Collecting Armies for the Pacific Theatre – Part 4

Andrew’s Imperial Japanese

Andrew Chesney's Japanese
Now the first game is out of the way (the less said about my luck in that the better) it is time to turn my attention to taking the army the next step and increasing the points by another 500. I suffered in the first game through a severe lack of anti-personnel weapons. The US special rule that allowed the infantry squads to manoeuvre more effectively than most armies meant they needed to be taken out earlier in the game.

As we seemed to be leaning towards the Iwo Jima theatre I took a look at the options available.
 I decided to go for two medium mortars and a second medium machine gun, taking advantage of the extra allowance on these weapons in the list. I also added a light howitzer in the form of the 70mm infantry gun. For only 190 points I’d added a whole lot of infantry-killing potential. 

For some anti-armour I took an anti-tank rifle team and 3 suicide ‘teams’ (of one man each).

For my own armour I took a type 97 Shinhoto Chi-Ha, I just hoped it would last against the inevitable Stuart or Sherman it could face. To round off the points I added a Medic with assistant to save my infantry from some of the inevitable incoming rifle fire, and a unit of 5 bamboo-wielding infantry. These guys aren’t technically in the Iwo Jima list but they are there to represent the desperate nature of some of the last stands in the cave systems even when ammo ran out. I could even imagine using rifle-armed troops for this with bayonets as their only weapon!

Bill’s US Marines

Bill Bentley's USMC

My last encounter with the Japanese went well for my army, mainly due to lucky blessings from the dice gods (it doesn’t happen often). I’ve decide to make some new additions to the army to reach 1000 pts. I realise this time round I’m sure my opponents will be scheming and I’ll face some horrible surprises, they say when in doubt kill it with fire, right?

I have taken two of our finest M5 Stuart light tanks and added fuel canisters and a flame trail off our German pioneer flamer model to create two Satan flame tanks – these should get pulses racing burning through the jungle! As for the other additions I have made all my infantry Veteran added another .50 cal HMG team to add more punch, and finally an M3 transport with all the trimmings, so let’s see what happens! Always faithful

Daz’s Japanese

Darren Jones's Japanese

Levelling up: With the basics addressed it is time to add some power to the affair. looking at my current force I’m a little light on hitting power and given the theme of my raiding force a heavy tank would be out of place, What Warlord Games doesn’t do at the moment is one of the fantastic Special Naval Landing Force (SNLF) amphibious tanks, now I could get them elsewhere but, I have a bar of soap and a little hobby knowledge – Adapt, improvise and overcome – I’ll make my own; that done I’ve added a  regular Type 2 KA-MI light amphibious tank at 95pts leaving me with 30 points. So I decided to beef up the grenadiers with anti tank grenades at 2pts per man at 20pts, then giving both squads NCOs a submachine gun each at a further 6pts taking this shopping trip to  246pts. Although I’m happy with the overall feel of the force there’s still a little something missing….

I wanted to some extra anti-armour capability, but still wanted to keep the raiding theme of the initial force. After a bit of Google consultation and re-reading of the army book I opted for a regular crewed Type 1 47m anti-tank gun at 75 points; I had an idea of how to base it already in my head and thought why not. The next element I wanted to add – This one I should have added earlier if I’m honest was a forward air observer for another 75 points and rounding out my final points was a pair of medium machine gun teams at 100points giving a final total of 985! With only 15 points left I decided to add a veteran bodyguard for my officer at 13 points bringing the total to 998points. With the addition of the extra firing dice I think we’ll be giving as good as we get!

Rich’s USMC

Rich Dando's USMC

We’d originally planned for the escalation campaign to progress in 250 point increments – however following the first game, we agreed that we wanted to really step-it-up, and ratchet it straight up to 1,000pts. Following my near-annihilation in the first battle, I’m heading into the next battle with my teeth gritted, and a demented gleam in my eye – determined to cut-down as many of my foes as possible – so, what’s the plan?

Well, with another 500 points burning a hole in my pocket, I delved back into the ‘Armies of the United States’ book on the hunt for iconic US units, and maybe a few tasty selections (everyone loves Flamethrowers, right?). My original units remain unchanged – no upgrades at all – now that they have a game under their belts, I think I have more of an idea how best to use them, so I’m going to give them another chance equipped exactly as before.

My first thought was simple – let’s get a tank in there. The Sherman is the iconic Allied tank of the war, so I had to have one – but with a plethora of variants at my disposal, which to take? – The 105mm Howitzer-armed variant stood-out as some serious firepower at range. With a 9+ armour value, there’s not a lot of equipment available to the Japanese that can make a dent, and the Howitzer (I hope) should give some nice crowd control from afar. I also threw-on a pintle-mounted HMG for some extra shooting dice. It’ll most likely act as a pillbox in the game – I’ll try to deploy it with a good field of view, and let rip…

Speaking of long-range firepower, I added a Sniper Team, and to give them some extra punch, I gave them Veteran status. Hopefully they’ll be able to pick-off a few high-value targets, and keep the enemy’s head down while my Flamethrowers advance. As I’m using the Iwo Jima Theatre Selector from the ‘Armies of the United States’ book, I’m able to employ the services of 0-2 Flamethrower teams, so I’ve added another – and I’ve upgraded them to Veteran status for good measure. I then snook another Flamethrower into the list, by taking a squad of Engineers – I maxed-out their ranks as well, to add a little more survivability. Hopefully with these additions (and a little more strategic planning on my part,) my Marines will fair a little better in the next battle. Oorah!

In a few weeks time we will be returning to the table for a “Round Robin” style games night. Who will win?