TDDH: Dec IV 41: The Allies
Christmas in Manila
The turns move much faster when there is no naval movement, nothing to keep strict track of. During the next few turns, most of the navies will be called away to other areas, and this game may pick up speed.
I realize that the naval portion of the game is the nature of the beast, because the Japanese don’t appear on the beaches of Luzon. But it is time-consuming keeping track of not just what transport a given unit is on, but where it is going, how many movement points that transport has spent during various activities, how many movement points the unit itself may have left to spend after it is offloaded, and so on and so forth.
I’m one of those who is not big on naval activities. I don’t know how to use navies effectively, especially one that I feel doesn’t stand a chance against the enemy navy. That’s probably pretty obvious. Well, that’s probably why I never joined the navy. Maybe I should just go all hell-bent for leather with the US Navy, and what happens, happens. =)
The Filipinos are scheduled to receive 10 infantry replacement points on Luzon, but Baguio and Tarlac have fallen, so those four replacement points have been eliminated. The remaining six points (Malolos, Lucena and Batangas) are in close enough proximity via rail that they can be lumped together. The Filipinos also have an additional 2.25 replacement points due to combat losses, bringing the total to 8.25 replacement points, enough to replace the 11d infantry brigade that was destroyed last turn (cost: 7 replacement points). The Americans have 1/2 infantry replacement point from the destroyed coastal artillery at Olongapo.
Several of the islands, Leyte, Cebu, Negros, Panay and Mindanao receive two infantry battalions each in lieu of replacement points.
The Americans only have two operational squadrons left on Luzon, a P-40E fighter squadron based out of Corregidor, and a B-17C bomber squadron based out of Manila. The Filipinos have a P-26B fighter squadron at Malolos.
The supply check shows every unit is in supply.
Manila has two Filipino construction battalions (4 movement points). It takes 2 MP to repair a hit to an airfield/strip, but since these are battalions, it takes them twice as long as a construction regiment to complete a task. Thus, it takes a battalion 4 MP to repair a hit at an airfield. These two construction units each repair a hit at Nichols Airfield. At Lucena, there are two more construction units, one Filipino and one American that rail to Manila. Only the American 802 construction battalion has enough movement points remaining to repair Nielson Field (4 movement). This is the first time since the game started that these fields have been undamaged. Unfortunately for the Allies, there is only 1 operational squadron present (the B-17Cs).
To the north, the Filipino combat engineers(301r) spend 4 of their movement points to repair the airstrip at Cabanatuan. Again, the airstrip is repaired, but there are no operational air units available.
Allied units north of the Pampanga River pull south and surround the Kure SNLF and 16th light infantry regiments, pinning them against the Pampanga River. The Allies see an opportunity to do some damage to the Japanese troops making their way from Olongapo. The 21d infantry brigade (Filipino), and the US 26PSr cavalry battalion retake Tarlac from the Japanese as they move in for the attack on the Japanese marines. The American armor cadre and the Philippines Division move just south of San Jose, also to attack the Japanese forces pushing out of Clark Field.
The Filipino 41d infantry brigade moves by rail to Cabanatuan, then by road/trail to Baler Bay, where they are to anchor the left flank of the Allied line. The Filipino 1st infantry division moves north to the banks of the Pampanga River, just south of Cabanatuan.
Singular combat this turn, as the Allied forces move to crush the Japanese marine and light forces against the banks of the Pampanga River. Odds are not great, but not too bad at 3:1. There are no negative DRMs, so the chances of success are pretty good.
The result is a 1.
Attacker Stopped (No Effect).
What do the Allies have to do to have some success in combat?
The odds were good odds. An 83% chance that something bad would happen to the Japanese, with a 50% chance that it would come at no cost to the Allies.
But the Japanese fought harder than the Allies anticipated.
Twice the Japanese have fended off the Allies, and now the Allies are in a precarious position, with the Japanese army moving north from Olongapo through Clark Field, and the 48th Mt. Division moving in from the north. Much of the Allied force can move during exploitation, but the Filipino units don’t qualify for exploitation movement.
The resource point that was spent for attack supply was in Manila.
This phase makes for a hard decision for the Allies. There is still a gaping hole in the Allied line, and the Japanese are closing fast. The 1st PGp light armored cadre is sent to the hills near the headwaters of Pampanga River to close that gap. They are not overly strong, but they do get a DRM advantage from the rough terrain, and full AECD (-2 DRM against any Japanese attack). Let me be a little clearer about this. Light armor only has the capability of 1/2 AECD (Armor Effects on Combat – Defense). The category 1/2 up to full gets a -2 DRM.
The Philippines Division crosses the Pampanga and takes up position at one of the most vulnerable points in the line at Cabantuan. To the south, artillery slogs its way into the swamps in order to support the Filipino 31d infantry brigade, again at another of the most vulnerable points in the line.
Finally, comes the tough decision. The US cavalry, AA and a slew of artillery units can move during exploitation, however, the Filipino 21d brigade cannot. If they are all left in place, they are done for as a fighting force, but may be able to take some Japanese units with them, but they will be out of supply. If the units that can exploit move, it weakens both, but gives the US units the opportunity to possibly escape across the river, and keeps both stacks in supply.
Taking supply into consideration, the orders are given for the US units to move. Maybe the Filipinos will get lucky and the Japanese will get a poor die roll and allow them to escape.
The defense is set up (mostly). I’ll have to see how the Japanese react.