Down to the Wire
Mark and Chris battle in the
Chris thinks Pearl Harbor was
more fun than defending Japan.
Defending champion Dennis Culhane got through the first round
with the Japanese (1942 year scenario) as did Paul Gaberson.
There was one other Japanese victory with Chris Byrd and Mark
Popofsky advancing to the second round with Allied victories.
The Japanese won three of the five opening round games; only
one of which experienced a bid for sides with a bid of 1 for
the Japanese in that case.. The second round was a tensely fought
set of struggles resulting in two Allied victories (one with
a bid of 3; the other zero) in the 1943 year scenario.
This resulted in a Final (42 campaign start) with Mark Popofsky
as the Allies facing off against Chris Byrd.. Chris' Japanese
got off to a very strong start capturing the DEI on Turn 2 (1st
turn of the scenario) with a subsequent strong effort into the
CBI. The Allies slowly climbed back into the game as their reinforcements
entered the fray while the Japanese continued to make a significant
push in the CBI.
By mid-game the struggle had settled into an asymmetric board
position with a heavily weighted Japanese attack in the CBI supported
by a thin holding force in the Central Pacific. The Allies were
quick to exploit the Central Pacific with an early fall of Rabaul
and Truk, quickly followed by the fall of Saipan by mid-43. The
Japanese got compensation for their strategy when they captured
Northern India on Turn 5 followed by a double Ghandi play which
saw India Surrender on Turn 6 after the Allies failed by the
slimmest of margins to retake Dacca.
After conquering India, the Japanese repositioned to halt
the Allied advance with a war of attrition. While the new Japanese
defense perimeter was being formed, the Allies exploited a small
chink in the Japanese armor when they made a bold attack into
the center of the Japanese position. In one of the toughest fights
in memory, the Allies got a force into Formosa by winning the
largest air-naval battle of the war to date. With Allied forces
within striking distance, the Allies used their ever growing
forces to smash Japanese air and naval strength.
However, the fight was not out of the Japanese who managed
to contest every inch (hex) as the Allies geared up for the inevitable
invasion of Japan. In an ending that could not have been scripted
better, the Allies invaded Japan on Turn 12 and managed in a
tough series of battles to take the last hex of Japan on the
last card of the game, giving Popofsky the victory and the championship.
An amazing match between two top competitors. I can't wait
for the rematch. See you all there.