24 January 2022

Saipan-The O-1 Line (9)


We played the last game in our Saipan Campaign last week, I had already game mastered a Gung Ho game earlier in the day so I was a little tired but at the same time I was in a gaming mood so I put some planning into this game which I will discuss below.

I finally felt I did OK with this Patrol Phase, I generally feel comfortable with the movement of my Patrol Markers but screw up the placement of the JOP's. I felt in this game I finally got my JOPs in the right spot.


USMC (FM 11)
6th Marine Regiment

Type F USMC Platoon #2 (less 2 men)

2SL
3 Infantry Squads with Sup JL and 12 men

Supports (11+1)

2 Flamethrower Teams (6)
FO (5)
SMG's for 1 squad (1)

Japanese (FM 11)
136th Infantry Regiment

Type B Infantry Platoon #2 

2 SL
3 Infantry Sections with Jl and 12 men
Grenadier Section with JL and 12 men and 3 50mm Mortars

Bunker

Supports (7)

20mm AA Cannon (4)
3 Entrenchments (3)


So on to the game:

We were down to the last game in this campaign, the situation being that the Victory Conditions are that the USMC player must control table 6 on turn 8 to claim a Major Victory or Turn 9 for a Minor Victory. Anything else is a Japanese Victory. We are at Table 9; so at the most, it was going to be a minor victory for the marines. 

When I looked at the table, I was relieved that I was not the attacker. Essentially the marines have to climb a hill which is graded as broken ground with abrupt contours in height at 4 points causing them to lose 1 pip per d6. The actual hill gives soft cover only when not moving. Additionally vehicles can not ascend the hill. I appreciated that IG's and AFV could have LOS but they would be at a distance and I could easily move out of LOS as needed. I felt that P-Y would be unlikely to take this type of support on this table. I was a little intimidated however as the game went on that he had taken two Flamethrower Teams!

My plan as you can see from my supports was to place the 20mm cannon in the Bunker which the scenario gave me for free and only place my infantry squads in bunkers. Because the Japanese had time to prepare for this assault, the scenario allowed them a 9" deployment rather than 6". I would use my 4th squad as a support when one squad became close to breaking with the plan to pull them back and redeploy the fresh squad. One entrenchment would go in the centre jungle, with one on my left flank between a rock and the aforementioned central jungle. I would place the Bunker on my right flank angled towards the centre with the last entrenchment on my extreme right. This gave me complete LOS of the American position. The jungle in the centre of the terrain was their most likely cover for their advance so I would have at least 3 firing positions in hard cover at close range with which to rain fire!

Marines to the left and IJA to the right.
The Marine approach, hard to see but the terrain has been elevated, the  contour changes are the dark grass
Close of the IJA edge from their left flank
Mostly hard cover
Close up of the Marines right flank 

I will let the  photos from the camera of P-Y tell the story.............
LMG Squad 1 on my left flank at the ready.

The marine's advance is rapid as squad 1 goes into the central jungle.

Hopefully a daunting prospect!

Squad 2 with a Flamethrower team in front adding to offer support

Marine squad 3 starts in hard cover in one of the stone houses but Japanese smoke mortars block their LOS so they exit and advance up their right flank.

Prepared to meet the oncoming marines, with the Knee Mortars in the jungle and the LMG squad 2 in the entrenchment.

The marines take some fire, but with their Superior JL's can remove shock fairly quickly.

......and they retaliate on IJA # 2 who are taking casualties. 

I hav enot done a good job on positioning my Knee Mortars and my right flank is also starting to weaken. The marines in the central jungle have caused IJA #1 to break and I have to bring in LMG squad #3 into the entrenchment on my extreme right flank.....

....I swing the Knee Mortars through the jungle to support my right flank.

Now the 2nd marine Flamethrower team has arrived and they swing to their right flank to support marine squad #3, This is starting to get tricky.

I am ready though I my right flank with 3 units now in firing position....

Marine squad #1 starts to weaken and they can not get the Flamethrowers in position to support and squad #3 is still far back. A marine SL takes a hit, the marine FM is falling. They tried to make a lateral move to their left they get caught in heavy crossfire, they break and rout off the table as the main fire is conming from their flank.....
Marine squad #3 on the US right flank takes more hits and a JL is wounded, marine FM drops to less than 3. A Japanese Major Victory in the campaign!

Summing Up

This was really a great campaign, with the Wild Card we got in 10 games. I believe 8 were Virtual and 2 In-Person. First, I have to thank P-Y for putting a lot of work in on the terrain and hosting all the games. The terrain was terrific as many of you have pointed out on FB. 

P-Y is a challenging opponent and if I have it right he won the majority of the games in this campaign, but the clock ran out for him. I think this was going to be a very hard table to take and I was lucky enough to have an intact platoon. In this game the dice gods did favour me, so the IJA won the campaign.

In respect, to the campaign itself I can highly recommend it. It was a lot of fun and was well balanced, so thanks to Stephen Philip who put it together. The terrain at times was a little difficult to sort out, as there were a lot of different types. I had not realised it to the last game, that the terrain maps included are images from the TableTop version of the game. What was jungle and what was not, was a little hard to sort out at times and I might recommend that for posterity I would use different scenario images, but of course scenario maps are guidelines and not rules, so I should not quibble! 

Well I am not sure what is next, I suspect we might be taking a break from CoC campaigning for a bit and certainly the jungle for a good while. I know from the Gung Ho campaign I am hosting, that moving figures though jungle terrain is a lot of work. I am, however, working on a project which will have even more challenging terrain in which to play CoC than even the jungle.

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful looking game, not really a period I game but terrain and the setup are really nice šŸ‘

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  2. Awesome end to the Campaign!

    ReplyDelete