1943: Munda Airfield, New Georgia

Set up: quick
Game time: quick
Solo play: very suitable

Historical Background:
In New Georgia, when on the 1st of August 1943 US soldiers of the XIVth US Corps succeeded in captur Bartley Ridge and Shimizu Hill, the battle was almost won, Munda airfield was on hand. They nevertheless needed five days to capture the last Japanese defences, particularly the antiaircraft guns on Bibilo Hill and the tunnels of Kokengolo Hill. Finally, on the afternoon of the 5th of August, US General Hodge received this message from one of his officers: “Munda is yours, today 14:10 hrs”. The main objective on the island was captured, the most difficult part of the New Georgia campaign was over.

Axis 4 cards; Allies 6, move first.

Conditions of Victory:
6 medals.
Munda Point is a permanent medal objective for the Allied player.

Special Rules:
Japanese Imperial Army rules (Nations 3).
Air Strikes & Blitz rules (Actions 3) for the Allies.
SWAs 6 - Mortar Late War and SWAs 7 -Machine Gun Late War.
Caves on Hills rules (Terrains 52).

Scenario link

Set up time 20 minutes, playing time 30 minutes.
A relatively easy scenario to set up and play - the Caves on Hills and Air Strikes & Blitz needed some studying, but had little effect on the game.
This was a relatively easy Allied victory, and I don’t see what chance the Axis have with only four Command Cards and so out-numbered (14:9). Knowing jdrommel, it probably reflects reality very well, but who would want to be the Japanese in this one?!
The US started with a devastating Barrage, which destroyed the Japanese artillery - a big blow. The Axis played a Counter-Attack, but only scored one hit on a tank unit. The Allied armour then thrust through the centre, taking Munda Point to give a quick 3:0 lead. But the Axis immediately retook it to win back the medal objective (2:1).
The Japanese then played Their Finest Hour, but this normally crucial card is not as effective with only four cards - they managed just two infantry attacks with no real gain.
An American Direct From HQ lead to two kills, with a Firefight adding another. So, at 5:1, they only needed to retake Munda Point for victory, but a Japanese attack destroyed the tank unit which was attempting to do so. Behind Enemy Lines saw the Axis gain another medal and suddenly it was 5:3.
But it was only putting off the inevitable - the Machine Gun in the bunker was down to just one figure and was taken, leading to a 6:3 victory.
An interesting scenario and not difficult to play, but I’m not sure I would recommend it as I can only see one winner.

Rules question
Air Strikes & Blitz applies to the Allies in this scenario, but how can that benefit thatm when the rules says their armour can only move two? I have also posted this question in Officer’s Mess for wider discussion.

Set up:

Sorry, no end photo!