IJN Carrier attack on Hawaii - January 1942. Wargame for thread in progress.

A while back (maybe late June) there was a discussion here on the possibility of Kido Butai returning to attack Hawaii in early 1942 instead of joining in with the Southern Operation. At the time we decided to conduct a wargame to test the premise. Kevin Faber volunteered to be the IJN, Michael Lyons the USN. I created in July the wargame scenario, the rules, and the excel game files for the players.

This type of game might be useful for the types of AH discussions on the site, since all militaries examine war scenarios using wargames. It may take another month or two to complete this game, and if this game is successful as both entertainment and as a test of an operational premise, I would be interested in a more serious game looking at even more complex issues, maybe even with even more players. The key is to have a bunch of players eager to play, to participate on the thread, and willing to put in the time to learn the game and complete it. Mike has been a real trooper, and has continued the game even through a major move.
In July the game commenced offline. We are five turns in, and the current turn is 12pm-4pm on day two. In a post below are the rules sent to the players, (it’s a rules outline, not the full rule set). The game is a ‘blinged up’ derivative of Avalon Hill’s old game “Midway”, with an all-dice CRT and updated search rules. In addition, each player received a sheet of rules detailing their special national advantages. For example, it’s no secret that the US had radar directed interception and the Japanese didn’t. The US player knows what the rules for these are, and the Japanese player does not.

The game so far, at this preliminary stage, seems to show that the lack of high-level intelligence decrypts on the US side at this time was a serious disadvantage to Nimitz in comparison to Midway. Historically, for the decisive Midway clash it was possible for Nimitz to identify when and where the IJN carriers would be. But here, earlier in the war before this intel became available, it would not have been possible to identify the specific threat axis, the timing of attack, the enemy objectives, from simple traffic analysis. With the vast scale of the fighting area, and outlying islands that the USN did not want to surrender to the Japanese, the US player’s most important objective setting up was to consider potential IJN objectives and directions of movement, because if he guessed wrong his forces are out of position. Did he guess right or wrong? Well, I guess we will find out!

In addition, without certainty on Japanese intentions as at Midway, the US player experiences more difficulty keeping his forces ready in terms of DD fueling at the moment the IJN attacks, (Fletcher experienced this at Eastern Solomons). Mike wants to use his land based air and sea assets in tandem against the IJN carriers, and not allow Kevin’s Kido Butai to tackle either in isolation.

On the Japanese side, there are also some sharable considerations that have come to the top. Kido Butai is a powerful striking force capable of tackling Oahu or the US carriers, but doing both at the same time would be dangerous. One possible catastrophe would be to become embroiled in a full scale air assault on Oahu with US carriers on the flank – just like the historical debacle at Midway. Kevin’s ability to pick the time and place of his choosing, because the map is so huge, is a clear IJN advantage. On the disadvantage front, he loses VP’s for losing air crews, meaning that if he assaults Oahu he needs to do it carefully and with his full air strength,or else losses to heavy fighter defences will be prohibitive. Heck, even doing it carefully might lead to heavy losses.

Game up to current moment. (Information that both players know).

The first three turns were night turns. During the night, a Japanese scout was detected over Oahu having been tracked coming from the northwest beyond Kauai. Visibility conditions prevented this intruder from making a scouting report.

The fourth turn was 8am-12am of DAY 2. Each player’s radio interception units detected some chatter from enemy search aircraft. But there were no sightings made by either player. Another scout intruded at Oahu and this time the aircraft was positively identified by defending CAP as a single-engine seaplane. The scouting report was negative – again, cloud cover prevented any recon of the harbor. Radar tracked the scout back off in a northerly direction.

The current turn is turn 5, Day 2, 12pm-4pm, with one more day turn following after it. Ship movement is complete and we are awaiting USN scouting orders before we proceed to resolving the scouting step. Below are excerpts from the letters each admiral received from high command at the start of the game that give the historical background to this "what if", and a rules brief. Over the next few weeks I’m hoping we can complete the exercise and make some solid observations about the premise of an IJN carrier attack at Hawaii at the end of January, 1942.

From: Admiral Yamamoto
To: Vice-Admiral Nagumo,
January 1st, 1942.

There has been a significant change to your command’s future operations. As you are aware, I originally intended to deploy 1ST AIR FLEET to support the invasion of RABAUL and operations around BORNEO and JAVA after the HAWAII operation was completed. However, GHQ has concluded that the invasion operations in SOUTHEAST ASIA are proceeding so smoothly that the intervention of 1st AIR FLEET is no longer required in the SOUTHERN OPERATION. Upon the conquest of MALAYA, the 25th ARMY will cross the STRAIGHTS OF JOHOR and assault PALEMBANG overland. 14th ARMY has already secured MINDANAO and enemy forces on LUZON are isolated. 14th ARMY therefore can advance in the direction of TIMOR using only land based air power assets.

For all intents and purposes, therefore the SOUTHERN OPERATION will be completed on schedule without 1st AIR FLEET’S participation being required. GHQ has authorized COMBINED FLEET to undertake an immediate offensive against HAWAII to exploit the confusion created by your attack.

You will depart Hiroshima Bay, using a northern or southern approach towards Hawaii at your discretion. Your orders are:

1. Find and destroy the US carriers.
2. Attack Hawaii and destroy ships and infrastructure there.

Weather north of OAHU at this time could be heavy, good for concealing your approach but may interfere with searching, oiling and flight operations. Weather south of OAHU should be clearer.

Your command is as follows:
<rest of letter omitted>

From: Admiral Chester Nimitz
To: Rear Admiral Bill Halsey.

I’ve got some bad news. I’ve barely got my clothes unpacked myself, and COMINCH has just warned that the Japanese might be returning to Hawaii towards the end of the month. I know you’d prefer more time to get things organized but it doesn’t look like Tokyo is going to give us the time. It looks like they’re coming east for Round 2 about the first of February.

Traffic analysis put Nagumo’s six heavy flattops back in the Home Islands as of late December. We first thought they were heading south from there, preliminary suspect targets identified as either SAMOA, RABAUL, or JAVA. This was because their various commands have been pretty chatty with HQ’s identified with the invasion of GUAM and SOUTHEAST ASIA. However, after the New Year, Nagumo’s command has started talking to two suspected tanker trains and at the same time the conversations with SOUTHEAST ASIA HQ’s have stopped. Whatever they were intending, it looks like it has changed.

1st Air Fleet is talking to tanker groups, and it is also talking to the invasion group at SAIPAN, to 4th FLEET, and to 6th FLEET. This all seems to point to HAWAII since 6th FLEET submarines are heavily engaged at HAWAII currently.
COMINCH therefore has concluded that RABAUL is no longer a likely the target, and that the IJN carriers will attack MIDWAY, JOHNSTON, or even HAWAII itself.
<rest of letter omitted>
This is a rules brief. Skip it if this is of no interest. As the game progresses, I'll be posting updates on what has occurred. The game players are welcome to make their own comments at any time.

Rules Brief (some info excerpted).
Set Up.
Your blank ship counters are placed on your TF displays. For each real ship in a TF, you may add one blank, with up to six blanks allowed per TF, (ie, if your TF is nine ships strong, you can have 0-6 blanks and if it is only three ships you may have up to three blanks).
Starting carrier squadrons represent 4-5 aircraft each, and go in the ‘unready’ box of their host carrier (you’ll see them there on sheet 2 of the excel file). Starting land based squadrons start at any available land base, as described in your excel file. No carrier or base may hold more squadrons than its printed max. capacity.
Submarine units are placed anywhere on the map.
The wind gauge is in the top left corner of the map and applies for all squares on the map. This is the direction of movement for clouds and storms, and is an important factor in carrier air operations.
Sequence of Play.
Each turn has these steps –

Squadron Preparation
Air Operations
Air Strikes, (which is further subdivided into, “bounce”, “ingress” air round, “bombing” round, “egress” air round).
Surface Combat
Aircraft Return.

Below is a brief overview of these steps.

Step 1: Movement.
Game scale is 1 square = 48nm. The map is 2736nm wide and 2400nm tall, showing the Pacific from west of Midway to southeast of Hawaii.
Move all your TF’s 1,2 or 3 spaces. If it is a night turn, you may move each of your submarines 1 space. (Submarines may not move in daylight).
Each ship in a TF has two speed ratings; the one on the left is the number of spaces it can move every turn. The one on the right is the number it can move every second turn. Your TF can move as many zones as the speed of the slowest ship in it.
Carrier task forces that recover six squadrons in a turn can only move 1 space during the next turn unless they are moving directly into the wind.
If two or more of your TF’s end in the same space, combine them into one TF.
If a TF splits up and moves to multiple locations, divide the ships of the TF splitting between the new TF’s.
Your TF’s and subs cannot enter an opposing base zone. You can move to a friendly base zone and enter port.
Opposing TF’s can intersect during movement. When this happens the GM will check for contact, and if contact is made it is reported to both players and the faster TF can choose to ‘follow’ the slower, (so that it can initiate a surface battle later in the turn).
A TF that contacts a submarine at speed ‘2’ or greater is invulnerable to attack. The submarine may generate a contact report, however. A TF that contacts sub at speed ‘1’ might be attacked by the submarine. (So your carriers are vulnerable to subs generally when they are recovering aircraft and when they are fuelling).
Both players can submit their moves via excel and the GM will check for any cases where opposing ships or submarines may intersect. Contact is more likely the better the weather and more likely during daylight than night. If contact occurs, this will be reported.
Logistics – TF’s moving at high speeds are burning more oil. Moving ‘1’ space costs ‘1’ oil. Moving 2 spaces costs 4 oil. Moving 3 spaces cost 10 oil. A destroyer (not represented in the game, but still a factor for logistics) holds 100 points if full. So if you move 3 spaces ten times, your destroyers are out of gas. That would be bad. There are tankers – these can be used to replenish your ships at sea.
All ships burn at the rate of 1,4,10. This means that an oil point aboard the Akagi is not the same amount of oil as an oil point aboard the Chikuma.
Step 2: Squadron Preparation.
Squadrons status is tracked on sheet two of your excel file. Each carrier or base has various activity boxes such as “unready”, “readying”, etc. Each squadron’s status corresponds to the box it is currently in.
A squadron must spend a turn ‘readying’ before it can be launched on a mission. Squadrons move from “unready” to “readying” during one turn, then from “readying” to “ready” during the next turn. So if you start “readying” planes at 4am, they can attack the enemy at 8am.
Immediately after squadrons enter the “ready” box, they may fly missions.
There is a limit to the number of squadrons you can move into the “ready” box each turn. This limit is three times the number of hit boxes the carrier or base currently has. (i.e., if the Akagi has 3 hit boxes remaining and 12 squadrons aboard, it can only “ready” 9 of those squadrons in one turn). This limitation is more important with your land bases, where the number of planes they can hold tend to be higher but their ability to ‘ready’ them tends to be lower than carriers. (Fleet carriers were each a floating logistic center).
Some bombers are capable of being armed with bombs or torpedoes. You must pick what armament each squadron has as they move into the “ready” box. Once picked, you can only switch by sending them back to the “readying” box. (Important safety tip – this is how Nagumo lost the Battle of Midway).
Step 3: Search.
Only ‘ready’ squadrons may search. Each searching squadron is moved to the ‘aloft’ box. It may search a number of zones on the map board equal to its range value.
A searching squadron starts adjacent to its parent carrier’s zone (it automatically searches this), then it traces a path of zones out to its range value – it searches them all. A squadron can also search the same zone more than once, (this can be a factor in heavy weather). The total number of squares a squadron can search is 2 times its range value, (so a “PBY” with range 12 can search 24 squares (about 12,000 square miles per plane) and up to 12 squares distant from its base.

.Whenever a search squadron searches a zone containing an opposing TF, one die is rolled. This roll will only be c.c.’d to the player who has ships in the zone.
If the modified roll is 0 or less, the searching player is not informed even that opposing ships are there. If the modified roll is ‘1’ the search attempt terminates with just the report of ‘enemy ships’ being reported to the searching player. If the roll is greater than ‘1’ a number of ships equal to the modified roll are randomly reported to the searching player by type (carrier, battleship, cruiser, transport, blank), (i.e. if you have 12 ships and blanks in a TF and the roll is ‘3’, then three are randomly picked and declared to the searching player). More rolls are then made until either all the ships are reported, or the modified roll is a ‘1’ or less. (In fact, I’ll just do a string of rolls and resolve all the searches at once).
If all the ships in a group are reported, then all the blanks of that TF are removed from the game.
Each zone has a weather value from 0 (clear) to 4 (storm). The weather value is subtracted from each roll. (So, if the weather is ‘3’ and you roll a ‘4’, it becomes a ‘1’).
If your squadron searched a zone twice, or more than one squadron searched the same zone, then you roll separately for each new search of that square. (So one of your squadrons searching a zone might roll a ‘1’ and report only ‘ships’ while in its second search, or a second squadron searching, might uncover the entire enemy task force by rolling high).
Searching at night has a ‘-3’ penalty.
Certain squadron types may suffer a negative DRM if used for searching, (see your private ‘advantages’ sheet).
Ship and submarines each count for one search in their zone, (so a TF of 10 ships would search its own zone 10 times).
Step 4: Air Operations.
Your squadrons that are currently ‘ready’ may undertake air operations.
1. Ready ‘F’ (modern fighters such as the Zero, P-40, or F4F) and ‘Fo’ (these are older fighters such as the P-39, A5M4, or P-36) squadrons can fly CAP. Move them from their parent carrier’s ‘ready’ box to its CAP box.
Remote CAP – you can fly CAP missions to protect squares up to 1/3rd the range of the CAP fighter. (So a range ‘4’ fighter can fly CAP 1 zone from its base, a range ‘6’ can fly CAP at 2).
2. ‘Ferry’ ready aircraft between your carriers if you want. If the receiver is a carrier, then you can ferry to the range of the aircraft. If the receiver is a base, you can ferry to double the range of the squadrons. If it is a carrier, then you can only ferry to printed range. Place the squadrons in the ‘aloft’ box of the receiving carrier.
3. Air strikes. Transfer squadrons from the ‘ready’ box into the carrier’s air strike box in order to attack targets that have been detected during step 3. (You can ‘fire blind’ an air strike at a blank square too if you want to gamble).
4. Only bombers can fly at night. If you fly squadrons during the night, and then again the next day (or vice versa), they lose quality in bombing attacks, (because the crews are exhausted). Doing so causes the unit to fatigue, and it cannot be launched on a mission again until it passes through an entire sequence of night turns without flying. (See your private ‘advantages’ sheet for more details about night flight operations.)
Step 5: Air strikes.
Squadrons in ‘air strike’ boxes are assigned to a target zone via message to the GM. Once all are assigned, the air strikes ordered resolved as a separate air sea battles, starting with those of the Japanese player. Each carrier or base can only attack one target zone.
Air strikes sent against bases automatically find their target. Air strikes against ships at sea find their target if the following modified die roll is greater than ‘2’: (air range – target range) - weather - night penalty + die roll. (‘Aircraft range’ being that of the shortest ranged squadron type in the air strike group. The night penalty is ‘-3’.)
Air Strike Resolution.
An air strike resolves its attack in four steps;
(1) A “bounce” step.
(2) An “ingress” air combat round.
(3) The bombing round.
(4) An “egress” air combat round.

‘The Bounce’: Each air strike attacking a zone must first fight its way through all defending fighter squadrons currently flying CAP there. Up to 12 “F” squadrons flying CAP in the target zone roll one die each. For every roll of ‘6’, one attacking bomber squadron is shot down.
“Fo” squadrons on CAP do not ‘bounce’ incoming strike.
“Ingress” Round: This consists of all fighter squadrons participating in the battle rolling one die.
One CAP fighter squadron must shoot at each escort fighter squadron. CAP squadrons surplus to the number of escorts may fire at bombers.

“F” squadrons are more lethal than “Fo” squadrons. They shoot down targets on a roll of ‘5’ or ‘6’. The exception is if their target is an “F” squadron – in that case, they shoot down their target only on a roll of “6”.

“Fo” fighters shoot down bombers or other “Fo” types on a roll of “6”. “Fo” cannot shoot at “F” types. (Fo types that are engaged by fighters do not fire at all, because they are busy trying just to live.)
Whenever a squadron is shot down it rolls one die if it would not otherwise have rolled an air attack in that round. (ie, if you have 12 x “D” squadrons attacked and 3 are shot down, then 3 “D” squadrons roll for air combat and 9 do not). A destroyed bomber shoots down its attacker on a roll of “6”. An “Fo” squadron shot down by an “F” squadron shoots down its “F” attacker on a roll of ‘5’ or ‘6’.
Universal Rule: Whenever bombers are shot down and more than one bomber type could have been the victim, players alternate choosing which bomber squadron is lost, starting with the CAP player.
Bombing Attacks.
This is a whole separate step. The ships under attack are set up on the battle board on excel sheet 3. Then the attacking squadrons are placed on them to signify which ships they are attacking. Then the defending player rolls anti-aircraft for each of his ships to degrade bombing quality, then ship evasion is rolled further degrading bombing quality. Finally, the attacking player rolls his bombing attacks.
Egress Round
After all bombing is completed another air combat round is fought that is identical to the ingress round except that defending ‘CAP’ fighters may now shoot at dive or torpedo bombers, regardless of the number of escorting fighters.

Level bombers are an exception. These are still protected by escorts, and before the defender can fire at level bombers, he must assign one fighter to fire at each escorting fighter. (There is also an exception to the exception – the defender does not have to assign an attack against any escort fighter that ‘strafed’ an air base).

Fuel/Ammunition Exhaustion: After the egress round, a number of CAP fighters equal to the size of the original attack must each roll one die, and if the roll is ‘1-2’, they are immediately placed in their parent carrier’s ‘unready’ box. They must be ‘readied’ before they can fly again. (The defending player only has to roll for a number of fighters equal to the size of the opposing strike as the battle commenced).
Once the Egress round is completed, the attacking player returns all his surviving squadrons to the ‘aloft’ boxes of the attacking carriers. The defending player removes any ‘exhausted’ CAP to its carrier’s ‘unready’ box and returns active CAP to the carrier’s ‘CAP’ box.

Step 7: Surface Combat
Surface combat is its whole own sub-module. I’ll explain the rules to this as we get going – (the procedure is drafted, but has to be tested).
Step 8: Aircraft Return.
After all air strikes and surface combats are resolved -
Squadrons in each carrier’s ‘aloft’ box are moved to its ‘unready’ box.
CAP squadrons can land or continue to fly CAP. If it is the last daylight turn they must land.
If a carrier was sunk, its unready, readying and ready squadrons are removed from play. Its ‘aloft’ or ‘CAP’ squadrons can land in the ‘unready’ box of any carrier in the same or adjacent zone, or at any base up to two zones distant. Otherwise, they are eliminated.
Advance the turn track one position and return to step 1.

End of Game
The game ends when the Japanese player decides to withdraw and no further USN pursuit is possible. The GM will tally up the victory points, and the player with more points wins.
Ships: Each ship has a victory point value in brackets listed to the right of its name in sheet two of the excel file – total the value of the ships you have sunk.
Carrier Torpedo Damage: You get one point for every torpedo (not bomb) hit against a carrier that survived.
Island Invasion: If the Japanese have an invasion force (they might or might not have one in this game), then the Japanese player scores 10 points for the invasion of a green US base. Important: Oahu cannot be invaded. If the Japanese invasion force (if it exists) fails to invade a green base, the US player scores 10 victory points.
Oil Tank Farms: The Japanese player scores 1 victory point for every hit he scores against Oahu’s oil tanks, up to 15 victory points.
Fuel Exhaustion: If you run a ship’s DD escort out of fuel, you will lose two VP’s each time, (limited to once per ship per game).
Pilot Attrition: The US player scores 1 victory point for every 4 Japanese squadrons that are shot down. The Japanese player scores 1 victory point for every 10 US squadrons shot down. (Squadrons lost aboard carriers or on the ground do not count).
looks like this will be interesting.

6 Japanese fleet carriers and possibly 2-4 light cariers vs Enterprise, Saratoga, and Lexington, plus the massive forces on Oahu.

(Yorktown and Hornet would still be transitioning from the Atlantic - though they might arrive in time for a February battle, while Wasp and Ranger were still IN the Atlantic.)
This is awesome. I was the one who posted the WI, and it's really exciting to see people take it and run with it. I also can think of very few WIs that have been approached experimentally like this. Who knows how closely a war game matches up to real life, but it looks very well done.
I've sent messages to the game players (Kevin and Mike) to drop by and make comments too - on tactics, the operation, what they do or don't like about the game, etc. Outside input - advice, criticism, questions on the rules - are welcome.

I've tried to make the game as realistic as I can while still being playable quickly without too much rules hassle, but all games are simulations and cannot truly reflect real life. My main hope is that everyone has a ripping good time and this type of thing gets done in the future on all sorts of different subjects.

For example, the Japanese player (Kevin) mentioned he'd love to do a multi-player theatre level Pacific War game in the future.
I'm finding myself more sympathetic for Nagumo's problem at Midway. Balancing the need to scout against the need to strike is a problem.

And TBH, I'm not sure I should say too much, at risk of giving away my own intentions.:p

On a multi-player game, I think I'd far rather be Yamamoto than Nagumo: set the strategy & let somebody else sweat the details.:p

That said, tho, I'm of two minds: I'd like to examine Japan's strategic options before OTL Midway, but I'd also like to examine Nimitz's use of his subs, if possible. Is there any rules set out there that deals well with the operational level use of subs?

There's only one minor complaint I have about it: trying to keep everything straight.:eek::p I'm so glad Glenn has all the rules & details handy.;)
This sounds very interesting and I will be looking forward to how the turns play out and how this alt battle may end up. I am subscribing to stay on top of the action. Having played some simulation games this has my interest and the rules seem pretty fair all around. Good luck. :D
This sounds very interesting and I will be looking forward to how the turns play out and how this alt battle may end up. I am subscribing to stay on top of the action. Having played some simulation games this has my interest and the rules seem pretty fair all around. Good luck. :D

One thing is to try and make sure there is transparency. That means that as the GM I want every roll possible to be c.c.'d to at least one player. The only rolls that cannot be done that way are surface search rolls - either opposing ships do or do not see each other.
Glenn239 said:
as the GM I want every roll possible to be c.c.'d to at least one player.
I'm not worried about that. If you're not honest about it, I'm screwed anyhow.:p So why worry?:D (Neither do I suspect dishonesty.:eek:;))


Very interesting thread/game concept. My thanks to Glenn239 and the two players for their time in presenting the AH scenario.
Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for posting. Without spoiling the suspense what ships will be available, in particular what is the status of the USN battleships?
Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for posting. Without spoiling the suspense what ships will be available, in particular what is the status of the USN battleships?

BTW - waiting for the US player's search orders for turn 5. Mike has just made a major move so things might not start to move again until next week.

Re - US battleships. Basically, what I can say on the thread to a specific OOB question is what information both players commonly know. With respect to the US battleships, IJN intel was not able to pin down hard information on the US battleships.
Well I will be looking foward to seeing what ships are involved and how the turns can be resolved. Still very early with the game but would be "interesting" if the Americans can get the drop on the IJN.:D
Forgot to say I just subscribed so I can give give you guys full support. Thanks for sharing the results when they happen.
This all looks very interesting, and I look forward to reading more. However, I do have one point on which I would like clarification:
For example, it’s no secret that the US had radar directed interception and the Japanese didn’t. The US player knows what the rules for these are, and the Japanese player does not.
What exactly do you mean by the Japanese "didn't have" radar-directed interception? If you mean that they wouldn't have it onboard their ships in January 1942, you are of course true. Militarist Japan didn't put it's first radar sets onto ships (the Ise and the Hyuga) until April. But the nation had developed its first (entirely domestically-produced and developed) land-based radar set in Chiba prefecture prior to the Pearl Harbor attack. So while it is entirely correct to say that the Kido Butai won't have radar during this attack, I question the idea that they don't know what the "rules" of Radar are. They have already developed their own radar, so they know the basic idea. Japanese military attaches--both army and navy--have also discussed the basic function and operation of radar with their colleages in Germany in 1940, and they were well aware that German radar was more advanced than their own. Therefore, although this Japanese fleet won't have radar of their own to use, they will be aware that the US fleet almost certainly has radar, and will act accordingly.
Are there any mechanisms for ship misidentification? At Coral Sea a tanker and destroyer were identified as a carrier and cruiser, at Leyte Gulf Kurita thought he was engaging the main America task force, and American submarines torpedoed "tankers" that were revealed to be carriers post-war.
Are there any mechanisms for ship misidentification? At Coral Sea a tanker and destroyer were identified as a carrier and cruiser, at Leyte Gulf Kurita thought he was engaging the main America task force, and American submarines torpedoed "tankers" that were revealed to be carriers post-war.

None - if you identify a ship type, it is correct.

A search is a string of rolls on a six-sided die. If a '1' is rolled then that ends the search. Clouds and night have a negative DRM.

A TF might have, say, 4 carriers, 6 cruisers and 5 'blank' counters. A search might be -


The '3' spots three ships (or blanks) at random, the '2' spots two more, the '1' ends the search. Using Rand() in excel on the ships list, it comes out as a search report of 3 blanks and 2 CA in one 'shuffle' and 2 CV, 2 CA, 1 blank in another.