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Tanks on Leyte

When we brought out MacArthur’s Return in 1994, we promised to someday produce a variant for it, our very first. Just what possessed us to make such a ridiculous vow is hard to say this many years later. We certainly meant it at the time, but the resources to produce an additional counter sheet just for variant pieces never came to us, not did the means to effectively get it in the hands of our fans (short of just sending them out in a shotgun mailing).

With our new program of daily updates to the Web site and the many free downloads we’re offering, we now have the means to redeem these ancient promises. MacArthur’s Return will soon go out of stock, and it’s good to be able to deliver this variant while the game is still on our shelves and those who have missed it still have a chance to grab this exciting game.


Actual counters are 1/2" square.

The counters we’re providing this time are somewhat different from those in the original game. In 1993, when we created the game, we did art very differently. Mark Simonitch did the map the old-fashioned way, cutting out pieces of ruby film to build each layer by hand. Brien Miller did the counters on a computer (itself an innovation for 1993), but in an ancient program we no longer possess and in files that became corrupted years back. The game pieces drew attention at the time, but today they show their dozen years’ age in a field that progresses rapidly almost by the day.

Therefore the variant pieces are done to the style we might use were MacArthur’s Return published by us in 2005. They are perfectly compatible with the original pieces, but are far more attractive. These are the same style pieces that we’ll use in Tiger of Malaya, a Classic Wargame proposal.

The 2nd Armored Division

The Japanese concentrated their 2nd Armored Division on Luzon, the main island of the Philippines, to await the American invasion there where the terrain suited mass employment of tanks. Two companies went to Leyte as reinforcements, but the bulk of the division stayed on Luzon and fought the Americans there.


Motorized infantry on Leyte.

To have the full division waiting behind the Leyte beachheads would have required a gamble the Japanese commander, Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, decided not to take. The Japanese did not have complete intelligence on American plans, though they could estimate that an assault on the Philippines was coming and that common American practice would dictate seizing ports and airfields first.

Leyte offered both.

The Variant

The new units are used in Scenario Five only, as a variant giving the Japanese a greater chance of battlefield victory. They may be placed anywhere on Leyte, within eight hexes of the division HQ unit. Keep all other conditions (including victory) the same. Note that none of the new Japanese units are jungle-capable.