The I-Boat Raid, CPO Withdrawal, and West Coast Bases adjustments are in play.
First turn ended with the score at the standard 7 PoC.
USN Report: Tim and I have completed our second turn. IJN gained 10 points to put the score at +17.
With three CVs in Australia, Tim did a three-area attack. LBA were distributed 4-1-1 in Indo, SPO, and Marshalls. Unfortunately for Tim, the two CVs from Japan failed their speed rolls to the Hawaiians, basing in Japan.
USN sent one LBA to Indo, and one to Marianas (where IJN countered with Saesbo). USN sent surface to CPO and Aleutians, and everything else (including all 5 CVs) to Hawaii. In hindsight, I should have sent more than the one BB to CPO to disable his cruiser. Tim sent the I-boat, and there was a very scary couple of rounds in which I was thinking how the leftover forces in Hawaii would have nowhere useful to go T3.
Surface forces succeeded in sending away IJN cruisers in both CPO and Aleutians. Hawaii saw 2 USN CVs sunk, in exchange for the two IJN CVs and the lone IJN BB. USN pursued 7 CA with 8 CA + 3 CV and succeeding in sinking 5 while losing 1.
In Marianas, the USN LBA gets day and disables Saesbo! Philippines are saved.
In Indo, IJN LBA disable or sink all the british carriers, but whiff on the USN LBA. Return fire downs three LBA! The US sticks it out for 9 more rounds, but fail to down the last LBA (although it was hit for 1).
IJN invade New Hebrides, and flip Singapore and Lae.
USN Comments: Tim and I have completed turn 3 of our game. IJN gained 1 POC for a score of +18.
IJN patrolled Hawaii with 5 CA and the other home areas with 1BB+1CA. Single ships were scattered elsewhere. US patrolled sparingly in Marshalls and NPO, and Brits charged into Indo.
IJN put 2 LBA in USM, 1 in Marshalls. US defended the USM with 4 LBA and the last one went to SPO, in an attempt to save Guadalcanal from isolation, since only one BB could reach the Coral Sea, unlikely to break control there.
In raider phase, IJN sends 4 CVs to Hawaiians to support Saesbo, 2 CVs to Marianas to support Kure (and to attempt to take Philippines saved by US last turn). Single CVs go to Aleutians, CPO, SPO, Coral. One CA raider goes to deny the USN POC in the NPO. Most of the IJN BBs go to USM in support of the two LBA there. Indonesia is abandoned to the Brits.
Afraid of losing carriers, USN raiders duck, for the most part. 3 CVs + surface goes to Marshalls, to punch a hole and hopefully get a flag. Surface hits Japan (guarded by just 695), NPO, CPO, and Coral. The two marines from Pearl go to USM to support the LBA there. Highly considered hitting Marianas, with a good chance of saving the Philippines base, possibly even without carrier loss against the flag.
Both Japan and NPO see the IJN ship sunk with no loss to the USN (including the new Yamato!). USN gets day in USM, and the two IJN LBA disable one Marine and put 4d on the other, which lands and takes back New Hebrides.
In SPO, Kaga damages the 7th AF for 3d. USN takes the chance and manages to disable Kaga, saving Guad and getting the flag! In the Marshalls, it's D/N. 26th Airflot disables Enterprise, while the three USN CVs whiff. (Uh oh...) The lone USN patroller is sunk in the night round. Fortunately the I-boat and 2nd round LBA miss while the two carriers pull through. This could have been very bad, as if they had been forced to retreat, they had the unattractive option of basing in Australia and getting air-raided by the Coral CV, or basing in Samoa and getting stuck with flags in Marshalls and Hawaii. (although the SPO would be open)
The CPO battle pits 3 USN BBs vs. 1CV (Zuiho) + 1 CA. Over four straight day rounds, the Zuiho disables one BB and sinks the other two. Ugh! In Coral, the lone USN BB actually comes within a blink of decontrolling the area, but is disabled with damage.
Overall, small IJN POC gain, no CVs sunk on either side, IJN sunk 3BB, 1CA while USN sunk 1BB, 1CA. Philippines and Johnston Island are converted to IJN by invasion. USN retook New Hebrides.
USN Report: Tim and I have completed Turn 4 of our game. IJN gained 2 POC to go to +20.
The IJN patrol USM and Hawaii strongly (Coral was shielded by USN flags), and most other areas with 1-2 ships. With an IJN flag in Hawaii, and Wasp trapped, USN defends there with 7 LBA. 1 damaged LBA goes to USM. IJN abandons Hawaii in the raiding phase, but sends ships to most of the other areas.
USN attacks in Indo (with British only), 1 CV plus cruiser escorts to Marianas, 2 CVs to SPO vs. the lone LBA there (USN also sends a marine to take Lae). Surface goes to clear the Marshalls and NPO. IJN are left to take Midway unmolested with Yokasuka.
In Hawaii, the IJN gets a night roll and escapes, with some attrition against the T4 reinforcement BBs (Wasp sat in port). In the NPO, three USN CAs unsuccessfully attack the lone IJN CA patroller (they didn't have many other options, being trapped in the north and CPO too strong). Two CAs escape.
In Indo, the initial day action sees 2 LBA + Hiyo only disable the Illustrious, while the Hiyo is crippled and disabled. The Brits stick around through several more rounds, and amazingly, the LBA only manage to disable all the Brit CAs instead of sinking them. Night actions allow the Brits to exchange BBs with the IJN roughly evenly, helping to make up for the USN surface deficit.
In Marianas, USN gets lucky in sinking the patrolling Shoho, while return fire (including a shot from Hosho) only damage and disable the Enterprise. Mission accomplished, the USN CAs retreat.
In the USM and SPO, both sides see atrocious luck against LBA. Lexington and Saratoga (SPO) miss completely over two rounds, and Akagi (USM) over three rounds, and in both cases a carrier was sunk by the LBA. USN retreated in SPO, wanting to preserve 3 CVs for next turn. IJN had to retreat in USM with no more carriers. The 7th LBA managed to finish off both remaining 4-banger IJN carriers over the last two turns, single-handedly!
In the Marshalls, USN managed to not repeat last turn's surface vs. CVL debacle in the CPO. Night came in the second round, and Zuiho was sunk after disabling California round 1.
POC at 20, Pearl and Samoa in USN hands. Hole in the Marshalls, and Lae under USN control. We'll see how far the IJN can get the POC up while establishing a perimeter against 3 CV and Vicky...
USN Report: The IJN attempt to hold the perimeter with 1 LBA each to Indo, SPO, and Marshalls, and two cruisers in CPO. In the raiding phase carriers back up all these areas, and the bulk of the fleet goes to SPO. All three IJN amphib units are in play, which are sent to Indo, SPO, Coral to threaten Lae and Guad which are still Allied. Also, two LBA go to Hawaii, supported by Johnston, to threaten bottling up reinforcements.
USN respond with several LBA in SPO and Hawaii. 3 carriers and Vicky raid Marshalls, along with a marine and surface support. Several surface ships raid to Marianas, protected only by Hosho and 1 cruiser. Surface plus the last Brit CVL go to Indo to attempt to get a marine through, and nail the exposed Soryu, if lucky.
- Hawaii sees 4 USN LBA vs. 2 IJN. USN loses 1 while IJN loses 2 over three
- The USN manages to get a hole in the Marshalls, at a price. LBA, along with I-boat and Mushashi manage to sink two CV and the marine before being shot down.
- In the Marianas, Hosho manages to disable all the BBs one after another, and the USN retreats. Ugh!
- In the SPO, one IJN LBA and Hiryu manage to down all three USN LBA over three rounds. Double ugh!
- In Indo, Illustrious is sunk but the USN marine successfully invades the Philippines while the IJN unit is sunk.
- Coral, IJN manage to invade Guadalcanal after a day action
IJN gain 3 POC to make the score +23. Lae is captured through isolation.
USN Report: Both sides are short on ships, but the IJN is worse off and most of the surface ships are banged up. This turn the USN is short on LBA due to last turn's battles.
IJN sends 1 LBA each to CPO, Marshalls, and SPO. Most of the surface ships plus 2 CVL go to Indo, along with a marine to retake the Philippines. 2 CV, 2CA, 1BB also go to Hawaii, where the US patrolled with surface ships to free up LBA for other areas.
USN sends 2 LBA to Indo and scatters the rest. After much debate, USN decides to give up going for much POC this turn and instead decides to open up the board as much as possible. CPO, Marshalls, and Hawaii are all hit with sizable forces of surface and air. Two marines go to Marshalls to attempt to get a forward base.
- several minor actions occur in NPO, Marianas, SPO, all which turn out in the
- Saesbo retakes Philippines under cover of night, saving the IJN of trying to fight the LBA there with only 2 CVL
- however the actions in the other three areas go very well for the USN. The IJN loses 2 LBA, 3 CV, 4 CA, 1 BB while the USN only lose 1 CV (with one CVL crippled). 1 marine is sunk, but the other takes Kwaj.
POC remains even for the turn
IJN Report: The IJN resigns in the BPA SE semi-final match with the score likely at the end of turn 7 being +13 IJN.
Congratulations to Rob for a well-played game.
(I probably will win Indonesia with average luck).
USN Report: With POC at 23 and a bid of 3.5, the IJN still needs to swing 15 to win. The lack of forward bases for the USN will help a little.
IJN fleet plus 1 CV/2 CVL go to Indo, and 4 LBA + the three seaplane tenders go to JI. Taiho and Yokasuka go hunting for stray POC, hoping to make it easier on T8.
USN doesn't see a good chance of patrolling Japan next turn with a significant fleet, so attempts to go all out for POC this turn. All available air raid to Japan, and all available forces go to Indo, too, although in the latter area the forces will be about even.
- In both the Marshalls and NPO, the IJN "side missions" with Yokasuka and
Taiho fail due to D/N rolls. The surface sent to NPO could also possibly
patrol Japan next turn, albeit weakly
- In Indo, day action sees one USN marine sunk but the other only damaged for 4 (second time this game...). In return, the USN concentrates fire on Kure, sinking it. The battle would still be roughly even but the USN now has a forward base...
- In JI, the IJN has 3 LBA and the three weak CVLs against 4 CV + 7 CVL. Round 1, they manage to sink/disable 2 CV/ 2 CVL but the USN downs three LBA and 2 of the CVLs. At this point the IJN resigned.