1943 St. Bergdren island: Japanese v Americans

Set up: medium
Game time: quick
Solo play: suitable, but quite long set-up

Historical Background:
While the island hopping campaign raged to the north, the Allies missed a key airfield in the South Pacific. Allied Carrier groups were mercilessly pounded by the Japanese Imperial Air Force from behind for such a costly mistake. The air attacks on Allied ships all came from the one airfield on the Island of St. Bergdren. Formerly a Belgian resort, the island now serves as an advanced base for Japanese torpedo bombers.
The Allies have turned around and are headed back for St. Bergdren. An amphibious raid is imminent. Can the Marines of the 6th Marine Regiment and their newly adopted ‘amtracs’ take back the island and cease the torpedo attacks on the American Navy?

No briefing! It only contained the second paragraph above.
I suggest 6 cards each, Allies move first.

Conditions of Victory:
6 Medals.
The Allies may also win by occupying any of the medal spaces for one full turn.

Special Rules:
The American forces may only fire from destroyers during their first turn.

  1. Amphibious Tractors ‘Amtracs’. These units can swim through water at one hex per turn. Once on the beach, they must drop their load of Marines. Simulate this by placing 4 infantry models in an adjacent square. Each Amtrac unit acts like a tank once on land, except it is only 2 models per unit. They fire at 2-2-1-1.
  2. Marine Raiders. This unit ignores sandbag combat modifiers. They may also destroy tank traps by ending a turn on one.
  3. This artillery unit is said to be on a boat until it reaches the beach. Once on the beach, it may fire and act like a normal unit.

Scenario link

This game got off to a quiet start. The US could only use Destroyers during their first turn, which scored no hits, and the Japanese Air Power only scored 2 hits. The Flame Thrower Tank and Marine Raiders got into action, with limited results.
But then a Japanese General Advance was devastating - the Flame Thrower was destroyed, as was an Amtrak in the ocean - I took this to mean the loss of the Amtrak AND the troops in it (i.e., 2 units). So it was suddenly 3:0 with a limited Allied presence on the beach. A US Counter-Attack took the left-hand Bunker but an Axis Pincer Move destroyed the tank unit and an Amtrak that had made it onto the beach.
At 5:1 the Allies were in big trouble and had no good cards - they were mostly for their right flank, where they only had one unit. And it was this unit that was the next victim, giving an easy 6:1 victory to the Axis.
With an Artillery Bombard and a Barrage card in their hand, a Japanese win seemed inevitable.

Ultimately a bit of a disappointing, one-sided scenario. Better cards would have helped the Allies a bit (such as General Advance), but maybe adjusting the rules would also make it a good scenario…

Set up (creative use of Minefield tokens to identify which special rule applies to which US unit!):



  1. ‘‘The American forces may only fire from destroyers during their first turn.’’ Why? They already have a unit on the beach (who are sitting ducks)! And it takes two moves to get any units onto the beach and into action.
  2. Was I correct in giving two medals to the Japanese when they destroyed an Amtrak in the ocean? If it had landed on the beach it would become two units, so I treated it as two lost units.
  3. Why are destroyers so ineffective? See this thread for this discussion.
  4. Why is Axis Air Power only 1 dice when they have an airfield nearby?!