Battle of Buariki: Opening Moves

Welcome back to our play through of a scenario from an upcoming game in the Lock ‘n Load lineup. Here is a shot so that you can pick up right where we left off. Both sides have deployed and we’re ready for the start of the scenario. I should note that I mistakenly did not account for marshes as degrading terrain for these first few moves.

Deployment from our previous installment.

Note: All components seen are playtest material, and have been poorly constructed and put together by yours truly, so they do not represent what the final game will look like.

Opening Moves:

The Allies are given initiative per the scenario. Because of my deployment, I was planning to open with taking advantage of my access to the 105mm Artillery granted per the scenario. By deploying in either degrading or blocking terrain, I would be able to stay concealed, and hopefully land a nice arty shot to soften things up. Here goes!

Pvt Kionis attempts to call in an off-board artillery mission. To fire an off-board artillery mission, refer to the rules below.

18.2 Off-Board Artillery

To call off-board artillery, a friendly spotter uses an impulse to place a Spotting Round marker on any one hex within his LOS. The hex needs not be spotted … roll 2d6 [preferably white and colored] and do not add them together. Add the number of degrading hexes plus the white die, then subtract the leader’s leadership value, and divide this number by 2 dropping fractions. This is the distance the round drifts. The colored die determines direction … Consult the picture below.

Scatter Directional Diagram

Pvt Kionis calls it on H5, and rolls 1d6 (3) for distance and 1d6 (2) for direction. For distance, 3 + 1 (degrading) – 1 (leadership) / 2 equates to 1 hex. And we have our direction, so we place the spotting round in the resultant hex.

Let’s read on in the rules.

18.2 Off-Board Artillery (Continued)

Place the spotting round marker (as we did above) … If this hex is not in the Spotter’s LOS, remove the spotting round marker and put an Ops Complete marker on the spotter. Otherwise the spotter can shift the marker one hex in any direction that is within his LOS or abort the mission.

And that shift is exactly what we want! Pvt Kionis adjusts his aim and calls in the corrections for the artillery mission. We shift the spotting round back to H5 and place the Fire for Effect (FFE) marker and conduct the artillery mission in the FFE hex and all six adjacent hexes. The mission firepower is given in the scenario setup, in this case 5 Firepower (FP). Take into account all TM for the defenders except walls.

105mm Off-Board Artillery mission striking a blow to the Japanese defenders!

Conduct the damage as you normally would for any Direct Fire Table (DFT) attack. In this case, the attack is simply 5 FP + 1d6 and the defense is the TM + 1d6. We conduct all attacks for all involved hexes, and before we can discuss the results we must first cover…

Japanese Squad Reduction:

Unique to Heroes of the Pacific the Japanese bring something not typically seen in the series. Read the rules section, taken from the module rules below as well as the corresponding graphic…

Japanese Squad Reduction

The Japanese forces respond to casualties differently than other forces. If a Japanese multi-man counter (MMC) (including a Crew) receives a Shaken or Casualties result, it is treated as a Casualties result. For example, if a unit is a Squad, reduce it to a Half-squad; if it’s a Half-squad, reduce it to a Remnant. Units reduced must stop movement. An eliminated result eliminates any Japanese MMC.

The Artillery fires down from above and nets three reductions to the outlying Japanese squads and has no effect on the fearless leader and his squad in the primary hex.

Careful observers will note the morale change on the reduced side; the Japanese become even more committed.

The Japanese are now allowed to respond and attempt to surprise the Allies by attempting Ninjutsu Movement, another unique feature in this module.

“The Japanese were excellent jungle fighters and adept at ambushing their enemies. Ninjutsu movement replicates this ability without the awkward mechanics of hidden movement.” – Mark Walker

Ninjutsu movement can occur in any player’s impulse. Because the rules are not finalized and only in the playtest stage, I am going to refrain from putting the entirety of them here on the blog, however lets walk through how it is conducted. I select the hexes for each unit I wish to ambush with, marked below, and then roll on the Ninjutsu table.

Hexes chosen, for my two Ninjutsu eligible squads, as per the scenario setup. We then roll for each hex separately on the below table.

I’m rolling a straight 1d6 as both hexes contain an enemy MMC, however both hexes are heavy jungle. Not bad odds, I’m sure I’ll get at least one hex to successfully attack.

The orders are issued and they move in for the ambush, and fail miserably! With my luck, I roll two consecutive 1’s on the rolls. Both squads are eliminated. The Japanese elect to pass for the remainder of the impulse.

Needing to apply pressure on the entrenched defenders, the Allies make the first move from concealment. Pvt Kionis yells for his men to dash towards the Japanese defenders forcing a reaction. Because Pvt Kionis is marked Ops Complete, he is ineligible to move with his squad and must remain in his hex.

Action is about to heat up! Pvt Kionis orders his squad to move from J3 to I2, drawing Opportunity Fire from the Japanese defenders located in H2.

Let’s unpack the math behind the madness, and hopefully this will clear up how a DFT attack is accomplished. Below is a scanned image of the DFT table as found in your game. Highlighted in yellow are the modifiers that apply in the above situation.

The modifiers which apply in this situation are found above, highlighted in yellow. They are, “Target currently moving: +1 die roll” and “Target adjacent: +2 die roll” (Click for a larger image)

Example of how to conduct a DFT attack.

And below, we see how this is represented on the game board. The shaken unit is marked moved, and must stop in the hex in which they received the result. The squad that fired is marked as such.

And that’s going to wrap up our coverage for today. We’ve covered quite a bit, and shown off some unique aspects found in Heroes of the Pacific. Again if you have any interest in this title, head over to Lock ‘n Load’s website and pre-order this puppy. It’s going to be good. In our next installment we’ll cover quite a bit of back and forth fire, set off by the events that just took place. Enjoy!


3 thoughts on “Battle of Buariki: Opening Moves

  1. Stryker looks alot like John Wayne…anyway LnL counters and maps are superb.Mr Walker certainly knows how to make the games visually lovely. The map you where playing on I think WaW looked superb, and not card board.

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