First Invasion of Wake Island – Pacific War (GMT Games)

The next engagement scenario to hit the table is the First Invasion of Wake Island, where a vastly outnumbered 1st Marine battalion with a handful of Wildcats and shore guns hope to fend off a ferocious IJN assault.

But despite the perceived advantages of the Japanese assets, the scenario rules will make it difficult for the invaders. The lynchpin of the island’s defenses is the Wake fortification. As long as it is intact, it counts as a naval unit which not only can fire at the IJN task force as it makes it’s approach to the atoll but it will delay the embarked naval infantry from landing on that battle cycle. And considering the scenario only lasts one battle cycle, the IJN infantry can’t take the island if the fortifications are not destroyed.

This means they must be destroyed from the air. The available bomber unit only has 2 steps and must run the gamut of a potential CAP interception and the subsequent flak fire. But if if can survive that, the odds are high that the defenses can be eliminated.

However, even with this accomplished, the IJN infantry will still have to wade ashore with their troop quality halved and engage a similar sized battalion. Only effective shore bombardment by the supporting navy will even the odds.

Suffice it always come down to the wire – which is all I could ask for.

These small scenarios continue to delight – they are perfect learning tools, remain historically accurate and are well balanced. If the appetizers are this good, the entrees are sure to please.

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