Thursday, 7 May 2015

Bolt Action - Pacific Massacre


It's dawn, 1944, a small island in the Pacific.

Elite American marines have landed and are making their way inland having broken through the coastal defences. The Japanese General order an immediate banzai charge with his remaining troops. The assault in this sector bumps straight into an American infantry team equipped with flamethrowers - about the only thing that will stop charging Japanese infantry.

I'm playing the Imperial Army and Simon the marines. The Japanese are regulars except for a small group, which I'll come to.

The Japanese reinforced platoon consists of two squads of assault troops armed with rifles and two fire support troops with a light mortar and an LMG.

In support they have a light artillery piece, a medium mortar, an MMG, an old tankette with LMG and a Ha Go light tank (aka Vickers 6 ton).

The photo shows the assault squad led by a sword-armed lieutenant storming towards the Americans.

The thin green line.

The view from the American left flank, which is bearing the brunt of the Japanese assault. The marine unit on the hill has taken serious casualties from the Japanese fire support teams.

 Eye in the sky.

An American float plane off one of the cruisers out in the bay makes a low level run in an effort to identify targets in the melee. The Japanese have no AA weapons and are helpless, although a veteran suicide anti-tank man attempts to bring the floatplane down with its shaped-charge-on-a-pole.

On its second run the plane misidentifies the Marine section on the right flank as Japanese and wipes them out with napalm before returning back to its ship with the satisfaction of a job well done.


The Japanese assault teams reach the American line.

Sea of flame.

Marine flamethrowers turn the woods in front of them into a sea of flame, slaughtering most of the attacking IJA. Nevertheless, a few survivors stagger out to slaughter the American squad in front of them before succumbing to a second burst from the tank's flamethrower.


A lucky shot from the Ha Go's light anti-tank gun sets off the Stuart's flame tank and it explodes catastrophically.

The disheartened marines fall back leaving the field to the Japanese infantry, such of them that are still alive.

It was a massacre.

1. Charging with large cheap units is possibly the best Japanese tactic but next time I'll give them anti-tank grenades.
2. Flamethrowers are the only thing guaranteed to stop the Japanese because you have to kill them.
3. Air support is dodgy (Simon threw a 1, which was the turning point of the game).
4. Marines versus Japanese is great fun: firepower versus numbers and fanaticism.

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