Combat Commander Pacific – After Action Report – Scenario M6 – Breakout

I’m now 5 months in to my time with the Combat Commander ladder run by the ever-wonderful Patrick Pence (he of Patrick’s Tactics & Tutorials on Youtube) and it’s going great.

It’s tons of fun and I’m actually doing well!

(Ok, I’m actually 6 months in, but I had to take June off due to previously-mentioned bad times).

I went into this month’s game with a 3-1 record. Not bad!

For the month of October, we were playing Scenario M6 from the Combat Commander: Pacific battle pack New Guinea. This one was a tough-looking one for the Japanese.

This month, I was playing against Vlad M, a very gracious guy from the Midwest USA. We managed to coordinate a Saturday afternoon game this last weekend.

This scenario has the Australians (me) facing off against the Japanese (Vlad). The Australians are split up a little bit and the Japanese are desperately trying to breakout through their lines.

A couple of special rules:

  1. All water is considered Grass
  2. The Australians have to set up 3 squads south of hexrow 6 and 3 squads north of hexrow 5. The remaining forces can be set up anywhere within the Australian setup area, except that nothing can be set up in row 5 or 6.
  3. The Japanese are in “Banzai posture”, which means they only get 3 cards while the Australians are in “Recon” (5 cards). Banzai posture means that the Japanese can use the “Charge” order. This order rallies and unsuppresses all Japanese units not previously activated and then gives them a Move order. However, the Allies get an Opportunity Fire action without having to play the card for it.

    This can do great things for the Japanese or it can be horrific. Rallying everybody is definitely a major plus, though.

    The other great thing the Banzai posture does is that every Japanese unit (and weapon) that’s eliminated will come back next round as reinforcements. They never go to the Casualty Track.

Thankfully the Australians get enough foxholes for all of their units as well as a Heavy Machine-Gun that may really help with any Charges.

I did a pretty standard setup for the Australians and Vlad strung the Japanese out up and down the map (some players I’ve seen do a couple of concentrations in the north and south).

(You can click on the pictures to see them full size)

The HMG was positioned with Sgt. Phillips in hex C7

The Japanese set up last so that Vlad knew how I was positioned, and then they get to move first.

Then we began.

The first thing Vlad did was bring in a radio using an Asset Request! It helps to know what the next card in the deck is (thanks to the Reconnoiter order).

It was only 81 mm artillery, but it did come in handy for him.

Vlad’s next order was to move the units in the north.

That went well for everybody except for the leader himself, Lt. Atsuda. He and the squad that was with him broke under thunderous Australian Opportunity Fire. Sadly, those were the only units that broke.

That was unfortunate for him.

On the Australian turn, I fired at him again to try and kill him. We passed the Initiative back and forth a couple of times until finally I kept it and rolled something good, which ended up killing both him and the squad.

Losing a 2-leadership leader on the first turn is not a good start.

Japanese artillery broke the squad with Sgt. Phillips but they quickly recovered.

Spoiler alert: that was the last Revive card the Australians ever saw.

The Australians tried to do even more devastating damage to the Japanese southern flank by killing the leader there, but sadly only the squad with him broke.

That fire also caused the first Time trigger! Since the Australians start off well in the lead and the Japanese can really only win by causing the Australians to surrender (they’d have to exit a lot of units, even with the extra VP for it, to make up the deficit, especially when the Australians are getting points for killing Japanese units too), Time triggers are great for the Australians.

That did bring Atsuda back, but small victories.

Then the Japanese got Air Support! I guess taking place in 1942 will allow that to happen. Thankfully the subsequent dive bombing had no effect.

Vlad played an Asset Denied card to break the HMG, but thankfully I had an Asset Request card to quickly fix it.

Another Japanese squad was toasted in the south by Australian fire. Lt. Ishabashi broke but was quickly revived and the Japanese continued their slow advance.

When would the inevitable Charge come?

Not before the Japanese fire broke the weapons team on the HMG!!!

Remember how I said that the Australians did not see another Revive card?

The HMG was out of action for the rest of the game!

(I just now realized that the team could have transferred it to the squad with an Advance order…oops)

More fire back and forth and another Time trigger. Time was starting to count down.

Then the Charge came!

Lots of card draws back and forth as everybody was moving and the Australians fired on every move (even though some were just 4 firepower potshots).

Though unluckily one of the Japanese morale checks caused a sniper that broke one of the Australian northern squads. They would no longer be able to defend against the Charge!

Australian Air Support also arrived during the Charge and the bomber subsequently broke a Japanese leader later in the game.

The Japanese deck also ran out, making things even more dicey for the Japanese.

A blaze broke out in a hex occupied by a broken Japanese squad adjacent to the broken Australian squad, so they used that opportunity to enter melee.

That’s a lot of broken Japanese units!

The Japanese had an Ambush card and the Australians didn’t, so that squad was quickly gone.

As the Australians discarded, the Japanese advanced in the north, getting way too close to the Australian lines. Thankfully, on the Australian turn, the dive bomber came in and broke Lt. Atsuda!

Unbeknownst to me, that prevented a mass assault on my foxholes, as Atsuda could no longer command the squads right next to me. Broken, he only had a leadership range of 1 hex and they were 2 hexes away.

Instead, only the squad in E4 could advance into melee.

During the subsequent melee, Vlad pulled a sniper that eliminated the weapons team! Bye-bye, HMG (though again, I should have transferred it first).

The Australians fended off the attacking squad, though they were broken by an ambush.

The situation right before the 2nd charge

Then came the second charge. All of those broken units rally! They lose any suppression they have! And they start moving forward.

During the charge, another Australian Time Trigger!

We were one round away from Sudden Death.

Not nearly the same carnage as the first one (though most of the units in the south didn’t move)

The Japanese were still moving closer, and with another Advance order, Sgt. Swanton in the north was in trouble!

Not only that, but a Japanese Walking Wounded event caused an Australian squad to revive…right on top of Lt. Ishibashi!

Things could be looking bleak for the Australians.

The Walking Wounded squad died, but on the next melee roll, the Japanese rolled a Time trigger! Without the Initiative, they couldn’t redo it.

Vlad rolled a 7 (less than an 8 would be enough to finish) and the game ended with the Australians at 23 points.

This was such a great game. When the HMG was killed and the Japanese started rolling forward, I was seriously wondering if I would survive.

If the game hadn’t ended from Sudden Death and he would have had one more round, it’s very possible that he would have forced me to Surrender.

Just for fun, we finished the other two melees and both would have ended in mutual annihilation! I think I would have been one or two units away from Surrender at that point.

Vlad was a great and gracious opponent. He definitely showed his skill and the scenario could have gone either way.

This puts me at 4-1 in the Ladder! I was #17 so I should be up near #10 next month.

Next month we’re going back to Europe with a scenario from the Stalingrad Battle Pack.

I’m looking forward to it!

Combat Commander Ladder – After Action Reports

May 2021 – Scenario #112 – Sonnenwende
July 2021 – Scenario #23 – No Man’s Land
August 2021 – Scenario #34 – Encircled at Hill 30
September 2021 – Scenario A – Grassy Knoll
October 2021 – Scenario M6 – Breakout
November 2021 – Scenario #35 – Spartakovka Salient

9 Comments on “Combat Commander Pacific – After Action Report – Scenario M6 – Breakout

  1. Pingback: Combat Commander Pacific – After Action Report – Scenario A – Grassy Knoll – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  2. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #34 – Encircled at Hill 30 – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  3. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #23 – No-Man’s Land – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  4. Pingback: Combat Commander – After Action Report – Scenario #112 – Sonnenwende – Dude! Take Your Turn!

  5. Pingback: Combat Commander Europe – After Action Report – Scenario 35 – Spartakovka Salient – Dude! Take Your Turn!

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