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Axis & Allies Miniatures Campaign: Guadalcanal
Tactical Turn 1
by David Devere & Tom Maertz

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The votes are in – your strategy has been implemented. The Imperial Navy has been ordered to New Georgia by an overwhelming decision by the Imperial Council (meaning you, the players). The votes were: 4 for Santa Isabel Push, 13 for New Georgia All and much to the dismay of Japanese High Command here at headquarters, 5 votes for Hold it All. The Americans are also going to New Georgia. High Command has been ordered to take the islands. It seems that the potential for making two airfields on the island group out weighed all other options. The votes were: 4 for Take out Santa, 14 for Southern States and only 2 for Combo Platter.

Let’s take a look at the action:

Battle No. 1 our first Fleet Action is in the northeast corner in an otherwise quiet sector. The Japanese sent a destroyer and submarine into the area, and not to be outdone the Americans have countered with a destroyer and bomber. American High Command was puzzled by the destroyer Captain’s move as he was slated for carrier screen duty. If the Battle No. 2 results in the loss of a carrier you can be guaranteed that particular destroyer Captain will be pushing pencils somewhere in the rear.
*Japanese players note you receive a free submarine for this battle. If the free sub is lost include it in the points destroyed total on the After Action Report.

Battle No. 2 our second Fleet Action is in sector H - one of two sectors comprising the all important Slot. The American carrier was destined to move to H as the New Georgia plans dictated but the Japanese decided to directly contest the position by committing all available carrier squadrons and a Cruiser in an attempt destroy one of two American carriers. The Americans have countered with all available carrier squadrons and a cruiser. This battle is significant. The strong move to New Georgia by both combatants makes control of the eastern Slot a significant advantage.

Battle No. 3 our first land battle is for Guadalcanal. While it is unlikely the Japanese can continue to hold out much longer on the island it is imperative that the Americans wipe out all Japanese ground forces. The Japanese supplies on Guadalcanal are needed to build an additional airfield and since the total number of airfields controlled at the end of a turn score victory points, getting two for the Americans the first turn is important.

Battle No. 4 is for the island of Malaita. You almost feel sorry for the Japanese defender. He has little or no hope for winning against the American bombers, infantry and artillery. The Americans are so cocky that they are diverting supplies from Guadalcanal to Malaita in anticipation of building an airfield there next turn. But not all hope is lost for the Japanese defender. If the Japanese take the objective they will score one hit on the strategic board. If the average results from all the battles for Malaita show the Japanese having the most wins they will score a hit. We use the number of hits scored to randomly determine which unit is killed on the strategic map. So fight hard Japanese soldiers – after all there is no retreat.

Battle No. 5 is this turn’s main event - the battle for New Georgia. Both sides have committed themselves to taking the island. For the Americans it is an important conquest both economically and strategically. For the Japanese it is possibly home to a new airfield. Either way whoever takes control of the islands will be able to dominate the western approaches to The Slot. The Americans have sent everything they could to wrestle control from the Japanese but the defenders won’t go easily. They outnumber the Americans and they are sending supplies to build an airfield. The stakes for control of New Georgia are very high.

Before you take to the field I wanted to let you in on how we are going to calculate the results for this campaign. In the last campaign the battles were often uneven because we used a formula based attack value for determining what units were on the board to calculate the points for the tickets. In this campaign all the tickets are equal and we are putting more emphasis on capturing objectives. Since the Guadalcanal board game uses a battle box to randomize hits we are going to use the same box but we will determine the number of hits by the number of objectives taken and the number of enemy units you were able to destroy. So when playing a ticket be mindful that capturing the objective is almost as good as destroying all of your opponent’s forces. In smaller battles like this week’s #4, Malaita, it is the difference between success and failure.

Remember to submit your results to The deadline is Monday August 18th 2008 at 8:00am PST. You have two weekends and one full week to play the battles. Play and report them as often as you like. Feel free to play them using house rules as long as both players agree before the match and if no opponent is handy solitaire play is also allowed. In the end play, and report; the success of the Online Campaign game resides with you.

Download you battle tickets here!

“The jungle is thick as hell. The Fifth regiment landed first and marched to the airport. We went straight through and then cut over to block the escape of the Japs. It took 3 days to go 6 miles. Japs took off, left surplus first day which was done away with.

The second day was murder. All along the way were discarded packs, rifles, mess gear and everything imaginable. The second night it rained like hell and the bugs were terrible. The Second Battalion had reached the Lunga River. We had to cross four streams.

The third day we came back. The Japs had beat us in their retreat. We took up beach defense positions. We have been bombed every day by airplanes and a submarine shells us every now and then.”

Excerpt from the diary of:
Sgt. James A. Donahue
United States Marine Corps.
First Marine Division (H-2-1)

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