Campaign was designed to historically cover as many details as possible within limitations of the game itself. Most of the units have their historical names and most of the air force was covered too trough squadrons and plane type. Lack of documentation for Japanese side prevented me from going into even bigger details. Of course, i couldn't put all the existing ships which were there in reality, but all the mayor ones like BB, CA, CV, CVE were covered. Along side Battle of Okinawa allied were suppressing Sakishima islands and bombarding Japanese airbases on Kyushu. I've decided to include this suppression on Sakishima islands as a prelude to main battle. Including suppression of Kyushu would have been too much work on top of this so i cut it out. As we know a week after landing IJN sent their proud Yamato BB on the one way trip toward Okinawa. So, this element was included in the campaign and we will have "Operation Ten Go". Since this map ain't that large, it will be on this map, not on historical location some 250km NW.
If we have historical units on the stage, do we need to follow historical landing positions and troop deployment locations? I think no, otherwise it would be "scripted" and predictable. But it can be. I will leave that to commander freedom of choice. The real landing itself was almost unopposed, but i can not guarantee it here since i have no idea where landing will take place. This means it is up to commander to "soften" landing site.
Prelude to battle:
In first two mission the whole British Task Force 57 will be outside of Okinawa area and it has a purpose to suppress Japanese airbases on Sakishima islands and disrupt plane transfers from Formosa too. In total there will be 350 various planes possible to transfer from Formosa and Sakishima to air withdraw. All the planes that are able to get to it will become available for Japanese use on SW corner of Okinawa map. It is an imperative for Allies to destroy as many planes on the ground/air as they can. Allies also need to cover their own fleet. Any plane/ship lost on the Sakishima map can not be replaced on the Okinawa map and it is counted in total losses. British Task Force 57 can return to Okinawa map as early as mission 5, but it doesn't have to if commander decide he don't need it. No Allied ship should come 30km from any of Sakishima islands. All the action need to be air to air or air to ground. Axis side is allowed to perform anti ship actions if they want.
In meanwhile, while we fly Sakishima map, AI stuff will be doing their part on Okinawa map. Allied side will be allowed to sail around Okinawa island and to shell it from 3 battle ships task group. On the mission planner map it is drown how close to shore this battle ships can come. This will simulate huge bombardment of the island prior the landing. Coming that close to shore will be allowed only in those 2 AI missions. Allied big bombers should flat the place, and both sides need to gain recon where the enemy is because initial recon is set to 0 on both sides.
In this two AI missions, Allied commander need to put landing ships force in a position from which landing will be executed in mission #3. Even if Axis gain recon on the American fleet earlier, they are not allowed to attack it prior mission 3 when all the small boats are unloaded and ready to sail to shore.
When it comes to Yamato battle group, they can move around northern part of the map in every mission, but are allowed to go south outside exclusion zone only after mission 5. US recon planes should find the battle group and keep an eye on it. Allied side is not allowed to attack Yamato battle group before mission #5.After that they can attack it regardless if the battle group went out exclusion zone or not. BTW, exclusion zones are area marked on the mission planner map where you are unable to send ships because it refuse to finish plot.
In this 2 AI missions both sides can plan fighter cap and escorts, plus Allied side can send bombers to lit up Okinawa island.
Since commanders need to plan flight for Sakishima, those 2 AI missions on Okinawa will have only 30 plane slots for Allies, and 20 for Axis. ALL of them should be marked as AI ONLY. Use them wisely.
Main battle on Okinawa map, guide,rules,tips:
Ok, when we come to mission #3, we should see landing executed. There are different units which should execute this. LSD ships are carrying DUKW transports and LVTs and unload them on the sea from where they should be ploted to move independently. LST and LST rocket ships are carrying heavy stuff and they need to come all the way to the beach. Those are the ONLY ships allowed to come that close to the shore! DUKWs and LVTs could be planned to move further inland right away if commander wants. They serve as a land transport too.
Why i chose DUKW and LVT instead of normal landing crafts? It is because there is quite a lot of this transports and collisions are almost unavoidable. Well, the only problem is that even if your small transport hit the BB or CV, both are gone. This is game limitation. So using land version of the object prevented any crashes between them or between them and capital ships. For all capital ships commander should take really good care not to crash them. What is lost is lost, and no commander error will be repaired. One of the factor for victory are the ship, so please pay attention to it. The only thing which might be repaired is if ship hit damaged ship in front of it which slowed down because of the damagae. There is no collision avoidence for the ships in this game. The best solution to avoid collision are task forces with enough separation. I have placed all the ships in task forces as a defaul state.
It would be the best that commander make timing so landing crafts hit the beach at the end of the mission. This is because there will be less chance that transports get destroyed by artillery peaces you missed in "softening" process. Make sure that landing fleet is covered from the air to the last second of the mission. After mission #3 is over, units packed inside crafts need to be unloaded and after that we are in sort of normal war we had many times before.
In this campaign, i did not put hard accent on logistic. I mean, it is there but you don't have to balance on the tip of the sword.
Priority for Allies should be to grab as fast as possible some land based airfield so P38s,P47s,P51s, B25s and B29s could fly in from Marianas and Iwo Jima and provide additional close air support for troops on the ground.
Allied side need to capture at least one base and one control point to qualify for victory conditions.
There is finite number of units available and do not make foolish charges. All units will be using simple+bridge movement mode. That means, you can move all around, but rivers need to be crossed on the bridge or you should go around where it is possible. Destroyed bridge will be automatically repaired after 1 mission.
It is simple for this side. Not many ships to take care of. Not knowing where enemy will land and not enoug force to cover everything simplify things and commander just like in reality can choose where to fight. Still, there are some control points which should be defended as best as possible. Enemy will try to take some of the land bases, so position your artillery so you have plan B. IJA have huge stocks of various artillery.
There are numerous patrol boats around the island. In reality they have been used as suicide units. Try to use them the same way and ram Allied ships. From mission #6 Axis are allowed to use MXY7-11 from spawns around Okinawa. Keep in mind they fly only 5-8 minutes so chose nerby ships. For distant ships use normal planes with bombs to ram them. Try not to over use Kamikaze, because human losses are worth 1 point at the end. Even though Allied side have huge armada available, IJA have a lot of planes to give them hell in the air and on the sea/ground. Try to use Okinawas planes first so airstarts from Kyushu and Sakashima serve as option 2.....and you are not that sorry if you lose 200 planes if/when Allied capture your airfields.
Just like for Allies, Axis units are finite, and there is no production nor reinforcements. Use this rock as a attrition ground and make every unit count...just like it was in reality.
Both sides have a steel runaway added in the middle of the sea inside of exclusion zones. Ships can not be ploted there but planes could go in. However, since this area simulate off map location, play fair and don't camp there waiting for enemy planes on landing to shoot them down. You are allowed to go in, make recon etc.,but sustain yourself from going there attacking planes on landing. Both places are marked with baloon.
Victory goals and status:
On this link you will find a document which will show you what are the points collecting options for a victory.
List of units on both sides:
...to be added