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Axis & Allies Miniatures Campaign: Guadalcanal
Tactical Turn 4
by David Devere & Tom Maertz

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There isn’t any way the Japanese can win this campaign. Turn three’s large naval battle in The Slot determined their fate. But the Japanese Navy was lucky enough to have a majority of their ships damaged and not sunk and they were dutifully repaired. Now the Imperial Navy is out for revenge.

The Americans voted to “Finish the Job” and are attacking the last two Japanese held islands of New Georgia and Choiseul. To properly support this attack the Americans have had to move their fleet into sector F. The Japanese have anticipated the move and are reinforcing Choiseul, and contesting the critically important sea zones of sectors F and G.

Here are your orders:

Battle #16 is in Sector G. The Americans are attempting to land four Marine brigades onto New Georgia, two via destroyers from Santa Isabel and two from the assault task force in sector I. The Japanese are attempting to counter this move by deploying a destroyer and a fighter squadron to the sector but the Americans have fighter cover too; two squadrons from Guadalcanal. The outcome of this battle will have a direct effect on who controls New Georgia at the end of the turn.

Battle #17 is all about revenge. Last turn the Japanese pushed far into the American half of The Slot only to be defeated by superior American air forces. In our final turn it’s the Americans that have pushed, possibly too far, into the Japanese side of The Slot. The Japanese now have superior numbers. Can they repel the American invasion fleet and restore their maritime honor? You decide. Again High Command suggests using four full map sheets for this battle – a great configuration is four map sheets using sides that show the coast line. Put together it makes for an interesting channel between the maps in the center. Place objectives equally across the center line.

Battle #18 is in Sector H. A lone Japanese cruiser is attempting to cover the lone Japanese transport off the coast of Guadalcanal. An American submarine and destroyer are on station to make sure they familiarize themselves with Iron Bottom Sound.

Battle #19 is for New Georgia. The Marines are attacking from two sides – from sector I and sector G. The naval battle in sector G will determine how many Americans hit the beaches but either way this battle will happen – there is no stopping the Americans this time. In the first turn of the campaign they tried to take New Georgia, now in the last turn they mean to succeed. Commander’s note: This is a 100 point vs. 100 point battle.

Battle #20 is for Choiseul. This is the last of the Japanese controlled islands. If the Americans can win here they can sweep the Japanese from the Solomons. But success of this battle will again be determined by how well the American navy does in safely delivering the Marines. Choiseul might be undefended when, or if, the Americans arrive. Battle #16 will determine if the Japanese reinforcements from New Georgia arrive or are sent to the bottom by American fighter squadrons. It’s all up to the Navies of both sides as they try to repel the landings.

This is the last turn of the campaign. A victor has already been determined – but you are now fighting for honor, fighting to finish the job, to see what you started completed. Urge your men back to their battle stations one more time, to take up arms again and fight for their country, their comrades, and themselves. As always, submit your After Action Reports to The deadline is Monday, October 20th, 2008 at 8:00am PST. Battle Ticket art this week is compliments of US National Archives.

“Again we were bombed today. The artillery pounded us all day. Our guns replied. The purpose was seen later on when the Japs tried to crash through our lines at 5th, 2nd area. We demolished seven of their tanks. Our dive bombers raised hell with them. They hit an ammunition dump which burnt well into the night. Our torpedo boats now have torpedoes, so we do not expect any more shelling. Most of the men have cots now except those who are in the front lines, where it would be suicide to lay above the ground. Flying shrapnel would get you. Jungle fever is predominant here. Again today the Jap artillery pounded our front lines. We believe them to be five inch guns which they salvaged off their sinking transports. The Japs are very good with artillery. They found our range and scored a direct hit on our 75mm. Our guns blazed their answer. In the last engagement 1,400 Japs dead, seven Marine casualties.”

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

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