The scale of War in the Pacific: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945 is 60 miles per hex and losses are individual vehicles, aircraft, guns and squads. Since half the planet Earth is covered by the titanic Pacific struggle, the game is massive in scope, covering thousands of ships tens of thousands of aircraft. Virtually every ship, air group and battalion sized or larger troop formation is covered in exacting detail.
While massive, it is designed to be simple to play, as the computer tracks all the factors and the interface allows the player to concern himself with only the degree of detail he prefers. A total of fifteen campaigns are included, ranging from a tutorial scenario and smaller campaign to the largest full campaign. The computer can play against you, or you can play against another human, by e-mail or hotseat. The computer can also be assigned to command some of your forces or to run all of your logistics, freeing you up to focus on the most important strategic choices.
David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said "This incredible simulation has been years in the making by one of the best teams in the business. From top to bottom, everything has been enhanced, optimized and improved to handle the entire War in the Pacific while keeping options for both hard core grand campaign wargamers as well as those who prefer to focus on a single operation at a time."
In addition to many enhancements to improve the flexibility and ease of command over the original Uncommon Valor interface, War in the Pacific: The Struggle Against Japan 1941-1945 incorporates a new production system as well as a political influence system for replacing historical commanders with those you think will do a better job. This allows modeling of the strategic economic realities of each area in the pacific theater, as well as the adjustment of production and priorities.
The War At Sea - Besides critical hit locations for all weapons platforms and any radar installations, individual armor locations and a wealth of performance and characteristics data, each ship's crew has an experience rating for day and night combat. Every ship from mighty carriers and battleships down to gun boats has a commander with his own strengths and weaknesses. The game includes thousands of ships chosen from over 300 ship classes.
The War in the Air - A wide variety of aircraft are included in the game, ranging from the awkward P-39 and the nimble Zero, to the heavy hitting B-29 and the extremely fast and powerful Corsair. Pilots and crews are tracked separately from aircraft and have individual skill and fatigue ratings. When pilots are in short supply, they can be placed into the pilot pool and reassigned to other groups
The War on the Ground - Troops are needed to maintain and garrison bases and to deprive the enemy of his bases. So, troops are handled with care. There are a goodly number of different types of land-based units. The unit counters are mostly on division and brigade level, but there are many independent regiments and battalions. These are all represented by different unit counters and have different capabilities and include engineers, combat squads, Marine squads, support squads, air support sections, Sherman tanks, Stuart tanks, motorized forces, a number of mortars and field artillery and many others.
- Covers the entire Pacific Theater of WWII from Dec 7th 1941 until June 30th 1946.
- Huge game map - 148 X 148 hexes with each hex representing 60 nautical miles.
- The armed forces of every major nation are represented.
- The Japanese control their production.
- Oil and Resources added to the game for production.
- Complete player control of aircraft upgrades.
- Course and Speed – Course and speed is now provided with spotting reports.
- Divide Units – land and air units can be divided into sub units and recombined as needed.
- Table of Equipment - An option has been added that allows the player to view the TOE for the selected ground combat unit.
- Coastal Defense Units will now protect friendly mine fields.
- Air Dropped Mines - Starting in 1943 the Allied player may mine ports by using air dropped mines.
- Air Dropped Supplies – Supplies may be air dropped onto any friendly hex.
- Air Transport Pick Up Option – You can now fly from one base, pick up troops at another base and return them to the first base.
- Target Selection – It is possible to select a target that is out of range so that you can set up a carrier strike the turn before.
- Atomic Bombs – When available an atomic attack can be made on any city with industrial center.
- New City Attack Option – The player can select a city to attack and the industry within that city to be targeted.
- New Fire Bombing Mission - City attacks on Manpower have a chance of creating high fire levels that will cause damage to any and all industry within the city and has the possibility of creating a firestorm.
- Kamikazes – After January 1944, if the Allies get too close to Japan, the Japanese player can form Kamikaze squadrons to smash into enemy ships and drive them away from the homeland.
- New ASW Taskforce – Use the ASW Combat task force to locate and attack enemy submarines before they are able to fire their torpedoes.
- New Escort Taskforce – Use the Escort task force to escort your damaged vessels back to a safe port.
- Manchukuo Garrison Requirement - The Japanese player must keep a certain number of assault points in the Manchukuo area or the Soviet Union may be activated.
- Political Points - Each day, each player accumulates political points which can be used to reassign assets to the various headquarters or to change leaders.
- Preparation Points – Ground units can prepare to attack a given location by setting its future objective and accumulating preparation point prior to making the attack.
- Ship Repair- Now you have a choice of where to send damaged ships for repair. Each side has a number of different ports to choose from and each port is rated for its own repair capabilities.
- Special Ships - A submarine, PT or DD tender may help two ships per turn repair (they give a bonus equal to increasing the port size by 2). A repair ship may help four ships per turn repair.
- Training of LCUs – Land combat units can now be trained, until they reach 75% experience.
- New Set Speed Order – Take full control of your task force and pick the speed setting you want.
- New Reaction Range Order – Rein in your aggressive commanders by setting the maximum range they are allowed to react..
- New Unload/Don't Unload Order – You decide if the taskforce will unload upon arriving at its destination. Now you can send that taskforce into a port to refuel without it unloading its cargo.
- New Do not Refuel Order – Tired of having merchant ships suck up all the available fuel? Now you can set them to Do Not Refuel and save that fuel for you war ships.
- New Auto-Disband Order – With this set to on the taskforce will automatically disband when it reaches its destination saving. This is a great option when sending ships into port for repairs.
- New Max Range Settings for Air Groups – Worried about that invasion taskforce just off the coast? Set the max range for your air groups to 1 an ensure they defend their home island.
- New amphibious assault rules that make use of specialized ships and landing craft.
- Filters have been added to most information windows, which allow the players to easily find the information they are looking for.
- Engineers and Demolition - There is now an added demolition routine that looks at the number of engineers at a base when it is captured and gives them a chance to damage factories, airfields and ports before the capture.
- British Ship Withdrawal - Withdrawals of British Ships (Human player only and only in full map scenarios) – On the first of each month the computer will calculate which, if any, ships must be withdrawn by the human player by the end of the month.
- Chinese Partisans - All Chinese Nationality bases that are controlled by the Japanese are subject to damage by partisans, if not adequately garrisoned.
For more information, check the War in the Pacific page at http://www.warinthepacific.net and the main Matrix Games page at http://www.matrixgames.com for future press releases and discussions.