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Axis & Allies Miniatures Campaign: Guadalcanal
Tactical Turn 2
by David Devere & Tom Maertz

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Looking at the map for turn two you can see that almost every unit is on the move. Imperial Navy Command (players who voted for a strategic move) opted for strategy number one which was “Into the Slot.” While the capitol ships move toward sector D, Japanese reinforcements are trying to push onto Malaita and Santa Isabel. American Command issued strategy number 3, “Slot shot,” preferring to consolidate the fleet in sector H while reinforcing Malaita and attempting to land on Santa Isabel. These moves put the main Japanese and American fleets in a face off which, depending on the outcome of this week’s battles, could produce an enormous Fleet Action next turn.

But before we get too far ahead, let’s look at this week’s tickets:

Battle No. 6 is in sector F. The remainder of the American task force that attacked New Georgia has split from the battleship and headed further into Japanese waters. Two destroyers and a submarine are contesting the far end of the Slot. If they can win this battle and take minimum casualties the Americans will have the main Japanese fleet pinned between them in sector G. The Japanese have countered with a submarine two bomber squadrons and a fighter group. Players note that both sides receive one free submarine in their build.

Battle No. 7 is in sector D. The Americans successfully defended this sector last time but that hasn’t dissuaded the Japanese from pressing toward Malaita. Using a great deal of the available air power the Japanese are trying to sweep the sea zone so that the assault force bound for Malaita can get through. Japanese shore batteries on Santa Isabel are adding their fire power to the battle as two bomber squadrons and three carrier based fighter groups sweep down on the American defenders. The Americans have a strong destroyer presence in the area and are countering with three bomber squadrons and two fighter groups from Henderson field on Guadalcanal.

Battle No. 8 is in sector K. The Japanese have snuck a submarine into the sector trying to disrupt reinforcements from New Caledonia from reaching Malaita. The Americans are trying to build an airfield on the island and if successful they would start to edge the Japanese on victory points – if the sub can do enough hits, it might sink the transport carrying supplies bound for the airfield construction. Regardless of the final outcome, the Japanese submariners know they are on a one way mission. Glory to the Emperor!

Battle No. 9 is for Santa Isabel. American High Command needs to take this island. Without three islands they are at a severe economic disadvantage and since New Georgia is heavily defended Santa Isabel is the only other option. Using all the ground forces from Guadalcanal along with a carrier based fighter group the Americans are storming the beaches. But the Japanese are not easily fooled and have sent a strong reinforcement group from Choiseul to the island. Both sides are bombarding the island with fleet batteries. Japanese players note there is now an option to arm Zeros with bombs and both players note that for this battle a special off-shore bombardment rule has been added. This is an important battle for both sides. Good Luck.

Battle No. 10 is at Malaita. - The Japanese are simply hoping to contest the island to gain a foot hold. If successful, they will follow up with reinforcements either from Santa Isabel or directly from Rabaul. The Americans have a strong force landing and can’t possibly lose the island but if the Japanese are successful in creating a beachhead it would divert American attention to Malaita leaving other more important strategic attack options under weight.

Those are your orders. Remember it is now 1943. That won’t make any difference to the Japanese but it will open up a few new units to the Americans. In the land battle we’ve created a mechanic to give Zeros bombs - check the Battle Tickets for more information.

Remember to submit your results to The deadline for reporting your AAR’s is Tuesday, September 2nd 2008 at 8:00am PST. We received some great After Action reports this week. High Command will continue to include as many as possible in the turn updates. Battle Ticket art this week is compliments of US National Archives.

Download you battle tickets here!

"Last night we were shelled with naval gunfire. The air bombings are continuing despite the fact we have planes. The final total on the Jap landing is 1,300 Japs killed to 38 Marines.
We have had no mail as yet. When it rains here, the mud is up to our ankles. Twenty-one Jap planes came over today. They are coming over regularly. I wonder where their base is. We loose three Marines a day when not fighting. The First Battalion Fifth had the Japs in the hills at his mercy and they wound up ambushing us. Eighteen Marines killed. One supply ship came plus two destroyers and while we were unloading the supply ship, the Jap bombers sunk the destroyer.
I saw a cat right in back of our camp. I wonder where in the hell he came from".

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

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