Losing the Hills
Counter Attack #30
|(Attacker) North Korea||vs||United States (Defender)|
|Overall Rating, 2 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 609|
|Parent Game||Counter Attack|
|Maps||2: 113, 115|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Counter Attack||maps + counters|
With a combination of frontal assaults and infiltration tactics, the North Korean 3rd Division, given the honorific “Guards” in the previous month, steadily pushed back the American 1st Cavalry Division. A pair of hills barred the road to Chilgok and on to Taegu, and the North Koreans made determined attempts to take them in the darkness.
A night attack marked by copious use of hand grenades shoved the cavalrymen off of both hills, opening the road to Chilgok. But the depleted American cavalry regiment struck back during the afternoon and re-captured the high ground, with ROK soldiers – stragglers from other units – unofficially incorporated directly into its companies and platoons. Soon the U.S. Army would be officially recruiting Koreans to replenish its manpower.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|Korean War: Counter-Attack, scenario #30: Losing the Hills|
Korean War: Counter-Attack, scenario #30: Losing the Hills
A bloody night battle where the North Koreans have two objectives to try to achieve. One, kill 15 or more American steps, two, to control one of the north-south roads, if they achieve one, they get a minor victory and two a major victory, so the American Army will have to setup across two locations as not to concede a minor victory but this will also spread them out, allowing for bloody, in close night combat. Sure some illumination fire will come into play but this is another larger battle fought at night, which every soldier dreads!
The Americans setup first, allowing the Northern Koreans to concentrate most of their forces on one group of GIs and send a much smaller faint attack on the other group of Americans, to occupy them a bit. The night battle had its ups and downs for both sides but is just cool and both sides have a little off-board artillery and on-board mortars to mess around with as well. The much larger forces of NKPA started to overwhelm one of the split up American forces, dug-in and all, as the North Korean casualties matter little to them. This causes some of secondary Americans holding the other north-south road to pull out to assist their brother a few clicks over. The North Koreans ambush this group and the night combat is starting to spread out a bit, from its massive centers.
Towards the end of the game, the NKPA had killed 15 American steps but could not control a complete north-south road, giving the North Koreans a Minor Victory. It is kind of hard for the Americans to not lose casualties protecting both north-south roads, if the North Koreans hit one with the majority of their forces but I think I could have used the terrain better and not setup so far forward and this would have even things out but either way, it was and will be a close fought battle. I look forward to having another go at this scenario, as few dice rolls different, a few different movements and a little tactical change here or there, and it could swing to one side or the other.
|Night of the North Korean Hordes|
Jay Townsend has previously written an AAR on this scenario, and I could almost take his AAR word for word in the way I played the scenario. The North Korean objectives are to inflict at least 15 step losses on the Americans and/or to clear one of the 2 north-south roads. Doing 1 is a minor victory, doing both is a major victory. Since I'm playing the battle game, clearing one of the north-south roads is required for the North Koreans to win, so that put extra emphasis on that achievement.
This is a night scenario with 2 hex visibility for the entire game, although the US does have the ability to fire star shells. In my play, this was only of limited usefulness, as the North Koreans eventually engaged on a broad front and very few units were more than 2 hexes away from the enemy.
The US has to defend both roads, while the North Koreans have the ability to concentrate forces on one road. This is what I did, sending the bulk of the North Koreans down the western map, and reserving about 10 or 12 INF platoons to the eastern map, on the opposite side of the gorge from the Americans. I didn't expect them to be able to clear the road here, however their very presence meant the US had to leave a significant force to make sure they didn't somehow achieve that objective.
Leadership for the Americans was mostly uninspired, although there were a couple of good leaders, while the North Koreans benefited from some decent draws, including an 11-1-2 leader.
On the western map, I put about half the forces, including HMGS as a forward defense, with a strong force protecting the villages and mortars towards the rear. This may have been a mistake, consolidating one stronger line might have made more sense.
The North Koreans came in waves, getting shot up to some extent, however a given unit can only fire opportunity fire twice, and when 3 stacks approach, that means 2 of them get through. And with the -1 column modifier for night firing, even adjacent shots weren't as deadly. This allowed the North Koreans to close with the front line and take their own close range shots. With the Americans only having 7/6 morale, even M results were dangerous, and while the Americans had to take time to try to recover from disruption and demoralization, the North Koreans could constantly feed in new troops. By about turn 10 the American front line had collapsed. In addition, with some of the Americans tied up in assaults, more North Koreans infiltrated through and started threatening the US mortars, effectively taking them out of the battle.
To the east, the North Koreans started outflanking the American positions, and eventually holed up in the gorge. The Americans had to strip some troops to help with the deteriorating situation in the west, and the others couldn't see the North Koreans in the gorge so they dug in and awaited them. However, the North Koreans kept going farther south and also got into the rear areas.
With the combined efforts, the North Koreans had essentially surrounded the US forces, and the battle became a swirling, confused melee. The US lost about 6 leaders in this one, several to X results and rolling low, and several to capture. The US had lost 15 steps by about turn 16, so the North Koreans had their minor victory...but they still needed to clear a road. The efforts to the east were going slowly, as expected, and even after the US stripped most of their eastern troops out, they still had one strong stack dug in at the crossroads as a last resort. To the west, the villages held out (I accidentally treated them as towns for 1/2 the game) as did one stack far to the south. The North Koreans eventually surrounded the villages to keep them from interfering on the road (and killed several units that had nowhere to rout) and finally, on turn 24, pushed the last US troops off the north-south road and stay alive in the battle game (the Allies have won 3 scenarios there, the North Koreans 2, with 2 to go).
This scenario was a lot of fun, lots of decisions for both sides. I think it's a tough one for the Americans to win, as in order to defend the roads, they will take casualties, especially because the North Koreans don't care about casualties, and because there are so many North Koreans. Wave after wave of them crashed against the US, and while they took losses, they kept coming and eventually wore down the Americans.