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Monday, February 16, 2015

Saipan Patrol! Chain of Command Japanese vs. US Marines

By Eric Lauterbach

Our first game of US Marines vs. the Japanese playing Chain of Command was pretty interesting. The mission we selected was a patrol where two forces approach from the long edge. It doesn't always work out that way once the patrol phase starts as you will see.

The forces in CoC are exact full strength historical platoon organizations to start with, from there you compare the platoon force rating vs the opponents and you get the difference in extra forces. The Marines, due to their large amount of BAR weapons, gave the Japanese enough points for a bad HA-GO tank. You could easily monkey with the platoon composition, CoC gives you the formula to do so.

This is a battle report, and we are all still fairly new to the game so if you are looking for a tutorial I suggest you take a look at the Too Fat Lardies site and watch Richard's videos on how to play.

So, on to the opening moves the patrol phase.  The Marines started out by moving aggressively to the center, with the Japanese with their extra movement for patrol markers trying to outflank the Americans. You win the game by wrecking the other players force morale, both were high for this game.
The board.

In the patrol phase you roll to see which sector your markers will enter.

The Japanese markers come in on the right.

The USMC enter in the center.

During the patrol phase markers are moved until they reach 12" of enemy markers then they are locked.

You must maintain a 12" link between all of your markers

BUT the Japanese special rules allow them to be 14" between markers

Once all markers are locked you place jump-off points this is where your troops enter the table.

The Japanese have one in the river two on the left side. The USMC has the house and one on each side of the river.

The Marines with all the BARs in the world.

The Japanese with tons of rifles and some really mean knee mortars.

The chain of command dice, these are rolled to activate your forces. (go watch the video on how this works, its is one of the coolest parts of CoC and great command system)

The Japanese deployed their Knee mortar squad and a squad of infantry.

The Marines occupied the house and went on overwatch.

A second squad deployed on the far side of the river.

The knee mortars drop a few rounds on the house causing some shock.

The Marines drop another squad near the Japanese and take some pot shots.

The far Marine squad with nobody around moves out towards the Japanese jump off point. 

Picking off a few Japanese in the woods.

The Marines in the house open up as well.

The Japanese tank shows up and fires at the house not doing much.

The Marines roll a one and pop their bazooka team its long range shot and misses.

The Japanese tank wants no part of the bazooka and starts trying to hit him with fire.

The fire fight in the woods is heating up with Japanese on one end and Marines the other.

The Knee mortars are helping the Japanese as well.

At this point the Marines roll two sixes double activations ouch! This going to hurt the Japanese.

The Bazooka fires a second time at the tank and hits! By some miracle the Marines rolled terrible penetration dice and the round bounced! 

The far Marines on the other side of the river are able to move twice and capture a Japanese jump off point.

Losing jump off points hurts your force morale BUT it only takes effect at the end of a turn.

On the second activation the Bazooka shoots again and misses! The Bazooka is now out of ammo and must rearm from the Jump off point. 
The Marine fire from the house and woods paste the Japanese and their squad leader gets wounded and several riflemen are killed. Its a bad things happen roll for the Japanese which hurts their force morale.

The loses and shock are so bad the Japanese are pinned.

At this point the Japanese need help so they drop two squads and try and gang up on the isolated Marines in the woods.

This platoon was about to go for the assault BUT the Marines burned a Chain of Command die to shoot them first. A good move that makes the Japanese think twice about finishing off the Marines.

The Knee mortars and two squads hammer the Marines in the woods.

The far platoon moves to relive some of the pressure on the other squad.

Its real bad sarge! 

The fire pins them down then breaks the squad, its bad things happen roll for the Americans which hurts their force morale.

The Marines run leaving the jump off point undefended.

The Marines start pounding the knee mortars in the treeline.

The battle hangs in the balance both sides have a really beat up squad but the Marines are broken. If the turn ends they will rout off the board.

The woods platoon moves to fire and capture the USMC jump off point.

They roll a 12 for movement! Captured Marine jump off point.

Direct fire knee mortars ouch! they hurt.

The Japanese shoot up the house causing more shock.

The Marines are on the Japanese flank but are too beat up to push the Japanese.  At this point the Japanese burn their chain of command die to end the turn.

That causes a bad things happen roll for the Japanese lost jump off point.

It also causes a "bad things happen" roll for the Marine captured jump off point.
Plus a "bad things happen" for these broken guys which leave the table.

The Marines hunker down since that tank is still out there.

With their force morale low and Japanese concentrating fire on the house the Marines are in bad spot.

With this squad turning to protect the flank, the game is almost over.

At this point the Marines conceded the game.
Well it was great fight, which we will be doing again real soon. The only problem we came into is I  doubt the Marines should be as high of force morale as they were.  The point difference seams like it should be closer and the Japanese really did not need the tank to fight them since they have such large platoons.  Plus those knee mortars are dynamite.

Tarzan now make war! 

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