It’s the last scenario and I need to break my losing streak. It looks like the Marines will win but at what cost? The Mobile Artillery and Combat Engineers mean that the Japanese cannot sit back and wait to be attacked.
Steve: US Marines
Steve starts his attack in the centre with armour and artillery and I respond be retreating my now reduced forward units to the rear of Sugar Loaf. Steve makes good use of his Recon cards, which with US Marine Corp Command rule means he can order two units as well as choosing his next card, by continuing his artillery attack in the centre while moving units up for an attack on the Marines right. I respond with a Probe on the right and, taking advantage of the full strength infantry units, inflict the first casualty. Steve uses Direct from HQ and I use Counter Attack moving units to support my attack on the right. Again Steve counters with an Attack. Score 2-3.
Unfortunately my surviving unit on the right is a sitting duck as I have run out of cards on that flank so I attack Steve’s infantry in the centre while he responds again with artillery. I attack with All on the left to meet the Marines advance but can’t get close enough to do any serious damage. Steve responds with Close Assault eliminating one of my units. My Probe only causes a retreat while Steve’s Infantry Assault, still on the Marines right, brings the score to 2-4. I respond with Probe, to get a choice of cards on the draw, inflicting one casualty. I discard the Air Power I draw, it won’t be very affective now, and keep the Attack. The action continues back and forth on the same flank, with both of us playing Attack cards until the battle finishes.
Matthew: US Marines
I open with Recon in Force to try and make a dent in the Japanese infantry and Steve responds with a strong General Advance using my tactic on the right from the previous battle to draw first blood. I use All I the centre to attack with artillery and armour but Steve responds with Infantry Assault to bring 6 or 7 units to bear, including many at full strength, enabling him to eliminate my precious mobile artillery. Score 0-3. Fortunately I have a powerful Direct from HQ, which I choose over Armour Assault to order 5 instead of just 2 units in the centre but only inflict one casualty as I concentrate on those Japanese units with 4 figures. Steve responds with Attack. Score 1-4.
Now the best I can achieve is a draw. However the Japanese advance in the centre has taken heavy casualties and my Recon card allows me to eliminate 2 units at close range. Score 3-4. I am still in danger but Steve seems to have run out of cards in the centre. He attacks on the Japanese left reducing one of my infantry units to a single figure! I respond with Move out, retreating and shielding this unit but inflicting no casualties. Steve has clearly run out of steam and I finish the game with another Direct from HQ.
Final Score: 10-10
I made two important observations in this battle: firstly Recon is not such a bad card for the Marines and when using Armour Assault you have little chance of armour overrun against Japanese infantry so it is probably better to keep your distance. I took notes for the first time using a simple system that records cards played and casualties inflicted hence the level of detail. This didn’t seem too much of a distraction as, despite a very strong attack by Steve in the centre second battle, I managed a draw overall. You definitely have to be very aggressive as the Japanese and make the most of those 4 dice rolls.