Banzai attacks (or in the case of the scenario that we were playing “Shattered Jewels” it was referred to as Gyokusai or “death charge”) in Saipan The Bloody Rock from Compass Games are very brutal but have an intimate feel similar to tactical war games I have played such as Combat Commander. This was surprising to me as the game uses a Company Scale System and is much bigger than those tactical games.

Banzai attacks are a type of Prepared Assault in the game and require the Japanese player to place a marker on their attacking stack. The Banzai Attack adds to their defensive value (adding in this system is bad on defense as it makes you easier to hit) giving the attacker +3 to attack but also gives the Japanese attack more power (the same +3 will be added to their Troop Quality). The presence of a Leader in Banzai attacks is a good thing as well as it allows the DGs taken in the attack to be halved. But the Leader must be the first unit killed.

Banzai attacks are odds based so you compare your units to the number of defending units. The greater your odds, such as when you have a 4-1 or 5-1, you will gain a +1 or +2 to the attack but it is possible to have negative modifiers if outnumbered. After figuring all modifiers, the opponents do a modified roll off with the highest roll considered the victor and simply inflicting Disorganized Markers or DGs according to the difference in rolls. In the picture above, you can see that the Japanese rolled a 0, which was modified to a 6 as compared to the American roll of 5 which was modified to a 10. So you take the 10-6 to come up with 4 DGs but then this result is halved ending in a total of 2 unit eliminations for the Japanese. I know it might seem involved but once you get the system down, it really becomes pretty intuitive and most importantly is fun and as I said before, has the intimate in your face feeling of a smaller tactical game.

The forgoeing situation aside, most of the Banzai attacks from the Japanese during our play inflicted considerable losses on my units and it felt really bad. It almost seemed as if there was little I could do to stem the tide of Banzai after Banzai attack but ultimately I was able to inflict enough losses with Opportunity Fire, my naval bombardments and artillery fire to be victorious.