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Guadalcanal: Sky, Sea, Jungle

This page is to organize and document my project to play a linked series of games as a short campaign covering the October 23-26 Battle of Henderson Field.

The campaign is intended to be played as a series of 5 games at a gaming convention, each one simulating a different aspect of the battle: on the sea, in the air, or in the jungles of Guadalcanal.

All games are meant to be played by 6-8 players, though the land game could be much bigger with the right GM.

  1. Sky
  2. Pacificon Game H-118
    Time slot:
    Friday 6-10 PM
    escription: Wildcats try to fight past Zeroes to stop Betties from dropping bombs that will reduce the American starting forces in Guadalcanal game 4 - Jungle (Sunday).

    Format: Aerial bombardment of Henderson Field
    Rules: Check Your 6
    Players: 8

    Campaign effects: Each Betty which flies off the edge removes one stand of Marines in game 4: Jungle.

      IJN Forces
      15x G4M1 Betty
      3x A6M2 Zeroes per Japanese player.

      US Forces
      2x or 4x Wildcats per American player (based on player experience); more Wildcats than Zeroes

  3. Sea

  4. Pacificon Game H-119
    Time slot:
    Saturday 9 AM - 3 PM
    Steve Taylor
    Description: Night action in The Slot. The USN tries to stop an IJN task force attempting to bombard the shore to reduce American forces available in game 4 - Jungle.

    Format: Night naval battle to bombard Henderson ("What if" bigger battle of Cape Esperance)
    Rules: General Quarters 3
    Players: 8
    Campaign effects: Marines lose one stand during setup in game 4: Jungle for each main turret of Kongo or Haruna or for each 3x CA turrets (on Aoba, Furutaka, Kinugasa) which conducts a bombardment after game 2: Sea is done.


      BB Washington
      CA San Francisco
      CL Boise
      CL Helena
      CL Atlanta
      DD Farenholt
      DD Duncan
      DD Laffey
      DD Buchanan
      DD McCalla
      DD Walke
      DD Benham

      Bombardment Force
      BB Kongo
      BB Haruna
      CL Isuzu

      Escort Force
      CA Furutaka
      CA Kinugasa
      DD Fubuki
      DD Hatsuyuki

  5. Sky & Sea
  6. Format: Two games, run concurrently. Planes which leave game 3A: Above enter game 3B: Below for an attack run. The first plane to leave the table initiates the first turn of dawn in game 3B: Below, and the planes begin appearing after that.

      A. Above

      Pacificon Game H-120
      Time slot:
      Saturday 4-10 PM
      Chuck Staedler
      Description: Game 3A in the Pacificon Guadalcanal campaign. Japanese fighters try to stop American planes from flying into game 3B (at the next table) to bomb Japanese transports reinforcing game 4 (Jungle)

      Format: Aerial attack on Japanese transports at dawn
      Rules: Sky's the Limit
      Players: 7 (If odd number of players, extra player is IJN)

        IJN Forces
        2x Rufe per player (up to 6)
        2x more Rufe for any Japanese player losing both fighters before American bombers leave

        US Forces
        2x P-39s per player (up to 6)
        6x Dauntlesses
        5x Avengers

      B. Below

      Pacificon Game H-121
      Time slot:
      Saturday 6-11 PM
      Scott Wilson
      Description: A Japanese convoy carrying reinforcements for game 4 (Jungle) is attacked by PT boats, and any US planes that manage to fly in from game 3A (running concurrently at the next table).

      Format: PT boats attack Japanese reinforcement convoy at night during unloading operation
      Rules: Action Stations
      Players:(If odd number of players, extra player is US)
      Campaign effects: Each Japanese ship which survives game delivers Japanese units to game 4: Jungle

        USN Forces
        4x PT boats/player with 1-3 players, 2x PT boats/player if more
        Any US planes (Dauntlesses, Avengers, P-39s) that make it from game 3A: Sky & Sea - Above at neighboring table
        Note: First US plane to leave 3A: Sky & Sea - Above starts dawn turn in this game

        IJN Forces
        1x DD per player (min 2, max 4: Mutsuki class, Asagumo, Natsugumo, Yamagumo, Akizuki)
        4x transports
        8x small barges ferrying troops from ship to shore

  7. Jungle
  8. Pacificon Game H-122
    Time slot:
    Sunday 10 AM - 4 PM
    Jeff Grein, Fred Avner, Ix Nichols
    Description: The final game in the Pacificon Guadalcanal campaign. US Marines, reduced by bombardments in game 1 (Sky) and game 2 (Sea), are attacked by a Japanese army reinforced by game 3 (Sky and Sea).

    Format: Land assault on Henderson Field
    Rules: Memoir '44
    Players: 8

    Henderson Field OOB, modified as follows:

      US Marine Corps
      3x artillery units
      22x infantry units
      During setup, add one hit to any Marine infantry unit (C-in-C's choice) for each of these:

      • each successful Betty bombardment in the Sky game (up to 15)
      • each functioning main turret of an IJN BB which conducts a bombardment of Henderson Field after the 2: Sea game (up to 8)
      • each 3x functioning main turrets (rounded) of  IJN CA (on Aoba, Furutaka, Kinugasa) which conducts a bombardment of Henderson Field after the 2: Sea game (up to 3)

      Imperial Japanese Army
      3x artillery units
      26x infantry units
      During setup, IJA starts with 22 infantry units, plus one infantry unit for every transport which unloaded the table in 3B: Sea & Sky Below (possible maximum of 26 units).

      Terrain Bits
      21 hill hexes (Hexon hills)
      77 jungle hexes (crafted by Ix)
      15 river  hexes (Jeff's latex river sections)
        2 airfield hexes (2"-3" wide dirt road, 6"-8" long)
        1 HQ hex (buildings or huts or tents)
        6 fortified (sandbags) 3x at setup, 3x just in case of new ones developed through card play