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RE: The game enters 1944 - 9/24/2011 12:07:04 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: House Stark

Have you given any thought to taking advantage of the damage done in China to try to take the Chinese oil centers in the north?


I've toyed with the notion. If it would provide even a modest source of oil that could be shipped back to Japan it would be well worth trying. Does anyone know if it does?



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Post #: 241
RE: The game enters 1944 - 9/24/2011 12:53:57 AM   
FatR

 

Posts: 2522
Joined: 10/23/2009
From: St.Petersburg, Russia
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


I've toyed with the notion. If it would provide even a modest source of oil that could be shipped back to Japan it would be well worth trying. Does anyone know if it does?

Yes, they are just normal oil centers. Your opponent can bomb them from India, though, at least with B-29s. But in your situation...

I also notice that intensity of air warfare in your game still is relatively low. Mutually low air losses is not a good sympthom for Japan, I think. It is something most games where Japan lost early have in common...

Overall, you're doing fine, though, considering how unlucky you got in 1942.

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 242
RE: The game enters 1944 - 9/24/2011 4:15:37 AM   
jmalter

 

Posts: 1673
Joined: 10/12/2010
Status: offline
hi CF,
are you thinking of Urumchi? see this thread:
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=2899969



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Post #: 243
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/25/2011 10:36:53 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
May 1944 – June 1944

This game is now in the latter half of 1944. The inner core of the Japanese Empire remains intact but the outer layers have all but been peeled away. The battle for the heart of Japan looms, and a savage battle it will be.

Pacific: there has been no major movement and little change in this theater. There have been a few naval and air skirmishes around Haha Jima – I like to attack every so often just to keep my opponent on his toes – but no major engagements.

DEI: Singapore fell at the end of June, wrapping up the Allied campaign in southern Malaya. At the north end of the peninsula Japanese forces are fighting to get out and set up a defensive line at Chumphon and Victoria Point.

The Allied conquest of Java is almost complete as well. Soerabaja is the only major base left in Japanese hands. Elsewhere in the DEI only Timor remains Japanese, and an invasion fleet is offshore at Koepang. I’m not sure why – it’s strongly held and completely isolated, an ideal candidate for being bypassed. But leaving Japanese bases to wither on the vine does not seem to be in the Allied playbook this time around. Sooner or later Charbroiled gets around to invading everything left behind his own front lines.

The major consequence to the loss of the DEI, a I mentioned last time, is that it renders Indochina vulnerable to amphibious assault. I still have eight infantry divisions up in Thailand, holding the coast and the Burma frontier, but not much along the South China Sea. Divisions are en route from China, though, to bolster these defenses.

Japanese destroyers raiding out of Saigon have sunk eight or so Allied APs, and LSTs along the northern coast of Malaya. These aren’t large victories, but they’re fun to do.

Philippines: the Allies hold the southern half of the archipelago, the Japanese hold the northern half. Allied bases such as Iliolo are now fully operational and a savage air battle takes place daily over southern Luzon. Allied attacks are so far concentrated against Boac and Legaspi. To this point my fighters are holding their own and the bases remain open.

When my opponent sweeps with his P-47s and P-51s I tend to suffer heavy losses. When his fighters are tied to bomber raids I usually get slightly the better of the fighting. Fortunately he does not sweep very often – he loves those B-24s pounding my airfields. But I have a lot of engineers there, and can rotate my fighter groups in and out to keep them fresh. Right now I think Japan is winning this battle, though that could change. My defenders have been a mix of types: Franks, Georges, Tonys, Tojos, and A6M5s.

There was a significant air-naval battles in the area during the last couple of months. During the Allied invasion of Panay in June Japanese bombers caught a US carrier force with its CAP down and did quite a bit of damage:

Morning Air attack on TF, near San Jose at 77,84

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 200 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 70 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 57
G4M1 Betty x 37
J2M2 Jack x 15
N1K1-J George x 27
Ki-84a Frank x 37

Allied aircraft
P-38J Lightning x 4
P-47D25 Thunderbolt x 5
F4U-1A Corsair x 20


Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5 Zero: 1 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 4 destroyed, 26 damaged
Ki-84a Frank: 2 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
P-38J Lightning: 1 destroyed
P-47D25 Thunderbolt: 1 destroyed
F4U-1A Corsair: 5 destroyed

Allied Ships
CVE Saginaw Bay, Torpedo hits 3, and is sunk
BB North Carolina, Torpedo hits 4, heavy damage
CVE Rudyerd Bay, Torpedo hits 1
CV Wasp, Torpedo hits 2
CV Hornet
CA Exeter


Followed by:

Morning Air attack on TF, near San Jose at 77,84

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 42 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 27
G4M1 Betty x 13
Ki-84a Frank x 36

Allied aircraft
P-38J Lightning x 1
P-47D25 Thunderbolt x 2
F4U-1A Corsair x 5

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5 Zero: 1 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 11 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1A Corsair: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB North Carolina, Torpedo hits 1, heavy damage
CV Wasp, Torpedo hits 1, on fire, heavy damage
CV Hornet


North Carolina sank, I’m pretty sure. I also believe Wasp survived.

I did lose CA Takao off Luzon to an Allied air attack; this is the only major ship loss I have suffered in some time. Takao was part of a raiding force, led by Kongo, that successfully intercepted a large Allied invasion fleet at San Jose. To my enormous frustration, though, the transport convoy successfully evaded me. Curse the Allies and their radar!

China: the Japanese offensive in southern China has ended, with the Japanese claiming complete victory. Kukong, Liuchow, and Nanning have all fallen. Dozens of wrecked Chinese units are straggling north. I believe that you can stick a fork in the Chinese Army – it’s done. There are still a lot of units in the north, and taking Siam would be very difficult, but I don’t think I have to worry about major offensive operations by the Chinese.

Which leaves me with the question of what to do next. I could go over to the defensive and use part of the army to secure Indochina – I have enough political points saved up. I’ve already sent a couple of divisions that direction, as already mentioned. I could turn my army north and drive towards Chungking. Or I could go back to the northwest and try to capture the oil centers up there. I have not yet decided what I should do.

Industry: my HI reserves are dwindling fast, and will be exhausted sometime in the next month or so. My austerity measures have been very successful but there is no defense against the huge hit for pilot training at the start of each month. Still, I have plenty of engines and aircraft reserves of important types are high, enough to enable me to keep fighting in the air for a long time yet.

Defending the Inner Ring: there are only a few ways to come at my defenses now, and all of them will be difficult. Luzon is a fortress. In the Pacific the inner islands are all very well defended and taking them will be bloody. Indochina is vulnerable but I can’t see the Allies making any headway in China at all, especially if I abandon Thailand and pull my units back successfully.

By this stage of the war, of course, the Allies have the strength to take anything they really want to take. It’s just a matter of how much time and how many losses they are willing to expend. It will be interesting to see what course Charbroiled decides to take. I think it will take at least the rest of ’44 to get within striking distance of Japan, though. And in this game I consider that any Japanese player who is still fighting hard into 1945 has won a victory of sorts – it isn’t easy to do.

The currect victory point screen:






Attachment (1)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 244
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/25/2011 11:10:52 PM   
Mike Solli


Posts: 15583
Joined: 10/18/2000
From: the flight deck of the Zuikaku
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

China: I have not yet decided what I should do.

Industry: my HI reserves are dwindling fast, and will be exhausted sometime in the next month or so. My austerity measures have been very successful but there is no defense against the huge hit for pilot training at the start of each month. Still, I have plenty of engines and aircraft reserves of important types are high, enough to enable me to keep fighting in the air for a long time yet.



I think your industry discussion answers the question of what to do in China. I'd go for the oil. Sure it won't really help much, but it will help stave off the inevitable. It might give you enough HI to keep your pilots coming. All those planes you have don't do any good without pilots.

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Post #: 245
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/26/2011 5:40:45 AM   
PaxMondo


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I also thinks it speaks to the fact that in '42 and '43 you really have to build up tremendous HI reserves to get you through the rest of the war ...

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Post #: 246
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/26/2011 6:01:45 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

I also thinks it speaks to the fact that in '42 and '43 you really have to build up tremendous HI reserves to get you through the rest of the war ...


This is very true. My HI reserve peaked at about 1.4 million. That's a lot of HI, but it wasn't nearly enough to carry me into 1945.



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Post #: 247
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/26/2011 8:09:27 AM   
obvert


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quote:

quote:

I also thinks it speaks to the fact that in '42 and '43 you really have to build up tremendous HI reserves to get you through the rest of the war ...


This is very true. My HI reserve peaked at about 1.4 million. That's a lot of HI, but it wasn't nearly enough to carry me into 1945.


What is a good target for say the end of 43 for HI?


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Post #: 248
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/26/2011 8:26:28 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

quote:

quote:

I also thinks it speaks to the fact that in '42 and '43 you really have to build up tremendous HI reserves to get you through the rest of the war ...


This is very true. My HI reserve peaked at about 1.4 million. That's a lot of HI, but it wasn't nearly enough to carry me into 1945.


What is a good target for say the end of 43 for HI?


For my next game I'm going to try for 2 million. At my current efficiency I would have needed about 2.5 million to get to 1945. I'm not sure that can be done, though. I think I can improve my economic efficiency enough next time around to make up the difference. I did pretty well this game but still made a few mistakes - let a couple of engine factories (which are the main HI sinks) stay in production too long, that sort of thing.

I would be interested in the opinions of others, though, about how much of an HI reserve is both necessary and achievable.


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Post #: 249
RE: Halfway through 1944 - 10/26/2011 2:34:19 PM   
PaxMondo


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More than one AAR has hit 3M.  To state requirements is difficult due to so many variables, chief amoung them is how long do you hold the DEI?

Two things happen in late '44 to help your HI drain:
1. Training Groups Arrive.  I think the first one arrives 10/44.  These allow you to pull down the number of pilots in your training school and lower that monthly pilot cost.
2.  Kami's.  Your pilot losses sky rocket and again lowers that monthly pilot cost

Finally, you can almost shut down your NSY and MSY factories as building ships only builds allied VP's.

CF and Mike touch on the 2 biggest wastes of HI: engine and plane over-builds.  While you need deep pools of kami planes, early Zekes and Oscars are not that great of a kami (2x60kg doesn't make that big of a boom), and they tend to be a big component of your late game a/c pool.  As difficult as it is, you need to think this through in the early and mid-game.  Sure, you want your pilots flying the best plane that you can build; but if you ramp up production quickly what will you do with 1000 A6M2's in the pool and what about all the HI and supply you used to accomplish that ramp?  Balanced against that is of course a Tojo is a lot better plane than the Oscar it replaces and that might impact the outcome of a battle.  Decisions, Decisions. 


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Post #: 250
July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/4/2012 10:48:30 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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I am going to revive this long-dormant AAR just to give a snapshot of what July 1945 looks like from the Japanese point of view, since I don’t think many PBEMs ever get this far. A year has passed in the game since the last update here, so this covers the period July 1944 to July 1945.

Japan is still in the game and still fighting back. I find myself, however, in about the same position that Japan was historically at this point in the war; empire gone, ringed by enemies, and with my cities bombed daily by hordes of Allied aircraft. My possessions at this point consist of Japan itself, most of China, Korea, and Manchuria, as well as Iwo and Chichi Jimi.

The past year has featured two main avenues of advance for the Allies. The first was the American effort against first Luzon, then Formosa and the Ryukyus. The second was the British/Indian campaign in Indochina.

Luzon was a disappointment to me. I had hoped to make it a fortress, but my opponent landed at Legaspi and once there rolled up the entire island in about a month. The air campaign that preceded the invasion was a lot of fun, though. It took a couple of months before my opponent had the upper hand and could invade. It was the most brutal air battle of the entire war.

I had a lot of big air bases there and my opponent had a hard time keeping more than one or two really suppressed. The whole process resembled a really savage game of whack-a-mole, with Allied bombers knocking out one airbase only to find the Japanese planes popping up at another. Air losses were very heavy on both sides, and I think both sides were almost bled white for a time. The campaign also taught my opponent that carrier groups consisting of all or mostly all CVEs were unable to defend themselves adequately against a determined Japanese air strike.

But eventually I had to withdraw what was left of my air force from the island and then it was invaded. As the year rolled over to 1945 he was prepping for Formosa and the Ryukyus. There were more weeks of air combat over Formosa before the invasion, again with heavy losses on both sides. Formosa was a tough nut to crack but it was pretty much all over there by April 1945.

The Ryukyus campaign was ferocious. My main weapons were fast, light surface forces, small groups of DDs and squadrons of MTBs for the most part, that struck by night and then slipped away. I was scornful of my MTBs but they turned out to be really useful little ships. They sank a fair amount of shipping and hurt a number of capital ships as well. The campaign also featured a major carrier battle, perhaps the last of the war. An American carrier group moved in to the East China Sea, near Amami Oshima. I unleashed my land-based air and also sent in my remaining carriers, four CVs and three CVLs. This was on March 7, 1945.

I’m going to post the combat results because I know there has been some debate about late-war air combat and this provides another data point.

First, this nighttime surface encounter:

Night Time Surface Combat, near Amami Oshima at 97,62, Range 7,000 Yards

Japanese Ships
DD Ume
DD Sakura
DD Kikuzuki
DD Hayate
DD Asanagi, Shell hits 2

Allied Ships
CV Hancock
CV Randolph
CV Ticonderoga
CV Bennington, Shell hits 1
CV Shangri-La
CV Wasp II
BB Wisconsin
CB Alaska
CL St. Louis
CL Vicksburg
DD McDermut
DD Morrison
DD Prichett
DD Robinson
DD Ross


When day came the land-based planes went in first:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 42 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 12
A6M5 Zero x 75
A6M5c Zero x 13
G4M1 Betty x 18
G4M2 Betty x 12
N1K1-J George x 61
Ki-45 KAIc Nick x 33
Ki-84a Frank x 23

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 37
F6F-5 Hellcat x 72

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 1 destroyed
A6M5 Zero: 1 destroyed
A6M5c Zero: 2 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 7 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 3 destroyed by flak
G4M2 Betty: 4 destroyed, 1 damaged
G4M2 Betty: 4 destroyed by flak
N1K1-J George: 5 destroyed
Ki-45 KAIc Nick: 3 destroyed
Ki-84a Frank: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1D Corsair: 1 destroyed
F6F-5 Hellcat: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB Wisconsin
CV Wasp II
CV Shangri-La
CV Randolph

Aircraft Attacking:
5 x G4M2 Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
1 x G4M1 Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo



Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 16,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 42 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 35
G4M1 Betty x 18

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 22
F6F-5 Hellcat x 64

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 16 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 10 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 2 destroyed by flak

No Allied losses

Allied Ships
CB Alaska
CV Bennington
CV Randolph

Aircraft Attacking:
2 x G4M1 Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo



Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 112 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 48 minutes

Japanese aircraft
B5N1 Kate x 24

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 12
F6F-5 Hellcat x 30

Japanese aircraft losses
B5N1 Kate: 7 destroyed

No Allied losses


A couple of kamikaze groups decide to give it a go:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 26 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Sen Baku x 36
A6M5c Zero x 12
Ki-48-Ib Lily x 25

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 9
F6F-5 Hellcat x 24

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Sen Baku: 18 destroyed
A6M2 Sen Baku: 4 destroyed by flak
A6M5c Zero: 5 destroyed
Ki-48-Ib Lily: 11 destroyed
Ki-48-Ib Lily: 3 destroyed by flak

No Allied losses

Allied Ships
BB Wisconsin
CV Randolph
CV Shangri-La
CV Wasp II
CV Bennington
CV Hancock
CB Alaska
CV Ticonderoga

Aircraft Attacking:
30 x A6M2 Sen Baku flying as kamikaze
Kamikaze: 1 x 250 kg GP Bomb
20 x Ki-48-Ib Lily flying as kamikaze
Kamikaze: 4 x 100 kg GP Bomb


My carriers launch their strike:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 31 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 19
A6M5b Zero x 34
A6M5c Zero x 25
B6N2 Jill x 32
B6N2a Jill x 4
D4Y1 Judy x 18
D4Y3 Judy x 27

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 4
F6F-5 Hellcat x 17

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5 Zero: 3 destroyed
A6M5b Zero: 3 destroyed
B6N2 Jill: 8 destroyed, 7 damaged
B6N2 Jill: 7 destroyed by flak
B6N2a Jill: 2 damaged
D4Y1 Judy: 2 destroyed
D4Y1 Judy: 1 destroyed by flak
D4Y3 Judy: 4 damaged

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1D Corsair: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB Wisconsin, Kamikaze hits 3, on fire
CV Randolph
CV Ticonderoga
CV Bennington
CV Hancock
CV Wasp II
CB Alaska, Bomb hits 1
CV Shangri-La, Bomb hits 1, on fire

Banzai! - Maki C. in a B6N2 Jill is willing to die for the Emperor
Banzai! - Imamura F. in a B6N2 Jill is willing to die for the Emperor
Banzai! - Oyama U. in a B6N2 Jill is willing to die for the Emperor
Fujiwara A. gives his life for the Emperor by ramming BB Wisconsin
Oyama U. gives his life for the Emperor by ramming BB Wisconsin
Banzai! - Ikura T. in a B6N2 Jill is willing to die for the Emperor
Kawakubo D. gives his life for the Emperor by ramming BB Wisconsin
Ammo storage explosion on CV Shangri-La


One last land-based strike, with level bombers:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 96,61

Weather in hex: Thunderstorms

Raid detected at 118 NM, estimated altitude 10,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 37 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-49-IIb Helen x 19
Ki-67-Ia Peggy x 27
Ki-84a Frank x 40

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 1
F6F-5 Hellcat x 5

Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-49-IIb Helen: 10 damaged
Ki-49-IIb Helen: 1 destroyed by flak
Ki-67-Ia Peggy: 5 destroyed, 9 damaged
Ki-67-Ia Peggy: 2 destroyed by flak
Ki-84a Frank: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
F6F-5 Hellcat: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
CV Bennington
CV Wasp II
CV Randolph, Kamikaze hits 1
CB Alaska
CV Hancock
CV Ticonderoga
BB Wisconsin, on fire

Banzai! - Bunkichi W. in a Ki-67-Ia Peggy is willing to die for the Emperor
Fuel storage explosion on CV Randolph


The Allied counter-attack:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Wenchow at 92,60

Weather in hex: Severe storms

Raid detected at 80 NM, estimated altitude 12,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 34 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 13
A6M5b Zero x 32
A6M5c Zero x 27

Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 36
F6F-5 Hellcat x 72
SB2C-3 Helldiver x 15
SB2C-4 Helldiver x 91
TBM-1C Avenger x 15
TBM-3 Avenger x 57

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5b Zero: 1 destroyed
A6M5c Zero: 1 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1D Corsair: 5 destroyed
F6F-5 Hellcat: 7 destroyed
SB2C-3 Helldiver: 1 destroyed by flak
SB2C-4 Helldiver: 2 destroyed, 16 damaged
SB2C-4 Helldiver: 1 destroyed by flak
TBM-1C Avenger: 1 damaged
TBM-3 Avenger: 2 destroyed, 5 damaged
TBM-3 Avenger: 1 destroyed by flak

Japanese Ships
CVL Nisshin
CV Katsuragi, Bomb hits 6, heavy fires
CV Akagi, Bomb hits 8, on fire
CV Kasagi, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires
CV Amagi
DD Nowaki
DD Suzukaze
DD Naganami
CL Kiso
DD Suzunami, Bomb hits 4, heavy fires, heavy damage
CVL Chitose
DD Kiyoshimo


It was obviously not the best day for the Empire, with a lot of planes lost for little result. The only good news is that I did enough damage to force the Allied carriers to withdraw and was thus able to save all but one of my carriers.

I got planes through on every strike, more as the attacks went on and his CAP wore down. But very few hits were scored. My impression is that Allied flak was responsible for a lot of that. Another factor was probably the fact that the weather over the target was thunderstorms. My pilots were all good ones; naval attack skill of at least 70, and the carrier pilots in particular were better than that. But the ability of the Allied CAP to keep vectoring planes into the battle is maddening to watch. Realistic, but maddening. Just when it looks like the strike is about to break through fresh waves of defending fighters show up. If I understand TheElf correctly this is a function of early detection. If a strike managed to get close before the Allied carriers picked it up there would be a lot less of that, but Allied radar makes that unlikely. One can dream, though, and I suppose it happens occasionally.

In other words, I view these results as fairly realistic. Reasonable numbers of aircraft were involved, producing plausible results. Which is not good, if you're playing Japan in ’45!

The only battleship duel of the period, again at Amami Oshima, went better for me. This was during the invasion, on April 3:

Night Time Surface Combat, near Amami Oshima at 98,64, Range 1,000 Yards

Allied aircraft
no flights

Allied aircraft losses
OS2U-3 Kingfisher: 4 destroyed

Japanese Ships
BB Kongo, Shell hits 26, Torpedo hits 1, on fire
CA Tone, Shell hits 3
CA Nachi
CL Natori, Shell hits 5
DD Takanami, Shell hits 1
DD Onami
DD Kuroshio, Shell hits 4, heavy fires
DD Oyashio, Shell hits 6, heavy fires
DD Shiranui
DD Amatsukaze
DD Arashi

Allied Ships
BB Arizona, Shell hits 46, Torpedo hits 6, and is sunk
CL Detroit, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 1
CL Trenton, Shell hits 38, and is sunk
CL Concord, Shell hits 30, and is sunk
DD Allen M. Sumner
DD Mannert Abele
DD Ault, Shell hits 7, Torpedo hits 1, and is sunk
DD Collett, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Converse, Shell hits 2
DD Hall, Shell hits 2, on fire
DD Lewis Hancock
DD Haraden
APA Hunter Liggett, Shell hits 2, on fire
APA American Legion
APA Monrovia
APA Warren
APA Knox
APA Leon
APA Windsor
APA Adair
APA Dauphin, heavy damage
APA Haskell
APA Bowie
APA Sarasota
APA Laurens
AKA Capricornus, Shell hits 5, Torpedo hits 4, and is sunk
LSD Gunston Hall, Shell hits 7, heavy fires, heavy damage
AP Gen. A.E.Anderson, Shell hits 2
AP Gen. G.M.Randall
AP Gen. T.H.Bliss
AP Gen. J.R.Brooke


I unleashed my LBA again as well, with better results:

Morning Air attack on TF, near Amami Oshima at 99,65

Weather in hex: Partial cloud

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 42 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M2 Zero x 18
A6M5 Zero x 48
A6M5c Zero x 10
G4M1 Betty x 28
G4M2 Betty x 13
G4M2a Betty x 6
G4M3a Betty x 28
N1K1-J George x 24
N1K2-J George x 22
Ki-84a Frank x 14



Allied aircraft
F4U-1D Corsair x 177
F6F-5 Hellcat x 71


Japanese aircraft losses
A6M2 Zero: 4 destroyed
A6M5 Zero: 17 destroyed
A6M5c Zero: 3 destroyed
G4M1 Betty: 11 destroyed, 3 damaged
G4M1 Betty: 4 destroyed by flak
G4M2 Betty: 6 destroyed
G4M2 Betty: 1 destroyed by flak
G4M2a Betty: 2 destroyed
G4M2a Betty: 1 destroyed by flak
G4M3a Betty: 8 destroyed
G4M3a Betty: 4 destroyed by flak
N1K1-J George: 10 destroyed
N1K2-J George: 4 destroyed
Ki-84a Frank: 8 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
F4U-1D Corsair: 3 destroyed
F6F-5 Hellcat: 1 destroyed

Allied Ships
BB Texas
CV Franklin
CV Hornet, Kamikaze hits 2, on fire
BB Arkansas, Torpedo hits 2
CV Yorktown
CV Intrepid
CA Astoria


Aircraft Attacking:
6 x G4M1 Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
4 x G4M2 Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo
1 x G4M3a Betty launching torpedoes at 200 feet
Naval Attack: 1 x 18in Type 91 Torpedo

Banzai! - Hagiri G. in a G4M1 Betty is willing to die for the Emperor
Banzai! - Fujiwara K. in a G4M2 Betty is willing to die for the Emperor
Ammo storage explosion on CV Hornet
Fuel storage explosion on CV Hornet
Fuel storage explosion on CV Hornet


Note that the weather this time was partial cloud, which probably accounts for the higher ratio of hits.

None of this saved Amami Oshima but it’s an example of what’s really important from my point of view, which is that Japan is still in the game and still fighting back. You have to find some reason as Japan at this point in the war to keep running the turns and sending them back other than just dogged determination. That turns the game into a chore. Retaining the ability to harass the Allied player, to make him work a little for his victory, keeps the game fun.

Right now the Allies are probably awaiting the impending Soviet activation and the arrival of the first A-bomb. I don’t doubt that there is some kind of plan in the works to invade Japan, as well. I still have a considerable air force left, enough at least for one massive attack. Right now I have dispersed my planes and am waiting for an opportunity. Just in the last week of June carrier planes began attacking ports and airfields in mainland Japan. I’m not responding. Instead I am feigning (well, not entirely feigning) weakness and awaiting Operation Downfall. He’s sinking bunches of small craft and merchant ships, but I can live with that. I have nothing to ship and nowhere to ship it to.

I also have a handful of carriers, five battleships, four heavy cruisers, a few light cruisers and about three dozen destroyers. These are also hidden away, awaiting the glorious Decisive Battle when the Allies will be crushed and Japan saved!

Heh heh. Right.

One of the main Allied weapons of victory has been the four-engine bomber, specifically the B-24J and the B-29s. He used them to hammer my airfields during the battles on Luzon and Formosa. For the last few months they have been attacking airfields, shipyards, aircraft factories, and industry in Japan. Charbroiled very rarely uses his heavies to attack ground troops. I keep shooting them down and shooting them down and they just keep coming. I know my opponent has lost about 800 B-24Js, and around 400 B29s. But they shake off their losses and keep coming back. Even after suffering 25% losses in a raid the crews cheerfully climb back into their bombers the next day and try again. And again.

Mainland Asia has seen constant combat this past year. As Malaya fell I pulled my army (about eight or nine divisions) out of Thailand and into Indochina. The battle for Indochina was long, intense, and interesting. The Allies eventually took Bangkok and made landings at weakly-defended bases in Indochina. What followed was maybe my best campaign as an AE player; a fighting withdrawal, filled with gallant stands, savage little counter-attacks, and desperate retreats. In the end I extricated almost my entire army intact.

This was bad news for the Allies. A massive force consisting mostly of British and Indian divisions formed up and came at me head-on. They got their nose badly bloodied at Hanoi, and then I fell back. They suffered more heavy losses at Nanning. Losses so heavy, in fact, that a Japanese counter-attack came within a whisker of forcing them all to retreat. If that had happened I might have been able to take the offensive again. As it is I fell back once more and eventually they came on, though more weakly, suffering further losses as I withdrew deeper into China.

As it stands now I think the Commonwealth Army is finished as an offensive force in this game. Most of their divisions are barely at brigade strength and they’ve lost thousands of combat squads. The main threat in China now comes from the Americans. Once Formosa was secured they landed north of Hong Kong and have now established a bit of a perimeter, though they haven’t been able to drive too deeply into the interior.

As far as industry goes, my reserve of 1.4 million HI ran out in the fall of ’44. Since then I have limped along on modest amounts of oil shipped in from here and there. Everything is shut off except for aircraft manufacture and I am still producing a very modest number of planes, almost all fighters. Not nearly enough to replace my losses, of course. I have lots of highly trained pilots in reserve, in fact, and no planes to put them in.

Had I been able to keep building planes at a full pace into 1945 I would have been a lot better off. That’s going to be my goal for next game, to try and amass enough HI to last more than a year once the DEI spigot is shut off. I didn’t do badly this game, but there is room for improvement.

Here is what the victory screen looks like on July 1, 1945:





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Post #: 251
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/4/2012 11:32:17 PM   
Mike Solli


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Very interesting Cuttlefish. When would you say the Home Islands were effectively cut off? I'm curious how long those 1.4 million HI lasted. Also, once you were cut off, did you cut back on production immediately, or did you wait?

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/4/2012 11:53:55 PM   
Crackaces


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What I find as very interesting is Alfreds orginal statement. Right now in July 1945 it is only a Allied minor victory, which in just a few months will shift to a IJ victory. If he uses more than 2 A-bombs a IJ decisive victory. It appears that even though the IJ are "losing," in actuality in games terns it is very close to a IJ victory.

< Message edited by Crackaces -- 5/4/2012 11:58:14 PM >

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 12:02:38 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Solli

Very interesting Cuttlefish. When would you say the Home Islands were effectively cut off? I'm curious how long those 1.4 million HI lasted. Also, once you were cut off, did you cut back on production immediately, or did you wait?


The last shipments of oil from the DEI came through in late January '44. My HI reserve, at that point a little over 1.1 million (it had dwindled a little as submarine and air interdiction made getting oil out difficult) lasted about seven months. I cut production immediately, in fact had started cutting it back even earlier. The main drain on my reserves from that point on was pilot training costs, as by that time I had a LOT of pilots in my pools.



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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 12:04:59 AM   
Mike Solli


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Hmm, what do your pilot pools look like now?

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 12:15:12 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Crackaces

What I find as very interesting is Alfreds orginal statement. Right now in July 1945 it is only a Allied minor victory, which in just a few months will shift to a IJ victory. If he uses more than 2 A-bombs a IJ decisive victory. It appears that even though the IJ are "losing," in actuality in games terns it is very close to a IJ victory.


I am still ahead (in points) in troop losses and aircraft losses, and nearly even in points for ships. This brings up an interesting topic. While my opponent has bludgeoned his way through my defenses he has incurred heavy losses while doing so. Arguably, he has accepted heavier losses than the Allies were willing to incur in real life. This (understandable) callousness towards the fate of one's virtual troops is perfectly valid in a game, of course, but it also makes sense to me that in a game context it costs the player in terms of score.


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Post #: 256
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 12:17:34 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Solli

Hmm, what do your pilot pools look like now?


Oh, they are much smaller now. Japan gets dozens of training groups in '45 and they have cut the pools by more than half. If only my reserve had lasted until those groups arrived...


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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 7:34:05 AM   
jrcar

 

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CF thank you for that, the amount of HI needed has been one of my key RFI's... We have overbuilt in aircraft and our HI pool isn't enough at the moment. This has given us a goal to head towards which we can now do.

As far as Kami's go how useful have aircraft like Helen been?

Cheers

Rob

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 12:24:21 PM   
obvert


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Great to see this late game report and realize there is a bit of fun left within the devastation at the end. Sounds like it's been a great game and I only hope mine can last so long. Good luck with the Final Decisive Battle!

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 5:24:42 PM   
Crackaces


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


quote:

ORIGINAL: Crackaces

What I find as very interesting is Alfreds orginal statement. Right now in July 1945 it is only a Allied minor victory, which in just a few months will shift to a IJ victory. If he uses more than 2 A-bombs a IJ decisive victory. It appears that even though the IJ are "losing," in actuality in games terns it is very close to a IJ victory.


I am still ahead (in points) in troop losses and aircraft losses, and nearly even in points for ships. This brings up an interesting topic. While my opponent has bludgeoned his way through my defenses he has incurred heavy losses while doing so. Arguably, he has accepted heavier losses than the Allies were willing to incur in real life. This (understandable) callousness towards the fate of one's virtual troops is perfectly valid in a game, of course, but it also makes sense to me that in a game context it costs the player in terms of score.


In terms of resources, time, and scope I see the Allies expending more resources to acheive maybe the historical same scope. and thus a IJ victory in the end. I believe the key is if you do expend more resources you have to be at the end game faster or lose the game. It will be intersting when troops land on the Home Islands because that will be indeed bloody ...

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Post #: 260
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 5:41:39 PM   
BigBadWolf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mike Solli

Hmm, what do your pilot pools look like now?


Oh, they are much smaller now. Japan gets dozens of training groups in '45 and they have cut the pools by more than half. If only my reserve had lasted until those groups arrived...



Wait, ya'll confusing me :(

I was under impression that HI cost for pilot training program was paid based on numbers under "B". How can you reduce them?




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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 5:52:32 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jrcar

CF thank you for that, the amount of HI needed has been one of my key RFI's... We have overbuilt in aircraft and our HI pool isn't enough at the moment. This has given us a goal to head towards which we can now do.

As far as Kami's go how useful have aircraft like Helen been?

Cheers

Rob


The IJA twin-engine level bombers (Sally, Helen, Peggy, etc.) have been my favorite kamikaze planes. At this stage of the war there are not many chances for them to conduct ground attacks and they make poor naval attack planes. So, many of them volunteer for the Special Attack Corps. They score a fair number of hits and when they hit they do a lot of damage. Their biggest advantage over single-engine planes, other than the increased damage, seems to be that they have a better chance of surviving flak on their way in.



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Post #: 262
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/5/2012 6:20:52 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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For what it's worth, here are some of the ship losses from the game:


       Japan      Allies
CV	9	5
CVL	4	3
CVE	4	19
BB	7	14 (+1 BC)
CA	14	14
CL	15	12 (+4 CLAA)
DD	81	71

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Post #: 263
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/6/2012 12:34:10 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Japan Allies
CV 9 5
CVL 4 3
CVE 4 19
BB 7 14 (+1 BC)
CA 14 14
CL 15 12 (+4 CLAA)
DD 81 71


Just wow. This game ranks pretty high on the carnage scale. (I assume the Allied CVE losses were primarily from operations around Luzon?)

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/6/2012 12:42:56 AM   
obvert


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In mid-45 I would have thought this would be pretty low for IJN losses.

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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/6/2012 8:06:00 AM   
jrcar

 

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Thanks, we are building up stocks, those and Oscar IIa should do OK...


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


quote:

ORIGINAL: jrcar

CF thank you for that, the amount of HI needed has been one of my key RFI's... We have overbuilt in aircraft and our HI pool isn't enough at the moment. This has given us a goal to head towards which we can now do.

As far as Kami's go how useful have aircraft like Helen been?

Cheers

Rob


The IJA twin-engine level bombers (Sally, Helen, Peggy, etc.) have been my favorite kamikaze planes. At this stage of the war there are not many chances for them to conduct ground attacks and they make poor naval attack planes. So, many of them volunteer for the Special Attack Corps. They score a fair number of hits and when they hit they do a lot of damage. Their biggest advantage over single-engine planes, other than the increased damage, seems to be that they have a better chance of surviving flak on their way in.






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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/6/2012 10:57:33 AM   
JocMeister

 

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Thank you for doing this AAR. I just finished reading through it. Very intresting read!

When I started reading it looked like you opponent made huge strides in as early as in late 42 and early 43. I thought it would have been a done deal in 45 but that clearly didn´t happen. Any ideas on why? Did he overextend? Or did he simply try to grab too much too early? How much did the early loss of your carriers hamper you?






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RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/7/2012 6:01:43 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JocMeister

Thank you for doing this AAR. I just finished reading through it. Very intresting read!

When I started reading it looked like you opponent made huge strides in as early as in late 42 and early 43. I thought it would have been a done deal in 45 but that clearly didn´t happen. Any ideas on why? Did he overextend? Or did he simply try to grab too much too early? How much did the early loss of your carriers hamper you?



I'll answer the question about the early loss of my carriers first. The first effect, more subtle but maybe more significant, was psychological. Any player, on either side, who loses his carriers early has to deal with the effects of SCLS (Sudden Carrier Loss Syndrome). But I was able to shrug it off and became determined, since I had to go on the defensive early, to put up as tenacious a defense as possible.

Their loss, as you noted, allowed Charbroiled to go on the offensive early and roll up some gains. But I started building up my inner defenses early in '42 and once he came up against those the pace of his advance slowed way down.

One thing that helped was the fact that, although I wasn't very good at sinking his carriers, I kept damaging them. I scored a lot of submarine torpedo hits against them and kept hurting them with LBA. So for a long time I don't think he had enough of a carrier force available to be a huge factor. He tried to fill the gap with CVEs but those I did sink.

He also had a real battleship shortage for a lot of the game. While I wasn't very good at sinking his fleet carriers, his battleships seemed to go through the game with big bulls-eyes painted on them. This hurt him. In order to advance he needed to take out my air bases, and one of the best ways for the Allies to do this is to pound them with naval gunfire. Nothing wrecks an airbase like a good bombardment. But I actually had superiority in surface ships for a while and I used it. So the game really became a contest between land-based air forces. I think it was this situation that led my opponent to forego island-hopping and make his axis of advance along the New Guinea-Philippines route.

Starting with my bases on northwest New Guinea this game saw a pattern that was repeated several times. It went like this. Phase one saw attacks against my forward air bases by massed 4E bombers. After several weeks of combat between my fighters and his numbers would dwindle and his bomber pilots would begin turning around at the mere sight of a Japanese fighter. Then he would stand down his attacks for a week or two.

Phase two involved sweeps by Allied fighters. This couldn't occur until he had occupied and built up bases closer to me. This phase lasted until his fighter groups were worn out. At this point I would start thinking "Hey, I won!" Then fresh groups of fighters would be brought in, and these usually got the better of my battered defenders.

In phase three his bombers would return and pound my airfields flat. I would withdraw my fighters to the next line of defense, resting them and replacing my losses. Free of the worst threat of attack from my LBA, his amphibious forces would invade. Once they had patched up the airfields and his air units had advanced the cycle would begin again.

All of this took a lot of time. I would say it took him more than six months to clear the Philippines alone. In the DEI we saw a similar pattern in Sumatra, another campaign that lasted more than half a year.

The key to the whole thing was careful planning of my airfields. I built them in mutually-supporting groups and I starting planning early in '42 which bases to build up and what engineer and aviation support units would go where, for my entire defensive ring. Doing this well was the single biggest improvement I made in this game over my previous games (against Q-ball and erstad).

I'd like to make note once again of what a great opponent Charbroiled has been. He is gracious in victory and cheerful in defeat, and he cranks out turns like a machine. This game is less than 23 months old and we are past the mid-point of 1945. That's quite a pace, at least for AE!

He is also very. very tenacious. As the Allies advanced he would shrug off even the worst defeats, regroup, and try again with improved tactics and forces. Also, it's no small feat just to manage the logistics of running the Allied advance in '44 and '45 and he has done it very well. Fear the opponent who is good at planning and logistics! This game has been a lot of fun to play, even these latter months when Japan has been tottering on the brink of ruin. I wonder if I can talk him into a rematch...


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Post #: 268
RE: July 1945 - Twilight of an Empire - 5/7/2012 8:37:44 AM   
obvert


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We can all hope for such a contest! Looks like both Jocke (my opponent) and I are looking into your AAR for some information about what the future holds. I hope I still have my CVs to augment the LBA though.

I'll have to take a thorough reread through the beginning to see how you planned the defense. It's been a focus of mine since day 1 and it sounds like you figured out some useful combinations.

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Game Over, Man...Game Over - 7/5/2012 10:01:53 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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This game has reached its conclusion. VJ-Day was September 30, 1945. On that date the Allies reached the 2:1 victory point level. Japan surrendered and the Allies were declared the winners with a marginal victory.

Before taking a final look at the game I would like to congratulate Charbroiled, not only for his victory but for taking a PBEM game deep into 1945. I don’t know what percentage of games started ever go that far, but I would bet it is rather small.

Death From the Skies: The last three months of the game mostly featured a massive Allied air offensive against the Home Islands. It was this that provided the Allies with the points needed to secure the win; as late as early August I was looking at the scoreboard and thinking that I might be able to secure a draw, but as the Japanese air defense weakened the points started piling up and the handwriting was on the wall.

Nagasaki was pretty much destroyed by conventional bombing, and many other cities suffered heavy damage. Charbroiled began by targeting airfields, moved on to bombing factories, and ended up trying to burn every Japanese city to the ground. It was pretty grim. I was prepared to try and resist an Operation Downfall-type invasion but in the end my opponent decided against trying it. I think it was a smart move. It would have cost him a bunch of troops and ships for an uncertain result, and it was unnecessary since he could accomplish his goals via much less expensive means.

Hell No, We Won’t Glow: Well actually, I kind of did. Tokyo received an atomic bomb on 16 August, and Osaka got one on 2 September (historic VJ Day, which I am pretty sure wasn’t an accident). The bombs did little to no damage to the military units stationed there but did moderate damage to most industries. Their biggest effect, actually, was that each one dropped was worth an instant 5000 victory points for the Allies. I had hopes that Charbroiled would see that effect and go nuts, nuking me left and right, but alas he had read the manual. I hate it when opponents do that.

Final Naval Actions: There is not much to relate in this department. My last handful of carriers and the remains of the Combined Fleet ended up trapped up around Port Arthur. As the Allied carriers closed in I sortied everything I had, if only to avoid the inglorious fate of having all my ships sunk in port. My opponent then did an interesting and rather chivalrous thing; he pulled back his carriers and sent in surface units. He didn’t have to do this, but he wanted to give me the chance for one last good fight.

It really was quite a fight. In the end, though, the Japanese were overwhelmed. Old Haruna distinguished herself; she took California with her and did heavy damage to several other ships. An Allied light cruiser was also lost. After the fighting died down the carriers came in; my carriers fought, but were simply overwhelmed, and that was pretty much it for the IJN.

Except for Yamato. Noting that the pride of the IJN was still at large somewhere, Charbroiled suggested that we arrange for Yamato and what escorts I could scrape up meet New Jersey and some other ships for a duel. So it was arranged. We both backed off our air forces and other assets and the two task forces met south of Tokyo for the final naval engagement of the war. The fight opened in daylight at long range and Yamato lost her radar in one of the first salvos; that was pretty much it for the battle. The big battleship went down fighting, though. In the end all I had left as far as major naval assets was Kongo and a pair of heavy cruisers.

Possibly as a test for an invasion of Japan, the Allies invaded Miyake-Jima just south of Tokyo in late July. It may have been this that decided Charbroiled against an invasion; Japanese MTBs sank two CVEs and air units and kamikazes sank four more CVEs, a few destroyers, and a fair number of transports.

China and Manchuria: The Allied invasion of China made some progress in the final months, but not a great deal. By the end of the war things were pretty much stalemated, with the Japanese holding a line anchored by Changsa and Shanghai.

This was not the case in Manchuria. The Soviet Army is an unstoppable juggernaut. So many units, and so powerful…I fell back and delayed as best I could, but in the end the only thing that stopped the Russians from conquering all of Manchuria and Korea was time.

Final Analysis: This game ended up with Japan in almost the same position that it was historically. I’m actually kind of proud of that; in this game, lasting almost a month beyond the historic surrender almost counts as a victory, whatever the score may be.

In looking back over the course of the entire game, a couple of things stand out for me. The first was Charbroiled’s very aggressive early play. It’s interesting to speculate on what effect this had on the war. It had the effect of slowing down my offensive, there’s no doubt about that. In the long run, though, I think it cost him. His heavy losses, especially in battleships, cruisers, and destroyers, probably hampered his counteroffensive, at least until ’44 when sufficient replacements had arrived.

This combines in an interesting way with the second thing, my defeats in our early carrier battles. I should have won some of those, at least on paper; he took long chances and got away with them. I am either inept or very unlucky when it comes to carrier battles, it seems. Possibly both. At any rate, I can’t help thinking about how the game might have gone had I been able to maintain carrier supremacy until well into 1943. Given how the second half of the game went, that might well have meant a draw or even a Japanese victory. But that is not, of course, how it happened. Of all the words of tongue and pen...

The game took almost exactly two years to play, a very fast pace. Charbroiled and are planning a rematch, which will start soon. This time we’ll play DaBabesLite. In the meantime, I would like to invite Charbroiled to post his thoughts about the game here and thank him one more time for a great game.
And thanks out there in forum-land to all who followed this rather intermittent AAR. It’s been fun.


The final victory screen:





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