Relearning Japanese Part 2: Cibik's Ridge ASL 67

hayman

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ASL 67 ‘Cibik’s Ridge’
Pre-Game –
Here is the second instalment of ‘re-learning Japanese’. This scenario is an ‘oldie’ (like me) from the early PTO era, with more terrain variants than the previous scenario (Strongpoint 11), including dense jungle (but light jungle on the overlay portion of the map), bamboo, & jungled hills. The Marine defenders start HIP and the Japanese attackers have to use columns to move at the start of the game. To defend the hilltop (the Japanese win if they control 9+ of the level-3 hill hexes, without losing 22 CVP) the U.S. troops put 3 MG’s on the hill and one forward in ambush. The LtMtr’s are a problem due to the very limited 3 hex minimum range (with not many LOS’s reaching that far); one goes forward, and one goes on the hill with a spotter ½ squad adjacent. The American objective is to keep HIP for as long as possible & retain the all-important high ground. The Japanese will start with 3 columns: 2 up front, with one on the main trail, the other to the right; the 3rd column will sit back on the main trail. Hopefully the forward units will clear a path for the reserve column to assault rapidly up the hill path, with the right flank column hooking onto the hill to draw away American reserves and distract the attention from the main assault column.
 

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Game Turn 1 –
In the Japanese Movement Phase, the Marine ½ squad lying on the main trail fires, with no effect, on the head of the first column, disbanding it. On the Japanese right flank, a surprise mortar round gains a CH straight away, but the 2MC sends the full squad berserk (but motionless, due to the column disbanding). The 3rd column follows up the main trail but remains out of U.S. LOS. Return fire in the DefFire Phase has no effect on the Marines. The Japanese Advance avoids the LtMtr boresighted hex.
In the U.S. turn, in PrepFire, the LtMtr ½ squad in the forward Foxhole fires 6(0) at the adjacent Japanese ½ squad for a 1MC that they pass. In Movement, the Marine ½ squad by the central pond bugs out to gain the hillside path. In DefFire several shots on the entrenched Marine LtMtr unit only lead to a cold American sniper shot. The Japanese assemble a LtMtr & MMG. In Advance, the Marine ½ squad moves into the level-1 hillside jungle.
 

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Game Turn 2 –
No Rally or PrepFire activity for the Japanese. Movement sees the berserker charge through the kunai: the U.S. LtMtr team hold fire until the enemy are adjacent; a 6(-1) shot is an ignored PTC result, followed by a 2(-1) SFFire shot that has no effect. With the right flank tied up, the Japanese ½ squads go CX to scout ahead: the right hand ½ squad makes it to the base of the hill, the centre ½ squad climbs up the path to the level-2 hex behind the Marine ½ squad, so a Marine squad + 8-1 leader reveal themselves adjacent to the path & open up with 12(0) for a 1MC that the scout ½ squad just fails & breaks. A full squad goes CX on a left flanking manoeuvre. The follow up units on the Japanese right flank are immediately struck by a 20(-2) shot from a hidden Marine MMG squad near the LtMtr team: with a 2MC resulting in an ELR striping of the Japanese squad, who completes their movement to the jungle path behind the Marine MMG’ers. With the U.S. MG on a fixed arc, the Japanese 9-0 leader leads a LMG squad through the jungle fringe to come adjacent to the Marines, who fire SDF of 6(+1) for a 1MC that both units pass. The remaining Japanese units surge up the main trail, with the rear column still intact at the base of the hill. In the DefFire Phase, the squad + 8-1 Final Fire 6(0) at the broken ½ squad for a 2MC that they pass. The now surrounded U.S. MMG squad chooses not to Final Protective Fire, as a break result will lead to Failure to Rout death. In Advancing Fire, two shots at the Marine MG’ers have no result. The berserker fires 6(+2) at the LtMtr ½ squad for a 1MC that is just failed, sealing their fate presumably. In Rout, the broken Japanese ½ squad runs downhill to the 10-0 leader at the base of the hill; the broken U.S. LtMtr team cannot head toward another Japanese unit & can only Rout into palm trees adjacent to the berserker squad, therefore they die for FTR (the Japanese squad retains their berserker status). In Advance, the central column moves uphill one hex and disbands upon moving adjacent to, & sighting, the Marine ½ squad. All other Japanese units move forward, with the MMG crew & berserker (can’t move) left to deal with the Marine MMG squad. No CC. Given the restrictive LOS in the dense jungle terrain, most Japanese units gain concealment.
In the U.S. turn, the Japanese ½ squad rallies under the 10-0 officer. No PrepFire; in Movement, the Marine ½ squad on the hill skulks to level-2, while the MMG squad in the backfield AM’s onto the jungle path & is DefFired on by the adjacent squads with 12(+3) for no result, and a SFF of 6(+3) shot also for no effect. The return fire in the Advancing Fire Phase is a 6(+2) cowering shot with no result. No Rout; in Advance, the U.S. ½ squad moves onto the path at level-2, while the MMG squad decides not to take on the Japanese squads in dense jungle CC, so moves off the path to the north.
 

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Game Turn 3 –
No Rally actions; no PrepFire. Movement starts with the berserker ‘charging’ the last known position of a U.S. unit, but stops in the dense jungle with no LOS to an enemy unit (berserk status removed). The squad on the Japanese left gains the hill & is fired on by a revealed HMG for no effect. In the centre, a concealed squad AM’s uphill onto the jungle path & is also fired on by another newly revealed HMG directed by a 9-2 officer; with a 6(-1) shot for a 1MC that they pass with snake eyes that HoB sends them berserk, they then use another 4MF to charge the MG nest: SFF is 8(-1) resulting in a KIA! (but reveals another ½ squad in the Foxhole). The ½ squad on the right moves along the level-1 hillside. A squad on the right goes CX & avoids the Marine squad to gain the hill, but a spotter ½ squad brings down LtMtr fire for a PTC that the Japanese pass. A concealed stack of two ½ squads w/LtMtr AM adjacent to the Marine MMG squad, who fire 8(+2) for a PTC that strips concealment & pins the non-Mtr ½ squad. The striped squad in the same hex AM’s into the light jungle, still adjacent to the U.S. MMG squad; a SFF shot of 6(+1) without the MMG (out of fixed CA) results in a NMC that the Japanese fail (reduced to a ½ squad).The concealed units in the centre AM into the level-1 jungle & the last of the dense jungle hexes before the hill. In DefFire, two shots from the U.S. centre & right result in NMC’s that stripe 2 Japanese squads. In Advancing Fire, two shots result in a pinned U.S. ½ squad on the hill path (warm U.S. sniper pins the formerly berserker Japanese squad in the backfield). In Rout, the recently pinned Marine ½ squad on the trail voluntarily breaks & routs uphill. In Advance, the bulk of the Japanese force continues up the centre of the hill; a LMG squad + leader peel off to the right to remain concealed adjacent to the Marine MMG squad (who are attacked by a Japanese ½ squad in CC); while on either flank of the hill, Japanese units continue to infiltrate around the American edges. In CC, no ambush in the ½ squad vs full Marine squad CC; Hand-to-Hand results in the death of the attackers, leaving a Japanese LtMtr in the Marine’s hex.
In the U.S. turn, the broken DM Marine ½ squad self-rallies on a low roll. In PrepFire, a Marine squad with MMG in a Foxhole reveals themselves on the U.S. right flank & fires 20(0) at the adjacent striped Japanese squad for a 2MC result that they fail (reduced to a ½ squad). Toward the centre, the Foxholed squad + 8-1 fires point blank at the downslope Japanese stack with 12(0) for a K/3 that fatally wounds the NCO, stripes the LMG squad & pins them on the LLTC. A level-2 officer-led HMG fires at the Japanese MMG crew in dense jungle with 6(0) for no effect. The last PrepFire shot is from the stricken MMG squad on the U.S. left flank who fires 20/8(+2) at the adjacent stack with concealed & unconcealed units for a 1MC/NE result (with MMG RoF), that the Japanese ½ squad passes; the 8/4(+2) RoF shot results in a 2MC/1MC that breaks the ½ squad, wounds the leader & stripes the LMG squad (a good American fire phase). In Movement, the right flank U.S. HMG squad AM’s out of their FH, as does the spotter ½ squad in the other HMG FH hex. The LtMtr ½ squad gives up HIP, drops their weapon & climbs out of the jungle gully to secure the left rear flank against the marauding Japanese (that’s all the HIP units revealed). In DefFire, the Japanese fire six shots for one lousy pinned squad result. No Advancing Fire; the one Rout sees the broken Japanese ½ squad & wounded leader shift one hex into the jungle. In Advance, the U.S. forces consolidate on the level-3 hilltop, trying to develop some defence in depth. The isolated MMG squad tries to fight back to the hill by going into CC with a CX 2nd line ½ squad; no ambush in the CC Phase, and the Marines just manage to kill the ½ squad for no harm to themselves. Three U.S. ½ squads gain concealment.
 

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Game Turn 4 –
In Rally, the broken Japanese ½ squad in the dense jungle is rallied by the wounded leader. In PrepFire, the 2 squad + LMG stack on the hillside path fire 16(+1) at the adjacent Marine ½ squad for a 2MC that pins the U.S. unit. In Movement, the ½ squad on the left AM’s uphill to level-2 & is DefFired on by the adjacent MMG squad in the FH with 20(+1) for a 2MC that they fail. A ½ squad & squad continue to move around the Japanese right flank; whilst the remainder of the company consolidate at the foot of the hill. In DefFire, the Marine squad in the Foxhole fires 12(+1) at the adjacent stack for no effect & Final Fires 6(+1) that pins the full LMG squad, CR’s the striped squad after it fails a NMC, and pins the LtMtr ½ squad (stripping their concealment). Three other DefFire shots do no harm. No Advancing Fire; one Japanese ½ squad Routs to a jungle hex on the left flank, one pinned Marine ½ squad voluntarily self-breaks & retreats. In Advance, the 1½ squads continue to inch around the hill on the right; all other units slowly climb the hill, whilst one ½ squad enters CC with the Foxholed Marine squad: the Japanese gain ambush and have a 1-4(-2) attack that eliminates the U.S. squad. Two stacks & a single squad gain concealment out of all LOS.
In the U.S. turn, another DM Marine ½ squad self-rallies! In the only PrepFire, the left flank 9-2 directed HMG fires point blank with 12(-1) at a two ½ squad stack for a 2MC that casualty MC’s (boxcars) one ½ squad to death & breaks the other. During Movement, the isolated MMG squad on the U.S. left climbs onto the level-1 hillside. The MMG squad on the U.S. right leaves their FH & creeps adjacent to the broken Japanese ½ squad (DM’ing them). The nearby HMG team moves onto the hilltop trail, while one ½ squad drops back to cover the rear from Japanese infiltrators. The one DefFire shot in does nothing, most other units have no LOS to American units; on MMG team assemble their weapon on the level-1 trail. The one Advancing Fire shot from the right flank has a 6(+1) for a 1MC result that is failed by the Japanese ½ squad, who rout into the dense jungle in the next Phase. The hillside broken ½ squad routs one hex downhill. In Advance, both the MMG squads edge toward the centre from opposite flanks. The HMG team in the centre drops back along the hilltop path & a couple of ½ squads shuffle positions. No Close Combat.
 

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Game Turn 5 –
With 4 turns to go, and no level-3 hexes conquered, the Japanese prepare to assault & take ground. The Japanese ½ squad on the left rear flank fails to self-rally; the ½ squad in the centre fails to rally under the 10-0 officer. No Japanese PrepFire, the slow creep uphill resumes in the Movement Phase; most units AM’ing & retaining concealment on the trail. The two MMG crews peel off left to secure the flank; a ½ squad Minimum Moves into an uphill bamboo hex & the 1½ squads continue to infiltrate to the back of the hill. No U.S. DefFirstFire, but in the DefFire Phase, the right flank U.S. MMG squad + 8-1 fires 4(0) at the concealed Japanese MMG’ers for a snake-eyes K/2 that kills one crew & stripes the other. A Marine ½ squad fires 6(+1) at the Japanese ½ squad in the bamboo for a cowering No Effect. The 9-2 led HMG ½ squad fires 12/6(-1) against the adjacent Japanese stack for a 3MC/2MC with RoF: the wounded 9-0 passes, the striped LMG squad is reduced to a ½ squad & the full LMG squad stripes, the other squad is pinned (cold Japanese sniper). The Rate of Fire shot of 6(-1) is a PTC result with RoF again: both unpinned units pass; the 3rd shot results in a 2MC (no RoF) that wounds the leader again, reduces the striped LMG squad, breaks the LMG ½ squad & has no effect on the pinned squad (cold U.S. sniper). The HMG team then Final Fires for 6(-1) again for another PTC that the LMG ½ squad passes. The only Advancing Fire shot is from the recently targeted stack against their nemeses in the adjacent FH; with a 4(+2) gaining a 1MC result that the 9-2 passes but pins the ½ squad (cold Japanese sniper). In Rout, the recently broken LMG ½ squad drops back one hex downhill. In Advance, the Japanese inch uphill; the striped MMG crew enters the FH; a single ½ squad goes CX to attack the U.S. HMG team; the infiltration units move to interdict the rear trail. In Close Combat: the extra negative DRM for the U.S. leader manages to just avoid a Japanese ambush; the Japanese 1:2 (-1) Hand-to-Hand attack just misses on a result & the defenders just manage to kill the Japanese ½ squad in return.
In the U.S. turn, the 2 broken Japanese ½ squads rally under the 10-0 officer. One PrepFire from the 9-2 led HMG team targets the adjacent wounded 9-0 & striped LMG squad with
12(-1) for a 2MC (with RoF) that the officer passes & pins the squad. The follow up shot results in a 1MC that the officer passes again, but the squad reduces on a break result. During Movement, the ½ squad + 9-1 leader enter as reserves along the western path [top of photos], the officer moves first & stops in the jungle before the creek, the ½ squad follows but is not shot at by the infiltrating concealed Japanese ½ squad on the jungle hill. The unconcealed U.S. ½ squad on the hilltop trail skulks back; the flanking U.S. MMG squads on either flank both AM toward the centre. Two DefFire shots do no harm to the U.S. forces. No Advancing Fire, no Rout. In Advance, the reinforcements enter the creek; the MMG squads continue to centralise; the 2nd HMG ½ squad (concealed) sets up along the trail, while the skulking ½ squad gets into the FH (& conceals at the end of the turn).
 

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Game Turn 6 –
The Japanese still have 3 turns of movement to capture another 7 level-3 hill hexes, a tough ask on the attackers, with every second break losing another CV Point. Gusts occur this turn; the left rear broken Japanese ½ squad self-rallies and the 10-0 leader recombines two ½ squads into a full strength 2nd line squad. No PrepFire; in Movement, “Banzai”: one leader, one squad & one ½ squad (in 2 adjacent hexes) charge to begin the Phase. The target for the charge is the 9-2 + HMG ½ squad, but the direction is due west to include the concealed U.S. unit on the path: the first and only impulse (as the attackers are adjacent to their enemy) sees the full Japanese squad on the right attacked with 16(-2), with RoF, for a 2MC that the Japanese pass; RoF shot is still 16(-2) for a KIA (RoF still retained), & a warm Japanese sniper targets the very same hex, pinning the HMG ½ squad. The left hand charge with the wounded 9-0 + LMG ½ squad are hit by a 16(0) upon hex entry, RoF retained, for a 1MC that both units pass (cold U.S. sniper); the 2nd shot is 16(0) again for a snake eyes 8(0) KIA result that kills the officer & breaks the ½ squad; 3rd shot (the charge impulse cost 4MF) is not taken due to the cowering Final Fire on the HMG ½ squad [O.K. that charge was unsuccessful, back to normal Movement].The self-rallied ½ squad in the backfield CX’s up on the left flank; a concealed squad moves around the level-2 hexes on the left as well. The striped MMG crew leaves the FH, while a concealed squad on the hill trail AM’s up to level-3. In the U.S. rear, a concealed ½ squad skulks away from the creek & the concealed squad AM’s up the path to move adjacent to 2 concealed U.S. units. In DefFire, the pinned 9-2 led HMG ½ squad fires 6(-1) at the adjacent concealed Japanese unit for a 1MC that stripes the squad; the FinalFire shot of 2(-1) has no result. The CX 8-1 leader + MMG squad will fire 20(+1) at the ½ squad in the level-3 bamboo hex for a 2MC that they fail & break; the 8(+1) FinalFire shot malfunctions the MMG. No Advancing Fire; in Rout, both broken Japanese ½ squads run back down the path to the concealed 10-0 officer. In Advance Phase, the striped squad on the trail engages in CC with the U.S. HMG ½ squad on the trail, while the concealed squad in the U.S. rear attacks the concealed Marine ½ squad at the other end of the trail. The Japanese MMG crew joins the 10-0 & friends, while the concealed squad on the left enters the level-2 woods to threaten that flank. Lastly, the 2nd line LMG squad goes CX climbing the trail to level-3. In Close Combat: in the middle of the trail, no ambush, both units roll 1-1 in H-to-H with the Marines coming out on top. The rear trail CC sees the U.S. ambush the Japanese squad, who die in the 1-2(-1) ‘normal’ CC action. With the loss of the leader & squad in the Banzai charge plus the 2 squads in CC, the Japanese CVP cap is reached and the game is a Marine victory with a full two turns remaining.
 

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Post-Game –
Wow, I thought my Japanese were in a very good position around Turn 3, but it only took the U.S. troops between Turn 3 & Turn 6 to destroy most of them. The high Rate of Fire weapons dwindled the attackers away via striping & CR’s, with all but one CC going the Marines way (those Leathernecks are tough when cornered). Again, I used the Japanese as a frontal assault force, with only a few rear infiltrators; more flank marches in the future. The one Banzai charge only managed to tie up one of the two target hexes, and the rear/flank Japanese were unable to bust into the undefended level-3 hexes. Oh well, onwards to Cape Gloucester…
 

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