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ASL Journal 12
ASL Journal 12 (MMP)

Historical Prelude

The invasion of New Britain by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) during World War II was part of Operation Cartwheel, a series of amphibious assaults aimed at encircling the major Japanese base at Rabaul, on the island of New Britain (also known as ‘The Green Inferno’) in the southwest Pacific. The USMC landed on the western coast of New Britain on December 26, 1943, and captured the Cape Gloucester airfield after overcoming fierce Japanese resistance. The USMC then advanced eastward along the coast, securing several strategic points and engaging in sporadic battles with the Japanese.

The USMC faced harsh terrain, tropical diseases, and supply shortages. The invasion of New Britain by the USMC ended in April 1944, when the USMC handed over control of the area to the Australian Army, which continued the campaign until the end of the war. The invasion of New Britain by the USMC was a successful operation that contributed to the isolation and neutralization of Rabaul, and paved the way for further Allied advances in the Pacific.

Check out these photos from the area during the battles:

ASL AAR: Buckley’s Block (J189)

Module: ASL Journal 12 (magazine)
Scenario Publisher: MMP
Scenario Designer: Darrell Andersen
Date: January 12, 1944
Location:
Cape Gloucester, New Britain

Download the VASL .vsav setup file.
Download the VASL .vlog playthrough.

Scott’s Perspective:

Defender: American (USMC) (Weapons Company, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division)

USMC Defense/Blocking Plan

I love me some USMC, but I hate the chaos the Japanese can bring. Banzai charges can wreak havoc in the jungles of the south Pacific!

But this terrain looks very interesting. There’s a large clump of bamboo, marsh/swamp right in the center of the playing area, and you pretty much have to go around it all. This is surely going to screw up Neal’s approach. Well, that’s my hope anyway. He needs to progress across the map and exit, while trudging through the mud, mist, and rain. If done properly I can split his forces, or maybe force him to pull them all to one side or the other of those block zones.

To prepare for splitting the Japanese approach I’m going to hide my 37mm AT gun at the top of the board giving me LOS through the open ground and kunai up there. Down below I’m going to hide my 75mm half-track in the kunai thinking he’ll try to skirt the center clump of woods. I don’t see getting much use out of either of these unless Neal stumbles right into them, because the AT gun isn’t going anywhere, and the half-track, once visible, is going to come under attack from Japanese tank-hunter heroes. I might get a couple shots from each, IF I’m lucky. And if I’m really lucky, I might get a canister (C7) shot with the AT gun.

In the woods proper I’m going to set up most of my Marines, including my HMG and 2x MMG which I can shift around to cover the areas north and south of the woods as need be.

This one should play pretty fast.

Neal’s Perspective:

Attacker: Japanese (141st Infantry Regiment, 51st Division)

ASL AAR: Buckley's Block (J189)
Japanese Attack Plan

I only see one solution to this puzzle: banzai! Banzai charges are usually an optional thing in most PTO scenarios, but in this one I think I need to do at least one banzai charge just to have enough time to exit units off the map. I can use it simply for the extra MFs. But the real question is … when to banzai.

The terrain is just not really suited for banzai, so I need to plan carefully and appropriately. It’s possible that Scott might just hide his Marines out of LOS during my MPh so I can’t banzai. We shall see.

I have no idea where Scott will set up his AT gun and half-track. I’m only certain it won’t be in the large clump of woods on the east side of the board. I’ll just have to deal with those when/if I run across them. Tank-hunter heroes to the rescue!!

And once again I’m playing a scenario where the Japanese are technically the attackers but are lugging around two knee mortars, each one costing 4PP because of all the special ammunition they have. Ammunition I probably won’t even use in this scenario (IR, Smoke, WP). More than likely I might get a couple HE shots off early if I have a LOS to any Marines, then I’ll just dump them in the kunai. They’re just going to slow me down and I need to move in this scenario.

I need 20 VP, either by exiting my units or eliminating Marines. I don’t know, I think this is going to be a tough one with the extra hardware Scott has, and I think this scenario comes down to one thing: an effective banzai charge. I’m about 50/50 when it comes to banzai charge success.

Let’s see how it goes!

GET TO THE CHOPPA…!!! Get To The Choppa...!!!


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N. Ulen & S. Rowland
Neal & Scott are just two dudes who have known each other since junior high school. We fumble our way through scenarios and make fun of ourselves doing video AARs of our ASL games. Almost all of our games are played on VASL.
asl-aar-buckleys-block-j189This scenario really makes it feel like you're slogging through a rainy, misty, muddy jungle in the Pacific Theater. Japanese players: save you banzai charges for just the right moment, probably later in our AAR. Marines: consider skulking and not giving the Japanese many LOS opportunities to banzai.

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