The Hive - Cruft PBEM (Japan, Scen 2 Beta + Stacking Limits)

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Captain Cruft
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The Hive - Cruft PBEM (Japan, Scen 2 Beta + Stacking Limits)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The Hive - Unconventional Japanese Strategies and Tactics

This is an AAR of a game that has been going on for about a year now. It's Scen 2 with PDU On, and the game date is Oct 1942. My opponent shall remain nameless, but he is an honourable chap who coincidentally plays rather like I do i.e. in a low risk manner.

To start with here is the strategic map. The area in the yellow outline is the part of the Empire that I care about, or ... The Hive [8D]
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The Hive enumerated:-

Japan (duh)
Kuriles
Bonins
Ryukus
Formosa
Hainan
Haiphong/Hanoi
China up to the incomplete rail line i.e. something like Nanning -> Liuchow -> Changsha -> Hankow -> Kaifeng -> Peiping (this is not all mine yet though)
Manchukuo (I hope to be able to defend against the Soviets when the time comes)
Korea

This area just so happens to create an exclusion zone of > 20 hexes from the Home Islands. The first and foremost purpose of the Hive is to survive, and having P-51s and P-47s creating Allied air superiority over the sacred turf of the homeland is not conducive to that.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The Swarm

The main defensive tactic of the Hive will be the Swarm.

The Swarm is only loosely defined but in simple terms it means flooding the enemy with large amounts of cheap but destructive stuff delivered in an aggressive manner. It's basically Kamikaze doctrine but applied beyond the arena of formal suicide missions. The Oscar bomber thing I have been bleating about in other threads is a prime example. It doesn't matter how many planes and/or pilots you lose if the target is thereby rendered ineffective ...

Apart from the Oscars I have decided on one other non-Kamikaze Swarm tactic which is "Torpedo Avalanche". This will comprise CLs, DDs, MTBs, Subs & Midget Subs. My Downfall game is an excellent test bed for some of this, albeit under non-ideal conditions.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Mike Solli »

ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft
It doesn't matter how many planes and/or pilots you lose if the target is thereby rendered ineffective ...

Interesting concept. I'm curious to see how this plays out. [;)]
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

Politics

I try and keep the IJA and IJN airforces separate, though clearly it's not always possible.

The purpose of the IJAAF is to kill things that exist on the ground, while the purpose of the IJNAF is to kill things that float on water. Though inevitably there will be some overlap.

Both services will attempt to kill things that fly in the air ...

No IJA aircraft will be used as Kamikazes, should the Hive ever be threatened that closely.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

ORIGINAL: Mike Solli
ORIGINAL: Captain Cruft
It doesn't matter how many planes and/or pilots you lose if the target is thereby rendered ineffective ...

Interesting concept. I'm curious to see how this plays out. [;)]

Scen 2 gives you the ability to produce more planes and pilots than the available airgroups can contain, assuming you don't fight an overly-offensive war.

The absolutely key point here is that from 7th Dec 1941 Japan is on the strategic defensive.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

Note - I am just brain dumping at this point, therefore the order of things may be a bit strange ...

Kido Butai and the Pacific

The fragile but potent Japanese CVs are not to be used against hard targets. They will perform raids against soft targets, or act as a fleet in being/deterrent.

Therefore, the 6 fast carriers of the original PH striking force are currently stationed at Ulithi doing precisely nothing. The Allies have just taken Rabaul (I did not oppose this) and I am expecting B-17s and B-24s to start bombing Truk any day now. All that will be there for them to attack is a bunch of flak and fighters.

The defense line in the Pacific (which is not part of the Hive and I assume will all be eventually lost) stretches only from Babeldoab to the Marshalls. Rabaul and Tarawa were taken but then abandoned. Most of these Pacific bases (which started in Japanese hands) have CD units of some kind, mines, a reasonable garrison (IJN only), size 4+ forts and Netties within range. The idea is not to stop the Allies but make them move carefully (i.e. slowly) simply by psychological persuasion. So far it seems to be working ...
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by FDRLincoln »

I like this idea and it is very similar to my plans in my just-started Scen 2 game with Bakerman.

I'm going to establish a perimeter similar to yours, take as many of the resource areas in China that I can, then avoid being drawn into battle except on my own terms. My goal basically is to last longer than the Japanese did in real life. If I can do that, I count it as a victory. 
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Miller »

Dont forget to use your KB a/c at forward airbases if the opportunity arises. Just because the CVs are sitting doing nothing does not mean the airgroups have to as well.

Also (if you have not done so already) do not "upgrade" your older DDs to APDs as they lose most of their torps and DP guns. I'm talking mainly about the Minekaze, Kamikaze and Mutsuki classes. These all make excellent front line disposable surface raiders and can be just as deadly as the newer ships against transport TFs........
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

My Lord Fisher (or FDRLincoln),

Yes when I read your AAR it did bring my own game to mind somewhat.

The basic idea is to only fight where I can be strong. Which is not in the Solomons, Australia or India. In fact it is only really the Home Islands and the immediate vicinity.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

Mr Miller,

No, the KB airgroups will not de-camp unless forced to or in extremis to act as a CAP only. This is just a foible of mine ...

You are quite right about the APD conversions, I have not done them. For amphibious capability I have converted all the Yusen and Kyushu xAKs to AK-t. These ships will be used for fast evac. As a result the burden of resource transportation has fallen mostly on the Adens and other smaller slower craft. There is not a single ship of this type idle in the whole Empire, and I still have vast piles of Resources lying around in various places.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The Oscar Swarm in action ...

All the planes flew from Canton in this case, but ideally I would prefer to distribute them around multiple smaller airfields. The division currently contains 300 odd planes, but by mid-1944 this should be more like 650 once all the groups have resized.

Consider the result - A stack of 2500 AV of hitherto un-attacked Chinese troops has been rendered essentially combat ineffective at a cost of two damaged planes ...

Of course the cost will go up drastically when flying against the Western Allies, but it's still a very cheap way to take out an objective assuming you have lots of planes and trained Air/LowG pilots in reserve.

AFTER ACTION REPORTS FOR Oct 24, 42
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morning Air attack on 28th New Chinese Division, at 74,54 , near Liuchow

Weather in hex: Clear sky

Raid spotted at 37 NM, estimated altitude 9,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 9 minutes

Japanese aircraft
Ki-43-IIa Oscar x 260


Japanese aircraft losses
Ki-43-IIa Oscar: 2 damaged

Allied ground losses:
1325 casualties reported
Squads: 3 destroyed, 92 disabled
Non Combat: 6 destroyed, 104 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 4 disabled

Aircraft Attacking:
36 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
36 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
31 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
31 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
36 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
36 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
30 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb
24 x Ki-43-IIa Oscar bombing from 100 feet
Ground Attack: 2 x 250 kg GP Bomb

Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 59th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 8th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 46th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 31st Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 52nd Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 64th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 9th Group Army ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 28th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 28th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 59th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 8th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 46th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 31st Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 52nd Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 64th Chinese Corps ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 9th Group Army ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 28th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 39th New Chinese Division ...
Also attacking 93rd Chinese Division ...

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

Ground combat at 74,54 (near Liuchow)

Allied Deliberate attack

Attacking force 64323 troops, 390 guns, 0 vehicles, Assault Value = 2553

Defending force 1350 troops, 12 guns, 192 vehicles, Assault Value = 103

Allied adjusted assault: 137

Japanese adjusted defense: 80

Allied assault odds: 1 to 1

Combat modifiers
Defender: leaders(+), supply(-)
Attacker: disruption(-), supply(-)

Japanese ground losses:
Guns lost 16 (9 destroyed, 7 disabled)
Vehicles lost 62 (2 destroyed, 60 disabled)


Allied ground losses:
932 casualties reported
Squads: 2 destroyed, 113 disabled
Non Combat: 0 destroyed, 6 disabled
Engineers: 0 destroyed, 8 disabled


Assaulting units:
8th Chinese Corps
31st Chinese Corps
52nd Chinese Corps
64th Chinese Corps
28th New Chinese Division
46th Chinese Corps
59th Chinese Corps
93rd Chinese Division
39th New Chinese Division
35th Group Army
7th Chinese Base Force
4th War Area
9th Group Army
57th AT Gun Regiment

Defending units:
7th Ind.Tank Brigade
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

Brief IJAAF production notes. I will do more detail later on this and all other production issues.

Ki-43 II/III/IV = Lots and lots
Ki-44 = Lots
Ki-45a = A fair few
Ki-51b = Lots (in R&D)
Ki-61 = None
Ki-100 = None
Ki-84 = A few (in R&D)
Ki-83 = Lots (in R&D)
Ki-74 = Lots (in R&D)
Ki-201 = None

That's it apart from Topsys and Dinahs. So no 2E bombers until the Ki-74, which I may pair with the Ki-83 for some sort of specialised longer range strike force.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

Time for some piccies ...

First, the intel screen.

I am not playing for points, but rather to preserve the Hive. However, it is always nice to have more VPs than the other guy for comfort's sake.

A lack of PPs and the ever-present thought of August 1945 have prevented me from removing much more than a couple of divisions from Manchukuo. I also don't really feel the need for any more troops to achieve my perimeter goals.

All in all you can see that it has been a rather bloodless affair so far.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The lack of violence is particularly apparent in the naval arena.

I have lost a single DD, while the Allies have, apart from two BBs at PH, only lost a CL and 5 DDs.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The Oscar Swarm at Canton ... [:)]
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The situation on the ground in the Liuchow area, whereat the Oscar Swarm is currently engaged.

I have just taken Liuchow by virtue of the Chinese running away to the hex highlighted, where I am not sure if they are now trapped or not. The whole hex-side thing is a mystery to me. Now I just need Kweilin, Hengyang and Changsha to form the basic perimeter.

One problem though, there are at least 13 million Chinese troops at Changsha. If we can't scare them off I may just isolate and render the place ineffective. That whole battle is a way off though.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The only other place where's there much going on is Burma. This is the one area where I cannot draw the line so as to avoid Western fighters, so we have had several air battles here. These have gone both ways, but after one particular day where he swept Rangoon with a lot of P-38s only to be summarily trounced by Tojos with elite pilots things have severely quietened down. Which is good.

My only reason for doing anything here at all is to stop supply being deposited at Rangoon and making its way to China. Therefore the lack of penetration into the interior. The Burma Road thing, if it even works, is negligible in comparison.

I think he could have taken the offensive on the ground before now. Mandalay is the only upstream base with any troops, but again it's all down to psychology and expectations. He will slow himself down, I don't need to ...
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Miller »

I would put a decent size (say 100AV) garrison at Prome and Touongo, otherwise he could capture them with Paras and cut off any retreat from Mandalay, whilst sending more troops in by air transport. Its 9/43 in my game and I have 12 divs in Burma but I'm still struggling to stem the tide.
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RE: The Hive - Cruft Scen 2 PBEM (Japan)

Post by Captain Cruft »

The DEI / Northern Australia interface.

Both of us seem to be not bothering with this area much. He is steadily building Darwin up, but only has "bombers" there, which I presume to be Hudsons or other Aussie types. They have been totally inactive.

Although I am not actually doing much attacking here, there are in fact 3 Nettie Flotillas in the vicinity. At Ambon, Kendari and Soerabaja. Gatekeepers if you will.

Soerabaja is one place I would like to hang on to for as long as possible, along with Balikpapan.
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