Monday, March 31, 2014

Rising Sun: Operation Watchtower: The Brush Patrol

Last night, I decided to play the 2nd scenario in Rising Sun: Operation Watchtower from Britton Publishers using World War Risus.

Historical Background

While the first scenario was the ill-fated Goettge patrol, this one was a lot less grim:
 "To verify the strength of the Japanese in the region, another patrol is sent out on 19 August. This patrol is led by Captain Charles C. Brush, and although its primary mission is reconnaissance, it has sufficient combat power (64 Marines) to take care of business. As it makes its way toward Koli Point, it stumbles upon a large party of Japanese laying communications wire."
Set up

In game terms, 2 weak platoons of 2 sections of US Marines each are moving single file down a dirt path, and come across a 2 section platoon of Japanese. 

To simulate the single-file requirement, i decided that the 1st US platoon would start on the table but the 2nd could only move on once the first had left them enough room. This would entail using some of 1st platoon's HQ for its own actions, something I've had do to very infrequently in previous games of World War Risus.

There's a moment when the Japanese don't realize that the approaching soldiers are American before the fire fight begins. In game terms, I decided I would roll a Japanese unit's Combat Effectiveness, and on any success they would id the Americans and could attack the following turn.

The USMC objective is to eliminate the Japanese patrol before it exits the board. The Japanese goal is to get at least one unit off the table, regardless of condition. For MicroMelee, the game is limited to 4 turns. Having no idea what that equates to in World War Risus, I opted for 8 turns.

Since the whole thing takes place in thick jungle save for a winding dirt path (it's really hard to do a winding path with 2' x 3" strips of balsa) I just opted to leave the trees off the table entirely. 

This would prove to be a wise decision, as documented by the photograph below:

Pumpkin feigning surprise that I'm taking her picture.
Each base represents 1 section, while each lone figure represents a platoon HQ.

I gave all units +2 dice when receiving fire as if they were in hard cover. 

The Game

The Japanese won the initiative and the lead section identified the Americans right away, and so they could attack/react on the 2nd turn.

I was able to advance my 1st platoon up and out of the way on turn 1, except the HQ was blocking the 2nd platoon when the turn was over. 2nd platoon wouldn't be on the table until turn 3.

By then, the Japanese had one unit nearly off of the table, and only poor activation rolls kept them from exiting for a few more turns.

Shooting was largely ineffective due to the thick vegetation. 

Scoring any damage was neigh impossible, but I also tested my new modification for requiring a morale check any time a shooting unit scores a success, even if the target scores more successes.the morale check came into play. Unfortunately against my own Marines - one section failed their morale check, rolling 0 dice. They lost a morale die, were pushed back and pinned. 

When I finally scored a hit on one of the Japanese sections, I thought I might be able to stop them, but it wasn't to be. Every time a Japanese unit took a morale test they passed by 2 dice or more! 

The game lasted 6 turns before the first Japanese unit made it off table. 


I really like World War Risus - as a solo player, it provides plenty of monkey wrenches to inhibit bias. It also provides some interesting decisions when it comes to allocating successes. Most of all, I can actually remember the rules since I wrote them.

Pumpkin expresses her dissatisfaction with the Marine performance by beating the officers with a tape measure.


  1. When I do strips for roads (albeit out of felt) I round the ends (like a popsicle stick) to get a curve on the outside of turns/angles.

  2. A fun little battle and cats, what more could you want?