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Fleet Commander: Nimitz» Forums » Variants

Subject: Variant for order rolls: 'Japanese directive' rss

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Jean-Yves Moyen
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So, after three '42 games, I tried my hands on this variant of which I'm rather satisfied… (I'll put a short-ish AAR below).

* Before rolling for any Japanese order, roll for a 'Japanese directive' on the following table. The result changes the way some of the orders work.
** 1-2: Strike East.
The "East" order does not require Japanese forces ashore to be performed (no LBA if no presence) but cannot go to Hawai itself.
Put 'Target' counters in Hawai, Alaska, Midway and Gilbert.
** 3: Strike West.
The "East" order becomes "West", forces go toward East Asia rather than Hawai.
Put 'Target' counters in Philippines, Borneo, New Guinea and Solomon.
** 4: Strike South.
Put 'Target' counters in New Guinea, New Caledonia, Samoa and two in Solomon.
** 5: No retreat.
All forces in areas with both US and Japanese ashore automatically roll "Hold".
Put 'Target' counters in each area with both US and Japanese ashore.
** 6: Perimeter.
Put 'Target' counters in each objective with Japanese ashore, and one more in Solomon.
** 7: Imperial offensive.
Put 'Target' counters in each area with both US and Japanese ashore, and one more in Solomon.
In each of these areas, Japan draws 1 more BP per battle turn (max 4).
** 8: Supply failure.
In each battle, Japan draws 1 less BP per battle turn (min 1).
** 9: Ultra.
When a moves order has several possible destinations, the player choose the destination (rather than at random). Choice of destination is made before knowing which units will move.
** 10: Chinese offensive.
Use normal rules.

* When a Japanese order has several possible destinations to be randomly chosen, each 'Target' counter in one of them counts as an extra possible destination.
Example: the directive is "Strike South". I have forces ashore in Midway, New Guinea, Solomon, Samoa and NC. A force in Japan rolls "Sortie". Per normal rules, it would have equal chances (1/3) to go to either Midway, NG or Solomon, each 4 moves from Japan. I thus consider 'Target' there as extra possible destinations, resulting in 6 possible destinations: Midway, NG×2, Solomon×3 and I roll with probabilities 1/6, 1/3 and 1/2 accordingly. The presence of a 'Target' in Samoa does not make it a valid destination for the order.

* When there is a "Battle" order, consider that areas with US inf (ashore or in transport) have an extra 'Target' and that areas with US LBA have an extra target. [this greatly reduce the Battle magnet effect of pinning moves and make them better imho]
Example: There are both US inf and LBA fighting in NG and Solomon. There is a pinning US sub in Gilbert. The stack in Gilbert rolls "Battle". Per normal rules, it would have equal chances (1/3) to go to either NG, Solomon or stay in Gilbert. However, both the US inf and the US LBA in NG and Solomon are considered as an extra 'Target'. Thus, there are 2 'Target' in both NG and Solomon and the resulting probabilities are 3/7 for these and only 1/7 for Gilbert. The pinning sub still prevents an attack on Hawai/Samoa but won't draw as many attention as before and won't lure half the IJN.

* Scouting needs to be adapted to this… When Scouting, first choose how many SP you spend. Then, for each point spend, one by one, roll a die. On a roll of 1-3, roll for Japanese directive immediately. Once the directive is known, if you still have extra scouting points, you can use them to start rolling for orders as usual (otherwise, they're lost). [alternatively, don't choose how much you spend beforehand but keep rolling and paying for as long as you want]

* At the end of the turn, remove all 'Target' counters. [I used the Japanese BP as 'Target' to avoid making new counters, but then you need to remove them before battles and remember where they were for the extra BP of the Imperial offensive.]

The table will need to be changed for each year (typically, after '42, Solomon won't be so present or "Strike East" will disappear, and in '44-'45, the extra BP might move to the "No retreat" directive, …) I'll look into it after playing the regular scenarios fist…
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Jean-Yves Moyen
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So, what happened when I tried this…
Well, for the short story, there was only one (relatively small) attack on Midway, and all the heavy fighting occurred in Solomon (finally abandoned by Japan on last turn) and New Guinea (where a couple of damaged infantries hold Port Moresby despite constant attacks by a huge carrier fleet (2CV, 3CVL, 1CVE) now based in Wewak). So that felt really good. The other good point is that I did scout a lot (often unsuccessfully). Knowing the directive in advance is a huge help… I spent 3SP each turn scouting and also had a lot of repair to do in New Guinea, thus, I could not recruit my smaller BB (and the larger only toward the end). Losses where relatively small in the beginning but became high in the end (I think I lost 3CV…) The bad point was a medium stack in Gilbert that forced me pinning all along. But this was largely due to the randomness at turn 1. Moreover, with the modification to the Battle order, the pinned stack did not become huge. The huge stacks where in Solomon and then New Guinea and Gilbert never had that many ships (2 CV escaped the pin during the game to go fighting elsewhere).

For once, my usual 1st Marine in Midway was useless most of the game. I was really missing a Leathernecks in New Guinea while they were just waiting in Midway…

So, I'll definitely play it again that way rather than using normal rules… And I'll try to work on tables for the following years after trying them the normal way.

A bit more details.
* On turn 1, I successfully scouted a "Strike East" directive. Yikes! So I sent a defence force to Midway and some support to New Guinea. Japan only got one "Sortie" which went to Midway. I managed to repulse the attack but left 1BB there which fortunately decided to go away on turn 2 (first area rolled for movement of course). However, rolled several "Reinforce" and due to the 'Target' in Gilbert, there was a probability of 2/3 versus 1/3 in NG. 7 ships made it to Gilbert (probably actually taking Funafuti…) forcing me to pin them for the rest of the game to protect my lines of communication (and supply) with Australia. Several ships later escaped the pin and joined the fights. I think there was only 5 ships (but several LBA) there toward the end. In New Guinea, I got lucky with my battle and managed to wipe out all the airport, thus destroying many LBA and driving the Japanese out of the Island. Meanwhile, I put some more presence in the Solomon.

* On turn 2, my scouting failed. So I had to defend a bit Midway, reinforce NG and Solomon. Japan decided that Midway was not worth the effort and got a "Strike South" directive. They came pretty hard on Solomon but only a little in NG. I did not managed to drive them to the sea…

* On turn 3, my scouting failed again. But after that, Ultra managed to break their codes and give me precise info on IJN movements. Because I did not know the Ultra in advance, I still had to keep some small defence everywhere and could not prepare for a large ambush. New Guinea was again a huge kill of Japanese airport but they maintain their presence in both NG and Solomon.

* On turn 4, again, scouting failed me. The emperor ordered to hold ground (No retreat). And they did… In Solomon the landing party was accompanied with no less than 3BB (including the Yamato) and many smaller ships. The first two battle turns, Japan drew the "Naval Combat" BP and the 3BB+2CRU in Coastal area first shot down many of the planes trying to protect the airport during the AAA phase and then turned the airport themselves into pieces. With no air or naval support available, the 2nd Marines nonetheless managed to hold the ground and repulse the last of the Japanese out of here. I still hold the area but with a single Marine in front of 3BB, 1CV and several CRU/DD… In NG, a huge supply of Japanese LBA arrived and once again successful raids on Lae managed to destroyed all the airports and kill the planes.

* On turn 5, I at least managed to scout again and discovered that Japanese Supply was running low. It is a great directive, obviously, but not that good to know in advance as you still don't know where they'll strike (as per usual rule) and so I still had to defend Midway… The battle where not really memorable, NG was still disputed and Solomon was still witnessing only naval Japanese presence at the end of the turn.

* On turn 6, scouting failed… Japan decided to Strike West and the forces in Solomon received a West order. Thus abandoning Guadalcanal for the more important NG. In Solomon, only a DD was left (and sunk). But they concentrate on NG. Since they had no luck with LBA, they sent a huge strike force of 2CV, 3CVL, 2CVE and several escort on a fanatical attack to retake Lae and Buna and attempt to push toward Gili Gili and Port Moresby! my single CV (and 2-3 escort) and 3-4 LBA were just no match despite heroic efforts. In the end, only 2 damaged infantries survived, besieged in Port Moresby and under constant attack by Japanese land and naval forces… I'm afraid the aussies won't hold for long in '43 if I do not send heavy support…

Thus, the game ends with 6 objectives for me (Alaska, Midway, Hawai, Samoa, New Caledonia, Solomon). Solomon were a real close call all along, and New Guinea could also have been much worse.

I felt this game was much more looking like WW2 than my previous attempts… The only non historical think was the fleet I had to pin in Gilbert, but a push toward Funafuti, Fiji and Samoa is not implausible. Plus this stack still managed to somewhat escaped its pin and the CV that were here at start got out to more important locations, so that was good.
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SchizoCat1 SchizoCat1
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If I ever play this game again, which is unlikely, I'll give these rules a try. This game really is underdeveloped,
 
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