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ATS Blood & Iron
ATS Blood & Iron
by Critical Hit, Inc. (2005)
Player Count

Player Ages

Playing Time
2 hours
  • Wargame
  • World War II
  • Designers
  • Ray Tapio
  • Mechanisms
  • Hex-and-Counter
  • Family
  • Advanced Tobruk System
  • Player Count: Two Player Only Games
  • Rating: 7.44/10 from 16 users


    From the publisher's website:

    ITEM POCKET, OKINAWA, 20 April 1944: As the afternoon wore on with ‘G’ Company unable to release the Japanese grip on the Pocket, Lieutenant Colonel McDonough decided to send up ‘E’ Company. At 1350 hours the company commander, Captain George R. J. Weigand, was ordered to move up between the two ridges, then turn left, using Fox Ridge as cover. The goal of the onslaught was Ryan’s Ridge, or alternately the road cut west of Gusukuma. It was still assumed at that point that contact could be established with 1st Battalion. Weigand completed passing through Ryan’s left flank and attacked east toward the crest of Ryan’s Ridge, heading toward what the Company Commander thought would be a covered route to the top of the ridge. Weigand attacked in platoons, moving to the point with 3rd Platoon, under command of Technical Sergeant Ernest L. Shoeff. This platoon would find itself attacking alone, after a storm of enemy machine-gun and mortar fire forced the rest of the company to ground. Weigand, Shoeff, and two squads kept moving forward, using tombs at the foot of the hill for cover. Orders were communicated to Weigand by a runner: extend the line at all costs. The Captain and two men soon found themselves cut off from Shoeff and the remainder of the main body. For the rest of the afternoon the company commander was under constant fire and out of communications with everyone. After dark Weigand managed to make his way back to Fox Ridge and rejoin his company. His uniform was shot full of holes but Weigand returned uninjured.

    ATS BLOOD & IRON is the new COMPLETE GAME that depicts the battle for Okinawa. The center of the Japanese resistance in the area lay in the “I” section of Target Area 7777, which came to be called “Item Pocket”—in military terminology I is called Item. The pocket was the hub of the enemy position; from it, like spokes on a giant wheel, extended four low ridges, separated from each other by ravines and rice paddies. Potter’s Ridge ran north from the hub, Charlie Ridge to the northeast, Gusukuma Ridge to the southeast, and Ryan Ridge to the southwest. Lying between Gusukuma and Charlie Ridges and sloping to the east was a cone-shaped hill called by the Americans “Brewer’s Hill.” A gulch ran along each side of the hill—Anderson’s Gulch on the north and Dead Horse Gulch on the south. Both ran in an easterly direction, crossing Route 1 at small bridges just north of Gusukuma. The ground was superbly suited for active defense. Typical Japanese positions were connected by tunnels along the sides and under the crests of the ridges; Ryan Ridge, in particular, was honeycombed with such defenses. From Item Pocket the enemy had excellent command both of the coastal areas to the north and west and the open land to the east where Route 1 ran north-south. The Japanese had long been aware of the defensive value of this position against either a beach landing on the northwest or an attack from the north. Months before the Americans landed, Japanese troops and Okinawan laborers were boring tunnels and establishing elaborate living quarters and aid stations. The area was held by two companies of the 21st Independent Infantry Battalion of the 64th Brigade, 62nd Division, supported by an antitank company, a machine gun company, and elements of antiaircraft, artillery, and mortar units. At least 600 Japanese occupied the Pocket, reinforced by several hundred Okinawans.
    · A collection of 517 color, die-cut counters representing the US Army and Japanese combatants that fought in the battle;
    · SIX scenarios, ranging in size from small to large, that play on the historical map;
    · A 22 x 34 color map of the ITEM POCKET battlefield on heavyweight stock;
    · A complete ATS system rulebook tailored specifically to the game;
    · Six Play Aid Cards;
    · Battlefield Walkaround and Special Rules document (an ATS specialty!)
    · A color cover (perfect for your rules binder) and a snazzy ziplock bag to hold it all.

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