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Operation Watch Tower AAR

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Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Sun 4 Nov - 17:12 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

I get a request regarding Operation Watch Tower, which is probably the least favourite scenario to play, both 1P and 2P, because there is way too much micromanagement for me.  Anyway, let’s see what I can do about it.  Again, this is how i play it and do not, ever, take it as the “solution” to the scenario.  I cannot emphasise enough there is no such thing as “solution” to a wargame.

Day 1 0520

The ships started out like this.

My plan was to reorganise the ships so that:
1. The capital ships BB and CA would lead the way to Guadalcanal landing site first;
2. The CVBG would station south of the landing site providing air cover; and
3. The convoy would move in with the majority.

Since the land-based aircrafts were so limited, the CVBG would be doing most of the air cover, and their secondary mission would be striking any surface threats.

After splitting and joining, the first group contained 2 TFs, TF 18.1, led by CA USS San Francisco, would repulse any enemy surface elements. TF 16.1, led by, BB USS North Carolina, would follow TF 18.1 and escorted the first landing troops.

There would be 2 CVBG, TF 18 contained USS Saratoga and USS Wasp, while TF 16 was the smaller group containing CV USS Enterprise. their target would be the strait between San Christobal and Rennell islands.

The convoys would form bigger groups when they met up, to increase the chance of individual survival.

Day 2 0300

The rest of the Day 1 was uneventful. The Japanese scout planes spotted some of convoys, but they did nothing.  Also there had been no clear contact of enemy air and surface elements either.

By then, the capital ship groups had arrived the water surrounding Guadalcanal.  Both CVBG had reached their respective location with the convoys not far behind.

Day 2 0520

At day break, the capital ship groups were very close to landing with no enemy in sight.  The convoys stopped at the same hex with TF 16 to gain some protection from air.

Day 2 0640

All the capital ships had arrived at the landing site.  A medium size enemy surface group was spotted NW to them.  But it seemed that the enemy was moving away, avoided a much superior force.

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PostPosted: Sun 4 Nov - 17:12 (2018)    Post subject: Publicité

PublicitéSupprimer les publicités ?
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Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Sun 4 Nov - 17:18 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

Day 2 0740

Enemy air group was spotted over Malaita island, heading west toward the capital ship groups.  There might have been some enemy CV to the east but my search planes found nothing.  My inability to seek out the enemy first turned out to my disadvantage later on.

Day 2 0800

The first troops were landing.

Day 2 0820

The enemy bombers reached TF 18.1 before my LR CAP could reach them. Bummer!

Fortunately, the attack resulted in little damages to my ships.

Day 2 0840

There is no time to rest.  Another enemy air group was spotted over Malaita island heading south towards Enterprise and the convoys!  I sent some LR CAP from TF 18 to help out. 

Day 2 0920

Luckily I had enough movement points to move TF 16 and the convoys south into the rain cover. 

I thought I could also over the convoys with the CAP over TF 16......

Day  2 1000

...and I was wrong.  The CAP over TF 16 only did what they were told and left the convoy unprotected.

I lost 2 TRS to the air raid as a result.

Day 2 1100

A small enemy TF was spotted to the east of Malaita. It was beyond any doubt it was the enemy CVBG.  So I launched all my bombers towards it.

At the same time, an enemy surface TF approached the landing site.

Day 2 1300

Bombers and escorts launched from USS Enterprise reached the enemy CVBG. There were 2 fleet carriers!

The fighting was heavy, I lost 5 bombers while the enemy lost 3 Zekes, but leaving one of the CV burning.  It was beautiful.

Day 2 1320

And then a small enemy air group found the USS Enterprise and hit her pretty hard.

The “Big E” was briefly out of action with 2 units of precious Wildcats lost during the attack.

Day 2 1400

The bomber group from TF 18 found its way to the remaining fleet carrier.

The enemy flat top seemed to suffer multiple hits.  Apart from damaging its propulsion system, the enemy seemed to remain very much afloat.

At the same time, another enemy bombers struck the USS Enterprise!

They slipped through the fighter screen with one torpedo reaching the carrier, listing it and caused critical damage.

Day 2 1420

Misery loves company.  The second enemy air attack wave arrived over my ill-fated carrier!

Fortunately, the Big E got just another bomb hit without any further damage.  However, I found this was time to save the Enterprise from being sunk.  I pulled it back to Espiritu Santo, and transferred all the surviving planes to TF 16.

Day 2 1520

Lesson learnt, I assigned 3 LR CAP to each of the convoys from TF 16.

Day 2 1740

Multiple enemy surface vessels had been spotted, but none of them attempted to engage my fleet at Guadalcanal.

Day 2 2000

I began to move the convoys to the landing site using darkness as cover.

Day 3 0540

The whole night was boring, as none of the submarines I expected showed up.  Razz

The main convoys reached the landing site with LR CAP support as before.

Day 3 0800

My main convoys started unloading

Day 3 1000

Multiple bogeys in bound! Where were my fighters?

Day 3 1020

The land-based bombers attacked my cruiser group. Without any fighter support (again the CAP just did what they were told), the battle was bloody: 2 CA and 3 DD were sunk, with USS Chicago lost its propulsion. The enemy, however, suffered no casualty. 

Day 3 1040

The second group of bombers from Rabual attacked one of the main convoys while they were unloading.  Two TRS were lost despite the presence of CAP.

Day 3 1940

It seemed that after the intense morning raids, the enemy decided to call off any further attacks as I had landed enough troops and materials to establish a foothold on the island. The battle was won!  

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Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Sun 4 Nov - 17:19 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

Sorry, cannot post any more images for the forum system keeps telling me no file has been sent to upload or the file is too big...

Last edited by currymutton on Sun 4 Nov - 17:30 (2018); edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 27 May 2016
Posts: 723

PostPosted: Sun 4 Nov - 17:29 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

Score: (US/Japan)

Carriers: 32/12
Planes: 11/5
Heavy Crusiers: 0/7
Destroyers: 0/3
Transports: 0/4
Control of Guadalcanal - Lunga Point: 52/0

Total Victory points: 95/31

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Joined: 04 May 2016
Posts: 29
Localisation: France

PostPosted: Mon 5 Nov - 13:37 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

Thanks very much currymutton, it's me who suggest this AAR.
it is a big help to understand this scenario for the management of diiferents ships and planes .
It was the same problem with the scenario of Rabaul Embarassed
Your work is wonderful for me .Thanks

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Joined: 25 Jan 2016
Posts: 1,303
Localisation: France

PostPosted: Thu 8 Nov - 23:13 (2018)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR Reply with quote

played agaigainst the AI ?

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PostPosted: Today at 20:23 (2019)    Post subject: Operation Watch Tower AAR

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