Target:  Rabaul

Version 9
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Date and Time

Daylight saving time changes during the event, with different countries going off daylight saving time on different days.  Please check your country's local time vs. GMT before each frame.


Pappy Boyington and the Black Sheep, Dick Bong, Tommy McGuire, John Blackburn and Blackburn's Irregulars, the Fighting Corsairs, Marion Carl, Neel Kearby, Robert Hanson, Tetsuo Iwamoto, Sadamu Komachi, Takeo Tanimizu, Shizuo Ishi-i -- these are some of the men who fought in the twisting dogfights over Rabaul in late 1943 and early 1944.  This is where some of those famous pilots met their end.

Starting when Japan captured Rabaul in 1942, it became a major Pacific stronghold.  And it was the focus of one of the longest battles in WWII, lasting continuously from 1942 to 1945.  Early on, the Japanese held the upper hand and dominated the area.  Eventually, Rabaul was overwhelmed and smashed into submission.

But in 1943, it was a different story.  There were dogfights from above 20k down to the deck, bomber interceptions, fighter sweeps, B-24's escorted by Corsairs and Hellcats if coming from the direction of Torokina and by Lightnings if coming from the direction of Dobodura, and B-25's doing NOE attack runs on airfields and ships, escorted by Lightnings -- all opposed by some very skilled and determined Japanese pilots, fighting at all costs to keep Rabaul.

That is the story of this Scenario.

Please join us for this classic Pacific battle.


Main Rules


Victory Conditions

If the allied side fails to do this in the frame, it will get no points at all for that frame:

Points in a frame:

Define "Loss" as deaths + bails + captured + crashes + ditches.  Define "Total Enemy Loss" as enemy's (Loss of non-formation planes) + 3 * (Loss of formation planes) = (Loss of all plane types) + 2 * (Loss of B-24's).

Each frame will be scored separately, with victory going to the side with the most points.  The final winner is the side that has won the most frames.

Allowed Targets

The allies may bomb and strafe any objects on land in sector 10.15, and any objects at sea.

The axis may strafe only ground guns -- all other ground objects are off limits.

At the start of each frame, the axis with have two fresh task groups in sector 9.15, and they must stay in sector 9.15.

Allied Order of Battle

30 Fighters, 12 Bombers, 42 total

# Slots

Group Name


6 VF-17 "Jolly Rogers" F4U-1A
6 VMF-214 "Black Sheep" F4U-1A
6 VF-33 F6F-5
6 80th FS "Headhunters" P-38G
6 431st FS "Red Devils" P-38G
6 42nd BG "Crusaders" B-25H
6 90th BG "Jolly Rogers" B-24J

Available bases for fresh takeoff:

You can rearm/refuel and land at any friendly base.



Axis Order of Battle

34 Fighters (0.81 of allied total aircraft) (excessFighters/bombers = 4/12 = 0.33)

# Slots

Group Name


6 201 Kokutai N1K2-J
6 204 Kokutai Ki-84
8 251 Kokutai "Tainan" Ki-84
4 253 Kokutai Ki-61
4 205 Kokutai A6M5b
6 68th Sentai Ki-61

Available bases for fresh takeoff: a69, a70, and a2.

You can rearm/refuel and land at any friendly base.

If a69, a70, and a2 are all capped, the axis CM will enable flight from a75.  If a75 also becomes capped, the axis CM will enable flight from a71 and/or a73.  Once a69, a70, and a2 are not all capped, flight will be disabled from any extra fields.


Timing Table

Show-Up Time is noon Pacific.

End of hostilities is approximately at 3:30 pm Pacific.

Moving Around Pilots

CO's may split fighter groups up into separate flights and send them on separate missions as they see fit.

CO's may assign walkons as they see fit up to the limit of slots available.

CO's may move registered pilots to different aircraft if the registered pilots are willing.  But if a registered pilot wants to keep the plane he is registered for, he must be allowed to stay in that plane.

Items of Note

Check out object settings described in "Settings" section.

Check out the radar settings described in "Settings" section.

Allies, please note that a65 and a66 do not have radar.

Allies, please be aware that your bombers need to Attempt two Missions per frame.  You have time to do that, but not an enormous amount.  Please estimate your timings so that you aren't caught off guard by how the timings work out.

Allies, please be aware that you have bases in significantly different places, and not all planes can take off from either place.  It is possible for the axis to mass all forces and charge your Dobodura location, from which your F4U's and F6F's can't take off, or to charge your Torokina location, from which your P-38's can't take off.  It is definitely in your control not to fall for that, but it isn't as simple as launching everyone from the same base at the same moment.


Disabled weapons

Fighters will not have rockets or bombs.


Terrain. newbrit

Wind.  Downwind at 24k.

Clouds. Scattered cumulus.  Thin layer of cirrus at 34k.

Radar and Sector Counters. Update rate is 2 minutes, to model lag in communication to units.  Sector counters only, and of enemies only.  No sector counters below 1000 ft.  Radar radius is 35 miles.  Radar towers are disabled at a65 and a66 and at a73.

Ack: Turned down from Main Arena default.  5" and quad 40 mm are disabled on ships.

Objects:  Destroyed objects stay down for whole frame.

ArenaFlags = 13358
BomberWarningRange = 10,560 (2 miles)
CommunicationFlags = 3
CountryChangeTime = (no changing of countries once started)
DownTimeMult = [big]
ExitWhileMoving = 508
FighterWarningRange = 10,560 (2 miles)
FlightModeFlags = 5248
FuelBurnRateMult = 1.0
GroundAutoLethality[Armored] = 0.15
GroundAutoLethality[Hard] = 0.15
GroundAutoLethality[Soft] = 0.15
RadarMode[Bishops] = 400 (Disable Friendly Counters, Counters Above Radar, Range Based Counters)
RadarMode[Knights] = 400
RadarMode[Rooks] = 48
RadarUpdateRate = 120
SectorCounterAlt = 1000
SectorCounterRange = 184,800
TowerBasedRadarRange = 184,800
TaskGroupRespawnTime = [big]
StratFlags = 1

Bomb Hgr, hardness = 12 (12,000 lbs)
Bunk Ammo, hardness = 1 (1000 lbs)
Bunk Barr, hardness = 1 (1000 lbs)
Bunk Fuel, hardness = 125
Bunk Radar, hardness = 125
Ftr Hgr, hardness = 125
Gun bat, down time = [long]
Gun bat armor, down time = [long]
Gun bat soft, down time = [long]
Hard gun bat, down time = [long]
Veh Hgr, hardness = 12 (12,000 lbs)

Objects->Shape Settings
Name, Child, Hardness, Down
cv, cv, 2.0, [long]
ca, ca, 2.0, [long]
de, de, 2.0, [long]

.det f65rdr 1
.det f66rdr 1
.det f[]bat 1  <--- for both task groups
.det f[]baa 1 <--- for both task groups

CM Items


Welcome to the Scenario "Target:  Rabaul"!

To play, please show up at 3 pm Eastern on Saturday.

If you are not registered, you are welcome to play,
but please stay in country Rook until you are assigned
to a side.

Fighter and B-24 pilots get two lives.
B-25 pilots get four lives.

You use up a life if you die, crash, ditch, bail, or exit
your plane with anything other than a "landed successfully".

If you need back into the locked arena, type ".p brooke
let me in" into any text buffer.  Then try to come in
even if the arena says its locked.


Target:  Rabaul, by Gamble.

USAAF Chronology, from

Cohn, R. The Crusaders, A History of the 42nd Bombardment Group. Kindle Edition.

Yenne, Bill. Aces High: The Heroic Saga of the Two Top-Scoring American Aces of World War II . Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Looked at logs of "Rabaul 1943" FSO to check some ideas on plane proportions.

The Japanese had mostly Zeros and some Ki-61's.  This design upgrades the Japanese planes to include Ki-84's and N1K2's and adjusts proportions of planes to make the plane set competitive with the US fighters.  Many of the B-25's during the period of this event (late 1943/early 1944) were B-25C's, but some were B-25H's.  We chose H's so that the B-25's have tail guns.


Scenario design: Brooke, Swareiam, and Scenario community.

Game-day CM's:  Brooke and Swareiam.

Allied CO:  AKWarHwk (BB:  Swareiam).

Axis CO:  pullerII (BB:  puller).

Change Log

This section mentions the changes in each version, so that when changes are made to this document, people don't need to read the whole document to find out where the changes are.

Note on terminology: In this section, "Clarified" has a very precise meaning. If a rule is listed as being "Clarified", it means that the rule and its intent is not being changed but that the explanation herein is being improved to make the rule and its intent more clear. Rules are sometimes clarified during a scenario based on player questions or misunderstandings about wording.

v1, 9/9/2017
-- First draft.

v2, 9/12/2017
-- Adjusted numbers and squadron names.
-- Added pictures.
-- Added a61 as allied base.

v3, 9/13/2017
-- Changed B-24 group to be 90th BG.

v4, 9/19/2017
-- Changed B-25 group to 42nd BG.

v5, 9/21/2017
-- Changed the 9th FS to the 431st FS of the 475th FG (as the 475th FG was around Rabaul more).
-- Changed all P-38's from J's to G's (as G's were there for more of the period we are covering).
-- Swapped 2 Ki-84's for 2 Ki-61's to rebalance (as the whole P-38 force went from J's to G's).

v6, 9/22/2017
-- Put in dates and times.
-- Added more references.
-- Adjusted proportion of Ki-61's.
-- Disable radar at a73 as well.

v7, 10/2/2017
-- Put in Japanese name for "Air Group" (i.e., "Kokutai" instead of "Air Group").

v8, 10/6/2017
-- Changed group names for two groups to make it more historical.
-- Ki-61 group is now 68th Sentai, IJAAF (was 205 Kokutai).
-- A6M5 group is now 205 Kokutai (was 199 Kokutai).

v9, 10/25/2017
-- Put in names of CO's.  Thank you, Puller and Swareiam! <S>!
-- Put in final way to set ship hardness.
-- Adjusted hardness of hangars and bunkers based on testing.  Rather than using hardness as means to cap destruction at one per mission, set hardness lower and put in explicit cap of one object per mission.
-- Clarified that sector counters are of enemies only (not friendlies).

Post frame 4 comments.  I would do the following if it were run again.
-- Eliminate the 6 points offset that the axis gets.
-- Make hangars much lower hardness so string of bombs can get one.
-- Make ships 1000 lbs instead of 2000.
-- Just leave a75 open for flight from start (much easier and isn't used much at all anyway).
-- Make scoring language more clear that 1 item or 2 or 3 or more in a mission is still same points as 1 item.
-- Maybe two less Ki-84's and two more Ki-61's or A6M5's, not sure.