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Signals flashed from Vice-Admiral Halsey's flagship: "Commander Task Force 16 makes the following announcement. This task force has been directed to proceed to a position 400 miles east of Japan. There, Army bombers will be launched from the USS Hornet. They will bomb Tokyo."
It is April 1942, and sixteen medium B-25 Mitchell bombers are strapped atop a carrier deck as it streams west. Soon they will be in the heart of Japan's defensive zone and within striking distance of the home islands. The war is barely five months old and thee has been no good news for the Untied States thus far. All that is about to change.
"Gentlemen, we must find ways and means of carrying home to Japan proper, in the form of a bombing raid, the real meaning of war." This was President Roosvelt's mandate back in December, and now those sixteen bombers and their five man crews are about to carry out the President's directive. Lead by famed pilot Jimmy Doolittle, every detail has been seen to, but will their task force reach the launch point without detection? Once in the air, will the B-52s encounter defences or bad weather and will they be able to find their targets? Once over Japan, will they enjoy the advantage of surprise or will they face a welcoming party? After releasing ordnance, will those same bombers escape from the roused hornets nest, and will they reach the safety of China before enemy aircraft catch them or fuel runs out?
Enemy Coast Ahead: The Doolittle Raid, is a solitaire game recreating this historic mission. Ten scenarios dissect the action over target cities, the tense flight after launching from the carrier deck, and even covers the voyage west from Alameda Naval Air Station in the San Francisco Bay. A Task Force Layout features every ship in the USS Hornet's task force, where enemy air attacks and submarine attacks are played out, should your force be detected. A Flight Map tracks the course of the B-25s from the carrier deck to Honshu. Although enemy assets will be a major concern, your real challenge will be fuel. Did you launch too far from the target to make it to safety? Scenario 10 goes even further by allowing the player to plan the raid, organize and train the squadron, modify the bombers, and secure landing sites in China and the Soviet Union. Action extends beyond the raid to cover the challenge of recovering pilots who may have ditched at sea or on the Chinese coast. They will be hunted by the Japanese military and may have to trek their way to safety. Each scenario has a tailored Debriefing Chart allowing the player to contextualize the outcome, and Scenario 10 has its own Debriefing Manual that explores the perception of a variety of important stakeholders. Will Doolittle earn a promotion or will he be made a scapegoat? Will this raid be a mere footnote in the annals of the Pacific war, or will it prove a turning Point?
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14 to adult
Spirit Games (Est. 1984, Lefglow Ltd) - Supplying role playing games (RPG), wargames rules, miniatures and scenery, new and traditional board and card games for the last 34 years
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