My immersion into Mark Herman’s beast of a design, Pacific War, has been a slow burn. The organization and sorting alone has been an involved task that required me to actually acquire a label maker to help delineate the madness. This will reap dividends when I repeatedly get the game to the table and will allow me to set up the myriad of scenarios more quickly if I had relied on a less efficient sort. The counters will be punched in time as I move from scenario to scenario. Ten counter sheets may be too much for one go!

While the sort was ongoing, I was drawn to the sprawling map. The game really pulled no punches in the scope and breadth of the Pacific theater. Immaculately detailed, the distances and terrain accurately reflect the strategic challenges faced by both the Allies and the Imperial Japanese.

The curious orientation may be jarring at first, but does a fantastic job of shaking the viewer out of the traditional ways of seeing the theater – it really makes you consider the terrain first by dispensing with the prior prejudice of a north-south perspective.

And I know this is just the beginning of my long journey with this title. But with everything punched and soon to be clipped, I will be getting the entirety of the Engagement Scenarios rolling and am looking forward to exploring this theater of war more thoroughly.