* * 2001-2003 BPA Single-Elim * *
* * Final * *
Michael Day (IJN; Bid 6) vs. Ed Menzel (USN)

The CPO Withdrawal adjustment is in play.

Turn 1
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5

Turn 1

IJN Pre-Game Comments: Ed handed me my only loss to date in the ladder tournament, however, I learned a great deal from him. At Conquest I bid 4.5 POC for the IJN in the third round vs Ed, and managed to even the score 1-1.

I opened with a bid of 5 POC (CPO withdrawal option only), and to my surprise Ed countered with a bid of 5.5 POC. I pushed the envelope and received the IJN for 6 POC. Against Ed Menzel, that is a reckless bid. Nevertheless, the Emperor has given the order to climb Mt. Fujimora, and the attack on the allied navy now commences.

USN Report: A fairly standard T1 with IJN picking up the usual 7 POC.  Three BBs (1 crippled), 1 CA and the 7th AF escape Pearl.  Groups W & X show up in the HI.  The I Boat misses so 2 CVs make it to Australia for basing.

IJN Report: In Indonesia I shot down 5th af, as well as sinking the POW and Repulse.

At Pearl I sunk 5 BB's and one cruiser. California was undamaged, Maryland took 2 damage, and West Virginia took 5 damage.

The I-Boat missed the Saratoga. Enterprise and Saratoga positioned to Australia. Too bad, because if all four location uncertain groups arrived on turn 2 at Pearl (only a 1 in 16 chance), I would have attempted my Australian strategy against Ed (Boardgamer Magazine Volume 7 Number 2), although it works better FTF and under the pressure of a time clock (the look of surprise on opponents when half the IJN Fleet positions to Saigon at the end of turn one is priceless).

7 POC, and the IJN is very slightly ahead.

Turn 2

IJN Report: I sent 118's to Patrol the JI, Maria, Aluet, and the CPO.  Four 436, four 117, and two 107's patrolled the HI, as four 127's, four 444, and two 554 patrolled the USM. IJN LBA went to Indonesia (3), Marshalls (2), and (1) SPO. I left my CV's and four 127's on raid at Truk, along with Yokosuka. YNY 2 CV's on raid also. Two 118's patrol the Coral Sea.

I try to guestimate my opponents move beforehand, to try to get a feel for how he thinks, so i can better predict his actions on future turns.

At Conquest Ed countered by sending his two LBA (Hiryu shot 7th af down on the runway) and his entire fleet into the USM, minus some Ausssies in Maria and a CA in the NPO.

This time his three LBA went to the Coral Sea (too bad, I was going to send the Hosho there), Maria (ouch), and the SPO (I think Aluet would have been a better third placement).

The IJN needs to bring the USN into battle early, as early CV losses can cripple the USN and lead to an eventual IJN victory, even if individual battles themselves are lost.

So, I sent one 127 to the NPO, three into the USM (the USN has a better day night roll there than in HI), four 4 CV's into the USM, and my other four Cv's into the Hi. Hosho went into Maria to help prevent a block.

IJN Battle Report: Day followed by night in the HI. I could not have asked for a better result. All five USN CV's into the HI, as well as the entire USN. No sacrifice CV into the USM to stop Yokosuka from capturing the New Hebridges. Last round my four Cv's sunk Bobby Clinton's four USN CV's in the HI, and he lost the fifth in the USM. Hopefully the IJN will sink at least two, if not three, USN CV's.

Too much Saki. The IJN sunk only one USN CV, and at night sunk 5 CA's, as well as a CA in the NPO and an AF in the SPO. In exchange, the USN sunk all four IJN CV's (10 attack factors). The IJN meanwhile lost a BB and five cruisers. Hosho took one damage, rendering her useless. Attu, Lae, Midway, and Singapore converted due to isolation. Sasebo lands at Truk at end of turn.

POC at 15, this turn went to the USN.

USN Report: The IJN put on a full court press with a strong 2 area attack.  The USN decides to send it's entire raiding fleet to defend the HI.  The first round is D/N.  The IJN can only sink the Saratoga, damage the Enterprise and disable 2 CVs.  The USN has better luck sinking all 4 carriers and damaging a BB.  During the N the IJN sink 4 CAs and disable 2 while the USN sinks 5 CAs.  During pursuit the Kongo is sunk.

The IJN fair better in NPO/SPO.  After several rounds the USN LBA/CA are sunk with no damage to the IJN.  The IJN CAs escape under cover of darkness in the Marianas & Coral.  During N in the Marshalls, the 3 CAs put a damage point on the Hosho before fleeing.

POC goes to 15.

Turn 3

IJN Report: Patrolled Yamato to JI, Hosho d1 to Maria, Nagato to the Coral Sea (West Virginia reparied one damage point down to four damage on T2), Kirishima to the SPO, Tone to the CPO, and Suzanna to the Marshalls. All my other cruisers and battleships patrolled into the HI. Minus one BB, all USN ships are based at Pearl. I intend to force the issue with Ed early. The IJN plans on sending 5-6 LBA into the USM, and raid my CV's into the HI and /or the USM depending on the USN placement of LBA and marines. If a battle in the HI comes this turn, I will have a two surface ship fleet advantage. Sasebo to HI (objective Johnston Island), and Kure to Maria (objective Phillippeans).

In my opinion, Ed will either do one of the following:

1) 5 LBA to HI, CV's and fleet and marines to the HI (I don't think Ed will chose option one. He would win the battle of the HI, but, I believe, at too great a cost)

2) 5 LBA to USM, CV's and marines to USM. (I believe this is Ed's most likely choice, as if night the marines capture the New Hebridges, and if Day the IJN LBA will have to take first shots at the marines, giving the USN CV's and LBA a free round vs the IJN LBA.) Samoa is saved, and a TKO avoided.

3) 3 LBA to Maria, 1 LBA to SPO, 1 LBA to the Coral Sea. Both marines, CV's and fleet to Maria. Perhaps one sacrifice CV into the HI. Some ships may go into the CPO also. (If the Phillipeans held, highly likely, then the British could base there, Saigon would convert, and the IJN interior would crumble if all IJN ships pushed into the HI on turn 4. Most of the USN would duck this turn, and base in Maria, or Pearl, it matters not (2nd marine could try to re-capture Johnston Island on T4). This would give the  USN a chance to beat up on 2 118's, and possibly get some shots on the BB's in SPO and the Coral Sea. With turn 4 reinforcements the climatic battle in the HI would look like: IJN 6 LBA, 7 CV's, about 22 surface vessels vs the USN 10 LBA, 5 CV's, and about 22 surface vessels. If the IJN commited everything and failed to convert Pearl, the British would control BOB, Indo, JI, Maria, SPO, CPO, and Marsh on turn 4. In short, the IJN would lose the game badly.

Still, my intelligence report is that Ed will fight primarily in the USM. If I see the USN LBA and Marines go into the USM, the IJN will gamble for Day in USM (+2), and send three CV's to help the USM out (the other three to HI, and Junyo will gamble the roll (50-50) from YNY Japan!

IJN Mid-Turn Report:  The USN has patrolled 2 Ca's to both the Marshalls, and the CPO, as well as one Ca to the NPO. Now a USN night action in the HI is out of  the question. With 5 LBA in the HI it appears the USN will try to block the IJN by gaining flags in the Marshalls and CPO. Where he places his marines is critical. I was going to send my marines to capture both the Phillipeans and Johnston Island, but now I believe Guadalcanal via the Coral Sea (also deters marines trying to take the New Hebridges) is a safer, and hopefully better, move. So, a change in plans it is.

IJN Raiders: As the IJN, I want to bring the USN, expecially the 5 starting CV's, into an early battle. The IJN is more than happy to trade carriers early. I have decided to back raid my seven Air Craft Carriers into the Marshalls and CPO. If unopposed during the day (+2), the IJN should sink four cruisers and two marines. If the USN opposes the IJN, I will then try to trade carriers with him. I am leaving my surface fleet in the HI exposed, the USN and CV's could go there and pound on me during a day battle. If it went night (-1), I would have a significant surface fleet advantage and could get battleships on all his aircraft carriers. My guess, and I have been wrong so far to date, is that Ed will send everything on raid into the HI and try to make the IJN bleed through the nose. We'll see what happens soon.

IJN Battle Report:  Maryland (d4) disabled Kirishima in the SPO. Kirishima missed.

In the CPO two USN Ca's and the 1st marines was destroyed.

The USN sent all 4 CV's into the Marshalls, against my three "4" attack CV's. That is the main battle. I hope to trade three carriers for three carriers.

Again, too much Saki ! IJN lost two CV's, and only sunk one US CV. Fortunately, the I-Boat sunk the 2nd marines.

Well, my position is poor at this point in the game. I failed to engage the USN in a major battle in the first three turns, and now with the WASP his CV's number four, only one less than mine. On a brighter note, none of his LBA can presently penetrate the IJN perimeter.

With 24 attack bonus shots at different CV targets to date, odds are on average the IJN should have scored 8 hits for a total of 28 damage, enough to sink 5 CV's. As is, only 2 USN CV's have been sunk. The USN CV's are the key to this game. From this point on I will have to gamble just to try to defend my perimeter and reach 29 POC by the end of turn 5. As is, my POC are only at 18. So the IJN needs to average 6 POC a turn for the next two turns.

USN Report: The IJN concentrated on converting Samoa & threatening the HI.  They considered going for the gusto by sending a marine into HI to go for the KO.  But the odds looked too long & finally decided to aggressively raid their carriers to take out the USN marine threats.

The Marshalls offered the main excitement.  R1 was D/N & offered the chance for some attrition on the USN CVs.  But they only sunk 1 & disabled 1 during Day.  The USN didn't shoot that well either as 8 bonus shots could only put 1d on Akagi & disable her while Kaga was sunk.  Zuikaku & Tone were sunk from the massive USN surface guns while their surface shots missed.  The I Boat came through big time though sinking the 1 Marine!

In the CPO the IJN carriers cleaned house by sinking all 3 units.  In the SPO, the Md disabled the Kirishima saving 2 POC.  In the HI, the LBA armada could only sink 1 CA.

POC at 18.

Turn 4

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: I WILL TRY TO HOLD THE USM, MARSHALLS, AND THE CPO WITH A COMBINATION OF LBA AND CV'S.  MY SURFACE FLEET WILL PATROL INDONESIA. MARIANAS AND THE SPO WILL BE HELD BY ONE LBA APIECE.  I BELIEVE ED WILL TRY TO CONVERT THE MARSHALLS AS HE HAS A BETTER CHANCE FOR A NIGHT RESULT, AND ITS "FLAGING" WOULD RESULT IN TWO ISLAND BASES CONVERTING TO USN CONTROL. SO TWO LBA, A 4 FACTOR CV, AND THE I-BOAT WILL TRY TO HOLD THE MARSHALLS. IF I CAN GET SOME GOOD BLOOD ON HIS FOUR CV'S, AND FLAG THE MARSHALLS, I HAVE A SHOT AT GETTING BACK INTO THIS GAME. TURNS TWO AND THREE WENT TO THE USN, HOPEFULLY TURN FOUR WILL GO THE IJN WAY.

IJN After-Battle Report: Well, for all practical purposes this game is now lost. Had the IJN been able to hold the Marshalls I would have had a shot at getting back in it. POC is only at 22, and a solid hole is in my  perimeter, forcing needed lba to defend interior areas when they are needed badly elsewhere. We each have 3 Marines / snlf, and had the Marshalls held I would have "hunted" his Marines on turn five. As is, the IJN will soon (turn 6) become the hunted.   Had I been able to inflict heavier CV losses a single IJN LBA could hold a vital area, freeing my fleet and CV's to attack his Marines and  preventing them from securing needed bases.  Oh well, such are the fortunes of war. At least the British are eliminated. The Emperor orders the IJN Fleet to continue the fight to the last man!

USN Report:  The IJN made a very good aggressive move.  There were several Allied options - and none of them looked that good. 

In Indonesia, I decided the opportunity to get a lot of British shots at the IJN fleet was worth their getting annhilated.  So the Brits go to Indo.  I also decided I just couldn't let him have his perimeter intact.  So very reluctantly, I went for the Marshalls as well.  I could easily lose 3 or so CVs there and still not break his control with a pure D action.  But I had the flag and a 42% chance for N and a 58% chance for N or D/N.  Either one would let me put all my carriers on the LBA.

Indonesia turned out badly as the Brits could only sink 2 CAs & damage 2 BBs before losing all but 3 ships that went into Indonesia.  In retrospect I think going there was a bad move.  I might reasonably expect to sink 4-5 ships but almost surely would lose the Brit fleet for future turns after the T5 removals.  If the Brits stayed home, they would have enough after the T5 removals to tie down a number IJN ships or LBA that would be equally as effective.  And they could help defend the western side of the board.  Bad decision on my part compunded by the bad Brit shooting.

In the Marshalls things went better as N came up on R1.  The Shokaku went to the bottom in a hail of gunfire while the I Boat missed.  R2 was not so kind.  Sixteen shots on the LBA could only damage one for 3 points while the Hornet was sunk.  The undamaged LBA was sunk on R3 but the Wasp went to the bottom too.  Finally on R4 the last LBA was shot down while the Enterprise was disabled.  With that the Marshalls bases flipped to the USN.

In the USM, one CA was sunk during D.  POC at 22. 

The USN has a nice plus with the Marshalls in their control but the lack of forward bases on the western side of the board and no Brits hurts.

Turn 5

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: The situation is desperate, and desperate times call for desperate actions. I will try to draw off his lba into the Indian Ocean, Aluetians, and the Marshalls. Then I will gamble what little I have left on an attempt to "Flag" the Hawaiian Islands. The chance of this working is slim to none, but it is all I have left since I am playing for nothing less than an IJN victory. If I am successful, the USN turn 6 reinforcements will be trapped in the HI on turn 6, giving me a better chance at holding the USN advance down, as well as the POC pendulum.

IJN After-Battle report: I decided to desperately gamble in the HI to try to get back in this game. On a night roll, I might have had a chance, if and only if the USN had very bad dice. At least, I might draw back the USN from their  forward positon in the Marshalls.

THE IJN OFFERS AN UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER TO THE USN.

IF YOU WANT TO CONTINUE ON I WILL DO SO, OTHERWISE, CONGRATULATIONS !!!

I LEARNED A LOT, AND WILL BE A MORE FORMIDIBLE OPPONENT WHEN NEXT WE MEET...

USN After-Battle Comment: Michael has conceded our game to me. I thought Mike played a good aggresive game. Unfortunately for him, it didn't work out this time. Mike is already a formidable opponent, so any learning will just make him more so.

IJN Post-Game Comments: In retrospect, I would alter my opening vs Ed so as to divide my fleet exactly evenly between the USM and the HI. Although the USN would have a better die roll modifier in the USM, the HI fleet and marines would be trapped on turn 3, making a US decision on where to fight a difficult one. I would open (5) 118 Patroll to CS, Maria, JI, CPO, Aluet, and half of each type of  cruiser and BB to USM and HI. One 118 and all CV's woulld stay in reserve. Hosho to CS if no US AF there, and the sixth 118 to the NPO. Yokosuka to USM or HI. Sasebo to Aluet. Turn 2 CV's to CPO. Other 8 CV's split equally between HI and USM (13 carrier attack factors into both USM and HI). And approximately 3 LBA to Indo, 1 LBA to SPO, and 2 LBA to the Marshalls.  In retrospect, on turn 3 I would put 4 lba into the USM, 1 into the Marshalls, and 1 into Maria. On turn 2 the IJN won the critical day night roll, but my carrier pilots failed (and two I-boat shots) to sufficiently attrition the USN CV's. Similiar poor pilot attacks failed on turn 3, and at that point the game was in dire straights. The loss of the Marshalls battle and the Marshall Islands on turn 4 sealed my fate.

PROVERBS 21:31

Ed graciously accepted my unconditional surrender.

USN Report: The IJN based the CPO ships at Midway & the bulk of it's fleet at Samoa at the end of T4.  The threat to the HI and/or Marshalls became obvious.  The Allied main objectives this turn were to hang on to their existing bases and keep the POC down.  Three marines based at Pearl so as to have fleet support for any advances.  They would either move to the Marshalls so as to position for T6 or go after other bases depending on the IJN patrols & LBA.

With only 1 IJN LBA in the CPO, 2 marines were sent to try to take Midway.  The other one went to the Marshalls in case the 2 IJN SNLFs were successful in taking both Marshalls bases.

When most of the IJN raiders went to the HI, it posed a dilemma for the USN.  If the USN fleet defended the HI, it risked losing the NE corner, having it's CAs shot up and being poorly positioned for T6.  Not good!  So most of the BBs stayed in the Marshalls while other forces went to defend the NE corner.  The main question was what carrier support to give to the 3 HI LBAs.  I finally decided on the damaged Enterprise & Vicky to support the LBA to significantly increase the odds of holding the area.  Two BBs also went there in case it got ugly & N came up on R1.  They would be favored to take out both patrollers so that the LBA could concentrate on the carriers in later rounds.

It was D in all areas except NPO.  In the HI, the Enterprise & both BBs were sunk while only the Akagi was sunk in exchange.

In the NE corner, the Hosho & IJN CA whiff while the Hosho & Kitakami are both sunk.

In the Marshalls, the 3 LBA sink Kure leaving Sasebo vulnerable on R2.

In the CPO, the 2 marines each take 4 damage from the LBA & I Boat so Midway falls.

After R1, the USN controls the Marshalls, Midway & the NE corner as Attu will undoubtedly convert by isolation.  That leaves a damaged marine in CPO & a marine in the Marshalls poised for attacking western bases next turn with the support of the T6 carriers.  POC will be 25 at the end of the turn (bid of 6).  At this point the IJN surrendered.

Michael played a good aggressive game constantly keeping pressure on the USN.  But his below ave luck in sinking USN carriers tipped the game to the Allies.


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