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Guadalcanal/Solomons aircraft overlap with Midway - why it makes sense

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#1 Gambit21

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 18:07

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


 F4F                                A6m2-21


F2A                                D3A - Val


TBF                                B5N - Kate


SBD                                E13A1 


TBD                                D4Y1                              








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


 F4F                               A6m2-21


SBD                              B5N - Kate


TBF                              D3A - Val


PBY                              E13A1  


P-400*                          G4m - Betty 


                                     A6M2-N  Rufe


                                     F1M  Pete



* 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.


Carrier Ops...

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.

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#2 Gambit21

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 18:18

Cactus Air Force at Guadalcanal








Guadalcanal At 7:50






Guadalcanal 15:10 - Black Sheep!




F4U landing at Henderson




Mostly CG, but worth a look if you haven't seen it 




More "Life on the ground" but still interesting




PBY Catalina Operations in the South Pacific.

This is out of New Guinea I believe - but the same sorts of operations on the Solomons.

We pretty much need the PBY for proper Midway operations..so....



Attached Thumbnails

  • Cactus 1.jpg

Edited by Gambit21, 05 December 2016 - 02:03.

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#3 II/JG17_HerrMurf

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 18:53

You had me at, "The"

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Game on boys n girls.


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#4 Trooper117

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 20:37

Jason said on the chat on TeamSpeak today, that if the game continues to get support we will get Midway and Okinawa, Kursk and Guadalcanal etc, so he does have it in mind... but I don't think it will come straight after Midway.


I'm with you however and I hope I'm wrong, as I'd rather play a Guadalcanal campaign than any other for a pacific campaign.

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#5 Gambit21

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 20:43

Jason said on the chat on TeamSpeak today, that if the game continues to get support we will get Midway and Okinawa, Kursk and Guadalcanal etc, so he does have it in mind... but I don't think it will come straight after Midway.


I'm with you however and I hope I'm wrong, as I'd rather play a Guadalcanal campaign than any other for a pacific campaign.


Roger that.

With so many resources already created for Midway, I'm just making the case that it makes sense sooner rather than later, including from a revenue standpoint.

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#6 BlitzvogelMcpeek78

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 02:29

Thank you for this particular post. I hope we can politely suggest the Guadalcanal idea to the Game Developers. I would love to see a polite request type petition like note sent to them along these lines. I also would like to see them cancel the Okinawa campaign for reasons listed by others.. Mostly a ground support operation with kamikaze by Japanese as their only real option by that time in the war. After Guadalcanal we can get started on operation Cartwheel and on to New Guinea. Again with most aircraft carrying over,meaning less work for the devs. I guess Midway will just be their testing ground. Anyway thank you for the lengthy post that made many very good points as it is important to keep these ideas fresh in peoples mind. Even though the release date is quite a ways out, the work of which there will reach a point of no return will be much sooner. So it make a lot of sense to raise awareness much sooner to sway devs mind about what their customers want or for that matter DONT want! I for one am not too crazy about midway, but WILL still buy it so as to support Devs ,because there just isn't many people working on flight sims anymore and they need all the help they can get. I also asked Jason about yaw & Pitch wobble & he said it will be fixed or reduced.    

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#7 Gambit21

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Posted 05 December 2016 - 20:15

Thank you for that - you've hit the nail on the head with regard to the purpose of this thread.

Ultimately I will support Jason and the team in whatever they decide.


Midway is a wise choice IMHO - it establishes some important things that are part and parcel of the Pacific theater.

Frankly, if they can pull off the ships, carriers, furious AA, recon element...it's going to be epic. The only weakness is poor use of the career

mode - which of course resources are being devoted to right now. However I think the positives outweigh the negatives with regard to Midway.

That said if you're devoting resources to establishing certain things, it then makes sense to put those elements to good use in your follow-up efforts,

this includes not only the career mode, but plane sets. Things we're supporting with our wallets and that eat up development resources.

So make good use of them. 


In the end I'm grateful to going to the Pacific, whatever it ends up looking like and will support these developers to the end.

That doesn't mean I won't respectfully inform and lobby for what I think makes sense for us. It doesn't make any sense to

develop 2 desperate modules that don't share aircraft when a 3rd Pacific release isn't guaranteed. If you know you're doing 2 for sure,

then from my point of view, make them compatible, and make sure at least one of those releases makes good use of the new career for both sides.


 If Germany on a scale of 1-10 was beaten down to a 4 in 1945, Japan was at a 1 or worse.

Edited by Gambit21, 25 December 2016 - 18:44.

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#8 Gambit21

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 23:44

A well written, well thought out and schooled post from Hiromachi on Okinawa which I don't wan't to get lost.


I checked all possible bases and main campaign combat areas for Okinawa. Gotta say that the whole map would be huge:



For the aerial operations in defense of Okinawa Japanese grouped two "fronts", one utilizing Formosa (Taiwan today) airfields and other approaching from Southern Kyushu. Airfields on Okinawa itself were assumed to be impossible to use and defend, soon after American landings they fell into enemy hands anyway and so they became American bases for the rest of the campaign and further operations over Japanese mainland until end of the war.

                Northern “wing” was commanded by Japanese Navy which comprised mainly fresh units of rapidly moved 3rd Air Fleet and remnants of 5th Air Fleet which was badly mauled in previous 3 weeks. Japanese Army units of 6th Air Army were operating under command of Japanese Navy.

                Southern “wing” comprised Japanese Army 8th Flying Division with three Attack Groups (usually Attack Group would have one or two fighter Sentais and three to five suicide units, ex. 2nd Attack Group made of 101st and 102nd Sentai and three suicide attack units.)


The fundamental tactics for the forthcoming battle were to be suicide attacks, the fighter units committed to the area were assigned to escort duties – they would protect vulnerable attack aircraft and then seek to verify the attack results, return and report them. However neither Navy nor Army fighters could really operate at that kind of range and conduct combat operations, particularly Ki-84, Ki-61 and N1K2-J units could only reach about half the way to Okinawa (usually would go no further than Tokunoshima or Amami-Oshima) and so during later periods fewer and fewer aircraft were capable of penetrating thick US CAP and strike any targets.


Forward bases were tried to be used, but often they were too close to Okinawa and soon would be overwhelmed. Tokunoshima was used by 103rd Sentai which tried to escort light bombers on few instances, such as on 29 March, but soon air superiority over island was gained by US carrier aircraft. Further attempts to use the island failed and it was mostly used as emergency field, as well as Amami-Oshima. In similar fashion Kikai island was also used on 17th April, when Ki-84s and Ki-61s scrambled to engage 20 F6F-5s. 103rd Sentai was moved to Kikai to undertake escort missions, but this also did not work very well. In case of Southern wing, two small islands were mainly used – Ishigaki-Jima and Miyako-Jima, from where 8th Flying Division fighters escorted suicide units. By mid-May it became  apparent that Formosa can no longer be reinforced from mainland thus Southern wing was effectively reduced only to suicide role.


Overall there will be no conventional attacks, only suicide and escort operations for Japanese. US Navy and Army will have plenty of interceptions and ground pounding. But damn distances to fly are really great :/  


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#9 HeavyCavalrySgt

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 00:48

I would love to see the developers' take on the Lightning.

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#10 Dakpilot

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Posted 08 December 2016 - 09:18

I have to say that when the first mention of Okinawa was mentioned I was quite exited, I instantly had fond memories of old IL-2


There were some GREAT historical campaigns and interesting aircraft timeline using that map, plus it had one of the first really good repaints, QMB missions were fun, some good harbour attacks, airfield strikes etc.


and the map itself was always interesting to fly over/around especially with Redko's groundbreaking (at the time ) repaint


However as time has progressed and info is so much easier to find, it must be said that a lot of the campaigns/missions were not all that historical and took a bit of a hypothetical spin to make them fun and playable, but in spirit they were great


but now looking at it in a purely historical view, Gambits repost of Hiromachi's Okinawa musings hit the nail squarely on the head


expectations of historical campaign are much higher these days and convincing MP scenario for both sides is needed, ultimately Okinawa could be very hard to satisfy in those regards with historical accuracy due to many factors including distances.


As a "knee jerk" first thought, I would also have come up with Okinawa as a great idea, but after some further considerations, not so much, it could/(Should?) be left for later, with better and easier Campaigns/Battles (for both sides) being done first


Cheers Dakpilot

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#11 katdog5

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 03:34

Guadalcanal a no brainer. +1. You could automatically/easily include the battle of the battle coral sea in such a package. Open ocean 200 nautical miles south. Same classes of assets involved of course

Super excited for any path this direction.
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Posted 06 February 2017 - 00:24

You do mean P-38F-5-LO right?

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