Friday, October 14, 2011

AAR BFP-54 Shenam Pass

Jim and I gave this one a go a few weeks back. This one has a significant Japanese force with armor (including a captured American Stuart) and backed up by about a company of infantry from the INA. The IJA is attacking a well dug in force of mostly 2nd line Indian troops. The defenders get five badass Gurkha squads as turn four reinforcements. The Japanese have to take four level two hexes in the southwest corner of the map, and all seven level four hexes on the main board 50 hill mass.

My main force would come up the Indian left using the jungle on the Northern slope for cover.  Despite the level four hill, the jungle blocks A LOT of sight lines from the hill making for interesting choices for the defender.  I did not know what to expect. Meanwhile, the INA troops would attack in the south, supported by two AFVs and two Japanese MMG crews.

A few turns in, and not a lot has happened.  The radioless HA-GOs and the bulk of the infantry are approaching the hill. Jim still hasn't shown me much. I moved my radio man onto the level two hill of EE2, one of the few places from you can see a hilltop hex or two.

In the south, still moving into position. Because the Brits get to set up two squads hip, plus five guns, it's difficult to say how heavily defended this section is.

    The Japanese got held up at the base of the hill. To break the jam we made a successful but costly small Banzai up the front of the hill. The HA-GOs, Type 97s and the rest of the infantry started moving through the northern slope jungle and around the rear. In the south, we were discovering only light defenses. Jim obviously wanting to decide things on the big hill.

   I also discovered his surprising but very effective trench strategy.  The trenches ran in an east-west line from the road at the western edge, draping across only one victory hex. This gave his reinforcements an easy path up the hill, and also gave him good positions for covering the mostly bare rear slope.

   Meanwhile, my radio man was killed by sniper (2nd game in row that happened.) This time, there was no one to carry the radio forward, and the Japanese would receive no artillery support on this day.

       Pushing through the jungle and up the slope, we discovered an AT gun in the light jungle counter hex in L6 quite by accident when a Berzerk squad charged the infantry holding up there. Two 'zerkers played a big part in getting to the endgame here.

    Finally in came down to trying to dig the infantry out of the trench line. Unable to break the squads with fire, I moved some AFV's up into the area under British artillery fire. The Stuart and a HA-GO formed an ad-hoc platoon and dove into the trench line. In the top of the 7th, I was finally able to break the HMG manning infantry in the last victory hex with the Stuart's machine guns! Away they routed, and now I had to hold on.

   Naturally, bottom seven, a British leader and 2nd line pass their paatc and advance safely through the trench line surviving their own artillery fire, which was raining down directly on the position. They killed the Stuart, recovered the HMG, and were ready to take on all comers for the final turn.

   They AGAIN survived their own arty. My fire was all ineffective. I threw DC heroes at them. I threw a single man Banzai leader with a demo charge at them. Nothing gets through the artillery, machine gun, and  and small arms fire they are throwing out.

At the start of the advance phase, I had two and a half squads to advance in to CC. The artillery mauled those troops down to just a single striped squad. When I rolled a 9 for my CC attack, the game was over.

     What a game! This was a draining 10+ hour roller coaster ride that came down to a really exciting finish. Can't get any closer.  Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Well I am playing this live VASL and will continue tonight (just first turn so far), I have opted for the same opening gambit but hoping to get a slightly better result. His OBA is what worries me about this one, but looks good.