Thursday, 17 February 2011

Invasion of Japan, 1985

While looking for some other photos I came across a number of pics of this game, played a couple of years ago using my NATO Brigade Commander rules.  The scenario, set during the early stages of a fictional war in the mid-1980s saw a small Japanese force tasked with defending a stretch of coastline in anticipation of a Soviet (remember them?) amphibious landing.  The Japanese commander was in charge of an infantry battalion (in wheeled APCs), a recce squadron (Type 87 armoured cars) and an experimental AA missile battery.  The AA battery did not in fact have any live missiles, and although these were due to arrive by air, the Japanese commander was not to allow the new system to fall into enemy hands.  As far as I can remember, the Japanese objectives were to defend the two factories.  Reinforcements, including a tank battalion were available and would arrive randomly following any Soviet landing.
Soviet forces consisted of an understrength Naval Infantry Regiment, together with an Air Assault Brigade.
Early in the game - Soviet Paras have landed (by helicopter) on the hill above the Jap AA battery (which is under naval gunfire), while the Jap Mech battalion has seen off another Para assault on the airport.  The recce still anxiously watches out to sea...
Close-up of the fighting at the airport - the surviving stand of Paras (nearest camera) prepares to go down fighting.
Japanese reinforcements arrive (top left)
Meanwhile, out at sea...
Two battalions of Soviet Marines land.  The Paras have overrun the AA battery and engage the Japanese battalion at the airport (failing a morale check in the process).  The naval fire support is now aimed (badly!) at the airport defenders.
Close-up of the Naval Infantry disembarking.  The Lebed-class LCAC (Landing Craft Air Cushion - that's a hovercraft to you and me) are scratchbuilt from balsa and card. 
As the Lebeds return for more troops, the Naval Infantry overrun the factory defences.  The Air Assault guys try to land troops at the airport.  While under fire.  What could go wrong? 
Close-up of the carnage at the airport.  The Sovs have landed a BMD Para battalion (left) together with the Brigade HQ (centre) and Assault Gun battery (the ASU-85, right) - but are beset on all sides by angry Japs.  One of the Antonovs has clearly made a rather heavy landing.
Naval Infantry head north, having handed over the grey factory (next to the lake) to the Paras. At the bottom of the frame can be seen a Japanese Tank Battalion preparing to join the fun at the airport.
The Air Assault troops have fought off most of the (already battered) Japs.
Endgame.  The Sovs control the airport but the Jap tanks still threaten.  The Naval Infantry (top, centre) are heading to the main highway in order to deny that route to further Jap reinforcements.  The Sovs still have another battalion at sea.

17 comments:

Tas said...

Those Lebed LCACs are totally sweet - great job!

Paul said...

Good show! Never ever thought about a Japanese scenario such as this.

Well done. I love the AN26 as well.

Tim Gow said...

Tas
Welcome. The four Lebeds took a single evening to build and used about £2 worth of balsa. The Soviets also built a much larger LCAC - the Aist - which I might have a go at sometime.

Tim Gow said...

Paul
I bought a load of modern Japanese kit a few years ago - perhaps I should write a post about it all. So far this game has been it's only outing. The AN-26s are plastic kts (actually 1/288 scale) which I bought a load of. I'd love to use them all in a game.

west1871 said...

The way things are going at the momment it might happen now!Great idea for a game though.

Cheers Rich.

Tim Gow said...

Rich
Thanks - it just goes to show that not all WW3 games need be of the 'Space Invaders on the Rhine' type.

Don M said...

Went to two exercises with the JGF
in the late 80s,they had this nifty
almost comically small (universal carrier sized) twin 107 MM Recoilless rifle carrier...I towered
over this thing!

Tim Gow said...

Don
That'll be the Komatsu Type 60 SP Recoilless Gun. Apparently 223 of them were built from 1960-1979. There is actually one of these in the centre of the second photo. I think I'll have to take better pics and run a couple of posts on my modern Jap kit.

Tas said...

Well Tim, I think your Lebeds are a cracker and I'm envious as hell. And yes, the Aist was a monster! The Zubr is now the world's ;argest LCAC:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zubr_class_LCAC

Tim Gow said...

Tas
Thanks for the link. In 1/300 scale the Zubr would be nearly 20cm long, and the Aist over 15cm. My Lebeds by contrast are a mere 9cm! I'd better stock up on balsa...

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Nice interesting scenario!

Wg Cdr Luddite said...

I remember that game! The player running the japs nearly shit himself when the hovercraft appeared.

Tim Gow said...

Wg Cdr Luddite
Delicately phrased - but I think the Jap commander's language was pretty colourful at that point!

The Angry Lurker said...

Great scenario, love what if's and great miniatures.

Tim Gow said...

Angry Lurker
Thanks - sometimes you need to resort to fake history to use so much cool kit in a single game!

Donogh said...

Great game report - nice work on those LCACs too.
And three cheers for fake history!

Tim Gow said...

Donogh
Thanks. I remember when such cold war games were set in the future...