4 comments on “The Battle of Namgang (aka “The Battle of the Cauldron of Death”)

  1. I agree with your assessment. We were gambling on the Norkians sweeping down in two columns. Our ambushes played out almost perfectly (ATGMs being significantly less effective than hoped, missing 2/3 times). What worked to our absolute advantage was our ability to bring all (except HQ) Abrams firepower down on the southern column as the Northern column lagged far behind. We didn’t need to split our fire, resulting in completely ineffective Norkian armor. Essentially, the Norkian tanks were very expensive troop transports.

    Our decision not to leave anything in reserve was aggressive, and perhaps a bit foolhardy, but our gamble payed off, somewhat, in that the Norkians had a number of small targets to worry about. To play the scenario out again, I think we would deploy the middle infantry platoon (it had taken up defensive position in the farm), entrenched in defense of the railway bridge. Otherwise, our initial setup worked out just as planned.

    The game itself was tremendously fun. Next time, we may even get a bit more aggressive and plan for a counter-attack. We didn’t expect to destroy all of their armour quite so successfully. All of our plans called for a retrograde attack, but we didn’t need to move any forces until the very end.

    Rules-wise, and I’m not sure how to adjudicate this, I do wish our artillery were more reliable. I’m not sure if this represents ‘fog-of-war’, but calling defensive fire on pre-designated coordinates and not having it arrive is…frustrating. It seemed that we would have been just as well off spotting our target, rather than calling in artillery to our designated coordinates. Maybe it was just luck of the dice. I wouldn’t trade our die rolls for Brian’s any day.

    You umped a very fair and balanced game, btw. Your set-up efforts are greatly appreciated (as well as the pizza!!!)

    • The DF task needed a 2+ so you were unlucky–call it “friction.”

      As Clausewitz put it:

      “Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war…. Countless minor incidents—the kind you can never really foresee—combine to lower the general level of performance, so that one always falls far short of the intended goal. Iron will-power can overcome this friction; it pulverizes every obstacle, but of course it wears down the machine as well….”

  2. Okay, falling out of my role as Great Designer for a moment I will admit I made an error in sending the slightly faster column with the T-72s via the road, and the T-55s via the draw. In my defence I will say that I haven’t played micro-armor for a long time, and wasn’t aware of just how deadly and long-ranged the M1 Abrams is with this set of rules. I thought the T-72 armor was better than it was as well. If I had been, I would have realised that whatever went up the road would get chewed to bits no matter what it was, and sent the T-55 column with the tank riders up it – meanwhile the T-72 column would have been able to threaten the forward elements firing into that massive kill-zone the enemy had built. They still would have been shot up by the elements on the flank but not as badly.

    Planning out the artillery barrages was interesting, I did have the very first ones hit along what I thought would be his screen because I thought he would want to engage as far forward as possible, to make maximum use of the deep table. Again, not counting on how long-ranged Abrams guns are in these rules, and there were hilltops a plenty with generous views. But later MRL strikes proved quite gratifying.

    The infiltration by that lone commando platoon was a stroke of fortune indeed – one that was promptly erased by rolling those damn SNAKE EYES! It was taking a chance lofting those RPG rounds at maximum range into the rear of both his armor command elements, anything but those damn SNAKE EYES would have thrown him into considerable confusion and, as Rex said, could have carried the day. Gnurf.

    Okay, now resuming my role as Great Designer:

    “I’m the Decider. Mission Accomplished. I meant to do that. Bring it on. Heh heh heh.”
    As it was, I had planned to have the better-performing commander do the job of administering the Supreme Penalty to the other (I don’t like to dirty my hands that way), but COL Kunucen had the good sense to die in his tank.
    But COL McCabe is now managing State Armaments Factory #11, with strict admonitions to maintain quality control.

    Thanks so much to Rex for organizing and umpiring this game! I had a great time.

  3. Pingback: Stack Academie trip report | brtrain

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