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GrogHeads Reviews Burma Road for Order of Battle Pacific

A worthy new addition to the Order of the Hex ~

Avery Abernethy, 16 September 2017

Inducted for impressive modeling of a wide range of military missions: revolt suppression, irregular forces to large scale battles.

Like most Americans interested in World War Two in the Pacific, my reading has focused on the US Navy, Marines, and Army operations. However, Japan focused more than half of her resources and the majority of her Army and Air Force on land operations in China and SouthEast Asia. Although the Japanese Navy, Air Force and Merchant Marine were eventually destroyed by the United States’ military, Japan held onto most of her gains on mainland Asia to the end of World War 2.

Likewise, wargames have focused far more on Europe and to a lesser extent the conflict between Japan and the United States in the Pacific. Burma Road is the second addition to Order of Battle World War 2 focusing on land warfare in Asia. In Burma Road the player takes the role of commander of British Commonwealth forces in Singapore, Thailand, Burma and India. The scenarios reflect the huge contribution of Indian, Australian and New Zealand forces. Like earlier releases in the series, Burma Road is turn based IGO-UGO.

GrogHeads Reviews Pulp Cthulhu and The Two-Headed Serpent

A two-for-one look at the horror RPG ~

Avery Abernethy, 13 September 2017

Pulp Cthulhu is a rules supplement to the Call of Cthulhu 7th edition. Pulp Cthulhu adds weird science, psychic skills and much stronger player characters to the traditional Call of Cthulhu system. The rules focus more on pulp action and less on quiet investigation. The player characters have far more points to work with when building characters and have pulp talents allowing players to survive more deadly encounters.

Pulp Cthulhu resembles the “Indiana Jones” school of fighting the mythos. Characters have more talents, heroic archetypes, and a lot more fighting skills than your average Call of Cthulhu game. A major premise is fighting against cultist masterminds with lots of low level “mook” cannon fodder. Multiple secret cult societies are suggested to oppose the players.

GrogHeads Analyzes Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Some thoughts on strategy for your naval battles ~

Avery Abernethy, 20 August 2017

Avoid purchasing battleships.

I have several strategy suggestions gleaned from three completed games. Avoid purchasing battleships. They are slower than cruisers and their firepower against surface ships are not worth the extra price. But the obsolete battleship you start with at Danzig is remarkably effective as an anti-aircraft platform. It is helpful to keep her alive. You need to stay with the Deutchland cruiser class for two reasons. First, they are less expensive. Second, they have a one hex greater firing range than the Admiral Hipper class. The extra firing range is much more important than slightly higher damage.

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Battles in the North Sea at the Atlantic rage through WWII ~

Avery Abernethy, 19 August 2017

After the successful invasion of Norway in 1940, German naval combat was largely limited to submarine warfare, commerce raiders and costal defense. Order of Battle WW2: Kriegsmarine is the fifth supplement in the Order of Battle series. The Kriegsmarine single-player game puts you in the role of the commander in chief of the German Navy and provides extensive what-if options to WW2 German Naval operations. I purchased Kriegsmarine and played it through three times.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 4

The culmination of the raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls ~

Avery Abernethy, 30 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

On Turn 13 the Red Task Force air wings start the attack on the last major objective. It will be a tough nut to crack. There are at least three squadrons of Japanese planes including a highly dangerous torpedo squadron. My carrier will have to stand off at least two flight turns away to the East to avoid being hit.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 3

The raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls is almost done ~

Avery Abernethy, 28 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

A lot happened on Turn 10. First, I received two US submarine units to the far Southwest. They spotted a Jap merchant. Subs have fairly damaging attacks but also take several turns to reload after firing.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 2

Airboy’s raid on the Japanese, early in the war, rolls on ~

Avery Abernethy, 26 July 2017

As introduced last episode – This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign. 

 

Objective Black 1 was hit by my air wing on Turn 2. The aircraft were on the ground and two Jap ships were at the island. Unfortunately, there is also a Jap coastal battery on the island. My air groups immediately sink one Jap ship and strafe the parked planes. My carrier must stand off until the coastal battery is taken care of.

 

By turn 4 the US Navy in TF Black has sunk two ships and destroyed the coastal battery. My ships can now shell the Jap planes on the ground and blow up the oil depot.

 

Meanwhile, TF Red’s combat air patrol spotted two Japanese merchants in-route to target Red 1. My air wings heavily damaged the Jap merchants while my two ships sailed closer to Red 1.

 

An overview of the situation is easily obtained by the game.

The distances are so great that the overview feature in the game is very welcome.

Objective Red 1 was really easy. No coastal gun, no anti-aircraft and no oil depot. My carrier air wing did the job really fast.

Objective Black 1 has been largely liquidated. The coastal battery, the AA gun and the Jap planes are all destroyed. My ships will shell the oil depot as they pass on their Southern heading towards objective Black 2. The dive bomber and torpedo plane landed to refuel and reinforce. My F4F Wildcat refueled last turn and is heading South to recon the next objective.

 

Objective Red 2 is going to be a lot harder. There is an airfield with Jap planes, an AA gun and an Oil Depot. My PT Boat will swoop in close to the island to bring the AA gun and any parked Jap planes under direct fire. The last Jap plane from Objective Red 1 was destroyed. Black Task Force is steaming South.

 

On Turn 8 my Red Task Force has liquidated the first target and is sailing West towards target Red 2. That is going smoothly. Black Task Force destroyed the Oil Depot and is heading South. Unfortunately, Objective Black 2 is even tougher than Black 1. There is a light cruiser, a heavy AA unit, a merchant ship and an unknown number of Jap planes as scouted by my F4F. It will take one carrier air wing, two destroyers and a cruiser a while to eliminate this target.

 

 

Turn 9 shows how my US battle plan is starting to unravel. I sent one destroyer from the Black Task Force due West in order to link up with the Red Task Force around the last objective. The Jap Light Cruiser steamed North at full speed and is attempting to engage the carrier with the Black Task Force. Target Red 2 is going to be easy meat. My PT boat damaged the Jap Squadron on the ground. My F4F did additional damage. I should be able to shoot down the Jap squadron next turn. The PT boat can easily take care of the light AA gun and my ships can blow up the Oil Depot as they sail West. So far, the Red Task Force is getting the easy opposition and the Black Task Force is engaging a lot more units.

How does the battle wrap up?  Come back and see later…


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Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 1

After Pearl Harbor, it’s time for the US to strike back ~

Avery Abernethy, 24 July 2017

After the Japanese destroyed most of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the US Naval Command and President Roosevelt were under tremendous pressure to position the US Carriers into a defensive position. Some argued the carriers should defend Hawaii. Others suggested pulling the carriers back to protect the US West Coast. After taking command of the Pacific Fleet on December 31, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was responsible for how the US Fleet would be deployed.

Instead of a strict defensive deployment, Nimitz used the remaining US ships centered on the aircraft carriers to both ferry planes to Pacific outposts and also to launch raids against the Japanese. The decision to launch raids against Japan was a very ballsy move by Nimitz. The most famous raid was by Doolittle’s group from the Carrier Hornet. But a more extensive raid against the Gilbert Islands came first.

This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign.