My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Solo Memoir '44 Game - Pacific Theater #49 - Wake Island

I bought an new monitor yesterday: an AOC 24" with a 1920 by 1080 pixel resolution. Boy, does that change a few things! Why did I buy it? To be honest, when I was playing board and miniature games across the internet using VASSAL, I found the screen crowded for the board games I typically play (Memoir '44, Battlelore, Command & Colors: Ancients - notice a pattern here?) so I wanted something with more pixels, but not where the pixels were too small to see. Hence, the largest screen I could find without going hog wild on the price. (The AOC 24" 2436vh was only $200.)

VASSAL has a language and etiquette all its own. In fact, each module typically has variations on the general theme. To try and get back into the swing of it, I decided to play a Memoir '44 scenario solo.

Wake Island

This is a basic scenario designed to get you used to the special rules of the Pacific Theater module; primarily the Imperial Japanese Army Command Rules and the US Marine Corps Command Rules. These two rules help give a national characteristic different from the German and US Army.

The figure above shows the setup of the scenario. I removed the Corsair from the airfield as I did not want to play the Air Pack Rules and discarded the two Air Sortie cards.

Both sides receive five command cards and victory is at six medals. The Japanese, however, can count the airfield, the US artillery bunker, every field bunker, and every town hex as a temporary medal objective, so this makes their winning the scenario much more likely.

Turn 1: The Japanese storm ashore. The Marines bring up some reserves while the artillery starts slamming out rounds, chipping away at the Japanese on-shore.

Turn 2: The Japanese continue their assault, easily driving the Marine unit out of a field bunker, capturing their first temporary medal objective. The Marines retreat back to the town while the artillery continues to hammer away.

At this point I notice that the USMC Gung Ho! rule, allowing one more unit to act on a Section or Tactics card, is pretty powerful.

Turn 3: The Japanese continue to get good cards, and the center section is filled with Japanese troops landing. The Marines open up, however, and really hammer two units.

Turn 4: One Japanese unit badly hit recovers using the Medics & Mechanics card, then charges into the wire, assaulting one of the field bunkers. The Marines in the center continue to pound away and the artillery chips away at one of the original assault units.

Turn 5: The Japanese unit that recovered last turn is used again to assault the field bunker, flanking the Marines and badly mauling them. The Marines, in turn, move out and maul two of the Japanese units in turn.

Turn 6: This is the turning point of the battle as the Japanese start a firefight and blow two Marine units - one of them the Artillery - out of the bunkers. The Japanese now have three victory points. All the Marines can muster is to return to one of the hexes they were forced from. They just don't have the cards.

Turn 7: The Japanese move out and two fresh units assault the Marines in the town, while the weakened units move into the abandoned field bunkers. With two USMC units destroyed and two temporary objective medals before battling, it looked bad. After the dice were rolled, the Marines in the town had taken three hits, eliminating it and allowing the victorious Japanese to take ground and gain another temporary medal objective.

Japanese 6, USMC 0


This is not a balanced scenario, nor even a fun one for the USMC player. The Marines cannot effectively move anywhere as every terrain piece yields victory points to the Japanese. In addition, they can really only fight where the Japanese attack.

Interesting way to spend a few hours, and I am glad I played it solo rather than against an opponent.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").