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This map has the most carriers in the game, so be prepared for a lengthy air-to-air duel.
American objectives
  • Sink the enemy carriers
  • At least one Allied carrier must survive
Japanese objectives
  • Sink the enemy carriers
  • At least one Japanese carrier must survive

This map is essentially the same as Coral Sea but it removes all the other ships and focuses exclusively on the carriers. This battle will obviously be won or lost in the skies.

When attacking, every player must remain coordinated with the others. Single fighter and bomber waves will simply be shot down.

Additionally, while under most circumstances players will always crash-land their units into water to try and save time, this map is one major difference. Due to the map's nature and lack of other methods of attacking, it is imperative that bombers attempt to return to base unharmed, to save them for later. Rarely will this battle ever be extremely short, so keep all your planes alive.

Player slots[edit]

American Slots

  • Yorktown (CV) - Hornet
  • Yorktown (CV) - Enterprise
  • Yorktown (CV) - Yorktown
  • Airfield (contains 130 TBD Devastators)
    Airfield (contains 12 B-17s)
    Shipyard (contains 2 Elcos, 6 PBY Catalinas)

Japanese Slots

  • Akagi (CV) - Akagi
  • Sōryū (CV) - Hiryū
  • Sōryū (CV) - Sōryū
  • Akagi (CV) - Zuihō

American strategy[edit]

Expect a lot of high-flying dogfights here in Operation MI.

The Americans have one less carrier, which means they have a less chance overall of winning, since the Japanese only need to destroy three carriers while the Americans have to destroy four. This is mitigated, however, by the presence of an airfield. The airfield, however, can only field Devastators, so ultimately the Japanese have the upper hand in being able to field more fighters than the Americans. Keep this in mind and concentrate your team's firepower on one Japanese carrier to turn the tide.

The carriers should start the battle moving. Always try to keep them together so they'll cover each other, and set all personnel to work on water duty, as the major threat here will be torpedoes. Barely anyone deploys dive bombers.

An Avenger torpedoes a Japanese carrier.

The airfield player can use some pretty nasty tricks with his B-17s. B-17s are next to impossible to shoot down with anti-aircraft fire, and if you sling enough B-17s at an enemy carrier, it will easily go down - especially if you bomb from bow to stern. When deploying B-17s though, always keep them in a large group - their machine guns will cover each other and cause heavy damage to attacking fighters. It is possible for skilled players to dive down when close to the carriers, and bomb at low levels, this tactic exponentially increases the accuracy of the bombs and closes the distance to the target faster. A single B-17 can kill a carrier by itself if enough bombs hit.

The shipyard can do some damage too. Because the biggest threat to the carriers is low-flying torpedo bombers, PT boats can cause some big damage to torpedo bombers, which fly low enough for their triple machine guns to strike.

Alternatively, the Japanese know about your PT boats, but will often discount the presence of Catalinas. You can surprise them with a multi-layered Catalina attack, especially if you send the Catalinas alongside Devastators and Avengers. Combine this with dive bombers and fighters, and the enemy won't know where to shoot.

Japanese strategy[edit]

Cover the carriers at all costs. Target those torpedo bombers in particular.

The Japanese have nothing but carriers, so similar tactics can apply. If the American carriers move away from the shipyard and airfield, you can deploy dive bombers to remove them early. Initially, all players should launch mostly torpedo bombers, close to ten squadrons, the rest being Zero fighters to cover the attack, and rush the Hornet. It is the closest carrier and starts off on the opposite side of Midway island, away from the other two American carriers, an early attack on it before the Americans regroup could kill it within the first minutes of the game. This offensive act will leave the carriers open, but the Japanese have an easier time regrouping then the Americans, the carrier anti aircraft fire can usually stop an attack.

Sometimes it is good to play defensive when you're Japanese and wait until the enemy has expended most their bombers - especially their B-17s. However, most of the times what results is a change of tactics for the enemy, and they will start launching fighters to counter your own. In this scenario, you an choose to continue projecting screens of Zeros into the sky, exploiting your numerical advantage of both fighters in the air and the total amount of them. If done correctly, the Americans will find themselves completely out of fighters after a long aerial battle, and then it's time for turkey shoot, since they will be forced to use SBD Dauntless as fighters, which are completely inferior to your surviving Zeros. By then, depending on enemy action, start launching torpedo launchers again to end the game. Regardless of tactics, always expect high-flying dogfights in Operation MI.

Don't discount the Catalinas either. It doesn't take much.

Be aware of Catalina attacks, as most players discount their presence in favour of Elco PT boats. Catalinas are slow and generally easy targets, so deploy a wing of Zeroes to down the Catalinas. If the enemy decides to use Elcos offensively, you needn't fear much — Elcos are easy targets if not by your aircraft machine guns, by the huge number of anti-aircraft guns on carriers. Just don't get torpedoed.

It is imperative that the carriers stick together, especially when B-17s come. Get the carriers broadside to minimize the damage the B-17s can cause. While the enemy will bunch them together to provide mutual support there are three options to ensure kills with little damage to the fighters: attack head-on then dive and turn around, from in front and dive on them, or from below. The enemy doesn't have a lot of B-17s, so if you can shoot all of them down, you'll remove another airfield from the enemy.

Most players choose to ignore the shipyard, as they generally don't perceive it as a threat. It can still be a thorn in your side if it uses PT boats defensively, so you may want to get rid of it early. Regardless, sinking a carrier is far more important.

Only good flying and players who always make the most of their carriers will win. There is no real always-win tactic.