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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.

Tuesday Interview – Luke Hughes of Burden of Command

The main brain behind the forthcoming Burden of Command has a chat with GrogHeads ~

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2017

When I hear “Burden of Command” I start to flash back to my days as a company commander, and being buried under a pile of 15-6 investigations, dental cat-IVs, and guys who couldn’t qualify with their personal weapons.  I’m assuming the newly-announced “Burden of Command” game isn’t a game of competitive administrative duties.  Give us the thumbnail insight of what we can expect in the new game, and why this one is more focused on the ‘burden’ of command than other similar games on the marketplace?

Damn, I can run but now I can’t hide.  A real company commander, I’d love to know when and where! (ed note: nothing exciting – it was a National Guard HHC while the rest of the battalion was mobilized)

Now you are so right, real command is a lot of administrative tedium puncture by rare moments of terror.  However, maybe not such a great game. Though the game “Papers Please” might teach us differently.   What you can expect in BoC is not only the command and control decisions you associate with classic wargames (directing fire and maneuver, and the 4 F’s: find, fix, flank, and finish) but the morale oriented decisions we might associate with a classic tactical board game (ASL, Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, Fields of Fire).

Finally, and more unusually, you must take responsibility for the “preserve” decisions around the men’s physical and psychological welfare on and off the battlefield. They will look to you for the right mindset to adopt in the face of war. Novelist Karl Marlantes, who dropped out of his Rhodes Scholarship to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam wrote “What It is Like to Go to War.” He argued that, like it or not, when you go to war you enter a spiritual journey because you are in the presence of death. You have entered the “Temple of Mars” as he so eloquently put it. Whether or not you or your superiors have prepared you for that experience, and for making life or death decisions is a different question.  But the burden will be yours, prepared or not.

In sum, leadership in BoC is “Direct, Motivate, and Preserve.” And the burdens are many.

Vietnam ‘65 vs Afghanistan ‘11 – Two sides of the same COIN?

How do the two counterinsurgency games stack up? ~

Boggit, 10 June 2017

Developed by Every Single Soldier and published by Matrix/Slitherine

The opening screen summarising the game parameters. A player can tweak these in the options screen.

A couple of years ago I did an article on Every Single Soldier’s debut release – Vietnam ‘65. At the time I thought with a bit of tweaking and updating of the game engine they could make a decent Afghanistan game, which is exactly what they have done. So what is different and how does it play out?

 

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part III

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 7 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

The end of the battle, and the fall of the Philippines?

Turn 11, Part 2

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part II

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 6 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Continuing yesterday’s battle…

Turn 5 – achieved first objective

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part I

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 5 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Terrain before main troop deployment

Following up the success at Pearl Harbor the Japanese invaded many areas in the Pacific.  The largest concentration of US ground forces were in the Philippines.  The Japanese landed with huge forces after McArthur allowed almost his entire air force to be destroyed on the ground.  McArthur retreated southward towards the Bataan Peninsula.

Classic Reviews – Revisiting “Secret of the Silver Blades”

Back to a classic Forgotten Realms setting ~

Avery Abernethy, 17 April 2017

Secret of the Silver Blades is the SSI Gold Box follow up to Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds. I recently replayed this on a modern computer and my thoughts are on playing this game in 2017, not 1990 when it was released.

I recently replayed this on a modern computer and my thoughts are on playing this game in 2017, not 1990 when it was released.

I enjoyed replaying Pool of Radiance and Curse of the Azure Bonds. Both had an interesting overall plot line that engaged me and kept me going through the long series of battles and leveling up my characters. Regretfully, Secret of the Silver Blades has such a poor plot that I could never really engage with it.

In Silver Blades your party (either imported from Azure Bonds or newly rolled-up) teleports naked to village. The village made a sacrifice to a teleporter and your group is hopefully the answer to the prayers of the village. The small town gives your group some pretty nifty equipment. They also heal, identify your magic goodies, and provide basic equipment for free every time you come back to town.