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Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/3/2021 11:13:50 PM   
eskuche

 

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Ran a few test runs. A turn 1 Honolulu counterattack is relatively doable. The BB component, 2xCV component, and Hawaiian air can muster on average 2 CV, sometimes 3 sunk for the Japanese, while losing on average either the Kentucky or Lexington plus two or so destroyers. Is this ever worth it? Japan starts with 9 carrier groups and ramps up to 15-20 from a quick count.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/3/2021 11:54:33 PM   
eskuche

 

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Image included...

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 1:49:20 AM   
AlvaroSousa


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1st time I ran what you ran half the US navy got sunk trying including both carriers.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 1:52:42 AM   
eskuche

 

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I ran two feints with destroyers to eat the two interdiction limit > sub attack > BB only attack > carrier attack by themselves or land air attack in either order.
Using the entire stack, you engage in only carrier fighting, so the BB are useless. Doing surface attack followed by carrier attack lets you use both surface and carrier assets.
There's quite a bit of variance, and I after trying a few times you do lose both carriers occasionally. I think you only want to try if you have 12+ surviving BB after turn 1.
Carriers are safe without anything else in the fleet because there's no other in-range japanese asset. You could take one of the west coast DD to try to protect them too I suppose.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 5:04:04 AM   
jwarrenw13

 

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I don't think it is worth the risk, though it is interesting to try, and your procedure for attacking the Japanese carriers is good. I tried it without succcess a couple of times during beta testing to see what would happen. Just now I ran a small sample of 3 runthroughs using the system you described playing hotseat so I could just quickly do the Pearl Harbor attack and response and not bother with anything else. In the first two I lost both US carriers and several other ships with no losses to the Japanese carriers. The 3rd attempt was different. Landbased air sank Zuikaku, and the followup surface and carrier attacks were a standoff, with both US carriers survivingand no further Japanese carriers sunk. I think that more or less sums up what will happen. I think you will usually lose both US CVs and several other ships without sinking a Japanese carrier but sometimes get a wildly different result. That is more or less in line with naval actions in the game, which can have a wide variance of possible results, much more than land battles, but that will still usually follow the odds, which in this case are stacked highly against the US. I think it is better to preserve the US carriers until mid-42 when you might be able to draw the Japanese into battle in the Solomons in particular, with more landbased air support and possibly better odds since the Japanese AI or the Japanese human player is likely to split the carrier forces into smaller elements and you might get a carrier battle facing just 2-4 Japanese carriers instead of 6.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 5:49:03 AM   
eskuche

 

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Ah, I see. I have zero experience in this theatre besides very, very basic history, so I don't know the relative abilities of the US to project power and take hits. My assumption has been that the IJN must be very careful with its resources throughout the campaign and that even trades would favor the US. I've been playing out scenarios where two US carriers could do anything besides getting the historical surprise outcomes. If the IJN saves up oil for another 6 carrier foray, there seems to be crap all that the USN can do about it. Here, we have the special scenario where you are able to attack (without follow-up risk) with a full stack of BB and two carriers. Again, not sure how the future plays out to see if this calculus is worth it.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 11:02:43 AM   
stjeand


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Another thing you can try...

As the Axis on turn 2, move the Japanese fleet just far enough away that it can get adjacent to Pearl Harbor by a single move.

On turn 3 use a supply oiler and move the CV fleet next to Pearl. The Americans will react...then bomb them with your carriers.


I will have to test this more but my first time I sank 3 more BB, the Lexington and crippled the Enterprise while receiving damage to two Japanese CVs.


The part this is a little gamey is suiciding a DD to take the stacks counter attack away.



Perhaps a possible change would be if a large fleet has to intercept a tiny fleet...it does not use up any of its counter attack points...
That will keep people from sending in motor torpedo boats on suicide to get an easier attack on a large surface fleet.


BUT it is too early to tell.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 12:55:49 PM   
Rasputitsa


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It's worth a strike back with the Hawaiian Air Grp, set on naval attack, often they fail to find the IJN carriers and, even when successful, they lose more than they inflict, but it should be more difficult for Japan to replace loses.

Anyway, you can't just let them get away with it.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 4:25:39 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: eskuche

Ah, I see. I have zero experience in this theatre besides very, very basic history, so I don't know the relative abilities of the US to project power and take hits. My assumption has been that the IJN must be very careful with its resources throughout the campaign and that even trades would favor the US. I've been playing out scenarios where two US carriers could do anything besides getting the historical surprise outcomes. If the IJN saves up oil for another 6 carrier foray, there seems to be crap all that the USN can do about it. Here, we have the special scenario where you are able to attack (without follow-up risk) with a full stack of BB and two carriers. Again, not sure how the future plays out to see if this calculus is worth it.


1 to 1 carrier trades definitely favor the Allies in the long run. But the Pearl Harbor gambit won't usually get you that tradeoff. Better to look for better fights a few months later when you have a few more carriers and the Japanese are likely to have split their carriers into more manageable groups, though I have been scourged by the AI bringing a 6-carrier group into the Solomons just as I take the offensive in mid to late 42.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 4:59:34 PM   
stjeand


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I Have tried twice in testing sending the Allied fighter to attack the IJN...

Both times I lost about 25% of my planes but inflicted 1 damage on a carrier in each game.


That is a pretty good trade I think. Damaging a carrier is expensive to fix.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 5:02:39 PM   
eskuche

 

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I never even thought about damage. I guess each damage point is like 100 prod or so huh.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 5:12:36 PM   
stjeand


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I forget what they cost but...

Total cost / 3 STR x 40%

That is the cost per repair point for ships...unless it changed.

So 208 x .4 = 83

SO a LOT for the Japanese. That is half their economy.

Air is a little different, lower % if I remember





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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 7:32:39 PM   
AllenK


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quote:

ORIGINAL: stjeand

Another thing you can try...

As the Axis on turn 2, move the Japanese fleet just far enough away that it can get adjacent to Pearl Harbor by a single move.

On turn 3 use a supply oiler and move the CV fleet next to Pearl. The Americans will react...then bomb them with your carriers.


I will have to test this more but my first time I sank 3 more BB, the Lexington and crippled the Enterprise while receiving damage to two Japanese CVs.


The part this is a little gamey is suiciding a DD to take the stacks counter attack away.



Perhaps a possible change would be if a large fleet has to intercept a tiny fleet...it does not use up any of its counter attack points...
That will keep people from sending in motor torpedo boats on suicide to get an easier attack on a large surface fleet.


BUT it is too early to tell.



It certainly seems to be a gamey exploit to use lower cost DD's and the like in suicide missions to soak off the carrier interdiction air strikes. Unless the CV is travelling with minimal escort, it would theoretically have the screen to deal with that sort of situation. However, mistakes in identification can be and were made, resulting in full air strikes against low value targets. Coral Sea, for example, where the Japanese launched against a DD and oiler (although arguably the oiler is quite valuable but not when you have enemy CV's to worry about first!).

Against the AI it's easy to just refrain from the tactic. A house rule would be the option against a human opponent but perhaps some form of check could be made after the spotting round with a decreasing probability, but never 0%, of the CV launching and therefore just having a surface combat instead. CV's and BB's approaching would be 100%. Approaching CA's would probably also attract an air strike unless the screen was particularly strong in BB's and CA's. The result of adding this complexity into the calculations might not justify the effort involved, so the likelihood of launching would need to be very high if not 100% as well. CL/DD's approaching perhaps 25%. DD's down to 5% and patrol craft 1-2%? Exact values probably need some thought but you get the idea.


< Message edited by AllenK -- 5/4/2021 7:54:30 PM >

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 7:45:10 PM   
YueJin

 

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Every game I've seen try to simulate naval combat has run into this issue of suiciding small ships to mess up a large fleet's organisation, supply attack point ect.
WiTP has the ridiculous single MTB fleet spam to soak up carrier strikes and screw up pathing. Sadly house rules are probably the only way to deal with it although I don't know exactly what wording would make sense.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:02:03 PM   
eskuche

 

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Yep I agree that abusing the two max interdiction counter is probably getting into the territory of gaming. I can imagine there are abusable mechanics in an extremely GG game. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in war in the east with this kind of thing.

However your “cheapest” small ship suicide here is a 300 point destroyer group so it seems rather okay to me. Perhaps getting up to three interdictions or having a scaled chance may solve this problem. On the players side splitting into two smaller fleets also somewhat mitigates this. Note that failed interdictions don’t count towards the limit.

While we’re on this topic, however, how else is one supposed to scout or gain reconnaissance? I’m not risking carriers against an unknown fleet, but neither am I going to waste a carrier strike force on a fleet of DD. Again, I have little historical basis, but my impression is recon planes, which we don’t have access to here. Neither do we have access to first strike or any sort of from-FOW hidden attack. Carrier engagements will see attack and defense always period.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:02:53 PM   
stjeand


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Well just ran into what I consider a major issue...


So we all know there is a US interceptor at PH that is full strength.

I decided to play a game against the AI...turn one happend...PH hit. I decided to strike back at the IJN fleet and sunk the Soryu and damaged the Zuikaku.
Fighter took 5 damage.
This would absolutely demolish the IJN turn 2. That is over 700 PP in damage...Not sure they could recover.

That CANNOT happen.
Did anyone ever try this? Fighters seem way to powerful if they can sink a carrier. Not sure it should be possible.

I think that the fighter should start with maybe 5 str or even be not there.
The planes there were essentially wiped out by the Japanese attack which you you can not simulate...

Or possibly have the interceptor show up turn 3...so that it can defend if the IJN return. That might be the best option.




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< Message edited by stjeand -- 5/4/2021 8:07:51 PM >

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:12:58 PM   
eskuche

 

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Doing some reading. The real attack sank 4 BB of which two were bottomed. 170 ish planes correlating to 4(?) or so strength points were destroyed. So the first turn is actual pretty good in simulating this. The 1 naval attack sinking a CV is pretty rare and I’ve run this quite a few times at this point. Likely either a crit or heavy prior damage.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:15:02 PM   
AllenK


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Meant to add that I've very much enjoyed my initial attempts playing the Allies against the AI. Very much trial and error as I tried a few land, air and naval attacks, moved things around a bit and then just restarted when things inevitably went pair-shaped after I did something daft. Did get through to where the Allies had transports available to practice embarkation and the like. Also had a go as the Japanese and tried some invasions out. Seemed to go okay.

Having seen the Japanese starting locations, I have no issue with the AI being programmed to do DEI and Singapore first. The locations look historically realistic and the invasion targets don't appear unrealistic given the turn covers two weeks. Perhaps the only tweak would be having the units defending the DEI in active status (if they aren't already), reflecting the extra few days sailing needed and therefore not catching them completely by surprise.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:20:13 PM   
incbob


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Remember an air unit is 300-400 combat aircraft. So, assuming 50% effectiveness that is 150 aircraft.
150 aircraft, even fighters since most could carry a 100-300lb bomb against a carrier. Yep, that carrier is toast.

This is why Land-based aircraft ruled the skys. You don't go in unless you have surprise and enough carriers to survive. It is why the islands were important.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:25:37 PM   
AllenK


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Add in critical hits and luck and it doesn't appear completely out of order. Can't remember the battle or which CV but I'm sure one Japanese carrier got a hole in the flight deck from a single SBD scout plane diving on it.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:26:16 PM   
sveint


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I think the Hawaii fighter should start with less strength.

Or very reduced readiness.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:30:55 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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I noted above I ran three test runs last night, the full US riposte against the Japanese with air, submarine, surface units, carriers, and lost both US carriers and lots of other units on two runs but sank the Zuikaku with US landbased air on one run. I also think that is a little beyond actual US capabilities on Dec. 7. And of course you can always attack the Japanese with the interceptor unit even if you decide not to attempt a probable suicide attack with your surface ships and carriers. I don't know what the odds of the US air sinking a Japanese carrier are on that turn, but I assume it is pretty low, probably lower than 1 out of 3, but not sure. It would be interesting to hear Alvaro's thoughts on this, since it is something the US can automatically do.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:33:42 PM   
Rasputitsa


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I have only used the retaliatory air strike from PH a few times, still learning, but it has never damaged the IJN carriers, only inflicting air loses, with greater loss to the Allied air forces. Only persisting on the basis that the Japanese will find it harder to replace the loss.

Perhaps the Hawaiian Air Group should suffer more loss in the original attack, to better reflect the historical damage suffered on Dec 7th.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 8:57:59 PM   
eskuche

 

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The odds are in fact pretty low, and I’ve run this scenario in various configurations probably 25 times. I’m unclear on how much the current IJN carrier capacity affects air combat. For the first half or so I ran the fighter attacks last, with the least amount of naval air resistance. But generally when attacking first, they meet up with naval air and trade hits there rather than hitting ships.

The current way the system is, you can’t get full damage on USN and air on turn one due to limited attacks. I would probably be in support of 10/20 strength on the air unit to simulate historicity without getting into more complex turn 1 exceptions.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 9:19:06 PM   
stjeand


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But this is a fighter...even with 300 aircraft they don't all fly at once ever.
The assumption is about 1/2 are available at any one given time.
And from what I read the Hawaiian Air Force had about 117 planes. Most were destroyed on the ground. ​
I believe they had less than 2 dozen aircraft still good...which would make the plane have 1 to 5 str.

BUT if 1 fighter should be able to sink a carrier then the Japanese planes should sink everything in the west and they rarely ever do. In fact I never have in a dozen starts.

I attack Singapore with 2 level bombers and 1 dive bomber and never sink everything and they are in a port.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/4/2021 9:52:48 PM   
YueJin

 

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I think a house rule stating no counterattacks on the Kido Butai on turn 1 may be a requirement for PBEM games. With correct order of operations I can get a trade of 5BB's and 2DD's for 1/2CV's (assuming 4 sunk in initial raid) almost every time. In the best case scenario, showed below, after only sinking 2BB's and bottoming another at PH the sub sunk the Kirishima and the Japanese fleet was left in a crippled state in exchange for 2 DD's. No American CV's were ever at risk. As the Japanese, you can't even punish this play since you have to retreat next turn due to no supply so the small risk of losing an extra battleship in exchange for game changing CV kills and damage feels like a no brainer. These are not edge cases. I've run it 10 times with my preferred series of orders and exchanged 1-2BB's and 2DD's for at least a CV 9 times.





< Message edited by YueJin -- 5/4/2021 9:54:23 PM >

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/5/2021 1:45:26 PM   
Christolos


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quote:

ORIGINAL: AllenK
perhaps some form of check could be made after the spotting round with a decreasing probability, but never 0%, of the CV launching and therefore just having a surface combat instead. CV's and BB's approaching would be 100%. Approaching CA's would probably also attract an air strike unless the screen was particularly strong in BB's and CA's. The result of adding this complexity into the calculations might not justify the effort involved, so the likelihood of launching would need to be very high if not 100% as well. CL/DD's approaching perhaps 25%. DD's down to 5% and patrol craft 1-2%? Exact values probably need some thought but you get the idea.


This sounds like an interesting and potential solution...

C

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/5/2021 3:06:32 PM   
incbob


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Started an AAR, look for it under After Action Reports.

As I stated in my AAR I was surprised when my turn came and the Japanese Fleet was still there. I decided to attack, thinking more like Strategic Command, and not about the possibility of the Japanese interdicting me.
I lost both the Lexington and the Enterprise and a couple of cruisers. I did little to no damage to the Japanese, all I did was damage the CA tone.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/5/2021 4:13:01 PM   
jwarrenw13

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: incbob

Started an AAR, look for it under After Action Reports.

As I stated in my AAR I was surprised when my turn came and the Japanese Fleet was still there. I decided to attack, thinking more like Strategic Command, and not about the possibility of the Japanese interdicting me.
I lost both the Lexington and the Enterprise and a couple of cruisers. I did little to no damage to the Japanese, all I did was damage the CA tone.


That will be the usual outcome, though there will be outliers. One of the fun things about WPP is the outliers when you get into carrier battles. Better option is to just attack with your aircraft unit and keep your ships in port. But for those determined to attack Kido Butai, use eskuche's procedure earlier in this thread.

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RE: Allies pearl harbor gambit - 5/5/2021 5:21:11 PM   
YueJin

 

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You don't use the carriers at all, they just get sunk 90% of the time if you try to attack with them. The most effective sequence I've found is:

1)Sacrifice 2 DD groups to burn the interdiction.
2)Naval attack twice with the Hawaiian air group
3)Use the sub, it's rare but it full sinks a BC sometimes and often does 1 damage.
4)Attack with all surface ships except the carriers. Around 10% of the time they can't find the target and the DD sacrifice is for nothing but whenever they manage combat they sink 1-2 BC/CV

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