From: The bridge of the DNTK Kitakami
Ok... game date is now Dec 17th, 1941, aad the last few turns have taken a turn for the worst.
I have had to concede air superiority over Manila. I could not hold the tide against the number of A6M2 fighters sweeping, and the naval bombers that came after them. Whatever fighters are left are on their way to Java. The few heavy bombers I could fly out are in Calcutta, training.
What ships I could save, I did. The rest are now artificial coral reefs. John is very good at locking the thundering herd down. Luzon has been invaded, and Mania is being approached from both the north and south. Clark Field and Batangas are still in Allied hands. Cebu, Butuan, and Jolo have fallen.
The cruiser force, although diminished and damaged, may have escaped. Current location is northern coast of New Guinea, sailing towards Australia.
China has been rather quiet with two exceptions. First, a Chinese corps commander decided to attack in Ichang... by himself. It cost me 301 destroyed infantry squads, a whole month worth of reinforcements. He should be shot! The second exception is hex (85,86). I got there first, but a couple of IJA Bdes want to dislodge me from there. I have reinforcements one hex away. I have withdrawn most troops from Yunan, and sent them where they are most needed. The first two divisions from the Chinese 5th Corps will cross into Burma in a few days. The rest of the Corps will follow as able.
It seems John has decided to train his 4E bombers here. I will try to counter the move with one third of the Flying Tigers. We will see how that goes.
John's Mersing Gambit worked. Mersing and Kluong have fallen, the Japanese Paras blocked the road in Malacca, and Singapore will fall in less than a week. It only occurred to me later that I should have garrisoned Malacca, not only Mersing. Live and learn, I guess. I have begin evacuation of fighter assets and, although I will certainly lose some damaged planes, at least the squadrons will live to fight in Burma & India another day.
The IJA has not moved in force yet, but a scouting unit is in (55,58) and one unit is marching towards Tavoy. I am trying to get some semblance of a defense here, as Burma will be attacked early (see Malaya, above). The only good thing about the IJA Paras being used and abused in Malaya is that Port Blair will not fall to an airdrop. It will need to be invaded.
With Palembang in Japanese hands, and with both fighters and bombers stationed there, things have gotten more complicated. Last turn I ordered a night attack on the oilfields with all of the Dutch medium bombers... and not one attacked :/ I will try again, but I need those groups to pass their checks. I think the strategic benefit of the the attack outweighs the tactical benefit of doing anything else.
Java is quiet for the time being, and being reinforced with air units from the Philippines. That Tarakan has not been taken yet has given me a very convenient, and somewhat safe, air bridge.
Manado, Ternate, Namlea, and Boela have fallen. Singkawang and Sambas are in Japanese hands. So is Miri.
New Guinea and surrounding area:
Manus, Wewak, Lae, Buin & Tulagi have fallen. The evacuation of Rabaul by air is on its way. That the IJN carriers made an appearance here and sank a few xAK will give me a few extra days, but Rabaul will fall, and soon.
Nauru, Ocean Island, Tarawa, Tabiteuea, and Baker Islands are in Japanese hands. Canton Island is next. The question is... will John go for Pago Pago, I think he will.
Wake and Midway have fallen. Nothing I could do about it. The question is... what will John do with those SNLF units now?
Adak has fallen.
The first major disaster of the war has happened. I sortied Sister Sara to a point about 11 or so hexes from San Diego, with DD & APD escorts, to ferry dive bombers to Pearl. The Yellow Wolf Pack found her and, in 3 days, hit her with 5 torpedoes. Not only do I have one less carrier, but also I lost two full squadrons of DBs that I desperately needed elsewhere.
I am no match for John. Not only the initial correlation of forces strongly favors Japan, but he also is an excellent player and knows this Mod better than almost any one else. As things stand, I do not know what to do, or how to do it. I can see a bit of what the Allied leaders must have felt in the early stages of the campaign. I am also seriously considering discontinuing this AAR. It must get boring reading my whining every time I post.
Tenno Heika Banzai!