Sunday, 31 August 2014

Chain of Command Japanese Platoon [10]

I been thinking of ways to adjust the Japanese platoon for Chain of Command to something more manageable, as the workload assembling and painting four thirteen man sections is nuts, let alone the support units with their five or six man teams. This seems fine for 1942 but, as I'll be gaming against a later war Chindit force, I think it's a little unrealistic and probably unnecessary. I can't see the need for the extra cutting, gluing and swearing, so I've been looking for a way out.
Thus, rummaging through the TFL Specials for something else, I came across an article by Richard Morrill from Christmas 2008, in which he sets out his organisation of a Japanese rifle platoon for TW&T. This is a platoon level set of rules akin to Chain of Command in scale, so I read on. The long and the short and the tall of it, is that I can reduce my rifle sections and grenade launcher section to a modest ten men each.
A quick calculation later and I realised that I have all but an LMG team to add in order to fill out the three rifle sections. This will leave a ten man GD section to be assembled, together and the HQ team of two figures, in order to complete the full platoon ready for painting. This is more than achievable and will free up some time and effort for more support units too including a couple of Chi Ha tanks and another engineer team.
Banzai indeed!


  1. A wise decision I think. In all honesty I think we tend to be a little over keen to present 'paper strength' units in our games, when other than the first day a unit was formed, they almost certainly were never at full strength in any army.

    Obviously there is a point where a unit becomes useless due to losses and real units operated somewhere between the two.

    I suspect your ten man squads (or even 8-10 ten man squads) were probably typical for most Japanese platoons truth told.

  2. That does seem a rather excessive figure requirement given the groundscale at 28mm... will there be room on thetable to deploy them all...? :)

  3. It is bonkers..

    ...but I guess they went by the paper strength c1941/42, as Jim pointed out.

    Everything I've read about the japs in Burma says they were very tightly stretched by 1944, especially in manpower and supply terms.

  4. In fairness paper strengths are your only fixed reference points in terms of organisation when setting rules/lists up for a game system.

    The Japanese are in a minority of armies which bucked the trend in regards to section sizes, although I believe US Marine squads were the same size on paper too (?).

    However the extra men within the three squads has less impact on space than if they were to be deployed as an extra fourth squad instead... strange but true.