From: Santa Cruz, California
A Pearl Harbour attack, Japanese landings in the Phillipines, advance in Malaya, advance in the Solomons, army sighted near Burma, and fresher landings in northwest Borneo. Pretty predictable moves by Japan so far. Here are the highlights:
The BB Pennsylvania went under and all other BBs received damage of some kind. It'll take awhile for all of them to repair. I also lost one destroyer and there was damage to one heavy cruiser, three light cruisers, and some less important ships. I also lost about 45 aircraft, which hurts, but can be replaced. Overall not that bad for me at all-- I've got most of my cruisers plus my beautiful carriers ready for combat.
On December 16th Japan made a strong move on north west Borneo at Kuching. A strengthened Force Z wouldn't let this happen unmolested and an intense four day battle lit up the night's sky. A 25 ship task force under Admiral Poole with a combined force of USN, RN, and Dutch ships, based around the Prince of Wales and Repulse, rushed to Borneo's coast once our patrol planes spotted the invasion force.
After two days of maneuvering and devious decoded messages (email between players) I managed to split the IJN surface force and fight an even battle against two of his battleships with escorts. The resulting battle left the IJN BB Haruna sunk after a flurry of fire, a sunk CL, a moderate-heavily damaged CA, and moderate damage to several of his destroyer escorts. I lost one CL, CA Exeter took some heavy damage.
Despite heavy ammunition expenditure I decided to make a move on the IJN's now unescorted merchant force at Kuching. The Prince of Wales and 12 other ships were sent back to Batavia due to a lack of ammunition or fuel and the remaining 12 ship allied task force made their move. I expected the IJN surface fleet to make a run for it back to Indochina, which was partially true. The battle started good once I ripped into the Japanese merchant ships sinking one of them and heavily damaging 8+ others. At this point I expected Force Z to retire back to Batavia victorious, but I was surprised to encounter a Japanese surface force with two fresh IJN battleships. After two previous battles of fighting my ships had virtually no ammunition left and the battle ended badly. The BC Repulse fought valiantly to it's utter demise after closing within 2,000 yards of the IJN battleships, shooting off the rest of it's ammo, and then resorting to it's AA ammunition before finally exploding and sinking from all the holes in her hull. Two CLs also sank during the battle and the rest of my ships fled. The same morning another of my heavily damaged CLs was finished off by a submarine's torpedo, putting my toll at one BC and three CLs. The IJN lost one CL and took some moderate damage to several destroyers and minor damage to the BB Yamashiro, the killer of the Repulse.
The battle ended with the following casualties:
One BC, Four CLs Sunk
One Heavy Cruiser heavily damaged
Minor damage to 6+ warships.
One Battleship, Two CLs Sunk
Moderate-Heavy damage to one CA
Moderate damage to 5-6 destroyers
1 AK sunk, heavy damage to 8+ merchant ships
The battle is somewhat of a stalemate, since I failed to stop the landings at Kuching, but I was able to trade a capital ship with the Japanese. Strategically it should also make Tone a lot slower and more methodical in his advance into the DEI. Then again, he committed four battleships to the operation, so maybe he'll simply continue with that cumbersome strategy.
Force Z isn't extinct yet, the Prince of Wales surrounded by cruisers will be out for revenge for his sister.
Phillipines at sea
A gang of 6 destroyers, both USN and RN, have been doing an admirable service in the Phillipine sea. They have intercepted several landings killing 1,000+ Japanese infantry, heavily damaging 15+ Japanese merchants, and also damaging a number of Japanese destroyers and other escorts. Here's a look at their last heroic battle (minus DD Pope, who stayed at Manila for repairs) just last turn:
DD Asakaze, Shell hits 2, heavy fires
DD Matsukaze, Shell hits 3, on fire
PB Aso Maru #3, Shell hits 2, on fire
PB Kiso Maru, Shell hits 7
PB Nanpo Maru, Shell hits 5, heavy fires
xAK Yamaura Maru, Shell hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Tokiwa Maru, Shell hits 3
xAK Kogane Maru, Shell hits 2, on fire
xAK Seikai Maru
xAK Teimei Maru, Shell hits 2, on fire
xAK Yomei Maru, Shell hits 14, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAK Malta Maru, Shell hits 3
xAK Sinkyo Maru, Shell hits 1
xAKL Tientsin Maru, Shell hits 2, on fire
xAKL Shun Yuan, Shell hits 2
xAKL Kikuryu Maru, Shell hits 6, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAKL Misaki Maru
DD John D. Ford, Shell hits 2
DD Pillsbury, Shell hits 3, on fire
DD Thanet, Shell hits 1
Unfortunately the Pillsbury was hit hard and Scout was hit by a Nell's torpedo after the battle and is heavily damaged, so this brave squadron is brought down to 4 destroyers.
The air war has been fairly quiet since I pulled out my air force from the Phillipines. Very heavy zero sweeps made any fighter resistance futile. The British air force has seen little action and I'm diverting as much airpower as I can for fortress Java with a lot of training going on for the future battles.
A total of 64 ships lost for me.
Many of the important losses have been highlighted in the previous comments. The largest number of losses was from the chicken run from the Phillipines, a bunch of merchants and auxiliary ships lost but nothing serious. Japan has lost two light cruisers at Kuching, I'm highly confident the CL Isuzu has sunk or won't make it home because of it's damage after the battle of Kuching-- 25 shell hits, 1 torpedo, heavy damage, heavy fires.
I'm happy with the level of losses I currently have, it could be a lot higher. I wish I was sinking more of his merchants but keep in mind the fog of war prevents me from seeing how many of his heavily damaged ships are sinking. Either way I've done significant damage to 30+ of his merchant ships, including two tankers, one AV, which should at least put them out of action for awhile.
Arsenal of Democracy
Every merchant ship between Sydney and San Francisco are hauling big time to send troops to Pearl Harbour, stockpile resources in Australia, build up bases in the South Pacific, and send planes to Java.
USN Carriers and Cruisers
Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga and every available USN cruiser are making their way to Australia. The Yorktown will also arrive and head to Australia in a few days. My USN carriers and cruisers will be important for my commitment in Java, if I use them properly.
I already have about 1,800 AV at Java. CDs and mines are/will spread out along the most likely landing points and forts are being built. Batavia and Soerbaja will become the strongest points on the island, along with resistance in the mountain hexes. I expect the AV to grow up to 3,000 within a month since I'm grabbing units from nearby DEI bases, Singapore, Australia, Burma, India, and off-map reinforcements. Basically a lot of troops that were doomed anyway or are expendable. There's already about 450 aircraft in Java training their pilots. I am also sending P40s, Hurricanes, two squadrons of the AVG, and whatever else I can scratch up for Java. Aviation support is my biggest deficit at the moment, and I'm cherry picking every base force I can to meet the demand.
< Message edited by JonReb -- 6/9/2010 8:46:24 PM >