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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> How much of a threat is this? Page: [1]
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How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 1:56:48 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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On Feb 21st of my current PBEM game, the IJ captured Canton Island in force.
I know this an atoll but we are playing a stronger Japan version of the game so keeping it supplied will not be a problem.

I hardly if at all play as the IJ. Can my opponent build this base to the point where can put 2-3 Sentai of Betties, 1 sentai of Zeros and a detachment of long range float planes along with some long range submarine scouts and effectivly cut off my supply line from the West Coast of the United States to Australia/New Zealand?

I have two US Infantry divisions in Pearl Harbor 'bought and paid for' and the Americal Division on transports headed to Noumea.
Is it worth an early war March or April offensive to recapture this island or is it just two risky for the Allies since they are so lacking the first year of the war?

I have significant naval and infantry assets but I lack the air power.

Is this island significant or is it not worth worrying about?

He has already captured Port Moresby which worries me.
Noumea is building and once the Americal division reaches it (in about 15 turns) it should be much more secure.
Singapore and Manilla are still holding but not for much longer.
He is at the gates of Rangoon but has stopped one hex out for over 3 weeks.
He has landed at Java but has been mopping up undefended bases and not the oil centers.

My fear is that his 'slow' progress is him holding some of his army back so that he can make a push and occupy and supply Fiji.

This would effectively cut the map in two and the first year of my offensives would be winning back the south central Pacific and opening back up the supply route to the Southwest Pacific.

I am not sure what to do at this point. To now I have kept my forces largely intact. My highest ship lose has been a 33 point AMC.
I have lost only 3 DD's and have lost nothing CL size or larger.
Only 2 SS have been lost.

My turtle strategy is working but if Canton is important and if Fiji is next then my life would become much more difficult.


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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 2:11:29 AM   
Alfred

 

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The loss of no island in the Pacific is  fatal to the Allies.

Japan cannot establish a cordon sanitaire around Australia.  The geography does not allow, it Japan lacks the assets to do it.  Any attempt to do so weakens Japan fatally on the strategic axes.

Alfred 

(in reply to Fallschirmjager)
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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 6:20:28 AM   
Leandros


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Let them rot on that island. Just make a curve around it. I know - it is a little more work......Use you divisions
where they can do the enemy some damage.

Fred

< Message edited by Leandros -- 2/22/2016 7:22:26 AM >


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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 11:48:11 AM   
Admiral DadMan


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Do just enough to make him think you want it back or feel threatened. If you want to keep connected to Australia, go the long way around.

I'm currently playing PBeM as Allied in Scenario 10 Ironman where Japan is on an HGH/Steroid cocktail. He took Canton, Palmyra, Johnston and is angling at Bora Bora. Right now there is an epic fight for Christmas Is. my 4 Divisions are holding out against 6 of his. It's our Guadalcanal.

< Message edited by Admiral DadMan -- 2/22/2016 4:32:04 PM >


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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 1:25:04 PM   
obvert


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+1 to all of these comments

Canton is nice to have, but anything Japan does to (over) extend the Empire early has a cost to resupply and maintain. The economic costs are his main concern. You can just go around, farther south, starting to build Tahiti and Pago and use the map edge, or go the long way around through CT. There are still risks for all of those paths, but a blockade can't be continually maintained.

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 2:02:00 PM   
Trugrit


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+1

He can’t cut you off totally in Australia. Use New Zealand or Perth.

This is the classic dilemma for Japan. For every hex the Japanese extend their perimeter they add
Two hexes to their fuel and supply lines because their supply ships have to return empty.

Opportunity cost - Cargo ships headed for Fiji are not transporting resources to Japan from the DEI.
Troops stationed on Canton Island are not holding or building fortifications on important islands
The Allies want like Luzon, Saipan and Tinian.

Islands can be bypassed. The Japanese had thousands of men at Rabaul when it was bypassed and isolated.
The Allies made it the largest prisoner of war camp in the war and they didn’t even need to feed them.

How do you cut off an entire continent? The Pacific is a very large place.
Most people cannot easily grasp the incredible size.
By example - Africa is a very large place but you could lose several of them in the Pacific.

How much fuel and supply would Japan have to burn using its important and irreplaceable warships
and air force to cordon an area the size of Africa just to try and stop thousands of rust bucket
cargo ships from delivering spam to Australia? Your opponent needs to run the numbers.

Just my two cents






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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 3:13:41 PM   
crsutton


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I think the real factor is where else is he operating? If you are confident that KB is in another theater then retaking Canton should not be a problem. I would prep and have my forces ready at Pearl and then just wait until he moves KB far enough away. Even a threat to retake Canton might disrupt his operations elsewhere. However, I never recommend any undertaking in 1942 that would put my carriers at risk. Canton is not critical and you will take it back soon enough.

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 3:33:07 PM   
Leandros


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

I think the real factor is where else is he operating? If you are confident that KB is in another theater then
retaking Canton should not be a problem. I would prep and have my forces ready at Pearl and then just wait until
he moves KB far enough away. Even a threat to retake Canton might disrupt his operations elsewhere.


Just to be a little finicky - why tie down forces at Pearl for a retaking of Canton at all if the decision is not
to do it? Would not the Japanese have to prepare for an eventual counter-move whether forces are assigned the
purpose - or not? How can the enemy differentiate between an actual threat or a non-threat? Is the game/opponent
cheating?

Maybe the enemy's real intention is that - to tie down his forces at Pearl.....

quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

However, I never recommend any undertaking in 1942 that would put my carriers at risk. Canton is not critical and
you will take it back soon enough.


How would he know in 1942 that he "will take it back soon enough?"

Regds

Fred




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Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D34QCWQ/?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref=series_rw_dp_labf

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 3:33:32 PM   
Admiral DadMan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

...I never recommend any undertaking in 1942 that would put my carriers at risk...

Having lost 2 1/2 CVs to Japan's 0 in 1942, I can attest to this.

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 3:39:39 PM   
Leandros


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Trugrit

Most people cannot easily grasp the incredible size.
By example - Africa is a very large place but you could lose several of them in the Pacific.


The Pacific, yes - but not between Hawaii and NPG/NZ. There there is only space for one Africa. If your map
is correct, that is....

Fred


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D34QCWQ/?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref=series_rw_dp_labf

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 7:06:32 PM   
Fallschirmjager


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quote:

ORIGINAL: crsutton

I think the real factor is where else is he operating? If you are confident that KB is in another theater then retaking Canton should not be a problem. I would prep and have my forces ready at Pearl and then just wait until he moves KB far enough away. Even a threat to retake Canton might disrupt his operations elsewhere. However, I never recommend any undertaking in 1942 that would put my carriers at risk. Canton is not critical and you will take it back soon enough.



One problem is that he has split KB and has his CVLs

My lack of naval search (the poor planes, their lack of number and their poor exp) means that I am usually unable to pinpoint exactly what his his carrier forces are.

Right now he has one that just left the Canton Island area, and two more sitting off Java while he builds up his forces their.
My naval search can see that they are carriers but are unable to pin down exactly in what strength.


It is a good move on his part.
I have Hornet moving to join up at San Diego with Enterprise, Yorktown, Saratoga and Lexington.
This is all I get until Essex comes in 1943.

Right now I have the CV force doing extensive training as well as cleaning the US west coast of subs (which they are well suited at)

I have played turtle thus far but lost little.
If we makes a move towards Suva or Noumea then that would prod me into a reaction.
Those are too valuable to lose and not make him attrition a little.

I lost Port Moresby way too easily but I am holding off until Fall of 1942 for my first offensive.

If I have seen him stretched this anywhere, it is in escorts.
My submarines are having a field day and getting an unreal number of surface attacks.
Even the MK 21 torpedo's with their dud rate have been effective because of the high number of hits due to surface attacks.
If this keeps up I could put a serious dent in his merchant/transport fleet by the end of the year.
And so far I have lost only 1 S boat and 1 fleet boat and the number of new subs since the start of the war has increased 20%


He got all of his new toys so as a compromise we turned off 'unit withdrawal'
This means everything on the map is mine to keep unless it is in a restricted HQ.



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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 7:27:47 PM   
Anachro


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I think there are certainly psychological aspect that should be taken into account when it comes to committing the allied carriers in 1942. That is the need to maintain lines of communication with Australia and what this places upon Allied operational planning. There was a reason the Nimitz committed to the Coral Sea campaign. Calculated risk, of course, you shouldn't use your carriers as an allied player wantonly early on.

However, while it might make sense, there should be a cost of you write off Australia up to a certain point. Perhaps this could be done in the form of a PP cost of reduction every turn for Japanese controlled areas passed a certain point in the Auz/NZ/NG areas (i.e. Port Moresby) to spur or at least make the Allies think about calculated risk of their carriers in 1942.

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/22/2016 10:40:06 PM   
Leandros


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Other than that the game leads most allied players into an inferiority complex regarding the opposing carrier forces' capacities and abilities, I don't see that this has a basis in RL. At least if we look into the first major carrier battles, the Coral Sea and Midway. Coral Sea was much like a draw, Midway was a US victory that easily could have been bigger - or with a US carrier less lost.

There are many details which seem to make the Japanese side better (stronger), but in practice they didn't show that much (like they do in the game). They had a core of better-trained pilots, they had planes with longer range, better (handier) fighters, they had an air-launched torpedo system that worked. Even then, as a whole, the US system was good enough to give them a good beating. US had good leaders, good pilots (in general, better than contemporary army pilots), good carriers, better (faster) repair facilities - and radar.

There was really only one thing that could not (quickly, anyway) be compensated for, the Japanese numerical superiority in carriers at the time. But, the Japanese were just as afraid of losing their carriers as was the US side. From this I have the impression that the US carrier forces, in the game, is getting a too bad deal from the outset (pilots, materiel downgraded). Just my opinion. Is the reason that otherwise the Japanese side shall not persist long enough to make the game interesting....?

Fred

< Message edited by Leandros -- 2/22/2016 10:41:34 PM >


_____________________________

River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book on Operation Sea Lion - www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - a book series on how The Philippines were saved - in 1942! https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D34QCWQ/?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&ref=series_rw_dp_labf

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/23/2016 6:25:37 AM   
wdolson

 

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At war's start, the US carrier crews were not ready for war. The USN conducted a number of raids to give the Japanese a bloody nose and to get their crews the experience they needed. Another thing was the Pearl Harbor attack shook US servicemen to the core and they needed some proof the Japanese were not invincible. Nimitz knew the USN was not ready for a carrier battle at the outset.

I suggest reading the Osprey book on USN vs IJN carriers. It documents the performance of each side in the battles of 1942. At Coral Sea, the US was up against the second string of the KB. The Shokaku and Zuikaku suffered from the same problem the Hornet had at Midway, the crews were green compared to the older carriers and it showed. In game, those two carriers probably should have lower experience air groups.

At Midway, the US had the best 5 minutes of all the carrier battles of the war and they took three carriers out of the fight in one stroke. In all the other carrier fights, the USN did not do well at all. The Japanese inflicted more damage to US ships than the US did to IJN ships, though the US got progressively better at defense.

Midway was primarily a victory of superior setup. Nimitz had the carriers placed along a vector the Japanese didn't expect. The Japanese eventually found them, but when they didn't search very aggressively along the vector where the USN was because they didn't think it possible the USN was off Midway that early in the battle.

Bill

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/24/2016 1:36:37 AM   
Fallschirmjager


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To me it makes so sense to risk any type of action until at least mid April 1942

In April almost every useful USN vessel gets a big AA upgrade that improves their AA scores by 25-40%.
After that things are still not equal but at least if they get attacked they are better able to defend their selves with AA fire.

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RE: How much of a threat is this? - 2/24/2016 4:41:00 PM   
tiemanjw

 

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The real advantages that Nimitz had were that he knew where the Japanese CVs were (and where they were going). He could risk raids in the Gilberts / Marshals because he know the CVs were not near there.
The other advantage he had was that the Japanese split their CVs. If the whole KB came calling to either Coral Sea or Midway, it would have been different.

It sounds like your opponent has made both of these mistakes for you (split his CVs, and you know about where they are). I'm not sure you want to tie your CVs to an invasion force (Canton just isn't worth it), but is there a chance to ambush a subset of his CVs?

If you decide yes, add USMC fighter groups to your CVs for added protection.

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