Monday, April 30, 2007

AAR: DB057 - The Bloody Torokina Perimeter

Jerry Simmons

I've enjoyed reading other people's AARs and thought I would contribute one myself for a change.

I've been playing mostly PTO lately in order to finally learn it an expand my ASL horizons. Randy has been kind enough to beat me in every scenario and then show me things I should have thought about while manning the Japanese.

I recently received Dispatches #24 and, in keeping with my current quest, DB057 "The Bloody Torokina Perimeter" just begged to be played. A well-armed Japanese with .50 HMG, HMG, 2MMG, 8 DCs, FT, OBA, six 50MTR, and 28 squads has to cross a board's width in eight turns and exit 20 VP against a similarly well-armed American with 4 MMG, 37AT, 40AA, .50 HMG, FT, OBA, four pillboxes, 10 trenches, and 22 squads. Aiding the American is the perimeter itself which is composed of Wire and 6FP per hex. This reads like Martha Stewart's recipe for "Carnage Meatloaf".

While the SSRs are restrictive regarding setup for many units, I liked the automatic black chit and contact for both sides' first OBA round. Takes a little of the OBA fickleness away. Since I'm bamboo-blind, it's nice that the brush remains brush on this one.

I setup my Japanese to concentrate the attack on my right flank. This flank offers a faster approach with better cover. The idea is to smoke out that area with OBA, slip in my sappers and clear a whole on the wire and AP minefield perimeter, and rush any defenders with the remaining infantry. Piece of cake. Given the American setup restrictions, the defense is fairly evenly spaced.

My very first WC DR is snakes! Clearly this is a sign of things to come. Naturally, I was wrong but I did get a breeze that would help spread my smoke. So on my PFPh I try to patch the holes in the cover of my approach with some mortar smoke. Five of the six mortars had no smoke! The last one sort of made up for that by smoking a couple of hexes, at which time my unfortunate setup of the OBA observer became apparent. He was setup exclusively to drop the OBA smoke on a single area while being safe from fishing expedition shots from the American, which left him with no flexibility to shift fire should it become necessary. Anyway, my infantry moves behind the woods just in front of the perimeter. I thought it too early to drop the OBA smoke on the first turn since my units would need the first turn to get into jump-off positions. By now my hand is shown and Randy's infantry proceeds to do the "Everybody to the left" shuffle. He's shifting his forces because my Mgs intended to interdict such a move are not in place yet, and I haven't left even a semblance of a threat on his right flank.

On turn two I drop my OBA but the SR drifts off board. Now my waiting sappers must continue to wait while more infantry comes behind them and waits. My interdictors still aren't in position and the American turn two sees more squads shifting to their left flank. A green bulge is beginning to form in front of my intended breach, and the OBA is taking its time. Jerrysan is starting to realize the plan is probably not going to work. Unfortunately my forces are committed and there's no time to shift the breach elsewhere without them Americans just following me.

My turn three sees my OBA smoke finally drop slightly off target. More precisely, on the wrong side of the perimeter. Instead of blinding the Americans by dropping north of the perimeter, it drops just south of the perimeter. I thought it'd be better to settle for that placement than risk the SR to drift the wrong way. The new problem is my DC squads intended to blow the wire can't see the damned wire with all that smoke! So I settle for redeploying my units for an assault on the perimeter on turn four. By the end of American turn three there's a veritable green mob on the north side of the wire. The American 10-2 with the .50 cal has arrived...

Turn four. This is it! Three DC heroes eagerly jump on the wire and the air becomes heavy, like lead. They're followed by some sappers trying to clear the mines. I've never seen so much resid in such a small area. Three 12FP resids, and three firelanes (one of them the .50 cal) later and I had cleared a single wire. I was down to three DCs and half my sappers were gone. The smoke would clear at the start of turn five. This would give my infantry some great shots at the Amis, but there was still the problem of the perimeter. And more American reinforcements were coming in this turn. I decided to concede since it looked like an exercise in futility on my part.

Enjoyed this scenario greatly and would like to try it again. Probably a two-pronged attack, or even across the entire line, would've had a better chance of success. And it wouldn't hurt if I knew how to use the Japanese properly.

Until the next one, roll low.


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