* * Ladder Board #1 - Round 15 * *
John Strand (IJN; Bid 5) vs. Ed Menzel (USN)

The I-Boat Raid and CPO Withdrawal adjustments are in play.

Turn 1
Turn 2
Turn 3

Turn 1

IJN Pre-Game Comments: Ed Menzel and I have completed the bidding. I'm the IJN for 5 POC with adjustments #1 and #2.

It's a lot to pay, and I've had good luck as the USN the last two rounds, but I've beaten Ed as the IJN before (Round 7 of the WBC), and I can't remember the last time Ed lost as the IJN. I just hope I can keep up the pressure. At the WBC it was relatively easy, I rolled godlike, but I can't remember the last time I rolled really well using any of the dice servers.

Allied Report:  One damaged BB, 2 crippled BBs, 1 CA and the 7th AF escape from Pearl.  The Saratoga shows up in HI waters and beats a hasty retreat to Australia.  The other CVs will arrive on T2.  The IJN gets a clean sweep in Indo, sinking the 5th AF & both Brit BBs.  The I Boat puts 2d on Hermes.  POC at the usual 7.

Turn 2

Allied Report:  The IJN uses a one area attack and a perimeter defense.  The USN decides to hit the CPO & Marshalls.

In minor actions, the IJN CAs get away unscathed in CS & USM.  The Brits escape Indonesia during night.  The Australia takes 1d before escaping from the SPO.  Sasebo takes D Harbor.

In the Marianas during Day, the IJN whiff.  The 11th AF comes through by sinking the patroller & then flying off to safety.  That keeps the Philippines blue and deprives the IJN of 2 POC.

The IJN gets it's wish in the Marshalls with a Night action.  The 2 BBs come through sinking 1 patroller & disabling the other.  Return fire cripples the Yamashiro and disables the Fuso.  The LBA flees, but Yamashiro is a goner from 3 CV's air strikes.

The USN gets it's wish in CPO with a Night action.  Alas the surface guns are not up to the task.  They sink Ryujo & Kumano but leave the Zuiho untouched.  Chester takes a point of damage & Quincy is disabled.  The I Boat whiffs.

The IJN decides to run.  The Allies nervously elect to pursue since they have 96% of sinking the Ryujo & a 40% chance of losing a CV during a Day action.  Plus another Night action might come up.  Oops!  It's Day & the Ryujo comes through sinking the Enterprise before being sunk herself.  Suzuya splits off & outruns everyone.  The next round is Night.  Chester & Fuso are sunk.

Probably because the Philippines is still in the hands of the USN & the Marshalls are not blocked, Yokosuka aborts it's invasion of Johnston Isl & returns to Truk.  The IJN gains 4 POC to go to 11.

The Allies hold the POC down, lose only 1 CV & have the entire IJN interior open.  But the IJN still has the dominate fleet with overwhelming carrier strength, 6 LBA and threaten to convert Pearl.

Turn 3

IJN Report: I concede. You did to me about exactly what I did to Applebaum Round 13. Good luck in future games.

I think this one should also have the annotation "IJN Disaster" as the result. Sorry this game wasn't worth a Detail.

Allied Report:  The IJN sent patrols into all 3 USN home waters.  The Brits patrolled Indonesia.  With the 6 LBA wanted for the HI defense, surface patrols went to the CS & USM.  The Marshalls was patrolled as it was likely to be the more weakly defended perimeter area.  Control of the Marshalls would also present a threat to convert the bases on T4.  The SPO was patrolled to hopefully have the flag for the expected T4 fight over Guadalcanal.  The AI was left un-patrolled since I was worried about having enough ships to able to fight off anticipated IJN raiders.

The IJN had a number of options for their LBA and chose to defend Indonesia along with 3 other areas.  Both SNLFs went to the CPO to take Midway.

The IJN surprised me with it's relatively weak raiding surface fleet in the HI.  I could have had a 4 ship wrap and the likelihood of getting enough Night action to take out his patrollers.  That would save the HI.  But with an 83% chance for D or D/N, the IJN might decide to turn on the USN surface fleet & shred it, absorbing whatever damage the 12 non-bonus dice are able to dish out.  That would not be good ... definitely not good.  So much for that option.

The carriers are needed to attack Indonesia & the SPO to keep the perimeter open.  So by default the surface fleet sails to prevent IJN control of the CS/USM.  The IJN is likely to de-control the Allied home areas but are very unlikely to control them.  Allied control of the Indonesia/SPO areas would more than compensate.  Here the T2 decision to pursue the Zuiho and resulting loss of the Enterprise comes back to haunt me.  That extra CV in Indonesia would make me feel a lot better.  (However, one other reason I risked the Enterprise last turn, was it probably meant one less IJN carrier & the slightly increased likelihood of my 6 LBA holding the HI assuming Johnston Isl remains USN.  It was about a 33% chance of losing Enterprise considering the D/N roll.  It may have been a bad decision.  We'll see how the HI battle goes & whether it makes any difference.)

Pre-battle comments:  The USN should be successful in not allowing IJN control of the CS, USM, SPO and probably the NPO.  The SPO LBA may elect to run or shoot at a CV.  If we end up controlling the SPO, then along with the likely Marshalls control will block any T4 Truk based ships from attacking the CS & USM.  If all that happens, then the Allies will be in pretty good shape if they either win Indonesia (where they should be favored) or the HI (about a 30% chance).  If we can whittle the IJN LBA down by 2 or 3, then the IJN will have a very hard time establishing any perimeter.  Of course if the IJN wins the HI & holds Indonesia (not likely, but certainly possible), then life will become a lot harder depending how many USN CVs are sunk.  We will see what the dice gods have in store for us!

Battle Results:  In the NPO, Hiei whiffs before being damaged & disabled.  One POC saved.  In the Marshalls, Suzuya elects to fight it out & dings a CA for 1d, before being sunk.  Control to the USN as expected.  In the SPO, the LBA decides to fight & disables Hornet.  Return fire sinks the 23rd giving the area to the USN with no CV loss.  The block is preserved making the T4 home area defense much easier.

In the CS, the Minneapolis is sunk but Indianapolis is still there.  In the USM, the New Orleans is sunk but Australia (-1) survives!  Wow!  A chance to save POC in one (or 2?) areas.  Return fire disables Kirishima/Tone and sinks Chikuma.  The CS is saved!  In the USM, Haruna is crippled/disabled, Mikuma sunk but Mogami missed.  Mogami stays for a probable suicide mission to take out the last patroller.  Whiff!  Return fire completes the suicide part of the mission.  The USN controls the USM too!

The only D/N roll was Indo which came up D/N preventing the I Boat from shooting before all the carriers get to fire.  The first round sees the Lex & an 0-2-7 disabled.  However the return fire takes down one LBA.  The I Boat whiffs.  On the 2nd round, another 0-2-7 is disabled but the 2nd LBA is downed giving area control to the Allies.  Whatever happens in the HI, the Allies are in great shape.

In the HI, the IJN down 2 LBA & damage another on the first round.  But return fire sinks the Junyo/Shoho & disables Shokaku/Zuikaku.  With 4 LBA vs 15 carrier air/5 carriers, the USN is suddenly the favorite.  On R2, the IJN can only damage another LBA.  Return fire sinks Akagi & max damages Soryu.  Desperation time now for the IJN as they stick around for R3.  Another LBA is damaged, but none sunk!  This time the Hiryu is sunk.  On R4, finally 2 damaged LBA are sunk, but Kaga goes down.  After Hosho misses on R5, the IJN concede the game.

It's an Allied dream turn gettin EVERY area in which they fight suffering only minimum damage.  POC goes down to 6!  It's an absolute disaster for the IJN.  We all know that dice can swing one way or another.  This turn it was all the USN way.

I get a little revenge for John whipping me at WBC last year :-)

Victory in the Pacific® is a registered trademark of The Avalon Hill Game Company.