Can the Americans get Santa Isabel? - turn 1



  • Looking at the game this evening I wonder if the Americans can make a realistic play for Santa Isabel, Malaita and Guadalcanal in turn 1.  Lets consider the “fixed” moves first.  The Americans have 2 trans & 2 DD at their base and six ground units.  These units have to enter the game touching GC in zones J or K.  They also have 5 bombers that can reach either GC or Malaita to support an invasion there.  With this much power, the Japanese forces will surely fall so there is no need to believe the Americans have to hold any of their forces that begin in GC on the island.

    This leaves the following forces available to the Americans in turn 1 for an invasion of Santa Isabel; 5 infantry, 3 artillery, 2 CV w/ 4 fgtrs, BB, 2 CA, 3 DD, 4 transports, an AA unit.  There are also 3 supply tokens on GC.

    Because the Japanese player moves first, the American player gets to see what the Japanese player wants to commit to the defense of Santa Isabel.  I expect to see 2 infantry and an artillery moved there on turn 1, but more or less could be sent.  However, if more is sent, there is certainly an opportunity to go after New Georgia instead.  These ground units should arrive via a transport and a destroyer into sea zone C.  Sea zone C will likely hold 2 CA, 2 DD & 1 transport.  If the Japanese use all their air power from their carriers, they will have (4 fgtrs + 3 inf + 1 arty + 2 CA) 10 dice for ground attacks after a possible air attack round.  The American sea power alone is (2 x BB + 2 x CA) 4 dice.  Add say six ground units and 4 fgtrs and you are hitting with 14 dice.  This should eliminate the five defenders and leave you with 2 arty (if you brought 3 inf and 3 arty to the island).  You should expect to win the island outright and at a cost equal to no more than your investment.

    But can you hold it?

    New Georgia is probably also well reinforced in turn 1.  Therefore you need to be mindful of weakening Guadalcanal.  But the units remaining from the invasion of Malaita should be brought up to Santa Isabel on the next turn.  You should expect to be able to move 2 infantry and 2 artillery from Malaita/GC to Santa Isabel on turn 2.  The three transports in zone H would move to zone K, but the balance of the American fleet should move to Zone H on turn 2.  This consolidation will become 2 CV w/ 4 fgtrs, 1 BB, 3 CA, 5 DD, 2 SS and the 2 transports.

    If you can acomplish this position along with a nice buildup on GC in turn 2 with reinforcements from your base you have probably earned an equal share of the remainder of the game.  Less than this and the Japanese player is ahead after the opening.

    I know this has been discussed before now.  Am I taking too many pain killers?  What is wrong with this plan?



  • New Georgia is more likely an island you could get troops to and take, both times we have tried it at least 1 Jpn inf is left, as you stated it depends on the Japanese first turn and where they go.

    Its not that Santa Isabel could not be attacked and taken but held?

    It would seem any Japanese move would likely have some reinforcements next to Santa Isabel.


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I finally got a couple of games in. My opinion thus far is that no matter what the Japanese player does the US has to make a move on Santa Isabel. How strong a move is dependent on the Japanese move of course. Whether you can hold it will depend on your reinforcement decisions and the dice. But you have to go after it.

    To leave New Georgia alone allows you to bring all of your big naval units that start off the base island into the slot. They can then add their power to both Guadalcanal and Santa Isabel.

    Malaitia can be attacked and taken just by landing enough troops. The lone INF does not need to be destroyed to rest control of the island and gain the extra reinforcement points.

    I’m not inclined to weaken the force on Guadalcanal both for the sake of being sure to have enough units to be sure to get the Japanese off the island and to be sure to have enough units left in case all the defenders get hits. Removing those INF and gaining the supplies is pretty important. The two supplies you capture are worth the same as gaining New Georgia without spreading your forces too thin.

    There isn’t any big advantage I see in having the airfield on Malaitia as opposed to a second one on Guadalcanal after turn 1. No sense taking up the Transport space moving those 3 supplies that start on Guadalcanal.



  • @frimmel:

    There isn’t any big advantage I see in having the airfield on Malaitia as opposed to a second one on Guadalcanal after turn 1. No sense taking up the Transport space moving those 3 supplies that start on Guadalcanal.

    Except for the VP point it gives and the ability to have at least two more airplanes closer to the fight. The way those VP points add up per turn the third airfield quickly might just put you ahead early. I am still trying to damage an airfield but have been unsuccessful so far.


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    I completely agree that you have to get a third airfield up as soon as possible.

    I don’t think there is an advantage to not building the first US field on Guadalcanal instead of trying to move the supplies to build on Malaitia or Santa Isabel.

    There are only 3 US supplies and 2 Japanese supplies to start so you are only going to build one on the first turn. If you plan for building with your three supplies no matter whether or not you capture the Japanese supplies it is easier to adjust in your reinforcement phase. It allows you the option of returning a TRN or two back to base depending on how much you want to go to SI with.

    Now I think an aggressive move depending on what the J player does is to try for New Georgia and its supply token. Take two of the US off GCNL and be sure to leave enough Offense there to take the island and the supplies. Hit New G hard enough to take it and its supply and build two airfields on US 1.

    But I think the J player is smart to back that supply off and use it themselves to get their own second airfield up on turn 1.



  • I play tested the second turn and I like the US position even better.  I’m not going to give away my thoughts on turn 2 just yet.  The more I look at the game, the more I enjoy it.  One element that has particularly captured my imagination is the fact that forces can remain in the same zone after a turn.  This makes this game so much different than AAR.



  • Staying in the same zone just like AA D day, its a combat system that D Day introduced and back then we tried to use it for AAE, it slows down the march on the front lines (sometimes to WWI preportions), but adding AAG movement system should make for an interesting change.

    I liked that D Day allowed for units to remain “locked in combat” and unable to disengage, more like real combat as opposed to the retreat or fight to the death battles of previous A&A games.



  • I’m just saying, it can be done. My bro abandoned gaudalcanal as Americans, sent all there was there to Santa isabel. Naval units and bombers hammered the jap infantry there, killing them all. Malatia was an easy go, because it’s right by his troop and transport concentrations. That really hurt. But i’m just saying it can be done, even if it was risky to leave guadalcanal purely to naval bombardment and aerial ordnance.



  • @Herr:

    […]
    My bro abandoned gaudalcanal as Americans …  even if it was risky to leave guadalcanal purely to naval bombardment and aerial ordnance.

    That seems a little bit to risky in my eyes. If you have no land unit on Guadalcanal and one japanese survive, than you have a really big problem.
    I had that situation in one of a couple of games on weekend: attacked the three japanese infantry with 15 dices and got only two hits … 😞


  • Official Q&A 2007 AAR League

    @Croggyl:

    @Herr:

    […]
    My bro abandoned gaudalcanal as Americans …  even if it was risky to leave guadalcanal purely to naval bombardment and aerial ordnance.

    That seems a little bit to risky in my eyes. If you have no land unit on Guadalcanal and one japanese survive, than you have a really big problem.
    I had that situation in one of a couple of games on weekend: attacked the three japanese infantry with 15 dices and got only two hits … 😞

    You must leave at least four land units on Guadalcanal. If you are going to move all of your ships out of the slot or Sea zone K you will have to leave more units on the island. The possible disaster while not likely isn’t worth the risk.

    The other advantage to not completely clearing G’canal is you can have at least 1 if not two Transports to return to base from either SZ J or K and dependent on what you want to go to Santa Isabel with.

    A move on Santa Isabel is needed to get even in reinforcement points. You will get control of Malaitia with just landing two units and bringing your cruiser up from the base. Even with missing the Japanese infantry.

    Picking a fight at Santa Isabel is required. The Japanese can’t get any of their land attack Naval support up so US ships in the slot will confer an advantage in the pretty much even in land units battle.



  • @frimmel:

    […]
    Picking a fight at Santa Isabel is required. The Japanese can’t get any of their land attack Naval support up so US ships in the slot will confer an advantage in the pretty much even in land units battle.

    Not only Santa Isabel. I think, the american player also should go to New Georgia to give pressure from the first move on. I played a couple of games last weekend as american, my friend played defensive as japanese, combined with very fast building of airfields (one in first round, two in round two, the fifth in round three) which means you have a short play of four, perhaps five rounds.

    Seems that the american player must

    • build airfield as fast as the japanese (to hold step on victory points)
    • build many transport and ground units to invade New Georgia
    • and damage at least one airfield from round three on (or destroy a capitel ship, which also isn’t a easy task) to eliminate the japanese advantage of five airfield against four for US.

    That also means that the american have only round three (perhaps round five too) for heavy attack as second player.
    That seems a very narrow time slot to launch an attack. We tried to play to 30 victory points, but is seem the same problem: If the american can’t get New Georgia, he will lose.

    Perhaps the american can build airfields slower and build more ground units to attack New Georgia successfully, but that I will know after the next games tomorrow … 🙂

    Have a nice week!
    Croggyl



  • Well, I mush admit that sounds ambitious right now.  I am thinking about going after New Georgia in round two, three or four.  I guess I need to get back and run a few sample games this weekend myself.


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