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Subject: Advanced Scenario: Tactical Surprise (GT1) rss

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Here we go! As an Initiative Turn, GT 1 is a long and bloody affair with the DPRK pushing into the South rapidly, trying to secure a clear avenue to Seoul while either destroying or isolating ROK defenders.

As a solo game my first action was to determine a general plan for each side to follow.

For the DPRK I determined there would be two axes of attack - the first would be straight south through the town of Munsan towards Seoul while the second would be a flanking attack down the highway leading southwest from the town of Yongyang. The Youngyang effort was meant to isolate the ROK V Corps by pushing toward Uijeongbu and bringing Light Infantry Brigades in to complete their encirclement. Their marine forces were to be used as raiding forces to do spoiling attacks to divert the ROK and harm their ability to do war.

In the the air they would challenge the Allies as much as possible for air superiority to drive the US AWACs advantage down until the PRC air units begin to arrive. Strike aircraft would be utilized where advantageous, but mostly for CAS. SCUDs would be used as the primary method of striking strategic targets with SOF raids augmenting the damage they do. On that topic, SOF are primarily used for locating HQs and raids.

For the Allies the ground effort was focused on sealing DPRK breakthroughs, force protection and blunting their initiative by denying VP opportunities. Being significantly outnumbered, every combat unit they could keep in the line would be needed. On the other hand they have to slow the DPRK advance long enough for reinforcements to arrive with little strategic depth to do so. Special Forces would spend their efforts either detecting and targetting enemy HQs or raiding the DPRK's air detection system to aid an eventual air campaign to disable it. However as SCUDs began to rain down it was obvious hunting them would be a role for them as well.

On the ocean the US would need to secure the seas to deny their access to the enemy and eventually manage a counter-invasion by sea. The USMC would remain a floating reserve and make the NKs watch their coasts. However the entry of China into the war makes securing the sea zones, especially the Yellow Sea, much more challenging. Secondarily the USN would concentrate on establishing air superiority, degrading the DPRK's air defense system and damaging their ports to delay Chinese intervention.

In the air it would be about seizing air superiority, attriting the NK's air force and providing air support in the south. Pressure would start early on degrading the DPRK's air defense system once sufficient Wild Weasel and stealth assets were on hand. The obvious dictum was to go north of the DMZ while defenses were still strong only if the situation absolutely warranted it. The Allies would win or lose this war based on their air forces and could ill afford to squander them.

With these concepts in mind I began.

The NKs elected to invade in clear weather during the spring. While advantageous to the Allies it was good for their first turn as well and there's nothing like storms to slow down an advance. They launched a massive number of SOF activities across the ROK against ports, airbases and supply facilities. Their primary successes were destroying the port facilities at Incheon and Busan and suffering light casualties in return.

(Note - this scenario allows the DPRK a double dip of SOF missions in the first turn, the initial batch of which requires no survival rolls. In retrospect I would of used every SOF mission, especially that first guaranteed-survival round, exclusively for dangerous raids against airbases and ports. Collateral Damage is a great way to hit the Allied air units.)

With the pre-game SCUD and early SOF attacks in hand the Allies are compelled to move an additional 2 units of A-50 combat trainers and another F-15K to the Flown box. While it could of been worse, this along with the lack of USAF units in Japan on GT1 would make seizing air dominance from the North an arduous task indeed.

The battle for air superiority saw the North more successful than the Allied effort. Several KF-16 units were damaged and/or aborted though the ROKAF F-4 contingent did much better than expected. While many NK aircraft had been chased from the skies, either in flames or to hide, it wasn't enough. With a 3:1 advantage, the DPRK took Air Superiority and AWACs Advantage fell to 1.

Following their seizure of the air the North launched a series of air strikes throughout the ROK. Some were turned back but others got through, including a surprise airstrike on the forward based US 1/82ABN Bde, which took substantial casualties. A pattern emerged as a ring of destroyed or damaged airbases radiated away from Seoul, causing many attack helicopters to rebase further away.

As the tanks started to roll from their cantonments along the DMZ the intent of the general attack strategy, the push to Munsan and Yongyang, began to clarify. While forces moved into threatening postures on the Korean peninsula's east coast, there were no offensives there. The DPRK seemed content to keep the ROK corps there fixed in their defensive positions.

In the west several brigades of elite light infantry infiltrated the DMZ via tunnel, appearing behind many ROK formations and making an orderly fall back difficult. The town of Yongyang fell immediately and little stood between it and Uijeongbu, only a little more than 30 miles away. The ROK defenders along the DMZ just north of Munsan were also scattered.

Fearing that the ROK V Corps would be flanked from behind along the Yongyang highway the 20th Mechanized Division of the VIIth Corps moved rapidly out Seoul. They were able to put up hasty defensive positions at a highland crossroads just a few miles outside Yongyang and there they waited alone for the weight of the NK armored thrust to fall. Not far behind them was the lead combat element of the US 2ID.

[Note: Taking Yongyang was easy, my only concern had been that the unit defending it would survive somehow and slow down my drive forward. Next time I would put a strategic light infantry unit here to move in and prevent that from happening. However the Elite Reaction Movement Segment allowed the Allies to send an available unit with a high efficiency to place a roadblock on the Yongyang route. Next time I'd consider putting an Interdiction mission from SOF or air somewhere along that way to slow them down.]

Far to the north the DPRK marines took to their landing ships and along the front more guns and men continued to flow southward. The ROK V Corps HQ was attacked by forward NK units surging forward from Yongyang and though bloodied managed to evade destruction. Meanwhile its' subordinates and combat forces of the ROK I and VI Corps coordinated attacks against the light infantry blocking forces that had sprung up behind them, desperately trying to clear a way rearward before they were completely cut off by the NK advance. Miraculously, this effort succeeds and many intact ROK units withdraw toward friendly lines.

[Note: Well, my plan to isolate and destroy the ROK V Corps on GT1 failed. The HQ got away and the combat formations were able to destroy the light infantry I had snuck in behind them to block their retreat. Still, one of them had slowed down the US 1//2 Mech BCT from joining up with the ROK 20th Mech. All and all I was starting to think my tricky NK plan had been too ambitious...]

Strangely the skies were empty of Allied air power, though when they were needed for close air support they came with what they could. As GT 1 neared its' end the DRPK sent a powerful combat force across the river near Munsan, dangerously beyond their supply line, to put additional pressure on the valiant ROKs holding the beleaguered town, though it couldn't yet approach the town. Still, the other NK forces attacked over the river to keep pressure up on the garrison. But somehow, though at significant loss, the ROK men held out!

[Note: Negotiating the DPRK river crossing at Munsan is very tricky. You really need to think out how you're going to manage it well before you get there. Even with multiple HQ support and NK artillery bde support it is hard to generate the needed odds. And you need that town and it's bridge across the river for the push to Seoul.]

Near Yongyang the mighty NK 105th Armored Division and several attendant units crashed into the ROK 20th Mech's blocking position with wrathful fury. While driven back, the 20th survived what had appeared to be certain death. Confident in its' ability to fend off a counter attack only the 105th Armored advanced behind them.

[Note: Another flaw in the Yongyang gambit is the halving of mechanized units' attack strength in Highlands hexes. The ROK 20th was able to survive from the attack of an armored division, armored bde, mech inf bde and 2 infantry divisions all by itself. Had those mechanized units been at full strength, ay-yi-yi! This action and the one for Munsan is also where the ROK put its' best available CAS assets, which made a difference!]

Last but not least the DPRK Marines came ashore just outside Incheon, hoping to capture the port and nearby airfield. However a contingent of units converging on Seoul managed to fight them off and drive them back off their beach head.

Only a trio of Combat Outposts remained isolated, two of which surrendered, in the ROK V Corps original area of operations, the NKPA unsuccessful in trapping the whole corps there. Munsan still held but emergency resupply kept the enemy force coming up on their flank viable. On the Yongyang front, the battered V Corps had met up with the 20th Mech and the US 1/2 Mech BCT to form a front against the North's advance.

But the battle was far from over!

[Note: While I was able to get the ROK V Corps HQ back up to strength in the Reinforcement and Reconstitution Phase, I also repaired a couple of facilities - Busan's port and an airbase near Seoul. Sort of a mistake, since when repaired they come back at Strike 2 level. This makes them vulnerable to repeated destruction later, as we will see...]

At the end of GT1
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