So, first mission playing against Rob, and his Imperial Japanese Army. #4 in the scenario list; Hold Until Relieved. Turns out the japs were holding something important, and my first USMC division had been tasked with getting it back.
Thus the game began, Rob having set up an MMG and a veteran infantry squad in the building adjacent to the objective. My Marines could deploy every infantry unit on the table, at least 18" from Rob's units and the objective. One time playing an infantry platoon is more fun.
No, I'm afraid you won't see much paint on my models. Rob, on the other hand, has put as all to shame with his speedpainted IJA.
Squads set up in a rough encirclement pattern around the objective, preparing to take the buildings nearby and fight room to room if need be. My twin MMGs were set up in forward positions on opposite flanks, while one brave (if ultimately foolhardy) USMC squad formed up behind some hedges to take potshots at emerging Japanese troopers.
The unfortunate Marines in the corner murdered four incoming Japs with reaction fire, and brought down another two in melee, but sadly, it wasn't enough to stop the fanatical Japanese troopers.
The turn opened properly with Rob bringing on a couple of units, then I rallied my Marine squad in the south-central building from 4 pins. The First Lieutenant's +2 Morale bonus proved invaluable this game, helping pass six order tests at insane numbers.
Rob managed to get most of his reserves on this turn as well, getting lucky with his reserve rolls, and even luckier with his light mortars in his grenadier squad, shelling my Marines in the north section of the long green-roofed building.
The bazooka, as usual, missed every shot, leaving the house with some nice new windows and open plan living arrangements while only mildly inconveniencing the Japs occupying it.
AT squad, with their tommy gun sergeant, they get some hits, but no casualties. Bazooka, predictably, fails to hit the broad side of a barn. Of course, there may be rather less barn at this point.
Then, in a fit of pique, I fire the mortar at the IJA vets…KABOOM! Straight through the building, falling through the large hole the MMG team left while busy exploding, the heavy round detonating amidst the veteran Japanese troopers, killing a terrifying six of them in one blow. Yes, yes, I think I'll keep this little monster.
Little else of real note happens, some maneuvering here and there, and pot shots all round, but the dust settles on turn 4, my airstrike having been delayed at the start… and leaving me hoping I didn't roll a 1—letting Rob take control of it—at the start of turn 5.
I rolled an amazing string of numbers for the airstrike, pinning down everything near the target, calling in a heavy ground attack aircraft (my SBD Dauntless here) that released its payload and obliterated the grenadier squad where they stood. When the dust settled there was only a large crater and small bits of tattered uniform lying around it.