|Alaska’s War, scenario #3: Massacre Valley|
Alaska’s War, scenario #3: Massacre Valley
*I had almost forgotten one of my favorite scenario supplements; Alaska’s War. I just love the subject, the large spaces to maneuver on and the low units count but interesting terrains types. I had only played Yamasaki’s Attach & Kiska Evacuation scenarios and had a very enjoyable time playing both, so now into my third scenario from Alaska’s War; Massacre Valley. In fact, I plan on completing all the scenarios from this supplement this year.
*The Americans must enter south and exit north and eliminate Japanese that get in their way, the Japanese get victory points from either not allowing them to exit for any reason including step reduction of both units and leaders or just not getting off the board. It’s a long distance & bad terrain, that doesn’t pay to get off the path into Muskeg which can disrupt or demoralize you after time. The Japanese are hidden along the most likely paths the Americans must take to exit, all the way with ambushes setup. Both sides have a little off-board artillery but the Japanese side must have a pop-gun! The Arctic Hills are pretty much configured as the Map indicates but I put the markers on anyway. No Cold Weather Rule on this scenario. The combat modifiers must not be forgotten on the Muskeg terrain, as it can be key!
*So far the Americans have entered from the south and ran into their first ambush with the bad results of losing 1 step of infantry already but they have disrupted a Japanese unit and leader in return. I am not sure that status will last long with a 9/8 morale factor however. The Japanese do not have very many units, so will only attack at the right moments and have setup all along the Americans route with one large group toward the north end to really put a plug in the planned exit point of the Americans. The Americans must stay together to use their higher fire-power must not take too long, as there are only 24 turns to cross the long end of the map with terrible terrain conditions. Three turns are now past, lets see what happens in the next 21 turns?
*The battle progresses and things get too hot and slow on the main trail for the Americans, so I make the decision to take the flanking trail in hopes of avoiding the middle point ambush I know is waiting for me, even though it will take longer. The gamble didn’t pay-off, as where the off shot trail converges back to the main trail again, the Japanese were able to activate two turns in a row, to beat the Americans to point where they would again have to fight their way out of another ambush. Some of the units avoided this and pushed forward to the last ambush point where the third group of Japanese awaited them. I see why they called this scenario Massacre Valley!
*The Japanese have lost 3 steps while the Americans have lost 4 steps. The Americans have now run out of time, only exiting 5 steps of Infantry and two leaders. The Japanese get a total of 21 points for any reason a unit step or leader does not exit. The American received 9 point total vs. the Japanese 21 points, for a clear Japanese victory.
*My gamble of trying the end around move clearly costs the Americans the game on this scenario. It might have been a closer match just to move straight ahead and take on everything but I am not sure, as the first leg of this battle I tried this and units really got tangled up. Either way, the American 81mm & HMG units are too slow for anything but direct movement. I enjoyed this scenario a lot, the big open spaces with lot of movement for both defender & attacker, not to mention most scenarios from this supplement have 30 counters or less.