Here we are again.
Let's start the "industrial and logistical madness post" !
I define only convoys for places I already have in my possession: therefore, no convoys are going to be listed for key areas such as Palembang & co. Rationale behind this: I don't know how many intact resources I will capture in Location A or B, so there is no need to setup something which will need to be revised in any case.
Clearly, I take into account my forecasts about shipping needs in areas which will fall under my control.
Generally, I run very large convoys just like the allies did in the Atlantic. I find that's the most reasonable way to manage sea routes.
A brief overlook at the cargo classes available.
1) xAK Yusen-A Class
18knts speed (5/4) and a nice 6.380 capacity (no liquid capacity). 6.840tons.
7 available and 0 in production.
They'll all convert to AKs as soon as I do finish the initial set of operations, where their speed and capacity is more than welcomed.
2) AK Yusen-S Class
18knts speed (5/4), 6.380 capacity and 6.840ton. 10 available and 0 in production.
They'll stay AKs and, together with their friends from Yusen-A Class and various xAPs, will be devoted to move the strategic reserves in case of need.
3) xAK Kyushu Class
18knts speed (5/4), 5.412 capacity and 5.935ton.
32 available and 0 in production.
These guys have very interesting conversions available: AS ; AV ; AR ; AK ; AKE.
My plan is to do the following conversions:
a) 7 to ARs (360 days - available from April 1942)
b) 10 to AKE (30 days - available from April 1942)
c) 5 to AV (210 days - available from December 1941)
d) 10 to AK (27 days - available from June 1942)
Until the conversions become available, they'll participate in the various operations. If I lose some of them in the process (highly probable), I'll convert less to AKs.
Rationale: AVs are always useful for my FP in ASW, AKEs are otrageously needed for my "bombardment trains" and ARs are, quite straightforwardly, in high demand all along the game.
4) xAK Yusen-N Class
15knts speed (4/3), 5.795 cargo capacity plus 300 liquid capacity. 6.400tons.
57 available and 0 in production.
They have AK and AKE conversions available from June 1942.
My current idea is to use them to haul resources from Singapore to Onshu, giving me some little fuel/oil cargo as well.
AK conversion is still over the table, though: I always need more AKs than I have in late game.
5) xAK Lima Class
14knts speed (4/3) for 6.125 cargo capacity and 6.475tons.
46 available and 0 in production.
Big ships, which will be used for several convoys. Currently, 5 are allocated to convoy duty and 41 are still to be allocated.
6) xAK Toho Class
14knts speed (4/3), 3.525 cargo capcity and 3.675tons.
53 available and 2 in production at 07/12/1941.
I love these guys: they have very good speed, a wonderful endurance of 222hex and their small size means they can both dock everywhere and unload quickly.
They're going to serve in the Pacific to haul supplies and troops between major hubs and intermediary hubs (more about that later).
Many will be kept in reserve.
7) xAK Ansyu-C Class
14knts speed (4/3), 3.001 capacity for 2.980tons.
54 available and 0 in production.
Similar to the Toho Class, but even more advantageous in terms of cargo/tons.
They will be used near the frontline together with xAKLs, but most will be converted to PBs.
8) xAK Husimi Class
14knts (4/3), with 4.420 cargo capacity and 4.675tons.
25 available and 0 in production.
They have a set of nice conversions, mirroring the ones available for the Kyushu Class, but they do not benefit from the speed of that class.
Mostly kept in reserve.
9) xAK Lima Class
14knts speed (4/3), 6.125 cargo capacity and 6.475tons.
46 available and 0 in production.
They have 2 conversions available (AKV and AKE).
Given their major cargo capacity and good speed, they will serve in various roles, integrating the Aden Class in shippin stuff around the map.
16 of them are converted to AKE immediately.
10) xAK Aden Class
12knts speed (3/3), 4.670 cargo capacity and 4.875 tons.
189 available and 0 in production.
The workhorse of the IJ Merchant Navy. Ubiquitous ships which will be used (and lost) in big numbers.
They have 2 conversions available (AKV and AKE).
87 of these ships are already assigned to convoy duty, the remaining 102 are available for supporting the current operations and shipping stuff around the map.
More will be used for convoy duty as soon as they will be free.
11) xAK Akasi Class
12knts speed (3/3), 3.750 cargo capacity and 3.675ton.
58 available and 1 in production at 07/12/1941.
They are good small xAKs and will be used mostly in the DEI, where the bulk of the class will be kept disbanded in reserve.
12) xAK Ehime Class
12knts speed (3/3), 3.575 cargo capacity and 3.425tons.
58 available and 0 in production.
They will be used for convoy duty in forward areas and kept in reserve.
Some will be eventually converted to ADs, but I still have not made up my mind about that.
13) xAK Std-C Class
Disbanded in Onshu and will be converted on June 1942 to TKs.
14) xAK Gozan Class
10knts speed (3/2), 2.310 cargo capcity and 2.375tons.
58 available and 0 in production.
They are all already allocated to convoy duties.
The class is quite useful for small routes: the small size ensures they are loaded quickly and the speed is not an issue, given that they spend most of the time in harbour loading/unloading. I definitely like the class.
15) xAKL Kasu-D Class
12knts speed (3/3), 1.725 cargo capacity and 1.900tons.
46 available and 0 in production.
I love these guys, since they are the only xAKLs with good speed.
Used in forward areas to ship stuff. They'll incurr in high losses, but that's life.
16) xAKL Kiso-E Class
11knts speed (3/2), 795 cargo capacity and 830tons.
69 available and 0 in production.
Differently from the common perspective, I like these guys as xAKLs. They are not that bad and, especially, expendable.
I will probably convert 29 to PBs and keep the rest as xAKLs for minor convoys.
17) xAKL To'su Class
10knts speed (3/2), 170 cargo capacity and 215tons.
31 available and 1 in production.
I will convert a good share of them to more useful ships, especially PBs and ACMs.
Some of them will be kept as cargo. 6 are already allocated to convoy duty.
18) xAKL Miyati Class
10knts speed (3/2), 2.027 cargo capacity and 2.050tons.
59 available and 1 in production.
They are supposed to be used to supply as cargo ships for minor convoys and as AGP.
I still have not made up my mind regarding the number of ships to be converted to AGP, but I aim for a healthy 15.
12 already allocated to convoy duties.
19) xAKL Daigen Class
10knts speed (3/2), 1.570 cargo capacity and 1.650tons.
68 available and 0 in production.
They will be used to supply forward areas, where their relatively small cargo capacity and tonnage will ensure a smooth unloading.
Given the fact they'll be the closest to the enemy, I expect horrendous losses for the class.
More cargo classes are yet to arrive through shipbuilding, but that's the initial setup. Nothing really special, to be fair.
Now the convoys already defined.
Sakhalin has 520 RES and 30 OIL. 40 LI are present in Toyohara.
Now, RES production is 520*20=10.400 per-day. Consumption for the LIs is 600 per-day.
Daily net (RES) = 9.800
Daily net (OIL) = 300
My idea is to ship from Toyohara to Wakkanai (original, eh? ). The route is 6 hexes.
Toyohara is going to be a port lvl4 and therefore will dock 48.000tons. Given the presence of RES in the base, there are bonus associated to the loading.
I should be able to run a convoy every 3 days, more likely 4 when we take into consideration occasional repairs etcetc.
4 days equals to 9.800*4=39.200ton of RES to be shipped to keep Sakhalin empty.
12 xAK Gozan Class will be allocated to the convoy. 2 will be kept disbanded in Toyohara as reserve.
The Gozan Class has a speed of 10knts only, so it won't do the 6 hex trip in one single day but it's not an issue.
Given the cargo capacity of 2.310tons, the convoy will carry 27.720 RES. It will suffice to keep Sakhalin basically empty if the convoy runs every 3 days and it will create a little surplus if we consider a 4-day turnaround. The convoys will have a turnaround of 3.5 days to be fair, but to keep it simple it's easier to take into account either 3 or 4.
The surplus will be periodically shipped back when I will bring troops and supplies to Sakhalin.
The 300 daily OIL will be shipped from Shikuka, where it is produced.
Shikuka-Wakkanai will be the route and it will have a turnaround of 8 days. A couple of Type-1S TK with a liquid capacity of 1.250 will be used. 2 will be kept in reserve since I generally lose many of these guys on this route.
With 2 Type-1S TKs and a turnaround of 8 days I have a fancy 312 OIL shipped per-day, which is more than I actually produce. However, we have to take into consideration the usual problems such as repairing ships, slowdowns from sub attacks and especially the fact that I will ship FUEL on the return trip starting in few weeks. Moreover, I won't start the convoy immediately, so I will also have a little stock to be exhausted.
Hokkaido as a whole has a production of 40.000ton per-day of RES (2.000*20=4.000).240LI 90HI are present and they do consume 240*15=3.600RES + 90*20=1.800RES per-day for a total of 3.600+1.800=5.400RES.
This gives us a net of 40.000-5.400=34.600 RES per-day. To this amount we add the average of 7.920 from Sakhalin (27.720/3,5) for a grand total of 42.520 RES per-day.
Quite a big amount to be shipped.
I will have Hakodate-Ominato convoy. Turnaround of 4 days. 20 xAK Aden Class will be used for a total of 93.400 cargo shipped every 4 days, or 23.350 daily.
Muroran-Hirosaki will be another convoy. 4 days turnaround (more likely 5). 12 xAK Gozan Class (+2 in reserve) will be used. Total of 27.720tons or 6.930ton daily (when we consider 4 days, obviously less when we consider 5).
Sapporo-Ominato is the third and last convoy. It will take approx. 8 days for it (2 loading + 2 going + 2 unloading + 2 going back). I will use 20 xAK Aden Class (+5 in reserve) for a total of 93.400tons (just like Hakodate-Ominato). Daily shipment will be 11.675tons.
Therefore I will have 3 convoys with the following average daily shipment: 23.350+6.930+11.675=41.955tons of RES per-day. Out of a net available of 42.520.
A small surplus is present, but it does not really bother me: I always ship quite a good amount of stuff to Hokkaido.
Hokkaido produces also OIL. 150 per-day. With the addition of the approx. 300 OIL per-day from Shikuka, I am at 450 OIL per-day. Not a big deal. Sapporo-Hirosaki with a couple Type-1S TK and a turnaround of 7 days will net +357 OIL per-day to Onshu. 2 TKs will be kept in reserve since they do sink continuously. I do not really care of the daily surplus of 100 OIL.
Usual Fusan-Fukuoka. 35 xAK Ehime Class are going to be used with 0 in reserve. Cargo of 125.125tons transported and nothing relevant to be noted.
Shangai-Nagasaki. 20 xAK Aden Class with 5 in reserve. They ship RES out of China, which I plan to subjugate.
A nice convoy will also be run from Nagasaki to Hankow with few xAKLs to ship SUPPLIES for the major AF I will build there. Since it will host billions of planes, I'll need a good stock of SUPPLIES. Once the railway Peking-Hankow will be free, I will stop this convoys.
170*20=3.400 RES produced daily and a consumption of 80*15=1.200 due to the 80 LIs present.
Net of 2.200 RES per-day.
Tahioku-Kagoshima is going to be the convoy shipping these RES and it will have a turnaround of approx. 12 days. 5 xAK Aden Class (+5 in reserve) will do the trick, shipping an average of 1.946 RES per-day to Onshu.
Formosa produces a little bit of OIL. Until the small TKs become available, I will run a single Type-1S TK to ship it back to Onshu, even if it means she will have to be stopped for a while every few shipments due to an insufficient production in Formosa.
Since I have already captured the place, I setup the convoy. I really don't like these very distant convoys, but I decided to give it a go in this game.
Nauru has available 98(2) RES and I won't repair the 2 damaged ones. 98*20=1.960 RES per-day.
Nauru has a small lvl3 port (currently still lvl2) and the distance between the island and Truk is 25 hexes.
I will run 2 convoys of xAKL Miyati Class of 6 ships each. The turnaround is approx. 14 days. Only 5 will be optimistically kept in reserve.
This should give a daily transport of 1.737RES from Nauru to Truk and a small surplus created. I won't bother further with these RES and they're gonna remain there.
RES stocked in Truk will be shipped back to Onshu every time a convoy of reinforcements comes down from there. I do not plan to ship them in an organised fashion.
G) Christmas Island IO
Haven't got the base yet, but it's undefended and I'll land there very soon, so it's safe to assume I'll grab it intact.
It provides 220 RES per-day (11*20) and it's nice to ship them to the RES-hungry Java, where I will also expand the HI.
A questionable convoy of 6 xAKLs To'su Class will be used to ship to Tjilitap, few hexes away. Average of 204tons of RES per-day.
Really not a big deal and probably even counterproductive fuel-wise, but I decided to run this convoy anyway. I'll leave it even unescorted.
Given that I still have to conquer most of the bases I'll take, that's it for the time being. The most relevant convoys are yet to be setup.
The choice of not using small xAKLs for convoys in the north and using quite often the large Aden Class is intentional. I prefer to have a reserve of the small xAKLs and xAKs for frontline duty, where they suffer horrendous losses. Given that I have a surplus of Aden Class anyway, I do prefer to keep a strong reserve of small ships for the frontline and employ the Aden Class sub-optimally.
A little introduction. A very relevant amount of my choices will look bizarre and dumb, I know that.
I will try an attack on India with the aim of conquering it all at least to emergency reinf. line. It's gonna be bloody and complex.
My general strategy, as mentioned in the opening post, is to damage as much as possible Commonwealth forces, so that more assets will be available to contrast the americans.
Commonwealth forces in India and Australian are potentially the only enemies which can be damaged beyon repair if sufficient losses are inflicted to their LCUs and air forces, therefore they are the only ones which can be somehow pushed out of the conflict.
I suppose I'll keep a strategic defense in the Pacific as long as I will be able to afford it and hope to have a decisive battle against the americans so that I can cripple them enough to slow them.
In line of principle, this kantai kessen is going to be somewhere between mid-1943 and mid-1944. Earlier than that, I doubt the allied player is going to allow myself to entagle him in a decisive battle. Later than that, I won't have any chance of inflicting serious damage so that I can have a strategic advantage out of it.
Clearly, everything is possible. I don't discount that. Just, this is my general guideline for the conduct of the war in the Pacific.
India has the big advantage of putting the allied player in a complex situation: if he reinforces India, he's going to stop me but also to invest precious assets far away from my vital areas. If he leaves it to its own devices, he seriously risks to lose it and has to do something as strategically relevant as that to compensate. Not an easy choice.
Potentially, he can do both of course, but it's running on a razor blade.
Armaments: I immediately expanded to 660 points. I'll need a very large amount of these for my aims.
Vehicles: for the time being, I am at 150 VEH points but I'll expand for sure. I will be able to afford it.
NavShipyards: expanded slightly to 1.400
20 factories available.
I run the following:
I) 3 Aichi Ha-60 (already repaired on R&D at 7th Dec)
II) 1 Ha-32 size 60
III) 1 Ha-33 size 100 (for the time being)
IV) 2 Ha-34 with the aim of having 500 engines per-month
V) 2 Ha-35 with the aim of having 500 engines per-month
VI) 4 Ha-43 (R&D)
VII) 1 Ha-44 (R&D)
VIII) 3 Ha-45 (R&D)
As mentioned above, my target is to invade India and fight a decisive battle somewhere between mid-1943 and mid-1944.
The aim of the "decisive battle" is, of course, not to sink the entire US fleet, rather to delay it as much as I can so that my industrial position won't decay as quickly as historically happened.
I am going to do a very questionable R&D plan. I used the spreadsheet called "R&D forecast calculator" to have a rough idea of the arrival of certain models.
The allocation of the 77 factories is:
A) 5 factories on the A6M line. In theory, I should be able to have the A6M5 in August 1942. In theory. It's highly dependant on the engine bonus with the Ha-35 and when the Rufe factories will be repaired. I counted the months supposing an engine bonus + repaired factories from 01/mar/1942. Probabily I will have the engine bonus later and the Rufe factories repaired earlier.
I am going to produce only the A6M5, which will be a jack of all trades for a long time.
B) 10 factories on the A7M2. The spreadsheet gives me a date around July-1944 +/- 30 days. My past experiences do not confirm this, but I hope to be lucky.
C) 15 factories on the Ki-94-II. I know it's a very questionable choice, but that's it. I'll give it a shot. It's really hit or miss with this. In my last PBEM as Japanese I have been somehow able to accelerate it to fall 1944 (Sept 1944 IIRC).
D) 10 Judy-I. Not much to say. I want the Judy-IV ASAP in order to clean my CV decks of the horrible Val. Here the R&D is aimed at having the Judy-IV in spring '43 before the allied player gets the hellcat. I suspect he will be way more aggressive once he has the Hellcats on board and I also think, in case of indecision, he will wait a little bit in order to get rid of the wildcats. My logic is that I want to have the Judy by the time he gets the Hellcats.
E) 8 Oscar line. I will R&D the whole line and produce basically every model using the initial factory already on production. I love the Oscar and I will produce billions of them. In the aforementioned match where I accelerated the Ki-94-II, I had something like 700 Oscar per-month in April '44. It served greatly.
F) 6 Tojo line. Highly dependant on when I do repair factories and how is going the air war. I might skip all the intermediary models and go straight to the Ki-44-IIc Tojo. So far, I have decided to produce the Ki-44-IIa and research also the Ki-44-IIb so that I can switch the production factory.
G) 8 Peggy(T). I love the guy since it gives anti-shipping capabilities to the IJAAF, until then limited to the Lily DB. I tend to produce and lose billions of these planes.
H) 7 Frank-a. Nothing to say.
I) 4 George. Nothing to say. I will produce the second model of the line if the first arrives early enoguh. It should arrive around late spring '43. There is no real space to produce the Jack and I will bet on the George as I usually do.
L) 2 Helen. I go straight to Helen-IIa and produce billions of them. It's going to be my only level bomber for the IJAAF for most of the game.
M) 2 Jill. Nothing to say.
Now, obviously there are many gaps in my R&D, but this is the initial plan. I aim to add few more factories over the course of 1942, switching the ones which have finished their R&D efforts. It's gonna cost supplies. I know. I can do little about that, given my chioces.
Remarkably, I'll need:
a) more R&D on the Jill line
b) R&D on a proper NF
c) R&D on the Grace
There are many planes which will be produced but not researched. My stream of thought is that either I accelerate much a plane or I don't research it. Gaining a couple of months, if lucky, on a secondary plane is not a big deal. Gaining a year on a relevant one, it's quite helpful.
I changed few production factories and expanded few other ones.
Oscar-Ic: 100/month (inconstant production)
Nell: 40/month (inconstant production)
Betty: 25/month (until the new Nell comes in May)
Mavis: 10/month (until the Emily comes in July)
Sally: 50/month (for a long time, until the Helen-IIa has taken over)
Dinah: 30/month (production at 0, will be restored when the Dinah-III comes online. Few Dinahs will be produced anyway in the meantime)
Lily: 35/month (don't remember if it upgrades to the lily dive bomber. Don't think so. In any case, I need as many 2E level bombers as I can produce currently)
Thalia: 10/month (will be increased and will be the standard TR for the entire match)
Then I have factories which produce planes of which I do not have any engine production, but I have a stock of engines:
Glen: 9/month (stock will last 13.5 months)
Dave: 20/month (stock will last 12 months and will be used for NavS anti-sub)
Kate-I: 18/month (identical to the Kate-II except for the SR. A plane I like. Stock of engines will last 5,5 months)
Alf: 20/month (same as Dave)
Mary: 18/month (I love the Mary, don't know why. Being a 1E is quite a handy plane. Stock of engines will last until late April 1942 and the factory will switch to the first Nick, available from 01/05/1942)
Ann: 15/month (just like the Mary, it's a good 1E plane. Will be used for ASW patrols in low-priority areas. Good range and SR=1. Engines stock will last until late June 1942 and the factory will switch to the Mavis-TR, available since April 1942).
Bottom line is this: I'll try to do what I can with the trio Tojo-Oscar-A6M2/5 until I can. Then, I will suffer quite a lot until very late models come online.
So, the entire R&D and production is aimed at having a good quality in 1942/early-1943 (when I'll fight in India and I'll have to cover the rest of the map), quality which will fall dramatically between mid-1943 and mid-1944.
Apparently, there is a mismatch between my logic of fighting a decisive battle precisely in the period in which my airforces will fall behind. True. Fact is that I want to have a sort of insurance on the late game and I have zero assurances that I'll be able to force a battle in the period.
For example, in the game in which I accelerated much the Ki-94-II, I have seen the US forces on the offensive for the first time (excepted few unconsequential raids) in early 1944 (March 1944 to be precise). If I would have tailored my industry for a battle between mid-1943 and mid-1944, I simply would have mis-allocated my resources.
So, here we are. There are one million things I'd like to add but putting together this post already took me a couple of days.
Feel free to insult me for the bizarre R&D and to give suggestions. (Especially for the choice of the NF to research... I'm always somewhat short of ideas regarding NFs)