Alaska's War #1
|(Defender) United States||vs||Japan (Attacker)|
|Japan||3rd Maizuru Special Naval Landing Force|
|United States||297th Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 12 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 445 of 588|
|Parent Game||Alaska's War|
|Layout Dimensions||88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Battle of the Bulge||counters|
The Japanese landed on Attu and Kiska expecting to find them occupied by American troops, most likely from the Alaska National Guard inducted into federal service the previous year. The Guard had just one battalion of infantry, supplemented by several units of "Alaska Scouts" recruited from the Eskimo and Aleut population -- Maj. Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner of the Alaska Defense Command frowned on including non-whites in the Guard proper.
While Alaskan politicians had urged a forward defense, Buckner kept his troops concentrated around key locations and the Aleutians were not defended against the Japanese invasion. There was one casualty, the husband of the local school teacher was killed by the Japanese -- it's unclear today whether he resisted or was murdered. All of the island's 40 inhabitants were carried off to Japan, where half of them died in captivity. After the war, they never were allowed to return to their island home.
|2 Errata Items|
Special rule #5: Cruiser Guns should read "At the Start of each turn ending in 00 or 30..."
(PG-Tank Dude on 2010 Apr 30)
Special Rule 5 is only meant for the Japanese. The Americans have no OBA.
(PG-Tank Dude on 2010 Apr 30)
|Alaska's War Scen #1 Alaska's Warriors or Misery in the Muskeg|
The U.S. set up in an arc around the town with 2 platoons and a leader guarding the trail to the left rear of the village. The Japanese set out arcoss the muskeg directly for the village. They also sent a 2 platoon force on the road and the trail to flank the village. The Japanese suffered a number of disruptions due to the muskeg and forced marches (AP website). But dispite this they were still strong enough to launch an attack on Allied line. The allies attempted to flustrate the Axis OBA by moving back one hex. This was only partially successful as several platoons became mired. The OBA was mitigated somewhat by the -1 col bombardment modifier for the muskeg. By 11 am the Japanese were withing 3 hexes of the village. They were usually getting the first shot due to their higher morale. Despite this both sides had lost only 2 steps up until this point. The Axis by now were on three sides of the village. The U.S. had only 3 platoons defending. Two were in the village and one on hex 1904. Two of these three were disrupted. The rest of the U.S. force had fallen back demoralized beyond the road. This was the Axis high water mark. They made no progress after this. The Allies managed to hold the village with the help of a 10-0-1 leader. On the last two turns the Axis fell apart with two steps lost and two steps routed away. The flanking force had lost another two steps and never threatened the village. At the last gasp they failed to activate and their last chance passed. This was a neat scenario. The muskeg in combination with the forced march rule make an interesting mix. The allies were lucky to have held on in the end flustrating Japanese assaults. I plan to due the whole Alaska War scenario set. Starting with scen 2 I will be campainging a U.S. Lt. just to see how it goes.
|Fighting tooth and nail for a shanty town|
Summary: This scenario was a lot more fun than I thought it would be and it was very well balanced and brutal. Victory hung on possession of key terrain (the town) and until the Japanese wrestled it from the the Americans after nearly two hours of house to house assault.
US Mission: Defend to defeat Japanese. Japanese Mission: Attack to defeat US.
US Plan: establish dug-in defensive line anchored on the town in 1905. In Hex 1905, HMG, CPT, and PLT positioned to use HMG superior range to rake enemy approaches from the western track or across the Muskeg. 2006 (SGT,2 PLTs) and 2007 (LT,2 PLTs ea) to deny enemy a rapid advance down the track with reserves in 2105 (PLT) and 1904 (Scouts, LT). Have successive adjacent positions to laydown fire as Japanese will eventually overtake initial positions, and have options to force Japanese into Muskeg and combine adjacent hexes for +3 shifts. Scouts were to be the BN reserve/counterattack force into the town so that their short range weapons, but higher morale could negate the morale of reduced SNLF forces.
Japanese Plan: From a bridgehead at Hx 0808, use the fog to cover the rapid advance of the SNLF down the tracks. Avoid the Muskeg accept to get adjacent to US forces for assault. The SNLF would advance as a column down the track to the town and synchronize assaults with Cruiser fire and HMG direct fire.
Execution: 0800-0930. PREPARATION The Japanese had some difficulty getting off the beach as two PLTs became mired attempting to get on the track from Hex 0708. It took three turns until morale was successfully rolled to get them back to good order. The rest of the column advanced and stopped short of spotting distance in order to take a tactical pause for stragglers to catch up and synchronize the advance with Naval fire support. Meanwhile the US used the opportunity to get all forces dug-in. Beyond some disruption and recovery, Japanese Naval Gun Fires was inconsequential at this time.
0945-1100: ATTACK. Cruiser gunfire shelled spotted position in Hex 2007 while the SNLF column advanced rapidly to get adjacent to the US position. 2007 was disrupted, and the whitering hail of HMG fire from the town was not sufficient to stop the SNLF charge down the track. The SNLF column performed a BANZAI against 2007 and sustained 1 step loss and became locked in combat. The HMGs suppressed the town while the remaining SNLF began flanking from the South side of the track through the Muskeg to deny US HMG direct fire. Some leaders and a PLT got mired, but it did not sufficiently stop the tempo. At 1000hrs, the Japanese successfully took Hex 2007 when the Commander himself brought a PLT up into the fight. The US lost 3 steps, but the SGT escaped to 2006. CRITICAL EVENT: US fire power had an opportunity to get 3X result on the Japanese, but rolled poorly and the Japanese survived morale check to maintain their BANZAI into Hex 2006. By 1100 hrs, the US had lost Hexes 2006, and 2007, 6 steps and 2 leaders. The Japanese lost 4 steps.
1100-1215: 1st ASSAULT. The SNLF took a turn to combined reduced PLTs to maintain the "9" morale advantage while also suppressing fire into the town with Cruiser Guns. The SNLF Command committed a 3rd BANZAI into Hex 2105 and eliminated the US Platoon after two turns. The SNLF committed its first assault into the town (2 x PLTs, and 2 x LDRs). The American committed his reserve scouts and a recovered PLT from 1904 into the town to match reduced SNLF "8" morale and remove that assault advantage. By 1215, the US lost 4 steps (total 10) and the Japanese lost34 steps in the town (total 7).
1230-1345: 2nd ASSAULT. When the Americans assaulted again, the SNLF was able to sacrifice 1 reduced Infantry PLT and successfully withdrawal and re consolidation of the Japanese for another major push (remember your BANZAI rule for withdrawals). The SNLF had a turn where they were able to combine squads again. They bombarded the town again, and combined direct fire to demoralize the Americans in the town. One US PLT fled with the BN CDR. With two turns remaining they did a final assault and captured the town killed the reduced HMG and forced the Scouts LT to flee. As a final insult to US injury, the US CPT rolled a "12" on his recovery and sank into the depth of the Muskeg. US would have won if they held the town.
Victor: Major Japanese Victory - 17 VPs (5 VPs for town + 12 US casualties) vs. US 8 step VPs Casualties: US: 12 of 16 steps (75% casualty rate), 3of 4 leaders (75%) Japane: 8 of 18 steps (45%), no leaders lost
Japanese Observations and Techniques;
US Observations and Techniques:
Recommendations: I DO Recommend this scenario with a "3" 1. Play with all optional rules, especially strategic movement. 2. Balance suggestion - Japanese Naval Guns halved until target hexes are actually spotted.
The US sets up with the HMG and platoon in the town with a perimeter of INF towards the beaches where the Japanese are landing. The Japanese set up along the beach in stacks of two. The battle starts slowly as the Japanese move one hex a turn through the terrain.
As the Japanese near the defensive perimeter, they split into a base group of two HMG's with two SNLF platoons, and a flanking force. The US begins to consolidate theie defenders as the Japanese intentions become clear.
The Americans fire on the attackers as soon as they are in range, and the two sides exchange fire with little effect. The Japanese flanking force ignores the fire and closes with the defenders. The American fire on the flanking force does not slow them down, and the Japanese assult the US right flank. With higher morale and Japanese bonus, the attackers eliminate the defenders within a couple of turns.
The Americans begin a slow withdraw with their main force towards the town. The Japanese continue to close with some fire exchanged. The Americans make a last stand in the town, as the Japanese close in. The Japanese flanking force assualts the town, but the town modifier neutralizes the morale and Japanese bonuses. The forces in the town suffer, but so do the attacking forces. The game ends with both sides still in the town. The US holds on for a minor victory by retaining control of the town.
|Japanese charging under fire.|
0800 - 0900 – Japanese forces begin to trudge through the Muskeg as their off-shore cruiser begin to bombard the small town. As they near the town the American HMG platoon begins to open up long range direct fire across the boreal swamp.
0915 – 0945 – American infantry prepares for the Japanese to come into range. Somehow, the Japanese escape casualties. Return fire eliminates an American INF platoon and their HMG is disrupted. (2-0)
1000 – 1045 – Soon demoralized, the American HMG retreats into the town to recover morale. American Infantry continues to be reduced and reduced (4-0). Somehow the Japanese are winning this long range battle.
1100 – 1145 – Japanese advance under heavy fire but somehow manage not to break. It is not until they advance to close range (200m) that they suffer their first casualties losing a HMG and SNLF platoon (4-4)
1200 – 1245 Japanese win the initiative and initiate assaults against the Americans. BANZAI!!! Although far superior in assault and morale, they are initially fought back by the American defenders (4-6).
Outside of the town, the fight is fierce, but the Americans are soon being overrun (8-7)
1300 – The Japanese push the assault to south of the town and continue to rout the Americans. In the town, the Americans weigh the odds of a counter-attack. If they don’t do anything, they will soon be overrun and likely be the last man “standing” (10-7)
If the Americans do nothing, they will likely give up a Minor Victory to the Japanese who have inflicted more casualties.
1315 – 1345 – The Americans assault in the town and the attack goes horribly wrong! The Americans lose a whole platoon. (12–7). Luckily they demoralize most of the Japanese who need to recover instead of counter-attacking.
Outside the town the last of the Americans are eliminated (13-7). The SNLF assault the town. The Americans are disrupted but hold on with 1 HMG and half an Infantry platoon remaining.
JAPANESE MINOR VICTORY!!!
A very quick battle, this one was over within an hour. Japanese are just short of a Major Victory (7 more VPs) which is why they pushed the assault on the final turn.
The Americans were very unlucky not causing any casualties to the Japanese as they were coming across the Muskeg.
Scenario Rating: Average 3/5
|Alaska’s War, scenario #1: Alaska’s Warriors|
This was interesting, as the Japanese were invading the Island for the change. They have a killer morale and high Initiative as well as some nasty off-board Cruiser guns. The Americans must hold the town and eliminate steps and Japanese must take the town and eliminate steps.
This was more of a slugfest battle then the other scenarios from this supplement that I have played. I mean the Town is key, being worth five victory points. It took the Japanese 23 out of 24 turns to finally capture it but at this point the points still totaled a draw, however they had one more turn to try and get one more American step loss and by luck, the Cruiser fired one last parting shot at demoralized retreating American Infantry forcing another demoralized check step loss. Now the Japanese have a victory only by one point and with all their step losses it feels like a very hollow victory.
|SNLF Battles the Muskeg - and Some GI's Too!|
Played my son. He was the US forces and I played the Japanese attackers. He set up his defenders in a rough semi-circle roughly three hexes north of the town. The Japanese began their slow slog through the muskeg toward the Alaskan town and suffered a couple disruptions along the way. As they approached the US troops, the Japanese cruiser was able to demoralize the forward American HMG, making the Japanese approach a bit easier. As the Japanese approached the American lines serious fighting ensued. The Japanese lost a platoon but the GI's lost a number of platoons to heavy Japanese fire and assaults. With ten turns to go the victory points were tied. The Japanese had eliminated far more steps, but the Americans still held the town. As the scenario wound down, the Japanese used their superior morale, assaulting ability, and the fire from their offshore cruiser to wear down the American defenders. With four turns to go they eliminated the scout unit defending the town and won the game. Not a bad scenario, but one the Americans will have a hard time winning.
|Invading the US Was Not As Exciting As One Might Think ?|
Scenario one was played in a form of PBEM with our glorious host, so will count as a non-solo game.
So What Happened ! I hear you cry
Unlike the previous poster, the Japanese did not trudge across the muskeg bogs towards Attu's town, but instead, thundered at great speed along the track and reached the edge of the town in good order after 4 turns.
The Americans tried their best to fight a fallback defence but as each of them eventually became DIS or DEM they were charged down by frenzied Japanese infantrymen and harried by MG platoons as well as off-shore cruisers harrassing them. In this way the Americans were slowly eliminated.
Not too much going on in this scenario really. If I were to try a US tactic, I would perhaps also advance up the track toward the enemy in groups of 2 x platoons with a hex gap between each group. Then, jostle around here and there to make the pre-plotted cruiser guns get a hard time zeroing in on them, and hold that track so that the Japanese can only go through the boreal muskeg or charge frontally. It still probably won't work, but 3 x Jap INF attacking 2 x US INF with a US INF nearby as assault reserve may string it out longer ?
Casualties : Japanese 2 steps, Americans 10 steps
It nearly got a 1, but probably attained a two for the fun part of 'chatting' with Andy as well as the novelty part of my first outing with Japanese on the board ?
I played this scenario via PBEM with Vince Hughes and it was... unexciting? As the Americans, I made a pretty silly mistake and set up a nice layered defense out in the muskeg north of town. Of course, as Vince has already mentioned above, his Japanese simply sprinted down the track along the western edge of the play area and caught me unable to react in a stirring reenactment of John Cleese's Lancelot storming the wedding party at Swamp Castle. The end!
|Well, it plays quickly|
I decided to follow the American strategy suggested by Herr Hughes. It worked in part as the Japanese cruiser guns hit their target only 3 times in 6 hours.
The Japanese followed the trail to the until they encountered resistance. They assaulted whatever group was in their way and sent a few platoons around to speed up the process. Rinse and repeat for the next 4 hours.
They reached and assaulted the town at 12:30 (turn 19) and just stared at the Americans for the next 30 minutes as the Japanese were 8 already points ahead. The Americans assaulted at 13:15 in an attempt to lessen the defeat from major to minor, but they lost two more steps and decided to give up.
Japanese major victory.
As the Japanese had better rolls than the Americans in the assaults, I am unable to say whether Vince's suggestion is a good one. The scenario is not interesting enough for me to give it a second go.
I rate this scenario a "2".