Pierce and I made a serious mistake with TAC 2, affecting the scenario in such a way that we would only be able to fix it by starting over. We elected to move on.
TAC 3 is an eight turn scrap between my mix of elite and first line Japanese and Pierce’s group of elite and 1st line Australians. I am attacking in an attempt to move more of my units off the board than Pierce does of his. This scenario is an Australian fall back through the worst terrain that ASL can throw at us. Dense jungle, bamboo, swamp….. the whole nine yards.
I gacked my setup. Forgetting the 2 squad stacking unit in dense jungle. We got it worked out (but not without me paying a price for being overstacked while being shot at). Let’s take a look at this gnarly terrain disaster:
Getting across this mess in 8 turns while fighting my way through Australian units was going to be difficult at best. I will need to close with Pierce’s units and do what Japanese do…. infiltrate, isolate, eliminate. I was soon to find out that this wasn’t Pierce’s first fall back rodeo. He wisely set up his troops behind the largest area of dense Jungle, creating choke points between swamp and bamboo that I would have to traverse while fighting.
The first few turns saw me fighting the jungle instead. I dropped my light mortars, no time for me to be messing around with those, and there wouldn’t be much room to use them anyway. I ran into Australian pickets in the form of units on trails and HIP half squads, getting through those mostly unscathed, but unable to come to grips with them, Pierce keeping them just out of reach.
As I approached the center of the map, I began running into the meat of his force, but I didn’t actually make real contact until turn 4. With only four turns left, time was not on my side. I needed to infiltrate.
I got some reinforcements on turn 3 from the west. They may be the only units I will be able to actually exit so I will be careful with them. I start to get the infiltration I was looking for, but as usual, it comes with a cost and the Emperor’s finest start to stripe. Hopefully I’ll have enough troops left at the end to make a game of it.
Turn 5 and there is a confrontation in the works at the top of the map. My 10-1 and a couple of squads are prepping to emerge from the jungle, Pierce has a leader and a squad with an HMG waiting. Advantage Pierce.
I am starting to infiltrate the center of the map, unfortunately, the going is super slow. Gullies, swamp, bamboo and dense jungle combine to make it very difficult on the attacker. Pierce looks for pinch points and makes sure he’s got someone covering it.
He also get to the high ground with over-watch positions at terrain exit points. Difficult sledding for me.
Pierce rolls low and gets some ROF on the leader led group up top, making a mess and leaving me with a single unpossessed machine gun. Ladies and gentlemen…. that hurt.
He likewise caused a Japanese disaster on the lower end of the map. At the end of turn 6, my troops have taken a beating. I have squeezed a few through the top of the map, and the reinforcements at the bottom have a chance to exit, but my main force is in trouble. I have three moves left and no time to dilly-dally. I can’t prep, and Pierce is doing a great job keeping me at arms length. When he’s had a shot, he’s made it count.
Well, I came up short. I managed to exit 8 points. Pierce had at the least, 10 points which he could exit in the bottom half of turn 8.
I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy the scenario all at the same time. Pierce gave me a master class of how to force your opponent to go where you want him to. I often found myself with only one way through the terrible terrain…….. the way Pierce wanted me to use and which he had covered. He executed the fall back defense impeccably. I must give him the credit he deserves.
The terrain was no fun. Difficult to get through, rarely able to use firegroups and constantly funneled due to Pierce’s forethought. Every time I thought, ” oh, I’ll go through there” no, that’s bamboo or swamp, not brush and marsh. The game should have ended on the Japanese half turn 8. That would make the Australian player have to give some thought to his own end game rather than just sit on the board edge and lay down fire-lanes on Japanese turn 8.
Oh well, it is what it is. A tough scenario, a tough opponent who knew his business and played it well. I came close, but to no avail. ROAR is starting to let this one get away……. a small sample size, but it is now 8-2 in favor of the Aussies.
I would love to see some other players give this one a go and hear how the Japanese player fared.
Thanks for reading.