Alaska's War #9
|(Defender) United States||vs||Japan (Attacker)|
|Japan||Adak-Attu Occupation Force|
|United States||7th Infantry Division|
|Overall Rating, 5 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 203 of 609|
|Parent Game||Alaska's War|
|Layout Dimensions||88 x 58 cm
35 x 23 in
|Enter & Exit|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Battle of the Bulge||counters|
With the end near, Col. Yasuyo Yamasaki of the Adak-Attu Occupation Force gathered all of his able-bodied men for one final assault on the Americans. Apparently ordered to kill as many Americans as possible, the troops came out of their defenses screaming wildly with their officers waving swords. Though not really expecting a Japanese surrender, the reaction did catch the Americans somewhat by surprise.
The colonel apparently died in this first attack, along with a fair number of his men. But the survivors broke through the American lines and surged on to attack surprised rear-area elements. Still suffering from the cold and inadequate protection, the Americans reacted slowly while the Japanese - warmed by the last of their alcohol stocks as well as better winter gear - killed as many surprised GIs as they could and ran on up the valley.
Late in the evening of May 29, 1943, the Japanese Adak-Attu Occupation Force charged west toward the American front line manned by units from the 7th Infantry Division that were bivouacked across a broad front on both the northeast and southeast hills. A Japanese scout platoon moved west along the track, while the main Japanese force advanced slowly down the southeast hill and along the northeast ridge. They took fire on both fronts from the Americans at 2200 hours. By 2245, furious hand-to-hand fighting was occurring on both ridges; the US pulled back quickly on the northeast ridge to consolidate their forces, but the units on the southeast hill held strong. The US continued to avoid Japanese pursuit in the northeast well past midnight, eventually forming ranks and confronting the onrushing Japanese troops. Some of the Japanese broke through and headed west, but others were eventually slowed and eliminated. By 0445, The Americans had sole possession of the northeast ridge and held firm on the southeast hill as well for an American victory.
This scenario represents the attack ordered by Colonel Yamasaki in the closing days of the Aleutian campaign with the intent of reducing the American force to the fullest extent possible with the remaining Japanese troops. The Japanese need to eliminate 10 American steps before they can gain exit points for the western edge, so it benefits the Americans to fall back and skirt the Japanese units while working for the best shots. The closer the units can move and stay near the NE and SE corners of the map, the more difficult it will be for the Japanese side to gain the necessary ten steps that allow the Japanese to gain exit points. However, the US player must be cautious as the limited visibility allows the Japanese player to exit without penalty if the US doesn’t have a reasonable pursuit strategy. The scenario does an excellent job of capturing the feel of the historical situation and appears very well balanced. For the Japanese player, picking the right time to break west, assuming that step losses exceed ten US steps and the total are in his favor, is a tough tactical decision. In this playthrough, the US managed to get some pinpoint mortar fire along with direct fire hits to slow the Japanese contingent, making them vulnerable to assault. The final VP tally was 27 for the Japanese (11 US steps plus 16 exit points) versus 20 Japanese steps lost, so the Japanese did not quite double the US total resulting in an American victory.
|Alaska’s War, Scenario #9, Yamasaki's Attack|
Setup for the Americans and entry for the Japanese was critical. This was a very enjoyable scenario. The setup restrictions, the special rules for both the scenario & the module made this one play out very close. The Japanese needed ten American steps eliminated before they could exit off the West side of the board, to continue the Banzai into the rear area troops. They also need twice as many victory points to win this battle. It’s doable, after my first play but in my game, the Japanese fell a little short and the Americans won this battle, even if the Japanese did score more victory points, just not twice as many.
The Americans are spread thin over a large area and have limited stacking in the initial setup, so the Japanese must close fast, kill 10 steps and head for the exit before the Americans can consolidate their forces, but with this terrain, the American will have a slow time moving units together, so anything can happen. The smoke markers were just to mark the hill elevation, which really wasn't needed, as they were pretty much just the different color shades on the existing map. Stay out off the Muskeg/light tan hexes if you can, unless you are on the main Track running through it.
Alaska's War adds two new terrain types; Arctic Hills & Muskeg. Tracks are also a little different.
Also, some interesting rules for Cold Weather & Alaska Scouts.
Setup for the Americans and entry for the Japanese is very critical.
|Alaska's War #9 Yamaski's Attack or Shoe on other foot|
With the road being the quickest way across the board the Allies set up in depth three lines deep across it and within four hexes of it. Since the Axis has to eliminate ten steps before they can attempt to exit the board, they must go where the Allies are. So they attack down the road. But the strongest Axis attack comes in the arctic hills to the north, forcing those Allied units South of the road to abandon their positions and cross the muskeg to get in front of the Axis advance. The Axis had good initial success eliminating seven Allies steps in the first hour. Over the next several turns the Axis continued the advance but were beginning to take losses. By 2345 losses mounted for both sides. In addition, the Axis were not able to make any headway down the road. Over the next several turns Axis losses further mounted. Despite now having eliminated 12 Allied steps they themselves had lost 15 and the Col. had been eliminated. It only got worse for the Axis after that. The Axis still had made no progress down the road and had lost several steps in the process. The advance through the arctic hills was hampered by the now arriving Allied units from the foxhole lines south of the road. A number of Axis steps were lost approaching existing foxhole positions in the arctic hills north of the road. One of these positions was eliminated by the Axis but it was not enough. By 1130 it was all over. No Axis steps had left the board's west edge and 30 Axis steps had been lost to the Allied 14. Allied victory. Lt. O'Bannon completes the campaign with 11 leadership points with which he adds one point to his morale level making him now a 9-0-1 Lt. He is not promoted on the die roll. So now he advances to Kwajalein then Leyte and finally Okinawa. If he lives.