Quick game summary for anyone interested:
This was definitely one of the better G40 games I’ve played in awhile. Germany did a standard opening, clearing out the British fleets in 110 and 111 with ease and building a couple ships itself. The allies responded by sending the British in against the Italians with success, knocking out most of their fleet. The US built up a major fleet off the east coats to warn off any attempt by the Germans to slide down to Gibraltar and control the Atlantic and Med. I’ve seen this happen where Germany can block any allied approach to west coast of Europe and the slowly wear down the USSR for the win.
Anyhow, the US pushed the German fleet back into the Baltic where it stayed more or less the rest of the game. The German air force did manage to sink the remnant UK fleet in the Med, resulting a more or less stalemate in that arena with the UK firmly in control of Cairo. The Axis invasion of Russia never got very far given the allied pressure from the Atlantic, and by turn 5 the European Axis were fairly well contained.
In the Pacific however things went much differently. Japan went J1, taking out Hon, Phi, and Bor. As a result India never got going and got pushed out of Ind rather easily. The US and Anzac spent time building up ground forces to defend the VC’s but otherwise provided only annoying, small counter attacks for the first few rounds. Once Japan had completed its conquest of India and the DEI, Japan pulled a surprise move and went for Sydney for the win. Generally, Sydney is the harder in my estimation given the distance, but Japan effectively began moving its units into position.
The US responded to the situation with a desperate attack against the main Japanese fleet in the Carolines. The battle was a success in as much as the US didn’t get killed and managed to trade fleets with Japan. This worked to the US advantage in as much as the US started spending 100% of its income now in the Pacific and would eventually wear out Japan, as Japan, even at its heightened income, could not fend off everybody. Indeed, just as Japan lurched toward Sydney the UK had a resurgence and was pushing a major force across the Middle East to threaten India. So the game came down to a question of timing. Could Japan take Sydney before the Allies came crashing in from all sides? (Even the Chinese were coming back with Russian help.)
Well, alas, despite some desperate last minute battles in Australia itself, Japan managed to crush the Anzac defenders in a remarkably dice neutral battle. The last hope for the Allies was for the UK to storm India. They had I think a 45% chance of victory, not great but if luck were to come to the rescue… but it did not. The UK got completely routed by the dice round 1 of the battle to the tune of 7 UK hits to 18 Japan hits. The game was over…
I think the Allies were one turn too short in coming back to the Pacific. Mr. Green deftly expedited Japan’s advance through the Pacific and go the jump on the poor Allies.