After seeing the posting of points earned so far, I had to do something drastic to get myself out of last place in the standings, so . . .
Here is my AAR of my games against Ken in his role as "eliminator". I had a games day at my house last month and Ken was able to attend and pair up with me for RATM to get me into the first round of the Ironman. I got the Marines first. My goal was to head for the airfields and start racking up points early and use the 3rd if needed, but hopefully not give away any points.
Turn 1 had me bombarding Chodori with not quite average results. The last couple of air units hit the beaches to see if Ken had left me any surprises there, but nothing was found. I moved most of my units (4 out of the 6) in to Chidori to try to clear our the Japanese on turn 1. As expected the bombardment hadn't taken out most of the units and my guys took some loses. I left lone units on each beach to try to keep a beachhead, but Ken was able to keep artillery on both beaches to take away both.
By turn 2 I had cleared Chidori and scored my first two points for the airfield, but still no beachhead and I had taken a pounding. And the Japanese in Suribachi and the long range artillery in Empyreal Hill were able to continually destroy my beachheads. So on turn 3 I decided to give up the points and enter the 3rd figuring they would really push forward. But the continuing theme of my game was the mediocre performance on my bombardments and the pounding from the Japanese bombardments and defensive fire was really taking a toll on my guys. I was continuing to bank the 2 points each turn from Chidori, but by turn 5, there were hardly any GIs left on the board. Final score 40-8. Ken said "That's a good score" ---even with a straight face, but I knew I had been clobbered pretty good.
So now it was his turn to attack as the US. I setup fairly standard as the Japanese guarding the beaches heavily. I knew I had to keep him from getting the airfields early and would be pressed to keep him from getting the 9 points he needed. Ken took the long way around on his attack landing in non-beach areas" Silver Light, Kitano Point, Driftwood Coast, and Western Village. I thought this didn't seem very productive, and it wasn't on turn 1. But by landing on the far side of the island he was banking on the fact that I had to protect the beaches heavily and that his boys wouldn't take nearly the fire that mine did. And sure enough, slowly but surely his GIs moved forward taking mild damage, but remaining strong enough to get the job done. By turn 3 he had take Northern Airfield. I tried to shift units to block/counterattack, but had too far to go for most and the artillery units couldn't move. Ken entered the 3rd late enough to give me no points and he was racking up points from the Northern Airfield. When I failed to dislodge him by the end of 6, we were tied and there was no way for me to prevent him from getting another point over the last turns, so I conceded.
I think my attack really was a gamble---trying to gain alot of points early from the airfields, but just took too much damage. Of course going 2nd gave Ken an advantage in that he knew how many points he needed. I'm not sure the rear-island attack can generate enough points to win a single session game, but it seemed like a sure way to gain at least a dozen points. Ken said he thought it did give the US the best chance of winning the game as it reduced their exposure to Japanese fire (since the Japanese really have to guard the beaches or give up mucho points to the US very early). Anyway, had a blast playing Ken and I do enjoy this game.
Now, what to play in round 2 . . .