The Korean War – Advanced Campaign: A Brief Snapshot

Here we are after the end of turn 3 in the full campaign game of Victory Games’ The Korean War.  I just started this game today and it will be on the dining table either until the bitter end or until my wife gets fed up with it.  Apologies if my updates cut short.

Campaign Game – End of turn 3

So far the game has been extremely close.  Bad luck for the UN started on turn 2 when the North Koreans captured Seoul in the first action phase and then took Taegu unopposed in the second.   This was due to some real poor UN planning for the defense around Pusan.  Also, the UN player had decided to try and hang on to the cities in the west rather than pull ROK forces back further towards the southern end of the peninsula and help defend the roads.  By the end of turn 2, the North Korean player had a choice:  try and make a run for Pusan and win an immediate victory if captured OR try to take the cities on the west and grab everything but Pusan and win a military victory.

ROK regiments are entrenched and holding firm in the west.

Turn 3 began and the North Korean player, facing some stiff defenses in the west of the country (Taejon with 3 ROK regiments in improved positions and Chonju with two ROK regiments and fortifications), decided to go for the throat and grab Pusan for a quick win.  The road south from Taegu lay dangerously open and undefended.  It would only be a matter of applying enough pressure and Pusan would surely crack like an egg.

The first action phase of turn 3 started with the North Koreans getting enough supplies for a limited commitment but the UN player rolled disastrously low for the supply check in the Pusan depot and this kept all the units in and around Pusan on a restricted commitment (defense values halved).   Marines swept into Masan to the west of Pusan while the 1st Cavalry Division landed just east of the port and prepared for the worst.  The North Koreans had brushed aside a token US regiment rushed up the road towards Taegu to stall the North Korean advance.  By the end of the action phase, One NK division was adjacent to Pusan while two others were only one hex away from it.

The second action phase began and the NK player found himself quickly in trouble as the depot in Taegu suddenly found itself out of supplies (restricted commitment).  The UN player managed a limited commitment from the depot in Pusan and now the tide had turned.  With fresh reinforcements (two regiments with armor assets) to reinforce the US regiment already there, the UN counterattacked three successive times using armor and air support.  Two of the attacks resulted in a roll of “9” with a modified die roll of 14.  This completely devastated the NK divisions near the port.  Only a single reduced North Korean division (RPL2) managed a successful retreat from the fighting as the UN took the opportunity to bolster its defense around Pusan.  The US Marines in Masan were committed to chasing the retreating NK division back north towards Taegu and yet another roll of “9” on the combat dice resulted in a complete elimination of the North Koreans.  The Marines took back Taegu and a defense around this city was planned for the next turn.  Having fought at the gates of Pusan for nearly a month, the end of August 1950 saw the tattered UN defenders at last gain some desperately needed breathing space.

UN defenders have eliminated or pushed back the attacking NK forces by the end of turn 3.

Couple of interesting things so far:  I’ve kept the UN Mobilization level at 2 and the Rules of Engagement very strict at 1 (this means bombing north of the 38th parallel is a no-no for the UN planes).  Initial Commitment level was 3, which means that I’ve got a pretty decent level of reinforcements coming in but probably nowhere near enough to start taking the war into North Korea.  I’ll probably have to escalate, which will likely cause an increase on the Global Tension Level.  The current Global Tension Level is safely at 0 right now and this is a very good thing because if it gets to 7(as a result of the UN player’s commitment, mobilization, and ROE) then WW3 starts and it’s game over.

Update:  The UN player spent turn 4 clearing away the remnants of the NK forces around Pusan while Taejon fell to the North Koreans over on the west side of the peninsula. Now that the American forces are freed up in the east around Pusan, they can advance up the coast towards the border.

I decided to make a couple of amphibious landings this turn.  A North Korean division was hanging around Incheon so a Marine landing there was out of the question.  Instead, I sent two USMC regiments to land in Hannae, which is located along the west coast sort of south of Seoul and north of Chonju.  The Marines should be able to mop up in the west with the help of some ROK regiments and a Commonwealth regiment.

So far the UN has only 38 victory points.  I have no idea if that’s good or bad at this point since it’s my first game but less than 99 points is an NK decisive victory so I might not be moving fast enough.  To help speed things up, I’ve called in help from Nationalist Chinese forces (3 divisions arrived in the second action phase of turn 4), which may up the global tension in the next turn.  It was either that or an increase in mobilization level and a three turn wait for my next set of reinforcements.  The Communist Chinese are going to be really angry at that…

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