26/01/2017 at 14:05 #56530
Vicki and Kyote – Knock it off, you two 😉
Ivan and Shelldrake – I have no idea either.
McKinstry – Glad you like it, thanks for the comment.
Next batrep coming right up.
Jack26/01/2017 at 14:21 #56531
It’s 1530 on 24 December 1941, and 1st Platoon is tasked with taking Horseshoe Ridge, again. The good news is that the platoon has gotten plenty of water and some hot chow, and five of their men have recuperated well enough from their injuries to rejoin the unit. The bad news is they’re heading back to Horseshoe Ridge, where twice they’ve battled the Japanese, taking heavy casualties.
Sgt Carlson: “Horseshoe Ridge again, eh Sir?” “Yes Cody, Horseshoe Ridge. Ours is not to reason why, young man,” Capt Moon said with a smile.
“Christmas Eve, eh Sir?” “Aye. It will be all the merrier when we’re sitting atop Horseshoe Ridge, manning our machine guns, with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads,” the Captain laughed. “We’d best get to work.”
Overview, north is to top left, the entirety of Horseshoe Ridge is displayed, the mass at center, running west (bottom left) to east (top right). The previous two fights took part on the eastern end of Horseshoe Ridge, at top right. The Platoon linked up with the Company CP off camera to bottom center several miles, and now is making a push to take the ridge again. The Marines will enter from the west, the Japanese will be on and around the ridge. The table is, once again, 6′ x 4’s, and my son and I are playing co-op as the Marines against the Japanese in 15mm, using Ivan Sorensen’s rules, “No End In Sight.”
The Marine 1st Platoon, reorganized again: Platoon Commander, Platoon Sergeant, two-man M-1917 water-cooled machine gun team, three-man 60mm mortar team, an M-3 Stuart of the Army National Guard’s 194th Tank Battalion, and two seven-man rifle squads. The Company Commander, Major Ford, promised help after he tracked down the rest of the platoons. Guess he hasn’t found them yet…
Mortar rounds (blue beads) are targeted all around the Japanese howitzer (bottom left), which is engaging the US tank (top center left), which has just crested the west end of Horseshoe Ridge.
A Japanese Lieutenant leads a Banzai charge straight into US guns. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
Cut off by a second Japanese landing at Lamon Bay in southern Luzon, Capt Moon and Sgt Carlson reorganized the platoon, working in replacements from 3rd and 4th Platoons, then sited them in a 360 degree perimeter atop Horseshoe Ridge, and waited for the Japanese counterattack. It came the following night, Christmas.
Jack26/01/2017 at 19:55 #56551
Sweet – they have a goat!
Very lucky game for the Marines this time round.26/01/2017 at 21:17 #56558
This just keeps getting better and better. 🙂
(One very minor complaint about the Japanese machine gun team, the figures look perfect but the loader being so far away from the gunner spoils the look, I wish you had placed them on a combined base and had replacement figures if they get separated or one dies. Just a thought, everything else looks so good.)27/01/2017 at 01:30 #56567
Sheldrake- yeah, I needed an easy one! After I wrote it up I realized I kept a conventional “IGO-UGO” turn sequence, rather than going to cards, so that probably had something to do with it.
Vicki- Thanks, and yeah, I know what you mean. I got so wrapped up in singly basing I just did everyone like that. It will have to be okay, I’m not going back to redo all my guns, MGs, and mortars now!
Jack27/01/2017 at 01:31 #56568
I have a few MG teams based separately before realising that the loader is literally feeding the belt to the gun and the bases make it impossible to line up proper :/
Nordic Weasel Games
https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/27/01/2017 at 03:03 #56569
Uncle Carl would be proud of that Machine Gunner !!! Thanks Jack !!! Oh and that goat seems to bring luck for the Marines !!27/01/2017 at 17:00 #56632
Ivan – Yeah, but I’ve grown accustomed to it, doesn’t bother me that much anymore. I like having them separate, can show when the weapons are not manned because the crew is driven back by fire.
Kyote – I dunno, the goat was there for the next fight, and…
Jack27/01/2017 at 17:03 #56633
Since the table looks so kick-ass now, you should consider doing some little cotton puff explosions as well 🙂
Nordic Weasel Games
https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/27/01/2017 at 18:34 #56640
I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere, but I’m just not getting it. Speak plainly, Commie! 😉
Jack27/01/2017 at 18:35 #56641
That wasn’t a joke at all, just for once 🙂
A few cotton “puffs” in some of the shots to look like little explosions would finish the look, since everything else looks so good now.
Nordic Weasel Games
https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/27/01/2017 at 18:46 #56642
Or do you mean better looking cotton puffs, like painted up yellow, orange, red, and black, like some guys do?
Jack27/01/2017 at 18:48 #56643
Sorry, yeah. Painted ones.
Partially because when I tried to paint some, it was a stupid mess and looked awful, so I want you to do the hard work for my visual benefit instead 🙂
Nordic Weasel Games
https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/27/01/2017 at 20:19 #56650
The way to paint cotton puffs is to use a box..to keep them from drifting to much and spray paint…line the cotton puffs along one side and gently give them a shot of paint…repeat till you get the right look….I use red , yellow and then black spray paint that way… Then kinda pull them apart a bit till it looks right.27/01/2017 at 20:28 #56652
The funny thing is, if we wanted them to look real we’d just paint them brown.
Jack27/01/2017 at 20:37 #56653
LOL, or that !!!27/01/2017 at 21:28 #56655
The funny thing is, if we wanted them to look real we’d just paint them brown. V/R, Jack
Yep – a lot of earthy colours. I was surprised the first time I worked in a forward observer party to see that the explosions at the pointy end were not in fact big balls of flame.
Thanks Hollywood and the petrol explosion special effects for that one.27/01/2017 at 21:31 #56656
The white puffs do look like the explosion effects in the 70’s Waterloo movie though 🙂
Nordic Weasel Games
https://sites.google.com/site/nordicweaselgames/27/01/2017 at 21:53 #56658
Now you have me wanting to make a short burst using steel wool as an experiment.
28/01/2017 at 09:21 #56682
- This reply was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by shelldrake. Reason: fixing spelling
Slow down man, you’re killing me! I’ve got too much on my plate to keep up! Have you considered cheap dollar-store tea-lights and stained cotton batten with flocking and ballast for explosion markers? They look really goooooood! They flicker and everything. I think War Panda made some for his battles and I know many others use them too. This is of course a transparent attempt to distract you, to redirect your efforts and to slow you down, so I can catch up. But they are very eye-catching markers nonetheless.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.28/01/2017 at 15:04 #56714
Sorry, Professor, time waits for no man 😉
I have given no serious consideration to the tea lights; while they look great, I need stuff that’s quick (to make and to use) and functional. I want my stuff to look as good as possible within the limits of allowing me to play games as quick as possible; I’m not looking to spend an hour setting up a diorama for each photo.
This coming week should see me posting the last two Philippines fights.
Jack31/01/2017 at 18:45 #56997
It’s 2245 on 25 December 1941, and 1st Platoon is finally in possession of Horseshoe Ridge, but for how long is anyone’s guess. Yesterday afternoon Captain Moon led 1st Platoon, with a big assist from a National Guard M-3 Stuart, in a successful assault to take Horseshoe Ridge. Once the Japanese were evicted, Capt Moon and Sgt Carlson consolidated into a small, 360 degree perimeter. But later that evening Major Ford, their Company Commander, came up, with good news and bad news. The good news was that 3rd and 4th Platoons were stood down, and their men were fed into 1st and 2nd Platoons to bring them back up to strength. With that, 1st Platoon was ordered to hold the entirety of Horseshoe Ridge. The bad news was that General Parker, the US South Luzon Force commander, needed his tank back. Also, Major Ford was taking 2nd Platoon and heading west, assuming a defensive position on a small hill overlooking a bridge, with the understanding that the Marines were not likely going to be able to hold for long, and would soon need to retreat to the west, making their way to Cavite and/ore Manila, to link-up with the rest of the South Luzon force and maybe even the rest of the US troops on Luzon, now withdrawing into the Bataan Peninsula.
With that, you need to understand we’re reaching a dark time in the campaign: in real life, the main US force on Luzon is about to voluntarily bottle itself up in the Bataan Peninsula, where it will put up a brave and dogged defense, but ultimately will fall back until there’s no more room to fall back, then capitulate. Immediately following that, the Japanese will pound McArthur’s headquarters, the island fortress of Corregidor (across from the Bataan Peninsula, in Manila Bay), then launch an amphibious assault that, for all intents and purposes, ended the US resistance in the Philippines in April 1942.
So, the 1st Platoon is but a microcosm of this overall situation. They have taken Horseshoe Ridge and been reconstituted, victories at the tactical level. But the overall situation is that their time in the Philippines is coming to a violent close. While they have a full complement of troops, the food, ammo, and medical supplies they have on hand is all they’ll ever have; the platoon is severely outnumbered, surrounded, and cut-off. The only reason they’ve even lasted this long is because the Japanese have, in the overall scheme of things, been ignoring them, rushing past them from, east to west, to capture Manila.
The time is drawing near where the Platoon will cease to be a coherent fighting force, and more a band of fugitives searching for a means to escape the Philippines.
Overview, north is to top left, the entirety of Horseshoe Ridge is displayed, the mass at center, running west (bottom left) to east (top right). The previous three fights took part on the eastern end of Horseshoe Ridge, at top right, and with the Platoon assaulting the west end of the ridge, at center. The Platoon linked up with the Company CP off camera to bottom center several miles, then came back and finally took the ridge. The Marines, as per their orders (and due to the uncertain disposition of the enemy) are occupying the ridge in its entirety, in a 360 degree perimeter, though it is not a continuous line as they don’t have enough troops. The Japanese will be attacking from all points of the compass. The table is, once again, 6′ x 4’s, and my son and I are playing co-op as the Marines against the Japanese in 15mm, using Ivan Sorensen’s rules, “No End In Sight.”
Overview of the table, with all forces placed on the table. The Marines are on the ridge at center, and everything on the perimeter of the table is Japanese. The Marine position is simple: 1st Squad is at the west end of the ridge (center left, fanned out just below the clump of trees at center). 2nd Squad is in the center, facing north (top), sitting between the two clumps of trees. They have the 60mm mortar team sited in right behind them. The Command Post (Capt Moon, Sgt Carlson, and the sniper) are just to their right (just left of the third clump of trees, at center right top). 3rd Squad is on the east end of the ridge, just on the other side of the clump of trees from the CP, facing east (right). Lastly, the MG team is just right of 3rd Squad, on the finger jutting out to the south (center top right).
In the west, the blinds have been cooperative with the Japanese, allowing them to mass a significant force, with support. They have three rifle squads (bottom left, far left, and just to the right of the village at top left), their 70mm Howitzer (top left), and a sniper (on the left side of the tree clump at top center). They are supported at bottom center and far right, by two MG teams, a Lieutenant, and another sniper.
They also have a decently powerful supplementary attack force on the top right (northeast) corner of the table (top center right), where they have a rifle squad, an officer, an MG team, and a Type 95 tank!
If you haven’t figure it out yet, the Japanese are serious about taking Horseshoe Ridge 😉 The Marines either need to hold the ridge, or escape the ridge.
At the east end of the ridge, the Japanese tank (center) pounds 3rd Squad (top left), while a Type 92 machine gun (far right) lays into 2nd Squad (top center).
Looking from east to west, the Marine MG team bottom center finds itself with no targets, but 1st Squad is being overrun in the west (top center), so they take up a supplemental position, facing about to support 1st Squad. To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
I will say that the Marines still have some semblance of a platoon left, and are moving southeast (away from the Japanese thrust to the northwest), trying to find a way out of the Philippines. But a Japanese patrol stands between the Marines and their means of escape, so stay tuned.
Jack31/01/2017 at 21:25 #57005
Damn this reads like a SLAM Marshall AAR !!! Great writing Jack !!!31/01/2017 at 23:54 #57010
This is turning into an epic, you should sell the rights to Hollywood. 🙂01/02/2017 at 00:30 #57011
You two need to lay off the medicinal marijuana!
Just kidding, sorry, I’m not used to people being nice to me 😉
I’m glad you guys are enjoying the story. I’ve played all six fights now, we’re done with the Philippines (should have the last batrep posted on Thursday). It was a lot of fun; I do have one small complaint: it’s a lot of work tracking every individual troop in the platoon. I don’t mind doing it as long as it’s adding to the story, but that’s my complaint. Could be that it was just this campaign and future campaigns will be different, but other than the Platoon Commander and Platoon Sergeant, I didn’t really feel attached to any of the Marines.
Only one of the original squad leaders survived, and the sniper was awarded the Navy Cross, but none of the other Marines distinguished themselves in any way. Like I said, not sure it this just didn’t happen in this particular campaign, and future campaigns will see more characters emerge, and I’m not sure what I could do about it any case (maybe just follow the PC, Plt Sgt, team leaders, and squad leaders?). Guess I’m just whining 😉
But I can do that, you guys are my sounding board. What do you think?
Jack01/02/2017 at 01:05 #57012
The narrative sounded real that’s why I compared it to SLAM Marshall’s works. Some times you only have one or two heroes in a unit.
If naming and tracking every one bogs you down simplify it to those few leaders. Let the others just be spear carriers .01/02/2017 at 09:13 #57028
You have to do it whichever way works best for you, I’d rather have this series of games continue with just the leaders being tracked than have it become a chore for you.
I’d suggest keeping it this way for the next campaign (Dutch East Indies?) and if none of the rank and file stand out change it then. You might try tracking them only after their first exceptional act of bravery? So you’d track leaders and heroes only?
As for people being nice, what can I say? Get used to it. 🙂01/02/2017 at 20:22 #57082
Yeah, like I said, I was probably just whining. I don’t want to follow every single troopie, but I want to follow the platoon through the war, and that means guys are going to get promoted and leave, or wounded/killed. So, particularly wit the leadership positions, other guys are going to have to come up through the ranks to fill those slots, and I want to know their backgrounds, not just have them magically appear n the unit roster. I want to know that Sgt Schmuckatelli joined the platoon in Guadalcanal and took part in several campaigns as a Private, PFC, and Corporal, before becoming a Sergeant, was wounded twice and received a Bronze Star on Tarawa in Nov ’43.
So I guess I gotta follow everyone…
“As for people being nice, what can I say? Get used to it. ”
I don’t like it, and you can’t make me 😉
Jack02/02/2017 at 01:11 #57101
I have really enjoyed these AAR’s and I know you want to butterfly away to something else but please don’t abandon these poor bastards at sea .02/02/2017 at 16:27 #57143
Now how the hell could I forget or abandon Marines!!!??? 😉
Next fight will be posted soon.
Jack02/02/2017 at 20:39 #57168
It’s 2030 on 6 January 1942, and 1st Platoon is looking for the exit. Alone and cut off in southern Luzon, a Marine Provisional Rifle Company faced off against much superior Imperial Japanese forces. The Marines put up a valiant defense, and they would likely have been completely annihilated had the Japanese not been more focused on by-passing them on their way to the capital city of Manila. Following a series of fights on Horseshoe Ridge, the platoon has suffered more than 50% casualties, and their commander has now come to the decision he must seek an escape from the Philippines for his men and himself. On the run, they ran into a small group of Marines living on rumors of a US Navy ship lying concealed in a cove to the southeast.
Captain Moon and Sgt Carlson kept the Marines moving east on the southern coast of Luzon, but soon they came to a bridge at a small fishing village. Captain Moon wanted to avoid enemy contact at all costs; the Marines were unable to skirt the village to the south due to the ocean, but scouting parties sent north were unable to find a suitable crossing as well.
Captain Moon turned to Sgt Carlson: “well, Cody, I guess we’re crossing here.” So the Platoon sat tight until nightfall, then sent a squad forward to clear the area before the main body moved to cross.
Overview of map, north is right. The (fictional) village of Begate is at center, with the river just below it, running north to south. The Marines are entering from the west (top), the Japanese will be spread throughout the village and on the east (bottom) side of the river. The Marine will send a squad forward to secure the crossing; they’ve got to have a bridge as they’re carrying all their wounded. The table is 6′ x 4′, though we’re only using about 4′ x 3′, and my son and I are playing co-op as the Marines against the Japanese in 15mm, using Ivan Sorensen’s rules, “Five Men at Kursk.”
The opposing forces, with US on the right and (potential) Japanese on the left. Finally got the Type 95 tank in the picture. The US force is all from Eureka Minis, while the Japanese are Eureka except for the tank and the three Type 92 Machine Gun teams, which are from Peter Pig. You can really see how much the platoon has suffered, down from 33 able-bodied Marines to 21 (after receiving almost seventeen replacements), out of mortar and machine gun ammunition, low on food, water, and medical supplies.
Fighting is getting up close and personal; Sgt Carlson (center, just behind retaining wall) takes care of three Japanese soldiers himself, two in hand-to hand!
But Japanese on the other side of the river (bottom center) prove a problem for Sgt Carlson and his Marines in the village (top right).
The squad’s automatic rifleman takes out a Japanese soldier n the opposite bank (casualty figure at bottom left), as Sgt Thomas leads two Marines across a foot bridge (center left) to deal with another enemy troop (bottom right).
To catch the exciting finish to the Marines’ saga in the Philippines, please check the blog at:
The Marines got a move on, looking to get clear of the crossing before dawn brought more Japanese troops. It took awhile, but ultimately Capt Moon and Sgt Carlson were able to locate the US Navy, and make their way out of the Philippines. But it was a case of out of the frying pan and into the fire: the Navy deposited the raggedy, worn out Marines in the Dutch East Indies, which just so happened to be Imperial Japan’s next big offensive.
Thus ends our fights in the Fall of the Philippines, with the Marines escaping only to take part in the Fall of the Dutch East Indies, which will be the next set of five to seven fights.
Jack02/02/2017 at 22:10 #57174
Wooh !! Close one. I like the way your river lays on the grass mat flat and the banks look real.03/02/2017 at 00:13 #57182
The river looks brilliant. 🙂
Great report (how many different ways are there of saying that?). Your writing style is wonderful, especially the bit where Sgt Carlson creeps forward in the pale moonlight, and I loved the sneaky guy on the bridge sneaking sneakily.
More. More! MORE!
🙂03/02/2017 at 16:31 #57241
John – Thanks, and yeah, it got a bit sticky. I like the look of the river, but I don’t like the large ridge on each bank (where it meets the table mat).
Vicki – Thanks. And…
“…the sneaky guy on the bridge sneaking sneakily.”
Stop encouraging my silliness. More fights to come, probably some more Crossfire games, maybe some Cuba Libre Spec Ops stuff, maybe some modern tanks, maybe some Pacific air-to air, maybe I’ll even rush into Dutch East Indies with these guys (but probably not, need a little break).
The saga in the Philippines is over. I added an epilogue to wrap up this chapter, if anyone is interested.
Be back soon.
Jack03/02/2017 at 17:25 #57243
Thanks Jack !!!03/02/2017 at 22:41 #57258
The epilogue was a nice touch, shame it turned out so bad for the marines left behind with the villagers. And the fact I care about the fate of your little lead men shows how well you’ve done all this, you’ve made it feel real.04/02/2017 at 14:31 #57304
John – no sweat.
Vicki – glad you read the epilogue, and yeah, historically things were pretty bad if you got abandoned in the Philippines. Some US troops were able to take to the hills and hide, or carry out guerrilla warfare, but that was mostly in southern PI, and even most of them didn’t make it.
Regarding getting attached to the characters, I certainly do, that’s the fun of it. It might even make me cheat every now and again, just a little bit 😉
Jack13/04/2017 at 05:08 #60589
Really missing my Marines.13/04/2017 at 12:48 #60606
Thanks for the subtle hint John 😉
Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about these guys. I’ve been trying to find stuff for scenario fodder, trying to put together a campaign plan. It’s been more difficult than I thought, insofar as it looks/feels like a repeat of the Philippines campaign.
Jack13/04/2017 at 14:21 #60616
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