Introduction

So that we are consistent in our umpiring of the separate games on May 21st, I thought it might be helpful if I copied what Richard did for Crete and Stalingrad and produced a set of Umpire's Guidelines. Indeed, parts of this briefing are cribbed directly from his work!

Although the Malaya game is again a large and challenging project, it really consists of three quite large games rather than one massive one. Lardak, the battle we are fighting, is effectively a simulation of the battle of Kampar, which took place about a third of the way down Malaya between 28th December 1941 and 3rd January 1942. There, the Japanese launched attacks against a British position over a number of days and from three distinct directions. At Lardak, we will be compressing time and space and have all three Japanese attacks happening at the same time. I would highly recommend that you read an account of Kampar before the 21st, just so you have an idea of what we will be trying to recreate. There is a good one in the Liongate scenario pack, very reasonably priced at just £6!

The Lardak game takes place over three tables, with each of you handling one table. Can I suggest that Richard takes Table One/Itchi in the centre; Nick takes Table Two/Ni to the right; and Noddy takes Table Three/San, perpendicular to the other two on the left. As Senior Umpire my role will be to oversee the interaction between the tables (potentially a major part of the game); to deal with external factors such as air strikes; to help adjudicate artillery firing; and to take all the credit when things go as brilliantly as I expect them to.

Below you will find a Game Overview giving a brief summary of what's happening on each table; an overall "campaign" map; and then a map of each table. Following that are details or expanded rules on such things as terrain, artillery etc. Finally I attach the British and Japanese briefing documents that provide a lot of background and additional information. The British pack, in particular, contains a lot of information about the mindset and quality of the units involved: and it would be nice if we could introduce some aspect of this into the game by letting it colour some of our decisions. As an example, the 1st Independent Company was being trained for commando missions behind enemy lines, and comprised all the hard cases of other British units: either volunteers for such duty, or those who's CO had taken advantage of the opportunity to ship out troublemakers! Historically they fought brilliantly, but were known for their indiscipline and a tendency to fight anyone and steal anything! Sort of like the Wild Bunch.

Prior to the day itself, I also hope to be able to pass on to you the summary orders documents from each commander. These will give you who is controlling what and where.


Overview

The game will take place across three tables:  

Table One 

  • Is the Lardak Position and the village of Lardak .

  • The centre table:  where the north-south main trunk road passes through prepared British positions.

  • Japanese enter from the north (one of the short sides) and must exit to the south.

  • The main stop point; the only terrain really suitable for tanks.

  • The British have a grid-map of the table, allowing accurate artillery support.

Table Two

  • Is the area around the villages of Appam and Gulab Jamun.

  • The eastern or right-hand table. Runs parallel to Table One where a rough by-pass to the trunk road passes over a series of ridges.

  • Japanese enter from the north (one of the short sides) and must exit to the south, allowing them to attack Lardak from the east.

  • The British have a grid-map of the table, allowing accurate artillery support.

Table Three

  • Is the Yee Peen River through Pasembor to Bariani Gam, and thence to the rear left flank of Lardak Village .

  • The western or left-hand table, running perpendicular to the other two.

  • The Japanese have an opportunity to land troops behind and to the left of the Lardak position, but some distance away. One road runs from the landing site on the Yee Peen River to the back of Lardak village.

  • Japanese enter from the west (one of the short sides) and must exit to the west.

Lardak_Maps_1.jpg

INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT NOTE:  the British are UNAWARE that there are three tables in the game. They only know of Tables One and Two. Although they might have reinforcements on this table at Pasembor and/or Bariani Gam, they DO NOT KNOW that you can land troops at Pasembor. They think any troops they have here are unavailable to the two “fighting tables” until the players controlling these troops complete a krypton-factor like test!


Rules Common To All Tables

  • The Cards

  • Initial Deployment

  • Moving Between Tables

  • Japanese Air Support

  • Artillery Support

  • Visibility

  • Vehicle Mounted MMG's/HMG's

 

The Cards

As at Crete I intend to give the players their own cards to look after.  Once one of their units is spotted it will be their responsibility to ensure that the relevant units card (plus any bonus cards) is put in the pack.  In that way you, as umpire, will not have to concern yourself with the deck composition other than the Tea Break, British Blinds, and Japanese Blinds.  

Initial Deployment

The British will start the game on table under Blinds but without those Blinds actually put on table until spotted or due to distance on the Turn Card. Brits in works need to be spotted twice: firstly to put the Blind actually on the table, secondly to reveal what troops the Blind conceals. Their basic positions will have been set by Mike, but you should allow them some flexibility in actual deployment: the troops have been in position for a few days and are thus able to take advantage of what the table actually looks like verses what the map shows.

The Japanese will arrive on table as per their order of march. On Table Three/San, there are three landing slots for the Japanese raft flotilla: in a line - one opposite where the track leads inland, one either side of that. Whenever the Blinds card appears, the Japanese may fill any unoccupied slots but cannot land any more troops than that. They need to get off the beaches as soon as possible! On Tables One/Itchi and Two/Ni, they may place newly arrived Blinds anywhere on the northern edge of the table, but cannot have any overlaps. The action of landing or of arriving on table is all that that Blind does that turn.

Moving Between Tables

You will have realised by now that there is a lot of potential for movement between tables: the British may want to send more men to Table Three/San, the Japanese will want to outflank the Lardak position on Table One/Itchi from either or both Tables Two/Ni and Three/San.

I will adjudicate all movement between tables: holding troops in limbo until they arrive.

Japanese Air Support

Only the Japanese have air support, and that in the form of spotting planes, bombers, dive–bombers or strafing fighters. Although they will have air support all day, there is only one Japanese Air Support card across all three tables, with the Japanese commander deciding which table it appears on. Each time the card appears, before the player on that table can actually benefit from it, Dom has the opportunity to move it to another table, where it is inserted into the discard pile. Just to emphasise, if it is moved by Dom, the player gets no benefit from that appearance of the card. Make sure you interrupt whatever Dom is doing with your request to know if he wants the card moved…he probably won’t be that busy anyway!

When the card is turned and comes into play, roll a d10 to establish if and what sort of plane arrives. On a 1-2, it is a scout plane; on a 3-4, it is fighters; on a 5-6, dive bombers; and on a 7-8, bombers. A roll of 9-10 means that the planes spotted are actually returning to base for more fuel and ammunition!

Scout planes allow an extra spotting roll with a basic 7+ needed to successfully spot. Umpires should adjust this appropriately, but remember that the viewpoint is from above.

When the other forms of air support occur, the player specifies the point on which he is calling the attack. The attack happens immediately, and has a deviation of 2d6 in either case. The bombers have a blast radius of 8” and the dive-bombers have a blast radius of 4”. The fighters hit a strip 2” wide by 5” long starting at the impact point and extending in any direction the player wishes (specified before rolling for deviation!).

In all cases, infantry caught in the blast roll 2d6 on the 9-18” table, adjusted for cover, and vehicles caught in the blast roll as if hit by a gun class 2 weapon. Additionally, if the point of aim is a vehicle, a direct hit will automatically destroy that vehicle.

Japanese air attacks were more annoying than effective, so do give the Brits all possible cover benefits and, given a choice, always err on the side of no damage rather than damage.

Artillery Support

There is no off-table artillery support.  All artillery is on-table.

For today’s game, the following rules apply:

  • A gun may only direct fire when its card appears; and indirect fire only when indirect fire is called in.

  • The Japanese only have two field guns and two medium mortars in their force, grouped as one artillery and one mortar platoon. Only the senior Japanese Big Man on the table that the platoon is on may call in indirect artillery fire. The first time he uses his turn to do so allows the Big Man a ranging shot, which will land the next time the artillery platoon’s card appears, unless the player running the artillery platoon wishes to ignore orders and use the turn for direct fire. Once this ranging shot has landed, the next time the Big Man uses his turn to call in indirect fire allows either (a) another ranging shot; or (b) the fall of the first ranging shot to be corrected by up to 6”, provided the point of impact can be “seen” by the Big Man; or (c) a complete fire mission to be called in. Again, this action will only take place the next time the artillery platoon’s card appears, and provided the player running the artillery platoon doesn’t use the turn for direct fire.

  • The British have much more artillery, and a couple of FOO’s. The rules for artillery fire on and onto Table Three are the same as for the Japanese, above. For Tables One and Two, however, any British Big Man and any FOO may call in indirect artillery fire from guns on any table onto the table he is on.

  • The British maps for Tables One and Two have squared grids. When calling in artillery during the game, the British Big Men and FO’s do not need ranging shots, as all fire sites have been pre-determined, but will call down full fire missions by square reference e.g. “Fire Mission:  Table One C2, repeat, Table One C2. Soonest”.  The artillery fire will land in the centre of the square targeted, adjusted by half the normal deviation. Note that they cannot choose a particular spot to fire at: just a square.

  • The British may also have pre-designated other specific positions, assigning each a codeword e.g. “Fire Mission:  Pork Pie, repeat, Pork Pie. Soonest”. I shall give you the list prior to the start of the game, but the same half deviation applies.

  • In game terms, when a Big Man or FOO calls in a fire mission, the player calling in the artillery strike should immediately write down his fire mission order and hand it to the player controlling the artillery the order has been sent to. When the artillery’s card is turned, the player controlling the artillery may only indirect fire at the targets on the order papers he has been handed, and may not communicate with the other players to get more information. If he has more than one order paper, then it’s up to you to “help” the player prioritise his targets and choose which order to obey. You should make sure that the player is following his orders as closely as possible, and not “taking liberties”!

  • The artillery unit cards should be put into the pack as soon as they receive their first orders, but in the usual way remain as “not on the table Blinds” until spotted.

I am hoping that the calls for artillery support will start to back up, with the poor player controlling each battery holding many, many pieces of paper, each with a frantic request for support written on it!

Visibility

Lieutenant-General Percival comments that except where the ground had been cleared in the rice growing and tin-mining areas, visibility was restricted to 100 yards:  about 30 inches in 15mm game scale.

Spotting at all distances will be heavily influenced by the terrain:  see the terrain rules for details.

Vehicle-Mounted LMG’s and MMG’s

Vehicles with LMG’s or MMG’s may use any or all of their initiative dice to shoot, with the following exceptions:

  • Japanese tanks use the usual rules for tank-mounted MMG’s.

  • British carriers with LMG’s may only fire with a maximum of 2d6 per turn.

E.g. a British carrier with an MMG may remain stationary and fire with 3d6; move 1d6 and fire with 2d6; move 2d6 and fire with 1d6; or move 3d6.


Terrain Rules

Table One Terrain

The terrain on Table One/Itchi makes it an ideal defensive position. Historically, the Japanese failed to force the position despite attacking it several times: the British only retreating when the Japanese began making their way up Table Three/San.

The area A8 to C9 is Swamp. Only men on foot may cross swamp, moving at –3” per initiative dice rolled. It provides some cover from spotting and a little cover from fire.

It costs double movement through the Fords. The fords are the only way to cross the two northern rivers. Once the game has started, we can always agree to relax this rule slightly if the Japanese are having real difficulty getting over the fords (an officer might find another ford etc).

The Ridges are rough slopes covered with scree, rocks and shrubs. The ground is still quite muddy after recent rains. Movement is at -1 per initiative dice rolled, up or down a slope. Although standing on a ridge doesn’t give you much cover, going to ground does. The ridges are all the same height.

The greenery around Lardak Village is Light Jungle:  heavy timber and light undergrowth that can only be penetrated by men on foot moving at –2” per initiative dice rolled for movement. It provides excellent cover from spotting and good cover from fire.

Open Land :  all terrain not any of the above. Open terrain is not actual “open” as such, but should have a variety of dips, hummocks, trees and shrubs that might give a little cover to troops who have “gone to ground”.

British troops are either “not dug in”; “dug in” or “very well dug in”. Dug in troops should receive the normal benefits for being in trenches. Very well dug in troops should receive extra cover benefits, but fire at half effect and lose half their movement when first moving out of their cover.

The village consists of light wooden framed buildings with walls of bamboo and roofs of palm leaves. As such, although the houses provide good cover against spotting, any cover against fire is more from a difficulty in actually seeing the target than from the cover stopping any bullets that hit it. You must therefore adjudicate how much cover the buildings give…but I would suggest that it starts quite effective but its effectiveness lessens as the enemy spot muzzle flashes etc and start aiming at them directly rather than at buildings as a whole. As the buildings are still wet from the rains, there’s no real danger of fire, but a building hit by large amounts of artillery, or even small arms fire, will just collapse into a pile of sticks and straw!

The “road” is more of a track than anything else. There are no extra benefits to vehicles for moving along the roads. A driver may, however, add an extra d6 to his movement if he wants, but if he rolls a “6” with this extra dice, then the vehicle breaks down at the end of its movement: the driver has hit a particularly large or solid rock, or driven into a ditch etc. Whether it can be fixed or not is up to you!

Table Two Terrain

The terrain on Table Two/Ni makes it an ideal defensive position. Historically, the Japanese failed to force the position despite attacking it several times: the British only retreating when the Japanese began making their way up Table Three/San.

The Ridges are rough slopes covered with scree, rocks and shrubs. The ground is still quite muddy after recent rains. Movement is at -1 per initiative dice rolled, up or down a slope. Although standing on a ridge doesn’t give you much cover, going to ground does. The ridges are all the same height.

The greenery around the villages is Light Jungle:  heavy timber and light undergrowth that can only be penetrated by men on foot moving at –2” per initiative dice rolled for movement. It provides excellent cover from spotting and good cover from fire. Greenery away from the villages, on the edges of the table, is Heavy Jungle:  dense jungle that can only be penetrated by men on foot moving at –3” per initiative dice rolled for movement. It provides excellent cover from spotting, and good cover from fire.

Open Land :  all terrain not any of the above. Open terrain is not actual “open” as such, but should have a variety of dips, hummocks, trees and shrubs that might give a little cover to troops who have “gone to ground”.

British troops are either “not dug in”; “dug in” or “very well dug in”. Dug in troops should receive the normal benefits for being in trenches. Very well dug in troops should receive extra cover benefits, but fire at half effect and lose half their movement when first moving out of their cover.

The “road” is more of a rough track than anything else. If either side deploys any vehicles on this table, then the pack will contain a Vehicle Breakdown card which will apply even when the vehicle is on the road. There are no extra benefits to vehicles for moving along the roads. A driver may, however, add an extra d6 to his movement if he wants, but if he rolls a “6” with this extra dice, then the vehicle breaks down at the end of its movement: the driver has hit a particularly large or solid rock, or driven into a ditch etc. Whether it can be fixed or not is up to you!

The villages consist of light wooden framed buildings with walls of bamboo and roofs of palm leaves. As such, although the houses provide good cover against spotting, any cover against fire is more from a difficulty in actually seeing the target than from the cover stopping any bullets that hit it. You must therefore adjudicate how much cover the buildings give…but I would suggest that it starts quite effective but its effectiveness lessens as the enemy spot muzzle flashes etc and start aiming at them directly rather than at buildings as a whole. As the buildings are still wet from the rains, there’s no real danger of fire, but a building hit by large amounts of artillery, or even small arms fire, will just collapse into a pile of sticks and straw!

Table Three Terrain

The greenery around the villages is Light Jungle:  heavy timber and light undergrowth that can only be penetrated by men on foot moving at –2” per initiative dice rolled for movement. It provides excellent cover from spotting and good cover from fire. Greenery away from the villages is Heavy Jungle:  dense jungle that can only be penetrated by men on foot moving at –3” per initiative dice rolled for movement. It provides excellent cover from spotting, and good cover from fire.

The villages consist of light wooden framed buildings with walls of bamboo and roofs of palm leaves. As such, although the houses provide good cover against spotting, any cover against fire is more from a difficulty in actually seeing the target than from the cover stopping any bullets that hit it. You must therefore adjudicate how much cover the buildings give…but I would suggest that it starts quite effective but its effectiveness lessens as the enemy spot muzzle flashes etc and start aiming at them directly rather than at buildings as a whole. As the buildings are still wet from the rains, there’s no real danger of fire, but a building hit by large amounts of artillery, or even small arms fire, will just collapse into a pile of sticks and straw!

The “road” is more of a track than anything else. There are no extra benefits to vehicles for moving along the roads. A driver may, however, add an extra d6 to his movement if he wants, but if he rolls a “6” with this extra dice, then the vehicle breaks down at the end of its movement: the driver has hit a particularly large or solid rock, or driven into a ditch etc. Whether it can be fixed or not is up to you!