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Across the Pacific

By: Pacific Rim Publications (Just Plain Wargames)

Type: Boxed Game

Product Line: War Games (Pacific Rim Publishing)

MSRP $90.00

Product Info

Across the Pacific
Michael Myers
Publish Year
NKG Part #
MFG. Part #
Boxed Game
Age Range
15 Years and Up
# Players
1 - 2 Players
Game Length
120 - 180 Minutes


Across the Pacific portrays the entire Pacific War in 5-month turns with units ranging from armies to regiments, air fleets to destroyer flotillas. The game system is interactive so that each player is involved at every moment of play. The heart of the game system is a series of strategic and tactical phases - 5 of each per player per turn - that are sequenced by a chit draw so that each player will know his and his opponent's operational actions every turn, but will not know the order in which they will be undertaken. This makes for continual strategic and operational opportunity as players adjust their actions in light of the lifting fog of war.

Across the Pacific's map is 36 inches by 48 inches - 3 by 4 feet - 91.5 cm by 122 cm. Hexes are .75 inch [1.90 cm] across to accommodate the 5/8 inch [1.60 cm] size counters. As stacking can often become an issue in particularly intense combat areas, stack substitution markers are provided.

The Sequence of Play is:

Deployment Phase
Strategic Phase
Tactical Phase
Ground Unit Combat Phase
End Phase

One of the design intentions has been to break away from the long and rigid sequences of play found in other Pacific War games. Thus, the heart of the turn - the Strategic and Tactical Phases - are driven by a chit pull method rather than a predetermined sequence. The chit pull allows for some surprising outcomes - Kurita's gambit through the San Bernardino Straits during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, for example, could occur.

Some details from the Sequence of Play:

Deployment Phase: during this phase, players introduce new units to the board, form task forces, and redeploy air units.

The range of hexes of an air unit forms a radius or "umbrella" and a series of contiguous or overlapping air umbrellas provides a line of supply. During the Deployment Phase, players may deploy and redeploy air units throughout the net of air umbrellas. This models the historical case where large numbers of aircraft would be deployed over a five-month period theater-wide to a certain hot spot or in anticipation of a coming battle.

Across the Pacific models capital ship deployment with its vast expenditure of effort and its limitations based on oil iby providing players with POL markers [Petroleum, Oil, Lubricants]. To move a battleship or carrier, the capital ship must be in an amphibious, bombardment, or carrier task force. During the Deployment Phase, players decide what task forces they wish to deploy for the ensuing turn and must expend a POL marker for each task force created. Smaller naval units may move as task groups without the expenditure of a POL marker. Japanese POL supply is tied to securing the resource areas in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Allied POL supply is greater, but not unlimited. Beginning in 1944, the Allied player make choose to make use of the organizational capabilities of the United States Navy Fleet Train to add an additional operation dimension to the strategic play of the conflict.

Strategic Phase: during this phase, each player will be able to undertake five types of strategic actions in a random sequence determined by the chit draw:

  • Sortie Task Forces
  • Rebase Task Groups
  • Fly Defensive Combat Air Patrol Missions
  • Fly Ground Support Air Missions
  • Move Ground Units

    Note that there are ten Strategic Phase chits: one of each of those actions for each player. A player may draw "Move Ground Units" before "Fly Ground Support Air Missions," or one player may rebase Task Groups before the other player sorties Task Forces.

    A design intention of Across the Pacific is to break the tracing of strategic naval movement through hexes because a task force could move anywhere on the map in a five month period. When the "Sortie Task Force" chit is drawn, the Task Force markers are placed on the map rather than moved around.

    Tactical Phase: this phase is similar to the Strategic Phase in that each player will be able to undertake actions based on a random draw of ten Tactical Phase chits, one of the following for each player:

  • Carrier Air Strike
  • Land Based Air Strike
  • Naval Surface Interception / Naval Ground Support
  • Task Groups Sortie
  • Amphibious Landing

    During the "Task Groups Sortie" subphase, naval units do move hex-by-hex up to the limit of their movement allowance.

    During the "Amphibious Landing" subphase, amphibious task forces may attempt landings. Also Task Groups where smaller forces, like regimental combat teams or Special Naval Assault units, are carried by fast attack transports may attempt their amphibious landings at this time.

    Ground Combat Phase. This takes place after ground units have moved, amphibious landings have been made, and naval and air support for ground combat has been allocated and deployed.

    End Phase: during this phase, task forces are broken down, air and naval units are returned to their bases, and victory conditions are checked.

    The combat system in Across the Pacific is straight forward. In addition to a combat factor, all units have a Combat Effectiveness Level [CEL], a number from -2 to +2 that is a die roll modifier for their attacks. The CEL reflects the training, morale, and cohesiveness of the unit. To simulate the Japanese pilot training problems, Japanese air units each have a separate CEL marker. The veterans of the China War fly with a CEL of +2, but pilot training decreased as the war went on. Japanese air units with a CEL of -2 may initiate kamakazi attacks. Since the CEL markers represent the air crews themselves, a Japanese player who can conserve some +2 or +1 CEL markers may be able to benefit from the technologically better aircraft produced toward the end of the war.

    Across the Pacific has two Campaign Scenarios: 1 - starting on December 1941, and 2 - starting May 1942, with the Japanese initial expansion all ready a fact on the map. Both scenarios end in August 1945.

    Across the Pacific provides a manageable and fast-paced wargame with a high level of detail and operational flavor while retaining the strategic scope of the ebb and flow of the Pacific War. With all its tactical and operational detail, the strategic nature of ACROSS THE PACIFIC allows two players familiar with the rules to game out the full 9 turns in 12 to 15 hours.


    one 36" by 48" map showing the Pacific Basin from Pearl Harbor to Imphal, from Dutch Harbor to Brisbane
    960 die-cut backprinted 5/8" counters
    Strategic - Operational Scale
    24 page rules and scenarios booklet
    24-page player's handbook with designer's notes, developer's notes, and examples of play
    two 11 by 14 inch Charts and Tables cards - one per side
    two 8-1/2 by 11 inch Task Force Display charts
    two 11 by 17 inch color backprinted Set Up and Order of Arrival charts - one Allied, one Japanese
    two 8-1/2 by 11 inch color Unit and Aircraft Carrier Groups stacking charts - one Allied, one Japanese
    a die
    The box is 11-1/2 x 14-1/2 x 2 inches
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