Rising Sun Review – Japs


Winner Dave here with my first book review.  I’ve been dying to get my hands on this baby and seeing others starting to get a hold of it before me has been painful.

Finally I got home from work and have spent the evening engrossed, which is bad because the in-laws are staying over.

I’ve also bitten the bullet and bought the new Japanese units, so thats a Hohei Chutai, the Nikihaku teams and Medium Sensha.

In preparation for the book, I’ve been reading up on Nomonhan the other battle and listening to the ww2 history podcast on this period, so the history section in the book is now becoming old hat to me.  However the maps are really useful and tie together everything I’ve read so far.

Next are the special rules, flip there’s a lot of them.  When I had Germans, I was always forgetting storm-trooper, so with all these special rules knocking around i’m going to need to devise an aide-mémoire.  I’m quite well known in in our group of gamers of launching assaults that are doomed, its kinda my signature, so who knows, with this bucket load of rules to keep assaults going, I might do okay.

Let’s say I’m assaulting tanks… Regimental Standard means I auto-pass tank terror, my opponent now has to get 6 hits to bounce me, thanks to banners. Lets say my opponent gets six hits, I pass motivation (Reg Std) and have another go due to Banzai charge.  After all that even if the tanks get six hits if I have Nikuhaku teams (and who wouldn’t) they still go in.

I think it’ll take some finesse, to pull these maneuvers off, but have the potential to cause a lot of damage.

Seems to me that Japs are going to be a do or die list.  Either this assault goes in and you cream your opponent or it doesn’t and its letters from Iwo Jima.

Now, we hit the lists.  I turned to the infantry Hohei Chutai list first, my initial thoughts were “lots of infantry”, some artillery for pinning, couple of AT guns and some tanks for support.


Japs are pretty expensive aren’t they?  Haven’t quite figured out why yet, but I’m going to struggle to meet my requirements above, although artillery can double as AT guns.  Artillery is kinda odd, I see why Japs need that burst rule as the only 4 gun battery are the heavies.

A Jap infantry list as far as I can tell is all about getting the assault in, for that i’ll want some cheap artillery for pinning and smoke…(oh nuts, no smoke).  That’s okay, they attack at night…right.  Well unless my opponent is the one attacking.  Damn, this is hard.

I’ve bought the fricken models now so I’ve got to make something work.

Next I’m drawn to the very first list the 3rd Sensha Rentai, 6 medium tanks (2 are HQ), 2 light tanks, a squeeze of artillery and 2 big veteran infantry platoons.

I think I can do that, and I really like painting tanks, so that’s a win.  Attack at night, get the assaults in with the infantry.  

My thoughts are the Japs are going to be fun/historical, but I can’t see me winning very often (if ever) with them.

I’m looking forward to getting the painting started, and am tempted to try airbrushing the infantry, which you don’t hear of much, but perhaps I’ll give it a try.

Thanks for reading


Category: Early WarFlames of WarJapanese


  1. 'kind of your signature' how does that equate to 'the only tactic you use' or 'could be represented adequately in a dictionary with a picture of Winner Dave?'

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Article by: Mark Goddard