The IJN player covered all his options. He did not believe that the ABDA commander would just plough forward in line ahead formation, but that is all the ABDA commander could do (the "follow me" restriction still in effect, command was now devolved to the captain of HMAS Perth, simply because he was nearest the front). Hence the bulk (staggeringly 12 out of 20) of the Japanese torpedoes completely missed their targets, but eight were still on target to attack HMAS Perth and USS Houston, the leading two ships of the ABDA line.
Quick thinking and obedient helmsman following "Hard a port!" and "Hard a starboard!" in quick succession, saved both ABDA ships (Note: They were travelling just too fast and outside effective range, the IJN player needed a "1" on a d6 and Lady Luck was elsewhere, exactly where is seen below). Long Lance impact: NULL.
The ABDA sailors started to breathe again, but then were utterly lost for words:
A huge column of white water spouted amidships on IJNS Nachi (Note: Conversely she was slow and inside effective torpedo range) as she took a massive three hull and one armament box damage, leaving her stationary in the water with only one turret operational. The silence was broken as a huge cheer arose from the bridge of HMAS Perth (turning heads and stopping play on the adjacent Sci-Fi RPG table and bringing a raised beer glass salute from the ACW Naval compatriots two tables away).
Meanwhile action on the starboard quarter of ABDA, as seen from the IJN perspective, the battle was better for the Japanese.
HMS Exeter received a hammering from the Japanese Second Flotilla, First Division, inflicting some damage in return but after the exchange is left without guns and dead in the water (half a hull box).
At the rear of the battle the brave efforts of the USS Davis paid off. No hits but the IJNS Naka evaded the American torpedoes by reversing course 180 degrees taking her away from the Dutch cruiser Java. The US Destroyer flotilla was now separated from the ABDA cruiser line by the much stronger Japanese Second Destroyer Flotilla (effectively now stern-chasing the ABDA cruiser line) .
The US Destroyer flotilla (see below) gamely sets off in chase of their stronger adversaries.
What next? A booming crack of thunder as the IJNS Hagero targets in her eight inch guns on the Perth seeking vengeance for her silenced sister. The fast punching reply of HMAS Perth's six incher's state her intent to take this to the finish. Meanwhile the USS Houston attempted to silence the crippled IJNS Nachi which bravely returns fire from a solitary working turret.
From Hagero's muzzle flash to impact is mere seconds, HMAS Perth braces herself for kingdom come as a punishing salvo whines in for her desrtuction and death.