* * 2019-2021 Top 10 Invitational * *
Daniel Blumentritt (IJN) vs. John Lindley (USN; Bid 1)

The West Coast Escape and San Diego Repair Yards adjustments are in play.
A special Turn Two start and submarine restrictions are also in use.

IJN Report: John and I skipped Turn 1 and played with a T2 start that we chose ourselves in order to get a balanced game, roughly close to history but not trying to get it exactly. Prince of Wales, 5th AF, Arizona and Oklahoma were gone; California, West Virginia, and Nevada were “in the mud,” and Repulse, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Maryland were damaged. Japan flagged the Home Islands, Indo, Marianas, Marshalls, South & Central Pacific, and Aleutians. Allies flagged Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean, Coral Sea, USM, and Hawaii. Enterprise and Lexington could base in Australia; the other 3 CVs had to start at Pearl.

In addition, we played with 4a (San Diego for offboard repair by the US ships) and 3c (the US Turn 3 reinforcements, if trapped by an IJN flag, can back up to San Diego on their own movement phase), plus a limitation on the I-Boat and F-Boat we invented together: Any submarine hit on a carrier that would sink it is reduced to crippling it instead; any hit on an already-crippled (or ‘0’ armor factor) carrier is a disable instead. John offered to play the Allies without a bid, I raised to 0.5 for the Allies, and John countered with 1.0 POC to play the Allies which I accepted.

The adjustment did have an effect as at one point I hit the Yorktown and rolled high for damage and so I crippled it instead of sinking. My sub got one other hit on a CV but rolled low enough that our adjustment didn’t matter. But the real story of the game was that the attrition went mostly John’s way while the basing went mostly my way, with as much or more disparity between the two as I’ve ever seen. Check out the map at the end of Turn 4. And then check out the losses (withdrawn ships and reinforcements have been deleted for clarity).

The Japanese, after 4 turns, have every single base in or touching the “Full Applebaum” line of Indonesia - South Pacific – Marshalls – Hawaiians, and have flagged 3 of the 4 areas as well. But Lexington is the ONLY ship the Americans have lost outside of Pearl Harbor, while the Japanese have suffered moderate surface losses plus half their CV fleet. And this was despite my good luck in Hawaii on Turn 3, where I shot down 4 LBA without the LBA sinking or crippling a single CV. Every turn, he would miss my amphibious units, while I was able to destroy both of his last turn to save Lae and Guadalcanal (I had just taken Guad from Coral Sea after an improbable survival). But every time Japanese and American CV fought, I’d miss his and he’d sink mine, plus I lost one while suiciding it against his Marine and lost another one to the Hermes!

Thus the very odd position you see above. The POC is low, but I still have an ok position. I will get Japan, CPO, and NPO each for a single ship next turn. And if I can control South Pacific and Hawaii on Turn 5 as well, it’ll block his T6 reinforcements from Indonesia and NPO, giving me decent fall-back options and possibly even letting me gain POC on T6. However, this position was undermined when he got night against the flag in Indonesia, letting John take out my suicide carrier and sneak a Marine into the Philippines.

It looked hopeless for me at that point, so on Turn 6 I desperately tried to suicide more ships and LBA to kill some patrollers (which all failed), plus used all 3 amphibious units in Indonesia to back up my LBA. He had 10 battleships and 4 cruisers and got night the first round, but miraculously, Sasebo survived that gauntlet to take the Philippines back! His 6 LBA in Indonesia (and 2 LBA in Marianas) all had to go home, and suddenly I was back in the game if my 3 LBA could beat his 5 big CV + Hermes. However, he won that fight to send the POC down to just 7 in my favor (8 with the bid) and flip Singapore and Saigon, resulting in the position below when I surrendered.

But I still had the Philippines! I didn’t sink anything in that battle, just disabled some carriers. In fact, I sunk no US ships at all in the final 2 turns, so the Lexington was still the lone non-Pearl Harbor loss for the United States all game long.

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