Philippines is the 2nd Scenario in the Campaign. This is a short, 15 turn scenario of a holding action against a powerful Japanese force. Some of the US troops (they have blue stars) are under the control of the AI and are being evacuated to exit hexes. You cannot defeat either the Jap air force or the Jap ground troops but you can delay their advance enough for significant forces to reach the Bataan Peninsula.
You must hold all secondary VP locations for 10 turns and both primary VP locations through the end of the scenario to advance. You get bonus troops in the next scenario if you can keep the Japs out of San Fernando for 5 turns and a second set of bonus troops if you hold all of the secondary VPs through the end of the 15 turn scenario.
Understanding the terrain is key to victory. The map is a long rectangle with the Japs entering from the top of the map.
Several rivers crossed by bridges are on the map. It takes 3 turns to ford a river without a bridge. Turn 1 move adjacent to the river hex. Turn 2 enter the river hex. Turn 3 move one hex away from the river hex. Turn 4 you can move freely. Only Engineer and Commando units can blow bridges. It also costs 10 resource points to blow each bridge. Both the right unit and sufficient resource points are needed to blow bridges. I had an Australian commando added to my force without charge for buying a different Order of Battle scenario.
All secondary VP hexes are about midway down the map. Excepting the far western secondary VP, all are behind one or more rivers. In the East the Japs can be significantly delayed by blowing bridges. The West has fewer (or no) river obstacles but does contain several stretches of movement slowing jungle. In the far south you have AI controlled units which systematically move off the map on the South exit hexes heading for the Bataan Peninsula.
Important OOB game mechanics are command points and resource points. Command points (yellow on the screen shot) limit the amount of troops you can field. Here, I have 24 ground command points and 6 air command points. In game terms, I can field only 2 air units and 8 ground units in my core forces. It costs a lot more ground command points to put armor into battle than infantry or artillery. Early in the war your armor will cost one or two command points more than infantry (3 for infantry, 4-5 for medium tanks at the start of the war). As the war progresses, the cost to put a medium or heavy tank into battle grows to a max of 7 points. You simply cannot field an effective “tank army” in OOB.
Resource points are the pool that you can purchase units. They are also used to blow bridges, put up a combat bridge, upgrade your units and other things. Armor and artillery are far, far more expensive than ground troops. Aircraft wings are also far more expensive than ground troops. For the USA, Marines have two advantages over Army Units – they do not get disorganized going through the jungle and they suffer far less disorganization doing amphibious operations.
In this scenario I’m only purchasing US Army and one US Engineering unit to preserve both my command and resource points. I’m not buying a second air unit because the Japs have too many aircraft for my forces to even gain air parity and fighter units are extremely expensive. Buying an anti-tank unit (AT), or an anti-aircraft (AA) unit convertible into an AT unit can fit my budget.
For ground transport you can either hoof it or motorize with trucks or halftracks. When you motorize a unit it costs one more command point. The command point cost limits your ability to field a 100% mechanized army. Note also that motorizing a unit is double the cost of the unit itself. Halftracks are faster off-road and have some defense when troops are mounted. Trucks go faster on paved roads, slower off-road, and provide little defense for mounted troops.
These were my unit purchases. One engineering unit mounted on a halftrack. I bought the halftrack because I have a lot of bridges to blow and if the engineer is destroyed my defensive hopes go up in smoke. The free Australian commando unit is not mounted and moves slowly. But commandos can also blow bridges. The rest of the purchases are US Army and one AA/AT gun. I reinforce the single P-40 I carried over from Pearl Harbor but do not buy a second fighter unit. I must maintain my resource points for ground reinforcements and bridge blowing.
My meagre forces are deployed as follows. The motorized engineers are placed on the bridge further to the NE. The commandoes are on a second bridge. The AT gun backs the commando in case a scout car or tank attacks them on turn 1.
I have a US Army unit in a village blocking the road and the bridge. That unit will be sacrificed to delay the Japs. The blue circles are Philippine troops. The northernmost one is doomed in the initial AI placement. My other meagre forces are at choke points to slow the Japanese advance. The single P-40 squadron is off the map to the south on an airfield.
Turn 1 – The Japs destroy a bunker and set up to clobber the Philippine unit. Two bridges are blown and my commando and engineer retreat to the other side of the river. I’m very concerned about the Jap scout car on the left flank. I don’t want my positions revealed.