Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Back from the depths of history....

Many, many moons ago, I had a website with Earthlink. I attempted to do there what I am more or less accomplishing here on this blog. There were some pages on that blog that were worthy of saving. This is one of them. This dates back to almost 7 years ago when the TooFatlardies rules Troops, Weapons and Tactics was still in play testing. The scenario probably would still work played now but the rules changed from this point to final publication. This was a game I managed to put together with Terry Haney at his house using his lovely figures and terrain.

Burma 1943
Terry contacted me and we set up a game at his place to try out these new rules. I had played them solo once already as stated above. But this time around, I would have someone watching over my shoulder to make sure that I won't do that again. Terry asked me to come up with the orders of battle and he would provide the table, figures, terrain and chips.

I know nearly nothing about the Pacific Theater. My knowledge of the Chindits extended to they were lead by Orde Windgate who I happened to come across in preparing for my East Africa Campaign (Commander of Gideon Force) and some Israeli 1948 scenarios (founder of the Special Night Services pre-WWII). I knew he died in a plane crash in the far east and was quite the character.

In 1943, the Chindits under Orde Windgate have been at it again. Last night they launched a daring raid in force against a Japanese forward base. Using hit and run tactics they faded into the night before dawn. The local Japanese commander dispatched men to track down and stop this nuisance. Here begins our scenario...

The Chindits have placed a delaying force of a reduced platoon supported by a single Vickers MMG to halt the advance of the pursuing Japanese troops. The Chindits start on the West end of the map covering some 3/4's of the total map. The Chindits occupied up to the farthest house on the right. The Japanese were advancing up the road rapidly and would enter the table two blinds at a time.

The Map

Well, I knew that Rob Avery had a collection of Japanese figures on his web site www.vislardica.com. I used the organization from his site to set up the following order of battle for the Japanese troops:

The Japanese:
1x Platoon Leader Class 3
1x Platoon Sgt Class 3
Squad 1: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Squad 2: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Squad 3: 1x Squad Leader Class 1, 1x LMG Team (4 men), 1x Rifle Team (5 Men)
Support Squad: 1x Squad Leader Class 2, 3x LT Mortar Teams, 1x Rifle Team (3 Men)

This would net the following Cards:
Jap Blinds Move
Jap Big Man 1 - 6
Squad 1 - 4
TIT Level 1 x 7
TIT Level 2 x 3
TIT Level 3 x 2

The Chindits:
1x Platoon Leader Level 4
1x Platoon SGT Level 3
Platoon HQ: 1x 2" Mortar Team
Section #1: 1x Squad Leader (SGT) Level 3, 1x LMG Team (2 men), 1x Rifle Team (1x Lance Corporal Level 2, 6x Men)
Section #2: 1x Squad Leader (SGT) Level 2, 1x LMG Team (2 men), 1x Rifle Team (1x Lance Corporal Level 1, 6x Men)
Column Support Section: 1x MMG Team (1x Corporal Level 2, 1x Loader, 1x Gunner)

This nets the following Cards:
Chindit Blinds
Chindit Big Man 1-7
Sections 1 - 3
TIT Level 1: 8
TIT Level 2: 3
TIT Level 3: 2
TIT Level 4: 1

I took the Chindit Org from here.

The Beginning moves:
Terry allowed me to enter on the first turn without following with the chips as he was going to leave his guys in place. My first two blinds entered from the road. The first containing my 1st Squad and my platoon leader shot straight up the road looking to plant themselves behind some jungle and use their remaining die to spot in the jungle directly ahead of them. That did not work out and they ended up the turn in the middle of the road. They did spot the Chindit MMG. Things do not look good for our heroes.

The next blind containing the light mortar section ran to the left behind a hill and promptly deployed in order to handle any trouble that came along - namely the MMG. The next turn saw the Japanese 1st squad stay in place! What were they thinking. Two additional blinds entered and moved to the left and right of the road respectively and managed to sneak out of the fire lane before being spotted.

At this point I must point out that the survival of the 1st Japanese squad was due more to bad die rolls for effects of hits than anything the big men did to save their men. These guys stayed in the fire lane some 3 or 4 turns before making it out of there and only lost 2 men.

The next turn had the arrival of two additional blinds splitting up as before and taking off on either side of the road. The objective of the two blinds to the left of the road was to take the house on the left side of the road. The objective of the two right side of the road blinds was to take the first house on the right hand of the road. Seems simple enough. Well, spotting attempts on the tall house and the close house on the right side of the road revealed a fake blind and a Chindit squad in the tall house. On the left side a fake blind ran into the jungle in front of the two Japanese blinds before being spotted as a fake. The squad in the house on the left hand side of the road deployed and attempted to fire on the Japanese 1st squad that had finally made it out of the fire lane.

Throughout this maneuvering, the MMG team became the light mortar squad's favorite target. After about 5 turns of constantly bombarding that position, the mmg team was destroyed. Bout that time, Terry spotted the two blinds on the right hand side of the road. They were both fakes! I had forgotten which troops belonged to what blinds when I deployed and accidentally outflanked Terry on the left. The Chindits in the tall house began to fall back.

The Chindits in the house on the left hand side of the road did not fare too well. They received the full attention of the light mortar squad and the two full strength squads of Japanese troops moving through the jungle towards them. This squad took a beating and lost its big men.

In a valiant effort to support this isolated squad, the platoon sergeant rushed forward from their fall back position to help extract them. By this time, the Japanese in the jungle across from the house began to complain about the poor marksmanship of the light mortar teams as the last volley from the light mortars came a little too close for comfort. Shifting the aiming point on to the crazy Brit that was running towards the Japanese lines the mortars fired again thinking that if they were off they doubled their chances of landing in the middle of a Chindit formation. The die roll was a direct hit. The results were three hits and two of the three were sixes. The platoon sergeant was mentioned in dispatches for his heroism. (I want to take a figure that is standing straight up and cut it off just at the top of the boots. Paint the boots and put small wisps of smoke coming from them just for such an occasion.)

At this point the game was decided that the Japanese had taken the field from the Chindits. We had fun and the rules were great. Played out in under three hours even with both of us flipping through the rules and muttering, "so how do you do that again?" I am left with a couple of questions and observations:

1) We played with the 'newer' grenade rules. I am thinking that the rule with the Boom card could have been more interesting game wise - probably not more realistic. Only 1 grenade was thrown the whole game.

2) The light mortar rules should be clarified a bit more. We treated them like the original grenade rules - a deviation die and 1d6 with a 2" blast radius. Is that how they should work?

3) Do light mortars only fire once per turn or once per activation with a big man? 4) I think these rules were viewing lt mortars as a 1 per platoon thing. The Japanese had 3 of these in this light mortar section. We rolled individually for each mortar, was that right?

Once it was all said and done, I was ready to give this another try. I still have to get troops close enough to assault and attempt the melee rules. I had a unit in position to do so but when the big man chip came up - no tactical initiatives. I guess the squad sergeant bent over to tie his shoes at the critical moment.

Thanks for suffering a trip down memory lane with me. It really was a fun game that I still remember well. I did correct a bunch of spelling errors that I found but other than that, left the post as it was. I need to remember to take not only pictures of the miniatures but the people playing as well.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing. Good to remember the good times with friends and retell those stories.