House of the Rising Sun – A beginners guide to playing Japanese – Part 1

With the release of Banzai and the ability to use Japanese lists in late war, I’d bet there is going to be a whole lot of new army’s getting started out.  With so much experience playing in all sorts of tournaments and games, I’m not sure you could call Ben a beginner with the Japanese.  Sounds like a job for the new guy.

Over the next few weeks I am going have a look into starting a Japanese army, getting it on the field and how I get on playing against some of the more popular late war lists.  I can’t guarantee and great tactical insight into how to win the GT but hopefully I will be able to show you how I get on and give you some examples of what not to do.

Like all great wargaming projects I am going to start with my list.Banzai-Cover

I have chosen to start with the late war period as it will get me on the gaming table quicker as I won’t need to wait for someone else to get a marine army together.

There are also 2 other important considerations I have with my list.

Model availability and cost.

I’m sure  a lot of new very cool models will be coming out with the Banzai book but I don’t want to be sitting about waiting for them to be released so I have restricted my self to only picking models that are currently available.  As the new models come out I will be adding them to my collection but for now its all about getting some games in.

Another great thing about the Japanese infantry list is that it can be relatively cheap army to start, even in late war.  The lists are fearless veteran and built round some large and expensive (points wise) infantry platoons that will soak up over half of your 1420 points.

So here is my starter list:

  • Company HQ – 50 points
  • Full Hohei platoon with banners – 360 points
  • Full Hohei platoon with banners – 360 points
  • 2 Type 92 70mm guns – 65
  • 2 Type 38 75mm guns with observer – 150
  • Full Scout Platoon with banners – 165
  • 5 Captured M3 Stuarts – 265

1415 points and 6 Fearless Veteran platoons.

First few choices are easy, HQ and 2 full strength platoons that will have 3 Nikuhaku teams in each.  Next up I have picked 2 platoons of guns.  Both of them have direct fire smoke, smoke bombardments and a 3+ fire power to dig out guns and hmgs.  Each set also has it’s own advantages.  The small Type 92 70mm guns are man packed so they will be able to move up with the infantry at the double during the night and should be able to get in a good position to lay down some direct fire early on.  The Type 38 75mm is a heavy gun so won’t be advancing with the infantry but it does have AT 8.  Not great against tanks in late war but will at least give armoured cars something to think about.

Japanese-RiflePlatoonNext up I went for the full scout platoon.  My plans for them is to advance up into cover during the night and lift gone to ground off the enemy gun teams.  I know the tankettes could do the same job and are just as mobile  but they do suffer the rerolling bog checks during the night which the infantry don’t.

Finally its on to some armoured support.  Stuarts are great tanks normally but give them the ability to move a full 16″ at night, fight on even when bailed and having AA MGs for those pesky AOPs makes them gold in this list.  They should provide some much needed mobility at a reasonable cash price.

Now on to the fun part.  Lets buy figures!!

As I said earler on this is an army that can be bought on a budget.  Heres the shopping list.

From Battlefront

  • JBX01 – Hohei Chutai
  • JP706 – Nikuhaku Teams
  • JP560 – Type 92 70mm Gun
  • JP570 – Type 38 75mm gun

From Zvezda

  • 5 x M3 Stuarts

The Battlefront miniatures will cost £66 direct from them or £60 from most online retailers.  The M3s will cost about Marines-Assaulting£17.50  which isn’t bad for 5 tanks.  A full infantry army with guns and tank support for £77.50, now that’s a good deal.  You may have noticed that there is no scout platoon on the list but I will use the 6 stands of regular infantry I am swapping out for Nikuhaku teams  to make my scout platoon.

I hope you liked my thought process on how I picked my list.   I should be back in a couple of weeks with a quick paint guide for my first infantry platoon.  Breakthrough Assault may not be on Instagram but I am so please feel free to follow me @WARGAMES_AND _PAINTING for some work in progress shots.

Thanks for reading and any questions in the comments below.

Thanks again,