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Subject: 1942 Campaign - 5th Play rss

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Peter Kossits
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I'm starting to play this game with a little more confidence and I had so much fun writing up my last AAR I thought I would do one more before moving on to 1943. I'll be reporting this one as I play it, so feel free to send advice, criticize my decisions, celebrate or comiserate with me. Last time I spent a lot of time describing the details of each battle. This time I'll be concentrating more on the strategic map.

I'm playing this game going on the assumption that the key area is Midway. I'll do whatever it takes to try to keep the area free of Japanese incursion. If it works, I'm hoping that I'll have enough supply to make some moves in the south and grab a Good result.

Turn 1 – 1942 – Jan/Feb

I'll spend most of my effort this turn setting up my defense, reorganizing a little bit, and if I'm able to I might make one small attack to destroy the enemy outpost in the Marshall Islands.

Resupply

US purchases CV Hornet for 5 and 1st Marines for 2.

US Scouting

All I'm really interested in are units apart from those in Japan which would be able to travel to the Marshall Islands or Midway. If I have a certain attack at Midway coming, I will send all Cvs there as well as whatever else I can muster. If a Midway attack is not certain, I'll defend Midway with only 2 CVs and may do an attack with a 3rd.

When I scout, I try to do it in areas where I can get complete knowledge of all of the units or at very least all of the ships. I've found that scouting huge stacks of ships in Japan is usually not worth it, because the intel is too fragmented to really base any decisions on. On average each scout counter will give you info on about 3.5 ships, so you can use that as a guide to decide how many scouts you need to use to expose all of the moves.

For the areas which have mobile Japanese (ie. They're not alone in an area and won't get marked with a Moved counter at the beginning of the Japanese Orders phase), I check if they could choose Midway as a target. I don't find any, so any Midway attack this turn would have it's origin in the units at Japan.

Now, is there anyone who could interfere with my plans in the Marshall's? There's a small collection of enemy in the Caroline islands. There are 5 ships so I would need 2 scouts to have a high probability of total intel.

Also there is a mobile infantry in the Marshall's themselves. I wouldn't mind knowing what he has planned. So one more scout here.



In the Carolines, 2 CA and a SS will attempt to invade the Solomons landing a battalion. 2 DDs return to Japan for refit.

The infantry in the Marshall's will hold.



US Movement

I have 17 points to spend. I'll save 3 for battleplans, so 14 to use right now for deployments.

Let's take care of the basic Midway defenses now so I won't have to worry about it again for a while.

Mag 13 Air from Samoa to Midway for 1
28 BG Air from Alaska to Samoa for 2

The airgroups are settled for now. I have 2 groups there with decent chances against naval units. I may upgrade Mag 22 with something that has a 4 rather than a 3, but for now this is good. The group from Alaska had to cover Samoa to stop it from going red.

2 Battalions from West Coast to Midway in transports for 4. These are intended to soak hits on Midway that would otherwise go to the airfields. (Don't think of it as them throwing themselves under bombs; think of it as these troops being more brittle than the airfield defenses). Midway airfields are small and fragile, hopefully this will help.

Now for some muscle. 1st Marine from Hawaii to Midway in transports for 5. I don't intend to keep them here permanently, but it's a nice spot to park them until I use them for real.

Those are the land defenses. I hope to gradually add more infantry steps here as we progress.

CVs Lexington and Enterprise, 2CAs, 2 DDs and a SS from Hawaii/West Coast to Midway for 12. This formation is my standard naval defense that I'll try to put up each turn.

I have 2 points floating. It's tempting to save them to bring on an extra unit next turn, but let's try to have some fun with these 2 points.

CV Hornet and a CA to the Marshalls for 17.

When choosing CAs for missions where you're hoping to use them to bombard, take the ones that have a 4 main gun rating. When you're planning to use them for AAA take the ones with the 3 main gun rating.

Why not take the Gilbert's this turn rather than the Marshalls? It has a higher chance of having units added to it because it is an objective. I spent a lot of supply this turn on defense and I only want to do something relatively safe with a small number of points. Fingers crossed that it doesn't backfire on me.



I feel bad about not doing anything in the Solomons. Keeping a presence here can be crucial in keeping Midway safe long-term. New Guinea, the Solomons and Midway are all distance 4 from Japan. When Japan rolls a 10 for orders, those units will probably go to one of these 3 locations. The more of the locations you can maintain a presence in, the lower the chances of having a huge group of carriers appear at Midway. New Guinea is a little difficult to hold long term, due to the risk of supply problems, but the Solomons is doable. I hope that my lone battalion here can hold out and that I get the chance to send him some help next turn.

Japanese orders

All units in East Asia move to Japan either for Refit or as part of an East move. East Asia and Japan are the only 2 areas you can try to empty totally when rolling orders. All other areas maintain a garrison.

Japan reinforces the Solomon Islands attack by adding a carrier and more infantry. I avoided a potential Midway attack on this roll!

Most carriers have left Japan. Only 1 Hold order executed.

Just for fun I tracked the 16 die rolls I made for Japanese Orders this turn and the average is 5.1.
I'll track this throughout the game, to see if I'm rolling a pacifist Japanese opponent or an aggressive one. I have a theory that the game difficulty is largely dependent on what you roll for Japanese orders.

Battles

There are 4 battles to fight and all of them are small.

Borneo – 3 turns
I'm only hoping to stay alive here.



Japanese carrier and LBA take care of things on the first turn. Borneo falls.

New Guinea – 3 turns
Again, just hoping to hold out.



I drew first blood in the dogfight and took down an air unit, but the infantry had artillery and attacked the airfield driving my forces out. New Guinea falls.

Solomon Islands – 4 turns
Huge mismatch here. This is a bad one to lose.




My guys lasted 3 turns but in the end fell easily. On turn 1, the cruiser and CV air groups were not allowed to target my infantry. The Japanese needed to establish a presence on land before they could target me. This property of the combat model means it may sometimes be useful to NOT have an active airfield in an area if you are badly outnumbered. Airfields draw the enemy fire in like a magnet. Once the enemy battalions landed and everything could open fire, it was a cakewalk for the Japanese.

Solomons fall.
I shall return.

Marshall Islands – 4 turns

Taking the brand new Hornet out for a test drive. Because we're getting a long battle here, I choose not to spend the 3 supply on battle plans like I planned. We'll probably bring a BB in early instead.



Awesome!!! A First Light dawn attack scores 3 hits taking out the infantry and the airfield. There was a bit of a risk doing this. I was worried abut the Japanese air unit subjecting the Hornet to a 4 attack without being able to put up any CAP fighters.

Japanese kicked out of the Marshalls. This area is not an objective, so we don't want to actually land any units here. It's not an objective for the Japanese either, so it's possible no units will ever come to this area again after this turn.

Japanese reinforce.

Only one +1 for a hold and roll 3. They get one unit of each type which is pretty much the average result. Usually the Japanese empty their reinforcement bins on the last turn of the game. If that is the case, then any damaged units which get placed in here, won't come back for the rest of the battle. It might be worth assigning some subs to raiding if you've caused lots of damage to units to reduce the number of virtual supply points, the Japanese AI gets to use for repairs.

US Return to base

US rotates its ships and the Yorktown and Saratoga take over.

End of Turn 1



Losses

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Peter Kossits
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Hmm...I'm looking at the results of my last battle in the Marshalls and noticed something interesting. This is a really tricky one to catch if you're playing quickly. I performed a First Light attack on the island and scored 3 hits and immediately removed all of the Japanese units.

This was correct since the infantry and airfield both have costs of 1. But hypothetically, if the Japanese infantry was one of the stronger ones with 5 attack and a cost of 2, it would have shrugged off the extra 2 hits completely. The first hit would have removed the airfield, but then, since I have no land based air or infantry present on the island myself, I would not be able to target the Japanese infantry for the last 2 points of damage and they would have been wasted.

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dave clifford
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I think you need US infantry ashore to take out the Japanese battalion on the Marshall Islands.
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Peter Kossits
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Yeah, you're right. I'll correct it when I get home. I wrongly thought that the presence of enemy air there also made their infantry vulnerable.
That's fine, the main idea was to render the area non-mobile. as long as there's only one unit there and in Wake, I'm happy.


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Peter Kossits
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Turn 2 – Mar/April

A small correction to my last battle in the first turn. I had no boots on the ground in the Marshalls and couldn't cause any damage to the infantry that was there.

The plan for turn 2 is to take the objective in the Gilberts OR if the Japanese move their carriers away, to get back into the Solomons, before it gets too built up.

US resupply

CV Wasp for 5
2nd Marines for 7

We have 23 points to spend this turn.
Bring in the BB North Carolina for 4.

I'll have to start focussing on infantry a bit starting next turn because I'm very short, too short for a move in the Solomons that can hold.

I am almost certain we will be having our first Midway battle this turn since they are the closest US forces for both Iwo Jima and the Philippines. There are 14 ships in those stacks including 4 fleet CVs. My planned attack in the Gilberts wouldn't affect that, so everything is pointing to something happening at Midway.

Two scouts go to Iwo, one goes to the Philippines and 1 goes to the Solomons and we're down to 15 supply.



Japanese Scouted Orders

In the Philippines, some forces reinforce New Guinea. This didn't help at all; 2 fleet CVs still unaccounted for.

At Iwo Jima I get full information on all forces and they all hold. 2 fleet carriers here as well.

In the Solomons, the fleet looks for a battle to join, doesn't find any and they hold. One more CV here.



US Orders

I have 15 points to spend. 3 are reserved for battleplans, so down to 12 available.

CV Yorktown and Saratoga along with 2 CAs, 2DDs and a SS from Hawaii all go on combat patrol off Midway for 7.

CV Wasp, BB North Carolina, 2 CAs and 2nd Marines in transports from Hawaii and West Coast invade the Gilberts for 12.



Japanese Orders

Units from Philippines and and Borneo move East to reinforce the Gilberts.

I rolled 33 in 8 Order rolls (had 16 rolls in turn 1) for an aggression index of 4.1 for the turn. Overall aggression for the game drops to 4.75. Out of the 8 rolls, 4 resulted in Holds.

All of the Japanese heavy carriers have left Japan. Half of them, along with the very fearsome and ugly Hosho are at Iwo Jima.

Battles

Only one battle this turn at the Gilberts and its our first carrier meeting.

Gilbert Islands – 2 turns

CVs Soryu and CVL Zuiho versus the Wasp. Not sure how this one will play out. I think the Japanese have a slight edge. I'm spending 3 Supply to get 12 Battle Plan points.

Oh Boy! Did I just discover a huge rules blunder I've been making so far. Serves me right for not reading more carefully. I've been spending 3 Supply to get 3 Battle Plan points instead of just 1 Supply. Well, that will certainly change things!



Wasp performs a brilliant dawn attack to take out the Soryu's deck. I've been really lucky with this battle plan. Whenever I buy it, I always get to use it before turn 1. In 4.3 games so far!

The 2 Japanese plans which get drawn are No Contact and Damage Control. Too bad Soryu!

Battle ends up lasting 3 turns. We sink Soryu after Zuiho performs her own surprise attack and comes up empty. With that scary 8/3 fighter not patrolling, I figured, why not try?

On turn 3 Zuiho performs her 2nd First light attack of the battle and takes out the Hornet's decks, which very likely saved the battle.

In the coastal area, both of my cruiser groups are damaged, and the Japanese BB does very well without being hit.

Some players may not know this one – when assigning damage to Japanese units, you have to destroy one unit before damaging a new unit, but the US are not bound by this rule. So I chose to damage both my CAs instead of eliminating one.

On land, we get rid of the original battalion, but the one that landed survives.

The Japanese reinforcing infantry turned the tide here, as well as the Zuiho. I think I made a mistake, putting my battleship in the Ocean area for AAA instead of in the coastal. The Japanese BB had a field day.

Casualties for Japan: CV Soryu as well as a land and air unit.
US casualties: none, but 3 damaged ships.

Japanese reinforce
+4 for holds and a 5 roll.
2 ships, 2 inf and an air unit.

Japanese Repair
none

US Return to port and the groups rotate again.

Supply check all good.



Casualties







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Gary Logs
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So what I've learned after playing 42 and 43 once each is that putting a unit (SUB preferably) in the Marianas for example, can pin the Japan forces closest battle order if before no scouting is done. I find myself evaluating the JPN force stacks roll potentials and then determining where to put such pinning force(s) or where to build up. Many pinning battle options can help dilute the JPN response potential to a given area.

Also, if they can hit a blue objective I like to threaten a red one also, assuming it's viable to avoid losing ground. If they will most likely move to a red obj I don't lose anything so don't waste resources to it.

You need to look at the JPN stacks and see where orders can send them and decide if its better to scout or control the battle locations first.
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Peter Kossits
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I almost did the sub move, and yes it may have helped with the Marshalls a little. The forces that moved there went on a Reinforce order and a Battle order. A sub in the Marianas may have been able to interfere with the Battle order.

The problem I'm having right now is that my attack fleets are too small because I'm keeping so much at Midway. I'll be doing something about that in the next turn.

Fun game so far.

 
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dave clifford
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I think the Soryu can't be attacked because they drew no contact.
 
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Peter Kossits
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First Light Attack. I only mentioned that I drew No Contact and damage control because those would have saved the Japanese carrier in a normal attack.

You play First Light before you draw Japanese plans, as long as you make your 7+ roll to activate the order. I think - no rule book handy at the moment.

Crap, just checked the rules online and it looks like you might be right. It says to roll for First Light at the start of a battle turn, so I jumped to the conclusion that it was the first thing that happened. But some of the other text in there implies that it should be done before the planes move. Not 100% clear unfortunately.

Just read everything again more carefully, and I think I did it right, despite some deceptive language in there. "At the start of a battle turn" is pretty clear in meaning it happens before the Japanese draw. Pity there wasn't an example of this.
 
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dave clifford
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Again the rules seem to contradict themselves but the fact that a Japanese first light cancels a US first light indicates to me that all battle plans are playable at the same time.
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Peter Kossits
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That case can come into play if I don't make my first light roll - 60% chance - and can't use the card on turn 1 and hold on to it, so its not conclusive. Also fuzzy is the language about proceeding to the normal turn and other aircraft.

I think this order might be somewhat analogous to the Cavalry attacks in Napoleon. There you rolled for it at the top of the turn before doing anything else.

I'm so glad I'm posting these AARs and having the opportunity to catch some of these possible rule errors. Helps a lot.

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dave clifford
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Good point about 60%. The First Light should say to return to Draw Japanese BP'S Step.
 
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Peter Kossits
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Turn 3 – May/Jun

Again a small correction to my last battle. I landed Marines in the Gilberts but didn't move them directly to foxholes after landing, so I missed one 5 attack on turn 2 of the battle. There is no effect on anything else that transpired afterwards, so I rolled it after the battle and managed a hit to damage the Japanese battalion that is still there.



US resupply
BB South Dakota for 4
32nd, 43rd airgroups and ASAFE for 7

20 points to spend.

Scouting

I want to take care of the Situation in the Gilberts this turn. I don't like ending turns with areas being disputed and feel it draws the Japanese in. I also want to free up the Marine division, so he can go to the Solomons next turn. At the moment he's frozen in place with not much to fight and his high attack value is wasted.

I also want to try to transfer one of my carriers over to the other group of naval units, so I can set up a weak turn /strong turn sequence. I would like to have 4 carriers to work with when planning the next attacks. I'm not confident enough now, nor do I think I ever will be for the rest of 1942, to pull one of my 2 carriers away from Midway combat patrol, and its difficult to put together strong attacks with only one CV which is free to move.

I scout the Gilberts for 1 to see if those naval units will leave on their own.
The Solomons for 3 and
the Carolines for 4.
Basically I just want to have an idea of what will turn up at the Gilberts this turn.



Most of the naval units in the Solomons return to Japan,
The land units in the Carolines stay put as do the naval units in the Gilberts.



Very good scouting rolls this turn. I'm hoping to control the Gilberts area completely this turn and to perform the battle without using CVs. There's a Japanese CVL here, but I can probably counter it with land based air.

I have 16 points for US moves.

Mag 21, 18th FG and 11 BG from Hawaii to the Gilberts for 3.
1 submarine to the Marianas and one submarine to the Caroline islands for 5. This is done to disrupt units in the west and to give the Japanese units which are far from the front lines a closer target to go after. It also creates 2 dummy battles to reduce the sting of a Japanese Battle order.

CVs Enterprise and Lexington, 2CA, 2DD and SS to Midway for 10.

BB South Dakota, 1 CA, USAFE infantry in transports from Hawaii to the Gilberts for 13.

I have 4 supply left, hopefully to carry over into the next turn.

CV Hornet waits in Hawaii.

Japanese Orders

Naval and air units get much stronger in the Solomons.
The Marianas bring in infantry and air units from Okinawa.
Japanese invade New Caledonia.
Japanese send air and infantry reinforcements to the Gilberts.

There will be 2 real battles and 2 small submarine engagements that I'm not yet sure need to be played out.

I made 12 rolls for Japanese orders and the average roll was 4.75.
The average for the full game so far is also 4.75, so I've been rolling a little lower than expected thus far. Out of the 12 orders, there were 5 holds.



Battles

Gilbert Islands – 4 turns



This is the one I need to win. I spend a supply point to have 6 battle plan points.

Mission accomplished. The land portion of the battle is settled after 2 turns and I sink BB Hiei on turn 3. We go after CV Zuiho on the last turns and our air units are annihilated.

All US air units lost in combat. Japanese lost one air unit to combat and the other to airfield damage.

Casualties for Japan
55 Inf and battalion
2 LBA
BB

Casualties for US
3 LBA

New Caledonia – 2 turns



Just hoping to keep my infantry alive here.

New Caledonia falls but the Japanese infantry is damaged.

In the Carolines, there are no Japanese units which can damage my submarine, so I am cancelling the battle. The rules don't explicitly explain what should happen in these types of situations.

At the Marianas, my SS also can't be hurt, but I have a chance to sink some troops in transports. One of the rare occasions that I take Sonar as a battle plan.

The SS does not damage with its 2 rolls, the troops land, the transport goes away and I cancel the battle after 4 turns even though it should have been 4 turns long.

Not sure if I should have kept drawing Japanese plans to see if he gets a battalion or not. Until I hear otherwise, I stop battles when none of the forces that are left can damage one another.

Japanese reinforce.
+5 for resupply, -1 for damaged units
Roll is 2 and they get 2 ships and 1 each of the other types.

Japanese repair
None

US return to Port

Supply check
Good

Defeat Check
No



All in all, a very good turn. We took an objective and lost an objective, but I succeeded in holding back an aircraft carrier and will now have 4 to use next turn and hopefully on turn 6. We will probably attempt a medium sized operation in the Solomons next turn.



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Peter Kossits
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Turn 4 – July – Aug 1942

I've been staring at the map and things are looking good. It's been a well behaved game as well, with a front line and fighting for island groups on the boundary.

I've been asking myself how the US is ever supposed to set up the historic battle of Guadalcanal in this one and I don't think it's possible unless they get a historic battle of Midway and crushing victory as well – which, looking at all the numbers – appears to be a real freak occurrence. A Midway victory, or any victory that cripples the Japanese CV fleets enables the Solomons. I don't think you can expect one without attaining the first. I think that logic also applied in the real thing. Midway probably enabled Guadalcanal.

The game does do a great job at reproducing the fear of the post Pearl Harbor months. I am always pretty terrified of my game going down the tubes quickly when rolling Japanese orders.

US resupply

MAG 23, 3rd, 22nd and 43 BGs for 7 points
We plan on getting rid of the Japanese around the Gilberts without sending any carriers, so all the purchases are for the air fields there. I'd like to clear the naval units from this area so I can free 2nd Marines for movement to the Solomons.



Now, 23 points to spend this turn.

I repair CV Wasp for 2 and one of my damaged CAs for 3.

I will not perform any scouting this turn. I know I want to go on the offensive in both Gilberts and New Caledonia and I'm even willing to invite battle. I can't see that scouting will tell me anything that will make me change my mind about anything, so I'll save those points.

CVs Yorktown and Hornet, 2 Cas and 2DDs to combat patrol at Midway for 6. We dropped the SS this time.
SS to the Marianas to draw units for 7
The 4 AG I just purchased, from Hawaii to the Gilberts for 11.

CVs Wasp and Saratoga, BB N Carolina, DD, 2 CAs, 1st Marines in transports to New Caledonia for 18.

Midway only has those crappy battalions to defend it now, so 32nd infantry from West Coast to Midway for 19.

I would love to send some ships to the Gilberts, but I think it's prudent to save the last point for battle plans in case of an attack on Midway, and if not, for the battle in New Caledonia.

I used almost my entire fleet this turn. Only 2 CAs left in Hawaii and one is damaged.



Japanese Orders

CVs and troops from Iwo and Japan reinforce New Caledonia.
There will be an attack on Midway this turn!!! It's light on aircraft carriers, but 3 BBs.
CVL, CA and more troops from Gilberts move to New Caledonia.

I made 15 rolls for orders. 6 of them resulted in holds. The average roll was 6.26 and the average for the game goes up to 5.19.

There will be 3 battles this turn:

A small sub battle in the Marianas.
Massive battle in New Caledonia, 3 of the 7 Japanese CVs are here.
A small but BB heavy invasion attempt at Midway.

Battles

Marianas – 2 turns

Just a small chance to damage a CVL



Nothing of interest happens here


Midway – 3 turns

This is the one I've been wasting all that supply preparing for.
It's looking like it might be a challenge to kill 4 steps of Japanese infantry in just 2 turns ashore – the game is likely to spiral downhill badly if I don't do it.
We only have 1 supply point left, but use it here for battleplans, rather than at the bigger battle in New Caledonia. I can afford to lose the other one Losing here would be a disaster.



Turn 1
Dogfights over US CVs eliminates lone Japanese fighter
Bombing runs over Japanese coast sinks BB Nagato and damages BB Ise.
Bombing run over Midway island causes 1 damage.
1 US LBA destroyed due to airfield.

Turn 2
Torpedo bombers in Japan coast sinks BB Ise and damages BB Fuso.
Bombers over Japanese beaches cause 1 damage to infantry.
Japanese sub sinks CV Yorktown – Sub Warfare plan
US artillery destroys one Japanese battalion. One left.

Turn 3
Dogfight damages last Japanese plane. A bomber.
Japanese BB bombardment causes one damage to the airfield. Destroyed.
US BB Ranging Shots, sinks BB Fuso and damages last Japanese battalion.
US infantry kill last Japanese infantry unit. The land battle is over.

All that's left now is the CVL and the escort DD.
Now I have to decide if I want to extend the battle to go after the Japanese carrier. I would need more than one hit because they have a Screening Ship plan saved, which cancels one hit. If I do this I would have to undergo another sub attack though and I've already lost one carrier. At least I know that Submarine Warfare is out of play now and he can't sink me.

Turn 4

Dogfight over US carrier kills last Japanese bomber.
US bombers hit Japanese CVL, but screening ship absorbs the damage. They also cancelled a hit on the same carrier with the same plan on turn 1. Lucky CV.
Depth charges damage Japanese sub.

Battle ends.
Casualties
Japan
3BBs and 2 battalions of infantry, SS damaged.
US
CV Yorktown and 2 LBAs

Battle 3 – New Caledonia – 2 turns

A US nightmare. I was really tempted to chicken out of this one and take the engaged plan to shorten it to one turn. Just dump my Marines on land and run, but I'm going to have faith that my Marines can survive and cause some damage and I'll try to take out a carrier or two.

It's battles like this that make the game fun.



Turn 1
US performs First Light attack with CV Saratoga. AAA fire is withering (Japanese had a plan) and 4 hits are scored. TBD and F4F go down, but both SBDs hit and CV Kaga sinks.

Japanese carrier aircraft score 5 hits in US coast. 2 CAs sunk. BB N Carolina damaged.
Japanese carrier aircraft score 2 hits in US ocean. CV Saratoga sunk.
Japanese had a Air Combat plan which was deadly.

Japanese naval forces score 5 hits in US coast.
BB North Carolina and troop transport sunk.
Japanese had a Ship Combat plan which was deadly.

We have lost the land battle. Marines won't hit the beach.
All that is left is CV Wasp and a DD in US ocean.

Turn 2
Japanese get a free battalion on the island.
Japanese CV bombers damage CV Wasp

Battle over
Casualties
Japanese
CV Kaga
US
CV Saratoga
BB N. Carolina
2 Cas
1st Marine

Japanese reinforcements
+5 for holds; -1 for damaged SS
Roll is 4.
2 ships, 2 Infantry and 1 air
Only 3 air units left in the reinforcement boxes.

Japanese Repair
SS at Midway to reinforcement box.

US return to port. My "strong" group has been decimated.

US Supply check good.
US defeat check. No



Casualties



Killer turn.
Good news: The Gilberts have been cleared and 2nd Marine is mobile again. Midway was defended. One CV and 2 BBs sunk. Still have a historic result.

Bad news: Midway still very much threatened and there is currently a battle situation there. 2 Japanese ships ares still lurking. Japan has 6 heavy carriers to my 4. new Caledonia and the Solomons look unassailable at present.


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Gary Logs
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Great AAR! Those Air Combat BPs are nasty, especially when the Kido Butai shows up for battle!

I do have a supply lines question, isn't the bomber in Australia out of supply?
 
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Peter Kossits
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Interesting. yes it looks like it is. I've been treating Australia almost like a 2nd West Coast and have been considering it a safe haven, but according to rules as written, yes they would be out of supply and perhaps even out of the game by now.

Mind you, the issue of Australia seems to have been forgotten in some of the other rules - namely return to port.

Japanese battleplans are ridiculously powerful. I'm discovering that the only defense is to save supply to also buy a ton of them yourself. A supply point is probably better spent on 3 battleplan points than it is to add an extra unit to a battle, at least in 1942.

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Peter Kossits
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Turn 5 – Sep Oct 1942

Time for another quick correction. It was pointed out to me that after new Caledonia fell, that my air unit in Australia should have started accruing attrition due to being out of supply. This appears to be correct. The Australian naval unit is not affected but any land units there (even with an Australian flag ?) will start getting reduced once Australia is isolated.

I didn't actually make the correction on board because I had finished playing by the time this was brought to my attention, but just thought I'd mention it anyways. I did not use that air unit for anything, so there was no effect on play.

US resupply

Very tricky situation. I think I definitely lost my chance at a Great or Good result last turn. With the Japanese firmly entrenched in New Caledonia, Samoa now becomes just as important as Midway, as a potential launching pad towards Hawaii on turn 6. It also only has a level 2 airfield and is challenging to defend. Midway still seems to be more vulnerable due to proximity to Japan and Iwo Jima where 3 of Japan's CVs sit waiting. It will draw more units in than Samoa.

8th and 42nd FG for 3
38th and 90th BG for 7

I think this will be a defensive turn and I don't have a large enough naval force to defend everywhere, so I turn to land based aircraft to hold some locations on their own.

20 supply.

We spend 1 to repair a damaged CA.
We will scout for 4.

We scout twice in New Caledonia and once in the Solomons which should give me near complete information on what the most threatening units will be doing. We scout once in Iwo Jima. Japan has 3 CVs in a small stack of naval units and I should have a very good idea of where almost all of Japan's carriers are going.



The 3 CVs freeze at Iwo Jima.
Some troops and ships including the Akagi go from New Caledonia back to New Guinea.
All of the carriers at New Caledonia hold there.
Some troops and a CVE and DD get moved to Midway. Looks like another small battle here this turn.

The only Japanese CV unaccounted for is the Shokaku who is all the way back in Borneo. There are two CVLs and a CVE still left to move.



US Orders

15 points to spend

Mag 23 and 22 BG from Gilberts to Midway for 2
38 BG from Hawaii to Samoa for 3
CV Lexington and Enterprise, BB S Dakota, CA, 2 DDs and a SS from Hawaii to Midway for 10.
2 CA, 25th and 43rd infantry from Hawaii and West Coast to Samoa for 14

1 supply saved for battle plans



Japanese orders

A fairly large battle has developed at Midway and it is the only battle of the turn.

I made 17 order rolls this turn and the average was 3.82/ There were 8 holds.
The average order roll for the entire game drops to 4.85

Battles

Midway – 4 turns

Large battle. Lots and lots of infantry landing. 3 Japanese carriers with 5 air groups present. I have a bad feeling here. I'm pretty sure I'll get mangled by Japanese battle plans.



Turn 1
Japan gets a free battalion on the island.
Dogfight. US CAP over carriers score 3 hits. Kills one Japanese bomber and damages the last.
US AAA over carriers kills Japanese bomber. No bombing rolls over US CVs this turn.
US torpedo bombers damage the fearsome CVL Hosho.
US bombers score 2 hits in Japan coast. CA destroyed.
Japanese bombers damage a US battalion. This would have been an airfield hit had the Japanese not received their bonus battalion.

Japanese SS gets a hit in US Ocean due to Submarine Warfare plan but I cancel it with Damage Control which I purchased just for this eventuality.
Japanese destroyers damage US sub with depth charges. Submarine warfare plan.

In US coast BB S Dakota damages Japanese CA

Japanese battalion scores 2 hits – Infantry Combat plan
US plays Artillery plan to cause 1 hit.
US battalion killed. Another damaged.
Japanese battalion damaged.

Turn 2



Dogfight. Japanese fighter scores one hit over US CVs.
US AAA scores 3 hits over US CVs/
Last Japanese fighter killed and one bomber killed.
Only one Japanese bomber remains in battle.

US bombers score 3 hits over island.
Japanese battalion in foxholes killed. Japanese battalion on beach killed.
Japanese bomber damages CV Lexington.
US destroyer damages Japanese SS.
Japanese CA scores 2 hits at Shore – Ship Combat Plan
BB S Dakota causes one hit at coast
US battalion killed. Only 32nd Inf remain
Airfield damaged by one.
Japanese battalion on beach damaged

22 BG lost to airfield damage
CV Lexington's 4 air units lost to CV damage

Japanese play Duration to reduce battle length

Turn 3 – Last Turn



There are 4 steps of Japanese infantry on Midway and they drew the Damage Control plan so I need 5 hits to destroy them all. I just calculated the odds of all of my attacks and I will probably only get 2 hits, of which only one will show up on the board. Looks like the Japanese have a strong foothold in the area.

I don't have to fly CAP over Enterprise, because it is turn 5 and I won't see this ship again, even if it does not sink. Gamey I know, but you can do suicidal moves with naval units on turn 5 and all units on turn 6 simply because the units are done after the battle.

US bombers get one hit over the island. Cancelled by damage control.
Japanese bomber damages CV Enterprise.

Japanese infantry get one hit on the island.
32nd Inf damaged.

End of battle

Casualties
Japan
2 battalions
CA
Damaged: CVL Hosho, CA, SS, battalion, 16th Inf.

US
2 battalions
22 BG
damaged: CV Enterprise, Lexington, SS

Very disappointing. After guarding Midway diligently all game, I end up with 4 steps of infantry and a large stack of naval units there. I think the lesson is not to skimp on the battle plans. They are sometimes incredibly powerful and, going into an important battle with only a single supply point for plans isn't enough. In my next play, I think I'm going to de-emphasize the fleet moves and go heavy on the battle plans.

Japanese reinforce
+8 for holds, -4 for damaged units at Midway
Roll 10
They empty out their boxes and get a repaired SS and 3 air units.

Japanese repair
3 units from Midway go into the reinforcement boxes and are out of the game. The CVL Hosho goes back to Japan almost right on its historic timetable to begin a new career as a training vessel.

US return to port
Today's combatants leave the game

US supply check
The US air unit in Australlia should have been destroyed this turn.

US defeat check
4 areas are still blue. Alaska is hiding up there saving my butt. Close but still alive!



Casualties

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Peter Kossits
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1942 - turn 6 – Nov/Dec

And finally to the last turn. I have to say that I really enjoy the meatiness of the scenarios here compared to Napoleon. I used to typically play a Napoleon campaign in a day or two, but this took me the better part of a week.

Fairly often during the day I would take a look at the screen grabs on my iPad and try to plan out the evening's turn. It was a great diversion that made my days a little more pleasant and when that happens, the game is usually a winner.

True, Napoleon has more variety with 12 campaigns and almost as many maps. I still have to see if playing 1943-45 all on the same map leads to a feeling of sameness over time, or whether it remains interesting.

The game is looking fairly grim on the last turn. Hawaii isn't threatened so I won't be relived but I currently have a poor result as long as Midway is coloured red.

US Resupply.

BBColorado for 3
American inf for 4
BB New Mexico for 7
All that was left was Australian air and infantry and I'm not in a
position to make good use of those.

20 supply.
We spend 2 to repair CV Wasp.
1 to repair 32 inf on midway.
17 left.



I need to know whether the Japanese navy will stay at midway and also whether the units in New Caledonia and the Solomons have designs on the Gilbert's or Samoa.
4 supply spent on scouts.
One at Midway.
One at the Solomons.
Two in New Caledonia.

Most Japanese units at Midway are known to be staying put.
Likewise most of the dangerous Japanese carriers are holding at New Caledonia.
Japan is sending a medium sized force with a CVL to the Gilbert Islands.
They are sending a very small invasion force with a CVE to Samoa.
Ouch. 3 known battles already and me with only 2 CVs.



I have 13 points left.

It's worth mentionning that in my 4 previous games, one of my favorite moves was to attack New Guinea on the last turn since it tends to be lightly defended by this point. I just noticed a rule that says for an objective to be blue, it must also be in supply, so suicide lunges towards poorly defended areas in the enemy backline are out. If i go after new Guinea, I must also go after the Solomons and win that battle too.

I'm going to max out my airfields everywhere and get good ground attack planes over to Midway.
Mag 23 fromMidway to Samoa for 1
43 bomber group from the Gilbert's to midway for 2
28 bomber group from Samoa to Midway for 3

CV Wasp, Hornet, BB Colorado and New Mexico, 2 DD to the Gilbert's for 9

American inf from West Coast to Midway on transports for 10.

3 supply left for battle plans.



Japanese orders

It's a miracle but no new naval units get added to existing battles.
One DD and an infantry division leave midway to participate at the Gilbert's instead.
NOTE: Made a small mistake here. The infantry division should have stayed put and a battalion moved to the Gilberts. I know the rules quite well by this point but always discover little glitches that sneak in afterwards.
Japan is now completely empty.

I rolled 11 Orders and 5 of them were holds.The average roll was 5.45,
The average Order roll for the full game ends up being 4.93. I think the statistic mean is 5.5, so Japanese were slightly less agressive in this one than average.

There will be 3 battles, Midway, the Gilbert's and Samoa.
The Gilbert's is the largest and that's where I moved my carriers this turn.
I'm actually hopeful of winning all 3.



Samoa - 1 turn

That's awful. I need to kill 2 steps of infantry and only have one turn and my infantry won't even be able to shoot. Battle plans to the rescue here I think. We spend 1 point for 3 extra plans. 2 supply left.



Japanese managed to land. We couldn't hit the transports. We were forced to go to turn 2 and then my Bombers were able to score 2 hits. Japanese CV bomber reduced airfield which caused me to lose 38 BG on return to base.

Samoa stays blue.

casualties
Japan
Battalion
US
38 BG air.

Midway - 3 turns

This one is very similar to the Samoa battle however the Japanese have more carrier assets. I again have 2 infantry steps to reduce, both of the Japanese inf units are still damaged from the last battle. This battle is a lot longer. I won't have to take the Engaged plan this time.

If I win this battle I guarantee I won't get relieved. We'll try to do it without purchasing extra battle plans.



This one was a near fought thing.The Japanese got an extra battalion on turn 1 so I suddenly had 4 steps to deal with.
My LBA came through and we had the land portion of the battle wrapped up on turn 2.
We went into turn 3 with two undamaged LBA and two damaged infantry ashore and just needed one of those to survive to turn Midway blue again.

The Japanese drew that horrible Air combat plan again and managed to score 3 hits. I eliminated my 2 airfield points and was left with just one damaged infantry unit ashore at the end.

Worth mentioning, that I suffered several hits on the island in this battle but since the cost of my infantry was 1, the same as my airfields, I had the option of deciding where to allocate the damage which was perfect.

I decided for the most part to take infantry damage and keep the airfields up as long as possible since they had my best percentage shots. Looks like the airfield issue only occurs when the high quality infantry units like Marines are on an island by themselves. People have mentioned using or
wanting to use battalions to screen their airfields. Actually the best units to use are the ones that cost 1. That way you can destroy an airfield or an infantry step as you wish. Sometimes an air unit gets
destroyed in combat and the useless airfield slot for that aircraft lets you suck up a damage point, that won't cost you anything performancewise, that otherwise would go to your infantry. For all the
complaining I have to say that I've come to really like the way airfields are modeled here. It often leads to some interesting decisions as to where to allocate damage in the larger battles.

Casualties
Japan
2 battalions and an inf division
US
2 air groups and an infantry division
One infantry division damaged.

Midway back to blue with one damaged infantry unit ashore and no naval units!!!!
Guaranteed minimum score of 4.

Gilberts - 4 turns

This one will be fun!!!
I'm spending 2 supply and will have 9 battle plans points and I dare say I even have the advantage in this one and there's not that much time pressure either.



Turn 1
US First light sneak attack on Japanese carriers
AAA fire causes 2 hits. CV TBD destroyed.
I usually choose fighters here, but I need to try and dogfight that scary Japanese fighter out of existence and want to outnumber him. SBDs damage CVL Ryujo. 2 Japanese air units out. US has air superiority. I could have kept my TBD.

Japanese AAA in coastal causes 1 hit.
CV Fighter damaged.
US aircraft in coastal cause 4 hits
CA sunk
Japanese transport and troops sunk.
The battle is won. Now it's just a CV hunt.

In US ocean, destroyers damage Japanese SS.
Japan plays duration to shorten battle to 3 turns.



Turn 2
US aircraft in Japan ocean cause 2 hits.
Japan plays screening ship plan but it's not enough.
CVL Ryujo sunk.

In US ocean, DD sinks Japanese SS.



Turn 3

Uh oh. Japanese get Battalion. What the hell???
And an Infantry combat plan.If this guy survives, I don't get this guy, my rating stays at Poor.

US LBA and carrier aircraft cause one hit.
Japanese battalion damaged.
US artillery kills Japanese battalion.

Phew. Well that was exciting.I guess now we know why Dan added in the Japanese battalion plan. Reminded me of some of the crazy events that happen in Combat Commander sometimes. Personally I love stuff like that, but can understand that it would rub the wrong way for some.

3rd victory in a row.

casualties
Japan
CVL Ryujo, CA, SS, 2 battalions and an infantry division.
US None

Japanese reinforce
Boxes are empty

Japanese repair
none

US return to port

US supply check
good

Us defeat check
No

I finish with a nice historical result with 5 blue objectives. Although I am wondering now if that infantry that I mistakenly moved off Midway would have turned the tide there.



Final casualties

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Ryan
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Very nice detailed session report, Peter.

Though I haven't been able to convince myself to bring this game out again after my last frustrating play and my outlook on the game is rather grim, personally, I've enjoyed keeping up with your games.
 
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Gary Logs
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Partner that was fun! I have to say that your ending battle of the Gilberts looked just like my 42 last play battle for a Poor vs Historical 5th Obj. In mine I didn't grab the First Light BP and JPN CVL of course pulled theirs which ended my chances. Take away: this game is a battle of wits vs battle plans.

Also, this AAR validates my mantra not to jump to HRing the game until you've played it a bit.

Thanks for the enjoyable read and get ready for 43!
 
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Peter Kossits
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Hi Guys,

Thanks for the kind words. The AARs kind of write themselves in this game, so I enjoy doing them, and I cleared up a lot of rules blunders by getting feedback on them and making sure I have my facts straight before I post them.

I just set up 1943 earlier tonight and I must say it's an interesting situation. The US player starts right on the edge of being dismissed and several large battles already in progress! Those extra large carriers also have me drooling a little bit - 5 air counters on each! Apart from the loss of 4 CVs Japan didn't seem to get a whole lot weaker. Their fighters have a bit less sting now though. Looks very, very interesting. And I've already started work on trying to figure out how to link 42-43 into one big 12 turn campaign.

Ryan, hope you can break through the wall. I've got my little niggles too based on my experiences in 1942 (#1. I find I can almost never go after enemy carriers with my own, because the game puts such a premium on not letting a battle end with enemy infantry in an objective. I always send my CV air onto the island on turns 2-5 or against the coast on turn 1; I only chase things in Japanese ocean after the land battle is resolved. I don't like that really.), but if you can suspend disbelief there's quite a bit of excitement in a play of this game, and some truly interesting decisions to make. And it's quick playing and never bogs down on a rules issue.

Nimitz is not even close to being as realistic or as useful a learning/educational tool as something like the old Guadalcanal Campaign, or Uncommon Valor or Pacific War computer games (those make you feel like you're actually living the real thing), but it's a lot shorter and there's a lot less downtime where nothing much is happening. Nimitz compresses things down beyond belief.

I'm an ASL player, and it's been said of that game that it's Hollywood's version of WWII infantry engagements. Vets have chimed in and have repeatedly said that it's not realistic at all in terms of simulating what goes on in actual combat (even though lots of people think it is, and is has a reputation of being authoritative). Let this be Hollywood's version of WWII in the Pacific then, with simultaneous amphibious assaults and Japanese and US airfields on the same small island.
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