Allies open with (to Vince) unorthodox deployment: all ships in N. Atlantic, Barents, and N. Sea, none in S. Atlantic. Axis take what's given, control S. Atlantic, Baltic, and Mediterranean for +3 POC.
Allies deploy heavily in N. Atlantic, S. Atlantic, & N. Sea, leaving Barents open. Axis again take what's given, control Barents, Baltic, Mediterranean, for +2 POC. Axis up +5 at the end of Turn 2. Allied LBA sinks Gorizia, only ship on either side lost through first 2 turns.
Allies deploy evenly in all 4 sea areas. Axis sends entire German fleet (less Lutzow, which is in the Mediterranean) to the Barents. Each side has 9 surface ships, plus Allies have 2 CVs, Axis has LBA. Airstrikes sink no ships but damage Axis Bismarck -2 and Gniesenau -4.
Allied first round gunnery sinks Gniesenau and Prinz Eugen, disables Bismarck, Admiral Scheer and Blucher, damages Tirpitz -5 and Scharnhorst -3. Axis return gunfire sinks Prince of Wales and Dorsetshire, disables Duke of York, Hood, and Kent. For round 2 Axis has damaged Tirpitz and Scharnhorst and undamaged Graf Spee and Admiral Hipper; Allies have undamaged King George V and 3 cruisers. Allies fire and disable Tirpitz and Scharnhorst, damaging Admiral Hipper for -1. Axis return fire sinks Sussex and disables King George V and Norfolk. Allies now have 1 cruiser vs. Axis pocket battleship and cruiser. To protect 2 remaining carriers, Allies withdraw.
Axis controls Barents and Mediterranean, Allies have both Atlantics and N. Sea. Axis is up +1 POC for this turn, overall up +6 at the end of Turn 3.
Allies deploy to all 4 Atlantic areas. N. Atlantic has Ark Royal, Convoy 2B, 6 BB. S. Atlantic has Eagle, 3 BB, 3 CA. N. Sea has 2 CV, 5 BB. Barents has 2 CV, Convoy 1A, 5 BB, 3 CA. Axis is sorely tempted, but with 4 of 8 ships damaged, NA is out due to iffiness of speed rolls. Only Med. ships can get to SA; odds too great there also. Ultimately, other 2 areas too strong for damaged German fleet.
3 German ships repair, others patrol Baltic, 7 U-boats head for N. Sea to try to break blockade against 11 ASW. ASW sinks 3 U-boats and damages 2, but remaining 2 break blockade and sink a carrier. In the Barents, Luftwaffe LBA misses convoy but sinks 2 carriers. 4 shots thus sink 3 British carriers! Allies control Barents, N. Atlantic, S. Atlantic, and land a convoy, 6 POC. Axis control Baltic and Mediterranean, 3 POC. No flag in N. Sea. Allies +3 for turn, Axis +3 overall after 4 turns.
No flag in N. Sea. Allies deploy Okt. Revolutia in Baltic and heavily in N. Atlantic, Barents, and N. Sea; no ships in S. Atlantic. Convoy 2B is in Barents with Illustrious, Hood, Renown, 4x4-5-6, and 6 CA. Axis opts to take what's given by deploying in Mediterranean (all Italian capital ships), S. Atlantic (2 remaining Italian CA and Lutzow), and Baltic (Graf Zeppelin, 2x4-9-6, 2x2-2-5, Blucher, Admiral Scheer). 6 U-boats try to open N. Sea again. Scharnhorst repairs.
Allied LBA misses Scharnhorst and Axis LBA likewise whiffs in Barents, allowing Convoy 2B to land for 3 POC. Okt. Revolutia hits Bismarck for -6, but is sunk in hail of return shellfire. Allied ASW in N. Sea sinks 2 U-boats and disables 2, but remaining 2 keep N. Sea open and, as a bonus, sink Eagle, 4th Allied carrier to go down to Luftwaffe or U-boats. Allies therefore control only N. Atlantic and Barents, with convoy landed, for, 5 POC, while Axis have Baltic, S. Atlantic, and Mediterranean for 6 POC. Total after 5 turns is Axis +4 POC.
Casualties through 5 turns are Axis - Gniesenau, Prinz Eugen, 2 Italian CA; Allies - 4 CV, Prince of Wales, Okt. Revolutia, 2 CA.
Allies have North Sea open and are short on ASW, with only 3 carriers and a convoy available. Allies have no Russian available for the Baltic; deploy 6 BBs to S. Atlantic; Convoy, Courageous, all 6 Americans, and 2 British BB to N. Atlantic; Illustrious, 4 remaining King George V-class BBs, Hood, Renown, and 3 CAs to Barents; and Ark Royal, 5 BBs (including both 5-5-3s), and 3 CAs to N. Sea.
Axis tries to win game outright by deploying no one in Baltic but 9 remaining German ships and 7 U-boats to N. Sea. Luftwaffe continues its incredible shooting by sinking Illustrious and Renown in Barents, while British LBA misses in Mediterranean. Allied ASW sinks only 1 U-boat and disables another, leaving 5 to break control, but their return fire misses. Ark Royal's airstrikes nick Scharnhorst for -1 damage, while Graf Zeppelin cruiserizes the Rodney with a hit for -5 damage.
Round 1 of surface combat is a bloodbath. Allies sink Tirpitz, Scharnhorst, and Admiral Scheer and disable Graf Spee and Blucher. Axis sinks Rodney and Resolution, disables Nelson, Suffolk and Cumberland, and damages Warspite for -3. At the end of Round 1 Axis has 4 ships left: Bismarck, damaged in a previous turn for -6, and the undamaged Graf Zeppelin, Lutzow, and Admiral Hipper. Allies have them outgunned with Warspite, Royal Sovereign, and Exeter, plus Ark Royal, but Axis continues to risk it all.
On Round 2, Allies sink Bismarck and disable Graf Zeppelin, while Axis can only disable Warspite in return. Axis is now down to Lutzow and Admiral Hipper and the Allies again have Axis outgunned with the Royal Sovereign and Exeter. Nevertheless, Axis continues on to Round 3. Allies sink Lutzow, but with only 3 shots in return Axis sinks Royal Sovereign and disables Exeter. Ark Royal can't outrun the undamaged Hipper and is sunk. Axis wins the area with 1 ship remaining.
Axis has N. Sea and Mediterranean for 5 POC while Allies have both Atlantics and Barents for 3 POC. Axis are now up 6 POC overall but worse, Allies have only 1 carrier on the board.
Allies need Marat to sail in the Baltic or it will be just about mathematically impossible for them to win. Marat fails and Allies concede. Even though only 4 German ships are left, with 5 gunnery factors total, Axis do have all 7 U-boats left, and can sit in the Baltic and Med for the last 2 turns and still win.
It was an exciting match!