Japan '45

This game release is dedicated to Dave ‘Blackie’ Blackburn who passed away in January 2016. Dave was instrumental in building many of the Tiller games from 1999 to just before his passing. Dave was the ‘Blackie’ in the Saunders and Blackie partnership that built essentially all the Panzer & Modern Campaigns games for John Tiller Software. Vale Dave!


With the capture of Okinawa and the Philippines in 1945, the Allies had captured important territory in the western Pacific from which to base air, sea and land assets with which to engage in an invasion of the Japanese main islands. They called the entire project "Operation Downfall" and the first part of this colossal undertaking was called "Operation Olympic." The goal of Olympic was to capture airfields and ports in the southern half of the island of Kyushu from which they could use for the next phase of Downfall which was called "Operation Coronet," the invasion of the island of Honshu.

General Walter Krueger's Sixth Army would be entrusted with the invasion of Kyushu. Operation Olympic would be larger in terms of amphibious operations than Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. Gen. Krueger's army included four corps one of which was the V Marine Amphibious Corps along with the I, IX and XI US Army Corps. An incredible air armada based on Okinawa, the Philippines, Guam and other islands would support the landings along with the Fifth Fleet which would supply naval fire support for the landings.

The Japanese were not ignorant of the plan and had positioned the 16th Area Army on Kyushu to defend the beaches most likely to be targeted by the Allies for their landing sites. Along with the fortifications that they had constructed they also had positioned mobile reserves in several central positions inland from the beaches from which they could use to respond to the Allied invasion.

Japan '45 Operation Olympic gives the players options of landing sites, reinforcement routes, and more in over 40 scenarios. There are five large campaign scenarios and one super-large scenario that allows the players to fight for control of the entire island. The Japanese make their entrance into the Panzer Campaigns series for the first time with over 70 different unit types covered in the order of battle.

Click to Enlarge


Panzer Campaigns: Japan '45 Operation Olympic covers the entire campaign to take southern Kyushu from November to December 1945:

  • The landing on Tanega-Shima - 1 thru 3 November 1945
  • The Invasion Phase - 4 thru 6 November 1945
  • The Breakout Phase - 7 thru 10 Novemeber 1945
  • The Linkup Phase - 14 thru 17 November 1945
  • The Final Phase - 19 thru 24 November 1945
  • Japanese Counterattacks - Mid December 1945

The 44 scenarios range from small actions such as the 6-turn, second day fighting at Ariake Bay to the super-large 283 turn "Take Kyushu" scenario. The wide variety of scenario length and size will give the players a stiff challenge! Weather conditions range from normal to mud. The terrain on Kyushu can be as much of an obstacle to victory as the enemy forces.

Get the Scenario List here.

Click to Enlarge


Game features include:

  • Game scale is 1 hex = 1 km, 1 turn = 2 hours, with battalion and company size units.
  • 44 Scenarios covering all sizes and situations, including specialized versions for both head to head play and vs. the computer AI.
  • The master map covers most of the island of Kyushu (87,720 hexes) where Operation Olympic would have taken place.
  • The order of battle file covers all of the forces that would have taken part in the campaign.
  • Order-of-Battle and Scenario Editors which allow players to customize the game.
  • Sub-map feature allows the main map to be "chopped" up into smaller segments for custom scenario creation.
  • All new images for unit art on both sides, including guns and vehicles covering all of the forces of the Allied and Japanese armies involved in the operation.
  • Design notes which cover or include the production of the game, campaign notes, sources and a scenario list.
  • All new game graphics including terrain, in game counters and 2D & 3D units as well as the toolbar icons.
  • All new sounds.

Japan '45 provides multiple play options including play against the computer AI, Play by E-mail (PBEM), LAN Internet "live" play, and two player hot seat.

Click to Enlarge


  • Fanatical nations are used for the Japanese.

File Previews

Here are some files from the game:

Click to Enlarge


  • Scenario Design/Situation Maps: Bill Peters
  • Project Coordinator: David Freer
  • Order of Battle: David Freer, Bill Peters, Glenn Saunders
  • Game Map: Dave "Blackie" Blackburn, Bill Peters, Glenn Saunders
  • Unit Graphics: David Freer
  • Playtesters: Ed Blackburn, Dan Constant, Jim Hall, Kevin Hankins, Mark Nelms, Jim Owczarski, Bill Peters, Tom Porto, David Ross, Dennis Suttman

System Requirements

Windows Vista, 7, 8, or 10
Processor: 1 GHz
Disk Space: 1 GB
Memory: 1 GB

This wargame is for sale at The John Tiller Software Store