Thursday, 9 April 2015

Bolt Action in the Pacific, The Green Hell.

Wednesday night's game was a WW2 Bolt Action engagement between the Forces of Imperial Japan commanded by Colonel Notsoyumi Sukiyaki (Dave Houston) and the 2nd US Marine Corps commanded by Colonel Richard 'Rick' Draper over some pitiful scrap of an island that had limited strategic importance, absolutely no night life whatsoever and some very nervous looking goats.

General Notsoyumi Sukiyaki issues orders from his command post

Japanese marines wade ashore to reinforce the island 

The Japanese force is a mixed bag of Regular Imperial infantry and Veteran naval assault troops, some rather odd looking anti tank suicide pole troops, a self propelled howitzer and a small machine gun armed jeep.

The forerunner to the Toyota Starlet

The Japanese enter the table from the North and begin the game with all their troops in reserve behind their baseline.

The US Marine force consists of a Regular infantry-only force with the usual support weapons,
80 mm mortar, HMG, flamethrower and MMG's

The Americans also begin the game by deploying from behind their baseline at the southern end of the island.

The objective, located approximately in the middle of the table, is a downed Japanese Navy float plane which crash landed, after running out of fuel.  Incredibly inside the dead pilots satchel is the plans and latest coordinates of the Imperial Japanese Navies' 3rd  Pacific Task Force including the Battleship Musashi. and the carriers Suckimota and Sockitumi. Recovery of this vital information is paramount for both sides.

The battlefield consists of a small island bisected by some rudimentary tracks, a couple of native dwellings, two prominent rocky outcrops and scattered palms and jungle.

The Americans get off to a great start as one American order dice after another is removed from the dice bag. Colonel Draper pushes forward a unit to capture the smaller of the two dwellings. He positions his mortar at the rear to bring down support fire and likewise places his HMG near the rear with a clear field of fire right up the length of the table. His remaining troops take up watch and shoot positions on the jungle fringes.
Finally the Japanese order dice start to emerge from the bag and Colonel Sukiyaki wastes no time in bringing up his S.P gun up behind the large building while his remaining troops advance towards the centre and flanks.

Some excellent spotting by the Jap Forward Observer allows the S.P gun to bring down fire on the enemy troops lurking in the jungle on the American Right Flank,
Unfortunately the Japanese gunner is not up to the mark and, despite a very impressive display of smoke and flying shrapnel, not a single GI is hit.

At this point the US Navy lends a hand as Colonel Draper retaliates by calling in an air-strike by a trio of carrier based Corsair fighter bombers.
Now, I have to say here that I have been present at numerous games where air strikes have been about as useful as teets on the proverbial bull. In most cases they either fail to turn up, get shot to pieces by ack ack or blissfully drop their payloads on their own troops. Well this night none of the aforementioned happened, instead the Yankee fly-boys not only arrived on target they proceeded to unleashed hell as a great handful of 5's and 6's were thrown. KABOOOMB!! bye bye S.P gun.


Undeterred by this cataclysmic setback so early in the piece Colonel Sukiyaka continues to push his troops forward toward the objective in the jungle, he also secures the larger building by positioning troops inside it to cover the main central track.
Somewhat rashly, he orders the jeep forward on what appears a suicide mission to pour fire into the enemy troops advancing up the track and in the smaller dwelling. Some average shooting puts paid to a couple of marines but a return fusilade of fire from the Amercian HMG and the grunts in the building pepper the hapless jeep, exploding the fuel tank and annihilating the heroic crew.

With the loss of the enemies' jeep Colonel Draper considers this a perfect opportunity to assault the large building. Two units dash forward to the walls including a flame thrower to overpower the Jap defenders. The flame-thrower  is singled out for particular attention by the Japanese riflemen and he is cut down before he can even ignite his flame. A number of other Marines hit the dirt but the attack still goes in. A short but bloody melee ensues leaving the G.I's in possession of the building and the Japanese defenders wiped out to a man. "Well if they wont surrender what the hell else are we s'posed to do Sir?" asks Sergeant Kawolski.

Once Colonel Sukiyaki has stopped beating his head against a nearby rock in apoplectic rage and frustration he manages to regains his composure enough to orders his Naval vets to race forward at maximum speed to seize the objective and remove the secret documents to safe keeping at all costs.
To support them he sends a unit of Imperial infantry round the Right flank along the edge of the beach. 

Sensing the prize may yet slip from his grasp Colonel Draper switches his attention to the central patch of jungle and the wrecked aircraft. He orders as many units as possible forward to assault the objective. 
As his men race across the open ground in the centre they are met by a fanatical but futile Banzai charge by the pitiful remains of a unit of regular Imperial infantry, swords waving and flags fluttering. Barely breaking stride the GI's open up on them and the glorious charge is stopped in its tracks leaving a carpet of dead Japanese.


With very few other targets to concern them the Americans can now bring their considerable fire-power to bear on the objective. "Spray that God damned jungle with everything you got boys" yells the Colonel.

Colonel Rick Draper in action

Fire in the hole! 80 mm mortar bringing down some pain.

Spray that jungle!

The American Mortar and the troops from the American Left flank bring down accurate supporting fire as the Marines charge toward the objective. Japanese casualties begin to mount at an alarming rate and there are very few Japanese order dice left in the bag. Incredibly the fanatical Naval veterans continue to pass their morale test.

To close the deal the Americans send a unit racing up the middle and round the Left flank unopposed to cut off the enemies retreat. 

It's now obvious that, though the Japanese are in possession of the top secret plans, they cannot get  the plans off their end of the table and in fact another turn would almost certainly see them wiped out so, thanks to some incredibly lucky dice throwing and excellent tactics and some abysmal luck on Colonel Sukiyakis part the Forces of Democracy prevail with a decisive victory 'God Bless America!'

I know those Nip pilots are small but this is ridiculous?


Radioman Wally Cronkite radios back to headquarters "Objective secured"

Colonel Sukiyaki's last bottle of Asahi before committing Hari Kari.


  1. Excellent report of an excellent looking game (figs & terrain top-notch). Loved the intro ('bout the lack of nitelife and nervous goats)! Also, an appropriate beverage to end the game. Nice one!

  2. An excellent looking game, love the Toyota!

  3. Great looking game. I need to get back to work on my Japanese forces. I have 4 1/76th tanks to put together. Kanpai!

  4. Glad y'all liked it. Bolt Action would work just as well with 20mm figs and those Jap tanks look really cool with that dazzle tropical camo pattern.

    My next Army will be French WW1 late war for Bolt Action.

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  6. A great looking collection of figures and vehicles on some very good terrain.
    Thanks for sharing,