Eleven total participants gave us 11 total games played.
The first round had 10 players in 5 games while the second round had 7 players stick around and one new player join in for more 4 games. The third round then became a de facto semifinal round with top seeded Chris Crane playing fourth seeded Paul Gaberson and the second seeded Chris Thibault taking on the third seeded Craig Yope.
In semifinal #1, Paul's opening drive into Northern India was stymied by the successful play of an Allied Ambush card (US Army Breaks Japanese Army Codes). This allowed the Allies to flood northern Burma with Chinese army units and significantly delay the Japanese advance in the CBI.
While the Japanese were working to reconstitute their offensive forces, the Allies marched up through New Guinea to Hollandia and staged for an assault on Rabaul to capture the Australian Mandates. Turn 6 opened with the Rabaul attack which encountered some bad weather.
The Japanese renewed its advance into Northern India and eventually succeeded towards the end of Turn 6. By then, though, the Allies had once again attacked at Rabaul and were finally able to take it. They then had started poking at port hexes in range of Tokyo without success.
Turn 7 began with the Japanese shifting their remaining armies towards the South Pacific Theater in a defensive bid. The Allies staged a massive offensive against the Marshall Islands with an Olympic & Coronet card play. This effort was a partial success with the capture of Kwajalein. But a follow up sneak attack on Eniwetok was needed to secure the island before Japanese reinforcements could arrive in strength.
For the rest of turn 7, the Allies largely shifted posture to consolidate a hold on its gains. It then took another stab at Samar/Leyte for the port but was beaten back. Ultimately, the Japanese ran out of cards and wasn't able to marshal enough strength for a counterattack against the secured allied positions. The final score was +3 for an Allied Tactical Victory by Chris.
In the second semifinal early Turn 5 saw the shifting of ground forces by both sides in preparation for operations in their favored theaters of fighting: the CBI for the Japanese and New Guinea for the Allies. The Allies pushed into Lae and then Madang while the Japanese went full out on Akyab with a little help from Colonel Tsuji. Japanese troops poured into Wewak but the Allies bypassed that port in favor of a jungle march on Hollandia. Baffled IJA commanders hesitated and missed an opportunity to strike to the rear of this thrust and isolate the Allies. Their focus is fully on taking Dacca as the earlier success at Akyab left them virtually unscathed. Another glorious victory leaves them in control of the port and cuts off the whole of Northern India.
The rest of Turn 5 sees the Allies cleaning up most of New Guinea but more importantly the Japanese are able to draw another China Offensive event card to compliment the Chiang Kai-shek Future Offensive card that they already possessed. Couple this with another 3OC card pulled during the turn and you are looking at a chance to take China out of the game. The roll is successful and the Japanese are overjoyed!!!
Turn 6 starts with the Allies receiving one less card due to the collapse of China but the tables are evened out by the Allies Submarine Warfare roll. The Allies continue their work of taking all of New Guinea and the find time to start the pairing down of the IJN, especially the naval air. The Japanese are forced to scramble hard to cover likely landing spots and spread their sparse air units as best they can. Even then there are still holes in the net that the Allies look to exploit.
Throughout the game the Japanese are rarely out of ISR but were are able to keep the Allies out of agreement most of the game too. This is enough of a hindrance to Allied plans that the Japanese are able to parry most of their advances. Turn 6 ends with New Guinea fully in Allied hands and US forces landing on New Britain. The Japanese have taken most of Northern India and have tried to strengthen the myriad of possible targets in range of Allied units in the South Pacific.
Turn 7 see the Allies again down a card but the Japanese get their full allotment after the sub roll fails. This will end up being a key issue for the Allies.
The Allies quickly come to agreement but are just as quickly put back into disarray by the Japanese. This proves to be the death knell for Allied plans since they just don’t have enough remaining cards to do all they need to do. Rabaul falls but the Marshalls don’t and their last gasp of taking Tainan is useless since it will be out of supply and the Japanese retain multiple cards to most likely regain it even if it were in supply.
The final score ends up being +8 for a Japanese Tactical Victory by Craig Yope.
After two tight games in which Chris Crane and Craig Yope won, an executive decision was made by the GM (Craig Yope) to declare Chris Crane the event winner since he was leaving Saturday morning.
Thanks to those who participated and big thanks to Paul Gaberson for helping.