Sugarloaf Hill Playtesting Underway!!!

witchbottles

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Well, BD-01 ended tonight with a Japanese win. The Marines need either 3 caves destroyed (the only weapons to do that are 4 DCs) or 1 cave destroyed and both Trenches controlled by Marines at Game End.

Marine casualties were high, but the first cave died in turn 4 with a DC detonation original DR of 1,2 eliminating the 47L ATG and Crew, a -1 leader, and a MMG and crew. With the FT and a set of fanatic HSs commanded by a 9-1 with a DC that could be recovered and brought to bear on the A row cave by Turn 6, the only key to the Marine win was the 7-6-8 with a DC in the N hexrow ADJACENT to the cave with 2 mtrs in it. Those mtrs had trouble hitting anything well - (as did many weapons this game), and it was to the wire in the last Japanese DFPh- with 4 consecutive 2 - flat shots at the 7-6-8, the last one got lucky on a 3,2, NMC and my 7-6-8 went down to broken on a 6,4 DR. As there was only turn 6 MPh/APh left to get someone over to the DC, and only the fanatics with a ldr able to pick them up, but only being able to reach 1 of the caves in time- it was a wash - 2 caves can't win and no one able to get into and win to take both trenches in 1 player turn.

Overall, we felt this scenario is quite tough on the Marines, and we wondered- "Where were the Bazookas that all Marine Companies carried into combat in 1945?" We finally noticed, the larger "2nd assault" scenario in BD-02 does indeed have the Bazookas. Since Co G here in BD-01 is, by introduction paragraph and historically, fresh to the fight in this area making their first push in, we felt the right answer is that to balance this one out, give the Marines their 2 BAZ 45's (with the WP ammo they also provide). And then replay it, and see if having that extra man-portable smoke cover is enough to keep the Marine presence in the game long enough to make the threat to the defenses real for all 6 game turns.

Finally, for balance suggestions to put on the scen card:

Marines: Marines are Elite (C8.2).
Japanese: Japanese receive 1 more Cave Complex Tunnel (for a total of 2).

This provides yet more Smoke/WP opportunities for the Marines and for the Japanese, allows the defenders to link 2 of the in play cave complexes with a tunnel (the first one is an obvious no-brainer to go to the Trenches).

John and I are up for BD-02, the 2nd assault on this sector- and my Japanese are reinforced with a pillbox and some more MGs, including a HMG and a .50 cal. The Marines get 2 companies and their BAZ 45s now for this one coming up. (BD-02).

We decided to play them through swapping sides along the way to prep us for the CG playtest.

KRL, Jon H
 

witchbottles

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The cave was overstacked?

JR
it was. We gaffed a few rules re-breaking ourselves into cave ASL play after hiatus time away from them. As it ended up in play, the overstack resulted in a single ineffective 6,4 DR IFT shot from the MMG that did nothing and the Gun who hit anyway, even if overstacked DRM, on a 1,2, DR with an HE round at a USMC 7-6-8, the effect DR being a 6,5 original DR- so in the end it meant nothing to game play, as the AFPh had the DC going off and rolling a 2,1 original DR on the 30 FP attack- eliminating the cave and all its contents.

For the Marines, this made the A row cave immediately vulnerable losing that MMG/crew/ldr that was helping to cover it by popping into the cave complex and then out into the A11 cave (where only a 2-3-7 HS resided) to shoot at Marines when required.

we also struggled with the Climb counter mechanics of tossing a DC into a Cave from above it - although we finally worked that out.

Its a re-education in progress :)

KRL, Jon H
 

witchbottles

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Nice looking module.
If ya'll need a proofreader let me know and will gladly help out with that.
For any proofreading input- send a PM to "cVan" here on GS forums - Chad is the designer- he would be the point of contact for any proofreading.

KRL, Jon H
 

witchbottles

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Last night's round of action at Sugarloaf - Looks like the S-4 Supply Officer forgot to issue any smoke or WP rounds - out of 5 shots from the gun tubes looking for Smoke or WP - John Knowles got 1 WP round and it was the last one on the tank. Out of 7 attempts for smoke grenades from 7-6-8s (needing a 3 or less), he rolled 7 "5"s for dr's in a row, and the 5-5-8 Assault Engineers , needing a 4 or less, tried twice and rolled a 5 and a 6, for smoke grenades.

John was facing down a .50 cal, a pair of HMGs, an unknown location MMG in a cave somewhere, and a 47L ATG. No smoke cover meant the Marine advance was seriously slowed for 2 full player turns.

Of course, true to par for us in this series, my Japanese HMGs could not stop malf'ing. 7 shots taken, 5 malf's and on repairs , one ate it on a 6 dr. The 47L ATG got some good hits, even when manned by an errant 4-4-7, but only managed to immobilize one of the Shermans. No real problems, they are rolling smoke pots now, and still 3 more THHs and 2 DCs to fear.

The one bright spot was a major ROF tear from the Japanese 50* mtr, taking down a huge stack of Marines, in a 2+1 gene4rated 1MC result, which also triggered the Japanese SAN who promptly pinned the Marine SAN, preventing his going off on a subsequent ROF hit. The Marines, true to form again for us in this series, tried to rally the SMC with an 8-1 assisting, but only succeeded in shooting the 8-0 in the foot instead.

The end of Marine Turn 4 last night finally saw the 47L ATG go down to a DC after the errant step-reduced crew broke on a 12+2 induced 2MC and the HMGs across the valley could not stop malfunctioning.

John's got a fair sized company of flankers on the right - but they also got a still hidden cave / MMGx 228/ 10-1, a pair of 4-4-7s and a DC out there to worry about. (guess what flank they are protecting :D )

KRL, JonH
 

JRKrejsa

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We PTed BD1. Knife fight in a phone booth good! Highlights included me disobeying my own rule that tanks must be escorted by a squad or more when T-H heroes are around. I found a cave, with a 4-4-7 inside with a DC. Of course the rear of the Sherman was to the cave...., with no infantry escort..... Exploding Sherman. The 47mm ATG was not having much luck against the Shermans, but was devastating to Marine infantry. I was not able to get much smoke from the tanks, but they made up for it with a couple of CHs, one an improbable on the 47mm. By mid game there was no way to seal enough caves for the win. But, luck then swung my way. The Marines were able to cross the very open space between Hill 1 and the Loaf West complex. This then led to two melees, on the next to last and last turn. The IJA tried to reinforce, but could not get there. US win.

Both of us thought we were going to lose at different points. Heavy losses for both sides. This seems to portray the vicious nature of this battle. Fun stuff.
 

sunoftzu

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Finished BD-02 with Jon last weekend.

My initial impression of this scenario from a USMC POV was sheer terror !!! Having to advance a long way in open ground vs 2 '-1' leaders, and a ton of SW ROF. Any ROF tear would likely result in a massacre.

For the first two turns, the USMC took it real cautious, and tried every endeavor for some smoke, but the dice wouldn't often oblige, so there was little of it. However the USMC got out of jail big time as Jon rolled a number of HMG malfunctions, and this got me on the map pretty much intact, if not well covered.

With my OoB in a functional state, it took most of what the Japanese possessed to keep my vanguard in check, and this allowed my turn 3 reinforcements to move quickly towards the VC hill with little opposition. Within 3 Movement Phases they were on the heights of Sugar Loaf Hill.

9490

In my turn 6 PFPh, my tanks got a hot PFPh, severely blasting 2 caves (J15, O15) and I got a (Baz'45) WP direct hit on a 3rd (Q15).

By the end of their turn 6, the USMC had infiltrated Sugar Loaf Hill in company strength and eliminated a cave in O16. In their final turn (6), the Japanese attempted suicidal charges, but these were stopped cold by overwhelming USMC FP.

I still think this is a tough scenario for the USMC. I got a bit lucky early on, and that left the Japanese with too much to do when my reinforcements showed up. Its a fun map to play on. A lot to like here.

John.
 
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JRKrejsa

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BD7 "We're Dead Anyway" Later in the battle than prior AARs, Marines coming from the north take another shot at the infamous Sugar Loaf. Not that many Japanese await but they are armed with a 47mm ATG and an 81mm MTR. My opponent couldn't generate much smoke, in spite of having 2 M4A3 75Ws and a 60mm MTR. So, slow going across mostly open ground. One Sherman dies to a side shot, but on come the Marines, blasting away. The end game saw HtH CC on top of the hill as the Japanese had to emerge from the complex and into a trench to contest the hill top. US victory in the end.

Two scenarios into thus HASL and I have to say this shows the brutal nature of the late war fighting at the south end of Okinawa. Both sides bleed each other relentlessly, heavy losses on both sides.

Good scenario.
 

witchbottles

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BD7 "We're Dead Anyway" Later in the battle than prior AARs, Marines coming from the north take another shot at the infamous Sugar Loaf. Not that many Japanese await but they are armed with a 47mm ATG and an 81mm MTR. My opponent couldn't generate much smoke, in spite of having 2 M4A3 75Ws and a 60mm MTR. So, slow going across mostly open ground. One Sherman dies to a side shot, but on come the Marines, blasting away. The end game saw HtH CC on top of the hill as the Japanese had to emerge from the complex and into a trench to contest the hill top. US victory in the end.

Two scenarios into thus HASL and I have to say this shows the brutal nature of the late war fighting at the south end of Okinawa. Both sides bleed each other relentlessly, heavy losses on both sides.

Good scenario.
This design offers some very good views as to the nature of the fighting around Sugarloaf and its surrounding ridgelines. Felipe Zavala and I began BD-7 ourselves. We are far from done, but the Japanese 81mm Mtr has been a real pain in the Marines side, as they worked their way up to the hilltop. They have a fair foothold, but there is still some time to go and they need to both take more of the hill and hold it. That 81mm Mtr is a killer if it is set up off to the far southeast corner on the hilltop, giving it LOS across 80%+ of the areas the marines need to move within and over. since its offset from Sugarloaf, there aren't enough Marine assets to direct assault it and also hit the hilltop on Sugarloaf hard enough.

as the onboard 81mm has a 3 ROF, it is more effective than a japanese .50 cal HMG, as its B12 not B11, has a higher ROF and still hits at 8 FP with each shot.
 

JRKrejsa

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This design offers some very good views as to the nature of the fighting around Sugarloaf and its surrounding ridgelines. Felipe Zavala and I began BD-7 ourselves. We are far from done, but the Japanese 81mm Mtr has been a real pain in the Marines side, as they worked their way up to the hilltop. They have a fair foothold, but there is still some time to go and they need to both take more of the hill and hold it. That 81mm Mtr is a killer if it is set up off to the far southeast corner on the hilltop, giving it LOS across 80%+ of the areas the marines need to move within and over. since its offset from Sugarloaf, there aren't enough Marine assets to direct assault it and also hit the hilltop on Sugarloaf hard enough.

as the onboard 81mm has a 3 ROF, it is more effective than a japanese .50 cal HMG, as its B12 not B11, has a higher ROF and still hits at 8 FP with each shot.
Medium Mortars are truly dangerous to exposed infantry. The original crew died fairly quickly, but the MTR was still intact. A 4-4-7 then moved down the trench, and re-crewed it. Even with the unqualified use penalty, the TH DRM added quickly with 3 ROF.....
 

Eagle4ty

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Medium Mortars are truly dangerous to exposed infantry. The original crew died fairly quickly, but the MTR was still intact. A 4-4-7 then moved down the trench, and re-crewed it. Even with the unqualified use penalty, the TH DRM added quickly with 3 ROF.....
Errrr...2 ROF (A21.12- 21.13).;)
 

TopT

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Medium Mortars are truly dangerous to exposed infantry. The original crew died fairly quickly, but the MTR was still intact. A 4-4-7 then moved down the trench, and re-crewed it. Even with the unqualified use penalty, the TH DRM added quickly with 3 ROF.....
wouldn't the ROF be reduced by 1 for Inexperienced crew?

I had typed this a couple of days ago about the samething but forgot to post it :)
 

witchbottles

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Errrr...2 ROF (A21.12- 21.13).;)
yep if not manned by the 228 crew or one of its step reduced versions, it would only be 2 ROF. This was not really a major factor so far. That scenario does not leave enough manpower for a dual assault to take out a flanking 81mm Mtr on a double crest hilltop in the rear of the play area and still mount a strong enough assault to take the VC hexes in the amount of time allotted.

Barring a lucky hit by a Sherman MA or some other fluke, the 81mm Mtr is going to be a pain in the Marine side in every one of these games, but only if it is NOT incorporated into the direct defense of Sugarloaf hilltops. A good case for grokking its placement correctly.
 

JRKrejsa

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Errrr...2 ROF (A21.12- 21.13).;)

Good catch. I do remember there being lots of 1s and 2s, but it's possible we left a three slip by. Unfortunately for my minions of the Emperor, there were not ENOUGH 1s and 2s....
 
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