About This Blog

Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Japanese 500 Point List

Built around Warlord Games' Imperial Japanese boxed set (Warlord Games store site), this 500 point list will make a good opponent for the 168th Infantry on Guadalcanal.  I can add more infantry squads and heavy weapons to create a 1000 point Army later.

The IJA list:
  • 1st Lt and 2 men - Regular (R) - 85 points
  • Air Force Forward Observer - R - 75
  • 1st Squad (NCO, 7 riflemen, 2-man LMG team) - R - 100
  • 2nd Squad (NCO, 7 riflemen, 2-man LMG team) - R - 100
  • Type 92 MMG team- R - 50
  • Light Mortar team. - R - 35
  • Type 92 70mm Gun - Inexperienced (I) - 32
  • Truck (for Tow) - I - 33
  • Total Points: 500
In addition to the boxed set, I will need to buy an infantry squad, the 70mm gun, and truck. The MMG and Lt Mortar teams both lack the third crewmen needed to comply with the rules. Warlord recently released new USMC figures to correct a similar discrepancy, so I hope they do the same for the Japanese at some point. 

When expanding the list later, I would add a tank, of course.

Monday, June 10, 2013

168th Infantry Regt Army List

I have sketched out a Bolt Action 500 point list based on the 164th Infantry's early actions on Guadalcanal.

The list is based around the Wargames Factory American Army set, which includes 30 figures.  The Wargames Factory set represents Late War Americans, an imprecision that I am willing to accept.
  • 1st Lt plus two soldiers - Inexperienced - 74 points
  • 1st Squad (8 men incl NCO with SMG, 1 BAR, 1 antitank grenade) - Inexperienced - 66
  • 2nd Squad (8 men incl NCO w/SMG, 1 BAR, 2 antitank grenades) - Inexperienced - 68
  • 3d Squad (7 men incl NCOw/SMG, 1 BAR) - Inexperienced - 57
  • HMG Team - Inexperienced - 49
  • 37mm Antitank Gun  - Regular - 50
  • Jeep (for tow) - Regular- 21
  • M3A1 Stuart -  Regular - 115
Both Company B and Old Glory make an M3A1 Stuart tank model, an uncommon vehicle.

This list captures the essence of 168th operations on Guadalcanal, and I could add a Marine platoon later to create a 1000 point list. Now it is time to work out an opposing Japanese list!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Good Find

Bolt Action - War in the Pacific

Bolt Action's scale enables gaming in the Pacific more so than other popular WW II games.
Japanese Army Type 95 and 97 Tanks destroyed on sandbar

I am interested in the Pacific theater, but I am also interested in modeling US Army operations, as an Army veteran.  The American Army supplement lacks a Theatre Selector list for the Army in the Pacific, so I hit the Internet for inspiration, stumbling on a wonderful resource: the US Army's Center of Military History.

The Army published a series of detailed accounts of operations in World War II, known as the Green Books. These great histories are now digitized and available on line:


Although I knew of the US Army's role in operations in New Guinea and the Philippines, I learned from the Green Books that soldiers fought alongside the Marines early in the longest battle of the Pacific: Guadalcanal. The 168th Regiment, a North Dakota National Guard unit subordinate to the Americal Division, arrived as reinforcements, equipped with 37mm AT guns, mortars, trucks, and, interestingly, 16 British Bren Gun Carriers. The Marines provided supporting firepower with 75mm tank destroyers and M3A1 Stuart tanks.

Bolt Action Options

I think this battle may fit as the inspiration for my initial Bolt Action effort: the US Army vs. the Imperial Japanese Army. Because I have never painted 28mm figures before, I plan to paint up Wargames Factory Americans as my first effort because they are less costly. My second project will be Warlord Games Imperial Japanese. Eventually, I will add a Marine platoon to the fight, mirroring the force mix during the early fights on the Matanikau river against the Japanese 28th Infantry.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Jeff's Farewell Game Day

Jeff and Ryan at Battle
Jeff Franz has been the orchestrator of our DBA games in Seoul, and he gathered the largest group yet for one more game day.  We had six experienced players, and Tony's daughter Erin also gave DBA a try with a few games, using my Galatians.

The seven armies:

  • Warring Chin Chinese (II/4A) (See the Army on Jeff's Blog) --Jeff
  • Late Ottomans (IV/55b) --Ian
  • Kommenan Byzantines (IV/1)--Tony
  • Late Imperial Romans (II/78)--Ryan
  • Late Persians (II/7)--me
  • Kappadokians (II/14)--Rob
  • Galatians (II/30b)--Erin
A few snapshots follow.

I didn't manage to track all of the results, but Jeff once again dominated his games.  He also helped teach Erin, playing his Chin Chinese against the Galatians.
Chin Army engages Galatians

Ian and Tony's game resulted in a major engagement on the Kappadokian's flank. The Kappadokian camp is the yellow square.
Kappadokians battle Ottomans
Ryan lost three games against Jeff, Tony, and Ian, but he beat me. Roman Blades chopped up the Persians rather quickly. 
Persians and Romans advance

Ryan eventually lost to Ian's Ottomans; however, his Light Horse managed to impel a flank attack during the bout.
Ottoman Horse Recoil from Roman Light Cavalry

My Persians lost against the Romans and Byzantines, but I managed to beat Rob in a difficult match, thanks to great dice rolls. Rob places a river down the center of the board, rated as ordinary.  It really complicated maneuver. 

Kappadokians Cross the River

Ian aggressively engaged Tony's Byzantines, but I didn't catch the final result.
Byzantines Vs. Ottomans

Jeff, we will all miss your extensive DBA knowledge, organizational skills, inspirational painting, and sportmanship.  Best of luck in San Antonio!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Later Achaemenid Persians (II/7)

I have finished a DBA Later Persian army in time for a final game day with Jeff before he returns to the States.  We are meeting today, and we should have six players in total.  It will be the first time in awhile that I haven't used a Macedonian army.
Later Persian Army (II/7)

I tried a few new techniques and materials for this army.  Jeff uses wood filler for his bases instead of the glue and sand method that I have been using.  I gave that a shot, and I do like the results.  I also used Gale Force 9 static grass for the ground cover.   My painting approach remains the same - basic block painting with a wash for shading purposes.  I didn't get the wash on as well as I would have liked in some areas.

Darius - LCh General and Scythed Chariot
Two Cavalry and two Light Horse

Two Psiloi and Extra Bow
Kardakes Spear

The Later Persian list includes two Light Chariots, two Cavalry, two Light Horse, two Psiloi, and the option of either Spear or Auxilia for the remaining elements.  I had leftover archers, so I created a Bow stand as well.  I'll use it later for an Early Persian list, which is chock full of Bows.

Two of four Auxilia
Phoenician Marines (Spear)