Leyte Gulf: "... the world wonders ..."

Introduction: The desperate Japanese plan at Leyte Gulf to use their carriers as bait in order to attack the American landing force with their still powerful battle fleet came close to success. In the resulting battle, which was the largest and most chaotic in history, the Imperial Japanese navy was virtually destroyed and Japanís fate was sealed.

Duration: Allied Fall 1944 movement and combat phases.

Situation: The Allies have taken a full offensive on the Southeast Asian front. All areas and units are considered fully supplied throughout the scenario.

Controlled Areas:

Japan controls Kagoshima, the Philippines, and Brunei.

The Allies control the West Caroline Island group and all of New Guinea.

Special Rules:

∑       Japan and the U.S. have each added one tactical Magic card; Magic cards are drawn normally during scenario setup.

∑       Play is restricted to the controlled areas and the sea hexes around them.

∑       No base changes or patrols are allowed.

∑       The Allied naval units that begin in Hollandia must form a single TF and attempt to invade Leyte with both infantry units.

∑       All Japanese naval forces must attempt to intercept the Allied invasion in the invasion hex (Leyte). These interceptions must follow the shortest possible paths (eleven hexes from Kagoshima, six hexes from Brunei), and are deemed to be successful.

∑       Any U.S. counter-interception attempts by surface naval units from Palau Korar (Z25) to Samar (X22) or to any hex adjacent to Samar are deemed to be successful (EXCEPTION: Submarines roll normally).

∑       In acknowledgment of the historical kamikaze attacks at Leyte Gulf, Japanese kamikazes have an operational range of four hexes from any air base in the Philippines (an exception to 17.462). Japan is deemed to have made no prior kamikaze attacks.

∑       Except for naval units that are automatically screened, Japan may not screen naval units during fleet combat.

∑       Japan may not withdraw from any naval combat until at least two rounds of combat (including fleet combat or an air strike launched against a combat group) have occurred. This restriction does not apply to damaged ships, and is removed entirely if both ground units invading Leyte have been destroyed.

Research and Production:

Japan:

∑       ASW result: -2

∑       Naval Air Training Rate: 7

Western Allies:

∑       Torpedoes result: +2

∑       Radar result: +1

∑       Air Defense result: +1

∑       Combat Training Level: 2

∑       Air Nationality DRM: 3

∑       Naval Nationality DRM: 3

Japanese Forces:

∑       Brunei: Musashi (BB5), Yamato (BB5), Nagato (BB4), Haruna (BC3), Kongo (BC3), Fuso (BB3), Yamashiro (BB3), CA16, DD3

∑       Kagoshima: 6 NAS, Zuikaku (CV), Chitose (CVL), Chiyoda (CVL), Zuiho (CVL), Hyuga (BB3), Ise (BB3), CA12, DD3

∑       Any hexes in the Philippines: 4 AAF, airbase

∑       Leyte: 2-2

∑       Any convenient location: 5 kamikazes (see 17.461)

American Forces:

∑       Lae: 3 AAF, 18 CVE, California (BB3), Pennsylvania (BB3), Tennessee (BB3), CA4, DD4, 1 submarine

∑       Hollandia: North Carolina (BB4), Maryland (BB3), Mississippi (BB3), West Virginia (BB3), DD12, 3-2, 3-2

∑       Palau Korar: 40 NAS, Enterprise (CV), Essex (CV), Franklin (CV), Hornet II (CV), Hancock (CV), Intrepid (CV), Lexington II (CV), Wasp II (CV), Cabot (CVL), Belleau Wood (CVL) Cowpens (CVL), Independence (CVL), Langley II (CVL), Monterey (CVL), Princeton (CVL), San Jacinto (CVL), Iowa (BB5), New Jersey (BB5), Alabama (BB4), Massachusetts (BB4), South Dakota (BB4), Washington (BB4), CA20, DD10, 2 submarines, artificial port

Note: Some of the ships above were renamed during the war and are not included in the game. Use alternative U.S. CV and CVL counters.

Victory Conditions

If the Allies fail to invade Leyte, either because their invasion TF is defeated or the resulting ground attack fails, the scenario ends in an automatic Japanese decisive victory. Otherwise, victory is determined by the casualties suffered by each side, and whichever side has more Victory Points at the end of the scenario is the winner. The difference in Victory Points determines the level of victory: decisive, 20; tactical, 14; marginal, 6; pyrrhic, 2; draw, 0 or 1.

Victory Points:

+1 Each Japanese battleship or battlecruiser factor sunk (U.S. only)
+1 Each damaged Japanese battleship or battlecruiser (U.S. only)
+1 Every two Japanese light ship factors sunk (U.S. only)
+1 Each Japanese fast carrier factor sunk, provided the carrier was sunk before reaching Leyte (U.S. only)
+1 Each damaged Japanese fast carrier, provided the carrier was damaged before reaching Leyte (U.S. only)
+3 Each U.S. fast carrier factor sunk (Japan only)
+2 Each U.S. naval factor sunk in the Leyte invasion TF (Japan only)
+1 Each U.S. naval factor sunk (EXCEPTION: does not include U.S. fast carrier factors) other than in the invasion TF (Japan only)
+1 Every three U.S. NAS eliminated (Japan only)
+6 Each invading 3-2 infantry unit eliminated (Japan only)