Sunday, July 25, 2010

North Palakata - July 1944

For this game of Battlefield Evolution we (well, I) decided to try a game of real jungle warfare. rather than the usual option of spreading a few clumps of forest around the board, we declared the whole table to be jungle except areas covered or reasonably connected by terrain templates (hills excepted)

The Japanese (me of course) opted to defend whilst Steve's Brits went on the attack. Our defense was organised around the small Burmese village, with less than half my army on the table at the beginning (including my Zero fighter - which wasn't allowed to arrive for two turns) I was to have my work cut out containing the Brits.

Initially Steve was able to throw his full weight against me. This did have certain problems for him, not least that we agreed that armour could not go in to the forests. As a result Steve deployed a column advance, figuring his tank could shield his troops from my machine gun.

And so it proved at first; I was able to destroy his Machine Gun team without loss. but few other casualties were initially caused. Steve advanced through the forest, safe in the knowledge that he couldn't be seen. We were to find this made combat interesting, shooting was restricted to one inch except over open ground, and so most ranged shooting served as only a presage to close combat.

The British advanced unreservedly. To their ultimate cost...
Part of my defence was an Assault team, with a flamethrower and, more importantly, a lunge mine - the stupidest of anti tank weapons ever! In they charged, at a point that the tanks supporting infantry had already reacted and so were unable to defend their tank. The suicide mine struck, and blew the tank, and virtually everyone around it, sky high.

Except for the chap with the lunge mine; who somehow survived!

When we recovered from laughing the game continued. Shortly after that my air cover arrived and where it could see the enemy it tore into them. Even more remarkably, it didn't get shot down by Steve's Hurricane.

Additionally My infantry were making a better fist of a fighting withdrawal through the jungle. Although we would suffer losses on closing with the British, we generally had the best of them with sword and bayonet. The British were able to gain ground in my deployment zone (their victory condition). But my reserves were, upon final arrival able to form an effective second line of defense around a larger area of marshland.

Japanese armour reached the village and relieved the machine gun team, which had grimly held on under artillery and air attack. It then began to fire on those British careless enough to be seen in the fringes of the jungle.

And so at the end of the game it turned out to be a fairly resounding victory to the Japanese, as we had contained the British with only about half our force engaged. The loss of the Matilda tank was a particular shock to the Brits, but far from the only mauling they received.

Incidentally, my current beside reading is an excellent account of the war in Burma. Anyone wanting more on the period could do worse than start with this book:

1 comment:

  1. Impressive-looking game! And it's certainly nice to see someone else using Raventhorpe and Lancashire figures.

    Funnily enough I quite dislike Thompson's book, but then again my very first introduction to the Burma Campaign was Louis Allen's magnificent Burma: The Longest War.