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  Across the Pacific by Pacific Rim Publishing   The above is the artwork for the US release, although I am kind of partial to the Japanese ...

Across the Pacific by Pacific Rim Publishing Across the Pacific by Pacific Rim Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Pacific Theater





 Across the Pacific


by


Pacific Rim Publishing





 The above is the artwork for the US release, although I am kind of partial to the Japanese edition cover below.



 Games that portray the entire war in the Pacific seem to be rather easy to find. They are probably right after Waterloo, The Bulge, and the Russian Front games as far as the amount of them. Unfortunately, when there is a crowded field of games, some will be left behind. Not because there is something wrong with them, but just because the public's fancy was caught by other games. This game has some unique points to it, but before we go there, let us describe what comes with the game. Here is the lucre in the box:

36 by 48 inch map of the Pacific Basin from Pearl Harbor to Imphal, Dutch Harbor to Brisbane
960 die-cut back printed 5/8 inch counters
24-page rules booklet
24-page Designer's Notes, Historical Commentary, and Examples of Play booklet
Two 11 by 17 inch color back printed Order of Battle charts — one Japanese, one Allied
Two 8-1/2 by 11 inch Unit and Carrier Air Groups Display charts — one Japanese, one Allied
Two 8-1/2 by 11 inch Task Force Display charts
Two 8-1/2 by 11 inch Charts and Tables card




 The listed size of the map is somewhat misleading. When you start to open it up, it seems like you are opening up one of the Russian dolls. Each flap seems to lead to another folded piece. I actually measured it, because it really seemed larger than the stated size. The colors are plain, and there is no glitz whatsoever. However, it is fully functional, and there are no ambiguities about the hex terrain. The counters are large and very easy to read. Again, they are more functional looking than arty. The Player's Aids are fully in color and well done. The Rulebook and Player's Handbook are in black and white. The Rulebook is twenty-four pages long. The rules are naturally a bit more involved than some other games. You are playing out the entire Pacific War. The Player's Handbook is split into three sections Designer's Notes, Historical Commentary, and Examples of Play. To give you an example of the Historical Summary:

"Tokkotai is a shortened form of TOKubetsu KOgokiTAI, meaning "special attack corps" or "special attack unit". Tokko is a shortened form of TOKubetsu KOgo, "special attack". The Japanese usually referred to these special attacks as Tokko and to the units that performed the attacks as Tokkotai." 
This is how informative the Historical Summary is. The Naval counters are a combination of different ships, and do not represent just one ship. Here are some examples:

Japanese
BB-1 - Fuso, Yamashiro
CV-3 - Zuikaku, Shokaku
United States
BB-10 Missouri, Wisconsin
CV-3 - Wasp, Hornet




 The designer Michaels Myers also wrote a book on the Pacific War. The name of it is 'The Pacific War and Contingent Victory: Why Japanese Defeat was not Inevitable'. After reading his Designer Comments I had to read a copy of the book for myself. It stands to reason that his ideas for the game came from his own ideas on the Pacific War. This comes from the Game Notes, and sums up the games premises:

"Across the Pacific questions the usual assumptions and allows players to test alternative strategies. For example, it is often assumed that Japan had no chance to win the Pacific War. The problems with this assumption is that (1) it assumes a kind of unproved historical determinism, (2) it undermines the problem-solving accomplishments of the Allies in the Pacific war, and (3) it neglects to take into account Japanese potential advantages. Such an assumption leads to wargames where the only interesting action takes place at the beginning or the end of the war. It is thought that the Allies could have done better in Malaya or the Philippines, but the main course of the war is assumed to be an ineluctable progress of the allies toward victory, whether that be occasioned by an invasion of Japan or atomic bombs."




 To use the designer notes again:

"The heart of the operational combat system in Across the Pacific is the creation and use of Naval Task Forces and Task Groups."

 The developer, Mark A. Kramer,  goes onto show all of the different strategies that Japan can use instead of the historical ones. 

Using the SSA regiment and an SNLF regiment to ensure the capture of Wake island on turn one. With the intention of capturing Guam on turn two.
Not splitting the IJN by trying to maintain two major bases at both Tokyo and Truk. 
Creating a Type-B Task Force in Tokyo to augment the carrier raid against Pearl Harbor, and using the guns to obliterate the initial USN deployment.
Invading and isolating New Guinea on turn one before the US and Australian troops can get there.
Go for an all out attack in China on turn one. It will make your conquest of southern Asia much more difficult, but will cut the need for keeping large forces pinned in China. It will also negate the Allied bombing campaign from China.




 So the designer has given you, as the Japanese and Allied player, a whole host of different strategies to try out. You are not even forced to attack Pearl Harbor. This is something that is usually a given in any Pacific war game.




 Each turn represents five months of the war. There are nine turns in total. These are the different scenarios you can play:

Across the Pacific - The Grand Campaign
Remember Pearl Harbor - This starts in May 1942 and assumes the Japanese acted historically. It ends in August 1945.
Midway - This lasts only one turn.
Guadalcanal - This lasts two turns.
The Rising Sun  - This lasts for one turn. It is a solitaire scenario with the player as the Japanese for the first five months of the war.

  As with any game that differs from the norm you have to put more effort into learning the rules. Two of the big rules or ideas in the game are 'Air Umbrellas' and CEL (Combat Effectiveness Level) for units. The Air Umbrella is a way for the player to keep a large area under his own air control. Historically, after 1942 the Japanese pilots were badly trained. The CEL rules in the game make it possible for the Japanese player to husband his good pilots, and get them into the good second part of the war airframes. POLs (Petroleum, Oil, and Lubricants) are the supply markers of the game. Almost any player action will use up a POL marker. 




 I really like the game and it is a shame that it seems to have been lost in the shuffle in 2010 when it was released. The variable strategies for both sides is one of its main points. While the Kamikaze attacks are open to the Japanese player, there is also the possibility that you will not need them.  The limited postings I have seen on the game find that players do enjoy the game and its concepts. Thank you Pacific Rim Publishing for letting me review this sleeper of a game. They seem to have a wide range of products to take a look at.

Robert

Pacific Rim Publishing:

Across the Pacific:



 

Okinawa! by Tiny battle Publishing  It is April 1945. The Allies are bombing Japan with Superfortresses from...

Okinawa! by Tiny Battle Publishing Okinawa! by Tiny Battle Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Pacific Theater





Okinawa!

by

Tiny battle Publishing









 It is April 1945. The Allies are bombing Japan with Superfortresses from the Marianas Islands. Okinawa is the next island closer to Japan. It is actually large enough to have ports and could be used as an emergency strip for the bomber streams to and from Japan. Iwo Jima was the last island that the Japanese would try to defend at the beaches. It has taken them a while, but the Japanese have worked out two different strategies to deal with the US invasions. The first, as mentioned, is not to defend the beaches, but tunnel in and defend the most defensible part of the island. This hopefully would negate at least some of the US's overwhelming firepower. The second is the 'Divine Wind' Kamikaze. This is the name of the storms that saved Japan from the Mongol Invasions almost 800 years ago. So, the stage is set for the game.

 This is what comes with the game:

176 counters with which to stage your desperate struggle.
1 striking 22x17-inch map.
1 rulebook to rifle through.
1 Player Aid Card to call in reinforcements.
A non-military issue Ziploc bag to billet your troops.

You’ll need to requisition two D6 from your divisional quartermaster.

(Tiny Battles quips not mine, but I like them.)





 This is the sequence of Play:

Reinforcement and Amphibious Assault Phase
Command Phase
Air and Naval Operations Phase
US Movement Phase
US Combat Phase
Japanese Movement Phase
Japanese Reserve Phase
Japanese Combat Phase
End Phase

 The counters are 5/8's in size. They are your typical plain Jane NATO counters. The main thing is that they are large enough and the colors used make them easy to read. The map is mostly of the Southern part on Okinawa. It does have plenty of off map boxes for all of the different areas and holding stations. It is easy to read and well done. The color choices on it match the counters as far as being easy on the eyes. The rulebook is twenty eight pages in length and is in color. The components are all well done without any flair. They are of a high standard, but not 'artistic'. There is nothing wrong with that. It is a game that is meant to be played, not a work of art for the wall.




The Scenarios include:

1. Start of the Nightmare - Turns 1-4 and does not cover the Air    Campaign
2. The Shuri Line - Turns 4-9 The Air Campaign is abstracted
3. The Thunder Gods  - Naval-Air Scenario Only
4. Okinawa! A Fools Day's Work - Turns 1-12 Full Campaign
5. Okinawa! Free Setup - Turns 1-12 Free Setup




 What actually makes the game unique is the designer's ideas and the choices he has made behind those ideas. The later Pacific battles are to some gamers, in a word, boring. The Japanese are tunneled in and the US and Allied forces have to burrow them out. Oh, you do have the occasional Banzai charge. Playing the Japanese, let alone the Allies, to some people borders on tedium. But I digress; back to the designer. His historical notes are worth the price of the game by themselves. He realizes that the Kamikaze campaign was not some last ditch hare-brained foolish idea. It was a well thought out decision that fit the realities of the Pacific campaign at the moment. The 'Great Marianas Turkey Shoot' had shown the Japanese that conventional air strikes against the Allies were useless. They only resulted in the loss of the plane and pilot for NO REASON. The Allies had become so advanced in Carrier Warfare that they were practically invulnerable. As the designer shows, the Kamikaze were able to not only lessen the Japanese losses, but they actually damaged the Allies. A Japanese pilot that attacked an Allied Carrier force was a dead man at this stage of the war. There was no way around it. He could spend his life futilely trying a conventional attack or spend it by actually damaging the enemy. That was the choice, pure and simple. The designer 'gets' it. He is one of the few (very few) people who understand the actualities of the Pacific War at the time. He is not finished in his heresy though. He  also understands that the last cruise of the Yamato (Operation Ten-Go) was not a one way ride to Valhalla. It was a military operation meant to coincide with a large kamikaze attack. The Yamato had enough fuel to get to Okinawa and back. The Yamato's sister ship Musashi had proven that she could take punishment like no other battleship ever, and still keep up a good speed. Because most of the US pilots had concentrated on the Musashi, the other ships escaped mostly unscathed in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The timing of Operation Ten-Go is one of the Japanese player's biggest ace up his sleeve.




 There is one design decision that I am iffy about. This has to do with the difference of opinion between the Japanese Commander Lieutenant General Ushijima and his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Isamu. Isamu was still a proponent of the Bushido way of Japanese warfare. Meaning that the will of the Japanese soldier was more important than the physical reality of the Allies' firepower. Because Isamu actually forced his view on the commander twice during the battle, the game mechanics follow this. The Japanese player has to roll on the '32nd Army Stance Table' during his part of the turn's Command Phase. The table is different for each of the three months of the battle. If 'Defense' is the result of the die roll, then the Japanese Player can do whatever he wants that turn. If it comes up 'Counterattack', then he must attack with at least two regiments or lose the game. Only one counterattack per month must be mandated. If the Japanese Player attacks on his own with at least two regiments that fulfills the monthly obligation.  




 So, we have deduced that I agree with most of the designer's way of thinking. What about the darned game? It plays well from either side. Yes, the Japanese are mostly just trying to defend as long as possible and inflict as many casualties on the Allies as possible. You can attack as the Japanese, although as a strategy I believe it falls flat as it did in reality. If they had not attacked out of their bunkers, the battle would have lasted longer. As the Allied commander (there is a British Carrier Force with you), you have to take the Island as quick and as casualty free as possible. The Japanese player wants to be like murderous fly-paper that you just cannot get rid of. The game rules turn what could be a slog into as interesting a conflict as it was in reality. The Allies have tremendous Naval and Air Forces at their command. They can pummel the Japanese pretty much every turn if they are left alone. The Japanese Player has only ten 'Kikusui' (air strikes) to unleash on the Allies for a full game. He cannot afford to strike every turn. I liked the first game Tiny Battle Publishing sent me to review even though it was a bit unconventional. This game, due to the designer's fore thought is a great representation of the battle. Thank you Tiny Battle Publishing for allowing me to review this gem. You can find some links below.

Robert

Tiny Battle Publishing:

Okinawa!:

My review of ' Rifles in the Pacific':





Panzer campaigns Japan '45 by John Tiller Software  It is fall of the year 1945 and the Allies (United States) ar...

Panzer Campaigns Japan '45 by John Tiller Software Panzer Campaigns Japan '45 by John Tiller Software

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Pacific Theater

Panzer campaigns Japan '45

by

John Tiller Software





 It is fall of the year 1945 and the Allies (United States) are determined to invade Japan. This is an alternate universe where there has been no Atom Bomb, and Japan is still refusing to unconditionally surrender. The U.S. has designed a plan to invade Japan called 'Operation Downfall'. The first part of the plan is 'Operation Olympic', the invasion of the island of Kyushu. That the U.S. troops will face fanatical resistance is a tremendous understatement. Even women and children have been semi-trained to fling the invader back into the Sea. The U.S. certainly has the firepower to inflict tremendous casualties on the Japanese people, but does it have the resolve to face the amount of casualties that will be inflicted upon it? Panzer Campaign Japan 1945 gives you the chance to game the outcome of Operation Olympic.




 John Tiller Software has been dishing out meat and potatoes to wargamers for twenty years. Yes, some of their games are that old. It is also true that the very core of the game is still the same. I can hear the groans now. "Oh this makes my eyes bleed",
"A computer game is old in six months", "How do you expect us to play the same old thing". I not only expect you to play it, but also to like it. We play boardgames that make these games seem like whipper snappers. They have been continuously updated down through the years to make the games still great, and not just ones that are played for nostalgia. The latest round of updates have definitely brought the games visually and play wise right back at the center of computer wargaming.




 These are the features of the game from the horses mouth:

Game scale is 1 hex = 1 km, 1 turn = 2 hours, with battalion and company size units.


44 Scenarios covering all sizes and situations, including specialized versions for both head to head play and vs. the computer AI.

The master map covers most of the island of Kyushu (87,720 hexes) where Operation Olympic would have taken place.

The order of battle file covers all of the forces that would have taken part in the campaign.

Order-of-Battle and Scenario Editors which allow players to customize the game.

Sub-map feature allows the main map to be "chopped" up into smaller segments for custom scenario creation.

All new images for unit art on both sides, including guns and vehicles covering all of the forces of the Allied and Japanese armies involved in the operation.

Design notes which cover or include the production of the game, campaign notes, sources and a scenario list.

All new game graphics including terrain, in game counters and 2D & 3D units as well as the toolbar icons.

All new sounds.

Japan '45 provides multiple play options including play against the computer AI, Play by E-mail (PBEM), LAN Internet "live" play, and two player hot seat.




 These are the scenarios:

Panzer Campaigns: Japan '45 Operation Olympic covers the entire campaign to take southern Kyushu from November to December 1945: 


The landing on Tanega-Shima - 1 thru 3 November 1945

The Invasion Phase - 4 thru 6 November 1945

The Breakout Phase - 7 thru 10 Novemeber 1945

The Linkup Phase - 14 thru 17 November 1945

The Final Phase - 19 thru 24 November 1945

Japanese Counterattacks - Mid December 1945

The 44 scenarios range from small actions such as the 6-turn, second day fighting at Ariake Bay to the super-large 283 turn "Take Kyushu" scenario. The wide variety of scenario length and size will give the players a stiff challenge! Weather conditions range from normal to mud. The terrain on Kyushu can be as much of an obstacle to victory as the enemy forces. 




 The game is not for the faint of heart or for someone who is looking for a Panzer General fix. This is a game where you will study the map longer than a Chess board before you make your move. These games are for the gamer who is in it for the long haul. The game play is meant to show how difficult it would have actually been to successfully invade the Japanese Home Islands. Playing as the Allies, you have to have your crowbar and C4 handy. You are not going to break a thin crust and then sweep your tanks for miles like Patton. This is Iwo Jima and Okinawa on a grand scale. As the Japanese player you are not going to be able to push the Allies back to sea. The Allies' monumental advantage in firepower etc. won't allow it. You are going to have to tenaciously fight for every inch of your homeland. The Japanese player will have to accept losses that would make the Eastern Front seem like a walk in the park. That said, this is what makes the game great. We play these for exactly the reasons mentioned. The long scenario will try you as much as playing The Campaign for North Africa. The good thing is that your cat won't mess up the counters and your wife won't give you evil sideways glances because her dining room table has disappeared. John Tiller Software games give you the ability to have that monster set up 24-7 just waiting for you to devote some time to it. 




 Without all of the updates to the games, and the tedious (I mean strenuous) play testing, I might slam the game also. I actually was a play tester for one of the Civil War games, and it is no joke that I had a kid go through High School before it was done. I had to drop out because it seemed too much like a job. The largest improvement to the games for me is the AI becoming so much better and the scenarios being much more solitaire gaming friendly. The early games were not really meant for solitaire playing except just to learn the games rules etc. They are now so much better in that regard. I know sometimes the AI will make a dumb move. So will Bill, that guy you play games with on Saturday nights (and so do you!). You can play the game if you want against human opponents. However, you can also now have a great solo game experience. The other new part to all of the games is the addition of an easy to use and unbelievably complete editor for anything and everything. You don't even need to play the game. The person who is into minutiae can fiddle for years on any aspect of the game.

 I have probably spent too much time writing about/defending the whole series of games that John Tiller Software puts out. It is just that they span so many eras that any wargamer can find something they would like to play in their repetoire. Japan '45 is an acquired taste. Some people enjoy gaming the Pacific War land battles and others find them a bit boring. I just suppose it comes down to a matter of taste. I normally do not like to play 'what if' battles unless they are based on what very nearly did happen historically. Had the A Bomb fizzled out (it was a very real question at the time), this invasion would have taken place. The Allies had drawn up all of the plans for the campaign and we know the Japanese dispositions for the campaign as well. So in this case, we are not entering the realm of make believe. It is much like gaming Operation Sea Lion, except that this is a grueling slugfest without an end. 




 Old yes (so am I, and I bet you are also), hell these are ancient for computer games. Just fire up a simulation from 1999 and see how much it resembles Pong. Enjoyable, you bet. Let us just hope that John Tiller Software keeps cranking them out for the next twenty years.

 Not only did I misspell campaigns in the title, but I forgot to mention anything about Wargame Design Studio. WDS is the brains behind all of the newest updates including this game and the Panzer battles series, among others. 

Link to the games page:

These are links to other Tiller games I reviewed:



Robert

                                       Rifles in the Pacific by Tiny Battle Publishing   Tiny Battle...

Rifles in the Pacific by Tiny Battle Publishing Rifles in the Pacific by Tiny Battle Publishing

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Pacific Theater






                                       Rifles in the Pacific



by


Tiny Battle Publishing










 Tiny Battle is an apt name for the company that released this game. The game defies my attempts to pigeonhole it. It is a tactical game, but it is unlike any other tactical game I have played. It is a solitaire game of tactical warfare in the (surprise) Pacific. Let us first list what comes with the game:

Rule Booklet
Mission Briefing Booklet
Four Army Sheets (on two sides of 8 1/2" x 11" cards)
One Master Copy Unit Roster (on the back of the game's cover)
Three 8 1/2" x 11" Maps representing the varying terrain in the Pacific Theater
One Squad Examples Card (on the back of the Map Card)
39 1" Unit Counters
46 Administrative Counters

 You will need to provide five six-sided die, and a container for random drawing counters



Maps


 The one inch counters are a godsend for these old eyes. The 'Map Cards' do not resemble any I have seen. They look much more like 'Battle Boards' I have seen in other games. So, you really cannot say if the 'Map' is an eyesore or a work of beauty. They are utilitarian looking, and do the job. The counters, on the other hand, are very well done, and did I mention that they are one inch. 





 The game sequence is pretty simple. This is what it looks like:

Mission Setup
Squad Selection
Mission Execution
End-Mission Briefing

 The Armies available are:

Japan - Both the Special Navy Landing Force, and Imperial Japanese Army
United States - Marines
Commonwealth






 The missions you can play are:

Jungle Patrol
Defend A River Bank
Capture A Bridge
'Wave Zero' - Amphibious Invasion
Demolition Squad
Destroy A Radio Station
Casualty Evacuation
'Line Of Fire' - Attack A Strong Position




 Other than the slightly weird (at least for me) setup of the game, in most ways it is a normal tactical game. Tanks, mines, close combat etc. are all here among all of the other usual rules. The tanks you get to use include Shermans, Cromwells, Stuarts, Type 96 (Ha-Go), and the Type 97 Medium Tank. The rule book is well set out, and is easy to read and understand. This is the second game in the 'Rifles' games from Tiny Battle. The first game is 'Rifles in the Ardennes'. 








 I have to be truthful and say it took a few games for me to get used to the game. It did begin to grow on me. If you are in the mood for a quick, easy playing game about tactical warfare in the Pacific then I can recommend 'Rifles' with no caveats. Thank you Tiny Battle Publishing for letting me review this interesting game.

Robert

Tiny Battle Publishing:

Rifles in the Pacific:

They are also publishing 'The Devil's To Pay' Hermann Luttmann's game on the first day of Gettysburg. I really like his games and especially the map look and style of his Gettyburg games. He designed 'Longstreet Attacks' about the second day.

Pacific Victory Second Edition by Columbia Games   Columbia Games touts itself as 'the home of block wargami...

Pacific Victory Second Edition by Columbia Games Pacific Victory Second Edition by Columbia Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Pacific Theater



by







 
Columbia Games touts itself as 'the home of block wargaming'. With the amount of games and how long they have been producing them, who am I to argue? I have reviewed two of their games so far: 'Julius Caesar' and 'Combat Infantry'. Julius Caesar is a good game, and it has a large following. However, I think Combat Infantry is a great game and a blast to play. So, they were kind enough to send me the second edition of 'Pacific Victory'. I never played the first edition, so I cannot compare the two. I will look online and see other people's comparison and see if there are any good or bad things that there are a consensus about.

 So first let us look at what comes with the game:
  • Large 9 panel mapboard
  • 2 sets Rules v2.5, in color with improved balance and victory conditions
  • 8 6-sided dice
  • 132 wood blocks plus some replacements in four (4) colors:
    • orange: IJN, 66 blocks;
    • blue: US, 39;
    • brown: British, Indian, ANZAC, 17;
    • yellow: China, 10.
  • Block artwork is new.

 The game also comes with two rule books, which is an excellent idea. Now two gamers can read their own copy, so you do not have to waste your time copying the rule book. More games should do this.


Back Of The Box

 There is a campaign game and these are the additional scenarios:

1941: Rising Sun - 4 hour playing time
1942: High Noon - 3 hour playing time
1943: Setting Sun - 2 hour playing time

 The victory conditions are:
Pacific Victory is played until one
player gains a Decisive Victory, or until
completion of the Jun/45 Turn. At this
time, the Japanese player totals Victory
Points (VPs) and consults the table below:
JVPs Victory Level TPs
25+ Japanese Decisive 3
16–24 Japanese Victory ('45) 2
13-15 Stalemate ('45) 1/1
6-12 Allied Victory ('45) 2
0-5 Allied Decisive 3
Victory Points are equal to supplied
Production Points.
Tourney Points (TPs) can be used to
compare game results. 


Map


 The game also comes with nine different optional rules. Some of these are:

Banzai: 
 Japanese individual Infantry or Marine units can declare a Banzai attack. This increases the unit's firepower for one fire against a target unit. But the unit is eliminated unless it eliminates the target unit.
Fanatic Defense:
  Japanese Infantry or Marines have D2  defending any minor base, but cannot retreat.
ASW:
 Submarines become their own target
group. They can be attacked only by
Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) combat.
Allied naval units (except CV) have ASW
firepower of N2 and the Japanese have
N1. The firepower of Air units, Carriers,
and Submarines are unchanged.

 The game also covers the entire Pacific War. The game does come with rules so that the Chinese part of the war is removed. This makes for a quicker game.

Stickers

 The map is large, and is relatively simple looking. However, this approach works well for the game. It is easy to read and figure out the different terrain. The large amount of blocks to sticker might be a problem for some people. I lucked out and lassoed my daughter into helping me. The stickers are very good looking. They  are also simple without any great embellishment. The blocks are the standard size, so they are easy to read and see at a glance what units you have where.



Map Closeup

 Each unit is marked with an  A,B,CD, or E. These represent where during a combat round a unit attacks. A goes first etc. If both sides have the same letter in the combat round, the defender attacks first. Battles can be fought for a maximum of three combat rounds. During a combat round a unit can either fire/attack or retreat. The blocks, as usual, are marked with dots on each side to show their strength at that moment. The number of dots also represents the number of die that the unit can roll during firing. In the lower right hand of the stickers is a list of numbers, for example  1-2-3. This corresponds to the die roll an enemy would have to roll for a hit. The numbers 1-2-3 would equal the die roll for attack by an Air, Naval, or Ground unit, A/N/G in the rule book.



Back Of The Rule Book

 I have played some monster games on the Pacific War. I have also played some much smaller and simpler ones that played very quickly. I would place this game in the middle of these two types of games. This game is able to be played in one gaming session, but it is also deep enough to keep players coming back for more. I am not a fan of light 'beer and pretzels' games. So be assured this is not one of them. The only real disagreement I would have with the designer (Tom Dalgliesh) is the choice of units and unit strengths. The battles are quickly played out in the game. So, you might even be able to get two games in on gaming night. This is a good game in that while it doesn't try to be a simulation of the Pacific War is still a good fun game for players. 



Counters Closeup

 As far as it being the Second Edition (with 2.5 version rules), people seem to only have good things to say about it compared to the first version. It has larger map, more leaders, and overall the rules have been tweaked to be even better.Thanks again to Columbia Games for letting me review this game. Now, get to work on the Eastern Front for Combat Infantry.

Robert
PixelPLaybox.co.uk