Having accepted the Realism Option settings, you are thrown right into battle. The display from which you control your task groups is a map appropriate for the battle scenario you have chosen. Most of the larger land masses are labelled, as are the major bodies of water. Your forces should be at or near the center of the displayed portion of the map. They are already moving, and time is running.
The forces on the map, friendly and hostile, are represented by icons. These icons are necessarily small and donít look much like what they represent. In battle, representing the relative positions of forces with precision must take precedence over aesthetic concerns. Japanese forces are always red, while American forces are blue. The icons are pretty much self-explanatory, but you should know that friendly forces are represented by dots, while enemy forces are crosses (except for bases, which are always dots).
Some other useful information is always displayed, for reference. Near the upper right-hand corner of the screen, the current date and time are superimposed on the map, in military format. The outer edges of the map have degree hashmarks (tenths of degrees are marked off in smaller hashes) for latitude and longitude, and there is a compass rose in the southwestern corner of the map. To see the parts of the map that donít fit on the map table (the screen), youíll need to slide the map. Move the mouse pointer beyond any edge of the map, and the view will slide in that direction. (This is as if the map were sliding off the table in the opposite direction.)