Maxwell's Marauders: Find the Observation Post
Maxwell’s Marauders, 1st Platoon, C Company of the 7th Marine Regiment is a fictional unit, filled with characters that I have created to deepen my connection to my Squad Battles “Proud and the Few” gaming. The New York boys, Bullseye, Sgt. Rock and the rest are going to be persistent characters (unless they die on my digital battlefields) that take me through the War in the Pacific.
From Guadalcanal to New Britain to Peleliu and finally Okinawa, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment served with distinction and so too will Maxwell’s Marauders. Along the way, my hope is that by investing in the backstories of the soldiers on the map, I will play smarter and take fewer risks with them, enjoy my gaming and appreciate this great Squad Battles system in a deeper way.
About these scenarios
The scenarios are short (under 20 turns (100 minutes or less of combat). They are historical, even though the unit is fictional. Each battlefield map is an approximation of the terrain Frisbie’s Marines fought on. Each map board is 20 hexes by 20 hexes (1600 square meters).
About the Marauders’ Pacific campaign
Maxwell’s Marauders will die, and when they will do, new replacements will come along, with their own stories. Men will acquit themselves well and earn higher morale ratings from battle to battle. A fictional, tough and very competent, Japanese commander will appear in the next scenario (another Guadalcanal scenario), and then like the 7th Marines, he will end up on New Britain, with a new unit, facing off against the Marauders again. The “campaign” has five scenarios (2 Guadalcanal scenarios, a New Britain one, a Pelileu one, and a final Okinawa scenario). I will release a new scenario once per month.
Meet the Platoon
2nd Lt. James Maxwell is one of the best officers in the 7th Marines. Chesty Puller, 1st battalion commander, has come to rely upon James for his quick thinking and steadiness under fire. A native Pennsylvanian, he’s quiet and reserved. Born in Johnstown, PA to a miner, his father and mother were determined he would follow another path in life. They scraped their money together, sent him to Bishop McCort High School and then after a successful four years, to Pharmacy school at the Duquesne University of the Holy Ghost in Pittsburgh. A tall 6’3”, James played football for the Dukes and led them as their Captain in 1936 to a 6-0 victory over the higher-rated Pitt. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, James enlisted in the Marines.
Barry “Bullseye” Bennet is the son of a rice farmer from just outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. A duck-hunter by preference, Bullseye quickly impressed his Marine instructors with his marksmanship skill. Bullseye carries an Arisaka T99 Sniper Rifle he won in a poker game from one of Edson’s raiders five days before. Seven days on the island, Bennet has already killed two Japanese scouts from 400 and 500 meters away, earning the nickname “Bullseye.”
Cpl. Joey “The Sauce” Maiorana is a native of the Whitestone part of Queens, New York. Twenty-two years of age, Joey left Cornell University to enlist in the Marines soon after Pearl Harbor. Ordered to join the 7th Marines after basic training, he was excited to find a friend of his older brother, Tom “Tommy Boy” Flynn as part of the same platoon. “The Sauce” is a second squad mainstay and someone Lt. Maxwell relied upon to keep the less, experienced new guys alive.
Sgt. Lester “Les” Rock is the best soldier in the platoon and maybe the battalion. An “old” 29, he began working as a prison guard from West Virginia, but enlisted in the Marines soon after the Germans invaded France in 1940. After basic training, Les was sent to join the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines in Shanghai, China. Passing through Cavite in the Philippines on his way to China, on December 8, 1941, Les Rock joined the 4th Regiment Marines in the defense of Bataan after the Japanese invasion. Avoiding capture and his unit’s destruction, he escaped to Corregidor, where he was wounded during a Japanese bombing raid and was evacuated before the island surrendered.
The “Fucking New Guys” (F.N.Gs) are the Marines in each squad, who have been rushed into service after just six weeks of basic training. The rest of the Marines were with the 7th on Samoa where they were deployed in defense of that island in May of 1942. The F.N.Gs have a lower morale quality.
Other platoon members: “Tommy Boy” Flynn, Sgt. Francis Bausch, whose brother was killed at Pearl Harbor, the three New York boys, from Staten Island and Brooklyn, Cpl. Eddie Chavez from East L.A. and Sgt. Bill Thomas from Altoona, Iowa.
The Scenario Briefing
Ten days after the Battle of Edson’s Ridge, Japanese survivors from Kawaguchi’s 124th infantry regiment are still streaming west through the jungle for the Matanikau River. On September 23, the 1st Battalion left the Lunga perimeter in search of the enemy. On September 24, near Mount Austen, Puller’s marines engage in a firefight and drive the enemy westwards. The next day a radio observation post is observed by a Catcus Air Force pilot (the Henderson Field pilots call themselves the Cactus Air Force) near Puller’s force atop Hill 67 beside the Matanikau river. Maxwell’s platoon is sent to probe the jungle ahead of 1st Battalion’s advance. The rest of Charlie company is in reserve, should they get in trouble.
Capture the observation post. 100 points
Investigate reports of Japanese soldiers in a nearby abandoned village. 15 points
Seize the east bank opposite the “One-Log” bridge the Japanese are using to cross the Matanikau. 15 points
Keep your men alive.