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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Waltzing with Matilda's: Medium Sensha Company vs. Aussies (AAR)

- by Throckmorton

Hey all, Throckmorton back again to give you another Flames of War Early War bat rep featuring the Japanese from Rising Sun against a list distinctively not from the Rising Sun book.

This time the Australians and their mighty Matildas face off against the (relatively lightly) armored fist of the Emperor's Imperial Japanese Army. This could actually be a (somewhat) historical battle as the Australians and New Zealanders certainly fought a long and bloody conflict in the Pacific alongside the British and Americans.

A British history nut friend of mine even let me know that most of the Matildas used by the Australians and New Zealanders were actually committed to the Pacific Theater. So, if you will, ignore the desert scheme and imagine we're deep in the jungles of New Guinea. In the pre-dawn hours a medium Sensha Rentai set's off to reconnoiter the no man's land between themselves and a defending company Australians.

This time around I get to push the armor. I'll be playing the Japanese and my friend Mitch, with whom we're testing a series of Japanese lists, will be playing the Aussies.

Points: 1625
Attacker: Japanese Medium Sensha Company, in a night attack
Attacker's Reserves: 1x Medium Tank Platoon, 1x Infantry Platoon
Defender: Commonwealth Rifle Company, Australia
Defender's Reserves: 1x Carrier Platoon, 1x Mortar Platoon, 1x Matilda Platoon

The Lists!
Japanese (sorry, still no Easy Army for this):
Fearless Veteran Sensha Medium Tank Company
HQ: 2x Type 89 Chi-Ro Medium Tanks & 2x Type 94 TK Tankettes
Platoon 1: 4x Type 89 Chi-Ro Medium Tanks
Platoon 2: 4x Type 89 Chi-Ro Medium Tanks
4x Heavy 75mm Artillery Pieces
1x Full Platoon FV Infantry with 3x Nikuhaku teams.

The Aussies list via Easy Army


Japanese set up. Arty and 1 platoon of Medium tanks on the table. 

The Aussies, 2 platoons set up, why is that one platoon so far away from the objectives? Well, that is where the objective I yoinked out was. 2 Matilda's in immediate ambush ready to put a hurting on me.
The game begins!
Oh crap, there they are. 

The tanks and HQ move on up. 

And another medium platoon shows up on the road turn one. 

Matilda vs. Japanese Medium Tank. Results? Expected. 1 dead and 1 bailed. 

The others book it away, but the Matilda's bail them on the next turn. The platoon makes its morale check and sticks around. 

Seeing the danger, the other Mediums start running far far away from the Matildas. 

The far platoon starts to move over to cover the objectives. 

Japanese infantry show up and start to book it down the road. 

Tanks continue to move around the flank. 

Matildas move in for the kill on the remaining 2 Mediums, while the 1 IC hides. 

Matildas kill 1 and bail 1. 

2 IC and 2 TK's show up, this time I smarten up and put them on the flank far far away from the Matildas. You see, up there at the top of the pic, one tank up against the white building? Well...

He assaults the observer looking for Japanese first blood! Of course, he only pushes the dude out of the building. 

The other medium platoon is still hiding as the infantry rush up on the Matildas, looking to get all Banzai on their steely hulls. 

2 IC and TK's swing around with the remnants of the 1st Medium platoon. 

Still double timing, the Japanese infantry close in on their target.  

But 2 more Matildas show up in exactly the wrong place for the Japanese flanking maneuver!

The Nikuhaku get stuck in!

Of course, because I'm rolling the dice, I lose 2 of them for the price of 1 Matilda. The infantry then scurry off into the trees on the right. 

Aussie mortars and recce show up. 

...and the Matildas finish off what was left of the first Medium platoon. 

While the Japanese infantry move on up to try to take the objective. 

The second Medium platoon starts to get ballsy and moves to support their infantry friends over near the objective. 

While the 2 IC and his TK friends are forced to hide. 

Fearless Japanese infantry fail their tank terror test, so the Nikuhaku assaults alone... 

...and is filled full of  Aussie lead. 

The Matilda plays "Duck Hunt" with the advancing Medium tanks. 

But only bails 1!

The Mediums are able to score 2 kills on the recce allowing the Infantry to get off an assault on the Aussies posted up near the objective. 

...and push them off the hill. 

The Matildas keep doing what they do best: Killing Japanese tanks. 

Japanese medium tanks move up to support the assault on the hill. 

Then assault!

And do literally nothing except get bailed...

What's left of the infantry moves on in, losing 1 stand to defensive fire. 

Completely whiffing in assault, and then taking another hit from the Aussies. 

Whiffing again and finally getting wiped out. The Brits take the game 6-1
Yeah so, Matildas hurt bad and the Japanese had no response for them except suicidal tank hunters. I think the Japanese list I took needs some serious work. First thing, dropping the heavy 75s is key. They were mostly useless. Instead, I can pick up another platoon of steely eyed FV Japanese infantry, even having just one platoon on the table I nearly pulled this thing out imagine if I'd had 2 platoons to scurry up and take on those Matildas.

Having had the chance to play a couple of games both as, and against, the Japanese I'm now fairly settled on the fact that the infantry is the thing that makes the Japanese good. Everything else adds value to the list and supports the infantry, but it's those foot trucking dudes that form the foundation for a solid Japanese list, whether it be infantry or tank don't leave home without the Hohei platoons.

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