David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

The Forgotten Army...

The injection I had to help my arthritic hip problem went well and was followed as per instructions by two days' complete rest, which sadly could n't extend to sitting at my painting desk and getting on with some serious panting! But, as an unexpected bonus, on Friday Sue and Di went to a Craft Exhibition at Birmingham's NEC, leaving Phil and I to organise a game for ourselves. As I'd left out the terrain from Monday's Rhanzlistan epic we decided to utilize it for a Bolt Action game set in Burma 1943. Phil took on the roll of the British commander and I took the Japanese. We decided to play for 12 turns, as is our usual practise, with the British objective being to expel the Japanese from the village of Pendhi-La, which they have fortified as well as the situation allows. The first picture shows the British crossing the river, the Grant in the lead, while 'Mad Jack' Robinson directs affairs from the river bank ~
















One of the three Japanese squads occupied a dry stream bed to the front of the village and were supported by an anti-tank gun {its an infantry gun pretending!}. Almost from the off the gunners and the tank crew engaged in their own private 'duel in the sun', with neither seemingly able to deliver a fatal blow! The gun and crew are from Brigade while the infantry are from Warlord by the way ~










The other two Japanese squads were dug in around the village. While the anti tank rifle team could n't actually knock out the Grant, they could and did inflict several 'Pin Markers' on the tank throughout the game. This had the effect of holding up Phil's thrust down the road and rather blinded me to the developing threat on my left ~




















Phil had organised his force into smaller squads than the Japanese and also given them the 'Tough Fighters' rule. I ought really to have taken some notice of that, but you know how it is when you get carried away by early success in a game! I was concentrating too much on the tank and failed to move decisively to counter the attack through the jungle on my left ~
















I'd actually lost sight of one of those groups but decided to move one of my large squads out to my left flank thinking they would make short work of the six enemy I could see! Wrong!!! I'd forgotten not only that they were 'Tough Fighters' but also how combat works when one side is in hard cover ~
















While the movement on the left was developing my HQ were overseeing the mortar fire directed by an observer group on the roof of one of the houses in the village. I think the observer needed glasses though, or perhaps the radio link was poor, as my mortar shells fell everywhere except on their targets!Captain Onomoro and his staff were far removed from the action for too long ~
















The squad in the dry stream bed and their supporting gun were so heavily involved in continuous firing that they soon called for ammunition resupply {I took a picture of the mule teams and wanted to use it!} The mules are from Tiger Miniatures while the escorting infantry are from Brigade ~

 












Phil was favoured by the draw of the dice on my left and one squad occupied an area of rocky outcrops by a ruined temple {Garden Centre find!} while the second squad continued forward unnoticed by the Japanese! Banzai! I decided on an impetuous charge to dislodge the enemy to my front ~












I was pretty confident my superior numbers would do the trick and that, once the small squad was eliminated, it would allow me to follow up by swinging in toward the road and take the enemy by surprise. The dice rolled! I killed six! Success, the enemy were wiped out! But Phil had also rolled, causing 10 casualties! 'Tough Fighters' indeed, my whole squad was wiped out ~














Now I had no immediate cover for my exposed left flank and my right was being whittled down by steady fire from the British mortar and MMG teams. While the duel between the gun and tank crews moved towards its climax more British infantry squads were threatening my centre and right from the cover of the jungle ~










Right at the start of Turn 8 the Japanese gunners finally brew up the Grant! Only to be mortared to death later in the turn, along with most of the infantry in the dry stream bed! The remaining squad dug in the village suddenly acquired 10 'Pin Markers' and was eliminated, leaving the way open for the British to occupy Pendhi-La and win the game in Turn 9! A clear result for the British/Phil with an overwhelming defeat for my Japanese! Still, a great game which we both enjoyed and we finished just in time to collect our wives from Wolverhampton station on their return! I hope to be at Phil's on Monday for a WWI Chain of Command game so keep an eye out on 'News From The Front' for his account of that game next week. Now, its back to painting for my Wars of the French Revolution project! Toodle Pip!

12 comments:

  1. Looks absolutely wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for those kind words Roger.

      Delete
  2. A fascinating period and lovely set up David but not one I've ever considered really. Warlord Games foray into the Burmese theatre was a bit off target in my view. My uncle served in Burma as a signaller attached the West African Field Force with the Chindits. There were 2 entire divisions of Nigerian and other West African troops and they rarely get a mention. He never spoke about his experiences at all as he didn't have a good time and for a short time was a POW. Does anyone do suitable figures for WW2 West Africans I wonder?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My uncle also served with the Forgotten Army, his medals and portrait are above my painting desk (along with those of my Dad, another uncle who was at Pegasus Bridge) and my great uncle who served through the Great War in the Coldstream Guards' trench mortar detachment. They serve to remind me that what we do is only a game and was bought at a price.
      As to suitable West African figures - Brigade Games perhaps?

      Delete
  3. A fair write up of a rather splendid game, fine pictures too, I still say the Ipad takes overall shots better than my camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Phil, it was a very tense and enjoyable set too. I disagree about the iPad photos though, but editing is easier for effect I'll grant you that.

      Delete
  4. Great game report, the table is rather fine.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed the report Pete!

      Delete
  5. Lovely looking game David! The Burma campaign is on my to do list someday.

    Christopher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Christopher! I think we all have projects we'd like to do...

      Delete
  6. Wow! What a set up, it looks amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for those kind sentiments Russ.

      Delete