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Fire & movement folio GAME exclusive RULES

Iwo: Bloodbath in the bonins

19 Februrary - 17 march 1945
Exclusive Rules
10.0 Introduction

11.0 Set Up

12.0 Victory Conditions

13.0 Modifications to Standard Rules

14.0 US Arrival & Landings

15.0 US Redeployment

16.0 US Fire Support

17.0 US Support Units

18.0 Japanese Sectors

19.0 Japanese Units

20.0 Japanese Operations

21.0 Japanese Fire Support

22.0 Mount Suribachi

23.0 Two-Player Rules

24.0 Game Notes

25.0 Orders of Battles
10.0 Introduction

10.1 Historical Background

Iwo Jima was a critical point on the flight path of US bombers from their Saipan bases to their Japanese targets. The island would be a refuge for malfunctioning or damaged bombers coming or going. An obvious target for a US amphibious assault, the Japanese had reinforced the garrison and dug miles of tunnels the length and breadth of the island. Their goal was to inflict maximum casualties on the Americans to force them to reconsider the seemingly inevitable invasion of Japan. The resulting battle was brutal, even by the standards of the Pacific War.

10.2 Special Rules

Except as noted in Rule 13.0, or as modified by Rules 14.0 through 23.0, all standard rules apply.

10.3 Game Versions

The game is designed for solitaire play; the player controls the US forces while Rules 18.0 through 22.0 dictate Japanese operations. If desired, a second player may control the Japanese; see Rule 23.0 for the necessary modifications.

10.4 Game Scale

Each hex represents 350 yards (300 meters). Each turn represents two days. US units are infantry battalions and smaller supporting units. Japanese units represent 400-500 men, consisting of a core of one of the primary combat units plus attached laborers and rear echelon personnel.

10.5 Additional Equipment

One wide-mouth opaque container will be needed for eliminated Japanese units. The game can be played with one die, but three differentiated dice would be ideal.

11.0 Set Up

11.1 Set Up Sequence

Place the Turn marker in the first box of the turn record track. The Japanese player deploys first (11.2) followed by the US player (11.3). The US player is the first player. The game begins with the US movement phase of Turn 1.

11.2 Japanese Initial Deployment

Flip all Japanese units face down and mix them up so you don’t know which is which. Place one unit on each initial deployment hex (red symbol).

Map Errata: Hex 1111 (the village of Motoyama) should be a redeployment hex (white symbol), not an initial deployment hex
11.3 US Choice of Beachhead

Before setting up, the US player must choose to invade either the western or eastern side of the island. Once selected, only those beach hexes may be used for landings (see 14.0).

11.4 US Initial Deployment

Place the 26 counters of the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions in the Available for Landing box on the map. Place the 13 counters of the 3rd Marine Division in the US Reserves box on the map. Set aside the Flag counter (see 22.0).

11.5 Fire Support Markers

There are 11 bombardment markers in the game, reverse printed in opposing colors. These are to be used by both players. Each player has a different set of bombardment rules (see 16.0 & 21.0).

12.0 Victory Conditions

12.1 Game Length

The game continues until every Japanese unit has been eliminated or Turn 16, whichever comes first. The game is shortened one turn for each US reserve regiment deployed (14.4).

12.2 Japanese Epic Victory

If any Japanese unit is still on the map at the end of the last game turn, the Japanese player wins a victory of epic (war-changing) proportion.

12.3 Victory Based on US Casualties

Barring a Japanese epic victory, the outcome of the game will be determined by the number of US casualties.

At the end of the game, count 2 losses for each Marine battalion in the Eliminated Units box.
1 loss for each depleted Marine battalion on the map or in the Available for Landing box.
0 losses for eliminated support units (17.0).
-2 losses for each turn remaining to be played.
The US wins if the total is 12 or fewer. The Japanese win if the total is 20 or more. Any other result is a draw.
13.0 Modifications to Standard Rules

4.1 Sequence Outline: US Mobile Movement & Combat Phases. All US units may move during their mobile movement phase, but receive only half their movement allowance. All US units may attack during their mobile combat phase, but no bombardment is allowed. Ignore the Japanese Mobile Movement & Combat Phases; they are not used. During the Administrative Phase of each game turn, the US player rolls one die. Consult the Storm Table on the map. If the result is a Storm, flip the turn marker to its storm side for the next game turn. During storm turns, all movement allowances are halved and US support fires are reduced. See the Turn Sequence Outline and the Storm Table on the map.

5.2 (Movement) Effects of Terrain. All units pay 1 MP to enter a beach hex but must stop on entering. Ignore hill hexes; use the other terrain in the hex for movement purposes. US tank units may not enter ravine hexes; all other units pay 3 MP to enter a ravine and must stop immediately on entering.

5.3 Stacking Restrictions. US units on landing beaches have a stacking ability (see 14.3); this applies only to the landing beaches selected in 11.3; no stacking is allowed on the other set of beaches. US support units may stack with another unit (see 17.1). Stacks are more vulnerable to Japanese bombardments (see 19.5).

7.6 Combat Resolution. Certain results are changed when US units attack dug-in Japanese defenders (see 18.0 for details); these modifications affect only dug-in Japanese units; for all other defenders, apply the combat results normally. Japanese bombardments also have special effects on US targets (see 21.4).

7.7.2 Displacement. Do not use: a unit unable to retreat without displacing another unit must stand fast and take the step loss.

7.9 Advance After Combat. All advances after combat are limited to one hex.

8.0 Support Fire. Only bombardment (8.4) is allowed. Each player has different rules for support fire availability and application: see 16.0 for US support fire, 21.0 for Japanese support fire.
14.0 US Arrival & Landings

14.1 Unit Availability

The US Units at Sea area on the map is a holding area for units not yet on the island. Each unit not on the island must be in one of the three boxes of the area at all times. Units in the Available for Landing box may land (see 14.2-14.3) during any US movement phase. Units in the US Reserves box may be moved to the Available for Landing box, but doing so will affect the length of the game (see 14.4). Depleted or eliminated units are eligible to receive replacements (see 14-5-14.7).

14.2 Landings

The beaches chosen by the US player for landings (11.3) are the only method of bringing units ashore. During each US movement phase, up to eight units may land, no more than two at each color-coded beach (the two boxes for each beach are provided as a staging area for landing units), no more than one per beach hex. To land a unit, place it on the chosen beach hex. If the hex already is occupied by a US unit, place the arriving unit under it (see 14.3). If the beach hex is occupied by a Japanese unit, the arriving US unit must attack it in the following combat phase; if the Japanese unit is not eliminated or forced to retreat, the US unit is eliminated.

14.3 Landing Beach Stacking

Any number of US units may stack on a landing beach hex. In a stacked hex, only the top unit may attack or be attacked in regular combat. If the top unit is forced to retreat, all units stacked with it must retreat.

14.4 Reserves

The 3rd Marine Division begins the game in the Reserves box. During any US movement phase after Turn 1, all or part of the division may be brought forward into the Available for Landing box. All four units of a single regiment must be deployed together. For each regiment deployed, the game is shortened by one turn. For example, if two regiments are brought in (as occurred historically), the game will end at the end of Turn 14. The divisional tank battalion may be deployed with any regiment.

14.5 Replacement Steps

The US player receives two replacement steps each regular movement phase (not during the mobile movement phase). The replacement steps must be expended in that movement phase; they may not be accumulated.

14.6 Replacing Units At Sea

Each replacement step may be used to rebuild one step of a unit in the Available for Landing box or the Eliminated Units box. An eliminated two-step unit may receive only one replacement step per turn. When an eliminated unit receives its first replacement step, move it into the Available for Landing box. A unit receiving a replacement step may not land in the same movement phase, but may land during the mobile movement phase of the same turn.

14.7 Replacing Units on the Map

A depleted two-step unit on the map may receive a replacement step to bring it to full strength. The unit must start a US regular movement phase at least four hexes from any Japanese unit (when counting the distance, do not count the US unit’s hex, do count the Japanese unit’s hex). Expend the replacement step to build it to full strength. It may not move in the phase of replacement, but may move normally in the next movement phase.

15.0 US Redeployment

During the US regular movement phase (only), a US unit has an unlimited movement allowance. However, at all times during this redeployment, the unit must be at least four hexes away from any Japanese unit (when counting the distance, do not count the US unit’s hex, do count the Japanese unit’s hex).

16.0 US Fire Support

16.1 Fire Support Availability

The US player always receives nine bombardment counters. If all hexes containing any portion of Airfield No. 1 are free of Japanese units or ZOC, he receives a tenth counter. If all hexes containing any portion of Airfields No. 1 and No. 2 are free of Japanese units or ZOC, he receives the tenth and eleventh counters. The counters may be used only during the US regular combat phase.

16.2 Bombardment Procedure

At the beginning of each US combat phase, the US player may deploy any or all available bombardment markers, one or two per hex at his discretion, on Japanese units being attacked by US units. The attack and all participating US units must be declared prior to resolving the bombardment. Unused markers are lost; they may not be accumulated.

16.3 Bombardment Resolution

To resolve a bombardment, roll one die for each bombardment marker. On a roll of 1-3 (reduced to 1-2 on storm turns), the Japanese unit is suppressed. If the defender is suppressed, no US loss is suffered on an exchange result in the ensuing combat.

16.4 Storm Effects on Fire Support

During storm turns, the additional counters received for capturing airfields are not available. The suppression capability of all remaining support fires is reduced (see 16.3).

17.0 US Support Units

17.1 Support Units

A US unit with a colored band across the middle is a support unit. It operates in all ways like other units except it may end a phase in the same hex with one other unit. One support unit may stack in a hex with one other support unit or with a Marine battalion. All support units have only one step (but see 17.4). If eliminated, place them in the Eliminated Units box; they may be replaced by expending one replacement step (see 14.6).

17.2 Support Units in Combat

In combat, treat a support unit as belonging to the unit with which it is stacked. Combine their combat factors for purposes of differential calculation. The support unit must retreat or advance with the stacked unit.

17.3 Tank Operations

US tank units may not enter or attack into ravine or mountain/mine hexes. If a tank unit is attacking a Japanese anti-tank or anti-aircraft unit, roll one die before calculating the combat differential. If the roll is less than or equal to the attack factor of the Japanese unit, the tank unit’s attack factor is not included in the combat differential. The tank unit is not eliminated by the anti-tank fire, it just doesn’t count toward the differential. It still must be used to satisfy the first step loss in the combat.

17.4 Task Force Collins

At the beginning of any movement phase, the US player may form Task Force Collins. Flip any one US tank battalion (it may be on the map or in any box) to its TF Collins. Remove the other two tank battalions; they are out of the game for good. TF Collins operates like any other support unit and may be replaced if eliminated. Treat it as belonging to all three Marine divisions.

18.0 Japanese Sectors

The six numbered sectors on the island are used to help determine deployment of replacements (19.5), redeployment (20.3-20.4), banzai attacks (20.5), and bombardment target selection (21.2). A sector is considered cleared when none of the deployment or redeployment hexes in it is occupied by a dug-in Japanese unit. Once cleared, all the deployment and redeployment hexes in a sector become inoperative; use only the other terrain in the hex for all purposes.

19.0 Japanese Units

19.1 One-Step Units

All Japanese units have only one step. Eliminated HQ and artillery units go on the Japanese Fire Support Track on the map (see 21.1). When any other unit is eliminated, place it in an opaque container. It may return to the map as a replacement (19.4) or during redeployment (20.5).

19.2 Unit Status

The reverse side of each Japanese units is printed with a fortification symbol. When the fortification symbol is face up, the unit is dug in. The US player may not examine it and it receives special treatment in combat (see 20.2). When flipped face up for a Banzai attack, it does not receive special treatment.

19.3 Zero Factor Units

Any unit with a zero attack factor and/or a zero movement factor may not attack in the Japanese combat phase. A unit with a zero movement factor may not move but may redeploy.

19.4 Replacements

At the beginning of each Japanese movement phase, blindly pick one Japanese one unit from the eliminated unit container; keep it face down for placement (see 19.5). If there is no eliminated unit, no replacement is received; the missed replacement is not accumulated. HQs and artillery units may not be replaced.

19.5 Deploying Replacements

Roll one die to determine the sector of placement. Place the unit on any unoccupied Japanese deployment (red symbol) or redeployment (white symbol) hex in that sector. The placement hex must be no more than two hexes (one intervening hex) from a dug-in Japanese unit. It may not be placed on a US unit but may be placed in a US ZOC (the Japanese would be using their extensive tunnel system). If there are multiple eligible hexes, place it using this terrain type priority: Hill, Ravine, Mountain, Mine, Rough, Broken, Clear. If more than one hex of any type is eligible, roll a die to determine which is selected. If there is no eligible hex for placement, or if the sector has been cleared, return the unit to the container. No replacements may be placed on Mount Suribachi (22.0).

20.0 Japanese Operations

20.1 Movement & Attacks

Japanese units move only as a result of redeployment (20.3 & 20.4) or Banzai attacks (20.5). Japanese units attack only during Banzai attacks.

20.2 Combat Results for Dug-In Defenders

In attacks against a dug-in Japanese defender (only; no other combats are affected), modify the combat results as follows.

Ae, A3, A2, A1, (A), or No Effect: in addition to any effect on the attacking US units, the Japanese defender redeploys in place (20.4).

Exchange: Roll a die. On a roll of “1” through “5”, each side loses a step. On a roll of “6,” the US loses a step and the Japanese unit redeploys (20.3). No advance is made regardless of outcome.

D2: Roll one die. On a result of “1” or “2” treat the result as “De.” On a result of “3” through “6” each side loses a step and the attacker may advance.

D2: Roll one die. On a result of “1” through “3” treat the result as “De.” On a result of “4” through “6” each side loses a step and the attacker may advance.
20.3 Redeployment

When a unit is to redeploy, place it in the eliminated units container. It will move to a new hex using the same procedure for placing a replacement unit (19.5); if no eligible hex is available, the unit remains eliminated. If an eligible hex is available and there are two or more units in the container, blindly select one as the substitute and place it in its new hex. If the redeploying unit is the only unit in the container, select another dug-in Japanese unit on the map by using the procedure for target selection after Suribachi falls (21.3) but checking only dug-in Japanese units. Roll one die for each; on a “4” through “6” move on to the next unit. On the first roll of “1” through “3” remove the unit and place it in the container, then blindly select the units one at a time, placing one on the hex selected for deployment and the other on the hex from which the second unit was selected.

20.4 Redeployment in Place

When a unit redeploys in place, use the redeployment procedure as above, but the redeploying unit remains in its original hex. Note a unit redeploying in place cannot be eliminated; the replacement always takes place.

20.5 Banzai Attacks

At the start of each Japanese movement phase after Suribach is cleared (22.0). Roll one die three times or three dice differentiated as first, second, and third.

If the first die roll is equal to or less than the number of cleared sectors, there will be an attack.

The second die roll indicates the attack sector. If there are no Japanese units in that sector, no attack takes place.

The third die roll is the number of Japanese units that must take part. Flip that number of units in the chosen sector (ignore any excess if insufficient units are present), starting with those closest to US units (roll a die to choose between equidistant units). If a flipped unit has an attack or movement factor of zero, redeploy it in place (20.4).
All flipped units must move toward the nearest (measured by MP, not hexes) US unit. If a unit cannot reach a US unit, redeploy it to its starting hex as above. In the following combat phase, shift the attack two columns rightward. The attacking units are eliminated regardless of the combat result. US units may not retreat; they must stand fast.
21.0 Japanese Fire Support

21.1 Fire Support Availability

Japanese fire support is determined by the Japanese Fire Support Track on the map, a maximum of 10. Each time a Japanese artillery or HQ unit is eliminated, place it on the highest open box of the track. In his next combat phase, the Japanese player receives a number of bombardment counters equal to the highest uncovered number on the track.

21.2 Bombardment Targeting

After any Banzai attacks have been resolved, determining the number of bombardment markers available. Place them on the map using the priorities below. In the unlikely event there are fewer targets than markers, the excess markers are lost. Once placed, conduct all bombardments.

1) Before Suribachi Falls (see 22.0). Place one marker on each landing beach hex with a US unit on it. If markers remain, check each hex with a US unit in it starting with hex 2812 and moving to lower-numbered hexes (2811, 2810, 2713, 2712, and so on). Roll one die for each occupied hex. On a roll of “1” through “3” place a bombardment marker on it. On a “4” through “6” skip that unit. Continue until all markers are placed or the last eligible hex has been checked.

2) After Suribachi Falls. Follow the same procedure as above, but start at hex 0106 and move toward higher-numbered hexes. Beach hexes do not get an automatic placement.
Design Note: On the morning of 19 February, the Japanese unleashed their entire artillery on the crowded landing beaches. Thereafter, their limited command control managed only harassing fire.
21.3 Fire Support Strength

Roll three dice for each bombardment marker. The combined total is its factor for that bombardment. After Mount Suribachi is cleared (22.0), subtract one die of there is a Japanese-occupied hill hex in the same sector as the target, subtract two dice of there is no Japanese-occupied hill hex in the same sector as the target. Storms have no effect on Japanese bombardment.

21.4 Bombardment Resolution

Cross-index the appropriate terrain line on the CRT with the bombardment marker’s strength; do not take the target unit’s strength into account. Roll the die and apply the results normally with the following exceptions.

Exchange. Roll one die: 1 to 4 is an “Ex,” 5 to 6 is “No Effect.”

D2. Make no retreat. Roll one die: 1 to 2 is an “Ex,” 3 to 6 is “No Effect.”

D3. Make no retreat. Roll one die: 1 to 3 is an “Ex,” 4 to 6 is “No Effect.”
21.5 Bombarding Stacks

Resolve a bombardment separately against each unit in a stacked hex (see 14.3 & 17.1).

22.0 Mount Suribachi

The five Suribachi hexes and the 11 hexes adjacent to them form a separate, unnumbered sector. No Japanese units may redeploy to Suribachi and no banzai attacks take place there. Suribachi is cleared when the units on all five deployment hexes have been removed. Once Suribachi is cleared, place the US flag marker as a reminder and implement the following.

1) Bombardment targeting switches to 21.1 (2).

2) Bombardment strength is reduced (21.3).

3) Banzai attacks may commence (20.5).
23.0 Two-Player Rules

23.1 Japanese Initial Deployment

Japanese deployment is done as in 11.2 except the Japanese player may choose which unit is placed in each deployment hex.

23.2 Movement & Tunnel Movement

Japanese units may be moved at the discretion of the Japanese player. They must be flipped face up to move. Alternatively, a dug-in Japanese unit may attempt to use tunnel movement. Roll one die; on a result of “1” through “3” (“1” or “2” if in a US ZOC) the unit may be moved to any vacant deployment or redeployment hex eligible for replacement arrival (19.4).

23.3 Replacement & Redeployment

The Japanese player may select any eligible hex for placement. Substitutes are chosen using 20.5, but a substitute is not mandatory when redeploying in place.

23.4 Bombardment Target Selection

Before Suribachi falls, the Japanese player may target any hexes desired. After Suribachi falls, use the targeting procedure in 21.2 (2).

23.5 Banzai Attacks

Banzai attacks are conducted as in the solitaire game.

Design Note. The strict no-banzai orders were ignored a few times late in the battle; this is beyond the control of the Japanese player.
24.0 Game Notes

24.1 Designer’s Notes

The battle for Iwo Jima was dominated by the extensive Japanese tunnels and a well-conceived, well-executed defense plan. Anticipating the US invasion of the Japanese home islands, Gen. Kuribayashi discarded the aggressive tactics of previous islands battles—the Banzai attacks of WWII lore, high on drama, low on effectiveness —in favor of the tenacious defense used the previous year on Peleliu. Acknowledging the certainty of an American victory given their overwhelming firepower, he aimed to cause the maximum casualties in hopes of convincing the Americans to settle for a compromise peace. Though he failed in the larger effort, his forces did manage to inflict 26,000 US casualties, about 1.2 casualties per Japanese serviceman on the island.

24.2 US Player Notes

For the US player, both versions of the game boil down to a tradeoff between speed and casualties. During the mobile combat phase; the absence of fire support will mean heavier losses, but it means clearing twice as much territory than when you limit attacks to the regular phase only. When taking losses, there is no VP cost to lose support units, but you need their firepower to get the best differentials. One decision you can and should make is to clear Suribachi ASAP. It cuts Japanese bombardments by a third or better and reduces the battle to just one front.

24.3 Japanese Player (Two-Player Version)

Your role is to make a careful initial deployment. Protect your artillery and HQs at all costs, but keep in mind if you place them too far north they may get sucked up as substitutes. Avoid the temptation to attack isolated US units unless you can eliminate two or three steps at once. When redeploying a unit or deploying replacements, your first priority is to maintain as solid a line as possible up front. You’ll have plenty of chances to fill those last redoubts, so do what you can early to slow the US advance. Your patience will be rewarded.

25.0 Orders of Battle

US Forces

3rd Marine Division: 3rd, 9th, & 21st Marines, 12th Marines (artillery), 3rd Tank Battalion

4th Marine Division: 23rd, 24th, & 25th Marines (3 battalions each), 14th Marines (4 artillery battalions), 4th Tank Battalion

5th Marine Division: 26th, 27th, & 28th Marines (3 battalions each), 13th Marines (4 artillery battalions), 5th Tank Battalion

Japanese Forces

Imperial Army: 109th Division

2nd Mixed Brigade: 309th, 310th, 311th, 312th, and 314th Independent Infantry Battalions, one artillery battalion, one engineer battalion (about 5,000 men)

145th Infantry Regiment (three infantry & one artillery battalions; about 2,700 men)

3rd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment (about 600 men)

26th Tank Regiment (about 500 men)

1st & 2nd Machine Gun Battalions (600 men)

Artillery: 3 mortar battalions, one antiaircraft battalion, 5 antitank battalions, three rocket companies, four machine cannon (antiaircraft) companies (total strength about 3,500 men)
Imperial Japanese Navy

Four battalions (merged) antiaircraft battery guard forces (about 2,500 men)

One battalion coastal artillery guard force (about 600 men)

One battalion-equivalent air group guard force (est. 600 men)

Construction & Technical personnel (about 4,000 men total)

System Design: Chris Perello

Development: Alan Gin & Christopher Cummins

Map Graphics: Joe Youst

Counter Graphics: Chris Perello & Larry Hoffman

Rules Booklet: Callie Cummins & Lisé Patterson

Cover Design: Lisé Patterson

© 2013 Decision Games, Bakersfield, CA. Made & printed in the USA.


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