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20th Air Force: $69 (US)
Click here to view play-throughs of each phase, and a full turn: PLAYTHROUGH! Or, see specifically “Late War” mechanics at LATE WAR TWO TURN PLAYTHROUGH! where you’ll see how Low Altitude Area Incendiary Bombing works, deploying and using Atom Bombs, activating & firebombing Minor City Targets, and much more.
11.25″ x 8.75″ x 1.00″ box
Your objective as you take command of the 20th Air Force in September 1944 is nothing short of reducing Japan’s cities, large and small, to smoldering rubble! To do it you’ve got the powerful and sophisticated B29, in ever increasing numbers and with flight crews improving in combat and navigation skills, and a research effort at home developing more and more sophisticated weapons. While initially you must focus on clearing the sky of Imperial Japanese Army Air Force (IJAAF) fighters and blasting Japanese war industries with high explosive bombs, eventually you will develop incendiary bombs which rapidly reduce Japan’s combustible wooden and paper cities to ashes, and their dispersed war industries to ruins. Simultaneously, demolish her ports and kamikaze bases, and mine her waters. In the meantime, research marches on, perhaps you will obtain the ultimate weapon, the Atomic Bomb? Hopefully you will, because you are in a race against time – if Japan can hold out long enough the US will have to launch “Operation Olympic”, the costly planned invasion of Japan, and your strategic bombing campaign will have failed.
28″ x 22″ mounted game board
BELOW: KAMIKAZE AIRBASE & SEA LANE MINING MISSIONS – It’s April, 1945. In addition to attacking Japan’s major cities, you’ve been tasked with mining her waters and, as the Battle of Okinawa progresses, hitting Kamikaze bases in support of the naval forces off the Ryukyus. Below, two raids hit the Kamikaze bases at Kanoya and Kokubo, while three other missions sow mines throughout southern Japanese waters:
The game comes with the 28″ x 22″ mounted gameboard, 3 player aids (the calendar/bombing campaigns aid shown below), 23 page rules manual absolutely loaded front to back with illustrations and examples, 2 dice, and 243 laser-cut thick, sturdy game counters representing almost 50 USAAF and IJAAF groups plus plenty of reinforcing squadrons, “Enola Gay” and other individual B29s of the 393rd Squadron, atom bombs, and dozens of strategic and tactical targets…
BELOW: “OPERATION MEETINGHOUSE” – in March, 1945, the USAAF launched the deadliest air raid of the war, hitting Tokyo with a giant incendiary attack. Here a vast armada of reinforced B29 Very Heavy Bombardment Groups prepares to hit the well-defended city:
RICHLY ILLUSTRATED GAME MANUAL – the “20th Air Force, Second Edition” game manual is replete with illustrations and examples. Some folks learn games easier through illustrated examples but if you’re not one of them, just skip over the many examples – they are all easy to identify in their big blue boxes!
IWO JIMA – many USAAF B29s were too damaged over Japan to make the 1,300 mile return flights to the Marianas, causing a painfully high attrition rate against the USAAF. The fall of Iwo Jima, and subsequent repair and use of its air base, saved countless B29s and their crews, and its capture put more B29s into the air over Japan late in the war:
BELOW: FAT MAN AND LITTLE BOY – two of the missions below differ from the Minor City firebombing raids hitting Matsuyama, Akashi and Himeji. They are the “Enola Gay” and “Bockscar”, two planes setting out to drop their Atomic Bomb payloads on Hiroshima and Kokura. Wait, Kokura doesn’t sound familiar? That’s because Kokura was obscured by clouds and smoke on the morning of August 9th, so “Bockscar” was diverted to Nagasaki, where history’s second Atomic Bomb was dropped and the city destroyed:
THE HIROSHIMA MISSION – Enola Gay and its Atom Bomb:
THE NAGASAKI MISSION – a mushroom cloud rises thunderously over Nagasaki as “Bockscar” banks away. Kokura, the original target (to the northeast), is blissfully ignorant of the fate that almost befell her.
The War Is Over!