Dan Cunningham
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Milford
Ohio
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MMP Ironman
Tide at Sunrise
After Action Report (by Dan Cunningham)

Dan Cunningham vs. Darryl Lundy

Played via Vassal with Skype.

We diced for sides;
Dan Cunningham - Japanese, Darryl Lundy - Russian

Opening Thoughts:
I’ll be looking for any weakness in the Soviet defense, and then aim pounce upon it; to push to exploit the gaps, to jump to surround and eliminate units, and look to decimate the Russian Navy and Port Arthur. It will be an interesting and fun battle!



Turn 1:
Setup:
The Russians line up three infantry brigades just west of the Yalu River, the first in Andong, the next two in the two adjacent hexes. The Russian cavalry starts in the far north, just west of Changcheng.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The initial Japanese forces are able to attack all three Russian infantry brigades; disrupting and pushing the southern brigade further south, eliminating the center brigade (retreating into ZOC), and disrupting the northern brigade (EX). The Japanese gain 1VP and control of the port at Andong.

Colonel Akashi:
[4] Begins his plotting.

Russian Transport:
The Russians allot 6 replacement points for Port Arthur and 2 points outside. For reinforcements, they place their 4-4 artillery just west of Liaoyang.

Russian Movement and Combat:

The Russian border forces fall back and one additional cavalry moves up to protect the Motien Pass. No combat.

Turn One Thoughts:
Although we’ve only just begun, it feels like an excellent start for the Japanese campaign. The first real big decision for the Russians is to determine how many replacement points and reinforcements to send to Port Arthur. Darryl chose to send a lot of replacement points to Port Arthur, and therefore was only able to bring on one reinforcement unit in the north.

Running Score:
Ten Togo Points and one Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 2:
Naval Phase:
With both sides a little leery and green with the Optional Naval rules, we stumbled through the first Naval Phase. Both Vladivostok and Port Arthur declare sorties, and the Japanese move out to the Open Sea to engage the Vladivostok fleet. In the Open Sea one lone Russian cruiser is completely outnumbered by the Japanese fleet of seven battleships, three cruisers and three destroyers. The Russian fleet withdraws from combat and the Japanese gain 2 Togo points. With that, the Japanese fleet returns to port and the Port Arthur fleet remains untouched.

Naval Recovery:
The Japanese recover all but three battleships and one cruiser.
The Russians recover their one Vladivostok cruiser, and one battleship from Port Arthur, while one cruiser remains in port at Port Arthur.

Japanese Reinforcements:

The Japanese allot 2 points for replacements, and bring two infantry divisions into Andong, one infantry division on the coast east of Jinjhou and one Cavalry brigade into Houershi.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The infantry division in the south quickly moves to cut off Port Arthur. The Cavalry from Houershi storms off north along the railroad. In the north, the Japanese proceed into the mountain passes chasing the remains of the Russian border guard. Their attacks are able to disrupt the two Russian infantry brigades and eliminate the Russian cavalry along the central mountain pass. (+1 Japanese VP)

Japanese Recovery:
The Japanese spend two points to recover their Infantry Division in Fonghuangcheng.

Colonel Akashi: [6] Continues his plotting.

Russian Reinforcements:
Two points are saved for general replacements, and two 7-6 infantry divisions are placed near Liaoyang.

Russian Movement and Combat:

One Russian infantry division and one infantry brigade make use of rail movement to head south toward Port Arthur and the lone Japanese Cavalry in Telissu. In the north, the Russians are still reeling from the initial Japanese assaults and continue to fall back west of the mountains. The Russians make one attack; disrupting the Japanese cavalry in Telissu.

Russian Supply:
One disrupted infantry brigade west of the mountains becomes cutoff from supply by the invading Japanese and is eliminated. (+1 Japanese VP)

Turn Two Thoughts:
Still just the beginning buds of this game, but I feel like I’ve made excellent gains against the Russians along the mountain passes. Surprisingly, the Russian have abandoned the mountains and chosen to advance south along the rail lines. Perhaps I can cut off those units? Or will they be able to save Port Arthur?? And I have no idea what to think about the naval operations.

Running Score:
Twelve Togo Points and three Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 3:
Naval Phase:
The second foray into the Naval Phase provides a little more interest, but we are still just working through the system. Both Vladivostok and Port Arthur declare sorties, and again the Japanese move out to the Open Sea to engage the Vladivostok fleet. This time the entire Vladivostok fleet (two cruisers and two destroyers) meets a Japanese fleet of one battleship, three cruisers, and five destroyers. Neither side withdraws; combat is on!

Naval Maneuvers:
The Japanese select HS/HS and the Russians select FSH/HS resulting in a medium range combat of two rounds with the Japanese gaining a broadside advantage (which they are unable to convert to a crossing of the T).

Naval Combat:
The Russians suffer two hits on one destroyer and one cruiser, and one hit on one destroyer and one cruiser. The Japanese suffer one hit on one cruiser.

(We mistakenly ended the naval combat after only one round)

Both fleets then return to port and the Port Arthur fleet again remains untouched (three battleships sortied).

Naval Recovery:
Two Japanese cruisers and one battleship remain in port.
All Russians Vladivostok ships recover, and only one Port Arthur battleship remains in port.

Japanese Reinforcements:
The Japanese save 2 points for replacements, and land two infantry divisions and an infantry brigade on the coast east of Jinjhou, and one infantry division at Houershi.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The infantry divisions in the south mount a heavy attack on Nanshan, while also sending one division north along the rail to face the Russian units. In the north, the Japanese proceed to the west edge of the mountains, and as far as Qinghecheng in the north. Their attacks again disrupt one discouraged Russian infantry brigade near Siuoyen and their attack successfully pushes the Russians out of Nanshan.

Japanese Recovery:

The Japanese spend one point to recover their cavalry division along the rail line.

Colonel Akashi: [3] Continues his plotting, already up to 13 points.

Russian Reinforcements:
Two 7-6 infantry divisions are placed near Liaoyang and one cavalry division near Mukden.

Russian Movement and Combat:
The Russians generally move to shore up their defenses where they can, and make no attacks. They spend their replacement points to recover two units isolated in Port Arthur and their continually harassed infantry brigade along the Fenshuei Pass.

Turn Three Thoughts:
Things are still developing. I focused this turn advancing into Port Arthur. I’m also happy with the results of the first naval engagement. The Vladivostk fleet is now at half strength. My only bit of discouragement (if you can even call it that) is that with the successful attack against the fort in Nanshan, I’m still unable to bring on the big 28cm artillery units.

Running Score:
Twelve Togo Points and three Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 4:
Naval Phase:
Here we go again with the Naval Phase! This time the Vladivostok fleet stays home and only Port Arthur declares a sortie. The Japanese come in full force with nearly everything they have and attempt to move into the Coastal Waters (causing just one destroyer to return to port). The Russians reveal that they’ve sortied everything from Port Arthur. Neither side withdraws; combat is on!

Naval Maneuvers:
The Japanese select FSH/HS and the Russians select FSH/HS resulting in a medium range combat of two rounds with the Russian gaining a broadside advantage (which they DO convert to a crossing of the T). (-3 Togo Points)

Naval Combat:

The Russians suffer one hit on a cruiser, one hit on a destroyer, one hit on a battleship and one battleship is sunk (Peresvyet). The Japanese suffer two hits on one cruiser, one hit on two different battleships, and three battleships are sunk (Shikishima, Fuso, Fuji). (-2 Togo Points)

(Again, we mistakenly ended the naval combat after only one round)

Naval Recovery:
The Japanese repair both damaged battleships, recover their destroyers and the majority of their cruisers; four battleships and one cruiser remain in port.
One Port Arthur cruiser and two battleships recover and their one damaged battleship is repaired; four battleships and destroyer remain in port.

Japanese Reinforcements:
The Japanese land an infantry brigade and 75mm artillery on the coast east of Jinjhou, one infantry division in Dagushan, and two infantry divisions in Andong.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The infantry divisions in the south mount a heavy attack on Darian. The infantry division on the rail line holds his defensive position, while the cavalry brigade swings around near Zhuanghe. In the north, reinforcements stream up through the mountain passes, and a few infantry brigades advance cautiously beyond the Taizih River. The Japanese AGAIN disrupt the Russian infantry brigade now near Haicheng, and are able to overthrow Darian (+2VPs for the eliminated units and +5VP for Darian).

Colonel Akashi: [6] More excellent advances for the Colonel, now to 19 points.

Russian Reinforcements:

Two points are saved for general replacements, while two infantry divisions (one 10-6 and one 7-6) are placed near Liaoyang.

Russian Movement and Combat:
The fresh Russians 10-6 and 7-6 infantry divisions rail move down toward Port Arthur, along with a nearby infantry brigade to join the existing two 7-6 infantry divisions to attack the Japanese infantry division (EXR), pushing them back toward the coast. In the north, the Japanese hold their positions.

Turn Four Thoughts:
Well, that was a brutal naval phase. The Russians crossing the T certainly proved painful. If only I had ordered FSH/FSH! However, I think the naval setback is only a minor one. Hopefully I can manage to put some serious pressure on Lushun with my ground troops, and that will bring an end to the Port Arthur fleet, within the next few turns. If only I were able to bring on the big 28cm artillery units. With the Russian’s strong push south along the rail lines, I see some opportunities in the north. I’ll just need to be patient with my attacks in the north, to avoid over-extending. I don’t want to risk getting surrounded or cutoff. I’ll also need to apply sufficient pressure on Port Arthur to bring down Lushun.

Running Score:
Seven Togo Points and ten Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 5:
Naval Phase:
Both Vladivostok and Port Arthur declare a sortie. The Japanese move into the Open Sea with four destroyers, two cruisers (one with one hit) and one battleship. The Russians reveal that they’ve sortied only one destroyer (with one hit). Neither side withdraws.

Naval Maneuvers:
The Japanese select HS/HS and the Russians select FSH/FSH resulting in a short range combat of two rounds with the Japanese gaining a broadside advantage (which they FAIL to convert to a crossing of the T).

Naval Combat:
Combat is over quickly, with the Russian destroyer sunk and no damage to the Japanese fleet.

Naval Recovery:

The Japanese recover all but two destroyers.
Three Port Arthur battleships recover; two battleships, a cruiser and a destroyer remain in port.

Japanese Reinforcements:

The Japanese add six points for replacements, and then land an infantry brigade in Houershi, another in Dagushan, and one infantry brigade and one cavalry brigade in Andong.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The infantry divisions in the south move in on the fort of Port Arthur; while two divisions and a brigade hold a defensive position on the rail line. From Zhuanghe, cavalry and infantry divisions drive through the mountains toward Gaiping. In the north, reinforcements continue to stream up through the mountain passes, and the Japanese encircle a Russian infantry division south of Liaoyang and a Russian cavalry brigade in the rough south of Fushun. Both encircled units are destroyed, the Russian infantry brigade now near Haicheng is AGAIN disrupted, and the 75mm artillery takes a shot at the fort of Port Arthur (without the aid of the infantry). The artillery shot does no damage, but does allow the arrival of the 28cm artillery next turn! (+3VPs for the eliminated units).

Japanese Recovery:

Three Japanese infantry divisions are recovered.

Colonel Akashi:
[1] Strike! - Russian transport points are reduced by 2. The total is now 20.

Russian Reinforcements:

Two points are saved for general replacements; one 7-6 infantry division is placed in Mukden, and two cavalry brigades near Liaoyang.

Russian Movement and Combat:
The Russians shift their defense in Port Arthur, pull one disrupted division north along the rail to Gaiping, and generally scatter their units along the rail line west the mountains, concentrating their forces in towns and cities.

Turn Five Thoughts:
The Japanese again made excellent progress this turn. It appears the Darryl’s Russians have decided to play a stalling game with their Vladivostok fleet, sacrificing ships one at a time. With the failed attack on Port Arthur from the 75mm artillery, my Japanese are now able to bring on the big 28cm artillery units. That should put some serious damage to the fort. The Russians continue to hold their frontal position south along the rail lines despite a serious threat of getting cut off from the north. It also appears that the Russains have spread their defenses a bit too thin in the north, inviting some more encircling opportunities next turn.

Running Score:

Seven Togo Points and thirteen Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 6:
Naval Phase:
Both the Vladivostok fleet and the Port Arthur declares a sortie. The Japanese move into the Open Seas with three destroyers, two cruisers and one battleship. The Russians reveal that they’ve sortied just one cruiser (with two hits). Neither side withdraws.

Naval Maneuvers:

The Japanese select FSH/HP and the Russians select FSH/FP resulting in a medium range combat of two rounds with the Japanese gaining a broadside advantage (which they AGAIN FAIL to convert to a crossing of the T).

Naval Combat:
Combat is over quickly, with the Russian cruiser sunk and no damage to the Japanese fleet.

Naval Recovery:

The Japanese recover all but three destroyers and one battleship.
One Port Arthur battleship and one destroyer recover; two battleships and a cruiser remain in port.

Japanese Reinforcements:
The Japanese land an infantry division and 28cm artillery in Houershi, an infantry brigade in Pizihku and Zhuanghe, and two infantry brigades in Andong.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
One more infantry division joins the swarm outside Port Arthur; while the 28cm artillery moves to the rail line, and two divisions and two brigades move to semi-encircle the forward Russian divisions. Out of the mountains, the Japanese forces encircle a Russian division in Gaiping, a brigade in Toumucheng, and a division and artillery brigade in Liaoyang. Both sides suffer losses in an exchange at Port Arthur, and the Russian infantry brigade (from the initial border defenses) finally falls in Toumucheng. The other encircled Russians are left to suffer out of supply effects in Gaiping and Liaoyang. (+1VP for the eliminated unit).

Colonel Akashi: Another [1] Strike! - Russian transport points are reduced by 2. The total is now 21.

Russian Reinforcements:
Two points are saved for general replacements, and two 7-6 infantry divisions and a cavalry brigade are placed near Mukden.

Russian Movement and Combat:
The Russians shift their defense in Port Arthur, pull one infantry and one cavalry brigade up to the north from Dashiqiao and Yingkou, while, their forces around Mukden remain bundled together. Looking to force their way out of the impending encirclement, three Russian infantry divisions attempt an attack on a Japanese infantry division in Telissu, but the Russians take the worst of the battle and become disrupted.

Russian Supply:
In Liaoyang, one Russian infantry division is disrupted from lack of supply and the artillery is destroyed. Another infantry division is eliminated in Gaiping from lack of supply. (+3VP)

Turn Six Thoughts:
The Russians took more heavily losses this turn. They continued their stalling game in the naval phase, sacrificing a cruiser. Their southern units along the rail line are now disrupted and cutoff; they will be surrounded eliminated in the next turn. While in the north, more Russians units are dangling about for Japanese consumption. There are simply not enough Russians remaining to hold off the Japanese advances.

Running Score:
Seven Togo Points and seventeen Victory Point for the Japanese.



Turn 7:
Naval Phase:
Only the Port Arthur declares a sortie. The Japanese fleet sortie as well. The Japanese fleet chooses to remain in the Open Sea, and the Russian fleet chooses to remain in the Coastal Waters; no combat. (It turns out that both sides had large fleets at sea.)

Naval Recovery:
The Japanese recover all their ships, except two destroyers and two battleships.
At Port Arthur, four battleships and one destroyer remain in port.

Japanese Reinforcements:
The Japanese add 6 replacement points for later recovery, and then land an infantry brigade and 28cm artillery in Houershi, and one infantry brigade in Andong.

Japanese Movement and Combat:

The 28cm artillery brings its guns to bear on Port Arthur; while the Japanese forces encircle the disrupted Russian divisions outside Telissu, the infantry brigade and cavalry brigade west of Toumucheng, and a division Liaoyang. Remaining Japanese brigades form up a line from Liaoyang to Qinghecheng. The Japanese gain control of Yingkou. The Japanese artillery is effective, eliminating infantry and cavalry brigades in the Port Arthur fort. The Russian infantry and cavalry brigades west of Toumucheng are eliminated. The other encircled units are left to suffer out of supply effects in Gaiping and Liaoyang. (+4 VP for the eliminated units and +5 VP for Yingkou).

Colonel Akashi: Yet another [1] Strike! - Russian transport points are reduced by 2. The total is now 22.

Russian Reinforcements:

Two 10-6 infantry division are placed near Mukden.

Russian Movement and Combat:
The remaining Russians bundle around in Port Arthur, Mukden, and Fushun.

Russian Supply:

A total of four infantry divisions are eliminated from lack of supply; three in the south near Telissu, and one in Liaoyang. (+9VP)

Turn Seven Thoughts:

Another brutal turn for the Russians, their southern units are now eliminated and Port Arthur is on the verge of collapse as well. In the north, only a bundle of Russians in Mukden and Fushun face an onslaught of Japanese forces.

Running Score:
Seven Togo Points and thirty-five Victory Point for the Japanese.




Turn 8:

Naval Phase:
The Russians fleets refuse to leave port. The Japanese fleet sortie, gaining control of the Open Sea and coastal waters; allowing the landing of even more Japanese in the west at Yingkou.

Naval Recovery:

Two destroyers remain in port for the Japanese; two battleships and one destroyer for the Russians in Port Arthur.

Japanese Reinforcements:

The Japanese land an infantry brigade and 28cm artillery in Yingkou, two infangry brigades near Gaiping, and two infantry brigades in Andong.

Japanese Movement and Combat:
The Japanese pile on Port Arthur and Mukden; In Port Arthur all three remaining Russian brigades are disrupted and the Japanese gain control of Lushun (eliminating the Port Arthur fleet). At Mukden, an exchange disrupts two Russian divisions and two Japanese divisions. (+2 VP for the eliminated units, +5 VP for the elimination of the Port Arthur fleet, and +20 VP for Lushun).

Russian Surrender:
At this point the Russians Surrender. Port Arthur has fallen, Mukden is surrounded, six VPs worth of units would be eliminated in the next movement phase, and waves of Japanese are storming north.

Running Score:
Seven Togo Points and sixty-two Victory Point for the Japanese (with six more VPs coming in the next movement phase.)




Conclusions:

It was a fun game. It’s always interesting to see new approaches and strategies other players use. In this one, Darryl gambled sending units south along the rail line toward Port Arthur. His thought was to try to help defend and save Port Arthur, but in the process he lost a lot more than Port Arthur. I also think he yielded the mountain passes too easily. Those are some tough passes to fight through, if the Russians are able to get a few units in place before the Japanese advances.

Tide at Sunrise is an excellent game. The base rules are simple and straight forward. The battle ramps up nicely, with just a few units on the board at the beginning and more and more coming in every turn.

The Optional Naval rules, well, the jury is still out. It was hard for us to get a grip on the mechanics of the naval phase, so we were unable to come up with any meaningful strategies or tactics. It was mostly just an odd dice-fest that left us both scratching our heads. Thankfully, the naval phase is only a minor part of the game, and I wouldn’t see it swinging the outcome too dramatically in either direction.

Enjoy,
Dan
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Mark D.
United States
Long Island
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Nice AAR Dan. This is a great game, but the Optional Naval rules are definitely difficult to get a grip on. Let everyone know if you discover any pearls of wisdom that make the Optional Naval game comprehensible, as I agree that simply rolling on the Naval Chart is a poor substitute for naval strategy.

Thanks for taking the time to share this.

- Mark D.
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Wang Zhen
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I can't see the picturescrycrycry
mine copy will come to me this weekend!can't wait
 
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Tom Swider
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Turn 2 and 3 - Japanese Movement errors?
Turn 2 - I'm not sure how the northern advancing infantry was able to reach 1434. Even with an advance of 2 hexes after the turn 1 combat, the unit would fall short a space.

Turn 3 - Reinforcing in Joinhou wouldn't be allowed because of rule 8.3.1. (unless there's something in the optional naval rules; I thought from what I read the Russians sortied). Hex 0707 is the cut-off.

The Japanese certainly have their work cut out for them, and if I'm missing a way of hastening the advance, I'd like to know.
 
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Dan Cunningham
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Tom, can you see the images? I wasn't sure, because the other guy there said he couldn't load them.

To reach 1434 - I succussfully attacked and advanced in both turn 1 and turn 2. The unit was eliminated in turn 2 - so he's not even left on the map.

The reinforcements did not land ON Joinhou. They did land on the legal coast between 0707 and 0131 - then moved half their movement allowence from there. If you can see the tos03 image, you should be able to see that those are legal spots for the units to be after landing on the legal coast.

I called it "east" in the AAR, but it is confusing because north is tilted.

I don't think I did anything spectacular with the Japansese on the attack here. I think it was more an inexperienced Russian defense. I was able to bust right through him at the beginning, he didn't hold up any defense in the mountain passes, and his gambit along the road to Port Arthur did not pay off (for him).

Dan
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