GOTM9 - Ferry Boat Operations in the Inland Sea

GOTM9 Index

The Japan Campaign
- Introduction
- Planning
- Military orders
- Initial engagements
- Far off landing
- Coastal thrust
- Main advance
- Inland sea
- Consolidate the opening
- Secure the horses
- Western port
- Moving inland
- Battle before Edo
- Kyoto’s fate
- Mopping up

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The Egyptian homeland was located to the west (far left) of the Japanese military theatre. During the initial year of the war, we knew the Japanese had at least one galley in operation and assumed that they probably had at least two or three more galleys at some location. The galley we knew about had originated way off around by the tip of the Japanese mainland where we had landed our disruptive invasion force. We had watched this galley wander/explore along the northern coast and then head into the gap of the inland sea from the north. It was hard to guess what strategy or tactic that Tokugawa may have been following with this galley, because there were basically no open land locations on any of the islands that rimmed the inland sea due to the forced expansion of the Egyptian empire during the early turns of the timeline. The area was so completely settled that there had been no sign of and barbarian galleys for many, many years.

The Inland Sea as an Egyptian Lake
Galleys are not effective warships under any circumstances. A wounded galley must limp back to a friendly port in order to heal. Galleys laden with loads of troops have no greater or lesser chance of surviving a combat event. The risk and opportunity cost of losing a loaded galley is 3 to 4 times greater than an empty galley just due to the precious cargo of units that cannot help to influence the outcome of any combat event. For this reason, I feel that loaded galleys should run for a functional objective where they can unload their cargo and that unloaded galleys should avoid combat as long as any enemy galleys can be kept at bay.

In 210 AD, Click on this image for a larger and more detailed view (103 kb) at the beginning of the war with Japan, the Egyptian navy has been ferrying troops and settlers all over the map with operations centered on the inland sea as a beehive of activity. Our ships have been taunting and delaying the lone Japanese galley that was currently in the inland sea for over 100 years. We are sort of assuming that this galley is some sort of empty exploration galley because it has made no attempt to land any settlers or military units on other potential targets where there were just a few gaps in the grid of emerging Egyptian towns or settlements. A number of these locations were totally undefended due to pulling all possible military forces forward in preparation for the Japanese campaign.

A look at the shape of the Inland sea, as shown in the image at right, reveals that almost nowhere along the length of the water gap, can a galley possible begin its turn in a port on one side and then end its turn in a port on the opposite side of the sea during the same turn.

To help see this fact more clearly, I have located the estimated location of a second Japanese potential Japanese port city that appears in the lower left portion of the map. Then I have used a graphic  symbol to mark the tile locations that I believe will be the Japanese coastline when they are fully revealed. (click here for a larger view of the coastline sketch) The red dotted line on the map with the larger square shaped dots reflects the western edge of the limit where galleys could reach into those port cities and unload units in a single turn (given the 4 tile movement ability for galleys as increased by the Great Lighthouse.) The red dotted line with the smaller more numerous dots reflects the maximum, one turn reach for galleys that would load units in an Egyptian port city and then depart for the Japanese mainland all in one turn.

Only one location on the map could possible support a single turn crossing by galleys with four (4) movement points per turn. This route between the southern Egyptian port city of Elephantine and the barely visible point of Japanese coast directly to its east would not be available early on in the campaign due to the poor relative positioning of the two Japanese towns that can already be seen on the map.

From a transportation standpoint, the geometry of the inland sea and the location of the port towns on either side basically meant that the sea was basically 2 moves in width at the beginning of the war. In order to ferry an average of two units across the sea in every turn we needed to have four galleys in the sea on ferrying duty.

If we could move down the Japanese coast and take the first Japanese port city, then we could almost double the delivery rate of reinforcements even if our galleys could not individually make the crossing in a single trip.

The opening galley moves
Initially we had three galleys ferrying troops across the inland sea with a fourth galley just to our north returning from a delivery of units to the green jungle isle with dyes. This fourth galley was about three turns out of position to rejoin the ferry boat detail.

The outbreak of hostilities with Japan, made it no longer worthwhile to tolerate the presence of the Japanese galley in the inland sea so I had to weigh the risks of losing a critically important galley from our fleet versus any potential disruption that the Japanese galley might do if it reach a friendly port and loaded up some offensive units to dump onto our undefended homeland or one of our inland sea island outposts. The chances of a veteran galley attacking and defeating a regular galley would only be 57% which was just barely in our favor, but based on this chance of success and the risk of doing nothing I chose to go for it and attack the Japanese galley.

Our veteran galley from the center of the blockade line defeated its opponent in three strokes and miraculously escaped without a scratch. This galley immediately dashed to the shore nearby to pick up a settler and then moved one step closer to delivering that settler to unloading at Port-o-Japan at the beginning of the next turn.

Animated galley ferrying sequence from the inland sea in 210 AD

The coastal galley on the blockade line had already expended all of its movement points to deliver two units for the reserves for the attack forces near Toyama so it could not move towards picking up a new load.

The galley near the East Isle of the inland sea could use three of its move points to return near the Egyptian coast and load a critically needed horseman from Port-o-Suez plus an additional swordsman from Suez to strengthen the attack forces. Once loaded, this galley could gain one step of movement toward unloading on the Japanese continent.

The next major sequence of moves was –

Consolidating the Central Advance

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