Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Solo Game

Solo games are ultimately pretty boring affairs. Anyway, here are a few pictures of one that I have been using to test some new rules, a Sino-Japanese game set in the mid 1930s.

This one shows the Chinese support positions within the built-up area. Their 75mm howitzer and mortar were connected by telephone to an FO platoon positioned on the heights just forward of the main line of defence.

This is the left flank of the Japanese advance, just over a battalion of infantry, supported by a company of tanks.

Japanese platoons in the center drew a full advance order, which saw them make the first engagement with the Chinese troops dug in along the edge of the heavy wooded area.

With fairly predictable results, two platoons destroyed outright, and two others reduced in number by 2/3 and 1/3 respectively - it's not very often an actual opponent would make such a move, but this is the fickle nature of solo games in that some orders are drawn randomly from a selection.

The Japanese left took a long time to get moving and suffered a lot of casualties to a couple of LMG platoons sited on the high ground.

This is from about turn 6. The Japanese had started to make good ground in the centre and extreme right. Several Chinese units were shattered by repeated infantry assaults supported by mortar and machinegun elements.

Despite losing ground on the flanks the Chinese did enjoy some success a couple of turns later. The only unit they had that was capable of stopping the Japanese AFVs were their engineer company, which made short work of the first tank platoon which entered the urban area without close infantry support.

Still the situation was starting to get desperate for the Chinese. Here, the regimental commander directs the last of his reserves towards the area of greatest Japanese pressure.

More unscathed Japanese troops and armour penetrate deeper into the village. There was still Chinese platoons holding out in several buildings but most were suffering low morale and heavy losses, so there wasn't really much they could do.

In the last couple of turns a few battered platoons supported by their porter units attempted to protect the gun position, which was still doing its best to support the few Chinese units in good morale and still fighting.

This is the remnants of the engineer company which had performed so well throughout the game.
All in all the game served its purpose in allowing for the play-testing of some new rules. The Japanese attacked with a superiority of 3-1, and even allowing for the random order system there was no way they should have ever been in doubt. However, they only scored a minor victory as they were only allowed ten turns to secure their objectives, when in fact it took them twelve.

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