The battle of Iwo Jima is pretty legendary and so is this scenario. A massive force of US marines is attacking the defending Japanese. Just look at all those troops. There are flame thrower tanks and engineers to boot. The Japanese would not stand a chance if it wasn't for their secret weapon - the caves. Basically, a Japanese infantry in a cave hex is very well protected and never runs away. They can also "teleport" from a cave hex to another empty cave hex anywhere. Very powerfull stuff. In addition to caves the Japanese also have minefields, bunkers and sandbags to enhance their positions.
*note: not skipping Peleliu landings, it will come later
This scenario was played solo.
The marines began the game by playing an air power card against the big cluster of Japanese units in the center section. Two hits were scored against infantry as well as a single lucky hit against the artillery.
Japanese countered by playing a recon to the left flank. They activated the artillery unit and fired at the US engineer unit, inflicting two casualties.
After softening the targets up, the US commander issued an assault to the center section. The numerous armor units scored a single hit against the Japanese infantry while engineers took out a minefield on the left flank.
The Japanese forces probed the left flank. The artillery there supported by a single infantry unit fired at the engineers who had moved forward and eliminated them scoring the first blood for the Japanese.
With a single goal in his mind the US commander played an attack to the center. Two infantry units moved towards the Japanese artillery hiding in a bunker. They both opened fire supported by the marine artillery and eliminated the artillery. First medal for the marines!
Ready to bring their reserve armor into battle the Japanese played an assault to the right flank. One infantry unit moved from a town hex to the bunker that had had the artillery in it. The two armor units moved forward and one of them fired at the nearby marine infantry scoring three hits out of three.
The marines decide to counter-attack the Japanese orders. They too activate all units on the right flank. The armor units rumble forward and one of them fires at the Japanese tanks, taking out two out of three. The marine infantry advances forward and takes out one of the Japanese infantry in the nearby bunker.
The Japanese recon in force. They activate both of their armor units as well as the artillery on the left flank. The first armor unit takes out a marine infantry unit and the other armor unit takes out a full strenght US armor unit in one shot. Talk about lucky! At this point the score is three to one for the Japanese commander.
The US commander is finally ready to execute his plan. The first of two consecutive armor assaults begins. Two flame thrower tanks and two regular armor units advance straight to the enemies face. Both regular armor units score an armored overrun attack and both flame thrower tanks manage to clear out one of the Japanese infantry units from the caves. All in all the marines earn three medals during this round taking the lead.
The Japanese react to the US offensive by playing an attack to the center. One of the infantry units retreats from the front lines through the cave system and the artillery unit nearly manages to wipe out the nearby US armor unit.
Another armor assault is played by the marines. The four armor units near the center of the map take positions and fire. The Japanese infantry in the cave system refuses to fall but both bunkers are emptied of their defenders by the overwhelming tank fire. The marines take two more medals for a grand total of six (one more needed for victory).
Knowing this to possibly be their last turn the Japanese commander plays his direct from hq. Infantry and artillery fire wipe out one of the flame thrower armor units and take the other one down to one figure left. The score at this point is six to four for the marines.
The marines play a direct from hq of their own and wipe out a Japanese infantry unit with their flame thrower tank, scoring the last medal needed for victory.
Thoughts and scenario rating
This scenario was simply fun. Massive forces, interesting terrain, good use of special rules and the epic feeling (7 medals) make this one a keeper. The marines won this one pretty easy, mostly thanks to their far superior cards (those two armor assaults proved to be brutal) and there was not much the Japanese could do to stop this. Definitely one of my favourite scenarios so far.
This is a really good scenario.Me and a friend played it 2 weeks ago and switched sides after the first game to play a second game.The japenese won both games when we played though.i think it was 7-3 or 4 medals the first game and 7-5 the second game.
i played this one today and it was very close despite handicapping the japanese by considering the cave sections on marine left and centre to be separate (didnt allow instantaneous movement between them) while also giving marines defensive benefit of the caves. in the end the marines shouldve won but i attempted to destroy a single bunkered artillery instead of tank & shelling a softer exposed infantry on the left flank for the final kill. on the next turn (the 11th) the japanese were able to destroy two infantry units for their 6th and 7th medals.
marines pulled better cards and rolled well with their tanks and artillery sitting back but concentrating fire (the extra marine activation is huge) and whittling down the defenders. the japanese armour was held in reserve until the final few turns when some marine tanks crossed from centre to the japanese left flank. after a missed opportunity to end the battle by the marines a sole surviving japanese tank figure spearheaded the final victory.