Turn 22 – Massive Jap Attack – Nine units attack or support an attack against the Marine advance westward down the coast road. Multiple US units are damaged, and one is almost destroyed.
Henderson Field has its final expansion and I place two Dauntless Dive Bomber squadrons. My air force are two Lockheed Lightning Fighters and three dive bomber squadrons. The Jap attack puts them out in the open where my large force of Cruisers, Bombers, and Fighters can attack.
This is a big, multi-turn battle. The US Marines need to survive the Jap onslaught while the bombers, fighters and cruisers pound the Japs. My goal is destroying one or two Jap units per turn. This is a fifty-turn scenario so there is plenty of time to use the concentrated US firepower. Last, several Marine regiments are converging from the East after taking the Jap supply point. They move methodically through the jungle to avoid ambushes, and eventually reinforce the counter-attack.
Turn 23 – Japs Continue Attack – The Japs recklessly continue their attack. At the end of their turn they have four units with four or fewer strength points. A troop ship has pulled up close to port.
US Navy and Marine Air Fighters sink the Jap Troop Ship at the docks. On the Coast Road the Jap Infantry unit entrenched in the town is surrounded. Two Jap infantry units are slain in the center. In the far East the Marines are coming down the jungle road.
Turn 24 – Japs Isolate Marines on Beach – Jap attacks isolate a Marine unit on the beach and almost destroy a second Marine unit. But 5 Jap units are in open terrain and highly exposed to Naval Gunfire and bombers. The Jap attacks make their destruction easier.
US Marines easily relieve the unit isolated on the beach. The counter-attack destroys multiple Jap units and leaves others heavily damaged. The vise is starting to close as the troops from the East move to contact. Getting exposed to concentrated naval artillery and air strikes in open terrain has disastrous consequences.
Turn 25 – Coast Road Almost Open – US Marine Attacks leave one damaged and almost out of ammunition engineer unit and an exposed coastal bunker as the last blocks on the coast road. In the East Marines have developed the Jap defenders. A heavily damaged Jap unit is in the center with three adjacent Marine units.
Turn 26 – Big Picture of the Marine Advance – I’ve kept guard on Henderson Field during the huge battle that raged from turns 22-26. The East Force has ground forward and have superior numbers moving towards the heavily defended Jap Ridge. The coast road is open. The Jap Airforce has shown up again and my fighters are engaged in a dogfight. The massive Jap attack which started around turn 22 has been crushed.
Turn 27 – General Frosty’s Plan Comes Together – General Ambrose “Frosty” Lee’s strategy is working. The Jap Attack drew most of the defenders into the open where US firepower could hammer it. A small attack group is moving down the coast road to prevent additional Jap troop landings.
“Frosty” knew a direct assault on the Ridge SW of Henderson Field would cause massive casualties. The Ridge is pounded by Marine bombers. A unit has moved South from the coast to cut the Jap supply lines to the ridge. Forces from the East are carefully moving forward, identifying Jap positions in the jungle, then surrounding and killing them.
Frosty’s brief to his Captains was short and sweet. “Isolate that damn ridge. Starve the bastards. Don’t get ambushed in the jungle. In the Jungle: contact, surround, attack, kill, bayonet the survivors. We are attacking that ridge only after it has been surrounded and pounded.”