Early War AAR – Japanese Infantry Vs Soviet Heavy Tankovy Batalon – Free For All

Hello All

This weekend is Campaign, the yearly flames of war team league. Each team of three players are split between the 3 different periods and play all the other players in the same period. There is promotion and relegation and this year myself, Alex and Cid are representing Team Breakthrough Assault A Team (the B team is Marc, Matt and Steve).

I’m playing Early War with my Japanese and as the format is 1500 points for EW I needed to change my list up from the one I took to the Art of War. I was struggling to find time to practice when I got an email from Army Dave asking if I was free to play a game at Entoyment.

So off I went to try out the list, I turned up expecting to face Army’s infamous Confident Conscript Soviet Infantry but instead I was facing 8 T-35’s (gamesmanship Army?) which I knew I was going to struggle against with my great AT of 5… Still he would struggle to dig me out. 

We rolled up Free For All and we would have tried out our changes as talked about on episode 29 of Beyond the Foxholes if this wasn’t a tournament practice game.

I won the dice off to attack and so I choose to make it a night fight so I could manoeuvre without getting shot at in the first few turns. 

Quick note guys, this game starts off slow but gets bloody fast towards the end.

Japanese Hohei Chutai (7th) – Fearless Veterans

  • HQ + Regimental Banner
  • Full Infantry Platoon + Banners
  • Full Infantry Platoon + Banners
  • 2 Type 41 75mm
  • 2 Type 97 Chi-Ha (Fearless Trained)
  • 4 Type 89 Chi-Ro (Fearless Trained)
  • 4 Type 89 Chi-Ro (Fearless Trained)
Heavy Tankovy Batalon

  • HQ T-35
  • 5 T-35
  • 2 T-35
  • 9 KhT-26
  • Full Unarmed Sappers
  • Sportadic I-153 Chaika


The table after deployment
The unarmed Sappers on the right hand objective
The Flame tanks and the HQ T-35 hold the left flank
The two platoons hold the middle
The artillery and a platoon of infantry hold the left flank,
The Chi-Ha go in the middle
The second infantry hold the other objective and the Chi-Ro get ready to
combat the flame tanks.


Army Dave won the dice off and moves forward.
His Sappers fail to dig in, even with the supply truck.
The Chi-Ha’s move across the river under the cover of darkness.
The Chi-Ro’s move up tackle the flame tanks.
The infantry on the left objective dig in, but the artillery fails to.
The other infantry also dig in.


The Soviets continue the advance.
The sappers fail to dig in again.
The combined fire of the HQ and manage to bail one Chi-Ro
The MG’s also kill an infantry stand.
The Chi-Ro remounts and they move to hide from the T-35’s.
The Chi-Ha’s finish their advance and also hide from the T-35’s.
The artillery manage to dig in.


Army rolls for day light but fails.
The T-35 platoon moves to try and shoot the Chi-Ro’s
The Flame tanks line up to burn up the Japanese infantry.
The Sappers finally dig in.
The T-35’s are accurate despite the darkness and kill and bail a tank.
Day breaks at the bottom of turn 3.
The Chi-Ha’s engage one of the T-35’s but fail to do any damage.
To get to the flame tanks the Chi-Ro’s advance through the woods and one bogs.
The other platoon also lines up to attack the flame tanks.
But can only destroy two and bail one.
The artillery joins in but doesn’t do any damage.


With the end of the night phase the Soviet air force turns up but fails to spot the
The T-35’s move up 
The HQ T-35 aims for the bogged down Chi-Ro, but misses.
The Flame tanks were just out of range but get closer….
The T-35 only manage to bail 2 Chi-Ro’s
But the other platoon destroys a Chi-Ha
And take out a stand of infantry.
The Chi-Ro un bogs and joins the other tanks.
The Regimental guns move up to shoot the T-35’s, but fail to do any damage.
The combined fire of the Chi-Ro’s destroys one flame tank and bails another
three but the platoon holds.


The Soviet air forces comes back and targets the guns.
Dave decides to try and take the initiative and advances the infantry.
The Battalion commander T-35 moves up to attack the Chi-Ros
The flame tanks finally get to flame.
taking out two bases of infantry.
The Chi-Ro’s take a beating but thanks to the Japanese special rules don’t need
to take a test.
The other platoon lose another tank.
Even with re-rolling successful hits the plane takes out a gun.
One platoon of Chi-Ro’s tries to target the 1IC, but cause no damage.
The surviving Chi-Ra manages to bog the T-35 (The Land Fortress rule means
a bail becomes a bog, oh and it can still shot!).
The Chi-Ra’s destroy another flame tank and bail the rest of the platoon bar two
tanks, but they pass there moral test.
So the infantry tries to assault the tank to get a platoon.

They take 7 hits and the only two teams to die are the Nikuhaku teams,
ending the assault…


Dave’s tanks get nasty and finish off the Chi-Ro platoon. First platoon kill.
The 1IC manages to bail a tank.
One Chi-Ha also gets bailed.
Dave tries to shoot up the infantry but Dave failed to unbail a single flame tank
and causes no damage.
The Chi-Ha remounts and destroys the T-35….
….The regimental gun then bogs the other one…
…and they fail their platoon moral test! One platoon all.
The infantry tries again and this time gets in…
…the assault is bloody and the final Nikuhaku gets into assault…
…killing three tanks and the platoon breaks! Two – One on the platoon front but
the infantry platoon is battered.


The Soviet infantry keeps coming.
The plane turns up again, but does no damage.
The T-35’s moves up to open up on the infantry.
The 1IC has a good round of shooting and kills a tank and bails the other, the
platoon holds.
The T-35’s go in to the assault after a good shooting phase.
Taking the objective, I can’t contest it, so I have to break Daves army this turn.
The remaining Chi-Ro tries to bail out the 1IC but misses.
The Infantry go platoon hunting.
The shooting and assault is bloody for the Soviets who break off.
And pass the moral test thanks to the commissar. So at the start of Dave’s next
turn he takes the objective.
4-3 to Army Dave… I shouldn’t have charged the flame tanks to get as platoon kill, I think it would have taken a long time for Army to have pushed me off the objective if I hadn’t, but my blood lust was up and I really wanted a platoon at that point. 

I should have also been more aggressive earlier with the infantry on the other flank, the threat of the T-35’s kept me honest but if I had moved quickly while it was dark I could have easily charged and wiped out the sappers who didn’t have wave attack – once I had the objective Army would have struggled to get it back. But that’s why you play these practice games! Still as always a tough and enjoyable game against Army Dave. I hope you enjoyed the game. 


Generated by WWPD’s BatRepper Software.

3 thoughts on “Early War AAR – Japanese Infantry Vs Soviet Heavy Tankovy Batalon – Free For All

  1. Hi Ben as I have recently found to my cost that playing in EW tournaments there are a lot of Japanese companies around, is there a specific opponent other than Russians that you would like to steer clear of. I am checking through early war lists for good machine gun based units but haven't found any flexibility to give an even balalnced force any ideas?

    1. Hi Tony,

      Soviet tanks are a very good choice to stop Japanese, but I think the best choice is German MG armed infantry. They are Veterans so with the lack of recce in the Japanese lists thats a pain, even if you do pin them they get 2 shots per team when pinned and there AT guns are good enough and survivable enough to give the Japanese tanks a few problems. Also Nebs are great for killing Japanese infantry or smoking.

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