Following my (disappointing) play of the Battle of the Coral Sea using the Second World War at Sea system, I tried out the same battle but this time used Fires of Midway (FoM).
Whereas SWWAS focuses on the operational aspects of the battle, FoM is a straight-up carrier battle. The fun part is the card-driven aspects. Cards drive the search phase. Cards are used for combat and damage resolution. There are few counters but many colorful cards used by both players.
Like the historical battle, Lexington was sunk but unlike history the Japanese escaped with light damage to one carrier. The US player started confident and tried to strike early, but low clouds and heavy fuel use meant the first strike arrived with little behind it. The Japanese player waited until the range closed and launch devastating strikes that hammered “Lady Lex” and sent her to a watery grave. This scenario was a very effective illustration of the importance of the first effective strike over just having the first strike.
All together this smaller scenario took about 1.5 hours to play. Set up was so fast it really added little time.