The Third Day
Jungle Fighting #17
|(Defender) Japan||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Japan||229th Infantry Regiment|
|Japan||230th Infantry Regiment|
|United States||27th Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 4 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 598|
|Parent Game||Jungle Fighting|
|Layout Dimensions||84 x 55 cm
33 x 22 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Battle of the Bulge||counters|
|Guadalcanal||maps + counters|
The 3rd Battalion's attempts to secure Hill 53 on the two preceding days had bled the battalion to the point where further attacks would only result in heavy casualties for no gain. At the end of the day on the 11th, the regimental commander of the 27th, Colonel George E. Bush, ordered the 2nd Battalion to resume the offensive on the 12th.
Company G managed to reach its objective, but Company F was held up by strong Japanese resistance. Even the commitment of E Company failed to take the last piece of ground.
Elsenborn Ridge or Cassino '44 may be used for the U.S. units.
A very small playing area for this short battle. The Japanese have a very limited set up area, and the Americans set up close. The Americans need to clear out all the Japanense positions while limiting casualties. The Americans start by concentrating the fire of the HMG's on the Japanese emplacement with little effect. After a couple of turns of trading relatively ineffective direct fire, the Americans roll a 2x with indirect fire on the Japanese dug in units on their right flank. The Americans send everyone close to try to bring some better direct fire against the emplacement. The Japanese then get a 2X on one of the American stacks. The Americans back off the adjacent units, but have eliminated the Japanese position in one of the victory hexes. The Japanese then get a lucky die roll of 2 on an indirect fire attack against the American mortars. They have now eliminated 3 steps of Americans and won!
The first thing you notice about the Japanese is that it is virtually impossible to kill a step with a double demoralization. They are generally amply supplied with leaders and many of those leaders provide bonuses and then there is that ridiculous 9/8 morale. The only way to acheive the American goals is to destroy the Japanese in their emplacements.
This scenario like scenario #16 calls for the Americans to root out an entrenched and dug in band of Japanese infantry without taking substantial casualties. Helping in this version is the ability to have a very strong DF attack using HMGs. There is still a lot of artillery but it will come down to assault combat which due to the Japanese infantry modifier in assault combat is always an iffy thing for the Americans.
Unlike the previous scenario where the Americans tried to tiptoe up to the Japanese in order to avoid casualties in this one I pitched right in. I was able to take the entrenchment and one of the dug in hexes before I lost the third American step. Total losses for the Japanese were six steps. Reading through the three connected scenarios and watching my progress I was able to see that my performance was pretty much historical.
This one was particularly fun as the Americans can get some traction in their assaults and there is tension as to the ultimate result from the beginning of play. I give it a "4" and it is the best of the three. Given the discussion in the scenario descriptions, however, I was surprised that there were no SSRs about thirst. Apparently the Japanese had no source of water and were having a tough time of it as a result. Yet this has no impact on play.
|Lots of time to take Hill 53|
American Plan: Hit Japanese entrenchment with artillery and combined fire until sufficiently broken. When E Company is activated, they will advance through the jungle and take the objective with F and G Companies providing covering fire. No hurry as they have all day and lots of water!
0630 – OPEN FIRE!!! Early in the morning the American artillery and HMGs begin the attack. The opening attack reduces half a Japanese platoon.
0645 – Direct fire scores another hit against the Japanese!
American comment: This should be easy! Just keep them under fire. If results were anything like the previous day this shouldn’t take too long!
0700-0715 – No significant results. American large off-board artillery is re-assigned. It’ll be up to the ground pounders to finish the job.
0730 – Americans suffer their first loss from direct fire from the entrenchment. They decide to dig-in. (1)
0745-0800 – Digging in mostly complete as direct fire is exchanged.
0815 – Japanese off-board artillery (OBA) scores a direct hit against the American infantry! (2) Comment – Oh oh! All of a sudden the Japanese are one lucky hit away from winning!
0830-0845 – Entrenchment is under heavy fire, but no casualties are sustained.
0900 – Easy Company still held in reserve.
0915-0945 – Americans hold back as small arms fire is exchanged. No casualties. Japanese OBA is problematic.
1000-1045 – Still no Easy Company. Americans decide to still sit tight and not risk a rush unless they can demoralize the Japanese first.
1100 – American direct fire eliminates a Japanese half platoon! Japanese reinforce the entrenchment but the reinforcements are demoralised. Americans call for air support.
1115 – Japanese in the entrenchment are completely demoralized from continued direct fire. American Lt and platoon advance through the jungle.
1130 – Japanese win initiative and their infantry recover in the entrenchment before the American Lt can assault!
1145 – American direct fire reduces the Japanese HMG. Japanese Infantry holds the American Lt back.
1200 – Still no Easy Company (The Americans could REALLY have used them!) and the Japanese complete their recovery.
1215 – Japanese artillery hits the American attackers!
Americans suffer their third step loss! (3)
Unlike the previous day’s attempt, the Americans didn’t get very close to achieving their objective. Instead of rushing forward, they were intent on using F and G Companies to reduce and demoralize the Japanese and have E Company come in and take the objectives.
Attrition went the other way though, and the Japanese were able to cause too much damage to the Americans before their reinforcements arrived.
A completely different strategy would be to set-up ADJACENT to the Japanese entrenchment and get some “45 STR” attacks in first. This is very dangerous as the Japanese counter-attacks would likely be almost as deadly (and with only 2 losses acceptable, the risk to American troops seemed too great). I wouldn’t mind replaying it with this set-up, as, one way or the other, it would certainly be a short game!
Suffering too many casualties and unable to make significant headway, regimental staff called off the attack (again). The Americans would need to send in the troops one more time! The Japanese were in dire-straights with reduced supplies and significantly reduced troops. Could they hold out?
Scenario Rating 2/5 (Below Average). Japanese victory condition too easy. No manuevering. More luck than anything else.
|These Japanese Just Can't Be Budged Sir !|
Yet another game played solo (my third solo!!). Still don't get the same enjoyment as a ftf or real opponent in whatever format. But it served to be better than nowt !
The American infantry of the 27th Infantry Regiment were still camped on the lower slopes of Galloping Horse Hill. On the rise above them, they could still see those infernal trenches and dug-in positions of their obstinate Japanese enemy from the Imperial 229th Infantry Regiment. For two days, they had tried to remove the 'little fellas', and for two days they been denied. Yesterday (see AAR Battle Without Water), the remnants of 'I' & 'L' coys had been repulsed in just under 2 hours having gone into the attack suffering acute thirst due to lack of water supplies.
Today, would be a bigger attack. 'F'&'G' coys, both fed and watered, would attack, supported by 'E' coy when ready. Today, would be different ...... Today !
0630 hours, and F&G send a couple of platoons forward on the left flank. These were to lay down some flanking fire. Meanwhile, promised off-shore OBA thundered in and would do so for an hour. Despite all this firepower from 6 infantry and 2 HMG platoons, 2 x platoons of mortars and the ships. The Japanese seemed barely moved. Unknown to the Americans, one of the best Japanese Majors on the island was commanding here. (10-1-1). He was certainly helping bolster the will of his young charges. During this hour, some accurate fire from the Japanese trenches really hurt one platoon from F coy, taking down a lot of its men and forcing the rest to retire to regroup in the safety of some jungle brush.
The firefight continued for over three hours as both sides used jungle, ridge lines and dug-outs to shield themselves, whilst dishing out whatever fire they could of their own. Eventually, casualties would tell somewhere, and once again, it was the Americans that suffered. Some heavy Japanese rifle and MG fire finally sliced through one of G coys platoons and inflicted heavy losses on its numbers rendering them very much weaker.
With no off-shore batteries available, it was not soon enough when E coy finally joined their comrades around 1030 hours. These assisted in laying down a really heavy fire on the Japanese and did succeed on removing some casualties on the hilltop, but no sooner had this been achieved, then more enemy fire cut down some men from E coy.
With each company suffering losses, the attack was called off and once more conidered a failure. They would have to try again.
I'll give this a '3'. No it was not as exciting as a competitive game with somebody else, but I can easily see where the scenario has mileage in outcomes and I would be happy to try it again TWICE, using each side once against an opponent. It is hard for the Americans. They can only lose 3 steps and therefore probably need to engage at distance to wear down any defence and strive for those hits once they have some serious fire groups formed. Close combat may end the game very quickly either way. The only thing the Americans have to watch, but can not control are enemy snake-eyes and box-cars. These are the shots that will end the game for them and in a 37 turn game they HAVE to happen I guess. My remedy for the Yanks would be to ... oh no ! I'll hold that thought for when I do have to use them against an opponent.