GJ033 Sake at Sunrise

Mike205

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I’m a big fan of the Grumble Jones ASL blog and regularly read his AARs. In fact, coming across the blog helped inspire me to start playing again last spring, after a five year hiatus due to work, school, and family commitments.

GJ has been posting monthly scenarios for a while now and I suggested giving GJ033 Sake at Sunrise a spin for our weekend meeting. Not only did it look intriguing but several years ago I played SP155 Casualties, Cooks, and Corpsmen which covers the same action. I thought GJ033 looked like it provided the opportunity for a larger and more detailed playing of the dramatic Japanese assault on the Third Marine Division’s rear area during the recapture of Guam.

The scenario pits 20 Japanese 2nd liners equipped with a handful of mmgs and lmgs with some decent leadership against a small Marine security force and a mixed bag of POGs- clerks, cooks, and some artillery crews. Most interestingly, there are eight prisoner counters representing wounded who on a RpH die roll of 1 or 2 turn into a 4-5-8 squad of walking wounded. The Marines also get a couple of mmgs, a .50 cal, three 105 howitzers, and a tank dozer. There are several trucks placed around the camp as well as a jeep with an AAMG. The first two turns have NVR of 4 hexes. G10 is the victory hex- if the IJA capture this, they win immediately, otherwise the players total up CVP. The Japanese are drunk on sake and therefore lose their stealth modifier.
8634

My Marines set up was dictated by SSR, with a small Marine force consisting of 3 5-5-8s, a mmg, bazooka, and 8-1 guarding a board 75 roadblock located at BB3. Another security force sets up within four hexes of 9a G10 and I extended a line of wire in front to hinder any Japanese attempting to cut through the jungle on the center of the map or slow down the banzai charge that was sure to materialize at some point. The guns, crews, and wounded all have assigned set up hexes per SSR 8. The board 9a huts/buildings are, according to SSR 4, large tents representing the Marine camp.
8635

The Japanese entered on board 75, one stack immediately turned southwest, headed for the 105 battery. A skirmish line accompanied by two other larger stacks headed directly for the roadblock, and a three stack force started moving down the trail towards it as well. IJA turn 1 passed as peacefully as any other tropical night on Guam. On to American turn 1.

In the absence of clear SSR guidelines, in order give the Japanese a fighting chance, we decided to play the first two turns as Night in order to reflect Marine complacency and to prevent too strong of a defensive line from forming too quickly. Since the Jarheads were under No Move, U.S. turn 2 also passed uneventfully, although roughly half of the wounded, sensing something in the still night air, began to arm themselves. Start of turn 2 the Japanese moving towards the 105 battery strayed, as did some of the skirmishers, slowing elements of the attack. Turn 3 witnessed the Marine roadblock enveloped by the IJA main force. Per SSR 9, the Marines have war dogs:
8636
On a 1 or 2 dr adjacent Japanese units lose concealment. The war dogs at the roadblock picked up the scent and the battle began. End of Japanese turn 2 the Marines on board 75 were almost surrounded and made a run for it next turn. In the ensuing firefight the 8-1 died and his squad broke, another squad died in HtH, and the third squad went berserk and died turn 3.

By IJA turn 3, all but one of the Marine wounded had armed themselves. I was really surprised at how hot the dice were during my first couple of RpHs.
8637

The Japanese started moving towards the 9a B12 jungle copse, where two 4-5-8s desperately tried to buy the camp time. Their efforts provoked an IJA squad into going berserk, and one squad broke while the other died in CC. Marine turn 3 witnessed a scramble to form defensive positions, with the crews of the dozer and 105s leaping into action. The walking wounded hobbled out of their tents to form a firing line running F14, G17, G19 that was quickly reinforced by a jeep toting a AAMG. Japanese turn 4 saw the first of several banzai charges. This one resulted in melees in the F13-E14 tent line that went on for two turns. The Kabar on Katana carnage ultimately left a marine HS standing after the red mist settled.
8638

Aside from the stack still moving on the gun line, most of the IJA were now in the B12 copse, with smaller group of skirmisher HS and 9-0 north skirting the C18-D19 tree line. The tank dozer and a 5-5-8 reinforcement buttressed the line of walking wounded steeling themselves for another banzai charge.

It came in turn 5 as three 2nd liners, two step reduced squads, and a HS led by a 9-1 leader charged the center of the line. I’m critical of banzai charges. Sure, they’re way cool but will often leave the Japanese player with a greatly diminished OBA without a whole lot of gain. The results that occurred support my argument. Three squads KIA’ed on a snakeyes point blank die roll. One squad and a HS reached the Marine line but died in CC after casualty reducing a marine squad. There really wasn’t anything left by this point, other than two squads in the center of the map and the stack creeping through the jungle to set up on the gun line.

Turn 6, the two surviving IJA squads in the center headed south towards the G10 VC hex while the skirmishers in the north moved towards the marine line in an act of apparent suicide, er, I mean true banzai fashion. The marines guarding the center lost a 7-0 to the Japanese sniper, and the accompanying squad broke. The path to G10 looked open. However, one Japanese squad was reduced to a HS by rifle fire and the second pinned in F11. Turn 7, the Marine 9-2 managed to rally a DM’ed squad and defensive fire this turn again pinned the remaining IJA squad and broke the HS making a final push on G10.

The IJA stack in the south charged the gun line and only a HS managed to survive the hail of canister and .50 cal fire to take out a crew. U.S turn 7 it was clear the battle was over.

8639

During our postmortem, Doug revealed his plan was to thrust directly into the backfield, while sending another stack to knock out the guns. This force would then sweep north towards G10 linking up with the northern main force. However, too many wounded converted to 4-5-8s and the banzais he launched to quickly cover ground decimated his OB.

I enjoyed this scenario- it was an interesting situation with several intriguing SSRs that enhance its replayability. If the dice are cold and those 4-5-8s don’t start materializing the Marine player could be in real trouble. Although I didn’t use them, the trucks add another dimension to the scenario, allowing the American player to quickly shift forces or load up the wounded and transport them to another location in hopes that they convert next turn. Not to mention the possibility to hitch up a 105 and take it to a crisis area.

Grumble Jones describes his scenarios as “basement quality” but I think that with a little fine tuning this could be a published piece and that it speaks to his abilities as a scenario designer. If I was going to look at this from a playtesting perspective I’d recommend some SSR clarity in terms of whether or not the Marines could move the first two turns. Personally, I felt it would have been disappointing to have the Japanese encounter a fully prepared line as early as turn 2, which is why we went with no movement for the Marines on turns 1 & 2, in order to give the Japanese time to deal with the roadblock, reorganize and move towards a camp that was by that point being called out to its defense. Otherwise the IJA could have faced a very well developed defense or even a counter attack. After all, rear area units wouldn’t have been manning positions at night without clear indication an attack was imminent. The historical background on the scenario card read as if the Marines were caught relatively unprepared, so I think some kind of SSR restriction is needed to reflect that. I also would have liked a little bit more autonomy in terms of the placement of defensive units. Aside from deciding where to place SWs or particular leaders within SSR setup areas I didn’t feel like I had that much opportunity to influence the deployment of my squads.

Of course, neither of these issues prevented us from having a really good time, which is ultimately what ASL is all about and I look forward to trying a few more of GJ’s scenarios in the future.
 

Grumblejones

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I’m a big fan of the Grumble Jones ASL blog and regularly read his AARs. In fact, coming across the blog helped inspire me to start playing again last spring, after a five year hiatus due to work, school, and family commitments.

GJ has been posting monthly scenarios for a while now and I suggested giving GJ033 Sake at Sunrise a spin for our weekend meeting. Not only did it look intriguing but several years ago I played SP155 Casualties, Cooks, and Corpsmen which covers the same action. I thought GJ033 looked like it provided the opportunity for a larger and more detailed playing of the dramatic Japanese assault on the Third Marine Division’s rear area during the recapture of Guam.

The scenario pits 20 Japanese 2nd liners equipped with a handful of mmgs and lmgs with some decent leadership against a small Marine security force and a mixed bag of POGs- clerks, cooks, and some artillery crews. Most interestingly, there are eight prisoner counters representing wounded who on a RpH die roll of 1 or 2 turn into a 4-5-8 squad of walking wounded. The Marines also get a couple of mmgs, a .50 cal, three 105 howitzers, and a tank dozer. There are several trucks placed around the camp as well as a jeep with an AAMG. The first two turns have NVR of 4 hexes. G10 is the victory hex- if the IJA capture this, they win immediately, otherwise the players total up CVP. The Japanese are drunk on sake and therefore lose their stealth modifier.
View attachment 8634

My Marines set up was dictated by SSR, with a small Marine force consisting of 3 5-5-8s, a mmg, bazooka, and 8-1 guarding a board 75 roadblock located at BB3. Another security force sets up within four hexes of 9a G10 and I extended a line of wire in front to hinder any Japanese attempting to cut through the jungle on the center of the map or slow down the banzai charge that was sure to materialize at some point. The guns, crews, and wounded all have assigned set up hexes per SSR 8. The board 9a huts/buildings are, according to SSR 4, large tents representing the Marine camp.
View attachment 8635

The Japanese entered on board 75, one stack immediately turned southwest, headed for the 105 battery. A skirmish line accompanied by two other larger stacks headed directly for the roadblock, and a three stack force started moving down the trail towards it as well. IJA turn 1 passed as peacefully as any other tropical night on Guam. On to American turn 1.

In the absence of clear SSR guidelines, in order give the Japanese a fighting chance, we decided to play the first two turns as Night in order to reflect Marine complacency and to prevent too strong of a defensive line from forming too quickly. Since the Jarheads were under No Move, U.S. turn 2 also passed uneventfully, although roughly half of the wounded, sensing something in the still night air, began to arm themselves. Start of turn 2 the Japanese moving towards the 105 battery strayed, as did some of the skirmishers, slowing elements of the attack. Turn 3 witnessed the Marine roadblock enveloped by the IJA main force. Per SSR 9, the Marines have war dogs:
View attachment 8636
On a 1 or 2 dr adjacent Japanese units lose concealment. The war dogs at the roadblock picked up the scent and the battle began. End of Japanese turn 2 the Marines on board 75 were almost surrounded and made a run for it next turn. In the ensuing firefight the 8-1 died and his squad broke, another squad died in HtH, and the third squad went berserk and died turn 3.

By IJA turn 3, all but one of the Marine wounded had armed themselves. I was really surprised at how hot the dice were during my first couple of RpHs.
View attachment 8637

The Japanese started moving towards the 9a B12 jungle copse, where two 4-5-8s desperately tried to buy the camp time. Their efforts provoked an IJA squad into going berserk, and one squad broke while the other died in CC. Marine turn 3 witnessed a scramble to form defensive positions, with the crews of the dozer and 105s leaping into action. The walking wounded hobbled out of their tents to form a firing line running F14, G17, G19 that was quickly reinforced by a jeep toting a AAMG. Japanese turn 4 saw the first of several banzai charges. This one resulted in melees in the F13-E14 tent line that went on for two turns. The Kabar on Katana carnage ultimately left a marine HS standing after the red mist settled.
View attachment 8638

Aside from the stack still moving on the gun line, most of the IJA were now in the B12 copse, with smaller group of skirmisher HS and 9-0 north skirting the C18-D19 tree line. The tank dozer and a 5-5-8 reinforcement buttressed the line of walking wounded steeling themselves for another banzai charge.

It came in turn 5 as three 2nd liners, two step reduced squads, and a HS led by a 9-1 leader charged the center of the line. I’m critical of banzai charges. Sure, they’re way cool but will often leave the Japanese player with a greatly diminished OBA without a whole lot of gain. The results that occurred support my argument. Three squads KIA’ed on a snakeyes point blank die roll. One squad and a HS reached the Marine line but died in CC after casualty reducing a marine squad. There really wasn’t anything left by this point, other than two squads in the center of the map and the stack creeping through the jungle to set up on the gun line.

Turn 6, the two surviving IJA squads in the center headed south towards the G10 VC hex while the skirmishers in the north moved towards the marine line in an act of apparent suicide, er, I mean true banzai fashion. The marines guarding the center lost a 7-0 to the Japanese sniper, and the accompanying squad broke. The path to G10 looked open. However, one Japanese squad was reduced to a HS by rifle fire and the second pinned in F11. Turn 7, the Marine 9-2 managed to rally a DM’ed squad and defensive fire this turn again pinned the remaining IJA squad and broke the HS making a final push on G10.

The IJA stack in the south charged the gun line and only a HS managed to survive the hail of canister and .50 cal fire to take out a crew. U.S turn 7 it was clear the battle was over.

View attachment 8639

During our postmortem, Doug revealed his plan was to thrust directly into the backfield, while sending another stack to knock out the guns. This force would then sweep north towards G10 linking up with the northern main force. However, too many wounded converted to 4-5-8s and the banzais he launched to quickly cover ground decimated his OB.

I enjoyed this scenario- it was an interesting situation with several intriguing SSRs that enhance its replayability. If the dice are cold and those 4-5-8s don’t start materializing the Marine player could be in real trouble. Although I didn’t use them, the trucks add another dimension to the scenario, allowing the American player to quickly shift forces or load up the wounded and transport them to another location in hopes that they convert next turn. Not to mention the possibility to hitch up a 105 and take it to a crisis area.

Grumble Jones describes his scenarios as “basement quality” but I think that with a little fine tuning this could be a published piece and that it speaks to his abilities as a scenario designer. If I was going to look at this from a playtesting perspective I’d recommend some SSR clarity in terms of whether or not the Marines could move the first two turns. Personally, I felt it would have been disappointing to have the Japanese encounter a fully prepared line as early as turn 2, which is why we went with no movement for the Marines on turns 1 & 2, in order to give the Japanese time to deal with the roadblock, reorganize and move towards a camp that was by that point being called out to its defense. Otherwise the IJA could have faced a very well developed defense or even a counter attack. After all, rear area units wouldn’t have been manning positions at night without clear indication an attack was imminent. The historical background on the scenario card read as if the Marines were caught relatively unprepared, so I think some kind of SSR restriction is needed to reflect that. I also would have liked a little bit more autonomy in terms of the placement of defensive units. Aside from deciding where to place SWs or particular leaders within SSR setup areas I didn’t feel like I had that much opportunity to influence the deployment of my squads.

Of course, neither of these issues prevented us from having a really good time, which is ultimately what ASL is all about and I look forward to trying a few more of GJ’s scenarios in the future.
Thanks for playing the scenario!! Your AAR is first rate. Really enjoyed reading it. I'll see about adding your SSR recommendations and update the scenario. Thanks so much!
 

Mike205

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Thanks for playing the scenario!! Your AAR is first rate. Really enjoyed reading it. I'll see about adding your SSR recommendations and update the scenario. Thanks so much!
Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed it- we certainly had a great time playing it. I probably shouldn't say this publicly but I thought it was much better than SP155, and the war dogs were a nice addition. Now I've got my eye on playing Daedalus Takes Flight- it will be a good excuse to pick up WO 2012. Thanks for making my Monday mornings enjoyable with your blog posts and for sharing your scenarios!
 

bendizoid

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I’m a big fan of the Grumble Jones ASL blog and regularly read his AARs. In fact, coming across the blog helped inspire me to start playing again last spring, after a five year hiatus due to work, school, and family commitments.

GJ has been posting monthly scenarios for a while now and I suggested giving GJ033 Sake at Sunrise a spin for our weekend meeting. Not only did it look intriguing but several years ago I played SP155 Casualties, Cooks, and Corpsmen which covers the same action. I thought GJ033 looked like it provided the opportunity for a larger and more detailed playing of the dramatic Japanese assault on the Third Marine Division’s rear area during the recapture of Guam.

The scenario pits 20 Japanese 2nd liners equipped with a handful of mmgs and lmgs with some decent leadership against a small Marine security force and a mixed bag of POGs- clerks, cooks, and some artillery crews. Most interestingly, there are eight prisoner counters representing wounded who on a RpH die roll of 1 or 2 turn into a 4-5-8 squad of walking wounded. The Marines also get a couple of mmgs, a .50 cal, three 105 howitzers, and a tank dozer. There are several trucks placed around the camp as well as a jeep with an AAMG. The first two turns have NVR of 4 hexes. G10 is the victory hex- if the IJA capture this, they win immediately, otherwise the players total up CVP. The Japanese are drunk on sake and therefore lose their stealth modifier.
View attachment 8634

My Marines set up was dictated by SSR, with a small Marine force consisting of 3 5-5-8s, a mmg, bazooka, and 8-1 guarding a board 75 roadblock located at BB3. Another security force sets up within four hexes of 9a G10 and I extended a line of wire in front to hinder any Japanese attempting to cut through the jungle on the center of the map or slow down the banzai charge that was sure to materialize at some point. The guns, crews, and wounded all have assigned set up hexes per SSR 8. The board 9a huts/buildings are, according to SSR 4, large tents representing the Marine camp.
View attachment 8635

The Japanese entered on board 75, one stack immediately turned southwest, headed for the 105 battery. A skirmish line accompanied by two other larger stacks headed directly for the roadblock, and a three stack force started moving down the trail towards it as well. IJA turn 1 passed as peacefully as any other tropical night on Guam. On to American turn 1.

In the absence of clear SSR guidelines, in order give the Japanese a fighting chance, we decided to play the first two turns as Night in order to reflect Marine complacency and to prevent too strong of a defensive line from forming too quickly. Since the Jarheads were under No Move, U.S. turn 2 also passed uneventfully, although roughly half of the wounded, sensing something in the still night air, began to arm themselves. Start of turn 2 the Japanese moving towards the 105 battery strayed, as did some of the skirmishers, slowing elements of the attack. Turn 3 witnessed the Marine roadblock enveloped by the IJA main force. Per SSR 9, the Marines have war dogs:
View attachment 8636
On a 1 or 2 dr adjacent Japanese units lose concealment. The war dogs at the roadblock picked up the scent and the battle began. End of Japanese turn 2 the Marines on board 75 were almost surrounded and made a run for it next turn. In the ensuing firefight the 8-1 died and his squad broke, another squad died in HtH, and the third squad went berserk and died turn 3.

By IJA turn 3, all but one of the Marine wounded had armed themselves. I was really surprised at how hot the dice were during my first couple of RpHs.
View attachment 8637

The Japanese started moving towards the 9a B12 jungle copse, where two 4-5-8s desperately tried to buy the camp time. Their efforts provoked an IJA squad into going berserk, and one squad broke while the other died in CC. Marine turn 3 witnessed a scramble to form defensive positions, with the crews of the dozer and 105s leaping into action. The walking wounded hobbled out of their tents to form a firing line running F14, G17, G19 that was quickly reinforced by a jeep toting a AAMG. Japanese turn 4 saw the first of several banzai charges. This one resulted in melees in the F13-E14 tent line that went on for two turns. The Kabar on Katana carnage ultimately left a marine HS standing after the red mist settled.
View attachment 8638

Aside from the stack still moving on the gun line, most of the IJA were now in the B12 copse, with smaller group of skirmisher HS and 9-0 north skirting the C18-D19 tree line. The tank dozer and a 5-5-8 reinforcement buttressed the line of walking wounded steeling themselves for another banzai charge.

It came in turn 5 as three 2nd liners, two step reduced squads, and a HS led by a 9-1 leader charged the center of the line. I’m critical of banzai charges. Sure, they’re way cool but will often leave the Japanese player with a greatly diminished OBA without a whole lot of gain. The results that occurred support my argument. Three squads KIA’ed on a snakeyes point blank die roll. One squad and a HS reached the Marine line but died in CC after casualty reducing a marine squad. There really wasn’t anything left by this point, other than two squads in the center of the map and the stack creeping through the jungle to set up on the gun line.

Turn 6, the two surviving IJA squads in the center headed south towards the G10 VC hex while the skirmishers in the north moved towards the marine line in an act of apparent suicide, er, I mean true banzai fashion. The marines guarding the center lost a 7-0 to the Japanese sniper, and the accompanying squad broke. The path to G10 looked open. However, one Japanese squad was reduced to a HS by rifle fire and the second pinned in F11. Turn 7, the Marine 9-2 managed to rally a DM’ed squad and defensive fire this turn again pinned the remaining IJA squad and broke the HS making a final push on G10.

The IJA stack in the south charged the gun line and only a HS managed to survive the hail of canister and .50 cal fire to take out a crew. U.S turn 7 it was clear the battle was over.

View attachment 8639

During our postmortem, Doug revealed his plan was to thrust directly into the backfield, while sending another stack to knock out the guns. This force would then sweep north towards G10 linking up with the northern main force. However, too many wounded converted to 4-5-8s and the banzais he launched to quickly cover ground decimated his OB.

I enjoyed this scenario- it was an interesting situation with several intriguing SSRs that enhance its replayability. If the dice are cold and those 4-5-8s don’t start materializing the Marine player could be in real trouble. Although I didn’t use them, the trucks add another dimension to the scenario, allowing the American player to quickly shift forces or load up the wounded and transport them to another location in hopes that they convert next turn. Not to mention the possibility to hitch up a 105 and take it to a crisis area.

Grumble Jones describes his scenarios as “basement quality” but I think that with a little fine tuning this could be a published piece and that it speaks to his abilities as a scenario designer. If I was going to look at this from a playtesting perspective I’d recommend some SSR clarity in terms of whether or not the Marines could move the first two turns. Personally, I felt it would have been disappointing to have the Japanese encounter a fully prepared line as early as turn 2, which is why we went with no movement for the Marines on turns 1 & 2, in order to give the Japanese time to deal with the roadblock, reorganize and move towards a camp that was by that point being called out to its defense. Otherwise the IJA could have faced a very well developed defense or even a counter attack. After all, rear area units wouldn’t have been manning positions at night without clear indication an attack was imminent. The historical background on the scenario card read as if the Marines were caught relatively unprepared, so I think some kind of SSR restriction is needed to reflect that. I also would have liked a little bit more autonomy in terms of the placement of defensive units. Aside from deciding where to place SWs or particular leaders within SSR setup areas I didn’t feel like I had that much opportunity to influence the deployment of my squads.

Of course, neither of these issues prevented us from having a really good time, which is ultimately what ASL is all about and I look forward to trying a few more of GJ’s scenarios in the future.
That little dog was a hero, he brought cables through a little sewer hole for the marines. Uuu Rah.
 

jrv

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That little dog was a hero, he brought cables through a little sewer hole for the marines. Uuu Rah.
I think she was not with the marines. I think she was army (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoky_(dog)).

wikipedia said:
As described by Wynne, "Smoky Served in the South Pacific with the 5th Air Force, 26th Photo Recon Squadron [and] flew 12 air/sea rescue and photo reconnaissance missions."

Smoky's tricks enabled her to become a hero in her own right by helping engineers to build an airbase at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, a crucial airfield for Allied war planes. Early in the Luzon campaign, the Signal Corps needed to run a telegraph wire through a 70-foot-long (21 m) pipe that was 8 inches (200 mm) in diameter. Soil had sifted through the corrugated sections at the pipe joinings, filling as much as half of the pipe, giving Smoky only four inches of headway in some places.
There is a memorial to Smoky in Cleveland, not too far from ASLOK. I didn't get a chance to visit it last year. I will see if I can this year.

JR
 

Grumblejones

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I’m a big fan of the Grumble Jones ASL blog and regularly read his AARs. In fact, coming across the blog helped inspire me to start playing again last spring, after a five year hiatus due to work, school, and family commitments.

GJ has been posting monthly scenarios for a while now and I suggested giving GJ033 Sake at Sunrise a spin for our weekend meeting. Not only did it look intriguing but several years ago I played SP155 Casualties, Cooks, and Corpsmen which covers the same action. I thought GJ033 looked like it provided the opportunity for a larger and more detailed playing of the dramatic Japanese assault on the Third Marine Division’s rear area during the recapture of Guam.

The scenario pits 20 Japanese 2nd liners equipped with a handful of mmgs and lmgs with some decent leadership against a small Marine security force and a mixed bag of POGs- clerks, cooks, and some artillery crews. Most interestingly, there are eight prisoner counters representing wounded who on a RpH die roll of 1 or 2 turn into a 4-5-8 squad of walking wounded. The Marines also get a couple of mmgs, a .50 cal, three 105 howitzers, and a tank dozer. There are several trucks placed around the camp as well as a jeep with an AAMG. The first two turns have NVR of 4 hexes. G10 is the victory hex- if the IJA capture this, they win immediately, otherwise the players total up CVP. The Japanese are drunk on sake and therefore lose their stealth modifier.
View attachment 8634

My Marines set up was dictated by SSR, with a small Marine force consisting of 3 5-5-8s, a mmg, bazooka, and 8-1 guarding a board 75 roadblock located at BB3. Another security force sets up within four hexes of 9a G10 and I extended a line of wire in front to hinder any Japanese attempting to cut through the jungle on the center of the map or slow down the banzai charge that was sure to materialize at some point. The guns, crews, and wounded all have assigned set up hexes per SSR 8. The board 9a huts/buildings are, according to SSR 4, large tents representing the Marine camp.
View attachment 8635

The Japanese entered on board 75, one stack immediately turned southwest, headed for the 105 battery. A skirmish line accompanied by two other larger stacks headed directly for the roadblock, and a three stack force started moving down the trail towards it as well. IJA turn 1 passed as peacefully as any other tropical night on Guam. On to American turn 1.

In the absence of clear SSR guidelines, in order give the Japanese a fighting chance, we decided to play the first two turns as Night in order to reflect Marine complacency and to prevent too strong of a defensive line from forming too quickly. Since the Jarheads were under No Move, U.S. turn 2 also passed uneventfully, although roughly half of the wounded, sensing something in the still night air, began to arm themselves. Start of turn 2 the Japanese moving towards the 105 battery strayed, as did some of the skirmishers, slowing elements of the attack. Turn 3 witnessed the Marine roadblock enveloped by the IJA main force. Per SSR 9, the Marines have war dogs:
View attachment 8636
On a 1 or 2 dr adjacent Japanese units lose concealment. The war dogs at the roadblock picked up the scent and the battle began. End of Japanese turn 2 the Marines on board 75 were almost surrounded and made a run for it next turn. In the ensuing firefight the 8-1 died and his squad broke, another squad died in HtH, and the third squad went berserk and died turn 3.

By IJA turn 3, all but one of the Marine wounded had armed themselves. I was really surprised at how hot the dice were during my first couple of RpHs.
View attachment 8637

The Japanese started moving towards the 9a B12 jungle copse, where two 4-5-8s desperately tried to buy the camp time. Their efforts provoked an IJA squad into going berserk, and one squad broke while the other died in CC. Marine turn 3 witnessed a scramble to form defensive positions, with the crews of the dozer and 105s leaping into action. The walking wounded hobbled out of their tents to form a firing line running F14, G17, G19 that was quickly reinforced by a jeep toting a AAMG. Japanese turn 4 saw the first of several banzai charges. This one resulted in melees in the F13-E14 tent line that went on for two turns. The Kabar on Katana carnage ultimately left a marine HS standing after the red mist settled.
View attachment 8638

Aside from the stack still moving on the gun line, most of the IJA were now in the B12 copse, with smaller group of skirmisher HS and 9-0 north skirting the C18-D19 tree line. The tank dozer and a 5-5-8 reinforcement buttressed the line of walking wounded steeling themselves for another banzai charge.

It came in turn 5 as three 2nd liners, two step reduced squads, and a HS led by a 9-1 leader charged the center of the line. I’m critical of banzai charges. Sure, they’re way cool but will often leave the Japanese player with a greatly diminished OBA without a whole lot of gain. The results that occurred support my argument. Three squads KIA’ed on a snakeyes point blank die roll. One squad and a HS reached the Marine line but died in CC after casualty reducing a marine squad. There really wasn’t anything left by this point, other than two squads in the center of the map and the stack creeping through the jungle to set up on the gun line.

Turn 6, the two surviving IJA squads in the center headed south towards the G10 VC hex while the skirmishers in the north moved towards the marine line in an act of apparent suicide, er, I mean true banzai fashion. The marines guarding the center lost a 7-0 to the Japanese sniper, and the accompanying squad broke. The path to G10 looked open. However, one Japanese squad was reduced to a HS by rifle fire and the second pinned in F11. Turn 7, the Marine 9-2 managed to rally a DM’ed squad and defensive fire this turn again pinned the remaining IJA squad and broke the HS making a final push on G10.

The IJA stack in the south charged the gun line and only a HS managed to survive the hail of canister and .50 cal fire to take out a crew. U.S turn 7 it was clear the battle was over.

View attachment 8639

During our postmortem, Doug revealed his plan was to thrust directly into the backfield, while sending another stack to knock out the guns. This force would then sweep north towards G10 linking up with the northern main force. However, too many wounded converted to 4-5-8s and the banzais he launched to quickly cover ground decimated his OB.

I enjoyed this scenario- it was an interesting situation with several intriguing SSRs that enhance its replayability. If the dice are cold and those 4-5-8s don’t start materializing the Marine player could be in real trouble. Although I didn’t use them, the trucks add another dimension to the scenario, allowing the American player to quickly shift forces or load up the wounded and transport them to another location in hopes that they convert next turn. Not to mention the possibility to hitch up a 105 and take it to a crisis area.

Grumble Jones describes his scenarios as “basement quality” but I think that with a little fine tuning this could be a published piece and that it speaks to his abilities as a scenario designer. If I was going to look at this from a playtesting perspective I’d recommend some SSR clarity in terms of whether or not the Marines could move the first two turns. Personally, I felt it would have been disappointing to have the Japanese encounter a fully prepared line as early as turn 2, which is why we went with no movement for the Marines on turns 1 & 2, in order to give the Japanese time to deal with the roadblock, reorganize and move towards a camp that was by that point being called out to its defense. Otherwise the IJA could have faced a very well developed defense or even a counter attack. After all, rear area units wouldn’t have been manning positions at night without clear indication an attack was imminent. The historical background on the scenario card read as if the Marines were caught relatively unprepared, so I think some kind of SSR restriction is needed to reflect that. I also would have liked a little bit more autonomy in terms of the placement of defensive units. Aside from deciding where to place SWs or particular leaders within SSR setup areas I didn’t feel like I had that much opportunity to influence the deployment of my squads.

Of course, neither of these issues prevented us from having a really good time, which is ultimately what ASL is all about and I look forward to trying a few more of GJ’s scenarios in the future.
 

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Mike205

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Nice! Thanks very much for sending the revised card to me- I'm looking forward to playing this again sometime!
 
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