27 October 2021

Gung Ho-The Radio Station (2)

A week ago, I got together with my Finnish friends for the 2nd battle in the Gung Ho campaign. If you will remember from my last post, the first game was over in about 45 minutes after the Marines got the jump on the IJA by getting their JOP's far up the table forcing a quick withdrawal from the table before there was any real action. This game was quite different.

This is the first time I have games-mastered a campaign without being a participant and it is a lot of fun. I have been able to keep each side in the dark before each game especially the marines. This is only reasonable as the Japanese have occupied the island for some time so have local knowledge. Accordingly the IJA have seen all the terrain maps at the start of the campaign but the marines only get to see them just before each game but I can send them intelligence to give them a chance to prepare.

Pre-game Japanese intelligence

Urgent Radio Message to Jōtōheisō Kyanorsan from WO Kyuzaburō Kanemitsu. "We have intelliegence that the white devils are going to blow up our radio tower......they must be stopped at all costs."

Pre-game USMC intelligence

Urgent Radio Message to Lt Lagen from Lt Colonel Carlson. "Aerial Surveillance has identified what appears to be a radio tower, advance east and destroy the tower before the Japs have a chance to radio for help"

This game is based on the "Attack and Defend" scenario from the main rulebook. The Raider platoon also can win the game by destroying the Radio Tower as set out in the campaign guidelines. To do this they have to buy Satchel charges and use one team from any of their squads with a leader to destroy the tower using the Roadblock destruction rules in the main rulebook.

As you can see below the Raiders decided to go for it and purchased 2 Satchel charges and up-gunned their intrinsic units with SMG's and extra BAR's.

2nd Marine Raider Battalion

2 SL's
3 Raider Squads with Superior JL's and 9 men

Supports (8+1=9)

2x Native Assistance
extra BAR's
extra SMG's
2 x Satchel Charges

The Japanese appropriately used their Wild Card: Prepared Defences and an extra Buntai.

Japanese (FM 11)
62nd Garrison Force

1 SL
1 Inferior SL
3 LMG Buntai's with JL's
Knee Mortar Buntai with JL and 3x50mm Mortars

Supports (4)

LMG Buntai

Wild Card

2 Barbwire and 1 entrenchment


So on to the Patrol Phase, we started off using P-Y's patrol ap, we had some difficulties last game but this however was pretty smooth and we ended up with the following. Smaller dots represent the JOP's.

So I have to say it was a very different game.

Petri, the IJA commander carefully placed, 2 barbed wires to protect the approach to the tower at the start of the game. It looked like a good plan but unfortunately for him the raiders had taken 2 Native Assistance supports allowing them ti deploy 12' from a JOP rather than 6" thus they went down beyond the wire rendering it useless.
A heavily armed raider squad was now within inches of the Radio Tower, Eero cautiously went on tactical.   A SL was attached to provide support.

They were close but destroying structures is no easy task in CoC so more preparations were required by Mikko, the Raider commander. His other 2 squads were rapidly deployed, the 3rd on the far side of the road with a 2nd next to the radio hut. Petri responded by quickly deploying his 3 LMG Buntai, #'s 1 and 2 protecting the approach to the Radio Tower and #3 with the Knee Mortar Buntai on the other side of the path.

The 1st raider squad advanced toward the tower on tactical but now they were taking significant fire from the 2 Japanese squads. The other 2 raider squads advanced but the 2nd close to the house took significant fire from the grenadiers on the other side of the path with the entrenched LMG squad next to them firing at the 3rd Raider squad.
I initially thought that the Japanese would be in big trouble with the marines using the Native assistance, but the IJA are tenacious troops and they obey orders. Even with overwhelming firepower a single raider squad can not take on 2 IJA buntai and hope to win. They also had the disadvantage of going into light cover every time they moved while the Japanese remained stationary thus in hard cover. Once weakened the IJA attacked, it was near equal number of d6's but the the raiders had half the men the Japanese had, they were wiped out in the combat and had to test for a SL as well, their America force morale plummeted. 
First Buntai takes the banana plantation
I think it was clear to all that the marines were not going to win this battle, but the smell of blood in the air seemed to provoke both sides to inflict more casualties. The raiders knew they had to withdraw but they wanted to kill more Japanese on the way out, so a fighting withdrawal ensued. This did not go as well as they had hoped as IJA deployed their support Buntai, adding even more firepower.
Pink Buntai!

We made it!

Here are the final positions at withdrawal.

Butcher's Bill

USMC (platoon 1)

14 men, as well as a SL and a JL

Final FM 3
7 dead and 4 missing for next game, with a 2CI SL and two 1CI JL's

CO +2
MO -2
Platoon Leaders Outlook Content

IJA (platoon 1)

10 men, as well as a JL

Final FM 9
2 dead and 1 missing for next game, with a 1CI JL

CO 0 
MO +4
Platoon Leaders Outlook Merry

Well, certainly a bloody game. It will be 3 weeks until our next game but I suspect the raiders will be Gung Ho.

As an aside we lost one of our players, so now only have 3, four would be ideal and I believe we could have up to 3 aside. If anyone is interested we play at 1300h EDT on Wednesday with our next games planned on 17th and 24th of November. If interested please respond in the comments.

15 October 2021

Gung Ho- Along the Coral Road (1)

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.


2nd Marine Raider Battalion

3 Raider Squads with Superior JL's and 9 men

Supports (6)

Native Assistance (2)
? (4)

Japanese (FM 11)
62nd Garrison Force

Grenadier Section with JL and 8 men and 3 50mm Mortars
Otherwise unknown composition.

Supports (3)



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.

Butcher's Bill

USMC (platoon 1)

Final FM 9
no dead

CO +3
MO +2
Platoon Leaders Outlook Happy

IJA (platoon 1)

Final FM 11
no dead

CO -1 
MO +2
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.

13 October 2021

Saipan-Securing the Beachhead (2)

This past Monday week, we had our 2nd turn in the Saipan campaign. This was the "Delaying Action" scenario from the main rulebook, Very simple game, the USMC had to capture a JOP and end the turn to gain victory. This was a little tricky for the Japanese as this was pretty open terrain with the defensive points well forward. This is always difficult as the player wants to deploy in good position but also having JOP's forward makes it easy for the attacker to win the game.

As you can see from the Patrol Ap result it, it did not come out well for me. I was able to get a JOP in the hard cover with the airport building but allowed P-Y to get in the jungle to the north allowing him advance along his left flank in cover. So on to the game.

USMC (FM 11) (+2 on FM roll)
6th Marine Regiment

Type F USMC Platoon- Fresh

3 Infantry Squads with JL and 12 men

Supports (10)

Red Dice (2)
Pregame Barrage (2)
M3A1 Stuart (5)
Corpsman (1)

Japanese (FM 10) (+2 on FM roll)
136th Infantry Regiment

Type B Infantry Platoon #1 (less 6 men)

2 SL
3 Infantry Sections with Jl and 11 men
Grenadier Section with JL and 8 men and 3 50mm Mortars

Supports (6)

3.7 Type 94 ATG (3)
MMG Team (3)

So on to the game:

My plan was to play it safe, I felt that this table was going to be a difficult one to win and this was obvious after the patrol phase. The USMC having a JOP in the forest on my right flank was going to be a real problem. I did have some cover in the small forest on my edge as well as in the terminal/control tower at the airport. I would have to deploy early and on overwatch.

So we started the game and of course P-Y had wisely taken a Pre-Game Barrage which was probably going to stymie my plans. I had taken a ATG as I was suspicious that he would take some armour and he did take a Stuart. He brought this on almost immediately and was able to get it in the jungle on his left flank. I was able to get an LMG squad as well as my grenadier squad in the jungle on my edge and by the tightest of margins was able to get in the ATG in there as well. By then, P-Y had deployed 2 squads in the same jungle on his left flank and then placed a 3rd squad behind the small rock in his centre. In response, I placed my MMG team on the top floor of the terminal as well as another LMG squad spread between 2 floors.

So here we were sitting with 80% of our troops deployed, it was really up to the dice now. Double phases where one could fire first and then manoeuvre or place the squad on overwatch (we play the TT modifications) would be ideal. Unfortunately for the IJA, the red dice here starting to show it's value with P-Y getting a lot of activations. I was able to get a good shot off at the Stuart but only 1 net hit; shock only! P-Y brought the power of his squads to bear, I think 19d6, re-rolling 1's is just a real challenge and soon I was taking a lot of shock without really getting the chance to fire back. A little over an hour into the game I decided to withdraw. Another USMC victory! Really going to have to get my ducks in a row for our next game.

Butcher's Bill

USMC (platoon 1)

Final FM 11
no dead!

CO +2
MO +4

Japanese (platoon 1)

Final FM 8
1 man dead, 1 missing for next game (6 down again)

CO 0 
MO 0

Platoon Leaders Outlook to be determined at the end of game 3

On to some terrific photos from the camera of P-Y....

Our next game should be sometime in early November, as I am away next week.