Victory Results:
 0 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  0 %

Historical Background

The Confederation fleet is the first to make advances into the Expanse. Approaching rimward there are 2 Task Forces passing fore and in trail (to the galactic spin) of the Solomon Cluster. Additionally, the Confed “Advance Force” has already landed equipment for a Forward Sensor and Reconnaissance Base on the Tulagi Asteroid.
The Commonwealth Carriers are approaching on the opposite vector, coreward, and have detected the Confed ships first. Destroy the Forward Sensor Base and check the Confed advance.
The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. The rest is history?

Battle Notes


First side to 15 points, or the side with more Victory Points at the end of 6 turns. If the game goes to 6 turns, the battle is a Draw if the difference is 2 VP’s or less.

Special Rules

• Deployment and forces are as shown in the map. Players may mutually decide to modify deployment by replacing all units with deployment markers and placing units using the hidden deployment rules (pg28). EXCEPT the Space Platform, which must be deployed in the space indicated on the map.
• Commonwealth Forces get First Turn.
• Carriers are used as per the “Carrier Starship Escalation Pack”
• The “Carrier Flagship” marked on the deployment map is optional as per page 1 of this Campaign Pack, and players may use a standard “Flagship” instead. Inclusion (or not) should be by mutual player agreement
• The map description of the IJN Cruiser Myoko as the “Flagship” is for reference only. The Unit carries no additional rules beyond a standard Cruiser in the scenario
• The Space Platform and a Transport Unit are used as per the “Logistics & Space Platform Escalation Pack”
• The Space Platform can move as per its rules to orbit the planet, but cannot move into a hex with asteroids. It still generates 1 VP per turn per “Logistics & Space Platform Escalation Pack”. As per the rules, the VP’s are lost if the Platform is destroyed. (“Logistics & Space Platform Escalation Pack”, pg1-2)
• The “Planet Control Scenario Objective” rule from the main rule book is in effect (pg26).

Further Player Options

If the players only have the basic game or lack any of the listed Escalation Packs (or simply by player agreement), the following modifications can be used:
• If the number of carriers needed for the scenario are not available, simply use Battleship Models as substitutes (placing 3 Fighters alongside as normal). Additionally, deploy the Battleship Counters with the VP point side face up to remind players that the unit represents a Carrier
• If the “Carrier Starship Escalation Pack” is not available, replace all Carriers with Battleships.
• If the “Logistics & Space Platform Escalation Pack” is not available, the Confederation player leaves the Space Platform off the map and deploys the adjacent Fighter Unit on the Planet instead. Also, the Commonwealth player simply does not deploy the Transport Unit.

Scenario Design Notes

In the actual Coral Sea battle, the IJN was unaware of the presence of the US carriers until the strike against Tulagi. The IJN strike against the Neosho didn’t actually occur until the next day, but since the searching aspect of carrier battles is beyond the scope of Red Alert, I have compressed time so that the choices and range relationships are all as one.
The Commonwealth player has the immediate choice of striking at the isolated small carrier or the Space Platform. By including the “Planetary Control Scenario Objective”, if the Commonwealth player strikes at the carrier first, the Confed player begins to collect victory points.
The Commonwealth Transports are included because, interestingly, as the adversaries moved into the battle area, the US had just completed a refueling operation. The tanker (Neosho) was still in the area of engagement when the battle was joined and was the first ship detected by the IJN. She was mistaken for a US carrier, and as a consequence, the IJN sent its first full strike against the tanker and its escorting destroyer.
The loss of the ready fuel reserve influenced the US thinking during the battle and aftermath.
Representing the Neosho in the scenario as a Transport Unit for the Commonwealth, I think, represents the historical situation nicely. The Commonwealth gains an extra Star Token per turn until the Transport unit is destroyed (replicating the loss of tactical flexibility over fuel concerns), and removing this extra Star Token per turn gives the Confeds a motive to strike at the Transports to accomplish this.
The IJN start on their back foot overall, as the Carriers are out of position to strike the US task force and moving a carrier group is not easy in this system.
Good Luck!

Campaing Rules

Carrier operations in the Pacifica Expanse

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