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The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/12/2010 10:12:56 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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If, as they say, the definition of madness is doing something over and over and expecting a different result then I am most certainly mad. Once again I am leading the forces of the Empire of Japan in a bid for domination of the Pacific. My opponent is the esteemed Charbroiled, a fellow resident of Oregon.

This will be my third AE game as Japan. The first was against Q-Ball and if you read “Against the Wind” then you already know that I got beaten in that one like a red-headed stepchild. The second, against Erstad, is ongoing. That game is now in June ’43 and is doing considerably better, though I am under pressure in the eastern New Guinea/Solomons area and in full retreat in Burma.

An analysis of the previous two games shows me one obvious key to my success and will provide a touchstone for this game. The key, it seems, is destroyer Hibiki. Q-Ball sank Hibiki very early in our game and everything just went downhill from there. In the Erstad game Hibiki is still afloat (in fact, in the turn I ran earlier today Hibiki sank an AK and SS Pike up in the Andaman Islands region in a futile attempt to prevent the loss of Port Blair). My mission, then, is clear: preserve that destroyer!

If anyone is puzzled about why I obsess about one fairly obscure Japanese destroyer, all I can say is – it’s a long story. Really long.

Anyway, back to this game. The game is Scenario 1, non-historic first turn, standard settings, Allies limited to issuing orders to task forces already at sea for the first turn. This includes Force Z. The only house rule in place at the start prohibits moving restricted units across national borders without first paying the PP cost.

Thoughts, Plots, and Strategic Considerations: the methodical approach to the Japanese advance, a strategy that served me well in WITP, is not as effective in AE. My overall strategy for this game, accordingly, will be guided by the following principles:

1. Maintain a fast tempo of operations in the early going and don’t be afraid to bypass objectives in favor of striking more deeply into Allied territory.
2. It’s all about the fuel. Seize major oil and refining centers such as Palembang with all possible speed and then protect them like the Empire depends on it. It does.
3. Keep Allied forces off-balance. Hit likely build-up points with SCTFs and carrier strikes. Recon aggressively and appear to threaten as many areas as possible.
4. Maintain forward pressure while transitioning to a defensive posture behind the scenes. Do not neglect early set-up of secondary lines of defense.

In more practical terms, Japanese early strategy will be based around a swift capture of Singapore. This will free up the forces necessary to capture Java and Sumatra. Burma, which I now regard as a hopeless can of worms for Japan, will be given secondary priority early on. If Charbroiled defends it aggressively then Japan may mount an amphibious campaign against northeastern India; if he does not then I will take it at leisure (while doing early work on the Salween River line, anchored at Moulmein).

An attack against western Australia is practically de rigeur by now (heck, I’m one of the reasons this is so – my negative example, anyway) and I will probably do this, though it will be more of a spoiling attack than an occupation. In the Pacific I will commit major forces to the early capture of Port Moresby and the Torres Straits bases. While this area presents a good early option for an Allied counter-offensive I still think it’s important to take these bases to give Japan time to build up defenses in the Solomon Sea area and along the north coast of New Guinea without threat of Allied air attacks.

I intend to stay flexible in the Pacific though if opportunity presents I may isolate and bypass New Caledonia and the New Hebrides in favor of early attacks against Suva and Fiji. As with western Australia, any conquests beyond the Solomons and Gilberts will be with the intent of denying the Allies use of the bases as build-up points, not with the intent of occupying and seizing territory. The Allies will take any such bases back when they are ready and I don’t want to have a lot of troops isolated or lost when they do.

Defenses in the Kuriles will not be neglected. I may stage naval-guard sized attacks against a base or two in the Aleutians to scatter Allied attention and to provide a tripwire base for the Kuriles.

China is…well, I will do what I can in China. I think this theater is now pretty much a non-starter for both sides. I will take a few bases north and south if possible, secure the rail lines, and then look at transferring units out for use elsewhere.

Enough theory. The game is on, war is afoot. It’s time to blow things up!

Hibiki prior to the war:






Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 6/12/2010 10:13:20 PM >
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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/12/2010 10:16:21 PM   
thegreatwent


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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/12/2010 10:34:36 PM   
topeverest


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good luck...

Let me suggest a very healthy initial allotment to training command to springboard excellent and / or accelerated pilots. IMO it pays in spades later. Think defensive amphibious pulse counterthrusts after the initiative flips!
Banzai!

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Andy M

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/12/2010 11:30:10 PM   
PaxMondo


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PDU On?

Looking forward to your force builds ...

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Pax

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 12:36:14 AM   
SqzMyLemon


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Cuttlefish,

Having started your game against Q-Ball prior to the effects of the latest patches. What is your initial reaction to the new garrison requirements for Japanese forces in China with the effects of the patches in place right from the start? Do you see much opportunity for large offensives in this theatre as in the past? If you may not have spent much time looking yet, I'll be curious to know your thoughts when you do have a better feeling of things.

On an ASW note, I'm discovering it's probably faster to get your air units to an effective ASW skill level by first dedicating them immediately to training for the first few months of the war, rather than a combination of training and actual combat Ops. I know in your game against Q-Ball you did not have much success against Allied Subs from the air. I still find the bombers (Lily's) set at 2000ft work well, but this is offset by steady Op's losses. Once the crews do become proficient, I think you will see a marked improvement on the spotting and suppression of Allied submarine forces earlier than you experienced before.

Good luck, and it will be great to watch you apply the lessons learned from your previous matchup. I'll be following along and I'm looking forward to enjoying your AAR style once again. Happy hunting, and above all I hope you have fun.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 12:40:00 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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Permission to come aboard, Captain Cuttlefish. 

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 12:40:13 AM   
Alfred

 

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Cuttlefish,

I spent most of yesterday reading your AAR v Q-Ball. I don't normally read the Japanese side and haven't played it, so one has to be quite circumspect in offering any comments. I found your AAR to be extremely well written, with a nice dash of humour sprinkled on top of an enquiring mind willing to reassess self committed errors. A sound strategical mind was evident but IMHO you committed several egregious errors, some of which you did recognise and quite significantly errors which were most definitely not picked up by your fans. Based on your OP, it seems to me that you will largely fall into the same errors.

Firstly in PBEMs which are played with an eye towards VPs, as I believe this one will be, one of the most stupid things I see repeatedly stated is that the Allies will inevitably win. WITP:AE is both quite asymetrical and very much can convert initiative into a constantly expanding force multiplier. A well played Japan can cripple and maintain an emasculated Allied position indefinitely, notwithstanding how good the opponent is. Of course opponent errors will make this easier - and it is very easy for the Allied player to make many subtle mistakes.

What is needed is focus and a ruthless disposition. You make a start by elevating fuel as the lifeblood of the Empire but then you dissipate that focus by (a) displaying a willingness to bypass objectives, (b) engaging in activity for the sake of activity, and (c) transitioning to a defensive posture. Let's look at these in a bit more early depth albeit subject to the receipt of data subsequently.

Bypass objectives

Do you mean tactical or strategic? If tactical means, for example, Manando is too strongly held but the adjacent dot hex is vacant, I will redict the invasion force from Manando to there, well that is being sensible as the operational objective remains the same. On the otherhand if you mean stategical, for example, my China Expeditionary Force which aims to capture the north Chinese oil centres (bearing in mind your stated objective of acquiring fuel for the Empire) is meeting too much resistance in the effort, I think I'll just swing my forces to push the Chinese away from the coast (which was your strategy v Q-Ball one of the most significant errors which your fans failed to bring to your attention), then that is a most serious error for the following reasons.

(a) There is always a counter approach to any ploy employed by an opponent. As you quite correctly note, madness is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Your task as Supreme Warlord is to find solutions to problems, not disregard them by going elsewhere.

(b) A strategic objective should be one that is either vital to accomplishing your overall mission or similarly denies your opponent his own strategic objectives. As the last crusader knight guarding the Holy Grail said before Indiana Jones made his selection, "He chose poorly". If you can afford the luxury of switching in mid stream from one strategic objective to another, then you really are either pursuing a chimerical strategy or implementing it ineptly. The end result in both circumstances is loss of time which in an asymetrical situation is fatal. Furthermore, on what basis can we be confident that the new ojective is any better than the old one.

(c) Time is fleating, the distances involved are huge, delay is the Allies best friend. Besides the deleterious aspects already noted of jumping from one objective to another even if the new one is really good, you gift the opponent precious time. Sometimes it is far better to proceed with a suboptimal plan (provided it still has value) than to waste time gatheringl the forces to implement are assembled or their relocation to the "better" objective transpires.

Unfocussed activity

You engaged in several suboptimal raids in your last completed game. This is a problem far too prevalent on these boards - players undertake (or kibitz AAR authors) to undertake an offensive/raid etc because it might be fun/is possible. It is an issue which Nemo121 has often exposed its essential drawbacks and I doubt I could improve on his comments. I will however draw your attention to the following.

You intend to be flexible in the Pacific with subject to circumstances doing some raids and conquering. The only strategic rationale you put forward is to deny the Allies build up bases. Well with the greatest respect this is one of those shallow strategems commonly advanced by japanese players. Putting aside the entire logistics aspects which a major cost which must be factored into this "activity", how and what exactly do you really think you will accomplish.

You need to remain focused, so if your overriding strategy is to get fuel and protect it, then how exactly will this Pacific activity further your goal. You state to keep the enemy away, but away from what and how exactly do you do that. You capture Suva and by pass New Caledonia. Why can't the Allies use New Caledonia to build up? Or for that matter build up Samoa...French Polynesia...the Line Islands...Hawaii (and all those dot bases to and beyond Midway)...where exactly is this line. How long a delay will it impose upon the Allies...do they even need to recapture the Empire's outposts?

Then there is the question what do you use to hit/delay the Allied build up. Will this be the best use of the Japanese assets? Shouldn't they be concentrated on achieving your phase 1 and phase 2 objectives? If you agree, then when do you free up the forces to go raiding/conquering in the Pacific - probably at a time when the Allies have moved substantial reinforcements into the theatre, thereby greatly conmplicating your logistics/force structure requirements.

If the Pacific approach is to deny Allied bases for build up, then why are you not doing the same in the north Pacific. Where is the qualitative difference between the two theatres which makes you think your approach is appropriate in one but not the other. To say that you might grab an odd base in the Aleutians is no way to implement your objective. Methinks the outcome will be a bit too much swiss cheese up north, and then we run into the issues I have flagged in the Pacific.

Transitioning to a defensive posture

When Japanese players make this statement they inevitably mean to adopt a passive defensive structure. If the Japanese player has lost the initiative, passive defense is just a guaranteed recipe for defeat in detail. Strong points can be bypassed by the Allied player or overwhelming force brought to bear whilst the rest of the Japanese drink saki and eat rice cakes elsewhere doomed to no participation in the current crisis point.

What the Japanese player needs and invariably consistently fails to implement, are both strategic and local reserves. When you have both strategic and local reserves, they can be used for offensive just as validly as for defensive purposes. Again another common and shallow assessment I hear Japanese players make is "victory disease". The claim is always made when the Allies expose the lack of Japanese reserves. And the Japanese always have potential reserves, just look in China and Manchukuo.

Sure always build up your rear areas but during the asymetrical period you use your engineers, who are not really good on the offense. Who knows, if you really dominate the first 12 months, you may find that the Allied player is not really in a position to launch a devastating counter attack.



Anyway a few early observations for your consideration.

Alfred

(in reply to thegreatwent)
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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 12:43:43 AM   
radar


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Best of luck, Cuttlefish...looking forward to the ride.

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 1:32:39 AM   
witpqs


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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 3:41:04 AM   
Cribtop


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1) Totally on board - Give 'em hell, Cuttlefish!

2) I hope you continue the quotes from the Q-Ball AAR.

3) Alfred's post is pretty blunt, but I think he makes some good points and his arguments are strong food for thought. I am pondering how to apply them in my own game. The central theme is that JFBs, assuming the war is lost before it begins (which in the long run it probably is), tend to adopt indecisive strategies and fritter away resources. His second main theme, IMHO, is that the only way to defeat Allied offensives is counter-offensives - a point that is spot on in the world of AE with millions of level 5 AF bases scattered all over the map.

BANZAI!!!

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 3:56:40 AM   
Nomad


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From: West Yellowstone, Montana
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Charbroiled cuttlefish - mmmmmmmm - yummy.

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 4:55:48 AM   
TheLoneGunman_MatrixForum


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Good to see you taking yet another stab at an Imperial Japan AAR! :)

I silently followed your game versus Q-Ball and think that so long as you have learned from some of your mistakes you should be fine this time around.

The most critical issue for Japan IMHO in the first year of the game is to consistently sink Allied ships, especially large warships. The earlier you can force a major battle while you still hold an advantage is imperative, and this means you need to strike at targets your opponent cannot afford to lose to force his hand. You have to do everything in your power to maintain your advantage in carriers and battleships for as long as possible, as a lack of action gives you a little more than a year and six months before the Allies start to overtake you, assuming that neither of you have suffered heavy losses.

The longer you can hold such an advantage, the longer you can sustain offensive operations and deny the enemy a chance to seize the initiative. It also means you'll be able to stockpile more fuel in the home islands, and fortify existing bases better, for the eventual Allied counter-offensive.

Clear goals and careful planning will be a boon, and establishing a timeline for your goals to be accomplished will provide some motivation to see them through, even if things don't go according to your plan.

That being said, please don't skimp on the little details, as I am eager to learn much from your new adventure!

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 5:01:28 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Joined: 1/24/2007
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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

PDU On?

Looking forward to your force builds ...


PDU is on. At some point in the early going I will do a complete analysis regarding my plans regarding aircraft and engines.

quote:

ORIGINAL: SqzMyLemon

Having started your game against Q-Ball prior to the effects of the latest patches. What is your initial reaction to the new garrison requirements for Japanese forces in China with the effects of the patches in place right from the start? Do you see much opportunity for large offensives in this theatre as in the past? If you may not have spent much time looking yet, I'll be curious to know your thoughts when you do have a better feeling of things.

On an ASW note, I'm discovering it's probably faster to get your air units to an effective ASW skill level by first dedicating them immediately to training for the first few months of the war, rather than a combination of training and actual combat Ops. I know in your game against Q-Ball you did not have much success against Allied Subs from the air. I still find the bombers (Lily's) set at 2000ft work well, but this is offset by steady Op's losses. Once the crews do become proficient, I think you will see a marked improvement on the spotting and suppression of Allied submarine forces earlier than you experienced before.

Good luck, and it will be great to watch you apply the lessons learned from your previous matchup. I'll be following along and I'm looking forward to enjoying your AAR style once again. Happy hunting, and above all I hope you have fun.


The garrison requirements for China (and elsewhere) added in the patches did not apply retroactively to the game against Q-Ball. I've already dealt with them in my game against Erstad, however. They turn China into a real morass for the Japanese. It may be possible, by very carefully redistributing forces, to gather enough forces for a major offensive. We will see.



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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 5:21:03 AM   
SqzMyLemon


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Anyway a few early observations for your consideration.

Alfred


Alfred, I wish someone had posted a few suggestions such as yours in my AAR when I was just starting out. From comments from players such as yourself and reading numerous AAR's (Cuttlefish's for one) it's amazing what one can learn. I've started to really pay attention to what I'm trying to achieve. It may be a little late for me in my game, I am a perfect example of a Japanese player who muddled my way through numerous changes of focus, wasting away much of any advantage/time I may have had. I put a lot down to inexperience, and the rest to poor play and having no plan. I think you offer very good advice in a way that makes one look to improve play by thinking outside the box, or if still thinking within the box, at least it's of your choosing.

Sorry Cuttlefish, it's not my intention to take focus away from your AAR, but I felt I just had to comment.

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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 6:13:21 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Thanks for the comments, Alfred. Let me reply to them a bit. I think I can allay your worries on some points (though I may confirm them on others). First, though, I want to respectfully disagree with the following paragraph:

quote:

Firstly in PBEMs which are played with an eye towards VPs, as I believe this one will be, one of the most stupid things I see repeatedly stated is that the Allies will inevitably win. WITP:AE is both quite asymetrical and very much can convert initiative into a constantly expanding force multiplier. A well played Japan can cripple and maintain an emasculated Allied position indefinitely, notwithstanding how good the opponent is. Of course opponent errors will make this easier - and it is very easy for the Allied player to make many subtle mistakes.


I never play with an eye towards victory points. As Japan I play to do better than Japan did in real life. This, to me, is the only definition of victory, whatever the score might indicate.

My main disagreement is with the statement that Japan can actually win the game in any military sense against a competent Allied player. I don’t believe this is possible. I will continue to not believe it until someone actually does so and proves me wrong. To date the best-known and most successful game I can recall was Pzb’s masterpiece back in the WITP days. He not only crippled the Allies, he broke the will of three successive opponents in doing so before Andy Mac took over mid-game. But by 1946 Japan was still in a straitjacket, surface fleet gone, air force gone, industry in ruins. It was a masterful game and a Japanese victory according to the scoreboard but in the end Japan was still completely beaten in a military sense.

And WITP was a cakewalk for Japan compared to AE.

Bypass objectives: by this I do not mean shifting the point of my attack in response to enemy resistance or other factors. I mean I should not hesitate to skip intermediate steps in order to reach the point of the attack. For example, attacking Java without first securing all the major bases around it. I have a tendency to approach things methodically and early in the war, when the Allies are weak and chances can be taken, it slows me down.

Unfocussed activity: I can’t disagree with you here. I am guilty of this at times and I have noted the tendency in other AARs for players on both sides to do something just to be doing something. I will try to avoid this as much as possible, though with one caveat; in a game this long there is a factor beyond a simple equation of resources expended versus reward gained. That factor is that the game needs to be fun as well as successful. I may sometimes do something just because it would be cool or interesting. As one of my WITP opponents (a sergeant in an armored cavalry regiment in real life) once observed “I like to see things blow up.” But I will try to not let the "fun factor” dictate too much of my strategy.

Transitioning to a defensive posture: your main point here, that Japan needs to maintain a reserve force and counter-punch with it as necessary, is very well taken. This was one of my main failings in my game against Q-Ball. This time I not only intend to maintain such a force, I already know where it is coming from. More on this later in the AAR.


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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 6:20:23 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: SqzMyLemon


quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Anyway a few early observations for your consideration.

Alfred


Alfred, I wish someone had posted a few suggestions such as yours in my AAR when I was just starting out. From comments from players such as yourself and reading numerous AAR's (Cuttlefish's for one) it's amazing what one can learn. I've started to really pay attention to what I'm trying to achieve. It may be a little late for me in my game, I am a perfect example of a Japanese player who muddled my way through numerous changes of focus, wasting away much of any advantage/time I may have had. I put a lot down to inexperience, and the rest to poor play and having no plan. I think you offer very good advice in a way that makes one look to improve play by thinking outside the box, or if still thinking within the box, at least it's of your choosing.

Sorry Cuttlefish, it's not my intention to take focus away from your AAR, but I felt I just had to comment.


No apology necessary, SML. Among the interesting things about my defeat at the hands of Q-Ball were the discussions of Japanese strategy that resulted. Since my stated goal in this game is to improve, I find continuing those discussions here interesting and valuable.



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RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 6:25:18 AM   
Tone


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The Master is writing again - good luck in your journey Cuttlefish.

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Both the victor
and the vanquished are
but drops of dew,
but bolts of lightning -
thus should we view the world.
Ôuchi Yoshitaka
1507-1551

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 17
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 7:32:29 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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December 7, 1941

And we are off. Once again it is a day that will live in infamy as the naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan stage sudden and deliberate attacks. We have all seen this beginning many times. The question is – where will it all end up, and what happens in between?


Pearl Harbor: I’ve seen better Pearl Harbor attacks. I tweaked the attack force to put most of the Vals on airfield attack and all of the Kates on port attack. Most of the Kates, though, attacked with bombs rather than torpedoes. The only ship confirmed sunk at this point was Oklahoma. That battleship was apparently elected to play the role of Arizona in this version of the war and one bomb hit triggered a magazine explosion. Allied aircraft losses were also slight.

On the positive side there was no Allied air opposition and Japanese losses were very low. I was tempted to keep KB around for a second strike but decided against it for two reasons: 1.) I’m a traditionalist with regard to my Pearl Harbor strikes, and 2.) the old battlewagons there are not worth the losses in pilots and planes I might sustain in a second strike. KB will instead return to port to rearm and then probably proceed to the Coral Sea. In my experience the interval is just enough time for the Allied player to fill that area with ships ferrying troops to or from Rabaul, Port Moresby, etc.

Luzon: the airfields at Iba and Clark were hit hard. Japanese losses again were negligible. For the next day the bombers will stand down while Japanese fighters sweep both bases, then, with the fighter opposition reduced, the bombers will return.

Invasion forces here and elsewhere are going to be held up for a couple of days in the Luzon Strait while Japanese surface forces sweep down both sides of Luzon looking for raiding Allied destroyers and PT forces. Small destroyer contingents were dispatched to cover Samah, Takao, and other Japanese staging bases. The three British destroyers, for instance, that start the game at Hong Kong can wreak havoc on loading transport forces if they are not protected.

Major landing sites on Luzon will be Vigan, Aparri, and Altimonen.

Wake: a bombardment force has been assembled at Yokohama and sent to clobber Wake. The original Wake invasion has been ordered to stand off and will rendezvous with another naval guard unit sent from Truk. Together they should have no trouble capturing the island.

Malaya: no surprises here on the first turn. The Kota Bharu invasion proceeded without loss and Japanese aircraft clobbered airfields across the area.

Elsewhere in the DEI: the only invasion force to launch immediately were two naval guard units and aviation support dispatched to Jolo. This base, I think, offers the largest airfield in the area for the least effort. Planes based here will help provide scouting and cover for other invasions to follow. These invasions have been delayed for a couple of days, for the same reason the Luzon convoys were delayed. Ryujo and surface forces will scour the area for Allied surface forces and refugee ships fleeing the area.

The Pearl Harbor attack:

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

Allied aircraft
no flights

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 2 damaged
B5N2 Kate: 3 destroyed, 13 damaged
D3A1 Val: 1 destroyed, 2 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
PBY-5 Catalina: 4 destroyed on ground
B-18A Bolo: 4 destroyed on ground
B-17E Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
SBD-1 Dauntless: 2 destroyed on ground
B-17D Fortress: 1 destroyed on ground
A-20A Havoc: 1 destroyed on ground
P-40B Warhawk: 5 destroyed on ground
F4F-3 Wildcat: 1 destroyed on ground
P-36A Mohawk: 1 destroyed on ground
R3D-2: 1 destroyed on ground

Allied Ships
CM Oglala
BB Nevada, Bomb hits 6, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Oklahoma, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
BB Tennessee, Bomb hits 9, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
DD Conyngham, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
AV Wright, Bomb hits 1, on fire
BB Maryland, Bomb hits 2, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires, heavy damage
BB Pennsylvania, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 2, on fire, heavy damage
BB West Virginia, Bomb hits 5, Torpedo hits 2, heavy fires
BB California, Bomb hits 9, heavy fires, heavy damage
CA San Francisco, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1
xAKL Hirondelle
CA New Orleans, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1
BB Arizona, Bomb hits 4, Torpedo hits 1, heavy fires, heavy damage
CL St. Louis, Bomb hits 1, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
AO Neosho, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Aylwin, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
CL Helena, Bomb hits 1, on fire
DD Cummings, Bomb hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CL Detroit, Torpedo hits 2
AG Aries, Bomb hits 1, heavy fires
AE Mauna Loa, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
CL Raleigh, Bomb hits 1
SS Narwhal, Bomb hits 1


Allied ground losses:
10 casualties reported
Squads: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 2 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 0 disabled


Repair Shipyard hits 4
Airbase hits 35
Runway hits 115
Port hits 18
Port fuel hits 5

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 18
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 7:50:35 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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December 8, 1941 – December 9, 1941

The second and third day of the war bring no real surprises. Of Force Z there has been no sign. Ryujo sinks two xAKLs in the Celebes Sea. A Dutch submarine bounces a dud torpedo off I-157; while there was no real damage to the Japanese sub I bet the “thud” against the hull caused a number of the crew to have to change their shorts.

The sweep over Luzon was very effective. Zeros came in over Iba and Clark at 23,000 feet and mowed through about 30 American fighters with little loss (two planes were shot down and two more crashed). When the Japanese bombers returned the next day to resume airfield attacks the fighter opposition was much reduced. The fighter escort handled them easily and no Netties were lost. Over Malaya Japanese bombers shifted from bombing airfields to bombing troops at Kota Bharu and Alor Star.

Kota Bharu fell to the first assault. Makin Island also fell. The 33rd Division began loading at Sasebo for a trip to Bangkok; this division will provide the initial assault up into Burma.

So far probing Japanese surface forces have encountered nothing, though PT boats have been spotted off Vigan. A group of Japanese destroyers will try to engage them while others begin a blockade of Manila Bay.

KB has moved north, refueled, and broken contact with Allied search planes.

Japanese losses for the first three days of the war: five midget submarines and fourteen aircraft.




< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 6/13/2010 5:40:45 PM >

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 19
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 12:31:45 PM   
FatR

 

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From: St.Petersburg, Russia
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish
The garrison requirements for China (and elsewhere) added in the patches did not apply retroactively to the game against Q-Ball. I've already dealt with them in my game against Erstad, however. They turn China into a real morass for the Japanese. It may be possible, by very carefully redistributing forces, to gather enough forces for a major offensive. We will see.

In my current Japanese PBEM against Yubari I managed to concentrate 8 divisions + some lesser units for my Central Plains offensive in the middle of December, by accepting the loss of maybe 6-10 VPs in places that were temporariy left ungarrizoned or undergarrizoned.
The most problematic aspect of new garrizon requirements by far is impossibility to make a concentrated defense on the south coast, without losing a ton of VPs. So the coastal cities are very likely to be overran one by one, unless the Japanese player takes the vastly strategically inferior option of launching the southern offensive first (it is inferior, because, save for Wenchow and denial of coastal bases to Chinese there is nothing in the south that Japan might want, and the terrain there benefits the defender, while the northern offensive allows both to defeat a bunch of Chinese units in the open field while they still are unexperienced, and to take several resource/industry centers early).

Anyway, best of luck. Your AARs are always well-written, and I certainly will be following this one.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 20
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 1:47:36 PM   
bklooste

 

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I must agree with Alfred the plan stated pretty much hands the initiative to the allies you are following the obvious plan so you are playing his game.

Japan did not do this , Ceylon became a raid only because the army pulled out . Midway was designed to draw the US fleet to battle etc .

The most important choice for Japan is air , sure you can replace your Nates with Tojos and build at 43 levels in mid 42 but you are burning through your resources which can haunt you in 43 and 44.  On the other hand a quite air war allows the allies to train excellent pilots and give you a lot of grief.

IMHO the best options is to have an efficient air production program ( eg keep building Nates till you are through the engines , build Sallies instead of Helens/Lillies , Nell instead of Betty and Mavis instead of Emily) and only a few Tojos to handle B17 , especially be conservative with 2 & 4 engine planes .  More important you want to fight significant attrition battles over your bases , this is difficult but the best way to do this is to loose on the ground and be cornered so he will commit air  :-) 

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(in reply to FatR)
Post #: 21
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 4:44:48 PM   
Cribtop


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From: Lone Star Nation
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CF, I think you meant "December 8, 1941 and December 9, 1941."

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Post #: 22
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 5:38:12 PM   
TheLoneGunman_MatrixForum


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

CF, I think you meant "December 8, 1941 and December 9, 1941."


It would appear that someone is so busy planning for future Japanese victories that they've lost track of the current date!

(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 23
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 7:57:23 PM   
Cribtop


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Happens all the time, I've done it myself. Of course, we JFBs live the first 6 months of the war under the time gun - quite stressful and I often feel pushed to launch improperly prepared or escorted invasions as a result.

I would like to find an appropriate venue to engage JFBs on Albert's post without clogging up the AAR. I've always been intrigued by how best to define, and then pursue, "victory" for Japan in a war that is fun to play out but essentially unwinnable in any traditional sense. I agree with Albert that it is possible to keep smashing Allied naval strength enough to keep the enemy at bay for some time; but I also agree with CF that in the end, even the grandest of early to mid-war victories ring hollow as one Essex class CV after another comes off the ways. CF gave the example of PzB's first game vs Andy Mac, I would add to it the game CF narrated in "Small Ship, Big War" . He won numerous victories and had a chance at a victory on points (not that that matters other than pride) as late as November 1943, IIRC.

Anyway, I'm considering starting a new thread in the War Room, but wonder how best to keep AFB eyes out. Any thoughts?


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Post #: 24
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 8:11:30 PM   
JohnDillworth


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reporting for duty sir! limited duty that is, until the world cup is over
In short you are:
going stalemate in China
taking what you can in Burma
Singapore, early and often
fuel, fuel, fuel
bypass things to go deep
protect a certain destroyer

good luck!!

_____________________________

Today I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter's gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat, do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. - Yasser Arafat Speech to UN General Assembly

(in reply to Cribtop)
Post #: 25
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 8:34:51 PM   
Cap Mandrake


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Joined: 11/15/2002
From: Southern California
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quote:

This will be my third AE game as Japan. The first was against Q-Ball and if you read “Against the Wind” then you already know that I got beaten in that one like a red-headedstepchild.


Good hunting.

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Post #: 26
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 8:42:47 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
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December 10, 1941 – December 11, 1941

It is interesting how slow the first week of a game in AE can seem compared to the old WITP days. Without the automatic first turn warp-speed move for all Japanese task forces it takes time for invasion forces to load and move to their destinations. But slowly plans begin to unfold and things begin to take shape.

Philippines/DEI: this area heats up on 10 December. Two Japanese DDs chase away half a dozen PT boats at Vigan, no hits scored on either side. A more significant but still inconclusive clash occurs in the Celebes Sea when the Japanese destroyer division led by CL Nagara meets four US destroyers (what I think of as “John D. Ford and the Three Ps”). A few scattered shells hit the American force (fires are reported aboard John D. Ford) and DD Kawakaze takes a single hit. The forces separate and the US ships slip away into the darkness.

CA Houston is spotted just two hexes from Ryujo in the day phase. Ryujo’s Kates expend their few remaining torpedoes but score no hits and Houston also continues south. CA Chokai and DD Sagiri sink two xAKs off Jesselton.

Japanese submarines go on a rampage across the region. TK Semiramis escapes two attacks but AVP Valk, TK Talang Akar, a small Dutch oiler, an xAK, and an xAKL are all sunk.

On 11 December things are a little more quiet. The Japanese cruiser force blockading Manila Bay intercepts a total of eight MTBs, sinking two, and Japanese submarines sink another xAKL. Landings begin at Aparri and Vigan. The 21st Division boards transports at Shanghai, bound for Luzon.

In the air Japanese strike coordination finally breaks down a bit and Allied fighters get a crack at some unescorted Bettys – four are lost. But Japanese fighters continue their work and air opposition is steadily weakening.

Malaya: Japanese forces begin to move inland. The Imperial Guards arrive at Singora and more transports leave Sendai for Malaya. So far there has been no sign of wide-scale British movement south.

Since I have seen no sign of attack by Allied surface forces I am cutting loose the battleships and cruisers assigned to protect the invasion forces. The battleships will make a run into the Java Sea to look for trouble and the cruisers will hunt for the enemy off the west coast of Java.

Pacific: landings begin at Guam on 11 December. The heavy cruisers assigned to support that landing were instead sent straight to Truk, where they took on fuel and will proceed south to look for prey in the Solomon Sea.

The bombardment force nears Wake, where my transports are standing off to the southwest and waiting. KB is moving west about a dozen hexes north of Midway. A Japanese submarine contacted what might have been an American carrier near Johnston Island but the sub couldn’t get past the destroyer screen.

China: units are moving all over the place, mostly rearranging garrisons to free up infantry divisions. It will take a little time for anything to come together in this region.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 27
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/13/2010 8:59:02 PM   
TheLoneGunman_MatrixForum


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Joined: 1/12/2010
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Edit: Whoa, second time a post of mine has transported itself!

At any rate, disregard and am looking forward to seeing your plan be further unfurled!

< Message edited by TheLoneGunman -- 6/13/2010 9:20:38 PM >

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Post #: 28
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/14/2010 6:35:54 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
December 12, 1941 – December 13, 1941

The early days of the war continue to go well for Japan. So far my policy of holding back the transports and sending in the warships has paid off well. And I’ve had a couple of breaks go my way as well. Of course, swift and overwhelming force tends to create its own luck.

Japanese Losses: Japan has begun to lose ships, however. The first Japanese ship of the war to be lost (other than the five midgets lost at Pearl) was xAK Keiso Maru, sunk by SS Sargo in the Luzon Strait. The convoy carrying the 33rd Div. from Sasebo to Bangkok was attacked by Vildebeests out of Hong Kong. Two APs were hit by bombs and one has sunk, so the division will arrive in a bit of a reduced state. Other Japanese ships have been damaged, as will be recounted shortly.

Carnage in the DEI: on 12 December Admiral Kurita's four heavy cruisers and their escorts arrived at Brunei. There they found Thracian, Thanet, and Scout. Thracian went down in a hail of shells and torpedoes but the other two escaped until the day phase. Then, in round two, Thanet went down but not before DD Arashi took a couple of shells and some heavy damage. Scout was lightly damaged but escaped not only these encounters but also another meeting the next day.

I had wondered where those British destroyers had gotten off to. I think they were probably lurking in Brunei waiting for a Japanese invasion force.

Things turned really ugly on 13 December. A Japanese destroyer division led by CL Natori had been placed at the narrows in the center of the Makassar Strait to intercept ships fleeing south. What they found instead, just a few hours after sunrise, was a very powerful Allied force coming north, led by POW and Repulse. Included were Houston, seven light cruisers, and fourteen destroyers. The Japanese force did the intelligent thing; that is, they turned tail and ran.

Meanwhile, not far away, four Japanese battleships – Nagato, Fuso, Ise, and Hyuga – were descending on Tarakan. These ships had been dispatched from Japan at the outbreak of the war with four destroyers, all that were immediately available. Allied ships had been spotted at Tarakan the day before and the battleships sent there in hopes of picking off a ship or two.

What they found instead was a harbor packed with Allied ships. The result was carnage. Warning: the following snippet from the combat report is not suitable for small children:

Day Time Surface Combat, near Tarakan at 67,91, Range 14,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
BB Nagato, Shell hits 4
BB Fuso, Shell hits 1
BB Ise, Shell hits 1
BB Hyuga, Shell hits 3
CL Yura
DD Wakatake
DD Kuretake, Shell hits 1, on fire
DD Sanae, Shell hits 1, heavy fires

Allied Ships
DD John D. Ford, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
DD Peary, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
DD Pillsbury, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
DD Pope, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
PG Isabel, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
PG Asheville, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
PG Tulsa, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
AS Holland, Shell hits 6, and is sunk
AS Otus, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
AS Canopus, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
AV Langley, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
AVD William B. Preston, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
AM Finch, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
AM Bittern, Shell hits 1, and is sunk
AM Tanager, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
AM Quail, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
AM Lark, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
AM Whippoorwill, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
AO Pecos, Shell hits 4, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
AO Trinity, Shell hits 6, and is sunk
TK Mindanao, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
xAP President Madison, Shell hits 17, and is sunk
xAP Rochambeau, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
xAKL Sagoland, Shell hits 15, and is sunk
xAKL Paz, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
TK Gertrude Kellogg, Shell hits 22, and is sunk
TK Manatawny, Shell hits 6, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
xAKL Anakan, Shell hits 2, and is sunk
xAKL Bisayas, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
xAK Capillo, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
xAKL Compagnia Filipinas, Shell hits 9, heavy fires, heavy damage
xAKL Corregidor, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
xAKL Dos Hermanos, Shell hits 8, and is sunk
xAKL Elcano, Shell hits 5, and is sunk
xAKL Escalante R, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
xAK Ethel Edwards, Shell hits 7, and is sunk
xAK Governor Wright, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
xAKL Palawan, Shell hits 9, and is sunk
xAKL Princess of Negros, Shell hits 10, and is sunk
xAKL Sarangami, Shell hits 3, and is sunk
xAK Si Kiang, Shell hits 38, and is sunk
xAKL Taurus, Shell hits 3, on fire
xAK Tantalus, Shell hits 4, and is sunk
xAK Yu Sang, Shell hits 1
xAK Ravnaas, Shell hits 17, and is sunk


Japanese Ships Reported to be Approaching!
Allied TF begins to get underway
Poor visibility due to Rain
Maximum visibility in Rain: 15,000 yards
Range closes to 17,000 yards...
Range closes to 14,000 yards...
CONTACT: Japanese lookouts spot Allied task force at 14,000 yards
CONTACT: Allied lookouts spot Japanese task force at 14,000 yards


I think the Allied plan was to collect all the refugees from the area and then escort them to safety using the most powerful force that could be gathered, one that could defeat any Japanese force likely to be encountered. Though that is just speculation on my part. At any rate things weren’t quite done going wrong for the Allies.

Zuiho (armed with torpedoes) had joined Ryujo (now armed only with bombs) in the Celebes Sea. They attacked the Allied force and did some damage: POW took two torpedoes and light cruisers Durban and Boise each took a couple of bomb hits that penetrated their deck armor.

Japanese forces, including the transports still unloading at Jolo (which was captured) have been ordered out of the area. Meanwhile, by chance, Admiral Kondo’s Southern Force is entering the western end of the Java Sea. Things could become very interesting.

Pacific: Guam has been captured. Wake was bombarded and invaded; the first attack failed at 1 to 1 odds but more Japanese troops are landing tomorrow and the base will probably fall. The coast guns there started fires aboard CL Kashima and an xAK.

Poor AM Penguin ran into one of the invasion forces heading towards Wake on 12 December; the luckless ship was sunk by the light cruisers in the escort.

Hong Kong: after a couple days of bombardment the first Japanese attack came off at 1 to 2 odds. Japanese forces will bombard for a day and then try it again.

The situation around the Makassar Strait:






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 29
RE: The Calimari War - Cuttlefish Gets Charbroiled - 6/14/2010 9:40:31 AM   
FatR

 

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Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
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Quite a lucky break for the Empire. I think this excellently illustrates perils of both doing evacuation by ships from so close to possible Japanese points of advance and concentrating so much stuff in a single place.

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Post #: 30
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