Followers of this blog will know that myself and Pierre-Yves have recently started a Saipan campaign. Since I hosted the Gembloux Gap campaign, it fell to P-Y to host our next campaign. He had been recently working on Jungle terrain, so this gave him a chance to put it on display. P-Y is a master terrain builder as well as a great photographer so this was something to look forward.
My gaming friends in Finland have put on several games in which I have participated and I felt I should return the favour. I also had some jungle terrain as well as USMC and IJA forces that I painted and built from 2017 through to 2018 but have yet to see the table. I let the Finns decide on which theatre they would like to try and they uniformly wanted to do some Jungle gaming. Coincidentally, at the same time a new Pacific campaign came out for Chain of Command so we all agreed why not. The other big thing for me is that I do shift work and many days in the week I am off, so this was something I could easily do while at the same time making it convenient for the players in Finland. Tuesday is the regular game night for their club so we selected Wednesdays for this campaign. We had our first game this past Wednesday. We start at 1200h EDT which is 1900h in Finland.
I had to do a bit of work on my terrain and I was short some Japanese figures, so over the last couple of weeks I put in some work. With P-Y's suggestions I was able to put together a fairly nice table for our first game. Here is an overview as well as some closeups. There are 4 tables in the campaign, and they are all 90% jungle, aside from some roads and the occasional structure.
But on to the actual campaign. I am not going to reveal everything here as I have kept the players in the dark about the specifics. Both sides started the first scenario without knowing the actual composition of the opposing force, the wild cards that were available etc etc. After the first turn the Japanese now know that they are facing a USMC Raider Platoon and since they were occupying the island, I made available to them the 4 scenarios maps.
The campaign was written by William Thorpe, I believe this is 3rd campaign for CoC, myself and P-Y had played his All American campaign which we quite enjoyed. The campaign itself is available on Wargamers Vault. The campaign follows the exploits of the USMC Raider platoon being dropped off by submarine on the remote Makin Island in the Pacific where they have been ordered to search and destroy Japanese installations.
A few housekeeping issues before I describe the game. I have been increasing frustrated with Zoom, they have a good system but they just can not deliver 720p video on my system despite me paying for it. My friend Eero in Finland uses Discord for all his games so I thought I would give it a try. It was a little intimidating at first but once I figured it out it really works well. I was able to integrate private audio chat channels for each side as well as a integrated dice roller. There invite system is seamless, and I can have multiple text channels on my server. I was able to deliver 3 video channels in our game yesterday with good quality and they also have an integrated share screen which is quite useful. I used 3 wireless iPhones for the Video feeds and aside from one phone that could deliver 4k, the other 2 phones delivered what appeared to be good quality 720p. I should say I bought the Nitro upgrade for $100 per year.
Enough chatting, we had 4 players in Finland set up to play, one had to bow out because of an acute illness but we are playing regular CoC so all we really need is 1 player aside. Eero and Petri are very experienced CoC players, I have learned a lot from them. We also have Mikko and Kyanor who have some CoC experience so I feel the campaign will be well balanced in respect to experience.
USMC (FM 9)
2nd Marine Raider Battalion
3 Raider Squads with Superior JL's and 9 men
Native Assistance (2)
Japanese (FM 11)
62nd Garrison Force
Grenadier Section with JL and 8 men and 3 50mm Mortars
Otherwise unknown composition.
So on to the Patrol Phase, we started off using P-Y's patrol ap but my skill set is not his, so I ran into a bit of a roadblock and half way through we had to transition to the table. This however was pretty smooth and we ended up withe the following.
As you can see the Raiders got the jump, as they had 4 free moves. There JOP's were well up the table, the IJA were about 18" in from there edge.
So I have to say it was a very short game, mostly because of the forward JOP's for the Raiders. They also played their "Lt Peatross" wild card which gave them a Pre-game Barrage for the first turn. This did make IJA deployment difficult. With the "Native Assistance" support they were able to deploy a Raider Squad 12" from a JOP rather than the usual 6" and with their "First to Fight" national charactersitic they were able to deploy this squad on just a 4 with a SL!
So suddenly the Japanese commander was faced with 3 Raider squads with an SL on the table within striking distance of all 3 of their JOP's and just a knee mortar squad on the table. The IJA prudently withdrew yielding the first table to the marines.
Here are the final positions at withdrawal.
USMC (platoon 1)
Final FM 9
Platoon Leaders Outlook Happy
IJA (platoon 1)
Final FM 11
Platoon Leaders Outlook Cheerful
Well, certainly a short game but the IJA now have quite a bit of intelligence about the Raiders while the Raiders have little about the Japanese. We are planning to play our next game on 20-10-21, so stay tuned.