The Normal Turn One Variant is in play!
Three small changes were also tested:
1) Vincennes and Quincy start at Samoa instead of being part of Basing Uncertain.
2) Speed rolls weren't required for USN ships moving two areas.
3) Pearl Harbor survivors could move freely (except 7th AF which was still restricted to the Hawaiian Islands).
Tim: The USN conceded at the end of turn 6 with the score +29 POC IJN and facing the full Applebaum.
Some thoughts on the NT1 adjustment from my perspective:
It simply doesn't give enough of an advantage to the Allied to reduce bidding significantly. The advantage of a reduced IJN POC total on turn 1 doesn't help in the end game. As it is, not enough vessels or LBA are diverted by the mobile Allied forces.
Most IJN players end up ignoring the 7th AF despite its return fire capability on round 2.
How about the following amendments to NT1?
Roll for Day/Night in Indonesia for round 1 & round 2.
Make a location uncertain roll for the Indomitable for turn 1. (On a 1-2 the Indomitable is in Ceylon and can move, otherwise it appears on turn 2).
On turn 1, allow the US mobile forces to move three areas, but not go to Japan or the Aleutians.
Tim: I'm not sure if players are familiar enough with the US options under NT1. My game went almost strictly by the the non-NT1 book save with the deployment of a single LBA to the Marshalls.
The US still doesn't have the firepower to challenge the IJN unless the Pearl raids go really poorly.
Maybe if the 7th AF is able to return fire on round 1 if not destroyed would help the Allies.
Under NT1, the I-boat is still a threat to US carriers on turn 1 if they decide to move. Perhaps limiting the I-boat to Marshalls, CPO, Hawaii, Indonesia, or Bay of Bengal would also help NT1.
I basically view NT1 equivalent to s standard game with the free CPO withdrawal and would bid accordingly.
The 3 POC the Allies get for controlling Hawaii is much less effective then a standard bid.
Bob: Larry had a good turn 1 but decided to come into Hawaii on turn 2.
He agreed on a Day, and we traded carriers, IJN killed 3 2 disabled, USN killed 3 and disabled 1. The IJN ran as one group, still had a carrier left and got a day killing a BB, then we had night and the USN lost 6 117's while the IJN lost only 2. The IJN killed 2 more 117's in Coral and USM. While the USN had control of Hawaii and most likely USM, the IJN took the rest of the board but the USN has virtually no ships left.
Larry has conceded.
Game when pretty normal, IJN had a very poor Pearl only sinking 1 BB and 1 CA. The USN, if a little less agressive on turn 2 had a good start, but after turn 2 the lack of ships (and carriers) would make the USN a tough game.
Larry: My quick defeat not withstanding I find the NT1 rule option relieves the pressure on the Allied player. At the end of the Air raid I had lost only two ships in Pearl. The IJN was then faced with all but two of the movable ships showing up in Hawaii and given the "call your shot" option withdrew. I would be recovering two of the damages ships in move two and three, three ships in move three and the rest in move four. Given the little chance the IJN has of taking Pearl the NT1 rule seems to tilt the game to the Allies (unless you kill yourself as I did).
Bob: I really did not notice any change for our game due to USN contesting Pearl.
Re: ships moving out of Pearl....
I think if the IJN had a bad Pearl the CPO could be in trouble if they only put Hosho in CPO. The IJN would have to guard against this or adjust bidding accordingly.
Not sure I like this piece as an option.
That is my only comment.
Bob: I think the game is more balanced and changes the thought pattern on bidding.
John S: This one had to be tough: John (Vogel) playing John (Sharp), under the supervision of John (Pack). And, think of the "Dear John" e-mails!
The results of these QR games with the modified NT1 rules should be revealing. I think these adjustments went too far over towards the Allies, but we will see.
John Vogel got the IJN for 2 . When I realized he hadn't read your adjustments, I offered to start the bidding over, but he decided to play.
Turn 1: John V had a tough IJN Pearl - too few hits, too many escapees, who raided to good effect. Allied raiders to the Marshalls and CPO dashed IJN hopes of control in those areas.
We still have to finish Indonesia, and he MAY pursue my two wounded US BBs in CPO (from which I am retreating). It looks like a 2 POC first turn for the IJN, and only my timidity prevented me from patrolling and controlling the Marshalls.
The Allies even patrolled Indo with Hermes, in the hopes of getting four LBA to go to Indo. IJN did send four LBA to Indonesia. I feared two LBA in the Marshalls (where my two carriers could raid), which would have hurt my chances to steal the POC. In John V.s place, I'd have sent my LBA to Indo (3), SoPac (1) and the Marshalls (2).
With the bid, I feel fortunate to (in essence) be even after Turn 1. The Marshalls cost me Lexington, but at least he missed with the I-Boat, so I knew I was risking only one carrier (learned that from John Pack!).
Should be an interesting game, although John mentioned it might be very quick, after his loss of two CVLs and more in CPO.
Turn 2: John V. patrols mainly with lone cruisers and three cruisers to Hawaii. LBA to Indo (3), SoPac (1) and NoPac (1).
John S. patrolled Marshalls (3 Allied cruisers), Coral Sea, Marianas, SoPac, Indonesia, Bay of Bengal and NoPac. 3 LBA to the US Mandate.
IJN SNLF to Japanese Islands (safe). IJN raiders primarily to Hawaii and then a few escorts and CVLs to support patrolling cruisers.
Allied raiders challenged Marshalls, Marianas (1 CV), CPO (1 CV) and SoPac (2 CVs). I-Boat to SoPac.
John V got the IJN-badly-needed night in the South Pacific, and the I-boat killed the Lexington. In the second round, Enterprise took 1 damage, but knocked the LBA out of the sky, to allow Vincennes to control SoPac.
In the Marianas, Junyo hit Saratoga for 1 damage, but Sara put Junyo down in return, and eventually allowed Chicago to control the area.
In the Marshalls, all night ended with no IJN, but two of the Allied cruisers still patrolling, to take the area.
CPO saw a night action quickly settle the issue, taking out the IJN patrols and keeping the CPO uncontrolled.
Indo went day, but with no air (the Brits had stayed home), the BBs took their punishment and withdrew. IJN controls and flips Singapore.
The IJN won Hawaii (no combat), NoPac and Aleutians. However, Turn 2 ended with the POC at IJN 3, and Truk surrounded by US flags.
After this tough start, John V resigned. Couldn't get the sixes when needed, and (IMHO), the adjustments went a bit too far over to the Allied advantage.
Thanks for a good game, John.
John S: As I mentioned in my after-game report (thanks for posting it), I think this particular adjustment went a bit too far. I'd like to see a Quick Round of standard NT1's for comparison. My feeling is that the NT1 variant might be the optimum. There will need to be a lot of playings before one can judge - too many players might not see the significance of NT1 on turn 1 play their first time around. I was a bit reluctant myself to do all that I could as the USN, and missed an opportunity in the Marshalls. IJN play iosn't changed that much, but after the USN patrols, the IJN has to adjust - primarily LBA in the Marshalls. There is probably a lot more I missed - so I don't want to dismiss NT1 without more exploration. It pressures the IJN, who usually face no pressure Turn 1.
John V: With respect to the three changes --
1) This was okay. The only problem is that they can move to another sea zone or stay in Hawaiian Islands and refuse combat.
2) This was okay.
I probably should have picked the right to refuse combat in CPO as another option during the bidding round.
Russ: I understand that you're trying to save USN BBs, which will aid the Allies.
If the IJN play a typical 8 CVs to Pearl, then it's just like having the USN roll (2) ones for groups W & X, go into CPO with the plus 2 advantage and clean-up. The game could be decided the and I've seen so many do. If the dice are average or as should be, then the IJN BBs fleet is doomed, if dice are totally whacked and you cannot beat a plus two advantage, it's time to start a new game!
I decided to play the USN, because I might have only sent 6 CVs to Pearl to ensure that USN will not come in fight in CPO, then a lot of BBs would escape -- very bad for IJN! Every game I've played where USN carriers arrive in CPO, the game was over with a dice roll and I've seen plenty end this way and I'm sure you did too.
I can never SINK a USN CV with the Hosho and a SUB shot, the odds for me are about 1 in a million (because I've never have). My opponents on the other hand, never have a problem sinking a CV with so little dice. How do they do it?
So in long/sort of it, NT1 is interesting yet it could end the game on T1 rolls. I like the idea of saving BBs and leaving bottomed ones in port. The flag in HI is very powerful too. The NPO option along with the Marshall is also appealing.
Russ: 1) Vincennes and Quincy seems to be a good starting placement, better than Australia.
2) Speed Rolls I didn't understand, Raiders can always move two areas and then Speed Roll into 3rd area, so I saw no difference, its probably me!
3) Seem to be the best of the all!
Overall I like the idea, yet I could see how some might gamble Turn 1 in the CPO knowing that USN will have 2 carriers and maybe a lot of BB from Pearl joining them. Also, if the IJN decide to gamble in the Marshall expecting that 1 LBA and the I-BOAT will defeat 2 USN CVs and they don't, a patrolling USN ship could be an early IJN defeat.
maybe you should still offer the retreat option in the CPO or have a one round limit with no pursuit.
Have you thought about changing the marine landing to USN going first on turn 7 and 8, change this sequence when the IJN I-BOAT is removed and USN SUN comes into the game?
Bryan: I played the IJN for a bid of 1.0. IIRC the changes you are asking about had little impact in the game just played.
Even though I won as IJN, the USN was never out of the game. Joe D.'s decision to fight for HI on turn two had more impact and long term consequences for both sides than anything that happened on turn 1.
Eric: Hermes made it to Indonesia with a 1 speed roll. Survived into the 2nd round before being sunk. Unfortunatley she did not inflict any damage, nor did the 5th for that matter. Felt it worth the risk since he only had 2 AF's there. If I could have patrolled Indo it would have had grave consequences for the IJN. Round 3 undecided but both British BB's and the 5th remain unscathed.
Lee: I have stared at the map the last 20 minutes and can't come up with a set of moves. I am overwhelmed by the volume of danger areas due to the failure to get Indonesia on round 2. I am resigning - congrats on the win.
Eric: I like the variant both ways. It certainly makes the Japanese player have to be more cautious the new way, which I like. In the real war they had to be cautious as well.
Jim: I think the changes had little effect on our game. The two extra CAs went to the USM. Four BBs made it out of Pearl on turn 1 and went to the NPO to join 6 US CAs vs 5 IJN CAs and a CV. That gave the area to the USN that would otherwise have been uncontrolled with the likely loss of 2 US patrollers. The USN declined to raid the CPO with 2 CV, 4 BB, and 6 CA vs an IJN force of 2 CVL, 3 BB, and 7 CA. He also declined to fight in Hawaii vs 6 CV, 4 BB and 4 CA
The USN lost the game, despite never losing Pearl or Samoa. The LBA on both sides were awesome. Pearl was held by LBA, but so was the IJN perimeter, and that was decisive. It also helped that the I-boat sank Enterprise on turn 1 in the USM and crippled CVs on turns 2 and 3. At the end of turn 6 the IJN had 29 POC and a mathematical lock on the game.
Overall, I think the added effect is small. The two extra CAs are difficult to rationalize historically. They were farther from the action than Saratoga, and entered the theater later. The movement outside Hawaii can be justified, and the "nightmare" scenario that I feared would result from a poor Pearl raid did not materialize. In this game a poor Pearl raid and smaller than normal surface forces in Hawaii and CPO were still enough to deter the USN from fighting in either area.