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Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/25/2020 7:18:15 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
Greetings fellow AE war gamers,

This is a rather unorthodox AAR in the sense that it will be covering a recently wrapped up Scenario 1 multiplayer grand campaign rather than following along in real time. Although I obviously know the ending, I will however be writing it without divulging what occurs in future turns too early. I am writing this AAR for two primary reasons. First, as a record for myself to go back and check on as this was my very first grand campaign against either human or computer, (having only recently gotten into this fantastic game). More importantly, to hopefully get some feedback from the community on my gameplay so I can improve it for future campaigns.

As the complete newbie, I took the Allies while my experienced opponent who has played more than 10 grand campaigns took the Japanese side. My opponent has requested that he remain anonymous, and I of course will honor that request.

Preparation

To prepare for my first AE campaign, I read the manual and looked up on the forum some of the issues I encountered there that I didn’t fully comprehend. I also played the Coral Sea scenario against the computer a few times to familiarize myself with the all too important dynamics of fleet carrier battles. Also invaluable to me was Kull’s Allied spreadsheet – I didn’t follow its first turn setup to the letter, but it did give me greater familiarity with the routine game mechanics that better prepared me for following turns. Finally, I leaned heavily on my profession as a military analyst and my knowledge of Pacific War history, equipment, etc.

Rules

Given my lack of experience, my opponent suggested that we play with a minimum of rules, which I thought was probably a good idea. We ended up with the following:

Only base or dot hexes can be invaded
No 4 engines naval strikes below 10,000 feet
None-historical Start
No strategic bombing until mid 43
Player defined upgrades on
Realistic r&d on
Fog of war on
Advanced weather

We never really discussed it, but I later noted that my opponent seemed to refrain from transferring units Kwantung Army units into China without paying PPs. We also later agreed to allow Thai units to cross into Burma up to three hexes distance from the Thai border.

Strategy

My overall objective going into the campaign was to defeat my opponent before September 1st, 1945. As the Allies it seemed inevitable to me that I would eventually win – the sheer allied industrial overmatch which the game seems to replicate made me think that it would only be a question of time until I overwhelmed my opponent as long as I learned from even a plethora of mistakes along the way. To that end, I wanted to do better than the Allies did during the actual war.

My operational strategy was to pursue a very aggressive land war while avoiding a decisive fleet engagement until my naval strength accumulates decisively over time. To be a bit more academic, instead of channeling Mahan in the early period, I was more interested in following Corbett’s principals, which emphasize the interdiction and interruption of my opponent’s sea lines of communication while protecting my own. In practice, this meant that I was prepared to be very aggressive with small surface task forces, submarines, and land based aircraft to gradually weaken my opponent’s naval and merchant fleet while insulating my main battle fleet and maritime logistics. I was prepared to heavily utilize my carriers, but only in areas where the Kido Butai was not located – something that hopefully my superior intelligences sources will help me with.

On land, I wanted to immediately take the fight to my opponent in China to bleed his resources and forces there and prevent them from being used elsewhere. To allow this to happen, I also needed to keep control of Burma for as long as possible to ensure the flow of supply for my offensives in China. I was also prepared to strike back in Malaya and the Philippines instead of immediately going turtle. As the campaign developed, I planned to reevaluate the situation and then decide on where my main area of counterattack would develop after I had hopefully stemmed his initial invasions.

Post #: 1
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/25/2020 8:17:10 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
A few first turn rules that I forgot to mention in my last post:

1) Only already existing Allied Task Forces can be given orders on turn 1
2) Only air and ground units either in China or attached to China Command can be given orders on turn 1
3) No deep penetrations by the Japanese on turn 1 (Mersing, Palembang, etc.)

Submarines

The first turn started with reported underwater activity at Pearl Harbor, but luckily none of the mini-submarines succeeded in penetrating the port.

Dutch submarine SS KXIII launched four torpedoes at DD Maikaze off Malaya but missed.

The Philippines

The first action in Luzon involved 54 Betty bombers escorted by 37 Zeros sweeping aside the lone P-26A that rose to meet them and hitting Iba airfield. They came in at 23,000 feet however, so the airfield escapade heavy damage.

A similar bombing raid from Formosa with 36 Nells and 27 Bettys and 25 Zeros thing hit Clark Airfield, once again brushing aside the few P-26As that dared to meet them but destroying only two aircraft on the ground.

The main event however was a full KB strike with 144 Kates and 126 Vals heavily escorted by Zeros pulverizing Manila’s port facilities. 13 of my submarines were sunk outright and the bulk of the rest were heavily damaged. Very few of the ships in the port survived the strike unscathed. Unfortunately, this was going to setback my plan to rely heavily on submarine action.

The one positive development was that my attempt to extricate the three British destroyers and the MTBs from Hong Kong was successful – Wave after wave of Sallys and Anns tried to interdict the vessels but missed.

Malaya

29 Nates came sweeping in to strafe Kota Bharu airfield damaging a number of Hudson bombers and destroying a few while losing some of their own to flak. 22 Sallys followed with more bombing of the airfield.

A similar story developed at Alor Star airfield, where 52 Sallys knocked out a number of Blenheim Is to some loss to flak. Another wave of Lillys came next to add to the cratering of Alor Star.

Georgetown airfield was then hit by 27 unescorted Sallys, knocking out a few Buffalo fighters on the ground. A couple of my Blenheim IF fighters actually got to the air, but failed to intercept despite clear skies.

Later in the afternoon, a few of my bombing raids went out to hit his shipping off Malaya, especially his forces landing at Kota Bharu, but with no hits registered and a couple of aircraft lost to Nates on CAP.

Finally, 36 Nell bombers came to hit Singapore, being met by 11 Buffalos that rose to up to intercept them. The fighters and the heavy flak at Singers took down 7 Nells outright with likely more lost to op losses, but my opponent still managed to destroy 8 of my aircraft on the ground.

Central Pacific

27 Nell bombers hit Wake airfield – unfortunately, none of my fighters fly. 1 wildcat was destroyed on the ground, and several others were damaged.

China

In China, an assortment of bombings hit my troops. My one offensive action here involved a hodgepodge of 11 Chinese Hudson, DB-3M, and SB-III bombers being sent to hit his troops at Ichang only to be met by 6 Nate fighters which forced all of them but the 3 DB-3Ms to turn back.

Assessment

I felt optimistic about the turn despite my failure to inflict any real pain on my opponent and the pulverizing of the Asiatic fleet in Manila (in addition to the heavy damage my airfields took in Malaya). I was pleased that my Pacific Fleet came through unscathed at Pearl, and I looked forward to the absence of the KB from the central pacific to conduct some aggressive carrier action there. I had also retreated Force Z southwards from Singapore towards Java so no capital ships of mine were even damaged this turn, which was in keeping with my naval strategy coming into the campaign. On the flip side, the heavy loss of submarines at Manila hurt, and certainly the KB's presence offshore meant that my defense of the Philippines would be that much harder. Overall though, I would much rather the KB stay here where I know where it is and where I could potentially damage it with submarines than have to worry about my logistics elsewhere.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 2
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/25/2020 9:24:18 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
December 8

With the December 7th surprise turn over, I could once more give orders to the vast bulk of my forces.

I immediately got my supply convoys moving – fuel/supply convoys from the West Coat to Pearl Harbor and Australia, empty ships from Australia to the West Coast, fuel-laden tankers from the DEI to Australia.

In a risky but necessary move if I was going to hold Burma, I decided to ship my Australian and Indian forces directly to Rangoon. I began preparations in Burma to provide air cover for the incoming convoys.

In China, I began to move my Chinese forces into position, with the first major operation being the eviction of the Japanese from Ichang, an absolutely critical position as it provides the only real path for Chinese forces south of the Yangtze to rapidly connect with forces north of the river. Without this connection, Chinese forces can be concentrated upon by the Japanese and defeated in detail either north or south due to the Japanese internal lines of communication, particularly at Hankow/Wuchang.

I also planned to aggressively confront the Japanese air strikes on the Philippines and Malaya, even with the heavy weight of the KB being around. I prepared to lose a lot of aircraft, but I sought to slow him down and attrite his forces as much as possible. I also placed my submarines on their patrols and looked for any openings to strike at the inevitable invasion convoys with land based air power.

Meanwhile, my carrier task forces began preparations to sail west in search of vulnerable prey while his KB was distracted in southeast Asia.

Submarines

ASW task forces sallying out from Pearl encountered SS-174, hitting a couple of times with DCs for minor damage.

SS I-122 off Singapore puts down AKL Ipoh with torpedoes and deck gun fire.

Philippines

42 Bettys escorted by 63 zeros came in for another strike on Clark airfield only to be met by 22 P-35A, 21 P-40B, and 4 P-40E fighters. Not a good showing on my flyboys part however, having lost about a dozen fighters for a couple zero kills and a single Betty destroyed.

My fighters at Clark had a chance to redeem themselves when they encountered unescorted Japanese bombers coming in a second wave towards Clark. 21 Lilys and 9 Sallys were met by 30 of my fighters flying, but they only managed to shoot down 4 bombers (and perhaps some more ops losses) before the bombers flew through… sigh.

My Manila CAP showed up their Clark comrades however when they intercepted KB strikes targeting fleeing TFs were intercepted. For the loss of about 10 fighters, they shot down 10 Zeros and 5 Kates, with likely more to be lost due to battle damage.

I dispatched 18 B-17Ds to hit Babeldoab airfield from Cagayan for only minor damage. In hindsight I should have probably targeted the port.

Malaya

21 Buffalos rose up to meet 27 sweeping Ki-43-1bs over the skies of Singapore (I concentrated most of my surviving Buffalos back at Singers). They traded about even numbers of kills with a few lost on both sides. Later on 23 Nells once more came to hit my Singapore airfieild, but lost several bombers to flak for little damage on the ground. My northern airfields continued to be pasted by Japanese airstrikes, with 51 Sallys hitting Alor Star and 25 Sallys hitting Georgetown. I had several chances to intercept these northern raids but my fighters on CAP did not intercept due to weather/altitude.

Central Pacific

A Japanese landing force takes Tarawa.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 3
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 6:24:09 AM   
BBfanboy


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From: Winnipeg, MB
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Interesting idea - posting an AAR on a finished campaign. Should give lots of opportunity for comment on what worked and what didn't.

I like that you outlined your grand strategy for use of the fleet. He helped a bit by leaving PH alone for now.

I am not sure your China strategy will work because the supply situation there gets so bad so quickly. It is very hard for the Chinese to be aggressive there.

Shortage of PP to change dud leaders is another problem.

After 10 posts you should be able to post screenshots of maps to help readers understand the situation without a lot of description. If you aren't sure how, just ask.


_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 4
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 6:49:57 AM   
Alfred

 

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Very sound reasons for writing up a post AAR.

1.  The objective of winning before 1 September 1945 is the correct one.   That can only be achieved by reaching a 2:1 VP ratio in favour of the Allied side.  Such a result represents a Decisive Allied victory.  As everything in the game is abstracted so are the game's victory conditions.

A decisive victory (for either side) represents an unconditional surrender of the opponent with ensuing occupation of their home territory.

A marginal victory (for either side) represents a negotiated settlement with the victor gaining significant territory or resources but the vanquished still retaining substantial territory.  For example an Allied marginal victory could be construed as one where Japan agrees to vacate all post 7 December 1941 conquests and perhaps some ante bellum territory such as the Mandates, Chinese territory but still retaining most of Manchukuo and Korea.  Plus of course maybe no Tokyo War Crimes trials.

A draw essentially represents a return to the ante bellum position, perhaps with some minor territorial changes and financial reparations imposed.  The latter of course not being represented in AE itself.

Consequently only an Allied Decisive Victory represents the historical outcome.  Anything else represents an inferior Allied/superior Japanese game performance compared to the historical outcome.

2.  One salutary note of warning is that the game does not automatically ensure that an Allied Decisive victory is preordained.  The Allied player cannot simply sit back and expect the weight of the industrial production will guarantee victory.  A good Japanese opponent has quite realistic opportunities to prevent an Allied decisive victory.  In fact a strong Japanese game performance combined with a weak Allied game performance can result in Japan achieving it's own Decisive victory in 1944 with an outside chance of getting it in 1943.

3.  Not following Mahan is again a wise course of action for the Allies to take.  Especially when one understands that Japanese naval power is basically front loaded into a single spear point with precious little support.  Even in December 1941, Allied naval power allows for several mini Mahan encounters to take place and this Allied capability only increases with time.

4.  Avoiding a Pearl Harbor strike on 7 December 1941 is very popular amongst Japanese players who adduce several factors as to why the alternatives are better.  I have always argued this is a strategic mistake.  The KB is not required to successfully capture in quick time the SRA.  The loss of American submarines at Manila is not a strategic gain for Japan for these reasons:

  • almost all those Manila submarines are required to be withdrawn over the course of 1943-44
  • a large proportion of them are the short range S class which even though they have working torpedoes, will soon be forced to be based too far from the frontlines to be used for offensive operations - plus most will be withdrawn anyway
  • the offensive value of all the Manila submarines, as is the case with all submarines, is very dependent on the quality of intel on enemy movements.  Not only will suitable locations for stationing Allied air naval search assets be soon lost early in the war there just aren't that many Allied air units available, nor are they well trained, to keep tabs on enemy movements.  This air deficiency is compounded by a strong KB strike at Pearl Harbor which can destroy/disable a large quantity of PBYs which cannot be quickly made good by early aircraft production

The fact is that the IJN was structured only for Mahan style conflict and that required execution of the Pearl Harbor strike.  Striking Manila in lieu can bring only some short term tactical benefits, there are no long term strategic benefits which Pearl Harbor can provide.  It is once again a demonstration that the historical leaders were not stupid and within their constraints, most of which are not fully replicated in AE, generally made sound choices.

Alfred

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 5
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 12:44:23 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
Thanks BBfanboy, I look forward to reading your feedback on my tactics and strategies as the AAR progresses. This is very much an opportunity for me to learn from the veterans and improve my gameplay. Without divulging too much, I can indeed say that I quickly learned that supply is a massive issue in China. I do however think that there is space for aggressive allied action in that theater under the right conditions, even in the early months.

I certainly plan to include maps later on, especially to better illustrate some of the big battles.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 6
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 12:54:13 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
Thank you for these insightful points Alfred. The background on the game's victory conditions was especially interesting as I did not know much about what went into that or what the game sought to illustrate with the various outcomes.

In as much as I understand from my limited experience with the game, I also agree that my opponent's use of the KB against Manila was probably not the best option to pursue. Certainly from a historical standpoint the benefit of ensuring the destruction of the Asiatic Fleet was best left to the other assets already in proximity, allowing the best force projection tool available to the Imperial Fleet to strike a more distant strategic target.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 7
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 12:57:56 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
December 9th

Submarines

Very heavy submarine activity this turn -
I-172 attempted to engage one of my ASW destroyers near Pearl Harbor but missed with two torpedoes.
North of Jolo, I-123 attempted to engage one of my fleeing AKLs but missed with two torps.
West of Singkawang, I-158 puts three torpedoes into CM Kung Wo, sending it to the bottom.
Near Palembang, I-153 turns fuel-laden TK Iris into a temporarily floating torch.
I-153 strikes again, this time destroying AP Hong Peng with two torps.

For my part, SS KXV sends two torpedoes at AKL Meiko Maru south of Saigon but misses. The same sub however redeems itself later in the day by destroying the AK Kenyo Maru with three torpedo hits, sinking her and the troops and fuel cargo it seemed to be laden with.

Philippines

The first Japanese landings on Luzon begin during the night at Laoag in the far north. Later in the day, further Japanese landings make it ashore at San Fernando – it has begun.

Meanwhile during the day, the MTB squadron I brought down from Hong Kong intercepts a Japanese troop convoy off the west coast of Luzon. Unfortunately, my opponent’s very heavy escort of patrol boats, destroyer minesweepers, and subchasers prevent my MTBs from launching a single torpedo despite several attempts to close the range. We will have to try again.

During the morning and afternoon air phases, a series of torpedo carrying Betty and Nell bomber raids shatter my fleeing merchant shipping from Hong Kong. My opponent even added in waves of strafing zeros that inflicted damage with 60kg bombs. By the end of the day, 11 of the vessels had been lost.

A Zero sweep from Formosa came in over San Fernando and found empty air, while the KB air wings continued to hunt down the shipping remnants fleeing the Philippines.

Malaya

A sweep of 20 Ki-43-1b fighters came over Singapore to be met by 12 Buffalos, a rather inconclusive engagement ensured where we both lost a few fighters.

A Japanese shock attack takes Kota Bharu and sends the allied survivors reeling back towards Temuloh.

----

I know it is inevitable that I will lose a number of ships in the first days of the war, but these heavy losses in a single day, especially the heavy loss to subs, are still painful. I need to find a way to more effectively strike back at his convoys now that they are arriving within range.


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 5/26/2020 12:58:28 PM >

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 8
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 2:00:32 PM   
Alfred

 

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Regarding China, and at the risk of not knowing what you eventually decided to do there....

There are two common Allied mistakes made in China.  One is to attempt offensive actions with Chinese LCUs.  It never works because there just isn't adequate supply to sustain offensive operations.  Even with the Burma Road kept open and huge quantities of supply dumped into Rangoon and then walked over to China.  However the main reason why Chinese offensive action doesn't succeed is that Chinese LCUs lack experience, generally have poor leadership, lack any meaningful anti-tank weapons or artillery in quantity, and are just not well positioned to take offensive action.  By the time some of this has been addressed, a good Japanese player will be well on the road of defeating the Chinese in detail using low cost/high impact units from the Kwantung Army strategic reserve.

The other basic mistake is to adopt a static continuous MLR.  Often this provides some short term tactical benefits where good defensive terrain is chosen and the opponent is impatient.  However strategically it is a failure.  Firstly many real world land warfare considerations simply do not apply to AE land combat on a continental basis.  The most obvious two are that concern for flank protection is usually just not relevant and concern for LOC is abstracted into a particular game perspective which is, to say the least, somewhat removed from real world LOC considerations.  What this means in game terms is that a continuous Chinese MLR results in most of the Chinese army never participating in combat whereas there is nothing to prevent the IJA from establishing a powerful schwerpunkt with no consideration nor need for flank protection.  This means that eventually the Chinese LCUs involved in battle will become combat d'hors and with their supply situation, will not recover.

The correct Chinese course is to engage in an aggressive defensive strategy.  Select key blocking points to concentrate forces, disregarding the need to protect the flanks.  With the units released from static MLR duty send them deep behind enemy lines to occupy key positions which disrupt the enemy LOC.  In short it requires Chinese concentration of forces and guerrilla type activity, all of which is the direct opposite of the usual continuous MLR approach adopted.

Ultimately China is a delaying front whose main purpose is to impose a substantial opportunity cost on Japan's war effort.

Alfred  

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 9
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 2:06:35 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
December 10

A very long turn today

Submarines

I-156 strikes first with the destruction of TK Manvantara just north of Billiton. Clearly these are dangerous waters for single ships to run through.

In the fertile waters south of Saigon, SS KXIII returns the favor by sending AK Naruto Maru to the bottom with three torpedo hits. Judging from the troops lost going down with her, she was probably carrying a base force or part of one.

Philippines

Further Japanese landings occurred at Luzon later in the night, with Imperial troops coming ashore at Aparri. Later in the day, a landing force arrived in the south at Legaspi and another one close to Clark at Iba. Clearly my opponent is going for a very big effort in the Philippines.

I sent out the American PT squadron to attempt to intercept his convoys. Unfortunately, they first run into a large Japanese destroyer squadron during the night, losing a PT boat to shellfire.

The British MTB squadron meanwhile set out to try its luck again, this time encountering the same convoy as last turn but this time during the night. Despite some losses, they managed to put a torpedo into DMS W-18, which quickly goes down.

Last turn I decided to use my still relatively intact airpower in the Philippines against the Japanese convoys. The first attack of 10 B-17s completely missed, but a following attack of 8 torpedo carrying PBY-4 Catalinas scored against the AK Kuwayama Maru leaving it with dead troops on board and heavy damage. Yet another Catalina raid missed, and so did the fourth wave, this time of SOC-1 Seagulls.

Incredibly, the fifth raid, this time of 7 B-17Ds at 10,000 feet, actually scored a 500lb bomb hit on AK Shinyubari Maru, leaving her on fire with yet more Japanese troops lost. A sixth raid of 6 Catalinas scored a 500lb bomb hit on AK Keisho Maru with the same usual result. The seventh raid of 5 Catalinas put a torpedo into the AK Anyo Maru and finished off the damaged Kuwayama Maru – 1,532 Japanese casualties were listed, including some 150 squads and 19 vehicles lost. An eighth small Catalina raid missed, but the ninth raid of SOC-1 Seagulls put a 250lb bomb into both AK Pacific Maru and AK Takaoka Maru.

A heavy air raid from Formosa hit the 11th PA Infantry Division at San Fernando. I attempted to put up some fighter CAP here but it was shattered by the escorting zeros, losing half a dozen P-40E fighters in the process. Nevertheless, more CAP showed up to hit a subsequent unescorted IJA air raid – 9 P-40Es intercepted 22 Lilys and Sallys knocking out about half of them.

Malaya

My opponent rested his fighters today, but his bombers continued to heavily hit my retreating forces from Kota Bharu.

Borneo

The first Japanese troops to arrive in Borneo land at Miri. My opponent is astutely moving in quick to seize the vital oil fields.

China

My opponent had been bombing Chengchow everyday like clockwork with a squadron of Ann light bombers. Over the last few turns, I bought in a squadron of Flying Tigers and set them up for an ambush this turn. 9 Anns came in for what they thought was their daily milk run only to encounter 24 H81-A3 fighters. Not a single Ann survived.

Hong Kong

Since the first turn, I had set up the floatplanes here on naval search and the three Vildebeest III bombers on naval attack. I figured it was only a matter of time until some shipping came by. My patience paid off today when the Vildebeests struck at AK Sanuki Maru striking her with two bomb hits and leaving her on fire with heavy damage. Once again the casualty lists shows that she was carrying troops. They followed this with a second strike in the afternoon against AK Nittei Maru, hitting her with one bomb and causing casualties amongst her passengers.

Central Pacific

With the KB just east of the Philippines, the coast was clear for me to be aggressive with my carriers in this area. Over the last few turns I moved the Lexington Strike Force to the northeast of Wake Island and the Enterprise Strike Force towards the Gilbert Islands, hoping to catch some Japanese convoys. The Lexington group found their first victims today – despite a large number of misses, 23 SBD dive bombers scored a single 1,000 pound bomb hits on both AMC Kongo Maru and AMC Kinryu Maru. Kongo Maru looks like it might survive, but Kinryu Maru could go down as it listed a critical hit and it is showing heavy fires. Both ships were carrying troops, likely for the attempted invasion of Wake Island.

---

I thought today was a very good day for the Allies. It could still be a long war ahead, but my attempt to aggressively go after his shipping paid some good dividends this turn.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 10
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 2:09:02 PM   
Lowpe


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Submarines, this early, aren't really going to slow down Japan at all.

Much bigger is that you saved Prince of Wales. She is a force to be reckoned with if you use her properly.

I am curious to see how you use battleship row. Do you park them in port, safe and await future upgrades? Or use them to escort convoys? Or simply patrol rear area ports to build experience?

One of the decisive advantages the Allies have is their ability to bombard. And you have it in spades now with no Pearl Raid.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 11
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 3:01:13 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Joined: 11/26/2016
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Your points on China are quite salient to my experience with the theater during this campaign Alfred, with perhaps an exception or two that we can hopefully discuss in more detail when it shows up later. Overall however, it seems to me that your operational advice on China is certainly the right one to follow.

As it is, at this point in time during the campaign, I did not really grasp how much much of an issue supply could be, and even more importantly, just how inexperienced my troops were, and thus I fell squarely in the too aggressive camp you outlined. What I did grasp from the start however was the need to be able to rapidly move forces to where I needed them precisely because a long MLR would be subject to a concentration of forces by the Japanese and a defeat in detail.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 12
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 3:07:08 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online
The battleships pretty much remained in port Lowpe, I even rushed out Force Z from the DEI to Australia. To be honest, my lack of experience at this stage made me overly cautious with my battleships which I largely sought to keep insulated from danger until I regained the initiative. I was also concerned with my fuel situation in Australia and other forward positions and did not want to over stress the logistics there with their presence. Over time I would become a lot more aggressive with them, but at this stage my plan was to keep them away.

(in reply to Lowpe)
Post #: 13
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 3:09:40 PM   
mind_messing

 

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Joined: 10/28/2013
From: Glasgow, Scotland
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

Regarding China, and at the risk of not knowing what you eventually decided to do there....

There are two common Allied mistakes made in China.  One is to attempt offensive actions with Chinese LCUs.  It never works because there just isn't adequate supply to sustain offensive operations.  Even with the Burma Road kept open and huge quantities of supply dumped into Rangoon and then walked over to China.  However the main reason why Chinese offensive action doesn't succeed is that Chinese LCUs lack experience, generally have poor leadership, lack any meaningful anti-tank weapons or artillery in quantity, and are just not well positioned to take offensive action.  By the time some of this has been addressed, a good Japanese player will be well on the road of defeating the Chinese in detail using low cost/high impact units from the Kwantung Army strategic reserve.

The other basic mistake is to adopt a static continuous MLR.  Often this provides some short term tactical benefits where good defensive terrain is chosen and the opponent is impatient.  However strategically it is a failure.  Firstly many real world land warfare considerations simply do not apply to AE land combat on a continental basis.  The most obvious two are that concern for flank protection is usually just not relevant and concern for LOC is abstracted into a particular game perspective which is, to say the least, somewhat removed from real world LOC considerations.  What this means in game terms is that a continuous Chinese MLR results in most of the Chinese army never participating in combat whereas there is nothing to prevent the IJA from establishing a powerful schwerpunkt with no consideration nor need for flank protection.  This means that eventually the Chinese LCUs involved in battle will become combat d'hors and with their supply situation, will not recover.

The correct Chinese course is to engage in an aggressive defensive strategy.  Select key blocking points to concentrate forces, disregarding the need to protect the flanks.  With the units released from static MLR duty send them deep behind enemy lines to occupy key positions which disrupt the enemy LOC.  In short it requires Chinese concentration of forces and guerrilla type activity, all of which is the direct opposite of the usual continuous MLR approach adopted.

Ultimately China is a delaying front whose main purpose is to impose a substantial opportunity cost on Japan's war effort.

Alfred  


Funny, I was re-reading your comments on China elsewhere on the forum, just to echo agreement here.

A successful Allied defence of China is a hard ask, but is possible. Sadly most Allied players are unwilling to make the sacrifices needed elsewhere to do so.

How often do Allied players divert their medium bombers to India to fly supply to China? What does that supply buy in terms of a delay to Japanese plans, versus how they could be employed elsewhere (in likely limited manner, given range and payload)...

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 14
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 3:29:17 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

The battleships pretty much remained in port Lowpe, I even rushed out Force Z from the DEI to Australia. To be honest, my lack of experience at this stage made me overly cautious with my battleships which I largely sought to keep insulated from danger until I regained the initiative. I was also concerned with my fuel situation in Australia and other forward positions and did not want to over stress the logistics there with their presence. Over time I would become a lot more aggressive with them, but at this stage my plan was to keep them away.


Very early in the war, there is nothing wrong with this approach. There are enough Allied cruisers and destroyers to keep the IJN fully occupied. At this stage carrier raids into the Mandates don't need battlewagon support, in fact the old battlewagons just slow down the carrier task forces.

If the old battleships are to be used offensively early on, probably the Aleutians/Kuriles is the best area for early operations. Not too far from the fuel depots and repair shipyards of the West Coast. Winter conditions there will hamper enemy air operations so that provides an additional layer of anti-aircraft protection until the first AA suite refits take place.

Sending the battleships this early to Australia will drain the local fuel stocks. Guaranteed. Not just an adverse impact on USN operations in the area, not good from the point of view of producing local supply too. An Allied player must never lose sight that their opponent might go for a blockade of Australia strategy. Whilst that can never be fully implemented in the game, nonetheless it can significantly impact on Australian supply production capability. It therefore does not make any sense to burden Australian industry with the additional leadweight of hosting the old battleships. Particularly when inadequate air cover to protect them exists locally.

Alfred

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Post #: 15
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 4:21:13 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 11

Submarines

SS Seawolf, my favorite US submarine of the war and one of the few survivors from Manila, launches four torpedoes at AP Kokuryu Maru. One torp hits but fails to explode – my first ever AE experience with the dismal Mk14.

SS KXVII shows the value of working torpedoes by sinking the AK Kuroshio Maru with three torp hits off the coast of Kota Bharu. Once more troops were on board.

Philippines

My exhausted PT and MTB squadrons once again set out into the night, interrupting the Japanese landing of troops at Iba but failing to launch any torpedoes.

I tried to hit the convoys with airpower again. My opponent put up some LRCAP with zeros over them and I lost a few B-17Ds because of that. However, given the sheer amount of landing zones and the distance to his main airfields, he couldn’t cover all of them, and 6 Catalinas flew through to sink AP Kokuryu Maru (the same ship Seawolf duded against) with two aerial torpedo hits. Another huge bag of Japanese troops drowned with the ship – 3,399 troops including 262 squads and 59 guns destroyed overall. 7 SOC-1 Seagulls came in through the same gap in his air cover and hit the AK Azuma Maru, leaving her with heavy fires as she was apparently carrying fuel cargo as well as troops.

In the afternoon, 9 Catalinas flew in but were beset by duds – 4 aerial torpedoes hit but failed to explode, with only one ultimately damaging AK Azumasan Maru for 309 Japanese casualties on board. 6 more Catalinas came in later, sinking AK Oigawa Maru with a single torpedo hit (1,175 Japanese casualties) but duding with a torpedo hit on DMS W-17. Even the 2 B-10Bs flew in, but missed AK Brisbane Maru. Next were 6 Catalinas putting a torpedo into AK Sanko Maru leaving her on fire and with heavy damage. Finally, 7 SOC-1s put a single bomb into AK Bunzan Maru.

A large raid of 39 Netties escorted by 31 Zeros came for Clark airfield today, meeting 28 defending P40Es. The P40Es did quite well, knocking out about a dozen Zeros in air-to-air and ops losses and half a dozen Netties, for the permanent loss of only about half a dozen P40Es.

14 unescorted Sallys then came in to hit Manila and were met by 18 Warhawks. 6 Sallys turned back when they realized the danger but 8 pressed on to be shot down by the fighters.

I must have annoyed my opponent with all these convoy strikes, because he sent in the KB air wings to pulverize Clark airfield. My fighters put up a good fight, shooting down several zeros and a singe Kate, but were overmatched by the very large number of elite zero escorts.

Borneo

Japanese troops land at Tarakan. I was disappointed that my guns here failed to score any hits on his shipping.

Miri falls to the Japanese.

China

In the mountains near Taiyuan, two Japanese divisions and a brigade easily brushed aside a Chinese blocking force of two corps, inflicting 5,440 casualties for only 679 losses. Not good. The Japanese also take Kweiteh as they converge on the Chengchow/Loyang area.

Hong Kong

The first attack at Hong Kong, a shock attack went in today. Although the Japanese lost double the amounts of casualties (1,708 to 919), they got 2 to 1 odds and reduced the fortifications to 1. Hong Kong is unlikely to last long.

Central Pacific

After the Lexington struck yesterday, today it was the Enterprise group’s turn. 27 SBDs and 3 TBDs swooped in on the Japanese landing at Tarawa showering AK Tenyo Maru, AK Kamikaze Maru, AKL Temposan Maru, and CM Okinoshima with several bomb hits each. 550 Japanese casualties were noted.

Japanese troops land at Guam.

----

I was happy to continue to inflict losses on his shipping, and was actually starting to get overconfident in my ability to continue doing so. On the flip side, I was starting to get concerned with the supply situation in China with a blanket of red exclamation marks across the map. The failure of my troops to stand up to his in even excellent terrain was also a bit of an initial wake up call in terms of what to expect in the theater. Nevertheless, I was still determined to carry through some big pushes, starting with Ichang where my troops were starting to concentrate in large numbers.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 16
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 4:45:11 PM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Your points on China are quite salient to my experience with the theater during this campaign Alfred, with perhaps an exception or two that we can hopefully discuss in more detail when it shows up later. Overall however, it seems to me that your operational advice on China is certainly the right one to follow....



The brilliant commander is the one who spots the conditions which support a deviation from the book. The rest of us just hope we have fully comprehended the book and have implemented it correctly ... and we're not up against a brilliant commander.

Alfred

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Post #: 17
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 5:31:35 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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as already mentioned, Prince of Wales is a very useful ship; its Jan.42 upgrade will make it the strongest AA platform available to the Allies for a long time,
its speed makes it an excellent escort for fleet carriers

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Post #: 18
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/26/2020 11:04:23 PM   
BBfanboy


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Re: the lack of hits from your PTs and MTBs - a lot of the leaders are not aggressive and have mediocre Naval Skill. High aggression is needed to get these fragile boats to attack into the teeth of enemy fire and Naval Skill equates with getting hits.

I find the big problem with the boats themselves is lack of places to rearm the torps. Manila usually gets sealed off pretty early. The Dutch have a few AGPs that can be sneaked into the area to do the rearming.

If the moonlight conditions are not good, it is probably best to retreat the boats for a couple of weeks and set them up where you think the enemy will be then. The area around Mindanao comes to mind.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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Post #: 19
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 11:46:03 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Re: the lack of hits from your PTs and MTBs - a lot of the leaders are not aggressive and have mediocre Naval Skill. High aggression is needed to get these fragile boats to attack into the teeth of enemy fire and Naval Skill equates with getting hits.

I find the big problem with the boats themselves is lack of places to rearm the torps. Manila usually gets sealed off pretty early. The Dutch have a few AGPs that can be sneaked into the area to do the rearming.

If the moonlight conditions are not good, it is probably best to retreat the boats for a couple of weeks and set them up where you think the enemy will be then. The area around Mindanao comes to mind.



As you will see for the next turn BBfanboy, you are exactly right about the need for good leadership to get good results!

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Post #: 20
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 11:48:10 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Joined: 11/26/2016
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Your points on China are quite salient to my experience with the theater during this campaign Alfred, with perhaps an exception or two that we can hopefully discuss in more detail when it shows up later. Overall however, it seems to me that your operational advice on China is certainly the right one to follow....



The brilliant commander is the one who spots the conditions which support a deviation from the book. The rest of us just hope we have fully comprehended the book and have implemented it correctly ... and we're not up against a brilliant commander.

Alfred



Well said Alfred, hopefully we can all get to experience a moment of brilliance every so often with this game.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 21
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 11:53:13 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 12

Submarines

Just off Palembang, I-158 got the first kill of the night by sinking my fuel laden cargo ship, AK Tai Sang, with three torpedo hits.

I had dispatched the AS Fulton unescorted from the West Coast to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians to set up a forward submarine base. Along the way, the Fulton ate a torpedo from I-3 but was surprisingly in good shape after the attack. She safely made it to Dutch Harbor a few turns later.

Near Iba, SS-36 sighted the damaged AK Azumasan Maru and engaged, hitting her with a single torpedo, which was sufficient to end her misery.

SS Sculpin, another rare survivor from Pearl Harbor, was on its patrol route in the South China Sea when it sighted I-121 at 1,000 yards. It launched a spread of two torps – the first Mk14 duded as expected, but happily the second one struck home and mortally wounded the Japanese sub. If I am not mistaken, I-121 is one of the valuable mine laying submarines, so I was happy with my first ever sub-on-sub kill.

SS KXII went after a heavily escorted convoy south of Saigon, putting a torpedo into AK Nanko Maru but suffering a severe depth charging that left it limping back to Singapore.

Philippines

Yet another Japanese landing came ashore at Luzon, this time in Mauban.

I combined the surviving MTB and PT boats into one squadron under an aggressive leader with good naval skill and sent them out into the night once more. They interrupted the landings at Iba, where they courageously braved the withering fire from the Japanese escorts and closed to 2,000 yards. Three torpedoes (one dud) were sent into the side of AK Maebasi Maru, sending her to the bottom. A torpedo hit another merchant ship but that torp malfunctioned as well. They even sprayed the merchant ships with .50 caliber machine guns. The post action combat summary showed that 4,613 troops had gone down the Maebasi Maru, with hundreds of squads destroyed and disabled. Unfortunately, on the way back to Manila the torpedo boats were intercepted by a large IJN destroyer squadron which sunk four of them, leaving six survivors overall.

Having heavily damaged Clark airfield with his carrier wings the last turn, I had pulled out all of my fighters to Manila. Even so, my opponent must have really wanted to close down the airfield as he sent another massive carrier raid to crater it.

My opponent also set to work on Manila’s airbase with his LBA. The first raid of 21 Bettys escorted by 19 zeros from Formosa was met by 35 fighters which heavily damaged the raid, striking a 2 to 1 kill ratio in our favor. A follow up raid of 17 Nells was weakly escorted by just 4 Zeros, allowing the still robust CAP of 19 Warhawks to brush aside the few Zeros and home in on the Nells, knocking out about 8 of them. In the afternoon, 15 Warhawks were left, and they met a relatively small raid of 4 Nells escorted by 9 Zeros. Half of the Zeros and Nells were shot down, for the loss of a few allied fighters. Finally, 9 unescorted IJA Sally bombers showed up to be met by 9 Warhawks, who severely shot them up with only a couple of bombers making it back.

The reason behind the relatively weak zero escorts for the Manila raids became apparent when my Catalinas and B-17Ds once again went after his convoys only to be met by a wall of IJN fighters. 10 Catalinas and 8 B-17Ds were lost during the turn.

A few OS2U-3 Kingfishers did make it through to an unprotected convoy, putting a 250lb bomb into the AK Igasa Maru which was still loaded with troops. Furtermore, 6 B-17Ds managed to push through the fighter CAP over another landing area to score a 500lb bomb hit on AK Takao Maru. I must have been luckily with these B-17 naval strikes from 10,000 feet during this phase of the conflict, as I was never able to replicate this type of success with heavy bombers later.

Malaya

Japanese mobile tank and recon regiments take Alor Star from the Indian battalion I left there as a rearguard force.

Borneo

My coastal defense guns at Tarakan finally woke up this turn and engaged the ongoing Japanese landing, putting 9 hits into AK Mexico Maru. Unfortunately, a shock attack later in the day takes the place.

I had previously placed 8 Swordfish torpedo bombers at Sinkawang, and this turn they sighted and went after AK Tihuku Maru, sinking her with 8 500lb bomb hits.

Burma

Japanese troops occupied Victoria Point, but I had already evacuated the base force back to Rangoon in a daring (foolhardy?) naval evacuation.

Hong Kong

A second shock attack goes in, getting a 4 to 1 result and forcing my garrison there to surrender. The first major objective falls to the Japanese.

China

30 Betty bombers struck my forces massing around Ichang. My opponent must have been concerned enough about them to bring in these valuable naval bombers.

Central Pacific

Following the Enterprise strike on the Tarawa landing force, my opponent detached two of the surviving Japanese destroyer escorts and sent them brazenly after my carrier task force. They connected during the night but after a short inconclusive exchange of torpedoes and shellfire, (in which the Enterprise opened up with its own guns) the task forces broke off. This was a good reminder of how I needed to be more careful – next time these two destroyers could be a cruiser force.

Japanese forces Capture Guam

----

The gravy train of successful airstrikes on his convoys landing in the Philippines looks to be decidedly over now. It was very good while it lasted. Still, the deviation of significant fighter strength to cover his ships allowed me to rack up some significant kills on his bombers. Given the odds, I would say things could be a lot worse in this theater.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 22
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 1:06:40 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
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December 13

Submarines

Nothing of note

Philippines

My opponent suffered from air coordination problems, with 21 Bettys coming in to strike Manila airfield but without escort. 19 allied fighters rose up to meet them, tearing them to shreds with only a few bombers surviving to tell the tale. The next raid of 29 Nells faired much better as it met a reduced CAP and more importantly, was escorted by 16 Zeros. I lost several fighters to the escort for only a couple of kills on his fighters.

During the night, Japanese cruisers shelled Iba, wrecking the airfield. This was followed in the morning by another huge carrier air raid on the base force there. A bit of overkill, as his troops easily managed to take the base in the subsequent shock attack. 5 damaged P-40E fighters that were stuck there were destroyed.

Borneo

To the west of Sinkawang, my Dutch patrol aircraft had detected a large Japanese naval force heading into the Karimata Strait. I was in the process of setting up a Dutch PT boat station at Billiton, so I decided to send them out to intercept. This turned out to not be a great idea, as they encountered a Japanese force of two battleships, three cruisers, and six destroyers. In three separate running engagements, I lost 5 of the PT boats for not hits on the Japanese – at least the PT boats heavily depleted their ammo!

The Japanese SAG then encountered the Dutch destroyer Van Nes escorting the small tanker AO TAN 2, sending them both to the bottom.

A substantial Japanese landing force came ashore at Sinkawang. My opponent also bought along airfield service troops with the intention of quickly staging his air power from the base.

China

A Massive raid of 45 Betty bombers came in to pound my concentration of troops at Ichang. I put up 12 H81-A3s on LRCAP however, destroying about 15 of them. I did note he had put 12 Nates on CAP over the base but these did not engage our intercepting fighters. 21 IJA bombers escorted by 29 Nates followed this raid. I still had 7 flying tigers on duty and they did a number on the Nates even if I only managed to get one bomber.

At Kanhsien, the Japanese 51st Recon Regiment overextended itself a bit by coming into the base where I was gathering substantial forces for a disruptive raid his coastal towns. A deliberate attack on the regiment got 50 to 1 odds and sent it reeling back with heavy vehicle losses.

On the flip side, a very ill advised deliberate attack by two Chinese Corps on the Japanese 16th Mixed Brigade and attached armored car company at Tsiaotso was repulsed with 700 casualties sustained.

South Pacific

Japanese troops came ashore at Wewak and Kavieng.

-----

I was starting to figure out what was and wasn't possible in China. Over the last two turns, I shutdown fortification construction and infrastructure repair in a number of bases to preserve supply, and turned off replacements to most units. The exception to this was in Ichang were my offensive was getting prepared and in the Loyang/Chengchow area which was clearly going to be the focal point of a significant Japanese offensive, and where I resolved to make a stand.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 23
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 1:57:36 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 14

Submarines

I sent a few submarines to Sinkawang in an attempt to disrupt the landing force there. The Dutch sub SS KXVIII was set upon by escorts and received moderate damage. SS KXIV had more luck, first hitting AK Thames Maru with a single torp for heavy damage before sending two torpedoes into AK Hakodate Maru, sinking her.

Philippines

My last surviving PT and MTB boats set off from Manila for yet another foray into dangerous waters. The bad news was they ran into the Japanese destroyer squadron first this time, losing three of their number. The good news was they succeeded in punching back, sinking DD Hatakaze with a torpedo hit.

I noticed from my recon that my opponent had disbanded some ships at Legaspi, so I dispatched 7 B-17Ds from Cagayan to see if we could sink any of the vessels there. The bombers were met by a dozen float planes on CAP and 7 Zeros, but succeeded in pushing through to score a single 500lb bomb hit on CS Chitose! She is unlikely to sink, but the heavy fires from the hit should hopefully knock her out for quite some time.

The KB strike of the day went after the 81st PA Infantry Divison at Cebu. I don’t really comprehend the rationale behind this decision, I would imagine such a strike would have been much better aimed at Cagayan or Manila.

Malaya

25 Ki-43a fighters swept over Johore Bahru, encountering nothing but clouds. I put some Buffalo LRCAP over my retreating troops from Kota Bharu however as they were consistently pounded by unescorted Japanese bombers. Unfortunately, not many Buffalos showed up and only a few bombers were shot down here over the day.

Celebes

Another large Japanese landing force came ashore at Kendari.

Borneo

In another attempt to disrupt the Sinkawang landing, I sent in the Dutch PT boats that tangled with the battleships last turn. An Escort task force first stymied them however, losing three in the process. The surviving four then made it through to reach the unescorted transports but refused to engage, and I even lost another PT boat to a shell from a Japanese AP!

The trifecta that I had used to go after his convoys thus far was PT boats, submarines, and LBA. The third leg came over with 9 Blenheim I bombers from Singapore to start, failing to score any hits. 2 Dutch Catalinas came in next, putting 2 bomb hits into AKL Hidaka Maru and inflicting heavy losses to troops onboard.

On the other side of the island, 11 Kate torpedo bombers from CVL Ryujo came in to sink three of my Dutch minelayers next to Balikpapan. 5 Dutch 139WH-3 bombers did try to strike back but missed the light carrier.

On the north side of the island, I had attempted to pull out a base force from Jesselton but the three AKLs transporting the troops were sent to the bottom by some Kates from yet another Japanese light carrier force.

Japanese troops landed at Kuching while Sinkawang fell to a Japanese shock attack.

----------

I noticed that the heavy damage to his convoys had weakened several of his units landing in the Philippines. His troops while very strong overall were weak in certain locations such as San Fernando. I also noted that his infantry units at Iba were quite depleted. In keeping with my aggressive strategy, I started moving my forces towards Iba from Clark in an attempt to mount a counterattack and throw them back into the sea.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 24
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 2:46:39 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 15

Submarines

Near San Francisco, I-9 turns YP-114 into matchsticks.

Philippines

My opponent routinely pounded the 11th PA Infantry Division at San Fernando with unescorted IJA bombers. I decided to LRCAP the base this turn but unfortunately this was the turn the Japanese decided to come in heavy with 76 Netties escorted by 36 Zeros in three waves. My 12 Warhawks still fought valiantly taking down a few Zeros before being pushed aside. Once my LRCAP was gone, the usual unescorted IJA bombers then decided to show up to no opposition.

I sent in some more Catalinas and Seagulls for a sneaky attack on Legaspi port but only found two coastal minesweepers, which quickly sank.

Having wrecked the Filipino division at San Fernando with bombers today, the Japanese attacked and took the base.

Not aware that I was moving a heavy concentration of troops into Iba, the Japanese shock attacked to drive what they likely thought was a rearguard force only to smash into some of my best troops on Luzon, including the two tank battalions. With odds of 206 to 1 in my favor, the already weakened Japanese forces at Iba suffered almost 1,300 casualties for a few dozen of my own.

Celebes

I attempted to disrupt the landing at Kendari by sending in the Dutch destroyer Piet Hein. I found out that my opponent had covered his troops very well when I encountered a large SAG of heavy cruisers and destroyers. I was lucky the low moonlight allowed DD Piet Hein to escape with no damage. Kendari later fell in the day to a Japanese attack.

Borneo

Another Dutch 139WH-3 raid, this time escorted, targeted the Ryujo. The B-399D escorts brushed aside the meager Claude CAP but the Dutch bombers failed to score any hits. I had better success with a Catalina raid from Singapore on his landing ships at Kuching, scoring a 500lb bomb hit on AK Atago Maru.

Japanese forces landed at Balikpapan. To the north, the Japanese took Kuching and a recon regiment that pursued the retreating forces from Sinkawang last turn took Sambas.

South Pacific

I had evacuated the small but elite company at Kavieng with my flying boats, but given my inexperience I thought I had to move them there before I could transport the troops back to Port Moresby. Three Catalinas which were down for maintenance were lost when the Japanese took the undefended base.

China

Having had enough of my Flying Tiger ambushes in China, my opponent brought in a large number of zeros to finish them off. 30 zeros swept the skies of Changsha but encountered Chinese I-15IIIs instead of the Tigers. I lost about 6 of the biplane fighters but managed to shoot down a Zero.

My Flying Tigers were meanwhile once again on LRCAP over Ichang, where an IJA bomber raid came with Nate escort. The Nates once again suffered at the hands of the Tigers but their sacrifice allowed the Lily bombers they were escorting to get through unscathed.

For the defense of Changsha, I had assembled a significant Chinese Army of almost 2000 AV and moved it to the forested hex just east of the city to block an incoming Japanese force (also around 2,000 AV) coming in from Wuchang. The Japanese shock attacked this turn for 1 to 1 odds. The casualties were decidedly in my favor however, with 7,219 Japanese lost to 2,441 Chinese.

Finally, the long awaited offensive at Ichang began. The first attack got 1 to 1 odds, but reduced the fortification levels from 3 to 2. I lost 3,423 troops to 1,268 Japanese, but given my much larger force assembled there I could better afford those losses.

--------------

Things were heating up in China. I was very pleased with the solid stand at Changsha, and was bringing up some additional reinforcements there to make sure they hold while I push elsewhere. I felt that Ichang was also within my grasp, but what of the massing Japanese armies at Kaifeng….?


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 5/27/2020 2:49:19 PM >

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 25
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 3:05:59 PM   
BBfanboy


Posts: 15435
Joined: 8/4/2010
From: Winnipeg, MB
Status: offline
Re: Dec. 12 AAR

It appears your aggressive defence has upset his invasion plans and made him start to react to you - a strategic victory! He diverted much of his strength to the Philippines and invasion convoys there, and to the Ichang area in China. That has slowed his advance in Malaya, giving you time to consolidate a bit and strike back against his shipping there. Good show!

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 26
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 3:59:04 PM   
Alfred

 

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I see a lot of merit in turning Changsha into the Chinese equivalent of 1945 Festung Breslau.  I prefer the Chinese to fight inside Changsha rather than outside it for these reasons.

1.  LCU preparation only applies to a base, not outside in the field.  Having more units with Changsha as their objective allows their Preparation Points to offset to a certain degree the greater firepower of the IJA.

2.  Substantial Chinese forces start in the immediate vicinity of Changsha.  Bringing them into the Festung allows their aggregated engineers to build up the fortifications.  This is actually a more effective fortification building exercise than dispersing the forces to several outside hexes where the field fortification effort is dispersed.

3.  With the substantial Chinese forces in the area are found several Chinese HQs.  By bringing them back into the base itself allows their support devices to spread their "goodness" to the infantry units which are short of support devices.  LCUs with surplus to their own requirements support devices only share their excess support devices with deficient LCUs inside a base, not outside a base.

4.  The reason why Changsha is an excellent candidate for the Festung mindset is because it has a significant amount of auto supply generated daily which can never be interdicted by the enemy.  Better to have the base experience a yellow "!" as that ensures all the local supply (both auto and industry production) goes only to units defending inside the Festung rather than risking some of it leaking out to other units.

5.  Ultimately I am prepared to have Changsha completely surrounded and all defenders destroyed there.  The distance between Chungking and Changsha means that there is a good chance destroyed units will automatically resurface at Chungking before the victorious IJA units recover and reach Chungking.

Alfred

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Post #: 27
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 10:17:57 PM   
BBfanboy


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From: Winnipeg, MB
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Alfred, would it be advisable to fly in to Changsha some 37mm A/T guns from India via Chungking?

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 28
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/27/2020 11:31:31 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Alfred, would it be advisable to fly in to Changsha some 37mm A/T guns from India via Chungking?


The Changsha Triangle is easily contained. I normally would leave it for last rather getting to Chungking and the Western Mountain passes first if it were strongly held.


(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 29
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 12:50:32 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 483
Joined: 11/26/2016
Status: online

quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Re: Dec. 12 AAR

It appears your aggressive defence has upset his invasion plans and made him start to react to you - a strategic victory! He diverted much of his strength to the Philippines and invasion convoys there, and to the Ichang area in China. That has slowed his advance in Malaya, giving you time to consolidate a bit and strike back against his shipping there. Good show!


Thanks! I did seem to get less pressure in Malaya, and the deviation of the IJN airpower to China certainly did not hurt either. As shall be seen however, there were still many lessons for me to learn.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 30
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