Heroes of the Pacific - Hit the Beach
By Mark Selleck
This time around I am doing a beach landing scenario, I think this is the first time the LnL series had done a beach landing in WW2. This one take place on just one map, though with lots of units so I can see things getting chaotic on the beach.
The Marines start with some units already landed on the beach and a wave just entering the map including some armor, there is also another wave due in later. The interesting thing is that both sides don’t know which units are loaded up in the armtracks until they go to unload. The Marines will also have access to artillery once per turn.
The Japanese are defending the beach and have some good defensive positions, a range of MGs, and some ATG’s and a 20mm AA.
The aim of the scenario is for the Marines to capture 5 of the bunkers including the one situated on the hill right up on the shore line before the end of turn 7.
The Marines had to place their units first and decided to place the landed forces on either flank of the landing area to hopefully cause some issues for the Japanese on their flanks while the reinforcement make their way up the centre. I predict the forces on the beach are going to suffer some heavy casualties but a well-placed arty strike directed by one of the leaders will give some much needed cover to the forces advancing onto the shore, just have to think it’s for the greater good. Once more Marines are on the beach and the armour then they can bring some pretty heavy fire power to bare.
The Japanese focused their main defense in the centre after seeing where the Marines were likely to land. They really want to stall the Marines already on the beach and use their ATG’s and AA to target the troop carries and stop as many extra Marines landing.
Turn 1: Marine Initiative
Pvt Klonis and his men hit the beach and instantly they deploy their MG while Klonis dials up fire support from the destroyers waiting in open water. The rounds fly in landing just ahead of the jungle so as to provide some cover to the Marines yet to land. Two of the Japanese position feel the effects of the barrage with Sgt Hiro’s bunker taking a particular pounding and causing heavy casualties, himself wounded but the AA gun unaffected. Lt Kusanagi’s bunker only takes a stray round but hits in front of the bunker just as he looks out to see through the opening taking some light shrapnel to the face.
The Japanese mortar crew lob some shells over the light vegetation in the direction of Col Wisemans force forcing the Marines to go to ground and not wanting to advance despite the tirade of abuse coming from the Colonel. The assault team nearby now attempt to charge one of the bunkers wanting to clear it out in the face of their stricken brothers, they encounter heavy fire but against all odds they press through due to the help of Train emerging to spur everyone on. A satchel charge is tossed into the bunker along with bursts from Trains Thompson. The charge explodes right in the centre of the bunker laying everyone low and Train finishing the wounded off. (Wow DC failed with a total of 19)
Another defensive position now targets the assaulting troops but Train and the assault team barely acknowledge the incoming fire.
Meanwhile one of the arm tracks moves upto the beach with its MG’s blazing. A Japanese 37mm round is directed at the tractor but it lands in the sweal nearby. Some more Japanese fire a hail of lead at the arm track as it reaches the beach and ends up forcing all to abandon the bullet ridden vehicle, Lt Leckie and a squad of Marines manage to get out in good order. The hail of lead dies off while the Japanese replenish ammunition and change out the overheated barrel.
Another bunker opens up with MG fire on the newly arrived men but they manage to stay close enough to the sand for the rounds to fly overhead. Meanwhile another LTV4 arrives up on the beach firing its MG with no other effect than making some noise.
Another landing craft approaches and is subject to intense fire from some AA artillery, at first the crew start to waver then the vehicle is destroyed by more incoming fire with all me lost at sea. Yet another LTV approaches the beach firing with lead now being poured out all the way along the beach. The waves of the sweal prevent the gunner from firing with any accuracy though.
Pvt Klonis’s men now open up on the right flank trying to soften up the flank of the Japanese defence, with Japanese suffer some light casualties in the process. The DD Sherman’s now start approaching the shore but at a much slower rate, not wanting to let water in over their canvas sides. From the bunker on the hill a Japanese 47 mm ATG takes aim and fires onto one of the Sherman’s. The round glances off the tanks armour and the crew are more focused on getting to the shore than the loud clang echoed through their iron vessel.
The heavy MG opens up from a bunker taking artillery fire and directs it towards Col Wisemans stricken men who take some casualties while trying to bury themselves in the sand. Just as the MG dies of another opens up from a bunker in the jungle finishing off one of the squads.
Chaos now seems to be developing on the beach.
Turn 2: Japanese Initiative
The Marines land is some disarray with the Japanese taking to opportunity to gain the initiative though Col Wiseman is able to rallies what’s left of his men.
The Japanese take the opportunity to open up with their AA onto one of the LTVs, the artillery must have shaken their sights as the fire seems to spray everywhere but hit the vehicle. Finally the rounds start hitting the craft destroying it but the troops being transported manage to bail out, even if they are shaken up. The heavy MG now opens up on the other LTV but only manages to damage the paint work.
Pvt Klonis calls back to HQ asking for a fire mission to return fire on the same coordinates, the barrage drifts to the right a bit but Klonis doesn’t call off the fire since it is hitting Japanese positions. The Japanese attempt to hunker down once again hearing the ominous sound of shells heading toward land. The crew of the 37mm ATG run for cover rendering their gun inoperable for the moment while some light casualties are also suffered in both the positions, but the defenders still hang on.
The Japanese keep up the mortar barrage on Col Wisemans position but the Marines seemed to have become immune to the shells now. One of the LTV’s moves up onto the beach but is met immediately by a hail of lead, the fire keeps up until all are forced to abandon the craft and keep their heads down. Kolonis’s men open up on where the lead was pouring out of but fail to silence the Japanese.
The far flank of the Japanese defence fires onto Lt Leckie and his men but they fail to notice the leaded directed at them from all the other lead flying around. The Marine assault team and Train now capture one of the Japanese bunkers and find no sign of life inside. The Japanese 47mm on the point once again takes aim at the Sherman in the water but this time sinks its shell straight into the drink. Both the Sherman’s now make for dry land buttoned up so as not to take on water or any small arms fire.
Two more Japanese positions now pour fire into Col Wisemans men stopping them from making any progress through the sand and making themselves small targets. Lt Leckie now moves along the line so as to give support to some wavering Marines but leaving instructions for his men to fire on the Japanese in the bunker straight ahead. Lt Kusanagi once again lifts his head at the wrong time and falls back in a heap amongst his men no longer showing any signs of life.
All of a sudden a loud CRACK! Rings out from a sniper firing from a bunker on the beach, it targets Wiseman but somehow the round hits his helmet but not his head.
The beach is now in full chaos but reinforcement are seen still coming in.
Turn 3: Marine Initiative
The Marines regain some momentum and are able to get all their shaken men back into the right, though the Japanese are also able to re man their ATG.
Klonis keeps HQ on the line and brings a constant barrage down on the central bunkers, in the relentless bombardment the heavy MG crew are completely knocked out. The Japanese 47mm fires on an approaching LTV but the round just glances across the bow and an assault team in landed safely on the beach.
Once again a hail of lead pours out of a bunker but this time it is directed at Klonis and his men as the Japanese have identified him as directing the incessant artillery, they are unable to keep effective fire up this time around. The Japanese seem to be affected by the chaos unfolding around them as they are struggling to make their shots count, with the 37mm sending a way ward round out into the sea.
Another LTV approaches the beach in the face of fire coming from a Japanese AA position, the unlucky streak continues for the Japanese with all 3 bursts being ineffective and the LVT unloads its precious cargo of Sgt Stryker and his squad. As they hit the beach they immediately take MG fire rattling the Sgt. Col Wiseman and his men move up to assault a Japanese position but are stopped in their tracks by some effective fire that also causes some casualties.
One of the Sherman’s retaliates opening up with everything but seems to be firing blind not causing any problems for the Japanese. The Japanese mortar now targets the newly arrived Marines of the Sgt, wounding him and causing his men to lay as flat as they can. On the right of the beach the Marines fire and also move some assault troops up ready for an attacker later. The Japanese in the area fire on Klonis and manage to cause he and his men to cower for the moment and unable to bring their MG into action.
The other Sherman moves onto the beach and fires its MG causing some light casualties among the defenders. The Sniper now takes aim at the few men left with Wiseman and takes them all out leaving the Col with no one to command. Train and the assault squad now dash up and pour what they have into the Japanese defending in the foxholes but the Japanese are dug in too well.
Now full chaos is brewing on the beach, a lot more Marines landed than I thought would. The Japanese have a tall order ahead.
Turn 4: Japanese Initiative
The Japanese now rouse their men and take the initiative. Some of the Marines rally though Klonis who was directing that vital artillery and his men fail to comply.
The Japanese need to act now with the Marines being landed on mass, the 37mm fires at a Sherman scoring a hit, the crew are rattled and confused as the where they are being fired upon. Once again a hail of lead ours out of the bunker, this time at the assault squad trying to fry their position the fire is relentless and doesn’t die off until all the Marines have fallen. Train and the assault team over on the left now move in a go hand to hand with the Japanese defending form the foxholes. The Marines make short work of them but as the last man falls a grenade is tossed in amongst the Marines, though Train picks up the grenade and throws it into the jungle where is luckily explodes out of range (Lucky man came in handy).
The Japanese AA now fires at almost point blank range into Sgt Stryker’s men causing some losses and forces the Sgt to take cover again. The heavy MG now manned by the wounded Sgt Hiro from the same position picks out Leckie’s men and opens up panicking the squad. A Sherman now fires its main gun and MGs into a Japanese position but the thick concrete bunker holds up. Just as the Sherman fires a 47mm round slams into the side of the tank but the crew are too focused on whats ahead.
The Japanese mortars now lob some shells down on Stryers shaken men, the Marines have nowhere to go and take direct hits wiping out the Sgt and his men. The Marine assault teams on the left now make their way the bunkers on the beach. On the approach one of the teams suffers 100% casualties from well-aimed fire from the sniper. Col Wiseman now brings down the rain though the storm only causes light casualties though Sgt Hiro takes a direct hit.
On the right the Marines move up, the assault team advances under fire but the Gung Hoe Holen encourages the rest of the team forward. Some more Japanese open up this time forcing Leckie to the ground with the rest of his men. All along the shore the LVT’s open up into the bunkers but do very little in the way of softening up the enemy.
Turn 5: Marine Initiative
The Marines take back the momentum and some of the Marines rally but Klonis’s men still refuse to move.
Holen and the Marine assault team try eliminating the Japanese causing all sorts of problems for the main advance with the aid of flamethrower but only inflict light casualties. The Japanese now react to the Marines pouring fire into them, Gung Ho Holen avoids becoming injured but the assault team is forced to take cover. The 37mm now targets the Sherman on the beach though the shot is sent out into the deep blue sea.
Train and his assault team now charge a Japanese bunker taking some light fire from the defenders but are able to make it inside. A bloody melee insures and the Marines show the Japanese no quarter and take control of the bunker. The Japanese sniper now forces the satchel wielding assault team to the ground foiling their chances of charging their position.
Lt Leckie calls in for fire support but has to quickly call off the mission as the spotting round lands in amongst the Marines lines. The Japanese direct a 47mm shell from their elevated position which cuts straight through the flank of the Sherman, the tank quickly brews up and no one makes it out alive. Some Marines over on the right attempt to eliminate the Japanese flank but are unable to subdue the defenders while some Japanese mortar fire fall on Leckie’s position forcing everyone to ground.
Col Wiseman now locates the AA in the bunker so that the Sherman can direct it’s fire onto it. The main gun is unable to penetrate the concrete bunker but its MG’s force the crew from the gun so that it can’t be fired for the time being. The LTV’s now move up the beach firing their guns at the bunkers along the tree line, the Japanese sniper is slightly wounded as a result.
Turn 6: Japanese Initiative
The Japanese re takes the initiative and rallies their AA. The Marines are also able to rally most of their units apart from a crucial assault team manning a flamethrower.
The bunker housing the 37mm and MG opens up targeting all the units approaching their position. The LVT directly in front is reduced to twisted metal and flames while Holen and the assault team are all cut down before they can make their way into the bunker. An LVT park outside the AA’s bunker empties a belt from both of its MG’s causing the crew panic.
The Japanese 47mm seeing that its days are numbered gets a shot off at the remaining Sherman though the distance it has to contend with is a problem and it can get it on target. Another 2 LVT’s open up onto the sniper taking refuge in the bunker but at close range the Sniper is unable to avoid the amount of fire poured into the bunker.
Now the 47mm accepts it fate and is destroyed by the oncoming Marines assaulting its position. The Sherman attacks the AA’s bunker but is unable to finish the crew off while the Japanese are able to shake a squad of Marines just outside their foxholes on the flank of the beach. The Marines behind answer back with fire from their MG and small arms eliminating the Japanese before they can do any more harm.
The Mortar opens up on Leckie’s men again forcing them all to the ground once again, with Leckie cursing as he and his men have been unable to move off the beach at all. Train is then able to move up in the same area as the AA’s bunker but just outside, while the assault team follows behind.
Turn 7: Japanese Initiative
The Japanese hold the Initiative and just manage to get their AA back into the fight. The toll is starting to tell on the Marines with none of their shaken squads willing to enter back into the fight.
The AA fires in desperation at Train who is just about to jump through the open slit of the bunker, he is unable to avoid all the fire and is laid low but his deeds will be talked out for decades to come. A LVT fires into the mortar squad hoping to take them out of the fire but they only suffer light casualties. Another Japanese bunker opens up with their ATG and MG, first directed at the Sherman thought the 37mm shell just doesn’t have the power to punch through. The MG is unable to achieve any results on the Marines as well, it seems the ammo is running low.
A marine assault squad now rushes out of cover to enter the AA guns bunker, the Japanese manning the mortars now drop their tubes due to the Marines being too close and open up with small arms. This becomes a defining moment as the Marines have no one else within striking distance of the bunker and if they are stopped they may just fall short of victory. The Marines understand what is at stake and push through the fire only just passing the damage check (6). The Marines take out all the Japanese manning the AA and remain intact. All that is left is for Col Wiseman to rush over to the unoccupied bunker on the beach where he finds the dead sniper to capture the 5 bunker to take victory.
Marines take victory at the end of turn 7.
What a chaotic scenario…. In a good way. The beach just becomes congested though I found it very difficult to advance the Marines up the beach. I was surprised with how many LTV’s were able to get their men to the beach with I think only 2 lost out right.
I found myself thinking that each side was going to win this easy at different points in the game but a turn or 2 would change things. In the end it came down to a single attack in the last turn, if the Marines had have been shaken they would have fallen short being able to only take 4 bunkers but the Marines pushed through (only just 1 extra on either the attack or damage check roll would have ended things)
Enjoyed this scenario very much I think the next time I get a chance I will set up one where the Japanese are on the attack.