Summary: fun and exciting game. Brett’s Australians won, making a successful Withdrawal in the face of a Japanese Breakthrough attempt.
All words are Brett’s.
I rounded off three games this weekend by playing Mac’s Missions. It was great. I drew “Withdraw” and my friend drew “Breakthrough”.
Unfortunately, I only took a handful of photos of that game, but you are welcome to the account if you wish.
We played on a 100cm long x 90cm (3′ 4″ x 3′) wide area with small plastic tile spacers were discretely placed along the outside table edges to denote this. This layout meant that the battlefield was conveniently divided into four zones
[Note: Brett’s full size table is 150cm x 90cm (5′ x 3′), so this was using a section in the middle of the full size table]
65-point armies were decided upon, which seemed about the right troop density for our smaller than suggested playing area.
AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE (Brett)
1 x Commonwealth Company (+1 CC)
1 x Matilda CS
1 x 3-inch Mortar (12 FM: 4 smoke)
Mission: Withdraw Objective
IMPERIAL JAPANESE ARMY
1 x ‘39-‘42 Company (+2 CC)
1 x Veteran Rifle Section (attached to CC)
1 x Knee Mortar per Platoon (3-dice HE : 6 FM each : 2 smoke)
1 x HMG (4-dice)
2 x Snipers
1 x Chi-Ha Tank
Mission: Breakthrough Objective
I used the Balagan vehicle rules/data sheets and the Whangerei Crossfire sniper rules (the Japanese had two snipers — one pinned down my Vickers-gun. The other failed to rear his head).
The Japanese advanced forward with their Chi-Ha, which got bellied on the bank exiting the bridge. It continued forward shortly thereafter, getting into a tank battle with my AFV…
Suspecting that the Japanese would wade across the creek to the east, my Vickers-gun advanced forward, and was pinned by sniper fire upon reaching the bank. It returned fire on the sniper and this led to some choice words and a heated exchange (every time we achieved our other objectives, the sniper and HMG seemed to end the initiative by taking pot-shots at one-another!).
My 2nd platoon and 2-inch mortar team advanced to the southwestern bank of the creek (entering building and field). They came under woodpecker machinegun-fire from across the water, which was rather distracting.
Shortly thereafter, the Japanese dropped mortar smoke onto the bridge, and sent forward a couple of squads who drew “no-fire” from my nearby 2nd Platoon; in total, two of their platoons took advantage of this and swiftly advanced across the creek and along the main road.
The advancing Japanese were shelled by light and medium mortar fire, which slowed them down, but their presence in my forward area was quite worrying to me as I still had no idea of their mission objective. My only consolation at that point was that their Chi-Ha had been knocked out earlier on by my Matilda.
Once the time score reached 61-points, I withdrew as quickly as possible (at least half of my force was still at the front, and a number of stands had been pinned; most were rallied easily enough and withdrew, but some fell behind and were overrun by the advancing Japanese. My Matilda tank got bogged down a very short distance from my base line and failed to withdraw in time!).
Conclusion and Observations
The Japanese Commander misread his objective and failed to deploy any of his units off-table, which was embarrassing for him, but good for me. As I had withdrawn first, his troops should have been able to easily pursue me with the Breakthrough objective (and bonus 20 points) to win the game.
AUSTRALIAN VPs: 0+46
JAPANESE VPs: 20+0
The Retreat Move saved the day for me.
It was a fun and exciting game lasting for 19 or 20 initiatives, which seemed to pass rather quickly.
They are quite clever, the Mac’s Missions. I like the suspense of not knowing your opponent’s objective. I look forward to playing more Mac’s Mission combinations, and will let you know when I do.
Following the battle I ordered a clicker to keep track of the time-count — it looks like a few more Mac’s Missions are inevitable!