Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 23rd:
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Exploring Hill 790
Saipan 1944 #19
(Defender) Japan vs United States (Attacker)
Formations Involved
Japan 136th Infantry Regiment
Japan 9th Tank Regiment
United States 6th Marine Regiment

Overall balance chart for Saip019
Side 1 2
Draw 0
Side 2 3
Overall Rating, 5 votes
Scenario Rank: 137 of 609
Parent Game Saipan 1944
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-06-19
Start Time 08:00
Turn Count 16
Visibility Day
Counters 25
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 1: 82
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 131
AAR Bounty 150
Total Plays 5
Total AARs 3
Battle Types
Kill Them All
Off-board Artillery
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Saipan 1944 maps + counters

Second Marine Division spent most of the day in aggressive patrolling. Marine scouts sought enemy positions and supply routes to support future planned advances. As the Marines moved cautiously up Hill 790, they expected to find the carefully-fortified position strongly held.


The Marine patrol found Hill 790 unoccupied, and 2/6th Marines hurried to seize the important position. Other Marine patrols did run into dug-in tanks and fanatic defenders, which the Marines expected to find great numbers on the hill. Why the Japanese pulled out was never explained; whoever knew the tale did not survive the battle.

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable

Display Order of Battle

Japan Order of Battle
Imperial Japanese Army
  • Mechanized
United States Order of Battle
Marine Corps

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Overall balance chart for 1466

The 8-3 Marine Infantry counter appears in most of the Saipan 1944 and Marianas 1944 scenarios, replacing the 10-3 DF valued Marine counters for those scenarios and is currently published in the most recent Saipan printing.

(JayTownsend on 2015 Dec 26)

Display AARs (3)

Tropics game on a snowy day
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2015-02-16
Language English
Scenario Saip019

This scenario has Japanese troops dug in on the larger hill mass, with Marines working their way north and engaging them. Marines have to eliminate the single step of Japanese tanks dug in within 2 hexes of the hill top, Japanese have to prevent that or take out more than 2 steps of Marines. 16 turns turned out to be enough, as the Marines moved towards the hill mass surrounding it from 3 sides as they worked their way up. The Japanese were set up, dug in where only in light jungle or taking advantage of the heavy jungle. I placed the Service platoon and an Infantry platoon on the highest level with the Japanese sergeant, two HMGs two hexes south and on the end of the saddle where he could look down on anything attempting to close to assault range, and the tank between them in the lighter jungle hex. The 2 Japanese infantry remaining formed a quick reaction force with a good LT, ready to strike and hopefully assault anything trying to flank the tanks from the eastern slope and use their Japanese Infantry column shift. As the Marines finally moved adjacent on 3 sides to the southernmost defended hill hex, the 2 HMGs fired and rolled a 7. The Marines called in their one turn of off board arty, and disrupted or demoralized both HMGs, preparing them for an assault using the flame unit to give the Marines first fire in assault. This proved successful and there went the forward defense causing no Marine losses and leaving them in a good position to start an assault on the tank. As the Marines stopped next to the tank, the Japanese reaction force moved forward down the trail, stopping adjacent, where the Marines cut them in half and demoralized their leader. A second turn of close range fire finished off the Japanese infantry and caused the LT to flee. A Marine force from the eastern slope assaulted the tanks and again destroyed them without loss. As the game was in the 13th turn, I decided to live dangerously and play it out to the bitter end even though the US had achieved their victory. Marines moved forward and formed a 2-hex fire group, causing some damage on the hill top in hopes of a successful assault. While they were doing this, the Flame unit moved forward and joined one group, ready for their assault. On the final turn, the Marines assaulted without loss, causing the both defending platoons to take a step loss, demoralizing the Service platoon. The Japanese final action was to take a morale check, where the service platoon fled and the Infantry regrouped to disrupted status. Game over, US victory. Had it gone on one more turn, I have no doubt that the Marines would have finished taking the hilltop since they almost assuredly would maintain their 30+ column assault against a single step Japanese infantry platoon. Great game.

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Saipan, scenario nineteen: Exploring Hill 790
Author JayTownsend
Method Solo
Victor Japan
Play Date 2012-11-24
Language English
Scenario Saip019

Disclosure, I am the Designer and feel all my scenarios fall into the range of 4-5, 90-100% or I wouldn’t have created them, so take my ratings with a grain of salt! The only reason any are a 4, is because they are more difficult to make from design to development.

Saipan, scenario nineteen: Exploring Hill 790

A fun scenario where all the Marine have to do is eliminate a step of dug-in Type 95s defended by a small mix of Infantry units. The problem is, the Japanese must have moved those tanks up the highest trail to the highest point on the hill and in area where it could be dug-in and surrounded by Infantry units.

The Marines moved up this mountain trail until they ran into some defending Japanese Infantry and had to pull some of their Marines unit trailing off the trail to try and flank this road block but in the worst terrain. The attack soon became very disorganized and losses mounted beyond three steps without taking out that Japanese tank unit. The Japanese win this scenario even if it is only for a day.

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Scenario 19 Exploring Hill 790
Author PatC
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2013-01-04
Language English
Scenario Saip019

The Axis set up on the South slope of Hill 790 with the HMG in the village at 0610. The Allies advanced in a pincer movement directed at the Axis flanks. The Eastern most pincer bogged down. They became demoralized when just two hexes from the dug in armored platoon. On the West flank the Axis were unable to pull out of the village before being assaulted. This Axis force lost three steps starting a cascade effect all along the Axis position as the Marines rolled up the Axis line. By 11:30 the Axis had been wiped out.

This scenario could use a reworking to help balance it out. Playing solo I purposely set the units up in position to have them engage pretty quickly. A crafty Axis player would set their hidden units well away from the Allied starting point. This could naturally delay any Allied attack till 10:30 or so, maybe later depending on the Axis setup. This would not leave hardly any time to find & eliminate the Axis dug in tank platoon. I gave this a 3. Despite the faulty setup restrictions it was fun to play. It is a nice little infantry scenario. Question on the setup. Can the Axis tank platoon set up in the Jungle? Remember the rule about AFVs entering jungle hexes? They have to roll for step loss. Does the Japanese players have to as well if they set up in a jungle hex? Just wondering.

1 Comment
2013-01-05 19:50

I would rule that the Japanese Armor cannot setup in heavy jungle unless on a road or trail hex but light junlge hexes yes. But play it the way you would like to. The Japanese won this scenario in my game.

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