Marianas 1944: scenario one: White Beach 1 & 2
Being Memorial Day weekend I had to get a PG scenario on the table and one from Marianas 1944 at that. Tinian 1944 was the battlefield of today.
As it was historically the two beaches of the initial landings bottlenecked with narrow beach enter points surrounded by small cliffs and narrow ocean approach paths with coral obstacles to get around. Organizing landings and pulling out LVTs is a skillful challenge under enemy fire but with help of naval fire, artillery fire from Saipan and naval air-support, the landing were flowing. The US aircraft took out the Japanese 75/88 right away with a lucky 12 dice roll of a Corsair strike, which was the biggest thread to naval units and landing-craft.
At first I thought it might be too easy for the American forces but the landing beachhead bottlenecks and the 15 turn limit started to take a toll on the Marines. The Japanese eliminated two adjacent US Marines steps with a 2 dice roll to add to the one loaded LVT lost to the Japanese 75mm gun including a Major leader counter and two Marine steps. Then I start to worry if the Americans could achieve the victory condition at all?
The small embankments historically prevented the LVTs from moving inland from the first beach hexes in this scenario so management of them is critical. But once I broke out of the beachheads, time was growing short! The Americans finally cleared the airfield hex and all but one Japanese Casemate from the beach hexes and 5 hexes in. It all boiled down to the last turn assault on that Japanese casemate and the Marines successfully assault it with 3 Marine Infantry units just to make sure, giving them a very close victory but not really, as in their rush to achieve these objectives, they lost 7 steps: 5 INF, 1 ENG and 1 LVT and two leaders. This gave the Japanese a victory as well, causing this scenario to be a Draw!
I believe it was a pretty good scenario, as I wasn’t sure who would win it throughout the whole thing, my thought process went back and forth. Plugging minefield counters in that beachhead bottleneck really slowed the Marines progress down. Japanese setup and Marine entry could vary a bit giving it a nice replay value and this is one of the smaller amphibious landing scenarios making it a faster playing scenario.
In real life the Marines lost 15 killed and 225 wounded plus three LVTs lost so I guess I might have done a little worst but close.