AP55 The Generalissimo’s Own – Dave vs Steve

Dave challenged Steve with this scenario, which pitted Dave’s mixed Chinese force against my Japanese defenders in May 1938.
I set up as big a defensive perimeter as I could manage, with all 4 tanks concentrated in the south-east corner to dissuade his Chinese from massing there and engaging too quickly, and the K14 and M15 buildings well-defended.  This forward defense worked — he found the safe blind hexes around 38Q10 and entered most of his forces there.  His trucks followed his armoured cars north up the central road, while his platooning tankettes protected his left flank.  This meant he didn’t engage immediately in Turn 1, but he used the time to prepare a structured attack, including his Turn 3 rush of those two buildings.
The Japanese tanks fired at everything they saw, in the process destroying one Chinese tank and immobilizing three others, at a cost of only one burning Japanese tank.  The Japanese infantry held concealment until the Turn 3 rush, when they used the step reduction rules to Final Protective Fire ad infinitum.  Lots of residual fire, but the Chinese might have benefited from the Human Wave rules.
Meanwhile, I expanded the perimeter outwards and northwards, to deny the simple entry of his reinforcements and slow down his main attack.  Two of my tanks sprinted to the north end in Turn 1 to support the stretched perimeter, and forced him to pick a knot to get through.  Luckily for him, he correctly identified the dummy stack in 2aO3 and got most of his infantry in along the east side (far from the target buildings).  His two tanks successfully overran my ATR crew in 2aI2, and squirted into the middle of the village relatively unopposed.  Without infantry support, they were destined to be assaulted in CC.  The few squads he entered at 2aA7 were shot up pretty fast.
After the top of the third, the Chinese had taken 2 building locations (M15 and P4), but with 4 immoblized tanks (the 4th tank lost a tread to CC Reaction Fire, while executing an unsuccessful overrun), numerous brokies, and his reinforcements either far from their destination or unsupported in the village, things weren’t looking good for him.  In the bottom of the third the Japanese abandoned the forward building and took off for the heart of the village to set up for the end-game.  Then the Japanese fighter-bombers arrived.
Dave accepted the inevitable and we shook hands.  Yes, my dice were hotter than his, but my plan of coming out to meet him, to slow down his attack as much as possible while keeping concealment, paid off.  Japanese Final Protective Fire can really last a long time and fill a lot of hexes with potent residual fire.  Dave’s personal morale was broken.
We didn’t get very deep into this scenario, but it’s got lots of flexibility and I’d play it again.  One thing to remember is that captured Chinese guns are worth quadruple points, so the Japanese should consider keeping an eye on their whereabouts and degree of support, and look for opportunities to threaten them.