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Kawaguchi's Gamble: Edson's Ridge» Forums » Sessions

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ken dunn
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Ok. I’m going to try this again. I tried once before and spent a lot of time on AARs and stuff and it got rejected. So irritated I gave up. But since this game is about to be canceled unless more pre-orders show up I’ll make another attempt.

Kawaguchi’s Gamble: Edson’s Ridge is a game about the Japanese night assault on the Ridge above Henderson Airfield on Guadalcanal. It takes place in September 1942. The Americans were desperate. They had suffered defeat after defeat on land to the Japanese and the Axis powers were seemingly invincible. Good news for the Allies was sparse. The game is currently on MMP’s pre-order page. The game is based on the Area Move System made famous by Storm over Arnhem published by Avalon Hill many years ago. The most recent game in the genre was Monty’s Gamble: Market Garden. A fantastic game.

Finally the Americans decided it was time to help Turn the Tide. The Australians were fighting for their very existence on New Guinea and so in an effort to help secure the sea lanes the Americans landed on Guadalcanal to capture a Japanese air base that was under construction. The landing happened in August and was only very lightly contested. The American successfully established a perimeter around the airfield and set to the defense. It wasn’t long before the Japanese launched an assault. However it was poorly planned and lead and resulted in the destruction of an elite detachment of soldiers.

Having learned, the Japanese began landing reinforcements and tested the American perimeter. Finally, General Kawaguchi, decided on a daring plan of attack hitting what he believed was a weak point in the perimeter of the American lines. He had 3 battalions of troops in the main assault cut their way through the trackless jungle. Security was paramount as he wanted to achieve tactical surprise. The men weren’t even allowed cooking fires.

However, Colonel Edson saw hints of the assault and brought his composite Battalion of Raiders (elite Marine troops) and Paramarines to garrison what was to become known as Edson’s Ridge. They dug in as best they could on the hill and waited for the Japanese.

This is where the game picks up. The map covers the area around Hill 123 (also known to the Japanese as Centipede Ridge for its shape) including the Lunga River and Henderson airfield. The objective for the Japanese is to either capture the hill or win an immediate victory by bypassing the hill and overrunning the airfield. The American obviously wants to avoid those conditions.

Michael and I are playing a game now. I will add some shots of the progress. Currently we are on Turn 1 towards the end. He has made a strong push on the American left but I (as the American) managed to blunt some of his follow up forces with a heroic Machine Gun nest that turned away all comers. And just as soon as I can figure out how to upload pictures into a report I will post them.

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ken dunn
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Hopefully the image shows up...American left flank

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ken dunn
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I have moved Edson to another area to rally the forward troops when Michael drops an Artillery hit on my troops on the hilltop. This destroys my entrenchment and disorganizes my Anti-Aircraft gun on the hilltop. The valuable Machine Gun platoon is unscathed however.

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ken dunn
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And Edson rallies the troops...

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ken dunn
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MIchael's last move was to shoot some artillery ninto the jungle in an effort to hit some of my troops. We both know that teh turn is winding down and he is trying to force me to spend supply while I am trying to preserve it. His artillery shot failed to cause any casulties and so it is back to me to decide what to do now.

Despite Michael significant advance on the flank...I have decided that I have it contained as well as I can have it contained. I have several options at the moment.

1. I could strip my seemingly powerful right flank of troops but I have done that already. He has yet to move any troops off that flank and still has powerful options.

2. I could attempt to dig some more entrenchments. I have two left to me for this turn. I would want to do so in key locations but those tend to be the tough areas to dig entrenchment in. He has no artillery left to worry about at the moment. I would only have a 16% chance of success where I really want the entrenchment.

3. Shoot my last powerful artillery. That might be helpful but I have to pay supply for every artillery I want back and there is a chance I wouldn't do any damage (although the way I'm rolling that chance is pretty small!).

4. I could patrol. Not a bad option but the one or two places I could patrol to do me some good are pretty well guarded thus reducing my chances of success

5. I could pass. This move might bait Michael into also passing in order to avoid my last artillery piece. It is not a bad option for him. I'm going to do everything I can to reduce my supply expenditure and he knows I'm not planning on striping my right flank anymore.

He still has the opportunity to do plenty of stuff. I'm waiting for him to roll a '4' or less to end the turn, but unless he wants to create some close combat opportunities now, ending the turn might not be a bad idea for both of us because eventually I am going to drop that last artillery shot!

I'll pick the Pass option.
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ken dunn
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Michael has thrown a large assault my way into Area 20 adjacent to the Hilltop. This is a good attack on his part and I saw it coming but essentially ignored it as I was worried about the other flank. I should have been digging foxholes or dropping preemptive artillery on it.

So we will see if he manages to take advantage of my mistake. It could go wrong for him which would give me some breathing space certainly.

After his assault movement, I have an opportunity to Defensive Fire my Machine Gun unit. I most likely will as that is a very powerful tool to use to help stuff the attack but the Japanese are resilient

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ken dunn
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This is how it turns out once he moves into position and prior to my Defensive MG fire

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ken dunn
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My MG unit just choked. They rolled a 4 and he rolled an 11. That means I am now spent, did no damage, sacrified a defense point AND lessened my resupply value because I rolled the Ammo number.

Not a good defense attempt...

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ken dunn
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The assault results. It will be my turn next. I survived the assault but he is set up for a nice Close Combat phase.

I have Artillery I can call into the battle but I could impact my own units if I am unlucky. I could retreat. I could also reinforce. Plus I still need to use Captain Bailey. So I have some decisions to make. If I am not careful, he may decide to attack again. The odds are a little worse and he tires out his units but breaking this position is beneficial to him.


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ken dunn
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In my turn I will decide to use my artillery. I could impact my own troops with it since I am dropping it on a location that includes my units but...Danger Close!


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ken dunn
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My artillery is hot today! And it probably saved that flank. (It helps to roll well also)


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ken dunn
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Both Michael and I passed thus ending the First Turn's Impulse Phase. This will sometimes happen on turn 1 as the Japanese must judge how much damage he can do to the American and if the effort is worth the return.

After the Impulse Phase ends, the Close Combat Phase begins. We only have one CC to do. It is in Area 20.

The Close Combat phase allows you to eliminate units outright. I have only three units but they are fresh while Michael has six D1 units. I expect that he will double up. I will simply go one guy against one guy and eliminate as many as i can.

The base number to kill is an 8 with various modifications. I line up against two of his weaker units and one of his stronger units. I need 7's or higher against his weaker units and an 8 against his stronger unit. I only got one of his units. We will see what he decides to do.

I can't afford to lose this area so at least one of my units needs to survive. I will use the advantage on to try to save my last unit if he eliminates the other two first.
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