* * Ladder Board #2 - Round 15 * *
Joel Klein (IJN; Bid 2.5) vs. Dave Rod (USN)

The CPO Withdrawal adjustment is in play.

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

Turn 1

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Japanese Islands (3), Indonesia (3), Mariana Islands (2), South Pacific Ocean (2), Aleutian Islands (0), Central Pacific Ocean (1), Marshall Islands (1)
Total: 12

USN Controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indian Ocean (0), Coral Sea (2), US Mandate (2)
Total: 5

No one controls: North Pacific Ocean, Hawaiian Islands

IJN gain 7 POC and now lead by 7 POC.

Notable Events

Four USN battleships, one cruiser, and the 7AF escaped from Pearl Harbor.

In Indonesia, Prince of Wales and Repulse escaped to Singapore.

Groups W and X will arrive on Turn 2.

Group Y (Saratoga) showed up in Hawaii. The I-Boat took its shot and disabled Saratoga to Australia.

Group Z appeared in the Central Pacific. Taking advantage of rules adjustment #2, it retreated to Pearl Harbor before combat.

The Yokosuka Marines returned to Truk at turns end.

IJN Comments: turn 1 was typical ... Pearl raid was poor but not disastrous ... 4 BBs, CA & LBA get away ... at least there were no collisions reported between Japanese ships.

In Indonesia I was relieved to get the LBA ... it took 24 shots to get 2 hits and 4 damage.

The Location Uncertain are heavily east, as only Saratoga made it to Indonesia.  This relieves pressure on Indonesia for turn 2.

Typically don't have a 'plan' on turn 2 ... by the end of turn 3 I usually know what my intention was ... we'll see whether Dave's patrollers & LBA encourage my tendency to 'loose' play as the Japanese on turn 2. Oh, can I resist?

USN Comments: My USN strategy for Turn 1 is to cross my fingers and hope that things don't turn out too badly.

It seems to have worked this time: half the Pearl Harbor fleet and the entire Royal Navy survived the Japanese air raids. Generally, I'm content if I get three battleships out of Pearl. I'm discontent if only two get out. With fewer than that, I wallow in self-pity. With four, plus an unexpected cruiser, I'm feeling like the US Navy is in much-better-than-average shape at this early point in the game.

Also, Saratoga sneaked past the I-Boat to end the turn in Australia. So I've got a legitimate threat against Indonesia for Turn 2.

On the negative side, he returned the Yokosuka Marines to Truk. This means they're heading for Johnston Island or New Hebrides on Turn 2, either of which might require a suicide carrier from me, which I'd really rather not do. I'd be happier if they'd invaded Dutch Harbor.

We await the Japanese patrols.

Turn 2

IJN Comments: The Allied ship placements are standard, the Marshalls block, and a few others here and there. There are 2 LBA in the Mandate, which saves me from temptation in a 2-zone attack.

The 7AF in Indonesia induces me to put the 24AF there, which was its purpose. I believe even 3 IJN AF will win vs. a single LBA, 5 RN air shots and Saratoga, but the risk for losing against so small an Allied commitment compels me to add the unit.

So I'm going heavy into the Hawaiians; if the US sends all his units there he has a slight edge in day and night; but that would mean committing all his forces. I've got 3 CAs & Soryu in Coral Sea. CenPac has 3 CAs, Akagi & 2-2 shotters; Aleuts has the Marine, Junyo & Hiryu

A lot of places for US ships to work; my small commitments in SPO & Marshalls (an AF & BB(s) in each) may beckon a double block there at the cost of losing all northern bases. My small task force in Coral Sea won't win, but it does require some response. The northern task forces may turn bases, maybe not, but they will require American CVs to dislodge.

USN Mid-Turn Comments: As a rule, my priorities (in order) for Turn 2 are:

1. Prevent a Japanese invasion of the New Hebrides (not an issue this time, since he didn’t try it)
2. Avoid losing carriers and/or prevent a Japanese invasion of Johnston Island (see below)
3. Discourage the Japanese from trying to control the US Mandate (see below)
4. Cause trouble along the Indonesia-South Pacific-Marshalls line as opportunities present themselves
5. Cause trouble in the Central Pacific and/or the Aleutians

POC are not usually an issue at this point, although I’ll take what he gives me (as, for instance, in the North Pacific).

The Hawaiian Islands are never an issue; in my experience, the Japanese always control the Hawaiian Islands on Turn 2.

Looking at Joel’s patrols, it seemed to me that two LBA in the Mandate would probably provide enough discouragement in that sea area. With the Saratoga based in Australia, I really wanted to put the third LBA in Indonesia to make that threat look serious. That pretty much forces him to protect Indonesia with four LBA, which means he’s only got one apiece for the South Pacific and the Marshalls.

After he sent out his raiders, I spent some time thinking about whether to try for the block: a suicide carrier in Hawaii to prevent him from taking Johnston Island and the other four to the Marshalls. I finally decided against it because, while I’d have a good chance of controlling the Marshalls and a pretty good chance of sinking or disabling his NLF in Hawaii, he had sent several raiders to the Central Pacific, from whence they would be able to patrol Hawaii on Turn 3. There wouldn’t be a lot of these Midway-based patrollers, and I’d still have a pretty good chance of breaking his Turn 3 control in Hawaii. But to make the block work, I’d have to accomplish all three of these; and three “good chances” do not add up to a very good chance.

Also, in the process, I’d be sure to lose the suicide carrier, and I would have to forego any serious attempt to keep the South Pacific open. I really like to keep the South Pacific open.

Up north, he reinforced the Central Pacific and the Aleutians pretty persuasively, so I’ll stay away. Instead, I’ll work on Priority #4. I’ve sent three carriers to the South Pacific (a serious attempt to keep that area open) and the other two to the Marshalls (a secondary attempt to steal a POC, knock down an LBA, and keep that area open).

Then I’ll see if I can sink a few of the intruders in the Coral Sea and the Mandate before they retreat.

Of course, this means I’m giving up Johnston Island without a fight. I feel bad about that. I’ll probably feel even worse next turn.

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Japanese Islands (3), Indonesia (3), Mariana Islands (2), Aleutian Islands (0), Central Pacific Ocean (1), Hawaiian Islands (2)
Total: 11

USN Controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indian Ocean (0), South Pacific Ocean (1), Marshall Islands (1), US Mandate (2), North Pacific Ocean (1)
Total: 6

No one controls: Coral Sea

IJN gain 5 POC and now lead by 12 POC.

Notable Events

Indonesia
Day action. The Japanese all miss. The Allies knock down one Japanese LBA and escape unharmed.

South Pacific Ocean
Day/night action. The Japanese LBA misses and is shot down by the American carriers. Then the Yamashiro misses and is sunk by the American cruiser(!).

Coral Sea
Night action. The Japanese sink the two Allied patrollers, losing Soryu in the exchange. The remaining Japanese cruisers retreat.

Marshall Islands
Night action. The Japanese battleships disable two of the patrolling Allied cruisers. In return fire, Mutsu is sunk, and Nagato takes maximum damage. The Japanese retreat, and Nagato is sunk during the pursuit.

US Mandate
Day action. The Japanese cruisers take no damage and retreat.

When the smoke clears . . .
The Japanese invade Dutch Harbor and Johnston Island.

Turn 3

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: USN flags in SPO & Marshalls in exchange for clearing out the northeast. Remains to be seen if it's worth the price; my dispositions offered no realistic chance to dent US strength toward the south.

Assumed this might happen, counting on 2/3 of the CPO-Marshalls-Hawaiians triangle to allow the Hawaiians conversion move. Losing 2 LBA seems typical enough, and the inability to hit anything outside of Coral Sea is unhappy but not improbable. The losses combined with the flag in Marshalls make my probable Hawaiians force thinner than I'd like.

Primary needs this turn:

1. Convert Pearl
2. Preserve my AFs
3. Save Marshalls

Secondary wish list:

1. Engage & remove some USN CVs\
2. Prevent USN flag on Marianas
3. Preserve fleet

USN Pre-Turn Comments: With my patrollers, I was trying to encourage Joel to put his four LBA in non-Hawaiian places. It seems to have worked OK. He put three in the Marshalls and only one in Hawaii. So he’s conceding 5 POC in Indonesia and the South Pacific to be sure that the two bases in the Marshalls don’t convert.

So far so good. The big show this time is in Hawaii, which I will defend with six LBA. We’ll see how things go on Round 1 and then decide how hard to fight for the area. It would help a lot to get a first-round Day action. The marines might then land and disable his LBA or, more likely, might divert some of his first-round attacks away from the LBA. Since Soryu was sunk last turn, he’s short one carrier anyway. Our chances of holding the area might not be too bad—IF the flyboys can do some early damage.

(If, if, if, if, if . . .)

Since he’s not contesting my patrols in Indonesia or the South Pacific, my carriers stay in port where the I-Boat can’t get at them.

I wish now, though, that I’d patrolled the Coral Sea with TWO cruisers, instead of just one.

Notable Events

Hawaiian Islands
First round : Day/Night. The Japanese shoot down 3 Allied LBA and damage another. The Allies sink Zuikaku and Hiryu and disable Kaga. In the night action, the Japanese sink both marines.
Second round: Day. The Japanese shoot down two more Allied LBA. Akagi is sunk and Shokaku disabled. The sole surviving Allied LBA retreats.

Elsewhere
The Japanese sink two American cruisers in the Marianas. The Australian cruisers in the Marshalls escape in the night. In the Coral Sea, the I-Boat attacks the patrolling cruiser, gets a hit, but scores only one point of damage.

When the smoke clears . . .
The Japanese take control of Pearl Harbor.

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Japanese Islands (3), Mariana Islands (2), Aleutian Islands (0), Central Pacific Ocean (1), Marshall Islands (1), North Pacific Ocean (1), Hawaiian Islands (2)
Total: 10

USN Controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indonesia (1), Indian Ocean (0), South Pacific Ocean (1), Coral Sea (2), US Mandate (2)
Total: 7

IJN gains 3 and now leads by 15 POC.

USN Post-Turn Comments: Mixed results.  I did not get the first-round day action I was hoping for in Hawaii, and Joel's attacks there went well anyway. I didn't come close to holding on to Pearl.

But I sank three good Japanese carriers, and two of my three Pearl Harbor battleships escaped. Also, I dodged a bullet in the Coral Sea when my patrolling cruiser survived the I-Boat attack.

So, going into Turn 4, I'm down only 15 POC. The west half of the board is pretty wide open.  And the US Navy (by itself, not counting the British) will have more carrier airstrike factors in play and more battleships than the Japanese will. How sweet is that?

I notice now (when it's too late) that I should have sent Turn 3 raiders into the Central Pacific. A stupid mistake, and it costs me a POC.

Turn 4

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: I've won the Hawaiians battle and turning back USN forays into the Marshalls and Marianas. I've seized all the bases I could hope for save Lae. Unfortunately the Hawaiians battle cost me 3 CVs, all of them first line. Three of nine 2-shot volleys (no bunching of shots) killed Hiryu, Zuikaku & Akagi. I've suffered historical-battle-of-Midway carrier losses without facing an American carrier.

They sat turn 3.

What to do for turn 4? I need Indonesia, Lae & Guadalcanal; other than that, try to induce the USN into fighting where he doesn't want … I certainly cannot get proper battle odds at this point so I'll have to go for location. This will be the last turn of USN LBA weakness, and I'll attempt to make it a factor.

IJN Pre-Combat Comments: The USN has sent the CVs against Indonesia. Wasp failed the speed roll (naturally! Dave has so many sixes in his bag he wastes them on speed rolls!). Still the USN has the edge in this.

I 'allowed' this sequence in that I put 4 LBA rather than 5 in Indonesia. The USN has a big incentive – winning here wins the game now; but there are IJN incentives as well. If I succeed:

1. I will have lost no CVs & probably kill some USN CVs;

2. the USN to take the chance on turn 4 (rather than later) increases his penalty for failure;

3. the 'desperation' quality (i.e., losing Indonesia ends it for me) may act as a lever on USN decision to stay or go after a single round! If I'm moderately successful, and also have several LBA left the USN player has to ask himself, "do I want to go for it now, or is my position good enough to preserve these CVs?"

4. finally, I'm going to hurt from the turn 3 CV losses sooner or later – that's why the 25AF is in South Pacific and not in Indonesia. Had I put another LBA in Indonesia, I'd be faced with similar juggling for the remainder of the game anyway. At least this way the US is fighting tougher targets in the Japanese Air Fleets, and my upside is greater.

USN Pre-Combat Comments: This turn I'm worried about POC and forward bases. If he maxes out on POC (or even comes close) over the next two turns, I'm toast. What I'd really like is to keep him in the teens (Oh, David, you dreamer!).

Also, it looks like he wants to invade Lae and Guadalcanal this time.

That's all I've got left for forward bases.

If he ends up controlling every area he's patrolling this turn, he'll get 15, I'll get 5, and his net gain will be 10 POC. That's way too much.

However, in three areas--Japanese Islands, Marianas, and Marshalls--he's got no air support, so I can break his control there without using carriers. That's 6 POC I get back. Gotta do it.

Then what about the carriers?

I could send a couple on a suicide raid into the South Pacific.

Probably, then, I could sink or disable at least two of the NLFs and save Guadalcanal--maybe, Lae, too. I'd lose the carriers, and he'd still control the area. Moderate loss, good probability of success, small gain.

If sent all six into Hawaii, I'd probably break his control there and maybe even end up controlling it myself for a 5-POC swing. I'd lose at least half the carriers, but I'd be trading them for his three best. But it wouldn't help me with forward bases at all. And I don't expect it would lead to the reconquest of Pearl Harbor next turn. Moderate-to-high loss but with some compensation, good probability of success, moderate gain.

Indonesia is my best option, I think. Assuming Wasp passes its speed roll, I've got six American carriers plus Illustrious and the mighty Hermes against his four LBA. Not a sure thing, by any means, but if I win it, I get Singapore and Saigon (so who needs Lae and Guadalcanal?), and he gains no POC for the turn. Moderate loss, moderate probability of success, extraordinary gain.

Gotta try for it.

* * *

Then the campaign begins badly as Wasp fails its speed roll.

IJN Post-First-Round-of-Combat Comments: Now would be a good opportunity to praise an opponent who plays promptly! Dave has been timely with all his replies … he recently e-mailed to advise me he'd be delayed one day in making his move. I've had opponents disappear for a week and think nothing of it. This makes a more interesting game, and I appreciate Dave's regularity of play.

My Indonesia LBA weren't blasted in the first round … one sunk, two damaged; at last, not one but two damage rolls below 4! For my part, I disabled 3 CVs. Not a hit in the bunch – my LBA have scored 2 hits in 51 shots in Indonesia & SPO.Dave is going to stay for another round (whatever comes from my I-Boat attack).

Had a USN CV been sunk earlier, or had I sank one this turn, would the USN opt for a second round against 3 LBA? On turn 4? I think Dave's set to lose a CV this round from I-Boat or from the LBA. (Oh boy!)

In the South Pacific, I sent fleet cover for 3 SNLF. Two USN LBA were all that was needed to foil them (he didn't even send in his third remaining LBA!). Two 2-shot volleys: one gets a hit and 6 damage to sink an SNLF, the other disables a 2nd SNLF, preventing my seizure of Guadalcanal. My air shots sank his LBA; defeating them would have been moot had either of his attacks failed, so thanks for small favors.

The result in Indonesia was the 'best' I could have hoped for. If I survive this turn, I'll re-evaluate focus and direction. Still disappointing – I thought if Indonesia held I'd face no USN bases on SPO for turn 5.

Notable Events

Indonesia
First round: Day. The Japanese disable Lexington, Enterprise, and Hornet. In return fire, the Allies knock down one Japanese LBA and put damage on two others.
The I-Boat sinks Yorktown.
Second round: Day. The Japanese sink Saratoga and disabled Illustrious with maximum damage. The Allies shoot down one of the damaged Japanese LBA.
Hermes and the Royal Navy retreat to Ceylon.

South Pacific Ocean
Day. The Japanese shoot down both American LBA. One Japanese NLF is sunk and one is disabled.
The third one invades Lae.

Elsewhere
Day actions in the Japanese Islands, the Marianas, and the Marshalls. The unpursuable Japanese cruisers retreat.

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Indonesia (3), South Pacific Ocean (2), Central Pacific Ocean (1), North Pacific Ocean (1), Hawaiian Islands (2)
Total: 9

USN Controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indian Ocean (0), Coral Sea (2), US Mandate (2)
Total: 5

No one controls: Japanese Islands, Mariana Islands, Marshall Islands, Aleutian Islands

IJN gains 4 POC and now leads by 19.

IJN Post-Turn Comments: I-Boat & LBA find their range: 2 US CVs sunk, Brit CVL crippled – now killing Victorious yields a 'two for one' with Illustrious retired in her stead. Kudos to 21AF, who 'took one' for the team … actually, she took THREE hits for the team in two rounds.

USN Post-Turn Comments: Phooey!

Before I sent my carriers into Indonesia, I talked myself into believing that I was not betting the farm--that is to say, if I lost the battle, I would not necessarily lose the war.

I confess to being disappointed, though. I could easily have done a lot better. And the road to victory now looks mighty steep.

Nonetheless, the POC situation is not TOO bad (still in the teens). The USN fleet is in pretty good shape. And the Japanese perimeter has a hole in it.

Hope springs eternal in the foolish heart!

Turn 5

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: South Pacific and the Marshalls are magnets for US forces. No patrollers to either spot. I'll review Allied patrols & LBA before committing the bulk of IJN forces.

Patrolled 2 CVLs & a CV for some leverage on US CVs. I'd been toying with Hosho on raid to Indonesia on turn 4 … glad I resisted that temptation.

IJN Post-LBA Comments: Hmm, has that stuff I wrote about 'playing loosely' been posted? Bay of Bengal has 2LBA & US Mandate has 4LBA … Raiding is out. I didn't expect to see fewer than 2 LBA in the Mandate, but I thought Dave might leave the chance for Zuikaku vs a single unit in Bay of Bengal. Aw come on, can't a fellow have any fun?

Then there's the SPO … I guess one LBA is all Dave'll need to knock out my AF or the SNLF if I send it there.

The SNLF pretty much has to go to South Pac … whether a large raiding force follows or I spread it out remains to be seen.

IJN Post-NLF Comments: Marines all over the place! That does complicate matters. The Marshalls has been ignored. This was the ‘weak’ point, and had the USN placed a couple of Marines there, I couldn’t have stopped them … so there are bigger fish to fry. I send a CA in the event the USN CVs go in. Should Dave, against all indications, decide to bust the Marshalls there'll be no base for those units.

Raiding Indonesia/Hawaiians is an ‘either-or’ threat – I don’t see American CVs committing to BOTH areas. The 1st Marines are the only independent landing-force threat (the Marines in the Hawaiians are hostage to raiding CVs).  I can't hold the Hawaiians (or the South Pacific for that matter) if the USN wants it badly enough. I can induce a large commitment (or none at all) in the Hawaiians and get as much value as I can in that scenario.  I don’t want to encourage USN pressure on Indonesia; I’ll put firepower enough (I hope) to discourage a raid by his carriers. The 0-5 CVLs sail!

Which leaves the South Pacific. With only a single USN LBA there, I’m going to go in with my surface forces. My airpower is spread evenly through Indonesia, South Pacific and Hawaiians. I want to be beatable in one area but not in two. Will he put his CVs & surface ships in SPO? If he does he’d win alright but I’d probably win ‘the turn’ anyway. I’d need only screen my CVs for one round; after that my CVs would be gone and I could hang on to shoot at his cruisers.

This is a good example of planning according to your opponent’s capabilities rather than to perceived intentions. The only USN intention I can divine is the Marshalls aren't interesting!  I'd characterize this disposition as 'weak-strong;' weak in each place, and strong in the combination and limitation of USN resources. Well, that's the plan, anyway…

USN Raiding Phase Comments: The key areas for me this time are along his perimeter: Indonesia, South Pacific Ocean, Marshalls, and Hawaiian Islands.

I'm thinking I need to break his control either in Indonesia or Hawaii (for the POC) and again either in the South Pacific or the Marshalls (to keep a raiding lane open next turn from Samoa).

Since I have four USN carriers to work with and he put an LBA in each of those areas, I don't believe I can effectively challenge more than two of them.

I'm choosing Indonesia (because my marines are there to deflect some of his first-round fire and because I have a better chance to end up controlling the area than I do in Hawaii) and the Marshalls (because there I don't have to depend on a first-round day action like I would in the South Pacific).

Since neither of these main efforts require much surface support, I'm sending the cruisers and any battleships that have a chance of passing a speed roll to raid in the Marianas and the Central Pacific--for the sake of the POC.

IJN Commentary: A level 7 typhoon has struck the eastern Pacific (that's the same type of storm caused Humphrey Bogart grief in 'Caine Mutiny.' Anything with the bad luck to have been sailing, flagging or basing in the Hawaiians and Marshalls was hurled toward Australia in a jumble. Dutch Harbor base – lost without trace. Offensive operations must be curtailed on both sides! All efforts devoted to preservation of ships against the storm.

[Actually, it was my cat caused this. I will carry on, but it may take a few days to get back with my moves, by which point you guys will probably be at Midwest Open.]

IJN Post Round One Comments: Well, that round was ALL Japanese. An unbelievable whiff in the Marshalls: ten shots and not a hit on my already damaged LBA. My 3 shots missed Hornet so the net effect is a 'night' action, just this way Suzuya survives too. Any surviving AF, even damaged, is gold.

Got my night in South Pacific, and killed the Marines 4 times over. And they keep coming back.

Indonesia is going okay; if I had my way I'd get out of there to save the CVLs. But, if I'm stuck fighting, at least I'm stuck with a +2 day/night. Dave's single hit carried the 'death to victory' single point of damage, while I sank Lexington with a single LBA volley (wow!) and 1Marines in a hail of damage.

No, this was old-fashioned bad Allied shooting; the USN killed Furataka 6 times over in the Indian Ocean and that was about it. Dave is more gentlemanly and understated about this than I am … he wrote me "not such good results." (When I get results like that, my response is "#@!%# and not only that but #@%@$%@$")

My current 'plan' is to roll well (!) and check my auguries to see whether Dave is due to continue this dry spell. That plan will be effective for maybe one more round I think.

IJN End-of-Turn Comments: Turn 5 finishes with twists of fortune coming my way! The USN Indonesia force hits the AF, but puts only 3 points total, so Indo is IJN whatever follows, and the British forces withdraw. I'd like to pursue, but my 3 CVLs can't be worth losing for British surface vessels. Even with a +2 Day/night.

Notable Events

Mariana Islands
Day action. Hosho misses, and the Japanese retreat unpursued.

Hawaiian Islands
Day action. Washington and Wichita are sunk. The Americans retreat, and the marines are sunk during pursuit.

South Pacific Ocean
Night action. The American marines are massacred. The Japanese invade Guadalcanal.

Marshall Islands
Day action. Both sides miss. The I-Boat misses. The Japanese retreat unpursued.

Indian Ocean
Night action. Furutaka sinks Exeter and is sunk by British return fire.

Ceylon
Night action. The Japanese cruiser retreats.

Indonesia
First round: day action. The Japanese sink Lexington and the 1st Marines. The Allies put one point of damage on 23AF. Second round: day action. The Japanese sink Enterprise and disable Hermes. The Allies put two(!) more points of damage on 23AF and retreat.

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Japanese Islands (3), Indonesia (3), South Pacific Ocean (2), Central Pacific Ocean (1), North Pacific Ocean (1), Hawaiian Islands (2)
Total: 12

USN Controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indian Ocean (0), Coral Sea (2), Marshall Islands (1), US Mandate (2)
Total: 6

No one controls the Aleutian Islands or the Mariana Islands.

IJN gains 6 POC and now leads by 25.

USN End-of-Turn Comments: Another heartbreaker. It's now three turns in a row that the key battle hasn't turned out the way I hoped it would.

This time it was Indonesia, where his LBA soaked up 14 shots in two rounds of combat, took two hits, and suffered a frustrating total of only three points of damage.

So now it gets harder. The POC situation is not good. He controls all my forward bases. My Turn 6 reinforcements can't get to Indonesia. And I've got only one marine to work with this time.

Otherwise, I'm in good shape.

Turn 6

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: The Japanese goal: capitalize on outrageous fortune – keep the fleet together and send out a couple nuisance patrollers. Speculate as little as possible … I'm gonna try to neutralize 'lady luck' if I can. She showered me the last two turns so let me not be greedy. Well, not TOO greedy anyway.

USN Post-Movement Comments: All I'm trying to do here is stay alive. By my calculations, that means I need to be in position to raid into the Japanese Islands next turn. Therefore, most of my newly arrived carriers and as many surface ships as possible go to the Marshalls this time, where Kwajalein and Maloelap will convert to USN control at turn's end. If I also clear out his patrolling cruisers in the Marianas and the Central Pacific, ships based in the Marshalls will be within reach of Indonesia and all the northern areas on Turn 7.

Yes, it's awkward. But at least I know those bases will be there.

I thought about challenging his LBA in the South Pacific. I hate to give up those POC and the direct route from Samoa to Indonesia without a fight. But I decided against trying it because (1) I might fail; (2) even if I succeeded, I'd need to commit all my carriers to the battle and then they'd all be out of position (i.e., too far away from Japan) for Turn 7; and (3) I'd still have to shoot all those airplanes down again on Turn 8.

Why didn't I patrol the Hawaiian Islands this time? You may well ask! The reason is that, when I saw his patrols, I was sure he was going to put all his LBA in Hawaii. I didn't think I could afford to sacrifice any cruisers for a pointless patrolling effort.

Turns out he had a better idea. So now I'm really wishing I'd stuck a couple cruisers in there for the sake of those 3 POC. (But who knows? Maybe if I'd done that, he would have dumped the Japanese LBA in Hawaii after all. I'll be curious to read his Turn 6 commentary!)

Notable Events

Indonesia
Day action. The two British carriers and Shoho are sunk.

Mariana Islands
Day action. Kumano is sunk.

Central Pacific Ocean
Day action. Suzuya is sunk. Tone retreats.

South Pacific Ocean
Night action. Hosho is disabled, and the USN cruisers retreat.

Marshall Islands
Day action. The Japanese LBA targets the US marines, misses, and is shot down in return fire.
Then the I-Boat sinks the US marines.

Kwajalein and Maloelap convert to USN control.

POC Summary

IJN Controls: Japanese Islands (3), Indonesia (3), South Pacific Ocean (2), North Pacific Ocean (1)
Total: 9

USN Controls: US Mandate (2), Marshall Islands (1), Coral Sea (2), Indian Ocean (0), Bay of Bengal (1)
Total: 6

No one controls the Aleutian Islands, Central Pacific Ocean, Mariana Islands, and Hawaiian Islands

The IJN gains 3 POC for a total of 28.

Turn 7

IJN Pre-Turn Comments: My I-Boat's parting shot removes 4 Marines … she succeeded 2 times in 6 attempts, about average I should think.

USN cannot flag NPO or Aleutians on turn 7; removing 4 Marines prevents USN flag in Aleutians on turn 8. So my play is now based on PoC arithmetic.

Start turn 7: +28 PoC
If I succeed in flagging Japan: 3 PoC
Maximum USN PoC is 17-6-2=(9) PoC
End turn 7: total IJN +19 PoC

Start turn 8: without the Aleutians, USN maxes at (16) PoC
Minimum IJN total end of turn 8: +3.0 PoC
Bid was 2.5PoC, so by holding Japan only on turn 7, IJN has a win of 0.5PoC.

There's going to be a showdown battle sometime, might as well have it with favorable odds. I'm still favored in a fight for Indonesia, which would increase my PoC but there's no need to take that chance given this arithmetic.

Notable Events

Japanese Islands
Night action. The Japanese sink or disable all seven American carriers in the area.

The USN surrenders.

USN Endgame Comments: If the I-Boat hadn’t sunk my marines in the Marshalls on Turn 6 and if those marines had been able to invade Midway this turn, then (1) I would have had a chance to patrol the Aleutians on Turn 8, so (2) I would have needed to bring the IJN POC lead down only to 19 (instead of 18) at the end of this turn, and therefore (3) I wouldn’t have had to try (against impossible odds) to break his control in the Japanese Islands this time.

But the I-Boat did and so the marines couldn’t and therefore I had to. Stupid I-Boat.

Not that the final outcome would have been different necessarily, but at least I could have justified playing another turn.

Anyway, congratulations to Joel on a solid victory. I enjoyed the game very much. Joel played well--and he was prompt, dependable, and consistently good-humored. An ideal opponent.

I’ll enjoy watching him and Ed fight for the top ladder spot next round.

IJN Endgame Comments: Our ladder game ended during Turn 7. Dave conceded when the IJN had an assured victory of 0.5 PoC.


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