Old, Fat & Lonely in Bangkok

I worked in Bangkok for more than 6 years.  Thai people are unfailingly nice but even for all of you who are young and slim, there are times when you can’t help but feel a little lonely.

There are times when you would wonder, as exotic as this city is, perhaps you’ll find a wargame store?

I found one : Battlefield Bangkok

I am going to tell you how to get there.  I am nice like that.

Bangkok has an elevated rail system [ElRR B32.1] called the “BTS Skytrain”.  Everything’s in Thai & English so it’s not hard to navigate.  Get to a station called “E11 Punnawithi”.

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Once you get off the train, head towards the south exit, marked “Exit 6”.  You will find yourself walking along an elevated walkway under the elevated train tracks.  This keeps you away from the busy streets.

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When you see this, you should be ready to get off the elevated walkway and to make a left turn down the street.

You will see local food stalls and lines of motorcycle “taxis” as you walk eastwards.

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Don’t you feel at least a slight twang of excitement finding yourself walking towards the “Golden Pearl Hotel”, named like a bad 70s Hollywood movie?  Oh, if street food is not your thing, you will be happy see a courtyard of restaurants on your left.

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This is the Golden Pearl Hotel.  Go up those stairs.

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This is Battlefield Bangkok.

Once you push through the door, remember one thing [ALERT! ALERT!]: take your shoes off and put them on the rack.

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It’s a nice and airy place, with plenty of tables for people to game.  There seems to be another room behind doors where folks were playing.  I could only hear them.  Either that or they were unsuspecting victims of some sort.  I am rather happy about it either way because I was scouting this place out as an Advanced Squad Leader tournament venue!

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This guy here seems to be the owner.  I asked him for permission before I started taking photos and then I was too busy looking at the racks.  They have board wargames but it’s mostly miniatures.

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So here you go.  Please let me know if you have any questions or if you have made it here as well!

 

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BPF30 Melee Near The Coast AAR – the superior mobility of the IJA

The time was 25 August 1937.  This was the second time the IJA attacked Shanghai.  The IJA Shanghai Expeditionary Forced landed troops around Liuhe (浏河), Wusong (吳淞) and Chuanshakou (川沙口) as a diversionary to draw GMT troops away from Shanghai.  This scenario depicts an engagement where the IJA troops pushed rapidly inland to encircle Shanghai.

This was a 7 turn scenario in which the IJA needed to control 10 or more buildings at the end.  The GMT (Chinese) had 13 first liners, 1 MMG and 1 LMG led by an 8-1 and an 8-0.  They were reinforced by 4 elite squads with 2 other leaders on Turn 4.  The IJA started with 13 first liners led by 3 leaders.  They were reinforced by a platoon of elite squads plus another leader on Turn 3.

There was an eastern approach for the IJA (top of the map).  That approach led through jungles paths and onto a hill before a group of target buildings.  There was also a western approach where the IJA had to navigate across a shallow stream and fight their way out of a depression.  I guessed the eastern approach would be guarded heavier as the trek was slightly easier and targets richer.

I deployed with 60% of the IJA troops on the east side and 40% on the west with 2 squads HIP’d.  Hopefully that would cause the GMT to lean a little towards the east.

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Chinese Turn 1: Calamity hit the attackers almost immediately.  An observant GMT sniper seek out the highest ranking (10-0) IJA officer amidst a concealed stack and put a round through his head.

Not that it bothered the troops too much, they stayed out of sight a little and continued moving on.

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Chinese Turn 2: As the IJA approached the Chinese forces, an IJA HS was indignant that these brothers of the Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere shot at them.  They went berserk but their target GMT squad routed away.  A concealed GMT squad then moved in but failed to ambush the fuming mad IJA berserkers.

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IJA Turn 3 : The IJA decided to Banzai through the bottleneck on the left flank around the lake.  They almost immediately ran into a dangerous “Banzai” trap – a previously concealed stack of high fire power GMT that killed the led Banzai troops and threaten to suck in more.  Good thing I was able to avoid having an IJA leader sucked into that hex.

IMG_1092IJA Turn 3 still : The IJA on the right flank begin the second Banzai to motor across the shallow stream!

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IJA Turn 4 : The turn would see the right flank of the IJA banzai the rest of their troops over the shallow stream.

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IJA Turn 4 still: The left flank answered with a Banzai to the center of the board and not directly up the hill itself.  This was where I channelled my inner IJA and looked to infiltrate!

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IJA Turn 5 (errata – picture is wrong): The right flank banzai’d over the hill and looked to encircle the GMT defenders.  Unfortunately it didn’t quite work out.  Always an issue banzai’ing in the open.

On the otherhand, the left flank got up (and around) the hill and encircled the defenders there.

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Chinese Turn 6 (errata -picture is wrong) : Quick as you might think the IJAs were, I began to run out of time. I shift the IJA troops from the right to the left in preparation for the final push.

But look – the GMT ran a couple of squads and a leader around the IJA right flank and threatened to reclaim the buildings again!

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IJA Turn 7 (errata again!) : The IJA did a massive Banzai charge on the left flank into the cluster of target buildings behind the bamboo forest.  GMT troops in the jungle to the west put up a ferocious volume of fire! The IJA couldn’t get into all of those buildings (missed 1, IJA pinned).

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The End : At the close of IJA Turn 7 – the IJA got 9 buildings but stood to lose a few more in the counter attack – plus looked to lose 2 to 3 more to the GMT troops reclaiming buildings to the north (left of board).

It was a great game played with Peter-James Palmer in Australia.