AAR - Munda Mash - A58

Major Issues

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I have been busy searching for a new career, but I took some time off to play a game with Walt. I have picked up a few job hunting tips that I thought I would share to keep you from making the same mistakes as me:

Don’t dress like Captain Jack Sparrow, even though it’s a really bitchin’ look for you.

Don’t give as references your favorite dancers Bambi and Candi, no matter how many bills you have stuck in their thongs.

Don’t ask if pajamas can be worn on Casual Friday.

Don’t refuse to answer any questions, while taking the 5th.

Don’t ask if there is a company policy prohibiting the use of drones inside.



Walt wanted to play Munda Mash. He wanted to be the Americans. I wuz the Crazy Rich Asians.

A bunch of 666s with a couple MGs and a 9-2 advance through kunai and jungle to find and occupy three out of four pillboxes. One sets up known. As support, they have three light tanks, which refuse to move unless they are escorted by more men than Tammi Jean Pennington at a Baptist church picnic.

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Pretty standard Japanese defenders, with pillboxes, foxholes and trenches. But they do have an ATR and a flamethrower.

Troops with a flamethrower that don’t break. The mind boggles.
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Due to setup restrictions, the Japanese have to set up in a narrow band. So it’s a little hard to set up a defense in depth.

I set up some giant stacks to maximize the OB given ?s, and to allow dummy stacks to go forth and multiply. The known 2+3+5 pillbox was buried in the jungle. Another pillbox provided support, while somewhat protected by bamboo. One covered the open ground on the right flank, and the last was behind swamp on the left. There isn’t a lot of open ground to cover with the pillboxes. I wanted to make them hard to get to , while using my other troops as human shields. I also wanted to keep the MGs and tanks out of it as much as possible by having my MLR interior jungle hexes.

My front line was two 447s in foxholes, plus a dummy stack. Initial move is through acres of kunai with scouts, mostly HSs, CXing. My front line units did not fire. I did take a shot at an 8-0 and squad in jungle with a knee mortar, but missed.

J1, the 9-2 kill stack had moved into the acquired mortar hex. It was a target rich environment! But I again missed, with no rate. Return fire from the 9-2 was on the 32 column, and the squad CRed and the survivors broke. So much for my mortar.

My two forward squads had multiple units adjacent. I blasted one, which broke and ELRed. I kept concealment with the other. In advance, both jumped CX HSs. The concealed squad got ambush, killed the HS, and withdrew back into the jungle.

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BONSAI - The Way Of The Shrub

The unconcealed squad did not get ambush, and killed the HS, but ended up in kunai with no TEM.

A2, the 447 in the kunai gets shot, and shot, and shot some more. Was losing them worth knocking out a HS? Possibly. It did put fear of initiating CC into Walt, and also fear of advancing adjacent to my units with CX troops. With most terrain costing 2 MFs, this was significant.

With his usual luck, Walt preps his kill stack, and breaks both the HMG AND a MMG. I lose the remaining front line squad in CC, but they take two squads with them.

J2, the broken 2nd line American squad in the kunai fails to rally. This became a theme. I believe they failed 6 rally attempts. It kept the 7-0 tied up for half the game.

On my left, lots of skulking and falling back, mostly with dummies.

The advance continues toward the giant jungle mass which is my MLR. The ATR is only good for side shots and DI attempts. To improve the chances of a DI, I had put the 9-1 with the crew. But I would have needed a 3 to DI, so the ATR crew fired their pistols at adjacent infantry instead. Return fire wounded the 9-1, and I rolled a 12 with the crew, eliminating it. I’m not doing a good job holding Walt up through step reduction.

Walt has repaired both broken MGs, as the native bearers have brought up more ammo.

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The 9-2 and two squads occupy the mortar position. This is two hexes away from my FT, which fires and breaks the HMG squad. But defensive fire wounds the 10-1 and stripes the crew.

I pull back to interior jungle hexes, where I have two trenches. I’d rather have first shot with the FT against adjacent units than remain up front and get pasted again by the 9-2.

A4, with no forward units on my right, the 9-2 and two MMG squads sprint for the treeline. And adjacent to a MMG in a pillbox. A K result and random selection take out two HSs.

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A tank comes over to help, and an advancing fire CH eliminates my crew. Ow.

On my left, an American sniper takes out a dummy stack. Walt jumps a concealed stack, despite CC fear. He thought that they were dummies. They weren’t – it was a 9-0 and squad. I don’t get ambush – I wanted to get it and withdraw. But I just die. The Japanese start with 3 leaders. One is dead, and two are limping around with their spleens showing.

I am able to get a concealed HS back into the ATR foxhole. But I give up one trench due to the 9-2 being adjacent. The trenches and foxholes were a double edged sword for me. Several times, I wanted to fall back, but would have gotten nailed exiting in the movement phase. And advancing out of trenches with wounded leaders was a problem.

The FT hits and breaks the squad escorting a tank.

I run a squad that was HIP from a swamp behind his lines, dodging bullets and DMing a broken squad. A LMG squad abandons the known pillbox, and sneaks up on the tank that has found itself unsupported. I miss my ATHH roll in CC, but still roll a 4 and kill it. And skulk concealed back into the jungle.

An American MMG HS has to drop the MMG in one pillbox in order to be able to CX and make it to my now-abandoned 2+3+5 pillbox. Walt now controls 2 of the needed 3, but hasn’t found the other two yet.

The American turn, and Walt sends troops sideways and backwards to deal with the 447 in his rear. They do so.

My sniper finally wakes up, and fatally wounds the 7-0 who was with a broken squad. This also DMs the squad, effectively taking them out of the game.

One tank and his escorting HS turn my left flank, and find a pillbox behind a swamp. But the rest of his force is tied up in the center or right flank, so they are on their own, while the tank plinks away at me with AP shots.

An 8-1 and squad challenge the FT at point blank range. It does not end well for them, and both break and ELR.

Walt’s CX HS in the pillbox is ambushed by a 447 and a concealed wounded leader, and a few pointy bayonet thrusts return the pillbox to Japanese control.

Moving behind my 2+3+5 pillbox, Walt stumbles into the last pillbox.


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Running out of supplies, American troops are forced to use a hand-drawn Board 37.

J7, Walt still has to take two pillboxes, but the three Japanese controlled ones are all known and are vulnerable. I move my wounded leaders to create a picket line of yelling, sword-waving, Type-O-gushing officers. The FT protects the right flank. I pull out my remaining HIP squad, who had been skulking in bamboo all game. He advances concealed on top of the 2+3+5 pillbox.

Last turn. My wounded leader fails to find an abandoned LMG in the jungle, which I was hoping to use against some infantry. A tank is adjacent, and snakes do the leader in.

The 9-2, now down to one squad with no MG, fires on my concealed squad outside the pillbox, and can’t even break their concealment.

A HS CXs and charges a pillbox. My 10 flat shot breaks them. The next HS gets broken by the 4 flat residual. The full squad passes the residual attack, but I SFF and sustain the LMG. The squad breaks. Walt can still get in the hex by CXing an 8-0 and 666 squad. FPF breaks the 8-0. The 666 squad rolls snakes! And goes Berserk!!! Which means he can’t advance!!!

In Final Fire, my FT finally runs out of lighter fluid. My MMG in the left pillbox gets a MC on the HS escorting the tank. They roll a 12 and die.

Three CCs occur. One is two U.S. squads against my remaining wounded leader, more as a morale booster than military necessity. A squad against the one pillbox ends up in Melee. The 9-2 and his squad end up in Melee with my squad outside the pillbox. Japanese victory!!! Notify the Emperor at once!!!

This was really over when I moved on top of the 2+3+5 pillbox, because you can’t CC the occupants until you eliminate the troops outside the pillbox.

Fun, and tense, and I really had to be sneaky with the Japanese to hold the Americans off. I would play it as the Americans.

I had tunnels, but no good reason to use them. I only tried for one ATHH, as I wanted to save them for use against unescorted tanks. Usually, his escorts would break in DFF, and he had enough troops scattered around that he could advance another squad in as an escort. Despite getting two AP CHs against pillboxes and a couple Canister shots, the tanks weren’t a decisive factor.

Little pro-Japanese on ROAR. The redone Rising Sun version (152) adds a turn and gives the Americans an extra 8-1. I had given Walt the option of playing that version, but he did not want to. If we had, I think the Americans would have won. The 152 version is 4-1 pro-American on ROAR. I think the A58 version is better.
 

asloser

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Great AAR!

Little pro-Japanese on ROAR. The redone Rising Sun version (152) adds a turn and gives the Americans an extra 8-1. I had given Walt the option of playing that version, but he did not want to. If we had, I think the Americans would have won. The 152 version is 4-1 pro-American on ROAR. I think the A58 version is better.
it has been a while since I played this but I never thought it was this badly unbalanced in A58 version. The extra turn is a huge change in scenario dealing with control of pillboxes.
 

Major Issues

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Great AAR!



it has been a while since I played this but I never thought it was this badly unbalanced in A58 version. The extra turn is a huge change in scenario dealing with control of pillboxes.
I would play it as written as the Americans in a second. I would have been more aggressive with the tanks - move adjacent and blast with MGs at point blank. Walt made good use of AP shots against pillboxes - his son tipped him off about this little known rule, even though he hasn't played in 20 years.

Because the other pillboxes have to be within 4 hexes of the known 2+3+5, part of the board will be pillbox-free. I would be tempted to run a strong American force down the undefended, or relatively undefended, corridor, then make a turn and come at the pillboxes from the side or rear. There is a hexrow limitation as to how far back they can set up, but the remaining hexrows are still in play, so the Americans can run into rear area hexes that they know are pillbox-free.

I misstated two things in my AAR. First, the unresolved CC in the pillbox hex would not result in a Melee. (B30.6) Second, even if Walt had another turn, he still could not have gained control of the 2+3+5 pillbox, because he would have to CC it from outside the pillbox. (B30.44) The Berserk squad would have to remain outside, using rifle butts to fruitlessly smash the concrete in impotent rage.


 

commissarmatt

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I tried this one many years ago and came away with the impression that it was strongly pro-Japanese. I wonder if I'd change my mind now with more experience.
 
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