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Subject: A Novice plays "Militarized zone" rss

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Timo Kellomäki
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Hello.

I finally had some time to put my copy of NW: Korea on the table. The basic rules seemed complex enough for me to grasp, so I first tried one of the smaller scenarios and then the slightly larger "Militarized zone" that I describe here. I sadly don't have time to do a play-by-play report, but I hope the images tell most of the story.

I am playing solitaire. I was pretty unsure of some things (starting from which counters I'm supposed to include, since the scenarios don't use the exact text written on the counters), so I searched the forum for some answers. I still probably made many rule errors and even more bad decisions. Please, point them out (if you can spot any with the limited number of details being included).

I am playing with the optional supply rule. I first misunderstood that it should be applied continuously, since there is no mention on when it should be checked. I later found an answer from the forum that it should only be applied before the first movement phase of a turn. So ignore the couple of out of supply markers in the images, they did not have time to affect anything.

DPRK decides to attack in a good weather in the autumn. The dice give it 10 air points against ROK's 2, which results in air superiority. Thus ROK decides to pass all air activity for the turn, since getting destroyed seems more likely than doing anything useful. DPRK try an airdrop and a couple of airmobile moves. Many of them fail, but a couple of light infantries are put behind enemy lines. The situation looks like this before DPRK's first combat segment, with green arrows indicating attacks:



Many of the attacks are 3:1 with two shifts left from the fortress, one right from suprise and one right from efficiency advantage. With the tunnels and some heavy air support, the chances seem very good. And indeed, all attacks to tunnel hexes are successful, leaving ROK with many brigades less and DPRK with no losses whatsoever:



ROK reacts by moving a couple of units from Seoul to the front. DPRK decides to utilize the exploitation phase heavily despite the two column penalty:



This time the light infantries leading the charge are not as lucky as before, and many of them get eliminated, and no terrain is really gained. However, ROK takes a few step losses here and there (the losses so far are lined below the map phase-by-phase, though the 5/VI is in the wrong row):



Just as the situation looks hopeless for ROK, the reinforcements arrive! ROK uses its reaction movement to block the gaping holes in the front, which it manages to do only barely. The DPRK light infantry near Uijeongbu is eliminated in the reaction combat segment, but with an unlucky step loss for the Americans:



DPRK does not give up and attacks almost on the whole front on the normal combat segment:



Again only some heroic light infantries of DPRK die in exchange for several heavier ROK units (lined in the bottom). DPRK is already getting short of the 6 efficiency units due to always choosing one of them to lead the attack.



The front is not moved much, but ROK units are getting few. ROK again manages to barely patch the holes and decides not to push even the advantageous attacks, since losing even a single step would be critical.



Turn 2 promised to change things a bit, since ROK got 4 air points to DPRK's 3.

To be continued.
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It looks like the 820th Armor Corps has almost a clear shot to Seoul, albeit the nearby ROK mech divisions might slow it down and attrit it. It looks like you committed the 815th in 2nd Corps, otherwise it could have served as the second echelon to the 820th's penetration. Anyway, just moving the 820th will force some ROK units to come off the front line to counter attack, and then the entire ROK defense will start to crumble.
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great first turn AAR
enjoy the game!
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Timo Kellomäki
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Diggy18 wrote:
It looks like the 820th Armor Corps has almost a clear shit to Seoul, albeit the nearby ROK mech divisions might slow it down and attrit it. It looks like you committed the 815th in 2nd Corps, otherwise it could have served as the second echelon to the 820th's penetration.


Yes, the 815th was pretty much stuck, but I originally thought I'll need their power to cross the river. Anyway, the motorized units alone would have a hard time fighting in Seoul due to the halved attack and no +1 for mixing unit types in clearing operations. And the plan is to destroy everything

I later noticed that I changed hex control too early, it should have happened only at end of turn. I probably also forgot to pay the +1 movement cost for some DMZ hexes.
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Daemou wrote:
With the tunnels and some heavy air support, the chances seem very good


Man, the tunnels can make some ROK divisions to kick the bucket too early. I´ve decided lately to just do not put ROK units on the border and move them back to the second line of the DMZ during the set up moves. I´m still wondering if there is any danger in this.

Daemou wrote:
the 815th was pretty much stuck


Oh, those armored divisions always get stuck somewhere. Korea is not tank friendly exactly.
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Timo Kellomäki
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arubiero wrote:
Man, the tunnels can make some ROK divisions to kick the bucket too early. I´ve decided lately to just do not put ROK units on the border and move them back to the second line of the DMZ during the set up moves. I´m still wondering if there is any danger in this.


Am I right that by the official rules (standard) you aren't allowed to do that, since ROK units set up in the listed hexes and there is no movement segment until the units have already been butchered?

Based on my little experience, if it was allowed, I would also definitely not put any units on the border, since the tunnels are so deadly.
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Daemou wrote:
arubiero wrote:
Man, the tunnels can make some ROK divisions to kick the bucket too early. I´ve decided lately to just do not put ROK units on the border and move them back to the second line of the DMZ during the set up moves. I´m still wondering if there is any danger in this.


Am I right that by the official rules (standard) you aren't allowed to do that, since ROK units set up in the listed hexes and there is no movement segment until the units have already been butchered?

Based on my little experience, if it was allowed, I would also definitely not put any units on the border, since the tunnels are so deadly.


There is no pre-game movement allowed in the Standard scenarios; that is allowed in the Tactical Surprise and Extended Buildup scenarios. It would be a good house rule, though, for the "All In" scenario.

Operationally, it's a balancing act between giving the DPRK an easy advance through a portion of the DMZ and saving some valuable steps worth of troops for later.
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Timo Kellomäki
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
Operationally, it's a balancing act between giving the DPRK an easy advance through a portion of the DMZ and saving some valuable steps worth of troops for later.


Maybe my playthrough was a serious outlier or I did something very wrong, but it seems to me that ROK would need every surviving step much more than the DMZ hexes. Read the rest of my AAR below to see my biased experience Were I to try again, I would probably withdraw to Seoul as fast as possible to get the double defence from the urban hexes.

Sounds like the house rule described would also be good for replayability. But I think when I have time to return to the game, I'll go for the advanced rules anyway.
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Timo Kellomäki
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TURN 2

Turn 2 has clear weather just as the first one. DPRK gets unlucky in the air war and only gets 3 air points against ROK's 4, which means a contested turn.

DPRK tries to regroup the corps to maximize bonuses, but the bad terrain, river, and ZOCs in the Soul front limit this a bit. A light infantry continues to hold one of the ROK brigades (now really out of supply) a prisoner of ZOCs in the middle. Attacks again happen across the whole front, with a few leftovers from the V corps trying to eliminate an isolated unit behind the lines.



Both parties commit a lot of air resources especially near Seoul, but the helicopters mostly end up shot down and not many of the air points get there, either. There are many dead soldiers on the fields after the battles, but not much progress:



The casualties below the map don't look that positive to DPRK, with 4 light infantry units and two armored units gone, but notice that in addition to the two lost units, ROK also took step losses in 5 different combats. This sets the scene for a promising exploitation segment, since ROK has nothing to do in the elite reaction move segment. The exploits are profitable against all five reduced units around the front:



ROK desperately tries to protect the damaged units with helicopter support, but it is not enough. Half of the two-column shift is eaten by the typically lower efficiency of the reduced units, and the lowered defence values are even worse than that. With bad odds and no luck on the dice, all of the defending ROK units are eliminated:



This really breaks the backbone of the South Koreans, but they are still going to try. The rightmost part of the map is abandoned and most units retreat towards Seoul, since it is worth the most. Unfortunately, many of them are limited by the ZOCs caused by DPRK breakthroughs here and there. With lots of space to maneuver, the DPRK troops surround most of the remaining Southerners and attack for the third time on the turn. On the right there is no beneficial attack yet, since the mechanized units would need a road to attack to the mountain:



Many of the battles end up with losses 1:1, causing another 3 DPRK units with efficiency 6 to be lost. ROK is down to 6 units, with half of them reduced. Turns 3 and 4 will be a race toward Seoul.



ROK troops try to run for their lives. A couple find a fortress to cling on to, but there is little hope left.



DPRK reconstitutes an airborne unit for the saved two points. ROK sadly gets nothing.

TURN 3:

Since DPRK managed to gather more than 30 victory points, we are going to see another 3 attacks for DPRK this turn. Weather is overcast. Both sides get negligible air power after the points are divided by the weather. A contested air turn. Korean units in the rightmost area are out of supply.

There is an image missing, but all remaining units are attacked during the initiative combat. This includes the newly-rebuilt airborne unit doing what I think is the first successful airdrop of the game to surround a ROK unit in the south. Here are the results:



Two reduced units and an outpost left! The clearing of the first objective cities, Uijeongbu and Chuncheon, has begun.

All three remaining units are attacked and destroyed on the exploitation combat phase, while the non-ZOCed units run to clear Seoul:



But that's not all: DPRK still gets another movement segment, and the map is filled with yellow markers at end of turn (the ROK flags represent "walked over" towns that will change to DPRK control in the reorganization phase, as suggested by Adrian Hague). DPRK tries to get one of the very few remaining efficiency 6 units to the objective hexes, and dutifully mixes leg/motorized everywhere for the +1. Not all of Seoul's urban hexes can be occupied right away, as the river prevents bypassing non-controlled urban hexes.



It is still not an easy task, as only 5 of the 10 almost perfectly set up clearing operations succeed right away:

FIG 4

TURN 4:

DPRK received more than 40 victory points, so they don't have to worry about limited movement, as they get three segments for that. Well, nor do they have to worry about enemies As I understood, the clearing markers from the previous turn are not removed. This necessitates the DRPK units to leave all unresolved clearing operations with a 5 or 6, and re-enter them to hopefully draw better markers. DPRK has time to do this and still set up perfect clearing operations for the remaining 6 scenario point-awarding hexes (and a few more just for kicks):



Only 3 of the 6 are successful, but this still leaves DPRK with 10 scenario points (6+ being the best recognized victory category for them):



One thing learned from the last couple of turns is that clearing really takes some time (according to a quick calculating, about a 78 % success rate per turn with the perfect setup with eff 6 units - if the 3-6 markers are evenly distributed, I actually haven't checked). So even unopposed units will take a lot of time to gain control of the installations and cities!
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Re: Clearing Markers, this is clarified in the new rules (available via the support link):

8.4.1.3 Leaving a Clearing Marker: Units under a Clearing
Marker may withdraw from the hex by using their entire Movement
Allowance as long as the withdrawing units do not enter a
hex in an EZOC.

The marker may only be removed if all the units, as above, leave
the hex, all units under the marker are eliminated, or they successfully
conduct the Operation. A new Marker may not be placed in
the same turn one was removed.

This is a tough scenario because of the restrictions placed on the ROK units and the fact that they're missing some reinforcements they might otherwise get in a full game.
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Timo Kellomäki
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
clarified in the new rules (available via the support link)


Hmm, I found the OneDrive folder with NWxx_Rulesv2.1 via GMT's site, but it doesn't seem to have this clarification. Is there another file somewhere?

Toadkillerdog wrote:
A new Marker may not be placed in the same turn one was removed.


OK, this would have made things a bit harder, maybe earning 1-2 points less for DPRK. It's kind of funny that even by eliminating every ROK unit on turn 3, the best scenario result was still not guaranteed for DPRK due to the clearing mechanic.

Toadkillerdog wrote:
This is a tough scenario because of the restrictions placed on the ROK units and the fact that they're missing some reinforcements they might otherwise get in a full game.


It was interesting nevertheless, and worked quite well as solitaire for learning the rules. I can imagine being quite disappointed if I was playing as ROK against somebody, though.
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The new rules are in the main folder and are designated NWxx_Rules.v3.0.

You can also find the new Advanced Play Aid, Advanced SOP, Standard SOP, Terrain Effects Chart, and Master Allied Reinforcement Table as well.

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Daemou wrote:

Toadkillerdog wrote:
This is a tough scenario because of the restrictions placed on the ROK units and the fact that they're missing some reinforcements they might otherwise get in a full game.


It was interesting nevertheless, and worked quite well as solitaire for learning the rules. I can imagine being quite disappointed if I was playing as ROK against somebody, though.


Much of it depends on the die rolls, of course. The first five scenarios are intended to be training scenarios. Conducting a skillful defense as the ROK is an art form. :-)
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
The new rules are in the main folder and are designated NWxx_Rules.v3.0.


Thanks, of course. I just instantly clicked on the NW Korea folder. Maybe those old rules should be removed from there, or do they have a purpose?
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No purpose really other than history. :-)
 
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Some other things to remember is that fortification hexes (including DMZ) deny a second hex of advance and units in a ZOC can't move in the Exploitation Phase. I can't really tell from the pictures and narrative, but it seems that perhaps these weren't taken into account?
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
Some other things to remember is that fortification hexes (including DMZ) deny a second hex of advance and units in a ZOC can't move in the Exploitation Phase. I can't really tell from the pictures and narrative, but it seems that perhaps these weren't taken into account?


The limited movement in the exploitation phase was taken into account, and I was also aware of the other rule. But as I mentioned, in the beginning I changed control of the hexes on the same turn, and at least once double-advanced to such a hex.

Reading the 3.0 rules now, I found a big mistake: I forgot to pay +1 movement for entering/leaving EZOCs. This affects things less than it might sound, since most of the times the units had extra movement points, already had friendly units in the target hexes or just used the always-move-1 rule. But DPRK definitely got some advantage from this.
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Ah, yes, I recall your mention of the hex control stuff. That would have a big implication in the Advanced Game with its two Supply Phases. Plus, there's no road movement through a Fortification hex (unless it's friendly controlled) and the DMZ hexes incur another +1 until friendly-controlled (which makes them exceedingly difficult to move through).

Edit: Also, on the +1 MP for entering/leaving ZOC. That's for the first or last unit to do so.
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By the way, does the rule of single corp units getting no penalties from overstacking (8.1.1.1) also mean that they can all attack from the hex, since that limitation is listed as an adverse effect of overstacking? This would give 30-40 attack power from a single hex, which sounds sick.
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Daemou wrote:
By the way, does the rule of single corp units getting no penalties from overstacking (8.1.1.1) also mean that they can all attack from the hex, since that limitation is listed as an adverse effect of overstacking? This would give 30-40 attack power from a single hex, which sounds sick.


It's a single divisional Formation, not a single Corps, but yes, they are not penalized since they are not overstacked. I can see that I'll need to issue a clarification on that since the rule is not entirely clear.

Edit: • (Clarification) 8.1.1.1 – Although this rule references units with same “higher Formation designation”, it is meant to be read in its entirety. That is, only a divisional Formation, which is made up of brigades, regiments, and/or battalions, all having the same higher Formation designation are eligible to stack under this rule. In addition, they suffer no penalties for doing so since they are, by rule, not over-stacked.

Edit 2: Note that this rule will only apply to the US formations and Chinese and Russian airborne divisions in Next War: Korea.
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
(Clarification) 8.1.1.1 – Although this rule references units with same “higher Formation designation”, it is meant to be read in its entirety. That is, only a divisional Formation, which is made up of brigades, regiments, and/or battalions, all having the same higher Formation designation are eligible to stack under this rule. In addition, they suffer no penalties for doing so since they are, by rule, not over-stacked.


Thanks, this made it clear. And special thanks for the excellent support you've shown today!
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Daemou wrote:
Toadkillerdog wrote:
(Clarification) 8.1.1.1 – Although this rule references units with same “higher Formation designation”, it is meant to be read in its entirety. That is, only a divisional Formation, which is made up of brigades, regiments, and/or battalions, all having the same higher Formation designation are eligible to stack under this rule. In addition, they suffer no penalties for doing so since they are, by rule, not over-stacked.


Thanks, this made it clear. And special thanks for the excellent support you've shown today!


My pleasure. It makes me want to play "Militarized Zone" again!

Also, you can look at 2.2 under "Ground Unit Sizes". Even though that technically applies to the individual units, if the HQ has a "XX" symbol, that means it's the HQ for a division and it's subordinate units would qualify for 8.1.1.1.
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Toadkillerdog wrote:
Edit 2: Note that this rule will only apply to the US formations and Chinese and Russian airborne divisions in Next War: Korea.


Hmm. Without your comment, I would have thought that DPRK 805 and 816 are such divisional formations. But now I notice that the HQ:s (that are not included in the standard game) of those are marked as corps. Is that how I should tell these apart, or is there some other reason why this does not apply to DPRK?

Edit: got answered by a simultaneous post.
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Daemou wrote:
Toadkillerdog wrote:
Edit 2: Note that this rule will only apply to the US formations and Chinese and Russian airborne divisions in Next War: Korea.


Hmm. Without your comment, I would have thought that DPRK 805 and 816 are such divisional formations. But now I notice that the HQ:s (that are not included in the standard game) of those are marked as corps. Is that how I should tell these apart, or is there some other reason why this does not apply to DPRK?


Yes, that's how you should tell them apart.

I can see that, once again, I assumed some things as part of that rule.

The DPRK refers to that formation as a Corps rather than a division most likely because there are so many brigades in it. It could also be an attempt at misdirection.
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The following Formations qualify as divisional:

U.S.
1
1C
2
3
10 Mtn
25
82
101

Edit: to reflect the nature of the U.S. command structure, players could use an optional rule allowing any 4 BCTs + an HQ to stack under 8.1.1.1 regardless of Formation designation.

Russian
96 Gds
103 Gds

PRC
1
1 Mar
2
10
43 Abn
44 Abn
45 Abn
91
92
121
123
124
127
163
164 Mar


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