Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Invasion of Malaya

1914 - British/Japanese alliance secures Britain's Asian empire.

After WW1 Britain can no longer afford a fleet twice the strength of her two nearest rivals.  Singapore identified as best base for Britain's "Gibraltar" in the East.  In the event of her Asian Empire becoming threatened a fleet would sail to Singapore.

Washington Treaty signed in 1922.  Britain accepts naval parity with USA and forces Japan to accept an inferior world position.  USA will only sign if Britain cancels her Japanese alliance.
1931, Japan fabricates Manchurian incident and begins to expand its control over China.

1939 and WW2 in Europe begins.  Following France's defeat, Japan occupies French Indo-China.  USA escalates sanctions.  Britain is preoccupied with European War.  Reinforcements for her Asian Empire come third after support for Russia.

1941 and Britain sends General Percival to take charge of Singapore and Malayan defence.  A naval base without a navy, defended by the RAF who have constructed airfields the army cannot defend.

Dec 5th 1941 and Force Z arrives to deter the Japanese!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014


I am planning to put on a short campaign involving the initial Japanese invasion of Malaya in December 1941. However, I am struggling to put a map together.  Does anyone have any ideas about taking a map and imposing a grid onto it?  Any help would be appreciated.

Also, can anyone print off a British Union flag, approx 16mm x 8mm, which I will use to mark the airfield for the first amphibious battle of the campaign?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Burgundian PoW

Burgundian army for Pow
Crossbow men should be mounted (order to H+R)
Richard 3rd is standing in as Charles the bold (flags from Baccus)
No hand gunners in the army list (as yet)
Bring on the Swiss

Friday, 10 October 2014

Germans vs. Americans : Victory at Sea

Despite the worst traffic jam since Santa brought his Coke Wagon to Broughton, we managed to get it a VaS battle of Americans vs Germans (presumably an Atlantic skirmish).

The day before I'd discussed a plan to whup Mark's American fleet by cunning use of U-boats.  I thought Mark would have a couple of big ships at the back and use destroyers to hunt down our big ships.  As they would undoubtedly come on at flank speed to get to grips early doors, we decided to use submarines and hide them in the area the Americans were coming onto.

We had the Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen and two M-Plan light cruisers (the latter of which proved pretty ineffective).  In hindsight, a couple of better submarines (the type XXI) would have proved more use.

The plan was for the subs to engage the big ships - the American destroyers would have to turn to engage the subs and then the German big ships would take them out at distance while they were sub hunting (as they couldn't go at flank speed).  The M class would have been ideal for doing so but no destroyers meant the plan went awry immediately.

The plan both worked and didn't work.  The subs made short work of one big ship and crippled another - but against the big battleships the torpedo belts proved too hard to crack (and the submerged speed didn't help as they just crawled along at just 1").

Still, we managed to kill the extra destroyer (which should have been mopping up subs but instead just helped stop some 11" shells from hitting the water).  Russ and Mark also managed to ram islands without incurring any damage!

But once the shooting started, the Americans showed the imbalance in some ship stats as the armoured decks meant that hits just didn't register and could also deliver significantly more damage than their opponents.

At the end, both sides had lost a major ship, the Americans were looking healthier as they were virtually impregnable but I suppose at 10:30 a draw was a fair result.  Another turn may have seen the subs wreak havoc on the Yanks but similarly they were inflicting damage on all and sundry.

A good nights work - especially the subs.

Next week - Italians vs Germans 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Victory at sea

Thursday night victory at sea game
Italians against Americans
This is a solo submarine game I did

spotters galore

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Banzai Bollocks!

I thought I had better make clear the banzai charge rule for the Japanese ahead of Sunday's game.  Only fighting units (tank or infantry) can make a banzai charge.  When fired upon they become a +1 target but in close combat they get a +1 melee benefit.  There are only two situations in which a charge is declared;

1.  When a Japanese unit fails its morale it will charge the nearest enemy unit and initiate close combat.  If successful, the unit will revert to hold orders.
2.  A Japanese fighting unit once it has suffered a casualty may initiate a banzai charge instead of a break off move.  We use the same rule as a break off move but in reverse i.e the Japanese make two moves towards the nearest enemy and then revert hold orders.

The Russians will use the break off move as standard in the rules.  In addition, they must move at full speed when on attack and can only react to enemy spotted by individual platoons.  Morale will be random.  Russian units that fail morale will retreat two moves and are only removed if they are subsequently contacted by a Japanese unit or move into impassable terrain (i.e. the river).  These are covered by the advanced rules.

The Japanese might seem better but they can get into all kinds of trouble if they lose units in impetuous charges.  The Russians suit playing in depth allowing units that fail morale or use break off moves to fall through supporting units that will protect them from rampaging Japanese.

Neither side gets any pluses for initiative or can change orders under fire (no Germans here!).  Order changes will be difficult for both sides (remember to deploy regt HQs to give a +1 for order) and pre-planned artillery might be very useful.  Over-runs will be mostly in the open (not much terrain in this game) and initial deployments and orders will be crucial.

There will be tanks, armoured cars and aircraft, so I expect a lot of combat.  Check out the Khalkin Gol scenario at Rapid Fire (Mark Pipers site) to view map and OOB and let me know whether you have any preference for which side you want to play.