Heroes of the Pacific - Nishi After Action Report
Written by Mark Selleck
This time around I set up a solo game of Nishi to learn how the caves function and to introduce back into my games some ordnance weapons. This one has a pretty clear defender and attacker, the Japanese are dug in on a hill and trying to repeal the Marines from taking the hill. The Marines need 5 VP’s to win, they get these by controlling a level 2 hill hex (for 1 VP each) controlling the level 3 hill hex (for 2 VP’s) and collapsing caves (1 VP for each one). The Marines have until the end of turn 7 to try and achieve the 5 points.
The Japanese spread their caves all along the level 2 part of the hill (and 1 on the level 3) and assigned all the MG’s to these squads so they would have a clear field of fire. The anti-tank elements were put down in front of the hill into the jungle hexes so as to make the Marines armour approach hazardous. Sgt Hiro will be leading the infantry on the hill and Lt Kusanagi will have command of the anti-tank troops. Though the Japanese do have a from the masses skill so a new leader may arrive some time.
The Marines after seeing the Japanese set up decided to place a fire support team with the M2 commanded by Lt Leckie on the right flank in close support of all of the Marine assault teams. These troops will probably try and make for the right of the hill as it is defended the lightest, though they will have to clear the troops in the jungle first. On the left the Sherman has a platoon of infantry in support with a medic tagging along. The Marines only have 1 leader so his placement was pretty important, though the medic has limited rally ability and the assault teams are self-rally capable. So a small but aggressive force to try and take the hill with, oh yeah and a couple of artillery missions. So will be interesting to see how this one pans out.
Turn 1: Marine Initiative.
Lt Leckie, hoping to boost the morale of his men who have been fighting so hard for so long, jumps on the radio and calls back for fire support on the Japanese forward positions. The rain comes in hard and causes some chaos and casualties amongst the Japanese, Lt Kusanagi also receives some shrapnel wounds.
The platoon on the left advances into some light jungles over a small hill and attracts some sporadic fire from the type 93 causing one of the squads to dive for cover urgently. The Sherman follows up just behind the platoon onto the rise, though the Japanese manning the 37mm ATG notice the movement and reposition their gun to take a shot as the armour come up the hill. The round fly’s harmlessly overhead and the Sherman now returns fire, but seems to hit everything but the target.
Under the cover of the artillery barrage the assault group move up only taking some light fire from a small group of defenders who can see them advancing but arrive unharmed. The Marine fire support team now open up since the Japanese squad gave a way their position, but are unable to direct their fire into the cave entrance.
The Japanese now repositions their forces a bit in response to the opening moves of the Marines. Lt Kusanagi and his squad start making a move towards the armour treat, while a squad on the hill enters the cave system to try and reinforce the lightly held end of the hill.
Turn 2: Marine Initiative
The Marine assault teams assault towards the Japanese with the anti-tank rifle hugging the terrain as they go, some light fire is directed their way which causes no trouble. One of the teams opens up with the flame thrower but is ineffective with it.
While the small engagement is taking place on the Marine right flank the Japanese ATG fires onto the Sherman. The Sherman crew hear a loud thud as the round hits their thick frontal armour but fails to penetrate or rattle the crew. The crew now seeing where the fire originated from let everything go into the position causing the gun crew to hit the deck and crawl for cover.
Lt Leckie seeing the Japanese firing on his assault teams now orders is squads to open up with their Ma Deuce and small arms cutting down some of the Japanese. Meanwhile Lt Kusanagi and his men head to the jungle so as to attempt to prepare themselves to cause headaches for the Sherman. Just as they arrive they are just in time to see the ATG crew trying to get back to their gun in a daze but have exposed themselves so the Platoon of Marines opens up cutting them all down.
The Japanese heavy MG notices this large concentration of fire and sprays the area cause some of the Marines to scramble for cover while Holen steps up ad inspires his men. The rest of the Japanese hold their fire as they are to far to cause any damage and wait for the Marines to approach the hill.
Turn 3 : Marine Initiative.
One of the Marine assault teams with the flamethrower touches the Japanese position removing all resistance while the other 2 teams make their way towards the hill, again making sure to use the terrain and not attract any fire.
The Sherman’s support platoon now moves off one squad at a time, during the movement the Japanese hold their fire until the right time. Stg Hiro directs the troops manning the heavy MG onto one of the advancing squads stopping them in their tracks out in the open. The rest of the Marines make it to the edge of the jungle while The Corpsman attends to the shaken men.
Lt Leckie now repositions his men to get to a better position to direct fire onto the hill. Lt Kusanagi now inspires his men to charge at the stricken Marines, as the Japanese come bursting out of the jungle with the cry of Banzai the Sherman opens up knocking down some of the men though caught off guard the fire is not heavy enough to prevent the Japanese finishing off the panicked Marines.
(Seem to have forgotten to take a photo after this turn)
Turn 4: Japanese Initiative
Lt Leckie has his men deploy the .50 cal, while the Japanese are trying to find some more leadership amongst their ranks but with now forthcoming.
Lt Kusanagi and his men gain the moral fibre they need and charge the Sherman tank firing small arms, throwing grenades and planting stick bombs onto the tank. The stick bomb explodes and causes the tank to go up in flames with no survivors emerging.
Two of the Marine assault teams charge up the hill towards some Japanese defenders, they hear the loud explosion of the tank behind them but continue their assault. Some small arms fire causes one of the assault teams to take cover, though the other tosses their satchel charge into the cave. A huge explosion erupts causing the entrance of the cave to fall in, a number of the defenders are laid low by the explosion and by the falling rocks. The third assault team moves off through the jungle towards another defensive position.
The now reduced Marine platoon on the left moves up through the jungle but attracts heavy fire from Sgt Hiro position as well as a lighter MG causing the 2 Marine squads to panic, though the hero Holen is unphased by the fire.
Lt Leckie tries to locate the enemy in the only cave that has kept quiet so as to weaken enemy before the assault troops get there. He fails to locate a target for his men so they focus their fire power onto a Japanese squad further along the hill causing some light casualties.
Turn 5: Japanese Initiative.
All of the shaken Marines recover their senses and join back into the fight.
The Japanese wait in hiding waiting to see what the Marines will do. Lt Leckie this time locates the enemy closest to the assault squads and pours fire into their position causing some light casualties. Sgt Hiro also tries to locate some Marines that his men lost sight of in the dense jungle, some slight movement is seen and all his men open up, though the jungle absorbs most of the fire.
Lt Kusanagi seeing the support fire group now busy and a weak platoon is spotted ahead, decides to launch another Banzai attack, this time back across the open field they came from to try and tie up the platoon advancing to the left of the hill. Lt Kusanagi falls before getting to grips with the Marines but a few fanatical men left in the squad rush onto one of the Marine squads. The Japanese are successful in eliminating the Marines they have targeted though for all the firepower of the Marines they are unable to clear out the fanatical Japanese (rolled snake eyes!!).
Now the Marine assault teams charge up the hill one team at a time. The first teams toss in a satchel charge with catastrophic effects, the cave falls in and some of the Japanese are crushed in the process. The last teams gets reay to move out but just as they do a loud crack comes from behind and then a few more, a Japanese sniper has somehow get behind the assault teams axis of advance.
One of the Japanese squads decides to leave the safety of the cave since the Marines are now behind their positions, also some of the Japanese make their way for an opening through the tunnel system.
Turn 6: Japanese Initiative.
The Marines fail to rally one of their assault team due to the fear of the sniper that they could not see. From the masses Col Ichiro manages to find his way through the extensive tunnel network and takes command of one of the Japanese squads.
The Japanese sniper seeing his initial target still cowering fires off some more well aim shots making sure those Marines won’t be causing any trouble for the defenders on the hill. Also the Melee over on the left continues, the Marines with their blood up gain revenge for their fallen brothers but are once again tied up for another turn.
Now that Col Ichiro has ordered his men out of the cave, Lt Leckie decides to call back to HQ for another fire mission, hoping to cause problems for Col Ichiro and Sgt Hiro. Unfortunately for the Marines the spotting round land beyond the hill so Leckie must re confirm the coordinates with HQ again. The Ma Deuce at Leckies position now opens up on the silhouetted Japanese who have ventured out of their cave causing further casualties.
The Marine assault teams on the hill now charge across the ridge to the next Japanese position, one of the teams is forced to hit the deck while the other continues the assault but with little effect on the Japanese.
The Japanese in the tunnels move along and find some new positions with Col Ichiro and Sgt Hiro ready to try and stop the invaders at all costs. Sgt Hiro and his men emerge from the cave ready to make their last stand.
Turn 7: Marine Initiative.
One of the Marine assault teams is a spent force and doesn’t rally. The Japanese pack up their weapons to make ready for an all-out assault.
Lt Leckie seeing that the Japanese have come out in a mass on top of the hill calls back in his coordinates desperately to HQ, this time the spotting round is right on target and rounds fall on the highest points of the hill. The Japanese sustain high losses but still have enough men to make a stand.
A cry goes up from the top of the hill BANZAI!!! All of the Japanese under Sgt Hiro and Col Ichiro charge out at the assault squads. Sgt Hiro and his men run through the still falling artillery fire and suffer huge casualties, with Sgt Hiro among the dead. A few Japanese make it through but are cut down by fire from the assault team. Col Ichiro’s men get the grips with the Marines and a fierce fight ensures. No quarter is given, bayonets, small arms, knives and grenades are all used indiscriminately.
After the noise dies down not a sound is heard from the hill so Holen races up the hill to report back. He climbs the hill and has to negotiate the artillery fire still falling, receiving some shrapnel wounds. He discovers that he is the only one on the hill.
The Marines fail to occupy the hill in the allotted time from HQ and fall behind the rest of the forces in their area advancing onto Kitano point. A least they can take consolation in knowing all the Japanese defence has been eliminated with just a lone sniper still out there. Though the Marines paid a huge price in blood and have still fallen behind on the timetable.
A victory of sorts for the Japanese with the Marines only having one unit occupying a level 2 hill and two caves collapsed for a total of 3 VP’s
A tough game for both sides with lots of casualties. The Marines just fell short with only 3 VPS and having eliminated all the Japanese on the hill. Feels like they may have put a bit too much reliance on the assault squads. Thought the Japanese made a few daring moves such as charging the Sherman and the squads on the left which held up the advance on that side for a few turns. I must admit I forgot about the Japanese sniper until the last few turns but his appearance came just in time to disrupt the assault teams launching coordinated attacks further alone the hill, and he eliminated the one with the important flamethrower which could collapse the caves.
All In all a great scenario where I felt the pendulum swung from side to side throughout the game and it came right down to the last turn.