The defeat of Force Z at the hands of the Japanese air forces would signal a titanic paradigm shift in the history of naval warfare. The Repulse and the Prince of Wales were not sunk by ships of equal tonnage and weaponry but by substantially cheaper and more versatile aircraft – a stunning harbinger of what Coral Sea and Midway would solidify. The day of the battleship was over, arguably it never began, but regardless, the control of the sea would be decided by airpower.
At this point, I’m itching for the bigger scenarios – after looking at the victory conditions, it seemed that the historical outcome wasn’t likely and I wanted to allow Force Z to flee back to Singapore and have the Japanese pursue them with the possibility of the Japanese task forces initiating a surface action. I played out this altered scenario to see if Force Z could make it home.