The game begins with both sides having historic orders of battle for ships and air (with air at 50% of actual air strength), but abstracted infantry for the invasion. Three rules sets are being used in the campaign. For the searches and ship movement on the strategic map the Coral Sea campaign rules are being used. For air combat, "Red Sun, Blue Sky" (Simtac). For fleet contact, if necessary, "ShipBase" (Armour Soft). All of these have been modified to fit within the context of the campaign.
The campaign map is a 33 by 24 square grid map that stretches from Northern Australia to New Britain, and includes most of the Solomans. Total area covered is about 40,000 square miles. The Allies have two major bases - Townesville, Australia and Port Moresby, New Guinea. The Japanese have two main bases as well - Rabual in New Britain and Lae, New Guinea, plus two sea plane bases at Shortland and Tulagi in the Solomans. The Japanese also have a seaplane carrier that can establish another base on one of the islands if desired.
Orders of battle and original positions of forces were:
Planes are not free to move about continuously. After each mission they have to be "readied" to fly again. If they are damaged they can be repaired, but cannot be repaired and readied in the same turn. This means that there is a time period when the planes are very vulnerable to attack.
The campaign begins at dawn on May 4. The Japanese have to capture Port Moresby within five days, and the Allies have to prevent this. Both sides have to protect their fleets - the Allies because the carriers are necessary to protect the United States from a feared Japanese invasion, and the Japanese because their carriers will be needed for the upcoming operation MI - the invasion of Midway Island.Campaign map