Sunday, March 8, 2015

BA: Burma 1942 Game

Today Mark and Simon Taylor popped in for a  game of Bolt Action. The brothers, who live in Wellington, have in recent year become regulars at Day of Days travelling down each year to play and although there was no comp down here this year (I’m over organising tournaments at present) they were down visiting family so we teed up a game. Simon has had a few games and they were keen for a game so I came up with a bit of a semi-historic scenario game. Nigel, the wheelchaired wonder, co-commanded and Kent also popped in later in the day to say hi and take command of drawing the dice.  

Burma 1942

The British army is in the middle of its longest retreat in history. Rangoon has fallen and the allies are retreating towards Mandalay. A number of delaying forces have been left behind to try to slow the Japanese advance while the bulk of the British forces continues its long retreat towards the Indian border.  One platoon of the 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottish rifles), 48th Indian infantry brigade, has been ordered to hold a crossing over a river till nightfall and then slip away and make contact with the rest of the brigade. The Cameronians have been reinforced by two sections of the 3rd Gurkha rifles.

For the advancing Japanese, their orders were simple, gain a foothold across the river and prevent the British from escaping.

Victory conditions: Japanese 2 points for each unit across the river at the end of the game and 1 pt per destroyed British unit. For the British, 2 points for each Japanese unit destroyed and  a victory if they could prevent the Japanese from establishing a foothold across the river.

 British Reinforced Platoon
Reg 1st Lieutenant
3x reg squads (8-9 men with LMGs)
2x Gurkha sections (9 men with LMG)
Recce carriers with boyes AT rifle
M3A1 Stuart

The Gurkhas, carrier and stuart being kept in reserve.

As usual we used the commando rules for the Gurkhas.

Japanese Reinforced platoon
Reg 1st lieutenant
2x Reg squads (11 men)
2x Vet Grenadier Squads (10 men with ni-mortars)
Chi ha tank
47mm AT gun

Later reserves of another 11 man reg squad and a second Chi-ha tank arrived.

There were three fords across the river but it as otherwise uncrossable.

The Game
 Turn 1- Mark ranged in first time with the mortar on the chi-ha and put two pins on it. The Japanese put one of their veteran squads and the anti-tank gun in a flanking manouvre. On the hill were a section of British infantry, the FAO and MMG. The Japanese sniper took out the MMG with its first shot!

A view from the British lines
 The chi-ha tank advanes, firing on the British positions but missing.

At the start of turn 2 the British FAO called in a barrage but it landed in the British positions, pinning several units!

Nigel, commanding the Japanese with Simon. the troops in the foreground are about to ross the river. A second mortar barrage lands amongst the Japanese in the foreground, killing 5! Again Mark managed to range in on the first attempt!
 Turn 2 the carrier arrived from reserve and advanced onour left flank where I was expecting the flank attack to arrive.
 In the centre the gurkhas also started to move into position.

And the second tank arrived from reserve.

Turn 4 the start finally arrived and managed to bit, but not penetrate one of the chi-ha tanks. This turn the Japanese artillery barrage arrived, and like the British barrage it fell on its own positions!

Turn 4 and the Japanese are struggling to get across the river. the reserve section is advancing from reserves to bolster the advance in the centre, meanwhile the first squad is almost through the elephant grass- not spotting any elephants though. This squad is about to be destroyed by small arms fire from the British.
 Turn 4 on the right flank the Japanese have cleared the elephant grass and heading towards our lightly defended rightmost crossing.

Turn 5 and it is getting close. The chi-ha has just been destroyed by the stuart and the Japanese infantry are approaching the centre crossing.

On the far right the veteran grenadiers have reached the ford. Mark and my British squad failed its order to charge the Japanese.

Suddenly the Japanese flank attacked finally arrived! As it was in the war, the Japanese had outflanked the British positions and were behind their lines.
 Caught between a rock and a hard place the British had but one option! Up and at em!

The assault was brutal, our regulars killed 5 veteran Japanese jungle fighters. The Japanese then killed 5 of our troops, leaving one man standing. In the second round, our NCO killed two more Japanese before falling, leaving two enemy in their squad.

The British sniper continues to take pot shots at the advancing Japanese, killing their NCO.

Turn 6 and things have got messy. the Chi ha has charged across the river, assaulting the Gurkhas who easily evaded it. The Japanese squad on the far side of the river assaulted and immobilised the start but were then in turn assaulted and destroyed by one of our squads that had rushed over to strengthen our flank.

End Result: The Japanese had 3 units across the river (6 points) and had killed 3 more units for a total of 9. We had killed 3 units (6 points) so the Japanese had successfully crossed the river and brushed aside our holding force. The British lieutenant ordered the retreat.

A typically topsy turvy fun game. Highlights including the two artillery barraged falling short and landing among their own troops. he two FAOs then becoming observer-snipers and becoming quite successful in this role- despite both fubarring once!  However, for us the real highlight was out 3" mortar crew who managed to range in on the first roll (needing a 6) 3 times! Mak's dice were definitely running hot with these guys. The Japanese flanking manouvre worked really well and their initial feint towards the high ground meant I kept two squads protecting the high ground but which played little part in the battle.

A very enjoyable game, with enjoyable company.Bolt Action works well with these kinds of multiplayer games. Draw a dice and just choose a unit to activate.

Thank guys, we look forward ot catching up for a game again next year and might try to organise a bigger (6-8 player) event.

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