For our Friday game, Dan Best and I selected Scenario CH14 Ninety Minute War. Dan had mentioned that this scenario saw considerable tournament play and despite its 7 turn length, actually played quite quickly. And in fact, we would storm through this scenario in just under three hours having completed all 7 turns.
During the dark days of December 1941, the Japanese launched attacks across the Pacific and on December 10th Guam became the next target of Imperial Japan's quest for Pacific domination.
And amazingly, I have three friends (military service personnel and military brats) who lived on or were stationed on Guam. One of my close co-workers over the years, actually flew B-52's out of Guam during the Vietnam War.
So suffice to say, I was pretty excited to play out this Guam scenario.
I drew the Japanese and would be the attacker with 12 x 4-4-7's a 9-0 and an 8-0 officer. My track record with the Japanese has been none to good over the years. But, I have rarely played any PTO and this would be my third opportunity to play this Japanese this year.
Dan drew the Guamanian Militia consisting of 9 x 4-4-7's, 2 x MMG's, and an 8-1 and a 7-0 officer to lead these group of defenders.
As I would learn during the course of the game, these men would be tough fighters.
My objective was to take control of the 22G6 Building. (see yellow star) I decided on three separate approaches as the Guamanians had an HIP MMG on board 37. I was none too excited about walking into it. And I was particularly concerned about walking one of my two officer led stacks right into a buzz saw of MMG fire.
Turn 1 went nice and smooth as my boys hacked their way through the jungle. No surprises...just the way I like it.
Turn 2 was a different story. One of my single 4-4-7's managed to draw the fire of the HIP MMG, which quickly laid down a fire lane. My first squad would stripe, but the second one that I sent through the 2 factor fire lane was reduced to a half-squad. It's always the 2 factor shots that get you.
Having found the hidden MMG, my boys in the south hustled forward. Meanwhile my two officer led stacks moved to isolate and eliminate the MMG.
Dan would successfully relocate the MMG and force me to advance against it once more. Throughout our games, I have noted that Dan has a knack for moving out of harm's way.
As my forces emerged from the jungle, more of the Guamanian Militia revealed themselves and the real fighting began.
My LMG's would give good service, but I wouldn't do anything with the mortars or even assemble them. Despite their smoke making capability, I just kept moving my infantry forward.
With the Japanese, getting into close combat is a priority. Japanese squads always fight hand to hand and get -1 in CC. I didn't win all of the Close Combats, but was able to eliminate the MMG squad and capture the MMG.
Close Combat would be the name of the game throughout the night.
As mentioned earlier, Dan would once again relocate his forces to consolidate his defense of the 22G6 Building. I still was unaware of where many of his HIP 4-4-7's were hiding.
One of my target goals had been the cluster of building to the NE of the 22G6 Building. I was happy to find no hidden enemies in the complex. This would be my primary staging area for assaulting the victory location.
The circled units were the units of Dan's force that I was aware of. More would pop up and surprise me...at just the worst times!!
I continued to drive forward and get into the victory location building as quickly as possible. The concealed 4-4-7 in G5 would hold their fire, despite my best efforts to get them to reveal themselves and allow me to Banzai them. They never did. Steely-eyed Missile Men to say the least!
I did finally launch my Banzai, and that's when the G5 boys opened up on me. My officer was wounded, but his boys continued into the fray.
A shot of the fight for the victory location building. Dan's forces were in good position and I was melting under the fire.
But Dan's rolls near the end of the game suddenly went to the high side and I was able to survive some of his fire.
It was in the next movement phase that my boys in the south went for it and would successfully get adjacent to Dan's boys in E4. The E4 unit would go onto Pin and be eliminated in CC. All along the line, my Japanese were moving in for close combat.
Incredibly my forces had managed to surround and get into the 22G6 building. The remaining Guamanians were in F3 and F4.
The grim end was near.
Finally, in Turn 7 only the US 8-1 and a 4-4-7 with an MMG were left.
My boys would leap into Close Combat and overcome the final Guamanian resistance.
With the building taken, the Island of Guam would fall to the Japanese.
Sadly, the Japanese occupation of Guam would be marked with atrocities against the native Guamanians.
My Japanese would celebrate their victory and I would get my first win playing the Japanese.
A plaque memorializing the stand of the Insular Guard and the resistance of the native Chamoros.
Thanks to Dan for another great game and as always, I am already looking forward to our next contest!