From: Sachse, Texas USA
Both learning lessons from the first two games; this one started as scenario 17, 200%. By late June, IJN TFs sporting 4 CVs, first raid Townsville Australia then move with continual sighting off Koumac New Herbrides. 4 USN CVs on the the other side of the islands launch three strikes, two single CV airgroups and one 2 CV airgroup stirke vs the IJN in the Pacific War equivalaent of a surprise attacks. However due to a USN do not react setting, the USN CVs do not move so the 60 TBDs remain one hex out of range. Although 3 hexes from Noumea, the three land based fighter groups fail to provide any CAP. The IJN responds effectively. The net result to the USN is one CV sinks with 15 TBDs, 1 heavily damaged, 1 moderately damaged, and one operational with 30% systems. 3 IJN CVs seems heavily damaged and 1 IJN moderately damages. All the carrier bomber groups on both sides are depleted. USN airgroups automatically rebase at Koumac and Noumea; whereas the IJN airgroups looking for a new home are lost. In the following turns, the 3 USN CVs make it to port in one turn with 2 starting to repair floatation. One IJN CV steams north at speed and assumed depleted but operational, three hobble off at slow speeds with DD escorts. The Hornet creates a full strength composite airgroup, 3 surface TFs are formed and Koumac air force seeks revenge. In the combination of battles, the three IJN CVs are lost, 2 by surface ships, plus a handful of IJN DDs. In effect the IJN loses 3 CVs, 1 with some damage makes it to friendly waters. One USN CV is lost, one with 96% system (speed of 1 makes it pointless ot send to PH), and two are 30% systems. Sara to join in a week but the two are fragile to be put into offensive operations.
What this and my other 17 game illulstrate is scenario 17 is not War in the South Pacific. Historically there were three Carrier battles in the SoPac, all with IJN 2 CV + 1 CVL vs USN 2 CV. Most of the time with few to no CVs operating. Invasions, bombmardments, land battles were all shoestring operations. Scenario 17 allows each side to have a significant number of CVs, which shuts down all other activity. These two players feel Scenario 17 is an aberraition, using the game UCV system to play something with no facsimile to history. For some this makes it more interesting. Scenario 19 is a Japanese fantasy, as more land and air units, more IJ trained pilot replacements and at a higher experience rating.
Players, both being historical wargamers back to a 1985 SPI WITP, recognizing they wish to play War in the Pacific, concur to abort the game and and start a scenario 16, 100% game.