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December 16th, 1941

 
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December 16th, 1941 - 6/13/2020 2:05:31 PM   
scondon87

 

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CENPAC: Lexington continues its pursuit of the Japanese amphibs that took Christmas - looks like a good chance we got the AMC, this far from major Japanese bases. Probably going to withdraw the CV at this point, have it join up with Saratoga at PH and replenish the now-depleted SBD groups (that flak has been pretty rough). I think 2 CVs will probably also have the striking power to really hurt these amphib groups.



I still hold Palmyra, and have been dropping mines to try to help out. An amphib with supply is on its way, and hopefully in a week or so, we can get additional defenders landed.

SOPAC: The vastly superior SNLF continues to just bombard the French on Tahiti (amazing, given my forces are half a dozen secretaries and a pastry chef). If the AI holds off doing a real attack, I might try to sneak some real troops in there (from somewhere, not sure yet).

SWPAC: Port Moresby garrison holds against a 1:1, but the forts are now zero - I doubt they'll hold another week.

Philippines: So close! A PT engagement at 2000 yds at 3% moonlight - don't they know there's a war!?




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Post #: 31
December 17th, 1941 - 6/13/2020 4:04:36 PM   
scondon87

 

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CENPAC: An AVP transiting from SF to Pearl runs across the raider group that hit SF northeast of PH on a line from SF. Assuming they're going to skulk around Pearl now, though I can't imagine they have any ammo left. Sending a SAG up to see if we can dispatch a radar-equipped IJN CL.

SOPAC: One of my ad-hoc SAGs clobbers some surface raiders near Tahiti. Note the float Zeroes - I'm glad this was a surface action rather than a dive bombing attack. Between the AMCs, they probably could savage a single US CV strike. Definitely need to start operating CVs in pairs as soon as possible.



SWPAC: I-21 fires off 12 torpedoes in multiple surface attacks on the French xAK and xAKL transiting from Noumea to Sydney, so while I have two fewer cargo ships, that sub certainly will have to go home to rearm.

DEI: An aggressive move results in surface combat with CVs off Mindanao - unfortunately we don't get enough hits, and get hammered in daylight. So much for that. It was a risk without air cover, but I was expecting transports, not carriers. Lesson learned.


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Post #: 32
RE: December 17th, 1941 - 6/13/2020 5:41:12 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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nice interception

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Post #: 33
December 18th, 1941 - 6/14/2020 12:39:40 AM   
scondon87

 

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NORPAC: Huzzah!



CENPAC: Got a bunch of contacts with the CL, a whole bunch of nothing with 0% moonlight. Definitely does not help that he has radar and I don't.

Got the DL up with my AVP



And then the long-awaited engagement off Pearl





There were several other engagements where they evaded without us spotting them. Just demoralizing.

SOPAC: Japanese invasion group comes for Fiji and gets ambushed by Enterprise



And the Devastators lose cohesion, but it results in the highest hit rate I've ever seen from TBDs!




After the first week and a half, here's the score:



Definitely a personal high in lost shipping this early. Definitely feels a lot scarier than T1, though most of the action is deep strikes - the normal expansion hasn't really happened yet, so maybe filling in will mostly follow the normal timetable (protected by picking up the usual Allied buildup bases early).

Right now, trying to get some prep points built up so we can secure the supply line to Australia via all the French bases I've literally never even looked at before in the far southeast part of the map. I also have the suspicion that I'll need to keep a SAG in any port I want to ship in/out of - not something I'm used to against the AI.

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Post #: 34
December 20th, 1941 - 6/14/2020 10:41:09 PM   
scondon87

 

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CENPAC: Had at least 7 engagements with the Japanese raider CL 3-5 hexes West of PH, finally got him. Coincidentally that TF has every ship with 60+ night exp.











What a pain. I guess this is the way to give the peacetime navy a trial by fire. Also, every convoy needs heavy escort and no port is safely behind the lines. That will definitely change how I normally dispose my forces.

DEI: Almost got really excited here.



Naval search has a Japanese cruiser group coming down the Makassar Strait, going to see if the Brits can do something nasty to them.

SOPAC: The Japanese get 1 landing phase before the Australians break it up. This was a SIGINT intercept, though I wish the Australians had found them at night to prevent the landing entirely. New Caledonia won't be able to be held, I don't think.



The Japanese on Tahiti finally get tired of shelling my militia in the town. I'll have to take Tahiti the hard way.


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Post #: 35
RE: December 20th, 1941 - 6/14/2020 11:13:37 PM   
RangerJoe


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Check the crew experience before, then after the battle. Those battles will raise the crew experience.

< Message edited by RangerJoe -- 6/14/2020 11:50:59 PM >


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Post #: 36
RE: December 20th, 1941 - 6/14/2020 11:39:36 PM   
BBfanboy


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Those IJ troops at Koumac probably did not get much supply landed. They might take the top half of the island by if you can land a single battalion at Noumea it might hold. If they do take the whole island, they still will not be able to do much with it - no building up AF and port, no supply for air operations. Let's hope you can keep it that way. You know the AI will try to send more supply there and might not be able to provide much escort for it ...

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Post #: 37
RE: December 20th, 1941 - 6/14/2020 11:52:16 PM   
RangerJoe


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A good place for a minefield and for PT boats to patrol.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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Post #: 38
RE: December 20th, 1941 - 6/15/2020 1:10:10 PM   
scondon87

 

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Definitely a good point about New Caledonia. The Japanese landed in divisional strength (~450 AV) at Koumac, so I'm not sure Bn strength will be sufficient. They lost their transports after a single phase, so, as you said, they are probably very light on supply, and based on reported ground losses from the naval battle, they are probably missing most of the heavy equipment. That said, 450 AV is a lot of AV to stymie this early (even getting 200 unrestricted AV anywhere in December is tough). There are just too many places in this scenario where solid AV units are needed!

I think if I can bleed them there, it would be agreat outcome, if I can't, it's fine. Convoys to Australia will be going south of NZ anyways with the loss of Tahiti and Nuku Hiva, and New Caledonia strikes me as somewhat isolated for Japan without at least all the other island chains in the area and maybe even NW Australia. Brisbane-Noumea is B-24 normal range, and Maryborough-Koumac is extended B-17 range, which means these are not safe ports without a significant force commitment.

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Post #: 39
December 22nd, 1941 - 6/15/2020 4:07:38 PM   
scondon87

 

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Port Moresby falls after a BB bombardment.

Japanese CVs come down Makassar Strait and pull off an 8 hex strike on British CLs running back to the marginal safety of Soerabaja. Maybe the Dutch AF can keep the Japanese off the cruisers.

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Post #: 40
December 24th, 1941 - 6/15/2020 8:15:30 PM   
scondon87

 

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SWPAC: Got really close on two different carriers.





DEI: Popped a Japanese amphib - not sure on numbers or capabilities, but always better to have fewer running around.



A dutch submarine blasts Kumano off of Borneo. Likely sinking here.



Burma: I should have two of the infiltrator groups surrounded next turn, which will hopefully improve things.

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Post #: 41
RE: December 24th, 1941 - 6/15/2020 8:41:06 PM   
BBfanboy


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Nice job on the LSD and the CA! The LSD (landing ship dock) is a beaching craft like an LST. It is a RO/RO (roll on/roll off) vessel for vehicles or anything on wheels, so it enables very fast loading and unloading of tanks and artillery. Looks like that one had artillery. Japan gets very few of these and if that one sinks this early in the game that is a coup. With two hits and a large well deck, I only give it a 15% chance of surviving.

The CA could also be in trouble if those were the 53.3 CM torpedo's rather than the 45 CM ones.

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Post #: 42
RE: December 24th, 1941 - 6/15/2020 9:07:39 PM   
Andy Mac

 

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Good job !!

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Post #: 43
RE: December 24th, 1941 - 6/15/2020 10:07:36 PM   
RangerJoe


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The LSDs usually can carry float planes as well.

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Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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Post #: 44
December 25th, 1941 - 6/23/2020 5:36:18 PM   
scondon87

 

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DEI: We put another 2 torpedoes into the Japanese LSD we hit the day before. Hopefully that will be sufficient.



The Japanese land at Balikpapan. We anticipate the defenses to collapse quickly.



Burma: The 2 pockets of infiltrators take their first attacks from CW forces, with disappointing results. The one on the rail line north of Toungoo sustains a 1:1, but takes hardly any casualties. There's no supply(-) combat message for the Japanese yet. I assume it will get somewhat better if we can burn down their supply in the hex. I'll hit them again next turn, given the disruption is low.


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Post #: 45
December 29th, 1941 - 6/24/2020 9:09:17 PM   
scondon87

 

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SOPAC: The target-rich hunting grounds continue to pay off at Koumac.



DEI: A German CB blows away a group of tankers that were fleeing the Japanese carrier groups off Java.



Mauritius makes her way south from Soerabaja, and runs over a transport and escort.



Mauritius holds her own against Lutzow, but really, we have no business skulking around the DEI at this point, with at least 8 carriers that I can see.



Burma: Finally getting some good combat odds resolutions around Toungoo: 4:1, 7:1, 22:1. Still low casualties for the Japanese, but they're out of supply now. Crushing this group will give a path to some of the better units in Burma to get out (mostly the 16th Indian Bde).

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Post #: 46
RE: December 29th, 1941 - 6/24/2020 9:17:02 PM   
scondon87

 

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Every little bit helps!


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Post #: 47
RE: December 29th, 1941 - 6/25/2020 7:55:31 AM   
morphin

 

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Which map do you use?

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Post #: 48
RE: December 29th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 3:32:48 PM   
scondon87

 

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I think it's Bellum Pacifica? I found it many years ago in the modding subforum, and really liked it.

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Post #: 49
January 1st, 1942 - 6/30/2020 3:54:08 PM   
scondon87

 

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At least we get out of December. Here's the intel screen, which shows the AI being up a cool 2:1 in VPs after less than a month.



Ship losses (1456 VPs):
3 BB
1 BC
1 CA
2 CL
11 DD
1 AE
9 AP
3 TK
+ a bunch of smaller ships & xAP/xAK/xAKL

Claimed enemy losses (883):
1 CA
1 CL
3 TB
3 E
4 SS (maybe got one of these)
5 AMC
1 CM
5 APD
1 LSD
17 AK
10 xAP
9 xAK

I have no idea if those numbers are good, as I have no idea how many ships Andy put in here. Obviously, I haven't really faced many real combat ships (might be an area of improvement, to see if the AI can escort those deep strikes better).

My plans for the next few months are:
- In India, fortify the ports against deep strikes on the other side of the map
- In Australia, fortifying ports in the southern half of the country, and preparing for an invasion of NE/Western Australia (probably after Java finishes falling, but they already hold PM in divisional strength, so maybe sooner)
- In SOPAC, planning on losing New Caledonia & Fiji, which means I may need to plan on an invasion of NZ. Working on fortifications, and getting some kind of US combat LCU down there (harder after getting my APs whacked off SF).
- Fortifying Hawaii, as I won't have a lot of early warning with both Johnston & Midway taken. I'm hoping to get a relatively early counterstrike at Christmas, Nuku Hiva, & Tahiti, which will reopen a safe resupply route to NZ/Australia from the east

Other than neutralizing Japanese bases on my supply lines, I'm probably going to be limited to raids to try to get some breathing room and keep up on VPs.

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Post #: 50
January 1st, 1942 - 6/30/2020 4:01:08 PM   
scondon87

 

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SOPAC: Caught another AMC raider off Tahiti. The CA SAG here is pretty dry on ammo & torpedoes, so will rearm in NZ.



The RAN SAG on its way back to Koumac pops another couple AKs, and then blasts another task force at its destination. We keep running through our ammo so fast - I wish I could keep this SAG here for more than a day or two, it's such a target-rich environment!





SEAC: Finished wiping out an infiltrator group on the rail line north of Toungoo, which reopens both the Burma road and the withdrawal of units stuck in southern Burma.

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Post #: 51
RE: December 16th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 4:43:58 PM   
Lowpe


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Andy greatly increased the vp for bases for the AI, making early AV very difficult to achieve, and a potential early AV for the AI entirely possible.


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Post #: 52
RE: December 16th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 5:40:02 PM   
PaxMondo


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not all bases, usually just a couple. For example, in the Dorniers mod, I think SF is now like 50,000 VP. Prevents the player from getting an autovic until like '44 … unless of course you land and take SF with the magic move on day 1 ...

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Post #: 53
RE: December 16th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 6:09:53 PM   
scondon87

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe

Andy greatly increased the vp for bases for the AI, making early AV very difficult to achieve, and a potential early AV for the AI entirely possible.



I didn't realize that. That probably explains the VP differential. None of the major point hubs have fallen yet (Luzon, Singapore, Java), so that margin will get quite a bit worse.

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Post #: 54
RE: December 16th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 6:44:02 PM   
RangerJoe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: PaxMondo

not all bases, usually just a couple. For example, in the Dorniers mod, I think SF is now like 50,000 VP. Prevents the player from getting an autovic until like '44 … unless of course you land and take SF with the magic move on day 1 ...


Now there is a thought . . .

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


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Post #: 55
RE: December 16th, 1941 - 6/30/2020 9:05:30 PM   
scondon87

 

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Yeah, you're definitely right about that - the war started at near parity in VPs:



Love seeing those handful of turns where the margin went slightly my way. Great victories in the dark days of December!

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Post #: 56
January 5th, 1942 - 7/1/2020 1:20:55 AM   
scondon87

 

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Caught a U-Boat in harbor in Alaska!



Struck Christmas I., killing an xAK, but lost 15 Wildcats. Not worth it, even for the troop losses afloat.


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Post #: 57
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