Bolt Action- At Tarakan with the 2/23rd Battalion against the Japanese.

A nice little historically based scenario for the Bolt Action rules was the opportunity for me to pit my Japanese against Spyros' Aussies- check his blog - No Duff Gamer (link is on the right column of posts) .  His men represented the 2/23rd Battalion that fought near Tarakan in May 1945 as they met stiff resistance from the Japanese 455th Independent Infantry Battalion.

We like the Bolt Action Rules and this gave us another chance to use them!

This was an encounter battle with forces of equal strength.....but very different compositions. Besides two MMG and some light mortars I had two type 97 Te-ke tankettes which proved to be a bit of a nuisance to the Aussie infantry- until they got thumped by Spyros' Mathilda and PIAT team. Spyros also took that most effective of weapons against the fanatical Japanese; flame throwers. He also had MMGs, a heavy mortar and a sniper team.
The village center- a good old 'Banzai' charge....but the Aussies were waiting with MGs and bayonets ready.

With an encounter battle we placed our forces in opposite corner of the 6' x 4' table and each began a slow advance through the long grass- I to my left- Spyros to his right. A much quicker dash was made to the village to secure firing positions from which to defend ourselves. I got there first and set up an MMG and a section of infantry moved across the street only to be hit by Vickers' fire from Spyros' MMG. Falling back they also took fire from two of his sections and  nothing remained from one of my sections except bullet ridden corpses in the village square.
Well I'm stubborn (and stupid) if nothing else and moving another section up with extra LMGs- I found the biggest nuisance of them all- his damned sniper team. Over the course of the next few turns he took out one of my light mortar crews, two LMG teams and an NCO.- I hate that guy.
So, running out of options, I gathered my remaining men, gave them a fiery speech about doing their honorable duty and dying for the emperor. Confident of smashing these haughty fools from 'down under' I launched them across the village in a furious BANZAI charge.
It failed.
That damned sniper, Spyros' MMG, his heavy mortar and one of his squads were all on ambush and I paid for my kamikazeness.

Firefight across the main square of the village.

On the further part of the table, I thought I was doing well when I caught one of his sections out in the open with MG and cannon fire from my tankettes as well as mortar, rifle and MG fire. I had the grim satisfaction of seeing him remove the section from the table and began to think I could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But Spyros had two cards up his sleeve that sealed the Aussie victory. The first was his Mathilda- despite missing one of my tankettes twice, the gunner finally got his eye in and while I was busy massacring one of his squads, his Mathilda hit both my tankettes in two consecutive turns - destroying one and forcing  the other to retreat. Then the sh*t really hit the fan when  his flame thrower and PIAT teams turned up. The PIAT team crept through a nearby abandoned hut and at point blank range put a round through the turrent of my hiding tank and wiped it out. The flame thrower team managed to wipe out a mortar team, one and a half sections of infantry and two LMG teams....bastards...Spyros awarded them VCs. I just swore at them.
The casualty count was seriously one side with 43 of my figures gone (out of 60 or so) and Spyros had 12 casualties so I did what no self respecting Japanese soldier would do- I surrendered- oh the shame and humiliation.
 I demand a rematch!

The Japanese are taking mortar hits but preparing to charge.

The Australians defeat the charging Japs and consolidate in the center of the village.

Damn! I missed but the Matilda didn't- Scratch one Jap tankette.

Aussie Vickers with the rising sun in the background.

Japanese infantry move into the long grass.

The Australians go into action!

Section 1- advance!

Tanks playing hide and seek

Aussies move cautiously through the thick elephant grass.

With the threat if the Japanese tankettes neutralised and my massive casualties the Australians advance behind the Matilda. The model is Spyros' and his website 'No Duff Gamer' shows the actual historical model that he based his paint job on.

Aussie mortar and advancing infantry.


  1. A rather enjoyable game it was my friend. Worthy of a second round in order to add the legacy of my ANZACS.

    1. Yes the Imperial Japanese Army wants another crack at the men from 'down under'.