* * 2017-2019 Top 10 Invitational * *
Joe Dragan (IJN) vs. Daniel Blumentritt (USN)

The Open Turn Two scenario is in play.

Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5
Turn 6
Turn 7

PRELIMINARIES: We agreed on a die roll for sides after settling on OT2 with no bid. Allies started with Enterprise, Yorktown, Maryland[-5], and three cruisers in Australia, Houston in the Philippines, the four cruisers in New Hebrides that could get there, the two free battleships in Samoa, and everything else in Pearl Harbor.  The Japanese chose to invade the Philippines, sending Houston to Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka to the Turn 3 reinforcement box.

Turn 2

MARSHALLS: The first round is Day. Shokaku disables Yorktown and 26 AirFlot misses Hornet, and then both are destroyed in return by 8 dice apiece. The I-Boat disables Hornet. The Japanese retreat and the Allies pursue only Kinugasa. They get Day, and Lexington sinks her Ė Enterprise having stayed back to threaten Truk and force Mutsu back to the edge of the map. Control: Allies

CENTRAL PACIFIC: The Allies get Night and Japan chooses to fire with Akagi. Houston is disabled and Pensacola sunk in exchange for disabling Furutaka, crippling Akagi, and sinking the Sasebo amphibious unit. The IJN splits up and retreats. The Allies sink Ashigara and Akagi in pursuit without any loss to themselves. Control: neither

INDONESIA: The IJN gets Day, sinks Formidable and Hermes, and puts 1 DP on Indomitable. Five standard shots from the British carriers only disable the Shoho. The British retreat to Ceylon. Control: Japan

SOUTH PACIFIC: The USN wants Night so that Chester can escape, but sheís sunk by the Japanese LBA in a Day action. Control: Japan

CORAL SEA: The Allies get Day and then disable Mogami, saving it the need to withdraw. Control: Allies

US MANDATE:  The Allies get Day and then disable Chokai, saving it the need to withdraw. Control: Allies

ALEUTIANS: Both sides want a Day. 7th AF is destroyed by the Japanese carriers and, with two patrollers at large, targets the Hiryu with its Parthian shot, disabling her. Control: Japan

HAWAII: There is no combat; all three American battleships are destroyed in the air raids. Control: Japan

Japanese player comments: Hmm, you have successfully prevented me from being able to patrol Hawaii next turn. Letís see what I can come up with instead. Had I brought Yokosuka along I could patrol with LBA and back it up with raiders, but I still think eliminating your base in the Philippines was worth it.

END OF TURN: Sinagpore, Lae, and Attu convert to Japan via isolation. POC as follows:
Japan 3, Indonesia 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Hawaii 2, Aleutians 0 = 12
Bay of Bengal 1, Indian Ocean 0, Coral Sea 2, US Mandate 2, Marshalls 1, North Pacific 1 = 7
Net Japan +5

Turn 3

INDONESIA: The first round is Day-Night and the Japanese eliminate British carrier power (excepting the one turn of Victorious) from the game, sinking both Indomitable and Illustrious. Trusting their battleships to remove Zuiho in the Night portion, the doomed carriers target 24 AirFlot, but inflict just 1 DP. Zuiho does indeed go under afterwards, and the British surface fleet then withdraws. Control: Japan

ALEUTIANS: Japan gets Day and retreats without pursuit.
Control: Allies

NORTH PACIFIC: Japan gets Night and retreats their cruisers from the LBA. Control: Allies

CENTRAL PACIFIC: The Allies need Day for a chance at saving Midway Island, and get it. Ryujo and Shoho miss the 10th AF, Hiyo destroys the 11th AF, and the air units destroy Kure. 10th AF, now facing three carriers alone, withdraws. Control: Japan

SOUTH PACIFIC: The Allies get Night against the flag and retreat. Control: Japan

MARSHALLS: The Allies get Night thanks to the flag and retreat. Control: Japan

HAWAII: Japan gets Day in round 1. Hiryu inflicts 2 DP on Saratoga and Saratoga sinks Hiryu. The Japanese cruisers retire to Truk without pursuit. Control: Allies

US MANDATE: The Allies want Night but the result is Day. Kaga rolls 2-2-2-2 against Enterprise but Soryu sinks the Yorktown. The USN fires two carriers each at Soryu and Kaga, sinking the former and disabling the latter with 4 DP, and fires RNZAF at Kirishima, disabling it. The I-Boat inflicts 1 DP on the Hornet, and then the Japanese withdraw, each ship for itself.  Daniel pursues Maya, Nachi, and Kongo each with 2 cruisers and a carrier, sinking Maya and Kongo for no loss while disabling Nachi to safety.

CORAL SEA: Japan wants Night to assure a successful landing but the Allies get Day. RAAF goes down and then fires with no effect. Seeing the loss in US Mandate to the East but the successful end of British airpower, Joe has Yokosuka invade Port Morseby rather than New Hebrides.
Control: Japan

END OF TURN: No bases are encircled. POC as follows:
Japan 3, Indonesia 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Coral Sea 2, Marshalls 1, Central Pacific 1 = 14
Bay of Bengal 1, Indian Ocean 0, US Mandate 2, Hawaii 3, North Pacific 1, Aleutians 1 = 8
Net Japan +6

Turn 4

INDIAN OCEAN: The British want Night, and itís a Day-Night, 25 AirFlot sinks Valiant. Warspite and Resolution hit Tone for 1 DP while Tone hits Warspite for 4 DP. The RN battleships withdraw and Tone does not pursue. Control: Japan

ALEUTIANS: The first round is Night, and Idaho disables Kumano away. The next round is Day. 23rd AirFlot sinks Lexington and is shot down by return fire. Control: Allies

NORTH PACIFIC: Both sides agree to Night. Oi sinks the patrolling Northampton and is itself sunk by the 6 standard shots from the US cruisers. Control: neither

CENTRAL PACIFIC: An opening Day-Night round lets the Allies fire first, sinking Myoko. At night, the Allied ships receive no damage but in return only disable Haguro. Nachi withdraws and is not pursued.
Control: Allies

MARSHALLS: The IJN gets Day and sinks Canberra. 1st Marines, unable to make a meaningful invasion because the control flag would flip the base right back, withdraws. Hiyo pursues, waits for Day, and sinks the Marine unit.
Control: Japan

US MANDATE: The Allies ask for and get an opening Night round. Japan sinks nothing; disables Maryland, Washington, Indiana (with 6 DP, crippling it), South Dakota (with 1 DP, removing its bonus), and the patrolling Vincennes and Tennessee. America sinks Chokai and Ryujo, disables Ise with 1 DP, leaves Junyo in the area with 1 DP, and disables Yamashiro, Hyuga, Haruna, and Kirishima. The I-Boat fires and scores, sinking Enterprise. Only Junyo and Takao are left for the IJN, so they split up and retreat. Takao gets away and Colorado pursues Junyo but is disabled before she can fire.
Control: neither

CORAL SEA / SOUTH PACIFIC: The IJN gets Day, sinks Mississippi, and invades Guadalcanal with Sasebo, disabling the two Allies LBA from South Pacific, which prevents any combat from taking place there. New Orleans retreats from Coral Sea, and is disabled to safety by Zuikaku. Control of both areas: Japan

HAWAII: The Allies get their wish with Night. All IJN surface units attack and sink North Carolina, which can only manage to disable Mogami in return while Australia misses and then withdraws. The IJN cruisers pursue and sink Australia without suffering loss. Control: neither

Allied player comment: My cruisers and bonus-shot battleships rolled about average this turn. My standard-shot battleships rolled 44 dice and got 2 hits, for 1 damage point each.

END OF TURN: Attu converts to the Allies via isolation. POC as follows:
Japan 3, Indonesia 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Indian Ocean 2, Coral Sea 2, Marshalls 1 = 15
Bay of Bengal 1, Central Pacific 0, Aleutians 1 = 2
Net IJN +13

Turn 5

MARSHALLS: The IJN wants Night so the I-Boat can fire before the air combat, and gets it, but misses the Hornet. Both sides stick around for a Day action in which 26 AirFlot is destroyed after firing to no effect. Maloelap is invaded. Control: Allies

JAPAN: The Allies want Night and get it, trading Massachusetts and 1 DP each on New Mexico and Minneapolis for Zuikaku and a disable on Musashi. The four remaining Japanese surface ship withdraw together and the USN forces do not pursue. Control: neither

CENTRAL PACIFIC: Japan wants Day they want to minimize the firepower that can be directed at their amphibious force. Instead, itís Day-Night. Victorious and 5th AF attack Aoba at Day to avoid prematurely disabling Yokosuka, and miss completely. At Night, they miss Aoba with 3 more shots and destroy Yokosuka with 14. Aoba misses Quincy, then withdraws, pursued by Quincy and Victorious. Aoba gets Night and sinks Quincy while Quincy misses, then gets Night again and cripples Victorious. Control: Allies

ALEUTIANS: The Allies get Day and miss Kako, which promptly withdraws. Control: Allies

SOUTH PACIFIC: Japan gets Day and merely disables Astoria; no different than a miss in this case. Control: Japan

CORAL SEA: Japan gets Night and pulls their LBA out. Control: Allies

INDIAN OCEAN: Japan gets Night and retreats their patrolling cruiser and their LBA. Control: Allies

INDONESIA: First round is Day and Shoho only manages to disable Devonshire to Ceylon. The remaining cruisers retreat there as well. Control: Japan

BAY OF BENGAL: Both sides agree to Day. Hiyo and Junyo go overkill, scoring 4 hits and 14 DP on the unfortunate 10th Air Force. Shaken by the result, 10th AF misses Atago. With no chance to save the flag, the F-Boat fires at Kure and misses as well. Ramillies and Devonshire are destroyed in air raids on Ceylon. Kure does not invade. Control: Japan

Japanese player comments:
I had to think about this for a while; finally decided not to invade Andaman Islands.

Allied player comments: I couldn't decide if I was hoping that you would invade, or hoping that you wouldn't.

END OF TURN: No bases are encircled. POC as follows:
Indonesia 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2, Bay of Bengal 2 = 9
Indian Ocean 0, Coral Sea 2, US Mandate 2, Hawaii 3, Marshalls 1, CPO 0, Aleutians 1, NPO 1 = 10
Net Allies +1

Turn 6

Allied player comments: Iím forced to fight in either Marianas or South Pacific this turn, but the problem is that even if I win, Iíll have to send everything back to the edge, unless I fight in Marianas AND he fails to send away my lone Marine. I would pick up 4 POC to cut his lead to 24, but then if he holds Japan and Indonesia both next turn Ė which would be likely since all my carriers but Wasp would be in either Pearl Harbor or Australia, only able to threaten one of those two areas each.  This would only cut it to 17 and force me to sweep the board on the final turn just for a tie.

To avoid this, I feel like I need a few carriers to base in the Marshalls where they can threaten both Japan and Indonesia on Turn 7. But if I put too much there, Iíll lose in Marianas. I try to balance the immediate need of this turn with the desire to maximize my odds on the following turn as well.

JAPAN: The F-boat sinks Hiyo. Control: Japan

CORAL SEA: 1st Marines invade Guadalcanal. Control: Allies

MARIANAS: Itís Day. Japan ignores the Marines and targets the 4 big carriers, sinking CV-16 and Saratoga and disabling CV-10. USN return fire sinks Kaga and Junyo, hits 23 AirFlot for 3 DP, and misses 25 AirFlot. The I-Boat disables Hornet to leave the two LBA facing two CVLs. In the second round, the LBA are unharmed and Monterrey is sunk. Cabot, 3rd Marines, and the USN surface fleet all withdraw. Control: Japan

END OF TURN: Kwajalein converts to Allied control by isolation. POC as follows:
Japan 3, Indonesia 3, Marianas 2, South Pacific 2 = 10
Bay of Bengal 1, Indian Ocean 0, Coral 2, USM 2, Hawaii 3, Marshalls 1, CPO 1, Aleutians 0, NPO 1 = 11
Net Allies+1
TOTAL Japan +27

Turn 7

Allied player comments: Iím in a hole now. I will have to control everything except Japan this turn, and then every single area next turn, in order to win by 1. Joe surprises me by fighting in Marianas and not Indonesia for the win, since I can get more carrier factors to the former. Even so, the battle favors him slightly, but at least Turn 7 is the best time to fight a big stack of LBA since anything he loses is gone for good while any disabled carriers can fight again next turn.

JAPAN: The F-Boat sinks Shoho, leaving Japan with 0 bonus airstrikes left in the game. Control: Japan

INDONESIA: No combat. 2nd Marines invade the Philippines to give disabled ships in Marianas somewhere to land even if the 4th Marines there are removed. Control: Allies

MARIANAS: The Allies get Night in round 1, destroy Kure, and land 4th Marines on Saipan. In the next round, Day is agreed to, and the LBA sink CV-12, Intrepid, CV18, and Belleau Wood, while disabling Wasp. In return the only LBA that goes down is the 23rd, which already was max-damaged. 26 AirFlot receives a single DP.  In the second round, Bataan is sunk while Bunker Hill and Langley II are disabled, leaving Cabot as the only remaining carrier in the area, while 25 AirFlot receives maximum damage. In the anticlimactic final round, Cabot finishes off 25 AirFlot and goes to the bottom. Control: Japan

Japan 3, Marianas 2 = 5
Bengal 1, Indian 0, Indo 1, Coral 2, USM 2, Hawaii 3, SPO 1, Marshalls 1, CPO 0, Aleutians 1, NPO 1 = 13
Net Allies +8
TOTAL JAPAN +19 Ė GAME CONCLUDES WITH JAPANESE VICTORY as the Allies can only pick up a maximum of 17 POC on the final turn. Congratulations Joe.

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