Part 46: Hawaii '44: October 14, 1944
Our target is Honolulu, but the Americans are dug in and ready to defend it. We need to break those defenses down, and also stop them from reinforcing the city by maintaining a threat on the Schofield Barracks.
Axis Turn 13: October 14, 1944
The tanks start their push to cut off the city from the rest of the island.
At the other end of Honolulu, we engage in bloody combat to reduce the infantry that remain.
A potentially dangerous mobile artillery unit is eliminated by air strikes.
The So-Ki knocks out one more fighter squadron.
That frees up our fighters to go after the bombers. We also see that more tanks are coming up at us. We have to hope our line up here holds against them.
Allied Turn 13: October 14, 1944
Intense fighting on the south end of Honolulu forces us to pull back a bit.
The new model Shermans blast our heavy tanks, but we do manage to take out a few of them in the fight.
Tanks at Honolulu are also somewhat of a concern for our attempt to isolate the city.
Axis Turn 14: October 14, 1944
The Americans have pushed in the north far enough to be in the range of our battleships.
With no fighters in the vicinity, it's safe to send out even our depleted squadrons after the enemy bombers.
We also sneak in an attack to the east of the barracks. We spot a considerable concentration of heavy artillery.
Another unit has snuck over to the west side, and captures Waianae. Their goal is to wreak as much havoc as they can, and draw away forces from the enemy strongpoints.
At Honolulu, we use our unopposed bombers to break the defenses of the enemy infantry.
We also launch an attack in the center that eliminates several enemy regiments.
Allied Turn 14: October 14, 1944
The threat on their guns causes the northern units to rush their tanks to engage and eliminate our light tanks.
Our bombers in Honolulu ventured too close to the air defense guns near Hickam Field.
The Rangers continue to hold off our light tanks.
Axis Turn 15: October 14, 1944
We're able to chase the tanks into the hills and destroy them at close range.
The line of troops reinforcing Honolulu has ceased, and we're able come around and eliminate the forces defending Hickam Field.
Other tanks drive toward the last of the guns in Honolulu. We've nearly cut off the city entirely.
The Americans foolishly put their tanks into the fortifications best held by infantry. We knock them out easily.
These Rangers are proving to be quite troublesome. Losses against them have been almost too heavy to bear.
Allied Turn 15: October 14, 1944
Some of the enemy armor is still probing at our northern line.
Our troops that were attempting to scout the west side of the barracks come under very heavy fire from the guns there.
The planes witness the advancement of more reinforcements headed toward Honolulu, but they don't look particularly strong. We did however lose Hickam Field to a counterattack from the encircled forces (not shown).
Axis Turn 16: October 15, 1944
Hickam Field is cleared out once again, and we should be able to hold it this time. It has cost us a lot, though, and our tanks are now at risk.
We cautiously push forward in the north; there does not seem to be any more units coming at us in this sector.
We clear out more forces around Honolulu, and the noose grows even tighter.
Allied Turn 16: October 15, 1944
Our mobile guns aren't terribly maneuverable, and they are forced away by an attempted breakout.
The green Bicycle Infantry almost end up eliminated, but luckily for them that attack signals the end of the American counterattack for now.
Type 4 Ho-Ro [Self-Propelled Gun Model B]
PG Name: 4 Ho-Ro 150mm Type: Artillery
Effective Date: 8/42
Value:24 Cost:288 Spot:1 Move:5 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 48
Init:5 Range:3 SA:19 HA:14 AA:0 NA:3 GD:10 AD:6 CD:3 TT:Hard Ammo:4
This was built using a similar approach as the Ho-Ni, with a big gun mounted on a tank body; this time a 150 mm howitzer and a Chi-Ha Type 97 chassis. The Ho-Ro used a simple approach to the armor around the gun, making it mostly just a shield that sloped around the sides a bit. The heavy gun had a very limited traverse, making it poorly-suited for hitting vehicles, but it could be effective as close-support artillery. It never got much of a chance to be tested in battle, however. Only a couple dozen were produced, and several of those were even destroyed at sea on their way to the Philippines.
In-Game Analysis: Finally, a mobile gun that can actually move. It's also powerful enough to knock out enemy units reliably. The air defense is unfortunately weak, and the ammo is low. It's still the best thing going in terms of mobile artillery for the Japanese side. The problem, however, is that it appears it's not purchasable in the campaign (recall that we did see one of these from the Allied side in the Solomon Islands which at the time I thought was a custom unit).
Tone-class Cruiser (2 built)
PG Name: Tone/Tone 1944 Type:Heavy Cruiser
Effective Date: 7/37 / 1/44
Value:15/14 Cost:270/324 Spot:3 Move:7 MM:Deep Naval Fuel: 66
Init:4 Range:4 SA:5 HA:8 AA:/ NA:18 DA:0 GD:18 AD:10 TD:10 Ammo:40
Special: Night Optics, Radar
The Tone-class cruiser was an attempt to improve on the Mogami class, but the design went in an unusual direction. All of the turrets were located forward. The aft was used for AA guns and seaplane launchers. The arrangement allowed for more seaplanes, and as a result these ended up being very useful as scouting cruisers attached to carrier groups.
In-game analyis: Not a good buy, in my opinion. The price is getting close to that of a light battleship. Yet the offensive power, while still good, isn't better than the Takao. If this was a bit cheaper, or had combat numbers that at least matched the Takao, it'd be worthy of consideration. You're better off letting real aircraft or destroyers do the scouting.
Mitsubishi J2M "Raiden" (Jack)
PG Name: J2M Jack Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 3/44
Value:37 Cost:444 Spot:3 Move:10 MM:Air Trans:No Fuel: 76
Init:5 SA:2 HA:1 AA:19 NA:0 GD:11 AD:14 Ammo:8
Mitsubishi had this plane in the works as early as 1938, but work on it was delayed in order to focus on the Zero. As a result it was not completed until 1944, which was rather unfortunate for them given that it seemed to be a good design. It was an interceptor for high-altitude bombers, and carried both decent armament and armor. It seems to have been fairly popular with pilots, even if it did nothing to slow the onslaught of American air power. Too few of the planes were produced for it to be effective, and additionally the Americans by this time were conducting fewer daylight bombing raids.
In-game analysis: The Jack is a late-war plane that's finally a serious threat to the Allies. You must have crack pilots to make the best use of this, since the low initiative is a sore point. On the positive side, that is about the only flaw; attack power is good, defense is for once very good, and it carries a fair amount of both fuel and ammo.