The First Team: Take Two!

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John 3rd
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RE: Japan X-Mas Presents

Post by John 3rd »

Good thoughts Sir and welcome to the AAR as a regular contributor!

Once India becomes the target of choice I have real fear for the Pacific.  This is why I want a couple of those Brigades as quickly as I can to strengthen my lines and create a few strongpoints.

As the commander of the CenPac and SoPac, I have no clear strategic visions once we have PM and New Caledonia.  There isn't much I can achieve with only an Inf Div and South Seas Force.
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TenChiMato
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RE: Japan X-Mas Presents

Post by TenChiMato »

Thanks[;)] Actually your battle plan is very similar to the one I had in one of my game though I had to stop it due to RL issues so I sure have quite some thoughts about it [:)]

There isnt much your opponents can do in the first months of '42 due to very limited ressources and the need to build up key support bases. Also, due to the Nell/Betty threat they are unlikely to risk precious fleet carriers in a limited offensive within torpedo range of your naval LB. They can however strike your most isolated bases : Wake, Tarawa, Noumea.

- The loss of Wake is a minor nuisance in early-mid '42, you cant support it efficiently but then nor can they, its too far away from their own bases. They have more interesting targets for a limited (expect around 2 divisions, 1-2 RCT plus various supporting assets) assault
- Seizing Tarawa and the Gilberts Is is way more interesting. This allows them to contest the Marshalls early, protect Suva and Canton and considerably impair your hability to reinforce this area.
- Noumea is doomed from the start, with the bulk of your forces in the Indian Ocean, the distance to your main bases, there is no way you can hold it. Any troop you send there shall be lost. You can keep it as a decoy since you know they have to retake it if they want to assault the Solomons but dont sacrifice valuable troops in its defense, some low exp NLF/NLF guards units, just enough AV to force them to be serious about it and bring a Div or two to the game will do (and evacuate cadres of these suicide units asap). I would sacrifice NLFs there to gain time to reinforce the Solomons especially Guadalcanal as well as the whole Rabaul/PM area.

Personaly once Iam sure you go for India, I would go for Tarawa first and asap while strengthening Suva both for logistical reasons (closer to US supply lines, ability to react faster) and because time is of the essence here as you must not be allowed to develop this base early and have a Lv4 Airfield there or it will be way more costly. Also this allows to bring in US air force units and relieve the pressure on navy squadrons, all the better.
Noumea can wait a bit, its isolated anyway.

One other thing they can do if you overextend in India is to raid Kwajalein/Wake as Gen. Hoepner did in his AAR against Trollelite. But then Trollelite had clearly not taken any action to reinforce the 4th fleet defenses and expected his opponent to do a much more limited counterattack.

Btw this is where your deception regarding Australia is playing against you. If they have received Intel about it and acknowledged this as a real threat, their available forces will have been deployed close to this area. In such case, their forces will already be in position to strike back quickly once they know your main assets are going for India.

As for the 56th Div either you keep it in reserve central (Truk) for a counter-attack supported by your returning KB, or you can split it and send the fragments to key frontline bases such as Tarawa, PM, Guadalcanal along with CD units, a NLF Guard and these large naval BF with CDs. As for Noumea and Wake, some NLF guards backed up with elite SNLF will do.

The South Seas detachment can garrison Rabaul and act as a mobile reserve while you put your elite NLF guard/SNLF units in reserve at Kwajalein ready to be airlifted to Tarawa or Wake just in case.

Regarding PM, having it is a good thing but it will turn into a deathtrap once they have enough 4E LBs to crush it so dont reinforce it too much.

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Q-Ball
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Singapore, Ho!

Post by Q-Ball »

Dec 27th to 29th in the SRA

Save for one long-term disaster, a good few days in the SRA. A quick recap:

Phillipines

Patrols report Baguio to be empty; those units retreated to Clark. There are 15 units at Clark, most of their combat units; 19 units at Manila, mostly engineers and HQ forces. 38th and 2nd Division are landing at Lingayen, meaning about 1300 AV will soon be at Clark. That should be enough to reduce the base. They can't retreat to Manila, which is invested by 4th Div.

DEI

4 SNLF units attacked Balikpapan; over 6000 Dutch defended the base, including 4 base units. The battle was short as it quickly fell, but the Dutch engineers did their work; the base is completely trashed! Only 1 Oil point remains. This is BAD luck.

On the bright side, all forces at Timor, Poniatak, and Balikpapan surrendered in the last 3 days, nearly 10,000 Dutch troops captured.

The Java Invasion sails tommorow, with D-Day about Jan 4th. One thing I just noticed, about 7 units are gathered at Bandoeng. I wonder if they suspect a landing at Kragen, and are gathering there for a quick move to the base before the invasion. Not sure it would change our plans, but interesting.....

There isn't now an Allied airfield anywhere between Bali and the Australian coast. That will mean no P-40s on Java.

Malaya

We will be at Johore Bharu in two days. 2 Bdes are cut off north of Kuantan, and two more have been kicked down the Malayan coast. We'll see if they resist at Johore Bharu; hopefully they will.
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2ndACR
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by 2ndACR »

I think that base is hard coded to be trashed........in all my games since release, I have never, ever taken Balikapan without it being trashed. I have tried everything, constant naval bombardments, air attacks using entire divisions, nothing works. I can handle random, but that one base is always a given for being trashed.
 
Nice thing Tobali and Kendari are right there, at least it makes it easy to ship supplies in for rebuilding it.
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John 3rd
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by John 3rd »

Brad and I haven't been posting much this week.  I've been so wrapped up in Forlorn Hopes that this has suffered.  We've been managing a turn a day so the current day is December 30th.  Think I will try to get an update in tonight to match the book I am writing for Dan and I's game.

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brisd
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by brisd »

Subscribed!  After a few years of WITP vacation, I am back to reading the forums and playing the game.  I prefer to play the Japanese so this thread is a wealth of strategy information.  Well done so far! [&o]
"I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."-Note sent with Congressman Washburne from Spotsylvania, May 11, 1864, to General Halleck. - General Ulysses S. Grant
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John 3rd
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by John 3rd »

Why thank you Sir and Welcome!  Where did you get the picture of...Akagi (?)...for your artwork?

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John 3rd
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Coral Sea Summary to Dec 30th

Post by John 3rd »

Here is the Northern half of the Japanese sledgehammer blows against the SE Pacific:



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John 3rd
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Coral Sea Summary to Dec 30th

Post by John 3rd »

Here is the Southern half of the movement:



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John 3rd
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By the Light of the Silvery Moon...

Post by John 3rd »

Continuing his 'we are just misunderstood tour,' Adm Yamaguchi is out prowling around...



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John 3rd
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Operation Winter Dragon

Post by John 3rd »

I wrote this note to Brad earlier:

I have a China thought.

You are gathering quite an army for the Yenen drive. What do you think of augmenting it with a drive from Hankow north using 11th Army HQ and 3 Inf Div with support? Once we've cleared the hex across from Kaifeng, that Inf Div there could cross and join the attack. I doubt it would be enough to grab Sian but it might force the Chinese to SPLIT their defense and help the Yenen attack.

Does that sound interesting or not?

As to the AVG, the best way to destroy the AVG is by concentrating some Zeros to hit them. Nice for them to put it somwhere that isn't vital! IF they keep that squadron there why not convert a Daitai of Claudes in Japan and move it? Add another Daitai from the DEI and attack with 54 Zero as well as 40 or so Nate/Oscar? If we stage it in January then we have most of the Zero Bonus to smack them around with.

Will post this on the AAR.



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The real attack and objective is Yenen but a drive on Honan could serve as the diversion...
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brisd
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by brisd »

ORIGINAL: John 3rd

Why thank you Sir and Welcome!  Where did you get the picture of...Akagi (?)...for your artwork?


Happy to be a reader. I got that photo from Combined Fleet.com, the ultimate home of the IJN on the internet. [:D] And it is indeed the mighty Akagi.


IMO the success of the Japanese team so far is a clear demonstration of what a veteran WITP player can do to the Allies in the first months of the war. Being aggressive but also not foolhardy, knowing the limits of ones forces and the opponents, allows a concentration of force aimed at an early conquest of the SRA, while threatning to isolate Australia and New Zealand, possibly the prelude to an invasion (I like the Manchurian divisions targeted for down-under, nicely done). I think the Allies must focus on taking back Nomea and the rest rather than attacking in the Central Pacific, the threat is to Australia is real. As far as the Indian/Burma theater, I strongly favor that move as it has the potential to knock the UK out of the war; those divisons, air and ships can then be back on the front to stop the US offensive and probably force auto-victory at the end of 1942. Thanks for the exciting maps of your forces' movements, it really enhances the discussion.
"I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer."-Note sent with Congressman Washburne from Spotsylvania, May 11, 1864, to General Halleck. - General Ulysses S. Grant
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by ny59giants »

Sir John,

There is a part of me that wants you to avoid making any further moves towards the SE corner of the map. That would include any carrier raids in the South Pacific towards Suva, Pago Pago, and French Polynesia. Capture New Calendonia, Luganville, and Efate. Land a BF, SNL, and construction at Norfolk to provide a base for your patrol planes.

Now to the why. See if the Allies decide to move some divisions from the West coast to Suva and Pago Pago area to make a stand. Once India is underway and those carriers are not needed, they can support a landing there by your troops from Luzon. You could use that area for a trap of early American LCUs. Just a thought. [;)]
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John 3rd
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RE: Singapore, Ho!

Post by John 3rd »

Michael--Sorry about not calling last night.  Had a long and deep conversation with Paula.  Wasn't sure if a midnight call (your time) would have been OK.

I've had your very thought.  The reality is that I only have two strong units in this region.  Moving eastwards towards Suva, Tonga, or Pago-Pago would just invite disaster until I get ground reinforcements.  My thinking is to halt landings with the capture of New Caledonia, gain some more Infantry (probably China Brigades), and then plot my next move.

brisd--Thanks to for the endorsement of the strategy to date.  I really feel that Brad and I have made a pretty potent team.  He has conducted the DEI campaign flawlessly and I am very impressed with his work there.  We have taken NO risks over there and are so far ahead of the actual Japanese timetable that it defies the imagination.  We're ready to cross into Singapore on January 1st.  Java will be invaded no later then the 10th.  Been pretty lucky to this point.

I hope Brad has time to explain his DEI moves later today.

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Philippines and Borneo

Post by John 3rd »

I'll add these if Brad wants to talk about his operations.


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John 3rd
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Malaya and West DEI

Post by John 3rd »

The Western Portion:



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John 3rd
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Eastern DEI

Post by John 3rd »

The Eastern portion of the octopus...


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RE: Eastern DEI

Post by ny59giants »

I've had your very thought. The reality is that I only have two strong units in this region. Moving eastwards towards Suva, Tonga, or Pago-Pago would just invite disaster until I get ground reinforcements. My thinking is to halt landings with the capture of New Caledonia, gain some more Infantry (probably China Brigades), and then plot my next move.

I'm advocating no moves over here, including no carriers raids for the time being. Let them think that it is safe to send in some troops and try to hold those bases (Suva and Pago Pago area). See if they are willing to send in a few divisions and try to hold that area. Once the carriers are not needed for India and some more troops are freed up, then strike here. Hopefully, they will commit there CVs to this enterprise.
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RE: Eastern DEI

Post by Q-Ball »

December 30th and 31st

We are pleased to report to Imperial Headquarters good progress in our liberation of the Asian peoples of the SRA from their colonial masters. Soon the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere will add this area to it's orbit.

Phillipines

Additional troops have finished unloading, and are about to invest Clark. We will have the 2nd,38th,48th Divisions, 65bde, some SNLF, plus artillery and tanks. The USAFFEE troops are nearly even split between Manila and Clark:

Clark: 5 PA Divisions (1,11,21,31,71), 26 PS Cav,45 PS RCT,4th Marines, both Tank Units,and 2 Artillery Units. NO engineers or HQ. Forts are at 1.

Manila: 3 PA Divisions (41,51,91), 3 RCTs (31,43,57), and all base force and HQ units.

Obviously we hope to destroy the forces at Clark, take Bataan, then reduce Manila. Our opponents made a mistake in allowing their forces to be split, with some in clear terrain. This is the risk in defending Baguio, though they probably should have withdrawn once Naga fell.

Dutch East Indies

Invasion forces are approaching Bali and Banjarmisan. Banjarmisan is the last landing before Java, and will be able to cover the invasion at Kragen.

The Java Invasion force completes loading at Saigon and sails tommorow. We have detected troops concentrations at Batavia and Madioen, no doubt thinking we might land at Merak or Kragen. I have been trying to sell Merak through recon flights, and bombing Batavia; but even with everything, I think we have plenty of force to muscle ashore. The primary forces:

23rd Army

21st Division
21st Mixed Brigade
23rd Mixed Brigade
56th Mixed Brigade (from Davao)
4th Mixed Regt
6th Tank Regt
23rd Engineer Rgt
Base Forces in Support


....this should be plenty.

As John mentioned, the 4th Mixed Bde will load up at Kuching, and land at Brunei in a few days. Overwhelming force to avoid a protracted struggle.

Ahead of the invasion, we are working on the Dutch Air Force. The raid on Batavia destroyed 17 fighters yesterday, we want to have most of them shot down before we land.

Malaya

The last of our forces arrive at Johore Bharu tommorow, and the attack will then commence. I am glad they are resisting there, hopefully they will be disrupted and fatigued as they withdraw to Singapore.
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John 3rd
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and Burma

Post by John 3rd »

My Fellow strategist put things quite well in the DEI!

I would note that my forces are nearly past that damned trail hex between Moulmein and Rahaeng. The moment they arrive at Moulmein, Operation Monsoon occurs with the capture of Lashio and other points by Paratroopers.
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