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This is a reference to the Avalon Hill board game.

Historically, the Japanese fleet approached Midway in four waves. The first wave (a strike force of four carriers and supporting ships) was slightly inferior in power to the American forces (three carriers, cruisers, and a "fourth" carrier on Midway). On the second day, the Japanese receive two more waves of reinforcements of surface ships that give them a decisive superiority over the Americans at sea (but not in the air).

As the Japanese, how do I hide/avoid combat on the first day until my reinforcements arrive, given the Americans' full board "search" capabilities? Or should I accept the possibility of combat, hope for a more or less even result, and then hope that my second-day reinforcements can overwhelm the Americans?

Would your answer change between the Basic game (air combat only, on more or less even terms) and the Advanced game (which allows ship-to-ship combat that favors the Japanese)?

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up vote -1 down vote accepted

I'm sorry I don't have the knowledge to answer your question. I assume you're asking about the original 1964 edition, as opposed to the 1991 "Smithsonian Edition"; unfortunately, I'm not familiar with either one.

Have you looked for answers on Each game has its own web-page there, with a (usually very useful) forum section:

1964 edition

1991 edition

You might also find useful information on the forum at Boardgaming, INDIVIDUAL GAMES . . , Era: World War II (INDIVIDUAL GAME), Pacific Theatre, Midway (AH) .

Good luck!

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-1: Referring someone to another site when you don't have an answer isn't really appropriate as an answer. The idea is that we should be providing answers backed up by references, not simply referring them to another site. See here: – deworde Aug 24 '12 at 17:27
It was helpful to me. Thanks. – Tom Au Aug 24 '12 at 19:07

The other answer got me to look up the game again, and here's what I found.

If the Japanese player is worried about the balance of power on Day 1, he should stay out of the range of planes based on Midway (about half of those of an American carrier, although Midway has a greater CAPACITY than any carrier). This means the normal 7-square "round trip" range, and even the 14-square "suicide bomber" range (the rules provide that if some of an attacker's planes are making suicide attacks, and he suffers combat losses, he can count those losses against the "suicide" planes first).

For the Japanese players, that means staying in columns "A" and "B" near the western edge of the board on Day 1, close to Day 2 reinforcements. If the Americans want to attack beyond the range of Midway based planes, they will do so at a disadvantage. This is particularly true in the advanced game, where Midway would have to send additional fighters to bring the American carrier groups to parity with the Japanese, meaning that the carriers would have room for fewer dive bombers.

On the other hand, the Japanese player may want to seek aerial combat on almost even terms on Day 1, in order clear the way for later waves. With their (future) edge in ships, "attrition," provided that it is balanced, favors them. On Day 1, they enjoy "draw odds," that is if they "draw" on the first day, their reinforcements make them likely to win.

On Day 2, the focus of the game changes with the arrival of the Atago, a cruiser whose importance is as the flagship of the transport fleet bound for the invasion of Midway. (The way to attack the transports is to attack the Atago.) The Americans can try to prevent the invasion of Midway by sinking the Atago. or follow the historically-based strategy of sinking the Japanese carriers, but they might not be able to do both.

One way for the Japanese to win is to "take out" enough American air power on the first day so the Americans can't prevent the invasion from the Atago. The other, safer way, is to concentrate forces on Day 2 in order to maximize the chances of a successful retaliation against a "first strike."

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