Combat Commander Pacific – Scenario #D Operation Cherry Blossom – The Boardgames Chronicle

Yet once again welcome to the series of Combat Commander Pacific session reports – playing them all in order – an epic endeavor which we undertook with Dave. I must admit, the set-ups in this installment are very versatile. This time we had a chance to taste new posture – Invader – I was actually on receiving side here, well entrenched but definitely less numerous. Let us move to the report!



#D Operation Cherry Blossom is a straightforward invasion scenario. We are on Papua New Guinea in November 1943. 3rd Marine Division (Dave, US, invader posture) lands on Cape Torokina. They face only a company of well-camouflaged defenders (Michal, Japan, defender posture) with the hidden 75mm gun.

I had pretty unlimited set-up options, with multiple bunkers, pillboxes and trenches. I decided to place my forces close to beaches rather than far away near objective points – pretty confrontational, and kind of “all-or-nothing” set-up. Dave would land in two waves, with first pretty hopeless but with a very strong follow-up landing. Let us see how it developed!

You can click on every image and enlarge it for better visibility.

Set-up of our Scenario #D – Japanese units grouped in two clusters with one MG in the Infiltration box. Dave’s forces similarly distributed.
With 4 Fire cards in hand (scenario set-up) and being first, I managed to wreck a total chaos and disaster in the first US wave. Do you know you can win game by eliminating the last opponent unit on the map? That was my goal.
The things can change abruptly in this game. Not only US reinforcements arrived – watch above – but approached my right position and broke the leader. I was at low ebb here, thinking that Dave will crash my main position and it will be over soon..
But no – like in good Hitchcock movie I just got Revive and Fire cards in perfect moment and managed to kill that one, critical stack with 2-Command US leader. My other flank was crumbling but at least main defense stronghold was saved. For now.
So I focused on dispersed, leader-less US units on my right, while my left was systematically pushed back – mainly thanks to the US flamethrower. As you can see above, Dave brought even Air Strikes, which reduced some of my fortifications. That was tough fight!
Than I got radio which I never used. My left totally collapsed – my whole stack was killed. But on my right I continued practice of multiple fires per turn getting some nice results..
Even bunker does not make you invulnerable – learned one IJA squad. Other than that, my defensive position was holding pretty well and managed to take down another 3 units. With no hope in sight, close to surrender and sudden death, we decided to finish the game.
Causalities on both sides – lot of invaders but also quite a few defenders.

Summary

That was again a roller-coaster scenario (I think I am repeating myself in regards to Pacific). I almost destroyed first wave, then I was almost overrun by entry of US reinforcements. Surviving this, I had to give up on my left flank, hoping that the other will be enough to prevent the landings.

Definitely, there were moments of doubt on both sides at different times. Again, I had a feeling that we pretty quickly reached the situation, when game was decided – well, my set-up was exactly planned that way, to catch invaders in their most vulnerable position. One thing which helped was also broken Dave’s radio which could potentially do a lot of mess.

Now over to Scenario #D, where Treetop Snipers awaits!

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