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Monday, May 19, 2014

Japanese Infantry vs Chinese Infantry in Blind Domination

This was a heck of an interesting game! Our good buddy Allen Smith was in DC for work, so we decided to meet halfway between DC and Richmond at Lauterbach Manor in Fredericksburg to get a game in. I asked Eric to cook us up something interesting, rather than doing some "tournament practice" lists, and Eric rose to the occasion!

The mission was Blind Domination, and the forces were Eric's homebrew Chinese and Japanese from Rising Sun. I will do my best to detail the Chinese National rules below.

This was a fun game with a great opponent! We got a lot of things wrong, but in the end we rolled some dice, had beer and pizza, and generally enjoyed ourselves. Read on to see how the battle went!

Allen's Japanese Hohei Chutai (7th)
  • HQ + Regimental Banner
  • Hohei Platoon + Banners + 3 Niki'
  • Hohei Platoon + 3 Niki'
  • Hohei Platoon + 3 Niki'
  • HMG Platoon w/ 4 HMGs
  • Gun Platoon w/ 2 guns
  • Sensha Company w/ 2 platoons each of 4 Type 89 Chi-Ro
Steven's Chinese Infantry
  • HQ
  • FT Infantry Platoon
  • FT Infantry Platoon
  • FT Infantry Platoon
  • CT Infantry Platoon
  • CT Infantry Platoon
  • CT Infantry Platoon
  • 4 8cm Mortars
  • HMG Platoon
  • 11 T-26s

Chinese National Rules (Summary)
*Tanks have Hen & Chicks
*British Bulldog vs Japanese
*Hit on 3+ in assaults
*When launching an assault, the first hit MUST be taken on the highest commanding officer. If the officer survives, the assault successfully makes it in, regardless of number of hits taken. If the commander dies, the assault fails and the platoon is pinned, regardless of number of hits taken.

The setup. Japanese on the far edge, Chinese close. 2 point objectives on the fords, a 2 point on the hill, a 3 point on the bridge, a 2 point just out of frame to the left of the village, and a 1 point on the far left.

Allen elects to attack at night and uses the Japanese ability to move at the double at night and through rough terrain to position himself very well. note: We forgot that Blind Domination doesn't allow moving at the double for the first few turns.

Early Turns
Two Fearless Trained Chinese infantry units move towards the town with both commanders.

Japanese tanks move at the double down the road to grab a 3 point objective (Again they should not have doubled, but no big deal).  Allen puts 2 infantry on the Chinese right, and one in the center-left supporting the tanks, along with his infantry guns.  HMGs come up his center.

On the Chinese side, night immediately lifts.  The 6 infantry platoons are relatively evenly spread across the front, with the concentration (2/3) of the fearless platoons in the central town.  Mortars in the center, and tanks moving towards the town.

Japanese tanks!
Japanese infantry are contesting both of the Ford objectives, and the hill objective.  Tanks control the bridge!  Early on, Allen has 9 points!

Tanks weave their way into the village.

While Chinese infantry moves forward on the right flank.

More of the left.

Japanese tanks move out to engage the Chinese!

The Ford is contested.

The result of all of the Japanese tank shooting is 2 bailed T-26s. note: We forgot about "Hip Shot" allowing the Japanese tankers to re-roll misses on the move!

The Chinese tanks sit still to maximize return fire.

Wiping out one platoon of tanks entirely...

And knocking out one tank from the other platoon.

The Chinese town.

With their HMGs shot to pieces the turn before, the Chinese infantry have to move into the open to keep the objective hot, and keep the Chinese in the game!

On the far left, a Chinese platoon nabs the one point objective, but is under constant fire from Japanese infantry guns.

Mid Game
The three remaining Japanese tanks move out to pour MG fire into the Chinese infantry.

The Chinese infantry weathers the storm, staying just above half strength.

Return fire destroys one Japanese tank, and bails the others.

The situation mid-game.

Allen moves his infantry out to push to my far left flank.
They move closer, but thanks to some warrior command chaining, I move 2 tanks over to assist.

The Chinese attempt to break the stalemate.  MG and main gun fire pepper the Japanese defenders, knocking out another tank and bailing the last one.

Late Game
Unfortunately bailed Japanese tanks still require a tank terror test which I promptly fail!

On the right, I launch an assault on pinned rifle teams through cover... Allen scores a single hit on me which I have to take on my platoon leader.  Who dies.  Stopping the whole darn assault!  Gah!

Finally, on the following turn, I'm able to launch a successful assault.

On the left, the Chinese move to the bridge in anticipation of assaulting!  I critically forget to include my Battalion CO.

The bloody hand to hand fighting.

The Japanese are left with one stand who will berserk next round.

The assault on the bridge is launched!

The Japanese are bloodied...

But manage to push the Chinese back.

At this point we call the game.

The Chinese solidly hold 5 points, while Allen holds 7.  By the letter of the rules for Blind Domination this makes Allen the winner- a hard fought victory! While I think one more turn could turn the tide, we DID play something like 11 turns.

Allen's Closing Thoughts
As you can read in the report, Steve and I butchered a few special rules.  But in the end, it did not matter. As far as tactics go, I liked my approach to the mission and how I positioned the guys.  I certainly expected a better outcome in the tank department!  I will say that I did not play the HMG platoon as well as I should have.  I simply did not commit to the plan with them.  Subsequently, they only shot in two or three turns out of the 10 plus we got in.  I should have put them in the lock-down spot I wanted originally and just left them there.  And I was bummed that I could not get the Nikihaku teams into an assault position on the tanks.  But I am sure that Steve would have done everything necessary to prevent that from happening!

Ultimately, what mattered was we had a great and enjoyable game.  I will remember the one hit killing the commander in an assault for a long time!

For those folks who are a little burned out or just plowing through optimized lists, try a crazy game like this one.  It will recharge your batteries!

Steven's Closing Thoughts
Fun game with some fun armies and a great opponent.  I'd happily play this again, though I'd spend a bit more time assimilating the special rules which really changed the game! I echo Allen's sentiments about playing "non optimized" games of Flames Of War- it really does work and is quickly becoming my preference!

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