14.8 Kamikazes

(replace current rule)

Kamikazes can only be used from 1944 on by Japan (and with special units by Germany). During a reinforcement phase, the Japanese player can designate any in supply air unit on the map, in the reserve pool, or on the production spiral to be a kamikaze. This costs nothing. If the air unit is on map in a home country city, add 1 pilot to the pilot track; if the air unit is on map anywhere else, the pilot is lost. Kamikaze units in the reserve pool are placed on the map as reinforcements (but do not need a pilot or any fuel). Kamikazes on the spiral arrive as usual (and do not need a pilot or any fuel). Mark kamikaze units with a "K".

Once an air unit is designated a kamikaze, it must remain on the map (it can't ever return to the reserve pool). Kamikazes that are overrun or ground struck are destroyed instead.

Air combat and bombing

Kamikaze planes may conduct port strike, naval air, ground strike, or ground support missions. Note that the plane's designation (FTR, LND, etc.) and usual mission eligibility ("*" for naval air or tactical factors) are now irrelevant; any kamikaze plane may perform any of those four missions.

In air combat, a kamikaze air unit's air-to-air rating is effectively bracketed, ie it cannot shoot back. The first 'abort' result against a kamikaze unit in air-to-air combat or from anti-aircraft fire flips it face-down but does not abort it. A second abort result against the same kamikaze results in the kamikaze being detroyed. (A 'destroy' result still destroys the kamikaze, of course.)

Kamikazes that are cleared through to the target have a number of air-to-sea or tactical factors equal to double their build point cost if face up, or equal to their build point cost if face down.

Kamikazes are destroyed after they make an attack, regardless of its outcome. A kamikaze which flew a naval air mission is destroyed after being involved in one round of naval air combat, regardless of its outcome.

All Death's head PiF units (even German) use Kamikaze type pilots. These units use their printed air to air combat rating in air combat, but are bracketed (ie, don't shoot back). They use twice their printed bombing values if they clear through face-up on a bombing mission, or just the normal printed bombing values if they clear through face-down.

Background/Purpose: Adds some interest and realism to kamikazes. In reality, kamikazes were not special planes using normally trained pilots, as the PiF counters might suggest, nor were they limited to a naval air role. In fact they were any old piece of metal that could fly, stocked to the gills with bombs, and piloted by fliers who were long on fanaticism and short on flying experience.

Dave's Notes: In times of desperation, Japan can turn her air force into a one-way mission fleet. The Allies had best keep their air cover tight until the bitter end. Kamikazes historically were terrifying at sea, and quite likely would have been at least as deadly if an invasion of Japan had taken place (Weinberg says that Japan had hoarded some 5000 airplanes for kamikaze use against an Allied invasion - the equivalent of 20 or so PiF air units).

Dean's Notes:

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