The I-Boat Raid and CPO Withdrawal
adjustments are in play.
Winner automatically qualifies for the Top 10 Invitational!
Allied Comments: The game has kicked off in a somewhat expected fashion with 3BBs, 1CA, and 7AF surviving the raids. Indo forces were vaporized by IJN LBA.
However, all Location Uncertain Groups are coming in on Turn 2 which is a set-back! Decreased threat to Indo on T2 not good, so am expecting an aggressive IJN move; probably a two-pronger on HI/Mandate.
IJN Comments: I have the IJN for 3.5 - lowish, but not cheap. With a bid like that I can wait and see if I should try for POC or for a quick kill.
The PH raid nets me 6 ships, but I kick myself for not taking out the LBA. Getting all four location unknowns to show up on T2 means I can put 2 LBA in Indo - I've never been able to get away with so few before.
Allied Comments: IJN went very heavy into HI making that prohibitive, but sent significant CV strength into CPac and Aleutians with Sasebo in tow. This was a good move of Anders, IMO. I have to admit that I was earnestly expecting a push into HI and Mandate this turn, but he turned all that on its head by going into CPac and Aleutians instead. I was also surprised to see Sasebo move to Aleutians when I'm threatening Marianas with an LBA unit. (The IJN SHOULD be full of surprises, shouldn't they?!) The threat of losing all three NE bases has made me scratch my head, but I will nevertheless depart from my normal convention of seeking a carrier duel on T2 and go for the LBA in SPac instead. All five USN CVs go to SPac to fight 2 IJN LBA while assorted heavy surface units go to Mandate and Coral to punish to IJN 118s. I may regret it, but I hope not!
He will be depending on LBA next turn as he is sending the Yokosuka marines into HI. Perhaps if I can attrit him of some air units, it won't be so easy to patrol on T3. I need to be able to threaten Indo with US CV power on T3 and Guadalcanal seems as good a place as any to base those carriers at the end of the turn. If 7AF gets lucky in downing his LBA in Marianas, then so much the better.
IJN Comments: 4 LBA to use - I'll use an LBA in Marianas instead of the SNLF, and try to bag the north as well as put enough stuff in Pearl to discourage a big battle. The USN will have to surrender either the North or Lae and he'll have to fight everywhere. I hope to nail a CV or two.
Allied Post-Combat Comments: Not good. NE corner lost. 7AF shot down immediately by his blasted LBA! Enterprise and Yorktown lost to his LBA in SPac but I've denied his control. The path is open to Marianas next turn, but I am short significant air units. The good news for USN this turn was the sinking of a BB and three CAs for the cost of two CAs.
IJN Post-Combat Comments: I get the north without a fight, Pearl is besieged and I sink 2 CVs in SPO - almost everything on my wish list, although I expect Lae will come back to haunt me in turns to come. Kevin says he expected to lose 2 CVs, so I'm not getting the moral advantage I hoped for, but with 3 CVs for T3 I don't think he'll want to tackle two areas if I defend with some (air) force.
Allied Comments: IJN went heavy into HI this turn to ensure a smooth transition from Allied to IJN control of Pearl. I challenged with 4 LBA, the marines and BBs, but decided to siphon off a single LBA to challenge SPac with my 3 remaining CVs. IJN didn't patrol Mandate this turn, which allowed me some freedom of action with my carriers. However, with the lack of a carrier clash thus far, the IJN have a pristine carrier fleet which could be hard to tackle later in the game.
IJN Comments: I'll give the Brits Indo for free this turn - I can drop some POC.
This turn it is Pearl (or, if Kevin contests Pearl, kill the USN navy) that matters.
I'll also put LBA + CV in Marshalls and Marianas - let's see if I can sink a carrier or two more if he challenges me.
If this set-up works I'll either outscore him by +3 POC, leaving 13 more to gain in two turns, or I'll get 3 non-bonus + 3 bonus + 1 sub shot at his CVs and still have a good chance to reach the POC max.
I wonder if Kevin will send all his LBA to Hawaii? He needs to kill a few of my CV, but since he only has 5 LBA (to match my 4 healthy + 1 damaged) I think I only need 2 LBAs there to be decently sure to win the battle. If he plonks down 4 in Hawaii I'll put an LBA in SPO - sacrificing it to guard Marshalls and Marianas (I can't see him going up against LBA + CV with just 2 CV, and if he puts in CV + LBA vs my LBA in SPO, I'll be really happy).
Then for turn 4 I'll have 3 Marines and lots of ships in SPO to take out Lae - as long as I don't get creamed in Hawaii or lose Indo on T4 this looks decent so far.
USN Post-combat: Hornet is exchanged for 25 AirFlot in SPac. Night in HI sees the loss of all USN surface and marines except for N Carolina. At least I've got 3 carriers and 8 LBA next turn to challenge those IJN flattops. Big IJN push on Lae/Guadal expected.
IJN Post-Combat: The smokin' (and now dead) LBA gets another CV - the attrition rate has been terrific! I now aim for 13 more POC in two turns, and try to take away Lae - the USN will have a tough time catching up if I max out the POC.
USN Comments: IJN made the big push into SPac with 3 SNLFs and lots of carrier power. I decided to go for the position instead of POC and sent my forces into SPac to duel the carriers and marines. I almost split my 3 remaining CVs between raids to Jap Is and Marianas, but after some consideration changed my mind. He is going to ring the bell anyway, so I should concentrate on making T6 as uncomfortable for him as possible. Having a direct line to Indo via SPac could put him under pressure to maintain a perimeter on T6 (at least, I'm hoping!). Control of Mandate and SPac last turn has allowed me an easy control of Coral Sea with 2 CAs which is a nice relief.
IJN Comments: CV attrition has worked fine so far, so I'll put up flag defenses on the perimeter, put lots of LBA in Indo and send the SNLF along with the fleet to SPO. All those LBA worry me, though - worst case he stops my Marines with his CVs and puts enough force in Indo to make it an even contest or worse.
Japanese Islands (3/3; Japanese): 128+3 Soryu 005+2 Shoho 1+27 Chokai Aleutian Islands (0/1; Japanese): North Pacific Ocean (1/1; Japanese): 1+07 Kitakami Central Pacific Ocean (1/0; Japanese): 1+07 Oi Marianas Islands (2/1; Japanese): 1+27 Nachi 1+27 Ashigara 124+3 Hiyo Indonesia (3/1; Allied): 34* 21 AirFlot 34* 26 AirFlot 34* 24 AirFlot 1241. Hermes 444. Valiant 444. Warspite R 443. Royal Sovereign R 443. Ramilies R 443. Resolution 443. Revenge 117. Cornwall 117. Shropshire South Pacific Ocean (2/1; Allied): 554 Mutsu PATROLLER (all other Raid) 033 Sasebo 033 Yokosuka 033 Kure 695 Yamato 444 Fuso 444 Yamashiro 444 Hyuga 444 Ise 436 Haruna 436 Kongo 1+27 Atago 1+27 Haguro 1+27 Maya 1+27 Myoko 1+27 Takao 1+17 Furutaka 1+17 Aoba 1+17 Kinugasa 1+17 Kako 1+18 Tone 146+4 Akagi 145+4 Kaga 138+4 Shokaku 138+4 Zuikaku 118+3 Hiryu 015+2 Ryujo 014+1 Hosho 24* Marine 24* RAAF 24* 10th A.F. 24* 11th A.F. (All USN ships on RAID) 137+4 Lexington 137+4 Saratoga 026+4 Wasp 5+65 South Dakota 5+65 Indiana 565 Washington 565 North Carolina(-5) 553 Maryland 553 West Virginia(1) 453 New Mexico 453 Idaho 453 California(4) 117 San Francisco 117 Salt Lake City 117 Northampton 117 Chester 117 Portland 117 Astoria 117 Louisville 117 Houston 117 Pensacola 117 Vincennes 117 Quincy Marshall Islands (1/1; Japanese): 34* 22 AirFlot (-3) 005+2 Zuiho 117. Australia 117. Canberra Hawaiian Islands (2/3; Japanese): 34* 23 AirFlot 124+3 Junyo U.S. Mandate (2/2; Allied): 1+18 Mikuma 1+18 Mogami 24* RNZAF 24* 13th A.F. 24* 7th A.F. 24* 5th A.F. Coral Sea (2/2; Allied): 117 Indianapolis 117 Minneapolis(1) Indian Ocean (2/0; Allied): 117. Exeter Bay of Bengal (2/1; Allied): 117. Dorsetshire 117. Devonshire -- Bases & Ports -- Japan (6; Japanese): 1+0* I-Boat 436 Kirishima REPAIRED Okinawa (Japanese): Attu (Japanese): Dutch Harbor (Japanese): Midway (Japanese): Saipan (Japanese): Philippines (Japanese): Saigon (Japanese): Singapore (Japanese): Lae (Allied): Truk (Japanese): Kwajalein (Japanese): Maloelap (Japanese): Pearl Harbor (Japanese): Johnston Island (Japanese): Samoa (Allied, 9): New Hebrides (Allied): Guadalcanal (Allied): Australia (1; Allied): Port Moresby (Allied): Ceylon (1; Allied): 0272. Illustrious Andaman Islands (Allied): Sunk Ships -- Turn 1: 456. Prince of Wales 336. Repulse 453 Tennessee 443 Nevada 443 Arizona 443 Oklahoma 443 Pennsylvania 117 New Orleans Turn 2: 554 Nagato 1+18 Suzuya 1+18 Chikuma 1+18 Kumano 027+4 Yorktown 027+4 Enterprise 117. De Ruyter 117 Chicago Turn 3: 436 Hiei 453 Mississippi 553 Colorado 027+4 Hornet
IJN Post-Combat Comments: The USN offer battle in SPO and win, but I kill two more CV - just the Wasp left now - and more important I control Indonesia. He'll have bad odds for breaking my Indo - HI - Marshalls - MI perimeter (I'm giving up on SPO). I'll have carrier parity (more or less) for T6, so with luck the USN won't gain POC. I'm very happy a few of those four LBA in USM didn't show up in Indonesia!
USN Post-Combat Comments: SPac shaped up for the Allies but for a price. Lex and Sara sunk two SNLFs and an LBA disabled Kure, but both CVs were lost. Wasp escaped by being disabled, but IJN only lost Zuikaku and Hosho in the fight. Shokaku took 3 pts but escaped to Japan. I couldn't pursue with my slow BBs so could only wave him off till next turn's engagement. SPac was Allied controlled again with Mandate so another easy patrol of Coral is ensured.
I'm relieved that he cannot prevent Allied LBA in SPac next turn. The only way to remove them will be to fight them with his carriers and/or LBA. Also, the three Marines coming out of Samoa next turn can go to Coral and guarantee he doesn't take and keep Guadal or Hebrides.
End of Turn 4 with IJN +23.
USN Comments: I sent 7 LBA into SPac to which the IJN only responded with Yamato. IJN went heavy in Indo to support his single LBA two LBA plus a CVL in Marshalls and HI. I was at a loss as to how to employ my scant airpower for the turn. My two options were to either leave Wasp and the two Brit 027s in port for next turn, or to try to snipe some of his units in the weaker areas. Because of the enormous pressure I'm feeling about so many surviving IJN carriers, I opted to snipe...
IJN Comments: 6 POC to go to hit the ceiling. I have enough strength to maybe hold two areas on T6 if the USN can't use LBA, so I'll try to stop the Marines from giving Kevin more areas to put LBA in. Two LBAs in HI and Marshalls should hold these areas and the fleet can hold Indo. If the USN LBA split between SPO and Indo I'll send a fleet detatchment to steal POC somewhere (perhaps BoB) (he'll be weak somewhere).
Japanese Islands (3/3; Japanese): 1+17 Furutaka Aleutian Islands (0/1; None): North Pacific Ocean (1/1; Japanese): 1+07 Kitakami Central Pacific Ocean (1/0; Japanese): 1+07 Oi 146+4 Akagi R Marianas Islands (2/1; Japanese): 34* 21 AirFlot 118+3 Hiryu R Indonesia (3/1; Japanese): 34* 25 AirFlot 033 Kure 554 Mutsu (all raiders) 695 Musashi 436 Kirishima 145+4 Kaga 128+3 Soryu 124+3 Hiyo 124+3 Junyo 005+2 Shoho 444 Fuso 444 Yamashiro 444 Hyuga 444 Ise 436 Haruna 436 Kongo 1+27 Atago 1+27 Haguro 1+27 Maya 1+27 Myoko 1+27 Takao 1+27 Chokai 1+27 Nachi 1+27 Ashigara 1+17 Aoba 1+17 Kinugasa 1+17 Kako 1+18 Tone 0272. Illustrious R 1241. Hermes R 117. Dorsetshire 117. Devonshire South Pacific Ocean (2/1; Allied): 695 Yamato P 24* RAAF 24* 14th A.F. 24* Naval 24* Marine(-3) 24* 13th A.F. 24* 7th A.F. 24* 5th A.F. 043 1st Marines 043 2nd Marines 043 3rd Marines All Raiding: 5+65 South Dakota 5+65 Indiana 565 Washington 565 North Carolina(-5) 553 Maryland 553 West Virginia(1) 453 California(4) 453 New Mexico 453 Idaho 117 San Francisco 117 Salt Lake City 117 Northampton 117 Chester 117 Portland 117 Astoria 117 Wichita 117 Louisville 117 Houston 117 Pensacola 117 Vincennes 117 Quincy Marshall Islands (1/1; Japanese): 34* 24 AirFlot 34* 22 AirFlot (-3) 005+2 Zuiho R 117. Canberra 026+4 Wasp R 0272. Victorious R 5+65 Massachusetts R Hawaiian Islands (2/3; Japanese): 34* 23 AirFlot 34* 26 AirFlot 015+2 Ryujo R 117 Indianapolis U.S. Mandate (2/2; Allied): 24* RNZAF Coral Sea (2/2; Allied): 117 Minneapolis(1) 117. Australia(-1) Indian Ocean (2/0; Allied): 117. Exeter Bay of Bengal (2/1; Allied): 443. Royal Sovereign 443. Ramilies -- Bases & Ports -- Japan (6; Japanese): 138+4 Shokaku repaired 1+0* I-Boat Okinawa (Japanese): Attu (Japanese): Dutch Harbor (Japanese): Midway (Japanese): Saipan (Japanese): Philippines (Japanese): Saigon (Japanese): Singapore (Japanese): Lae (Allied): Truk (Japanese): Kwajalein (Japanese): Maloelap (Japanese): Pearl Harbor (Japanese): Johnston Island (Japanese): Samoa (Allied, 12): New Hebrides (Allied): Guadalcanal (Allied): Australia (1; Allied): Port Moresby (Allied): Ceylon (1; Allied): Andaman Islands (Allied): Sunk Ships -- Turn 1: 456. Prince of Wales 336. Repulse 453 Tennessee 443 Nevada 443 Arizona 443 Oklahoma 443 Pennsylvania 117 New Orleans Turn 2: 554 Nagato 1+18 Suzuya 1+18 Chikuma 1+18 Kumano 027+4 Yorktown 027+4 Enterprise 117. De Ruyter 117 Chicago Turn 3: 436 Hiei 453 Mississippi 553 Colorado 027+4 Hornet Turn 4: 138+4 Zuikaku 014+1 Hosho 1+18 Mikuma 1+18 Mogami 137+4 Lexington 137+4 Saratoga 117. Cornwall 117. Shropshire
IJN Post-Combat Comments: The USN tries for the Marshalls, but Wasp & Victorious come up short against two LBA. As the tide turns I have 29 POC, Pearl, lots of carriers and some sort of perimeter. Kevin has Lae and his surface fleet. I definitely have a good edge for the endgame.
USN Post-Combat Comments: .....and I failed! Wasp was crippled and Vicky disabled from Marshalls. Zuiho only disabled and the wounded 22AirFlot(-3) was missed by Vicky. Indo was a disaster with Illustrious and two CAs being sunk for absolutely no return: Shoho was missed.
I'm in some pretty deep water here: I've saved Lae and Guadal so far this game but with so much IJN airpower out there, success is going to be extremely difficult. I find myself in a position where I will need Anders to either make some mistakes in his end-game or fall on some pretty unfortunate dice. Overall, he has been crafty in how he has managed to get me to spend my CVs on his LBA and marines. I'm now relying on LBA in Indo from Lae on T6, but he has 3 marines again. Once again, he will be begging some attention from my CVs with them next turn.
I've never quite played a game like this one and almost wish he had done what I feared most: the two area attack on T2 with a forced carrier clash. Man, what a difference those location rolls make on T1!
IJN rings the bell at +29
IJN Comments: If I control MI and HI this turn, he'll have 26 POC to make in two turns. 8 on T7 (I'll hold JI and NPO) leaves 18 for the last turn - IJN win. If I play it very safe (only hold HI) he'll have 24 POC to make, leaving 16 for the last turn, i.e. control everything but NPO or Auletians. His BBs aren't in position to threaten HI so I'll put the fleet there and the LBA in Marianas.
End of Turn Summary: IJN Marines go home along with all IJN ships.
IJN : JI 3, MI 2, HI 2, CPO 1, NPO 1 = 9
USN : CS 2, USM 2, Marsh 1, SPO 1, Indo 1, BoB 1 = 8
POC at IJN +29 (unchanged)
IJN Post-Combat Comment: The LBA do their job and hold the Marianas versus the T6 reinforcements.
USN Surrender: An A-Bomb really is required!
I'd give Jap Islands a try but I think you really deserve this victory and there ain't NO WAY my dice would be good enough for 2 CVs and 4 CVLs to defeat 4 LBA and 9 carriers! As you've prudently patrolled NPac with 2 ships, there's no sneaky way for me to get back in this game.
If I had to go back, I'd still be tempted to send in the 5 CVs to SPac on T2. Perhaps CPac was the right option, though, or maybe a suicide CV vs Yokosuka in HI. Even so, Pearl was unsavable all game, but I didn't get the fortunes I needed elsewhere. S Pac was a very good area for me all game, but just goes to prove that control of Lae and Guadal is not enough. If the IJN are permitted a big carrier fleet all game, they are too powerful. My rotten luck on the Location rolls had a bearing on how many LBA you sent to Indo. Raiding would have been much easier for me if you had to put 4 LBA to guarantee conversion of Singapore. Also, had I prevented your control of Marianas on T2, it would have opened up the board a little for T3.
You really got my number this game, I think. I wouldn't even say your dice were extraordinary enough to warrant saying you had 'great luck.'
You won this one purely on strategy and deserve your slot in the Top 10 Invitational (an offer which both of us found appealing, I'm sure!) as well as a shot at the title next round. As for me, I'll be dropping down to the middle of the ladder again, but I'll be clawing my way back up after this defeat.
End T6 +29 IJN.........USN concedes.
IJN Endgame Comments: I don't think saving Lae is a bad move. It needs to be coupled with a little luck (but so do *all* USN T2 moves) and then you need to keep the POC down somehow (or be in a position to contest/control HI on T6). Once you were down a few carriers my CVL + LBA defense got more and more unappetizing. Of course being able to put 2 LBA in Indo is a luxury I don't count on repeating often, but facing 5 CV up north was also sort of brutal.
Right now I'm off the opinion that given a choice in the early turns the USN should face CVs/CVLs instead of LBA - the risk of CV losses tend to be the same and damage hurts the IJN more. (But on the other hand once the IJN loses 2 or 3 LBA it really gets into trouble holding it's positions. The Pacific is a *big* space to cover.). Still, it was a toss-up between saving the south or the north.
I think you played just as good a game as I did, but I got an early advantage and then you never got the break you needed to even things out. About the only thing I would have done differently would have been to put a single LBA in USM on T4 and try to control Indo to retake Singapore. That would have been a real break both position-wise and for the POCs.
I really look forward to the next time we meet across the table (then you can have the IJN for 3.5 and we can see what happens. :)