I needed a British truck / lorry for my post on Improvising and making Japanese barricades for the Burma Campaign. So I ordered some 3D printed models from Battlefield3D. Before they arrived, and to my surprise, I found an undercoated Bedford MWD in my in progress project box, and some CMP 3-ton lorries in my British unpainted box. So I got to work. You can think of this post as the British extension to You can never have too many trucks.
When British wargamers think of the Burma Campaign, we think the 14th Army. But the Chinese made an important contribution to the Allied effort in Burma. Eureka Miniatures have a Range of Chinese that covers the Second Sino-Japanese War which overlapped with WW2. I have a quick look at that range then explore other options if you, like me, want even more variety in your 15mm wargaming armies.
Following on the previous success of my custom crests version 2 and the high rice paddy bunds for Burma, I’m now thinking of a set of raised roads. Raised roads were a common feature of Burma. They’ll be the same height as the previous features (1/4″ / 6mm). Otherwise they’d be, well, just roads. I’m hoping to convince Simon from S&A Scenics to make the base features then I’ll do the work to make them look like roads. This post is about my design for the roads, which was a project in itself.
With my Japanese all ready to go and my head full of roadblocks in Burma, I thought I’d knock together a Crossfire game. Chris took defending Japanese. Adam was the British trying to break through. I call this an experiment because very little thought went into it and we were just playing around with the concept of a Japanese ambush.
I’ve already posted about Japanese Roadblocks in Burma. Japanese strategy involved infiltrating whole regiments behind enemy lines then installing road-blocks to cut off the retreating Allies. So I went looking for examples of road-blocks during the period 14 December 1941 – 24 May 1942. To make my life easier, I’ve just copied out the extracts.
Japanese roadblocks were a thing. During their initial invasion of Burma, Japanese strategy often involved infiltrating whole regiments behind enemy lines then installing roadblocks to cut off the retreating Allies. So I went looking for some source material. I found a couple of interesting war time articles by the Americans on Japanese roadblocks and some more about roadblocks in Burma. I’ll discuss why the Japanese were keen on roadblocks, the nature of the roadblocks themselves, the terrain selected for a roadblock, and typical defenders.
Hit the Dirt (HTD) introduces Cliffs to Crossfire. And with my re-found interest in the Italian Campaign, I figured I needed some. Particularly as the HTD scenario “Cassino Massif” (p. 17-18) has a bunch. I think they’ll also be useful for Burma. So this is my new / updated cliff collection.
I’ve been talking to Arty Conliffe about potential Official Supplements for Crossfire. Official because they have Arty’s blessing and input. I’m thinking about both a commercial scenario book and some freebie booklets. My megalomaniac aspirations for 2022 mean I want to write one of each. There are lots of possibilities and I thought I’m share my thinking.
Japanese Tank Hunter Teams in Crossfire
A few weeks ago I did some research on “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) – Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams. Now I have to decide how to simulate them in Crossfire. There are two parts to that: game effect of “Human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) and the organisation of Japanese Suicide Anti-tank Teams.
In my pile of lead I have two, count them, two battalions for the 14th Army in the Burma Campaign. One Welsh. One Gurkha. So I figured I needed a painting guide. Luckily most of the troops in the 14th army wore the same kit. Same with the Chindits. Whether the early redyed Khaki Drill (KD) or custom Jungle Green (JG) the troops in 1943-45 wore “grey-green” which was, once in combat, far more grey than green. Recommendations are for Vallejo Model Color although I occasionally mention alternatives using Humbrol paints.
I’m indebted to the various wargamers that have gone done this journey of exploration before me, particularly Mark Davies (aka Jemima Fawr), Doms Decals, Mick in Switzerland, and Paul Scrivens-Smith (AKA scrivs).
Japanese infantry were already conducting “human bullet” assaults (nikuhaku kōgeki) against Soviet armour in 1939. In the absence of better anti-tank options they continued this practice throughout World War II, whether in China, the Pacific, or Burma. The death of the individual was accepted as the necessary price for the destruction of the tank, in accordance with the Japanese doctrine of “one soldier, one tank.” The goal was to combine honorable suicide with definite military results.
I’ve had a go at gullies and depressions before. But they look too much like hills. So I decided to have another go modelling just the edge of the depression. Then I took this concept further and modelled a modular ravine system. I featured both of these when I asked, How does my Burmese battlefield look? In this post I share a bit more about how I make these features.
I am always impressed by Brett Simpson’s Pacific War tables for Crossfire. He inspired me to improve my jungle terrain. More jungle will be useful for Burma, Portuguese Colonial Africa, and Vietnam. I made some steps before we played the Pick up game in Burma, but I wanted to make my tables even better. So I’ve been bolstering my crossfire terrain and now have Pagodas, rice paddies, Bamboo groves, boulder fields, rock fields, palm trees, ravines, depressions, Burmese houses, jungle undergrowth (not featured here), crests (not featured here) and cliffs (not featured here). Some of these I’ve posted about previously, and some are yet to come. Now, after all that effort, I wanted to know two things. Do I have enough jungle terrain to fill a table? Does my jungle terrain look good enough? So I got it all out and threw it on a 6’x4′ table. I can definitely fill a table. And I reckon the table looks good enough, not perfect, but good enough.