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Axis & Allies: Pacific

Updates (12/11/03)

The box states that the game comes with 345 plastic playing pieces but mine contained only 335. What am I missing?
Nothing. Everyone's game came with 335 playing pieces. That's how many you're supposed to have. The box is in error.


Experienced players sometimes find that it's too easy for Japan to win. (Beginning players often decide that it's too hard for Japan to win -- it's all a matter of learning the strategy.) If Japan is winning too often, make the following changes to the setup listed on the Japanese Reference Chart:

French Indochina receives 2 infantry, not 4;
Hainan receives 6 infantry, not 4;
Sea zone 37 receives 1 transport, not 2;
The Mariana Islands receive 0 fighters, not 1;
Sea zone 20 receives 0 subs, not 1;
Sea zone 22 receives 1 sub, not 0.


Assume that Japan collects 28 IPCs on a particular turn, gaining two victory points. The Allies take away some captured Japanese territory, but Japan retakes it again on his next turn and collects 28 IPCs again. He adds two more VPs to his total, correct? (The alternative would be adding 3 VPs for bringing in 28+28=56 VPs.)
The first example is correct. VPs are scored based on IPCs collected turn-by-turn, not cumulatively. If that was the case, Japan would win when it collected 220 IPCs. Also remember that Japan gets to count the IPCs it captures from an enemy capital as IPC income for that turn.

Do Strategic Bombing Raids against Japan reduce Japan's VPs?
Yes. Japan's VPs are reduced by one for every 10 IPCs handed over at once. A bombing raid that costs Japan 5 IPCs costs it no VPs. A bombing raid that destroys 15 IPCs also reduces Japan's VP total by one.

At what point does Japan claim victory on the basis of VPs? Is it at the end of Japan's turn or the end of the round?
Japan wins or loses on VPs at the end of its turn. This always gives the Japan player a turn to squeak out the win or die trying.

Szechwan is the capital of China. If Japan captures Szechwan and holds it for a turn, does the Japanese player win?
No. Japan wins only by taking and holding India, New South Wales, or USA.

Japan's First Turn

The special rule concerning Japan's first turn is in the section dealing with land combat. Does this rule apply to air and naval combat as well?
Yes. It applies to all combat during Japan's first turn, except attacks in Chinese territory.

If Japan conducts Strategic Bombing against India on turn 1, does the defending fighter need a one to hit the bomber?
Yes, during turn 1.

Does Japan get its first turn advantage through the entire turn, or only during the first dice exchange of each battle?
Japan gets the first turn advantage throughout its entire first turn. It applies to every defensive combat roll made by the British and US/China players, except those in China.

India and Australia

The British player starts with 20 IPCs for Australia and 15 for India. Does he also get 12 IPCs for the three convoy centers immediately, or must he wait until the end of his first turn to collect this income?
These 12 IPCs are given at the begining of the game along with the 20 Australian and 15 Indian IPCs. The British player must disperse the convoy income between those two powers as he sees fit. This money is also collected during the usual Collect Income step of every turn, for each convoy center England still controls. As at the beginning of the game, the convoy income always must be split immediately between India and Australia.

How can you tell British, Australian, and Indian troops apart?
You don’t need to. Once the units are placed on the board, they all become “Commonwealth British” troops. There’s no need to tell them apart.

How do you adjust the national production chart if the Indians and Australians capture a territory in a combined attack? Which country would take control of the territory?
See the answer to the previous question. Once troops are on the board they aren’t Indian or Australian, they are just “Commonwealth British” troops. If they liberate a former Allied territory from the Japanese, it reverts to the control of its original owner. If they capture Manchuria, Shantung, or Korea, the IPCs are added to China’s total. If they capture Siam or French Indochina, the IPCs are added to the Indian total. Similarly, if they capture the Ryukyu Islands, Bonin Islands, or Japan, the IPCs automatically go to the Indian total. Australia never goes above 20 and never claims new territory.

Convoy Centers and Convoy Routes

I just don’t get convoys and convoy routes. What’s the difference and how do they work?
A convoy center is a sea zone that produces IPCs for just one nation. In many respects, it’s like a land territory with an IPC value, except that Japan can’t ever collect the IPCs. It represents ‘off board income’ arriving to the war from other parts of the world. If Japan has ships or subs in a sea zone with a convoy center and there are no Allied ships or surfaced subs there, than Japan captures the convoy center and the Allied nation subtracts the convoy’s value from its Production Chart. Japan doesn’t get to add that production to its total. If any Allied ships or subs recapture the convoy center (as described on page 22), then the original Allied owner gets to add the IPCs back to its total income, just like a liberated territory.
A convoy route is different. Convoy routes don’t belong to any particular country. Instead, a convoy route is like an extension of the land territory that it’s named after. In order to collect the IPCs for that land territory, a player or his allies must control both the land territory and the convoy route. If Japan controls one and the Allies control the other, then no one gets the IPCs. The faded national symbol that marks each convoy route is there only to indicate who controls the route at the start of the game.
For example, consider the Celebes convoy. At the start of the game, Australia has 20 IPCs marked on the Production Chart. If Japan occupies Sea Zone 39 during its turn, then Australia’s IPC total is marked down by 1--Australia can’t collect the 1 IPC for the Celebes because it doesn’t control both the land territory and the convoy route. Japan can’t collect it either, for the same reason. If Japan captures the Celebes islands on its next turn and still controls Sea Zone 39, then Japan gets to add the Celebes IPC to its total.

Can a Japanese ship or sub capture two convoy routes and/or centers in one turn? (It moves into an empty sea zone, takes control of the convoy, then moves on to another sea zone with another convoy center or route.)
Yes, this "navy blitz" is completely legal, as long as the moving ship isn’t a transport.


Is a battleship immediately sunk by a kamikaze attack or does it still take two hits to sink?
Battleships always have two hits. A kamikaze attack causes one hit. The advantage is that the kamikaze gets to choose its target.

Can only aircraft be used for kamikaze attacks? Or can naval units also make kamikaze attacks?
Kamikaze attacks are only made by planes, but in practice, it doesn’t matter. Kamikaze attacks aren’t made by actual units on the board. Kamikazes are “virtual” units that exist only as a kamikaze marker on the Production Chart. In effect, they are six “free” attacks that the Japanese player is allowed to make. Don’t make the mistake of using (i.e, removing from the board) an actual unit after making a kamikaze attack. The Japanese player simply declares the target(s), moves the kamikaze marker down the track, and rolls the die.

The Japanese player wants to use kamikazes in more than one battle. Must all kamikaze attacks be declared for all battles before any are resolved?
All kamikaze attacks are declared before any battles are started. This means that the Japanese player must decide how many Kamikaze attacks he will make in each battle and what their targets will be before any dice are rolled. The actual attacks happen during the first round of combat in each battle. Ships hit by kamikaze may fire back.

Can the Japanese use Kamikaze in a sea zone that has been under complete Allied control for a whole turn?
Yes. If the sea zone contains a Kamikaze symbol, they are always an option, as long as any remain.

Can Kamikaze attack units on an island?
No. They attack only in sea zones. They can be used regardless of whether the Japanese are attacking or defending, however.

Industrial Centers and Placing New Units

Only the US can buy industrial complexes. Does this mean that once a non-US industrial complex is destroyed, that country can't build or buy any more and is pretty well out of the war?
Industrial complexes can’t be destroyed, only captured. As each country has an industrial complex in its capital, it can’t lose all its industrial complexes without losing its capital. When that happens, it is likely that that country has pretty well had it. It’s also likely that the game will end soon.

Where can Industrial Complexes be built?
Only the US can build ICs, and they can only be built in territories that are blue (US) or brown (Japanese) AND under US control.

Can you place naval units in Hawaii? Page 25 states "Naval units acquired during phase 1 are now placed in sea zones adjacent to your home territory." Is Hawaii considered US home territory?
Yes, the US can build all types of units in Hawaii. “Home Territory” was a poor choice of words. They are subject to the usual restrictions; units can only be placed in territories (or sea zones adjacent to territories) that were owned since the start of the player turn.

So can the USA spend all 75 IPCs building units in Hawaii if it so chooses?

Is there a limit to how many units can be placed at a particular industrial complex?
Sometimes. Any number of units per turn can be placed at an IC that the player owned at the start of the game. If the IC was captured or was built during the game, then the number of units placed there per turn can’t exceed the territory’s IPC value. If the IPC value is 0, then an IC can't be built there. (A common house rule, brought over from the original Axis & Allies, is that ICs can be built in 0 IPC territories and one unit per turn can be placed there. This is not an official rule, but its use seems to be widespread. Assume this modified rule is not in effect unless all players agree to it beforehand.)

The rulebook states the US marines cost 4 IPCs, but the US reference card shows them costing 3 IPCs. Which is it?
Marines cost 4 IPCs, not 3. The book is right, the chart is wrong.

Can you build one naval piece in an enemy-controlled sea zone specifically to cause combat and prevent Shore Bombardment?
Yes. This may seem sneaky, but it’s legal. Sometimes, it’s an excellent tactic.

What is the significance of the Burma road?
China receives an additional infantry unit if the Burma road is open at the start of the Chinese turn.

If Chinese forces capture French Indochina or Siam, can the US build an industrial complex there?
No, not if all the land forces involved in the capture were Chinese. If a joint Chinese/US land force captures the territory, then it can go to either country. If it goes to the US, then an IC can be built there and on the following turn, US units can be placed there. There must be US land forces physically in the territory when it is captured for it to be controlled by the US (and the same thing applies to China). If the only US units involved were air units, or all US land units were killed in the battle, then the US can’t take possession. (The territory isn’t “captured” until all Japanese units are destroyed, so US units that die before the battle is won are not involved in the “capture.”)

What can the US build in Szechwan?
Nothing. The US/China player can build only Chinese infantry in Szechwan. If the Japanese capture Szechwan, however, they can place one unit there per turn, the same as at any captured industrial complex.


Can a transport sail from Japan's naval base (sea zone 36) to the naval base in Malaya and unload troops in Siam?
Yes, during Non-combat Movement. Naval bases don't affect Combat Movement. Even though the naval base is technically in Malaya, the ships are placed in sea zone 46 and can unload into any adjacent land territory: Malaya, Siam, or French Indochina.

Can fighters and bombers fly over the Himalayas?
No. Nothing can enter or cross the Himalayas.

Can armor units move two spaces in order to join an amphibious assault?
Yes. They still can't retreat (no land units are ever allowed to retreat from an amphibious assault, no matter where they came from).

Can a fighter move into a sea zone and land at an airbase with its 4th and final move?
Yes, as long as that island has been under the fighter owner's (or an ally's) control since the beginning of the turn. That's the whole point of an airbase.

Consider the situation where a carrier is attacked and sunk, but the fighters it carried survive the battle. The fighters are allowed to move one space to reach a friendly carrier or territory. Does this include an air base in an adjacent sea zone that can be reached with only one movement point?
Yes. An island with an air base is pretty much the same thing as an aircraft carrier where fighter movement costs are concerned.

When can Allied planes land in a newly captured territory?
Never. US planes can land in a territory or island that was captured during Britain's turn and vice versa, but if the territory wasn't friendly at the beginning of the air unit's turn, it can't land there, ever.

Can a ship split its movement into Combat and Non-combat Movement?


If some pieces were transported into battle and others moved in normally, can the transported units retreat into the friendly territory where other units came from?
No. Land units cannot retreat from any battle where at least one unit was unloaded from a transport. Air units are allowed to retreat, leaving the ground forces to fend for themselves.

Is there any way to pursue subs? They simply submerge and then come back next turn to cause more hassles.
About the only way around this problem is to destroy all of the enemy subs with overwhelming numbers before they have the chance to submerge.

Battleships are tough to sink! My opponent had two BBs in a task force, which let him pretty much ignore the first two hits I inflicted in every battle without losing anything. How is that fair?
That's fair because battleships cost 24 IPCs, more than any other unit in the game. This tactic is absolutely legal and is essentially what battleships are for.

Does artillery give its bonus to infantry in amphibious assaults?

Do marines still attack with a 2 if they join an amphibious assault by marching in from an adjacent territory?
Yes, marines attack with a 2 during any amphibious assault, no matter how they arrive.

Can artillery that was paired with an infantry unit in one round of a battle be paired with a marine in a different round (and vice versa)?
Yes, the artillery can be paired up with a new unit every round.

Does a submarine's First Strike cause one hit? Or does a single First Strike attack sink a battleship?
Nothing ever causes more than one hit with a single attack, including a submarine. A battleship hit by a sub's First Attack is tipped on its side and then it gets to shoot back. If two subs hit it, it sinks before getting to make its own attack.

What happens if a carrier with two fighters is attacked and sunk by a sub's First Strike? Do the fighters go down with the carrier? If there were other enemy ships in the zone, can the fighters stay and fight them?
The fighters are not lost with the carrier. They must participate in the rest of the battle. If there is no battle or the fighters survive it, they can move one space to reach a friendly carrier, land territory, or airbase. (Of course, if the sub was the only attacker, then the fighters cannot participate in the battle if there is no defending destroyer to spot the subs for them.)

A carrier can destroy a sub without the aid of a destroyer (i.e., the carrier itself, not its planes). Assume that a carrier with two fighters attacks a sub and a battleship. The carrier and one of the fighters score hits. Can the defender place one hit on the sub and one on the battleship?
Yes, but only a hit that comes from the carrier itself can sink the sub. If both hits had come from fighters, both would have to be taken by the battleship.

Can defending submarines submerge before the attacker attacks?
No. The only time subs can submerge is right before they roll the dice for their attacks. The attacker always gets to roll his attacks first, so defending subs can't avoid the first round of combat. Attacking subs, however, can move into a sea zone and immediately submerge (this is called sub-stalling -- for an in-depth analysis of this essential tactic, see James Redford's Explanation of Sub-Stalling essay).

Can the attacker retreat at the end of a battle that he just won?
If all defending units are destroyed or submerged, then all attacking units (except aircraft) must remain in that sea zone or land territory.

Is there any way in which battleships and destroyers can bombard without land units making an amphibious assault?
No. There must be at least one unit unloading from a transport into the enemy territory in order for a bombardment to happen.

The rules state that attacking units can retreat into any one adjacent territory that provided attacking units. Does this also apply to air units?
No. When air units retreat, they can move to any friendly carrier, land territory, or airbase that is within their remaining range.

When aircraft move into a sea zone, can they choose whether they want to attack naval targets, land targets, or both? Do they have to defeat the naval targets before moving on to the land targets?
Aircraft do not get to choose the units they engage. If it's naval combat, the attacking units engage every enemy ship, sub, and plane in the sea zone. If it's land combat, the attackers engage every land and air unit in the territory. The defender chooses which of his units become casualties. Remember that sea zones and the islands in them are separate spaces. Units on an island are treated as if they are adjacent to the surrounding sea zone, not in it. Air units can fly through an enemy-occupied sea zone to attack the island instead, and in that case units in the sea zone would not be involved the ensuing battle.

Combat Air Patrol

A fighter unit that was on CAP lands during phase 2 of the turn. Does that mean it has only 3 movement points left for Combat or Non-combat Movement?
No. The fighter has its full, normal movement range for the rest of the turn. It can also take full advantage of airbases. In other words, once Phase 3 begins, you can forget which units were on CAP at the start of the turn; that has no effect on the remainder of the turn.

If a fighter coming back from CAP lands at an airbase, does the movement bonus apply (free movement into the adjacent sea zone?
During the upcoming Combat or Non-combat Movement Phase, yes. Note, however, that airbases have no effect when CAP units are being positioned or are landing; the air unit performing CAP can only take off from or land on an adjacent land territory or an island inside the sea zone.

If a CAP fighter lands during phase 2, is that considered movement which prevents that plane from performing CAP later that turn?
No. Only Combat or Non-combat Movement prevents CAP.

If enemy ships or planes move into a sea zone where I have CAP, does my CAP take part in the battle?
Yes. It doesn't matter what the enemy brought in; fighters, bombers, ships, or subs. Your CAP is part of the battle. Fighters and subs can pass through sea zones occupied only by CAP without stopping, but if they do stop, the CAP gets to fight (there must be a friendly destroyer present in order for CAP to attack subs, of course).

Can CAP be put up to protect my own ships, like transports? Having a transport in a sea zone prevents all the same sorts of movement that CAP prevents, so the CAP is redundant in a blocking role. But can it be flown simply to get land-based fighters into a defensive role over a sea zone?
CAP performs two functions. One is to stop enemy ships from moving through a sea zone where you have no ships. This allows you to keep your navy concentrated, instead of parceling it out in penny packets to contain the enemy fleet. The second role is the one described in the question; CAP allows land-based fighters to fight defensively (during the enemy's turn) over sea zones. That is certainly allowed.

If I have CAP in a sea zone where I also have ships, can enemy planes or ships choose to attack either my ships OR my CAP, but not both?
No. Air units flying CAP are in the sea zone, just like everything else. CAP merely allows them to be in the sea zone at the end of your turn without a carrier as a base. If enemy units move into that sea zone for a battle, they must fight everything, ships and CAP, all together.

If a naval battle occurs in the same sea zone as an island where the defender has fighters, can those fighters join in the battle?
Not in the naval battle. That's what CAP is for. If the defender wants those fighters to help defend the sea zone, he needs to place them in the sea zone during Non-combat Movement as CAP. If they stay on the island, they can help defend it against amphibious assault, but can't fight in the surrounding sea zone at all.

Fighter Planes and Risky Attacks

Can a fighter move into battle in a sea zone or land territory where its only chance to land requires that a carrier retreats from a different battle?
No. It's OK if the carrier is involved in a different battle, but it must not be required to retreat in order to get within the fighter's range.

If a fighter is committed to a battle with a risky move, must the landing condition be accomplished at all costs? For example, assume that a fighter's only place to land is on a carrier in an adjacent sea zone, and that carrier is also involved in a battle. If the carrier retreats, the fighter will have nowhere to land. Can the carrier retreat anyway? Can it be taken as a loss while other ships survive?
The carrier can retreat or be taken as a loss. No one can predict what will happen during combat, and the fighter pilots take their chances like everyone else. Even if the carrier is in the same sea zone as the fighters, it could be chosen to be lost as a casualty while the fighters are still flying, stranding the fighters with no place to land. Cie la guerre.

I want to send fighters into a combat, but the only way they can land safely is for my aircraft carrier to move into the adjacent sea zone. The adjacent sea zone, however, contains enemy ships. I don't want to expose my carrier to loss during the battle; instead, I want to send in subs and destroyers to clear the sea zone and then bring in the carrier during Non-combat Movement. If the sea zone isn't cleared in the battle, the carrier won't be able to advance. Is this a legal risky move for my fighters?
Yes. It is essentially the same as sending the carrier into the battle and hoping that it survives. It is legal to hinge the fighters' move on winning a battle elsewhere (but not on losing a battle elsewhere; see the first question in this segment).


The box states that the game comes with 345 plastic playing pieces but mine contained only 335. What am I missing?
Nothing. Everyone's game came with 335 playing pieces. That's how many you're supposed to have, counting industrial complexes, anti-aircraft guns, and task force markers. The box is in error. Sorry for the confusion.

Download the rules to Axis & Allies: Pacific.

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