The Let's Play Archive

Pacific General

by Kangra

Part 52: San Francisco: September 15, 1944

With the critical technology fruit-growing region under our control, and attacks being pressed all around the bay at other vital military targets, we've just about achieved a foothold in the mainland USA.

Allied Turn 18: September 15, 1944
Fair (Dry)

More infantry come down through the tidal marshland to confront us.

Additional troops arrive from Livermore, farther to the east.

Axis Turn 19: September 15, 1944
Fair (Dry)

Air raids and naval attacks open up space for landings in San Francisco.

We fight back to keep our airfields at Alameda secure.

Walnut Creek is also taken, but we stay away from Port Chicago.

A slow push takes control of Sunnyvale and puts at the gates of Moffett NAS.

Allied Turn 19: September 15, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The Americans are desperate to hold on to San Francisco, but now lack the forces to do it.

The enemy sends more units along the shoreline in the hopes of reinforcing Moffett and Palo Alto.

Axis Turn 20: September 15, 1944
Fair (Dry)

Landings are made to secure Fort Point near the Golden Gate Bridge, and we cut off the western side of the city, including the Presidio.

A tank unit is spotted north of Oakland; we send our bombers to keep it from causing any trouble.

With the flak guns gone, we can bomb Moffett relentlessly.

Hang on... what's that unit we're attacking?

From the in-game encyclopedia:


Formed in 1942 in Sunnyvale California, Kroegel's Raider Battalion, led by the tactical genius, Chuck Kroegel, was organized to spearhead amphibious landings on normally inaccessible beaches, mount surprise raiding expeditions, and conduct guerilla-style expeditions. This unit won more medals than any other unit in the US Army for the brave and heroic actions of its battalion under heavy enemy fire on Saipan, Okinawa, and Iwo Jima. The surviving soldiers of this awesome unit later became the fathers of many of the employees, including the president, of Strategic Simulations, Inc., noted for its historical wargames.

There's no reference that I can find to such a unit in either the US Army. The US Marine Corps deployed 4 Raider Battalions in WWII, but none quite match this one. It's either an exaggeration/faulty memory (perhaps naming the unit he served in after the man), or it's an invented unit/inside joke to honor the developer's father. I tend to think it's the latter based on the description.

SSI published Pacific General, in case it wasn't obvious.

Kroegel's Raiders go down easy once we concentrate all our artillery on them.

We rush the ground troops in at Moffett, since we could really use a place to park our dirigibles refuel our planes.

Allied Turn 20: September 15, 1944
Fair (Dry)

An attempt is made to send more forces to San Francisco.

Other than that, the American attacks are pretty mild.

Axis Turn 21: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The pressure is kept up on the north end of the city while the tanks prepare to hold off any newly-arrived units.

The Takao suffers an accident while shelling the Richmond Kaiser shipyards, and the ship is left crippled.

With the Santa Clara Valley fully under our control, we make our move on Palo Alto.

Allied Turn 21: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

Troops do show up at the southern end of San Francisco, but our tanks block them from making any further progress.

No attacks are made down the peninsula, but the Americans reinforce the towns.

Axis Turn 22: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The number of units north of Oakland is fairly minimal, and we should be able to clear them out easily.

Our tanks push outward in S.F. while the infantry begin to entrench at the Presidio.

We push the enemy out of Palo Alto, but we don't take the town.

Allied Turn 22: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The Americans try to re-form a defensive line at Palo Alto.

Axis Turn 23: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

We cut off access to Richmond.

San Francisco looks to be secure as well. What troops remain we can easily mop up.

We can also take our time at Palo Alto now, there doesn't seem to much risk of us losing it.

Allied Turn 23: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The Americans make one more attempt to eliminate one of our units. It has no effect.

Axis Turn 24: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

We finally take Palo Alto, and push the last few troops out to the bay.

Some troops went ashore toward Sausalito, and a small garrison is encountered there.

Our cruiser has actually run aground near Angel Island. but it can still shell the enemy troops.

A few more American forces surrender near Berkeley.

Allied Turn 24: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The troops that landed north of the bridge are still disorganized, and a shock attack from the enemy forces them to flee southward.

Axis Turn 25: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The last remnant of enemy forces near San Francisco are eliminated.

We take the San Francisco airport from the north, and are approaching San Mateo from the south. We've secured almost all of the bay now.

Allied Turn 25: September 16, 1944
Fair (Dry)

The Americans cede control of the San Francisco Bay to us. But despite our dominance of the Pacific, they do not call for peace with us yet.

Final Prestige: 1441

Final VP: 1774-1061 (Decisive Victory)

Initially I thought we'd have to capture much more of this map to get that sort of victory, but it seems that it's pretty much a lock if you can get San Francisco and just a few others. I think you need a decisive here to get to the next one, but I actually found the line between this and marginal hard to cross -- I tend to either get a loss or a big win with the way this played out, and it was long enough that I'm not likely to run the whole thing again.

Unit Spotlight

Ta-Ha [Anti-Air Tank Model B] - (there is little info online, and likely no extant pictures of the prototype.)
PG Name: Ta-Ha Type: Air Defense
Effective Date: 12/44
Value:21 Cost:252 Spot:2 Move:5 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 42
Init:2 Range:2 SA:[14] HA:[8] AA:12 NA:0 GD:9 AD:9 CD:2 TT:Hard Ammo:12

This was a unit that was prototyped but never made it into production. It took a Type 1 Chi-He chassis and mounted one (or two?) 37mm cannons on it. It would indeed have been pretty dangerous to air units, and probably ground units too, thanks to its mobility.

In-game analysis: For once, Japan has a clear best-in-category unit. With not only good armor but a potent cannon (well, two cannons), this can, in a pinch, be thrown into the front line for defense and provide good overhead protection for its neighbors. On the other hand, the category is probably the least useful one in the game. You only need this if you're facing heavy air attacks, which ideally should be handled by the fighters.

The last naval unit we got unfortunately turned out to be of almost no use to us, but at least it was cheap.

Type A Midget Submarine (50? or more built)
PG Name: A-C Midget Type:Submarine
Effective Date: 7/36
Value:2 Cost:24 Spot:1 Move:2 MM:Coastal/Sub Trans:N/A Fuel: 14
Init:3 Range:1 SA:0 HA:0 AA:0 NA:8 DA:0 GD:4 AD:4 TD:8 DD:4 Ammo:2

The 'midget' submarines were tiny 2-man subs armed with only two torpedoes. They typically were launched from a larger vessel (often a larger sub). Their effectiveness is questionable; while they could sneak into shipping lanes and score hits on enemy transports, they were also quite vulnerable, and not nearly as effective as a proper sub. There was a Type B and Type C midget, but those were released later in the war; this seems to be the game trying to cover all three with one name.

In-game analysis: These dirt-cheap subs definitely have some appeal. They're practically kamikaze units, but if they get lucky they can actually manage to survive a bit longer. In fact, given the propensity for submarines to evade attack, they're probably disproportionately likely to survive. They could be useful throwaway aux units to tie up an enemy force.

Nakajima J1N1-S "Gekko" (Irving)
PG Name: J1N1-S Irving Type:Fighter
Effective Date: 11/43
Value:26 Cost:312 Spot:2 Move:10 MM:Air Trans:No Fuel: 102
Init:5 SA:2 HA:1 AA:12 NA:0 GD:11 AD:12 Ammo:5
Special: Radar

The Irving had an interesting development history. Originally designed as a fighter, the twin-engined craft was decently maneuverable even if it could not match the Zero. It did have a superior range, and the Navy decided to have them built as reconnaissance craft. Later on it was found to be suitable for night fighting, and many were deployed in that role. At some point, a mid-air collision revealed that the plane could ram a B-24 and do serious damage to it while managing to survive. This tactic began to be employed intentionally, making this one of the few suicidal attack units that might have held an expectation of survival.

In-game analysis: There's something about this that makes me not like it much, but I have to admit it's pretty good for a night fighter, and not that bad on the whole. It's the first Japanese fighter that stands a decent chance of surviving heavy anti-air fire, and there's enough good about it to make it an acceptable bomber escort that can also operate at night. There just isn't often space in the core (or night-flying requirements) to dedicate a unit to that role.