Part 29: Australia: February 17, 1943
We've established a solid position in northern Australia, but now we have to advance southward.
Axis Turn 6: February 17, 1943
We finally get control of both airfields on the western side of the front.
It's unlikely that any enemy forces remain in the northeast, but there are some planes still flying around.
Naval support is key to getting rid of the enemy tanks.
The back half of our advancing column has to hold up and deal with all the enemy infantry that fled inland.
Allied Turn 6: February 17, 1943
An American charge finds its way to our artillery.
The Carpentaria group is facing more experienced units now.
Axis Turn 7: February 17, 1943
We're squeezing the remnants of the enemy forces in the central region.
Meanwhile the first portion of the core has nearly reached the southern objectives; the ones we can see appear to be undefended.
We're not gaining ground near Brisbane, but we are effectively reducing the enemy troop count.
Allied Turn 7: February 17, 1943
The Allied response to our advance is swift: our light recon tank is chased around and destroyed after attacks by multiple units.
They aren't having any success with tanks in the north, however.
Axis Turn 8: February 17, 1943
Summer rains make for slow going as the ground stays muddy.
We are able to break through near Brisbane and pocket the enemy infantry. The port itself will soon be ours too.
The way is finally clear to the south.
Allied Turn 8: February 17, 1943
The Allied tanks roll northward and hit our meager vanguard.
The good news is that their attempt to divert the remainder of the column is failing.
Axis Turn 9: February 17, 1943
We form a defensive line as best we can and pray for the rest of the core to catch up.
Brisbane's forces are mopped up.
Our western force is starting to pass near the vast Australian desert.
Allied Turn 9: February 17, 1943
The mud may have saved the lives of our units since it blunts the effectiveness of the Allied tanks.
To the west, the Australians do their best to keep us from using the main roads.
Axis Turn 10: February 17, 1943
There's one straggler infantry unit that we can't seem to get rid of in the north.
We have to eliminate that tank if we want to get to Adelaide.
The rear column has cleared their way to the south.
A little bit of air support arrives to hold off the enemy counterattack. It's not much, but it raises morale.
We're also giving relief to those units by encroaching on Sydney from the coastal road.
Allied Turn 10: February 17, 1943
Rather than turn and hold back our units on the coast, the Allies only push harder with their tanks.
It works, as they nearly break through on our left; we cannot hold this line any longer.
The western units have lured the Australian tanks out of their blockade position on the highway. That's some good news for us, since some of our troops can now proceed toward Adelaide.
Type 1 Ho-Ni II [Self-Propelled Gun Model D, version II]
PG Name: Ho-Ni 2 Type: Artillery
Effective Date: 7/41
Value:20 Cost:240 Spot:1 Move:3 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 40
Init:5 Range:2 SA:15 HA:8 AA: NA:0 GD:10 AD:6 CD:1 TT:Hard Ammo:10
While the Ho-Ni III is incorrectly classed as an artillery unit, this one is correctly categorized. The Ho-Ni II was a variant of the Ho-Ni I, keeping the open top, but adding a larger 105mm gun. It was intended for indirect fire, and probably much better suited for that role since the exposed crew would be less likely to face close-range attacks. Like so many Japanese ground units, it suffered from an unreliable production output, and couldn't be fielded in significant numbers.
In-game analysis: This is a quality mobile artillery unit, although it does suffer from the lack of speed that plagues nearly all Japanese vehicles. It's a significant improvement over the towed Type 91 or the mobile 'Ho-Ni 3' in combat power, and being armored makes it the best option for assaults. It also carries a good amount of ammo. It would be nice if it had a higher range, but being mobile partly makes up for that.
Aichi D3A1 (Val)
PG Name: D3A Val Type:Tac Bomber
Effective Date: 6/40
Value:18 Cost:216 Spot:3 Move:8 MM:Air Trans:Naval Fuel: 76
Init:5 SA:6 HA:8 AA: NA:14 GD:8 AD:9 Ammo:4
A carrier-based bomber designed to work alongside the Claude, the Val was a dive bomber with fairly good flight performance, especially in maneuverability. First used in a major role at Pearl Harbor, the Val came to be feared by Allied ships. It actually didn't have much in the way of offensive power, and it was more often the skill of the pilot that determined how effective it was when attacking.
In-game analysis: The specialty of this plane is in going after ships. That makes it excellently suited for use on carriers, and it's a good value too. An escort (or lack of enemy air power) is pretty much a necessity if it's going to stay alive, however.
Type C Submarine
PG Name: C Type:Submarine
Effective Date: 10/40
Value:15 Cost:180 Spot:3 Move:4 MM:Coastal/Sub Trans:N/A Fuel: 148
Init:3 Range:2 SA:0 HA:0 AA:0 NA:13 DA:0 GD:8 AD:4 TD:8 DD:10 Ammo:20
The Type C was modeled after the KD6, but purpose built as an 'attack' sub. That meant it was supposed to go after enemy warships, and could expect to be in the more dangerous situation of dodging depth charges and return fire. The Type C subs were typically the ones (of the later A-B-C sub strategy) to carry midget subs as well.
In-game analysis: While I like that it poses a more serious threat to capital ships, it's a little expensive for what you get. Still, at least it excels at something, so you feel like you are paying for a real feature instead of just minor improvements here and there.