The ABDA destroyer screen manoeuvres itself table-top into a position to "see" the left hand side IJN counter. Five ABDA destroyers deploy in line abreast and correspondingly a clump of IJN ships appear from the Umpire's "toy box".
There is a slight audible gulp from Rear Admiral "Doorman" as he was hoping for far less enemy ships, a destroyer picket rather than the flotilla above. Although the absence of anything "heavy" (8" or greater) is a great relief. He would happily take Japanese light cruiser and a flotilla of IJN destroyers if that was all their ships. Certainly something for "Doorman" to ponder, especially since the GQII player knows more than his historical counterpart and mutters "Long Lance" under his breath.
The Japanese and ABDA destroyers form a line of battle and engage in a bit of long range destroyer gunnery.
All else behind this front battle-line is still approximation via 'poker counters', though the hum of the Japanese float planes is getting ominously louder. The gunfire duel lasts but two rounds, a scattering of hits across the RN destroyers and a return pebble dashing of the leading Japanese destroyers, with the added interest of a critical hit down in a boiler room which means one IJN destroyer pulls out of line (in order that he does not slow the formation down) and starts straggling.
Doorman sees that enemy 'gun' numbers would soon aversely tell as the Jap light cruiser is about to enter the fray. Discretion being the better part of valour and wanting to hide the main ABDA line of battle for as long as possible "Doorman" orders a covering smoke screen to be laid.
The destroyers comply (Dutch destroyers to the right hand side, RN destroyers to the right).