Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 – First Look!

frontier wars 728x90 KS

Michael Eckenfels unboxes another recent discovery!


Legion Wargames’ Picket Duty is a solitaire game from Steve Dixon, a designer that had a hand in creating B-29 Superfortress and its expansion, Hell Over Korea. I’ve been watching this title for some time now and was quite eager to get a copy, even though I’ve read discussions over on BoardGameGeek about how the current version 1.0 of the rules are confusing and a newer version is due out soon. Regardless, what I followed in development looked like a game with a lot of potential and great components.
You can view the game on Legion Wargames’ page here.



The box is a standard-sized wargame box, if a bit thinner than a ‘normal’ one.

Two books – the rules and a collection of charts and tables – are included.


I still want to read through these rules and see what my own impressions are; everything I’ve read about these rules to this point was taken with a grain of salt. The manual looks like it’s a well-organized and good-looking black and white production.


The charts and tables book is…full of charts and tables. It’s 22 pages long, but ‘only’ 17 of those are relegated to charts and tables. The remaining six pages are devoted to eight scenarios and two campaigns you can play.


Lots of baggies are included, which is great. There’s one large baggie, three medium-sized baggies, and three smaller ones. Plus, the dice you see here.


And the ubiquitous advertisement as well. Although, I must say, I REALLY want B-29 and Hell Over Korea! A review, of course, would be written for both. Ahem.


The counters look great, and are packed in a shrink-wrap so they don’t come loose in shipping. This is a very nice touch!


The counters are fairly large, as you can tell from me starting to paw them.


A close-up of some of the Japanese aircraft counters and the counters representing your destroyer’s crewmen. I really like the detail and coloring in these counters. Plus they’re decently thick, so they’re easy to pick up and manipulate.


More of the counters. I think they included just about every Japanese plane used in World War II, as there are some in here even I’ve never heard of.


Another close-up. I’m really impressed with the artwork.


In addition to the counters, Legion also ships a color page with the counters printed on them. They state this is so you can ensure you have all the pieces and also in case you require replacement counters. I’ve not seen a wargame producer do this kind of thing before, but I’d worry that I’d mess these pages up.


More record sheets and firing charts. These are obviously for keeping track of in-game information. I haven’t even opened the map yet and there’s three 8”x11” pages that I’ll need to find space for somewhere.


A close-up of the compartments’ record sheet. While it might not have anything to do with the destroyer’s performance, it’s pretty cool to see ‘regular’ spaces like the Laundry, Crew Head, and other such areas. I think that will add to the immersiveness.


And hoo-boy, here’s the map, in all its 22”x34” glory. This thing has a huge footprint, but everything is clearly marked it seems. Lots of tracks and information to manage, which might be off-putting to some, but to me, I love this kind of thing.


A close-up of the destroyer’s details. No in-game function, but the detail does add something to the game; at least to me it does.


A close-up of the upper left side of the map. I like the color and the organization. It’s obvious there’s a lot to keep track of in this game, and it’s looking well-organized.


A close-up of the upper right side of the map. There’s even a track for the destroyer’s listing – sweet! I didn’t even think about that, and it’s looking like they went a long way to simulating this well.


Now that there’s a feel for this game, it’s time to read over the rules and see what’s going on under the hood. I might wait until the newer, updated version of the rules comes out, but as I mentioned I’m going to see how playable it is as it stands now, then compare it to the upgraded rules. Hopefully it won’t take long for them to publish them.

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3 Responses to Picket Duty: Kamikaze Attacks against U.S. Destroyers – Okinawa, 1945 – First Look!

  1. Tom Grant says:

    Have you seen Le Vol de l’Aigle? It’s a moderated Napoleonic wargame, very Kriegspiel-like, from Pratzen. I’m hoping to organize a game (maybe at Prezcon?), since I’ve never played a moderated game before. Sounds like a blast.

  2. Brant Guillory says:

    Never seen it. If you get a chance to come to Origins, you should stop by the staff wargaming area and join in one of those games. You might get a real kick out of being a part of a battle staff running the fight!

  3. […] Overall, Picket Duty is a gorgeous game. It is well designed, has colorful graphics, tons of tracks and counters, and most important, has some beautiful counters that represent the Japanese planes attacking your destroyer. (Ed Note: we also have a gallery of the ‘unboxing’ of Picket Duty) […]

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