Sho Go Yamato

Unit Card:


Set - Rarity - Number

Surface Action-


From RB's Opening Salvo
The largest and most heavily armored battleship ever to see service in any navy, Yamato mounted a potent armament of nine 18-inch guns, twelve 6-inch guns, and twelve 5-inch guns on a hull of nearly 70,000 tons. Yamato was commissioned in December of 1941, and soon after became flagship of the Combined Fleet. During the course of the war she underwent several major refits; most significantly, she lost the two wing turrets of her secondary battery, but received additional dual-purpose 5-inch guns, search radar, and antiaircraft batteries.

Yamato was involved in the Battle of Midway and the Battle of the Philippine Sea, but played little part in either engagement; major battleship actions were few and far between in the Pacific war. Finally, in October of 1944, the remnants of the Japanese fleet staked all they had left on a complicated plan to defend the Philippine Islands from the impending US assault. This was the Sho-Go 1 plan, which led to the Battle of Leyte Gulf. In preparation, Yamato received a distinctive new coat of black paint for the anticipated nighttime engagements, and was assigned to the powerful “Center Force” of the Japanese fleet. The Center Force came under early submarine and air attack; Admiral Kurita’s flagship, the cruiser Atago, was sunk by a US submarine, and Kurita was forced to transfer his flag to Yamato. But the Japanese pressed on, exploiting an American oversight that left San Bernadino Strait unguarded. The Center Force arrived off the coast of Samar in the morning of 25 October 1944 and caught a group of American escort carriers, Taffy 3, completely off guard. In the ensuing action Taffy 3’s escorts bravely held off the powerful Japanese surface fleet. Although Taffy 3 suffered serious losses, the Japanese finally withdrew in confusion. Yamato never got another chance to bring her mighty guns to bear on enemy ships.


From RB's Opening Salvo
Much like the Set 1 Yamato, Sho-Go Yamato is a great big beater of a battleship. Her secondary battery is weaker than the earlier version, representing the 1943 removal of half of her 6-inch guns, but her AA is improved. Most importantly, she gains an interesting new special ability, General Pursuit. This represents the controversial command given by Admiral Kurita during the Battle off Samar on 25 October 1944. It allows you to drive the best part of your fleet forward to engage the enemy more closely in one sudden surge, although you can’t use this ability to claim objectives. On the downside, you automatically lose initiative on the next turn—much as Kurita lost control of the attack on Taffy 3 when he released his ships to operate independently. General Pursuit is best used to press home a united torpedo attack with the help of some Long Lance armed destroyers and cruisers; try using it to overwhelm a tough enemy ship in range of several of your own.

Vergilius Powergaming Evaluation:
Much has already been said in the Opening Salvos. Sho-GO will be extremely useful when combined with Japanese LL units. A mixed fleet that is neither entirely LL nor entirely BB seems to be merited here. AA8 means a lot when maintaining safety from opposing air builds. Powergaming Grade: A+

The original Yamato is three points cheaper with superior secondaries, but it lacks General Pursuit and has weaker AA. Musashi was and still is the cheapest, but has a flag value of 1 and its AA , even with the two shots (one of seven and one of five), is worse. This new Yamato is the most expensive (7 points more than Musashi, an A6M5 Zero that could assist in keeping enemy air off your ships).

The General Pursuit SA and the AA value of 8 are both useful, but still, Musashi is probably your best option…

Plastic Figure Notes:

The Yamato is probably my favorite model… I prefer the way the Musashi and original Yamato look because of their paint, but this is excellent… Little Zeros near the back of the ship are good looking, 18 inchers look quite nice, and even the secondaries will rotate…

A sometimes-overlooked advantage of Sho Go is how she can team with smoking DDs. By ensuring you will lose inish following a "General Pursuit", you can maximize your smoke. That's really her biggest advantage, in addition to 8 AA, soemthing the IJN desperately need (and sorely lack).

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