FT SmR1 Mired – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT SmR1 Mired – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

ASL Scenario Setup

The KPA (North Koreans) wins immediately by amassing more than 30 CVP (56% of KMC CVPs / 46CVP ground forces + 8 CVP air support).

The KPA can also win at game end if they can stop the Korean Marine Corps (South Koreans) from

  • Controlling 1 or more of 3 Hilltop Defensive Perimeters (“HDP”), which are the hilltop areas outlined in color. You should see 4 outlined hilltops on the map but the 2 on the left are considered the same area.
  • Exiting over 18 Exit VPs down the bottom edge. The KMC carries 46 CVPs, which means we need to kill, break or delay 28 CVPs or 61% of the KMC OB.
  • Inflict over 30 CVP on the KPA. The KPA has 44 CVP, so 32% has to survive.

The KPA has more long-range weapons than the KMC. They have a small window (probably 3 turns) to inflict as much casualties as possible on the KMC from the start to when the KMC Air Support / OBA comes into play and when the infantry finally comes into range. The KMC has an OBA with an Offboard Observer (auto Radio Contact) at Level 5 and 4 planes with rockets, bombs & 12FP MGs for 4 turns out of 8.5. Any sort of KPA movement won’t be possible for half of the game. We expect to have to fight in place. All Fortifications would be on HDPs.

Given these factors, the KPA’s best bet seemed to be to amass all the range weapons onto the HDP Fortifications. Their goal would be to deplete the KMC numbers as quickly as possible before US Airpower and SW malfunctions wipe out their toys. They would also need to keep the KMC outside of 5 hexes for as long as possible by keeping them off Open Ground (and in Rice Paddies) where they would always be mindful of the Infiltration (HIP’d) units.

If the KMC gets to a position where it can exit 18 VPs down the bottom edge, chances are it will have captured at least one of the HDPs.

They can either hold till Game End or push ahead and exit VPs. Either way, they might continue to lose CVPs (especially if the KPA OBA remains operational). There might be KPA counterattacks, although the KMC will be in Fortifications this time. All considerations seem to point towards a HDP focused setup that puts all the KPA firepower upfront and in Fortifications since it won’t be a fighting withdrawal.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT SmR1 Mired After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

So the KPA put all the range weapons up on HDPs. The easiest HDP to take is the second (2 hex one) from the left. It has the best covered approach, and I didn’t cover that as well as I should. Our Infiltration teams were HIP’d very close to our positions. Given the lack of manpower, to use them as speed bumps would be a waste. At least this way, the KMC would look for HIP units around the rice paddies longer. Most of our Boresights were not on the elevated road/ rail, as we did not expect the KMC to use them. Our Observer was the leader from the Infiltration units so he’s HIP’d on the leftmost HDP with limited LOS to the village and to the “easy” HDP. We put our 45LL ROF 3 Gun on the right flank behind the Sparse Woods, expecting serious Pointblank shots. Unfortunately, I misunderstood Sparse Woods and thought I had LOS to the Open Ground beyond where I put its BS (illusions of ITT CH abound). That was not to be. An Infiltrating unit with an LMG held our left flank.

The KMC moved forward in a mass of HSs, putting most of its weight on the covered approach on my right. I immediately saw the errors in my ways, but there’s no second chance in ASL. Our range weapons started shooting almost immediately. It’s now or our peace would forever be held upon us.

FT SmR1 Mired After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

Turn 3 and “The Death Rattlers” were in the air. Two of them immediately took out our HMG. We were resisting the KMC HSs on the left and in the center. The KMC on the right was unfortunately streaming into the village, mindful only of our HIP units and our pair of mutually supporting but retreating Dummies. Our Observer called in a Harassing Fire mission on the village, which was akin to telling my opponent that there were no HIP units in the area. Our OBA was the 70mm variety, so it’s just 2+2 on the Thatched Roof Wood Buildings.  It made the KMC go around though, the dice gods were not to be tempted.

FT SmR1 Mired After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The Death Rattlers were on us both in their Prep Fire and in our Movement/ Defensive Final Phase.  Our 9-1 who had a memorable time with the HMG died of lead poisoning from a sniper. The valiant fighters on the middle two hilltops were all broken or dead. An Infiltrator at the second from the left hilltop sprang up and offered some point blank shots after the Dummy units moved (and faded away). The KMC OBA was finishing what the Corsairs started there. Our unfailing Harassing Fire missions protected our (now almost deserted) second from the right HDP. A pair of KMC HS came around from the back, unfortunately. The rightmost HDP tried to keep the wolves off them as much as they could from across the road. Our AT sprung into action, but we weren’t the best against the KMC at close quarters. The lights got dimmer.

FT SmR1 Mired After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

KMC Turn 6 and two of The Death Rattlers had one more attack (the Strafing was worse than the Bombing / Rockets). The hilltops on the flanks were barely holding. We even had a couple of rallies for the last hurrah. The Observer, who boasted that his momma gave him no Red chits, finally lost contact with the battery. The KMC was kicking down the two hilltops in the middle.

FT SmR1 Mired After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The KMC broke through to our two hilltops in the middle. They broke most of our chaps at this stage and we simply didn’t have the strength to put together a counterattack to take a HDP back. The KPA conceded and the door to Seoul got kicked in at a cost of 18 KMC CVP.

PS If you are playing this as well, note that Foxholes (of which we had 6) actually offer a -1 Rallying Bonus when on HDP’s (Sm2.4). Something we missed.

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

It’s September 26 1950, Captain Stanford’s Marine’s fought to clear Ma Po Boulevard.  Upon meeting a North Korean roadblock at a junction, he had to decide on whether to run straight up and clear the way to Deoksu Palace or to take the right fork and clear that road instead.  

“M26 number B32 in action on a street in Seoul.” Mike’s Research

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

We have three North Korean (Fanatic) Roadblocks in 3 specified locations.  The main one is located at the fork of the road, where a 45LL AT Gun gets matched up with 2 medium machine guns and a Pillbox with an ultra wide CA.  The North Korean player gets a choice between a second 45LL AT Gun or a 76L ART.  There are 15 NK squad equivalents of various descriptions, managed by 2 commissars and 2 other leaders.  They have an ATR, 6 Minefield factors and 2 Fortified Locations.  

Against this the Marines have a forward team of 3 squad equivalents (one being an Assault Engineer with a Smoke Factor of 5).  This is followed by 10+ squads, a M26A1 Pershing, a M4A3 Tank Dozer and a POA-CWS-H5 Flamethrower tank that I was last playing with in Okinawa scenarios!

The Americans have 7.5 turns to take one Roadblock and exit 12 VP (4 squads) or take two Roadblocks and exit 9 VP (3 squads) or take three Roadblocks.  The North Koreans can stop the game when they kill or immobilise two out of three AFVs.  To do that, the NKs have the aforementioned guns, as well as an ATR and 6 Suicide Heros (read: THH) that can setup HIP somewhere or bust out of a squad when the mood strikes.  The confining terrain in this scenario definitely doesn’t make it tank country. The NK’s can also stop an USMC victory by taking out 19 CVP, which in this case is 6 squads + 1 fire team.  

Having said all that, the BBQ tank doesn’t have to stop moving.  The tankdozer has a blade that adds a +2 on a Hull Hit.  The Pershing is impervious to most shots on the battlefield but can still be DI’d.  

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S4 Dilemma at Ma Po Boulevard After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenarioFrom the left of the map, F Company immediately started to setup their MMG and got their fire teams to probe NK concealments.  The E Company came up from behind and a bit more than half went for the right of the map.  The AFVs rolled down the road but the higher level Burning Wreck that’s there on setup made it a little hazardous to roll up in front of a ROF3 AT gun.  Plus it’s impossible to be on the boulevard without being in DI’able range.  I thought the right of the map would be a more straightforward travel but it’s confining nature made it easier for the NK defenders and didn’t facilitate armour support.  By Turn 4 it’s evident that the NK’s were very effective there.  A large number of broken fireteams routed towards the rear.  The BBQ tank and the tank dozer lend their support on the left and found they could safely sneak shots into the boulevard.  The left side met some initial set backs but were able make better progress.  The AFV’s were making Bounding Fire shots where possible but they couldn’t bring it up close in most cases because of the chance of meeting Suicide Heros in Street Fighting.  The strategy was to try to flank the NK’s down both sides while putting AFV fire to defenders down along the boulevard.

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FT S3 Last Stand on An-San – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

FT S3 Last Stand on An-San – Advanced Squad Leader AAR

Scenario Background

This is 26 September 1950.  Lt Col. Taplett’s (gent in the pic below) 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines fought southeastwards down the slopes of An-San/ Hill 296 towards the city (see the red circle on the map below, credit “Battle of the Barricades” by Col Alexander).  The North Korean 78th Independent Infantry Regiment and the 25th Infantry lead by Colonel Pak Han Lin put up a stout defence.

Battle of the Barricades Colonel Joseph H Alexander

Victory Conditions & Tactical Considerations

The KPA (North Koreans) started on Level 3 or above.  The Marines entered from the left of the map at or above Level 2.  In about 6 turns, the Marines should fight their way to Level 1, the KPA should fight to stay on Level 3 or above.  The KPA started with 2×447, 4×426 (conscripts), an LMG and a 8+1 Commissar.  The KPA counterattack force, comprising of 2.5×458, 2×527, 2×447, 3xLMG and 2 leaders enter from the right side of the map on Turn 3.  The Marines started strong with 4×768 3×248, 2xMMG, 1xBaz and 2 leaders.  They had a reserve platoon coming from the left on Level 5 on Turn 3 as well.  All units counted “Exit Point” style (“Good Order”) toward the Victory Condition, prisoners excluded. USMC wins on ties.

So the KPA had 31 VP vs USMC 22 VP in their OB’s.  The USMC would need to reduce the KPA force.  Soon it would mean tough decisions between putting your squads on your level to score vs going to your opponent’s level to prevent them from scoring.  The KPA had the last turn so we would have a chance to “Advance” back on Level 3.

Advanced Squad Leader AAR

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The KPA was weak.  They were also forced to spread out in their setup.  The USMC could go anywhere and shoot anything.  The KPA had their Concealments easily blown, broke up by Assault Fire and Captured in CC.  Very quickly they pushed the KPA off Level 3 and took more than a few prisoners.  The area on the bottom of the map offered more cover for the counterattack, so naturally the USMC focused their forces there.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

The original KPA defenders were no longer coherent as a force.  The way to Level 1 was wide open for the USMC on the top and the KPA  had only scattered remnants on the bottom.  However, the Marines weren’t on Level 1 on the bottom of the map yet.  I decided to send the stronger of my Turn 3 reinforcements to the top of the map and the weaker (and more short ranged) to the bottom of the map, just to keep the Marines off Level 1.  The boulevard’s gotta be where the Marines would make their stand with an additional -1, so we needed to cross before the Marines assemble in place.  So hopped along the river edge we did, to a point by the boulevard where there were orchard cover.  The KPA forces at the bottom of the map arrived in time to catch the defenders sent reeling by the USMC.  That (bottom, vertical) road’s where we would make our stand.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

At the top of the map, we made it across the boulevard okay when the lone American squad cowered.  We decided to split into two groups and go around the USMC forces, to places where we could Advance up to Level 3.  We simply couldn’t do close range firefights with the Marines on Level 1.  The USMC would have to decide whether they would get off Level 1 where they needed to be to score in order to fight us.  At the bottom of the map we got in a few lucky shots that set some Marines back.  That probably got them more worried about the KPA making a rush for Level 3 rather than them trying to make Level 1.  Nonetheless, we would keep the line at the street.

BoF2 Polish Requiem After Action Report (AAR) Advanced Squad Leader scenario

At the top of the map, the USMC decided to keep their forces and hence their gains on Level 1.  No one’s coming after our eventual Advance onto Level 3.  We made a critical PREP at the middle of the map and broke one of the defending Fire Teams in the Woods.  That would allow at least 2 of our MMC’s to Advance up.  At the bottom of the map, our line of KPA conscripts held and so my opponent conceded.

How’s this scenario interesting?

This scenario represents an interesting problem for both sides and it really highlights the terrain in Seoul.  This is a multi-level fight amongst the Dense Urban Terrain.  If a unit’s CX’d, it won’t Advance up a level, so you have to time it right.  A KPA conscript unit has especially limited mobility in this terrain and you don’t want to be CX’d when you are Lax as a conscript (+2 Ambush).  I think USMC Fire Teams would be very useful here.  Fire Teams could block more venues up the hill and it’s not easy to break Morale 8 units in +2 TEM.  Plus each Squad, when broken into Fire Teams is worth 3 VP when it’s worth only 2 VP as a unit.  If every USMC squad’s deployed, the USMC OB is worth 28 VP (vs 22 VP undeployed) against the KPA’s 31.  Both players have to find the balance between pushing through and scoring points versus fighting the opponent on a different level to stop him from scoring.  While the KPA player has to fight uphill, there are more of them that can swamp up to Level 3.  This is a tight little puzzle of a scenario!

(Credits: Wikipedia)