Midway – Pacific War (GMT Games)

The setup of the 3rd scenario handily illustrates that the planned Japanese invasion of Midway and the Aleutian Islands was a massive undertaking, involving a significant portion of the IJN fleet. Designed to lure out and destroy the American carriers, the tip of the offensive spear was comprised of 4 carriers or about half of the Japanese carrier force and with their annihilation, the Japanese’s offensive staying power was dramatically reduced.

While there remains a healthy debate whether the victory was as decisive as some have claimed, or if the United States was really the underdog in the battle, it had profound impact on the trajectory of the war.

It’s a testament to Herman’s design that it can adroitly simulate a far range of events and combat scenarios that occurred during the Pacific War. Here, it is possible and even likely that the historical outcome can be achieved. The Ambush CV conditions prevent simultaneous strikes and a devastating doubling of hits on any embarked carriers during the first Advantage Air Mission. Even if the carriers aren’t sunk for victory point purposes, the reduction of the Japanese air groups will prevent them from effectively supporting the invasion of Midway.

In the north, there isn’t much the Americans can do to prevent the seizure of Attu and Kiska, but it does prevent the Japanese from further reinforcing their efforts to take Midway.

But whatever the outcome, without playing a larger campaign, it’s hard to evaluate the impact of the events of the battle. This isn’t a flaw per se just an element of playing a scenario with limited scope. I’ll be happy to see how this event plays out on the larger stage of a Strategic Scenario when the time comes soon.

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