Author Topic: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013  (Read 7832 times)

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British_Mike

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Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« on: February 19, 2013, 12:53:54 PM »
Dear all,

John and I are a good few turns into a Pacific theatre playtest. House rules being tried include:

First Strike: One rule we are playtesitng is a prototype addition to the rules called the "First Strike" rule. This is basically an extension of the idea that ships shoot in order of precedence - Battleship, Cruiser, Destroyer - and rules that the side whose air struck first in an air-sea combat get to apply their effects to the enemy before receiving retaliatory air strikes back. Hence, score a Return or a Damage/Sink on an enemy carrier with a First Strike, they can't shoot back at your fleet with any embarked planes. The First Strike does not apply to attacks on targets in port. The idea of this is to give some advantage to mounting the first strike offensive actions that characterized the Pacific. I'm trying to tweak the naval comb at so that it more accurately resembles the nimble cut and thrust rather than two huge lumpy fleets shadowing each other.

Starting oil: We're playing with both sides starting with 13 points of "free" pre-war oil chits - in Japan and at Pearl. We are also letting these oil reserves be attacked just the same way that Strat Warfare / Port Interdiction damage is done. I figure that this gives the Jap the ability to split his air between the ships and the oil at Pearl if they want to think longer term. It opens up new targeting options for both sides as the war goes on, more flex opening moves by both sides, etc.

Jap Replenisher Fueling from Dutch East Indies: This is fun: we're going to test only allowing the Japs to load replenishers (except for the initial pre-war reserve) from the Dutch East Indies oil spots, up to the max value of those spots. The replenisher can load up from all three areas at the same time by sitting in the sea space between them. This represents the critical naval role at Dutch East Indies oil played in Jap naval fuelling situation.

Destroyers also have Initiative of 4. This makes a lot of sense and might be fun. Think about it: if air and subs are Initiative 4, why not destroyers? This would let destroyers move with aircraft to do anti-sub snapfire. Likewise would let destroyers take up their screening functions around fleets, and thus complicate carrier raids (to get within launching distance you need to take on the destroyer screen first). This rule does not apply to Jap destroyers working as Transports.

Counting aircraft as well as ships against port supply limit. Take a breath: this is not as crazy as it sounds. First logically - if you put an aircraft unit on an island it counts towards supply, but if you put 1-2 of them on a carrier they are suddenly free?  Second in terms of shaping the game to be more historical and fun: one of the reason we get the stupid-big lumpy fleets (which are boring) is that you can plant a dozen-plus ships plus aircraft on the big ports. But in reality, one of the reasons naval battles of the Pacific were often small, involving only parts of each fleet, is that the fleets were dispersed across multiple bases. This is certainly why it was hard to mass the equivalent of five fleet carrier groups in one place. If we had to split our forces out to get them back on a port during NCM, the following turns would be way more fun - to pul together a big fleet action would require good commanders, good initiative rolls, etc.

OK, that's the house rules. Find attached the first turn(s) reportm taking us all the way up to the end of Pearl Harbour.

We're halfway through Spring 42 turn. More updates to come.

Cheers

British Mike

Wolf

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 11:11:40 AM »
The port capacity for ports is how many combat units may trace supply through them.  I cannot imagine that this also refers to how many naval units may base there, as well.  That would mean the smallest ports that show up on could base 5 Naval Units.

Now, since each unit actually represents a large group of ships (2-5 Battleships, 6-15 Cruisers, etc), it would make a certain amount of sense that a port could only support so many.  It could 1 for every 2 port capacity (rounded down) or 1 /4 or 1/5.  I think in my European Playtest, I will use the 1 for every 5 limit.  Using this limit, the Sea Zone north of Berlin could support 10 naval units, with Kiel, Rostock, Stettin, and Kolberg, with another 3 once Copenhagen falls.  This lends a lot of credence for "Spreading Fleets around".

Mark

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 03:18:46 PM »
That is a very interesting idea. . . I am wondering if it will work in the Pacific. . .

Wolf

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2013, 07:27:51 AM »
It works really nicely around Japan, and India, and Australia.  Japan, in particular, has several large ports feeding into the Sea of Japan, and especially into the sea zone south of Tokyo.

The one "Hiccup" is Pearl Harbor.  There are 5 naval units based there, and with the 1/5 ratio, one of them is "Out of Supply".

Couple of things could be done:  Use the more generous 1/4 or 1/2 ratio.  (if you use the 1/4 with a strict round down, 5pt = 1, 10 = 2, 15 = 3, 20 = 5).  Or, we could just increase Pearl to a 25

We could also only count "Warships", letting subs and transports get off free. (lighter fuel and Ammo requirements?).

One of the things I REALLY like about this, is it does prevent the enormous fleets.  You have to break them up, and spread them around to various ports.  It would require the Japanese to use their "Oilers" to make a heavy strike up into India.

I have a European Game scheduled for next week, and I will be testing the new naval rules, and a home rule or two of my own.  I will post back how things went...

British_Mike

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2013, 03:27:37 PM »
Guys,

here are the Spring, Summer, Autumn turn reports. Much happened but it condensed down into a few key themes. The main one being, holy crap, John invaded India and has gotten to the gates of Bombay.

Have a look. I am hanging on by my fingernails on mainland Asia and he is about to bring out the Yamato and a new fleet carrier at the end of Winter 42/43. I need to land a hit somewhere soon as he is still building with 50PP a turn.

The subs are coming.

Cheers

Mike

Yoper

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2013, 01:26:38 AM »
Are you sure I'm not running your Allied command?  :o

Seems like a comedy of errors only I could produce.  I won't even bring up Mark's name in this conversation.  Oops!!! ::) :P

British_Mike

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2013, 04:35:32 AM »
Well we played Winter 42/43 and I am still hanging on in India. We had a helluva dingdong in the Bay of Bengal. Two carrier battles, Japanese and US airborne drops. The result: John succeeded in keeping his forces in India in supply. We have another tough fighting season ahead of us with the Allies defending Bengal and both sides pumping masses of forces into the Indian theatre.

Took out a Jap fleet carrier and got their production down to 40 with the first serious economic damage of the war. That's a start...

Turn report to come once we get the non-com finished.

Mike

Citadel

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 09:25:50 AM »
MORE!!

British_Mike

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Re: Pacific 1939 start playtest - commenced Feb 2013
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 11:02:31 AM »
Citadel - sorry but no more playtest reports - time got too short and we started processing a lot of turns.

But the basic end to the story was that the situation reversed in India (literally) because we lost all India but re-invaded into Calcutta.

China began a slow painful breakout from its mountain redoubt.

The US won a string of air-sea victories but never quite eliminated the Imperial fleet due to energetic Japanese ship-building.

The US liberation of various islands - New Guinea, Philippines, Rabaul, etc, got up a great head of steam but just too late to avoid a victory point defeat. One or two nasty failed amphibs put us fatally off-schedule.