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Matrix Game's War in the Pacific, and my epic tale...

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  • Matrix Game's War in the Pacific, and my epic tale...

    Because of some heartless Polish bast*ard I picked up a copy of Gary Grigsbyís War in the Pacific, Admiralís Edition.

    WiP, as I shall refer to the $80 worth of sadist software, is a turn-based computer game of WW2 in the PTO. You control virtually every ship, from BBs down to wooden-hulled sub chasers and landing craft. Ground units are usually battalion or regiment, with a few divisions in India. Chinese forces are much larger. Air units are organized in squadrons. Each turn is one day. The playing area is the entire area that Imperial Japan affected or threatened, to include India and Australia, and western North America.

    The level of detail is exacting. You can examine a battalion to see how many men, guns, and vehicles are operational, and of what type. Likewise with ships. Individual pilots are tracked for kills & experience. At the same time, the computer does all the legwork, so you really donít need to pay much attention to this on the whole, although it can be useful at critical junctures, or when choosing which of two units to send. ToE updates and ship refits/conversions are facted in for the historical dates.

    This is the key: so much of the game is cunningly automated that once past the first couple turns, you should have your forces more or less organized so that keeping on top of things is not really that hard. My biggest difficulty was keeping the two-letter codes for ship types straight.

    Given the distances involved and the one-day turns, you have to embrace the rhythm of the game. Want an airstrip on Buna, for example? Well, assign ships to a task force in a port where you have deployable units. (the computer will do it for you, but I find it best to handpick). A couple mouse clicks orders it to load a construction battalion and supplies, and designated the target. Then you wait. The ships have to load, sail, unload (slow going over a beach), the engineers must get organized, and then they have to carve out the airfield. Assuming the IJN doesnít object to the undertaking.

    Thus you have to make a plan, and stick to it. The construction unit and cargo ship are king in the game, and supply & fuel are the lifeblood. You have to plan to assemble troops, support units, supplies, and fuel at a place with a good harbor, sort them into task forces, and set them forth. The computer makes it surprisingly easy to execute; the planning, on the other hand, must come from you. It can be frustrating when the AI trumps you, but the satisfaction of seeing an operation come together is substantial.

    A note here on fog of war and AI. The fog of war is complete: you only see the enemy your troops see, and they can make inaccurate reports. On the positive side, recon aircraft are plentiful and once you assign a squadron to a base the computer deals with the daily patrols. The good news is that the AI operates under the same rules. The AI is cunning; it wonít (except when caught out by FoW) mount an operation into unsustainable odds. It also works very well at preparation of logistics and bases.

    Now that Iíve briefed you upon the game, I plan to post a running narrative of my efforts in the grand campaign game, as it takes the computer about ten minutes to process each turn.
    Last edited by Arnold J Rimmer; 15 Mar 13, 20:54.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

  • #2
    I have chosen a grand campaign, December 8 1941 through the end of the war; I will command the Allies. Pearl Harbor occurred as it did historically; all forces involved have the historical levels of equipment, manpower, and logistics. Both sides have the initial force positioning of 12-8-41; thereafter it is up to me and the AI what will happen.

    I am going to break this down by areas to make this thrilling tale easier to manage.

    8-31 December 1941
    CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me. The IJA rampages as it wills, but the difficulty in protecting its logistics and the sheer size means that even the massive forces deployed are insufficient. The IJA tunnels through sand.
    Hong Kong is screwed. I evacuate what I can and prep the rest for a heroic stand. It falls on schedule.
    I strip Malaya and Burma of ships; Combat vessels got to Colombo, logistical vessels go to Colombo and Calcutta. I adjust the dispositions of the forces in Malaya and Burma for maximum defensibility. I am badly hampered by a severe shortage of troop transports. I have plenty of cargo vessels, but little means of moving troops. While the Indian forces are large, they are scattered all across India, and only a few can be deployed outside the country. I commit what resources I have to fortifying and developing Port Blair, Little Adaman, and Trinket islands as a barrier to IJN forays into the Indian Ocean.
    Singapore is under siege by the end of the month.

    Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: Military and merchant ships are scattered about in peacetime configurations. A severe shortage of troop transports and almost no effective air cover leaves me with few options. I order all combat vessels to Darwin, and distribute merchant shipping to Australia. I reconfigure the ground troops for defense, and hope to launch my motley collection of warships at Darwin at an IJN invasion force. The IJA has tough going in places, and despite the crappy torpedoes my subs do some damage.

    Australia and the Solomon Islands: Very little of ANZAC forces can be deployed off the home islands. Naturally, with a shortage of troops comes a sufficiency of transports. I add some artillery to Port Moresby, send an Aussie battalion overland to Buna, and occupy Milne Bay, Rossel Island, and Nourma. IJN activity low.

    Southern Pacific: I send ships to Pearl, and work to fortify Canton and Johnson Islands. No IJN activity.

    Western Pacific: Pearl Harbor is the primary forward base in the pacific; San Francisco handles the automatic logistics, LA serves as a collection point for deployable air assets, and San Diego serves as a collection point for deployable ground units. I rush construction, AA, and Marine defense units to Midway. Wake, Guam, and other histroical targets fall.



    January 1942
    CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
    Singapore remains under siege. Most of Malaya mopped up by IJA.
    I begin massive build-up of Indian forces along border.

    Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: My force at Darwin is assembled and repaired, but the IJN use their task forces like a rapier, and without any CVs I cannot find an opportunity to attack any invasion transports. The IJA captures many points of significance.

    Australia and the Solomon Islands: Noumea building up nicely, and I send forces to Luganville, to Lunga in Guadalcanal, and to Tulagi.

    Southern Pacific: Canton island builds up its defenses.

    Western Pacific: The IJN sorties near Midway, but I refuse to be drawn out. No invasion force is sent.
    Last edited by Arnold J Rimmer; 15 Mar 13, 14:48.
    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

    Comment


    • #3
      February 1942
      CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
      Singapore falls. Malaya mopped up by IJA.
      Burma invaded in force, Rangoon under siege.
      The crisis further south leads me to order all heavy RN vessels south to Sydney while the path through Java is still open. This means diverting Indian Army troops to port defense, but there are few options at this point.

      Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: The Japanese hold all ports of significance. There are still considerable Allied ground forces at large, but the Japanese have complete control of the air and thus its impossible to supply or evacuate.
      I withdraw the naval units in Darwin to Sydney in response to the growing crisis in New Guina and the Soloman Islands.

      Australia and the Solomon Islands: The Japanese hit the northern coast of NG hard. Air units at Buna & Port Moresby score some hits, but the ports fall. Buna is invaded. IJN forces come down the Slot and Tulagi is assaulted; it holds, and IJA units take heavy losses. Apparently the IJN failed to accurately estimate the garrison. Tulagi falls to a second assault later in the month. Lunga on Guadalcanal is shelled, but even as the enemy was coming down the Slot the airfield become operational and Dauntless dive bombers deployed there. The garrison is far from complete, but the Japanese do not invade. They land forces at Tassfaranga, a secondary port on the NE edge of the island. I lose several transports and DDs keeping supplies coming in. The IJN suffers slightly heavier losses.
      The concentration of naval forces at Sydney give me a CV, CVL, two BBs, and BC, six CAs, plus supporting vessels.

      Southern Pacific: The IJN seizes Baker Island and the Ellice Island chain, threatening the supply line between the US and ANZAC.

      Western Pacific: I have 3 CVs and 5 BBs at Pearl, but the IJN is sortieing near Midway and pushing south to cut the supply line, and Iím not sure which is the main push.



      March 1942
      CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
      Rangoon under siege.

      Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: The Japanese continue to mop up, but there are few reports of heavy naval units.

      Australia and the Solomon Islands: Buna and Milne Bay is successfully invaded. Rossel island still does not support an airstrip. The Japanese abandon Tulagi, unwilling to risk transports. I re-garrison Tulagi.
      The concentration of naval forces at Sydney give me a CV, CVL, four BBs, a BC, plus supporting vessels.

      Southern Pacific: I send the 8th Marines to retake Baker Island, supported by four BBs; the effort fails, but I sink an IJN CA. A second effort later in the month by two Army regiments secures the island.

      Western Pacific: I have 5 CVs and 5 BBs at Pearl by the end of the month. The IJN keeps approaching Midway, but I donít take the bait. The island is heavily garrisoned, fortified, and equipment with a battalion of 155mm coastal guns. It can last long enough for a CV task force to react out of Pearl, so for now I wait and see.
      Last edited by Arnold J Rimmer; 15 Mar 13, 18:26.
      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice AAR!

        Thanks for posting.
        "The blade itself incites to deeds of violence".

        Homer


        BoRG

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        • #5
          Post for easy future reference mostly - I love AAR's keep writing and playing till you can't no more
          High Admiral Snowy, Commander In Chief of the Naval Forces of The Phoenix Confederation.

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          • #6
            Did you 'Sir Robin' ?
            Кто там?
            Это я - Почтальон Печкин!
            Tunis is a Carthigenian city!

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            • #7
              Thanks for starting this AAR, Arnold. I used to be a big fan of Gary Grigsbyís games, but haven't played any of them in awhile. This could help persuade me to give War in the Pacific, Admiralís Edition a try.
              "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stryker 19K30 View Post
                Did you 'Sir Robin' ?
                Sadly, yes.

                The FoW is really a bitch-I have roughly three decent air combat task forces in service to secure all of the Pacific. They are safe in port because of massive land air power.

                I don't dare committ them unless I know for certain what I'm up against, or a truely high value target is threatened.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Really appreciate the AAR and the effort you put into it, keep them coming.
                  An 18th century Imagi nation blog set in England/

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                  • #10
                    thank you for posting this i find AAR's highly interesting.. i don't have this game amongst my matrix collection, am a bit overwhelmed by the scale and complexity.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by awen View Post
                      thank you for posting this i find AAR's highly interesting.. i don't have this game amongst my matrix collection, am a bit overwhelmed by the scale and complexity.
                      Its not really that complex. The first couple turns are a bit challenging, because you've got stuff scattered all over. But now I do a turn in five or six minutes for a routine turn. The mass of data avalible is there, but you don't need to check it-its just there if you need to know.
                      Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        April 1942
                        CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
                        Rangoon fell on the 2nd. Heavy fighting spread northwards through Burma. I am badly hampered because the road/rail network is exclusively N-S; the IJA moves through the jungle E-W easily, and my forces do not. Therefore Iím just building roadblocks and then getting flanked & falling back. I am conducting a fighting withdrawal to and up the west coast highway in an effort to get the army to India. Malanday is captured at the end of the month.
                        More troops and planes are moving into the border area, and the construction of airstrips and defenses is progressing. I am badly hampered by a shortage of aircraft, and much of what I have are inferior designs piloted by inexperienced aircrew. Civil unrest in northern India forced me to move several battalions into that region as city garrisons.

                        Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: Only nine Dutch and six US outposts hold out, none in a position to be supported.

                        Australia and the Solomon Islands: Rossel island finally gets its airstrip operational. The Buna garrison retreats to Port Moresby, and I add two regiments of RAA artillery to the garrison just before the IJA arrives, coming overland to lay siege; luckily I have invested construction units and materials in defense since December. More Japanese troops are brought in by ship. I dispatch a task force of a CV, CVL, two BBs, one BC, six CAs, three CLs, and six DDs to Port Moresby to try and take some heat off the port. The IJ transports flee when the task force is spotted, so the mission is a success.
                        I occupied Tassfaranga on the N coast of Guadalcanal.
                        Darwin is pounded by carrier aircraft. The garrison is sizeable, and there is no signs of an invasion fleet, which is good as the Aussie rail net is terrible.
                        Based at Sydney I have two CVs, a CVL, four BBs, a BC, six CA, plus supporting vessels. Fuel is extremely short in the ANZAC area, making me very reluctant to deploy the big units. I have tankers en route from the US, but the IJN push south is really slowing down my supply line.

                        Southern Pacific: The IJN attempts to re-take Baker Island, and is repulsed, although this badly disrupts the defense work on the island. Canton island is invaded, but the assault fails; as my pilots are less experienced and our planes are inferior (p-36 Mohawks), aircraft losses are high, but the PBYs recuse most pilots. I dispatch a squadron of P-40s as replacements. Marine Raiders operating off of APDs retake the northern-most of the Ellice Islands. A second Marine Battalion is lost attempting to secure a second island-the IJN is pouring men and ships into this region, forcing me to do the same. I am now having to fortify, develop, and garrison at least six island in the region.

                        Western Pacific: I have 5 CVs and 5 BBs at Pearl.
                        Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          1-15 May 1942
                          CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
                          Burma has become a rout; the IJAís greater mobility has forced me to focus solely upon extracting as much of the army as possible. None have made it out of Burma yet, and the loss of heavy equipment and artillery is substantial.
                          Port Blair was seized by the IJN; the shortage of transports and poor quality air units made it impossible to hold. This represents the last barrier to the IJN into the Indian Ocean. The heaviest ship I have in the region is a CL. The only positive note is that the Indian rail net is excellent, and a number of experienced brigades have arrived from Europe. I have also received three battalions of coastal artillery which should come in handy.

                          Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: The Japanese have this area sewed up.

                          Australia and the Solomon Islands: Fighting is extremely heavy at Port Moresby. I have moved construction and aircraft support units to Coen, Cooktown, and Portland Roads to build air strips, either to support operations in New Guinia or to act as a final line of defense if the port falls. As they are not connected by rail they are extremely vulnerable. Darwin has been hit by several more carrier strikes.
                          Lunga has received a squadron of PT boats, which should be useful in The Slot. So far, the IJN has limited itself to raids into the area, and I continue to build up forces and supplies.
                          Based at Sydney I have two CVs, a CVL, five BBs, a BC, seven CAs, plus supporting vessels. Fuel remains extremely short in the ANZAC area, making me very reluctant to deploy the big units. I have tankers en route from the US, but the IJN push south is really slowing down my supply line.

                          Southern Pacific: The IJN has been active around Baker and Canton Islands, and I have had to commit more troops and planes to both islands.

                          Western Pacific: I have 5 CVs and 6 BBs at Pearl. No activity around Midway-it looks like the southern push is the real move. I am nerving myself for a sortie south, probably a BB-heavy force as there are no Japanese land-based air in the area, and I have land-based air throught the region.

                          Losses to date: Not counting the losses at Pearl Harbor (the scenario started on 12-8-41), the Allies have lost 1669 aircraft and 369 ships; of the latter, the largest is the CA Northampton. The Japanese have lost 93 ships, the largest being two CAs, the Suzuya and the Ashigara.

                          Observation: The Japanese have better aircraft and more experienced aircrew, as well as what appears to be sufficient cargo and transport shipping. Where they appear to be lacking is in construction and air support units. For example, Shortland fell not long after I moved into Guadalcanal. I currently have substantial airstrips on Lunga and Tulagi, with another under construction. This ability to exploit new areas may be critical-I have an amplitude of construction and aircraft support units.
                          Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            16-30 May 1942
                            CBI Theater: China requires no real input from me.
                            The rout in Burma continues; it is Napoleonís retreat from Moscow set to jungle music. No troops have made it to safety.
                            Unrest in India requires four more battalions sent back for garrison duty.
                            The IJN hit Dago Garcia; it is a small force, and the garrison held long enough for a brigade from India to arrive and save the day, but that brigade will have to remain. Secondary demands have thus pulled the better part of a division from my forces building at the border. The attack on DG was a terrible blow-had it successed my supply line to the Cape would have been cut.

                            Java, Indonesia, and the Philippines: The Japanese have this area sewed up.

                            Australia and the Solomon Islands: Fighting is extremely heavy at Port Moresby. Cookstown and Darwin have been hit by several carrier strikes.
                            Tulagi is hit by a small force, either an undersized invasion or a raid; either case, it was repulsed. I have taken Munda, but even with P-38s flying long CAP from Lunga it has been expensive in ships. Itís a desperation move, but Shortland still has no airstrip, and I need to take pressure off Port Moresby.
                            Late in this period several IJN CV and BB task forces raged through the area, sinking many small & merchant craft, in support of amphib landings at Port Morseby, Rossel Island, and Tulagi. Fighting continues at all three places, but the two islands are holding. The high point was when Rossel Island Devastator dive bombers sank a IJN light cruiser.
                            Based at Sydney I have three CVs, a CVL, five BBs, a BC, seven CAs, plus supporting vessels. Convoys from Pearl have finally gotten through and while my fuel reserve is still small, I can operate so long as I am careful.

                            Southern Pacific: The IJN has been active around Baker and Canton; Baker was hit by two raids or small invasions, both of which were repelled. I mounted a large-scale raid on Tarawa, correctly guessing that the IJN CVs and BBs were further west. The defenses were much stronger than I expected, and I had underestimated the range of the Japanese medium bombers. My raid was repulsed, and I lost a CA, but this taught me a great deal.

                            Western Pacific: I have 5 CVs and 7 BBs at Pearl. No activity around Midway-it looks like the southern push is the real move. I have received the first CVE, the Long Island.

                            Losses to date: Not counting the losses at Pearl Harbor (the scenario started on 12-8-41), the Allies have lost 1829 aircraft and 417 ships; of the latter, the largest are two CAs, the Northampton and the Chicago. The Japanese have lost 2033 aircraft and 111 ships, the largest being two CAs, the Suzuya and the Ashigara.
                            Last edited by Arnold J Rimmer; 17 Mar 13, 12:42.
                            Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              seems like you are holding it together if only just, and your losses will be replaced much faster than the Japanese ones.

                              Excellent game thus far.
                              An 18th century Imagi nation blog set in England/

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