Saturday, April 25, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1 Conclusion - Snuffed hopes

The CG is running its course. During the USMC turn 8, the americans tried to push back the japanese from Hill 148. Their firepower is thinning because of the numerical inferiority. Also, a 4MC still only step reduces and degrades the charging japaneses, but doesn't stop them from coming. 

US turn 8

The good news is that almost all US units have rallied. You got to give it to the Yanks: they know how to snap off a DM counter when it is really needed.

View from the West: the line has not changed. A lot of japanese infantry has died, but the surge isn't stomped. Luckily, most of the stacks are now step-reduced and ELR'd. Will this be good enough to withstand the next two minutes.

View from Bloody beach: Everyone has climbed up on Hill 148. A few fresh brokies are low-crawling downslopes. Murderous MTR fire is raining from a pier to the North.

On the far left, japan is on top of the hill and encircling a small patch of jungle. On the centre, a large number of high-quality SMCs and fresh squads are in position for a Banzai charge. On the right, a number of degraded troops are swerving around the beach. A lone crew is keeping an eye on Bloody beach to keep a lid on the caves and the pillbox.

Japan's turn 8

Just before the Banzai charges resolutions
Banzai charges have crept on marines from the North-West and the Eastern beach.  The marines guarding the eastern edge weren't as lucky and got swept by large Banzai charge. The flank of the marine's defense got wiped by a snakeye from the lousy 8+1 kill stack. 

Near the top of Hill 148, a huge pile of japanese took huge punishments on during their charge, but made it into the patch of jungle. The marines, however, crushed them on the spot during CC as their combined force had been decreased a lot via step-reduction. 

Shortly after the storm while bracing for another one.

Turn 9

The marines consolidate their position as the noose is getting tighter. A hero rises among the troops hiding in the communication building on the crest of Hill 148.

The view is great, but the neighborhood is going downhill.

Japan swept the marines in the communication building, but the banzai charge on the foxholes gives a chance for the marines (mostly broken), to withdraw without fighting.

There is not a lot of ground to give anymore.

Final turn of Assault phase 1

The marines are running the gauntlet around a squad of conscripts to avoid the bulk of a giant banzai charge in the making. DFF from the hill is terrible and both remaining leaders are killed in action. The faithful crew that is positionned in the palm trees holds the line on the edge of the beach.

Hey sarge, why are we still lugging this dm mortar again?

Japan threw its best Banzai charge at the remaining marines. The result was pyrrhic: the marine took the best Japanese leader down with them on their way to Valhalla. At this point, the Japanese part of my brain started to wonder whether this was a worthwhile charge. The valiant crew finally succumbed to a banzai charge, but not without shoving something hot and sharp up Col. Honda's landing gear. 

When the fire died down, there was much to collect on the battlefield that was made in the US of A.

Col Honda has outdone himself.

The US invasions of Gavutu-Tanambogo has been averted, at a great cost.

Japan's OOB going forward. Only one cave entrance collapsed. Enough to hold?

Japan's loot by the end of the assault phase. 

The question is now, would have the Marines aborted the invasion at this point? All future waves are half as big, with lightly armored LCVs...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1 turn 8 - Little Bighorn

As I thought that Assault Period 1 was winding down, things got weird. The Japanese figured out that they held strong defensive position and the Marines could hold Hill 148 easily while clearing the beach to the south for the next wave of landing. However... two unlikely events coincided.

  1. A japanese HMG finished off a USMC hero keeping an eye on cave 3112.
  2. USN NOBA placed a SR in the middle of the Japanese assembly area. 
The Japanese leader decided NOT to sit a 200mm FFE, although NOBA has been unreliable so far. With the Eastern Cave unobserved, a squad of 2nd-liners and a MTR slipped out and into the USMC's rear. All squads in caves at the base of Hill 148 ran out while the counter attack followed the trenches towards US positions.

The Fanatic USMC squads spend the turn pinned by HMG fire while the japanese assaulted in CC two other positions. Their advancing fire broke one stack, and the two other stack miraculously both won ambush withdrawals. What's left that is unbroken in a wounded 9-2, a squad wading in WP, one covering the brokies in the jungle hex and a MTR crew in the summit of Hill 148. 

On the Eastern shore beach, japanese ran out of caves, trenches and foxholes to rush south towards USMC positions. The US squads overhead fired without much effect while the troops on bloody beach (south) are mainly broken or under fire from the pillbox at the far end of the beach.

On bloody beach, a USMC squad got really pissed at the MMG fire on them as they recovered a DC (I know, there should be no HoB on a beach: my mistake). There are only two squads in good order, one Fanatic and the other manning a DM MTR left there by an eliminated squad. The Japanese are steamrolling southward while their MTR fire are finishing off broken squads stranded on the beach. No one will come to their help anymore: MMG fire are spewing from a cave and a pillbox which resisted the last DC assault. 

The Western position are surrounded, the North face is having an unsuccessful turkey shoot through the palm trees, these stranded on bloody beach as being shredded by MG fire. 

Things take funny turns in desperate situations. I hope that the CG isn't going to die before the first assault period is over. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1 turn 6.5 - Trial and mostly error

Turn 5.5 to 6.5 was a hard one for both sides. Japan's counterattack was scattered by 200mm NOBA and sent the infantry running for trenches as close as possible to Marines positions. The cruiser offshore ceased fire since the island started to look like a mess of friends and foes.

The poor squad that escaped death and swam to shore got intercepted by a HS and reduced to a HS itself. Fortunately, heavy fire from the hill pinned the IJA before they could engage the disarmed marines in CC.

The swimmers gets to shore only to be met with the sniper's
crosshair, and a squad of demented Japanese conscripts with

On bloody beach, marksmen from a cave made short order of two crews attempting to place DCs in their midst.

Around the corner, Marines from up above dropped a smoke grenade in the other cave. The Japanese MMC down there was berserk and as it was about to get out of the cave, realized that a Marine crew had shoved a DC at the mouth of the cave. Many Japanese soldiers died, but not enough of them as far as the Marines are concenred.

The unarmed marines kept on wading away from the japanese conscripts, fearing CC or even a DC attack. As they reached the shore, punishing mortar fire from the far end of Gavutu wiped 3 broken HS stuck on the beach.

Overhead, the USN bombers were swerving back home. The sound of NOBA on Tanambogo can be heard. The marines are now trapped on Hill 148, alone, with dwindling stocks of DC and little collapsed caves to show for.

Last glimpse from the USN planes on the way back to the flat-top

Bloody beach in the sunlight. Capturing the pillbox on the left is, hopefully, next.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1 turn 5.5 - Friendly fire

This had to happen, a fighter-bomber CAS on a big stack of entrenched Japanese in light jungle went astray and smote my 9-2 SMC and a squad on the edge of the hill. The pilot during debrief reported that they looked japaneser. The SMC lost both thumbs during the point attack, but still instruct the remaining broken HS to give the finger to "blue falcon" flying over. A mystery cave was discovered, but there is no telling what's inside. The good news is that my 10-2 SMC was closer to the target, but in a blind hex and so was spared (Although not blind from a different hex grain, so I may have played this wrong).

Blue Falcon just after his bombs smashed the Marine
overwatch covering the beach.

Lesson learned: +3 sighting TC because of woods is a bit of a bitch. Blue Falcon shall never strike

Finally, the 200mm NOBA finally bothered with a FFE on the assembly point of the Japanese counter attack.

This assault phase is way too close to be called right now: the way good ASL scenario are going usually. In the next turn, the DC assaults on two key caves will be carried over: this will decide how hard the next landing wave will be for the Marines. The Japanese will also decide whether to launch a counterattack or consolidate the line.

Turn 5.5 is over... look at the cool guys wading in the shallow-OCEAN!

Happy hours is still on on the beaches of Tanambogo, despite the airstrikes on
the MTR.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1 turn 4.5

Turn 3.5 to 4.5 delivered a pile of awesome. The Marines have the high ground, but little safe path to the beaches still. A brave HS collapsed a cave thus allowing safe climb in a single location. With a counter attack mounting, lots of lost DC when the LCV sank, an unknown number of japanese crawling under their feet and MTR and HMG streaming from Tanambogo, it is hard to claim that things are looking up (but they do).

A destroyer even bother firing WP across the causeway! In less than a turn, Close air support will kick in!

The Marines have the high ground, but no safe way to get back down.

The beach is kind-of clear, but not secure at all.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Gavutu-Tanambogo Assault 1, turn 3.5

The Marines have landed with the timing of a synchronized swim team, giving up a few more CVP to Japan. NOBA is still nowhere to be found, but this is now largely due to the fact that the Marines and the Japanese are on top of each other. 

Shortly after taking this picture, a few CC were resolved with devastating effect for the Japanese conscripts in foxholes and trenches. The Marines are still alive! But it is great time to secure a better beachhead and collapse many caves.

I think that I hate dealing with piles of counters like that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Gavutu - Tanambogo - Turn 2

The IJA has shredded 5 of the 12 Higgins boats. In one case, there was time for one squad to jump and start swimming, but many other marine squads didn't get this chance. The two LCVs that made it to shore got thrashed by MG fire coming from caves and pillboxes while another LCV ran aground.

Things may have gone better had the NOBA kicked in with White Phosphorus and HE. The batteries did not fire as the worried Marines dashed to shore. One good news, the INF gun in the cave overlooking the beach has jammed. 

The left wing of the landing has avoided heavy fire and will hit the beaches on Turn 3. Wading, landed and swimming infantry will try to gain the cover of the jungle and the IJA's prepared fortifications. They will, however, run in quite a bit of HIP units waiting in ambush. 

Good news, there may be some 120mm WP FFE in the coming turn. Let's just not mention the lousy accuracy dr of the 200mm battery.

End of Turn 2 - The landing isn't going too well.

Turn 2 - Midpoint: the Para Bn has mostly touched down. Waiting the the fire to open.

Gavutu-Tanambogo CG - Setup

The LCV setup prior to Turn 1

The IJA setup