To Die for the Emperor – Sensha Rentai Tactics

Banzai – Imperial Japanese Forces in the Pacific

To Die for the Emperor
Sensha Rentai Tactics
With Sean Ireland

For me the Type 97 is one of my favourite tanks of the war; it just looks good. In terms of lists, the Japanese tank company is pretty unique in that it can Always Attack and attack at night.

In addition, tanks can move 12" or their full movement rate at night. For me, this rules out the ‘slow’ rated Type 89, and very much rules in the ‘standard’ movement rate Type 97.

In this article, I’ll be suggesting a Sensha Rentai of 1520 points for the Pacific War period, and then a 1650-point list for the Late War points level.

To Die for the Emperor – Sensha Rentai Tactics
Pacific War 1520-point List
Sensha Rentai (Tank Regiment – Fearless Trained) Pacific War
Headquarters
Sensha Rentai HQ
With 2 x Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks 155 points
Combat Platoons
Sensha Company
With 2 x Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks 170 points
Sensha Company
With 2 x Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks 340 points
Sensha Company
With 2 x Type 97 Chi-Ha tanks 340 points
Support Platoons
Self-Propelled Gun Platoon
With 2 x Captured M3 75mm GMC 315 points
Recon Tankette Platoon
With 3 x Type 97 Te-Ke (MG) tankettes 140 points
Light Anti-aircraft Platoon
With 2 x Type 98 20mm gun nests 60 points
Total: 1520 Points
This list is pretty much tanks, with 12” movement at night, relying very much on the Hip Shot special rule. When dawn breaks I hope to be sitting on a pile of dead Marines, holding their objective.
Hip Shot
Japanese tank commanders like to close with the enemy and to keep moving. Their gunners would fire on the move, ‘firing from the hip’ as targets presented themselves.

If they moved in the Movement Step, Japanese Tank teams may re-roll failed To Hit rolls when shooting with their Type 94 37mm, Type 90 57mm, or Type 1 47mm main gun, provided the easiest team to hit in the target platoon is within 16”/40cm.

Captured M3 Stuart tanks do not use the Hip Shot special rule.

The useful thing about the AA platoon being nests is that Nests are ‘Area Defences’ and can be deployed in no-man’s- land, so they can support your advance and provide AA cover close to the enemy deployment area when day breaks, as well as providing high rate of fire to deter the Marines from trying to take back the objective. The M3 75mm guns are useful to deter or kill any enemy tanks that the Type 97’s can’t handle. The upgrade to the Kai Shinhoto turret is just a bit expensive for Pacific War, so I have opted not to use them. Simple plan – hope it works.

To Die for the Emperor – Sensha Rentai Tactics
Late War 1650-point List
Sensha Rentai (Tank Regiment – Fearless Veteran) Late War
Headquarters
Sensha Rentai HQ
With 2 x Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tanks 120 points
   With Regimental Standard 75 points
Combat Platoons
Sensha Company HQ Platoon
With 2 x Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tanks 120 points
Sensha Platoon
With 2 x Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tanks 300 points
Sensha Platoon
With 2 x Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tanks 300 points
Sensha Platoon
With 2 x Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha tanks 300 points
Divisional Support Platoons
Recon Tankette Platoon
With 3 x Type 97 Te-Ke (MG) tankettes 135 points
Self-Propelled Gun Platoon
3 x Type 4 Ho-Ro self-propelled guns 255 points
Heavy Anti-aircraft Platoon
With 4 x Type 99 22mm gun nests 105 points
Total: 1635 Points
For Late War, the Japanese tanks need a bit more oomph, and the Kai Shinhoto upgrade is much more affordable.
Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha (JBX09) Type 4 Ho-Ro (JBX08)
Above: Type 97 Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha. Above: Type 4 Ho-Ro.
Against enemy infantry and guns, getting close in the dark is an obvious plan. Moving in cover, out of sight and on to the flanks of tanks, guns and infantry is an even better one. This list has a lot of tanks, and the Anti-tank 8 guns can make anything short of a Tiger a bit nervous, being able to move faster in the night and use Hip Shot. The Type 4 Ho-Ro self-propelled guns have a variety of potential uses, with bombardment, smoke and being a Bunker Buster with AT 13. Four anti-aircraft nests will be just a little bit better at AA and putting lots of rounds down-range than two.

Banzai!

~ Sean.