The weekend saw an opportunity to get a game of Chain of Command in and deploy my recently painted Aussies!
The scenario saw an Aussie force trying to withdraw their wounded from a local field hospital under the threat of a Japanese attack.
Allied Positions before the alarm is raised
For every full chain of command dice the Aussies could get a full lorry of wounded away - they had three lorries to try and get clear!
In trying to do so they had:
1 Senior Leader (Lt Graham Leyton)
2 Junior Leaders (Sargeant Jim Allen and Lt Brad Hughes)
1 Anti Tank rifle and 2 crew
1 Light Mortar and 2 crew
2 Teams of 6 Riflemen and a Bren team with 3 Men
1 Section of 6 Scots with Rifles accompanied by a Junior Scottish Leader with SMG (Sargeant Doug Hendrie)
Pushing against them was a Japanese force intent on capturing the Allied Position consisting of:
1 Senior Leader (Lt Ishikawa Katsuo)
2 Junior Leaders (Sargeant Hoga Kayo and Sargeant Kure Hiroshi)
1 Type 98 Grenade Launcher and 4 crew
3 Teams of 9 Infantry with rifles and a LMG with 3 crew
1 Section of 9 Infantry with Rifles
1 Type 97 CHI-Ha Tank with Junior Leader
Both sides started with a Force Morale of 9 - the Japanese were considered 'aggressive' for the game and the Aussie units 'stubborn'.
Turn 1 and in the first phase the Japanese start deploying along the edges of the jungle
The Japanese tank approaches along the track as support troops appear
In the Aussie phase they manage to deploy Sargeant Allen in the smaller of the two houses and the anti tank rifle team behind the sandbagged positions.
Sargeant Hughes and a Bren Team are deployed in the bunker on the opposite flank to oppose any Japanese advance through the plantation or temple ruins.
The Japanese emerge from the jungle tree line and towards the main plantation house and into the temple ruins!
The advancing Japanese spot Sargeant Hughes and the Bren team and start ranging in on them with the Type 98 Grenade Launcher.
Meanwhile on the other flank the Aussie Anti Tank Rifle spots the Japanese tank and hits it but fails to penetrate - yet the tank crew are now focused on this new threat and fire back in their own phase. Missing!
A small exchange of shots takes place before none of the Aussie phases a lucky hit and 3 6's! and the failure of a single save from the Tank Crew means that the tank explodes in a whoomp of surprise!
The Japanese suffer -2 to their morale total! It is now on 7.
The Japanese team under Sargeant Kayo reaches the perimeter of the camp - not without some resulting accumulative shock!
On the other flank Sargeant Hiroshi exchanges fire with Sargeant Hughes and his Bren Team (and the light mortar that has been sent to reinforce him). The Aussies start to inflict and take shock and Sargeant Hughes is wounded by a piece of shrapnel from the Japanese knee mortar - the Aussies lose a Morale point and go down to 8.
Sargeant Kayo starts to exchange fire with the Scottish Section under Sargeant Hendrie that have been deployed to try and protect the wounded that are being evacuated. Kayo is wounded in the firing and the Japanese lose another morale points and are down to 6!
The Aussies manage to gain a chain of command dice and the first of the wounded retire from the camp in of the lorries. Can the other two lorries get away before they are captured?
Weirdly in the Japanese phase they too get a full Chain of command dice and elect to move one of their jump off points to the edge of the village! From this new point Lt Katsuo deploys and brings in lots of reinforcements (over two phases). His plan? To use the weight of this new force to overcome the depleting defenders! He just needs a few 4's on the dice!
Lt Katsuo orders one section to charge at the Aussies who have moved up to help out the beleaguered Scots - while a Japanese light machine gun covers their advance.
A fine mess!
A bloody melee rages for three subsequent rolls of the melee dice as each side struggles to win.
Remarkably even though outnumbered the combined Aussie and Scottish defenders manage to win the third melee bound and throw the Japanese back.
But it is not without a cost - Heroic Sargeant Hendrie is killed in the struggle (having used his SMG to great effect) and the defenders are down to 2 men - while the attackers loose 4 men in total and accrue a pile of shock! The Aussies morale loses another point.
Sargeant Kayo is taken out of action
The Aussies under Sargeant Allen have been pouring constant fire into the Japanese building. They have already routed the remnants of the Japanese Section that had been repulsed from the charge on the hospital (the lone figure behind the house). Sargeant Kayo's section also takes hits and Kayo receives a second wound - reducing the Japanese morale by another point.
On the other flank Sargeant Hughes defiantly held out as long as he could - losing the light mortar team and 2 of the Bren Section - before he receives another wound and is overcome.
Shortly before Sargeant Hughes meets his end
The Japanese on this flank - now unopposed advance quickly and support the attack on the hospital area.
The hospital is not looking so welcoming now!
The Aussies manage to get a second and then a third truck away quite quickly and so succeed in their evacuation orders - mush to the relief of the wounded.
"Slow down man watch the bumps in the road would you!"
Each side's Force Morale is now finely balanced and equally delicate at 4 points each! Providing a nail biting end to the game - but which way will it go?
The Japanese relentlessly press their attack on the remaining defenders and a fresh team charges the hospital bunker which is now defended by a small team commanded by Sargeant Allen. The allies manage to put up a stiff fight and make the enemy pay for every yard. But in the end the sheer weight of Japanese numbers tells and the gallant Sargeant Allen falls with the rest of his men!
The demise of Sargeant Allen
At this point the allies force points reduce to zero and the game ends. The Allies met their objective and got all three trucks away - but were quite badly beaten up in the process. The Japanese failed to stop any of the trucks but they did secure the centre of the camp and the hospital. Even though the Allied Morale collapsed they achieved what they set out to do so it was called as a minor Allied victory.
Lt Katsuo's force is badly mauled (he lost 18 casualties!) and he doesn't have the manpower to pursue - so he will have to consolidate, patch up his troops and await reinforcements. This will give the allies valuable time to regroup themselves - having lost 13 casualties of their own.