73 HELL OR HIGH WATER

Michael R

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My write-ups of the seaborne adventures of Magnus Rimvall and I have not kept pace with our playings. This write-up is for scenario 73 HELL OR HIGH WATER, which was revised in its YANKS-2 release.

The scenarios has marines and marine raiders landing on Bougainville in 1943; 30 squads spread across 11 landing craft, with HMGs, MMGs, Bazookas, flamethrowers and demolition charges. The Americans also receive air support in the form of three FB with bombs on each of the first three turns; the FB leave after one turn on board.

The Japanese defend the beach with 14 squads and four crews equipped with HMGs, MMGs, LMGs and light mortars. A nice asset that the Japanese have is 18 +3 pillboxes and six trenches. They also get one artillery piece, a Type 41 75mm INF gun in a +5 pillbox.

The map has a curved beach that allows the Japanese to have some enfilade fire. There is also an off-shore island that the Japanese can put units on, which they did historically. All orchards are shellholes, which helps both sides. The beach is moderate which forces a decision upon the Japanese. The moderate beach provides the equivalent of a deir lip for the marines landing on the beach. To obtain the FFMO modifier against the marines as they debark, the Japanese need to set up adjacent to the beach hexes. An SSR forces the Japanese to set up HIP, but unless they are in concealment terrain, the HIP will be lost as soon as the marines have LOS. The Japanese need to decide whether to go for the FFMO or go for the HIP in some cases. I chose to give up the FFMO in a few places to have all the Japanese HIP. I regretted that decision; 2 flat shots and 4 flat shots just did not do the job.

One of the big reasons I made the HIP choice was the threat of the FB. As it turned out, they did not do much damage to the pillbox targets that they had. Even if they make the TH number, they attack the NCA of the pillbox. For sure the FB can do damage, but the probability is that they will not.

I believe the island position is a red herring for the Japanese player, even though the aftermath indicates they did it. A MG on that island can only stun the LC crews with half firepower or harass the marines on the beach. Depending on which MG it is, that beach harassment might be at long range as well. The heavy surf also adds a +1 to fire from the island to the beach, just as it does from the hinterland to the LC as they come in. The artillery piece must set up on a hinterland, not island, hex.

The victory conditions are stated in terms of the Japanese. At game end, they must be able to put 20FP onto ocean hexes. This means that the marines want to eliminate Japanese that are within normal range of the beach.

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My Japanese setup was to be spread out but have the two HMG be able to lay fire lanes along the two main sections of beaches. Everyone was setup in concealment terrain to be able to deliver fire on or near the beach. Not only did I waste a MMG on the island, I also put a squad there to act as a backup MG crew. The following image shows the Japanese setup (which is HIP to the Americans); it also shows the LC entry hexes. I remembered to set up tunnels for a change; those are the faint dotted lines visible here and there on the map.

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Heavy Surf and Heavy Winds are in effect for this scenario. By SSR, the wind cannot change so no wind change DR; yay! Magnus sent most of his LC straight to the beach, however three ventured toward the the Japanese left. The Japanese gun has started shooting at a LC, but I did not know during this match that this gun would have a better chance to inflict damage points if it used HE on the VTT, rather than AP.

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By the end of the fourth American turn, a number of marine squads and HS are on the beach and starting to penetrate the hinterland. Some LC have broached causing some casualties. Some have been pulled off the beach by the heavy surf with their ramps down and then become fast aground.

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The next image shows the situation after eight player turns. The exposed Japanese are defending themselves. The hidden Japanese have been reduced to staying hidden and hoping the Americans don’t find them. Enough marines survived on the Japanese left to contribute to the American victory conditions by eliminating some Japanese. On the Japanese right, anytime the Japanese come on board to take a shot, the marines’ return fire soon eliminates them. The Japanese still have slightly more FP available than needed to win.

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We needed to play all the way to the defensive fire phase of Japanese turn ten. The Japanese needed to have a good Prep Fire phase; they did not. The Americans had a good Defensive Fire phase to decide the game; we did not need to finish the close combats. I recommend the Japanese optimize their defence to cause more casualties. I wonder if a Japanese redoubt might also work. The Japanese could choose a third or so of the map in which to hunker down. This would allow them to concentrate some firepower, but it would also give the marines a large section of beach on which to land unopposed.
 

aneil1234

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Having some Japanese on the island can cause som routing problems for the Marines if the angles are right.
But once the boats have waved them goodbye, they are just too far away to be a threat

When I played this one back in 2017, I got a FB CH with a very big bomb.................... Pillbox go splat :-(
 

Eagle4ty

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Having some Japanese on the island can cause som routing problems for the Marines if the angles are right.
But once the boats have waved them goodbye, they are just too far away to be a threat

When I played this one back in 2017, I got a FB CH with a very big bomb.................... Pillbox go splat :-(
Probably worth a HS there at least just for that purpose but then again U.S. troops don't rout when on the beach anyway. My buddy put the Gun there, a real PITA as it can hit about everywhere, other locations just limit its LOF.
 

Michael R

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Probably worth a HS there at least just for that purpose but then again U.S. troops don't rout when on the beach anyway. My buddy put the Gun there, a real PITA as it can hit about everywhere, other locations just limit its LOF.
The Japanese setup does not permit the gun to be on the island; the setup specifically states "hinterland" for the gun.
 

Eagle4ty

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The Japanese setup does not permit the gun to be on the island; the setup specifically states "hinterland" for the gun.
We probably missed that or miss-interpreted the definition of a hinterland hex. I see it says a "non-island" hex so we may have glossed over that.
 
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