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Monday, February 29, 2016

Guadalcanal (1966)

Guadalcanal (1966)

Ratings

5.79313 out of 10 with 131 ratings
Board Game Rank: 8795
War Game Rank: 2004

Description

Guadalcanal is a hex based simulation of the land battle of Guadalcanal from August, 7 1942 through January 29, 1943, with battalion-sized units and a map scale of approximately one mile per hex. The naval and aerial combat that surrounded Guadalcanal are assumed to have their historical results so only historical reinforcements are available.

The "Basic Game" introduced the components: the map board, unit counters, victory conditions, movement, zones of control, and combat.

The "Tournament Game" the effects of different terrain types, reduction of units due to combat rather than wholesale elimination, ranged artillery fire, and point-based victory conditions.

The "Optional Rules" introduced hidden movement, supply rules, different ranges for different artillery units based on their historical composition, withdrawing units from the island, and specialized capabilities for amphibious tractor and engineer units. Records for step reduction were kept on paper side records, rather than using reduced units (as in Anzio); records for hidden movement were also kept on paper, rather than using screens to hide each player's view of the opponent's forces as in Midway.

The game victory conditions in the basic game were that the United States won if the Japanese were unable to hold Henderson Field for two consecutive turns between the September 25 and November 20 turns, inclusive, with the game ending on November 20 turn. The Tournament Game extended until the January 29, 1943 turn, with the point-based victory determined based on points awarded for eliminating enemy combat factors, occupying Henderson Field, or (for the Japanese) having Henderson Field in range of their artillery units.

Avalon Hill discontinued the game before assigning it a complexity rating; however, in the Avalon Hill ''General'', Volume 3, Number 6, Avalon Hill assigned to the game the following characteristics:

Playing Time: 2-4 hours
Play Balance: Even
Complexity: Very Complex
For Beginner: Very Poor
Play-By-Mail: Poor
Suggestion: Use of Optional Rules




The rules were revised to a small extent in their second printing in June, 1966. These changes were described in the Avalon Hill ''General'', Volume 3. Number 2.

  • Designer: Larry Pinsky, Lindsley Schutz
  • Artist: Donald Lester Dickson
  • Publisher: The Avalon Hill Game Co
  • Year Published: 1966
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 12
  • Playing Time: 360
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Memory, Wargame, World War II
  • Mechanic: Hex-and-Counter, Memory, Secret Unit Deployment
  • Family: Country: Solomon Islands
  • Alternate Names: Guadalcanal

Reviews

By
2nd printing & punched

By
701 Missing 4 counters. Box taped in four corners (top and bottom). Map in decent condition (all four panels still connected, but one panel starting to tear. All other pieces look included (including Guadalcanal casualty reduction pad: 30 pages - some pencil and on Time record and US order of appearance). No dice.

8 out of 10
By
Basic game is a good, if one-sided beer and pretzels special. The Advanced version is where this game really shines. Hidden movement and step reduction add game balance and nail-biting tension to this AH classic. One of my favorites.

8 out of 10
By
fun game, got some new counters for a panzerblitz version whee.

By
I will trade Milton Bradley Conquest of Empire or Columbia's War of 1812 with blocks for troops.

1 out of 10
By
As I recall, everything about this game was bland. The historicity and the OB were particularly awful. The early AH efforts were either a hit or miss with me, and this one was a miss. Try winning with the Japanese in this game, you won't unless your family pet is playing the Marines, and even then you'll get a run for your money.

10 out of 10
By
One of the first wargames I ever owned and I played it to death. Loved the hidden movement portion. A definite classic.

7 out of 10
By
This game was so good for its time and it manages most of what other Guad games manage but with fewer mechanics. It is difficult to play correctly. It takes a little common sense. This was my second game and I have never tired of it. The last time I found a good opponent was against a young fellow getting ready to go off to West Point following in his father footsteps. We played via e-mail and actually used a spreadsheet to record moves, This was nearly a decade ago, before McLellan's marvelous ADC2 gameset. It makes me sad that I have never had the opportunity to use this gameset. I need to make time and advertise for an opponent on AHIKS. I think this one gets an extra point for sentiment. ADC2 is an underrated board game assist program. I imagine because it is the only one you have to buy. And the price has never come down. I think HPS would have sold a whole lot of copies for about 25 to 30 dollars a pop. Had they shifted to this even just 10 years ago, I think the majority of pbem players would have a copy by now. Each has its charms. I use all three and now there is this Sun Tzu. Opponents Wanted PBEM Vassal/ADC2 Spreadsheet

5 out of 10
By
Another classic Avalon Hill game without a lot of pieces but featuring hidden pieces for the Japanese. Never a real popular game with many but I think under rated by most players the hidden concept was was unique and helps off set the American numerical advantage.

4 out of 10
By
It was so exciting back in the dark ages of 1966 or thereabouts, to get a game, such as Guadalcanal, that actually had a sheet for casaualties to a unit, instead of the old AE, DE, EX results. And ranged artillery was a very nice bonus. However, I usually played the Japanese side, and was always frustrated by the tiny size of their army. The Japanese could simply not fight the American forces with anything resembling equal terms, and could only hope that some American unit would stumble into an ambush--which very rarely happened. This could have been a pretty good game; but the Japanese simply had no chance to win, which of course was not completely true in the actual campaign.

6.5 out of 10
By
First wargame to use Hidden Initial Placement. (Excepting Midway)

7 out of 10
By
A rating of 7 is worthy only if all the optional rules are used.

By
AH

8 out of 10
By
This was one of my favorite games for a long time. Casualty Reduction Pads and hidden movement affected playability, but see my play aids posting for these (e.g., use TSS strength chits instead of casualty pad). Game plays easily and well, a little long -- but other more modern simulations of entire campaign are much longer. This and SOLOMONS CAMPAIGN satisfied my love for this very unique Pacific campaign.

By
origonal AH

5 out of 10
By
Composite rating....4 for basic game, 6 for tournament game with options

By
One of several classic wargames bestowed upon me by my uncle when he was in the process of moving.

By
Small scale should keep it manageable, but looks like it should have a fair fog of war element with separate search boards. Hope to play this soon.

7 out of 10
By
Avalon Hill Island Combat game for Guadalcanal

7 out of 10
By
Haven't played yet. Looks like a simple, fast game. 5/10/2011 - having now played with both the Basic and Tournament rules, I can say this is an under-rated game. The Tournament rules especially shine, and make for what seems to be a realistically brutal game. I really like the jungle rules and the artillery ranged fire.

5.5 out of 10
By
Innovative concepts in its day.

By
x 2

5 out of 10
By
Smithsonian version

4 out of 10
By
The Basic Game is terribly unbalanced game (favoring the US player), and the Tournament rules improve the game, but not enough to fix it.

By
COMPLETE. 3 split corners on box top and 1 in one insert, a few small pencil marks on the board. 2 games marked off on the time record, some additional units written in on Japanese Order of Appearance and minor wear to instructions and manuals. *Sold on BGG, WGL*

2 out of 10
By
The hidden movement mechanism in this game (which I haven't played for more than 30 years, I'll admit) is extremely awkward.

5 out of 10
By
For nostalgia buffs only. I can't say I would play this game again, although I enjoyed it back in the day!

9 out of 10
By
I love it but I point out that it's just the land battle and it has limitations. I don't understand why it wasn't more popular when it was in print. Hidden movement makes it interesting. If you are more familiar with modern games you may not care for it but I've found it a very good low complexity game. Artillery rules are a bit confusing.

By
No box

3 out of 10
By
I wanted so badly to like/love this game. I love the theme and the thought of playing a true Guadalcanal game. But it failed to deliver. A great disappointment.

By
N

By
657

By
First one I ever played. Steve, do you remember this???? I like it even though its probably been done better since.

8 out of 10
By
2 player game.

7 out of 10
By
Seems pretty cool. I need to play it more to be sure.

7 out of 10
By
Like it only if using the advanced rules

8.5 out of 10
By
Still a good game on the subject

By
Traded this game with Battle of the Bulge, and Stalingrad for Carcassonne, and Carcassonne Inns and Cathedrals. Deal made with plem45

7 out of 10
By
Lots of bookwork made keeps this rating from being higher. When a Japanese unit enters the jungle, its counter is removed from the map and its location is written down on a separate sheet of paper. Great for fog-of-war, but, in practice, it's a pain in the ass. Otherwise, it's not a bad game.

4 out of 10
By
Another collectors item. Pretty crap game, large map but only one hex (henderson Field) is worth victory points.

5 out of 10
By
Poor design. Everything happens around Henderson Airport (why the big map of the island?)Japanese Army is doomed from the very beginning. Easy to play.

By
Avalon Hill 1966

5 out of 10
By
Awkward book keeping requirements and no accurate way to account for hidden movement makes this a difficult game to play (and enjoy). It was OK in its day but modern gaming technology and design have probably rendered this version of the Guadalcanal Campaign obsolete. Original packaging came with some great historical stuff (book of sketches and soldiers stories) which I treasured as a kid.

6 out of 10
By
must play with the hidden japanese movement rules. thirty years ago this game was a lot of fun. now it seems a little dated. i plan to make a block game on this battle one day.

By
Picked this up at a garage sale along with a few other AH games - I wasn't really looking for it but how often do you find an AH game at a garage sale for 50 cents. Haven't played it yet.

5 out of 10
By
Played pre-BGG.

6 out of 10
By
This is a bit better then the usual Avalon Hill games...the Japanese player has hidden movement and although kind of a bear to keep track of, it is okay. The units are marked by army or marines so colors come into play. The map is great....

4 out of 10
By
For 1966, I'd consider this a breakthrough design, and system-wise it still sort of holds up today. However, designers have realised that a ground-only operational Guadalcanal game sort of misses the point. So there are better games around and its value is now mostly (pun unintended) historical.

6 out of 10
By
Out of nowhere my mom bought this for me for Christmas almost 50 years ago. I don't remember a lot about the game itself. I think step losses were tracked on a score sheet. But can't go below 6 points anyway since this was my first AH wargame.

By
some writing on Mapboard re: optional rules

9 out of 10
By
First game I bought for 50 cents many years ago. I still like it.

By
Missing the rules, unfortunately.

6 out of 10
By
won as the Japanese in a tournament once!

5 out of 10
By
Did anyone ever play test this game? How can the Japanese ever do anything successful?

7 out of 10
By
Lots of paperwork tracking necessary, otherwise I would have rated this one an 8.

7 out of 10
By
Wish Avalon Hill did more with this. A great game for the time it came out. Hell? They updated Anzio many times this one should have been treated with more respect.

5 out of 10
By
I played this alot back in the 70's/80's, but I got tired of everything revolving around Henderson Field. Great historical campaign, but I think they could have done alot more with it. Sold mine.

7 out of 10
By
Want

7.5 out of 10
By
One of the first wargames I ever played, therefore benefits from a "nostalgia" rating bonus of +2 vs. Neuspeilen.

3 out of 10
By
I never enjoyed playing this game.

9 out of 10
By
This is the first wargame I ever owned, and it is a classic. It was ahead of it's time with unit step-reduction and Hidden Movement rules. That is why I give it a 9. Not a rating based on the current standards for wargames.

6 out of 10
By
We got this when it came out and it got a lot of play using the hidden movement rules and since a friend had a copy double blind play when possible. When my brother and I split the wargame collection in 1971 this one when to him.

By
I was a member of the First Marine Division in Viet Nam.

By
I'm a Marine.

5 out of 10
By
Probably not that good of a game, but I have it at least as a "5" for all of the enjoyment I had with it when I was just beginning my wargame life those many years ago. Only deals with the land combat, ignoring air and sea, which makes it less than satisfactory as any kind of valid historical treatment of the subject.

6.5 out of 10
By
Fun game from long ago. It was interesting playing the Japanese, keeping your units off the map until the Marines bumped into the. Also enjoyed the step reduction (by checking off hit boxes).

5 out of 10
By
Bought this back in the days when Avalon Hill released at most two games a year and it was before SPI so I played it a lot. Not one of my favourites of the classic Avalon Hill games though.

8 out of 10
By
Got this game in the mail in the summer of '66... When using hidden movement, excellent game. Must have very honest Japenese player. In my group at the time I was the youngest. I was always the Americans and lost alot, 'cause I know those older guys were cheating! That jap artillery was every where, plus I could never find any Jap army. I did figure out how to beat the cheaters though, by then nobody would play it with me. In retrospect, I think it made me a better player. Always wanted step counters. For it's time it was far and above the best. I would play it today at the drop of a bottle opener, or the rattle of a six pack. Gee Whiz, I still want to play it but nobody will. One thing very good came out of this game. I learned how to take masive warps out of boards and make them lay perfectly flat, no easy feet. Pooo! -Four copies-

By
Part of my Avalon Hill collection

By
On loan from the Thomas H. Martyn Collection. He admitted to me a while back that he actually shoplifted this one as a kid by tucking it inside another game -- which is why I now possess the rules, chits and board, but no box :-)

By
punched, one split corner repaired with glue, not tape.

8 out of 10
By
I rate this higher now than I would have back in the 70s. The reason is I realize this game was the "father" of new concepts. Step reduction, hidden movement, specialized units and individual effects for different batteries, unlimited sea movement or withdraw by sea, liberal road movement rules. Special tournament rules for morale, etc. Drawback is battle is fought on about 20% of the size of the board.

6 out of 10
By
Good game for its time. The system is typical Avalon Hill, but it works for a quick pick up game.

By
friend owned

By
Avalon Hill

7 out of 10
By
A snore... could not get into this one.

5 out of 10
By
One of my earliest game titles. The Japanese effort to retake Henderson field is pretty simple and standard, but a constant onslaught that the US player has to keep fending off. It works a few times, but because it's so predictable, eventually the replay value is completely wrung out of this title.

8 out of 10
By
My first real wargame. Played it more times than I can remember against my brother when we were pre-teens. It probably doesn't really deserve the eight rating I gave it. But it just brings back so much nostalgia that I think of it higher than I should. Gave my copy to my brother 30 years ago or more and never found another copy. Sure wish I had kept it now.

By
In a damaged state. All components are there
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