Next War Korea Strategic Surprise

In this scenario I assume the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) leadership sees a favorable opportunity for reuniting Korea under communist rule. Everybody is taken by surprise including their Chinese allies who now face a dilemma. On the on hand they are unwilling to risk major hostilities with the US, but at the same time a downfall of the north korean regime with the possibility of US allied forces knocking at china’s dorstep  is a national no-go. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) therefore decides to keep their intervention to  logistics, intel, some air and naval assets, and special operation forces, in game terms: Intervention Level 2: +9 VP to Allied [UN+1].

The USA, technically still at war with the DPRK since the armistice of 1953, enters at full intervention with all available assets. The US government summons its south-east asian allies up to support the defence of South Korea. Australia and New Zealand governments are unwilling to commit substancial forces in support of the Republic of Korea (ROK). Commonwealth forces therefore limit their commitment to logistics, intel, and special operation forces. This translates to Intervention Level 1: +2 VP to Non-Allied [UN+2]. Japan decides to support with logistics only: Intervention Level 0.

Turn 1

The DPRK Supreme Command has chosen a period of clear weather to launch the attack. Several SCUD missiles hit the Busan port area and several ROK air bases in a pre-emptive strike. Busan port and Kunsan air base are both destroyed (+4VP). 

Totally taking the allied air forces by surprise the vast DPRK air armada acheives air supremacy. In fact the USAF has not been alerted at all, so the Republic of Korea Air Force has to take on the attackers all on its own (that is what happens when one does not fully read the scenario instructions). Covert operations (SOF) and air strikes hit several installations and HQs but do little damage. ROK air defence proves to be on the alert effectively spoiling the Korean People’s Army Air Force‘s operational freedom. 

On the ground the KPA (Korean Peoples Army) attacks all along the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). Despite the strategic surpries bonus of two colum shifts on the CRT at first little progress is made. The ROK front line units prove quite resilient, most survive the first onsloughtin their fortified positions, and pull back into better defensible positions. 

On the eastern portion of the battle field, here too, the offensive has made little progress in the the face of difficult terrain and stout defenders. 

Dissatisfied with the progress of the offensive the DPRK Supreme Command orders the deployment of chemical weapons to force a break through the DMZ north of Uijeongbo. (Allies+9VP) 

An air mobile operation north of Seoul binds down major ROK forces but becomes isolated and suffers heavy casualties. End of the first phase in this offensive the KPA forces have broken through the DMZ on a 50 km wide front between Imjin river and the central mountain range. The ROK V Corps is anihilated, most others are badly hit, the road leading from Yongyang towards Seoul is largely open. 

Victory Determination Phase GT1

The DPRK has accumulated +31 VP total

  • +2 VP CW Level 1 Intervention
  • +4 VP Busan Port and Gunsan Air Base
  • +25 VP [ROK: 6 Div, 3 Brig, 2

The ROK has accumulated + 22 VP total

  • +9 VP PRC Level 2 Intervention
  • +9 VP 3x Chemical Weapons used
  • +4 VP [DPRK: 2 Air, 3 Brig]

Insights

The SCUD pre-emptive strike did good execution, rendering the frirst VPs. What impact this will have on the long run is to early to estimate. Aerial operations  on the other hand had little to no impact on ground operations despite air supremacy.

I was quite astounded to see how slow the offensive progressed despite the 2R shift for surprise and the vast number of units the KPA can muster in GT1. The role of the D10 with its wide range of possible outcomes is a major factor off course. Also I chose to use the KPA divisions as the main compatants to minimise ROK VPs for killing KPA units. This dimished the fighting power somewhat but also left KPA forces largely unscathed.

Another factor is the impact that the Refugees have in inhibiting the mobility of friends and foes alike. This optional rule restriks movement as well as supply range. It makes it difficult to move up reserves as well as hinders the rapid exploytation of operational break throughs.

Now I am quite eager to find out what GT2 will bring about. The KPA will have to do without the 2R shifts for suprise while the KPAAF will have to face the now fully prepared allied air forces.

With ROKAF fully alarmed as US forces just start to arrive in numbers, the ferocity of the air war will probabely step up. The main aim will be to deny the KPAAF to dublicate its achievement to exercise aerial supremacy. On the ground for the ROKA its all about survival and buying time until more allied gound units can intervene in the fighting.

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