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Mark Herman's Wargaming Blog
Tuesday, 29 January 2008
Topic: Empire of the Sun
Its a long way to Tip a Wari...

Okay, convince me how what we are seeing is not an indictment of the realism of this game? Historically Japan did not possess anything like the logistical capacity to invade Australia. This is just as bad as Bulge games where the Germans always run wild in the north.

I am not trying to convince you of anything, but here is what I was thinking when I allowed for this specific option in the design. There are three points here, the current game situation, history and the design.

In this game Darwin is a bit undermanned as the location starts the game with a Corps not a reduced Brigade. So, the risk was taken and accepted by the Japanese.

Historically, the Japanese were not capable of taking all of Australia, which is reflected in the rules that Australian units do not leave play if the Northern coast of the country is captured. On the other hand, the Japanese did contemplate neutralizing Australia by conquering the Northern portion of the country (the part of Australia on the map). The Japanese did put a serious effort into capturing Moresby (e.g., Coral Sea and Kokoda Trail offensive) as they wanted to isolate Australia from US aid, which was the impetus for their plans in this area. Darwin in particular was vulnerable to Japanese attack and was on a couple of occasions subjected to Japanese air strikes. The Japanese Kido Butai operated in the area in the early part of the war giving them naval superiority, so it was only a matter of will not opportunity that they didn't invade Darwin.

From a design perspective this is another path not taken, although what might have happened if Port Moresby had fallen early in the war is anyone's guess. As the Japanese did seriously look at the option I put it in the game. I did make sure that this was not a free lunch. By displacing an HQ forward the Japanese with some effort (a card or two) can extend their logistic network to enable a serious offensive toward Australia or Hawaii. On the other hand this kind of HQ (logistic) re-orientation both precludes the other option and creates weaknesses in other portions of the Japanese position.

My critieria for including something like this in a design is was it possible? Was it contemplated by one side and feared by the other. My view on all three is yes and why it is in EoTS.

Enjoy, Mark

Posted by markherman at 7:33 PM EST
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