1943: Withdrawal in the jungle, Salomon Islands

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

Historical Background:
During the US offensive launched on the 25th of July in New Georgia, the 148th US Infantry Regiment under the command of Colonel Baxter, on the right flank of the 37th Infantry Division, advanced without any enemy opposition. In three days of difficult advance in the muddy jungle, the regiment was east of Bibilo Hill, in fact far away of the front line. The 13th Japanese Infantry Regiment, which have attacked the US rear base in Zanana Beach on the 18th of July, moved from the north and cut the supply line between the 148th Inf and the main US forces. On the 29th of July, Baxter received the order to withdraw his regiment by the supply trail although it was under fire of Japanese mortars and machine guns. The situation of the US regiment was getting worse and worse so Colonel Baxter ordered to his soldiers to breakthrough the Japanese lines at all costs. In the early morning of 1st August, the 148th Infantry fixed bayonets and charged the Japanese positions and finally succeeded in reaching the US lines.

Axis 5 cards; Allies 6, move first.

Conditions of Victory:
6 medals.
For the Allied player, Exit markers are in effect along the Axis baseline

Special Rules:
Japanese Imperial Army rules (Nations 3).
Night Attacks rules (Actions 19).
Special Weapon Asset rules: SWAs 6 - Mortar Late War and SWAs 7 Machine Gun Late War.

[Scenario link]


Set up time 20 minutes, playing time 20 minutes.

A relatively easy scenario to set up and play - no complex rules or terrain.

This was a surprisingly easy Allied victory. The key factor was poor cards for the Japanese. They had no cards in the centre to counter an ongoing American attack, and when they did have cards in that sector, all their units had been eliminated! Two Infantry Assaults in the centre sawtThree US units advance all the way down the road to the Exit line. And on the way they eliminated three Japanese units for an easy 6-1 victory in just 8 moves!

Both sides suffered from poor dice, but the Axis more so.

Another factor was night rules - no stars were thrown for the first 5 moves! So the Axis HMG and Mortars had no opportunity to engage the enemy.

And even when they did, they were impotent - just 1 dice?! I have discussed this before; I think the SWA rules are nonsense. Late war mortars had a great range and were devastating at whatever range they landed. Instead of 3-2-1 like infantry they should be 3-3-3 or at least 3-2-2. The same applies to HMG - much longer effective range compared to infantry and much greater impact. I really feel this contributed to the Japanese loss in this scenario - there was almost no point in having the SWAs because they were so weak. In reality, the American units in this action suffered badly from mortar and HMG fire.

A good example of a scenario which would be different every time you played it - the cards and dice rule this one totally.

My hybrid set up - Mediterranean Theatre roads, Eastern Front swamps, Base Game ‘’jungle’’!

The end; plenty of Axis forces remaining on the flanks, but the Allies went straight through the centre: