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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

AAR: Hohei Chutai vs. Panhard Horde

by Throckmorton

Over the weekend my buddy Mitch and I decided to try out some Rising Sun Japanese lists against opponents not from the Rising Sun book. This gave me the opportunity to whip out a couple of my favorite Flames of War Early War lists and give them a test against the flower of the Empire of the Rising Sun. 

In the first battle (the second report is coming soon) I lined up my beloved French "Panhorde" (Panhard horde) against the giant infantry units of the Imperial Japanese. It was a quick and bloody affair that really showcased how fast Japanese can get into combat, and what a bloodbath results from not retreating in the face of massed machine guns. 

Points: 1500
Mission: No Retreat!
Attacker: Japanese in a night attack
Defenders Reserves: All 3 Panhard Platoons and the Somua medium tanks. 

The Lists!
Japanese (sorry no Easy Army yet):
Fearless Veteran Hohei Chutai
HQ, with Regimental Banner
Platoon 1: Full with 3 Nikuhaku Teams
Platoon 2: Full with 3 Nikuhaku Teams
2x 37mm Anti-Tank Guns
2x Type 41 75mm Field Guns
3x Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks
3x Type 95 Ha-Go Light Tanks


The Board
Here's the board. Somewhere in French Indo-China....
The French Army
The French! Laffley & Somua AFV's, the "spikey nut" at the center of my force.

Panhard's and Infantry

And more Panhards and Arty. 
The Japanese Army
The Japanese! Dudes with Nikuhaku

Tanks, with a side of tanks

And commanders with swords

Lots of swords
The French set up on the far side of the road with the infantry spread across both objectives. 

They bring their own cover. 

The Japanese step off. The plan? Apply general pressure across the line until the French break. 

The Battle Begins
A general advance under darkness allows the Japanese to get close unmolested. 

Somuas show up turn 1!

And post up in front of the arty to block the oncoming Chutai platoon. 

Tanks zip up to the French infantry and put quick pressure on the far objective. 

Scoring 2 in the assault! The French infantry choose to pull back. 

The Somuas start to open up on the nearside Japanese infantry platoon. 

And the Laffley's spring their ambush! To predictable results, 5 dead light tanks and 1 bailed. 

But the Japanese infantry follow up. Man those platoons are huge. 

And on the near side the Japanese infantry assault, taking some tough hits on the way.  

But they get in on the second try!

Scoring 2 Somua kills and not losing a single Nikuhaku team! The French pull back again behind the other row of hedges. (being French, they're used to this)

The assault commences on the far side. 

Once again, significant fire deplete's the Japanese platoon but the Nikuhaku teams make it in, score 2 dead and 1 bailed Laffley and still don't lose a Nikuhaku team!

The French roll for 3 Reserves, getting 3 platoons of Panhards on the table at exactly the right time. 

Two platoons zoom up the far side, and the infantry move up as well. The French must assault this turn to stay in the game. 

1 platoon of Panhards steps up on the nearside to add pressure to the Japanese threatening the artillery. 

And just cut them down in the open. 

The Panhards on the other side do the same. Putting a distinct hurt on the Japanese out in the open. 

The Panhards rush up to contest. And with both infantry platoons well below half and the Japanese tanks destroyed we decided to call it. 6-1 to the French. 

This really came down to very timely reserve rolls on my part. I don't know if the infantry could have made it to the objective in time, but thanks to the venerable Panhard, the French successfully defend the line and hold off the Japanese assault.

I have to say, on first blush, the Japanese infantry platoon seems to be a fantastic unit. It's big, it's fearless and it's got the tools to assault or hold the line as needed. After giving the book a thorough reading I'd imagine these guys should be the cornerstone of any Japanese army. I'm not quite as sold on their gun and tank options though. I really think it's all there to support the excellent, even if a little spendy, infantry.

Throckmorton is an avid llama farmer, part time Flames of War player and runs his own hobby blog: Throck Of WarPhotos were shot using an HTC One on HDR set to ISO 1600. 

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