Hold as Long as Possible at Cold Wars 2018

A long shot of the table

At Cold Wars 2018 I ran two Combat Patrol(TM): WWII games set in the Philippines in 1941.  The Japanese were advancing toward Bataan, and an understrength platoon of Americans had to try to stop them.  As you can see from the map, the Japanese had to advance across a stream and the Americans were scattered around a small village.  The stream could be crossed by infantry, but vehicles could only cross at the ford.  The map is all jungle except the clearing around the town (marked by lichen) and the peaches of felt.  Visibility in the jungle is only four inches, and movement is halved.  This made it slow going for the Japanese and hard to concentrate any firepower for the Americans.  To defend the town, the Americans had an M-3 stuart and an anti-tank gun.

The scenario just prior to the game starting

It is very difficult to find early war American infantry.  I used the Americans with tin helmets from Pulp Figures.

A lone team of Americans advances against two tanks and a squad of Japanese infantry

A forward deployed team of Americans advanced to engage two Japanese tanks and a squad of Japanese infantry.  The Americans didn’t fare well, but they slowed the Japanese advance for a couple of turns.

The American line of defense
Advancing Japanese

The Japanese advanced steadily on their left flan.  After destroying the American team in the center, the Japanese advanced into the village to engage the Americans.  The huts provided very little cover, but as the Japanese advanced into the clearing the Americans finally had enemy in their fields of fire.

The battle begins to heat up in the village
Americans taking up positions in the rocky outcropping

This rock was a deceptive piece of terrain.  It seemed like a good defensive position, but the jungle limited the field of fire, and it could be easily bypassed.

Japanese infantry and a tank advance through the village. Note the nurses hiding behind the hut

In Combat Patrol(TM): WWII when figures are wounded or incapacitated, the unit’s leader acquires a morale marker.  When a unit next activates, it must first make a morale check for each marker it had accrued.  A funny moment came during one of these morale checks.  The platoon headquarters had to make a morale check.  The four Army nurses were attached to the platoon headquarters.  One of the morale results had the platoon leader and two nurses charge into melee with the Japanese.  The Japanese had a better morale number, so this didn’t work well.  The Japanese killed both nurses and the platoon leader.  As a result of losing the platoon leader, all of the American units became pinned.

American infantry and anti-tank gun lined up on the road to stop the Japanese advance

Chris Palmer took over control of the Stuart tank midway through the game.  Chris got several shots at the Japanese tank, but he missed every shot.  Between the Americans being pinned and both Japanese tanks closing on the road, we called the game a Japanese victory.