The weather improves to allow flight, and the UN player wins the initiative. He chooses to go first so that he can retreat to better positions and recover from the DG that the communists inflicted last turn.
The 3rd Division's tanks and trucks, as well as a French regiment are received in Japan, but no variable reinforcements.
The UN troops fall back to the Han, and a couple of hedgehogs are built at Kimpo airfield and the hex just East of Seoul to bolster the defences. Reinforcements are shipped into Inchon and more supply ferried in by plane and sea.
The communists gain 1 Pax and 3SP. The troops press forward against the new defensive position, and there is even opportunity to create a reserve stack of a Chinese division and NKA tank battalion just South of Munsan-ni, ready to exploit any gaps that might be opened. The UN unleashes his airpower. Strikes from the Valley Forge DG a stack and cause a step loss in the west, while further attacks from 3 squadrons at Kimpo (who rebase to P’yongt’aek 50 miles to the South after attacking) and 1 based in Japan succeed in disorganising another 4 stacks in the centre and east. This still leaves 9 squadrons in reserve in case of a communist double turn. Reserve artillery in Seoul blasts another stack facing the city and damages the Chinese 79th Division. The communist player is unable to see any prospects for decent attack odds even if his artillery were successful, so refrains from any attacks this turn.
The weather remains good and the communists win the initiative. There isn’t much to be gained from taking a double turn now, as the UN still has plenty of airpower in reserve and the last turn created no opportunities to take advantage of. He decides he make the UN player go first.
The UN player rolls another wash for variable reinforcements. He tidies up the line where possible, moving artillery back out of enemy ZoC and putting more armour into reserve. He really needs to have a couple of brigades reinforcing the east, but there is nothing to spare. One of the ROK brigades on the eastern coast road shifts to free the battered ROK 7th Division to move North from Hoengsong, but that is the best he can do.
The communists also get no reinforcements and 3 SP. Two Pax near Kaesong are used to add another step to the 119th Division. More reserves are created behind the front line West of Seoul, and the IX Army Corps moves to engage the ROK in the East, with one division outflanking the line where the river is undefended. The problem with attacks on this front is the lack of supporting artillery. Only a single regiment is available to attempt to disorganise the defenders.
UN air barrages strike all along the line. A squadron of F4s from Japan is reduced by flak but 7 stacks are affected by DG results. The only Chinese artillery barrage is against the ROK in the East, and succeeds in a DG against the ROK 3rd Division. Three Chinese Divisions attack the 3rd, gaining 6 column shifts for surprise with a lucky roll. The combat results in the 3rd reeling back 2 hexes with a step loss, and another Chinese division crosses the river in pursuit.
The weather turns bad again, and the communist player rubs in hands. The UN player wins the initiative and chooses to go first in order to withdraw in the East before he can be enveloped.
Another turn of no replacements for the UN. The Eastern ROK forces pull back to the line of the Han. 2 SP in Ch’unch’on are evacuated by truck. Of the remaining 2 tokens, 1 is blown and the other abandoned to the oncoming Chinese. US IXth Corps HQ in Seoul relocates to P’yongt’aek airfield in the rear.
The communists gain 2 Pax and 4 SP. Chinese forrces move forward to the new line in the East, and HQs are added to the front lines in order to add their Flak modifiers against any future air attacks. The Chinese cavalry unit is placed in reserve in hex 3712, threatening to overrun any undefended UN positions in the rear if a gap should be opened. There is a similar reserve comprising a motorised regiment and a tank battalion in the west, south of Munsan-ni. The UN player now has to allocate his reserve artillery barrages as best he can to reduce the number of potential communist attacks. In the East he has nothing in support anyway. In the West there is the largest barrage of the war so far, consuming 5.2 SP, and succeeding in disorganising 6 communist stacks with the loss of 5 troop steps, including the complete loss of the 2 AR 196th Division.
The Chinese attacks go in against the ROK in the East. Artillery prep is ineffective, but the communists decide on mass attacks across the river, as the ROK are thinly stacked, and any loss will open up gaps. The ROK lose an already battered division and an additional step, and are forced back from the river line in 3 separate attacks, allowing the Chinese to force a crossing at the cost of 2 attacking steps. There is no opportunity for the reserve cavalry to achieve anything useful, so they remain uncommitted.
Both sides have used a lot of supply this turn. Currently the communists have 28.1 SP, but all of it currently out of reach of the IX Army Corps who are making progress in the East. The UN has 18.3 SP.
The weather clears and the communists win the initiative. They decide to go first to try and take advantage of the previous successes in the east. The UN now has his airpower back, but most of his artillery has already been used and is no longer in reserve. The communist hopes that the UN will be unable to hit enough stacks to prevent at least a few more attacks this turn. There are no VPs awarded for the start of December, as the front line has shifted south of the Kansas Line (which the UN benefits from holding), but is still north of the Wonju Line (which the communists benefit from holding). If the line remained static for the next 7 months the communists would win, as they currently have 4VPs.
The communists get a Russian MiG-15 reinforcement, 1 Pax and the maximum possible 6 SP. The elite 119th Division is brought back to full strength. Trucks ferry supply from P’yongyang and Yonch’on to the dump at Hach’on, in the East, where they can be used to support the IX Army Corps’s push. Units of the IX spread out and begin to envelop the flanks of the ROK line facing them.
The UN releases 2 battalions of reserve tanks and moves then in combat mode to face the stack headed by the 26th Army HQ. Airstrikes are ordered all along the line, with every single UN squadron in the air. The results are shown below.
No casualties were caused. Airpower is the equal of artillery for creating DG results, but if you want to maximise enemy casualties you need to fork out the SP and send the big guns to work. Chinese artillery opens fire on Kimpo airfield, reducing its capacity from 2 to 1, but failing to damage any of the planes based there with 3 50% chances. Time for them to be pulled away from the front line! In the East, even though suffering from DG, Chinese artillery gets a DG result against the defenders of Hongch’on. Attacks take Hongch’on at the cost of an attacking step. The ROK 7th Division is also forced to retreat, but again this costs the Chinese a step. Any further attacks are deemed too risky.
The UN player refits his aircraft and again fails to gain any replacements. He builds 2 more hedgehogs east and west of Seoul, with the intent of being able to pull a couple of units out from under the hogs to send to reinforce the ROK in the east. A couple of breakdown regiments garrisoning Pusan are railed forward to Wonju to protect the US HQ there. The UN combat phase begins with air barrages to soften up potential targets.
The squadrons from Kimpo attack the Chinese 26th Army HQ, but fail to get a result and lose a damaged half squadron of F-51s to flak. The survivors rebase in Japan. An attack on the 60th Division also fails, as does a ROK artillery barrage against the 89th Division. The UN goes ahead with the attack on the HQ anyway. The results are poor. The Marine tank battalion is lost and the other attacking units retreat.
No more stones. No more spears. No more slings. No more swords. No more weapons! NO MORE SYSTEMS!
You can fire your arrows from the Tower of Babel, but you can never strike God!
I love these! Makes me super excited I pre-ordered the reprint
It was partly the announcement of the reprint that made me go back and continue the replay - that and I finally finished my Steel Wolves campaign after 8 months!