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This file was most recently updated on 12/14/08. That material is toward the end of the file in blue.
This file was updated again on 23 January 2009. Some duplicated material was deleted at the start of the Q&A section (noted in bold/green) and another Q&A exchange was added at the end of the file in bold/green.
War in the Pacific 2nd Edition Frequently Asked Questions File
In a message dated 9/19/2006 3:32:43 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Thanks again for offering to help with rules questions. My friend and I are getting ready to tackle the first couple intro scenario's and I wanted to get your clarification on a couple of items.

Midway Scenario

63.4 Has the 6xSBD and 2xD3A1's at "High" altitude. Yet when I read rule 7.1B it states that "D" type AP's must use an approach mode equal to their rating. At which altitude would these AP's carry out Air-to-Air combat? High, or their rated altitude of Medium?

The referenced rule is correct; the scenario instructions are wrong. Change the SBD's & D3A's altitudes to "medium." (official errata on this submitted to DG).

5.1.2 Multiple Bombardment: Does this rule only apply to multiple attacks by AP's versus a ground target, base?

No. The rule also applies to (Air-Naval) special strikes vs. at-sea enemy TF's, unless such a strike is launched during a Naval Phase immediately-following a strike flown during the immediately-preceding Air Phase -- regardless of the target of that Air-Phase-launched strike.

In a message dated 9/20/2006 5:26:41 PM Pacific Daylight Time, GarrettO writes:
Maybe I have missed it, but I cannot find any clarifications of Remove/Convert. Suppose the ship referred to has been sunk. Is the Removal/conversion just ignored, or is an identical ship substituted, or a more powerful ship if there is no match.

"Remove," as defined herein, means "remove from play (permanently, unless the Rein Schedule indicates that the unit returns)." Conversions are not applicable to sunk ships.

The British battleship Anson, BB 79, has been omitted. It arrived in the Pacific in company with BB 17, Duke of York, which has an arrival date of 6/45. If the war goes past 8/45, both ships could see service.

Well, that was a pretty astute catch. But, the reason D/Y is in the game, and Anson isn't, is that D/Y actually sortied (as part of TF 37's carrier raids on Japan), whereas Anson didn't. That said, Anson is included in the "War Expansion Kit," although on checking the Rein Schedule I have her erroneously arriving in 0/1/46. I've made a note to change that. I'll have to research it exactly myself, but I'll probably delay her arrival until 0/9/45 or so.

In the initial setup USN CA35 and CA36 are sitting near Pearl Harbor without any escort, making them vulnerable to sub attack from the Japanese SS nearby. In reality they were escorted by 4 or 5 DMS each (destroyer minesweepers, converted sisterships to the old DDs 1-18 that do appear, or the APDs they convert into). These ships retained their sonar and depth charges, therefore are capable of screening.

No, no AM's or DMS's in this countermix. The culprit here, I'm guessing, is the semi-colon following the initial referenced deployment hex. They should be commas (as per the carrier TF's preceding them) -- indicating the wide latitude in deployment options available. Moreover, the US player has up to 4 "dummy" TF's to deploy. Aside from that (I'm afraid), these two will have to take their chances.

In a message dated 9/22/2006 2:11:20 PM Pacific Daylight Time, Dhh gamer writes:
Great game. Looks like a real winner to me. A friend and I will start playing the scenarios tomorrow. I have a couple of questions:

Do admirals roll ratings once per sorte or every time they are engaged in a battle (launch planes or surface)?


Admirals roll for ratings (when required) only once per sortie. Once an admiral's combat ratings have been determined during a sortie, he retains those ratings until his next sortie (i.e., following deactivation of his TF, in port). The only possible exception to this is that for a subordinate admiral who (for whatever reason) becomes a TF commander. In such cases, his ratings would, in a subsequent combat, be re-rolled.

I take it generals roll both to see if they are in command and the leadership value any time any leadership value could have any effect?

Yes, but the DR determining which (local, or "on-site;" or HQ commander) general may affect the pending ground unit(s) -- in the case of movement -- or combat. If a general is determined to be "present" [26.1.2], then his ratings may apply to the ensuing ground operation (movement and/or combat). If variable (1D6) ratings apply, this requires a subsequent 1D6 DR.

Can two ships representing multiples be combined? Two DD with D2 to make one undammaged DD? Two MSU with D2 to make one undammaged MSU?

MSU's & APA's/APB's: Yes. DD's/APD's/DE's/DET's: No. Transports may combine & breakdown freely. For example:

1x MSU (full; Load capacity "7") can break down into:

1. 7x "D3" MSU's or

2. 2x "D2" MSU's + 1x "D1" MSU or

3. 1x "D1" MSU + 2x "D3" MSU's or

4. 1x "D2" MSU + 4x "D3" MSU's

Recombination follows the same process -- with net load capacity determining the "recombined" unit.

What is the Air-to-Air rating for AP that can only do a type R mission for? I don't see that they ever engage in air combat?

Only in one instance: In case the "R" AP is intercepted by enemy CAP placed over its airbase -- either rebasing in or out. It won't happen often, but it is possible. Note: Most of these "rebase" missions will be flown at night, so (unless the owning player is careless), generally, such combat will be limited to night fighters assigned these type CAP missions.

The Java Sea scenario has ships that don't exist involved?

We re-numbered all the DD counters once the ship counters were redesigned, and that scenario was constructed prior to the "reorganization."

In a message dated 9/25/2006 11:58:19 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Dhh gamer writes:
I forgot to ask - can in air-to-air the aborted and kill result be combined to abort? For example could a 4/2 result abort a strength 6 AP? If not was it intended that a single AP might never be able to even abort an AP of equal strength? We were wondering what point there is in an escort of just one AP.


No, the results cannot be combined. The air-to-air CRT was designed so that a single AP would (generally speaking) always have at least a small chance of aborting one enemy CAP fighter (unless the enemy fighter has an air combat rating of "6"). For example, there is a 16% chance of aborting an enemy fighter of "4" strength, and a 3% chance of aborting a "5" rated fighter.

Moreover, you don't know in advance if the opposing CAP will be fully-trained or not. If not, then the chances of scoring at least one "abort" dramatically increase.

So, generally speaking, assigning only one fighter as escort will only rarely have an impact. You have to tailor these tactics to your opposition, taking everything into account, as to whether or not it would be worthwhile.

In a message dated 9/29/2006 12:23:57 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

I hope all is well. we have aquick question re: campaign game reinforcements .I f there is no designated location on the Campaign game reinforcement table, where do they arrive if Naval or ground of the various nationalities ?

Thanks in advance,


[53.9] governs Japanese new unit deployment arrivals not specifically designated. Specifically:

[53.9.1] Ships

[53.9.2] Air Points

[53.9.3] Ground Units

[52.6] governs Allied new unit deployment arrivals. Specifically:

[52.6.1] All U.S. units

[52.6.4] CW ships

[52.6.5] CW Air Points

(I believe all CW ground unit reinforcements have their arrival sites specifically designated. If you find any that aren't, please let me know).

In a message dated 10/2/2006 7:07:50 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
well done and congratualtions - your efforts in re-working this monster are much appreciated. At first glance the game seems a much better balance than its predecessor and the inclusion of tactical maps was truly inspirational. Now having lulled you into a false sense of security, I need your help/views on the following:
1. I'm struggelling with the impact on on-board carrier air points when the home carrier is damaged. I read the rules as stating that the % reduction in operational capbility does not equate to air points lost. If so, is there a separate rule to decide the air point losses or should there be none? If there is no rule to define air point losses in such circumstances (assuming the air points are not away on a mission), I'm thinking of using the 'Bombardment of Air Points' table (11.3) with the X+ columns for the relevant level of damage (1 throw for all air points present with type decided by random) - what do you think?

Thanks for the undeserved kind words above. First, re carrier air points & their loss via damage done to their carrier. When a carrier is damaged, loss (actually, "inoperable" status, not outright loss) to embarked, non-aloft AP's is determined only if the carrier suffers at least "D3" damage (see "Naval Damage Levels: Effects" table [16.8]). If this occurs, then 11.3.1 applies. Note: You'll notice that the expected results will produce high percentages of "inoperable" AP's. This is deliberate, and reflects not only the probable damage to hangar-deck/etc. aircraft, but the inability to operate aircraft at these very high (D3/D4) damage levels.

Now, re aloft air points (CAP, airstrike), their loss (again, "inoperable" status) is determined if they are forced to return to any damaged carrier (D1-D4), as per 11.5.11.

2. Now as for CAP and missions. I read the rules as stating that fighters that have performed a strike mission are unavailable to perform emergency CAP. Am I reading this right? Seems to me that if air points can fly additional special strikes they should be able to perform additional CAP over their own base, say with a two column shift on the air point availability table?


Fighters which have flown strike missions (either as a FB or as a FTR escort) before an enemy airstrike arrives in their home TF's hex, or are flying such strikes simultaneously with (via the "Strike Sequence Table"), are not eligible to then fly Emergency Cover CAP missions during that phase. The determining factor is which strike (your fighters wishing to fly Emergency Cover CAP or the enemy airstrike) arrives (read: is resolved) first.

Conversely, if your fighters are plotted to perform a strike of their own (not CAP), but have yet to launch that mission (for whatever reason -- voluntarily or via the "Strike Sequence Table"), then their strike (or their participation in that strike) may be canceled. In such a case these fighters are then free to attempt Emergency Cover CAP.

3. And finally to the AA rules. As with the original game the AA rules are biased in favour of attacks that include a single type of attack plane as compared to a same size attack with equal numbers of low/torpedo and dive bomber types. I know you get a shift to the left for such a combined attack, but the chance of two shots at six air points split between low and dive bomber levels, still looks more effective AA fire than the same fire power against a single level attack

E.g a typical mixed wave of 3 VBs plus 3 VTs could all be returned/destroyed by AA fire on the 36-45 column. Or 4 VBs and 2 VTs reduced to single VB, whereas 6 VBs by comparison get a guaranteed two air points through.

Yes, but the % chances (in the above example) of turning (or killing) the entire strike back is:

27% x 27% = 7%.

Re "guaranteed" AP's through," it was just this sort of situation that we wanted to avoid; namely the aspect of certain (or near-certain, depending on your foreknowledge of the enemy's ships) "guaranteed" results. We thus decided to retain the (basics of, at least) the original game's TF AA mechanics. Mainly, to reduce the # of "guaranteed" results, as, historically, nothing is "guaranteed."

I guess you must have extensively playtested this mechanism so I would welcome any comments/justification you could provide in support of the current rules.
ANS:Yes, we did some pretty extensive play-testing. And, generally-speaking, the system works nearly exactly as we aimed for. I say "nearly exactly" because, through the campaign game play-test, TF AA was always very slightly too powerful. In other words, not quite enough aircraft were "getting through," at least every time. I'd say that the system was approx. 5% too effective in turning back air points.

Now, there are some column shifts and DRM's in the "Anti-Aircraft Table" that were not present during the last full-game play-test. Namely:

1. The last-listed "1L" 1st-wave-dictated column shift and

2. The next-to-last (1st wave) DRM

I subsequently did extensive play-testing, including the above two, with the Pearl Harbor strike and the strike against "Force Z." The results were entirely satisfactory, and I'm quite confident that (again, generally speaking) the AA Table will produce game results well in line with the design intent.
In a message dated 10/9/2006 1:17:28 AM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi Kevin, hope you really appreciate these questions because I have some more.......
On the search question - I accept you comments on the IJN use of search planes, but that gives me another problem with the carrier searches. Have I got these values rigt for Coral Sea?

No, not quite. See below

2 USN carriers each with 4 SBDs total 8, each one with a search range of 2 at medium range. Total 16 - approx successful search at Medium range 60%ish plus (ie 60 -100) can't recall the exact number on the chart.

The search values you calculated for TF 17 are correct, but the % chance of success at medium range is not. At medium range (the "assumed" range we'll use herein because that was the historic range), the % chance of success is actually 40%, not 60-ish.

If the IJN carriers approach during a night phase, unseen, the enext air phase begins with both sides carrying out carrier based searches.

The IJN value is 2 carriers at 2 points each and 2 CAs at 2 points each. total 8 points giving a percentage chance of around 20%. ie 80-100% for success. Why are the US so much better when you claim similar numbers of search planes, Kates and SBDs have similar ranges, especially if the SBDs are armed.

The search value for the IJN's Carrier Strike Force, at medium range, is "17:"

2x CV's = 4

1x CVL = 1

4x E13A1 CA's = 8

2x "other" CA's = 4

The % chance of a successful search, then, for this TF (as compared with Fletcher's TF 17) is 50%. Thus, from a strictly carrier TF vs. carrier TF search value perspective, the IJN's % chances of success are actually better, not worse. This is exactly as it should be, at least in the present example.

BTW, as far as the scenario itself goes, the Japanese side has a very high land-based air search value at Rabaul, a small one at Shortlands, and another potential short one if their AV is used as it was historically (i.e., parked in the Louisades).
Oh and on the subject of Admiral ratings - what did Ad Kinkaid do to warrant his high values - wasn't he the guy in charge at Santa Cruz?

Well, the problem here is what do you mean by "high values." First, if you examine the 1941-2 carrier-rated admirals, for both the USN & IJN, you'll find that Kinkaid is solidly in the middle of the pack. As such, his ratings would more properly be termed "average" than "high." That said, if you mean what did he do to warrant his "average" values, then the answer would be:

Unlike most USN carrier TF commanders in 1942, Kinkaid had extensive combat experience handling flattops, and his overall performance could (admittedly this is somewhat subjective), in my opinion, in no way be termed below par. A brief summary of his actions in 1942:

8/42: Subordinate to Adm. Fletcher (TF 61 commander). Participated in E. Solomons battle. Two combat sorties.

10/42: TF 16 commander, Santa Cruz battle. Though the US suffered a tactical (operative word here is "tactical") defeat, Kinkaid showed excellent aggressiveness in his pre-battle movements. Had he received the blame for the loss of the Hornet, he likely would've been fired, either by Halsey or Nimitz. Instead, he again commanded TF 16 in November:

11/42: TF 16 commander, Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. Took no part in ops of 12 Nov, but on 14 Nov. launched limited airstrikes on IJN transports, then inflicted heavy damage on IJN CA, sinking it.

Thus, in my opinion (as objectively as possible), Kinkaid's ratings seem to be pretty much what they should be. In fact, I'm rather surprised that your argument was "why his ratings weren't better?" Of course, it would be hard to justify that, considering the loss of Hornet. In sum, then, I think Kinkaid's ratings are exactly where they should be.

My general point related rather more to the effect of the US carriers being worth 3 points on the 1st CC check rather than the values of the Admirals them selves, it seems to give the US a chance of failing the first check when the IJN alomst certainly can't. (Use of 6 column as opposed to 4). Had I been on the development/palytest team I suspect I'd have been strongly against the inclusion of some of the combat rating benefits - I don't see how the skill of an Admiral should produce column shits or DRMs on the combat charts - maybe some training policies perhaps - but it makes the game feel like topo much of a lottery. Yes I know some of these battles were heavily influenced by luck or one off decisions but it just doesn't feel right to me - the luck belongs in the combat tables!


Here, I disagree completely. If I had adopted that philosophy, there would've been no reason at all to include admirals. Or, for that matter, generals. I feel the opposite; making all the luck emanate solely from the combat tables would actually make the game feel like a lottery.

Having said that, I like their impact on the surface battles.

Well, if it works for surface battles, then you can hardly justify (effectively) taking carrier admirals out of the mix -- or arbitrarily reducing their respective effects. If successful surface admirals have the ability to directly affect combat, the historically-successful carrier admirals simply must have the same ability. I'm not sure I see the logic in liking the effects for surface battles, but not for carrier battles.

Do you think it would unbalance the game in any way to limit the use of Commanders to HQ, surface naval, and air strike co-ordination/reaction - basically ignoring the tactical impacts on air/surface attacks (column shifts and DRMs on the damage/hit charts?).

I'm not sure it would "unbalance the game," but I do not in any way share your opinion that the carrier admirals' ratings are out of place. Consider it this way: You could make the same argument re the surface admirals. Namely, "it was the gun crew director that deserved the credit for that hit scored, not the admiral." Conversely, vis-a-vis carrier actions, "it was the pilot who deserved the credit for that hit, not the admiral." Actually, in both instances, it was (at least partially, but in reality most probably significantly) the training and combat maneuvering as directed by the TF commander that influenced the action.

In a message dated 10/12/2006 2:43:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for the errata, though I have another question because of it.

Do CW ships have unique DD numbers regardless of nation ?

Yes, they do.

The reason I ask is because of 65.5, page 4 middle of the page, is this :-

Either Colombo or Trincomalee:


DD 2 (D2)

I have looked for a British (RN) DD2 but can not find one.

I had originally assumed it was a RAN DD 2 but your latest errata conflicts with this since it is in Force B.


Sorry, I missed this: Delete the "DD 2 (D2)" entry for the above.

In a message dated 10/15/2006 4:06:32 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer a WITP question:
These questions are all related to that most vexing of issues - Naval Operations / speed class / active phases:
Q1: 16.0 versus 18.2.1
Section 16.0 states that "Ships (TF’s) have their Speed Class initially assigned to them either:

A. At the beginning of the 1st Naval Phase in which they will sortie (during the Plot Segment) or

B. During the Plot Segment of the 1st Naval Phase following a phase in which the ships fueled."
but section 18.2.1 says that ships change their speed class only at the beginning of the First Naval Phase of a Game Turn:
"[18.2.1] Changing Speed Class: Restrictions

Ships/TF’s voluntarily changing their speed class may do so only at the beginning of the First Naval Phase (during the Plot Segment) of Game/Turns"

These are contradictory. A GT has three naval phases and a TF may sortie during any of the three phases; equally, a TF may fuel during any of the three naval phases in a GT. 18.2.1 says you can change only one the first naval phase of the GT.

Re the above, the key word here is initially. 18.2.1 does not contradict 16.0, though a clarification to the last paragraph in 16.0, summarizing later speed class changes, certainly would help. As such, a clarification errata to this effect will be published shortly.

Q2: Back to 18.2.1
Speed class 3 ships can convert to speed class 2 at a specific conversion rate that doesn't make any sense for two of the three cases:

Speed class 3 ship has 3 active phases remaining: Do they get 4 1/2 phases at speed class 2? Rounded up or down?


A speed class "3" ship has 3 active phases remaining only:

a) immediately before it sorties, or

b) immediately after refueling at sea

As such, there is no reason to "change" from SC3 to SC2, as that TF may assign itself SC2 according to 16.0 (A, B).
Speed class 3 ship has 1 active phase remaining: Do they get 1 1/2 phases at speed class 2? Rounded up or down?


The key is "for every 2 SC3 active phases remaining." There is no reason for rounding; if it has 3 phases remaining at SC3, see above. If it has two SC3 phases remaining, it receives exactly 3 active phases at SC2. If it has one SC3 active phase remaining, that doesn't qualify as "...for every two SC3 active phases remaining." (Hence, no conversion to SC2).
Q3: 18.4 Active Phase Duration versus 18.2.1
Per 18.2.1, if a Speed class 3 ship can convert to a speed class 1 ship at a rate of 3 active speed class 1 phases for every speed class 3 phase remaining, then a speed class 3 ship could convert to 9 speed class 1 phases. But 18.4 says that a speed class 1 ship is limited to 4 total active naval phases. Which is it? Nine (9) or four (4)?. What about when a speed class 3 ship has two remaining active phases thus meriting six (6) speed class 1 phases. One active phase has been used, six more speed class 1 phases are due. Does the ship get all six or just four or even four - one = 3?

I see the confusion here. There will be errata published shortly, to this effect:

[18.4] Active Phase Duration Table. Add an asterisk after "4" in the Speed Class 1 row:

* "may, in rare instances, be increased to 6 via speed class reduction. See [18.2.1] (1) & (2)."

I sense rule 18.4 is there to say - if you operate at speed class 1, you can be at sea for four weeks; if you operate at speed class 3, you can be at sea for one week, and if you operate at speed class 2 you can be at sea for 2 1/2 weeks. "Being at sea" means until fueled (by an oiler or at port). That said, please clarify this question.

Yes, but only if you sortie, and remain at, those SC's.

In a message dated 10/22/2006 12:10:45 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
A question on the air unit counters. Some have the same color band but different colored plane bodies. What is the purpose of the colors on the plane bodies?

In strict game terms, none. The types with different paint schemes were added for variety, and in case players wish to differentiate b/t early & late types, and carrier vs. non-carrier trained Air Points.

Example: The Japanese player might want to use the camouflaged A5M's, B5N's, & D3A's, and the green A6M's, as (land-based) non-carrier-trained (while using the grey A5M's, A6M's, D3A's, and the green B5N's, as carrier-trained.

Re the CW (RAF, RAAF) Spitfires, one plane is a Spit V; the others (green) could represent later marks (VIII, IX, XIV). Re the US P-38's, one could use the green ones for early marks; the aluminum for later. Again, obviously, in game terms this has no impact whatsoever, and mixing various paint schemes is entirely up to the player. The US P-40's with the Nationalist China insignia were designed to be used as "AVG" units.

So, in sum, it was pretty much done for variety purposes.

In a message dated 11/5/2006 2:26:01 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

Hi Kevin,

First off, thanks for a tremendous effort in the design of this game! I hope you're not tired of hearing it, but it looks great, and I believe we'll have a blast with it!

My gaming buddies and I have been playing through the scenarios to prepare ourselves for a campaign game, and have come up with a few questions.

1- Rule 13.3.2 states that a moving TF can perform a search on an enemy TF. In our example, the moving TF contains Carriers. Assuming a successful contact (and a ‘Dummy’ not being called…), can the moving TF’s mission plot be interrupted in any way to allow for an air strike to be sent against the contacted TF FROM this moving TF? We did not see that this was possible within the rules, but we wondered about the logic of a search performed by a Carrier TF not being able to react before moving out of range of this contact when continuing it’s plotted move. Any explanation to enlighten us would be greatly appreciated.


1. [13.3.2] Add a new 3rd paragraph:

Note: For purposes of this rule, "successful" is defined as achieving a "located" result against an enemy TF that is not reported as a "dummy."

Successful searches from moving carrier TF's provide the searching TF(s) the options of:

a) Immediately voiding and changing their current Mission Plot destination (see 17.16.10) and

b) Launching a Special Strike (5.8) against the "located" TF (or TF's), either immediately or within the moving TF's immediately-succeeding 18 naval MP's expended. See 5.8.9.

Add: [17.16.10] Moving Carrier TF's

Non-reacting carrier TF's achieving a successful air search "located" result against any enemy TF not reported as a "dummy" may, upon receipt of such a contact report, void their current remaining Mission Movement Plot (for the current Naval Phase). Such TF's may re-plot their designated destination hex, using whatever naval MP's that TF had remaining, under the previous mission plot, at the instant it achieved the "located" report. See also 5.8.9 (Special Strikes).

Note that only the designated hex destination may be voided/altered. The TF's EV, composition, and assigned mission(s) may not be changed.

For ("Alpha") reacting carrier TF's, see 17.5.7.

Add: [5.8.9] Special Air Strikes from moving (non-reacting) carrier TF's

Moving carrier TF's achieving a "located" result against an enemy TF that is not reported as a "dummy" may launch a special strike against that located enemy TF (or TF's, in the case of multiple "located" enemy TF's occupying the same searched hex).

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