|The Task Force Does Its Job!|
This was a pretty interesting scenario. The North Koreans have an infantry heavy force, with a good number of HMGs, plus a 40mm AA gun for defense. They also get 4 entrenchments. That AA gun is handy because the US has 2 thin skinned armored units which could become easy prey to it. The M16 and M19 (the thin-skinned ones) put out a LOT of firepower. The US also has a good morale, well led infantry force, with 3 of its own HMGs and an engineer platoon. They also have 2 81mm mortars (the NorKs have 1) and 18 points of OBA
As the North Koreans, I put one of the entrenchments near the 2 towns and bridges (worth VPs to whomever control them), along with a lot of infantry (and all the SMGs) to make the Americans take as long as possible to have to clear it. I put on entrenchment on a 60m hill, along with dug in mortars, and the other 2 entrenchments on the corners of the 40m hill near the 60m crest. In retrospect, I should have clustered these 3 entrenchments.
As the Americans, I sent the M16 and M19 to where they were out of range of the AA gun and could still attack the towns, and sent most of my infantry and my other tanks to take the town first. I decided to send all 3 HMG and a couple of infantry platoons to pin the defenders on the hill.
The approach to the town was bloody, with North Korean mortars, and concentrated fire from the town and entrenchments taking their toll. However, the heavy fire from the M16 and M19 started to wear down the defenders, and with only 7/6 morale, when these guys had had enough, they had had enough and scooted (North Korean leaders were not good at rallying them, either). On the southern flank, the HMGs were keeping pressure on the big hill because the concentrated firepower of 3 HMGs (30 factors) is still a 16 shot with the maximum 2 shifts. The US finally had to assault into the town and bridges, and took some lumps there, as the North Koreans had some nice die rolling. However, the numbers (both morale and quantity) worked against the Communists, and they were forced out by about turn 11, with the entrenchment holding out longest. Also, a long range shot from the AA guns did cost a step of the M16s.
With less than half the scenario to go, the fight for the large hill was on. Here's where not being able to concentrate fire from the entrenchments really hurt the North Koreans. US artillery and long range firepower finally eliminated the AA gun, allowing armor to come close, and the entrenchments were too far from each other to mutually support each other. The US was, to some extent, able to deal with them piecemeal. The North Korean 7/6 morale didn't help, either, because demoralized in an entrenchment (and as I type this I realize I forgot the "don't have to flee from an entrenchment" rule) still means rolling less than a 7, and the recovery rolls were not good.
3 of the 4 entrenchments had fallen by turn 17, and both of the 60m hill hexes were in American hands. The North Koreans surrendered, well behind on points. It was a major American victory. Had I remembered the "didn't have to flee" rule, it might have been slightly different. And the extra shifts for fighting demoralized guys might have just resulted in more North Korean casualties and only a slight hitch to the timetable. I think the bigger issue was the poor placement of the entrenchments.
A good scenario, which I rate a 4 instead of a 5 because, as with many assault scenarios, there's not a lot for the North Koreans to do. There are some decisions on when to give up on defending the town, and past that it's "what's the best target for my unit" without a lot of maneuver. The North Koreans have to deal with a ton of US firepower in this, and need to protect the AA gun as long as possible. Because when those 24 and 16 point direct fire units get close, it's a bad day to be anywhere, even an entrenchment.