Jackson Gamers' 54mm. WWII Pacific Skirmish Game
Using our own "WWII Skirmish Rules"
Along the Deadly Trail!

The force on the northern trail has just made it out of the stream and looks down the trail ahead. No Japanese are visible.

The Jackson Gamers played this WWII skirmish game at Jay Ainsworth's home on September 16, 2000. We used our WWII Skirmish rules which descend from a set authored by Wally Simon and published in Gene McCoy's "War Game Digest" back around 1974. The Japanese troops were painted by Larry Brom and Eric Teuber. The Americans were painted by Jay Stribling and Robert Whitfield. Photos by Jay Stribling.

The Americans were a short platoon of two squads moving along two parallel trails. Their mission - to find the enemy and destroy him if possible. Only the umpire (Jay Stribling) knew the strength of the enemy. A simple set of "encounter" rules (described below) would "pop-up" Japanese a few at a time as the U.S. soldiers advanced. Visibility was very limited in the jungle terrain.

The table was supposed to be all jungle except for the trails and a few clearings and a stream. We used every tree we had and had nowhere near enough. Just fill in the photos with heavy jungle foliage when you look at the pictures. - Jay Stribling.

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What a gang of GIs !

The players, left to right: Bill Reiman (a REAL WWII infantryman, but in Europe), Jay Ainsworth, Robert Whitfield, and Larry Reeves. The extremely young gamer sitting on Jay Ainsworth's knee is his 6-week old daughter, Laura.

Two Americans move up towards the stream.

This is early in the game. I tested every time a Japanese card came up but no enemy was found by the Americans on their side of the stream. Figures on the trail could move normally, while figures off the trail had to roll 33+ on a D100 to move, otherwise they lost their bearings and could not move on that card.

Jay Ainsworth's son Jerry Lee watches Bill Reiman move.

Bill is moving his figures out of the stream. Figures could move into the water with no problem but could not move out unless they rolled 50+ on a D100.

After crossing the stream on the Northern trail.

Larry Reeves holds his men in position while Robert Whitfield gets his guys out of the stream. Several of the men had great diffiuculty leaving the water. Probably a very soft and muddy bottom. At least there were no crocodiles!

The northern trail divided into two trails here.

One branch of the trail ran down the center of the table where it would join with the southern trail, and one part passing by a ruined Lever Brothers plantation building. Visibility was 2xD6 in the jungle.

Essentially unlimited line of sight applied out of the jungle.

A Japanese soldier waits in the ruined building for the Americans.

After wounding a rifleman, he was finished off by a private Marcangelli who was "a virtuoso on the BAR".

The Banzai charge starting out.

At a dead run they lope down the trail, bayonets fixed, led by the officer with his sword. "American - You Die!"

Another view of the Banzai charge.

Jay Ainsworth's son looks on.

We used the rules "straight" except that all the players were Americans. Whenever a Japanese card was turned, I tested on a D100 to see if a Japanese figure was added on the table. If I rolled a 1-10, the figure would "pop up" on the southern trail. If 11-20, on the northern trail, and if 21-25, somewhere else at random. Once on the table, if the Japanese soldier had a target he would fire, or if his weapon was empty, he would reload. If no target presented itself, he would stay in place on a 1-50 and move back into hiding in the Jungle on a 51+ die roll. I allowed only one Japanese figure to be on the table along each trail at any one time.

Any circumstances that were not covered by these simple rules, I just made up as we went along. My basic rule of thumb is 1-50 = "yes" and 51+ = "no".

When either squad had moved along thier trail to the center of the table, I began rolling a D100 on each Japanese card. On a roll of 51+, I placed all the remaining Japanese figures on the trail in column. They then moved at a run trying to close with and destroy in melee, the Americans on that trail. A Banzai charge!

The results of the charge, dead everywhere!

The Officer went first, but his men bayoneted his killer. One american fell back into the jungle after losing a hand-to-hand with the Japanese soldier who later killed the U.S. Soldier who's body he stands over. Note the group of machine gunners carrying a disassembled .30 caliber machine gun in the distance (Just under the "oriental" gate posts).

The last Japanese turned and loped down the trail and was wounded by corporal Bernstein, the machine gunner, with his 45 pistol. He then staggered into the loader, private Lopez, who dispatched him with a knife after smashing him over the head with the tripod for the gun. "In my old neighborhood, the pom-pom girls fight better than that, Mr. Japan man!"

The point man

Larry Reeves watches intently as one of this men probes further down the trail

The "Oriental Gate"

This is the American position on the southern trail just before the Banzai charge. The two figures shown on the left are in the jungle and were pretty much out of the action.

One Japanese lies wounded and prone beside a dead comrade.

The scene at the end of the game

The last Japanese soldier lies dead or unconscious, bleeding to death at the feet of the machine gun section. They had not nearly enough time to assemble the gun so Lopez had finished the enemy off with his knife.

Go to the rules used in this game - NOT YET AVAILABLE

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