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Friday, September 27, 2013

Nomonhan Dust Up

Ron and I had a chance to try our first Flames of War game using Rising Sun. Ron was eager to use his Japanese collection he had for years and I was able to borrow some T-26s and BA-10s so my MW/LW Soviets could oppose his Japanese troops in a Nomonhan themed Early War game using forces from "Rising Sun."

Ron ran a Hohei Company (Fearless Trained) with: 

HQ: CO Sword, 2IC Sword, w/ Regimental Banner – 110pts
Hohei Platoon: Cmd Sword, 9 x Rifle, 3 x Lt Mortar, w/ Banners– 280pts
Hohei Platoon: Cmd Sword, 9 x Rifle, 3 x Lt Mortar, w/ Banners– 280pts
Hohei Machinegun Plt: Cmd Sword, 4 x HMG -125pts
Hohei Machinegun Plt: Cmd Sword, 4 x HMG -125pts
Hohei Battalion Gun Plt: Cmd Sword, 2 x 70mm Guns – 55pts
Hohei Regimental Gun Plt: Cmd Sword, 2 x 75mm Guns, Observer – 130pts
Engineer Platoon: Cmd Sword, 9 x Pioneer Rifle, w/ Banner – 275pts
Sensha Company:
HQ Plt - Cmd Type 97 Chi-Ha, Type 97 Chi-Ha, 2 x Type 94 TK - 190pts
Sensha Plt – Cmd Type 89 Chi-Ro, 3 x Type 89 Chi-Ro - 180pts

Ron's force: Total - 1750pts, nine platoons

To oppose Ron I ran a Motostrelkovy Battalion (Confident Conscript) out of Rising Sun with:

HQ: Command-Komissar, 2IC Rifle, 3 x 45mm ATG – 125pts
Motostrelkovy Company: Cmd-Komissar, 18 x Rifle, 2 x HMG – 215pts
Motostrelkovy Company: Cmd-Komissar, 18 x Rifle, 2 x HMG – 215pts
Artillery Bn: Cmd-Komissar, Staff, Observer Rifle, 4 x 76mm obr 1936, 4 x 122mm obr 1938 – 490pts
Light Tankovy Co: Cmd T-26, 9 x T-26 – 385pts
Armored Car Co: Cmd BA-10, 4 x BA-10 – 210pts
Sporadic air support: I-153 – 90pts

Tom's Force: Total - 1730pts, six platoons with Air Support

 The Battlefield

I hosted this game at my house so I tried to set up a Nomonhan grassland type board with hills, dirt tracks and dry stream bed. The stream bed offered concealment and was difficult going. The hills were slow going. 

We rolled “Dust Up” for the mission. Ron won the roll to attack. He chose to set up in a quarter that when looking at my quarter formed a kind of a valley. So it appeared that we were vying for control of a valley floor frontally while we both attempted to outflank each other’s position over the valley's walls.

Ron chose to deploy his two Hohei Infantry platoons, with combat attached HMGs, his Regimental Guns, and his Medium Sensha Platoon.

I chose to deploy one Motostrelkovy Platoon, the Artillery Battalion, and the T-26 Tankovy Company. 

Turn - 1

I won the roll for first turn. But then failed to dig in my infantry or artillery. I did roll out the T-26 Tankovy along the valley floor to engage Ron’s lead Hohei platoon with vehicle MGs. That fire killed a few rifle teams (the yellow disks are where a Japanese Inf/Gun team was destroyed, with red disks marking destroyed Soviet Inf/Gun teams.

In Ron’s Turn 1 he tried, unsuccessfully, to dig in one Hohei Infantry platoon. He started moving the other Hohei platoon along the dry stream bed. In his fire phase, he ranged in with his regimental guns earning two bailed out T-26s.


In my Turn 2, I managed to dig in both the Artillery Bn and the Motostrelkovy Company and advanced the T-26s again to spread them out some more and get all within 16" of Ron's defending Hohei platoon.

The I-153's also came in and tried to hit two Type-89s. Missed both!

But the Artillery Battalion was on and hit the Regimental Gun Platoon knocking out one gun!

In Ron's Turn 2, he continued to push up his lead Hohei platoon as well as his Type 89s which destroyed one and bailed two T-26's.


The Soviets rolled up a reserve unit. I chose the BA-10's and moved them on to threaten Ron's right.

Meanwhile, the Soviet T-26s returned fire on the Type 89's, destroying three, bailing one and running off the platoon.

The Soviet artillery ranged in on both Hohei platoons using the wide template to pin both units.

Ron did not get a reserve unit in Turn 3 but he did finally dig in his defending Hohei platoon. He then turned his remaining 75mm Regimental gun to engage the flanking BA-10s with direct fire.

Ron's infantry advanced to assault the T-26 unit.

Ron's  Regimental Banner ensured that "Tank Terror" was not an issue and he closed in with his "Human Bullet" team KO'ing a T-26 but also destroying the team itself in the attack.

The T-26's counterattacked, and killed two of the three remaining assaulting teams, but the remaining team hit again and drove off the T-26s, capturing two tanks in the process.


In Turn 4, the Soviet artillery continued to pound the advancing Hohei platoon.

Ron finally received a reserve unit in Turn 4 and choose his Sensha Tank HQ platoon.

Meanwhile, his lead Hohei platoon again attempted to assault the T-26s.

But this time he was met by a hail of defensive MG fire scoring 8 hits. Initially pinned, his Regimental Banner required that he make a second attempt; taking yet more losses and leaving no team available to make an attack swing. The T-26s used this as an opportunity and break off, putting more space between them and the oncoming Sensha HQ tanks.


In Turn 5, the I-153s made an appearance and went for the Sensha HQ Tanks.

 The Soviet artillery again hit the lead Hohei platoon.

The second Motostrelkovy Company arrived from reserve and started to follow the BA-10s in a flanking move.

Ron also received some reserves in turn 5 and brought on his Engineer platoon.

He also decided that he needed to pull back his defending Hohei platoon to cover his rear objective as the Soviet flank move approached.

Ron's Sensha HQ Tanks KO'd another T-26, bringing the Tankovy to exactly half strength, five tanks.


In Turn 6, the Soviet artillery and MG fire from the T-26s nearly eliminated the defending Hohei platoon.

But all is not lost yet, Ron's Engineers, supported by Type 94 TKs finally press into the Soviet defensive line.

The Japanese engineers took five defensive fire hits, but their banner allowed them continue with the assault.

The engineers destroyed two Soviet infantry teams and drove the rest, in the assault area, into the open.


 In turn 7, the Soviet flanking force contested the Japanese rear objective.

The Japanese engineer's attack was still not done. They assaulted again and destroyed most of the Soviet infantry in the area. The surviving Soviets fell back desiring to take on these deadly troops with fire rather than melee.


In Turn 8, the Soviet flanking force finally cleared the Japanese rear objective. The slow going hill really kept the BA-10s from getting there any earlier.

Back in the Soviet objective area the 122mm Breakthrough Guns, remaining infantry, and HMGs in the rear took the Japanese engineer platoon down to a single rifle team.  The Sensha HQ tank platoon was knocked out by the Soviet 76mm Guns. The Japanese Company Command Sword team was gunned down by all five of the T-26s inflicting nine hits!  So with the Japanese reduced to a single rifle team, their attack was halted and the Soviet attack had destroyed all defenders. The Soviets won 6-1.


This ended up looking like an unbalanced game, but after checking the rules we realized we had made some big errors in the new Japanese rules. The biggest of which was not understanding that the Japanese could elect to use the “Dawn Attack” rules even in a Meeting Engagement if they were the attacker like they were in this case.  Rolling for visibility and making all teams concealed would really have reduced those initial Japanese losses.

The Japanese, in Rising Sun, have some really neat new rules that we must still learn and master, so a refight is a “MUST DO” and you can expect to see an AAR for that game here on WWPD!

Tom has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007. He maintains a gaming website for the BattleVault Gamers of Kentuckiana and posts and moderates as Iron-Tom on WWPD

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