Dig in and Wait! A Crossfire Scenario in the Pacific

Brett Simpson sent through this Crossfire scenario pitting the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) against the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Like all Brett’s scenarios it is small – a company level game that fits on Brett’s kitchen table, which is roughly 3′ x 5′, using 20mm figures.


Mission

Setting: North of New Guinea, 1943

The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) is hard at work rebuilding a village nestled between a palm plantation and an all-important airstrip when native scouts alert them to the advance of Japanese soldiers to the north. It is vital that the airstrip not fall into Japanese hands. The Australians are ordered to dig-in and wait!

This scenario is loosely based on the Bridgehead scenario from the Crossfire rules.


Map/Terrain

Key features are:

  • 4 x River Sections (with bridge)
  • 9 x Jungle (treat as woods)
  • 3 x Dense Grasslands (treat as in-season fields)
  • 3 x Buildings
  • 1 x Slit Trench (Australian)
  • 3 x Entrenchments (Breastworks) (Australian)
  • felled trees and cleared sections of bamboo on the edge of the Village. These are treated at hedges for the purpose of cover.
  • Rough ground between the entrenchments and the River is rough ground, divided in two by a track running from the bridge to in between the east of the slit trench and breastworks.
  • hill

On the map the shaded areas that look similar to the jungle/forest sections represent either thick, bushy foliage, or felled trees and/or piles of cleared bamboo and act as hedges for the purpose of LOS and cover.

Dig in and Wait Map

Dig in and Wait Map

And a photo of the table to help interpret the map…

DigIn08 Post game aerial view of the table from the south

DigIn08 Post game aerial view of the table from the south


Pre-game preparation

None.


Australian Player (Defending)

Objective

Retain control of the village.

AIF A Company - 3rd Platoon - PC and 1st Section

AIF A Company – 3rd Platoon – PC and 1st Section

Australian (AIF) Forces Available

Australian (AIF) Order of Battle

  • 1 x Infantry Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+2); 3 x Rifle Sections
    • 2 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Sections
    • 1 x HMG
    • 1 x 2-inch Mortar (12 FM : 6 Smoke)
    • 1 x 3-inch Mortar Team (10 FM : 4 Smoke)
    • 1 x FO for off table 4.2-inch Mortar (5 FM : No Smoke)
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Commonwealth
  • Total fighting stands: 10

Including reinforcements:

  • 70 points total
  • 13 fighting stands

Deployment

Deploys first, visible. The AIF can position themselves behind the entrenchments or anywhere south of them.

Reinforcements

The Australian Engineers are due to arrive at midday (they have been sent to help with rebuilding the Village, and to make the bridge tank-worthy). 30-minutes elapses at the end of each initiative on a roll of 5 or 6.

Australian Reinforcements

  • 1 x Engineering Platoon: PC (+1), 3 x Engineer Sections
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Commonwealth
  • Total fighting stands: 3

Japanese (IJA) Player (Attacking)

Begins scenario with initiative.

Objective

Capture the village.

IJA 1st Company - 1st Platoon - 1st Section

IJA 1st Company – 1st Platoon – 1st Section

Forces Available

Japanese (IJA) Order of Battle

  • 1 x Infantry Company
    • 1 x CC (+1)
    • 1 x Rifle Squad (attached to CC)
    • 3 x Rifle Platoons: PC (+1); 3 x Rifle Sections; 1 x Knee Mortar (6 FM : No Smoke)1
    • 1 x Heavy Weapons Platoon
      • 1 x PC (+1)
      • 1 x HMG 2
      • 2 x Rifle Sections with ATR3
    • 1 x HMG 2
    • 1 x FO for Off table 75mm Mountain Gun (16 FM : 6 Smoke)
  • Morale: Regular
  • Command & Control: Japanese
  • Total fighting stands: 14
  • Total points: 75

NOTES:
(1) Japanese knee mortars are treated as standard light mortars (2-inch/50mm). There is one per platoon.
(2) The Japanese HMG is granted 4-dice damage (not 3-dice as listed in the Rules).
(3) The ATRs are of no benefit in this scenario, but would be very useful in the next. The intension is to run this scenario as the first of a three part campaign.

Deployment

Deploys second, visible. The Japanese deploy north of the River in the dead of night with the view of beginning their assault at dawn.

Reinforcements

None.


Victory Conditions

Terrain and Casualty (AD) objectives.

The Japanese win if they become the sole occupants of any two of the three Village buildings for five friendly initiatives.

Either side is defeated if more than two-thirds of their fighting stands are eliminated (7 stands for the AIF, or 9 stands when and if their reinforcements arrive. 8 stands for the IJA). Mortar Teams, Forward Observers, and Commanders do not count as fighting stands.


Scenario Special Rules

  • HTD Special Rule 4: The Moving Clock is in use. The Scenario begins at 0600 hours and ends 1230 hours. The clock advances 30 minutes on 5+ at the end of each defender initiative.
  • The River:
    • Normal vehicles and light tanks (such as the Stuart or Ha-Go) may cross the River using the bridge, heavy tanks (such as the Matilda) will only succeed on a roll of 3+. Failure will result in the loss of the tank and collapse of the bridge. This will not factor in to this scenario, but may be important in the next.
    • Infantry may cross the River at any point they choose, but vehicles attempting to cross the River without using the bridge may only do so on a roll of 5+. Failure results in either the vehicle becoming bogged (1-3) or submerged (4-6). Bogged vehicles can only be un-bogged on a roll of 5+. Engineers add +1 to the die roll when attempting to free bogged vehicles.

Notes

There are two possibilities for the immediate follow-up scenario.

  • Following a Japanese victory: “Operation Tetsu-tora” (Iron Tiger), with the Japanese pursuing the Australians into the grasslands and jungle beyond the airfield. They are joined by a Japanese AFV – their Iron Tiger!
  • Following an Australian victory: “The Battle for Black Ridge”, with the AIF pursuing the Japanese into a canyon beyond the palm forest. The Japanese will use any means at their disposal to slow the Australian advance…

Beyond that, we have either a Beachhead (with the Australians attempting to push the IJA back into the Pacific Ocean), or a siege on the town held by the AIF — their main HQ in the district.


References

None.

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