Friday, May 07, 2010

Skirmish at Hlaingdet May 1944

Myself and Steve from the club moved our games of Battlefield Evolution thousands of miles to the East, and down a scale to 20mm. I had small collection of Japanese infantry and tanks from many years ago, and Steve turned out to be able to quickly assemble a suitable British force to face us.

The scenario was one of the special missions from the back of the main rulebook, but the army lists were from the Pacific War supplement. I found that even with the fighter plane I added last week to my troops, I could only scrape together a 1500 point force by taking the best troops available, the Imperial Special Naval Landing Force.

Two sections of Infantry, were led by a command squad and supported by a heavy machine gun, Infantry gun, Sniper, Anti-tank gun, two tanks and of course the Zero.

By comparison there were three sections of British, along with a command section, Engineers section, Machine gun, Mortar, Anti-tank gun, a solitary tank and a Hurricane fighter.

The Japanese won the right to move first and so, as seemed natural, we advanced on the objective. Both sides aim was to seize the Mosque in the centre of the village. The side with the most effective units within 12” of it at the end of the game would win.

Most of the terrain was quite open as might befit an agricultural valley floor somewhere in Burma, but outside of the village were some patches of jungle, and the sandy areas were considered no go for tanks. Tha Japanese armour was able to rush forward and tried to get an early kill on the Matilda tank, but it was not successful. However against the poor Tommies the Japanese fared much better, indeed, in terms of infantry casualties it was a savage mauling that the British suffered.

The Japanese continued to enter the village, covered from their left by their artillery, a deadly sniper, and a Ha-go light tank; closer support came from a Shinhoto model Chi-Ha. The British kept a more cautious advance.

The Zero arrived and dived against the British anti-tank gun crew, the attack was almost successful, but in doing so the Hurricane flew in low and shot the Zero out of the sky! A Classic case of new model syndrome – don’t they always fare badly on their first time out?!

It seemed to set the theme for the rest of the game, although the British infantry were suffering heavy losses, and their Bren carrier was destroyed, the Matilda proved too much for the weaker Japanese guns to handle, and the Jap tanks were destroyed in quick succession. The Japanese command was wiped out by artillery and machine gun fire, and with those hammer blows the Japanese attack crumbled. Instead of assaulting further, the Japanese simple dug in the provide bitter defence against any subsequent British action.

A great little game, though frustrating to not get the luck to win through. My aggressive tactics seemed right, but a few poor dice throws left the Japanese out gunned. It was great to get the 20mm on the table, and get a positive response to it as well, and within the rules, the ranges looked better, naturally!

Hopefully we can get a few more players to look at this scale and theatre, especially as Flames of War, so popular in the club otherwise, does not do the Pacific.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - with a Matilda on board, I would have pulled the Japanese armour out completely. Or ate least pulled it back until the gunjin can kill the tommy Tiger. But then you were in open terrain with a much reduced possibility of close assault. I think you had a tough fight from the beginning - bad dice or not.

    I like playing the Japanese but the majority of their armour is strictly infantry support only - even Stuarts are scary opponents.

    It would be interesting to see the result would be of a re-fight with the sides reversed.