A6M5 Zeke

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Flank Speed - Common - 33/40



The A6M5 is a useful complementary piece to the basic A6M2 Zeke.

The majority of your fighters should be A6M2s—they are cheaper, and also have the Escort and CAP abilities. But the A6M5 has a couple of distinct uses.

First off it can serve as a credible fighter-killer. It can't fully match the Hellcat, and fighter-hunting is not a winning strategy for the Japanese. However, by including at least one A6M5, supported by an Expert Fighter ability, ideally from Soryu, the Japanese player can do much to dissuade the American player from casual strafing with his Wildcats and Hellcats. Normally, if the US player doesn't have something better to do with them, it's nearly risk-free for him to use his fighters to strafe Japanese destroyers and light cruisers. With their low armor and AA, and high point cost, these are vulnerable and attractive targets. However, if the US player knows there's a significant chance his fighter will be shot down, this calculation changes somewhat. Here the A6M5's Expert Fighter SA is helpful

Second, the A6M5's Great Agility SA*** gives it a bit more survivability when hunted by Hellcats. If you suspect the US player will deploy Hellcats and maybe the USS Yorktown, then think about including more A6M5s in your mix.

Like the A6M2, consider carefully how you will use your A6M5s on turn 1, in order to gain maximum benefit from the Surprise SA.

(***Note that the Great Agility SA has been errated by WotC: Great Agility is triggered when an enemy attack rolls successes exactly equal to the unit's vital armor, not 8.)

The superior survivability and improved performance against enemy fighters may lead you to mix a few into your fleet, but you'll probably want to bring more regular and veteran A6M2s… And honestly, I'd probably take a George before this. One more die against enemy fighters and increasing the VA by one, in exchange for the loss of Escort, just isn't a great deal… It would probably be more meaningful to have another fighter that performs at the same level against enemy bombers, can escort your bombers, and costs a point less, than to take this.

Plastic Figure Notes:

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