Game Description

Victory in the Pacific (VITP) is a simple area movement game of the naval war in the Pacific. It is the big brother of War at Sea (WaS), has some extra chrome such as amphibious units, increased numbers of Land-Based Aircraft (LBA) and Day/Night combat round determination and is also still in print! Victory in the Pacific was published by Avalon Hill in 1977 and won a CSR Award for best strategic game that year. While more realistic than WaS, VITP is still a game not a simulation. Face-to-face (FTF) it is playable in a couple of hours, PBEM games generally take two to four months.

Details of this PBEM Game

Allies: Eric Pass
Japanese: Dean Zimmer

We are using the second edition VITP rules which have only minor changes from the original 1st edition rules. 2nd edition rules can be identified by a banner in the upper right hand corner of the picture on page 1.

We are using the Danish Dieroller ( to generate the die rolls for the game.

Events so far

Turn 1
Pearl Harbour is ravaged by the raiding Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) which focuses on Battleship Row. 2x5-5-3 West Virginia, Maryland and 3x4-4-3 Oklahoma, Nevada, Pennsylvania are sunk at Pearl. The 7th AF and the 2 cruisers are untouched and retreat with the 2 cruisers already in the Hawaiian Islands, the 4-4-3[4] heavily damaged Arizona and the 2 surviving BBs Tennessee and California to Australia and Samoa. All 4 'Location Uncertain' groups will appear as Turn 2 reinforcements. The IJN raiders head to Truk to report their success and plan their attacks for next turn. In Indonesia, the 4-5-6 Prince of Wales and the 5th AF are destroyed while the heavily damaged 3-3-6[3] Repulse manages to escape to Ceylon. After Turn 1, the IJN has +6 POC.

Turn 2
Dean spread the IJN pretty thinly all over the Pacific this turn with almost all ships as patrollers. There was a strong IJN presence in Indonesia, most of the 4 airstrike factor CVs, and the rest of the CVs in the South Pacific supported by 2 LBA. These two areas were basically untouchable. The Central Pacific had a strong surface fleet and an amphibious unit to capture Midway. 2 LBA held the Marshalls and the Marianas.

In response I patrolled the Hawaiian Islands, Coral Sea and US Mandate with 1 LBA each making them untouchable as Dean's 2 raiding CVs from Yokosuka couldn't reach them easily. Of my 5 raiding CVs, 3 went to the Marshalls but were defeated by the 2 LBA and to add insult to injury the Saratoga was sunk by that ^%*&%& I-Boat. The other 2 went to the Central Pacific to refight the Battle of Midway. The Day/Night roll goes my way and I damage and disable the IJN marines and sink a 4-4-4 BB. The rest of the IJN force retreats and my mission accomplished I let them go.

After Turn 2, the IJN have +8 POC, only netting 2 POC this turn but convert Singapore, Lae, Phillipines through sea area control and Guadalcanal by invasion.

Turn 3
This turn, Dean holds Indonesia with 3 LBA and sends a large force back to the Central Pacific to capture Midway. He also sends a large force of light CVs to the Coral Sea. With my 6 LBA, I patrol the US Mandate (1), Hawaiian Islands (2) and contest the Coral Sea (3). I send 2 cruisers to the Japanese Islands to bottle up any new reinforcements. Dean sends both of his amphibious units to the Central Pacific while I sequester mine in the North Pacific ( out of harm's way, there's no good use for them this turn as only the Marshalls are within 2 sea areas of the Marines appearing at Pearl). Dean has 1 LBA and a sizeable surface fleet in the Marshalls which dissuades me from putting the Marines there. Dean reinforces the Central Pacific and Marshalls with a raiding CV and sends surface raiders to the Central Pacific, South Pacific and Coral Sea. After looking this over, I send 2 CVs to the Japanese Islands, 4 surface raiders to the Marianas and the other 2 CVs to the South Pacific.

Combat goes poorly for me in Indonesia where the 3 LBA sunk 2 British CVs at no cost to themselves :( This was a case of use them or lose them as the Allied player must remove 2 British CVs on Turn 4. The Japanese Islands is rendered uncontrolled but costs 1 American CV (the Hornet) which takes the 26th AirFlot LBA with it. In the Marianas, the 2 IJN cruisers decide discretion is the better part of valour and run away from the larger, slower American fleet. Oh well, the Marianas will be uncontrolled this turn as well. In the Aleutians, the New Mexico scares off the lone raiding IJN cruiser so I collect 1 POC here. In the Marshalls, I lose 1 Australian cruiser; in the South Pacific, I get a crucial Day battle on the first round and disable 2x4-3-6 BBs. That's enough for Dean who retreats the rest of the force at a speed of 4, my slow BB force can't match that so I let him go with no pursuit. Lastly, the Coral Sea, I have 3 LBA here vs 1 IJN LBA and 4 light CVs. In an astounding display of ineptitude, all 3 of my LBA are splashed over 4 rounds while I only DISABLE 2 CVs. Sad :( The IJN holds the Coral Sea. Midway falls to the IJN marines at the end of the turn as well.

Turn 4
Dean goes on the attack this turn and places ship patrollers in the Marianas, Aleutians, North Pacific, Hawaiian Islands, US Mandate and Coral Sea. LBA is assigned to hold Indonesia, the Japanese Home Islands, the South Pacific and support the Coral Sea. My patrollers go to the South Pacific, the Marshalls and the Coral Sea. LBA contests the Hawaiian Islands (3) and the US Mandate (2). This is the lowest point for the Allies so I will be looking to remove Dean's control rather than get to many of my own.

Dean sends one of his amphibious units to the Hawaiian Islands (to capture Johnston Island) and holds one back in the Japanese Islands. I place the 1 Marines in the South Pacific and 2 Marines in the Coral Sea. Dean's raiders split between the Hawaiian Islands, the South Pacific and the US Mandate. I raid the Marianas and the North Pacific with surface ships, while 3 CVs go to the South Pacific and the Wasp goes to the US Mandate (I can't risk a speed roll failure going three areas!.

Dean selects the vital South Pacific area first. I get a Night action and sink the two light CV raiders by "wrapping" around my BBs. Dean inflicts moderate damage on 2 of my BBs as well. The I-Boat has NE in attacking my Marines which invade ... Guadalcanal (see discussion below in Turn 4 Summary & Analysis). This forces the IJN LBA in the Coral Sea to retreat auguring well for combat there, at least Dean can't control the Coral Sea. Combat continues in my favour as the second round is agreed to be a day action and the Yorktown is exchanged for the 3-4-* 24th AirFlot. The last IJN ship, the raider 1-2-7 Haguro flees but is pursued by the Enterprise and 4 cruisers and is sunk in the ensuing Day action.

The sideshow in Indonesia goes well for me. As I have only surface ships I can't compete with his two LBA so I'll have to take my lumps for one round and retreat. I try the long shot of a Night combat but it's Day and the 2 LBA's swoop in to attack. Fortunately, the 4-4-4 Valiant is only disabled and the entire British squadron beats a hasty retreat to Ceylon.

In the Coral Sea, I need a Night round but the first two rounds come up Day during which Dean first sinks the damaged 4-4-3[3] Arizona and then the 4-5-3 Mississippi. I retreat at this point and Dean eventually sinks the 4-5-3 Tennessee and 0-4-3 2 Marines getting Day rounds the entire way.

In the US Mandate, the first round is a Day action in which the 0-2-6(4) Wasp and 2-4-* 7th AF are sunk while on the IJN side the 0-1-5(2) Ryujo is sunk and the 0-0-5(2) Zuiho disabled to Truk. My luck goes from bad to worse when in the second round we tie the die rolls meaning BOTH Day and Night rounds are done! The Day round is uneventful as my LBA square off against the 1-4-6(4) Akagi and score 2 points of damage. However, in the Night round, things kick into gear for me as I sink three IJN cruisers, disable another and wrap the (5)-6-5 Indiana around on the now damaged Akagi with predictable results. Dean's damage is much lighter as he score hits on 2 BB's and disables a third. There's no IJN ships left in the sea area after this round!

In the North Pacific, the 2x1-2-7 cruisers decide to mix it up with the 4-5-3 New Mexico and 2 supporting cruisers. The New Mexico takes 3 points of damage but sinks both cruisers in two rounds of combat.

I'm hoping for some nice results in the Hawaiian Islands where 3 LBA are presented with a CV-rich target set. However, Dean splashes all three LBAs in the first round (!) so I target the 0-3-3 Japanese Marines in the sea area to capture Johnston Island and succeed in disabling it back to Truk. There will be no invasion this day but at a frightful cost.

Lastly in the Marianas, the 1-1-8 Kumano closes with the 3 American cruisers and takes the 1-1-7 Portland down with her.

So the IJN picks up +3 POC this turn to give them +10 POC at the end of Turn 4. No ports or bases are converted.

Turn 5
In Turn 5, Dean sends a large contingent of surface ships to patrol the Bay of Bengal (?), Central Pacific, and South Pacific. The two 6-9-5 BBs patrol the Marianas. I'm not sure what he is up to here, particularly with the 6 BB task force in the Bay of Bengal. I respond by sending single patrolling cruisers to the Indian Ocean, US Mandate, Coral Sea (a freebie this turn), the Aleutians and the North Pacific. Larger contingents of 3 CLs each go to the Marianas and the Marshalls, 2 wounded BBs go to the South Pacific and everything at Pearl Harbor moves out to the Hawaiian Islands sea area.

Of his five available LBA, Dean sends one each to the Marianas, Indonesia and Japanese Home Islands and two in the South Pacific while I commit four LBA to the South Pacific and two LBA to the Bay of Bengal. Dean has three amphibious units to parcel out and they go to the Bay of Bengal, South Pacific and Japanese Islands while my Marines arriving this turn go out to the Hawaiian Islands.

Dean sends all of his raiders into the South Pacific for a battle royale while I send the 2 CVs in Australia to Indonesia and send a large surface fleet to the Coral Sea (in reserve for next turn). In Indonesia, I lose the Enterprise and Dean loses the LBA and the possibility of 3 POC there. In the big battle in the South Pacific, I disable the IJN amphibious unit sending it back to Truk and lose 3 LBA while doing so. In a Night surface attack, I exchange a BB for a 1-1-8 CA. I retreat the last LBA when there is no hope of winning the sea area.

However, when the dust settles, I gained +3 POC this turn cutting Dean's lead to only +7 POC after Turn 5. After some discussion about the game situation, Dean resigns as the IJN are well short of enough POC to stave off the influx of Allied reinforcements due in Turns 6 - 8. I won't get to go on the attack this game :( but it's an ALLIED VICTORY.

Dean and I will be playing another PBEM game soon, look for a PBEM Game Report here soon!

Summary & Analysis

Turn 1 No real comments yet, this has been a pretty typical Turn 1. It should be interesting to have all the Location Uncertain CVs available at Pearl for Turn 2.

Turn 2 How many times has the I-Boat done damage way beyond their historic importance? I don't know how many VITP games I've played where the I-Boat sinks 2 or 3 American CVs!

Turn 3 I fail to sink any IJN ships and lose a couple of my own. The only bright spot is that I cut into the IJN POC total by reducing the IJN lead to +7 POC after Turn 3. I can only hope that the old adage 'Losing the Battles but Winning the War' is true!

Turn 4 The 1 Marines having survived the I-Boat attack can invade either Lae or Guadalcanal. There are merits to both. Taking Lae ensures a LBA presence in Indonesia next turn but means the Coral Sea will have to get a Night action so the 2 Marines can take Guadalcanal. Taking Guadalcanal, a more cautious play, means Dean definitely won't get the 2 POC for the Coral Sea this turn. Since I have held Dean's POC total down quite well so far, I choose the more cautious play and send the IJN LBA in the Coral Sea home. This proves to be the wise move as Dean subsequently kicks my butt in the Coral Sea but doesn't get any POC for his troubles. (just the satisfaction of a job well done)

Turn 5 I'm not sure why Dean sent such a large group of surface ships to the Bay of Bengal without air support. It does draw 2 LBA away from the South Pacific. I'm also surprised that Dean gives up the Marshalls without any fight. His decision to resign after only being up 7 POC after Turn 5 is completely understandable. He will have to be more aggressive as the IJN in his next game of VITP.

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This file last updated 12/29/96.

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