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"Dogfights over Midway, Fight #4" Topic

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1,174 hits since 5 Dec 2019
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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2019 6:46 a.m. PST


0715 local time
4 June 1942

It's 4 June 1942, the dawn of the epic "Battle of Midway," a clash of giants, three US carriers vs four Japanese carriers that proved to be the turning point of the war in the Pacific. For more information, both real-life and how I'm running this campaign, please check here:

Yesterday at 0900 a US Navy PBY Catalina spotted Japanese ships 500nm west southwest of Midway; B-17s from the island were dispatched but failed to hit anything. US Navy PBYs continued to shadow the Japanese surface force, and actually attacked at 0100 this morning, scoring a torpedo hit on a Japanese merchant ship. Unbeknownst to US personnel, the Japanese carrier task force, as yet still unspotted, launched its first strike group against Midway at 0430. At 0530, the PBYs spotted the Japanese carriers, and noted their strike group inbound.

At 0610 the VMF-343 "Dirt Divers" scrambled six F4F Wildcats to intercept an inbound group of six D3A "Val" dive bombers escorted by four A6M "Zeros," but were roughly handled, having three Wildcats shot down and the other three damaged, as the Japanese lost one Zero and one Val. The Japanese aerial attack caused 18/30 damage points.

At 0625 Captain Haynes led six Wildcats to intercept an inbound group of six B5N "Kate" torpedo bombers escorted by four A6M "Zeros." Again it was rough: the Marines lost five of six aircraft, with one pilot KIA, one MIA, and two WIA, while the Japanese lost four of their six torpedo bombers, which did light damage to Midway's shore installations (26/30, total).

At 0645 Major Chandler led four Dirt Divers in escort of a flight of six TBF torpedo bombers to attack the Japanese carriers, running right into the Japanese CAP of six Zeros, and it was a debacle: the Americans lost one Wildcat and five TBFs, the last being damaged and forced to return to base without even spotting the Japanese carriers. Oh, and the Japanese did lose two Zeros, but they were both to the TBFs!!!

It's now 0715, and 2nd Lt Herman is leading a flight of four Wildcats in escort of six SBD Dauntless dive bombers from Marine Scouting-Bombing Squadron 241 (VMSB-241), up against six Zeros of the Japanese Combat Air Patrol.


My SBD Dauntlesses, so pretty. I've been in love with the shape of that aircraft since I was a kid. Does thinking an airplane is pretty makes me a weirdo? ;)


Zeros and Wildcats mixing it up.


The Dauntlesses getting roughly handled by the Japanese interceptors.

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:

Next up, In any case, as mentioned, Lt Higbe is being summoned by Major Chandler for his third straight sortie. Major Chandler is leading in a flight of four US Army B-26s armed with torpedoes, looking to give this one more shot. Incidentally, this is the last US Marine fight at Midway, before turning it over to the US Navy's "Killer Pelicans." So I certainly hope it goes well.


rampantlion05 Dec 2019 9:20 a.m. PST

I really enjoy your posts. I'm reading Miracle at Midway at the moment and am painting some carriers up.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2019 4:25 p.m. PST


Thanks so much, it's always great to hear from folks that are reading and enjoying the batreps, I appreciate it. That's a great book; what are your plans for the carriers?


Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2019 6:53 p.m. PST

your energy never ceases to amaze. great stuff!


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP05 Dec 2019 8:48 p.m. PST

But it is you, and your lovely 'Platoon Forward,' that set me on this path ;)


Tgunner08 Dec 2019 11:45 a.m. PST

Nah, thinking a "bird" is pretty is rather natural. I've always had a thing for the Wildcat personally.

Are you moving on to the 'Canal?

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 12:02 p.m. PST

Hey man, good to 'see' ya, it's been awhile! What have you been up to?

Glad to hear I'm not as strange as I thought ;) I've loved the Wildcat, Dauntless, Avenger, and PBY since I was a kid.

I'm working my way to the Solomons; not sure the exact route yet, though. After Midway I'm either going directly there, or back to New Guinea for another set of fights for my Chickenhawks, then to the 'Canal.

An additional problem is that I want to do some naval (surface action) and coastal gaming, as well. So once I get to the Solomons, we're going to be there for quite some time. Oh, and my US Marine platoon isn't going straight ashore on Guadalcanal, they'll be landing either on Gavutu or Tulagi, so they can get into the fight right away.


Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2019 12:28 p.m. PST

Also, I was asked about modifications I've made to the rules. Here you go:

Zero's movement capability:
1 1 1
2 2
x 4 x

As you can see, much more maneuverable than the Wildcat/P-40:
2 1 2
3 3
x 5 x

But I also changed the firing 'to hit' numbers. For Zeros:
6 5+ 6
- -
4+ 3+ 4+

For the better trained (with regards to gunnery) USN/USMC aviators (USAAF use the Zero numbers):
4+ 4+ 4+
5+ 5+
4+ 3+ 4+

Japanese planes are downed on a damage roll of 3+, American on 4+.

If a pilot is shot down, roll 1D6:
3=WIA, 3D6 x 10 days out
4=WIA, 2D6 x 10 days out
5=WIA, 1D6 x 10 days out

If a plane is damaged, on its next activation roll 1D6:
Rookie needs a 6 to stay in the fight, otherwise return to base
Regular needs a 5+
Veteran needs a 4+
Ace needs a 3+
NBK needs a 2+

In terms of pilot ratings:
Rookie – N/A
Regular – +1 to maneuver roll
Veteran- +1 to maneuver roll and +1 to 'to hit' roll
Ace – +2 to maneuver roll and +1 to 'to hit' roll
NBK – +2 to maneuver roll, +1 to 'to hit' roll, and -1 to opposition's 'to hit' roll (except bombers performing defensive fire.


Tgunner08 Dec 2019 12:49 p.m. PST

Gavutu or Tulagi??? Man, you have it in for those guys, don't you?

I've been more on Facebook these days, so I only poke over here every once in a while.

Gaming wise? Team Yankee and Flames of War eat up most of that time.


Man, you're hitting stuff that I've always wanted to do but haven't had the time, energy, or cash to do. I love the "cheap" route you pick (free rules, printing stuff, going with more inexpensive scales). Definitely out-of-the-box thinking on your end.

I have an idea for ship-to-ship rules for you: Victory at Sea. They are simple, but still crunchy, rules that handle ship-to-ship actions well enough for surface actions in the Pacific.


Pricy, but very solid rules IMO. I plan to use them with my 1/1800 ships this summer. I'm gearing up for a 2022 round of gaming set in 1942. I plan to game out stuff in "real time" with Indy and the guys over at the World War II channel on Youtube:

YouTube link

Catch you later!

Tgunner08 Dec 2019 12:58 p.m. PST

Oh, for coastal actions I've always heard great things about this set:



TMP link

This guys sells some great 1/600 small craft/patrol boats.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 7:17 a.m. PST

Regarding Gavutu/Tulagi, I just want to get them into action as soon as possible. I do things as quick and cheap as I can, but I do so many different things now that it really doesn't end up being quick or cheap ; )

Facebook, eh? Can't believe ya went full-out Commie! ; ) But I understand, this place doesn't seem to get the same amount of interaction I used to. I'm doing what I can, keep posting my batreps.

I tried Victory at Sea a few years ago, not really for me and so I sold it. Now I'm using some rules that I built out of someone else's sci-fi rules. It's been awhile ( link ) , but they were fun. Need to get back to them. That's an awesome idea about playing stuff out ‘real time.'

What I do need are some good coastal action rules. I've already got the gear from PT Dockyard ( link ) , but haven't played with them, so thanks for the links, I'll check them out.


rampantlion09 Dec 2019 9:08 a.m. PST

Just Jack, I am writing up some simple rules for the battle of Midway. I am mostly a medieval gamer, but have always loved reading about the carrier actions in WWII.

Tgunner09 Dec 2019 5:38 p.m. PST

Hey Jack,

I moved over there because my local game store has a presence there as does my family… sigh. Commies indeed.

I can't wait to see what you come up with for the naval side. I've been playing with it for a while but haven't settled on rules either. I did like the B5 stuff Mongoose did so the navy side looked interesting. I haven't tried it yet. I like games quick and fairly easy and I haven't quite found a match for that. Yet.

I have been wanting to do PT stuff, but set in the Philippines in '42.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP09 Dec 2019 6:24 p.m. PST

Rampantlion- Excellent, I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Tgunner- Yeah man, so many games, so little time ;)


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