A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Disposable Heroes: Pacific Airstrip


Recently conned one of our club members into a game using Red Sun Red Death our Pacific supplement to Disposable Heroes and Coffin for Seven Brothers.  I set up the table as a Japanese airstrip, partially covered by bunkers.  The USMC attackers would be positioned in such a way as to represent their partial penetration of the Japanese defensive works.  Also, the airstrip required a very large, open, area.... something we don't frequently have in our games.  My opponent chose the forces, and went with the Japanese.

The Marines are all 28mm Brigade Games, the Japanese are mostly Battle Honors 25/28mm with a few Brigade Games mixed in.  The M4 Sherman is from Corgi, the Chi-Ha and Ha-Go are from Company B as are the 2 USMC 37mm ATGs, and I don't recall where the 1/48 Zero came from anymore.

Here is the opening scene for this battle....

The Marines began to surge onto the table, while the Japanese redeployed from their initial positions into more flexible defensive positions.  Japanese units in bunkers that had already been bypassed by the Marines left their fortifications to nibble at the flanks of the Americans.

On the American right, the struggle was particularly brutal, and most of the casualties would be caused in this general area.
Oh, I took a quick shot of another game going on that night, a Point Blank game, 1939 Poland, using an experimental double blind system.
Anyway, back to the jungle....

Casualties and failed morale tests kept things interesting on the Marine right.  Typical of the Pacific Theater, this included some melee.

The Japanese brought up their Chi-Ha to support their left (they also had a Ha-Go deployed in the aircrew shacks, which was putting down accurate 37mm and MG fire, whittling down a US HMG team throughout the game).  The Marine 37mm ATG on that side was pushed into position, and scored a hit, which failed to penetrate.
The overconfident Chi-Ha moved too close to the Marine infantry... who promptly initiated a close assault....

... and with the aid of a machete, a P-38 can opener, and some hand grenades, they dispatched the Chi-Ha spectacularly.

Wary of cross fire from a bunker-enclosed 70mm IG and a HMG team, the Marines were reluctant to cross that wide, flat, field.  You can see the Ha-Go blazing away at the advancing Marines.
The Marine M4 Sherman had hit the 70mm IG bunker several times, without a single penetrating hit, until finally...
... it scored a penetrating hit with a "10", resulting in the destruction of the bunker and all of its occupants.
With the failure on the Japanese left, and the way across the middle now open, it was clear that the Marines would be able to take the air strip.  We called the game at this point.

My Marines has suffered a fair number of casualties, as had the Japanese.  In retrospect, the Marines were a bit too strong for general play balance in this scenario.... not always a bad thing, but if I played this set up again, I would tone them down a little, or give the Japanese maybe one more squad of infantry.

Still, it was a fun game, and had tough choices for both sides.



  1. Nice AAR! Sometimes scenarios are better when one side is just plain better than the other, especially if the "better" force is under a time constraint or has some other major hurdles to cross.

    1. Yes, it was tough for both of us... and scenarios don't have to be even. Still, when I come up with a scenario, and end up with the stronger side, I always feel a little like a heel :)

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. Many interests, few talents :)

  3. Sound like a lot of fun. In general it is hard to make a game balanced.

  4. Nice aar. We tried this last night at our club, but struggled with the force composition. Can you please post the force lists? We also got the table at 90 degrees to yours. Serves us right for not doing our homework. Regards, Andrew, UK.