Gemencheh Bridge, Malaya, 14 January 1942: In Malaysia, intensive Japanese air attacks on Commonwealth troops added to the pressure of the Japanese advance down the western part of the peninsula. The British Command planned a series of delaying actions as the men of the III Indian Corps slowly retreated southwards into and through the lines established by the newly arrived Australians. Bridges along the road would be left intact to heighten the effect of disorganized flight by the Indian troops, but were actually meant to lull the Japanese into becoming over-confident and careless. Meanwhile an ambush was set up by the veteran 2/30th Battalion AIF, at a small wooded bridge over the Gemencheh River about seven miles west of Gemas. Shortly before 1600 on January 14, Japanese soldiers on bicycles passed through the ambush position while the Australians waited for the motorized transport section. Just a few minutes later another bicycle column began crossing the bridge, and the Australians decided that the ambush would be triggered by setting off the demolition charge under the bridge. The charge hurled timber, bicycles and bodies skyward in a very deadly and satisfying blast. Almost simultaneously, the three platoons of B Company hurled grenades among the enemy while sweeping the open area with fire from Bren guns, Tommy Guns and rifles. While attempting to call up artillery fire on the Japanese, the Australians realized that their field phone wire had been cut in some manner. While the lack of artillery was frustrating, there wasn’t much need of it, as the Japanese had been caught completely off-guard. The Commanding Officer now ordered the Australians to withdraw eastwards into the battalions positions at Gemas. During the withdrawal, some of the Australians squads ran into Japanese soldiers from the first bicycle unit that had been let through. Small individual skirmishes flared up and died down just as quickly, as the Australians made their return to the battalion that evening and night.
About a dozen years ago Total Pacific Theater Pack I crawled out of the jungle, not realizing the war was over. It apparently had survived on insects and lemon grass, with an occasional helping of brackish water. The year 2012 brings with it color die-cut counters, a new geomorphic board, new art, layout, and the usual errata/tweaks input and the result is DIGGER PACK I. The scenarios feature an Australian-laden bunch of actions and to bring it all together, you receive 296 counters for use with this product and ALL of your scenarios starring some of the best warriors this side of modernity. You also receive new markers including the Cleared Fire Zone (rules included) as well as a handful of other counters used in the scenarios.
DIGGER PACK I also includes a new PTO-themed geomorphic board that is used in a bunch of scenarios and replaced Board 37.