AAR - Raider Ridge - OA30

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 at Walt’s house. 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 list your mother’s dental hygienist as a reference.

Under ‘Achievement You Are Most Proud Of’, don’t say that you invented the Internet. Unless you are the one who did.

If they make you a salary offer, don’t say, “I’ll take what’s behind Door #2, Pat!!!”

Don’t ask if the company prescription plan covers Methadone.

Don’t ask where the bathroom is for those who self-identify as female.


Walt wanted to play Raider’s Ridge. This is a small scenario, where a bunch of stealthy 558s try to clear a trail over a jungle-covered mountain. The Raiders are allowed to declare one Banzai charge during the game. They are tougher than normal Marines, due to their special training.
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The small Japanese force is well armed, with 3 LMGs and a knee mortar for 4 squads and a crew. The obvious approach is through a field of kunai, with open ground on the lower slope of the ridge. Walt wanted to attack with the Raiders.
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The big potential sleaze as the Japanese is to hide your HIP dudes on the trail and never use them. Since they are Stealthy, they don’t get revealed when a unit enters their location. Only a successful Search will find them. Having to go TI and the potential for search casualties make this as unattractive a prospect as your cousin Mabel. The HIP dudes can also lurk somewhere else in the jungle, then move into a trail hex on their last turn, leaving the Raiders half a turn to kill them for the win.

I did not want to win this way, out of fear that Walt would hit me in the head with a shovel and bury my body in his basement. I put my HIP dudes in S1, to get flank shots at his troops assaulting the open slope. The rest of my troops were along the upper slope in the jungle, except the knee mortar and 228. Mortars can’t fire out of dense jungle, due to fear of hitting rare tropical birds. So he was hanging out in the open.

Walt had one stack that started making an end run on my right. Two HSs boldly charged through the kunai. The rest of his troops snuck forward, maintaining concealment. Normally, I would be sneaky and stay concealed, but I thought my best chance was to try to hurt his guys before they could get close. After 4 Japanese shots, I had pinned a HS and broke a LMG.

J1, I broke my mortar and another LMG. So one turn into the game, I am down 3 out of my 4 SWs. Walt’s 2 squad, 2 MMG kill stack stripes my crew with a 13 flat.

A2, Walt’s kill stack rolls a 10. A charging 558 on my left is broken by my HIP 447. A HS advances adjacent to my crew, with another squad and a half next to them in the kunai.

J2, I Encircle the lead HS, but can’t break them. Walt’s kill stack rolls another 10.

A3, the broken 558 fails to self rally. I continue to wait for my ammunition bearers to show up so I can use my SWs. I do break a 558 in the kunai. Walt’s kill stack continues to do nothing.

J3, I decided to boldly charge my squad in S1 to try to DM the broken squad on my left. This would also put him in position to block the 8-1 and two squads that had entered as reinforcements. Sure, I have to face an 18 even from his kill stack, but even if I stripe or reduce, the plan will still work.

Except that the kill stack decides to stop rolling 10s, and he gets ROF with his MMGs THREE TIMES. Two 3MCs and one 1MC later, I am left with a broken 2nd line HS. They sacrificed themselves for the Emperor.

On my right, the 9-0 and squad move adjacent to a CX HS that had just been pinned by my sniper. Not liking the odds (I would need an 11 or 12 in CC), Walt breaks and routs back a hex to his 8-0 with another HS.

A4, Walt self rallies the squad I tried so hard to DM, but his other broken squad rolls a 12 on their rally attempt. Afflicted by dysentery, half his squad goes home. The HS that voluntarily broke fails to rally. Walt leaves them to their fate and continues to move his small flanking force through the jungle.

The 9-0 kills off Walt’s broken HS. Elsewhere, I eliminate a HS with a K/2. Walt is able to get a HS into CC with my striped crew. He needs a 7 and rolls an 8. My crew uses their mortar tube as a club - I roll a 4 and kill him.

J4, my shooting again does nothing. Walt tires of rolling 10s with his kill stack and rolls a 12 instead. My 9-0 and boys go back to covering the open ground.

A5, Walt fixes his MMG, then rolls an 11. My broken SWs are all gone by now, as my troops, tiring of waiting for the Korean laborers to arrive with more ammo, threw them deep into the jungle in disgust.

Walt decides that this is the turn to Banzai. He had said at the start of the game that he was not going to, but things are getting desperate. I started the game with 4 squads and a crew; I still had 3 squads and a crew.

His 8-1 and two squads have to face an 8-2, a 6+1, a 2-2, and a 12+1. The 8-1 breaks; the squads survive their John Wayne charge unscathed.

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They stripe one of my squads, then jump in for CC. Walt needs an 8; he rolls a 9.

J5, my LMG squad breaks his adjacent 558. In HtH CC, I decide that 1-4 isn’t much worse than 1-2, and go after both squads. I roll a 4. Walt rolls eyes, but even with leader creation, the odds don’t change. In an orgy of stabbing, eye gouging, and breaking chairs over heads, everyone in the hex is eliminated.

A6, the kill stack charges up the hill, while a HS goes to take out my striped crew. Again. My remaining two squads are skulking deep in the jungle.

Walt screws up another 2:1 CC roll, and my crew ends up in Melee.

J6, my 137 HS self rallies. I advance both concealed squads adjacent to his concealed 8-0 and HS. The HS CXs and advances adjacent to his 8-1 and squad. In HtH CC, more groin-kicking, hair-pulling, and bottle-smashing kills both my crew and Walt’s HS.

A7, Walt shoots at my 137. Can they heroically pass a NMC??? No.

The 8-0 and HS pull back from my two squads. The kill stack continues down the trail. The turn ends with no Japanese on the trail, and all but three hexes uncontrolled by the Raiders.

J7, I deploy one squad. My concealed LMG squad AMs adjacent to the kill stack to regain a trail hex. My squad survives a 18+1 and a 10+1. My 9-0 and his HSs move through the deepest, darkest part of the jungle, and advance into three different trail locations. I’m proud of my 9-0’s blocking placement. I am holding one section of trail with one guy waving a sword. Although he can’t control the hex, in order to get at the one HS, Walt will have to do an infantry overrun, or give me a 4-2 shot, or CX to advance into my HS’s hex.

A8, last half turn, and the Japanese control three trail locations with concealed units. Due to all the bad CCs, Walt has only 3-1/2 squads left. In the north, he elects to risk the CX advance rather than face a -2 shot. Elsewhere, he moves adjacent to my units. I cleverly do nothing, figuring concealment is my friend. My 9-0 continues to wave his sword.

Advancing fire, he breaks my concealment and stripes my LMG squad. The game now comes down to him winning three CCs. In U4, his CX 8-1 and 558 have an even ambush roll. He rolls a 6. I have a -3 drm ambush roll. I roll a 3, withdraw, and the game is over! Filled with disgust, and possibly nachos, Walt doesn’t even want to resolve the other two CCs. He stumbles away, mumbling something about sticking to playing airplane games with Frank.

Pic of the end of the game is below. Credit to Walt for his arts and crafts homemade river overlay.
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U4 – CX 8-1, 558

T4 – 9-0, ? 237 after withdrawing

T5 – 8-1, 558, ? 237

R8 – 8-0, 238, 558, striped 347


I thought that this was fun and exciting. Both sides have difficult choices along the way. I thought I would be crushed early when I lost my SWs. Bad luck by Walt’s kill stack kept me in it – I think they rolled 4 10s, 1 11 and 1 12. Good CC rolls by me wiped out too many of his Raiders. I only eliminated one squad equivalent of his by firing.

Recommend adding SSR that the HIP Japanese must be placed on board concealed at the start of J6 if not already revealed. This will keep the Japanese from winning by sleaze.

Took 2-1/2 hours to play.

No rare tropical birds were harmed during the playing of this scenario.
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jrv

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Since they are Stealthy, they don’t get revealed when a unit enters their location. Only a successful Search will find them.
A minor technical point: you can also find G.4 HIP guys by beginning the CCPh in the same hex with them. If you think this is likely it is best not to Advance into the hex you want to "search" because then you avoid the G.6 +1 Ambush drm. This is not quite as efficient as search because you only "search" your own hex, and with search you always get your own hex and potentially others. You can also do some "recon by fire". With (by SSR) assault fire a Raider squad can shoot at five FP in-hex in the AFPh.

JR
 

Major Issues

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A minor technical point: you can also find G.4 HIP guys by beginning the CCPh in the same hex with them. If you think this is likely it is best not to Advance into the hex you want to "search" because then you avoid the G.6 +1 Ambush drm. This is not quite as efficient as search because you only "search" your own hex, and with search you always get your own hex and potentially others. You can also do some "recon by fire". With (by SSR) assault fire a Raider squad can shoot at five FP in-hex in the AFPh.

JR
5 FP??? Assuming Raider squad moved, 6 FP vs. unconcealed Adjacent target, 4 FP vs. Adjacent concealed/ HIP target. For the latter, 5 FP halved to 2-1/2 for Adv. F., halved again to 1-1/4 for Concealed/ HIP, doubled to 2-1/2 for Adjacent, +1 for Assault Fire to 3-1/2, FRU to 4 FP.
 

jrv

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5 FP??? Assuming Raider squad moved, 6 FP vs. unconcealed Adjacent target, 4 FP vs. Adjacent concealed/ HIP target. For the latter, 5 FP halved to 2-1/2 for Adv. F., halved again to 1-1/4 for Concealed/ HIP, doubled to 2-1/2 for Adjacent, +1 for Assault Fire to 3-1/2, FRU to 4 FP.
Assuming TPBF. I said, "in-hex." 3 x 1.25 = 3.75 + 1 FP FRU = 5 FP. You could recon-by-fire an adjacent hex, but the nice thing about your own hex is that if you find someone in the AFPh there is no ambush because no one has advanced in. If you find someone, both sides are stealthy, both sides are unconcealed (probably; the Raiders by firing, the Japanese by being hit), but on the advance there is the G.6 advancing into jungle, which is n/a if the Raiders don't advance.

JR
 
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JRKrejsa

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I do like the homemade river overlay. I've been known to make the occasional overlay for odd terrain....
 

jrv

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I do like the homemade river overlay. I've been known to make the occasional overlay for odd terrain....
If you like making your own overlays (or maps) and are handy with a computer, you may want to check out an Inkscape extension called Hex Map Extension. This will generate a hexagon grid. I have made a fork of the project which has a bit more documentation, and I am hoping this will be merged in soon.

Inspired by Walt's effort, I made an overlay using the Hex Map Extension, attached. I am not quite satisfied with it yet. I want to remake it using whole hexes on the ends rather than half hexes. I will also probably add some river bank artwork. It does have the hexes labeled to match the map, which is nice. And it probably took me just about as long as it took Walt to color in the hexes by hand (if you disregard the time it has take me to learn Inkscape, of course).

JR
 

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JRKrejsa

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If you like making your own overlays (or maps) and are handy with a computer, you may want to check out an Inkscape extension called Hex Map Extension. This will generate a hexagon grid. I have made a fork of the project which has a bit more documentation, and I am hoping this will be merged in soon.

Inspired by Walt's effort, I made an overlay using the Hex Map Extension, attached. I am not quite satisfied with it yet. I want to remake it using whole hexes on the ends rather than half hexes. I will also probably add some river bank artwork. It does have the hexes labeled to match the map, which is nice. And it probably took me just about as long as it took Walt to color in the hexes by hand (if you disregard the time it has take me to learn Inkscape, of course).

JR
I am the opposite of handy with a computer. But, what you made looks handy, and I can draw in some bank art to make it pretty....
 

jrv

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This is version two of the overlay for OA30, Raider Ridge. I have set the paper size to US letter, but it would be trivial to open the file up in Inkscape and switch it to A4. I have changed the center dots to white and added banks and a fuzzy white edge on the stream. I also removed some of the grid lines that are going to be trimmed off as a minor savings of ink.

JR
 

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jrv

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I have generated two .pdfs for the overlay, letter and A4. I have not tested the A4 pdf by printing it but I think it will work. When you are printing make sure you turn off all options that will resize the page. Scale should be 100%, turn off options "scale page to fit printer", choose options like "ignore printer margins," etc. Your .pdf viewer and printer driver will try to "help" you by resizing the page. Don't let them.

JR
 

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