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RE: Revenge of the Enterprise

 
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RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 12:53:35 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
Joined: 11/26/2016
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred

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


Compelling points Alfred. Generally I avoided packing too many units into a base hex for fear that his bombers would wreck the resulting supply buildup there. In China where supply is scarce this is not as much of a concern however.

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Post #: 31
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 1:40:27 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
Joined: 11/26/2016
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December 16

Submarines

Off the coast of Victoria (Canada), I-3 obliterates a coastal minesweeper with a torpedo.

Philippines

My opponent started shifting back the focus of his IJN airpower to the Philippines, as a large raid came over Manila in the morning. 44 Netties escorted by 39 Zeros met 42 allied fighters. My fighters traded about even numbers with the Zeros but the Zeros largely succeeded in keeping my flyboys off his bombers. Enough of my fighters survived the first battle however to devastate a subsequent unescorted air raid 20 Betty bombers – leaving only a few of them limping back to base. Yet another wave of unescorted bombers lumbered in, this time of 18 Nell bombers. Once again, my fighters earned their keep, shooting 5 of them down. Last to arrive were 11 IJA Sally bombers (always late to the party, are they slower than the Netties?). About ten of my fighters remained in the air, and they trashed the bombers and forced the survivors to withdraw. Unfortunately, it didn’t all go my way, as some of the heavily damaged submarines repairing at Manila took further hits, sealing their fate.

At Iba, my shock attack went in against the weakened Japanese forces, which were largely made up of artillery units after most of the infantry component was sunk en route. The attack did very well, recapturing the base and inflicting more than a thousand casualties, including the destruction of 60 guns and 100 vehicles. Interestingly however, the loss of the base did not result in the destruction of the now trapped Japanese forces.

Borneo

The AK Kaiko Maru and AK Eihuku Maru took a number of severe hits from my coastal guns at Balikpapan, leaving them on fire and with heavy damage. A Japanese deliberate attack however silenced the guns for good and seized the important position.

Fearing the development of Sinkawang as a dangerous airbase on my flank, I sent three British light cruisers on a night bombardment mission to slow things down a bit. They did good damage, registering a couple dozen hits on the runway and airbase facilities. During there escape back to Java, CL Dragon was hit by a 250kg bomb from a Kate, but took the hit well on its belt armor. I followed up this bombardment with a raid of 37 Blenheim I and IV bombers on the airfield during the day, adding another couple of dozen hits and destroying a Ki-46-II Dinah on the ground.

The most exciting but ultimately disappointing event of the turn occurred here. I had withdrawn the American Catalinas from the Zero infested Philippines to Singapore over the last couple of turns. I set them up for some naval strikes hoping that they would replicate their good record further west. 4 of the Catalinas snuck it at low altitude under the cover of severe storms to hit the CVL Zuiho task force covering the Sinkawang landings. The pilots did great, putting a torpedo in to the Zuiho and two into battleship Hyuga. Unfortunately all three torpedoes were duds!

China

A large number of Zeros still remained in China, and they escorted massed IJA bombers to hit my troops at Ichang. I kept my Flying Tigers on the ground however, resting them up for further battles.

Despite the best efforts of their air comrades, the Chinese deliberate attack at Ichang further reduced the Japanese position there, scoring a 2 to 1 result in my favor and taking the fortifications down to 1. Hopefully tomorrow Ichang will be mine.

-----

Unfortunately, I lost sight of the KB - where are they going now??


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 5/28/2020 2:00:07 AM >

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Post #: 32
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 1:51:48 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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The overall score thus far. I am behind in both Army loss points and in Ships sunk, but am doing relatively well in the air.




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Post #: 33
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 1:56:12 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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My fighters are doing a stellar job, holding off well against superior numbers and enemy fighters. I will give an update on emerging Aces later.




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Post #: 34
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 2:52:02 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Joined: 11/26/2016
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Battle Assessment


I plan to occasionally do a deep dive into a particular battle and analyze the dynamics behind it and seek to draw some lessons. I will do this for both my successes and embarrassing losses. I of course cannot speak to my opponents thinking and can only make presumptions in that regard. Needless to say, these thoughts are not gospel, and I welcome any disagreements or agreements with my analysis.

--------

A key principal in conflict is to strive to maintain the initiative. At its essence, the initiative, or the ability to dictate events to your favor, is about maximizing your ability to take advantage of favorable openings/opportunities and denying those same to the enemy by keeping the opponent reacting to your moves instead.

There are also different layers to initiative. The Japanese at the start of the Pacific War strongly hold the strategic initiative and there is no realistic way to quickly shift that to the Allied side, as Tokyo will ultimately get to decide which theaters to focus their invasions on. That doesn’t mean that the Allied side could not seek to maintain the initiative at the tactical (and in more rare cases even the operational) levels. To be able to do so however requires action. If the Allies go completely to ground, they cede the ability to dictate events, allowing the Japanese to go about their plans and take advantage of their opportunities.

All this background theory aside, the reason for my success in the air over the Philippines (at least for now!) is in large part because operationally I adopted an aggressive approach that allowed me to seize the initiative at the tactical level. I don’t mean to imply that this is always the smart path forward, as the reality is this could have backfired and only really succeeded due to a key mistake on my opponents side.

My opponent elected to concentrate heavily on the Philippines in what I presume was an effort to quickly defeat my forces there and free his for further conquests. I also presume that the commitment of the KB there was part and parcel of this strategy. Instead of a relatively concentrated effort however, my opponent came in with a widely dispersed approach at seven separate landing zones. While this maximized his ability to seize terrain quickly, it created too many vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an aggressive player.

Tactically, the key to the high kill count over the Philippines was to minimize enemy fighter sweeps. To do so I needed to tie up the deadly zeros in multiple tasks, reducing the number available for the one air mission that I had no strong counter against. I succeeded in doing this by targeting his dispersed landing zones, forcing him to commit heavy amounts of CAP (even the KB wings got involved in this). I also did this by creating a separate demand for strong fighter escort – this was in China with the commitment of the Flying Tigers in conjunction with offensive action that my opponent needed to stop with his bombers. Finally, I believe that the continued threat of my airpower in the Philippines drove him to press his effort to reduce my airfields with both KB strikes and long range bomber raids from Formosa, in spite of the reduction of available Zero fighters, ultimately creating the openings for my destruction of large numbers of elite Japanese aircraft and aircrew.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 35
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 4:15:00 AM   
Alfred

 

Posts: 6581
Joined: 9/28/2006
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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Battle Assessment


I plan to occasionally do a deep dive into a particular battle and analyze the dynamics behind it and seek to draw some lessons. I will do this for both my successes and embarrassing losses. I of course cannot speak to my opponents thinking and can only make presumptions in that regard. Needless to say, these thoughts are not gospel, and I welcome any disagreements or agreements with my analysis.

--------

A key principal in conflict is to strive to maintain the initiative. At its essence, the initiative, or the ability to dictate events to your favor, is about maximizing your ability to take advantage of favorable openings/opportunities and denying those same to the enemy by keeping the opponent reacting to your moves instead.

There are also different layers to initiative. The Japanese at the start of the Pacific War strongly hold the strategic initiative and there is no realistic way to quickly shift that to the Allied side, as Tokyo will ultimately get to decide which theaters to focus their invasions on. That doesn’t mean that the Allied side could not seek to maintain the initiative at the tactical (and in more rare cases even the operational) levels. To be able to do so however requires action. If the Allies go completely to ground, they cede the ability to dictate events, allowing the Japanese to go about their plans and take advantage of their opportunities.

All this background theory aside, the reason for my success in the air over the Philippines (at least for now!) is in large part because operationally I adopted an aggressive approach that allowed me to seize the initiative at the tactical level. I don’t mean to imply that this is always the smart path forward, as the reality is this could have backfired and only really succeeded due to a key mistake on my opponents side.

My opponent elected to concentrate heavily on the Philippines in what I presume was an effort to quickly defeat my forces there and free his for further conquests. I also presume that the commitment of the KB there was part and parcel of this strategy. Instead of a relatively concentrated effort however, my opponent came in with a widely dispersed approach at seven separate landing zones. While this maximized his ability to seize terrain quickly, it created too many vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an aggressive player.

Tactically, the key to the high kill count over the Philippines was to minimize enemy fighter sweeps. To do so I needed to tie up the deadly zeros in multiple tasks, reducing the number available for the one air mission that I had no strong counter against. I succeeded in doing this by targeting his dispersed landing zones, forcing him to commit heavy amounts of CAP (even the KB wings got involved in this). I also did this by creating a separate demand for strong fighter escort – this was in China with the commitment of the Flying Tigers in conjunction with offensive action that my opponent needed to stop with his bombers. Finally, I believe that the continued threat of my airpower in the Philippines drove him to press his effort to reduce my airfields with both KB strikes and long range bomber raids from Formosa, in spite of the reduction of available Zero fighters, ultimately creating the openings for my destruction of large numbers of elite Japanese aircraft and aircrew.



Spot on about the initiative (ties in to my commentary on Chinese displacements, avoiding static MLR).

Most AE players however erroneously conflate initiative with attacking. The two are different things. One can manoeuvre for position as a means for contesting the initiative. Threatening to achieve something valuable can be a very strong force multiplier which contests the initiative. Attacking just for the sake of attacking often is a force decliner, not just because of the loss of assets but because it identifies and clarifies enemy intentions. It is always much easier to handle a specific known enemy objective than having to take into planning account multiple enemy objectives.

This far into the war your opponent has been making some fundamental game mechanics air tactical mistakes. His focus should have been from day 1 to achieve air superiority. Nor it seems he has paid close enough attention to the game mechanics required to achieve air coordination. Generally speaking there has been a lack of imagination on his part to combat your tactics. For the fact is that there is always a counter tactic available.

Some of the arrows in his quill not used to date include:


  • paradrops to capture undefended airfields. Thence fly in aviation support to set up forward airfields. Reduces flying operational air losses, reduces pilot fatigue, allows participation of shorter range aircraft
  • focus on getting bombers to fly afternoon land targets rather than morning land targets. Get morning air combat to be primarily fighter on fighter combat to both whittle down the availability of Allied airframes for CAP but also limit Allied pilot experience/skill gains from shooting down unescorted bombers
  • disregard air convoy protection in order to focus on gaining air superiority. IOW task focusing is required. Obviously this means that a reduction (but not necessarily total cessation) in naval movements is necessary until the primary focus succeeds
  • stretch Allied capabilities by use of night air operations. This also doubles up as an initiative exercise presenting the threat element referred to previously


One cannot defend everything with passive defence. The objective should always be to threaten an enemies position/asset, whose loss to the enemy war effort/capability is more damaging to them than what they can similarly threaten you with.

Alfred

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 36
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 6:22:30 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
Joined: 11/26/2016
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alfred


quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Battle Assessment


I plan to occasionally do a deep dive into a particular battle and analyze the dynamics behind it and seek to draw some lessons. I will do this for both my successes and embarrassing losses. I of course cannot speak to my opponents thinking and can only make presumptions in that regard. Needless to say, these thoughts are not gospel, and I welcome any disagreements or agreements with my analysis.

--------

A key principal in conflict is to strive to maintain the initiative. At its essence, the initiative, or the ability to dictate events to your favor, is about maximizing your ability to take advantage of favorable openings/opportunities and denying those same to the enemy by keeping the opponent reacting to your moves instead.

There are also different layers to initiative. The Japanese at the start of the Pacific War strongly hold the strategic initiative and there is no realistic way to quickly shift that to the Allied side, as Tokyo will ultimately get to decide which theaters to focus their invasions on. That doesn’t mean that the Allied side could not seek to maintain the initiative at the tactical (and in more rare cases even the operational) levels. To be able to do so however requires action. If the Allies go completely to ground, they cede the ability to dictate events, allowing the Japanese to go about their plans and take advantage of their opportunities.

All this background theory aside, the reason for my success in the air over the Philippines (at least for now!) is in large part because operationally I adopted an aggressive approach that allowed me to seize the initiative at the tactical level. I don’t mean to imply that this is always the smart path forward, as the reality is this could have backfired and only really succeeded due to a key mistake on my opponents side.

My opponent elected to concentrate heavily on the Philippines in what I presume was an effort to quickly defeat my forces there and free his for further conquests. I also presume that the commitment of the KB there was part and parcel of this strategy. Instead of a relatively concentrated effort however, my opponent came in with a widely dispersed approach at seven separate landing zones. While this maximized his ability to seize terrain quickly, it created too many vulnerabilities that could be exploited by an aggressive player.

Tactically, the key to the high kill count over the Philippines was to minimize enemy fighter sweeps. To do so I needed to tie up the deadly zeros in multiple tasks, reducing the number available for the one air mission that I had no strong counter against. I succeeded in doing this by targeting his dispersed landing zones, forcing him to commit heavy amounts of CAP (even the KB wings got involved in this). I also did this by creating a separate demand for strong fighter escort – this was in China with the commitment of the Flying Tigers in conjunction with offensive action that my opponent needed to stop with his bombers. Finally, I believe that the continued threat of my airpower in the Philippines drove him to press his effort to reduce my airfields with both KB strikes and long range bomber raids from Formosa, in spite of the reduction of available Zero fighters, ultimately creating the openings for my destruction of large numbers of elite Japanese aircraft and aircrew.



Spot on about the initiative (ties in to my commentary on Chinese displacements, avoiding static MLR).

Most AE players however erroneously conflate initiative with attacking. The two are different things. One can manoeuvre for position as a means for contesting the initiative. Threatening to achieve something valuable can be a very strong force multiplier which contests the initiative. Attacking just for the sake of attacking often is a force decliner, not just because of the loss of assets but because it identifies and clarifies enemy intentions. It is always much easier to handle a specific known enemy objective than having to take into planning account multiple enemy objectives.

This far into the war your opponent has been making some fundamental game mechanics air tactical mistakes. His focus should have been from day 1 to achieve air superiority. Nor it seems he has paid close enough attention to the game mechanics required to achieve air coordination. Generally speaking there has been a lack of imagination on his part to combat your tactics. For the fact is that there is always a counter tactic available.

Some of the arrows in his quill not used to date include:


  • paradrops to capture undefended airfields. Thence fly in aviation support to set up forward airfields. Reduces flying operational air losses, reduces pilot fatigue, allows participation of shorter range aircraft
  • focus on getting bombers to fly afternoon land targets rather than morning land targets. Get morning air combat to be primarily fighter on fighter combat to both whittle down the availability of Allied airframes for CAP but also limit Allied pilot experience/skill gains from shooting down unescorted bombers
  • disregard air convoy protection in order to focus on gaining air superiority. IOW task focusing is required. Obviously this means that a reduction (but not necessarily total cessation) in naval movements is necessary until the primary focus succeeds
  • stretch Allied capabilities by use of night air operations. This also doubles up as an initiative exercise presenting the threat element referred to previously


One cannot defend everything with passive defence. The objective should always be to threaten an enemies position/asset, whose loss to the enemy war effort/capability is more damaging to them than what they can similarly threaten you with.

Alfred



Excellent points on the other options available to my opponent Alfred. The only point where he may not have much had much of an alternative however was in convoy protection, as he was already heavily committed and his transports needed immediate support from his fighters leaving him with little choice but to commit the CAP.

(in reply to Alfred)
Post #: 37
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 6:29:10 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
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December 17

Submarines

I-156 goes after a fleeing convoy off transports and tankers north of Batavia but is stymied by the escorting British destroyers. I-156 later tries again against the unescorted AK Bennevis but its torpedo duds (glad to see this occasionally happens to my opponents subs as well).

Meanwhile, I-17 poked its conning tower into the shallow waters of Johnston Island where it must have detected a resupply mission I had sent there from Hawaii. It paid the price however as the escorting AM Bobolink scored two penetrating depth charge hits on it leaving it with heavy damage.

Philippines

During the night, a fast transport of heavy and light IJN cruisers comes in to bring reinforcements to Iba.

After last turn’s heavy losses in the air and with the KB nowhere to be seen, my opponent rested his air forces today.

My shock attack went ahead in Iba, inflicting further losses on the trapped Japanese and destroying an artillery unit.

The Japanese landings had cut off my 51st PA Infantry Division at Lucena south of Manila. Nevertheless, the division still managed to maul the 16th Recon Regiment there this turn.

Malaya

With a number of battleship, cruiser, and light carrier task forces pushing into the Java Sea, it was time for thee rest of my shipping to get out of dodge.

My opponent had been regularly bombing my retreating troops from Kota Bharu. This turn I decided to LRCAP them with Buffalo fighters, but as it happens this was also the turn the Japanese decided to heavily escort them with Hayabusa fighters. 16 Buffalos tangled with 30 Ki-43a for a few losses on both sides but the escorting fighters kept me off the bombers.

Borneo

A Japanese light cruiser/destroyer task force finishes off my few remaining Dutch PT boats during the night.

My recon noticed that my opponent had docked a number of his ships at Tarakan, so I sent a dozen B-17D bombers from Cagayan to hit the port. I hit CA Haguro and CA Myoko with several hits each, but the 500lb GP bombs failed to penetrate the armor of the heavy cruisers. I did however score more damaging single hits on both DD Kuroshio and AK Mexico Maru, leaving both on fire and the latter with heavy damage.

China

Further raids of heavily escorted IJA bombers attempt to intervene at Ichang, inflicting a fair amount of casualties on my troops in the open.

Near Kanhsien, I had sent the 25th Chinese Corps chasing after the battered 51st Recon Regiment. This time it was my turn to be ambushed however, as my opponent reinforced with the 102nd Infantry Regiment and sent the 25th Corps reeling back with heavy casualties.

Sensing the weakened state of the Japanese troops at Ichang, I ordered a shock attack this time there. My troops did extremely well, throwing the Japanese 34th Division and 13th RGC Temp. Division across the river towards Hankow and inflicting 6,965 casualties for only 1,660 of our own.

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

With Ichang in my hands, I had a strong desire to maintain the momentum by pushing for another target in China. Enhancing my lines of communication between the different fronts and degrading those of the enemy remained a key priority for me, so I decided to follow the retreating Japanese troops to seize Sinyang and control the rail line between the central front and the northern Chengchow/Loyang area that was increasingly under threat. This thrust would hopefully also draw some Japanese reinforcements and lessen the threat to Changsha until my reinforcements arrived there by rail from farther west.

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Post #: 38
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 6:36:49 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101


With Ichang in my hands, I had a strong desire to maintain the momentum by pushing for another target in China. Enhancing my lines of communication between the different fronts and degrading those of the enemy remained a key priority for me, so I decided to follow the retreating Japanese troops to seize Sinyang and control the rail line between the central front and the northern Chengchow/Loyang area that was increasingly under threat. This thrust would hopefully also draw some Japanese reinforcements and lessen the threat to Changsha until my reinforcements arrived there by rail from farther west.


Probably a mistake, this offensive thrust. Depends how much you sent. You are doing very well so far, and Japan is making many easy to fix mistakes like Ichang.

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Post #: 39
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 7:21:55 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe


quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101


With Ichang in my hands, I had a strong desire to maintain the momentum by pushing for another target in China. Enhancing my lines of communication between the different fronts and degrading those of the enemy remained a key priority for me, so I decided to follow the retreating Japanese troops to seize Sinyang and control the rail line between the central front and the northern Chengchow/Loyang area that was increasingly under threat. This thrust would hopefully also draw some Japanese reinforcements and lessen the threat to Changsha until my reinforcements arrived there by rail from farther west.


Probably a mistake, this offensive thrust. Depends how much you sent. You are doing very well so far, and Japan is making many easy to fix mistakes like Ichang.




I pretty much sent the whole lot Lowpe. What can I say, a combination of inexperience and bravado

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Post #: 40
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 7:27:52 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 18

Submarines

I-157 launches two torpedoes at AK Whangpu near Batavia but misses. I-154 to the north of I-157 does not miss however and sends AVP Poolster to the bottom.

S-36 attempted to hit AK Yoneyama Maru that was likely part of a resupply convoy at Laoag but missed, receiving moderate damage in return from 9 depth charge hits from the escorts.

Philippines

Japanese Fast Transports continued to bring Japanese reinforcements into Iba. I needed to throw the Japanese here into the sea before they regained their strength or were reinforced from other landing sites.

Japanese naval bombers struck Cebu airfield in the morning, followed up later there by another Japanese landing in the Philippines as well as yet another at San Jose just to the northwest of Cebu.

Thinking that he may have pulled the CAP of his ships by now, I brought back some Catalinas and Seagulls to Manila and sent them after the Iba landings. They were met by still robust CAP however and were smacked around silly. I ultimately lost more than ten US Navy planes with this attempt.

I followed up this loss with a badly judged attack on Japanese troops arriving in Manila. At little cost to his two infantry and single engineer regiments there, I lost 1,422 casualties in the attack. This hurt as it significantly weakened my defense of the city.

Another shock attack went in at Iba were I destroyed yet another Japanese artillery unit.

Malaya

I had previously attempted to have some of my shipping escape via the Malacca Strait to the north. I thought I might have gotten away with it but the vessels were detected as they arrived just west of Georgetown and a series of torpedo carrying Nettie ways devastated them, sending 5 valuable AKs and an escorting destroyer to a watery grave.

Georgetown falls to the Japanese

Java

My opponent made a mistake here by allowing 12 of his Kates to go after shpping in the Soerabaja hex where I had strong CAP. 9 of his Kates were lost to the CAP and flak. Unfortunately, I did not have any CAP up at Batavia where Kates put two 250kg bombs into the fleeing AP Dominion Monarch that had thought it had finally made it to safety, leaving her with heavy fires.

The slower and much smaller CMc Pro Patria was caught further out to sea in the north by other Kates and quickly went down with three torpedo hits.

I attempted to strike back at his light carriers with an escorted strike of 139WH-3 aircraft but the Dutch bombers once again failed to hit the nimble carrier.

China

With the battle of Ichang over, my opponent shifted the brunt of his still heavily escorted bombers towards pummeling Chengchow, which was now clearly the focus of a large Japanese offensive crossing the river just to the south.

Likely feeling the pressure of my advancing armies to the north of the river and desiring to end things quickly here, the Japanese launched another shock attack on my blocking troops just east of Changsha. Despite his slightly superior AV, my troops held their ground and gave a bloody nose to my opponent. For the cost of 1,627 casualties, 4,780 were inflicted on the Japanese, including the destruction of an armored car company.

A probing attack at Sinyang by my advanced guard finds only the lagging 52nd Road Construction Company there. The town is already evacuated by the Japanese!

------

A mixed bag this turn, with some exhilarating successes in China tempered by some heavy losses and debacles elsewhere. With Sinyang already under control, I made the decision to follow the Japanese into Hankow.....

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Post #: 41
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 7:36:35 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Joined: 11/26/2016
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The situation in China




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Post #: 42
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/28/2020 8:44:29 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
Joined: 11/26/2016
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December 19

Submarines

North of Kuching, O19 sinks AKL Raizan Maru with a torpedo hit.

Java Sea

My opponent had been running naval task forces all over the Java Sea like it was a pond in his backyard. I had excellent search capabilities covering the area however, and a very good picture of where his forces were. An opening emerged when his heavy battleship and cruiser task forces pulled farther north leaving the CVL Ryujo group isolated further to the southeast. I quickly assembled a very large cruiser task force with a few destroyers for protection against submarines, gave the cruiser squadron an excellent commander, and set them at full speed towards the Ryujo force. They connected during the day and focused their extensive firepower on the light carrier. Despite the best efforts of the Ryujo’s escort of a heavy cruiser and four destroyers, she was left a complete wreck with 52 hits, heavy fires, and heavy damage. None of my vessels suffered significant damage. My first ever carrier victim of the game slid beneath the waves a short while later, taking her complement of aircraft with her.

Philippines

Japanese naval bombers pounded the isolated 51st PA Infantry Division at Lucena.

A few Kingfisher floatplanes flew in from Puerto Princessa to hit his landing force at San Jose, delivering a single 250lb bomb into the AMC Saigon Maru. I set the B-17Ds still at Cagayan on naval attack duty hoping they would go after the ongoing landings at either Cebu or San Jose. They instead went for the heavy cruisers all the way north off the coast of Iba. I scored no hits, and lost a couple of the bombers to battle damage from flak and the Zeros on CAP.

It turns out my foolish attack in Manila was a blessing in disguise. Thinking that my forces there were now spent, my opponent launched a shock attack to take the city without waiting for the Japanese reinforcements I could see were on their way. Luckily for me, some much-needed reinforcements arrived from Clark just in time to bolster the defense. It was the Japanese turn to take heavy losses here, with 1,300 casualties for less than 200 of mine. This should buy me some more time to keep pushing at Iba, where I weakened the Japanese further with another attack.

Japanese forces storm Cebu and San Jose and capture them.

Malaya

Japanese mobile regiments take Taiping, pursuing the fleeing rearguard detachments further south.

China

Japanese IJA bombers, as always with heavy Zero escort, struck my troops emerging from Ichang, inflicting casualties and slowing them down. My own Chinese bombers hit the 37th Division north of Loyang in an attempt to slow it down.

The Japanese, with a brigade and a regiment, shock attacked the 52nd Chinese Corps just across the border from Vietnam near Lang Son. The Chinese corps was well dug in however and held its own, inflicting almost 2,000 casualties for only a couple hundred losses sustained.

South West Pacific

The Japanese in this area had concentrated on landing troops on the north coast of New Guinea and the islands north of Rabaul such as at Kavieng and Manus. Tonight the Japanese advanced further with a landing coming ashore at Lae. I had placed numerous Australian and American Catalinas on naval attack duty and they repeatedly went in to disrupt the landings but missed.

---------

My opponent sent me a statement with the turn, congratulating me on doing well, but also warning me that things will change

I was happy with how things were developing, but was a bit frustrated that I could not replicate the success achieved by my Catalinas in the Philippines with the strikes in New Guinea. My intelligence also detected an incoming invasion of Rabaul, which my recon had already begun to sight. I had however moved the Enterprise strike force into the Coral Sea, and made plans to send a squadron of dive bombers of its decks to Rabaul to more effectively hit the incoming transports. The Enterprise group itself was reinforced with a large detachment of Australian cruisers and went close to Milne Bay.

< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 5/29/2020 10:10:53 AM >

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 43
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 5:01:46 AM   
BBfanboy


Posts: 17150
Joined: 8/4/2010
From: Winnipeg, MB
Status: online
Nice job on that intercept of Ryujo! IIRC, that is the biggest of Japan's CVLs.
You may be a newbie at this PBEM GC game, but you seem to have a clear idea of what is important. Naval search to identify enemy weaknesses or threats is one of them. Well played!

_____________________________

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 #: 44
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 10:04:53 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Nice job on that intercept of Ryujo! IIRC, that is the biggest of Japan's CVLs.
You may be a newbie at this PBEM GC game, but you seem to have a clear idea of what is important. Naval search to identify enemy weaknesses or threats is one of them. Well played!



Thank you!

Speaking of naval search, I did often wonder whether night time naval search suffers reduced effectiveness relative to daytime search. Do you or anyone else happen to know the answer to that?

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Post #: 45
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 12:00:39 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 20

Submarines

Nothing of note.

SW Pacific

The Japanese landing force arrived at Rabaul, where my 6inch guns went into action shredding AKL Eiwa Maru. A Japanese Patrol Boat also took heavy damage due to a hit from a minefield I had previously placed in the hex.

The SBD-2 squadron I dispatched to Rabaul from the Enterprise joined in on the action, inflicting 437 casualties by wrecking two AKs and moderately damaging two others. They came in again later in the afternoon finishing off the damaged ships and knocking out another 938 casualties.

In the meantime, I sent a second SBD-2 squadron from the Enterprise to Port Moresby, from where it took off and struck the Lae landing force, heavily damaging and likely sinking 4 or 5 AKs. 14 Catalinas coming in the afternoon to add to the destruction at Lae once again failed to score any hits however. The Japanese landed enough forces at Lae to take the base during the turn.

Philippines

Another shock attack at Iba – my troops were starting to get very tired, forcing me to cycle through the units as some continue attacking while the others rest.

Malaya

An Oscar sweep came over Singapore finding no opposition. My Buffalo fighters were instead LRCAPing Mersing but they missed the incoming bombers there due to the weather and flying too high.

Java Sea

My opponent rushed naval forces to where I had sunk his light carrier but my cruisers were long gone. The Japanese however did find four AKLs, an AK, and an AVP that they quickly put under.

China

Air recon must have shown my opponent that I had some aircraft at Changsha as he sent in the heavily escorted IJA bombers to pound the airfield. 6 Chinese I-15III fighters rose up to meet him and despite their inferior planes and numbers traded even kills with the Zeros.

------

My SBDs did a solid job but I had hoped my Catalinas would do better. I decided to move the Enterprise group closer next to Port Moresby to within range of my TBD squadron still on board to pack a final heavy punch. I did note that the Enterprise task force had been sighted this turn, but I had relatively good search over the area and was not too bothered by it.

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Post #: 46
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 12:36:36 PM   
DanielAClark

 

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...and here comes the Kido Butai...

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Post #: 47
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 12:58:03 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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You guessed it!

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Post #: 48
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:05:15 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101


quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Nice job on that intercept of Ryujo! IIRC, that is the biggest of Japan's CVLs.
You may be a newbie at this PBEM GC game, but you seem to have a clear idea of what is important. Naval search to identify enemy weaknesses or threats is one of them. Well played!



Thank you!

Speaking of naval search, I did often wonder whether night time naval search suffers reduced effectiveness relative to daytime search. Do you or anyone else happen to know the answer to that?


Mechanics wise there are a lot of differences, and there is different types of detection levels. Night search only flies once, while day search flies twice. Night time search is super important, imho.

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Post #: 49
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:07:52 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 21

Submarines

S-39 attempted to hit a Japanese convoy landing reinforcements at Laoag but was sighted by the escorts and heavily pounded with depth charges. The poor submarine was eventually forced to the surface and finished off with gunfire.

SW Pacific

Disaster. Out of nowhere, the KB showed up next to Gasmata, just within range of the Enterprise group next to Port Moresby. A massive Japanese raid came in the morning to be met by the single defending Wildcat squadron of 23 fighters. Despite a valiant defense by my Wildcats that managed to push through the 44 escorting Zeros and down eight bombers, exactly 50 Vals and 100 Kates were left to dive in on my ships.

CV Enterprise was hit with two 250kg bombs and a torpedo, leaving her with heavy fires. Heavy cruisers Northampton and Chester were sunk outright with three torpedo hits each, while heavy cruiser Salt Lake City, and Canberra suffered extensive damage. Light cruiser Perth took a torpedo hit, and DD Ellet was sunk with three bomb hits.

My SBD squadrons, who started the turn back aboard the Enterprise, now went in for his carriers. They had no escort however, and 35 defending Zeros massacred the 18 dive-bombers of the first wave and the 16 dive-bombers of the second wave.

I also had a supply/troop convoy unloading at Port Moresby, and this convoy now faced the wrath of a smaller force of about 50 Kates and Vals, I would eventually lose a dozen AKs here, an AP, a tanker, and a few small escorts.

The action packed morning phase of the battle ended with the late arrival of 20 unescorted Vals to hit the Enterprise. 14 Wildcats were still in the air and shot 19 of them down. The sole surviving Val missed.

In the afternoon, the KB sent another large strike package against me. Due to the Enterprise’s damaged state, the Wildcats had diverted to Port Moresby so the KB’s planes were met with no opposition. The already heavily damaged Salt Lake City and Canberra were finished off, light cruiser Perth was left a wreck, the last heavy cruiser Louisville was put in a sinking state, destroyer Gridley ate a torpedo, and worst of all, the Enterprise was finished off under a barrage of bombs and torpedoes.

The Japanese take Rabaul with a shock attack.

Philippines

My last two PT boats went out again from Manila towards Iba where they encountered a Japanese surface force that included three cruisers. Completely outmatched, the PT boats nevertheless charged in and put a torpedo into the CA Maya.

Malaya

24 Ki-43-Ic fighters swept Singapore today and mauled the 33 Buffalos that were there to meet them. I lost about 10 fighters for only a few Oscars.

Borneo

Over the last few turns I have been trying to get my Bleheim bombers at Singapore to conduct night bombing raids on Sinkawang. Some of them finally got through this turn destroying two Zeros on the ground.

China

My opponent went again for Changsha, where 9 I-15III fighters faced him. For only a couple of I-15s lost, we knocked out several escorting Zeros.

Yet another Japanese attack goes in against my steadfast Chinese army in the Changsha sector. A 1:2 result in my favor leads to 4,555 Japanese casualties for 1,657 Chinese.

------

This was a very tough turn for me. I thought I was doing well only to quickly suffer a severe defeat. Clearly this newbie had a lot to learn.

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Post #: 50
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:12:29 PM   
Lowpe


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KB showing up there is very common...

Did Japan have DL on Enterprise a day before?


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Post #: 51
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:14:37 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


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question is what is the status of Enterprise? that is the only ship that really matters

can it still run away? you should at least try

early war it is better to hide the USN carriers, as they are the primary targets

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 5/29/2020 1:15:01 PM >


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Post #: 52
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:29:18 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe

KB showing up there is very common...

Did Japan have DL on Enterprise a day before?





Yes it did. I foolishly went brought it forward anyways.

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Post #: 53
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:30:58 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

question is what is the status of Enterprise? that is the only ship that really matters

can it still run away? you should at least try

early war it is better to hide the USN carriers, as they are the primary targets


The Enterprise was finished off - it sank.

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Post #: 54
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:31:52 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Battle Assessment

I wish I could place all the blame of this heavy defeat on my inexperience. In my opinion however, I think the bulk of the reasons behind it were due to intelligence failure, very flawed decision making, and my opponent’s relative competence in comparison.

I did not know where the KB was. That in itself implied that it could very well be in the sector. In fact, it made perfect sense that it would be here to support the massive Japanese landing forces at Lae and Rabaul. This operational intelligence failure was compounded by some gaps in my tactical intelligence picture. I did not know that a carrier could move as far as the KB did in a single turn, and having failed to detect the KB in the area immediately around Rabaul, I thought that the Enterprise would be perfectly safe near Port Morseby. Finally, I should have taken the detection level on the Enterprise group a lot more seriously.

There were a lot of terrible decisions taken on my part. First, I further weakened my intelligence picture. Given the presence of my valuable warships in the area, I should have kept the Catalinas focused on search over the previous turns instead of deviating a large number of them to naval attack. Second, I decided to risk important warships for very questionable gains. I already was doing well pounding the convoys from Port Moresby, adding in marginal extra firepower to the event with the TBD squadron was absolutely not worth even a relatively small amount of risk. Third, I packed too many cruisers with the Enterprise when there was really no need to have that many in the same task force.

Finally, I think my opponent did an admirable job keeping his KB out of sight to draw me in. He only committed it at full speed when he knew my carrier force was present even with the added threat to his transports.

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Post #: 55
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 1:43:29 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 4294
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you live and learn

unless he makes a mistake or there is a lucky torpedo leveling the field, he has now pushed serious Allied offensives to 1943

EDIT: you should had posted, beforehand, your plan of using Big E on Pt Moresby... I mean it took 36 min from your SW Pacific post for DanielAClark to notice that the KB was suspiciously missing

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 5/29/2020 2:00:22 PM >


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Post #: 56
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 2:03:04 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 4294
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From: Toronto and Lima
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your AAR should be renamed "Avenging the Enterprise"

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Post #: 57
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 2:06:39 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Jorge_Stanbury

your AAR should be renamed "Avenging the Enterprise"


Remember this is an AAR of an already completed campaign. The title will make more sense with later events.

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Post #: 58
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 2:09:05 PM   
Jorge_Stanbury


Posts: 4294
Joined: 2/29/2012
From: Toronto and Lima
Status: offline
oh I didn't know, I will read the beginning

did you take notes? I can barely remember the last couple weeks ago (both PBEM and personal life), definitively not something I could do

< Message edited by Jorge_Stanbury -- 5/29/2020 2:12:06 PM >


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Post #: 59
RE: Revenge of the Enterprise - 5/29/2020 2:13:15 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

Posts: 1231
Joined: 11/26/2016
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December 22

Submarines

Nothing of note.

SW Pacific

My opponent charged in the KB, rounding the corner around Milne Bay and arriving three hexes away from Port Moresby. His carrier aircraft proceeded to sink the few remaining stragglers from the Enterprise group and the supply convoy, the most notable of which was the light cruiser Perth. His carrier aircraft also targeted Port Moresby airfield, knocking out a few aircraft there and cratering the runaway. Luckily, only the TBD squadron was completely destroyed, as the remnants of the Wildcat and the SBD squadrons managed to land at this very airfield now under attack.

Philippines

Another one of our shock attacks destroys a Japanese artillery unit at Iba. Not much left here now.

A Japanese shock attack takes Iloilo.

Malaya

Another Oscar sweep knocks out a few of my Buffalos over Singapore.

Borneo

Since the start of the campaign I had been moving my B-17Es over the Pacific towards the fighting. They recently arrived in Java, and after a little bit of rest, went in to pound Sinkawang. 17 B-17Es were met by 29 Ki-43-1a fighters who couldn’t do much to stop them from hitting the airfield and destroying two Nell bombers on the ground.

China

Following the capture of Hong Kong, my opponent was pushing a significant army towards Kukong. 78 Sally bombers came to bomb the defenses there but were met by 8 I-16 fighters that helped disrupt their bombing runs.

My troops advancing from Ichang were a hex away from Hankow, where even more Japanese bombers hit them. China was being saturated with Japanese airpower.

-----

As all these momentous events were happening in the Coral Sea, I was busy bringing in Australian, British, and Indian Brigades into Burma. I snuck in a number of units directly into Rangoon, but as the risk mounted I shifted to bringing the rest the long way around overland from Akyab and Chittagong


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 5/29/2020 2:20:20 PM >

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