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Cactus Air Force
Cactus Air Force
by GMT Games, (Unpublished)
Player Count
1

Player Ages
12+

Playing Time
30 minutes to 3 hours
Categories
  • Wargame
  • World War II
  • Aviation / Flight
  • Designers
  • Terry Simo
  • Mechanisms
  • Campaign / Battle Card Driven
  • Area Movement
  • Simulation
  • Dice Rolling
  • Artists
  • Rodger B. MacGowan
  • Ian Wedge
  • Family
  • Solitaire Games
  • Solitaire Wargames
  • Rating: 5.75/10 from 4 users

    Description

    Cactus Air Force is an exciting new Solitaire Air Combat game from Terry Simo. It has its roots in Downtown/Elusive Victory Raid style air combat but provides that experience at a whole new level for the Solitaire Gamer. You will be placed in charge of the “Cactus Air Force” defending Henderson Field from furious Japanese attacks by Air, Land and Sea.

    Cactus Air Force covers the period from 7 Aug -15 Nov 1942 and has a card-driven mission system based on two decks of 55 cards which will drive the weather, reinforcement schedule, events and Japanese attacks. Two campaigns each covering 45 days of real-time action will be provided. Player can follow the historical schedule of events to see how they fare or play a random sequence of cards that will test your mettle in defending Guadalcanal. You can also game out a sequence of missions over a smaller number of days if desired.

    Player will have to manage their resources and pilot rosters to get the maximum effort under difficult circumstances. Pilots will have different ratings for combat and navigation skill and diseases and fatigue will have a major effect on their capabilities. Aircraft maintenance will be a key factor on how many serviceable aircraft you have available. While flight maneuvering and air combat will be very similar to Downtown/Elusive Victory, the player will now have some tactical decisions such as High Side Pass and other tactics to choose from when attacking enemy formations. Coastwatchers and Radar are your means of detection and you will rely on them to allow you to get in position in time to meet the enemy raids.

    The Map: The 34”x22” Map encompasses a major portion of Guadalcanal, Savo Island, Florida Island, parts of Santa Isabel Island, Russel Island and New Georgia Island. (An area roughly 98nmx135nm)

    Order of Battle: The American OoB will include the rosters of the following units - USN VF-5/VF-6 F4F-4; VS-71,E-300,VS-3,VB-6 SBD-3; VT-8 TBF; USMC VMF-223/224/121 F4F-4; VMSB-232,231,141 SBD-3; USAAF 67th FS P400 and 339FS P39. A What-if Variant will have P38s available earlier than they were historically. Japanese forces include: Zero 21/32s, Rufes, Bettys, Petes, Mavis, Vals and Kates.

    Missions and Targets: As leader of the Cactus Air Force, you will assign your pilots and aircraft to missions. Many will be Air Combat Missions to defend Henderson Field and the Marines on Guadalcanal from Japanese bombers, but those will not be the only taskings. Like your historical counterpart, you will also be tasking your aircraft and aircrews to stop the infamous Tokyo Express coming down the “Slot” to bring reinforcements and shell your forces. You will also target enemy ground forces as they close in on the hard pressed Marines on the ground.
    Ship Targets include DD, CL, CA, TR, AVL, BB, Barges.

    Ground Targets include Supply Dumps, Troops, Seaplane Bases.

    Components:

    22x34 Map
    3-4 Sheets of Aircraft and Misc Counters
    Two 55 card decks
    Rulebook
    Playbook
    Roster Sheets
    Player Aid Cards
    Aircraft Data Cards
    Dice

    The Stars and Stripes have been hoisted over Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Your job is to keep it there!

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