Guadalcanal is a five-turn introduction to the naval system. Do not think that a short game isn't fun. This is a chess game. The text is presented as it is in the rules book or the official errata. My remarks, insightful commentary, and opinions will appear inline and be clearly marked.

The following topics are available

Designer's Notes

My Notes

Japanese Japanese
Allied

24.2.2  Guadalcanal ~ The tide turns: May/Jun 1942 ~ Jan/Feb 1943 [Top]

This game starts with the Japanese, having conquered much of the Pacific so easily, pondering whether they should take it all. Meanwhile, the USA is gathering its forces for the long struggle on Guadalcanal , the inconclusive battle of the Coral Sea and the decisive carrier action at Midway.

Players: Japan vs. the Commonwealth/Free France/USA

First turn: May/Jun, 1942

No. of turns: 5

Maps used: Asia , Pacific and America excluding China , Korea , Manchuria , and all Soviet controlled hexes.

Initiative: Axis +1 box. The Axis starts with the initiative and must take the first impulse.

Last weather modifier: Nil. The die-roll for the first impulse of the game is an Ď8í.

War status: The Commonwealth, Free France and the USA are at war with Japan .

Entry Markers: NA

Reserves: All major powers have called out their reserves.

Control: As specified on the map except that:

    Japan has conquered Hong Kong, Burma (south of the 1942 start line), Malaya, Papua and Dutch New Guinea (north of the 1942 start line), the rest of the Netherlands East Indies, North Borneo, Christmas Island (East Indian Ocean), East Timor, the Philippines, Wake Island, Guam, Admiralty Islands, New Ireland, New Britain, Nauru, the three Gilbert Islands hexes, Pacific hexes 1915, 1916 and 2016 and all islands exclusively in the Bay of Bengal; and is aligned with Siam and French Indo-China;

    Free France controls all French territories on the Pacific map;

    Vichy France is aligned with Madagascar and all French territories on the Asian and America map; and

    the Commonwealth has conquered Italian Somaliland .

Intelligence points: NA

Production: None. The only action that may occur in the production stage is the breakdown of units (see 22.4.1).

    All units arrive on fixed schedules (see set-up chart) with the following additions:

    (a) the Commonwealth, US and Japan may each repair one naval unit a turn. Unused repairs can not be saved; and

    (b) reinforcements arrive normally (see 4.2) except that British units arrive at South Africa , Aden or Quebec . If these are all Axis controlled, the units remain on the production circle until one of these places is British controlled. Note 1

Special rules: None

Special victory conditions: Each player gains the following victory points at the end of the game:

(a)       5 for each friendly controlled objective hex that was enemy controlled at the start of the game (and 0 for any others);

(b)       4 for each enemy CV destroyed;

(c)        the US/CW/France player scores victory points, if at the end of a turn there are less than 5 CP in the China Sea or South China Sea . The Allies receive VP equal to the number of CP less than 5 there are in each sea area each turn; Note 2

    (d)    2 for each friendly controlled oil resource point that was enemy controlled at the start of the game; and

    (e)    1 for each other friendly controlled resource point that was enemy controlled at the start of the game.

    The player with the higher total subtracts their opponentís total and compares it to the following table to gauge the level of victory:

  • Decisive:         21+

  • Substantive:  11 - 20

  • Marginal:       6 - 10

  • Draw :            0 - 5

Historical objectives: Japan ~ 16, Commonwealth/France/USA ~ 26.


[Top]

The following setup tables are available.

Guadalcanal - Japan setup

Our group does not play with SiF (Ships in Flames) or PiF (Planes in Flames).

Location

Land units

WiF-naval

SiF-naval

WiF-aircraft

PiF-aircraft

Other

Japan

1 INF,
2 MIL

-

-

1 NAV-2

1 PIL

1 Gun,
1 Eng,
8 Oil

Siam


1Si MIL

-

-

-

-

-

Burma

Yamashita,
1 INF

-

-

1 FTR-2

1 PIL

-

Asia/Pacific

Yamamoto,
2 INF,
2 MAR

CV~Akagi, Hiryu,
Junyo, Kaga, Ryujo,
Shokaku, Soryu, Zuikaku;
BB~Fuso, Hiei, Ise,
Kongo, Nagato, Yamato;
CA~Atago, Kako, Mogami, Myoko, Tone; CL~Katori, Natori, Oi,
Sendai , Tenryu, Yura;
3 Trs, Amph;
2 Sub; 25 CP

CVL~Hosho, Shoho,
Taiyo, Unyo, Zuiho;
BB~Haruna, Hyuga, Kirishima, Mutsu, Yamashiro;
CA~Aoba, Ashigara, Chikuma, Chokai, Furutaka, Haguro, Idzumo, Kinugasa, Kumano, Maya, Mikuma, Nachi,
Suzuya, Takao;
Sub, -1 CP,
17 CVP, 12P

1 FTR-2,
1 LND-3,
1 NAV-2,
1 NAV-3,
1 ATR-3

1 FTR-2,
1 LND-3,
1 NAV-2,
1 NAV-3,
5 PIL

1 Gun,
1 Mar

Repair pool

-

-

CA~Asama

-

-

-

Jul/Aug

1 INF

CV~Hiyo [fu]

BB~Musashi [fu];
1 CVP, 1P

1 FTR-2

1 PIL

-

Sep/Oct

1 INF

CL~Agano [fu]

1 CVP, 1P

1 NAV-3

1 PIL

-

Nov/Dec

1 INF

-

CVL~Chuyo,
Ryuho [fu];
1 CP; 1 CVP

-

-

-

Jan/Feb

1 INF

CA~Oyodo [fu]

-

-

-

-

Guadalcanal - USA setup

Our group does not play with SiF (Ships in Flames) or PiF (Planes in Flames).

Location

Land units

WiF-naval

SiF-naval

WiF-aircraft

PiF-aircraft

Other

US east coast

-

CV~Hornet,
BB~
Washington ,
South Dakota
;
CA~Cleveland (not SiF)

BB~ North Carolina

1 LND-3

1 PIL

-

US west coast

1 MOT,
1 INF,
1 MAR

CV~ Saratoga

BB~ Colorado ; CA~ Louisville

-

-

1 Eng

Pacific/America map

Macarthur

CV~ Lexington , Yorktown ;
CA~
Chicago , Portland ;
CL~
San Diego , Trenton ;
Trs; Sub; 10 CP

CA~Salt Lake City ,
San Francisco;
4 CVP, 2 P

2 FTR-2,
1 LND-3,
1 NAV-3

1 FTR-2
4 PIL

1 Gun,
1 Mar,
2 Oil

Honolulu

Nimitz

CV~ Enterprise ;
BB~
Maryland , Mississippi ,
Pennsylvania ;
CA~New
Orleans , Pensacola ;
CL~
St Louis ; Trs

BB~ Idaho ,
New Mexico ;
CA~
Astoria , Chester , Indianapolis , Minneapolis , Northampton ;
Sub; 2 CVP, 1 P

-

-

-

Repair pool

-

BB~ Tennessee

BB~ Nevada

-

-

-

Jul/Aug

1 INF

CL~ Atlanta [fu]

1 CVP, 1P

1 NAV-2

1 PIL

-

Sep/Oct

-

Amph [fu]

1 CVP

1 LND-3

1 PIL

-

Nov/Dec

-

CV~ Essex [fu]

1 CVP, 1P

-

-

-

Jan/Feb

-

CV~Lexington II [fu]

-

-

-

-

Guadalcanal - Commonwealth setup

Our group does not play with SiF (Ships in Flames) or PiF (Planes in Flames).

Location

Land units

WiF-naval

SiF-naval

WiF-aircraft

PiF-aircraft

Other

South Africa

1 SA MIL

5 CP

-3 CP

-

-

1 Terr

Italian Somaliland

1 INF

-

1 CP

-

-

-

Australia

1A MOT,
1A INF,
1A MIL

-

1 CP

-

-

1 Terr,
1 Oil

India , Burma

Wawell,
1 INF,
1In INF,
1In MIL,
1In GAR

CV~Formidable, Indomitable;
BB~Revenge, Warspite;
CA~
Australia , Gambia ,
Hawkins;
CL~Ceres, Danae,
Durban , Emerald;
Trs

BB~Royal Sovereign; CA~ Birmingham , Canberra ,
Devonshire , Frobisher,
Glasgow , Mauritius ,
Newcastle , Sumatra (Ne);
1CP; 4 CVP, 2P

-

-

1 Gun,
2 Terr,
1 Oil

Repair pool

-

-

CA~ Belfast

-

-

-

Jul/Aug

-

TRS [fu]

CA~ Bermuda [fu]

1 FTR-2

1 PIL

-

Sep/Oct

-

Sub [fu]

-

-

-

-

Nov/Dec

-

-

CA~Berwick [fu]

-

-

-

 


[Top] [Allied Player's Notes]

Japanese Players Notes

You have the advantage of interior lines and superior forces. You must use them aggressively in support of your early offensive. Donít wait several turns to go on the attack; time and reinforcements favor the Allies in this scenario. You have few land units, so you must make good use of your interior lines and naval and naval air power to keep the Allies fleets from causing trouble. 

You need to decide which enemy objectives you will attack. There are three basic strategies: control the Bay of Bengal in order to take Colombo and Calcutta ; apply pressure in the Marshalls to try to destroy the American fleet quickly; or defend on the flanks and launch targeted invasions towards Brisbane. In all cases, use your MAR and a good INF with your AMPH as your strike force, backed up other fleet elements. 

Attacking India and Ceylon is probably the best strategy, as there are more objectives in this region and the Commonwealth fleet is no match for yours. You might try to mask this intention by setting up your fast fleet units in Truk or Rabaul ~ they can still be effective in the Bay of Bengal. You will, in any case, be forced to devote some attention to the Americans once their MAR is available to attack you. Try to keep only slight naval inferiority with the Americans, to keep them honest. Meanwhile, invade Ceylon quickly, and follow up with coordinated invasion and overland attack (from Siam ) towards Calcutta. Both should be within your grasp. Against an unwary Allied player you might even be able to hook around into the Arabian Sea and grab Bombay or Aden. 

Invading Honolulu will be difficult, but isolating it and trapping the American fleet could yield big dividends. As Honolulu is a three sea area port, this will be difficult. However, if Yamamoto is based in Rabaul or Truk, you could sail a fleet into the Marshalls, watch the American fleet flee, return some units (especially fast carriers) to base and reorganize them, and then go hunting! An invasion to the islands west of Honolulu could serve as air bases for your FTR and NAV, which could then lead port attacks against Honolulu. In reality, you will likely only chase the American fleet away, hopefully back to the USA. However, this will open the door to cutting supply to Honolulu and a possible invasion of it after all. 

The Brisbane strategy is more defensive in nature, and is really an attempt to lure the Allied fleets out to battle on your terms. Landing in Australia should not be difficult, but, as it is a Commonwealth home country, its supply is guaranteed. Invade north of Brisbane with a modest fleet so you may move in quickly to the attack, hopefully causing Allied consternation and naval sorties. This is what you want. Having kept much of your fleet in reserve, you may now sally forth, in coordination with your FTR and NAV, to attempt to smash the Allied fleets. If they donít take the bait, you should be able to batter Brisbane and take it with massive shore bombardment and CV air support. Donít waste your resources invading Darwin, it is of no value. 

Proper deployment and use of your land based airplanes is critical to your success, regardless of which strategy you choose. They can be employed to help you press home the attack but, if not, use them to ensure your own supply lines back to Japan and to protect your reinforcements as they arrive. 

By mid game your attempts at attacking will have played themselves out, in all likelihood. Now you must garrison all of your victory cities (Tokyo, Truk, Rabaul, Singapore, Saigon), and keep a reaction force on board your TRS and AMPH capable of repulsing attacks towards your resources or newly acquired victory cities. 

If you are playing with optional rules, break down some INF into infantry divisions. These can invade off SCS and threaten the Allies in even more places at once.


[Top] [Japanese Player's Notes]

Allied Players Notes

Allies: The Allies should follow the same strategy as that pursued by Napoleonís enemies in 1813, ďHit íem where they ainítĒ (ďVoici Bonaparte! Sauve qui peut!Ē). The Japanese player has more (and faster) CVs and supporting SCS units. It is imperative that you do not fall victim to an early Tenno-zan, a decisive battle, because the odds will favor Japan, and an early decisive loss at sea will ensure loss of the game for the Allies.

Defend your critical areas ( Aden, Bombay, Calcutta, Colombo, Australia, Samoa and Honolulu ). Then use your excess units (particularly your precious MAR) to exploit the inevitable Japanese weaknesses. If itís any consolation, Japan will have fewer land units in play than you do. Take advantage of this by severing her communication lines, possibly by using your SUB to ambush Japanese TRS or AMPH. 

If the Japanese concentrate their fleet in Singapore, you can bet they are attacking towards India and Ceylon. To counter this possibility, the Commonwealth fleet should be set up at a safe distance such as Bombay, or even Aden. The British fleet cannot defeat the Japanese fleet and should try to avoid any engagement against enemy carriers. Try to shuttle your reinforcements to vital hexes by using the cover of bad weather (you hope) and positioning your TRS in fringe sea areas (i.e. deploy to the West Indian Ocean when reinforcing Colombo ; an enemy fleet which chases you here cannot support efforts against the Indian mainland). Tell your American ally to apply some pressure or you may lose several victory cities ( Colombo, Calcutta, Bombay, and Aden are within easy reach). 

The USA should use the opportunity to attack Japanese bases. These include possible invasions of Kwajalein, Eniwetok, or Saipan. These multi-ocean ports will be difficult to take (itís hard to cut their supply, and Japan may reinforce them), so make sure your planning efforts are precise. Ensure you are invading from a high sea box and try to cut enemy supply lines. Hit them with a 2 unit invasion (including the MAR) and you will usually succeed, inflicting heavy enemy casualties. Avoid risky invasions. Early loss of your MAR will give Japan a free hand for several turns, as your invasion capability will be gone until late in the game. If you canít arrange an invasion, position your MAR on a TRS in Midway. This threatens a kamikaze invasion of Tokyo ! Use your newly minted Essex class carriers to lead an attack on some Japanese victory city. The early seizure of a forward base will keep Japan guessing as to your intentions. The American AMPH must be moved to a forward location as soon as possible; sail it out from the West Coast on the first impulse of Sept/Oct, and voluntarily return it to Honolulu. Nimitz can reorganize it and send it sailing again right away, possibly to invade or just to get to a more distant theater quickly. 

If instead, the Japanese concentrate against the US (the Japanese fleet deploys in Truk or Rabaul), the US should stand on the defensive, waiting for potential opportunities. The US fleet should set up its discretionary units in the safety of Honolulu. This base has both land unit and FTR unit coverage, the latter being especially useful to prevent enemy port strikes. Best of all it has an escape hatch: if the Japanese fleet sails into the Marshalls sea zone, you can escape via the Hawaiian Islands or Christmas Island sea zones and try to outflank them. Make sure you keep an INF unit in addition to Nimitz in Honolulu, to forestall any wild Japanese notions of invading Pearl Harbor. Brisbane makes an attractive forward base for later in the scenario, if you can get FTR coverage there. Keeping your main fleet concentrated and at a secure base is a wise precaution. 

The Commonwealth fleet could then support its armyís in attacks in Burma. Alternatively, it could support 10:1 invasions against any Japanese hex defended by an out-of-supply notional unit. You can use this tactic to capture resources and bases in the Bay of Bengal and South China Sea. Be careful though that the Japanese doesnít use the opportunity to launch a sortie against you with their fast carrier fleet from Rabaul or Truk (be patient, and wait till the Japanese are committed). Keep in mind that the victory conditions reward successful naval play just as much as they do the seizure of objective locations, so donít sacrifice your fleet late in the game just to grab a key hex. If you are playing with optional rules, you might consider breaking down an INF into infantry divisions. This will give you additional invasion opportunities if you use them on fast SCS, with the SCS invasion rule.