Friday, May 13, 2016

Brothers in War - Pacific Theatre

We fought two more playtest games on my second set of Jungle terrain. Some of you may have seen this terrain when I brought it to Historicon in 2002. I won "Best of Show" for 2002, a very high honor for me and for Mal Wright (the guy that made this awesome terrain)! Back then we used Point of Attack: Blitzkrieg by Brent Oman.

This time around we are going to continue playtesting Brothers in War by Brent Oman of Piquet Inc. Think of Brothers in War as Squad Leader light, in that it is much easier to play and introduce to your group, yet still give you that low level tactical feel.

From the prior posts you can tell we are giving the rules a real workout in the Pacific Theatre!

Figures - 15mm Old Glory Command Decision, and some Quality Castings
Terrain - Home made by the great Mal Wright!

BATTLE #1 - Mindenao

Steve and Brian were USMC
Phil and Rob were Japanese
I setup the miniatures so we could start the game quickly.

Close look at the town, even has bird droppings on the statues!

Here you can see the 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, advancing behind a Sherman tank. We'll take any cover we can get! Notice the attached Bazooka team to the near squad.

USMC advance through the fields and jungle.

3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, advances with little or no cover near the farmstead.

Recon Platoon's advance through the river gorge would be costly.

Good shot of the town (Objective 1) for the Marines.

Every step you take in the gorge is perilous.

USMC uses their tanks as battering rams against the town.

We had Jap MG nests! This one opens up on the USMC at point blank range.

Ah! There it is!

What the Marines saw as they advanced!

USMC used the Shermans to clear out the Japanese from the town sections.

USMC squad pinned down by Japanese MG fire. Where the heck is the MG?

Holy crap! There it is!

We will teach them a lesson! Drop some off-board artillery on their ass!

Japanese squad on the right near the shell casing jumps on a USMC squad that walked by oblivious to their presence.

This was hilarious. The USMC squad nearly walks on top of a Japanese MG nest! Serious shock there! Japs managed to drive the Marines back, but the USMC eventually took out the MG.

USMC clearing out the last pockets of resistance in the gorge.

Rallied Japanese MG is annihilated by incoming 105mm artillery. This effectively ended the battle as the Japanese were out of Morale Points, and they had nobody left to defend one of the objectives.

USMC Corsair hits Japanese positions in the town just for good measure.

Phil and Rob showed a rare ability to roll 1s at the worst time in this game. Almost unbelievable. :-)

BATTLE #2 - Mindenao

Similar scenario, but this time we had three objectives (town, gorge, and cross roads). You will see these red stars throughout the photos, those are the objective points.

Japanese: Phil and Rob
USMC: Steve and Charles (Combat photographer)

Charles took most of the photos and loves getting close up action shots, hence he is my Combat Photographer.

Two USMC squads wade through the river gorge, making them attractive targets.

1st Platoon, Charlie Company, moves through the farmer's crops, with a Sherman providing some firepower.

This Japanese HMG will give the Marines in the gorge something to cry about.

USMC squad (with flamethrower) and HMG advance along the ridgeline. The river gorge is to their right.

The Jap HMG, top right of photo on the hill (see prior photo), unloads on this squad from the 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, inflicting horrible casualties.

Tank in the lead, the squads of 1st Platoon Charlie Company advance.

Target acquired! Japanese waiting in the brush

In the center, Steve sends in the "armored fist" of two Shermans and one M10. Japs can't counter that firepower.

Japanese squad (near the red stone and behind the wall) is obliterated by HE from the tanks.

We thought this would be a great place to defend! Just didn't expect the entire armor force for the USMC to come stomp us.

USMC squad totally wiped out by Jap MGs. They are in the jungle in the top of the photo.

Sherman tries to soften up the Japs in the cover, but has little success. They are going to have to close assault the Japanese out of that position!

First USMC squad is repulsed and suppressed after the assault. The Marines send in another squad, this time armed with Bazookas (the flocked stand)

The assault is an overwhelming success, destroying the Japanese squad. Those Bazookas really come in handy!

Meanwhile in the gorge, a Japanese 70mm infantry gun is causing havoc on the USMC squads in the river and on the ridge.

Japanese squad lurking in the one of the dry gorges.

Seeing most of the USMC troops heading up the middle of the table to the cross roads objectives, the Japanese begin to move their forces to counterattack!

Must protect the "Nice Lady Gentlemens Club"!

This picture just looked so cool I had to add it to the report. Japs moving to reinforce the center

Overhead view from the Japanese perspective. This shows most of the USMC main attack in the middle. This is Bravo company (3 platoons) and armored support.

M10 advances and is engaged by Japanese Anti-Tank Rifle on the flank. The M10 is suppress by the unexpected attack and moves back. The ATR is the round base just above the house in the bottom left of the photo. You can also see a Japanese tank making an appearance.

The Shermans move up and toast the Jap tank! See burning in this photo.

Japanese HMG in the middle of the gorge. Shell casing indicates they have fired and need to "reload".

Tank, supported by infantry, makes their way through the soft swampy ground. The tank is going to have to pick more firm ground or risk getting bogged down.

Next, Charles rolls a 1 with his HMG against the Japanese 70mm gun. MISS!

2nd USMC squad gets hammered by Japanese MGs in the gorge. More UI (Unit Integrity lost!)

Meanwhile, on the Marine far left, they move against the town. This is squads from the 1st Platoon, Bravo Company.

Bravo leader directs the attacks against the town

What is that sound?!!?! Take Cover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Japanese Zero shreds an USMC squad inflicting 2 UI loss! The Japanese planed returned to base for Sake after the attack and didn't return to the battle.

USMC squad with the flamethrower advances, only to be hit by a Japanese squad in the jungle below! They took severe casualties and become suppressed.

Japanese happened to have deployed in the two town buildings the 1st Platoon was advancing towards. They open up at point blank range and cause heavy casualties to one USMC squad, and hurt the Marine HMG.

Another view of the close in action

USMC second squad moves around to support the clearing of the buildings.

Japanese charge into the last remaining intact USMC squad near the river gorge and takes 2 UI losses and has to retreat 7 inches back suppressed!

We called the game at this point as the Japanese were down to 3 Morale Points (from 23), but the USMC was hit pretty hard in this game and was down to 9 Morale Points (from 29). We had a great time and will provide more feedback to Brent and hopefully the rules will come out sometime this year or early next year.

So, as many of you know, I'm pretty anal about my miniature collection so I decided to make these off board "fire bases" for this game. Here is the first prototype (unpainted)

The top area holds the miniatures, in the first case 81mm USMC mortars. The area in front of that and is the number of  "tubes" the asset can put on target. In this case six tubs represented by empty shell casings.

Here is the larger Japanese gun with 4 tubes available and 2 tubes "used" in the battle. I'm such a geek!