Cardboard Wars

War is the continuation of politics by other means

TDDH: Mar I 42


Japan

The Allies have abandoned Manila, and now only hold Marivelles and Olongapo on Luzon (Corregidor is part of Luzon, but not part of the mainland).  Forces that were tied down near Manila, the 53rd and 54th divisions, are now free to assist breaking down the Bataan defenses. Reinforcements coming up from the south to garrison for the city.

Olongapo is a rough terrain hex, meaning it has an intrinsic -1 DRM. The Allies have 13 defense factors in the city, and in order to get a 4:1 advantage, the Japanese need to muster at least 52 attack factors, which is relatively easy as a pair of divisions are now on their way. The American armor, however, will have no effect on the combat. There are a total of 5 1/2 REs in Olongapo, of which 3/4 are capable of armor effects. Doing the math, the Americans need .143 (minimum) in order to produce a -1 DRM, but they come in at .136, just under the required 1/7. There will just be the -1 DRM.

Marivelles is in a jungle rough hex. Taking it is going to be costly.

Personally I don’t get why artillery is prohibited from attacking into terrain they are prohibited from moving into (but there is a road in the hex). After all, they are lobbing shells into the next hex, not entering it. Does the road mean artillery can attack?

The Japanese are going to hold off exchanging VPs for replacements for now, knowing I can do it later if I need to. Although the Japanese are slightly ahead of schedule, the Allies have extracted a heavy price from them.

Weather

  • Zone 11: Clear/Calm
  • Zone 12: Clear/Calm
  • Zone 13: Rain/Calm

The weather seems to have calmed down quite a bit.

The noose tightens on Allied forces (click image to enlarge)

The noose tightens on Allied forces (click image to enlarge)

The naval groups at Singapore load their cargo and refuel, setting sail for the Philippines and reach the edge of the map after spending 17 MPs. Once it reaches the edge of the map, a raid on the airstrip at Corregidor is launched from Clark Field (two Zeros and a Ki-51). The goal is to take out the A-24s before they can threaten the convoy approaching from Singapore.

Heavy AA fire forces one of the Zeros to abort the mission and return to Clark, but the dive bombers stay on course and damage the strip, aborting the A-24s in the process. The convoy continues on, but does not reach port by the end of the phase.

IJA forces close in on Olongapo. The 4th infantry division moves into the Zambales mountains north of Olongapo, while the 16th corps moves south from San Fernando to join other IJA forces just north of Marivelles.

The 53rd division moves into Manila, finally destroying the remnants of the B-18s, P-26s and various transports, as well as the fortifications that were constructed. It continues its movement, along with the 54th division and 24Dr engineer battalion, to San Fernando, bringing them into position to attack Olongapo. However, they would be attacking across the southern spur of the Zambales, meaning their attack strength will be halved.

It all ends there. Since one part of the group is attacking across mountains, this incurs not only the half strength attack, but an additional -2 DRM penalty, and that applies to all attackers, because effects are cumulative. An attack at 3:1 (which this would be) with a -3 DRM would mean this would effectively be a 1:1 attack, and for attackers that is near suicide.

The best possible outcome for an attack like this would be a half exchange. The worst would be an attacker half eliminated, a result that would occur if the Japanese roll a 2 or less; and frankly, neither side has been on a hot streak when it comes to rolling high numbers this game. That outcome would be disastrous, so this is not an acceptable risk (this from the guy who occasionally takes the insane risk).

Troops from Singapore landing at Batangas (click image to enlarge)

Troops from Singapore landing at Batangas (click image to enlarge)

No attacks for the Japanese this turn, but positioning for a better attack. The engineers and the 54th division push south and join 16th corps, while the 53rd stays in San Fernando to prevent the Allies from thinking about crossing the mountains and occupying the town, screwing up the 16th’s supply line.

The fleet pulls into Batangas, and offloads supplies and the non-divisional troops from Singapore. Some are put in port (supplies, armor, some artillery) and some on the beach. The fleets refuel upon completion.

Japanese exploitation movement (click image to enlarge)

Japanese exploitation movement (click image to enlarge)

The faster transport counter moves a resource point to the slower transport counter to the north so that supplies don’t need to tie up rail capacity.

For now, that’s really all the Japanese can do in order to position themselves for the attack next turn. The campaign for the Visayan Islands should begin shortly. There are only 9 Japanese turns left until May II 42 and the end of the game, and a whole lot of islands that need to be captured. The Japanese have to capture at least a few of them.

The problem is that Japan no longer has sufficient troops to garrison the islands in order to prevent the Allies from swooping in and retaking captured islands when the IJA has moved on. In order to prevent this, they have to attack and defeat the remaining Filipino forces at Panay and Mindanao, but they need adequate forces to defeat them, too. Those assets, they do not currently have.

All those exchanges have seriously disrupted the Japanese timetable.

The Allies

The airfield on Corregidor is complete, but it was all for naught. Other than the heavy bombers at Zamboanga, there is no Allied air force left.

There isn’t much for the Allies to do this turn except collect what few replacement points they get.  They receive the following replacements:

  • Iloilo: 0.5
  • Bacolad (Negros): 0.5
  • Cebu City (Cebu): 1
  • Tacloban (Leyte): 0.5
  • Zamboanga (Mindanao): 0.5
  • Cagayan (Mindanao): 0.5

The barges for Iloilo and Zamboanga are again called up for operations. The replacements at Bacolad, Cebu City and Tacloban are gathered up by sea and transported to Iloilo, while the replacements at Cagayan are picked up and transported to Zamboanga. The USN returns to Cebu City for refueling upon completion of their mission.

Iloilo: 3.5 replacement points, Zamboanga: 1.5 replacement points, Luzon: 8 replacement points.

These replacements can’t be used until the next turn.

During the movement phase, the 2nd Filipino infantry cadre withdraws from Marivelles to Corregidor, and is replaced by the 4th US Marine regiment, so that they can receive replacements next turn.

The B-17s from Zamboanga fly their weekly raid on the rail marshalling yards at Legaspi. This time, both bombers hit their targets, reducing Japanese rail capacity to 4 on the Mar II 42 turn.

There are no photos from the Allied turn, because there is nothing to show.

The current VP total is Japan: 261, the Allies: 279. I am applying the territorial VPs to the Allies as well as Japan because there is no other gauge for me to use in this game to compare the two sides. Right now, the Allies maintain a very slim edge.

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