To Embark Upon the Great Crusade 9

The two marks (Mark and Marc), continue their chronological newsreel AAR series thru the sands of time  with Combat Commander as the metaphor of their exploration of squad level combat in WWII.

News from the Pacific Islands, September 1942

The war continues to rage in the Pacific as Allied forces attempt to stem the tide of Japanese aggression.

New Guinea, September 4, The Kokoda Trail

Along the rough and mountainous terrain of New Guinea, Australian soldiers are set to receive the Japanese advance while withdrawing their men down the hills. Here are the ANZACs, strung out along the trail, ready to fall back against the enemy advance.

The brave troops attempt to hold the hill crests but the Japanese wave advances. The soldier along the highest crest hold back the advance slightly, firing as Japanese troops approach via a gully. Suddenly enemy troops appear at the bottom of the hill! They rush the squad down below and grab the trailhead before exiting the area. The next group of troops were holding fast but were soon overrun. It fell to Lt. Thornton and his men to hold the last line. A team arrived with a 25 pounder and began hammering the approaching enemy. But it wasn’t enough. The Japanese were able to close and jump our allies, forcing them to surrender. Bad news from New Guinea!

Here is the aftermath recorded by war journalists.

[size=18]A Medal of Honor for Edson’s Fighting Withdrawal, September 13, Guadalcanal[size=18]

Here are the U.S. Marines, doing a fighting withdrawal. They are set up on the ridge that will bear the name of the their brave commander, Edson.

The Japanese swept like a wave toward the Americans. They fought bravely, a fighting withdrawal. The Japanese managed to move along the hill, grabbing the dug-in objectives. But a brave squad of Marines and their MMG slowed the advance. The Marines hold out against the withering fire of Tojo’s men and are able to extricate themselves in an orderly fashion. They will stand to fight another day when the time is right for taking the fight to the Emperor of the Rising Sun.

Here, the Japanese cannot take our troops’ position.

Game Notes

Scenario L is from Combat Commander: Pacific. It’s an interesting one in which the Japanese are attacking (though Recon posture) downhill. It got pretty bad when I was down to just a leader and a couple of squads. I was very close to holding them off, one away from surrender though. Mifune appeared and somehow managed to get a 150mm radio! My 25 pounder broke him and kept the shells from falling. One Japanese arty barrage actually fell back and killed their MMG squad. My 25 pounder was going to be a big help but it wasn’t soon enough. With just a couple spaces on the Time Track until Sudden Death, the Japanese were able to move up and overpower us in tObjective 3. With no ambushes, and the Japanese overstocked, I didn’t have a chance. Japanese win by Australian surrender.

Scenario I is quite similar to ‘L’ except with full night rules. The Japanese are moving with a big mass of men and this time it is the Marines doing a fighting withdrawal. It was a matter of time and whether the Marines could hold out. They did, although I had to pass the Initiative Card to make Sudden Death happen (at 8, the odds are on my side; so when it was passed back, I still won). There was a lot of tension but I held on and won at Sudden Death with 7 VPs.

These battles are part of our play through of all the scenarios of theCombat Commander Series in chronological order. Current standings are Allies-Axix, 9-12.


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