Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 07 12 20)

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 13 11 20)

Post by MLB »

And a picture:

Image
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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by Munin »

Oooof, rough game! One thing you mentioned on your blog sort of stood out to me:
"The other problem with this game in particular is that there is no decent cover from which to fire other than the hut. I'm going to have to scratch my head about how to tackle this one."
I think a huge factor in this is that you're missing one of the most important elements to this map: the elevation. I know elevation changes are always hard to capture on the tabletop, but if you look at the WSS map there's a ridge running right down the middle of the table that is completely unrepresented. For instance, given its position on one side of the ridge, I'm not sure the ground floor of the plantation house should have LOS to the Jump-Off Point on the Japanese left flank (nearest the jungle). And the entry point road(s) for the Japanese tanks should be completely obscured from the Opium Factory. At the very least your Chi Ha should have been able to claim a hull-down position to be harder to hit.

Making the Japanese attack the "Last Stand on Opium Field" is necessarily going to be a harder fight because they cannot use the terrain to nearly as much advantage. ;)

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by MLB »

I'd be inclined to avoid reading those maps too literally, they were created by the WSS artist for the magazine and you should allow for some artistic licence. I've been in touch with Mark Backhouse both prior and during the campaign and he's been following all the AARs and at no point has he mentioned the ridge should be that significant on the table. Mark told me that he supplied sketch maps for the artist to work from and in the case of scenario 3 and the pillbox the artist drew the map with the pillbox too far toward the Japanese edge of the table and so Dave and I were right to adjust it back towards the other table edge. I have a feeling those illustrations of contour lines are there for flavour only and don't follow any true geographic contour lines. Looking at a 1945 contour map of the area and the highest elevation on this part of the ridge is 100ft and the slope is very gentle.
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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by MLB »

To get a sense of topography it is worth going in to Google maps and look up Pasir Panjang pillbox (it is still there), then do a street view from the pillbox (which can be hard to spot, it's surrounded by a green fence), despite modern development its easy to see how flat the surrounding area is and not as hilly as the contours on the WSS illustrator's map might suggest. This makes sense when you consider the pillbox was obviously built with good line of sight.
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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by Capt Fortier »

Really enjoying this unfolding campaign and your always cracking narrative and photos. A great example of how a short campaign can still provide a good range of action.
Capt Fortier

“Frapper l'ennemi, c'est bien. Frapper l'imagination, c'est mieux.” - Jean de Lattre de Tassigny

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by Munin »

MLB wrote:
Tue Nov 24, 2020 3:28 am
To get a sense of topography it is worth going in to Google maps and look up Pasir Panjang pillbox (it is still there), then do a street view from the pillbox (which can be hard to spot, it's surrounded by a green fence), despite modern development its easy to see how flat the surrounding area is and not as hilly as the contours on the WSS illustrator's map might suggest. This makes sense when you consider the pillbox was obviously built with good line of sight.
I don't know where the old opium factory was in relation to the pillbox, but the nearby Kent Ridge is not a short terrain feature. Also, it doesn't take massive rises and gullies to create significant dead ground. Even if the contours depicted on the maps are 5-foot contours, that's still enough of an elevation change to mask movements from one corner of the board to the other.

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by MLB »

The Japanese make a second attempt to take the Opium Factory, this is probably going to be their last chance. Failure will hand the doughty men of the Malay Regiment a campaign victory so we have everything to play for. The first Japanese attack ended rather badly, can they fare better this time? Full AAR here https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com ... 4-one.html
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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 21 11 20)

Post by MLB »

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 07 12 20)

Post by poiter50 »

What an absolutely top campaign and great reporting. Talk about tense games, good to see that the Malays did so well.

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Re: Last Stand on Opium Hill campaign (updated 07 12 20)

Post by Peter »

Epic!

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