Winnipeg Grenadiers in Camp Shamshuipo HK Credits : http://stpaulslestweforget.wikispaces.com/
The IJA landed on Hong Kong island near North Point / Aldrich Bay on Dec 18 1941 and proceeded to move inland through the middle of the hilly island. The Winnipeg Grenadiers made a particularly heroic stand at the Wong Nai Chung Gap Police Station.
This is a rather interesting scenario in which part of the Canadian and part of the IJA forces started using simultaneous and hidden placement in an area in front of the Police Station. The scenario began with a round of Close Combat between forces that started in the same location, two of which the IJA could designate “hand to hand”. The IJA’s goal was to take the Police Station and to make sure that there were less than one squad equivalent of “good order” Canadians within a 4 hex area around the station, all within 5.5 turns.
The game started off quite intriguingly as Carl Nogueira and I discovered where each other’s hidden forces were, where they “co-existed” and what the Close Combat odds were. I designated two of the melees as “hand to hand” and off we went. As expected, “HtH” battles both pretty much resulted in mutual annihilation. The Canadians lost 2 leaders in addition but an 8-1 rise to the fore in the heat of battle!
IJA Turn 1 : The IJA led off with their two offboard field guns putting Willie Pete on two corners of the rather well MG-equipped station. Unfortunately the flamethrower team got ID’d early and was shot at. Anxious that they’d never get to use their toy, they promptly went berserk.
IJA Turn 2 : The berserk FT team rigged up their toy and in their blind fury, must had bent a trigger or something. Flamethrower died without a shot. The IJAs discovered the Canadian pillbox cross the front of the Police Station. Fighting outside took quite a toll on both sides. The IJA hoped to hook around the back (left) of the police station as “Failure to Rout” seems to be the only way to clear the station of Canadians.
IJA Turn 3 : The IJA malf’d one of their two offboard guns and therefore proceeded to setup their mortars so as to provide smoke cover. To the top of the map, the IJA piled on top of the pillbox while trying to hook around the left. To the right, the IJA continued to navigate through the open field and hoped to advance though the pillbox laid fire lane.
IJA Turn 4 : The berserk HS charged across the street and into the station!! The maniacs survived fire that left 12 and 8 residuals, only to die later in Close Combat. Their buddies took advantage to the situation and walked around the left. The IJA on the right continued to hit the station in front. The newly established deathstar had a malf’d HMG, true to IJA weaponry of the period.
IJA Turn 5 : So the Berserker couldn’t stay in the station. The IJA opened with a DC HS that got shot out of existence when they advanced to the MG nest. On the other side of the station, poor Toshi was volunteered to be the “DC Hero of the Day”. They sent him to the front door, patted him on the back and stuffed a DC into his arms.
They couldn’t get the berserker either, they said.
Toshi popped out to the middle of the street and was promptly vaporised along with his DC.
Canadian Turn 5 : With 1 Movement Phase left, there was not enough time for the IJA to clear the building (nor the 4 hex radius around it). The IJA conceded.
- Forget about walking around the station. Turn 2 is probably when I should just walk STRAIGHT UP to the station and get part of the gang into the house.
- I used WP and smoke from the offboard guns. I should probably have used my knee more for additional cover.
- I should have protected my Flamethrower a lot better.
What else would you have done? Please comment.
John Knowles and I recently purchased the few “Into the Rubble” packs (Bounding Fire Productions) that Sam Tyson found laying around. So we decided to play the pack out one by one over the next year or however long it takes. The first one in the pack is Scott Holst’s “Debacle at Sung Kiang“. There are a few places called 松江, but since Scott mentioned “the city of Sung Kiang”, I take this as the area to the southwest of present day Shanghai. This scenario takes from a battle on November 8th 1937 when the Chinese GMT still had their German trained & equipped elite troops. As with all the scenarios in the “Into the Rubble” pack, it’s all about city fights. What I didn’t realise until the first Prep Fire was how unversed I am with city fights – I have definitely been running around jungles too long!
So here’s an account of my miserable loss (not an infrequent experience for me of course, but I don’t blog about my losses often enough) :
There are 16 multi hex buildings on the map. The IJA’s task is to capture 11 or more of them with 16 first liners, 2 elites, 4 leaders and 3 armoured cars in 6.5 turns. The Chinese fielded 9 elites, 7 first liners, 3 leaders, 2 76 guns and 2 of their funky Type 22 dual MG armoured trucks.
Chinese Turn 1 : This is what it looked like at the end of the first Chinese turn. The Chinese decided to use their “armoured” trucks a different way. Instead of running the trucks around with “0” armour, they decided to rip the 2 LMGs and the crews off them. That’s 4 new LMGs with 2 elite units that self rallies. The Chinese now have 8 LMGs, fantastic news to the IJA I am sure.
IJA Turn 3: The action exploded. First the IJA Banzai’d down the left edge of the board. Several fire lanes sprang up but the IJA made it across the open ground at acceptable losses. I then figured this was going to take too long : I should have an armoured car behind the Chinese lines to interdict routs and to limit Chinese movement. Therefore I ran an armoured car down the streets (just follow the blue dotted arrow that emanated from the concealed counter on the top left quadrant of the map). It survived one shot from the Chinese MMG that laid down a fire lane. Then the AC sped due south and made a right turn, surviving another LMG shot at close quarters. It then arrived at the center of the map. Another AC decided to do the same but via another route. This is the blue dotted arrow that encircled the top part of the map from right to left. Unfortunately it discovered one of the Chinese 75’s the wrong way. It was still hoping that its speed was going to save it. Boom – no hit, it laughed. The gun then went for Intensive Fire as the car came closer. Boom – Critical Hit!! The AC bursted into flames as car parts careened down the middle of the street!!
Chinese Turn 3: The Chinese moved folks over from the left, one of which CC’d my AC. The IJA uncovered a fortified position and strangely, a 75 gun popped up in the middle of the building complex on the right. That, together with the interior wall in the stone factory (see the hex side on the hex in “direction 2” of the gun) made it a little difficult to clear it out. The Chinese sped a unit to the far right to close the flanks.
IJA Turn 4: Check out the middle of the board – here’s one of my extreme moments of stupidity: with a Chinese squad in the hex, I decided that it would be good idea to back the AC up to the Embankment Railroad. So I stopped the car meaning to go in reverse. The Chinese folks promptly declared CC Reaction Fire and disabled the car. A subsequent LMG shot killed it. *Brilliant*
All the action on the right were the IJA trying to pile more troops into the factory. The Chinese started shooting a lot better than they did a turn before unfortunately. The good bit was that the IJA finally broke the folks in the Fortified hex. The IJA folks in the top part of the map were starting to appreciate how exposed their positions were. Having said that, the Chinese MMG malfunctioned the turn before and so they were having a go at crossing the street.
The IJA then ran the last of their armoured cars down the middle of the street to help take the building complex on the right.
Meanwhile on the quiet left side, a couple of Chinese troopers pulled out a bag of marshmallow and strolled over to the bonfire ..
IJA Turn 4 : This is end of IJA Turn 4. IJA managed to capture the big factory on the right. In retrospect I should then have “spilled” more forces down the right edge to turn the Chinese flank. That would perhaps take me to the buildings to the lower half of the board. The folk in the center had to rout back. The MMG that malfunctioned was fixed prompted in the next Rally Phase. Meanwhile, the AC got into a threatening position but it had to get on an embankment to interdict any Chinese movements.
Chinese Turn 4 : Two Chinese squads went berserk and both targeted the striped IJA squad sitting in the Fortified hex on the right. One of the berserkers was underneath the Pinned squad next to the green Fortified hex so you can it imagine it doing the zombie dance against the wall. The other Chinese berserker rushed up (blue dotted arrow), spotted the IJA elite through the smoke to the right and switched directions. The IJA elite squad threw their DC at the crazies but only managed to CR the berserkers while ELR’ing itself to a first liner. The berserkers rushed in and got wasted by gunfire but it caused enough damage by taking the one squad the IJA had with a decent smoke component plus used up their DC!
The Chinese shifted their forces to the right as other sectors were not under threat (a street party was in progress around the bonfire by now). Notice also the 2 LMG squads closing in on the lone AC sitting in the middle of the board.
IJA Turn 5 : With all 3 mortars out of smoke and the one elite squad ELR’d to a first liner, the IJAs were not able to put more troops into the factory on the right as the Chinese had an MMG under an 8-1 in the middle of the map. Tried as they might, the IJA group in the middle couldn’t put much pressure on that MG, apart from discouraging it from putting up a fire lane. This is the end of IJA’s Turn 5. The troops inside the IJA’s hard won Fortified hex was steadily reduced. The fact that it should have advanced into the HMG squad (with the 9-1) long time ago to take them out by CC only occurred to me now. (Urgh..) Meanwhile, the 10-1 came forward to rally the troops. The 1st liners grabbed the flamethrower they recovered, vol broke and routed it back to the 10-1 in the hopes that the 10-1 would know how to use it.
I was definitely not at my best!
Chinese Turn 5 : It’s increasingly evident that the IJA were getting bogged down at the first factory. The Chinese reoccupied the Fortified hex and a Dare Death squad successful took back another building. While the retaking of the occupied hex didn’t mean immediate reversion of control, it did pretty much put the IJA at where they started with a lot less troops and only 2 Movement Phases to go.
This was where I conceded.
- In retrospect I should probably have approached from the left side of the board where there were more cover. The center group should be anywhere BUT center in that wide open space.
- I didn’t fully appreciate the threat that the MMG with the 8-1 poised on my operations either. We should have at least wrecked an AC in front of that building if nothing else.
- Running the Armoured Cars around to the enemy’s back field was the right idea but they should not be left on their own for too long.
- I should also have focused more efforts on sliding my troops down the right side to turn the Chinese flanks. Had I done that earlier, the dynamics would have been different. Instead, all the IJAs where bogged down in front of the big gun (of all places) and in the Fortified hex next to the highest ranking enemy officer and their HMG. The first thing IJA should have done was to advanced out of the Fortified hex and CC that HMG stack like there’s no tomorrow.
These are some of the major points I should have done better. In real life the IJA prevailed (and the ROAR was 15:11 Japanese:Chinese). As with real life, this is how much damage a bad leader (yours truly) can do!
What else could I have done better? What are your thoughts? Please comment.
This battle is part of what’s considered one of the bloodiest city fight ever – the 102 day siege of Budapest between December 1944 to February 1945. Soviet & Romanian troops laid seige to Budapest in their drive towards Berlin. Hitler declared the city “Festung Budapest” (“Fortress Budapest”) and so it was to be defended to the last man by German and Hungarian troops. This battle was particularly vicious in that its inhabitants were never evacuated and their suffering continued long after the city’s surrender on February 13 1945.
Scenario “RPT1 Ferenc Jozef Barracks” took place on Jan 12 1945 at the Ferenc József Barracks which is located between Kerepesi Road, Hungária Boulevard and Pongrác Road. I tried to locate the area on Google Map. To those of you who are more adept in the subject: I’ll be very appreciative if you will correct me on the matter.
Romanian 9th Cavalry enter the board from the north-eastern side (botton right) of the map. Their goal is to clear the barracks (marked with a “V”) on the south-western side (upper left) of the map of any good order Hungarian units within five turns. Considering the 2 mins turns in Advanced Squad Leader, this exchange allows the Romanians 10 mins to meet their objectives. Each hex in Advanced Squad Leader represents about 40 meters. The Romanians need to go about 10 hexes (400 meters) straight up the street from middle of the map up towards the left just to get into a position where the they can attack the barracks. That’s 2 turns of out of 5. Considering the first turn is for entry and for trying not to get killed over open ground (off-board is open ground), the Romanians has only two turns left for fighting. This will have to be a maneuver war.
The Hungarian 1st Tanks Division start the scenario concealed in concrete buildings. Somewhere among the open windows there is a heavy machine gun pointing at the open ground below.
In real life the battle was so savage that all the officers and the NCOs of the attacking Romanian companies were killed but they did capture the barracks.
I hope I can do the same.
This is my first ASL game with an opponent (“PBeM” – Play by Email). I am really appreciative of the tutorage of my good friend Don “Zovs” Lazov. Zovs’s a terrific teacher who’s bringing the ASL rules to life for me. As you can see, he opts for a forward defense. This allows him to take out some of the Romanians right at the start. As I am on a tight schedule, Zovs doesn’t have to kill me, he only need to delay my advance while he backs off into the barracks itself.
How do I beat this defense and clear the barracks in 5 turns?
How do I even engage the Hungarians without getting mauled over the open ground?
How about coming home everyday to 30 mins of PBeM game over VASL?
Whether you are a fellow newbie who would like to learn together or an experienced ASLer who don’t mind helping me up the curve. I play to enjoy and to learn. Please message me at jackson-dot-kwan-at-gmail-dot-com!!
- Ungváry, Krisztián, The Siege of Budapest: 100 Days in World War II (New Haven: Yale Universit Press, 2005)
- Wikipedia: Siege of Budapest