* * Quick Round - Round 22 * *

The British Normal Turn One Variant is in play!

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 1

Charlie: The bidding process found us strangely bidding for the allies this variant (Jim let me have the Allies with a bid of 1 PoC), whether this is showing a bias to them, or whether we just wanted to make the other guy think more has yet to be seen.

My goal for this turn was to maximize the headache of getting the Yokosuka Marines to Truk, and see if the British could possible trade some surface ships.

I patrolled 2 CA's in Coral Sea and US Mandate to ensure the PoC, but it did limit my raiding force, I think if i had patrolled less, he might have sent less carriers to Pearl and another may have ended up in CPO, as it was Hosho and 8 surface escorts held the zone.

Jim didn't shoot at 7th AF in the first round and he missed in the second round, so I had 2 shots on the Hiryu, which missed. For the 3rd round when he didn't predesignate the 7th AF as a target, I was willing to trade the bottomed ships for another 2 free shots at the Hiryu (which missed again). I was lucky to get the night action in the 4th round and have the 7th AF survive for turn 2.

In retrospect i'm not sure if it was a good idea, or if i was taking a big risk, if he had gotten day in the 4th round, i would have had 2 more shots, but for sure i would only have had 2 LBA for turn 2.

On the western side of the board I made an error of omission, I had meant to patrol Bay of Bengal with Houston and De Ruyter to keep them out of harms way, but I did not inform Jim of this. I patrolled Indonesia with Exeter, Hermes, and Revenge. Jim made the comment of "Full Court Press on Indonesia" as every ship that could reach Indonesia was patrolling there, or on raid.

I had intended to leave the PoW and Repulse in Port to siphon a carrier away from the Pearl Harbor raid, Jim recognized this and didn't take the bait.

Jim's LBA ended up 2 in Indonesia, 1 in Marianas, 1 in SPO, and 2 in Marshalls. With no LBA in Japanese Islands I sent PoW and Repulse to engage 4 444's. I knew that in order for him to sink my ships, he would have to face shots in return. With PoW and Repulse often sunk in the normal game, I was willing to make that trade.

After my raiders were moved, Jim pointed out that De Ruyter and Houston were still in port. My initial reaction was to raid them in Bay of Bengal out of harms way, but in a fit of aggression i threw them into the Japanese Islands with PoW and Repulse, setting the stage for an epic battle.

First round combat in Indonesia was a day, while it was a night in Japanese Islands (I went for day to avoid the Bonus shots). In Indonesia Jim sank my LBA in the first round, but my return fire sank the Yokosuka marines (YES!). After that I attempted to flee in one group, hoping the Hermes would intimidate Jim. It didn't, Night occured in the second pursuit round and he finished off the 3 British ships I had in Indonesia.

In the Japanese Islands, Jim's opening salvo (8 bonus shots, 8 regular shots) missed the PoW, Disabled the Repulse, Disabled the De Ruyter, Missed the Houston. My return fire, hit a BB for 1 damage, hit a BB for 3 damage, disabled a BB, and sank the last one. The second round saw Jim Disable the PoW and miss the Houston, while the PoW was able to disable the 1damage BB. Round 3 was the culmination of this epic heavyweight fight, a nearly crippled BB sank the Houston, while the Houston's final shot pinged helplessly off the armor.

As it stands, the IJN is up 4 PoC (5 after my purchase of a carrier to base at New Hebrides). Had I been able to break up control in Japan I would have been willing to get at least another carrier, but with a bid of 1 PoC, I felt 1 carrier was all I could afford.

Jim: Charlie Drozd and I have finished turn 4.  My IJN are up +29 POC. I don't quite have the full Applebaum since he broke control of HI last turn and controls Guadalcanal and Johnston Island. The only Allied CV available is Victorious, and I have nine CVs left. But he has 10 full strength LBA available while I have only four, three damaged.

Charlie: I was able to push Jim up to the end of turn 6, but I was unable to punch a hole through to reach the Japanese Islands on turn 7. So I am forced to concede the USN position. John, I will be sending you a follow up E-mail with a recap to the follow up turns (2-6), mainly about turn 2 and what I did differently as opposed to the normal turn 2.  Thanks for the good game Jim, sorry I wasnt able to push you to turn 8 at least.

Jim: Turn 1: Charlie bid 1 POC to play the Americans and I accepted. The IJN sent the usual 8 CV to Pearl, 2 LBA to ML, and one LBA to SP. However, things in the west demanded much more attention than usual. One LBA reinforced a single CA in MN. IN got two LBA and nine surface ships since the Allies patrolled there with Revenge and Hermes and had 7 more ships able to raid there. Heavy American patrols reduced the need to reinforce the CPO, which got Hosho and 8 surface ships.

The Americans stayed out of harmís way in the east and the Allies split their forces in the west, contesting both IN and JP. Hermes and 5AF sank Yokosuka but lost the battle to two LBA and lost three ships in the retreat. PoW, Repulse and two CAs challenged four 444s in JP. He sank one and damaged two, losing only the Houston, but the other Allied ships were disabled and I won the area. The Allies would have been much better off sending the four ships in JP to Indo instead. 7AF and two damaged BBs escaped Pearl. He paid a POC to base Yorktown in New Hebrides. POC +5 since he didnít patrol BB.

I think with careful play the IJN can hold the areas he needs to on turn 1 despite the more active Allies in the west. It is almost certain to cost him ships and/or Yokosuka however. This should be a significant aid to the Allies, but not usually a decisive one. In this game the IJN came out of turn 1 with the normal areas, but short Yokosuka and Ise, with two other BBs damaged. The Allies lost 5AF, Hermes, Exeter, Houston, and Revenge. Prince of Wales and Repulse survived the whole game. The attrition in the west favored the IJN despite miserable BB dice, but not by as much as usual. With four more Allied ships in Indo the pro-Allied balance might have been even more pronounced. In the event, the slightly pro-Allied turn 1 rapidly deteriorated into a decisive Japanese victory.

I like the ability of the Allies to use surface productively in IN on turn 1 due to the presence of Yokosuka, and how that encourages the IJN to deploy a nearly historical force level to the area. However, since I think this gives the Allies a considerable advantage vs the standard game, I would suggest that the Allies patrol before the Japanese on turn 1 to simulate their lack of initiative and lack of ability to read IJN codes at this stage of the war. They would still place LBA and raiders after the Japanese, however. This would give the Japanese a better idea how to counter the Allied deployments and know better what risks they need to run. A +1 on Japanese first round D/N rolls would also simulate the surprise better than the attack bonus.

Turn 2: I patrolled the three Allied home areas plus the usual rear areas. Charlie put three LBA in the USM and I decided to concentrate my raiders elsewhere. He went for the block in the ML with 3 CAs on patrol and 3 CVs. I countered with 3 BBs, two LBA and the I-boat. The first round was DN. I sank two CVs and disabled the third. He sank a BB and LBA but only damaged the other LBA so I held the area, foiling the block. Two CVs saved Lae by shooting down my LBA in SPO, but lost Saratoga to planes from Zuiho. Zuiho perished in the night part of the DN against the flag. In AL, two IJN CVs brushed aside a CA patrol and both Aleutian bases fell. In CPO he got night against the flag but two shots missed my only patroller and a day in round 2 killed his last CA allowing me to take Midway by isolation. +13 POC. This was the pivotal turn. Had the block worked and his night action removed the CPO patroller Iíd have been in tough shape. Losing three CVs really hurt the Allied cause, but they did face 9 nonbonus and 3 bonus shots, so losing 2 CVs was expected.

Turn 3: The IJN CV force defeated six LBA in HI thus capturing Pearl, losing two CVs sunk and two damaged. The two remaining US CVs raided SPO but were disabled by LBA and the I-boat, inflicting no damage. He got night against the flag in IN and British surface fire sank an SNLF and disabled the other, saving Lae again. POC to +23.

Turn 4: In HI two LBA faced two American CVs. He sank both LBA first round, breaking my control and his marines got through the I-boat to Johnston. But 10 bonus and 6 nonbonus shots sank both American CVs by round 2. I finally got an SNLF through to Lae. Wasp took out Yokosuka in SPO, saving Guadalcanal, but was obliterated by 19 bonus shots. POC to +29.

Turn 5: With Victorious the only CV in the east, the Allies were in tough shape. In SP he got DN against the flag in SP (N would have allowed me to take Guadalcanal, disable five LBA, shred his surface fleet, and probably control the area). He sank Kure and a CV, disabling two others. I only damaged two LBA and crippled Victorious. In IN he got night against the flag and 2 Mar retook Lae. The second round in SP was D and I decided to concentrate on his fleet, which was fortunate since I rolled several 5s and no 6s. His LBA ended up winning SPO but he lost a BB and three CAs plus 4 ships badly damaged. His LBA also held HI. POC still +29.

Turn 6: Facing a desperate situation, the Allies fought in ML, MN, and IN, at a slight disadvantage in all three areas. He won ML, but lost in IN and MN. He captured Pearl and Maloelap, but the POC was still +29 and the game was a lock at that point since he couldn't raid Japan or the Aleutians.

I had good luck shooting at his CVs, which was the difference. I shot at or below average against his LBA overall, but on the critical turn 3 I rolled fairly well. My BBs were totally pathetic the whole game. I lost 9 sunk and one crippled during the game while they sank only 2 ships despite getting off 8 bonus (special turn 1 rule) and 67 nonbonus shots. My cruisers shot quite well. With two CAs and a BB available to fire on a CV and CVL on turn 6 I used the CAs on the CV, even though the percentage play is to use the BB. True to form, the CAs sank the big CV while the BB whiffed completely.

Game 2

John: I've included a map for greater clarity -- although, silly me, I don't show the USN CA or I-Boat in the Coral Sea.  The I-Boat disabled my lone patroller to New Hebrides.

Right after the IJN patrols, I decided to maximize the pressure on the western half of the board -- so I kept the two Australian CA on raid status (to threaten Indo).  I also brought the Ramillies into Indonesia as a patroller -- leaving the Bay of Bengal to the De Ruyter.  I also decided to patrol the Marianas with the Exeter -- since the new basing option is particularly nasty if the Allies end up with a flag in the Marianas.

Naturally, the 5th AF went to Indonesia -- not only to draw IJN LBA forces away from the Marianas -- but to give me the best chance of surviving (by rolling night).  I kept Prince of Wales, Repulse, and Houston back as raiders (figuring the IJN would have to use multiple carriers to air raid them all which would help me immensely at Pearl Harbor).  Figuring that the IJN is also pressed for CV resources, I leave the 7th AF as my only possible patroller in the Hawaiians -- hoping to draw fire off of battleship row.

Interestingly, Rob decided not to use any CV away from the eastern half of the board -- leaving the Marianas dangerously exposed.  So that's where all of my British raiders and Houston head.  I play it safe in the East.

The Pearl Harbor raids --at nearly full power -- sink Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and New Orleans (all but PA and OK in the fourth round).  The 7th AF disables Hiryu.  Nothing is left on the bottom as the USN eschews battle.  There are no air raids elsewhere.

In Indonesia, the first round is night!  The 5th AF escapes.  Given that the IJN didn't target 7th AF, the USN will have 4 LBA next turn.  That should be fun.  The Ramillies is annihilated but manages to take Haguro with her.  The British are already sinking Japanese ships.  Cool!

In the Marianas, the first round is day (which I wanted to keep the IJN from hitting PoW and Repulse with bonus attacks).  In the next round, Repulse is sunk while Prince of Wales takes 5 damage and is disabled.  In return I manage to sink one patroller, whiff on the other, and disable Mutsu.  I stick around with the hopes of denying the IJN the flag.  Nagato is forced to shoot at Exeter rather than Houston -- since Exeter represents the chance of an Allied flag in the Marianas!  Exeter is sunk while Mogami takes 1 damage!  Houston stays to try again.  She's disabled to the Philippines and unable to send Mogami away.  The IJN wins this one, but it was close.

The IJN ends at 5 PoC, but I buy the right to base Yorktown at New Hebrides to give the IJN a 6 PoC lead over-all.

I think the IJN took too big a risk in the Marianas -- but didn't pay the price.  In exchange, the IJN was able to put more force into his Pearl Harbor raid.  Interestingly, this new variant makes is possible for the British to lose a lot more ships on the first turn.  That could be enough to persuade some IJN players to re-examine westward offensives.  Of course, given USN CV in Australia and New Hebrides, I may overstate the possibility!  But the possibility of more losses on Turn One will necessitate more caution on the part of the USN commanders!

Turn 2

John: This turn I have enough LBA to discourage a knockout and still adventure in the Marianas.  With 3 CV trained on Indonesia, the IJN is forced to use 4 LBA there -- which weakens defenses elsewhere.

I go with pretty standard patrols with a few exceptions.  I like to put a hefty BB or two small ships (like a cripple and a CA) in the Coral Sea in NT1 games because PoC is so critical.  I can't afford to have the IJN steal more PoC like the I-Boat did last turn in the Coral Sea.  The downside is more lost ships if the IJN does commit to the Coral Sea.  I also have a patroller in the Aleutians.  There's an excellent chance, based on IJN patrols, that I'll be saving the Aleutians.  The patroller doesn't change that, but it'll make Dutch Harbor easier to defend against IJN NLF next turn.  The 1 PoC wouldn't hurt either.

In his raids, Rob goes for a perimeter defense and aims a dagger directly at Pearl Harbor.  I'm happy any time I don't have to worry about the knockout when I'm moving my turn two raiders.  I decide to save the NE corner since I can do it with just one CV.  I commit some small ships to the Coral Sea to try and win the flag.  The rest of my force heads to the Marshalls for a minor block (since there's no suicide CV) and to threaten base conversions next turn.  4 CV should easily win the area -- the only question is how much I lose in the process.  Odds are that I'll lose two CV but it could get as bad as losing four this turn.

In Indonesia, the IJN dings up a couple of the British BB.  In the North Pacific, the IJN CA disables the Allied patroller before being disabled itself (a perfect PoC snatch'n'grab).  In the Coral Sea, the IJN sinks both Allied patrollers (over two rounds of combat) while losing one CA and seeing the other disabled.  The IJN is doing a magnificent job in running up the score!

However, that's the end of the good news for the IJN.  In the Aleutians, Shoho and Nachi are sunk in day and night actions with no loss to the Allies.  In the Marianas, the 7th AF scores boxcars to sink the Sasebo NLF and save the Philippines.  It's even worse because Houston is STILL based there!  In the U.S. Mandate, the Allied LBA sink two 118s.  The Marshalls start out well for the IJN -- as a night round allows one patrolling CA to be sunk and another disabled while the third is sunk by the I-Boat.  However, in return, the USN sinks both Zuiho and Ryujo and puts 4 damage on Nagato.  The IJN decides to break and run for it at that point -- however, all three IJN BB are sunk in pursuit.

Already 11 IJN ships are on the bottom.  Only 13 Allied ships (of which 3 are British and 2 Allied CA) have been sunk -- including the Pearl Harbor raid.  Worse, 3 of those are IJN CVLs while no USN CV have been sunk.  The POC score is a bright spot for the IJN -- rising to 13.  But most of the advantages point in the USN direction.  That 4th LBA is a really sweet deal for the USN.  I'm thinking in this variant that the IJN really has to shoot the 7th AF down during the Pearl Harbor raid.

Personally, if I'd been the IJN I'd have tried for day in the Marshalls and aimed for USN CV instead of the patrollers.  With Johnston Island's conversion guaranteed, I wouldn't have worried about the block.

Turn 3

John: This turn is straightforward -- move so as to get the Japanese to put the maximum stuff in the Hawaiians so that I can go elsewhere.  One bonus of the current attrition and this strategy is that the IJN usually gives up Indonesia to the British for free -- an especially dangerous move when the Philippines or Lae are in Allied hands.

When it comes to the time to raid, I go for the POC and forward-basing my CV in the Philippines (with the off-chance of converting Saipan).  Since I still have all five USN CV, I also feel free to sacrifice one for the NLF in the Aleutian Islands.

In fact, as it turns out, Saratoga doesn't go down during day action -- but sinks the NLF to save Dutch Harbor.  However, as the action is a day followed by night, Sara and the escorting CA are sunk.  Thankfully, neither CA in SPO or Marshalls is sunk to help make up for those losses.

In the Marianas, it's day action.  My CA is disabled as I shoot down the LBA and follow that up by sinking the battlecruiser.  Alas, Saipan is not to be an Allied base.  In Central Pacific, my CA sink the IJN CA but lose one in exchange.  In the North Pacific, I manage to win the flag -- but only disable the IJN CA.

In the Coral Sea and U.S. Mandate, I manage to sink one IJN CA but the patroller in Coral Sea is disabled to deny me those POC for a third turn in a row!

In the Hawaiians, the IJN disable both Marines with damage while shooting down three LBA.  In return, Akagi is sunk and Soryu disabled.  I elected to run at this point and save my LBA for next turn.  All three of my BB are sunk in day actions during pursuit.

I manage to keep the IJN gain down to 3 POC net and have an excellent position for next turn.  I'm pleased with the results over-all.

Turn 4

John: Since this is an NT1 game (i.e., no bid), I have to watch every POC and not allow the IJN to rack up the score easily.  My principle goals this turn are 1) to set up for the pivotal turn five, 2) keep the score low.  To accomplish the former, I need to preserve my bases and/or get new ones, open up movement lanes, move ships to forward bases, and set up hot seas (areas of control that threaten base conversion) to worry the IJN next turn.

The first key is to maximize the threat to Indonesia.  I bring all of the British forward with the exception of the repairing PoW and one CA.  That won win the area for me, but it should make sure the IJN doesn't rely on surface ships to save Singapore and Saigon.

Next, the IJN patrols make it clear that invading Guadalcanal is at least among his plans.  However, since IJN patrols are light, I counter by patrolling for POC and hot seas -- and, where I expect a reaction, usually with 1 CA.  I figure the threat of de-controlling the Hawaiians is enough.

The IJN LBA is completely draw to Indonesia.  That's what he needed, however -- since anything less would have drawn my final LBA (and possibly CV) to Indo.  I use my LBA to secure POC in the Aleutians, threaten the Marianas, and to force a bigger commitment to SPO.

The IJN goes all-out for Guadalcanal with both NLF.  I'm delighted -- since it means I'll keep the Philippines.  My Marines back up Guadalcanal (from the Coral Sea) and threaten a base in the Marshalls.

The IJN raids are focused on the POC in the Japanese Islands and the South Pacific.  That lets me hit both the Marshalls and Hawaiian Islands with a spare surface raider to try to win the Coral Sea and another on the 42% chance for a pure night in the North Pacific.

As it turns out, I win most of the preference rolls.  Both sides shoot badly for the first round -- but I get what I need and the IJN does not.  The British lose only 1 CA to daylight in Indonesia.  I get control of the Coral Sea for the first time (though I only disable the IJN CA).  In the Marianas I only disable his CA, but then again that's all he does in the Japanese Islands too.  The same goes for the Aleutians.

Everything else goes really badly for the IJN.  In NPO, night action sees the Hiryu take 1 damage while the IJN CA is disabled.  The USN patroller takes 1 damage by survives to place the flag as Hiryu runs off.  In the Hawaiians, it's day action -- but Kaga merely disables Wasp while being sunk.  Lexington pursues the wounded CA and sinks her.  In the Marshalls, it's also night.  Together both IJN ships put 1 damage on Australia.  But all the USN can do is disable Junyo.  The I-Boat whiffs on the Marine which then invades Kwajalien.  The IJN sticks around, wins night action, and disables Australia to save the flag -- at the cost of the CA.  In SPO, the first round is day.  The IJN manage to wound two LBA but not sink any.  In return, the three LBA sink one NLF and disable the other to save Guadalcanal.  However, in the second round, the IJN comes alive and shoots down all three LBA.  In return, Soryu is crippled and Shokaku is sunk.  It's an IJN victory -- but the IJN goal is thwarted.

The Japanese gain 1 POC for the turn.  Once again no USN CV are sunk.  That bodes ill for an IJN attempt to secure a perimeter next turn.  Worse, Guadalcanal with a spare Marine on board will make Allied LBA very secure in the SPO next turn.

Turn 5

Rob: Reviewing the turns, it looks like I lost the game on T2. I think I most feared the effects of a suicide-block, more likely to work with the US flag in Hawaii from T1.

For some reason, even though you passed up on the suicide, I couldn't get out of my head the need to decontrol Marshalls. I think for some reason I thought I wanted to not have to hold it strongly T3, because I wanted to hold SPO instead...

However, if I had simply targetted CVs, I would have been much better off. The I-boat would have sunk one, and 4 bonus shots with 3 non from the LBA probably would have done in another. 3 CVs obviously would have made later turns a lot easier. Well, it's a lot better to reinforce this in my head BEFORE the tournament.

Oh well, I'm setting up a lot of desperate battles this turn. Who knows? Maybe they'll all go my way. If not, this may be the last turn :)

John: The IJN patrols suggest that I should be able to win a major area on the eastern part of the board, so I patrol those areas rather heavily.  I also bring all of the British forward to face the heavy IJN Indo patrols.  They may get shredded, but they'll force the IJN to commit even more heavily to Indo than he wants -- and hopefully they'll take a lot of IJN equipment with them!  I also add two LBA to Indo to make certain I have a good chance to stop any invasion of the Philippines.

As it turns out, Rob is going for an inner perimeter (from Indo to the Marianas to CPO to the Hawaiians).  It's a good move given his position.  I decide to gamble a little bit in Indonesia -- where I can get a huge daylight superiority vs. a small surface superiority for the IJN.  I should win the area even if the first round goes badly.  I also use Marines in SPO and the Hawaiians to set myself up for future turns.

This turn is definitely centered around the various NLF and Marines with the IJN using suicide units to stop the SPO Marines, the Marianas hinging on the Indo NLF, the IJN deployed to stop the Marine in the Hawaiians, and the assault on Dutch Harbor.  The IJN really has no chance to have everything go his way, but that's what he needs.  As it turns out, I win the day action needed to stop his NLF in Indonesia (and to easily win the area), the day action to try to stop the invasion of Dutch Harbor, and the night action to take Johnston Island.  The Zuikaku's suicide mission has a chance to stop the invasion of Lae, but that's the only thing that goes the IJN's way -- which prompts the IJN to surrender.

Rob: Well, with three of the four D/N rolls in areas with NLF going your way, that's probably it!  I resign.   You will have too many bases and me too few POC to hold it back.  Good game.  Maybe I'll get my revenge in about 8 days [at the World Boardgaming Championships]!

Game 3

Eric: Our quick round game is moving along, slowly. Had a good first round but didn't think about what to do with my marines until too late and they just stayed in Saigon - the new rules took a bit more thought than I gave. Just starting round 2 IJN patrols.

Yeah I got IJN for .5 - really wanted him to bid 1...

I think next time I'll put an air force in JI and move the ships I had there to Indo to protect a marines move. He made some strange moves in turn 1, moving all his raiding forces to USM just for basing. I had a 1 on 1 CA duel in NPO that he could have sent his CA's to, and he could have moved his CV's into Marshalls vs my 1 LBA (although that was a bit risky, he ended up losing enterprise to an I-Boat shot anyway). It ended up being pretty normal with some heavier than usual losses for the USN (AZ 3 dmg, WV 10 dmg, all us and POW sunk plus 2 us ca's and DeRuyter - IJN loses only 107).

Alan: I allowed Eric the IJn, for a whopping .5 bid.

T1 saw me take the brits and Houston up against the 554s and 3 CA's in JI, while Eric kept the Yoko NLF in port.

Hot shooting by Eric tanked all of Battleship row save a -10 bottomed and the AZ (-3). The I boat bagged Enterprise and he got both 5th and 7th af.

I got a 107 for my trouble, losing PoW in doing it...

So T1 ends with IJN +4, and me low on LBA and down a CV. All I have going for me is the NLF still in Saigon saves Johnston Island.

Turn 4

Eric: We're finishing the last battle in Turn 4. IJN is +29 and looking to put the death nell on the US fleet limping back to Port.

Eric: Alan gave up the ghost in our quick round...He'd have needed a miracle to win. He went for it in turn 4 and we both had average rolls, but he needed great rolls.

Game 4

Robert: No USN patroller in NPO.

Only 1 CA patrolling in Coral Sea and US Mandate.

USN carriers risked I-Boat attack in US Mandate in order to earn preferential basing in New Hebrides, but I-Boat targeted the patrolling Canberra instead. The I-Boat hit for 2 damage.

Only 2 of the USN BBs were sunk. Another is on the bottom, 2 crippled, and the other 3 have damage.

Singapore ships stayed in port as raiders. Ryujo managed to sink DeRuyter in air raid. Prince of Wales sunk in first combat round (night action). Repulse took 2 hits and was disabled with 2 damage. Exeter and Houston withdrew without pursuit after Tone was sunk leaving Ashigara as the only ship with enough speed to keep up.

IJN control: Indo, SPO, Marianas, Japanese Isles, Aleutians, CPO, Marshalls
USN control: Bay of Bengal, Coral Sea, Hawaiian Isles
Uncontrolled: Indian Ocean, NPO, US Mandate

Mircea: Likely my mistakes. I wanted the largest raiding threat from Johnston. Still it was not enough; diverting IJN forces against NPO would have diluted them more.

The nice thing of this new scenario is that it encouraged diversification from the 'pure specialization' of the classic rules (Hawaii 8CV, Indonesia 4 LBA, CPO surface).

In our game the Japanese used:

Hawaii - 6CV, 4BC, 7CA. [Together with the incentive to shoot at 7AF it reduces Pearl to historical levels]

Indonesia - 2LBA, 2BB, 2CA, 1CVL [To escort Marine and/or destroy ships staying in Singapore. Brits feel really compelled to get out and fight. At least 5AF was saved]

CPO - 2CVL, 2BB, 8CA [Well deterrent of US 2CV,8CA]

Marshalls - 2LBA [Responding to the US 2CA patrols and threat of 2CV;]

Marianas - 1LBA. [Saving surface ships needed everywhere]

Japan - 2BB, 2CA. [The 2BB's perhaps 'stimulated' by the bonus if PoW+Repulse appeared here]

Turn 2

Mircea: In Turn 2, LBA's have mutually annihilated in Indonesia so a couple of British cruisers saved Singapore !

IJN flag: Japan 3, Marianas 2, Marshalls 1, Aleutian 0, Hawaiian 2 = +8
Allied flag: Bengal 1, Indonesia 1, Coral 2, NPO 1 = -5
Uncontrolled: Indian Ocean, SPO, CPO, US Mandate

IJN gain 3 PoC, total +9.

Turn 5

Robert: "Last hopes" always depend on "last hits". While I once again managed to inflict 1 damage in my attack, your return fire is devastating. Having lost Japan and failed to capture Samoa, the IJN surrenders at the end of Turn 5.A very good game, but I think I will go back and see how many of my shots on your LBA and CVs were for 1 or 2 damage.

Game 5

Dave: Phil chose to defend the Marianas with LBA (instead of patrolling cruisers) and the Japanese Islands with a larger-than-usual number of patrolling battleships.

That being the case, I chose discretion over valor and simply left Prince of Wales and Repulse (and Hermes) in port for the turn. He was not likely to bring in a carrier into Indonesia to conduct air raids because the IJN carriers have better things to do in Pearl Harbor and the Central Pacific on Turn 1.

5AF had to come out, so I put him in Indonesia, where the flag gave me a better chance for a night action. As it turns out, that's a good situation for the USN either way. When I "lost" the preference roll, I got a chance to shoot at Yokosuka NLF. (Of course, I missed. But in any other game, I'd never have had the chance.)

I lost 5AF (as usual) but saved Prince of Wales and Repulse.

Overall, my impression is that the changes in this variant all favor the USN. In a regular game, the USN player typically loses 5AF, Prince of Wales, and Repulse. If Adjustment #1 is in effect, you're likely to lose Hermes, too. Meanwhile the IJN player controls Indonesia, the Japanese Islands, and the Marianas.

In NT1b, the outcome can't be worse than that for the USN, and it's likely to be better.

So, if NT1 makes for a pretty well-balanced game, I wonder if NT1b doesn't shift the advantage slightly to the USN.

Dave: At the end of Turn 4 in my quick round game with Phil Watkins, the IJN leads by 16 POC.

Dave: . . and that wraps things up, I believe. At the end of the turn,

IJN controls: Japanese Islands (3)

USN controls: Bay of Bengal (1), Indonesia (1), Mariana Islands (1), South Pacific Ocean (1), Coral Sea (2), Aleutian Islands (1), Marshall Islands (1), US Mandate (2), North Pacific Ocean (1), Hawaiian Islands (3). Total: 14

USN gains 11 POC for the turn plus 1 for the bid and ends up winning the game by one point (thanks to one British cruiser).

Well, that ended up being a nail biter, didn't it?  Interesting that the margin of victory was one extra British ship -- which, you could argue, was due to the NT1b rules for Turn 1.

Anyway, thanks for a good game.  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Phil: Just confirming the final score in our Quick Round match was 0 without bid, -1 after the bid, so you win. Congratulations and thanks for the game.

I made a few mistakes, starting with the bid +1 for Japs was overkill given that the US get 4VP on game turn one plus about 5 extra ships, counting at least one of PoW and Repulse.  The killer for me was not taking Dutch Harbor and Attu.  I played my marines poorly - not taking Dutch Harbor, losing one in Indonesia needlessly on turn 4 then taking Guadalcanal but leaving Lae free.  I was lucky with my Marines retaking the Philippines to last as long as I did.

Game 6

Daniel: Bay of Bengal: Exeter, Hermes patrolling.
Indian Ocean: Houston patrolling.
Indonesia: IJN - 21, 25, & 26 AirFlots. Yokosuka Marines. Nagato, Mutsu, Fuso, Hyuga, Hosho raiding.
     USN - 5th AF. Repulse, Prince of Wales, Revenge, De Ruyter patrolling.
Japan: Yamashiro, Ise patrolling.
Marianas: Haguro, Nachi, Takao, Myoko patrolling.
S. Pacific: 23 AirFlot.
Marshalls: 22 & 24 AirFlots.
C. Pacific: Mikuma, Mogami, Kumano, Suzuya, Tone patrolling. Ashigara, Atago, Chokia, Maya, Hiryu raiding.
Aleutians: Chikuma patrolling.
N. Pacific: Northampton patrolling.
Coral Sea: Canberra, Australia patrolling.
U.S. Mandate: Pensacola, Lousiville patrolling.
Hawaii (Pearl Harbor raid): Akagi, Kaga, Hiryu, Soryu, Zuikaku, Shokaku, Ryujo, Zuiho, all four 1-1-7s, both 1-0-7s, and all four 4-3-6s.

USN forces still in Johnston Island (USN will not move raiders until IJN air raids are complete) are Enterprise, Lexington, and the seven remaining CAs.

The I-Boat is still in Japan awaiting movement of USN raiders.

This 1st turn will be interesting with the new rules as neither Greg nor I have played them. I hope that, with the 7th AF allowed to shoot back in round 2, Greg will devote some carrier shots to it. I don't mind even if he destroys it, as it will be gone from only turn 2 while a sunk BB is gone for the whole game. I also hope that, with the Yokosuka Marine forced to move to Indonesia, he will take the temptation to capture the Philippines instead of retiring to Truk. Being unable to use an LBA in the Marianas on turn 2 would hurt me, but it would be worth it to know that Johnston Island, Guadalcanal, and New Hebrides will all be safe.

I patrolled all of my Western ships because I do not wish to be air raided even by the Hosho. I considered moving one of the Singapore BBs to the South Pacific to make it more likely that one would survive, but I wanted to maximize the threat to his marine, as I am quite fine with trading British BBs for Japanese ones if I get a night round. I will regret it if the roll turns out to be two consecutive days, however, but since I expect all his ships to attack the 5th AF in a day round, I will stay for one more night round in hopes of taking down a battleship or two on the first turn.

The Hiryu in the Central Pacific is an odd move since I didn't put a sacrifice patroller in the area to threaten a flag; this will be good for my sitting ducks at Pearl. I am also surprised and mildly happy to see that he didn't raid any cruisers to kill the patroller in the North Pacific, as I was already determined to keep my CVs safe. There is no bid adjustment in this game so I will need every POC I can get. My only raiding decision will be if I want 1 or 2 more CAs to be able to base at Dutch Harbor or not.

After Combat

Hawaiian Islands: In the first air raid the IJN fires at both cruisers, the '5' defense battleships, and the Arizona. The pilots seem nevrous and jittery as 4 BBs are damamged but the only ship sunk is the New Orleans. The next round sees better results as Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Pennsylvania all settle into the mud. San Francisco is gone. West Virginia survives with 5 DP, Maryland with 3, and California with 2. The 7th AF disables the Zuiho to Truk. The USN raids Indianapolis and Minneapolis to the North Pacific, Enterprise and Lexington to the Hawaiian Islands, and the other 5 CAs to the U.S. Mandate, then elects to retreat from Hawaii. The I-Boat misses the Maryland, and luck goes the USN's way in getting consecutive night rounds to save the four battleships. Control: neither

Indonesia: the IJN gets day and with the advantage of surpise fires 6 bonus shots at 5th AF, destroying it, 3 bonus shots at Prince of Wales, disabling it to Ceylon, and 1 bonus shot at Repulse, which misses. The 5th AFs parting shot strikes a huge blow, destroying Yokosuka. The remaining USN ships retreat. Repulse escapes to Ceylon and De Ruyter to Samoa but the entire IJN fleet pursues the Revenge, which is damaged in a day action and sunk in a night action, but takes the Mutsu with it. Control: IJN

Japanese Islands, Aleutians, Central Pacific, Marianas, South Pacific, Marshalls Uncontested. Control: IJN
Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, Coral Sea, U.S. Mandate, North Pacific: Uncontested. Control: USN

IJN +12 POC, USN +6 POC.
Total: IJN +6

Comments: I have definitely gotten the better results this turn, but not a lot of it was due to anything I did. Darkness saved my Hawaiian BBs, at least for the time being, I killed Yokosuka, and the IJN is already one battleship down. Despite my luck in killing the Mutsu, I think it would have been smarter of me to keep Revenge in the Bay of Bengal and put Exeter in Indonesia, as the Exeter could have retreated safely - I didn't put the ships there to get kills, but to force him to peel ships away from the Central Pacific. I think it worked since his weakened surface cover there (compared to the normal rules) may have been the reason he felt it necessary to put a factor-3 carrier in the Central Pacific, which made it easier on my Pearl Fleet. Overall the new Turn 1 rules are nice and seem to serve to balance the game, but if I were the IJN I wouldn't like how much of Turn 1 depends on the roll of 4 dice from USN air units.

Even if the Marine had been allowed normal movement, I think I still would have followed it with 3 or 4 surface ships to weaken his Central Pacific force. I think that would put more emphasis on strategy, with the IJN having to decide where he thinks he can protect his Marine the most - he could keep it safe from LBA in Japan for example, but then he risks losing it to unlucky surface battles unless he uses a carrier or air unit in Japan or puts a larger fleet there. The USN can wait with his ships as raiders to force the IJN to protect both the Marine and his Marianas control flag, but then he risks air raids on them. But would the IJN take away another carrier to air raid Singapore or the Phillipines? It would open up more possibilities.

For turn 2, I have a slightly advantage in this being my first game played PBeM instead of FTF, since Greg doesn't know anything about my style of play. I, however, have a few past games of his to see the results of, so I can see that he seems to like a two-area attack. I will have 5 American BBs to 9 of the IJN - a better ratio than I hoped for - and no Marine to threaten my home bases, so if I patrol minimally he will have to send everything he's got to those two areas. Possibly it would convince him to go for Pearl only. If he does, my main goal will be to keep the South Pacific, Marshalls, and either Central Pacific or Aleutains open so that I can threaten every area next turn and keep his POC low even if Pearl falls. I will use an air unit in Indonesia to force him to commit 4 LBA in Indonesia, so he can't spread 3 among the South Pacific and Marshalls. As long as my CVs can gang up on him, I'd rather fight a lone air unit than a flag defense carrier, since 12 dice will likely remove either in the first round and the carrier is more likely to take one of mine down with itt. The only problem with this is that I can't put up 12 CV shots in both areas, so I'd need an air unit in the South Pacific, which I can't afford to do. I just don't have the forces to attack everything I want to.

Turn 2

Bay of Bengal: Ramillies, Resolution patrolling; Repulse raiding.

Indonesia: IJN: 21, 24, & 26 AirFlots; I-Boat.
USN: Prince of Wales, Warspite, Dorsetshire patrolling; 10 AF; Royal Sovereign, Exeter, Cornwall, Hermes, Formidable, Indomitable, Enterprise, Lexington raiding.

Indian Ocean: none

Japan: Oi patrolling

Marianas: IJN: Kitakami patrolling; Sasebo NFL; Shoho & Junyo raiding
USN: 11 AF

South Pacific: IJN: 22 AirFlot
USN: Canberra patrolling, California[2], Maryland[3], Saratoga, Hornet, Yorktown raiding.

Marshalls: IJN: Haguro patrolling; 23 & 25 AirFlots
USN: De Ruyter patrolling

Coral Sea: IJN: Mikuma & Kumano patrolling
USN: 7th AF; Arizona and ten 1-1-7s raiding.

U.S. Mandate: Australia patrolling

Hawaiian Islands: Seven 1-2-7 CAs patrolling; Akagi, Kaga, Zuikaku, Ryujo, Zuiho, Hosho, Aoba, Kirishima, Hiei, all five speed 4 BBs raiding.

Central Pacific: Tone, Mogami, Suzuya patrolling; Furutaka, Kinugasa, Kako, Kongo, Haruna, Shokaku, Soryu, and Hiryu raiding.

Aleutians: IJN: Chikuma patrolling.
USN: Quincy & Idaho raiding.

North Pacific: Northampton, Vincennes patrolling.

USN has 4 damaged BBs in Pearl, 1 in Australia. New Mexico fails speed roll to North Pacific and goes to Dutch Harbor.

Comments: The Marianas AF will lose, but it will save a Northeast base by forcing him to use the marine toinvade a port he would have probably encircled anyway. This especially matters with the Yokosuka Marines gone, as I will have gone the first 2 turns with out any marine invasions on my perimeter ports that the IJN usually doesn't take by encirclement. His placement of Shoho and Junyo in the area was a smart move. I'd love to hunt CVs this turn since he'll need them against my Hawaii LBA next turn, but if I fire at a CV I lose my chance of removing the patroller. I will force him to make a similar choice in the South Pacific.

Combat

Indonesia: The Enterprise is sunk at Night by the I-Boat. The USN retreats. Control: IJN

South Pacific: It's day. 22 AirFlot puts 1 damage on the Hornet, then is destroyed. Control: USN

Marshalls: The USN gets night but De Ruyter is sunk anyway. Control: IJN

Marianas: The USN gets day, but the IJN carriers destroy the air unit; Sasebo can now be saved for the next turn. 11th AF fires at Kitakami to get a raiding lane to Japan, but misses. Control: IJN

Aleutians: The IJN gets day and retreats Chikuma to Truk. Attu remains in USN hands. Control: neither

Coral Sea: In a night round, the IJN cruisers fire with no effect. The USN surface fleet fires 7 shotsat each ship, disabling Kumano to Truk and sinking Mikuma. Control: USN

Hawaiian Islands: Air raids finish off Tennessee, Nevada, Oklahoma, &
Pennsylvania in port. Control: IJN

Japanese Islands, Central Pacific: Uncontested. Control: IJN

Bay of Bengal, U.S. Mandate, North Pacific: Uncontested. Control: USN

Indian Ocean: Uncontested. Control: neither

IJN +12 POC, USN +7 POC. Net: IJN +5
Total: IJN +8

Singapore, Philippines, and Midway convert to IJN control.

Comments: In WW2, of the ships in the game, the USN lost Yorktown, Wasp, and Indianapolis to submarines. The IJN lost Kongo, Ashigara, Atago, Maya, Kako, Shokaku, Taiho, & Unryu (Plus Shinano in a 9-turn game)! So why is the I-Boat available so much more than the F-Boat? The Indonesia sub attack really, really hurt. At least I still have two bases in the South Pacific for LBA, but I need them in Hawaii. But he can't really put a huge fleet there, since he must try to take Pearl entirely with ships.

Turn 3

Japan: 21 AirFlot.

Marianas: IJN: Kumano patrolling; Hiyo raiding.
USN: Canberra patrolling; Portland, Saratoga, & Lexington raiding.

South Pacific: IJN: 23 & 24 AirFlots; Yokosuka & Sasebo NLFs; Aoba, Haguro, Hiei, Kirishima, Yamashiro, Nagato, Akagi, & Kaga raiding.
USN: 7th AF; six 1-1-7s, Arizona, Idaho, California[2], Maryland[3], & Yorktown raiding.

Marshalls: IJN: Tone patrolling; 25 & 26 AirFlots.
USN: Australia patrolling.

Coral Sea: West Virginia[4], Salt Lake City patrolling.

U.S. Mandate: IJN: Chikuma patrolling; I-Boat.
USN: Indianapolis & Minneapolis patrolling; Hornet[1] raiding.

Hawaiian Islands: IJN: Seven 1-2-7s patrolling. Oi, Kitakami, Kongo, Haruna, three 4-4-4s, 5 CVs, 4 CVLs raiding.
USN: RAAF, RNZAF, 5th & 10 AF.

Central Pacific: IJN: Suzuya patrolling.
USN: Vincinnes, Northampton, & Quincy raiding.

Aleutians: Furutaka, Kako, Kinugasa patrolling; Kure NLF; Yamato raiding.

North Pacific: IJN: Mogami patrolling.
USN: New Mexico raiding.

[The other British ships stay in Ceylon with nothing to do. The turn 3 reinforcements are in Pearl.]

Comments: The marines' port defense means he will need 14-20 hits to kill everything in Pearl by air raid. My air units should remove enough CVs to save a unit or two. I put two CVs in Marianas and only one in SPO because this way I am unlikely to lose three, and I just need to destroy one marine in a day round to save a base for turn 4 since he will then have no NLF. Of course, I hope to kill both, but that will take night, since I can't afford to remove neither. Perhaps I should have patrolled only a CA in Coral Sea and used West Virginia in the SPO. It might cost me two POC to the I-Boat, but if it did, I would have saved the Hornet at least.

Combat

Marianas: The players agree on day. Hiyo sinks Saratoga and is itself sunk. Kumano retreats. Control: USN

South Pacific: The IJN gets an important day round. Yorktown and Maryland are sunk but the 7th AF is unharmed. Yokosuka sinks but Sasebo survives and converts Lae. Both sides stay for another round and the USN gets night this time. Houston is the only USN ship sunk; Arizona takes 1 DP and is disabled along with California, Idaho, and Pensacola. The USN sinks Haguro, Aoba, and Kaga, and disables all other ships except Kirishima, but retreats due the LBA advantage. Control: IJN

Marshalls: The first round is day/night, but it the night round is never fought as the Australia is sunk by the LBA in the day round. Control: IJN

U.S. Mandate: The IJN wants night and gets it. Both sides miss with all ships including the I-Boat and Chikuma withdraws. Control: USN

Central Pacific: The IJN gets day and retreats Suzuya to Truk. Control: neither

North Pacific: The IJN wants day but gets night. Mogami inflicts 1 DP on New Mexico with no damage done in return, then retreats to Truk. Control: neither

Hawaiian Islands: Both sides wish to fight day actions. RNZAF is destroyed and RAAF takes 3 DP in return for the loss of Shokaku and Hiryu in round 1. RAAF and 10th AF fall in round 2 but the IJN loses Soryu and Junyo. The 5th AF withdraws from the battle and the IJN carriers, needing only to send the ships to the bottom because the port will flip, sinks all three battleships. Both marines survive, the 1st with 3 DP, and they escape to Australia and Samoa. Control: IJN

Aleutian Islands: Kure invades Dutch Harbor with no resistance. Control: IJN

Japanese Islands: Uncontested. Control: IJN

Bay of Bengal, Indonesia, Indiana Ocean, Coral Sea: Uncontested. Control: USN

IJN +8 POC, USN +7 POC. Net: IJN +1
Total: IJN +9

Pearl Harbor and Johnston Island convert to IJN control.

Comments: I now wish I had patrolled the Central Pacific! He probably wouldn't have raider there, and had I controlled it, none of his Truk or Pearl ships could reach Japan next turn and I'd know exactly what he'd put in the JI. The Marianas would be a nice hot-sea area, but I can't patrol it next turn.

Turn 4

Bay of Bengal: Exeter patrolling.

Indonesia: IJN: 22 & 25 AirFlot; I-Boat.
USN: The entire British fleet except two CAs attempt to patrol.  Resolution, Royal Sovereign, & Hermes fail speed rolls and are raiders; 1st Marines[3].

Indian Ocean: Dorsetshire patrolling.

Japan: 21 AirFlot

Marianas: 23 AirFlot; Tone, Kumano, Chikuma, & Zuikaku raiding.

South Pacific: IJN: Yamato, Nagato, & Hyuga patrolling; 26 AirFlot.
USN: 5th, 7th, 11th, & 13th AF; Arizona[1], California[2], Idaho, Washington, & twelve 1-1-7s raiding.

Marshalls: IJN: Suzuya & Mogami patrolling; seven 1-2-7s, Oi, Kinugasa, three 4-4-4s, four 4-3-6s, Hosho, Zuiho, Shoho, Ryujo, & Akagi raiding.
USN: Canberra patrolling; 2nd Marines.

Coral Sea: New Mexico[1] & West Virginia[4] patrolling; South Dakota & Indiana raiding.

U.S. Mandate: Marine AF.

Hawaiian Islands: IJN: 24 AirFlot.
USN: Hornet[1], Wasp, & Lexington raiding.

Central Pacific: Kako patrolling.

Aleutians: Kitakami patrolling.

North Pacific: Furutaka patrolling.

Comments: I should have realized my 2nd Marines would draw a lot of airpower and peeled off an LBA to gain a POC and save Attu. I used the Marine in the Marshalls because I didn't want to give away the fact that I planned to raid into Hawaii.  If I don't remove the flag then he can reconvert Johnston Island at the end of Turn 5 even if the 3rd Marines capture it during the turn.

Combat

Indonesia: The IJN tries for and gets day.  The two LBA disable the Marine to Australia and both carriers miss the LBA. The I-Boat fires on Formidable and sinks her.  The British retreat to Ceylon. Control: IJN

South Pacific: The first round is day.  The 26 AirFlot can only disable Washington, but survives the USN return fire with 3 DP.  The IJN elects to retreat and all 12 Cruisers pursue.  In the first round the USN exchanges Louisville for Nagato while Salt Lake City is disabled to Guadalcanal and along with Quincy  receives 1 DP. In the second round 1 DP is put on Yamato while Quincy and Pensacola are disabled. The USN halts pursuit and the BBs escape to Truk. Control: USN

Marshalls: The IJN wants day and the USN agrees so as to absorb fewer shots, hoping that a split of shots will result in one unit or the other only getting a disable but forgetting that the IJN does not have to  attack the Marine in the first round.  Canberra goes down with no return fire and the Marine, too slow to escape, is destroyed in the next round. Control: IJN

Hawaiian Islands: The USN wants day and the result is day.  The LBA disables the Hornet and is destroyed by return fire.  Control: neither

U.S. Mandate, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, Coral Sea: Uncontested. Control: USN

Central Pacific, North Pacific, Aleutian Islands, Marianas, Japanese Islands: Uncontested. Control: IJN

IJN +11 POC, USN +6 POC. Net: IJN +5
Total: IJN +14

Attu converts to IJN control.

Endgame Comments: Well, the game is over sooner than I expected.  I certainly had the advantage but I think Greg still had a chance.  The luck was on my side more often than his, but it wasn't extremely so, so I'd like to take most of the credit for the tough position the IJN is in.  Conversely, I can't really point to anything he did wrong to deserve the loss.  His main bit of luck was the I-Boat shot on turn 2. I was likely to have taken Indonesia without it, which would have put him up only 1 POC net for the turn and prevented him from letting me have it on turn 3.  My main bits of luck were destroying Yokosuka on Turn 1 and massacring his CVs on turn 3.  On turn 5 he would have needed LBA in Indonesia and Hawaii and CVs in the South Pacific, leaving little or no airpower in the Marianas and Marshalls.

In hindsight, looking at the NT1b, I think the game is close to being balanced, but I would still make a couple of tweaks.  Basically I don't think the USN should control Hawaii on Turn 1.  The retreating IJN raiders should prevent control even if the USN has patrollers there, because the US would still be worrying about Japanese Carrier Fleets in the area after they were gone and pulling their CVs back to keep them from getting in a 6 vs 1 fight, so I don't think that's control of the overall area. Of course if the USN fought it would be different.

I also don't like the Yokosuka situation since it's mostly the luck of 2 dice rolls in a day round.  But I don't see an easy way around it except to say that the benefits of surprise attack are that the IJN could raid through USN control flags although the flags would still count for day/night rolls.  If this were done the USN might as well get control flags in the Aleutians and NPO - I never understood why they didn't since they border US territory.  It might not be fair to have to guard against Port Moresby or the Andaman Islands or Guadalcanal being taken on turn 1 or the Bay of Bengal being raided.  However, I would argue that this was within Japanese capabilities, since they did move strongly into all 3 Western areas early in the actual turn 2.  It could be compensated by adding Saratoga (which was on the US West coast) to the Johnston Island force.

I think those proposed changes would leave the IJN with an advantage.  I think that needs to be addressed outside of turn 1.   Kitakami perhaps and especially Oi don't belong in the game.  The Americans had better quality CLs than the Japanese did.  Oi was an AA cruiser and if the Japanese get Oi than the USN should get Atlanta, San Juan, and Juneau. The USS Cleveland and her sisters were almost as good as the US heavy cruisers except the Wichita and of course the Baltimore class.  Kitakami's extra torpedo load gave her more offensive power than Cleveland but she was also smaller and more vulnerable.  Finally, as I already mentioned, the F-Boat sunk more ships than the I-Boat did.  Both sides should get the sub for 6 turns so the F-Boat should be a turn 3 reinforcement.  The only problem here is that PBeM would either need an extra round for the F-Boat (since it might affect the IJN preference rolls) or the USN would have to place it's submarine first.  But it would make the sub situation more historical and redress some of the IJN imbalance.

Extra Game

USN: Scott Beall
IJN: Daniel Blumentritt
NT1b variant in play
Bid: 0.5 for IJN

IJN POC track:
T1: +3
T2: +14
T3: +21
T4: +27
T5: +27
T6: +24
T7: +16
T8: +1

Scott's Comments: T1: I patrolled NPO and Marshalls with a cruiser each, and deployed Exeter and 5th AF to Marianas. Repulse was sunk in air raids in Singapore, but POW escaped and went to Marianas also.

During 1st round Day in Marianas LBA missed each other, and I withdrew to have 4 LBA for T2. POW sunk a cruiser during pursuit and escaped. Other combat occurred in NPO, where I had sent both carriers not wanting to chance 2 LBA in Marshalls. I sank 1 cruiser and damaged one.

Overall a good T1 for US, as I had 4 LBA for T2, and sank 2 IJN cruisers. Poc - +3. Two carriers went to Australia.

On T2, I went all out for Indonesia (3 LBA, 2 US CVs and the Brits) against 4 LBA and the Junyo, and I-Boat. 1st round was a wash as a night action removed Zuiho and the I-Boat removed a US carrier. The battle went down to the wire, as one 3-damage LBA survived and disabled the final Brit carrier. Although I avoided the KO on T3 (more because Daniel chose not to go all out for it, than anything else), I had conceded a lot of POC which I knew would be a problem in the long run.

POC maxed out at 27 going into T6. On T7 their was a large battle of 5 IJN LBA vs 7 US CVs. 5 CVs were sunk and a sixth crippled at the cost of only 3 LBA. This left me going into T8 needing to sweep the board (couldn't patrol Aleutians) to win, with IJN having an open lane in CPO to raid from Japan. I had to send a significant patroller force to Japan as couldn't use LBA there. Daniel diverted some of my LBA to Indonesia by placing his two there, and used his fleet and Marines to overcome my patrollers and LBA in Marianas to deny me the 1 POC necessary to seal the victory.

The T1 changes had a significant effect on the game as USN came out with 4 LBA for T2, and sank several IJN cruisers. The Pearl raid was weak also, and withdrew after 2 rounds (although good shooting meant Pearl escapees were about average - later 1 BB was able to be raised and escaped on T3 after IJN conversion)

Daniel's Comments: In the normal game the IJN should stay in Hawaii to prevent US Control there, but in this game he's going to control Hawaii anyway, so I decided to just put carriers in the Pearl Harbor raid, freeing up surface ships for the rest of the board. This meant I couldn't finish off bottomed ships, but that's what turn 2 is for. I made a mistake by not patrolling any ships in Indonesia - the IJN is going to raid there to protect the NLF anyway, so a couple of them might as well patrol. So when Scott put 5th AF in the Marianas, I was forced to counter it with only 1 LBA of my own - couldn't risk only 1 LBA as my patroller being knocked out by a luck shot from Hermes, and I also needed 2 in the Marshalls with my Pearl CVs retreating to Truk and thus vulnerable to air raids. I sent Ryujo to Indonesia since he left ships in port (it sunk Repulse) and Hosho to CPO, where I felt safe with 12 escorts. I raided two cruisers to kill his patroller in NPO and steal a POC, thinking he wouldn't send his carriers there so he could keep them safe for the I-Boat, not knowing I planned to use my I-Boat in Coral Sea to kill his lone patroller. But he sent CVs there anyway, got day, and kept the POC. My I-Boat missed anyway.

So I started turn 2 with 2 cruisers sunk and he had all 4 LBA. He gambled with 3 LBA in Indonesia and 1 in the Marianas. I was only after Hawaii control, but patrolled 2 CAs in each home area just in case. With no LBA in the home areas I raided 2 BBs and a CV to each area, not expecting to control either area but hoping for carrier trades. With the large defense factors of Kaga and Akagi, I'd also have a better chance than him to sink a CV and not lose one of my own. I put the Marines in Coral Sea so that he would be likely to fight in both areas - otherwise he'd probably have gone into USM in force and let me have Coral. As he turns out he fought in Coral Sea, where I lost the Marine but got my carrier trade, but let me take USM and position for the knockout. He could have contested both but it would have required him to give up the NE corner where he saved all 3 bases. I won a close battle in Indonesia.

I hadn't expected to control the USM, so going for the KO was never in my war plan, and I didn't alter my plan to fit the situation. I again put raids into both USM and Coral, this time with the intent of having all 3 of his major ports under air raid threat. I didn't even accomplish this because I stupidly called for combat in Coral Sea first, where I was sure to win. My Coral force should have gone to Marshalls or the Mandate instead, but instead he saved Samoa and raided into the Marshalls to preserve a raiding lane to CPO where he still controlled Midway.

On turn 4 I put most of my fleet in USM so I could sink the Enterprise [2 DP] in port. His LBA sunk my single patroller and ran and the Enterprise went down. The POC was going well with Hawaii and Indonesia in my control, but he took advantage of his raiding lane and ended the turn with a carrier and three cruisers based in Midway. He still had Attu and kept putting LBA there so my interior was very vulnerable.

I finally took Midway on turn 5 but lost some ships in doing so, but he took back Johnston Island. Hiryu pulled off a nice hit-and-run in Indonesia, getting day to sink a Marine to save the Philippines and then withdrawing at speed 8.

On turn 6 he should have annihilated half my fleet in CPO but rolled tons of disables. The crucial "battle" was his LBA in Aleutians missing my Marines so that Attu finally fell. This stole 3 POC from him since he would not be able to patrol the area on turns 7 or 8. All I had to do was steal 1 POC on the last turn and he just didn't have the ships to guard every area sufficiently. I killed two LBA in Marianas but lost almost all my airpower, but night in the next round doomed his two patrollers, and I won a very close game.

Game 7

Rob: Also, my three CVs will pay POC to base in New Hebrides.  That should cost a whopping 6 POC.

Mike: Incorporating your basing flexibility POC cost, we're at +7 for the IJN now.

Rob: I'm going to concede the game to you. I've accomplished none of my goals and have squandered my forces in vain.

With regards to the game's variant, I think we have dealt with all of the ripples caused by our Turn #1.

Turn #2 should have seen the Allies save Singapore unless the IJN supported the defense with five and probably six LBA there. Your defense was fantastic but would have probably failed nine out of ten times. In the event of a stronger defense of INDO, the Allies should be able to break the IJN perimiter with ease and save either Lae or Midway depending on where you place your forces.

Turn #3 was not very instructive as we were both without LBA for the most part. Had you chosen to reinforce the defense of INDO on turn #2, Turn #3 would see a major battle to defend/take an Allied base in SPO or CPO probably. I don't see how the IJN player can do that and go after Pearl at the same time.

Mark: Agree with your assessment, the Indonesia fight was pretty remarkable - 4 LBA vs 6 aircraft carriers and 2 LBA (I-Boat did help a little).  My performance at Pearl Harbor and in Hawaiian Islands was less than scintillating - as a partial balance.  The latest new turn one definitely makes the situation more fluid - both sides have more opportunities.  On Turn 4 I was seriously considering an amphibious foray into the Bay of Bengal.

We reported IJN + 28 as score at end of game.  Applying the bid at the end results in the score being IJN +29 at end of turn 3, then -2 for the bid, giving IJN +27 as the recorded outcome.

Game 8

Post-Raid Positions on Turn 1

-AREAS-

Japanese Islands (3/3): IJN

4-4-4 Fuso

4-4-4 Hyuga

4-4-4 Ise

1+2-7 Maya

1+2-7 Takao

Aleutian Islands (0/1): USN

1+0-7 Oi

North Pacific (1/1): USN

1-1-7 Salt Lake City

Bay of Bengal (2/1): USN

1-2-4(1) Hermes

4-4-3 Revenge

Indonesia (3/1): USN

2-4-* 5th A.F.

4-5-6 Prince of Wales

3-3-6 Repulse

3-4-* 23 AirFlot

3-4-* 24 AirFlot

3-4-* 25 AirFlot

R5-5-4 Mutsu 

R5-5-4 Nagato

R4-4-4 Yamashiro

0-3-3 Yokosuka 

Marianas (2/1): IJN

1+2-7 Ashigara

1+2-7 Atago

1+2-7 Chokai

1+2-7 Haguro

4-3-6 Kirishima

Central Pacific (1/0): USN

1+1-8 Chikuma

1+1-8 Kumano

1+1-8 Mikuma

1+1-8 Mogami

1+1-8 Suzuya

1+1-8 Tone

R0-1-5(2+) Ryujo

R0-1-4(1+) Hosho

R4-3-6 Haruna

R4-3-6 Hiei

R4-3-6 Kongo

R1+2-7 Myoko

R1+2-7 Nachi

R1+1-7 Aoba

R1+1-7 Furutaka

R1+1-7 Kako

South Pacific (2/1): USN

3-4-* 26 AirFlot

Marshall Islands (1/1): IJN

3-4-* 21 AirFlot

3-4-* 22 AirFlot

Hawaiian Islands (2/3): USN

R5-5-3 West Virginia (-3)

R4-5-3 Tennessee (-5)

R4-4-3 Pennsylvania (-4)

1-1-7 Indianapolis

1-1-7 Minneapolis

R1-1-7 Chicago

R1-1-7 Portland

R1-1-7 Astoria

R1-1-7 Northampton

R1-1-7 Chester

Indian Ocean (2/0): USN

1-1-7 De Ruyter

1-1-7 Exeter

1-1-7 Houston

Coral Sea (2/2): USN

1-1-7. Canberra

1-1-7. Australia

US Mandate (2/2): USN

R0-2-7(4+) Enterprise

R1-3-7(4+) Lexington

1-1-7 Louisville

1-1-7 Pensacola

-PORTS-

Yokosuka: IJN

1-0-* I-Boat

Ceylon: USN

Saigon: IJN

Singapore: USN

Truk: IJN

1-4-6(4+) Akagi

1-4-5(4+) Kaga

1-3-8(4+) Shokaku

1-3-8(4+) Zuikaku

1-2-8(3+) Soryu

1-1-8(3+) Hiryu

0-0-5(2+) Zuiho

1+1-7 Kinugasa

1+0-7 Kitakami 

Pearl Harbor: USN

4-4-3 Arizona (-8)

5-5-3 Maryland (-6)

4-4-3 Oklahoma (-8)

4-5-3 California (-8)

1-1-7 New Orleans (-2)

Samoa: USN

Australia: USN

-BASES-

Okinawa: IJN

Attu: USN

Dutch Harbor: USN

Andaman: USN

Philippines: USN

Saipan: IJN

Midway: USN

Kwajalein: IJN

Malooelap: IJN

Johnston Is.: USN

Lae: USN

Port Moresby: USN

Guadalcanal: USN

N.Hebrides: USN

-SUNK-

T1: 2-4-* 7th AF

T1: 4-4-3 Nevada

T1: 1-1-7 San Francisco

Turn 3

POC +10 IJN

T1: +3 IJN (+12 IJN - 9 USN)

T2: +3 IJN (+ 10 IJN - 7 USN)

T3: +4 IJN

 

Japanese Islands (3/3): IJN

6-9-5 Yamato

1-1-7 Dorestshire

Aleutian Islands (0/1): IJN

1+1-7 Kinugasa

1-1-7 Indianapolis

North Pacific (1/1): USN

1+2-7 Nachi

Bay of Bengal (2/1): USN

4-4-4 Valiant

Indonesia (3/1): USN

4-4-3 Royal Soverign

4-4-3 Ramilles

4-4-3 Resolution

4-4-4 Warspite

4-4-3 Revenge

Marianas (2/1): IJN

1+1-8 Mikuma

0-3-3 Kure SLF

1-1-7 Exeter

Central Pacific (1/0): IJN

1+1-8 Kumano

South Pacific (2/1): IJN

1-1-7. Australia

Marshall Islands (1/1): 

1-1-7 De Ruyter

Hawaiian Islands (2/3): IJN

3-4-* 24 AirFlot

3-4-* 25 AirFlot

1+2-7 Maya

1+2-7 Takao

1+2-7 Ashigara

1+2-7 Atago

1+2-7 Chokai

1+2-7 Haguro

1+2-7 Myoko

4-3-6 Haruna

2-4-* RAAF AF

2-4-* 7th AF

2-4-* 5th AF

2-4-* 10th AF

2-4-* 11th AF

Indian Ocean (2/0): USN

1-1-7 Cornwall

Coral Sea (2/2): USN

1+1-8 Mogami

4-5-3 Tennessee (-4)

1-1-7.Canberra

US Mandate (2/2): USN

2-4-* RNZAF AF

0-3-3 Sasebo N SLF

1+1-7 Aoba

1+1-7 Furutaka

1+1-7 Kako

1+1-8 Suzuya

1+1-8 Tone

1+1-8 Chikuma

 

Yokosuka: IJN

1-0-* I-Boat

R5-5-4 Mutsu 

R1-2-4(3+) Hiyo

Ceylon: USN

R0-2-7(2) Illustrious

Saigon: IJN

Singapore: USN

R0-2-7(2) Indomitable

R1-2-4(1) Hermes

Truk: IJN

R0-0-5(2+) Shoho

R1-2-4(3+) Junyo

R1-3-8(4+) Shokaku

R1-3-8(4+) Zuikaku

R1-2-8(3+) Soryu

R1-1-8(3+) Hiryu

R0-0-5(2+) Zuiho

R4-4-4 Fuso

R4-4-4 Hyuga

R4-4-4 Ise

R4-4-4 Yamashiro

R0-1-5(2+) Ryujo

R1-4-5(4+) Kaga

R1-4-6(4+) Akagi

R4-3-6 Kongo

R4-3-6 Hiei

R5-5-4 Nagato (-5)

R4-3-6 Kirishima

R1+0-7 Oi

R1+0-7 Kitakami

Pearl Harbor: USN

R5-6-5 North Carolina

R4-5-3 Mississippi

R5-5-3 Colorado

0-4-3 1st Marines

0-4-3 2nd Marines

Samoa: USN

R4-5-3 New Mexico

R4-5-3 Idaho

R5-5-3 West Virginia (-3)

R1-1-7 Quincy

Australia: USN

4-4-3 Pennsylvania (-3)Repairs 

R0-2-7(4+) Enterprise

R1-3-7(4+) Saratoga

R0-2-7(4+) Yorktown

R0-2-7(4+) Hornet

R1-1-7 Minneapolis

R1-1-7 Chicago

R1-1-7 Portland

R1-1-7 Astoria

R1-1-7 Northampton

R1-1-7 Chester

R1-1-7 Vincennes

R1-1-7 Louisville

R1-1-7 Pensacola

R1-1-7 Houston

-BASES-

Okinawa: IJN

Attu: IJN

Dutch Harbor: USN

Andaman: USN

Phillipines: USN

Saipan: IJN

Midway: IJN

Kwajalein: IJN

Malooelap: IJN

Johnston Is.: IJN

Lae: USN

Port Moresby: USN

Guadalcanal: USN

N.Hebrides: USN

 -SUNK-

T1: 2-4-* 7th AF

T1: 4-4-3 Nevada

T1: 1-1-7 San Francisco

T1: 2-4-* 5th A.F.

T1: 4-5-6 Prince of Wales

T1: 3-3-6 Repulse

 

T2: 1-1-7 Salt Lake City

T2: 1-3-7(4+) Lexington

T2: 0-2-7(2) Formitable

T2: 3-4-* 21 AirFlot

T2: 3-4-* 23 AirFlot

T2: 3-4-* 26 AirFlot

T2: 3-4-* 22 AirFlot

T2: 4-4-3 Arizona

T2: 5-5-3 Maryland

T2: 4-4-3 Oklahoma

T2: 4-5-3 California

T2: 1-1-7 New Orleans
T2:  0-1-4(1+) Hosho

John: John Strand has defeated Tim Tow in game Q8. The game saw little impact of the NT1b variant rules other than the 4 POC swing of USN control of NPO and HI at the end of Turn 1. The USN holding Indo on Turn 2 (Allied CV's trashed IJN LBA) and 3, and Hawaii on Turn 3 (USN LBA rolled lots of 5's) saw the IJN with only 1 POC (and only 4 control flags) at the end of Turn 3. So, the dice made this game pretty much useless as a true test of the impact of NT1b. Tim and I agree that this variant does not balance the game and that the IJN still have a distinct advantage.

Tim: On turn 1, the IJN sent 7 carriers + 2 CA's to Hawaii and did not linger for any extra rounds, leaving 5 bottomed ships that were finished off on turn 2. The threat of IJN air raids forced the British and Americans and Dutch to vacate their Indonesian ports so that threat of raiding was eliminated.

Perhaps a modification of NT1b should remove the air raid threat from Indonesia on turn 1.

Ah, I didn't get that nuance of sailing to Hawaii and then avoiding combat to avoid the I-boat.  Perhaps that needs to be added as a clarification, or maybe I just missed it.

I do like the POC payment for free placement of Turn 2 CV's.

With NT1b, I'd probably not alter my IJN bidding, but am open to other interpretations.

John: In our game, Tim bid 0.5 for the IJN and I accepted, more because I'd been the IJN too much lately on the Ladder and the BPA tourney, and I wanted a change. I didn't pay the POC to bring a 3rd US CV, happy that Enterprise and Lex made it past the I-Boat to New Hebrides. I chose to be conservative as the USN on Turn 1, guaranteeing a control flag in Hawaii and NPO, rather than risking a fight for a better positional situation on Turn 2. Although Tim pulled Ryujo out of the Hawaii raiders and put it in CPO, that didn't help me out, since he got 21 hits out of his 48 raid shots. That pretty much negated any "advantage" I had hoped for in the Pearl results.

Tim only put 3 LBA in Indo on Turn 2 (reinforced by Hosho), so I went in there with Enterprise, Lexington and the 3 Brit CV's. I believe that the odds were in Tim's favor to win that battle, but the dice were kind to me and I traded Lexington and Formidable for Hosho and all 3 LBA. Had Tim put a 4th LBA in Indo, I would have simply gone for SPO instead. The destruction of a 4th IJN LBA in Marshalls (although I didn't get the block) meant that there were only two surviving IJN LBA on Turn 3. That (and a bunch of well-distributed 5's) helped in allowing the 5 USN LBA to hold Hawaii on Turn 3 and the Royal Navy held Indo against a comparable-sized IJN force, making this game a true IJN "disaster". I wonder how many of your NT1 results that give you the 50-50 could be put in this category, i.e., Turn 2 and 3 results impacted the game more than Turn 1 alterations.

I think that both NT1 and NT1b don't address what for me is the real imbalance of the original game, which is the IJN superiority on Turns 2 and 3. The superiority is not only numerical (ships and planes) but in strategic options as well. Historically on Turn 2, the IJN concentrated their strength on Indo and BoB, giving the US a breather. You just never see this happen in the game. Since I disfavor idiocy rules that attempt to address historical imbalances, I think the resource imbalance should be addressed. Only Idaho and New Mexico arrive on Turn 2 for the USN, regardless of how many BB's are sunk at Pearl Harbor in any given game. That's because only Arizona and Oklahoma were sunk historically. I believe that if 5 BB's were sunk, then 5 would have been transferred for Turn 2. If these are the Mississippi, Colorado and North Carolina, then these wouldn't be waiting until Turn 3 to arrive and wouldn't be trapped by an IJN control flag on Turn 3. If 6, 7 or all 8 are sunk, then the immediate arrival of Washington, New York and Texas are called for. If either New Orleans or San Francisco are sunk, then Wichita should come over. Should the USN lose a CV on either Turn 1 or 2, the immediate arrival of the Wasp on the next turn should be called for. For me, this would address the true imbalance of the game. A larger USN fleet on the board on Turns 2 and 3 will in and of itself limit the IJN strategic options to a more historic range. The "TKO" will no longer be a viable strategy, perhaps preventing the IJN from ever achieving a secure perimeter or "ringing the bell" at 29 POC. Then you would no longer see players bidding 4-5 POC to be the IJN. Of course, one "gamey" way an IJN player could manipulate the above suggestion is try to only bottom ships in Pearl rather than finish them off, but that is pretty hard to control, except for when the IJN has a fantastic round 1 raid.

Tim: John S brings up some good points. I think the US is strait-jacketed too much by the reinforcement schedule. Maybe accelerating USN reinforcements might be called for.

How about loaning another British carrier if US carrier strength falls too far?

Lots of possible balancing points here.


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