Cataclysm: Turn 2 – 1943 -44
The start of this turn saw Japan greedily eyeing natural resources in Java.
The UK had proved themselves to be more concerned with events happening in Europe. Repeated attempts at allying with the US also suggested an unwillingness to fight a Pacific war alone.
For their part, the US seemed content with monitoring the situation while assisting the European war effort through Lend Lease.
The time was right to attack!
An invasion from Indochina into Java. The Japanese forces steamrolling over local resistance and destroying the UK special base. New Guinea was next, another easy victory.
The UK seemed indecisive. Still not able to gain the political traction necessary to declare war on Japan. Contenting themselves instead to move forces from India to Australia. Then back again.
A Sleeping Giant Wakes
The US, alarmed by the rapid advances made in Indonesia, and the threat posed to its Pacific interests by the manoeuvring Japanese fleet, begins to gear up for war.
First, it moves its air and naval forces to bases throughout the Pacific. Then, by exploiting a supply line left unthreatened by the Japanese fleet, land forces are increased in the Philippines. Is this the first mistake from the Japanese?
Japan responds by further upgrading its Navy and begins to encircle the US naval bases in Guam and Wake. Submarines patrol off the Philippine coast near Okinawa and the Western Caroline Islands are now home to brand new fleet.
Still not formally at war with Japan, the US now sees the error in not allying with the UK earlier. This time an alliance is rapidly formed.
Crises at Home and Abroad
Japan suffers again from the effects of an early commitment to Total War with another failed Home Front chit. Their political stability reduces to Unstable and a valuable action is spent attempting to recover. Sadly, for them the crisis is deep.
The recovery attempt fails eventually leading to Interservice Rivalry and the removal of an air force from the Reserve. However, occupying forces in Burma suffer no such crisis and an attempted Colonial Revolt is quickly dealt with.
All this distracts from the allied co-ordination in Indonesia.
In the last chit of the turn, a now fully Committed US attacks Java from the Philippines. It’s a difficult fight, requiring air support from the RAF based in Malaya, however, the Japanese are eventually routed.
Cataclysm: Turn 2 Summary
It has taken a while to get there but the full scope of Cataclysm is now revealed. Economic and political activity leading to conflict on a global scale.
The UK and US are now allied and attempting to resist Japanese expansion.
The Japanese political situation is showing the strain of ongoing and protracted conflict. In Java, they have also suffered their first defeat.
In the next, and final turn, the war in Europe will end. This signifies the start of Soviet interest in the Pacific theatre. When the Soviets declare war on Japan, our game will finish.
The question is: can the Japanese hold on until then to win the scenario?
Japan currently has 10 victory points, a winning margin. The Allies need to seize control of Japanese territory to force a loss of VP’s.
Will they do this one fight at a time in Burma, Indochina and on into China itself.
Or, will they trust in new technology and drop an atomic bomb?