could know exactly when every new enemy capital ship becomes available).

I'll try to keep this AAR rather straight to the point, without dumping combat reports except for important battles. Ok, let's start, I just generated the results for Dec 7.

DECEMBER 7 1941
Pearl Harbor
Night: all midget subs lost.

* Morning:
Good news: KB strike encounters no CAP and most Kates used torpedoes! These are the results:
quote:

Morning Air attack on Pearl Harbor , at 180,107

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 40 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 68
B5N2 Kate x 144
D3A1 Val x 126



Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed, 6 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 2 destroyed, 8 damaged
D3A1 Val: 4 destroyed, 11 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
B-17E Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
P-40B Warhawk: 13 destroyed on ground
SBD-1 Dauntless: 6 destroyed on ground
A-20A Havoc: 3 destroyed on ground
PBY-5 Catalina: 19 destroyed on ground
R3D-2: 1 destroyed on ground
B-17D Fortress: 5 destroyed on ground
B-18A Bolo: 6 destroyed on ground
P-36A Mohawk: 4 destroyed on ground
C-33: 1 destroyed on ground
O-47A: 3 destroyed on ground

Allied Ships
AV Wright, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CA New Orleans, Bomb hits 3, on fire
BB Oklahoma, Bomb hits 6, Torpedo hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB California, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
BB Maryland, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 3, on fire, heavy damage
BB Pennsylvania, Bomb hits 10, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DM Pruitt, Bomb hits 1
BB Tennessee, Bomb hits 12, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires
BB West Virginia, Bomb hits 12, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Helm, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DM Preble, Bomb hits 1, on fire
BB Arizona, Bomb hits 6, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
CM Oglala, Bomb hits 1, on fire
AV Tangier, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
BB Nevada, Bomb hits 14, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires
AE Mauna Loa, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DM Tracy, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
DMS Wasmuth, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
ACM Buttress, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
CL Phoenix, Bomb hits 2, on fire
CA San Francisco, Bomb hits 3, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
DD Aylwin, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
AR Medusa, Bomb hits 1, on fire
CL Raleigh, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CL Helena, Bomb hits 3, on fire
DD Reid, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DM Gamble, Bomb hits 1, on fire
PT-20, Bomb hits 1, and is sunk
CL Detroit, Bomb hits 1
AO Ramapo, Bomb hits 1, on fire


Allied ground losses:
18 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 5 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Vehicles lost 1 (0 destroyed, 1 disabled)


Repair Shipyard hits 1
Airbase hits 33
Airbase supply hits 2
Runway hits 214


Ships reported as heavy damage and fires in italic, ships reported as sunk in bold. No relevant hits on shipyard, but looks like I hit a AR.

* Afternoon:
no afternoon strike by KB. :( Nevermind, the first one went well enough for me.

Force Z
* Early morning:
A C5M2 Babs spots Force Z!

* Morning:
First strike against Force Z is detected by the british but the CAP doesn't manage to scramble in time to intercept the bombers.
Repulse is reported as sunk, Prince of Wales reported as hit.
Second strike encounters CAP, but the Buffalo pilots seem to have bad morale and soon abort the mission.
Prince of Wales is reported sunk.

* Afternoon:
3 unescorted Nells attempt to attack what's left of Force Z but encounter CAP. 1 Nell lost, 2 damaged, no hit on the british destroyers.

Malaya
* Morning:
Strafing Nates encounter 2 Buffaloes on CAP over Kota Bharu. No losses for either side, but the buffalo pilots' morale seems low (either that or they didn't want to stay in a dogfight 2 vs. 30...)
Unescorted Sallies and Lilies stumble into CAP at Alor Star. I guess this boosted morale of the british pilots involved... 2 Sallies lost, a bunch of planes damaged.
Unescorted Sallies luckily find no CAP over Georgetown.

* Afternoon:
Three allied strikes on japanese ships unloading troops at Kota Bharu, total of about 30 bombers and 10 escorts involved. My CAP more or less manages to hold, no hits on ships, 10 enemy planes reported destroyed (including 2 vildebeest and 1 swordfish, which I feared most), 1 Nate lost. Again, Buffalo pilots morale seems low, a group returned to base after scoring the A2A kill.

* Evening:
Allied ground forces bombard japanese troops on the beach. Negligible casualties.

Philippine Islands
* Morning:
Escorted bomber raid on Iba only finds PAAC P-26 on CAP. A later sweep finds no enemy CAP at all.
Escorted bomber raid on Clark Field is detected but P-40s fail to scramble in time to intercept it.
Ryujo raids Davao harbor, AVD Preston reported sunk, 2 xAKL reported damaged

* Afternoon:
Escorted bomber raid on Clark Field finds light CAP and easily breaks through it.

* Evening:
Bataan falls to SNLF troops.

Other areas
Wake: Nells find no active CAP (I always lose a bunch of them to the AI!). Some wildcats destroyed on ground.

China and Hong Kong: some bombers in action, nothing noteworthy.

< Message edited by rattovolante -- 8/29/2010 9:12:08 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/12/2009 9:22:16 AM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
These are the reported plane losses. I really can't complain.
(The high Nell losses are due to attacks on Force Z)




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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/12/2009 3:12:29 PM   
Blind Sniper


Posts: 863
Joined: 8/9/2008
From: Turin, Italy
Status: offline
Ciao Ratto,

not so lucky at PH, maybe all BB's are stll alive but you sunk the Force Z at least.

In bocca al lupo!





_____________________________

WitP-AE - WitE - CWII - BASPM - BaB


(in reply to rattovolante)
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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/12/2009 3:58:02 PM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
Yes I don't think I have sunk any US BB yet - but KB took extremely light plane losses, so it can linger.
Actually I guess my opponent will expect a second strike on Dec. 8, since he knows I still have plenty of sorties (no afternoon strike on Dec 7) and planes. This might be interesting, I wonder what happens if he puts all fighters at 100% CAP but I retreat on Dec. 8, then strike back on Dec. 9...

My first turn expectations were probably influenced by playing against hard AI, I never had so few plane losses at PH.


PS: Crepi il lupo!

(in reply to Blind Sniper)
Post #: 4
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/12/2009 4:24:27 PM   
Ketza


Posts: 2227
Joined: 1/14/2007
From: Columbia, Maryland
Status: offline
Hartwig was my first WITP opponent. He is a great guy. You are lucky to be playing him.

(in reply to rattovolante)
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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/13/2009 2:18:17 PM   
bklooste

 

Posts: 1103
Joined: 4/10/2006
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quote:

ing wrong. So, even if I might appear to be sharing my experience with AE, I'm actually trying to take advantage of your willingness to share your own AE experiences ;)


Why don't you try going NW and hit any ships coming or going to the west coast should have few pilot losses and THEN on the 9th hit Pearl again and a tired CAP.

(in reply to rattovolante)
Post #: 6
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/14/2009 3:16:50 PM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Ketza

Hartwig was my first WITP opponent. He is a great guy. You are lucky to be playing him.


I already had some hints about this. ;)

quote:

ORIGINAL: bklooste

Why don't you try going NW and hit any ships coming or going to the west coast should have few pilot losses and THEN on the 9th hit Pearl again and a tired CAP.


I have considered doing something like this. Since we had an historical start, anyway, I know there are very few ships near Pearl Harbor on December 8.

This is related to something I should have told Hartwig... even if I like playing "historical", I'm approaching this as a game, not as a simulation.

I can't help but know that the historical Japanese plan will NOT work in WitP-AE. This won't be a 12-months war, game rules simply don't allow Allies to seek peace before 1943 (unless the allied player quits, but that's another matter). So, I will ignore historical IJN doctrine and actively use carriers, and even torpedoes if needed, to interdict merchant transport lanes.

Also, I can't help but know the approximate position of pretty much all allied ships from playing Allies against the AI, so for example I know that US CV aren't at PH but are dangerously close to Wake, and that 2 US CAs can intercept the Tarawa invasion fleets. So I'm going to be cautious there, ignoring the historical IJN invasion plan.

BTW, do you think I should tell my opponent about this approach of mine to the game or is it "normal" enough for WitP? I'm considering plans that might be borderline-gamey, like detaching one or two carriers from KB and trying to intercept his first wave of transports from the West Coast in mid-december, hoping to sink some key early-war US ground units.
I'm asking because there's no way the IJN doctrine would have allowed this. I already saw one AAR (Fletcher's) with home rules specifically dictating against this kind of (mis)use of PH strike assets.

This said, I have a nice colorful pics of my first big plan. As I drew the map I realized it looks dreadfully daring and too complex to be successful. Anyway I already sent the first turn, so... well, I can still recall the units on next turn (except Ryujo and its escorts)

Basically the whole operation is meant to place Ryujo, 2 Kongos, some CAs, a couple of AVs, some Nells and Zeroes and a lot of transports at Manado on Dec. 14 or something like that.

I have 2 serious doubts now:
1- it might not be soon enough to prevent escape of large numbers of merchant ships from HK and Manila
2- even worse, if the merchants happen to try to escape at the same time that my ships are in the Sulu sea, my surface combat screens might deplete their ammo and be rendered useless against retaliation by ABDA CAs (PoW and Repulse are sunk or at the very least disabled). Moreover, my naval bombing missions might be diverted on enemy merchant TFs, again allowing ABDA CAs to slip through my air recon/naval strike (which I plan to set very heavy)

A very rough picture of my now excessively aggressive plan. I need better picture editing skills...




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/14/2009 3:19:51 PM >

(in reply to Ketza)
Post #: 7
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/16/2009 4:43:01 PM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
December 8, 1941 - PEARL HARBOR AREA
I had decided not to strike PH again on Dec. 8. This turned out to be a lucky decision.
Afternoon weather was severe storms over Pearl Harbor and heavy rain over my carriers, even if the forecast was only "overcast". Also, during early morning there was heavy CAP over PH - I think that all available US fighters were on full alert at 100% CAP. CAP was reduced by sweeps but so far I found no way to specify that bombers must strike after sweeps (at Clark bombers attacked before sweep and the result wasn't nice...)

I had ordered 2 zero units to sweep over PH, and the other planes on a mix of CAP, naval search, ASW search, naval attack and outright rest, depending on fatigue of the unit.
All naval search/attack was set to avoid PH and its CAP.

Subs were ordered to screen KB and prevent any ships from fleeing.

What happened was somewhat unexpected.

* night
PCs Reliance and Tiger set out on ASW duty, found I-15 and attacked it three times in a single night (!).
I-15 emerged unscathed (zero damage) even if during the third engagement, combat animation showed a hull penetration (!) and the relative report showed 1 hit.
I think one or both PCs ran out of depth charges BTW.

I-19 torpedoed AVD McFarland. It might have sunk overnight as it disappeared from map, but the combat report only mentioned "heavy damage, on fire"

SS I-2 was depth charged near Hilo by DDs Schley, Chew and Allen and DMS Wasmuth. Some near misses, but no significant damage.

Later SS I-2 attacks CA New Orleans (1 hex away from the location of the ASW attack) but misses. DDs Schley and Allen and DMS Wasmuth apparently are New Orleans' escort and depth charge I-2, causing a hull penetration.
I-2 is heading back for repairs (dmg is 38 flood - 27 major, plus a little engine and system), but the New Orleans sighting is interesting, as the animation showed it damaged (smoking) but the combat report doesn't mention neither fires nor damage. I guess it has light damage.
On Dec. 7 New Orleans was reported as "3 bomb hits, on fire", so I guess it's evacuating rather than trying to engage KB.


* morning
Clear sky over Pearl Harbor during the morning so Zeroes performed sweeps... but didn't coordinate and hit on two waves.
First wave from Shokaku hits heavy CAP: 18 zeroes vs. 23 P-36, 22 P-40 and 1 Texan. Reported losses are 1 Zero for 3 P-36, 1 P-40 and the lone Texan, but I actually lost 1 more zero, both pilots KIA. After the sweep morale is very good (88), but fatigue is high (25).
Second wave from Akagi finds little opposition: 18 zeroes vs. 3 P-36 and 2 P-40. 1 P-36 reported destroyed, 1 zero confirmed damaged. After the sweep morale is excellent (90), fatigue is moderate (14)


Unexpectedly, KB bombers found two USN task forces near Pearl Harbor
First task force:
AD Whitney, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
AS Pelias, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
AG Antares, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
DD Case, Torpedo hits 2, and is sunk
DD Conyngham
AVP Swan, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
Second task force (I guess this was the ASW TF which attacked I-15):
PC Tiger
AM Vireo, Bomb hits 3, heavy fires, heavy damage
Some CAP from PH intervened, 1 P-40 and 1 P-36 were reported shot down. I lost 4 Kates overall (2 were operational losses)

* afternoon
No strikes or sweeps flew. If I understand correctly the mouseover info, afternoon weather was quite bad all over the area, with severe storms on both PH and the first TF attacked.



COMMENTARY AND PLANNING
It looks like USN is evacuating at least some ships from Pearl Harbor. I wonder if the (support?) task force torpedoed by KB planes was a decoy or if it was attempting to escape. It was very close to PH at the time of the attack, and it doesn't seem to be fleeing at all (see map).

According to the reports, today's total allied plane losses in this area are very light:
P-36A Mohawk: 4 destroyed
P-40B Warhawk: 2 destroyed
SNJ-3 Texan: 1 destroyed
So I expect tomorrow's CAP to be heavy again, although I think allied pilots might now suffer from mid-low morale and mid-high fatigue after 2 days of fighting (they lost all air battles today, i.e., battles ended because all allied planes were either shot down or forced to leave the area)

Weather forecast for December 9 is "rain". Since on Dec. 8 "overcast" led to "severe storms" on at least 2 hexes, I don't think I will attempt to strike PH tomorrow. I don't think my opponent can risk setting down his CAP now, so if the weather clears for Dec. 10 I might consider a "D+3 strike", hoping to find enemy fighter pilots tired.
I wonder if other capital ships left port in addition to New Orleans. I might attempt to run after it, but if it left port at full speed it might be futile.

Apparently KB has not been spotted by the enemy. This might be a big advantage if I try to track down New Orleans.

I have no mouseover info on the TFs spotted at Pearl Harbor. If I had to, I would guess they're ASW.
I expected enemy submarine activity but so far I haven't spotted any.

I still need better pic editing skills ;)




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(in reply to rattovolante)
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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/16/2009 4:55:09 PM   
n01487477


Posts: 4775
Joined: 2/21/2006
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quote:

I can't help but know that the historical Japanese plan will NOT work in WitP-AE. This won't be a 12-months war, game rules simply don't allow Allies to seek peace before 1943 (unless the allied player quits, but that's another matter). So, I will ignore historical IJN doctrine and actively use carriers, and even torpedoes if needed, to interdict merchant transport lanes.

Also, I can't help but know the approximate position of pretty much all allied ships from playing Allies against the AI, so for example I know that US CV aren't at PH but are dangerously close to Wake, and that 2 US CAs can intercept the Tarawa invasion fleets. So I'm going to be cautious there, ignoring the historical IJN invasion plan.

BTW, do you think I should tell my opponent about this approach of mine to the game or is it "normal" enough for WitP? I'm considering plans that might be borderline-gamey, like detaching one or two carriers from KB and trying to intercept his first wave of transports from the West Coast in mid-december, hoping to sink some key early-war US ground units.
I'm asking because there's no way the IJN doctrine would have allowed this. I already saw one AAR (Fletcher's) with home rules specifically dictating against this kind of (mis)use of PH strike assets.

Well he is playing Nemo121 in his witp Empires Ablaze game where anything goes, so he'll probably give a wry smile and shrug it off.

I'm with you it's a game, not a simulation ... and certainly in witp I rarely, if ever saw a HR about this. You want to have fun or remake history ?

If you feel it is bad form don't do it ... I would though

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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/16/2009 5:22:58 PM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
Joined: 8/30/2009
From: Italy
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: n01487477

Well he is playing Nemo121 in his witp Empires Ablaze game where anything goes, so he'll probably give a wry smile and shrug it off.

I'm with you it's a game, not a simulation ... and certainly in witp I rarely, if ever saw a HR about this. You want to have fun or remake history ?

If you feel it is bad form don't do it ... I would though


First & foremost, thanks a lot for the answer :)

I actually don't feel bad at all, I was just worried that my opponent would find that questionable. You know, I'm new here, and every game community has its own "unwritten rules" about thing actually allowed by the game mechanics but considered unsportmanship (er... does that word exist in English?) by the community.

FWIW, I actually expected a game of this complexity to have some random/variable setup option(s). I suppose most players achieve this with non-historical first turn

< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/16/2009 5:23:55 PM >

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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/16/2009 5:25:42 PM   
Ketza


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From: Columbia, Maryland
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I just ask myself if it would upset me if a particular move I was contemplating were used against me. Thats usually answers the question if I should do it or not.


(in reply to rattovolante)
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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/16/2009 6:47:49 PM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
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From: Italy
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December 8 1941 - MARSHALL ISLANDS AREA

Midway: AO Shiriya was spotted but not attacked, it will try to return to home islands. DD TF aborted bombardment attack and will join it


Wake: "I have a bad feeling about this..."
Admiral Hartwig has kept VMF on Wake (I lost 5 Nells today... according to yesterday's recon the airfield should have been shut down...), and sent subs in Wake's hex. I guess he might have sent there his carriers too, since I think he expected KB to linger at PH.
So the invasion is being now called off, the invasion TF and all ships at anchor at Kwajalein will divert to Eniwetok (just in case he tries an AI-style raid).
Submarines have been positioned to try to ambush any carriers that show up.


Gilbert: last turn I diverted Makin invasion TF to capture Tarawa instead (they weren't prepared for Makin in any case). All troops went ashore on schedule on Dec. 8 and Tarawa was secured. I'm now docking an xAK to unload supplies, everything else will run off before any USN CAs arrive uninvited.
I set Mavises on a very dense (small arc) naval search over Tarawa, and Nells are set on naval torpedoing/rest. I hope the CAs take the bait and ambush my xAK...


Nauru: last turn I diverted Tarawa TF to Nauru. They're still half way there, might arrive on Dec. 9. No air cover for this TF, but I hope it goes undetected (it should, unless allied sigint gives any hints). There's a CL in the TF, so it has some firepower, but no match for a CA. Two submarines are providing a minimal screen.


Pearl Harbor addenda
I decided that KB will move east, trying to disappear from view. Planes will mostly rest. Submarines will try to track New Orleans. Oilers will keep lingering in a (hopefully) safe area.
If weather clears I might attempt a new strike at PH on Dec. 10, hoping to find Hartwig off-guard.

(in reply to Ketza)
Post #: 12
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 8:56:24 AM   
bklooste

 

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Joined: 4/10/2006
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quote:

not to strike PH again on Dec. 8. This turned out to be a lucky decision.
Afternoon weather was severe storms over Pearl Harbor and heavy rain over my carriers, even if the forecast was only "overcast". Also, during early morning there was heavy CAP over PH - I think that all available US fighters were on full alert at 100% CAP. CAP was reduced by sweeps but so far I found no way to specify that bombers must strike after sweeps (at Clark bombers attacked b


Try to keep his CAP busy maybe a Glen or a float plane. Allied players often a lot of ships out of pearl on day 1 as a second strike on Pearl is likely.

(in reply to rattovolante)
Post #: 13
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 9:06:09 AM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
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From: Italy
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December 8 1941 - RYUJO RAID

2 CAs and 2 DDs from Ryujo's TF formed a bombardment TF and went on bombarding Cagayan twice (1 night and 1 day bombing). Ryujo and escorts rejoined them near Cagayan, and they now merged in a single air combat TF again.

I hoped for the bombardment to destroy some planes, but reports only show 16 non combat, 1 gun and 5 vehicles disabled, plus some runway and airbase hits.

Ryujo's Kates in the meanwhile spotted and bombed two allied TF apparently trying to flee the area through the Sulu Sea.
quote:

AV Langley, Bomb hits 5, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAP President Madison, Bomb hits 2, on fire
AS Holland, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAKL Bisayas, Bomb hits 2, and is sunk
PG Asheville, Bomb hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage


Only Bisayas shows up as sunk but Langley apparently got some massive explosive damage, so at the very least it will take a long time to repair.

Two allied TFs of 2 ships each are reported at Siquijor. I guess this might be Boise & friends. Unfortunately this TF wasn't attacked by Kates, apparently because weather in the hex was thunderstorms.

I think I have no choice but to go on with my plan and charge at full speed through the enemy TF to the rendezvous point with the Jolo invasion fleet near Balabac.
There are 2 main reasons for this decision:
- I don't think my opponent expects me to charge through, but to either engage his SCTF or to retreat eastward. So I guess his PTs and DDs will be directed either to follow his SCTF or to ambush Ryujo near Leyte or Legaspi (where they might be useful against my forthcoming invasion)
- If I retreat east I might bring any chasers near my Legaspi invasion fleet, whereas if I retreat west I might bring any chasers near my Kongo & Haruna SCTF ;)
Minelaying subs are going to provide some screen for the Ryujo TF

I am aware I am endangering Ryujo this way, but I feel the risk is worth the chance to damage his cruisers in the area. If he engages Ryujo I still have an escort of 3 CAs and 6 DDs, and Ryujo itself has destroyer-size guns. Even if the Kate unit is somewhat tired, I'm ordering them to load torpedoes and stay on naval strike. Claudes are set to heavy CAP, I expect some air reaction now that I've been spotted.
I haven't spotted any enemy sub so far, but I hope full speed should make their job harder.




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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 9:33:17 AM   
rattovolante


Posts: 188
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From: Italy
Status: offline
December 8 1941 - LUZON
Moderately bad news here.

SS Shark and DD Pope were reported hitting the minefield at Bataan during the night. Both show up as sunk, but I'm not counting on that.

The interesting thing is rather that USN has apparently sent out a TF of 3 DDs (Peary and John D. Ford were reported in the same TF) and the submarines. No enemy TFs were spotted in the Luzon area, so I wonder if these headed south (to escape) or north (to intercept my invasion) after leaving Manila. If the subs headed south they might be dangerously close to Ryujo now.

Now, the bad news: on Clark the bombing raid hit before the sweeping raid, and found heavy CAP. Reported losses are 5 Zeroes and 1 Nell for 6 Warhawks and 1 P-35, but actual losses were way higher - 3rd Ku S-1 flying Zeroes lost 9 pilots, plus 2 plane writeoffs and 6 planes damaged. Luckily they managed to win the dogfight, unit record now shows 11 kills (so I expect enemy losses were heavier than reported too), and their morale is thus ok, although fatigue is high - they're resting today. The bombing strike itself was ineffective (weather was thunderstorms).

I'm stopping the airfield bombing today, naval bombers will fly naval strike instead as I know there's at least a DD TF out there. In the meanwhile I organized two big sweeping missions - one at 29000 feet, the other at 22000 (his CAP seems to be set quite high). I hope they don't lose cohesion, as one is made of smaller 9-planes units. Weather forecast is overcast.

No activity from Hong Kong. Bataan island TF has finished unloading, so I'll use some of its escorts to provide a light SCTF screen near Pescadores (4 TBs + 1 DD with depth charges)

Yokosuka 1st SNLF parachuted at Laoag and secured the airfield. Nates will fly in, a JAAF company will be airlifted. Some Zeroes will provide LRCAP (I'm not basing Zeroes at Laoag yet because I first want to check if the enemy retaliates...).

< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/17/2009 9:42:39 AM >

(in reply to rattovolante)
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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 10:23:08 AM   
rattovolante


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December 8 1941 - MALAYA AND SOUTH CHINA SEA
A LOT of TFs are at sea here - so many I tend to forget which one is going where (see pic, I sort of color-coded the groups).

Dutch subs entered the Singora and Kota Bharu hexes.
At Singora, KXI torpedoed and sunk DD Usugumo.
The combat report anyway looks strange, do you think this might a bug?
quote:

ASW attack near Singora at 51,72

Allied Ships
SS KXI

KXI bottoming out ....
Sub escapes detection

KXI is not even reported as firing any torpedo, and DD Usugumo has no depth charges (no ship in its TF had any, it was a DD SCTF), so how can it make an ASW attack? It doesn't seem FoW to me, the report doesn't make much sense as it appears a "ghost" (= no ship) ASW attack, instead of a (successful) sub attack... seems weird to me.

I think a similar thing might have happened to I-124 this same turn:
quote:

ASW attack near Busuanga at 77,79

Japanese Ships
SS I-124

I-124 diving deep ....
Sub escapes detection

ASW attack by no ship, and the sunk ships panel shows a USN DD sunk in this hex (mine collision, not torpedo this time)

Do you think this is worthy of being mentioned in the bug forum?

KXI was correctly reported as attacking a transport later on, but it missed (this is consistent with the combat animations).



Back to the AAR, I sent a very heavy ground attack air strike at Kota Bharu (about 185 medium bombers), then shock attacked. Kota Bharu fell, but I guess the ground attack was too heavy as it damaged the airfield too...
RAF attempted some naval strikes (including one on Kompong Trach) with no effect.
Apart from Kota Bharu losses were light. I had 1 squad destroyed at Khota Bharu, plus some 20 disablements. British losses were reported as quite high, if I can trust the reports they should be completely broken with 3000 men and 30 guns lost.

Now that I secured Kota Bharu I'm not in a hurry to comquest Malaya, I prefer to bomb them out, RAF units' morale appeared to be low also today (many units returning to base).




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(in reply to rattovolante)
Post #: 16
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 10:59:03 AM   
rattovolante


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Dec. 8 1941 - Malacca Straits
Since they had already penetrated the Singapore hex, I sent I-121 and I-122 (the subs that laid the minefield at Singapore) through the Malacca Strait. The goal was to try to act as early warning for any British reinforcements for Malaya.

As a welcome surprise, some merchant ships were apparently fleeing Singapore through the Strait... Result: xAKs Demodocus, Neleus and Silverbeech torpedoed, last 2 reported sunk by I-122, which already ran out of torpedoes!

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Post #: 17
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 12:27:38 PM   
rattovolante


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This turn's air losses were high, mostly Zeroes (at Clark) and Nells (at Wake).

USN CLs Helena and Raleigh unexpectedly show up as lost in Pearl Harbor's hex. On Dec. 7 they were reported as:
quote:

CL Raleigh, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CL Helena, Bomb hits 3, on fire






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Post #: 18
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 12:41:36 PM   
Fletcher


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Ciao Rattovolante!
how are going on your operations against Wake Island ? Are you heading on to wake with starting force ? or you change the beginning plan ?. I use the CLs in a different TF to try to supress the Cd guns, it worked for me, but the assault with only one SNLF was unsuccesfull.
Best regards.
Fletcher


_____________________________



WITP-AE, WITE

(in reply to rattovolante)
Post #: 19
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 12:57:35 PM   
rattovolante


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I never managed to invade Wake on the first attempt against the AI. I tried to send the warships in a bombardment TFs at full speed so they can do a couple of bombardments too, but without significant results (I guess I should do more pre-bombardment recon, but there are no recon planes available).
This said, my testgame was vs. hard AI so maybe it had some combat bonus.

In this game, on dec. 7 Nells found no CAP and bombed the airfield. From the combat report it seemed that the VMF there took serious damage, 4 F4F were reported destroyed on ground (I guessed this meant another 4 or so damaged) and the mouseover showed the airfield as shut down by damage. So I set the Nells for ground attack on Dec. 8, and kept the invasion TF on its route.

But the airfield on Dec. 8 was not closed down and VMF was still there with 5 F4Fs. I lost 7 Nells and ground bombardment was a complete failure (only 12 casualties reported...).

The fact that Hartwig has not evacuated the VMF, exposing them to naval bombardment, leads me to suspect he might have carriers nearby. Since on top of this Nells also completely failed to soften up defenses, I'm calling off the invasion for the time being. TF will return to Eniwetok (not Kwajalein, just in case the CVs raid it).

(in reply to Fletcher)
Post #: 20
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/17/2009 9:15:13 PM   
rattovolante


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China plans
I'm beginning to elaborate a strategy for China. I don't know yet what I'll end up doing here, if I'll escalate the war or a drain the theater of troops for use overseas.
Thus so far I'm setting short term goals. First goal is of course liberating Hong Kong from western invaders.

I will also try to turn the Chuhsien area in a big pocket, by holding a few strategic crossroads. The main objective is to starve the Chinese units in the area - if I understand the game mechanics, this should disable them with no significant risk, especially if combined with harassing/bombing/strafing by all those Idas/Anns/Maries/Nates (I might even try Alfs and Jeans...) for which I don't find any better use.

From the coast I'm moving 19th Ind. Mixed Bde. (AV 166) from Swatow, 102nd Inf. Regiment (AV 106) and 51st Recon Regiment (AV 31) from Amoy. I'll also ship 1/3 of 21st Div (AV 143) from Shanghai to Amoy and 1/3 (also AV 143) to Kiukang. This last unit will replace 39th Division which will attempt to achieve a breakthrough SW of Nanchang.

Chinese warlord units in the area have much higher nominal AVs, but wooded terrain and air superiority should help.




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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/20/2009 1:52:47 PM   
rattovolante


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Many moderately bad news this turn, although things might have been much, much worse.

December 9 - Pearl Harbor area
Night:
SS Pollack intercepts KB, manages to outmaneuver escort, launches 2 torpedoes at CV Shokaku and hits with one. Luckily (for me) the torpedo does not explode. ASW retaliation is ineffective.

Morning:
KB stumbled upon a badly damaged CA New Orleans and its lone escort near Lahaina. KB spots Allied task force at 29,000 yards and evades combat before being spotted itself. Unfortunately, WitP engine that even if KB was not noticed, my opponent gets the combat report and KB is now reported as "detection level 7/7, TF spotted" :(

So I expect next turn every sub, plane and PT available will vector to the spot at full speed.

Afternoon:
Kates from KB strike CA New Orleans and its escort DMS Wasmuth; both are reported sunk.


Situation while giving orders on Dec 10:
weather forecast is overcast.
I located one of the USN CVs, it's near Midway. I don't think I can linger anymore. I have to either strike PH now or withdraw, I need my CVs elsewhere.




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< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/20/2009 1:58:02 PM >

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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/20/2009 3:16:31 PM   
rattovolante


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Orders for December 10 - Kido Butai's last gamble
I plan to order a deliberate gamble with KB next turn. The plan is to sail at full speed, pass south of Hilo, and reappear to the west of Pearl Harbor and launch one last port strike.

I have exactly 100 operational Zeroes left, average fatigue is about 5-6. I expect he might have up to 110/120 fighters, although I hope some will be damaged and fatigue might be higher. Mouseover intel reports 29 fighters and 38 airfield damage, but I don't trust this at all because of the previous misleading report for Wake, where I lost a lot of Nells for nothing.
For the strike I have 128 Vals (average fatigue about 2) and 138 Kates (average fatigue about 4).

I haven't decided yet the strike altitude and composition (i.e., how many fighters on CAP). I will be within strike distance for PH LBA aircraft. I expect all his bombers to be fully rested, they never showed up so far.

I will place a THICK submarine screen in front of KB.

Whatever the outcome, this will be my last gamble with KB - it will leave PH after this. I hope my losses will be light...

(in reply to rattovolante)
Post #: 23
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/20/2009 3:23:35 PM   
krupp_88mm


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cool AAR.. you might want to go 'easy' on mentioning "moderately bad news" every time i hear that i fear one of your task forces got whacked or a CV got torped... i think i might describe your news as "troubling".. why not risk the KB and send out one or two carriers on raids and then head back to port as soon as their sighted.. would be fun and even if you loose a carrier i think it will be more than worth it to screw up all his early plans... GL im pulling for you..

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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/20/2009 4:07:40 PM   
rattovolante


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quote:

ORIGINAL: krupp_88mm

cool AAR.. you might want to go 'easy' on mentioning "moderately bad news" every time i hear that i fear one of your task forces got whacked or a CV got torped...


but a CV did get torped here! It just didn't explode ;)

The problem is I now realize I'm not familiar enough with the game engine to understand all the implications of some game events. For example, due to the non-engagement between KB and New Orleans USN top brass at PH know the exact KB location, heading and everything. What can exactly be the consequences of this?
In RL I suppose it would mean surprise completely lost, so a second port strike would be near pointless.
In game I think the consequences might possibly be nothing more than urging Hartwig to keep CAP high, set patrol arcs to SE, and send out all PTs and SSs to south/east at max react?

PS: lol, the TV here is showing Tora! Tora! Tora!. This is clearly a message from the heavens (or from my aging neighbors, which are apparently watching it at full volume through the thin walls...). Either way, it is decided, Kido Butai will strike Pearl Harbor again :P

< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/20/2009 4:11:19 PM >

(in reply to krupp_88mm)
Post #: 25
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/20/2009 8:46:27 PM   
rattovolante


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December 9 1941 - Midway area
AO Shiriya is sunk by dive bombers as soon as it meets the DDs it's supposed to refuel. This induced me to finally wonder "what the heck was an AO doing at Midway on december 7 anyway?", and I still have no clue at all. If anyone has an answer please post here: http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2245380 :)

Anyway, even if at the cost of an AO this provided some valuable intelligence... 15 Buffaloes and 12 SBD-3s attacked the replenishment TF in the morning, sinking Shiriya, then attacked the DDs in the afternoon (no result).

Lexington must be near Midway... considering the ranges of aircrafts involved, it probably is at 7 hex distance. Enterprise's planes (Wildcats and SBD-2s) have lower range, so both CVs might be out there.





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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/21/2009 7:03:01 PM   
rattovolante


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December 9 1941 - North of Samoa Islands
SS I-10 torpedoes xAK Meigs. Ship presumed sunk. Another xAK was in the same TF, I-10 will try to pursue.

December 9 1941 - Marshall Island area
It turned out I was wrong, and there are no USN carriers near Wake. I could go on with the invasion but I prefer to add a second Naval Guards unit to it. It will be picked up by the Tarawa invasion TF, which finished unloading and is returning to Jaluit.

No USN CAs showed up at Tarawa/Makin.

An invasion TF should reach Nauru tonight. It's covered by a CL, a 2-subs screen and air support (Mavises and Nells).


December 9 1941 - Truk area
Last turn I forgot to check the progress of the various invasion TFs. Kavieng invasion went way too far towards its target, I forgot to set it at "do not retire" on an intermediate hex while it waits for its cover to arrive from Guam. I have sent it back, I hope it won't be spotted.

I noticed I also forgot to properly divide the Guam invasion TF in a "fast" TF and a "slow" followup TF. It still hasn't even reached its target. I need to free up its escort for Kavieng-Rabaul operations :(



< Message edited by rattovolante -- 9/21/2009 7:07:44 PM >

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Post #: 27
RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/21/2009 8:23:13 PM   
rattovolante


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December 9 1941 - Sulu Sea and North Borneo
CVL Ryujo crosses the Sulu sea without encountering any opposition, no subs, planes, warships, nothing at all. Weird, I thought that even with the escorts it presented an easy target... is the enemy on a full Sir Robin?

Its Kates don't find any warship in torpedo range, but attack a bunch of merchants northeast of Brunei. Unfortunately this means that the onboard torpedo stock is depleted.
Ships hit by Ryujo's Kates this turn are:
AO Pecos (hit)
AS Canopus (hit, reported sunk)
TK Gertrude Kellogg (hit, presumed sunk or sinking)
AO Trinity (hit)
PG Tulsa and 2 xAK escaped unharmed

On top of this I-124 torpedoed a xAKL in the Sulu sea (presumed sunk or sinking).

Last turn I didn't do a great job of coordinating the various TFs operating in this area so the situation is a bit messed up. Anyway, I don't expect any nasty surprises... well, I hope so.




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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/21/2009 9:36:08 PM   
rattovolante


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Dec 9 1941 - Formosa & Luzon area

I made a fine mess at Takao. As the dear reader might know from http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2245004, I had left 2 TFs docked in port with no escorts thinking that since they were docked they were safe from SCTF or submarine raids. Instead one of them was attacked and sunk by British DDs raiding from Hong Kong.

The losses weren't critical, I lost 2 Aden Cargo class xAKs and 21st Air Flotilla. Strangely enough, I lost the whole HQ unit (no fragments left in Takao) even if the combat report said that the "Japanese TF suspends loading operations and begins to get underway" (so I supposed a part of the unit was still on land, the TF was set to load only troops) and the losses reported 2 squads destroyed vs. 82 squads disabled. Apparently they were all destroyed :(

The HQ unit was scheduled for Ambon. No major loss, it will respawn, I'll send the 23rd Air Flotilla to Ambon instead.

From this accident I learnt to keep docked TFs covered anyway, regardless of the port they're in (size 4 + minefield + CD, I thought they were safe while docked)

On the other hand, I now have a lot of doubts about the difference between docked and disbanded. Can disbanded ships be engaged by a surface combat task force?




Apart from the Takao accident there was a lot of action in this area today.

Two of the three DDs raiding Takao (Scout, Thanet and Thracian) were reported sunk: Thracian hit a mine while leaving Takao hex, then Thracian and Scout were torpedoed and sunk by Betties.
I think Thanet managed to reach Iba (recon reported a 1-DD TF there).

A number of encounters between my surface patrol TFs and transports fleeing Hong Kong resulted in no combat. DD Thanet stumbled on an escorted, empty amphibious TF returning from Bataan but my ships avoided combat.

Many ASW/sub skirmishes in northern Luzon:
- 2 USN spotted and attacked without effect: S-36 at Aparri, S-38 at Laoag
- SS Porpoise torpedoes and sinks xAK Ohio Maru (another Aden Cargo class), then is hit hard by ASW, although it's not reported sunk. Luckily Ohio Maru was almost empty, a single AAMG squad sunk with it.
- SS S-41 attacked and lightly damaged by ASW at Laoag
- SS Perch attacked at Vigan, with one hull penetration. Presumed sunk.

2 USN DDs avoid my surface patrols and bombard Laoag, dealing light damage. Supply level is now very low, but I have an amphibious TF unloading supplies over the beach.

Zeroes sweep over Clark Field, finding light CAP (... I could have brought bombers too) and downing 3 P-26, 1 P-40B and 1 P-40E for no losses.

Kanno Detachment and a Shipping Engineers Regiment land at Vigan, finding one enemy unit there! Recon reports more enemy units moving northeast from San Fernando. I expect heavy air combat here next turn, which suits me well - fighting here rather than at Clark Field means less fatigue for my units.

Aparri invasion TF lands and completely unloads at Aparri. Enemy forces reported marching from Tuguegarao to Aparri.

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RE: Imperial Japanese Noob: rattovolante (J) vs. hartwi... - 9/21/2009 10:55:34 PM   
rattovolante


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December 9, 1941 - Terror bombing of Bangkok!

British bombers escorted by a number of fighters bearing warlord Chinese markings took off from the RAF base of Tavoy, violated neutral Thai airspace and bombed the city of Bangkok at dawn!

The decadent western pilots were unable to cause damage with their bombing, but Thailand will remember this fateful day in years to come.




(I guess you need to be younger than about 35 years old to get the joke unfortunately...)

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