Battle of the Timor Sea: A major carrier battle took place today but I can't post detailed info until Dave sends the next-turn file. He sent the 001 and the Combat Report, so I have a general idea of what happened but lack the detail the next-turn file would give, such as precise ship damage; air losses; locations of the TFs; and where and how ships will retire, if necessary. (Dave is in the third week of a four-week busy spell that has slowed the pace of the game; he may not be able to send the turn until tomorrow.)
A few tidbits: I think this was a Battle of Antietam - significant losses on both sides, no clear-cut winner, one side perhaps better able to hold the battlefield. Both sides suffered major air losses, but Allies losses might prove to be 30% to 50% higher. A quick tally from the Combat Report (which always seriously underreports air losses) shows the Japanese with 175 aircraft destroyed and the Allies with 230 (when the time comes to see the real totals, it'll be cringe-worthy for me). Both sides suffered damage to capital ships but few, if any, are in danger of sinking (except perhaps CV Aso, which took two bombs and must've suffered a catastrophic explosions, as heavy fires/heavy damage is reported). Eight carriers on each side suffered damage; for the IJN six CVs and two CVLs; for the Allies, four USN CVs, one RN CV, two CVL and a CVE. CV Victorious took 1 TT; CV Hornet took 1 TT and 1B; all the other Allied fleet carriers took no more than a single bomb. In addition to CV Aso's heavy damage, Kaga took 3B and Akagi took 2B. CVL Chitose took a TT and 3B and should be in bad shape.
Both sides will probably need to regroup (ship AA will have low ammo, on both sides, and Allied strike aircraft may force retirement to Darwin. The Allies might be in a better position to resume operations in shorter term, as a CV, a CVL, and about 10 CVEs are inbound and a few days to perhaps a week away (and CV Bunker Hill will complete repairs at Townsville in two weeks).
It looks like there may have been some reaction; there's a possibility KB fought from Koepang, a base hex (that would be crazy, as air ops would be halved but Dave would've benefited from LBA CAP); and there's a possibility the two big Allied CV TFs fought from different hexes.
In my game with Obvert, my carriers have usually been configured for defense (due to the threat of enemy LBA and CAP, given all the fighting has been in proximity to the Home Islands). In this game, the only other big carrier battle (Bay of Bengal) caught me in a similar configuration. So it's encouraging to see a more typical carrier battle, with both sides taking damage and no slaughter of the innocents.
Driven through the Antietam area many times although never visited the battlefield.
Just from reading it looked like the big carrier battle was bubbling and would come soon.
Do you have any 4EB in the area that can pound Koepang, port for damaged ships or airfield?
Dan, if this did end up being an "Antietam of the Timor Sea" that should prove to be a strategic victory for you. You already have CV reinforcements on the way while Dave is just about at the end of the line for any CV reinforcements. I'm looking forward to seeing the detailed report.
Best of luck on results!
< Message edited by SuluSea -- 8/30/2019 3:16:44 PM >