Kokoda Campaign #2
|(Defender) Australia||vs||Japan (Attacker)|
|Australia||39th "Hawthorn-Kew" Infantry Battalion|
|Japan||144th Infantry Regiment|
|Japan||15th Independent Engineer Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 7 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 251 of 566|
|Parent Game||Kokoda Campaign|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Kokoda Campaign||maps + counters|
The fight at Kokoda provided a morale boost for both sides. Though they were unable to hold the village after taking it, the tactical victories scored by A and D Companies proved for the first time that the Japanese were not supermen able to sweep all before them. As for the Japanese, the fact that no enemy reinforcements arrived to hold Kokoda told them just how thin the Australian forces facing them were. Previously content to just sit at Kokoda and wait for the main body of South Seas Detachment to arrive, Col. Yokoyama and Lt. Col. Tuskimoto resolved to purse the retreating Australians and perhaps destroy them. Meanwhile, Maj. Cameron brought E Company (the last of his fresh reserves) forward to join C and D Companies in an attempt to blunt the new Japanese advance.
The Japanese assault came against the left flank of the line, manned by the untried troops of E Company. Under constant fire for most the morning, the Australian line bent but did not break. But as the Japanese broke off the attack early that afternoon, it was clear to Major Cameron that his men could not fight off a second attack and he made plans to withdraw back to Isurava. There the Aussies would make a new stand and wait for more reinforcements. Deciding that they could not catch and destroy the Australians in retreat, the Japanese once again went back to waiting for the main body of the South Seas Detachment.
|Forward defence and a walk in the woods.|
As the victory condition is solely dependent on control of a village hex, I set the Aussies up in a forward defence along the trail hoping to get into the other village near the north map edge ahead of the Japanese. This strong stack with a great leader proved to be immovable. I probably assaulted it too soon thinking that time was of the essence. Instead I should have moved more Japanese adjacent to soften up the village first. Due to some great/lucky rolls the Aussies eliminated several Japanese infantry and demoralized others.
Meanwhile the remaining Japanese wandered around the woods until stumbling upon the next defensive position. They had more luck here, reducing some units and pushing others back demoralized. However time ran out with the Japanese still not even adjacent to the victory village hex.
I made a couple of rule mistakes; HMGs are less effective on assaults and the shift in assaults for Japanese troops but I don't think it affected the result.
When I revisit this one I think the Japanese will get a lot closer to winning.
|Holding on by their fingernails|
An Australian militia force needs to defend one village hex against a larger Japanese force. The Australians still have militia-level morale(7/6)and a two-level initiative deficit. The basic tactics are for the Australian forces to set up a line just in front of the village with a small reserve in the village to reinforce assault hexes or act as a last ditch defense. The majority of the Japanese force comes up the trail for a frontal attack on the Australian positions, with a small flanking group of four platoons and two LT's that will attempt to go cross-country until the Japanese player gets tired of bad disorientation rolls. It takes the first six turns (of 14 total), for the Japanese player to get units into position for the initial assaults, and four Japanese infantry steps are lost to opportunity and first fire, in exchange for an awful lot of disrupted Australians. The Australians start recovers, commit their reserves, and surprisingly hold the Japanese in the four assault hexes for the next hour. By turns 12 and 13, the Japanese finally clear 3 out of four assault hexes, but it is too late to get enough troops into the village to win that assault. At the cost of 11 lost Australian steps (Japan loses 5), the village remains disputed at scenario end, giving an Australian victory.
Very close to the historical result - a very badly bent but still unbroken Australian defense just manages to dispute control of the village objective. The scenario itself is a straightforward assault bash. The Japanese player might have tried harder for a flanking movement, or tried to exit units out of the assault hexes and into the village sooner.
Across the four scenario Delusion set, both sides met their minimum objectives of reaching the Kokoda airstrip; three Japanese wins against 1 Australian win. If you assign 15 VP's to the Australian side for this scenario, the Japanese win this scenario set 69-31. I enjoyed the "story arc" of the scenarios and look forward to the next campaign.