1943; Grizzly's Sappers, New Guinea

Set up: long
Game time: medium
Solo play: suitable, but time consuming

Historical Background:
On August 18th, 1943, Lt Col Willem ‘Grizzly’ Griswold led a crack team of Australian Commandos into the Jungles of New Guinea. His team of highly-trained Australian, Guinea, and English forces attempted a daring raid on a Japanese mountain outpost called Yariko Habiki or “Sky City”. The team fought against hidden pillboxes, mines, Hardened Jungle fighters of the Japanese Army and the rigors of scaling the sheer face of Jungle mountain walls.

There is no mention of the number of cards! So I went for 6 each, Allies move first.
The briefing only says: The Australian Commandos must take Yariko Habiki in order to secure the area and prevent future raids on the innocent tribesmen in the area. The Japanese must hold this critical outpost to keep a foothold in the region and provide a high-altitude refuge for aircraft coming in from the South Pacific.

Conditions of Victory:
6 medals.
The allies must reach all three medals to end the scenario. Any medals over 6 will not be counted.
The Axis must kill 5 Allied units for the scenario to end.

Special Rules:
Watch out for mines!
If the Allies make it to the Critical Event marker, they can better spot artillery down on the Japanese outpost. All allied artillery will fire at 1 additional attack die once the marker is reached

Scenario link

Wow! What a great scenario!
Set up time 45 minutes, playing time 45 minutes.
A lot of terrain to lay out and plenty of rules to learn and revise before playing, but well worth it.

There was a spectacular start - Allied Airpower followed by Axis Barrage followed by Aussie Counter-Attack. When the dust had settled, one Allied artillery unit and the Japanese tank unit were gone.
An Infantry Assault saw all the Aussie units get across the river and take the Field Bunker on the right flank. It looked like they would quickly overrun the centre, but a Japanese Move Out and Artillery Bombard cause high casualties. Aus 3:2 Jap.
The Allies then sealed the caves on the right, leaving the centre wide open, but the Japanese artillery took two more unit. 5:4. Suddenly the Allies were in danger and had to rethink their tactics - one more loss and the game was over. So a depleted unit (just one figure left) retreated out of artillery range.
They focussed on the left flank, taking another infantry unit (6:4). This left the medals completely free, but the Aussie didn’t have enough units nearby to take all three!
Meanwhile, the Axis had three consecutive attacks on the bunker on the Allied right. The Japanese unit only had two figures left and was in the open, but the Aussies had no cards for that sector - meaning that they lost the bunker and the game!

The final score was 6:5 to the Aussies, but Japan won because they reached their target first.

Looking back, it was a mistake putting an Aussie special forces unit in that bunker - they could have made a big difference if they joined the main attack.

Rules questions.
I have actually added these to Officer’s Mess for wider discussion.

1: Why are Jungles different to Forest? The former says ‘‘Unit moving in may battle if unit starts its move in adjacent hex’’. Why is this not possible in Forests / Palm Forests?

2: Caves on Hills / Caves on Mountains say ‘‘Allied infantry … may seal it by rolling by a STAR…’’. I assume this means that the Axis unit is therefore eliminated…

Another hybrid set-up using Eastern Front tiles! Forests to represent jungle, hills to represent hills with caves, and Forests on hills to represent Mountains with Caves:

Remaining Allied units in green circles - top right is the one that had to retreat out of artillery range. Remaining Axis units in red - top left is the one that won the game, the stars show the artillery which had such a big impact on the game.