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Saipan 1944

Saipan 1944 boxcover
Designer Townsend
Game Type Standalone
Format Boxed
Release Date 2012-11
Availability In Print
Scenarios 40
Counters 330
Counter Type Laser-cut
Maps 4
Tour Veterans
Saipan 1944 Tour of Duty Ribbon
Overall Rating, 241 votes
Standalone Rank: 5 of 23
Popularity: Ownership & Activity
Status Owned by 18% Played by 13% AAR'd by 13% Medaled by 1%
Rank 47th of 99 18th of 93 17th of 90 40th of 48

Overall balance chart for Saipan 1944
Side 1 56
Draw 34
Side 2 144
box back

In June 1944, American Marines and soldiers stormed ashore on Saipan, a large island in the Central Pacific whose possession would put Allied heavy bombers in range of Japanese cities. Three weeks of savage fighting would finally see the island secured. The campaign saw the largest tank battle of the Pacific war, and also its largest banzai charge as almost the entire Japanese garrison (and much of the island's Japanese civilian population) chose death over surrender.

box back map map map map

Display Scenario List (40)

Display Order of Battle

Japan Order of Battle
Imperial Japanese Army
  • Misc
  • Motorized
Imperial Japanese Navy
  • Mechanized
  • Towed
United States Order of Battle
  • Mechanized
Marine Corps

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Game's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Tank Destroyer: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)
  • Anti-Tank Gun Carrier: half-track with anti-tank gun, NOT a Tank Destroyer
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).
  • River Vessels: see Rule 15.2 ~ 15.22
  • Unarmored Weapon Carriers: These are unarmored halftracks (Bufla and Sk7/2) or fully-tracked vehicles (Karl siege mortar) with mounted weapons. All are mechanized, except the BM-13 (Katyusha rocket launcher mounted on a truck). They are weapon units, not AFV's, so they are never efficient and cannot be activated by tank leaders. (SB)

Display Errata (16)

16 Errata Items
Errata item for Shad

Ships of opposing sides cannot be in the same water hex. Landing-crafts and amphibious units can be in assaults with ground forces when they hit beaches.

(Shad on 2013 May 06)
Errata item for Shad

Caves: Units inside caves do not get First Fire on the attackers. The attacker assault gets a -2 column shift for units that are inside the cave only. This means potentially a split column assault resolution similar to direct fire. The side with worst combat results (including Morale checks) must leave cave hex, this includes units in an out of the cave. In such cases the other side gets a Free Shot.

(Shad on 2013 May 06)
Scen 3

Japanese Victory Conditions should say: The Japanese win if they eliminate three or more American steps.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 7

The Japanese setup should say: Enter anywhere on the north, east or south edges of Map 82.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 8

The scenario uses 32 counters, not the 62 listed in the scenario summary.

(Hugmenot on 2013 May 02)
Scen 10

Hex 0610 is considered on Map 80 for victory conditions.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 12

The American OOB setup shows a Marines symbol but should be an Army symbol.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 13

This scenario is 20 turns long, not 10.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 15

Japanese setup should include at any ocean hex at the end of the sentence.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 25

Japanese enter anywhere on the north edge of Map 82 on Turn 1

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Scen 34

Japanese Morale is 7/7, not 3. Japanese Initiative is 3, not 7/7.

(t1M0t8yk on 2014 Dec 25)
Scen 36

The distance between Tinian and Saipan is only 3 miles.

(JayTownsend on 2013 Mar 06)
Overall balance chart for 1265

LVT 4 is a one step open-topped APC. Any scenarios where units and leaders start loaded on LVT 4's and enter the board via ocean hexes do not activate in the regular manner.

While at sea, all LVT 4's activate like AFV's with leaders, and move toward beach hexes. While moving toward the beach hexes they don't need to use all MPs or move in a straight line. Once they are on the beach, they must follow standard activation rules for both land and water hexes. LVT 4's that are destroyed at sea do not trigger leader decapitation.

(Shad on 2013 May 06)
Overall balance chart for 1268

The A1 has an inherent leader and two combat steps. Its counter should have been given an amphibious armor symbol.

(Shad on 2013 May 06)
Overall balance chart for 1269

The A4 has an inherent leader and two combat steps. Its counter should have been given an amphibious armor symbol.

(Shad on 2013 May 06)
Overall balance chart for 1466

The 8-3 Marine Infantry counter appears in most of the Saipan 1944 and Marianas 1944 scenarios, replacing the 10-3 DF valued Marine counters for those scenarios and is currently published in the most recent Saipan printing.

(JayTownsend on 2015 Dec 26)

Display Nations (2)

Nations at War - Scenario Appearance Percentages
United States
United States

Display Battle Types (11)

Display Conditions (9)

PG-HQ Library > Games > Saipan 1944
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