PBI by Peter Pig WW2 in Stab 2013
Japanese vs Everyone
Game 1 Japanese vs Russians
Game 2 Japanese vs Americans
Game 3 Japanese vs Japanese
Stab in lovely Tuckton near Bournemouth, close to the ancestral home of Peter Pig in Waymouth and close to the sea in May - what's not to like? The annual PBI pilgrimage returns...
This time I was using a Japanese army I'd bought on eBay, and first up I managed to play on a Jungle table. Almost as good as using a ship ! The first game was on Peter Sides Jungle table - I think my Germans had fought on it before a couple of years ago, in the infamous "flammenwerfer animation" competition, but it would be a considerably better home for the Japanese.
Having not played for a year, I decided that defending was a lot easier and under the new PP faster setup rules I also managed to lose the initiative quite spectacularly, ending up with just one infantry platoon on table to defend against a horde of Russians. The Japanese infantry defended, and dug in awaiting a Russian assault in a rather tropical Manchuria
The three objectives were spread across the table, but each was in the middle of a thicket of terrain, helping provide cover for the Japanese. Deep in the jungle, more Japanese are preparing to be attacked
The Russians steamed onto the table, Raw infantry and Veteran tanks - A classic combination. All of the Russian foot were SMG armed as well, meaning they were going to hurl themselves forward into close combat with the defending Japanese. Sort of a reverse Banzai experience then
The Russians were assaulting from the very beginning. They steamed forward and threw themselves at the entrenched Japanese, taking full advantage of their lower command roll needed to assault, and the advantaged of the SMG in close quarters fighting. The Japanese were nowhere near being ready to bring on reinforcements and were already being overrun
SMG's blazing, the Russians swept the Japanese defenders from their dugout and captured the first objective early doors. Would a Japanese counterattack manage to dislodge them before the game timed out?
A lone Japanese officer stands on the road, daring the SU152 to come and take him on as it rumbles into view.
No idea WTF just happened there? - you may need to read up about Girls und Panzer on Wikipedia then, as it is going to happen again in this report....!
The Russian second wave has become pinned down by artillery and sniper fire, leaving the infantry who made the initial assault somewhat exposed. But the SU152's are advancing with impunity against the Type 97's so the remnants of the Japanese force are now cowering in their bunker awaiting further assaults
And the assault comes - and wipes out both the defenders and the attackers !
A Type 97 tries a little too hard to ding a shot off the SU152 - and is blatted away in return fire
A second Japanese platoon has made its way to the muster point and is sneaking up through the undergrowth, making sure they are in a good position to take back at least one of the three objectives before the game ends - the Russians are struggling to get their poor quality infantry engaged and advancing again
The Japanese are pouring 37mm artillery fire into the Russian-held bunker and are infiltrating along the vegetation by the roadside as they try desparately to avoid the SU152's
Ready to launch an assault on the objective, Japanese infantry hide in the trees as the game ends … in a dead heat!
In the next game the Japanese fight their traditional enemies, the Americans… but this time in Normandy. The US forces are replete with 3 powerful Sherman tanks which speed across the table and engage the Japanese Type 97's at close range in some woodlands
The Japanese infantry are again defending, and take cover behind a French village house in support of their colleagues who occupy the objective (a shell crater I bought from a trader at Newbury earlier this year)
The Americans have pushed their armour up deep into Japanese held territory and supported it with infantry as well.
The Japanese defenders come under intense scrutiny from the advancing GI's, with a close range firefight almost instantly developing on the outskirts of the village
In a surprise move, the Japanese launch a brutal assault taking themselves out of the objective and into the face of the rather shocked GI's!
The Shermans are also unnerved - coming under intense fire from the Type 97's, both Shermans suffer catastrophic hits - the Yanks are being rocked back on their heels
The Japanese armour take heart and storm forwards in an oriental Blitzkrieg, closing on the lone surviving Sherman and peppering it with close range fire.
The Americans continue to feed men into the village, outflanking the Japanese infantry holding the objective
But by now the full Japanese army is flooding onto the table and the Japanese are everywhere !
Eventually the Americans strike back and disable a Type 97. Still a great day for the Japanese tankers though
A counter attack shatters the morale of the Americans, and a platoon turns and flees the table, leaving the objectives undefended yet again
The Japanese prepare to move up and out of their bunkers and take back control of Normandy !
The Americans are left cowering behind the still-smoking wreckage of their Shermans as the Japanese flood forwards around them
One Sherman decides that attack is the only sensible form of defence, and goes hunting in the woods
The American infantry are wiped out to a man
Japanese troops spread out to occupy as much of the terrain as possible before the game times out
PBI by Peter Pig hint - One of the victory points conditions is for the number of squares occupied by the defender at the end of the game
They hold the objectives and record a crushing victory
In the final game, a Japanese civil war as one faction demands the abdication of the Emperor, and the others demand to fight on to the death !
The Japanese are yet again ensconced in some North French scenery, this time hunkering down inside a walled farmyard
Light Mortar crews pound the advancing enemy infantry from the cover of the buildings
But the Type 97's are bold, and advance into short range to try and blast the enemy out of their objective
Machinegun positions exchange fire across the open ground separating the two armies
The enemy positions are being thinned out gradually
In the cover of a Kentish style Oast House a Japanese sniper takes careful aim alongside his fellow troopers
The bunker seems to have been built on a slope, and then moved to a flatter area. Ingenuity eh?
The advancing troops move up in cover of their armour
One of the key objectives is captured!
A Banzai attack is launched across a field of crops, assaulting the second objective
But the attack falters in the face of withering close range fire from the defenders
The final effort as they charge in yet again…
With the main advance wiped out, the second wave of Japanese attackers are caught in no-mans land and subjected to a hail of incoming fire as they huddle round their disabled tank
My army list
Support Platoon 2
Post Match Summary from the Japanese Commander
This has been a very great honour to represent the Imperial Throne of Japan in the evaluation of martial prowess of PBI. I am grateful for all attention we have recieved, even if we were sort of cheating by not really using Peter Pig figures. Sorry Martin!!
The second game was the biggest win, by a huge margin as we eliminated the enemy and got almost every victory point required and possible. Great Things Here !
Dissapointing to lose the first game, especially as it finished as a draw on points - that is the oddity of the points system that means the attacker wins in case of a draw I suppose. At least I can now go and draw several rather over stylized cartoons of small puppies on the other side of the results sheet!
The last game was also a great victory for Japan, unfortunately not our part of Japan but with several officers killed in action our men were not prepared to attack under their own initiative in any effective fashion, proving that leadership is the solution to every military problem. The photos were also very very nice and will inspire me to open a camera factory after the war is over.
Monty Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Where were the artillery? I mean, how can you even contemplate turning up without first laying down a huge barrage - and I do not mean loosing your bowels after the huge bag of chips you ate late last night in Bournemouth town centre at the Tenessee Chicken Shack either. The first game was a textbook error - you failed to work out the victory conditions, and would have been better served by leaving your crewed guns off table which would have resulted in a material win for you. A common mistake for you, but not one for your opponents
The second game was great, as you did manage to lay down some artillery, and also because your opponent forgot that PBI is a game of area terrain, and so his tanks were not in fact safe behind the house, they were in a Built Up square and in direct line of fire of your tank batallions. You then executed some overly hasty attacks without the benefit of a 3-day barrage to soften up the enemy but got away with it as your opponents were Americans. Tally Ho!
Finally a plan which involved being dramatically outnumbered by an enemy replete in artillery, mortars and well dug in and then executing a lightweight frontal attack was always going to be a bit of a stretch even though you did do quite well by pushing everything down one flank and cutting half the enemy forces out of the game by so doing. I am sure that no proper WW2 general would ever consider a lighting like war maneuver that bypasses the enemy's main concentration of forces and cuts off their lines of retreat or reinforcement. And you got pasted too. Game Over