Before I detail the initial action of the campaign, I will cover some of the rules contained within the book (see previous post).
There are 6 bi-weekly turns with an optional turn 0 being the Force Z sortie. I have opted to include turn 0, which as it turns out, is a useful introduction into the campaign mechanism. Anybody aware of the initial moves by Japan will understand that this is a very one-sided affair. The ABDA (America, Britain, Dutch and Australia) navies were hopelessly outgunned at this stage of the war. The allies have no hope of defeating the Japanese outright, but they do have a chance of winning the campaign by amassing victory points.
The central core of this is disrupting Japanese invasion and resupply fleets. This potentially prevents Japan achieving its historical objectives.
Each turn is broken down into a number of phases:
1. General Intelligence
2. Japanese Theatre Events
3. Allied/ABDA Theatre Events
4. Weather Forecast
5. Japanese Command Decisions
6. Allied/ABDA Intelligence
7. Allied/ABDA Command Decisions
8. Japanese Intelligence
a. Weather determination and time of day
b. Engagements resolution (resolved in order as below)
i Roll for ship availability
ii Resolve Carrier Group vs. Carrier Group attacks
iii Resolve Carrier Group vs. Surface attacks
iv Resolve Land Based Air attacks
v Resolve Japanese Patrol vs. Allied/ABDA Sweeps
vi Resolve Allied/ABDA Sweeps vs. Japanese Convoys
vii Resolve IJN Carrier Group follow-up attacks vs. disabled Allied/ABDA surface groups
viii Resolve Land Based Air follow-up attacks vs. disabled Allied/ABDA surface groups
10. Repair, Bookkeeping and Victory Determination
The book provides details of orders of battle for each turn and the events section follows historical and optional a-historical deployments. I will cover the above in more detail as the campaign progresses.
A note regarding the air element of the campaign. Originally, I intended to play any air actions using the main rules in GQ3. However, on re-reading those rules I came across the campaign air rules which I had not paid any attention to in the past. These are a simplified set of rules and allows for a speedier play-through providing more time for the naval aspect. To avoid getting too bogged down, for most air actions I intend to use this version of the rules, but may occasionally revert to the full set as the mood takes me. I may even use Bag the Hun for air-to-air combat if I get really inspired!