The purpose of this post is simple - to illustrate how VERY CLOSE we will be to a functional Solomons campaign after the release of Midway. While some of you might be aware of my own personal affinity for this campaign (for good reasons) I'm nevertheless attempting to present this without passion. It simply makes sense given the work that will already have been completed for Midway.
There's an opinion that's been floated that Guadalcanal would just represent too many additional aircraft - patently not the case.
In fact quite the opposite. This post is simply meant to be respectfully informative.
I'm also no attempting to account for EVERY SINGLE type of aircraft present in
these campaigns. Just the basics.
The long and short of it - the plane sets for Midway and early Solomons - meaning the Battle for Guadalcanal which lasted from August 7th 1942, through February 2nd, 1943, are nearly identical. From this standpoint alone it objectively makes almost zero sense (pun intended) to skip this campaign over. I don't present this as an attempt to make light of the map making process, which I realize is long and arduous. There will always be a map involved in a new release however, that's a given. In this case the plane set is nearly complete.
With few additions, after Midway we have not only a Battle of Guadalcanal plane set, but a plane set that will allow a later, fully fleshed out Solomons campaign as well - the famous "island hopping" up the slot toward Rabaul. This means P-38's, Corsairs, including the famous "Black Sheep"...as well as
float plane operations of R-Area Air Force.
Given the similar, nearly identical plane sets (especially for late 1942, early 1943 Guadalcanal) it arguably makes the most sense as the intermediate step between Midway and whatever release comes after. This I can say without specific knowledge of exactly what aircraft will be included with Midway, the battle being what it was, there are only a few variants possible with a 10 plane Midway set. Whichever one it is...however it goes.... whether or not the F2A is included, or the PBY, etc, the outcome is still minimal with regard to overlap with the Solomons. Thus I'm not trying to predict the Midway plane set precisely, or match plane for plane between the two sides, nor predict or suggest which plane will be the collectors plane etc. However it shakes out, the only thing that changes is what very few aircraft will be needed to complete the Solomons set. In any scenario, after Midway, we could almost just swap out the map for the Solmons and keep going.
Indeed, when looking at Midway and what the most prominent aircraft are, it's likely we could simply add the Betty and be on our way for a Guadalcanal campaign.
So with a Solomons map (again, not making light of the map) and scant few aircraft, we now have the making of a very long, extended campaign up the Solomons. From the early blow for blow fighting over Henderson between the Zeros, Wildcats and Betty's, Kates and Vals...the ongoing efforts to escort the "Tokyo Express" by the Japanese, and the efforts by the Allies to stop it... progressing then to when the P-38's and Corsairs moved in and campaign slowly progressed up the slot toward Rabaul.
I've illustrated the overlap below.
Midway likely/possible planes
F2A D3A - Val
TBF B5N - Kate
All Guadalcanal aircraft with the exception of the F2A.
Most of the Guadalcanal aircraft work then is done.
Whatever combination from above is provided, we likely will still need only
add the G4M to get up and running.
Solomons Early - Battle for Guadalcanal and Cactus Air Force
Bold indicates overlap from Midway
SBD B5N - Kate
TBF D3A - Val
P-400* G4m - Betty
* P-39 from Kuban used for P-400
Only the Betty is an absolutely necessary addition for starters - float planes can come later.
Even so, it's a grand total of THREE new aircraft if the float planes are included.
Post Guadalcanal, Island hopping up the Slot
"Black Sheep" campaign, etc. SAME MAP
All aircraft from above Midway release - plus...
F4U A6m3 "Hamp"
B-25 or B-26
That's a grand total of SEVEN or so new aircraft after Midway to create a fleshed out, very long Solomons campaign
that fully covers Guadalcanal through the island hopping up the slot. There's other aircraft available to make a full
set of 10 if so desired. The point is how few are really needed - then of course there are the ships.
No small task.
I'll add more material here on the campaign as time progresses.
For the moment I just want to quell any concerns or opinions that a Guadalcanal campaign
would require too many new aircraft. If anything you have TOO MANY aircraft that carry
over from Midway, and will need to get busy with more float-planes.
3 US Carriers supported the landings during Operation Watchtower on Guadalcanal - including Enterprise.
Even more carry-over value from Midway, especially since the carriers don't absolutely need to match the
actual 3 that took part in this operation. Enterprise, Saratoga and Wasp.
Edited by Gambit21, 25 December 2016 - 18:46.