The Let's Play Archive

Pacific General

by Kangra

Part 8: Singapore: December 8, 1941

It's been a little while since our last battle, but we're ready to take this war to the next level.

After our success in southern China, we are given the choice of continuing land operations in Asia, or to head up a naval strike against the USA. We choose to stay with the ground forces.

While we've managed to maintain a truce for the last two years, it's gotten to the point that we cannot continue to develop our empire without more resources. Singapore is a crucial city to take -- not only do we need it for our purposes, but most importantly, we need to kick the British out of it. Rather than try to make amphibious landings there, we're going to take the long way down through the Malay Peninsula. Key to our plan is the surprise of the operation. We are not just attacking here, but all around Asia. And just a few hours after our battle begins, the Navy will be making its strike against the American fleet in Hawaii.

December 8, 1941

Objectives: (Songhkla [50]), Alorstar [50], Kota Bahru [50], Taiping [50], Trengganu [50], Ipoh [100], Kuantan [80], Kuala Lumpur [100], Kluang [100], Singapore [200x3]

Starting VP: 50-1407

Unit Name                   Unit Type [Transport]         Exp 
Land Units                    
1.1st Hohei 1940            Hohei 1940[Isuzu]                - 
2.2nd Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936                       *
3.3rd Hohei 1936            Hohei 1936[Isuzu]                *
4.4th Hohei HW 1936         Hohei HW 1936[Isuzu]             *
5.5th Engineers 1936        Engineers 1936[Isuzu]           **.5
6.The Japonies              Kihei                           **
7.My Tanks are so kawaii    Type 95 Ha-Go                   **
8.13th Type 97 Chi-Ha       Type 97 Chi-Ha                   -
9.22nd Type 92              Type 92                          *
10.25th RA 97               RA 97 (Isuzu)                    -
11.Steel Death              Ho-Ni 3                          *
12.Cherry Blossoms Float    Type 91 105 [Isuzu]              -
13.24th 94 Mtn Gun 75mm     94 Mtn Gun 75mm                  -
14.23rd Sa-To               Sa-To                            -

Aux (by qty)
4                            Bicycle Infantry                **
1                            Type 94 Light                    -
1                            Type 93 Sumida                   -
1                            Ho-Ni 2                          -
1                            94 Mtn Gun 75mm[Isuzu]           -

Air Units
15.Hirohito's Hieneys        Nakajima Ki-27 Nate              *.3
16.Sabai's Flying Circus     Kawasaki Ki-10 Perry             *
17.Nathan is my Father       Nakajima Ki-27 Nate              -.8
18.Remember Eniwetok         A6M Zero                         -
19.11th G3M Nell             G3M Nell                        **

Aux (by qty)
1                            Nakajima ki-27 Nate             **
1                            Ki-43 Oscar                     **
1                            G3M Nell                        **
1                            G4M Betty                       **
2                            G4M Betty                        -           

Core/aux slots: (2)1:0/0
Starting Prestige: 74 after purchases/upgrades

The core is being filled out, this time with the latest tank (the medium-sized Chi-Ha), and an AT gun. The AT gun is mostly added to gain experience, but it may come in handy if we need to hold off any enemy tanks. One infantry gets a 1940 refit; the others will have to wait to upgrade. The Claudes get the first upgrade to the Zero, the best fighter in the world.

The reason I upgraded here instead of purchasing was a simple mistake. Initially I misinterpreted the Naval slots as being the only way to buy planes (because on the purchase screen, the air units are grouped with the naval units). It turns out that isn't true. My mistake is going to set us back a fair bit since the prestige has basically been wasted, and we did not start with very much.

The primary target is Singapore; we expect the most resistance to be built up along the western side of the peninsula, and it's also the best route to the southern island city. Resistance is expected to be greater at the larger cities like Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. Once again we are faced with a lack of decent airfields until we can capture some of those southern targets. As we need to secure the whole peninsula, a smaller, mostly auxiliary force will be moving on down the eastern coastline, and they will also be responsible for keeping track of enemy activity in the interior.

We don't have a whole lot of space to set up on the border, and it will likely be a bit tough to maneuver our forces effectively until we gain some ground. The bicycle infantry will mostly be used as advance forces. Their speed should allow them to get into position quickly and be the first to engage the enemy. This should keep space open for the tanks to work, and also let the artillery come in behind them. Our core infantry will typically be held in reserve, striking at the entrenched positions wherever it becomes necessary.

Axis Turn 1: December 8, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

Thanks to the longer range of the upgraded guns of Cherry Blossoms Float, the town of Kangar is easily suppressed, and an attack from the bicycle infantry clears out the enemy troops.

Our tanks form a front line behind which the rest of our forces organize.

Overhead, our pilots get their first taste of combat with British planes.

Allied (United Kingdom) Turn 1: December 8, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The enemy artillery guns are much more powerful than what the Chinese were fielding.

Luckily, our new tanks can stand up to them without any losses.

We had attempted to sneak the tankettes around the coastal flank of Yala, but their AT guns have an easy time putting a stop to that plan.

Axis Turn 2: December 11, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

Air power proves to be key to clearing out Yala.

The Zeros show their ability in the air by eliminating the Hurricanes.

A combined attack lets us move the line up and take a forward airfield, which will be critical for continued progress.

Alorstar then falls to an attack from the Bicycle Infantry.

Allied Turn 2: December 11, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The British pull their troops south, using rivers for protection. Overhead, the Hurricanes prove unable to down any of Hirohito's planes.

Axis Turn 3: December 14, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The new Oscar fighter is very capable, and it would be a welcome upgrade if it were more widely available (and we could afford it).

Getting through the low-lying territory on the west coast proves to be a logistical mess for us.

The eastern advance makes it to the Kelantan, and halts there as well.

Allied Turn 3: December 14, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The Nates lose out in a battle with enemy Buffaloes.

Our Sa-To holds the bridge, but not without taking a few losses.

Axis Turn 4: December 17, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The Zero is the best plane in the skies for us.

Our tanks can chew through infantry. It's a good thing the British haven't really employed any armor so far.

The road southward narrows through Butterworth, which will slow our advance a bit. We haven't seen any resistance anywhere else.

Allied Turn 4: December 17, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

British infantry continue to battle us on this side of the Kelantan.

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned tanks. The Allied forces push back harder once the armor arrives.

The battle on the western side is much more in our favor.

Axis Turn 5: December 20, 1941
Day, Cloudy (Dry)

As the Zeros take care of the enemy fighters, the bombers get to work hitting those tanks.

It turns out to have been a good idea we brought the AT guns; they actually get a chance to fight as well, forcing the enemy back across the river.

The 2nd Hohei have been spending the last month training in the north. Special equipment is issued to them, and they are now full-fledged paratroopers.

Once Butterworth is captured, the light tanks scout ahead and find the next big assemblage of resistance, at Taiping and Ipoh.

Allied Turn 5: December 20, 1941
Day, Cloudy (Dry)

Before they get too close to the city, the little tanks come under fire from the guns defending Ipoh.

Axis Turn 6: December 23, 1941
Day, Cloudy (Dry)

The powerful Ho-Ni 2 blasts those Valentine tanks.

Then the AT guns knock them back again and seize the bridge.

Although the new Chi-Ha tanks were able to drive off the artillery guns, the troops in the city stand firm against our initial assault.

Allied Turn 6: December 23, 1941
Day, Cloudy (Dry)

With the artillery covering the bridge, the Indian forces fail to make any headway in their bid to push us back.

Even after they were forced back from the town, the enemy 25-Pounder guns still put out a pretty good shelling on our infantry.

Axis Turn 7: December 26, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

This is our secret plan to capture Kuantan: The newly-trained parachute soldiers are going to land and capture the airfield there. We're sending the 4th HW to make a landing south of Trengganu to support the attack. We have no warships available, so it's a big risk, as we don't know where any sneaky submarines might be hiding.

Meanwhile we finally secure a position over the Kelantan.

After another tough battle, we do eventually force Taiping to surrender. Significant enemy troops remain in the area, however.

Our core fighters took significant losses when battling the Hawker Hurricanes and Brewster Buffaloes. We don't have enough prestige to bring them back up to full strength yet, so they'll likely be out of the fight for quite some time.

Allied Turn 7: December 26, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

The British think they can break up our assault force by weakening the artillery. But the well-armored Ho-Ni proves too tough to handle.

Instead of retreating, the enemy forces spread out into the hills near Taiping.

Axis Turn 8: December 29, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

We could not pull off the sneak assault without the Zero, as it's the only plane with the range to make it that far south. It does mean they aren't available to intercept enemy planes, and with two of our Nate squadrons out of action, bombing runs will have to be reduced unless the skies are free of opposing fighters.

Flak hasn't been a problem; the guns on the ground are typically weak, and we can even attack them directly.

We do push most of the opposing forces out of Taiping, but there are still many in the surrounding region. It's a bit chaotic at the moment.

If we didn't have the Perak River to deal with, we could likely rush a few units forward and take Ipoh before the enemy can regroup.

Allied Turn 8: December 29, 1941
Day, Fair (Dry)

For the first time, enemy vehicles show up on the west side. The may only be armored cars, but their guns do serious damage to our little tanks.

Rather than intercept our bombers, the Buffaloes make strikes against our ground forces.

364 - 1316 (Defeat)

The offensive is just getting underway. We're meeting with serious enemy resistance now, but we are making progress.

Unit Spotlight

One unit is very special for this battle, and the other is one we aren't going to encounter ever.

Bicycle Infantry
PG Name: Bicycle Infantry Type: Infantry
Effective Date: 7/41
Value:9 Cost:108 Spot:2 Move:4 MM:Leg Trans:Air Fuel: 0
Init:1 SA:7 HA:5 AA:0 NA:1 GD:6 AD:10 CD:0 TT:Soft Ammo:7
Special: Banzai

While bicycles were used by all sides in the conflict as a low-cost alternative to mechanized transport, the Japanese use of them when fighting their way to Singapore is probably the most famous (and effective) of the war. The vehicles were used mostly in the way that cavalry was at the time - as rapid transport, followed by dismounting in order to go to battle. Bicycles also allow a relatively greater amount of equipment to be carried by one soldier, without an extra expense of fuel or supplies for pack animals. On the Malay peninsula, the ability of the bicycle to travel on poor roads and be carried across streams made the troop movements more nimble, and often the defenders found themselves in danger of being surrounded. The Japanese employed them in China and the Philippines as well, but they were not considered a key component of their strategy.

In-game analysis: These are almost identical to regular infantry (of 1940). They simply move a little faster (and have an extra point of air defense to reflect their mobility). That said, a little extra movement can make a critical difference over the course of a battle. For at least a year or so after they show up, they can be excellent on the battlefield to penetrate enemy lines, and later on can be used as a mop-up unit for finishing off weakened defenders.

Vickers-L type Submarine (4 versions, 9 L-4 built)
PG Name: Vickers L Type:Submarine
Effective Date: 7/36
Value:6 Cost:72 Spot:3 Move:4 MM:Coastal/Sub Trans:N/A Fuel: 109
Init:3 Range:2 SA:0 HA:0 AA:0 NA:10 DA:0 GD:4 AD:4 TD:8 DD:6 Ammo:10

The 'L-type' submarine was a design licensed from Vickers after World War I. There were 4 refinements of the design, all made in the 1920s. These were thus quite old by the time of the Pacific War. Subs of the earlier revisions were either scrapped or used for training by then. A few of the L4 types saw action early in the war but were also relegated to training use by 1942.

In-game analysis: While these aren't noticeably worse than other early war subs, the Kaidai is available at the same time, and is clearly the better choice. The only thing this has over it is more fuel, and at the rate subs move, that's not an advantage worth bothering over.