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Old August 30th, 2018, 06:39 AM
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Default Bear vs Dragon

In this scenario by Suhiir, Russian troops fight Chinese in the Chosin Reservoir of North Korea. The premise is basically that the NorKs have made a failed nuclear test that made the whole world turn against them and Russians invaded North Korea to topple the regime, something the Chinese are against it. So it is a race between the two powers as to who gets to Pyongyang first. The scenario is a meeting engagement between Russia and China. It is a very long scenario (90 turns) and the map is 150*100 hexes in size.

I start the scenario with a single Recon company. The map is totally controlled by the Chinese, which given that it is a meeting engagement probably means the already have screening forces in the area, but the main force is yet to be found. My main force will come as reinforcements later on as well. The landscape is typical Korean landscape: hilly and with relatively little vegetation. That makes controlling hills very important, much more important that capturing objectives if they do not correlate with the hills. The plan is for the Recon troop to find the enemy forces, occupy some important high ground close to them and wait for the main force. The map of the battlefield is the following:



The pink areas represent the approximate location of the objectives. The yellow areas the most important high ground. Like I said, controlling these goes first, objectives second (unless they correlate). My recon troops are to the north. They have received sporadic MG fire from the south, about 1 km away from them. I need to be cautious with my advance. This will be a long, hard fight.
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Old August 30th, 2018, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 1-12





My recon troops move east and southwest and soon occupy the important hills at (1) and (2). Reinforcements arrive: two BMP companies with two T-90 platoons attached, together with several engineering vehicles. These will be useful, for there is a blockade at (3) with barbed wire and dragon’s teeth. My BMPs move south, but they come under fire by 85mm AT guns at (4). It seems that, in addition to the Chinese, North Korean forces are also opposing me. One gun is spotted after firing three rounds ineffectively and gets neutralized by 30mm fire from overwatching BTRs. The other is yet to be seen, which makes me more cautious.

My engineering vehicles move south to clear the obstacles. Russian 122mm artillery masks them with smoke barrages. Nevertheless, enemy mortars shell the Russian force intensely, forcing the supporting T-90s to retreat to a safer place. Despite the enemy bombardment, the engineers manage to slowly remove any obstacle they see. So fat, my only losses are two Sappers from an undetected minefield.
One BMP-3 platoon will relieve the scouts at (1) and defend the location themselves. Another BMP platoon will move with the scouts at the ridge at (5), to capture this important high ground as well.
Resistance was very light so far: only sporadic MG and AT fire, together with mortar barrages. That will soon change I believe.

When the mechanized platoon reached (1), Russian recon started advancing towards (5). They soon came under ATGM fire from that location, which destroyed one BTR. Russians called artillery on that location to suppress the ATGMs. Chinese tried to stall the Russian advance with mortar fire of their own.

To the south, the engineer vehicles and troops, clear the obstacles under heavy mortar fire. 3 vehicles were immobilized, but progress is being made and a breach will soon be a reality. Behind the breaching teams, two platoons of SP artillery specialized for infantry support is about to go into the breach. Each platoon has a ZSU-23 for anti-infantry work and one BMPT infantry support AFV. Behind these, a T-90 squad and a BMP squad will get ready to assault the hill at (4).
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Old September 1st, 2018, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 13-20





Capturing that hill on (1) was a very good idea: very soon, at least a company of Chinese infantry was seen moving east. The well placed forward observer called accurate artillery fire and the Chinese advance lost momentum and significant casualties have been caused. However, I have trouble supporting my infantry on the hill with vehicles, since Chinese ATGMs prove to be deadly and kill one BMP as well. One Russian mechanized platoon flanked the Chinese infantry from the north at (7) and caused one Chinese platoon to fall back. In addition to that, Chinese heavy artillery causes losses to my own off map artillery with accurate CB fire. On map, Chinese use mortars. A lot of mortars. So many that maybe they are actually blotting out the sun, Thermopylae style. This present a clear problem to me, should I use my artillery to blunt the Chinese infantry assault, or knock out a few of these pesky mortars? Decisions, decisions…

To the centre, the breach has been made. The other 85mm AT gun is also spotted and knocked out. Things looked to be quite simple there, but then an unspotted N.Korean reserve infantry squad changed things. It managed to ambush and destroy one BMP with its entire passenger cargo. It caused another squad to retreat under heavy small arms fire. A panicked T-90 friendly fired the third squad, causing 3 casualties (Z-fire blunder from my part). The reserve squad was quickly taken down after that, but the damage and confusion it created was disproportionate to its strength. Another reserve squad was spotted nearby, holding fire and was also eliminated. These squads probably acted as observers, because my forces took enormous mortar fire. Two more engineer vehicles have their tracks blown off, which is a big blow, since the area is heavily mined. I also lose one T-90 from a mine that got its track blown off. The tank is now a static turret and not much else. To make things worse, more 85mm AT gun fire comes from around (2), killing two ZSU-23s and one BMP, without being spotted. With these things into consideration, I decide not to press on with my remaining infantry towards (3). Instead, reinforcements will try to flank from (4), with the goal of capturing the high ground at (5).

The plan proves to be harder than I thought, since Chinese ATGMs overwatch the road at (4) and knock out one T-90. On the bright side, I get some helos to help me. Two Ka-28s and an observation helo armed with guns, grenade MGs and rockets are good against massed infantry and they soon prove this. Together with my artillery, they stop the Chinese advance. More Chinese infantry is spotted at (6). So far, they advance slowly because of MG fire from the hill at (1), but more drastic measures are needed. 300mm rocket artillery comes as reinforcements, but I cannot decide on the target yet. Chinese infantry assaults are kept in check, and I do not want to waste my rockets that early.

Chinese mortars continue to shell my forces and soon I receive 122mm howitzer fire and artillery launched minelets as well, targeting the platoon at (7). I finally dedicate my 152mm MSTA battery for CB fire against Chinese mortars. Soon, two 60mm mortar teams are annihilated. More targets will soon be given.

Chinese vehicles also appear. They are wheeled tank destroyers. My recon vehicles manage to knock out one of them, but their numbers are numerous. I will probably have to commit more dedicated AT platforms to counter them.

So to conclude, my plan seems to stall for a bit thanks to the Chinese counterattack. If or when I manage to defeat it, I will resume my slow push towards the hills.
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Old September 1st, 2018, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

The is VERY valuable to me as a scenario designer.

Not only for what's actually happens but more so for what what you're thinking as various AI units appear and open fire.

Thanks a lot !!!
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Old September 3rd, 2018, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 21-30



More Russian reinforcements arrive; a full mechanized battalion is already on board and more troops arrive. This is both a blessing and a curse. While having more troops is good, having many troops concentrated in a small area is an excellent artillery target. And this is quickly proven, as some of my forces are spotted and shelled. I lose several vehicles by immobilization and two ammo trucks. I try to disperse as best as I can, but the area is just too small. Thus, I have to continue attacking to expand my controlled area.

Russians go again in the attack. They capture the smaller ridge at (1) with a BMP-T supported by a FAE squad. The vehicle comes under fire from a 57mm and a 23mm AA gun and quickly dispatches them. A 60mm mortar team is also detected and eliminated. No AT fire hits the vehicle, which seems to be safe from Chinese ATGMs in this angle. I find it interesting that the more I advance, the more North Korean dug in squads that have not been detected are found. One of these knocks out an engineering vehicle, before it was pulverized by an overwatching BMPT.

More Russian forces come towards this area. A couple of mechanized platoons arrive and prepare to push westwards on the ridge. More Russian forces composed of two tank platoons, one anti-infantry platoon and one mechanized platoon arrive in a blocking position along the road to prevent any Chinese advance in the area. They quickly find an infantry company either moving towards (1), or attacking the hill at (2). The resulting attack by fire leaves many Chinese soldiers as casualties.

Chinese also continue their own attack. Their main objective is the hill at (2), which is vitally important for the outcome of the battle. Now, an entire infantry battalion, supported by 100mm wheeled TDs is assaulting the hill. Nevertheless, they cannot progress. Russian artillery makes and infantry advance costly and the TDs are quickly destroyed by overwatching T-90s from the ridge at (3). The position at (4) is also occupied by Russian vehicles that flank the Chinese when they advance and cause serious casualties. Despite this effective defense, some Chinese squads did manage to approach the infantry defending the hill and caused some casualties. The Chinese squads having flame weapons are especially dangerous, as they can lower the morale of the defenders drastically. In addition to that, mortar and sniper fire is very dangerous and hard to counter. Luckily, my 152mm battery is doing a great job, so far knocking out 6 mortar teams. The Chinese push that was the most promising so far was the southern one, at least until my reinforcements came at the blocking position mentioned before. Finally, Chinese ATGMs are also around and they occasionally spot the odd BMP to destroy. They are the reason I cannot put vehicles on the hill at (2) directly, making any strengthening of the position very risky indeed.

The Russian air force also makes its first appearance. A lone Su-34 in a SEAD mission knocks out one Chinese 35mm AA gun. It’s a small step that I hope gradually gets better. I also have some precision munition armed Su-24s that I’ll probably use against the North Korean dug in mortars at (5). When the Su-34 strikes back, it knocks out one SAM and one more 35mm AA gun. Soon after it, a pair of Su-35s appear in the skies and target the North Korean mortars. They cause great damage, but one Su-35 is unfortunately shot down. That is a big blow since it is quite a pricey plane.

To the east, I make a small probing attack towards Yondam-Ni. I find several N. Korean infantry dug in at (6), as well as AA guns at (7). With tank support, the AA guns are eliminated and the N.Korean infantry suppressed. I do lose one T-90 from an RPG team that I didn’t spot though. One rear armor hit was all that needed. Grrr…

I finally decide to use some of my heavy artillery to neutralize the Chinese advance at (8). 300mm rockets were accurately fired in the area, turning the hapless Chinese soldiers into dust. The attacking company was annihilated, only one spent platoon remaining.

My artillery also fired successful CB fire, knocking out 2 more mortars and one 122mm gun. Next targets are the revealed ATGM teams and AAA. The ATGMs are responsible for many BMP losses, so their destruction is vital.

To conclude, despite a huge infantry assault by what amounted eventually to two battalions was repelled thanks to vehicle heavy weapons and intense artillery strikes. Chinese had close to an entire battalion wiped out and the other one is approximately at 60% strength. The good news are offset by the fact that the mortars cause many mobility kills among my vehicles, snipers make any dismounted advance costly, and ATGMs loom around. Despute all that, I believe I held the Chinese advance so far (barring more reinforcements), my casualties were acceptable and I also push to the east.
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Old September 6th, 2018, 01:31 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 31-40




The probing attack against Yudam-Ni was successful and the village is captured quickly. Only a few isolated N.Korean rifle squads defend it and they cannot coutner the might of T-90s and BMPs blasting them to pieces whenever they open fire against one of the dismounted squads advancing up front. The Russian infantry secures the village and takes up defensive positions around it by using the previous N. Korean entrenchments. In addition to the main effort at Yudam-Ni, two more mechanized platoons defend its flanks by occupying the elevated positions at (1) and (2). For now there won’t be more advance in this area, at least until I’m sure no more ATGMs roam around.

My forces at the central ridge at (4) are being heavily attacked. Snipers, MGs and grenade MGs from (3), pummel any infantryman showing himself in the open. Mortars hit the position repeatedly. And lots of Chinese infantry attacking from the south. It seems that one more infantry company is in the area and is trying to make an attack to reclaim this vital ridge. The Russians have to make outstanding efforts to keep the Chinese from occupying the area. Close quarters fighting and vehicles supporting keep the latter in bay for now.

Further west, one mechanized platoon captures the northwestern part of the high ground at (5). The goal is to capture the ridge from this direction, since my previous plan hit the wall (of hundreds of Chinese soldiers to be presice).

Since I have eliminated the Chinese advance to the northwest, I decide to counterattack. One mechanized platoon is moving through the defile and aims to capture the high ground at (6). So far, little resistance is encountered.

My forces to the north spot large concentrations of Chinese troops at (7) and (8). It seems yet another infantry battalion is assembling there. Chinese sure have lots of troops! I immediately shell the area to soften them up. For now, my plan is just to defend there and not let them move any further west.

In addition to that, there are even more Chinese troops spotted around (9). They probably head for either Yudam-Ni or the central ridge. More tough fighting is expected, as it seems that in total one full Chinese infantry regiment is attacking my own motor rifle brigade.
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Old September 10th, 2018, 12:05 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 41-60



This time I played 20 turns they were packed with action. To the north, the Chinese infantry marches forward under constant artillery, tank and MG fire. Their losses are heavy, but they keep pushing on. Their targets are the positions (1) and (2) along the northern ridge, defended by two mechanized platoons (reinforced) and one tank platoon. One observation helicopter is acting as an artillery spotter. The Chinese manage to reach as close as 400 meters from the Russian positions, before heavy losses and Russian firepower break their morale. Of the two companies that attacked, 3-4 broken squads are all that remained. Most heavy weapons teams are knocked out as well. Chinese mortar, AA and AT positions at (3) and (4) are also heavily shelled and soon the Chinese mortars are silenced.

In general, Russians advance everywhere. On the high ground at (5) they consolidate their gains, beating local counterattacks. The location is secured with MGs and ATGMs. At (6) there is heavy infantry fighting and artillery shelling. After 10 hard fought turns, Russians eliminate the attackers and finally secure this important ridgeline. Russian artillery helped a lot, as can be seen by the strike markers in the area. Further west, Russian vehicles advance at (7), but a BMPT is soon under heavy fire by Chinese TDs and is knocked out by an ATGM. The Chinese vehicles are located at (8). Soon, Russian artillery firing AT munitions destroys 8 enemy vehicles and pacifies any resistance. An 120mm mortar platoon is also found and destroyed. Their right flank is secured by the mechanized platoon to the north. The latter advances as far as (10), eliminating Chinese mortars along the way. One rifle squad is under fire by more Chinese vehicles at (9) and these soon meet their brethren fate thanks to the terrifying Russian artillery.

Having their northern flank secured, the mechanized force move to capture their objectives. The location at (8) is captured by Anti-infantry vehicles while the high ground at (11) by infantry. Chinese 122mm artillery is located and also eliminated there.

Despite the Russian successes, it seems that the Chinese have a little more fight left in them. At turn 52, Chinese heavy artillery finally makes its presence known on the battlefield, by shelling mechanized infantry positions at (12). I lose 3 BMPs, a forward observer and several infantry squads in this barrage, although one Chinese artillery unit receives CB fire. In addition to that, the first Chinese heavy units arrive: A tank company together with some wheeled TDs, SPAA units and some more. I immediately plot DPICM artillery strikes along their path and move several tank and TD platoon towards their path to counter them. The artillery strikes are heavy and can be seen interdicting the attackers along their advance. The light vehicles are easy prey; they get destroyed quickly. Tanks are more resistant to artillery fire, but they too suffer heavy losses to immobilization. The barrage has heavy impact on Chinese morale and many units immediately panic. I seize the moment to launch a tank counterattack by two T-90 platoons, supported by a third on top of the ridge at (13), a Hind flight and some dismounted Konkurs at (5). Very soon, all Chinese tanks are destroyed, for no loss to myself (apart from a few dismounts, maybe 4 soldiers total casualties).

One Chinese tank platoon tries to outflank me at (14). They are spotted by a BMP platoon and they receive autocannon and ATGM fire, as well as 100mm HE fire. This fire is ineffective, and I lose a couple of BMPs with their passengers, forcing me to retreat out of sight. I bring two tank platoons. One takes positions alongside (15) and the other at (16). They soon catch the Chinese tankers in a pincer. The latter, outnumbered and outgunned have their morale failing and become easy pickings for my T-90s. One more tank victory for no tanks lost.

Finally, an 82mm mortar platoon is spotted at (17). I have received 300mm cluster artillery barrages and I unleash one upon this target. Every single living soul in a 200*200 meter area just ceases to exist. Also, the brigade commander appeared on the battlefield at turn 49 and I sent him at (5). However, he received mortar and even tank fire, so I had to withdraw. He relocated on the ridge at (18) as can be seen from the map.

So to recap, while the Chinese did counterattack and cause some casualties to me, they received far more and their heavy units were annihilated. I now control most of the important high ground, which will make any more Chinese counterattacks even riskier. The plan now is to capture the remaining objectives slowly but surely.
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Old September 10th, 2018, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Sounds like you "enjoyed" the human wave attacks from (primarily) the west and were kept busy with various probing attacks from elsewhere. Bit of a shame you caught the armored thrust from the south with it's pants down, I'd rather hoped it would catch the player where they were somewhat weak due to the actions to the east and west.

Good job comrade!

Thanks again for the AAR, very useful!
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Old September 10th, 2018, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Turns 61-73 (end)

Final turns were relatively quiet. I move my remaining uncommitted mechanized and tank platoons to capture the rest of the objectives on the map. The Chinese resistance has collapsed, apart from isolated sniper fire towards the forces of the northern ridge. At turn 73, I capture the final objective and the battle ends.

The result of the battle is:



Equipment losses:

Russia

2 T-90A MBTs
3 BMP-3K Rys Scout IFVs
2 Gaz Tigr scout cars
18 BMP-3 IFVs
2 BTR-82 APCs
1 IMR engineering vehicle
4 ZSU-23-4M2 close support vehicles
1 BMPT anti-infantry AFV
1 Su-35 fighter bomber
1 Su-25 ground attack aircraft

China/North Korea

13 ZTZ-99A2 MBTs
16 PTL-02 wheeled tank destroyers
3 VN3 Scout Cars
12 Mengshi 2058 scout cars
12 Mengshi 2058 tank destroyers
1 HQ-7 self propelled SAM
2 PZG-95 SPAAGs
4 85mm AT guns
16 60mm mortars
2 57mm AA guns
3 35mm AA guns
2 23mm AA guns
4 120mm mortars
14 82mm mortars
14 HJ-12 ATGMs
1 LY-60 SAM
2 PL-9C SAMs
6 122mm howitzers

Looking at the casualties, it is clear that I had half of an infantry division attacking my motor rifle brigade. This is by far the bloodiest scenario I have played with close to 4000 casualties for both sides combined.

This battle was one between a combined arms army and an infantry heavy one. The result was predictable, although the terrain favored the latter a lot. In general, when fighting in hilly terrain the best plan is to occupy all (or at least most) crucial high ground and use that to engage the enemy with observed artillery fire, MGs and all sorts of heavy weapons. That –plan worked very well, since I managed to capture one of these locations early on. The location had only a 25 VP, but when I placed a FO with thermal imaging, its actual value was 100 times that. The Chinese sent an entire regiment trying to retake the hill, but to no avail. Just like that, I took high ground, defended the expected Chinese infantry counterattacks and moved on to victory.

Chinese did use their infantry forces well though. When they did get close, they hindered my troops a lot, using snipers and MGs, while ATGMs engaged any vehicle that skylined for long enough. Most BMP losses, as well as one of the two T-90s lost was from these dreaded Chinese ATGMs, which are actually very good (on par with Javelin and Spike). Chinese rifle squads were fighting better than their Russian equivalents, being helped by the fact that they were 12-man squads against 8-man squads. But then again it wasn’t the Russian infantry that was the real danger.

The real danger came from the traditionally strong Russian combat arm: the artillery. This was one of the scenarios that most casualties were from artillery (probably close to the real life 70-80%). The Russian artillery stopped infantry assaults dead in their tracks, hindered AFV movement, neutralized enemy mortars and on-map artillery and sniped ATGM and SAM targets. The well-placed forward observers were the main reason for its success, since the accuracy of the artillery was phenomenal. On the other hand, the Chinese relied on a lot of mortars. While these caused no vehicle casualties, they did cause infantry losses, lowered morale and caused many vehicles to become immobilized. The fact that the Russian force was for a long time concentrated on a small area helped in their effectiveness. Thankfully, Chinese heavy artillery was few in numbers and used for just CB fire for the beginning of the scenario. They did fire on my units towards the end, with devastating results, but it was too little, too late.

Russian armor was quite effective too. AFVs of all sorts were supporting the infantry successfully when there was the need to go on the offensive. Even defensively they cut down Chinese forces, since they were usually placed between the hills in order not to be targeted by ATGMs (the few times I was not successful in that I quickly regretted it). Chinese armor on the other hand was not effective. They either hang back on a defensive stance (which made them easy targets for artillery), or made an ineffective counterattack in the end, coming towards my well placed killing zones.

Only Russians had air force of any kind, but its effectiveness was minimal. The Chinese AA was quite successful in denying the area to my aircraft, despite their losses. Most of my helicopters retreated off map by the end of the scenario, while I also lost two aircraft as well.

In the end, Russians achieved a marginal victory. While they had significant losses, they practically destroyed their enemy and they did capture the important Chosin Reservoir. The Russian advance to Pyongyang may now continue.

I thank Suhiir for the very entertaining scenario. I hope to see even more of these interesting scenarios in the future.
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Old September 10th, 2018, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Bear vs Dragon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhiir View Post
Sounds like you "enjoyed" the human wave attacks from (primarily) the west and were kept busy with various probing attacks from elsewhere. Bit of a shame you caught the armored thrust from the south with it's pants down, I'd rather hoped it would catch the player where they were somewhat weak due to the actions to the east and west.

Good job comrade!

Thanks again for the AAR, very useful!
The armored thrust primarily failed because I did not get distracted by the mayhem in the west, but I stuck to my plan of capturing every important high point in the map as quickly as possible. Once I did that, I immediately saw the Chinese heavies coming and then the method to counter them was easy. If the player is not quick enough, these may prove to be a nasty surprise though.


But yeah, fighting Chinese infantry is not very relaxing indeed. Especially when they have a million mortars supporting them brrr.
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