Yõsai Hohei Chutai Tactics

Banzai – Imperial Japanese Forces in the Pacific

To Die for the Emperor
Yõsai Hohei Chutai Tactics
With Sean Ireland

The Japanese offer some great options for painting and modelling, so I'm really looking forward to modelling and getting a Japanese force on the table. I've always been drawn to the Japanese campaigns in the later parts of the war and how they adapted tactics to try to halt the seemingly irreversible American advance.

The Japanese have one of the best fortified companies in the game (in my humble opinion, of course). The Fearless rating is not common for fortified companies, and may be unique, and has the potential to give your Fearless troops an edge in combat, and particularly in counter-attacks. It also means the supporting weapons can unpin more easily, to be better able to keep the enemy pinned down as they try to close with your defenders.

To Die For the Emperor – Yõsai Hohei Chutai Tactics
My 1500-point Pacific War List

For my Pacific War period list, meeting the US advance, we have a force from one of the less experienced Japanese Divisions, representative of any of the defensive battles they fought in the early years of the war, so I have chosen the Confident Trained option.

Yõsai Hohei Chutai (Confident Trained) Pacific War
Headquarters
Yõsai Hohei Chutai HQ
With 2 x Command Sword teams 80 points
Combat Platoons
Yõsai Hohei Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 245 points
Yõsai Hohei Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 245 points
Weapons Platoons
Light Anti-aircraft Platoon
With 2 x Type 98 20mm Nests 120 points
Regimental Support Platoons
Hohei Rapid-fire Gun Platoon
With 2 x Type 94 37mm gun teams 60 points
Fortifications
Barbed Wire Entanglements
With 6 x Barbed Wire Entanglements 60 points
Minefields
With 2 x Minefields 100 points
Communication Trenches
With 6 x Trench Lines 30 points
Gun Position
With 4 x Gun Pits 25 points
Gun Position
With 2 x Gun Pits 15 points
Divisional Support Platoons
Field Artillery Battery
With 2 x Type 38 75mm gun teams 380 points
Heavy Field Artillery Battery
With 4 x Type 96 150mm gun teams 130 points
Total: 1490 Points
In this list I am relying on my fortifications to slow the enemy down so that my artillery and machine-guns can inflict as many casualties as possible, reducing my opponent's capacity to assault me quickly.  A nice battle of attrition is what my trained troops need.  A couple of 37mm Anti-tank guns in ambush (sometimes) will also help shore up gaps in the line and deter any enemy tanks.

To Die For the Emperor – Yõsai Hohei Chutai Tactics
My 1600-point Late War List
For Late War, at 1600 points, I have opted for the Fearless Veteran option, representing a more experienced division, and have gone very much for an Okinawa type defence. Using the communication trenches, my veteran troops can redeploy easily, giving me plenty of flexibility for mounting a mobile defence. The ability of the Anti-aircraft platoon to deploy in Nests is a useful option for all Japanese lists, but it especially suits this one as I don’t need to buy them gun pits, giving me options for two artillery batteries.
Yõsai Hohei Chutai (Fearless Veteran) Late War
Headquarters
Yõsai Hohei Chutai HQ
With 2 x Command Sword teams 100 points
Combat Platoons
Yõsai Hohei Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 360 points
Yõsai Hohei Platoon
With 2 x Rifle Squads 360 points
Weapons Platoons
Light Anti-aircraft Platoon
With 2 x Type 98 20mm Nests 105 points
Fortifications
Barbed Wire Entanglements
With 6 x Barbed Wire Entanglements 60 points
Minefields
With 2 x Minefields 100 points
Communication Trenches
With 6 x Trench Lines 30 points
Gun Position
With 4 x Gun Pits 25 points
Gun Position
With 2 x Gun Pits 15 points
Divisional Support Platoons
Field Artillery Battery
With 2 x Type 38 75mm gun teams 340 points
Heavy Field Artillery Battery
With 4 x Type 96 150mm gun teams 105 points
Total: 1600 Points

This list feels light on Anti-tank weapons for Late War. Instead, you'll need to employ careful placement of the communication trenches and barbed wire to slow the enemy tanks, with minefields to provide a final barrier, thereyb giving you time to kill enemy tanks with your artillery. Don’t forget you can also choose to replace two rifle teams in each Yõsai Hohei Chutai Platoon with Nikuhaku teams; combined with your smoke assets, your infantry can actually take the fight to the enemy tanks, rather than letting let them sit and shoot at you for turn after turn.

This list is also handy against infantry lists, by forcing them to attack you. Practice and smart use of the area defences will also allow you to beat an opponent’s fortified list.

As a final thought, remember that the Yõsai Hohei Chutai benefit from all the usual Japanese special rules, so they are not restricted to being merely a passive fortified list, by any means.

They do give you plenty of chances to yell 'Banzai!' Give them a try.

~ Sean.