Turn 29 – Jap Fleet Closing – A Japanese Fleet of unknown composition is moving East towards Henderson Field. US Aircraft are landing to rearm. US Cruisers are retreating East towards Henderson Field to allow Marine Bombers to hammer the fleet before engaging the US Navy. On land, air attacks on the Jap ridge have ended for the time being. US Army and Marine troops have almost cut the ridge off from resupply.
Turn 30 & 31 – Naval Battle Starts – The Jap Fleet is steaming due East and they could bring Henderson Field in bombardment range in 3 turns. Several additional US Navy destroyers and cruisers were deployed. The US Fleet is using destroyers to screen the cruisers from torpedo attacks. The first dive bomber squadron can attack next turn. A second squadron has just launched and the third launches next turn.
The Jap Ridge has been encircled. Being out of supply will weaken the defenders. The bulk of the troops are moving West and will take a while to reach the ridge.
Turn 33 – Jap Fleet Damaged and Marines Advancing – All three Dive Bomber squadrons are attacking the Jap Fleet. One destroyer has been sunk, another DD is heavily damaged. One Heavy Cruiser is heavily damaged.
On Land the Marines are mopping up the last Jap defenders South of the river. Once the last units have been destroyed the combat firepower against the ridge can be doubled.
Turn 34 – Jap Fleet Sinks! – The Jap Cruisers closed and fired doing some damage to US Navy Units. But the Jap Cruisers moved almost their full range which lowered their accuracy. The US Navy first fired all of their stationary Cruisers, sent their DDs streaking ahead to launch torpedoes, and concluded by dive bombing the survivors. By the end of the turn only one heavily damaged Jap Cruiser remains.
Turn 35 – Ridge Taken – The Japanese Heavy Infantry are not too difficult after they have starved for a week or two. Once the ridge was finally encircled, taking it was not difficult. The four marine regiments and light tank company only have two victory hexes left. A very strong Jap defender was discovered, and I’ll try to encircle it before attacking. Last, three additional marine regiments have been disembarked with a supporting supply vessel. I’ve also been given fifteen more land command points. Unless something surprising happens around the last two victory hexes, additional ground units will not be deployed.