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TARAWA 1943 is a solitaire, card driven game on the invasion of Japanese controlled Tarawa by the 2nd Marine Division. Each turn the USMC player will activate one of his battalions (there are 8 in the game). During it's activation it can move, attack, and attempt to regroup. The USMC player further has a 3 card hand (out of a deck of 30 cards) that gives additional resources to the player (naval support, air support, engineers, tanks, etc). The USMC player can play 1 card during their turn and 1 card during the Japanese turn.

As a battalion is activated it reduces its cohesion (reflecting wear and tear, exhaustion). Battalions are further reduced in cohesion due to Japanese attacks and the marines "pushing their attacks".

After the USMC player finishes their activation, the Japanese turn begins with the flip of a card. From this the USMC player will face fire attacks, banzai attacks, bunkers, cross fires, infiltration, and more. The card engine will ensure an ever changing game and no two will play the same.

The game will give the historical starting invasion site, however, we have included the alternate "south beach" landing possibility, that the Japanese had expected and prepared.
Victory is achieved by taking the island as quickly as possible while minimizing casualties. This was the first invasion of the US island hopping strategy and high losses or a prolonged fight could have led to a cancellation of the island hopping campaign.


  • Hard mounted game board
  • USMC green wooden markers
  • Japanese yellow wooden markers
  • Labels for the markers
  • black cubes
  • brown cubes
  • Japanese cards
  • USMC cards
  • dice
  • Rules
  • battle manual with history, examples, pictures, etc
  • Battle archive
  • Storage tray

-description from publisher

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