Welcome back! Hope you like really long posts, because I’m in Verbose mode pretty much 24/7.
This time, we are going to finish the activations for the North Koreans, which will include a couple of air support missions as well to introduce those. Let’s begin with a screen shot of the front.
When the first activation began, there were four RoK divisions on the border, now there is one. The only other RoK unit we can see is in the capital, and there are three more further south. All of the RoK HQs are visible, one fresh in Seoul, the other spent to the west of Seoul. As you can see, almost nothing stands between the NKPA and most of the south.
We have two more activation cycles left if we choose to use them and don’t waste supply on refreshing the HQs. While it’s a little more subtle than this, units will basically only activate once in a given game turn (the Communists refresh at the start of the UN player phase, but they would remain spent if used for Reserve movement until after the next Communist player phase). There are five units, so if I want to activate all of them I need to activate both HQs as they can only activate up to four units.
My plan is to activate the two westernmost units to take out the RoK 1st Div. There is no need to “control” Ongjin on the westernmost peninsula, the only things that require control are the four ports with UN Supply Boxes, as you can see pointing to Inch’on in the screenshot above. Thus, the III KPA HQ will activate the 6th, who will simply move to support the 1st making a Deliberate attack on the RoK 1st. The 1KPA HQ will activate the three grouped units to drive on Seoul, although we will see if they can pull together an attack given the distance.
First, the combined attack from activating III KPA just NW of Kaesong. The roll creates an enormous spread, and the attacking unit becomes a Penal unit. This is the only bright spot in this entire opening attack for the UN, that two KPA units became Penal. BTW, the equivalent for the UN is Poor, there is no distinction other than the historical source of the manpower in those units. The spread of 4 is enough that I think it better to bring this unit back with a replacement point instead of spending one for nothing. This unit won’t be able to do anything anyway as it’s spent. Off to the replacements box for you! There was no reserve movement because the only fresh RoK HQ is in a ZoC. I end the activation by bringing up the III KPA HQ. It will remain spent, but this is the end of the month so no big deal.
For the last activation, the I KPA activates the 4th, 13th, and 3rd divs, which drive down to Seoul to try to eliminate the RoK Capital division. The 3rd and 13th move to attack Capital, while the 4th moves east of Seoul to take advantage of early exploitation and cut off a retreat route for Capital. We actually get to use early exploitation for once, since every other unit has been involved in combat in some way. The 4th is adjacent to the I Corps HQ, but since they don’t project a ZoC, it may move another 3MP, enough to let it interdict the road south from Seoul.
Now for the Capital unit attack. This is a very important attack, as the KPA can’t claim the 3VP Objective until there are no enemy units within three hexes. We will use our Ground Support tasked air unit to provide support in addition to arty and tanks.
There’s a bit of a discrepancy between the TEC and the v2.0 rules, I’m afraid. The TEC says to treat Arty at 1:1 for support into a city, 1:3 for other types. However, 10.4.3 says that air is treated as arty. We will treat it as Arty per the rules over the aid, usually a good choice but not always. We have 4 Arty, 5 Tanks that drops to 1 (we choose not to burn another tank for the road bonus, we won’t need it in all likelihood). We have 4 Air support showing, but this works a bit differently.
Note: On the TEC, Air=Artillery. The “other” is for possible future types of support.
This is a shot of a portion of the Communist Air Display. It shows that we have one air unit, a IL-10, in the Ground Support box. The other unit is in Top Cover, which is only good for attacking enemy units on tactical missions or protecting your units on similar missions. Since there are no UN forces on Top Cover missions, we will ignore it. If you look in the Aircraft Capability Chart, you see it broken down into three sections, the bottom one concerning tactical missions, and you see that the IL-10 has a strength of 4. That means that if we use it for this mission, we can assign up to 4 points. Why not all four? You will see, young Padawan, you will see…
Since this is the final possible use for this aircraft for the month, we will go ahead and use all four points, which drops the the Air Support marker on the Support Level Track down to 0. There is one more thing we need to do, although it’s a bit redundant in this case. I said above that you could use fewer Air support points above, but if we had there was a chance we wouldn’t get them all (and we needed to use them all because of the planning time ding). The aircraft that provided the support now must roll to see if it can “stay on station”. If you look at the Air Display shot above, you can see, in very small and somewhat unobtrusive text, that the Communists have to roll a 2 or less on a d6 to keep the aircraft operational.
At present, we have 4/5/4 raw support. SPT uses table B, so we subtract 2/3/3, leaving us with 2/2/1. The tank has to be divided by three, so the final result is 2/0/1, or +3 total. Add this to the d6+3, and the extra +1 for support from a unit (this is a Hasty attack, so 1 point for the first supporting unit). Note there is another unit adjacent to the Capital defender, but it was not activated this turn and so does not contribute. This gives us at the end a d6+7 for the attacker, a d6+2 (for the city) for the defender. In this case, the roll is 5, so the unit must to to the Available Aircraft box. Had they rolled a 6, the air unit would go to the Damaged Aircraft box. Had they rolled a 1 or 2, the air unit would have stayed in the Ground Support box, and could provide up to four more support in a later combat, assuming the points are there. Also, the Air Support marker doesn’t change as a result of whether or not the aircraft is still on station. This is kind of a subtle point, but I think that it will be easier to demonstrate once we have a few more aircraft available for Ground Support.
Back to the ground war. The result is 2+7=9 vs 6+2=8. Wow, that was amazing. Still no Random Event, but we did get the Capitol unit improved to Elite as it was the highest result it could roll! That means a max spread of 4, but with only a 1 differential, that doesn’t mean much. The Capital unit chooses to retreat one space directly south. It does not become disrupted or routed, nor do we end up drawing any SNAFU for going to that state. The two KPA units advance into Seoul, and have 4MP to use for exploitation. The normal rules apply, so the 13th can move across the river to Yongdungp’o, even though it is moving from EZoC to EZoC, which costs it 1.5MP, but it must stop because it entered an EZoC. The 3rd decides to stay in it’s hex to prevent the Capitol div to move back into the space.
The Capital unit is, surprisingly, in supply. It must trace to an HQ, avoiding EZoCs and hexes with enemy units, but then the HQ must trace a few hexes to a road or rail and then to a supply source. Inch’on is a supply source, but the Capital can’t trace there because of EZoCs. This trace is called a Line of Communication, and it’s necessary for using support and for activating HQs and units.
Here is the board at the end of the activations.
The South took a huge beating this turn, but not surprising as the North got to choose it’s combat chits, a huge advantage. That won’t be the case moving forward. There is only a single RoK HQ that can be activated, but no fresh units anywhere, and only one that is in range of an HQ. However, this gives us a chance to see an entire player turn, as the Communists started the scenario skipping the early steps.
Here is a player turn:
- Flip all of the enemy units to Fresh if they have an LoC.
- Place Out of Communication (OOC) markers on enemy units without an LoC.
- Perform Strategic Movement.
- Perform Activations.
So, first the Communist flips all of his units to fresh. The only one who might not have an LoC is the 4th, but he has 10MP to reach any KPA HQ, and he can do so because the I Corps HQ doesn’t have an EZoC. Thus, all KPA units flip to fresh. Not the HQs! No OOC markers are placed.d
Note: I consider using Strategic Movement here, which is not allowed once we get to activations. Also, you can’t use it for spent units. It didn’t happen, and I have a better discussion of Strategic Movement later, so just ignore the references here.
Now the RoK Capital unit can consider moving, either via Strategic movement, or via normal activation. Strategic movement is very useful because you don’t make fresh units spent when you do it, but of course there are a lot of limitations.
- You can’t move further north/south (in the direction of the enemy) than your furthest unit already there.
- You can’t start or move within 2 hexes of an enemy unit. US/UN units have some flexibility here at a further cost.
Strategic movement would have been awesome, but it is not to be as there are a lot of enemy units in proximity to both the Corps and the Capital. That means we have to use a normal activation, which we can do because the HQ has an LoC to a supply source because it can trace a line from it’s hex of three hexes to a road that then runs to a supply source. No RoK units may activate as they are all spent. We choose to move the I Corps. It isn’t providing an LoC to the Capital division because the HQ is in an EZoC, and it doesn’t cancel EZoCs as a unit would. So it’s time to bug out, as they say. It has ten movement points, and there are no Communist HQs that can activate reserves (maybe we should have spent a little supply to keep them fresh, although I think it was smarter to get them moving south in this case and give up a reaction ability for this turn). It becomes and stays spent, and heads fairly far south so that it will be able to activate some of the units that were not in HQ range earlier, specifically in Taejo and Taegu, the only other units on the map. Capital is going to have to figure out how to survive by itself.
This ends the UN player turn, and the Weekly Phase as well. We will look at the End Phase in the next entry. Here is the board position at the end of the Weekly Phase.