Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

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JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

January 24, 1942
A couple of day's reports have been missed so today's report will contain some recap as well.
Our ships have run across a number of new sub-laid minefields at the usual places - Palembang approaches & the mouth of Malacca strait, as well as between the islands SE of Java. A number of ships were struck, including a couple of DD's and a CL but there is not much to do about it as that is where we need to sail. All of the really valuable TF's usually include a DMS but there is of course not enough to cover all shipping. AMc ships are being positioned to keep at least some shipping corridors clear, as well as own minefields but we need to close off the Malay barrier before any of that becomes really effective.

Our forces on Java captured Probolinggo and are moving onto Malang. Today we also captured Denpasar, the garrison retreating across the shallows to Banjoevangi.

At Singapore, our units are recovering but just about ready for the next & hopefully final attack. It feels like the flak is less intense, maybe some of the enemy AA guns were destroyed but they should not be low on supply yet.

A couple of bombardment TF's were dispatched to Martaban to encourage the elements of 1st Burma Div to move on. First BB's Mutsu & Nagato and then a CA TF pounded the base, inflicting good casualties, but it was still not enough to allow two Thai divisions to take the base. There are no more forts so it is just a matter of time.

In China our forces are repositioning from Wenchow to their next objectives, and in the meantime Chinese raiding units are being chased back to their swampy and mountainous hideouts. No major success to be reported yet, but we managed to contain all of the incursions for now.

On Luzon, the first attack went in a couple of days ago. All I can say is that the forts got reduced from 4 to 3, costing a lot of blood. Our AV is not much more than that of the enemy, but we have more tanks & hopefully can recover casualties faster while draining their supply.

This being the Bottlenecks scenario, my resource stocks at the Home Islands are looking not so great right now (20 days). Sakhalin & Hokkaido have been mostly emptied and the convoys were reduced to just enough to pull the surplus. China+ Manchukuo + Korea have about 1,5 million resources which is about 30 days of excess and actually a bit over what there was at game start so I need to step on the gas so I must be pulling a bit less than the 100k/day surplus.
I am now able to allocate most of the larger xAK classes to SRA resource runs but I need to deprive the Allied subs of their convenient refueling spots around the South China Sea.
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

January 25, 1942
SS KXVII, patrolling the approaches to Palembang was spotted by the escort ships for a tanker TF. SS Sawakaze dumped her entire stock of depth charges on her, scoring a couple of direct hits in the shallow water. Just as the crew reported that they are out of DC's, the torpedo boat escorts spotted the sub on the surface! The Dutch sailors tried to sell their lives dearly, blasting out one last torpedo spread and even tried to man the deck gun while the sub was getting blasted apart by the 120mm guns of the two TB's - Kari & Kiji. After several hits and following secondary explosions, the sub slipped beneath the waves.

Japanese subs were also being harassed by Allied ASW, this time they all managed to get away unscathed. One of them, I-162 even stumbled upon an apparently unescorted convoy N or Port Headland, sinking a medium size xAK and torpedoing another one. As usual, with the ships in 4k ton range, they may make it if they are empty but usually sink if they get hit while full.
The main news of the day - Singapore is captured! :-) Over 35 000 Allied soldiers are already marching up the Malayan Peninsula as we have some railroad tracks to be laid and bridges to be built! The Malaya campaign is officially over & new orders were issued for the division commands, while the men will get a bit of R&R.

The 144th INF regiment in Kokoda is working on reducing the former Port Moresby garrison but the terrain is not making it easier. It does not look like the enemy has many 'proper' infantry squads but they do have almost 5k personnel still and that is a lot of cooks & bakers. (Squads & Guns were destroyed, only Non-Combat damaged during the attack)
On Java, the Mini KB pulled back a bit for better cover now that most of the combat elements have unloaded.
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

January 26, 1942
With most unlading on Java finished or moved to the East side of the island, IJN command felt it was unnecessary to keep Mini KB exposed in full view just off Loemadjang. During the nightly transit of the straits between Denpasar & Mataram the escorting DD's detected a minefield (of course!). They were able to clear some mines but CVL Zuiho found one they missed. The hard way... She will need some yard time but not yet & flight ops should be unaffected.
The ground forces (56th Division) reconned Malang today, and finding there is only a single Dutch regiment there, will attack tomorrow, supported by the Kawaguchi Detachment. Hopefully 7:1 raw AV will be enough against the inexperienced Dutch, even in the mountains.

Banjoevangi, on the Southern tip of Java was taken today, the former Dutch garrison of Denpasar surrendering to a SNLF unit.

The first Allied landing of this war happened today at Chuginadak island (about halfway between Dutch Harbor & Adak). We are too short of assets to respond immediately, in fact we only have rudimentary bases on both Adak & Attu islands, without any facilities yet. I imagine they intend to build this up as a forward base for sweeps or LR CAL over Adak (range 6).

In the Northern China, our leading tank regiments are getting harassed by small numbers of Allied bombers from Lanchow. There is not much I can do about it for now since they have moved beyond effective CAP range, even if we could spare the Oscars.

The B-17E variant has put on an appearance today as well, striking the Thai troops at Martaban. We had some CAP up but they did not get any.
The Zeros over Djambi got one of the B-17D's though, they keep getting through and getting an oil hit here, another one there despite the losses. There should not be much more of the D variants remaining though.
Our air force continues to pound Martaban daily as well, inflicting at least some casualties & hopefully stopping their recovery. The Sonias got a rare success today, bombing the heck out of a lone merchie that snuck into Rangoon. Maybe he was seeing if they can.
On the ground we continue to push out the raiding corps from OUR supply lines, today we kicked out one from Xiaogan (Hankow-Sinyang railroad) and attacked in Sinyang itself, inflicting 4x our own casualties but ending just shy of 2:1 odds. The Chinese continue to reinforce from across the river & I am happy to beat them up piecemeal too. Handan, on the Chengting-Anyang railroad is also still occupied but we may have to wait for the last regiment of the 32nd division to arrive.
Small skirmishes are occurring at other areas as well.
- The defenders of Bataan taking a toll on bombarding artillery
- A SNLF unit from Balikpapan arrived to Melak-Samarinda II (the inland Dutch airbase) and started to deal with its defenders
- The 1st Raiding Regiment finally pushed out the natives and civilians from Wau/TsiliTsili - a small airstrip in the mountains, just W of Lae; the PNG native regiment company retreating to Lae.
- the 144th Regiment at Kokoda slowly reducing the former Port Moresby garrison, disabling one company at a time.
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

January 27, 1942.

Off Koepang, SS KXIV is first spotted by the escorts of a small supply convoy and driven away, but returns soon after, trying to take one of the brave little PB's. IJN sailors on other ships are thanking lady luck today as well; an SCTF off Phuket and later by Victoria Point is attacked twice, with both KXI and SS Trusty missing their targets.

I-162 has put a cherry on the top of a very good cruise, spotting CL Sumatra on the open ocean West of Soemba and managing two torpedo hits. Sinking was not confirmed but I think there is only a slim chance she will make it to Australia.

The air campaign continued today, striking ground forces at contact spots all over the combat areas. The Allies sent out the 4E's again, B-17 D & E models hit Chiang Mai & managed to destroy a Sonia.

Notable ground combat events:
The 8th tank regiment, tasked with finishing off the Mindanao garrison holed up in the NE part of the island finally managed to catch up with them & force the surrender of some rather beat up remnants.
The ground assault at Sinyang failed again. 110th Division and 13th IMB, supported by two tank regiments inflicted a good amount of casualties but the Chinese still hold.
At Kiukiang, the 72nd Chinese corps returned the lesson in Swamp fighting to Kyuko Naval Guard unit and a supporting IMB. The Naval infantry lead the assault and took the brunt of the casualties. Note to self: stop thinking that a half-regiment sized unit have a place in ground combat against a division (no matter what the Chinese call it).
At Handan, we had success and the 34th Chinese Corps got pushed out, although with not too heavy casualties on their side (~1500 men).
Malang, on Java was taken as well. The 56th division able to push the Dutch 6th KNIL regiment out of the mountains and into Soerabaja.
Yokosuka 1st SNLF (Para) was dropped onto Jolo today, but we used too few planes and the local Constabulary battalion was able to hold against the initial attack.
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

This is the last turn that will be played against the current Allied player. It is not an unexpected development and not directly related to the state of the game. It has gotten to the point that continuing to play the game is putting his eyesight at risk, even with some graphical changes he was able to introduce (larger icons etc). I fully understand & support his decision (not that he should need my support). At the end, there are very few things more important than one's health. WiTP is not one of them (sacrilege, I know...) :-)

This AAR is completely up to date. I would very much love to find an Allied player that would want to pick this up. This is a modded game on the 11.27b patch, but being so heavily changed in every aspect including a custom map, none of the database & content-related complaints against the stock v11.27b apply here. (I find it plays very well, but then I would say that, right?)

We are at a state where the initial boring (for some people) Japanese steamroller is slowing down and he was able to save pretty much all critical assets while being strong enough on the defense that I need to properly commit assets to ensure local superiority.

This game is NOT played going for a Japanese Auto-Victory, if that is even possible in Bottlenecks!
I want to stress very much that this s a Bottlenecks scenario, with a few changes of my own so please please read the opening posts to understand what was done & why. I have a game as Allies in 8/42 and to succeed in this mod it is essential for the Allied player to manage their logistic pipelines to a much larger extent than any stock games.
I imagine the big 'ol sledgehammer would come out in around '44 but that is a long way off.

Here is the current Strategic situation, showing Bases only:
2023-12-08_3-36-38.png
2023-12-08_3-36-38.png (698.54 KiB) Viewed 232 times
And the global Intel screen for Japan:
2023-12-08_3-40-45.png
2023-12-08_3-40-45.png (364.2 KiB) Viewed 232 times
And lastly, because everyone will want to se this one, the top 20 or so most valuable Allied ships sunk. Allegedly; I know at least some are still afloat.
2023-12-08_3-46-36.png
2023-12-08_3-46-36.png (292.35 KiB) Viewed 232 times
My opponent has not provided his game password and he indicated that he would be able to answer any questions about intent & deployment choices etc.
Please reach out if anyone is interested, either here on at Jochen's WiTP:AE Discord server.
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Mark VII (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

Someone reached out, interested to pick this game up.
I am hopeful, but we shall see!

-JS
JanSako
Posts: 424
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:06 pm

Re: Jan (J) vs Evoken (A) - Bottlenecks+ Game on 11.27

Post by JanSako »

A new player has sent his first turn - Evoken has agreed to take over this game so hopefully progress gets restored once he bends the Allied war machine to his will. As before, he is welcome to be here & post if he feels like it!

As a part of the opponent change, we agreed on a few other changes as well:
- 4E heavies min attack height lowered to 8k (from 10k)
- I rolled back the scenario changes where all AT-guns were made to be 'naval guns'. He felt they were not having enough effect on tanks but more importantly exposed the defending INF units to (more) disruption from naval bombardments by being treated as CD, these units being the primary 'recipients' of heavy shells if they are present at the base being bombarded.

January 28, 1942.
In the far Eastern reaches of the Pacific, the I-5 gets scratched by a DD patrol out of Pearl, then later on, another I boat hits one of the Mormac-family xAK's.

The air action focused on Burma/Thailand; the Thai air force with some IJA units bombing Martaban to support the Thai Divisions on the ground; the Allies coming to bomb and sweep Chiang Mai. Pretty sure they meant to do the opposite, but a light raid of 7 B-17 D& E's arrived first and we had one of the small number of elite Ki-44 Shoki (Tojo) units on CAP. A B-17 E was shot down, another and a D variant may have crashed on the way back. The sweepers showed up in the afternoon, seven Buffalos presumably crewed by the best British pilots. They managed to shoot down one of the Tojos, luckily the pilot bailed out on time.

In China the typical small scale combat supported by some airpower, units are still getting into position for the next phase. On Java we are moving on to Soerabaja but it will take a couple of days to get there.
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