Okinawa is a wargame about one of the last battle of the pacific war, in April-June 1945. The Japanese were fortified inside bunkers and caves in the south part of the Island. This battle was a tragedy, with many military and civil killed. After the war, Okinawa became an American controlled territory until the 15th May 1972, when it was given back to Japan. But there are still today some large US military camps, making some tension with the local citizens.
There is a large document Okinawa, the last battle on the US army site. A well designed page, in French, is available on the site les pages de Nezumi.
This game has uncommon rules: the Japanese player chose secretly where to put his force on the Island. The American player lands and search. As it was during the famous battle, the Japanese are entrenched in caves, bunkers, etc.
Of course, Okinawa is first of all a game and the terrible aspects of this battle are not simulated.
This game will be later enhanced and pubslished by Eurogames.
The illustration is signed by Enea Riboldi. You can easily see a Japanese aircraft with a torpedo. In reality it was mainly kamikaze attacks, see for instance pictures from the site Okinawa, the last battle. More than 1900 kamikazes died in Okinawa.
Opening of the box
The box contains the rulebook, the map, a die, 166 counters, a set of sheets to write the Japanese position, 2 wheels: one to solve combat and one for artillery/calendar, 1 "legend" page.
The map represents the Okinawa Island. The mountains and beaches are well differentiated. Be aware of the scale effect: in fact, the Island is quite big: more than 70 miles long (more than 100 km) - 1 hexagon = around 2 km.
The rulebook contains 14 pages in 4 languages (Italian, English, German, French). The English translation is not very good but remains understandable.
The Japanese units are placed secretly and written on an Island map.
The game is unbalanced and the US player has to find and eliminate all the Japanese units before the end of the calendar (between the 1st April and the 21st June, corresponding to 27 game turns). On the calendar is also indicated the number of Kamikaze units available during each turn. This calendar is written on the Artillery wheel.
The American counters are put on any beach, with a limit of 2 counters per hexagon. Then they move and when they move on an Japanese occupied hexagon, they go back one hex, staying in contact with the Japanese. Another way to find Japanese counters is to use special Artillery fire called "mopping-up shots".
An enhanced rule was published for with the Eurogames release of the game in 1989: The Eurogames rules in French.
The articles in Casus Belli:
A very negative article on this game was published in Casus Belli n°6. The main remarks were about the poor translation quality and a non realistic rules: for instance Kamikaze with to much power and the famous "mopping-up shots" used to find Japanese counters.
The article on Okinawa and Sicily 43 in Casus Belli 6
A second article was published in Casus Belli n° 54, for the Eurogames release.
The article on Okinawa (Eurogames) in Casus Belli 54
An article published in Fire & Movement n°23
Some price (2004-2006):
This is a very common game.
Game for 2 players from 15 years on
The game lasts from 2 to 4 hours
Difficulty: 3 (average)
Remark: on the "jeux et stratégie" fiche, There is 2 hearts, that means "We like it a lot".
OKINAWA on La caverne
OKINAWA on Boardgamegeek
OKINAWA on Isimulacrum
OKINAWA on Trictrac
A similar game:
There are only few games on Okinawa:
- an SPI game from 1975 :
Okinawa (Island War, SPI) on Boargamegeek
- The Wargamer N°55 magazine (July 1986):
Okinawa (The wargamer) on Boargamegeek
These 2 games cover only the south part of the Island. The Wargamer magazine includes a 10 page article on the battle, called "The last samurai" and ending with "Forcing the Americans to pay a good price for victory, Ushijima had served his Emperor well in the tradition of the last samurai."
The game from this magazine is a classical and historical wargame, including a campaign and 4 smaller scenarios about "assault on fortified zones". The rules are complex and are 27 pages long.
Your comments on this page ?