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Molon Labe 06-10-2021 11:01 AM

16 December 1941

CVL Zuiho gets a rude welcome into the combat zone

We've got nearly all our Buffalos out of Georgetown. It actually looks like none are going to be left behind when its overrun. His air raids are switching focus somewhat, he's targeting my frontline troops and trying to finish off the Repulse in drydock. I can live with that, every bomb he hits Repulse with is a bomb that doesn't destroy a Buffalo on the ground, potentially anyway. He's outnumbering me badly over Singapore, during the peak raids he had about 40 Zeros and 20 Oscars to maybe 10 of my Buffs. I could really use some Hurricanes right about now. I lost 4 more Buffs over Singapore, but in Kuala Lumpur my Buffs got 4 unescorted Lilys.

He's not doing that great of a job protecting his ships; my medium bombers went after ARGs and missed, but my torpedo bombers got on the board again today, hitting two cargo ships with one sinking immediately. These appeared to be supply ships, not troop ships. The onboard fuel burned really nice though.

Philippines/Celebes/Makasar Strait
He's already got troops in Manila, and one of the battalions I had tried to send towards Naga has been cut off before I could get it to Manila. His soldiers made a push on Clark that failed, taking significant casualties. Clark is a hard nut to crack, fortunately. I'm continuing air operations there for now. Speaking of which, the air was was pretty even, we got a Zero and 3 Betties while losing 2 P-40s and a P-26. We also got our first US ace... who was in one of the P-40s that was shot down and is now wounded and off the roster.

One of his surface groups managed to intercept two sub tenders I was trying to pull out, he sank one and damaged the other. They're still looking pretty stuck there.

I should mention that I gave my opponent a "Mulligan" on this turn--he was working late and forgot to give orders to ships at anchor at Ternate, which included the Ryujo. I'm told in the first version of this turn, the Ryujo suffered 300kg bomb hits from Dutch bombers. In the redo, these bombers just bombed land forces in Manado.

But, the Zuiho appeared for the first time (the first time I identified it anyway, it could easily have been responsible for raids in the area in the prior days) in the Makassar strait, escorted by just 1 cruiser and 4 destroyers. Dutch sub KIX spotted her and fired 4 sadly-small 45cm torpedoes, hitting the Zuiho once.
I checked the database on these, the 45cm hit about 2/3rd as hard as a Mark 14. So it's probably still a pretty good hit.

Air raids around Celebes and Makassar continued (they got some retreating tankers and a minelayer), and the Zuiho was probably responsible for some of those, so she's still in the fight. Land based light bombers attempted an attack on her and got massacred by Zeroes, 7 Falcon bombers lost along with 1 Demon fighter. I lost another Buffalo over Balikpapan that was trying to defend ships in the harbor.

Putting the AVG on long-range CAP over Ichang worked out. The air raid came and we got 5 Nates. I just didn't have enough planes to get to the bombers though, so my troops were still hit. But my bombers got through to and hit theirs. I'm not sure whether I'm actually going to press the ground attack, but if I can draw their planes into a trap over it I'll keep going.

Enemy troops are starting to move out around Wuchang. I'm not sure if they're just clearing the roads or if this is the beginning of a push.

Further north in the Chengchow area, he's captured the central crossroads area. Again, there's not big enough of a commitment to tell whether he's clearing roads or starting an offensive.

Solomons Area
He's landed a unit of marines at Luganville, and he did it while I was offloading artillery there. If he was just a day earlier, I would have had more there, along with cruisers covering it. This could complicate matters, I was hoping Luganville would be a major base for me that would help get me a foothold in the Solomons later on. I still have other potential bases around here though, so as long as he doesn't grab those too I should at least be able to make life miserable for them on Luganville with daily air-delivered explosive hate mail. I'd consider an early-game amphib landing to get it back too, I'm just not sure it's practical right this moment with no air support and not a whole lot of troops in-theatre.

I'm kind of screwing up the logistics out here, I'm trying to land ships that I started with at sea and loaded with troops. They're not in amphibious configuration so they can only land at ports, and the ports here are mostly too small to dock at, and I didn't notice. That's slowing me down, and well, now he's going to get Luganville instead of me.

Molon Labe 06-10-2021 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by Threadfin (Post 2751847)
I thought it might be a simple matter to cut in an airstrip and start Betty strikes from there. Pearl's what, 1000 miles? Well within range, and for the Zeros too. But perhaps it's not so simple. And of course his aircraft would be equally vulnerable to your strikes.

Yes, a tender based there could be problematic. If nothing else, he has denied it to you, which is a good move.

Within ferry range, but not within loaded, combat round-trip range.

mapuc 06-10-2021 11:35 AM

This is a very interesting thread indeed.

Some questions

1. Do you have to follow the story-line completely ?
2. If one of you send a fake message, does the other have to answer correctly as it happened in our history ?


Molon Labe 06-10-2021 11:44 AM


Originally Posted by mapuc (Post 2751861)
This is a very interesting thread indeed.

Some questions

1. Do you have to follow the story-line completely ?
2. If one of you send a fake message, does the other have to answer correctly as it happened in our history ?


Not really. There are some limitations but we're mostly free to set our own strategies. We chat a little bit by email but without giving too much away. He keeps asking me if the Prince of Wales sank but I keep ignoring the question, I'd rather let him hesitate if he ends up believing it survived.

Molon Labe 06-10-2021 09:59 PM

17 December 1941

Luganville ARG smashed by joint US-AUS SAG.

Enemy air forces mostly took the day off. Call it a maintenance holiday. There were only skirmishes among the ground forces too--my isolated troops fought two with a small IJA armored unit and came out ahead.

Here's the current map of the area:

Celebes Sea, Makassar Strait area
I sent PT boats from Manado to Ternate to raid enemy ships in the harbor. We scored two torpedo hits for the loss of one PT boat. Dutch bombers hit the same ships later and scored another hit.

Japanese marines made another attempt to capture Manado but failed. They did take down the fortification level, though, so the next attempt could succeed.

The Zuiho and possibly the Soryu continued to operate in the Makassar strait, striking Balikpapan twice. The first time, shooting down 4 defending fighters, the second time getting Kates through to bomb two tankers and a destroyer. Another tanker was chased down by a surface group.

We had a bad day here. The medium and light bombers attacked shipping at Kuantan, mostly avoiding the fighters on the way in, then dropping their bombs and missing, then getting massacred on the way out. 1 Buffalo, 3 Blenheims, and 3 Wirraway were lost. Over Singapore, we got two Zeroes and two Nells in exchange for 1 Buffalo while they continued to focus on the port. They got some hits on the Repulse, along with some merchant cruisers.

Enemy patrol gunboats attempted an attack on Singapore--a fortress armed with coastal defense artillery overlooking a naval minefield. It went as you'd expect it to.

On the other side of the South China Sea, Singkawang was captured.

Solomons Area
Kavieng was finally captured.
But the big news for me involved the Luganville landing. Yesterday I mentioned I had cruisers covering my own landings. That task force had split up, so my warships hadn't gone far. So the USS Pensacola (heavy cruiser), HMAS Leander (light cruiser) and HMAS Voyager (destroyer) rushed back and engaged the enemy force of 2 Minelayers, 2 destroyers, a patrol boat and two cargo ships. The Voyager was apparently led by an idiot, it got in really close to torpedo one of the CMs, but got shot up a ton on the way in and was a bullet magnet for the rest of the fight. She's gone. But the two cruisers absolutely wrecked the IJN fleet. The destroyers got away with light damage, one CM is limping away in denial of its fate, and the rest are on the bottom.

Of course, this ARG had already landed a full naval guard unit, so the situation on Luganville itself hasn't changed much, with the possible exception that the troops may be short on supply.

-Two enemy submarine hit mines trying to enter the harbor in Batavia. I don't know if they'll sink, but they won't be making any attacks. Just in time, too, I have a troop convoy coming through that area. Also, this probably opens up an escape route to start evacuating merchies through again.
-An enemy submarine sank a cargo ship trying to replenish Palmyra. This actually hurts more than it should, I have very few cargo ships operating out of Pearl right now and a lot of thirsty bases.
-The USS Sealion finished off a damaged AKL trying to make it to Truk lagoon.
-The AVG intercepted air raids in Ichang again, this time bypassing the escorting Nates and going after the bombers. We only got two, I'm really hurting for numbers there.
-The IJAAF is hitting my forces in Paotow hard enough that a successful attack there looks very unlikely.

Molon Labe 06-11-2021 02:28 PM

18 December 1941

Japanese land forces advance

Japan gave most of its bombers a maintenance holiday. They flew a few strikes near Kuala Lumpur, escorting Oscars took out 2 Buffalo and lost 1.

I tried to sneak in a couple AKLs to resupply Singapore--kind of a test to see if I could. One was intercepted by a sub and sunk. But now we know why subs were spotted around there, it's a quiet blockade.

On the opposite side of the South China Sea, we had another incident of a Dutch sub captain running on the surface getting shot at but not shooting, resulting in damage to the sub. Was it the same guy?...Yes. Yes it was. I looked up the sub's specifications, the main deck gun is an 80mm Bofors AA with a range of 15,000yd... that beats the ranges of some of the ships he's engaged. Is the behavior of this sub bugged in some way? I'm not sure I can do anything to change its behavior other than replacing the captain...which I will, his stats suck. But if that doesn't fix it, I may have to relegate this sub to minelayer duty. :k_confused:

Java Sea and Makasar Strait
I tried to move to take advantage of two enemy subs being crippled/lost in Batavia, sending tankers out of Palembang. But there were yet more subs waiting for them and I lost two tankers. He's clearly made this mission a priority for his sub fleet, I will need to try to get more destroyers down here. I'm a bit aggravated that the DDs already here have yet to get a confirmed sub kill between the availability of targets and the shallowness of the water that should be making them easier depth charge targets.

A heavy cruiser and two destroyers entered the harbor at Balikpapan and sank a minesweeper. One of the DDs hit a defensive mine on the way out.

What I assume was the Zuiho raided Surabaya, my biggest base in the area. Their fighters fought my Buffalos and Hawks to a stalemate, and their Kates flew into the harbor to bomb a US destroyer, causing serious damage. This is just humiliating.

The IJA cleared my troops out of 2 road hexes near Wuchang, opening supply routes to Kuikang and Nanchang. One of my units--a third of a division--surrendered instead of retreated! I'm going to see if I can look back at the previous turn to see if there was a problem with hexside control that made retreat impossible...No, they had valid retreat options. ****ing conscripts. Somebody really ought to tell these guys that being in a Japanese POW camp isn't a vacation.

The enemy also captured Kweiteh, a small town sitting on a rail line that when held by China obnoxiously blocks units from moving by train from the main Japanese-held coastal areas to the front line at Kaifeng. About 6,000 Chinese soldiers were killed or captured in these battles.

The AVG drew some more bombers over Ichang. Most of them arrived unescorted; we claimed 4 kills while the rest went through to bomb my troops. It's clear at this point that as long as those bombers are getting through, my troops won't take the city.

-Luganville is officially theirs, their marines finally pushed and destroyed my partial artillery unit there.
-He's asking me for the status of the Arizona and Nevada by email. As if. :haha:
-We've detected 9 submarines near Pearl. A Bolo bomber on patrol managed to hit one with a 500 pounder before it went deep (decent chance that's a kill), but the rest are still lurking. I'm putting a lot of destroyers out there that I'd rather have escorting something, but I have to deal with this.
-This was the first time we had fewer planes lost than them for two days in a row.

Molon Labe 06-12-2021 01:16 AM

19 December 1941
Major landing at Mersing


Won't bury the lede--a division plus just came ashore at Mersing, barely north of Singapore

That's very bad news because of how much I still have much further north up the penninsula. I'd been planning a small delaying action in or near Georgetown and a much bigger one at Kuala Lumpur. They only have to move inland a hex to cut off the rail line.

I had given the bombers the day off today, not because they needed it but because the fighters that would be escorting them did. So I missed a chance to interdict them before they landed. Maybe I can hit some with landings in progress. But, I'll be doing it with 11 less Buffalos then I had yesterday--and I only managed one Zero shot down to show for that. Good news for me, a convoy of reinforcements made it through the submarine gauntlet unscathed and are offloading now.

An uneventful day. A submarine near Batavia attacked and sank an AKL, but hit a mine while leaving the scene of the crime. Mines are easily my most successful ASW weapon right now.

He attempted a major raid on Manila, probably trying to hit some destroyers there being repaired after getting shot up in the Celebes Sea. We lost 4 P-40s and 4 P-35s while taking out a zero, and oscar, 2 mabels, 3 kates, a nell, and two vals. The raid was unsuccessful, and my destroyers have completed repairs and will slip out overnight.

[This turn was another Mulligan. In our first play of it he forgot to escort his bombers and ended up with a campaign-altering loss of more than 50 planes. But they got my destroyers anyway]

To the south, two SAGs bombarded Cagayan without much success. This is great news for me because it means those two groups are probably very low on ammo. So this works out well with my destroyers trying to escape Manila now.

-He took two more small islands in the Hawaii-Midway chain. I don't know why. They are both within B-17 range. Well, my crews could use the practice.
-We detected a task force of about 10 ships coming heading south past Rabaul, looks like destroyers and transports. Might be adding more to Guadalcanal, or moving on something else around espiritu santo. I have significant surface forces in the area--probably enough to interdict, but I'm going to hold back for at least a day.
-Speaking of my surface forces, a group of my AUS-US cruisers ran into one of the shot up enemy destroyers from the Luganville landing and finished it off.
-I'm having no success getting rid of the subs at Pearl. But they aren't hitting me either--too busy evading the hunters. A supply run and a fuel run from CONUS docked in Pearl, I'm going to keep the cargo ships there since I was so short.

Molon Labe 06-12-2021 10:31 PM

20 December 1941

Maybe the "building towers on my base" analogy wasn't that far off.

Pearl Harbor
Kido Butai returned, which sucked. The supply convoys and ASW patrols became targets for Kates. My fighters, though numerous, didn't stop them. And to top it off, two entire squadrons of my dive bombers were shot down trying to counter attack. Did I mention this sucked?

My losses: 7 P-40, 7 P-36, 2 F4F, 18 Vindicator, 18 SBD-1, 1 DMS, 2 DD, 2 tankers damaged.
His losses: 5 Zeroes, 9 Kates.
I found it very suspicious that Vals did not participate in these raids.

B-17s from Pearl hit the forces landing on the western atolls and caused heavy troop casualties.

It seems the KB is just going to sit off Midway, rotate into Pearl to dish out some punishment, then return to Midway to replenish off tenders. Rinse and repeat. I'm not sure I have an answer. My fighters just aren't cutting it. The silver lining might be that if I know where his carriers are, then I know where mine can go.

We lost 7 bombers trying to hit the troops landing in Mersing.
The submarine O20 returned to port in Singapore for a change of command.
Mersing was captured.

Java Sea
Enemy sub attacks claimed an AP and an AKL east of Surabaya. Cruisers shelled Kendari, and there was a battleship-supported landing at Ambon. I had been using both as bomber bases to hit Ternate and Manado. Damage at Kendari was light, but I don't think I'll hold Ambon for long. Carrier based Kates hit Koepang, sinking 4 minesweepers.

The bright spot of my day was finally, one of my B-17 raids on a captured airfield actually hit a base full of planes! 11 planes from Clark hit the San Fernando base, destroying 25 planes on the ground and causing significant facility damage.

The air war over Manila went our way too, we got 3 Nates, 3 Zeroes, an Oscar and two bombers; they got 3 P-40s. The US got its second ace and this time, he's still healthy and ready to fight some more.

-USS Sturgeon sank a cargo ship off Tsushima in a night surface attack. It bounced 5 dud Mk14s off its hull before finally getting two to detonate. This was probably a resource transport from northern China or Korea.
-We captured Sinyang, China with minimal resistance--which means the armies that started there have gone somewhere else.
-I'm monitoring two task forces in the Solomons. If my patrol planes can be believed, the burliest ships in them are minelayers. I have my doubts.
Today marked the biggest aircraft losses of the war for both sides, even exceeding the losses during the original Dec 7 Pearl Harbor raid.

Lugermann 06-13-2021 10:39 AM

Great AAR but horrible graphics, sorry. You don't know the graphics mod for WITP AE?

Without mods:

With mods:

Advice: press F6 to hide those horrible hexagons.

Molon Labe 06-13-2021 01:00 PM

21 December 1941
This isn't a war, it's a slaughter.

Pearl Harbor
My DDs retreated to harbor, making a few ASW attacks before the sun came up. We came up empty.

Lacking dive bombers, I rallied my medium and heavy bomber squadrons for an attack on the Kido Butai. We located them near Lihue (where they're landing yet more troops) and made our attack. Our escorting fighters didn't shoot down a single Zero. Our bombers didn't score a single hit. Six fighters, 11 A-20 Havocs, 15 B-18 Bolos, and 2 B-17 were shot down (and that's not counting damaged bombers crash landing at base).

The enemy did not launch any airstrikes.

There are a lot of troops being committed to Lihue: at least a division, plus engineers and a base force.

I'm going to try to rotate my best pilots into Pearl.

A Dutch sub I had ordered to try to sink troops ships around Mersing and Kuantan was severely damaged in a depth charge attack.

Sweeps over Singapore claimed another two Buffalos.

My torpedo bombers attempted an attack against the ships in Kuantan, but apparently lost their escorts. I lost 15 Vildebeests and 5 Swordfish with nothing to show for it. This effectively takes the torpedo bomber squadrons off the board.

My medium bombers attacked troops in Mersing, Zeroes defended and took out a Buffalo and a Hudson. Enemy casualties on the ground were light.

My southern B-17 squadron attacked the port at Babeldoab and found the damaged battleship Ise there, hitting it with two 500lb bombs.

I tried to hit San Fernando airfield again, but they did a much better job defending it. They shot down a P-35, 2 P-40s and a B-17. Damage to the airfield was very light, looks like we go at least one bomber on the ground.

-USS Tambor sank another cargo ship in the Korea Strait. I now have other subs entering the convoy routes for the northern home islands.
-Japan captured Naaru island
-A task force of destroyer-minelayers encountered a damaged enemy destroyer at Guadalcanal (probably the other damaged DD from Luganville). They shot it up pretty good, but it looks like they forgot to do what they came for...
-CVL-based Kates took out another 4 minesweepers in the Java Sea, and attacked Kendari airfield. At Ambon, their marines began their assault, destroying defensive fortifications.

Air losses were 90 to 11 today. Losing 90 in a day is my worst daily loss. His low daily loss is 10.

Molon Labe 06-13-2021 01:01 PM


Originally Posted by Lugermann (Post 2752359)
Great AAR but horrible graphics, sorry. You don't know the graphics mod for WITP AE?

Without mods:

With mods:

Advice: press F6 to hide those horrible hexagons.

It could use the upgrade. Where did you get it? I never saw that on the Matrix forums.

Lugermann 06-13-2021 02:37 PM


Originally Posted by Molon Labe (Post 2752377)
It could use the upgrade. Where did you get it? I never saw that on the Matrix forums.

Kamikaze Bellum Pacifica Map.

Install it with JGSME.

Do not install the Extended version of the map mod.

If you want you can see mi AAR “Guadalcanal” with this mod (and others). In spanish, sorry.

Molon Labe 06-13-2021 03:39 PM


Originally Posted by Lugermann (Post 2752393)
Kamikaze Bellum Pacifica Map.

Install it with JGSME.

Do not install the Extended version of the map mod.

If you want you can see mi AAR “Guadalcanal” with this mod (and others). In spanish, sorry.

Thanks, I'll look into the upgrade.

mapuc 06-13-2021 04:42 PM

This strategic game WITP AE looks very interesting it is a little to expensive for my pocket though. I hope it's worth the money.


Chazz 06-13-2021 07:08 PM

I play WITPAE often, it appeals to my love of details and the micromanagement.

I usually play as the Allies vs AI, it's just too bad that the AI plans are so weak, though I have learned to use my CV's in hit and run raids and I NEVER risk having a go with the IJN carriers until well into '42.

I haven't played as the Japanese yet, and understand it to be far more complicated- perhaps I need to know where the tutorials are?

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