Many ships and land installations are either neutral or are used similarly by both sides. With only two exceptions, they are not used in-game.
There are several different kinds of land installations: Only two are playable, and even then there isn't much to do with them.
|Strong against||Sea Attack|
|Weak against||Air Attack|
Shipyards act just like aircraft carriers, only they don't move and they launch ships instead of planes. What kind of ships they launch is dependent on the level. Sometimes they can deploy only patrol boats and seaplanes. Other times, Islands of Solomon being the most notable example, they can deploy entire fleets, backed with cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and even battleships.
Shipyards, due to their nature, are vulnerable primarily to air attack. The hit-and-run nature of aircraft allows them to strike at odd angles and from out of reach of shipborne anti-aircraft fire.
|Strong against||Air Attack|
|Weak against||Sea Attack|
Ironically, while shipyards are vulnerable to air attack, Airfields can repel them easily if players act quickly. As soon as an air raid is detected, if all fighters are scrambled, oftentimes they can inflict a lot of damage to the enemy formation and nullify most of its attacking power. Against enemy warships, however, particularly battleships - dive bombers and even torpedo bombers rarely cause enough damage to sink enemy warships quickly enough to save the airfield.
Therefore, strangely enough, sea power is best countered with air and air power is best countered with mastery of the sea.
Note that when attacking an airfield all that must be disabled is the hangar which spawns the planes. All other buildings, including exposed aircraft on the ground, are useless and are merely there for decoration.
Miscellaneous Land Installations
Aside from various decorations, several defensive installations appear. Since they are not controllable, there are no screenshots available of them. Additionally most of them are extremely small, to the point where getting a screenshot would be nearly impossible.
- Fortress: These buildings are equipped with powerful artillery that allows them to strike at passing warships. Counter with your own artillery as quickly as possible, or use aircraft to take them out.
- Light AA: A typical AA gun, similar to that of the rear gunner of a bomber. Never really a threat, they can be neutralized with a burst of machine gun fire.
- Heavy AA: A typical flak cannon, similar to that of a warship. Like the Light AA, it isn't really a threat and can be easily neutralized with a burst of machine gun fire.
- Heavy Fortress: Not to be confused with the normal fortress, the Heavy Fortress can put down a lot of feather - so much that it can cause considerable damage even to the American Iowa-class battleship. These are best attacked from the air with dive bombers.
- Coastal Gun: They look like flak guns, but don't be fooled - these things are essentially mini-fortresses. Their small size makes them difficult to hit with artillery, and AA fire is oddly inaccurate against them. Air attack is your best bet, or a lucky artillery strike. That said though, they don't cause a lot of damage.
These ships are never controllable to the player, which is in fact a good thing, since this is a naval combat simulation, not a naval trading sim. There are no resources in Battlestations Midway, so these units are merely for decoration and targets for submarines.
|Armaments||AA Weapons: 20mm machine gun x2|
|Class||AK (Cargo Ship)|
They are weak against everything, and have barely any weapons themselves. All it takes is two torpedoes or a few rounds of machine gun ammo in their cargo containers to send them to the bottom. Both sides use this model of cargo ship, and they are identical in all respects. Machine gun fire to the superstructure does not damage them at all, however - torpedoes or cannonade is the only thing that can sink them there. If you get to close they will attack in defence but their two AA guns will do practically no damage, even to PT boats which are vulnerable to machine guns.
Two notable examples of hostile cargo ships encountered by the player are the Tsuruga Maru and the Toa Maru, who are both encountered sailing through the Palawan Passage in mission 3 - "Running the Palawan Passage".
Official Description: The Pacific Ocean is full of cargo ships such as these, particularly now that there is a great need for large amounts of equipment and ammunition to be transported. These goods, often highly explosive in nature, are carried in the cargo holds at the front and rear of the ship. Targeting these holds often results in a devastating explosion that will sink the ship, something that can be accomplished even with airplane machine guns.
|Armaments||AA Weapons: 20mm machine gun x1|
|Class||AK (Cargo Ship)|
These ones are even worse than the cargo ships, they are armed with a single AA gun but this is not a threat to anything except perhaps a Shark Chaser or a Junk. Carrying oil, their huge decks are prone to flame, and all it takes is a few machine gun rounds right in the middle to cause a catastrophic explosion. Fortunately you'll never have to protect them, nor will the game penalize you for their loss. Some players intentionally destroy them just for fun.
Official Description: Both sides require large quantities of fuel oil to sustain their war efforts, and this is transported around in large tankers. Unfortunately, oil, especially the light yellow East Indies crude, is extremely flammable, which makes these ships extremely vulnerable to attack of any kinds: even machine gun fire can start a potentially fatal blaze in one of the storage tanks.
|Armaments||AA Weapons: 5"/40 flak cannon x1, 20mm machine gun x3, 28mm quad machine gun x1|
|Class||AK (Cargo Ship)|
|Strong against||PT boats, surfaced submarines|
|Weak against||Torpedoes, bombs, strafing runs|
Troop transports are the toughest ship to destroy out of the three neutral ships. Like other ships, you can easily destroy them with machine gun fire to their decks. Unfortunately, their cargo is not volatile - so you cannot trigger an explosion like with the other ships. They can still, however, be shot - and sunk - in this manner. It just takes a little while longer.
Troop transports also spawn Daihatsus and Higgins boats for landing. Although they don't affect the base itself, allowing enough Daihatsus or Higgins boats through to the base will often result in the failure of the mission and a game over screen.
Troop transports are also the most heavily armed neutral vessel in the game, so expect a lot of antiaircraft fire from them.
Two notable troop transports are the Miharu Maru and the Nikkoku Maru, which are the final two mission objectives in the campaign's second mission "Defence of the Philippines".
Official Description: Both the U.S. and Imperial navies have co-opted a large number of civilian cruise ships for the purpose of transporting soldiers over long distances. When close to a landing zone, the troops then disembark into landing craft such as the Higgins boats or Daihatsu barges to reach the shore. As these are civilian ships, they are not armoured, which makes them easy targets. However, they are usually fitted with some light armament to give them a chance against attackers.