Uncommon Valor ?

This new stand alone release based on the legendary War in the Pacific from 2 by 3 Games adds significant improvements and changes to enhance game play, improve realism, and increase historical accuracy. With dozens of new features, new art, and engine improvements, War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition brings you the most realistic and immersive WWII Pacific Theater wargame ever!

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Uncommon Valor ?

Post by Dragnaath »

Yeah I know old title but I'm getting my feet wet before I jump in to full game.

Anyways here is my dilemma. How do I defeat Japanese carriers in 42? The scenario I'm playing its first carrier battle.

My strategy is to transfer B17's / Catalinas to Port Moresby and use them as naval search. Also transfer fighters and bombers there for naval attack.

Lexington and Yorktown TF I move south of Port Moresby. Set as do not react to enemy and retire.

How should carrier fighters be set up I tried 50/50 escort or cap 100% escort. The scenario repeats itself over and over. I attack first get some bomb hits on Jap carriers only to be demolished by their strike.

My planes get chewed by Zeros or hit poorly. Best I got was last night 6 - 1000lb hits against one carrier. They turned back after hitting me and in three turns both ma carriers sunk :(

Sorry for the newb questions.


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RE: Uncommon Valor ?

Post by HansBolter »

Been a very long time since my last UV game, but I did successfully defeat the Japanese carries in a PBEM game.

The BEST chance you have against the Japanese carriers is to orchestrate a fight where your carriers are sitting under massive LBA LRCAP.

This is much easier to set up with him coming at you rather than with you taking the fight to him.

My opponent went all out for an auto victory coming for me at at my bases.

I had extended my self by starting a base at Nedeni (different name in UV IIRC) as I would in most any game against the AI.

He came all out with a full court press to shut me down and after an extended knock down drag out fight I succeeded in luring him into an ambush off Luganville.

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RE: Uncommon Valor ?

Post by YankeeAirRat »

That is the way to do it. In most of the UV campaigns that I have played the AI will go after Gilli Gilli. So if you move the bombers out of Central Australia and to the coast. Move as many fighters as you can to PM and move the B-25's, B-26's, and A-24's to PM as well. Set the B-25's, B-26's, and A-24's on strictly naval attack and nothing else. The same is true of your B-17's only have them on Naval Strike. PM in the opening isn't ready for the B-17's, but you can help by moving some of the smaller Aussie bases towards Townsville and moving the airfield support troops to Townsville and then shipping them to PM in a convoy. Another trick I use is to convert the Hudson's into strictly search and Port attack aircraft, use a search ratio that is comfortable for you; mine was usually 60-80 percent. They will help to localize the IJN carriers. Then you use your carriers to patrol near Gilli Gilli and wait for the expecting attack. Once you savage the IJN forces with all the naval attack units, and more than likely you will also sink the two invasion forces out there that are going to bases in New Guinea or at least damage them enough that it will stymie the AI. Post attack if your carriers survive but have damage use Townsville to refit until you can either get back down to the size 9 ports down south of Australia or over to New Caledonia. Also accept that your going to loose a carrier early on. It is awesome that you don't, but accept that it will happen. The best you can hope to get is a carrier heavily damage that it will have to go home to Pearl to be repaired and one that is only slightly damaged. The worst is loosing both. At which I suggest just rage quit and start again all over. [:D]

If you survive with both carriers after that and are able to get in some good hits to have either a sinking or heavy damage to a IJN carrier. Then rest for a while and go on raids to the far east edge of the map with your carriers. Strike out about once a month against Shortland. Don't let the game plot a path because it will take you up the slot and that is a hellish place to be. Instead manually plot your movement to skirt the Santa Cruz Islands and get within range to harass Shortland. Spend a day or two on strikes and retire. That will usually bring out his surviving carriers and if you can get it away from the Betty's, the AI may out range you but you have a better punch with more aircraft. At times I have gotten lucky and the AI put a heavily damaged carrier into Rabual or even Shortland. Where it was easy to get at with either subs and LBA or subs and carrier air. The tide will turn against you in June since that is when the rest of the IJN carrier fleet arrives, the game assumes Midway doesn't happen in the Grand Campaign. So for a while it will be your two carriers against 6+ and there isn't anyway to survive. The most you can do is either try and land to retake Gilli Gilli (if it was captured) or escort convoys out of Brisbane to PM for the Australian land troops. As well build up the French Colonies at the other corner of the map with supplies and base units and turn that into a thorn to support operations up the Slot. Wait until you have built up enough reserves in carriers and ship and begin to strike out.

Attack like the history says, go and get the 'Canal, build up that base with fighters and bombers. Troll for his carriers to show up and hope you can get them enough with your land based air assets Build up PM so you can have a size 9 airfield there and plenty of support for all the aircraft.

That is how I have usually survived, but forcing attacks where I have advantages via both carrier planes and land based air. I have never been able to play too far into the grand campaign before real life takes over and I have to reset myself and start again, but usually by Dec of '42 that is my tactics. Oh and its gamey, but you can get good intel but switching sides and loading a save to see which ships are reported sunk. However, it has buoyed my plans to learn that I have sunk one or more carriers or heavily damaged one and sunk one and left one to survive so that I can move better with some ships. Finally, it does get better post September of 1942 when you start to receive TBM's to replace the TBDs and then in the spring of 43 you are expected to get Hellcats.
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RE: Uncommon Valor ?

Post by YankeeAirRat »

Oh and save at the start of every turn and I usually save a pre day and a post day into different slots. That way if something isn't going well, I can revert and hope for a better dice roll behind the screen.
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RE: Uncommon Valor ?

Post by Admiral DadMan »

I remember the IJN "Pain Train" to PM.

The AI would get a hardon for ships bombarding the base, and TFs would hang up going around the Gili Gili/Milne Bay peninsula, so I would park my carriers at extreme full strike range and just let them go to town...
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RE: Uncommon Valor ?

Post by spence »

In reality neither the Japanese nor the Americans had ever fought a carrier battle before in either of their histories - nor had any country anywhere. Thus neither had any tested doctrine (in which their pilots had already trained) for such battles. Neither the game you ask about nor any of its successors (WitP or AE) reflect the advantages held by either side. They are subtle but affect the game(s) significantly.

For instance Japanese doctrine held that each carrier division would launch 1/2 of its available strike aircraft (bombers) in a given strike. I guess (but have seen no specific evidence of) that since only one division of IJN carriers (5th Cardiv) a full strike by that force would have had the torpedo squadron from one carrier and the dive bomber squadron from the other with some fighters from each participating unless the range was really short (as evidenced by IJN operations at The Battle of the Eastern Solomons and The Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands). The real strike involved every strike aircraft from both carriers but that was only because the range of the strike was in fact only 90-100 miles and oth carriers had suffered significant operational casualties attacking the wrong targets or launching strikes at nothing in the days preceding the ultimate strike. Anyways the planes launched first could afford to waste gas waiting for their strike-mates to join up. This allowed the USN to do the same thing so that every strike aircraft from the US carriers was able to participate in more or less the same strike too (although the US strikes from Lexington and Yorktown arrived separately).

In the event luck intervened. The IJN got a total of 4 bomb hits and 2 torpedo hits with Yorktown taking two bombs and Lexington taking 2 bombs and 2 torpedoes. USS Lexington was making 20 knots after the IJN attack and might, if USN DC had been as experienced as later in the war, have survived. But it suffered a fuel vapor explosion which caused fires from the hits to get out of control and the ship was ultimately scuttled.

During the American attack a rain squall covered HIJMS Zuikaku. Thus only HIJMS Shokaku was attacked. Hit by 4 bombs Shokaku was nearly lost but survived. If the bomb hits had been distributed amongst both IJN carriers there might not have been ANY decks for the returning strike planes to return to. As it was the losses amongst the IJN airgroups were so severe that those air groups were considered (by the IJN Command) to be hors de combat and were therefore unavailable for the immediately following Midway "Decisive Battle".

In the IJN carrier airgroups were part of the ship's company. If the ship was out of action due to damage the state of the airgroup didn't matter (HIJMS Shokaku after Coral Sea). If the airgroup had suffered heavy losses the ship was out of action regardless of damage (HIJMS Zuikaku after Coral Sea). By contrast airgroups and squadrons were administratively attached to carriers in the USN. Thus after Coral Sea the USS Yorktown's Air group (#5) was replenished with parts of USS Saratoga's airgroup (#3; VB-3 delivered the killing strike on HIJMS Soryu at Midway). Meanwhile USS Saratoga's Airgroup was replenished from resources in the US while the ship was repaired in the US (not quite ready by the time of Midway).

The IJN had the advantage of a practiced doctrine for offensive strikes by carrier division (2 ships). USN carriers operated singly. Physical realities prevented a single ship of both countries from launching more than about half of their strike aircraft in a single strike without an inordinate amount of time spent flying in circles waiting for the rest to join up. At Midway HIJMS Hiryu launched only one attack squadron at a time in its anti-ship strikes following the USN strikes that disabled the other 3 IJN carriers. Ordinarily the IJN was able to create a hi-lo threat by launching two strikes with half their a/c but in this case, with only one ship, they sacrificed the hi-lo threat and launched two strikes (of one or the other threat). The two strikes arrived at their target at staggered intervals and suffered the effects of the defense independently (which were heavy - HIJMS Hiryu had a total of 9 bombers of any type left after its two strikes). The USN tended to launch fewer aircraft of each type to create the hi-lo threat (or had squadrons proceed independently) and the strikes from individual carriers tended to arrive sequentially thus suffering the effects of the defense against each strike independently. The net is that both suffered the same problems when actually attacking (heavy losses). The game(s) allow(s) all Japanese strike a/c to arrive simultaneously in most instances thus overwhelming the defense.

Of note also is that although the A6M had great fuel endurance its cannon armament had a relatively low ammo supply and its 7.7 mm machine guns were largely ineffective against a/c with any armor. Thus the CAP aircraft had to cycle quite often if actually defending against enemy strikes. Due to the differences in construction of IJN carriers (enclosed hangars) vs USN carriers strike aircraft had to be warmed up (40 minutes or so) on the flight deck and couldn't be on deck while CAP was recovering. At Midway, flagship HIJMS Akagi couldn't land CAP at 1010 and be ready to launch an anti-ship strike at 1020 (when the hammer fell). The sequential attacks by squadron after squadron of US a/c kept the IJN cycling CAP until the Yorktown's strike and the Enterprise's dive bombers arrived and took out 3 of the 4 available IJN carriers. By contrast (even though it didn't effect the outcome of Midway in the same way for the USN) USN strike aircraft could warm up on the hangar deck while CAP cycled on the flight deck. Also by contrast IJN CAP operated completely independently of any ship-board direction...individual pilots determined when they would try to land and be re-armed. Although they might be waved off the officer running the flight deck really had no communication with the aircraft to know whether they wanted to land because they were low on fuel, low on ammo, damaged or just felt like taking a break. Doctrine seemed to dictate he allow them to land (observed behavior?) even if that delayed a strike or caused other above-his-pay-grade problems. Thus IJN CAPs tend to be overly strong in the game without any commeasurate impact on their ability to launch a strike.

The USN had a rudimentary radio coordinated fighter defense doctrine which progressively improved as the USN fought carrier battles (4 battles in 1942). When the IJN launched nearly 400 a/c to attack the USN off Saipan in 1944 the result was The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot with negligible damage to the USN and the massacre of over 350 IJN aircraft. Subsequently the IJN employed their now superfluous carrier commanders to study whether some defensive use might be made of this new fangled electronic device called radar and exactly how they should take advantage of the information it provided (the IJN never developed anything like the Fighter Direction Centers on USN carriers/TFs).

The scenario is the game is fun but don't get too hung up on historical precedents.

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