Friday, 1 July 2016

14th September - Attack on 203-Metre Hill

Hello everyone!  First off, apologies for the delay in getting this up.  Due to the scale of this week's battles, coupled with real life for all the participants, have meant that this game turn has taken the best part of three weeks.  Given the momentity of the events, I think we'll need that long to digest and plan!  The full write up, and your usual end-of-turn reports will follow early next week.

The campaign has taken a decisive turn in favour of the Japanese now.  In reality, once 203-Metre Hill fell, the Russians were on the road to surrender.  Interestingly, the first real effort to take the hill in reality fell on 20th September, and the Japanese suffered 6,000 casualties.  In our game, the assault happened just six days earlier and suffered only 500 more casualties.

General Nogi orders an assault on the hill.  Fushimi's Division detonates two mines and launches a full divisional frontal assault on the heavily-fortified Russian positions.  A counterattack by the Tamirsky regiment leads to it being all but annihilated, although it successfully disrupts the Japanese second wave.  A dawn banzai charge is repulsed - with General Fushimi shot down at the head of his men - but the Russians begin to withdraw anyway shortly after, since heavy siege artillery makes their position untenable.  The bloodied Japanese cautiously follow up into the ruins of the position.

This picture shows the dispositions of the armies.  The Russians deploy a column of pioneers ready to counterattack, while the Karelsky Regiment man the barricades.  The Japanese launch four regimental columns directly up the hill.

The Tamirsky Regiment departs just minutes after the first mine is detonated under 174-Metre Hill.
The initial Japanese assault is thrown into confusion by the heavy fire - despite six companies being wiped out when the mines under the forts are detonated.  On the left you can see Col. von Hartmann's agressive assault which catches the faltering columns of the First Brigade off-guard, throwing them into confusion.

But the Japanese quickly recover, and caught in the open, the Tamirsky Regiment is almost wiped out.

The Japanese form up a super-column, collecting every last man together for one last almighty push up the hill.  Despite supporting fire which begins to tell on the crucial MG positions, the column suffers very heavy casualties.
The Japanese column retreats, and Fushimi is killed by one of the last 'spillover' shots.  A suitably cinematic ending!
We had to call the game for time there, but everyone agreed that the Russians' position was untenable, with Krupp shells now raining down and a fresh brigade lining up for the assault.  We decided to withdraw from the hill and hand a strategic victory to the Japanese Army.

A big thanks to all the gamers, to Paul for his participation and enthusiasm in some very characterful orders, and Mike for stepping in and playing as the Japanese.  So, what did you all think?  Comments below!


  1. General Nogi compliments General Stoessel on the bravery and tenacity of his fighting men. The Japanese 3rd Army is honoured to face such worthy adversaries and the Russian wounded captured during this engagement are being well cared for in our field hospital. The senior Japanese officers look forward to meeting their opposite numbers in peace and goodwill once the hostilities at Port Arthur are brought to their natural conclusion.

    1. If there's one thing which embarrasses me slightly about my notional fellow countrymen, it's the continuing hostility in the face of some very gentlemanly conduct from General Nogi...