* * 2007-2009 BPA Single-Elim * *
* * Second Round * *
Robert Drozd (IJN; Bid 1) vs. Ray Freeman (USN)

The Normal Turn One variant is in play.

Turn 1
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5
Turn 6
Turn 7
Turn 8

GM Comment: The reports of this game were so fascinating that I asked the players to write it up in detail for us to enjoy and for historical purposes.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Turn 1

IJN Comments: Ray and I played NT1, which, I believe was Ray's introduction to the option. I ended up playing the IJN for a bid of 1 POC.

One of the attached boards shows the Turn 1 position after the first 2 raids in Pearl and Indonesia. As you can see, I was not conceding the POC in NPO.

Hiryu was sent to NPO instead of accompanying the Pearl Harbor raiding force. The I-Boat would have added support to either Marshalls, CPO, or NPO if the USN CVs were deployed in one of those areas.

For Round 3 in Hawaii, I targeted the 2 CVs, the 2 patrolling CAs, the 7thAF, and the 2 non-crippled BBs. Ray elected not to engage in battle, so no attack was made. For Round 4 in Hawaii, a day action allowed the 3 bottomed BBs to be sunk.

In Indonesia, a day action allowed the IJN LBA to sink the Prince of Wales.

In NPO, the Salt Lake City was sunk in a day action.

The I-Boat missed the Hermes.

The second attached board shows the position at the start of Turn 2. The IJN lead of 4 POC is what I was aiming for.

USN Comments: As you can see, Rob had an impressive Air Raid despite not having Hiryu along, sinking both CAs, 5 BBs, crippling 1 and badly damaging another BB AND 7th AF. Plus he killed my patroller in NPO, and blew up the Brits. The only saving grace was the I-Boat missed Hermes and I got 2 CVs to Australia.

This was actually my third try using NT1.

Turn 2

IJN Comments: A Day/Night action in the NPO turned into Day only as the Hornet sunk Myoko.

USN controlled NPO.

In US mandate, first round Day action disabled the Chokai and sunk Kinugasa and Furutaka. Kako tried to run, but was sunk in the second round Day action. USN controlled US Mandate.

In the Aleutians, Sasebo was expected to capture Dutch Harbor, but the Day/Night (effectively Day only) result allowed the 11thAF to disable the NLF after Hiryu and Shoho hit it for 2 damage. The 11thAF then withdrew.

IJN controlled Aleutians and Attu flipped to IJN side.

Yet another Day/Night result occurred in Coral Sea. Hosho was able to sink the California, which had been heavily damaged at Pearl. In the following Night action, Astoria was sunk, Suzuya took 1 damage and Hosho was sunk.

IJN withdrew in one group to avoid the Maryland and there was no pursuit.

USN controlled Coral Sea.

IJN got the Day action needed in Marshalls, but only disabled the Canberra and Australia. IJN controlled Marshalls.

In Indonesia, there were many British raiders, but only 2 British patrollers - a BB and a CA. IJN had 2 LBA, the Shoho, I-Boat and Fuso.

Allied airpower consisted of Lexington, Enterprise, Formidable, Indomitable and Hermes.

Round 1 - Day - Enterprise crippled and disabled; Formidable sunk; Shoho sunk; 21AF takes 1 damage; 24AF takes 2 damage.

Round 2 - Day of D/N - Lexington sunk; 21AF shot down.

Round 2 - Night of D/N - Fuso sunk; whiff on patroling BB.

Round 3 - Day - Indomitable disabled. Now it is Hermes vs 24AF(2d).

Round 4 - Day - What else? 24AF shot down. USN controls Indonesia.

Unopposed in Hawiaan Islands, Yokosuka captures Johnston Island. However the turn is a disaster for IJN. The attached board showing the turn 3 starting position has the POC at 10 IJN, the majority of the British fleet in Singapore, a small USN force in Dutch Harbor, and Lae and Phillippines still USN bases.

Before battle dice were thrown, Ray expressed he was shocked at my move, and I admitted that I may have taken some risk in Indo.

USN Comments: The Aleutians' part certainly went well for the US.

The Coral Sea was very disappointing for the US given the D/N roll. With 2 BBs and 6 CAs vs Hosho and 3 CAs I was rather hoping to get better surface attrition.  Instead I traded a BB and a CA for Hosho.  At least the Marshalls results made up for the Coral results.

There was no reason for Rob to take the Indo risk. IMO 3 LBA was required.  I can live with the Allied round one losses in Indo, but my damage dice sucked!  Naturally I had to shoot at Shoho after he wiffed on the Lex. Thank god his sub missed. IIRC, the hit on Shoho was a 6 with high damage, but I trashed the file so am not certain of this.

Well, it only took 12 shots on the stupid 24th to kill it. I was due.  If Rob had won the air battle, I'd have been toast.

Turn 3

IJN Comments: Warspite, Ramilles, Hermes, Revenge, and Resolution attempted to raid 2 zones. All except Resolution made the speed rolls to get to the attached board position before combat.

IJN Turn 3 objectives:

1) With Lae, Phillippines and Singapore in USN control, IJN could not afford to lose Saigon as well. So it was imperative that IJN control Indonesia on Turn 3.

2) Control HI in order to flip Pearl Harbor.

3) Since New Hebrides was vulnerable because Coral Sea was uncontrolled on Turn 2 and it was looking like an IJN victory would likely depend on keeping the USN Turn 6 reinforcements off the board, an attempt to capture New Hebrides is made to use as a base for IJN LBA in US Mandate.

4) Stop USN from controlling Japanese waters.

While I sent a raiding CA to SPO and Marshalls to deal with a Patrolling Allied CA, I do not recall why none were deployed to Marianas.

Yamato's mission to keep the US flag out of Japanese Isles was possible because Formidable whiffed during the Day action. Kumano disabled Deruyter in the Marshalls to keep the US flag out. These 2 small battles meant I did not need to worry about the homeland or the bases in Marshalls flipping due to isolation on Turn 4. While Mogami was unable to keep the US flag out of SPO, that battle was not as important.

In Coral Sea, IJN needed the +1 adjustment to get the Day action. Junyo and Yorktown sunk each other, and Shoho targeted the 5-shooting Maryland instead of the patrolling BB. The I-Boat whiffed on the patroller. Sasebo was able to capture New Hebrides. I believe Ray commented later on (I haven't found that email yet) that he would have been better off had theYorktown shot Sasebo instead of Junyo. I must agree as I was surprised that Sasebo was not the target.

In Hawaiian Islands, the Day followed by Night allowed me to ignore the 1st Marines in the Day action. I was elated to see 3 LBA go down and a 4th take maximum damage in Round 1. I had mixed feelings about the return fire -- while nothing was sunk, the 4 CVs disabled represented over 55% of my firepower. With everybody shooting at the NLF during the Night action, it was sunk with much excess damage.

Subsequent Rounds:

In Japanese Islands, the 2nd round was a Night action and Yamato disabled the Warspite with 3 damage. The return fire disabled the Yamato with a total of 8 damage.

Coral Sea had a Night action in Round 2. Yamashiro whiffed on the Patrolling BB and the return fire (5 shots on Yamashiro and 9 shots on

Zuiho) had one '5' and no '6's. The disabling shot was on the Zuiho, and it based at New Hebrides. Although Yamashiro could have outrun the 3 USN BBs, the brave captain stayed for Round 3 and was able to sink the patroller before being sunk.

In Hawaiian Islands, the second Day action was ominous as the IJN scored 2 hits on one of the healthy LBA for 2 damage. If I had a nickel... The return fire disabled the Akagi. Once again, I am thankful nothing was sunk, but now I am down to 8 shots and there are still 3 LBA flying. In Round 3, the Allied LBA with max damage is shot down, but now things are getting serious as Soryu and Ryujo are sunk. In Round 4, the damaged Allied LBA is shot down leaving one healthy LBA to go. Alas, we never get to Round 5 because the IJN LBA is shot down forcing the IJN fleet to withdraw.

The loss in Hawaiian Islands was devastating to the IJN. A swing of 5 POC to the USN and the IJN failed to flip Pearl. Now, in Aleutians, there was nothing to stop Kure from capturing Dutch Harbor. However, I decided it might be more useful elsewhere for Turn 4, so Dutch Harbor was not taken.

The board after basing, reinforcements and returning units is attached as the Turn 4 start. IJN hoped to merely keep the POC stable at 10 IJN, instead it shifted to 5 IJN.

The only IJN bright spots:

1) Still had Johnston Island

2) Had New Hebrides

3) USN lost 5 LBA in Turn 3, so would have only 3 available for Turn 4

4) No danger of losing home port or bases in Marshalls to isolation.

Turn 4

IJN Report: Ray and I have finished Turn 5 with myself as the IJN player taking a 5 POC lead (4 POC after bid adjustment) into Turn 6.

An interesting game in which 2 IJN LBA withdrew from Indonesia unopposed in Turn 4. Had I stayed, Singapore would have flipped to IJN. However, at the time the teeth of the USN fleet were based in Singapore and flipping would have sent those BBs and CAs to Lae, which would have left me no chance to flip both Pearl and Samoa. The decision has paid off as I did flip both ports in Turn 5. That leaves Ray with 2 CVs and 5 LBA for Turn 6 and I have Shokaku and Zuiho plus 6 LBA.

IJN Comments: When looking at the BeforeCombat attachment, I recall that Zuiho tried to patrol Indian Ocean, but failed the speed roll. There was some odd thought that if Zuiho made the speed roll, IJN LBA might go to Coral Sea and NLFs from Saigon could go to Indian Ocean and capture Port Moresby. If everything went right, Austrakia might flip on Turn 5. When Zuiho failed the speed roll, I no longer had to dwell on that plan. I doubt if I would have actually done that, but since I was desperate for POC, I thought with some day actions Zuiho could take the 2 POC available in Indian Ocean.

The raiding British BBs to Indian Ocean and Indinesia failed patroller speed rolls. Hermes made the raider speed roll to reach Indo.

The first 3 IJN LBA went to Hawaiian Isles, Marianas and Indo. Even though all 3 USN LBA went to Indo, I only put one more LBA there because Coral Sea would be important to control, as it would prohibit any ships based in Australia from reaching US Mandate on Turn 5.

NLFs were placed with hopes of capturing Phillippines and Lae.

The Round 1 combat map shows the order of battle and the results of the first round.

1) In SPO, USN wins the D/N preference and Saratoga sinks Kure.

2) In Indo, IJN gets the Night action that allows the I-Boat to sink Enterprise before Day actions begin. IJN is still the underdog, but IJN odds improved greatly.

3) In Japanese Isles, Mikuma dings the Chicago for 1 damage. However, the return fire from 4 CAs whiffs, so Mikuma will get another shot.

4) Marianas - With a Day action, Yokosuka could have captured Phillippines, but USN won this roll. The presence of the IJN LBA meant that the USN was likely to withdraw after the Night action, so the IJN BBs targeted the speedy CAs with the idea of pursuing the slower BBs later. Northampton and Minneapolis were lined up against Mutsu and Nagato to allow the 2 USN BBs to target the NLF. Nagato sunk Northampton, but Mutsu shot blanks. In the return fire, the NLF was sunk and both IJN BBs were disabled providing a safe retreat for the USN..

5) In NPO, Kumano was sunk and failed to dispatch the patroling CA.

6) USN won the Night action in Marshalls. Both sides whiff.

7) Coral Sea - IJN wins Day action and the LBA sinks the Australia.

8) Hawaiian Isles - The unescorted IJN CVs would have liked at least 2 day actions before Night, but are happy to avoid starting with Night by getting Day/Night result. If it had been Day only, I would have attacked 2nd Marines with more than the one CV, but with the Night action iminent, I expanded the target selection to include Indiana (because of the bonus shots) and North Carolina (1 of 3 patrollers). I couldn't be happier with the results of the Day action: Hornet disabled, Wasp sunk, 2nd Marines sunk and North Carolina disabled. In the return fire, the LBA took 2 hits for 2 damage! The same result that prevented me from taking control and flipping Pearl on Turn 3 has now allowed me to take control of Hawaiian Isles on Turn 4. However, there are 4 BBs and a CA waiting to pounce on my CVs in the Night action.

9) Indian Ocean - Zuiho gets the Day action and sinks Exeter.

IJN is having odd thoughts about Zuiho staying in Indian Ocean long-term with the idea that if only 3 British ships remain at the end of Turn 4, then Victorious will not come on the board.

Ise is staying in SPO to try and get rid of the patroling CA.

Combat Round 2

1) Another Day Action in SPO allows Saratoga to sink Ise leaving Canberra to control the zone.

2) Only Day actions remain in Indonesia. IJN shots whiff on an LBA, but manage to cripple the Hermes. The 7 shots of return fire whiff. At 2 LBA vs 3 LBA, IJN is still the underdog, but odds improved again.

3) In Japanese Isles, Chicago is hit again and Mikuma is sunk, leaving the zone uncontrolled.

4) In Hawaiian Isles, the four IJN CVs shoot in the Night action crippling the South Dakota and disabling the Colorado. In the return fire, 5 bonus shots sink the Kaga, but 5 bonus shots on Akagi only disable it with 2 damage, Washington sinks Zuikaku, but Colorado and Mississippi disable Shokaku with no damage. The remaining USN ships withdraw to Singapore. IJN is thankful to come out of the Night action with two operational CVs in Truk. The damaged IJN LBA controls the zone.

5) Indian Ocean - Zuiho gets another Day action and disables the Cornwall.

With IJN flags in HI, USM, and CS, Zuiho abandons mission of sinking the British in Indian Ocean in order to be available for Turn 5. IJN stays in Indonesia to try and shoot down LBA.

Indonesia is the only battle remaining. Round 3 is 6 shots whiffing from both sides. IJN shoots down one LBA in Round 4 and another in Round 5 while return fire from USN LBA continues to whiff. USN withdraws leaving 2 IJN LBA to control the zone and flip Singapore.

However, I believed victory for the IJN would be possible only if the USN reinforcements for Turns 6 and 7 can be kept out of the game. If the IJN stays in Indonesia and flips Singapore, then the USN fleet could relocate to Lae, which would make the IJN's chances of capturing both Pearl and Samoa on Turn 5 very poor. So IJN also withdraws from Indonesia leaving the zone uncontrolled and most of the USN fleet in Singapore.

Note that in a face-to-face game, with the order of battle as it was, it may have been difficult for IJN to make the decision to withdraw from Indo. The simultaneous combat feature of PBEM provides more information than would have been available playing FTF. Or perhaps if we were playing FTF, the Indonesia battle may have been placed later in the order of battle.

For Turn 4, IJN earned 8 POC for controlling 4 zones and USN earned 3 POC for controlling 3 zones, bringing the IJN lead to 10 POC before the bid adjustment going into Turn 5. The board at the start of Turn 5 shows the basing and flags at the end of Turn 4.

Turn 5

IJN Comments: The IJN objective on Turn 5 was to control 2 zones - Hawaiian Islands and US Mandate. With average speed rolls for the USN BBs in Singapore, my assessment is that I might have barely enough resources to accomplish the objective, so all other zones were ignored.


I can't asssume LBA will survive to take control, so the IJN must patrol in large numbers to improve the chances of achieving the objective.

The USN units that could possibly reach the Hawaiian Islands was fixed at 1 BB, 6 CAs, Victorious, Saratoga, and 3rd Marines. In US Mandate, I expect 4 or 5 BBs with 7 CAs and 2 CVs. Musashi is placed on raider status with hopes that it could reach the Hawaiian Islands. Mutsu would be useful in either zone and was placed on raider status. All other ships are on patrol 1BB plus 6 CAs to HI and 5 BBs plus 6 CAs to USM. Nagato passes the speed roll into USM and Kirishima passes the speed roll to HI.


No surprises, only units that could not possibly make it to either USM or HI were used as patrollers. Since the USN does not need to control either USM or HI, patrollers are not needed, Since Victorious and Massachusetts cannot go beyond HI, they are put on patrol, although Wichita remains in Pearl on raider status.


With 6 LBA, I could place 2 at a time, but decided to place 3 LBA first, then 2 more, so that I would see where 5 of the USN LBA were placed before deciding where to put the last IJN LBA. Reviewing the various scenarios of LBA placement and the USN response, I decided I would want at least 2 undamaged LBA in US Mandate, so I started with 2 there and 1 in Hawaii.

When the USN countered with 3 LBA in HI, my next 2 went to HI as well.

Ultimately all remaining LBA went to HI.


Sasebo was sent to Hawaiian Isles to secure Johnston Island. The 3rd Marines can disable the IJN LBA if it survives a Day action and Sasebo does not. 1st Marines to Coral Sea threatens New Hebrides.


At this point, I am willing to leave US Mandate to the 2 LBA and patrollers already in the zone. If the major battle is in that zone the I-Boat will be placed there for support. The order of battle will allow me to defer battle in Coral Sea until the battle in USM is over, so the IJN LBA will not be disabled until the battle is over. I anticipate that at least 1 LBA will outlast the 2 USN CVs. With the +2 adjustment for a day action, I am confident that any USN ships that show up in USM can be handled. With the number of IJN patrollers, I could survive a few Night actions along the way.

So, All IJN raiders go to Hawaiian Isles. Musashi makes the speed roll.


The major battle will be in Hawaiian Islands and I am surprised that all available raiders (or at a minimum, Saratoga) were not added to the fray. I like my chances. If the 4 IJN LBA can handle 5 of the USN LBA, I think the CVs can deal with the remaining 3 LBA. Victorious can be taken out in a night action.


The I-Boat could be used to break USN control in Japanese Islands or Coral Sea, but I place it in Hawaiian Isles to be backup. If we start with a day action, I may need the I-Boat to shoot at 3rd Marines or Victorious.


Round 1

Hawaiian Islands - Day of D/N

IJN shots:

24AF vs 5thAF #3-6 Roll: 1 2 1 (No hits) 25AF vs 7thAF #3-6 Roll: 3 6 1 (1 hit 3 Damage) 26AF vs 13thAF #3-6 Roll: 2 4 6 (1 hit 5 Damage)

22AF(2d) vs 14thAF #3-6 Roll: 3 6 1 (1 hit 5 Damage) Hiryu vs NavalAF #3-6 Roll: 5 2 6 (1 hit 6 Damage) Hiyo, Zuiho vs 10thAF #5-6 Roll: 3 4 5 1 3 (No hits) Shokaku vs 11thAF #4-6 Roll: 1 6 5 3 (1 hit 5 Damage)

Akagi(2d) vs RNZAF #4-6 Roll: 5 2 4 4 (No hits)

5 hits out of 28 shots is not in itself remarkable, but the fact that the hits were spread across 5 different targets and the damage was exceptional made this a better than expected Round 1. It was very fortunate to have a night action following, as I did not need to target the 3rd Marines during the day action.

USN return fire:

5 and 7 AF vs Akagi(2) #4-6 Roll: 2 2 6 4 (1 hit 6 Damage)

13 and 14 AF vs Shokaku #4-6 Roll: 1 4 1 5 (No hits, disabled) Naval and 10 AF vs Hiryu #4-6 Roll: 5 5 6 6 (2 hits 6+2=8 Damage)

11 and RNZAF vs Hiyo #4-6 Roll: 6 4 2 4 (1 hit 5 Damage) Victorious vs Zuiho #2-6 Roll: 5 4 (No hits, disabled)

4 hits out of 18 shots, but 2 hits doubled up on Hiryu. Damage rolls were high here as well, so 3 CVs sunk and the other 2 disabled.

Hawaiian Islands - Night of D/N

IJN shots:

Oi vs Massachusetts #1-5 Roll: 4 (No hits, disabled) Five CAs vs Victorious #5-5 Roll: 6 6 3 1 3 (2 hits 3+6=9 Damage) Three BBs vs 3rdMarines #15-6 Roll: 6 1 6 2 2 2 2 2 4 1 3 3 6 6

4 (4 hits 6+3+6+1=16 Damage)

USN return fire:

MA vs Kirishima #5-5 Roll: 1 4 2 6 1 (1 hit 4 Damage)

The I-Boat has no shot.

The IJN has the advantage with 4 LBA vs 4 LBA going into Round 2

Round 2

Hawaiian Islands - Day

IJN shots:

24AF vs 5thAF #3-6 Roll: 3 1 5 (No hits) 25AF vs 7thAF(3d) #3-6 Roll: 3 3 1 (No hits) 26AF vs 10thAF #3-6 Roll: 4 1 6 (1 hit 5 Damage)

22AF(2d) vs RNZAF #3-6 Roll: 3 4 3 (No hits)

USN return fire:

5thAF vs 24AF #2-6 Roll: 4 5 (No hits)

7thAF(3d) vs 25AF #2-6 Roll: 6 4 (1 hit 1 Damage) 10thAF vs 26AF #2-6 Roll: 1 3 (No hits) RNZAF vs 22AF(2d) #2-6 Roll: 3 2 (No hits)

The IJN advantage improves and USN withdraws.

In Coral Sea, the 1st Marines capture New Hebrides disabling the IJN LBA in US Mandate.

IJN controls 2 zones to earn 4 POC while USN controls 6 zones for 9 POC.

The IJN lead is reduced to 5 POC before the bid adjustment (1 POC).

IJN's mission of capturing Pearl Harbor and Samoa was achieved, but the small POC lead and the USN bases in Dutch Harbor, New Hebrides, Lae, and Phillippines plus USN control of Singapore means victory is uncertain.

Turn 6

IJN Comments: IJN Turn 6 objectives - 1) control Japanese Islands, 2) control Indonesia, 3) Capture New Hebrides, 4) Prevent USN control of Hawaiian Islands.

Since this is a very close game, it is not enough to merely stop Saigon and Japan from flipping by leaving Japanese Isles and Indo uncontrolled.

The IJN flag is needed in both. If IJN can capture New Hebrides this turn, then I believe the IJN victory is assured.

IJN deployment - Almost all of the fleet will be needed to support the NLFs in US Mandate, where I will want an escort screen large enough to guarantee that in a Night action at least 1 NLF will be untouchable. So, LBA are used in Japanese Islands and Indo. By placing 3 LBA first and then 2 more, I can see where all 5 of the USN LBA are going before placing my last LBA. I opt to place the last LBA in SPO (hoping to draw a CV away from US Mandate).

With 3 NLFs in US Mandate, and an even die roll for Day/Night, I like my chances of capturing New Hebrides.

All raiders except Mutsu (needed to deal with a patrolling CA in Hawaii) go to US Mandate.

The I-Boat could have been used in several areas, but I opted to send it to Japan as back-up to save Okinawa from capture.

Combat results:

First the good news - Mutsu succeeded in keeping the USN flag out of Hawaiian Isles, and the marines in Japanese waters were kept off of Okinawa.

HOWEVER - In Marshalls, Tone failed to dispatch the patrolling Canberra, and in US Mandate, where there were 4 bonus shots on 2 of the NLFs and 4 regular shots on the other, 2 NLFs were sunk and the third disabled with damage. The IJN force needed an NLF to disable the USN LBA. Eventually, the IJN had to withdraw.

IJN controlled JI, Indo, SPO and CPO for 9 POC and USN had flags in BoB, Marianas, Marshalls, CS, USM, NPO, and Aleutians for 9 POC, so no change to the slim IJN lead going into Turn 7. The bright spot is that there are no USN CVs left for Turn 7.

Turn 7

IJN Comments: The IJN primary objectives:

Japanese Islands, Marshalls, and Hawaiian Islands can be controlled easily.

CPO can be controlled with a little air threat (+2 for Day action) and some patrolling escorts.

However, the above is not enough to clinch victory.  IJN would be more comfortable if any one of the following objectives can be achieved:

  1. IJN control of Marianas
  2. Prevent USN from controlling USM
  3. IJN capture of Dutch Harbor
  4. IJN control of Indonesia

Japanese Islands - The crippled Nagato and the Haguro may be enough.  If the Pensacola (based in Dutch Harbor) is a raider, a CVL may be deployed as a raider.
Hawaiian Isles - one damaged LBA.
Marshalls - One damaged LBA.

I do not want to use the IJN fleet in Indonesia where most of the USN fleet can reach, so I split the fleet between CPO and Marianas, where only the USN ships based in New Hebrides can raid. CPO needs less hulls because no opposing air factors will be present. So 2 BBs with 4 CAs to Marianas and 1 BB with 3 CAs to CPO.

It is nice that I will see all the opposing air placement before committing the CVs and CVLs.

Pensacola goes to NPO, so no IJN raiders are needed in Japanese Isles. The threat from the IJN raiders in Saigon and Truk appear to be causing more patrollers to be used in Coral Sea and USM. The slower BBs and crippled CA on New Hebrides were used as patrollers. So far 1 USN LBA was placed in Aleutians and in Indonesia.

Since Indonesia already has 1 USN LBA, IJN elected to place the 4 remaining LBA in USM. I know the USN counter to this move will require at least 6 LBA and possibly more with Shokaku and Zuiho on raider status. This should help IJN's chances in the other areas.  USN deploys 6 LBA to USM and 2 LBA to Marianas.

With only 1 USN LBA in Aleutians, the chances of capturing Dutch Harbor are better than 50/50 and the IJN NLF deploys there.  The USN NLFs can only stage this turn and I do not expect they will be a factor in Turn 8 either.

Rather than try to steal some POC from areas patrolled by USN, IJN elects to support its patrollers in Marianas and CPO. 1 BB, 2 CAs, and Ryuho are sent to CPO and the rest, 1 BB + 1 CV5 + 4 CVLs, to Marianas. If the slow USN BBs from New Hebrides had been on raider status, some of the CPO raiders would have gone to Marianas instead.

The New Hebrides raiding force goes to Marianas and both BBs pass the speed roll. 2 BBs from Australia stage in Indonesia.

The F-Boat goes to the Marianas battle.

Pre-combat IJN comments: If things go well in Aleutians and Marianas, then IJN can withdraw  from USM, so IJN prefers Night in USM for Round 1.  In Marianas, the USN flag means we have an even roll for Day/Night.  IJN must hope for Day and quickly dispatch the 2 LBA. Then look for  another Day to decrease the USN surface fleet before a Night action comes along.

Marianas --- Day
IJN shots: Shokaku, Zuiho vs 10thAF #6-6 Roll: 5 5 1 6 4 3 (1 hit 2 Damage)
Taiho, Chiyoda, Chitose vs 11thAF #5-6 Roll: 6 3 2 5 2 (1 hit 1 Damage)

USN return fire: 10 AF vs Shokaku(2d) #2-6 Roll: 5 1 (No hits, disabled)
11AF vs Taiho #2-6 Roll: 2 6 (1 hit 1 Damage, no disables)
F Boat vs Taiho #1-5 Roll: 3 (No hits, no disables)

Aleutians - Day of D/N
No IJN shots
USN fire: 14 AF vs Yokosuka(1d) #2-6 Roll: 5 4 (No hits, disabled)

US Mandate --- Day of D/N
IJN shots: 21AF vs RNZAF #3-6 Roll: 6 1 6 (2 hits 4+3=7 Damage)
23AF vs 5thAF #3-6 Roll: 4 3 2 (No hits)
24AF vs 7thAF(3d) #3-6 Roll: 4 4 5 (No hits)
26AF vs 13thAF #3-6 Roll: 2 2 2 (No hits)

USN return fire: 5+7 AF vs 21AF #4-6 Roll: 6 2 5 4 (1 hit 6 Damage)
Marine+Naval AF vs 23 AF #4-6 Roll: 6 5 4 3 (1 hit 3 Damage)
13 AF vs 24 AF #2-6 Roll: 1 1 (No hits)
RNZAF vs 26AF #2-6 Roll: 1 1 (No hits)

Round 1 IJN commentary --- Not a good start. While we got the Day action in Marianas, the LBA were only dinged, the Dutch Harbor mission failed, and the USN got the better of the exchange in USM. Fortunately, Shokaku was only disabled and Taiho's air factors are still operational. IJN withdraws from USM and looks for another Day action in Marianas.

Marianas --- Day
IJN shots: Zuiho vs 10thAF(2d) #2-6 Roll: 6 2 (1 hit 5 Damage)
Taiho, Chiyoda, Chitose vs 11thAF(1d) #5-6 Roll: 6 1 5 6 6 (3 hits 2+2+5=9 Damage)

USN return fire: 10 AF(2d) vs Kongo(1d) #2-6 Roll: 5 6 (1 hit 3 Damage)
11 AF(1d) vs Chokai #2-6 Roll: 6 4 (1 hit 4 Damage)

Round 2 IJN commentary --- Mixed emotions. The LBA are gone, but the parting shots sunk 2 patrollers. At worst, IJN can lose 1 POC this turn.  Looks like both sides must stay.

Marianas --- Night
IJN shots: Ashigara vs Chester #1-5 Roll: 1 (No hits, no disables)
Nachi vs Indianapolis #1-5 Roll: 6 (1 hit 5 Damage)
Hiei vs North Carolina #4-6 Roll: 3 6 5 1 (1 hit 5 Damage, disabled)
Maya vs Vincennes #1-5 Roll: 4 (No hits, disabled)
Haruna vs Washington #4-6 Roll: 1 4 4 1 (No hits, no disables)

USN return fire: NC vs Haruna #5-6 Roll: 5 4 2 4 4 (No hits, disabled)
WA vs Ashigara #5-6 Roll: 3 5 3 1 2 (No hits, disabled)
Vincennes, Indianapolis vs Maya #2-6 Roll: 1 3 (No hits, no disables)
Chester, Quincy vs Nachi #2-6 Roll: 4 4 (No hits, no disables)

Round 3 IJN commentary --- The dreaded Night action! The USN BBs get rid of 2 more patrollers, but luckily for IJN, the CAs whiffed. IJN is down to 2 patrolling CAs and a raiding BB, while USN also has a BB and 2 CAs.  Another Night action now may leave the area uncontrolled.

Marianas --- Day
IJN shots: Zuiho vs Chester #2-5 Roll: 3 6 (1 hit 2 Damage)
Taiho(1d), Chiyoda, Chitose vs Washington #5-6 Roll: 4 6 2 4 3 (1 hit 2 Damage)

No USN shots.

Round 4 IJN commentary --- Still need another Day action.

Marianas --- Day of Day/Night
IJN shots: Taiho(1d), Chiyoda, Chitose, Zuiho vs Washington(2d) #5-6 Roll: 5 2 1 6 6 #2-5 Roll: 4 3 (2 hits 1+3=4 Damage, disabled)

No USN shots.

Marianas --- Night of Day/Night
IJN shots: Hiei, Nachi, Maya vs Quincy #4-6 Roll: 2 3 5 1 #2-5 Roll: 2 5 (1 hit 4 Damage)

USN return fire: Quincy vs Maya #1-6 Roll: 6 (1 hit 3 Damage)

Round 5 IJN commentary --- The battle could have gone either way. I had the feeling that if the crippled Washington had not been disabled in the Day action it would have gotten rid of the last patroller.

The IJN lead improves to 6 POC before the 1 POC bid adjustment going into Turn 8.

Turn 8

IJN Comments: I decided to play for a 2 POC victory (1 POC after the bid adjustment) and set up to control Japan, Marshalls and Hawaii. NLFs were sent to Aleutians to possibly disable the LBA there and increase my victory margin by 1 POC.

USN forces were sent to contest the Hawaiian Islands. The NLFs were not successful in the Aleutians, but in the important battle for Hawaii, the IJN prevailed to secure the victory by the slimmest of margins.

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