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Wildcats vs Zero's. SBD's and Val's screaming out of the sun to attack your precious Flattop. Avengers and Kates striving to stick a steel fish into the vitals of your precious ships. Night actions with the deadly Japanese 'Long Lance' torpedoes reaching out to skewer you. All the action a person could wish for in a Naval Sim.
Game creator S. Craig Taylor outdid the competition again when he introduced this game in 1978 originally published by Battleline games. In 1981 Avalon Hill bought Battleline and in 1983 re-released Flattop. Many improvements were incorporated not only in the box art and physical components, but the rules of play were also enhanced at the same time.
Game scale is 20 nautical miles per hex and turns are in 1 hour increments. Each aircraft unit represents 3 actual aircraft, and each ship counter represents one individual ship. Carriers, Battleships and Cruisers are historically named, minor ships are not. Individual aircraft types are accurately portrayed with combat/endurance characteristics.
You won't find troops slugging it out in the jungles here. Carrier battles and surface actions are the meat and potatoes of this game.
The game faithfully simulates WW2 carrier operations. Recovery, Arming and Launch cycles are well simulated in the body of the game rules. Ships must be found before they can be attacked, and the hidden movement rules also simulate the days before satellites and SR-71's.
Flattop faithfully allows opponents to re-create the battles on the South Pacific--Coral Sea, Santa Cruz, Eastern Solomons, Guadalcanal--the time period during WW2 when the Japanese and Allied forces were most equally matched.
A great entertainment package for those who wish to revisit the early history of Naval air-warfare.