Saturday, January 16, 2010

TAP22 Last Outpost: Japanese and Italians fighting????

Zeb Doyle

It's a fun scenario, but I think a bit of a stretch in terms of the history. All the Great Powers had diplomatic outposts in China (I think Shanghai) that the Japanese shut down after capturing them early in WWII. The Italian outpost was the one exception, since they were an allied Axis power, and the embassy just carried on. Apparently, that state of affairs continued until Italy switched sides, triggering a Japanese attack. Now, the historical aftermath is roughly (going from memory here) something like: The Japanese launched a few minor probing attacks, didn't get anywhere, brought up a gunboat and shelled the embassy, upon which the Italians surrendered. Doesn't quite sound like the action should translate into how the scenario plays, which is mostly the typical "launch banzai, VBM freeze, go balls to the wall, etc."

In fairness to the designer, there is a CVP cap for the attacking Japanese, and some interesting VC: the Japanese have to capture two big buildings or score a certain level of CVP. The twist is that prisoners count for zero and you can't invoke No Quarter (again, if memory serves). It gave Schwoebel a great chance to win our playing as the Italians. Fiercely defending two buildings, he had me in a position where I was going to pretty easily take one and have to work really hard to capture the other in the allotted time. Thankfully, I was able to kill off all the Italians in the doomed building and get enough CVP for the win. Had he timed it right and voluntarily broken everyone in the doomed building, I wouldn't have been able to get the CVP and would have needed a lot of stuff go right to take the second building.

To sum up, it's a fun scenario with some design elements that capture the dynamics of the Japanese not wanting to take many losses, and the Italians being willing to surrender after enough of a fight to salve their pride, but I am highly skeptical that the historical intensity of the action ever came remotely close to how the scenario plays out.


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