From: Chehalis, WA
No need for a HR, the situation you face is largely self inflicted.
You were adament that you would not read the relevant AARs. There are AARs which discuss in great detail how to take advantage of an Allied festung Palembang commitment. Even in your own dormant AAR, where you placed strict conditions on the kind of advice you wanted, you were advised in general terms how to avoid the problem from getting out of hand.
Now the situation might be too late too retrieve. Based on your post there remains a basic question which you have not yet addressed. You say to dent the festung Palembang defences you would have to stripping other theatres to the bone. Yet you also lament about the difficulties caused by the festung Palembang. Well the question is really quite simple.
Are these other theatres more important than Sumatra?
If the answer is in the affirmative, then carry on as you currently are. If the answer is in the negative, ie the overall health of the Japanese war effort is more adversely affected by the Allies retaining their current position in Sumatra, then you would be stripping to the bone the other theatres.
Bottom line, none of this requires a HR. As I said, the situation is largely self inflicted. Not a problem if you think there are more important objectives than eliminating the Allied position in Sumatra; not so benign if you believe Palembang is more important than the other objectives but refuse to allocate the resources to deal with Palembang.
Thank you for your kind advice once again.
The reason I do not read other AARs for advice is because I don't play the same style game as others. I consider myself a historical player with certain self-imposed strategic and tactical restrictions. Most of these self-impositions are because certain strategies and tactics that are possible in the game were not politically or militarily acceptable during this time period. You see, my approach to the game is more from a historical dilemma viewpoint than it is from a game to be won viewpoint. I also tend to play with an eye towards limiting casualties.
That may sound like a contradiction considering that I agreed to a scenario 2 game. But looking over the OOB I found that scenario 2 is not really a major upgrade over scenario 1. There are a few more air units, most of which don't appear until mid 1944 and there are a few more land units, mostly garrison types and support units. Most of the few usable combat land units are restricted.
As I said, I look at myself as a historical player. I am not the kind of player that adds up every single assault point or combs through available leaders looking for that guy that has 1 more morale point. For that reason, I don't max out the Japanese economy trying to squeeze out that last engine or get that ship one day sooner.
As to the topic at hand, Palembang is crucial to Japan's long term survival. Without it, Japan will not survive very far into 1943. But a direct assault on a fortified Palembang would also cause it's destruction so the Japanese player must capture it before the Allied player can bring in additional troops from far flung lands. Given that the Philippines, Malaya and the southern SRA must be under Japanese player control before he can embark on any assault against Java or Sumatra, the Japanese player would be hard pressed to do so especially against an aggressive defender like Dan. Dan's strong counter attacks in China, Burma and Tarawa plus his invasion of the Kurile Islands (with a full division!) ensured that any available Japanese troops had to be sent to counter these thrusts. Once fortified, all the available combat forces in the 15th, 16th and 25th armies will not be enough to take the place.
Then there is the question of stopping the flow of troops and getting your own into the place. To date I have lost 2 CVs, 3 CVLs, 2 BBs, 8 CAs, 5 CLs and 19 DDs attempting to interdict his shipping in and out of Oosthaven. Dan has lost 5 BBs at Oosthaven along with 7 CA/CLs and 10 DDs (all losses include those reported under FOW). Most of these losses were in or around Oosthaven.
Now factor in the air power Dan has there. How do you propose to get your troops ashore (and where) without incurring excessive shipping and troop losses? Those transports would make nice, juicy targets approaching Oosthaven. Palembang is not a suitable landing point given the river restrictions (no BBs, CAs, large APs). And attempting a landing from the western side of Sumatra is pure suicide. I did attempt a few air raids early on also but found the air losses were prohibitive for little gain. Whole air units were wiped out. I tried night raids but was informed that I could expect major 4e raids if I were to continue.
The bottom line is that against an aggressive defender like Dan, the Japanese player is not going to be able to mount an offensive soon enough or large enough to capture Palembang without seeing its destruction.
I do want to be clear about something just in case people think I am calling out Dan because his style of play is different than mine. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am enjoying this game despite getting schooled hard and I have no intention of leaving it. While I do not believe his tactics would have been militarily or politically acceptable in a historical context, they are certainly well within the possibilities of the game and I do NOT consider them gamey in any way, shape or form. His style and my style are just different, nothing more.
< Message edited by ChezDaJez -- 11/7/2011 4:21:34 AM >
Ret Navy AWCS (1972-1998)
VP-5, Jacksonville, Fl 1973-78
ASW Ops Center, Rota, Spain 1978-81
VP-40, Mt View, Ca 1981-87
Patrol Wing 10, Mt View, CA 1987-90
ASW Ops Center, Adak, Ak 1990-92
NRD Seattle 1992-96
VP-46, Whidbey Isl, Wa 1996-98