Japanese Commander-in-Chief's Briefing

From:  Lieutenant-General Yamashita Tomoyuki

Officer Commanding, 25th Army

To:    Lieutenant-Colonel Tamayama Kazuo

Officer Commanding, Hokusai Battalion, 9th Infantry Brigade


Greetings in the name of the Emperor!

As commander of the battalion forming the point of the spearhead of our forces driving south for Singapore , I bring you news of an opportunity to win great honour!

Intelligence from our scouts and local tribesmen has told us that the British are making a stand at prepared positions around the village of Lardak . The position sits astride the main north-south trunk road where it cuts through the Bebola Udang ridge. It is a natural defensive site that is supposed to have been strengthened by extensive works commissioned over the last few months. If they can hold us here, then our whole campaign will grind to a halt. Get through, and the way to Kuala Lumpur and beyond is open!

Your orders are to take and hold both the Lardak position and Lardak village, opening up the main north-south trunk road for our further advance. You are advised to take advantage of the fact that we can transport considerable numbers of troops down the Yee Meen River , hopefully surprising the enemy by attacking from the front and his rear left flank.




On paper, the Japanese 25th Army of which you are part, is faced by an impossible task. Dispatched to take Singapore via the "back door" of the Malayan peninsular, you will have to fight your way southwards, through miles of "impassable" jungle traversable only along a few key trunk roads, against four times your number of troops from the British Empire.

An impossible task to some, indeed, but not to the soldiers of the Emperor! A superb plan, plenty of training and preparation, detailed pre-invasion reconnaissance, and the sheer arrogant, negligence of the enemy has meant that since your landings on 8th December 1941, things have been going well for the Imperial Japanese Army.

The largest part of your force devoted to the conquest of Malaya and Singapore landed in Thailand: some at Singora, some at Patani. These thrust quickly south, meeting and defeating the two British forces sent north to hold them at Ban Sadao and The Ledge.

Even better, these initial encounters showed that the British and British Indian troops were no match at all for your men. Badly trained, badly led, unfit, and exhibiting no tactical skill at all (especially in jungle fighting), the enemy troops have crumbled before you. The Imperial Air Force has chased the RAF from the skies, vital aerodromes have been captured on the ground, and air superiority is now yours as well.

There have been exceptions, obviously. Some of the Indian troops have caused minor set-backs (the ones using long, curved knives in hand-to-hand combat), and you have heard rumours of one British battalion that has carried out a series of annoying ambushes along the Grik Road (but your interpreters, even those more fluent in English than your average Englishman, cannot seem to understand a word the few prisoners they have taken say!) but, on the whole, the tactics of pin them from the front, attack them from the flanks, have worked superbly.

After the initial encounters in Thailand, victory has followed victory as you have thrust down the main north-south trunk road running down the west side of the peninsular. At Jitra, a division of the enemy was almost encircled and completely destroyed, but just managed to retreat to safety. They did, however, leave you large quantities of vehicles, supplies, fuel and ammunition: Mr Churchill's Supplies as the men call them!

After Jitra came Gurun: where the enemy were literally smashed aside by powerful attacks. Only a desperate counter-attack gave enough time for most of them to escape, but again they took significant casualties and lost vast amounts of supplies.

After Gurun, the enemy took a big step backwards, some seventy miles, to their prepared positions at Lardak. You are hot on their heels!

The Current Situation

Your battalion has been rushed forward to drive through the British at Lardak before they can properly establish themselves in their trenches.

Failure to dislodge them now could result in the whole Singapore campaign coming to a grinding halt: as it is only through relentless advance and ferocious attack that the enemy has been kept off balance so far, and has thus been unable to properly commit their superior numbers. Let them stabilise the situation, and all could well be lost!

In the briefing that follows, you will find details of the significant geographical features of the region you are attacking, along with maps, and details of the assets available to you for its assault. The forces available to you are your Hokusai Battalion, along with attached units of armour (Sensha), engineers and Guards.

Available Forces

You currently have the following forces available to you:

Hokusai Battalion

  • Itchi Company

  • Ni Company

  • San Company

  • Chi Company

  • Support Company

  • Attached Engineers Company

  • Attached Sensha Company

  • Attached Guards Company


Hokusai Battalion HQ

  • Lieutenant-Colonel Tamayama Kazuo (1d6)

  • Major Kawamata Koji (1d6)

  • 3 x Support Squad (10 men each, no LMG)

Ichi Company HQ

  • Major Nakai Buhachiro (1d6)

  • 1 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men)

1st Platoon

  • Captain Suzuki Tadashi (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Scout Squad (10 men each, 1 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

2nd Platoon

  • Lieutenant Abe Yoshizo (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Scout Squad (10 men each, 1 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

3rd Platoon

  • Lieutenant Tokita Shiro (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Scout Squad (10 men each, 1 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

Ni Company HQ

  • Captain Mizushima Tokutaro (1d6)

  • 1 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men)

4th Platoon

  • Captain Miura Toshio (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

5th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Aoyama Seiichi (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

6th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Maeda Sojiro (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

San Company HQ

  • Captain Kanbayashi Masakichi (1d6)

  • 1 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men)

7th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Sakamaki Yasushi (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

8th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Sato Misao (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

9th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Higuchi Kesazou (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

Chi Company HQ

  • Captain Maruyama Tatsuya (1d6)

  • 1 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men)

10th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Tokita Umeo (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

11th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Tsukagoshi Yoshiro (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

12th Platoon

  • Lieutenant Yokoshima Keiichi (1d6)

  • 3 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

  • 1 x Rifle/Mortar Squad (10 men each, 3 x 50mm Knee Mortars)

Support Company

  • Captain Abe Jin-ichi (1d6)

1st MMG Platoon

  • Sergeant-Major Ishida Mitsuru (1d4)

  • 4 x MMG (5 man crew)

  • 2 x Truck

2nd MMG Platoon

  • Sergeant Watanabe Ryozo (1d4)

  • 4 x MMG (5 man crew)

  • 2 x Truck

3rd MMG Platoon

  • Sergeant Namba Shuukou (1d4)

  • 4 x MMG (5 man crew)

  • 2 x Truck

Artillery Platoon

  • Sergeant-Major Ohara Kenji (1d4)

  • 2 x Type 92 70mm Field Guns (5 crew each)

  • 2 x Truck

Mortar Platoon

  • Corporal Kobayashi Yoshiyuki (1d4)

  • 2 x Type 99 81mm Mortars (3 crew each)

  • 2 x Truck

Attached Engineer Company

Engineer Company HQ

  • Engineer-Major Ishikawa Hiroshi (1d6+1)

  • 2 x Engineer Squads (10 men each)

1st Engineer Platoon

  • Engineer-Captain Nagai Masaichi (1d6)

  • Engineer-Sergeant Matsumura Toshihiro (1dAv)

  • 5 x Engineer Squads (10 men each)

2nd Engineer Platoon

  • Engineer-Captain Hirano Mibu (1d6)

  • Engineer-Sergeant Yasuda Yoshito (1dAv)

  • 5 x Engineer Squads (10 men each)

Attached Sensha Company

Sensha Company HQ

  • Sensha-Captain Ohno Katsumi (1d4)

  • 1 x Type 97 Chi Ha Medium Tank

  • 1 x Type 95 Ha Go Light Tank

1st Sensha Platoon

  • Sensha-Lieutenant Aihara Isawo (1d4)

  • 3 x Type 97 Chi Ha Medium Tank

2nd Sensha Platoon

  • Sensha-Lieutenant Masuda Yoshiaki (1d4)

  • 3 x Type 95 Ha Go Light Tank

3rd Sensha Platoon

  • Sensha-Lieutenant Yoshino Shuichiro (1d4)

  • 3 x Type 95 Ha Go Light Tank

Attached Guards Company HQ

  • Guards-Major Yatsuda Denkichi (1d6)

  • 1 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men)

1st Guards Platoon

  • Guards-Captain Sugimoto Eiichi (1d6)

  • 4 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

2nd Guards Platoon

  • Guards-Captain Honma Shinsaku (1d6)

  • 4 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

3rd Guards Platoon

  • Guards-Lieutenant Aikawa Naoyuki (1d6)

  • 4 x Rifle/LMG Squad (10 men each)

Guards Support Platoon

  • Guards-Sergeant-Major Kawakami Takeo (1d4)

  • 3 x MMG (5 crew each)

The Game

Campaign Map Notes

The Game

Maps (will load as new windows)


Campaign Map Notes

The main trunk road from the north (in red) runs down from the northern edge of the map, through the Lardak Position and Lardak, and off the table to the south. The other roads (ie Pasembor – Lardak via Bariani Gam; Appam – Lardak via Gulab Jamun) are not quite such good quality: trucks and tracks have to drive slowly down them to avoid mechanical breakdown.

Lardak Hill is a huge mountain footed by a series of ridges running east-west. The hill itself is effectively impassable.

The green areas on the map represent primary jungle. This is impossible for vehicles to move through, even tracks, and very difficult for infantry. This means that the roads, and the villages that they pass through, are the absolute key to this campaign. Lose control of the roads, and you lose the battle!

The main river, the Yee Meen, is obviously impassable, as are most of the tributaries running down from Lardak Hill. You have access to boats, however, and may transport some of your force (infantry only) down river to near Pasembor.

The railway line that passes just to the west of Lardak is cleared in the same way that the road is. The red “explosion”, however, represents where the various bridges and embankments that cross the river/marshy area have been blown: making it certainly impossible that vehicles can drive down the railway line from the north, and a long slow journey even for infantry.

The Game 

The game will centre on your attempts to defeat the British and thus open the north-south trunk road.

The game will therefore take place across three tables:

  • Table One will be the Lardak Position and Lardak.

  • Table Two will be Appam and Gulab Jamun.

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

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 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!

If they decide not to have any reinforcements at Pasembor or Bariani Gam, or you can defeat what troops they have there, it might be possible for you to enter Table Three from the river, meet no resistance and then enter a substantial force onto Table One behind the Lardak Position.

If you give away the fact that you can land troops at Pasembor prior to the start of the game, you are potentially sacrificing an enormous advantage. Do so, and I may have to ask you to commit seppuku!

Assigning Players

You must assign players to each of the following commands:

  • Battalion HQ    (suggest you)

  • Ichi Company

  • Ni Company    

  • San Company  

  • Chi Company  

  • Guards Company

You may not split the five main infantry companies Ichi, Ni, San, Chi, and the Guards.

You can attach the Support, Engineer and Tank Companies by platoon to one of the five main companies if you wish, or have them operating as independent commands. I imagine, however, you will want to divide their resource between the three tables.

Please make sure you have enough players to handle the figures assigned to each fighting group, and have established a working chain of command.

Initial Dispositions

Each command must be assigned to a specific table.

Unless you specifically order otherwise, those assigned to Table One will enter Table One along the road coming in from the north.

Unless you specifically order otherwise, those assigned to Table Two will enter Table Two along the road coming in from the north.

Unless you specifically order otherwise, those assigned to Table Three will enter Table Three along the riverbank near Pasembor at the point marked on the map. The units assigned to this table may ONLY CONTAIN INFANTRY, MEDIUM MORTARS AND HMG’S: no field guns, no tanks.

Initial Orders

Before the game begins, I will need from you exactly which forces (Big Men, Platoons) each player commands.

You should also issue written orders to each formation or player. How you do it is up to you, but I feel that the historians who come to chronicle this campaign will be disappointed with anything less than 2-3 paragraphs for each player, and pleased to see included such things as chains of command, contingency plans etc. Remember the maxim drilled into you during your training: Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance!

Don’t forget to send me copies of any orders that you issue.

Air Support

You will have intermittent air support throughout the day.

Terrain Notes

The ground is so rough on Table Two that each side’s pack of cards will contain a Vehicle Breakdown card.

You will note from the contour lines that the ridges crossing both Table One and Table Two are roughly the same height.