* * 2013-2015 BPA Single-Elim * *
* * Championship * *
Ray Freeman (IJN; Bid 8) vs. Michael Day (USN)

The I-Boat Raid and North Pacific Option are in use.

As reported by Michael Day... and Ray Freeman...

Turn 1: Above average Pearl Harbor for Japan.  [GM: This doesn't actually mean anything since different players perceive the "average" differently.  For example, I regard average results as the USN getting one undamaged BB, one crippled BB, one cruiser, and the LBA out of Pearl Harbor.  Most of my opponents think that's Japan getting lucky.]

Turn 2: Enterprise stops Yokosuka from taking Johnston Island.  USA holds Dutch Harbor.  POC is at 15.

Turn 3: USA continues to hold Dutch Harbor and Guadalcanal.  USN has four CV remaining.  Major battle for the game at the Hawaiian Islands as USA has 6 LBA (but none of the CV) vs. large IJN CV Fleet (all but Shoho and Hiyo).  USA believes this battle will determine the winner of this game.  [GM: 10 IJN CV will usually beat 6 LBA but not always... as we all know too well.]

Turn 3: PoC at 22.  Pearl is flying the Rising Sun.  Not much attrition.  US will play Turn 4 with 4 operational and one crippled CV.  US holds Attu, Dutch Harbor, and Guadalcanal.  Both Marines air-raided into atoms.

Post-Turn 3: In retrospect I could have committed two USN CV's in the Hawaiian Islands; but I did not have sufficient surface ships to protect them. I would have had to have gambled on a day roll with an IJN Flag. Still, if that had been successful, I would have probably held Pearl Harbor. A difficult decision. Pearl harbor was lost. USA moral is low.

Turn 4: USA losses Dutch Harbor and Guadalcanal. USA boxed in.

Turn 5: Major battle in the SPO. USA commits all 5 CV's and the fleet. Fortunately, the IJN flag is broken, and the Marines capture and fortify Lae. With a hold open for the turn 6 fleet, and with the capture and fortification of Lae, I feel like I am back in this game.

Turn 5: Well it should be an exciting finish. I messed up on turn 5 and wrongly assumed an extra carrier (Hosho) and a one ship lap with a 3BB superiority would be enough to hold the SPO with 16 patrollers. I needed 17, due to poor D/N luck and worse shooting. Mike cleared the sea with his last shot, from the PA no less, which seems to live a charmed life, but now is a permanent monument on iron bottom sound. He also took Lae. POC still at 29 with an 8 bid. This completely disrupted my defensive scheme. I have another idea as we enter turn 6, but it is going to require winning 1 or 2 major battles, which is iffy since last turn he shredded my carrier force and sunk 4BB while losing 2. Cruiser attrition was not up to par. I have not been able to capture Attu.

Yeah, I'm being whiney. I may even have the advantage since Mike will have to take some risks to overcome the POC situ. Another patroller or so in the SPO on turn 5 and his move would have backfired. However, he did have other possibilities. In retrospect, he made the correct choice.

Turn 6: USA capture the Philippines and brings another Marine to Lae. USA gains flags in Indonesia, SPO, and of course BoB, Coral Sea, and USM. Despite the I-Boat taking out my patroller in the Marshalls, the USA Af's hold Attu and the Aluetian Islands. Although the POC is still at 29, I am in position on turn 7 to drastically cut into it. I want to force his LBA to defend the HI (if he trys to at all to defend the HI), or anyplace within range of my full CV fleet. I did not land Marines to try to take Guadalcanal as that will flip over anyway. I thought the Marines at Lae were better than trying to take an island in the Marshalls, both for protection of Lae and for offensive operations (Okinawa?) on the critical turn 7. Any LBA shot down on turn 7 will be out of the game for good. Ray bid 8 POC. I beat him at Conquest in California several years ago and won the wood. He beat me at The World Board gaming Championships two years ago. This game is our tie-breaker. The entire board is worth 17 POC. Assuming the USN can not flag the Japanese Islands on turn 8, then 14 POC is the maximum I can gain, 13 or 12 being more realistic. SO on turn 7 I need to gain at least 7 POC as 29 minus 8 = 21. And 21 - 7 = 14. Not only do I need to gain 7 POC at a minimum on turn 7, I also need to position my fleet for turn 8.

Turn 7: No real fighting. Took Johnson Island. POC feel from 29 to 20. With an 8 bid I will need to gain 12 POC. That is doable. Positioned fleet for turn 8. Guadalcanal, Singapore, and Saigon converted due to isolation.

Turn 7: We are entering the last turn of our game. Japanese are heavily patrolling the Jap Islands. Singapore and the Phillipines and Johnson are in US hands. POC is at 20 with a bid of 8.0. If IJN successfully control JI they win. If not…they likely lose. USN and Brits have ship superiority (+3 BBs); IJN has all LBA and SNLF

Turn 8: Looks like a major battle in the Japanese Islands to decide the game. I have 44 CV shots, all attack bonus, eleven battleships, and ten cruisers. The IJN has 40 air shots, only ten with attack bonus, All six LBA are flying as part of those 40 shots. In a night battle I will outnumber the IJN by two ships, and would go after the Kaga and Akagi. I also have the F-Boat. I think the IJN is favored in this battle, but I do have a decent shot. The IJN most hold the flag in the Japanese Islands in order to win, I have only to break it.

Final Comments: Ray won the battle in the JI with an IJN Flag and won by 3 POC. In the future, I will either bid Ray up to 10 POC as the IJN; or take the IJN myself for 9 POC!

Congratulations, Ray!  The USN will lose flags in Aluetians and Marshalls, but keep the flag in Marianas.  The IJN will hold the flag to JI (feel free to roll out battle if you like).  Final POC will be 20 minus 9 = 11 POC with bid 8 = IJN wins by 3 POC

IJN Post-Game:  I'll accept your concession. It was a very hard fought game. You did a great job of preserving your carrier fleet and that created a number of problems for me. I had difficulty establishing a decent perimeter the first 5 turns. Your play to go into the SPO worked out well for you as you blew open a path to Indo that I never felt I could hold. I should have had more patrollers there (in the SPO), but somehow thought 16 would be enough. Stopping my SNLF in the Aleutians on 6 was key as it provided you with a fighting chance to win by knocking out my patrol in Japan on T8.

The key, obviously was my getting a pure day on the first combat turn and then having your carriers shoot well, but only able to take down one LBA due to low damage dice.

Good game.  Very tough game, worthy of a final round.

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