This is a compilation of various notes and emails about BRT. While not
all the comments are uniquely mine, nor do I necessarily agree with all
of them either, I do understand them and they are valid points.
It is up to player's own style to decide which tactics to use.
[American Strategies] [Japanese Strategies]
Make a plan and stick with it.
Make a plan, setup with the execution of that plan in mind, but if you want to have any thoughts on winning make sure you add one incredibly important element to your plan: FLEXIBILITY! If the OB you are given has enough counters, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS give yourself flexibility in both terrain and attack options (i.e., avenues of approach) since you may be running your entire OB away from a defensive strongpoint or outpost, only to have a sniper make his strongpoint a rally base. Keep your eye open for an opportune time to send some of the later troops ashore at places the Japanese has abandoned.
Make the plan simple.
Pick a landing site and go straight for it no matter what. The longer you stay on the Reef, the more CVP will pile up. The one thing the Marine player MUST do is MOVE MOVE MOVE to cover. Design the part of your assault force you want as a firebase, let them (if possible which most times it won't be) suppress what they can. Everyone else just run run run! Accept the monster CVPs for the Japanese, no way on earth to avoid it. Key for Marines: TOEHOLD!
Platoon Movement probably isn't a good idea.
One thing is that as you take casualties (and you will) you will need to close up your Platoon. Move each Unit one at a time. The idea of platoon movement isnít that crazy. The idea is use impulse movement to force the Japanese to fire sooner than later. The Japanese have enough weapons to fire at whomever they please. Even so, a defender not used to platoon movement may be kerflommixed.
Organize Your Wrecks
Plan movement so that wrecks will not cause you any bottlenecks and use those same wrecks for cover. You have got to avoid the "Parking Lot Syndrome" as much as possible.
Every Unit the Japanese Acquire Moves Last!
Force the Japanese to make a decision to shoot the advancing hoard or wait to shoot the guy he missed. And it might not be a bad idea when he has one vehicle acquired, to move other vehicles such that if they die, their wrecks can provide some cover for the wading Infantry.
When loading your LVT, try to balance out
That way, there is a chance that your important assets may survive. This is more a style of play than anything else. Some people like putting important units (HMGs with good leaders) in the same boat. I personally would rather take my chances by spreading things evenly. Don't put a .50 cal. and your 9-2 together, odds are they will both be burnt toast. However, donít let the Japanese player know this since itíll make his fire decisions so much easier.
Use those nice machine guns on the LVT as you go in, you might not have them for very long, but they could help. Bounding Fire before they take you out.
The minute you get someone on the Beach, get them right to work silencing those Japanese who are scoring the CVP. Preferably, just go straight in. The problem with this is that two or three squads might find themselves on the receiving end of a Banzai charge that will do them in.
Dead Men Wading
Even though most of the Marines are 'Dead Men Wading,' until they are dead, work each one for all their worth. If you're cringing behind the Seawall or trying to move behind the Palm Trees for cover, your not doing your job.
Don't forget to spread the waders out. Make a big amorphous blob of Marines. Even halved (twice), they can generate some tremendous FP when there are enough of them. When you do get your Marines on the Beach/Hinterland, the Japanese player is going to start sweating. Does he deal with the toehold, or still work the CVPs? Yes, when you are first on the Beach, you will probably be outnumbered at the point of attack, but if the Japanese player is spending time dealing with the toehold, more of your guys are getting to the beach. Remember, if he banzais you, kill his leader! He'll run out before you do!
Another item that could help the Marine on the reef initially will be the placement of the Tarawa Naval Bombardments. Obvious targets are the Singapore Guns at the Bird's Head and even more tempting now that there may be four of those bad boys on Betio. However, leave them for the Flyboys. The Bombardment will not do much to the Japanese defense, except take down some Palm Trees. You may get lucky. Don't count on it. But the primary benefit will be the initial smoke and proper placement will be important in your plans to get to the beach.
There it is! Once you get on the beach, it's pay back time!
The fun starts here!
Good luck, Marine!
Notes About Weapons
Good: the rapid fire weapons; you need lots of rate to shootup the stuff in the bay.
Good: the Twin 12.7s; 12 FP out to 16 hexes 2 ROF with IFE; they can stun the LVTs where the driver is always CE.Good: the 75 AA; 2 ROF; to touch is to kill and has an excellent chance to kill Shermans. The 37L is preferable to the 37*; it is an L weapon, nicer for Long range fire; 9 TK will toast the LVTs and may knock out Stuarts; 3 ROF and it gets an acquired (which the 37* doesn't) 50 cal. and HMGs; 'nuff said; mow 'em down in the water.
Tetrahedrons with only the inherent AB mine and no wire; some would rather spend the FFP on the island fortifying buildings; getting trenches and bombproofs to build hedgehogs inland; as well as to link PBs on the beachline.
Put wire on the beach at the most places he would like to land (at the base of the pier and at the beak).
You need to spend some FPPs on water obstacles. But as far as bang for the buck goes, consider hinterland fortifications, especially bombproofs, trenches and pillboxes. Tetrahedrons, partially, and wire, especially, are relatively easy for the Marine player to either bypass or run straight through while wading through the lagoon. Think about it: why would a Marine squad NOT run through the wire? Because he might get shot at? But he's just as likely to get shot here as he is there! So screw it, run 'em through the wire! There's hundreds of other targets out there receiving fire as well, so its not a big deal what this one unit does. Now tetras can be a tad scarier for vehicles because the mines are hidden. Thus, it may force a few vehicles to go around - plan on having them move straight into your kill zone! Some Marine players would not hesitate to run right through them if they had to. If there were some mines that way, well. Anyway, tetrahedrons plus wire are a pretty good buy. With the above in mind water obstacles should be purchased, but kept to a minimum.
The most important use for FPPs is on land. You must, simply MUST, use a large percentage of these to create fortified areas around the island. Donít put them in places where the Marine player can sneak up on them and take them out with DC, FT and CC. Thus, the bird's beak and breast are both bad places. The middle of the airfield is a great place. The area behind the trenches, over by the 8-inchers is also great. If you are playing CG III, you have to put more than one to the east of the Red Three landing area, place them towards the tail.
Imagine this in the middle of the airfield: two bombproofs, two trenches and a 1+3+5 pillbox, all connected because of the trenches. Isn't there a building there too? OK, so make the trenches adjacent to that as well. What you now have are six independent locations which you can fill with crewed MGs, leaders and squads able not only to fire but to banzai as well, not to mention HTH to ward off tanks stupid enough to get close. Now, you may be telling yourself "this is easily suppressed by NOBA and a concerted push by the Marines - 668s are supermen." You may be right. But this is only one of many on the island, and the concerted effort to take this fortified complex will be receiving flanking fire from the other complexes. Plus, it will take time, and time is not endless - this is not Red Barricades. All it takes is Japanese Control of one of these complexes at game end for the Japanese to win the CG.
This forces the Japanese player during setup to think about not only the beach landing, but about the fight for the hinterland as well. You want to make the decision-making process for the Marine as difficult as possible. Which complex will he take first? Second? Two at one time? Sound familiar? Sort of like the Red Barricades fights for geographically strategic buildings with legendary names like the Chemist's Shop, the Commissar's House, the Bread Factory... only in BRT the Japanese player decides himself where the Commissar's House will go. Creative use of these complexes can give the Marine a severe headache later on.