The I-Boat Raid and North Pacific Option adjustments are in play.
IJN Report: Alan and I are playing with options 1
and 2a. The bid is 5. I sink 3xBB's on the first air-raid and damage a number of
others so I target the 7th AF on the second air-raid. I do hit the 7th but for
only 1d. Meanwhile, the raids end up pretty normal as I sink 7xBB and a CA. Alan
gets group W into the NPO to score a POC. Alan bases 2xCV in Australia. Turn
ends at IJN +6.
IJN Report: With a bid of 5, I am wondering what Alan's plan is for the game. I suspect that he will try to keep the POC in check, if he can. I decide to go with a fairly standard setup and see what happens. Alan begins to confirm my suspicions when he places his LBA in both the CS and USM. Now I need to decide if I am going to deny one, or both, of them. Or something else? I elect to go with a defensive strategy. The drawback is that I will need to peel off Hosho into Indo in order to protect it a little better since I only placed 3xLBA there. Had I placed some pressure on the USM, which Alan would need to protect, I would not have had to place Hosho at risk. Oh well!
Alan's raiders go straight to Hawaii! He has tried this before and not had a lot of luck. When he sent his move over, he said "Some day, someone has to pay for using this attack. Maybe it's today!". I hoped it would not be today or me! As it turned out, it was after midnight when I checked my email so I knew it would not be "today". After the pref rolls came in, I figured it would not be "me" either. We each win a pref roll that we are not favored in, he, Indo and me, Hawaii. Hosho is hit just once but is sunk. However, the real battle would be in Hawaii! We each shoot pretty well in round one as 3xUSN BB, 5xUSN CA, 3xIJN BB, 2xIJN CA are sunk. Despite having IJN BB's trained on them, both of Alan's CV's get away on disabled results. I have 4 pats left but my night wrap has doubled from 2 to 4. Alan decides to retreat in 2 groups.
Alan: It has been my experience that using this "one-area" attack, a lot of IJN players are really hoping that the USN does not attack Pearl even though the USN could win the battle. Here, with only three IJN CVs in the area and only a 2-ship wrap, I was going to be in great shape with a day action (21/15 in favor) and not too bad off with day/night. If I could chase him away with all day actions, losing just 2 CVs, I would have a big advantage. With all of Andy's other CVs guarding the perimeter, nothing else looked very attractive and if I attacked, say, SPO and failed, I'd be just as dead as if I got slaughtered in HI. Mike Kaye used a similar opening against me, and I did attack SPO in that one. I barely won the battle, but lost 2 CVs and the other three were max-damaged, so I was in tough shape in that one too. So I think this IJN opening is basically a "dice-roll dare". It is a great move for the IJN if the USN does not attack HI, since the USN will probably suffer significant CV attrition no matter what it does. If the USN does attack HI, it's a dice-fest where the IJN needs night only one of the first two rounds to get the upper hand. The alternative moves for the USN all require getting night against the flag to be really successful. Otherwise you have to hope to sink enough IJN CVs so that you can save Pearl, but that does not work very often. In short, this is one very nasty IJN opening!
Alan summerized the HI battle very well! For those of you looking at the odds, here are some particulars: USN odds of getting one pure day action-58%. Two pure days, which I think is the minimum the USN needs before the IJN will even concider retreating, is 33%. You might ask yourself, "Why does the USN need 2 pure day actions". Well, the USN is dealing with four targets, 3xCV and the Yokosuka NLF (If you don't get the Yokosuka, the IJN will be back and could flip Pearl at the end of T4). So, the USN, at the most, can reduce the wrap to one. Assuming the USN targets an IJN 436 with its 5th CV, it can expect to remove all 5 targets, 40% of the time. The IJN's 3xCV's, targeting the Enterprise class CV's, will remove all 3, 61% of the time. The I-Boat would then shoot at a removal rate of 39%, based on an Enterprise class CV. I generally assume that as the USN, I will have 2xCV left after the first round of combat but that I have missed one IJN target (Kaga and Akagi alone have a removal rate of just 64% when being targeted by single USN CV's). Based on the USN targeting above, the IJN will likely have a CV (44% of the time) left but only a one wrap. If the USN targets just the IJN CV's, doubling up on Kaga and Akagi, then it has allowed Yoko to land and still faces a 2 wrap. Either way, the IJN will stick around for round 2, as it faces just 2xUSN CV and has a chance to hit the USN fleet. Only if the IJN loses 2 more ships during a second, pure day round will it consider a retreat. This will happen just 33% of the time. As Alan said "it's a dice-fest where the IJN needs night only one of the first two rounds to get the upper hand." Should this happen in the first round in particular, the USN can face serious problems. The USN fleet usually can't retreat safely due to it's slow BB's, unlike the IJN. And before you know it, a meat grinder situation has developed.
Group one is just the slow OK(3d). Kaga and 4x444 will certainly chase her. She is sunk.
Group two is another story though. It is made up of 6xCA (3 at 1d) and 3xCV at speed 6. I have 7xCA, Akagi and Soryu. The big question is, should I chase or be happy with all the gains from this turn. They include flipping every base that the IJN can flip, gaining a net 8 POC, sinking every USN BB on the board and ahead 11 to 8 in attrition, and build a perimeter. What would you do?
Well, I decided to chase. It was based on the following: The risk was not that great. 2) I thought if the USN got away clean, there was still a USN chance in the game, since he had not lost any CV's. 3) I no longer needed a pure night action, a d/n roll would have been perfectly fine with me. 4) I figured even on a pure day action, the best the USN could do was to sink both CV's and a CA. I thought that even that was unlikely as Akagi could draw 2xCV. 5) If I can break the fleeing ships again, then the losses would get to be incredible 6) It was a chance at ending the game early and not risk something totally bizarre happening later, like a great USN LBA stand on T3.
I get lucky again and get a pure night action for the second time. I disable another CV but sink 4 of the six CA's. Alan only disables 2xCA. The USN is now down to 6xCA/5xCV on the board and 2xCA/2xCV are still at risk. With hardly anything to work with for the remainder of the game, Alan resigns.
Alan: I tend to play very aggressively against Andy because I don't beat him very often playing conservatively. Thus the games tend to be quick. I remember a five-minute game we had a few years ago at WBC where I stayed in CPO on Turn 1 as the USN with three or four CVs, only to have him roll night against the flag.
As always, it was great to play you! You are always thinking. I liked both your boldness and spirit when you charged into HI. I got a great chuckle out of your "today's the day" comment! You also are quick with a turnaround move so the game goes quickly and keeps the excitement up! Best of luck with your remaining matches!
USN Report: Andy has defeated me in our Top 10 game. We had a giant battle in HI on Turn 2 and he won, sinking almost my entire fleet.