Friday, August 26, 2005

Empire of the Sun (Dennis Menear)

This was the first ever attempt at EoTS. Dennis played the Allies, and I played the Japanese.

We started with 1941. As it turns out, I believe that allowing the Japanese to run their own first turn tends to unbalance the game a bit. Improved Allied play and some PW adjustments will probably eventually bring this back into balance, but in this case, the Japanese initial position was just too much to overcome.

Turn 1

The Pearl Harbor attack yeilds less than stellar results. IAI has significantly better luck. Hong Kong falls. FEAF is eliminated and the 19th LRB is reduced, while much of the Phillipines is taken in amphibious landings, including Mindanao. Force Z is damaged, but manages to limp back to Singapore. Wake, Guadalcanal, and Rabaul all fall into Japanese hands. The Japanese land forces in Borneo and Sumatra.

Turn 2

As 1942 dawns, the Japanese focus on eliminating all air and naval forces in the DEI, Malaya, Burma and Phillipines, to make their conquest more smooth. Coordinated attacks on air-naval targets at Singapore, Manila, and Borneo are coupled with landings on Borneo. Manila still possess limited air presence but Borneo is seized and Singapore is opened to Japanese ground forces.

The Allied naval froces raid into the Marshall islands, where they are met by the main Japanese carrier force. It does not go well for the Japanese and only the limited Allied naval stregnth prevents a total disaster.

A second Japanese offensive sees the last vestiges of Allied air power in Manila eliminated, the AVG eliminated in Rangoon, Japanese ground forces inside Rangoon and Soerbaja, and Japanese ground forces at the gates of Singapore.

A series of raids throughout the turn eliminates the Dutch air force, leaves the Dutch navy hanging by a thread, and places the Japanese army at the outskirts of Tjilitap.

Turn 3

The Japanese receive another infusion of good campaign cards, and set about completing their conquest of the DEI, Burma, Malaya, and the Phillipines.

The first Japanese offensive finishes off the Dutch navy, opening up Tjilitap for assault, and it quickly falls. Oilfields on New Guinea are seized, and only Manila and Palembang hold out, among the Japanese resource hexes.

Soon afterward, Singapore, Manila, and Palembang fall, after which the Japanese begin shuttling their forces into defensive positions on the perimiter of their empire, awaiting hammer blows from the US. Forces are moved forward to the Marshalls, and Tarawa is invaded.

The Allies begin to fight over Guadalcanal, but the Japanese forces are tenacious, and air and naval support is available to make the going rough.

An unfortunate battle in Rangoon eliminates most of the Allied land forces in Burma, and by turn's end, the country is conquered.

Turn 4

The Japanese have ceased outward expansion and are husbanding their resources for defensive purposes. Guadalcana remains the focus of Allied efforts, but an unfortunate result turns back their initial invasion, chewing up precious ASPs and denting their growing naval power.

The Allies attack Rangoon and completely eliminate the entire Japanese land force in Burma, leaving the gate to South East Asia wide open momentarily. Reinforcements are rushed from Korea and the home islands to Bangkok, where they will make a last stand. Luckily, the forbidding terrain will slow the Allied approach to the city and leave them vulnerable. Indeed, as their forces arrive at the outskirts of Bangkok, the Japanese counter-attack, all but wiping out the British navy in the process.

When the Allies finally reach Bangkok, both sides are too tired to fight effectively, and the battle is inconclusive, but leaves the Japanese in possession of the city, and leaves their forces mostly intact.

Turn 5

Allied Political Will is at +2 to start the turn.

The Allies turn their attention to Java, and attempt a landing at Soerbaja, which is roughly treated in an Air-Naval battle, and turned back. They find themselves without enough naval power in the area, and must shuttle some forward from rear bases.

Meanwhile, the Japanese begin to pull back the vulnerable outer edges of their empire to provide a garrison for crucial areas, such as Formosa.

Turn 6

Allied Political Will is at +1, having missed Progress of War in the previous turn. Japanese efforts will be focused on preventing progress. An offensive-cancelling card is safely tucked away as a "future offensive" and another is in this turn's hand, which should make things difficult for the Allies.

The Allies start the turn promisingly, taking Soerbaja. Attempts to take the remaining areas of Java are turned back, however, and offensive progress in the DEI stalls.

A follow-up attack on Bangkok yeilds similar inconclusive results on the ground. Bangkok remains in Japanese hands and the Allies lack the ground forces to press the attack.

At this point it is clear that the Allies will never make progress of war and they sue for peace.


This was a learning game for both of us, and we made many mistakes, strategically, tactially, and rules-wise. The Allied learning curve is clearly steeper, since they have to crack open the Japanese defenses and often don't have that much with which to do it. Coupled with the 1941 opening, which enables Japan to significantly improve on historical results, it was too much to accomplish. Both of us are looking forward to the rematch, which will be played using the 1942 start.

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