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You may want to watch this short video on installation and basic usage. VASSAL SWWAS how to.


The Japanese military leadership saw the world in a horrifically scared lens in 1942. A generation of nationalists and outright racists saw the world through that lens and assumed the worst of each adversary. Of the Americans they thought that a democracy was weak and that if they could bring the American Fleet to battle that Americans would grow tired and disheartened and would sue for peace when faced with a defeat and the prospects for a long war. For Yamamoto, he knew it was a hail Mary pass, but he also knew that without a forced peace early, the Americans would crush Japan in something more than 18 months based on production alone.

Threatening to resign if his plan was not accepted by the war council, Yamamoto convinced them to back his Midway plan to lure the American Carriers out to be destroyed in an engagement that would clear the way for the mythical Final Battle that would stop the Americans. All he needed to do was launch the attack on Midway, let the Americans take the bait.

But like all Japanese plans, this one was Byzantine in complexity. Designed to throw the Americans off, the Japanese fleet split into multiple groups. One attacking the American Alutian Islands, another group hanging back as an over the horizon reserve to make a surface attack after the American carriers had been destroyed and at the center, the mailed fist of the Kido Butai, the Japanese carrier strike force, which would attack Midway island and occupy it to draw the Americans out to sea in a Japanese trap.

Unfortunately for Yamamoto, the Americans had read his book. Literally.

The Americans had broken the Japanese code, JN25b, and knew where the attack would take place, where the Japanese fleets would rondevous and when they would do it. In the best of American style, like in the Westerns, they knew just how to set a trap and so waited for the Japanese north-east of Midway, the place least likely for them to be spotted and least likely for the Japanese to expect.

Early in the morning of June 3rd, 1942. American spotting planes caught sight of the landing attack force and conducted air strikes which yeilded no resupts, but in the morning, the action starte in style with the Japanese attacking Midway Island itself. Now that the Americans knew the Japanese carrier strike force was near, both sides committed search assets to look for the opposing fleet. The Americans spotted the Japanese first and launched strikes against them which arrived as the Japanese air groups were being rearmed with naval strike munitions (their search assets had found the American fleet very shortly afterward.)

Over several strikes the Japanese were devestated, losing three carriers. But were able to attack and fatally criple one of the American carriers, Yorktown.

Both sides had been blooded, but the Japanese had lost three carriers and in the morning the fourth, Soryu, had been found and sunk as well.

The tide of the war in the Pacific had turned and from this high-water mark, the Japanese would never have the resources or naval airpower to take the war to America.

Midway Deluxe lets you replay the historical battle, the what-ifs, the prelude and the aftermath. Become Jack Fletcher or Chūichi Nagumo and change the course of history

Midway Deluxe Edition includes 560 playing pieces: 280 “long” ship pieces and 280 square ones representing aircraft, smaller ships and markers needed for play. There are two operational maps forming a 42x28-inch playing area covering the Hawai’ian islands, Midway and surrounding waters.

Like its sister game South Pacific, Midway Deluxe Edition includes not only the standard, generic Tactical Map but also a special Tactical Map, this time showing Pearl Harbor with all of the locations of American warships on the fateful morning of December 7th, 1941.

Buy a copy of Midway Deluxe Edition and come play it online with this VASSAL module

Vassal Download

After Action Report

Operational Scenario 5
Relief of Wake

Played by: Robin Rathbun (Solo)

Optional Rules used:

I set out to test out the Vassal Module and learn how to use it to play the game, not to create a competitive scenario. In order to accommodate Solo play, I predetermined what the general plan was for each side.

The Japanese task forces that started together were to remain together.

The Japanese Carrier task force was to proceed to Wake and attack it by air, while keeping an eye out for any American response. They were to remain on station as long as possible, providing air support for the invasion, then go to Wotje to refuel when necessary. In keeping with early war search doctrine, they would rely mostly on the H6K flying boats from Maloelap and Jaluit to spot the American task forces. (Additions to the OOB taken from a discussion on Consimworld posted from Dec 19 to Dec 25, 2022.) The Japanese task force would save all its carrier aircraft for strikes and CAP, and use the group's floatplanes (one step total) for Air Search, per the Midway Deluxe Special Rules (p. 3).

The Japanese Invasion Force would travel from Kwajalein to Wake and perform an amphibious assault. The Invasion Support Force would travel with the Invasion Force, moving ahead of it to provide shore bombardment on turn 12, the last night turn before the start of the amphibious assault on the first day turn of day 3 (turn 13). The group would then remain with the Invasion Force until it finished unloading. (I plotted the Japanese Invasion and Support Forces to remain at Wake for the duration of the game, then changed their mission to 'Abort' when the Invasion Force was done unloading.)

The auxiliary ships in the Lexington and Saratoga groups were split off from their starting task forces, with Tangier and two DDs in one group, and each oiler with two DD escorts in a group.

I followed the actual US plan for the operation. The Lexington task force was to attack Jaluit as a diversion. The Saratoga task force was to escort Tangier to Wake, where it would unload if able. Sara was also to transfer two steps of Marine Corps F2A fighters to Wake. The Enterprise task force was to remain behind and between the other two task forces as a backup if they were pursued by superior forces.

I did use one deviation from the plotting rules; I allowed the Tangier group to plot one turn in advance, rather pre-plot their entire move. I could have pre-plotted and used the 'convoy hold' rules from Arctic Convoy, but this seemed easier.

The Narrative:

The first turn weather remains Squall, preventing the Saratoga task force (which starts the scenario low on fuel) from refueling. Both sides decide not to risk launching air searches.

The weather on turn two improves to Rain, and the Sara task force heavy cruisers share fuel with the DDs, while the oiler refuels the two DDs of the Tangier group. Both sides launch air searches, but the searches do not succeed.

On turn 3 the weather deteriorates to Squall again. The Japanese lose two steps of H6K to landing die rolls.

On turn 4 the weather worsens to Storm and stays bad through turn 6. Both sides proceed toward Wake, with no other activity. The weather improves to Squall on turn 7 and Rain on turn 9. The Japanese carrier group strikes Wake with two steps each of D3A and B5N, but gets no hits.

The Japanese Invasion Support Force separates from the invasion force and bombards Wake on turn 12. The Invasion Force begins Wake on turn 13, the first daylight turn of day 3. The Japanese continue air attacks on Wake with carrier aircraft and bombers from Kwajalein, but do almost no damage.

The Saratoga task force reaches the vicinity late in the day on day 3 and attacks the transports unloading at Wake, sinking two transports and damaging a third. Neither side's air searches find enemy carriers. Having been warned by a submarine contact that the Japanese task force includes two carriers, the Americans decide to withdraw. Since the island is already under assault, the transfer of Marine Corps fighters is cancelled (the F2As are kept in the hangar box) and the Tangier group is given an abort mission back to Pearl Harbor.

The Lexington task force attacks the airfield at Jaluit, but heavy AA drives them off with the loss of one step of dive bombers. Late in the game, as they approach Pearl Harbor, they are contacted on two separate turns by Japanese Submarine Flotilla 1. MacDonough is sunk and Indianapolis nearly crippled (three hull and two secondary hits).

Enterprise goes to the support of Saratoga, rendezvousing with and refueling from Saratoga's detached oiler on the way. The carrier groups approach Wake in loose company (remaining two zones apart) and reach the vicinity of Wake the morning of day 6.

Unfortunately for both sides, the weather on day 6 worsened to Squall and remained at Squall or Storm through day 7. Eventually, the referee (me) overrode the weather die roll and changed the weather from Squall to Rain on turn 40.

On the morning of day 8, the weather was still at Rain. The Japanese carrier group was low on fuel, so began heading south toward Wotje to refuel. The Japanese continued their attacks on Wake while still in range. The Saratoga group searched for the Japanese, and the remainder of her aircraft attacked the Japanese ships at Wake. Enterprise held her air wing, other than one step of fighters on CAP, hoping to strike the Japanese carriers.

Saratoga's air search found the Japanese carrier group, but they too far away for the Enterprise aircraft. They were seven zones away from Saratoga, beyond the range of both the torpedo bombers and the fighters. Sara elected to send her remaining two steps of dive bombers unescorted, hoping to surprise the Japanese with aircraft in the Ready box (using the optional rules from Historical Carrier Operations). The Americans failed to catch the Japanese with their second strike still on deck but the Japanese CAP failed to intercept so the Americans got a free run at the Japanese carriers.

Both steps of SBDs attacked Hiryu. AA was ineffective. The bombers achieved two hits, rolling a '9' for each on the Damage Table. Hiryu lost two flight deck boxes and two tertiaries, but was otherwise unaffected. Had her second strike (two steps of B5N2) been caught in the Ready box, the two hits would have been critical hits and sunk the ship.

The Americans declined to pursue the Japanese carriers as they headed toward Wotje, electing to continue to support Wake. Ground combat took out one of the Japanese troop points.

The Japanese transports finally finished unloading around midnight on day 8 (turn 47) and they aborted to Kwajalein. The carriers refueled at Wotje on turn 50 and then raced north, hoping to catch the American carriers before they could depart. Unfortunately for the Japanese, by the time they were in range of the Americans the weather had worsened to Squall again and the Americans slipped away.

At the end of the scenario, the Japanese failed to capture Wake. Due to losses among the transports they were only able to unload four of sixteen troop points. They inflicted three hits on the six American troop points on Wake, but lost two of their own and at the end of the scenario were outnumbered three to two.

The Americans scored 159 Victory Points, the majority from transports sunk while still loaded. The Japanese scored only 52VP, mostly from American aircraft losses.

Notes on the outcome:

The weather was a real handicap in this scenario. Air searches were rarely successful. Both sides lost more aircraft to operational causes (landing and takeoff rolls in Rain or Squall) than to enemy action. Neither side rolled the dice particularly well. The Japanese air strikes and bombardment did very little damage to Wake, and the American submarine patrolling near Wake launched six attacks with zero hits.

If I were to play this one again:

I'd cut the number of Invasion Fire Support (19.51) hits required to six, or allow the Wake Invasion Support Force two turns of bombardment before reloading (and allow hits from both turns to count for rule 19.51). It's awful tough to get the required 12 hits in one turn with only 16 secondary and 13 tertiary guns, even though each hit counts as 2.


This is going to be linked to the wordpress component to allow members to comment on the scenario or the game in general. I think it will be easy to filger by the game name and the scenario name. Not doing this till I get WP hooked up.


This is going to be linked to the wordpress component to allow members to add errata to the scenario. I think it will be easy to filger by the game name. Not doing this till I get WP hooked up.


Not sure what this is yet. We could create a sort of blog entry that is specific to this game (Eastern Fleet).