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Empire of the Sun - DesertWolf101 (J) vs Andy Mac (A)

 
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Empire of the Sun - DesertWolf101 (J) vs Andy Mac (A) - 6/26/2020 9:41:10 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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With the completion of the AAR on my first AE campaign, I have decided to do another. This time the AAR will follow an ongoing stock Scenario 1 campaign (currently early February 1942) where I am playing as the Japanese Empire. Some of you have already been very helpful in answering some of my initial questions and sending me links to valuable threads, and I hope to continue benefiting from the community’s advice as I navigate the stormy months and years ahead.

OPPONENT

I am playing a new opponent who once again has requested to remain anonymous (although I have a feeling that may change as we get further along in the campaign and he starts dominating as the allies). Although a capable adversary with a long history with the game (going back to Uncommon Valor and Pacific War), my opponent has mostly stuck to the Japanese side so hopefully his taking the allied side will compensate somewhat for my lack of experience.

GAME SETTINGS

Scenario 1
FOW ON
Advanced weather ON
Allied damage control ON
PDU ON
Historical first turn OFF
Dec 7 surprise ON
Reliable USN torps OFF
Realistic R&D ON
No unit withdrawals OFF
Reinforcements +/- 60
Combat reports ON
Auto sub ops OFF
Facilities expand OFF
Auto upgrade ships and airgroups OFF
Air and ground replacements OFF
Turn cycle 1 TURN

HOUSE RULES

No 4e naval bombing below 10k
No strategic bombing until June 1943
No Japanese deep amphibious landings (i.e. no Mersing option) - Landings limited to max 13 hexes from ports 3 and higher on first turn
Full PPs to be paid when crossing borders etc.
Thai troops can cross up to three hexes into Burma.
Max sweep at second best maneuver band
On first turn, Allied player can move all existing task forces and can give orders to all ground and air units in China (which was already in a state of war), but can't create new Task Forces or give orders to any ground/air outside China. Infrastructure orders can be given outside of China on first turn except for creation of forts.


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 12/29/2020 9:51:44 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 10:30:28 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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WAR OBJECTIVES

Like the Japanese Empire, I aim to convince my opponent to cease hostilities by psychologically defeating him through early crushing victories on the battlefield. If I fail to achieve that lofty goal, I will attempt to resist to the bitter end and extract a heavy toll on the Allies as they advance. Ultimately, I would be very happy if I make it past August 1945.

STRATEGY

My overall strategy is centered on maximizing Japan’s resource acquisition and output while impeding the Allied counteroffensive by targeting their logistics, basing options, and supply lines. The following are the core components of the strategy:

1) Seizure of the SRA as an absolute priority with an aggressive timeline. I aim to land in force in Malaya, the Philippines, Borneo, and Sumatra by the end of December, seize all the critical oil fields as well as Singapore and Manila by the end of January, and complete the conquest of Burma, Java and the rest of the Dutch East Indies by the end of February.
2) An aggressive campaign does not mean I will be reckless. Given my disadvantaged position in the correlation of forces between the two sides, I am to minimize the cost by not losing any capital warships during this early period, including light cruisers and above. I will also seek to minimize losses to submarines, escorts, and my merchant navy.
3) China is a considerable objective both for its resources and to deny its use to the enemy as a base for bombers and submarines. The resourcing of a Japanese offensive campaign in China, while not impeding on the focus on the SRA, will not be shortchanged. The objective here is to seize Chungking and the rest of the key resource bases by the end of 1942. Operationally, I will attempt to seize some of the key supply production positions in China early on to make my operations in China almost entirely self sufficient in supply.
4) Finally, I will attempt to bring the Allies into an early decisive battle by targeting my opponent’s critical supply lines. I will not however make the success of this approach contingent on an allied response by ensuring that the objectives chosen are still in themselves worth the expenditure of resources allocated to seize them. New Guinea, the Solomons, and various islands in the South Pacific will be targeted to elongate the supply lines to Australia while care is taken to minimize resource expenditure in this area. The aim here is to delay the Allied ability to strike back at Japan if I fail to defeat my opponent early on.

Having (hopefully) achieved these objectives, I will reevaluate the Empire's position and consider further offensive operations or entrenchment options. First off though there is a lot of work to do in the initial few months.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 11:20:05 AM   
Lowpe


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Good luck, have fun!

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 11:24:50 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Operational Approach

The SRA, while the absolute priority, will not be allocated the Kido Butai. I firmly believe that the Kido Butai as the primary force projection weapon of the Empire is best used to take advantage of the surprise at the start to strike at Allied strategic targets beyond the range of Japan’s other forces. The SRA instead will be allocated all the light and escort carriers for air support, two battleships, and the vast majority of cruiser and destroyer warships.

For Home Island defense, Amchitka and Adak Islands will be seized in the Aleutians for early warning against an Allied advance from the north. Comprehensive coverage with Nell/Betty bombers and long-range recon will guard against Allied naval raids against the Home Islands. Powerful surface warships that will remain in reserve at home including two battleships and other cruisers/destroyers would also be available to protect the homeland.

In China, Ichang will be held at all costs to deny the Chinese the best suitable connection between their western and northern armies. Following the takeover of Hong Kong, the 38th Division will not be sent south but will instead move to take the supply producing areas of Wuchow, Nanning, and Liuchow as part of my effort to make my Chinese campaign more self-sufficient and to open a new front in China. A spearhead army will be formed to take Chengchow and Loyang and either advance north or west (through Ichang) depending on my opponent’s main defensive concentrations.

That brings me to the Kido Butai. I was very tempted by the classic Pearl Harbor strike option with its many advantages. In the end though I decided to go with a strike on Australian ports as this was more in keeping with my strategic objective to prioritize the effort to damage Allied logistics. The advantages of this plan are the following:

1) Much closer positioning of the Kido Butai to support an early effort against New Britain and New Guinea.
2) The opportunity to strike at large numbers of valuable allied cargo, transport, and tanker ships that are beyond the range of my land based bombers.
3) The lack of effective allied resistance in the theater at the start, particularly in the air.

It is debatable whether these advantages outweigh the damage that I could inflict on American surface and air assets at Pearl, but given my particular strategic approach this utilization of the KB made sense to me. Four battleships for further operations in the New Guinea and South Pacific Area will later reinforce the KB.


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 6/26/2020 11:25:06 AM >

(in reply to Lowpe)
Post #: 4
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 11:25:35 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lowpe

Good luck, have fun!


Thank you!

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Post #: 5
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 12:15:53 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Logistics War

Realistically, I am quite aware that it is unlikely that I will defeat my opponent in a decisive battle to force him to give up the fight. I also very much doubt an autovictory is a possibility for me given my inexperience with the game. I have decided therefore to think a bit more long term into the years ahead. Besides acquiring critical resources as early as possible, the best approach I can pursue to help myself is to delay the Allied advance. I see 1942 as primarily a buildup period for the Allies. It is this buildup that I seek to interrupt and harass with my operations in the first year of the war.

I am aware that the Allies get an overwhelming number of cargo, transport, and tanker ships over the length of the war. There is no possibility for me to cripple their sealift over the long term. By my count however, my opponent will receive 322 AKs, 50 APs, 33 TKs, and 8 AOs from the start of the war to the beginning of 1943 as reinforcements. It is only in 1943 that the floodgates really open in terms of Allied sealift. My aim therefore is, in combination with a strategy of elongating my opponent’s supply lines, inflict enough damage on enemy merchant marine assets (in particular tankers and AOs) in the initial months as to hinder my opponent’s ability to buildup forces and resources (especially in Australia) for the inevitable Allied offensive.

For this approach I will primarily rely on three components. The first is heavy initial port strikes by my LBA in the SRA area (plenty of juicy tankers and transports there). Second, prioritizing the targeting of Allied shipping by my submarines in lieu of the historical emphasis on warships. Finally, using the KB on the Australian ports where there are plenty of vulnerable Allied tankers and transports (16 TK/AOs in Melbourne and Sydney alone). The added benefit of this KB operation is the delay in Australia’s ability to reinforce New Guinea and the South Pacific islands.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 12:28:14 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Production

Ok here is the area where I am really rusty and would greatly benefit from feedback.

Before I get to my specific aircraft R&D in a later post, here is my planned factory buildup.

Armament at 620
Vehicles at 240
Naval Shipyards at 1490
Merchant Shipping at 807
Air at 520
R&D at 2230

The plan is for R&D to eventually become air production factories as the specific aircraft researched comes online. The key variable here that worries me is that I have decided to greatly prioritize R&D to account for virtually all available research slots taken to level 30 (and one Frank one to 55). Is this too crazy ambitious?

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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 12:58:39 PM   
scondon87

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101
The plan is for R&D to eventually become air production factories as the specific aircraft researched comes online. The key variable here that worries me is that I have decided to greatly prioritize R&D to account for virtually all available research slots taken to level 30 (and one Frank one to 55). Is this too crazy ambitious?



I have very little experience playing Japan, but my understanding is that will suck all the supply out of the economy, both from factory building/repair as well as air production (once they eventually convert to production). I generally pick a few airframes, and invest in them, keeping in mind that everything you do on the industry screen has a cost in supply that must be offset somehow. Hope that helps, and good luck!

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 1:09:20 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: scondon87


quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101
The plan is for R&D to eventually become air production factories as the specific aircraft researched comes online. The key variable here that worries me is that I have decided to greatly prioritize R&D to account for virtually all available research slots taken to level 30 (and one Frank one to 55). Is this too crazy ambitious?



I have very little experience playing Japan, but my understanding is that will suck all the supply out of the economy, both from factory building/repair as well as air production (once they eventually convert to production). I generally pick a few airframes, and invest in them, keeping in mind that everything you do on the industry screen has a cost in supply that must be offset somehow. Hope that helps, and good luck!


That's what I was afraid off. Thankfully I am still early in the campaign and it is not too late to shut down some of the R&D factories if that is too much.

I figured initially that if Japan was able to produce almost 30,000 combat aircraft in 1944 (2,500 per month), I should be able to produce 2,750 combat aircraft per month in 1944 once all these factories got repaired. It could very well be that this level is not possible in this game however.

(in reply to scondon87)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 1:11:20 PM   
Lowpe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

The plan is for R&D to eventually become air production factories as the specific aircraft researched comes online. The key variable here that worries me is that I have decided to greatly prioritize R&D to account for virtually all available research slots taken to level 30 (and one Frank one to 55). Is this too crazy ambitious?



Heck no. A strong and vibrant r&d program is your only hope of getting to mid 45 in a scenario 1 game.

Vehicles 240 might be a bit high for a scenario 1.
Naval Shipyards at 1490 is an expansion is it not? Not against it, kind of like it to be honest, you just need to be mindful.

I normally switch an armament factory in Korea to vehicles for safer production long term.

As long as you manage your supplies and fuel you can do a lot. Just be aware of what all the costs are...




(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 1:43:11 PM   
RangerJoe


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Besides, the major R & D supply cost is when the factory actually repairs and it can take a long time to fully repair.

But what is the cost of not having the best aircraft available? The supply cost of replacing the pilot with a pilot of lesser ability, the cost of training the replacement pilot, plus the cost of the lower quality aircraft which is the same cost of a better one. Not to mention the cost of destroying fewer enemy aircraft.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

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

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


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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 1:59:55 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Ok great, this is quite the relief to hear. I do plan to seriously attempt to economize where I can, but I was quite averse to short changing R&D if I could avoid it.

And yes, I did expand the naval shipyards, but only by 106 overall. I thought that was a modest size increase I could get away with.

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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 2:14:34 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Aircraft R&D

Final item before I get to the first turn – my aircraft research:


12 X 30 Frank A
10 X 30 Sam
6 X 30 N1K1-J George
6 X 30 Ki-83
5 X 30 Shinden
4 X 30 Ki-44-IIa Tojo
3 x 30 Rufe (for transition to A6M5)
3 X 30 A6M3
3 X 30 B6N2 Jill
3 X 30 D4Y1 Judy
3 X 30 Ki-102c Randy
3 X 30 Ki-43-IIa Oscar
3 X 30 Ki-49-Ia Helen
2 X 30 Ki-45 Nick a
2 X 30 Grace
2 X 30 J1N1-S Irving
2 X 30 Ki46-III KAI Dinah
1 X 30 D4Y1-C Judy
1 X 30 Ki46-III Dinah
1 X 30 P1Y2-S Frances
1 X 5 H8K1 Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)
1 X 5 H8K2-L Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)


This was very much a work in progress initially, and certainly there are a number of areas here that I would have likely done differently if I knew more at the time. In particular, I would probably have done a less spread type approach in favor of a more narrow and concentrated one. Now that I am settled into the R&D process I don’t want to change much unless it is a critical mistake or omission. Do you guys see any?

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 2:44:30 PM   
RangerJoe


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You could switch the Emily type factories to another type and just convert the Mavis factories to Emily. If you do that, set the Mavis factory to no upgrade so you don't have two types of Mavis search aircraft.

Once the Judy factory repairs, consider upgrading it to the 3rd version as it uses a common engine, has a lower service rating, and carries a 500kg bomb. The fourth version was actually a kamikaze version with a non dropping 800kg bomb but game allows it to drop the bomb.

Once the Helen upgrades, consider upgrading to the second version. Ordinarily, I would say just let it come in normally and convert the Sally factories but you already have it set up.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

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

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


(in reply to DesertWolf101)
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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 2:59:07 PM   
Lowpe


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Nothing too glaring.

Frances torpedo bomber is worth r&d.

Dinah fighter normally isn't worth it, unless you have special plans for it.

Lilly DB is a great plane if properly used.

Peggy torpedo bomber has uses.

I am not a fan of the Randy nf. Zero NF lets you resize your naval groups if you play that way.

Grace is outstanding.

Tabby might be worth one factory too.

Biggest mistake I think is Helen -- Not a fan of r&d on Helen at all. You might think switching those to Sam, Grace, Judy, Frances, Peggy T, or whatever. You can mess with Emily/Mavis as mentioned.

You have covered your bases as you must get Frank and Sam early and you have a late war fighter for both services. Just make sure your engine production matches up, especially for the r&d bonus.

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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 3:07:00 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Awesome, thanks guys and some good suggestions there.

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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 3:15:00 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 7, 1941

Submarines

The campaign starts with the traditional mini-sub launch against Pearl Harbor. 4 of them are unable to penetrate the harbor and are lost and 1 fails to launch and stays with the mother ship. The Imperial subs then spread out to their assigned patrol positions. Unfortunately, I-1 was not one of them as it was hit by a Catalina on ASW and had to go back to port for repairs.

KXVII attempts to intercept a Japanese invasion convoy in the Gulf of Siam but is seen and pummeled by the escorts with 10 hits. The submarine will likely survive but will need to head back to port.

Central Pacific

A couple of Nell bombers are lost as they attempt to bomb Wake but encounter a CAP of 4 Wildcat fighters.

A Japanese force goes ashore at Guam.

South Pacific

The early morning calm in Sydney was shattered when 108 Val and 117 Kates descended on the harbor. Almost all the shipping in the port, including all the tankers and AO, suffer considerable damage.

27 Vals and 27 Kates from the Kaga (separate TF from KB) then strike Brisbane, once again inflicting considerable damage to the shipping in port there.

Finally, the Australian heavy cruiser Canberra and the light cruiser Perth were spotted and attacked by 36 Val dive-bombers. The Canberra was hit 12 times and sunk, while the Perth was hit 5 times, heavily damaged, and forced into Sydney harbor.

Philippines

A Zero sweep goes over Clark Airfield knocking out 4 P-26A and a P-40B that rose up to meet them.

81 Betty and 36 Nell bombers then head in to bomb Manila’s port facilities. 14 P-40Es diverted from their training mission to hit the bombers knocking out 2 Betties and 4 Nells. A great port strike ensued however, with half the submarines there either destroyed or heavily damaged, and with notable damage to a great portion of the rest of the shipping. 18 Sally bombers with 9 Zero escorts follow the raid adding a bit of carnage to the place.

Japanese troops come ashore at Aparri and Batan Island.

Hong Kong

27 Ida, 24 Sonia, and 12 Lily bombers hit the shipping docked at Hong Kong. All ships in port are damaged but few are sunk due to the low yield bombs carried by these army bombers.

Malaya

Oscars and Nates sweep over northern Malaya finding little fighter opposition and effectively dealing with what little meets them.

55 Lily and 48 Sally bombers hit Georgetown port and airfield. A number of Buffalo and Blenheim IF fighters are caught and destroyed on the ground and all ships in the harbor are sunk outright.

Khota Bharu airfield is hit hard by 53 Sallys knocking out a number of Hudson bombers on the ground.

Finally, 27 Betty and 72 Nell bombers escorted by 12 Zeros head in towards the flak kill zone of Singapore at the very low altitude of 4,000 feet. Unfortunately, my opponent must have had some good luck since 24 Buffalo fighters rose to meet them. The Zeros do a good job keeping most of the Buffalos off the bombers but some Buffalos still manage to get in to shoot down 4 Nells. Despite the interference of the fighters and the dense flak, my bombers did a good job wrecking the shipping at Singapore. Practically all warships were heavily damaged and most of the transports and the tankers were hit. Some of these will eventually sink from the first strike.

At the end of the day, Japanese troops come ashore at Kota Bharu.

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

All in all I was quite pleased with the first turn. The damage inflicted in a number of ports was extensive. The one downside is the heavy loss of Betty and Nell bombers (mostly due to Singapore flak) with 33 lost for the day. Clearly unsustainable but I am willing to take that one time heavy loss if it sets me up for what I want to do in the following days/weeks.

< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 6/26/2020 3:19:22 PM >

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RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/26/2020 3:16:07 PM   
Alamander

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Aircraft R&D

Final item before I get to the first turn – my aircraft research:


12 X 30 Frank A
10 X 30 Sam
6 X 30 N1K1-J George
6 X 30 Ki-83
5 X 30 Shinden
4 X 30 Ki-44-IIa Tojo
3 x 30 Rufe (for transition to A6M5)
3 X 30 A6M3
3 X 30 B6N2 Jill
3 X 30 D4Y1 Judy
3 X 30 Ki-102c Randy
3 X 30 Ki-43-IIa Oscar
3 X 30 Ki-49-Ia Helen
2 X 30 Ki-45 Nick a
2 X 30 Grace
2 X 30 J1N1-S Irving
2 X 30 Ki46-III KAI Dinah
1 X 30 D4Y1-C Judy
1 X 30 Ki46-III Dinah
1 X 30 P1Y2-S Frances
1 X 5 H8K1 Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)
1 X 5 H8K2-L Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)


This was very much a work in progress initially, and certainly there are a number of areas here that I would have likely done differently if I knew more at the time. In particular, I would probably have done a less spread type approach in favor of a more narrow and concentrated one. Now that I am settled into the R&D process I don’t want to change much unless it is a critical mistake or omission. Do you guys see any?



That looks quite good for a PDU:On game in which you have little desire to pursue auto-victory. A variation of that theme is to focus more heavily on Tojo in the beginning, say 5 factories or so... putting 3 into production immediately and leaving 2 on R&D to get the later models. As it is, I would just move all 3 tojo factories into production in May, once the Tojo is available and convert 5-7 squadrons to Tojos, in addition to the 2 from Manchuko that upgrade normally (for a total of 7-9). The Tojo is the best early war plane until the P-38 arrives, and it will allow you to maintain air superiority through 42.

In a scenario 1 game, I recommend against converting many of your bomber squadrons to Helens. Sonias and Lillies are acceptable and use much less supply than Helens. Nicks can be used as fighter bombers in place of the light bombers, but be cautious with heavy use of medium bombers.

I would recommend the Lilly IIb divebomber and the Peggy Torpedo bomber. These are heavier, armored planes, which perform well against mid-late war U.S. flak. They are also the only dedicated anti-shipping planes available to the IJA. If you want to strike effectively at the allied death-star post 1943, these are almost essential.

The real trick is engine production: especially Nakajima 35s. Do you want the engine bonus for the A6 line and the Oscar line? This is another reason that the Lilly IIb is quite good. You will continue production of this plane, and the IIc, until the end of the war, making use of Nakajima 35 factories that will not be needed for much else other than Oscars by 1944. The other crucial engines are the Mitsubishi 33 and the Nakajima 45. Be sure that you have enough of the Naka 45. Notice the A6M8 uses the Mitsubishi 33 and not the Nakajima 35s, like the rest of the A6 line. Thus, how you plan your Mitsubishi 33 production is important. There are points in the war where demand for this engine will be very high (especially when you are producing A6M8s before the A7M2 is available), and points in the war when the demand for Mit 33 will not be very high.

< Message edited by Alamander -- 6/26/2020 3:17:24 PM >

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 18
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 4:03:41 AM   
DanielAClark

 

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An Australia attack...

Interesting.

Will look forward to seeing how you handle getting China under your thumb.

(in reply to Alamander)
Post #: 19
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 5:56:09 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alamander

quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Aircraft R&D

Final item before I get to the first turn – my aircraft research:


12 X 30 Frank A
10 X 30 Sam
6 X 30 N1K1-J George
6 X 30 Ki-83
5 X 30 Shinden
4 X 30 Ki-44-IIa Tojo
3 x 30 Rufe (for transition to A6M5)
3 X 30 A6M3
3 X 30 B6N2 Jill
3 X 30 D4Y1 Judy
3 X 30 Ki-102c Randy
3 X 30 Ki-43-IIa Oscar
3 X 30 Ki-49-Ia Helen
2 X 30 Ki-45 Nick a
2 X 30 Grace
2 X 30 J1N1-S Irving
2 X 30 Ki46-III KAI Dinah
1 X 30 D4Y1-C Judy
1 X 30 Ki46-III Dinah
1 X 30 P1Y2-S Frances
1 X 5 H8K1 Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)
1 X 5 H8K2-L Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)


This was very much a work in progress initially, and certainly there are a number of areas here that I would have likely done differently if I knew more at the time. In particular, I would probably have done a less spread type approach in favor of a more narrow and concentrated one. Now that I am settled into the R&D process I don’t want to change much unless it is a critical mistake or omission. Do you guys see any?



That looks quite good for a PDU:On game in which you have little desire to pursue auto-victory. A variation of that theme is to focus more heavily on Tojo in the beginning, say 5 factories or so... putting 3 into production immediately and leaving 2 on R&D to get the later models. As it is, I would just move all 3 tojo factories into production in May, once the Tojo is available and convert 5-7 squadrons to Tojos, in addition to the 2 from Manchuko that upgrade normally (for a total of 7-9). The Tojo is the best early war plane until the P-38 arrives, and it will allow you to maintain air superiority through 42.

In a scenario 1 game, I recommend against converting many of your bomber squadrons to Helens. Sonias and Lillies are acceptable and use much less supply than Helens. Nicks can be used as fighter bombers in place of the light bombers, but be cautious with heavy use of medium bombers.

I would recommend the Lilly IIb divebomber and the Peggy Torpedo bomber. These are heavier, armored planes, which perform well against mid-late war U.S. flak. They are also the only dedicated anti-shipping planes available to the IJA. If you want to strike effectively at the allied death-star post 1943, these are almost essential.

The real trick is engine production: especially Nakajima 35s. Do you want the engine bonus for the A6 line and the Oscar line? This is another reason that the Lilly IIb is quite good. You will continue production of this plane, and the IIc, until the end of the war, making use of Nakajima 35 factories that will not be needed for much else other than Oscars by 1944. The other crucial engines are the Mitsubishi 33 and the Nakajima 45. Be sure that you have enough of the Naka 45. Notice the A6M8 uses the Mitsubishi 33 and not the Nakajima 35s, like the rest of the A6 line. Thus, how you plan your Mitsubishi 33 production is important. There are points in the war where demand for this engine will be very high (especially when you are producing A6M8s before the A7M2 is available), and points in the war when the demand for Mit 33 will not be very high.



Interesting points. In particular I was not aware that the Lilly used up less supplies per mission in comparison to the medium bombers. I guess I mistakenly thought that it was a per engine thing rather than designation based.

Edit: I took a look at the manual and now note that its a maximum load issue. Level bombers on offensive missions consume supplies equal to their maximum load divided by 1000. So I take it that means that a Lily with a max load of 881 would in fact consume only one supply point while a Sally with a max load of 2,205 would consume 2 (or 3 because we round up in AE right?)

< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 6/27/2020 6:12:18 AM >

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Post #: 20
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 6:13:24 AM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DanielAClark

An Australia attack...

Interesting.

Will look forward to seeing how you handle getting China under your thumb.


Here is hoping I don't muck everything up!

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Post #: 21
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 1:35:01 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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December 8, 1941

Submarines

Japanese submarines fanned out across the northern Java Sea during the night, and during the day, I-122 found and sank TK Manvantara with a spread of four torpedos.

I-124 laid some mines at Calapan and shortly thereafter DD Peary slammed into one and suffered heavy damage. Having dropped off its eggs, I-124 then found the large AK Tantalus fleeing from Manila south of Busuanga and sank it with two torpedo hits.

South Pacific

Leaving behind the Akagi and some escorts to guard against a breakout attempt from the Sydney/Newcastle area, I sent the now diminished KB of four carriers at flank speed towards Melbourne to catch what I surmised would be an evacuation of shipping from the area.

Sure enough, the KB found itself in the middle of dozens of allied cargo, transport, tanker and replenishment vessels attempting to sail away from the area. Repeated airstrikes rolled over these ships through the morning and afternoon. When the sprouts from near misses finally settled, dozens of allied vessels had been sunk or critically damaged. The KB will stay in the area the next day for mopping up operations.

Back near Sydney, no breakout attempt by damaged vessels was detected and thus Akagi sent its aircraft to pound the vessels in the harbor some more. Even further north, bad weather prevented the Kaga from sending another strike against the shipping at Brisbane.

Gulf of Siam

I had concentrated a vast array of invasion convoys in the Gulf of Siam as they sought to disembark troops at Singora, Patani, and Kota Bharu. My opponent noted these juicy targets over the last turn and sent in Force Z to do its dastardly work. Luckily, Tanaka and his boys of the heavy cover force stood on the way. During the raging night battle, the Japanese heavy cruisers and destroyers did masterful work pumping torpedo after torpedo into the Prince of Wales and Repulse. This slowed these mighty ships and made them vulnerable to Kongo and Haruna who moved up with their heavy guns and blasted the proud British warships into scrap metal. In addition, the British destroyer Tenedos also took a torpedo and slid into the sea.

Unfortunately, the Japanese did not escape unscathed. Minor shell damage, particularly from the four escorting British destroyers, was sustained by practically all the Japanese warships, but destroyer Asashio also took a torpedo hit and did not make it through the night.

Celebes Sea

Seeking to intercept enemy shipping fleeing through the area, I dispatched a powerful surface action group of three heavy cruisers and six destroyers to the Celebes Sea. At night, this force encountered An American naval force composed of the light cruiser Marblehead and 5 destroyers seeking to flee south through the Makassar Strait. The Japanese Navy easily came on top, sinking the Marblehead with a torpedo hit and 6 8inch shells and damaging a couple of destroyers for minor damage to a Japanese destroyer.

The victorious task force then returned to its task of hunting for enemy shipping, finding and sinking AG Albatros further to the north.

Central Pacific

Japanese troops capture Guam, Makin, and Ocean Island.

I forgot to halt the Netty bombing of Wake Island and five Nell bombers were lost as a result when they encountered Wildcats.

Philippines

31 Zeros swept over Manila but encountered no resistance. The reason became apparent when 32 Zeros swept over Clark airfield next and encountered the entire allied fight force in the sky over the field. Three Zeros were lost in the ensuing dogfight, but they in turn bagged 15 of the defending fighters.

My opponent sent in 9 B-17D bombers to hit Babeldaob from Cagayan but I had anticipated this and placed some Zeros there on CAP. All 9 B-17Ds were either destroyed or repeatedly damaged and they failed to score any hits.

The Americans also sent 11 B-17D bombers from Luzon to hit Pescadores. Nate fighters were on duty here and despite their weak armament managed to repeatedly score hits on the bombers, disrupting their aim.

One of my Nate pilots made a head on attack and drove a B-17D out of formation – I know what this implies in real terms, but does anyone know what this actually means in game outcomes? Increased disruption for the overall bomber formation?

Malaya

Throughout the day, Hudson and Blenheim bombers attempted to hit the Japanese invasion shipping in the Gulf of Siam. Nate fighters on CAP however did a great job intercepting the bombers, shooting down or driving away the majority of them. Those bombers that did make it through missed their targets.

After a heavy pounding from the air, Japanese troops attack and take Kota Bharu.

Hong Kong

IJAAF light bombers hit the troops at Hong Kong to maintain disruption there in anticipation of the pending Japanese assault.

--------

A very long day, but thankfully a rather successful one for the Japanese.

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 22
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 2:47:59 PM   
mind_messing

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Aircraft R&D

Final item before I get to the first turn – my aircraft research:


12 X 30 Frank A
10 X 30 Sam
6 X 30 N1K1-J George
6 X 30 Ki-83
5 X 30 Shinden
4 X 30 Ki-44-IIa Tojo
3 x 30 Rufe (for transition to A6M5)
3 X 30 A6M3
3 X 30 B6N2 Jill
3 X 30 D4Y1 Judy
3 X 30 Ki-102c Randy
3 X 30 Ki-43-IIa Oscar
3 X 30 Ki-49-Ia Helen
2 X 30 Ki-45 Nick a
2 X 30 Grace
2 X 30 J1N1-S Irving
2 X 30 Ki46-III KAI Dinah
1 X 30 D4Y1-C Judy
1 X 30 Ki46-III Dinah
1 X 30 P1Y2-S Frances
1 X 5 H8K1 Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)
1 X 5 H8K2-L Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)


This was very much a work in progress initially, and certainly there are a number of areas here that I would have likely done differently if I knew more at the time. In particular, I would probably have done a less spread type approach in favor of a more narrow and concentrated one. Now that I am settled into the R&D process I don’t want to change much unless it is a critical mistake or omission. Do you guys see any?



Some thoughts.

I like the focus on the late war airframes. More bang for your buck that way in my view.

I'd have concentrated the entire A6M line in the Rufes and push them to the A6M5c - it's probably the best all-round model of the Zero (though there may be others who differ and prefer the M8).

I'm not sold on the Tojo, I'd have dropped it and replaced it with the Ki-61 Tony (with the aim of moving forward the Ki-100).

I'm not sure it's worth R&D for the Helen, rather than just waiting till it (and subsequent improvements) arrive. I'd have used the factories for the Ki-74 Patsy (closest thing Japan gets to a B-29).

Dinah III isn't worth the R&D, better just waiting for it to arrive.

As Lowpe has pointed out, the glaring omission for me is the Peggy T. You can get by till 1943 to get the Lily dive bomber model, but getting the Peggy T is a big one for giving the IJA serious anti-shipping capability. It really takes a lot of pressure off the IJN when it arrives, as the IJA suddenly has vastly more scope for training NavT (and you're likely awash with training ground bombing pilots by the time the Peggy T arrives).

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 23
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 6:15:53 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: mind_messing


quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Aircraft R&D

Final item before I get to the first turn – my aircraft research:


12 X 30 Frank A
10 X 30 Sam
6 X 30 N1K1-J George
6 X 30 Ki-83
5 X 30 Shinden
4 X 30 Ki-44-IIa Tojo
3 x 30 Rufe (for transition to A6M5)
3 X 30 A6M3
3 X 30 B6N2 Jill
3 X 30 D4Y1 Judy
3 X 30 Ki-102c Randy
3 X 30 Ki-43-IIa Oscar
3 X 30 Ki-49-Ia Helen
2 X 30 Ki-45 Nick a
2 X 30 Grace
2 X 30 J1N1-S Irving
2 X 30 Ki46-III KAI Dinah
1 X 30 D4Y1-C Judy
1 X 30 Ki46-III Dinah
1 X 30 P1Y2-S Frances
1 X 5 H8K1 Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)
1 X 5 H8K2-L Emily (mostly just to set the factor for production)


This was very much a work in progress initially, and certainly there are a number of areas here that I would have likely done differently if I knew more at the time. In particular, I would probably have done a less spread type approach in favor of a more narrow and concentrated one. Now that I am settled into the R&D process I don’t want to change much unless it is a critical mistake or omission. Do you guys see any?



Some thoughts.

I like the focus on the late war airframes. More bang for your buck that way in my view.

I'd have concentrated the entire A6M line in the Rufes and push them to the A6M5c - it's probably the best all-round model of the Zero (though there may be others who differ and prefer the M8).

I'm not sold on the Tojo, I'd have dropped it and replaced it with the Ki-61 Tony (with the aim of moving forward the Ki-100).

I'm not sure it's worth R&D for the Helen, rather than just waiting till it (and subsequent improvements) arrive. I'd have used the factories for the Ki-74 Patsy (closest thing Japan gets to a B-29).

Dinah III isn't worth the R&D, better just waiting for it to arrive.

As Lowpe has pointed out, the glaring omission for me is the Peggy T. You can get by till 1943 to get the Lily dive bomber model, but getting the Peggy T is a big one for giving the IJA serious anti-shipping capability. It really takes a lot of pressure off the IJN when it arrives, as the IJA suddenly has vastly more scope for training NavT (and you're likely awash with training ground bombing pilots by the time the Peggy T arrives).



Thanks to this and the above advice I have received, I have been convinced to make some alterations to my R&D. I understand the wisdom on just waiting for the Helene now, but I am afraid that boat has already sailed given the repairs already done. However, I have canceled the Dinah recon plane research factory and freed up the Emily plants. With these I decided to go for the Peggy T as that seems to be the biggest hole in my plan.

(in reply to mind_messing)
Post #: 24
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 6:57:56 PM   
Alamander

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101


Interesting points. In particular I was not aware that the Lilly used up less supplies per mission in comparison to the medium bombers. I guess I mistakenly thought that it was a per engine thing rather than designation based.

Edit: I took a look at the manual and now note that its a maximum load issue. Level bombers on offensive missions consume supplies equal to their maximum load divided by 1000. So I take it that means that a Lily with a max load of 881 would in fact consume only one supply point while a Sally with a max load of 2,205 would consume 2 (or 3 because we round up in AE right?)


Alfred can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that individual planes do not use supply, just as individual devices do not. Rather units use supply. Thus, supply use is calculated as number of planes times load for the unit as a whole. Thus a unit of 20 Sallies would have a load value of 44,100 and use 44 supply. Whereas a unit of 20 Lilly Ibs would have a load value of 17,780 and use 17 supply. If you are using your bombers primarily as ground support, the 100 KG bombs of the Lillies and the 50 KG of the Sonias are sufficient to cause the desired disruption in soft devices. When targeting hard devices, such as tanks, heavier bombs certainly help if you wish to disable these devices. Also, as you noted, the effectiveness of port attacks and airfield attacks diminish with the lighter bombs. However, certain tradeoffs are necessary when playing with the significant supply and fuel restrictions of scenario 1. There is a reason that Japan designed its air force as it did. Making wholesale changes to the bomber force places a strain on Japanese resources and is a major reason, in my opinion, why so many JFBs run low on supply early in games.


As to the Lilly DB and the Peggy, keep in mind that the only real alternative to these planes for the IJA are kamikazes. I have read others criticize the Lilly for its 100 KG bombs, but these are sufficient for everything but armored flight decks, CAs, and BBs, and really torpedos are the desired weapon for BBs under any circumstances, so much of the objection to this bomber fades when one considers that the primary targets will be unarmored flight decks, APAs, and Fletcher DDs. Also, bomb size makes no difference if you are trying to deliver the package with an airframe that can not stand up to the heavy allied late-war flack.


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Post #: 25
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 7:18:46 PM   
Alamander

 

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The biggest thing to keep in mind is to make all of you moves with purpose and a clear objective. Do not fly missions simply to fly missions and keep the boys busy. Do not just cruise around with KB, or BBs, or any ships really. Move to objectives. Do not use more than is necessary to accomplish objectives and do not use less. This is a fine line, and mistakes will be made from time to time. Try to fight quick, decisive battles rather than protracted engagements. You are right to want to use manuever as much as possible in China and elsehere.

Remember that your mechants have very large fuel tanks, which can be transferred to other ships. There is no reason to have these merchantmen sailing around with topped-off tanks all the time. Many times, the loss of 600 fuel in the topped off tanks of an Aden is more devastating than the loss of the ship itself.

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Post #: 26
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 7:24:38 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alamander

The biggest thing to keep in mind is to make all of you moves with purpose and a clear objective. Do not fly missions simply to fly missions and keep the boys busy. Do not just cruise around with KB, or BBs, or any ships really. Move to objectives. Do not use more than is necessary to accomplish objectives and do not use less. This is a fine line, and mistakes will be made from time to time. Try to fight quick, decisive battles rather than protracted engagements. You are right to want to use manuever as much as possible in China and elsehere.

Remember that your mechants have very large fuel tanks, which can be transferred to other ships. There is no reason to have these merchantmen sailing around with topped-off tanks all the time. Many times, the loss of 600 fuel in the topped off tanks of an Aden is more devastating than the loss of the ship itself.



Thanks for the information on the supply usage. You are of course correct that given the limited resources available, especially in Scenario 1, much care should be taken to economize where possible. The Aden example you provide is a good one to keep in mind.

(in reply to Alamander)
Post #: 27
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 7:26:34 PM   
DesertWolf101

 

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Southeast of Johnston Island

Aboard the I-18, Commander Otani’s eyes widened as he studied the composition of the American task force ahead of him through the periscope. Despite the heavy destroyer presence, he skillfully maneuvered his boat between the Porter and the Flusser and launched 8 torpedoes at the prize in the center. Three torpedoes slammed one after the other into the Lexington, raising large water sprouts over its side as they tore ugly gashes along its side. Shortly after the third torpedo impact, an explosion ripped through the mighty ship as the aviation fuel went up in flames.

Otani took the I-18 sub deep and waited out the destroyer counterattack before the tin cans raced back to assist their stricken charge.


< Message edited by DesertWolf101 -- 6/27/2020 7:27:27 PM >

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Post #: 28
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/27/2020 11:48:20 PM   
Bif1961


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From: Phenix City, Alabama
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Good luck is always welcomed on your side and helps when plans meet reality and have to be adjusted on the fly. Good luck and have fun.

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Post #: 29
RE: Empire of the Sun - 6/28/2020 12:22:45 AM   
Alfred

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DesertWolf101

Southeast of Johnston Island

Aboard the I-18, Commander Otani’s eyes widened as he studied the composition of the American task force ahead of him through the periscope. Despite the heavy destroyer presence, he skillfully maneuvered his boat between the Porter and the Flusser and launched 8 torpedoes at the prize in the center. Three torpedoes slammed one after the other into the Lexington, raising large water sprouts over its side as they tore ugly gashes along its side. Shortly after the third torpedo impact, an explosion ripped through the mighty ship as the aviation fuel went up in flames.

Otani took the I-18 sub deep and waited out the destroyer counterattack before the tin cans raced back to assist their stricken charge.



Are you now going to engage in a maskirovka and retitle this thread to "Revenge of the Lexington"?

Alfred

(in reply to DesertWolf101)
Post #: 30
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