* * 2017-2019 Top 10 Invitational * *
Daniel Blumentritt (IJN; Bid 1) vs. Ed Paule (USN)

The 3c Menzel adjustments are in play.

Turn 1
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5

Turn 1

Nothing particularly unusual takes place. The USA has both cruisers; Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Tennessee all 1 DP short of crippled; and 7th AF 1 DP short of dead; escape Pearl still afloat after the raids. The British lose 5th AF but it takes both rounds to finish it off, and the Prince of Wales and Repulse manage to get night and withdraw. POC: Standard Japanese lead of 4 for a Menzel game.

Turn 2

SOUTH PACIFIC: Japan wants Night to let the I-Boat fire before the air battle, but the result is Day. The 25th AirFlot misses the Lexington and the combined firepower of the three aircraft carriers destroys the LBA. The I-Boat hits the Enterprise for 1 DP. Control: neither

MARIANAS: Both sides agree to Day. Akagi manages a 6 which destroys the 7th AF automatically due to the 3 DP it sustained in the Pearl Harbor raid. 7th AF targets the patrolling Ashigara, disabling her and saving the Philippines. Control: neither

CENTRAL PACIFIC: Both sides agree to Day. The Japanese carriers destroy the 11th AF. 11th AF targets the patrolling Takao, disabling her and saving Midway. Control: neither

MARSHALLS: Japan gets Day. Kaga sinks Quincy and 24 AirFlot inflicts 1 DP on De Ruyter, which promptly retreats. Control: Japan

US MANDATE: Ed wants a Night round to inflict maximum damage on the 118s, but Daniel gets Day. The 10th AF misses and the “track squad” retreats. Control: Allies

CORAL SEA: The Allies get their Night round. Japan gets both patrollers – sinking Louisville and disabling Australia, but otherwise only manages to disable Maryland and Pensacola.  The Allies likewise sink one and disable one of the two patrollers, disable Hyuga, inflict 3 DP on Nagato, and sink Shokaku. The two remaining Japanese BBs split and withdraw separately. Nagato is finished off by the Hornet, and Ise is sunk by the Yorktown.  Afterwards, the Allies themselves retreat (having no patrollers left anyway) so that they can send Yorktown and 5 CAs to Philippines at the end of the turn via their temporary harbor in Singapore. Control: neither

HAWAII: There is no combat other than air raids, which finish off the repairing battleships. The Yokosuka amphibious unit declines invasion. Control: Japan

ALLIED PLAYER COMMENTS: I was hoping that one of my two LBA would survive the first round. I was also hoping that one of my two patrolling cruisers in Coral Sea would survive. I was expecting one of those 4 units to still be in action.  So, I'm bummed that you went 4 for 4.  I was hoping to sink your LBA in SPO, save the Philippines, save Midway, and sink Shokaku. I wasn't expecting to do all four. But, it's 4 for 4 on my side as well. So, now I’m not bummed any more.

END OF TURN: Attu and Singapore convert to Japanese control.
Japan 3, Indonesia 3, Marshalls 1, Hawaii 2, Aleutians 0 = 9
North Pacific 1, US Mandate 2, Indian Ocean 0, Bay of Bengal 1 = 4
Net Japan +5
GAME TOTAL: Japan +9

Turn 3

MARSHALLS: Japan gets Night and targets the patrollers, disabling Canberra with 1 DP and sinking Australia. The Allies put all their shots on the patrolling Hyuga, disabling it with 3 DP. The I-boat sinks the Yorktown. Both sides stay for a second round of Night combat, where Mutsu and Pennsylvania sink each other. Control: neither

JAPAN: The Allied cruisers are unsuccessful in their attempt to get a Day action, and both are sunk, but hey manage to take the Oi down with them. Control: Japan

CENTRAL PACIFIC: Both sides want a Night, and both sides miss on the first two rounds. The Allies disable Chikuma on the third round. Control: neither

US MANDATE: Daniel desires a Day for the potential carrier exchange, but gets Night, so he switches to targeting the patrollers.  Fuso and Kumano disable the California, but Mogami and Mikuma miss the De Ruyter.  Allied return fire is underwhelming as well, sinking only the Fuso and letting the Junyo escape with a disable. The Japanese retreat without pursuit.
Control: Allies

MARIANAS: Ed wants a Night to stop the invasion of the Philippines without losing the Enterprise, and gets it. Hiyo’s single shot sinks the heavily-damaged Maryland. Chester’s single shot disables the Hiyo. Six shots from Maryland and Astoria miss Kure completely, and Kure promptly converts the Philippines to Japanese control. The Allies retreat.
Control: Japan

SOUTH PACIFIC: Ed wants a Night in this area for the same reason, and gets it. Since Zuiho has no weaponry, even Saratoga can fire. Yokosuka is disabled with 3 DP, preventing it from reaching Lae, but Zuiho is unharmed. The Allied force retreats so as not to face the 2 LBA, and Zuiho pursues alone. Incredibly, Zuiho gets the Day, sinks Saratoga, and then Saratoga misses Zuiho entirely! Zuiho stops pursuing after this. Control: Japan

HAWAII: The players agree to Day. In the first round, RNZAF and 5th AF go down in exchange for a mere 2 DP on the Akagi, prompting Ed to pull out the remaining 2 LBA. The Japanese carriers destroy the 1st US Marines unit on the ground.
Control: Japan

ALLIED PLAYER COMMENTS: In hindsight, I should have run in separate groups and let Zuiho blast my battleship. But I was curious to see if you would even bother pursuing. With a 90% chance of Zuiho being sunk versus only a 20% chance of sinking Saratoga, was it worth the attempt?

JAPANESE PLAYER COMMENTS: My thinking was that I had only lost 1 carrier so far in the game, and thus I could afford to lose Zuiho.  Had your LBA sunk a couple of my CVs in Hawaii, Zuiho probably would not have pursued.

END OF TURN: Pearl Harbor and Johnston Island convert to Japanese control.
Japan 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Hawaii 2, North Pacific 1 = 10
Bay of Bengal 1, Indian Ocean 0, Indonesia 1, Coral Sea 2, US Mandate 2 = 6
Net Japan +4
GAME TOTAL Japan +13

Turn 4

MARSHALLS: Allies get Night. De Ruyter is disabled by the Haruna and Akagi. Ed ignores Haruna completely and fires 10 standard shots at Akagi, which disable it and increase it from 2 to 3 DP, but leave it still functioning. Haruna retreats, but Wasp, protected by a cruiser escort, hunts her down and sends her to the bottom. The I-Boat misses the 2nd Marines, which invade Maloelap. Control: neither

SOUTH PACIFIC: The Allies get the Day they need. Enterprise is sunk but the 2 LBA units are untouched. Enterprise dies valiantly, sinking the Sasebo amphibious unit before going under. Meanwhile, the Marine AF and the Royal Australian Air Force disable Yokosuka, saving Lae and preserving the Allied LBA presence in Indonesia.  The enraged IJN sticks around, sinking the RAAF and dinging the Marine AF, in exchange for losing the Zuikaku. Neither side achieves a result on round 3. In round 4, the Marine AF is destroyed in return for a meaningless disable on Shoho. Control: Japan

INDONESIA: The Japanese get a Night against the flag and pull their LBA out of the area. Control: Allies

JAPAN: The IJN gets Day but Soryu merely manages to disable the Minneapolis. Control: Japan

ALEUTIANS: The combatants agree to Night. Chokai sinks Indianapolis and Indianapolis misses Chokai. Control: neither

NORTH PACIFIC: Night is agreed and both sides miss on the first round. On the second round, Ashigara sinks Pensacola, and Pensacola misses again. Control: Japan

CENTRAL PACIFIC: Despite the +2 DRM for Day, the result is Night. Myoko sinks Portland while Hiryu misses Vincennes. The American surface flotilla puts the Hiryu under. Myoko retreats and is pursued by all available cruisers. On the first pursuit round, Myoko fires without effect and receives a disable. Control: neither

US MANDATE: Japan gets their desired Day and withdraws. The cruisers cannot be pursued. Indiana alone can chase Yamato, and does so, disabling her to Truk with 3 DP. Yamato whiffs. Control: Allies

CORAL SEA: Japan goes for Day, gets it, and retreats separate. The 118 gets away, Yamashiro is pursued by South Dakota, and disables it. South Dakota disables Yamashiro with 4 DP to Yokosuka Navy Yard. Control: Allies

ALLIED PLAYER COMMENTS: After turn 3, you were in a very solid position except for one flaw. If I played turn 4 conservatively, i.e. ignoring Indonesia and your 4 LBA there, then I felt I would be in a losing position.  So, from my point of view, I had to go for Indo this turn.  I needed some sort of day on round 1 in SPO plus removal of both SNFLs. A 58% x 84% x 80%  = 39% chance for success.  Not great odds; but better than playing it safe.

JAPANESE PLAYER COMMENTS: In hindsight, I should have raided a CV and CVL to the US Mandate. If you had ignored them, this might have won me the flag in USM, especially seeing as how I did get day on the first round there. If you had gone after them, it would have weakened your effort in Indonesia and my LBA might still win the battle even if I don’t send your LBA home.  As it was, too many of my eggs were in one basket and I didn’t I feel I could win once I failed to seize Lae.

END OF TURN: Singapore and Saigon convert to Allied control. POC – both sides actually controlled only the same exact areas that they controlled the previous turn:
Japan 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Hawaii 2, North Pacific 1 = 10
Bay of Bengal 1, Indian Ocean 0, Indonesia 1, Coral Sea 2, US Mandate 2 = 6
Net Japan +4

Turn 5

JAPANESE PLAYER COMMENTS: With 6 LBA, I should be able to lock down SPO and Indonesia while pressing into the US Mandate, since that effort will divert most of his LBA. If he puts 6 or more LBA in, I’ll try control enough of the rest of the board to re-create a perimeter. With 5 or fewer, I’ll go all-in. The air battle will be tough enough by itself, but I will also need a lot of day actions since his surface fleet is much stronger than mine.

MARIANAS: The Royal Navy wants Day and gets it, but Illustrious misses the Kumano. On the second round, Kumano gets the Night, sinks the patrolling Exeter, receives only misses in return, and retreats. Control: neither

JAPAN: Japan wants Day, hoping to exchange CVs and then hope the Musashi and I-Boat can each remove a patroller. As it is, not only does it come up Night, but Musashi misses Dorsetshire with all 6 shots. Prince of Wales inflicts 3 DP on Musashi and the remaining surface ships disable the Hiyo. The I-Boat sinks Cornwall. Both sides stay and the second round is a Day-Night. Lexington sinks Musashi before she can try a second time at the Dorsetshire. Control: Allies

INDONESIA: Japan wants Day and gets it, firing all 9 shots at the 1st Marines, which is disabled with 4 DP. Ramillies retreats to Singapore. Control: Japan

MARSHALLS: An opening Day-Night is equivalent to Day in this case, and 14th AF sinks the Mikuma. Control: Allies

CENTRAL PACIFIC: The Allies get Day and Naval AF disables Mogami, which was otherwise retreating anyway. Control: Allies

NORTH PACIFIC: The Japanese gets Day, allowing Kinugasa to escape from the Washington. Control: Allies

HAWAII: The Allies get Night, and North Carolina sends Chikuma below the waves while receiving no damage. Control: neither

CORAL SEA: The Allies get Day, and disable the Tone. 3rd Marines does nothing during combat, but counter-invades Guadalcanal at the end of the turn. Control: Allies

SOUTH PACIFIC: Yoksouka invades Lae. Kure invades Guadalcanal as well, but it is later recaptured.  Control: Japan

US MANDATE: Japan needs a Day. In fact, they need a lot of Days, but the first round is night. The Allies lose Mississippi, Indiana, and Salt Lake City while having a BB and 3 CA disabled. The Japanese lose Yamato, Hyuga, Ashigara, and Maya, while having a BB, 5 CA, and Junyo disabled; in addition, Kako receives 1 DP and loses her attack bonus.  In the second round, Night comes up again, and the tally of sunken hulls increases: Minneapolis, Astoria, Kako, Akagi, and Zuiho all meet their end, while Massachusetts, Ryujo, and Soryu are disabled. The Japanese carriers are now only an even match for the Allied carriers before even considering the 5 Allied LBA. Control: Allies

END OF TURN: The Japanese surrender. Ed Paule’s Allies win the game.

Victory in the Pacific® is a registered trademark of The Avalon Hill Game Company.