This focus on headquarters drives play in many ways. In the early game, the Japanese are working to render the disparate Allied commands (Malaya, Dutch East Indies and the Philippines) ineffective by putting their headquarters out of supply. The Japanese are working to maximize their effectiveness though three distant HQs with varying logistics values. The Japanese Combined Fleet HQ is extremely valuable because it has the longest range and the highest logistic value. Furthermore, the map is so well laid out and finely tuned that the event card that renders Admiral Yamamoto killed has a huge effect on the game simply by reducing the range of Combined Fleet HQ by one hex. And the logistics by one also, although I’d argue the former is actually worse. It’s hard to make a game where the distance between every single hex on the map seems to be purposeful and not just a geographical accident, but somehow Empire of the Sun does it. It’s a textbook example of the confluence of design and playtesting.
A fascinating, in-depth article on a game I own but have yet to play in full. I’ve played South Pacific and Plan Orange but must endeavor to play the full campaign.