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Subject: Edson's Ridge-A Grunt's View AAR of Scenario I rss

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Scott Blanchett

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Combat Commander Pacific Scenario I
Edson’s Ridge Guadalcanal September 13, 1942

Turn 0. The US had set up several arty markers around the ridge. It was looking to be a short and bloody fight for the Japanese. Not so fast though, as the Japanese denied 3 of the first 4 fire missions. The one that did get through caused a couple squads to break, but soon revived. The Japanese, seeing that a move across the first part of the ridge was across open ground in front of the US MMG position, opted to move around their right. Movement was slow due to night movement penalty, jungle and gullies, but steady. The US gathered more units on objective 2 in the saddle between the peaks.

Turn 1. The Japanese deck was low when the US rolled a time check, so they Japanese followed soon after. The Japanese reinforcements didn't make entrance yet.

Turn 2. Japanese reinforcements enter the map. Nothing significant happens before another time check.

Turn 3. A combination of fire missions and direct fire eliminate 2 Japanese squads.

Turn 4. Another good fire mission destroys the Japanese battalion gun. The Japanese were able to to get massed on the US left. They had all of their units ready to attack the ridge on the flank. The US had a moment of decision, withdraw from the saddle and on to the ridge, or hold? They decided to hold. The Japanese assault on to the US position, utilizing 2 ambush and 2 bayonet actions. SGT Savage and 2 US squads are gone. A second attack eliminates another US squad. The US calls for a fire mission on a fat, juicy mass of Japanese infantry. Denied. The Japanese eliminate the last unit around objective 2, a garrison squad. In hindsight, that initial itch to withdraw should have been scratched. The saddle is now clear. The Japanese conduct a hide action and get the hero in infiltrate box B. The US manages to eliminate a broken Japanese squad in the open.

Turn 5. Quick time check

Turn 6. Japanese have to do something pretty quick. The US is over 20 VP ahead. Quick time check.

Turn 7. SGT Konburo is killed by direct fire. The Japanese get a break, though, and break SSG Young and his squad, silencing the MMG. The Japanese then see a chance. Lt Dainichi charges the MMG position with a squad and another charges the US howitzer position. The melee is short and decisive. SSG Young and his broken troops are defeated in melee. The other Japanese squad uses an ambush and two bayonet actions to defeat the howitzer crew and US squad with them. The US passes its surrender limit, Japanese victory.

This was a really tense game. The US had all five arty markers out, giving it a good umbrella of arty, if it hadn't been denied over and over again. The night movement and hindrance made ranged fire problematic. The Japanese were also hindered by night time movement. The extra MP to move, along with going through jungle and gullies, almost ran the Japanese out of time. The A/B division units were much better in this movement, given their better movement factor than the much slower SNLF troops. In the assault the Japanese made a profligate use of ambush and bayonet actions that just overwhelmed the US troops. In this scenario, as the Japanese I can see one option, don't even consider VPs. Amass as many troops as you can and go for the killing blow. The US starts with 20 VPs, so working that angle will come up short. As for the US, at one point, I considered a full withdrawal to the second ridge line, consolidating my forces around the MMG and howitzer. Something to think of for the next go round.
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