* * 2017-2019 Top 10 Invitational * *
Daniel Blumentritt (IJN; Bid 0) vs. Andy Gardner (USN)

The I-Boat Arrival, Individual CPO Withdrawal, and Bay of Bengal adjustments are in play.

IJN Report:  I have made my contribution towards Andy's bid for 2nd place by getting blown out of the water.

We played with 1a/2b plus a pair of adjustments that Alan Mulroy and I concocted: Bay of Bengal is 2 POC for the Allies, and no British are withdrawn from the game. I bid 0 for Japan and Andy accepted.

This was my third time to try this set of adjustments as Japan (going 1-1 in the earlier games). In both of them I went after the British a little heavier than normal and whittled them down a bit. This game I played Turn 2 pretty standard, and Andy defended his home areas very aggressively, saving Hawaii on Turn 2 when he could have saved the USM more cheaply - I went 2-area but with a decided emphasis on Hawaii - and then saving Samoa from converting on T3 while also fighting off my re-incursion into Hawaii. He didn't put a single ship, Marine, or air unit in any of the 7 Co-Prosperity Sphere areas (Indo-SPO-Marshalls-CPO-Aleutians-Marianas-Japan) on turns 2 or 3! His CV force took it on the chin but they and his LBA took plenty of my carriers down with him, and the surface attrition was going badly for me.

At this point the wisdom of Andy's strategy became apparent. I couldn't establish much of a credible threat to Hawaii, USM, Coral, or Bay of Bengal (though I attempted to do so on Turn 4, and all it did was get several my cruisers sunk when he defended them), so that's 9 POC he'd be getting a turn which meant I wasn't gaining much. I maxed out at 15 POC at the end of T3. And since he got to use 1st and 2nd Marines rather than having them trapped and sunk, he partially nullified one of my main advantages, which was all the bases he let me have when he went all-in to Hawaii. Dutch Harbor traded hands several times, and I never even got Guadalcanal.

On Turn 5 I needed to control a perimeter to block his reinforcements and didn't quite have the forces to do so. I had to rely on some extreme flag defense plus have 4 of my LBA beat 6 of his in SPO. The problem was his fleet was so large so that flag defenses didn't intimidate him. He raided every area he could get to except for Aleutians in order to give me as many tossup battles as possible, because he could afford the attrition of staying for multiple rounds until Night eventually came up, and because that made it as unlikely as possible for me to win all of them - which I pretty much needed to do in order to have a shot in the game. As it turned out, the complete opposite happened. He unflagged everything and captured Lae as well. I surrendered before the turn had quite ended as the POC was going to roll back to single digits, I would have only had 1 LBA available for next turn, and not a single area was going to be safe for me. Had we played on, he would have stood a reasonable chance of taking the lead at the end of Turn 6!

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