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Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
California
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Hi, New Guinea battlepack enthusiasts,

Donna and I played M13 Bad Dreams, and all 3 games were won in a yawn by the Americans, and I'm at a loss to figure out how the Japanese can keep this one from being just a shooting gallery for the Americans.

Set up the leader, HMG carried by a squad in the ridge tip hex, and then overstacked with a second squad there. This allows three good attack almost all across the board for each American fire order. Therefore, at time trigger 2, where by scenario special rule, night hindrances all become zero, the fat river which must be crossed, plus the huge area with no cover, plus the far side of the American board edge being unavailable for Japanese exit, means that the Japanese leaders can be casually eliminated. Matter of fact, only in TT5, all four of the Japanese leaders were eliminated, including two which had just re-entered. Our games the Americans won with over 30 points in each. In almost 500 games, I have never felt as hopeless and frustrated as commanding the Japanese in M13.

So, what am I missing here? How can the Japanese have a chance.

Please advise.
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Stacey Hager
United States
Charleston
West Virginia
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I have not yet played this one...but I feel compelled to chime in just because this scenario fascinated me from the start (Banzai posture is a hoot in this game).

In an earlier reply to one of my posts, General Pardoe replied that during playtesting the U.S was given two of the HMG's, which of course resulted in the Japanese being torn to hamburger every time. This is why they reduced the HMG count to one for the final product. Apparently even that one has proven to be ultra-deadly.

There are a few scenarios in the whole lot of CC that just scream what the optimal set up is, and this is one of them. When I first looked at the scenario card months ago, it was apparent that the HMG optimally belongs on that ridge, and could do ridiculous damage to hordes of Japanese crossing open territory.

Perhaps a slight tweaking of the scenario may be worth a play...eliminate the HMG altogether, and try to rely on the heroic BAR operator. Besides, Mr. Anonymous Death Dealer is the marquee attraction of this scenario - the desperation of defending against such an insane charge with this hero at the center of the action should be the focus of the battle. If the Japanese are the ones who are consistently fearing decimation in this engagement, something is up.

Of course, having to use a house rule is never preferable to the actual rule being on target. I hope someone here has a better idea that gives the Japanese a chance using the scenario condition as written.

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Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
California
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Yah, when I played the Americans, I never had any need to commit the hero and pillbox. He was still awaiting deployment when the game ended, and I dropped him on objective 5 for a few more points.
 
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Stacey Hager
United States
Charleston
West Virginia
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Tell you what Chick, since this thread has gone unanswered, I will do you a solid. One of my regular opponents has not yet had the chance to play the Japanese, and I have promised him that opportunity the next time we play. We shall make this scenario "Bad Dreams", and we will also try my proposed variant of removing the 1917 Browning. I have no clue when this will happen, since my playing time at the moment is limited. But we will see!
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Chris Buhl
United States
Pittsfield
Massachusetts
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shager wrote:
Tell you what Chick, since this thread has gone unanswered, I will do you a solid. One of my regular opponents has not yet had the chance to play the Japanese, and I have promised him that opportunity the next time we play. We shall make this scenario "Bad Dreams", and we will also try my proposed variant of removing the 1917 Browning. I have no clue when this will happen, since my playing time at the moment is limited. But we will see!


I just wandered into this thread, I'll be hoping for an update when you have the chance to play this.
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Paul Trad

Los Angeles
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I have a couple ideas that can improve the Banzai force chances.

One is to actively go after the Denied Asset card. Hide in blind spots where possible and dump dump dump. This is doable as a CCP tactic.

Also use single squad moves to sneak a unit onto an American. It's cheap and it's weak, I know. But skirmish tactics often frustrate big firepower opponents.

I'll try to play against the US and report on the result soon. This scenario is likely designed to be very hard versus the Banzai force to show what that posture can do, as what it should not try to do.

cool
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Dan Huffman
United States
Arlington
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Well, Paul played this scenario perfectly. I have to admit that after reading the above comments, I was pretty confident. While I did have some bad luck, I couldn't complain about it during my Fire Orders. I rolled 10 or 11 it seemed like on every shot for the first third of the game. But the Japanese set up to their far right. Under cover of darkness they got onto the island. Then a cheer went up and they alerted the Americans to their presense. As the skies lit up with American flares, the Japanese continued accross the River, much of it protected by a Blaze. Even without the Blaze, they were in range only of my Machine Gun. Then a big group started to crawl down the Jungle to the north. I might have screwed up by not protecting Objective 5, but I was expecting a frontal assault and was afraid to just give up my left flank. Once he made it to the Jungle, he moved one SLNF toward my lines, but we had just fired on the offensive and I didn't have a backup Fire card. Off the board the whole platoon ran! His only mistake was moving the leader with them, as he never was able to get anyone off the board again. Keeping his force so far away, I never really got good shots at him. He made a really nice maneuver where he moved a group led by a 1-Leader and I opened up on him with the HMG and squads on the hill. Then the Entire force was able to charge unhindered.

The Japanese can win this scenario, though we both agreed that it would be a close thing. The trick is not to frontal assault. There are a lot of points in the Random Objectives. With care and luck, you can move up on the Americans. Although he never got close to my forces, He was getting closer. And the group that could have assaulted me ran off for 15 VPs or so.

I wish it was Paul explaining why his theories didn't work. But at least against this unflexible opponent, he won a decisive victory! The cool thing about CC is that all the luck evens out throughout the game, and skill and ability to recognize the changing situation is what gives the victor the advantage.
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Chris Buhl
United States
Pittsfield
Massachusetts
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huffman123 wrote:
The cool thing about CC is that all the luck evens out throughout the game, and skill and ability to recognize the changing situation is what gives the victor the advantage.


When I end up in the odd discussion with the ASL folks about CC's and ASL's relative merits, they're often talking about the "randomness" and "luck of the cards." I always try to counter by explaining, in about three rambling paragraphs, what you just said in a single sentence. Just letting you know I might be stealing this quote from you from time to time, including in my comment on the game in my collection. devil
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Paul Trad

Los Angeles
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Thanks for the great synopsis Dan.

When I arrived at Dan's home for our Thursday evening CC, he had this scenario set up, after some amount of study. Let me preface this also by saying we have played many CC games and find it to be balanced. When I first played the IJA it was exciting, but they mostly lost. Lastly, I do think all CC scenarios are teaching tools in addition to good story telling, plus they always have a secret nugget one must find to do well.

The key to this board is the limit of US range(7 exc. the HVY) and the grass line. The grass restricts movement and defines US positions, including the hero. As such, crossing the stream is hard to stop for the US side without a reckless commitment on the downhill side.

Of course the Japanese player is tempted to ford the stream at the shallow center, but this doubles incoming fire. So they must sweep right and use the far cover to approach instead. The major IJA advantage prior to setup is VP knowledge; note that 4 of 5 VP locations are easily secured by game's end. Even if OB#4 is worth a lot, it is best secured in a hook move.

Preserving the T0/T1 night hindrance is paramount. In our game Dan pulled two Time triggers very early and his HVY killed my core leader twice. For most of the long maneuver(time 0-4) he enjoyed many direct hits with Artillery and no jams. Regardless, the IJA did a cautious Advance and hit what little cover there was when US fire saw them moving.

The key to Banzai victory is the recognition of the correct approach to the MLR combined with a 'Catch-22' tactic of Move+Charge. If the enemy fires at the movers they stop, and then you Charge. If he holds fire you abuse that moment and get into sheltered forward areas. These forward units then present such a threat on later turns that the enemy must fire at them, which again leaves the 70% of your forces to charge.

By the time Sudden Death arrived I had a 0 VP victory with the initiative. The game ended on 8, with about 35 VPs for the IJA. I do not consider this a unique outcome. The US is terribly outnumbered, even after Dan got two strong reinforcements. Even so, he could only slow the Banzai.

Here are some minor tactics that also helped:

*Overstack an SNLF with another squad and use 'Light Wounds' when the hex takes fire. This draws out his fire cards for little cost to you.

*Get a squad next to his stack and wait. Sometimes a 'Low Crawl' or Advance allows this melee to prevent fire for a critical moment.

*Park a 1-leader in a thick jungle to allow two spaces of movement as they 'bounce' off this inactive leader. Why inactive? - because he is doing your Recons & Asset Requests or moving to draw the enemy fire.

*Understand that the enemy Ambush & Bayonets are all Fire cards, while none of these for you are on Move cards. This means that any melee he works to win will cause a deficit in the Move vs Fire struggle.

There are other things you will discover on this scenario, mainly because the Banzai force is sub-par, the approach is nightmarish, and the US Flare rule exposes your every move.

The IJA was said to be the best army in the world by the standards of US, German and Russian experts. They rarely surrender, discipline is very high, mobility and the willingness to use the bayonet are natural to the individual, and most importantly- there is nowhere to go. They must win!

Once you embrace this and learn to discard under fire, the IJA will deliver unto you many glorious victories. 'Duty is as heavy as a mountain, death is as light as a feather.'

arrrh
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