Wargame Wednesday – SWWAS Eastern Fleet OpScen 1 – Come in, Rangoon!

HMS Warspite – Indian Ocean 1942 (wikipedia)

Situation: The time is early March, 1942 and the Japanese are sweeping through Burma. The British have ordered the evacuation of Rangoon while the Japanese are landing forces along northern Sumatra. Covering the Japanese landing is a powerful cruiser force of five cruisers and four destroyers. The Royal Navy is covering the evacuation with a single carrier (Formidable), the battleship Warspite, two cruisers, two light cruisers, and four destroyers.

Strategy: VPs are accumulated based on landing transports; so the transports are the targets.

Battle Resolution: The RN transports are located by air search the first turn and attacked the next. Lucky hits by the G4M Betty bomber results in sinking of two transports. Not an auspicious start for the allies. The RN surface force fakes north then turns to the south and dashes towards the Japanese landing beach arriving one turn ahead of the covering force. All the Japanese transports are sunk. While the RN surface force slips away the Japanese covering force is harrassed by Swordfish torpedo planes off Formidable. Surface action is avoided. The Japanese covering force starts a high-speed dash towards the Rangoon transports and easily outruns the British. While loading in Rangoon, the transports are savaged by the Japanese cruisers. Both sides retire after losing all transports.

Comments: Ugh. Not a very fun scenario. The victory conditions create an unrealistic situation. The ONLY British focus should be the evacuation of Rangoon. The Japanese need to stop the evacuation. Both transport fleets are bogged down by speed 1 escorts which slow them tremendously.

Suggested Changes: Delete the Japanese 1st Southern Expeditionary Fleet. Start the British transports in Rangoon (historically the evacuation of Rangoon started 6 March) and depart 7 March for Calcutta. The RN covering force starts anywhere north of maprow Z, the Japanese Malaya Force anywhere south of maprow AB. For Victory Conditions change to read “The Allied player receives double the usual number of VPs for transports that unload in Calcutta and the usual number of VP for transports that unload in any other allied port. The Axis player receives double the number of VPs for every transport sunk.”

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