Letters from Iwo Jima, AAR End of Action Debrief
In the end, US managed to take only about 1/2 the island. Probably in the grand scheme of history, it didn't matter as the B-29s would have managed to make emergency landings on that small 1/2. But in this alternate universe, the Japanese defenders held out long enough and made it bloody enough to chalk this game up for Japan.
I think key was in turns 4 and 5 when US didn't wait for their usually powerfull bombardments to soften up Tamana Hill and Motoyama. The results could have been even bloodier for US.
In turns 1-3, the movement in strength into Suribachi by Gary really took me by surprise, and also Chidori and Funami fell relatively easily (or more easily than I had hoped). Things were looking rather bleak as Gary started rolling up the pork chop, and I was wondering what I could do to prevent the "death from above" wiping out entire stacks.
Fortunately for JP, the US decided to make a coup de main attack on Tamana Hill which he really didn't need to do so early, and that ground several of his units into losses that wasn't really justified in terms of board position at that time.
That mistake was then compounded by US tanks boldly stepping into the AT trap in Motoyama without any prep bombards. I had 13 surprise rolls for AT and with expected odds of getting 4.3 hits, I got 5. The last of which was a 3 hit that was wasted as each tank only takes 2 step losses. If the distribution was a bit more even, US could have wound up with 1 step Tank unit only. Nonetheless, that put US behind schedule, checked US' Big Mo up to that point, and I think also hit Gary in the personal morale check. I know it perked me up a bit to have successfully sprung that trap on him.
With the reverse game pending, I learned a big lesson in bomb, bomb, and then bomb again before going in. Also, the scary power of the big concentration of high explosives was demonstrated to me.