Easter - that's four days of wargaming! Andreas Ludwig and I used it to play another EotS game, he again being the Japanese and I playing the US and their Allies. The game ended in an US desaster and an early Japanese victory in turn 5!
The game started not too bad for me, Japan failed to eliminate the fleets at Pearl Harbor. During the next offensive, the Japanese got a foothold in the Philippines, captured Wake, and we were eventually kicked out of the Western Pacific. The British lost Malaya and the Dutch East Indies were overrun. After the first few turns, the US were reduced to Australia, New Guinea and Oahu. This isn't an uncommon situation, but beginning with turn 2, my cards left me down. This is the backdraw of a card driven game - and something which usually leads to the thrilling variety card-driven games offer. Most of the times, players can cope with a bad hand, but the Japanese were extremely aggressive and extremly lucky whereas I met various obstacles in addition to a lousy card hand.
Almost all of my Sent-to-Europe units were sent to Europe. Due to Japanese card play, my delay was heavy from the beginning of the game, denying me precious reinforcements.
When I tried to recapture Rabaul, I managed to flip 3 Japanese carriers due to fortunate die rolls on both sides, but this didn't impress the Japanese because they immediately repaired these losses with a carrier card. In turn 5, my Political Will was at a dangerous level of 4 and I suffered from inter-service rivalry since turn 4. In addition, I was in desperate need of some good offensive cards.
I had to capture 4 locations this turn in order to satisfy the US population by Progress of War - it was too dangerous to loose another Will Point. When I failed to recapture Rabaul, I had only 2 ASP left - not enough to capture the required 4 locations. The inter-service rivalry was a huge problem because I couldn't conduct any large operation and had to use the small ANZAC HQ for minor operations when I wanted to use all my forces. The Japanese fleet was in full strength and ready for action and I began to realize that I couldn't get the 4 locations I needed to fulfill the Progress of War condition this turn.
I recaptured two strategic hexes which were left empty by the Japanese Player and accepted that I would lose 1 Will Point this turn. Then, the Japanese player played "Aquino", lowering my Political Will by 1 Point. Andreas' final action was playing Tojo, lowering the Will by another 2 points. My only option now was to liberate Malaya, thus raising my Will again, but I wasn't able to conduct such a large operation - and lost in the National Status Phase when the Will fell to Zero.
It was a tough game for the US who were hindered since the beginning. Andreas' Japanese were extremely strong and well supported by their card hand and die rolls. Nevertheless, the game was interesting, tense and fun and we restarted immediately (this time, the Japanese failed to conquer the Philippines and achieved the worst possible outcome at Pearl Harbor).
Stay tuned for more EotS reports ;)
The Pacific, ruled by Andreas' Japanese: