It just so happened that I had a make-do project sitting in the attic. A while back, Geoff gave me a bunch of Matchbox Japanese and Australian infantry when I was musing about doing a WW2 Burma project. When it comes to World War Two, my interest lies with 3 main theatres - France 1940, the Eastern Front and Burma. However, there really wasn't enough to do a proper Burma campaign. Then, the other night I watched the Aussie documentary on Kokoda. It was one of those weird things that suddenly occurred to me. I knew about the Papua New Guinea campaign, but not in any detail. Turns out the documentary was fantastic (it doesn't really go for one hour and 44 minutes per episode - some weird editing restarts it at the end of the first episode). The terrible conditions married to the difficulties of supply led to some things I knew nothing about - cannibalism being one of them. Both sides suffered terribly, and the leadership comes in for a hammering. The Japanese were ordered to withdraw early on with victory in sight; the Australians who fought so valiantly were disrespected not just by 'Dug-out Doug' MacArthur, but also their own general, Blamey.
So, inspired to do a campaign. Inspired by the story of Kokoda. Spare toys floating in the attic. Stuck at home for 4 weeks. The perfect storm has lead me to the Korona Campaign! Based on the Kokoda track, this is an imaginary campaign featuring a battalion aside of Australians and Japanese. I don't actually have enough figures for this - I have enough for one reinforced company a side - but I have an idea about how I'll get around this in the campaign. Supply is going to be huge, so I have a few ideas about how to represent this. The map is built in the same way that Peter put together his Western Desert campaign, in sections that move back and forth along the Korona track(s).
The set out is as shown here:
|Anything coloured green is jungle - so lots of it!|
Much like the set up for Kokoda, Port Murray is held by the Australians. The 63rd Battalion AIF has been tasked with moving overland and garrisoning the villages of Korona and Kilu in case of Japanese attack. However, unknown to the Australians, the Japanese have already landed. They have dispatched two companies to occupy Korona and then advance over the Stan Owens Mountain range to occupy Port Murray. 3rd Company has been sent south to advance along the Kerna track - an even less developed route than the Korona tracks to the north.
The Aussie advantage comes from having 2 supply companies, mostly conscripted natives, and a partial squadron of the RAAF flying 3 Brewster Buffalos. Both sides have a Destroyer supporting their transport convoys.
Campaign turns represent a week. The further the units are from their supply bases (Kilu and Munara for Japanese, Port Murray for Australians) the more difficult supply is. In order to make sure that it is at fighting efficiency, each fighting company must roll a d6 and score higher the number of zones it is away from it's base, so at maximum distance needing a '6' to pass. If it fails, the unit may not advance in this turn. If it fails the following week, it will withdraw one zone. If attacked after withdrawing, units within the force will fight as 'raw' unless they roll in supply. Having a supply company supporting a fighting company gives +1 to the roll.
When a company is involved in a combat and loses troops, the result of a resupply roll also indicates how many stands are added to the company as reinforcements. Half the number rolled is added.
These campaign rules are simple, and haven't taken into account how air support will work yet. I'll think about that overnight. The battle rules are just as simple an ready to evolve as the games occur. They are cobbled together from different sources such as Crossfire and Donald Featherstone. They use three figures on a base as a section, 3 bases with an officer is a platoon. 3 platoons is a company, and I had enough bases to put a fourth platoon together, allowing for reinforcing one company with another.
|Cobbled together from what I had|
|I don't expect the Chi-ha to take any part in this campaign, but it is a cool little tank.|
One of the conditions of this project is that I do it during the day as a lockdown special project. I'll continue to do my other projects at night as usual. So it is entirely possible that it won't even get finished, but I've made a pretty map, and as you can see above, the armies are undercoated and have their initial uniform base coats on. Depending on how many more weeks the lockdown lasts, or how often I get to escape to the shed to dab on some paint, we may see the Korona campaign eventuate.