Where Carrier Battle is the strategy- and command-oriented portion of 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR, most of the other play options are flight-oriented. Single Mission and Career Pilot both put you in the air, with none of the worries of command. All you have to worry about is your mission – and all those enemy pilots and gunners who want to shoot you down. Testing yourself against the enemy in single missions is one the best ways to train yourself before embarking on a career as a pilot in the U.S.N. or the I.J.N. Flying the same mission over and over until you get it right is the bare essence of rote training. You could also train as a specialist, practicing on a specific type of mission or aircraft while varying the scenarios – the key to adaptability. Or, if you’re ambitious enough to want to be an all-round pilot, you could attempt to master every type of mission. Single missions are also a good option for those of you who don’t want to spend the time to develop a pilot through a career, or just don’t want to get involved in a campaign yet. It’s the quickest way into the air.
Before you can choose your mission, you must decide for which side you wish to fly. The only options are the major combatants in the theater, the Americans and the Japanese. Your nationality will limit the types of aircraft and armament available to you. Keep in mind that the Japanese fighters are more agile and maneuverable than the American early in the war, but the Americans gained the advantage with later aircraft designs. Also, the Japanese torpedo bombers are generally easier to handle than the American ones, and their torpedoes are far superior in accuracy and reliability. Nationality will also be used to establish whether you are on the offensive or defensive during any particular mission.
There are six basic mission types in 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR. The plane you pilot – fighter, dive bomber, or torpedo bomber – depends on the type of mission you choose, as follows:
Fighter Dive Bomber Torpedo Bomber Fighter Sweep Bomb Base Torpedo Ship CAP Bomb Ship Bomb Base Bomber Escort