From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
The one thing that shaped this game was my expectation/belief that PzH was not only a real auto-victory risk, but that he would definitely pursue the strategy. I knew he was good and aggressive, and I also felt sure he would draw on the able advice of players like Nemo, et al.
But its clear form PzH's AAR that he wasn't shooting for auto victory.
In effect, we were playing two different games. You can justifiably fault me for not recognizing the "lay of the land" more quickly. Or you might recognize and agree that it is really a fundamentally different game if the Japanese player is shooting for auto victory and is capable of achieving it. I think AV in Scenario Two is a definite possiblity. I think PzH arguably has the skill and aggression levels to pose a risk. He came uncomfortably close, partly aided and abetted by my style of play. A more bold (and gifted) Allied player could have parried and thrusted more effectively, but there's also a chance that had I played more boldy, I would have aided and abetted my own destruction.
As it was, the Allies were in good shape to avoid AV. In fact, the Allies were in very good shape everywhere but China, and even there the Allies had done pretty doggone well. The Allied navy and airforce was intact. The Allies had very strong bases in some important places - NE India, Diego, Cocos Island, and beginning to build in SoPac. Going forward, the Allies were going to be in good shape (with the probable exception of China, which is a noteworthy exception).
PzH was building an elaborate "trap" in NoPac and was hoping to draw me in there. But I wasn't coming. Ever (or, from a practical standpoint, at any point that would have mattered). I'm pretty sure the Allied offensives of late '42 would have focused on the New Guinea area and NE India.