Korean War: Counter-Attack, scenario #13: The Marines at Obong-ni
Looking this scenario over while setting it up, I thought I could easily win with such a large Marine force but I setup the North Koreans on the forward 60 meter hill with the Bunker counter with two HMG units and a good leader with a combat modifier of one. This would put good fire on the Americans approaches. Then I surrounded the rest of the 60 meter and 40 meter hexes with dug-in units, kind of a ring that kept going around. The only units that didn’t setup in this high elevation ring was the 82mm and 120mm mortars with wagons and one bad leader, off behind the far hills but in support. The Americans have four air-strike turns and 36 points of off-board artillery but the NKPA actually have more points of off-board artillery with 42 points. To win this, the Marines must do two things; eliminate 14 or more of enemy steps AND have eliminated twice as many NKPA steps as Marine loses.
I won’t go into great detail as fighting was bloody, with direct fire, bombardment fire and assaults. The Marines sent the M26 tank unit to hunt down the North Korean mortar units which it did but taking up most of the scenario. After suffering more casualties then I wanted to, the Marines finally assaulted the NKPA bunker, with a heavy stack of three Infantry units and one Bazooka 3.5in to cancel out the fire-first of the bunker counters and to get a +2 modifier helping off set the +3 modifier the Bunkers get in assaults. Both sides had good Leaders with combat modifiers and the NKPA had two HMG units. With all the modifiers figured out including the higher morale for the Marines and but higher elevation the NKPA, the North Koreans had a +1 advantage but lost two steps in assault combat while the Americans lost one step and but sides had various morale states. Fighting continued in the Bunker hex throughout the last 6 turns and both sides feed units into it but it was still uncontrolled at the end of the scenario. Remember, Bazooka teams stack for free!
The Americans had eliminated 14 enemy steps at some point but not twice as many, so fighting continued until the North Korean hit the Marines with 42 point of artillery, rolling a 12 on the dice, eliminating 2X of Marine Infantry steps and one Leader to boot, might have been the nail in the coffin. At the end of the game the North Koreans lost 17 steps and 5 Leaders, while the Marines lost 11 steps and one Leader and could not achieve both victory conditions and had no chance at this point of having a double ratio of enemy eliminated steps. It was a surprise outcome the NKPA win this scenario but it was a very tight play.
My biggest mistake was wasting so much resources on the NKPA bunker but the 3.5Bz units are a great help against Bunkers and it would have been disaster without them. The off-board NKPA artillery help a great deal in keeping the Marines from victory while the Marines only had one successful air-strike out of four. The terrain benefited the North Koreans but the Americans should have paced their attacks better and got too spread-out in the confusion. This one could have gone either way but it was kind of fun to stage my Bazooka Teams to attack that bunker and give them something to do.