Sunday, July 08, 2007

Uigon Bu River - Korea 1951

Last Sunday, we put my collection of Korean war figures to good use for the first time in about 8 years. The figures used for the Chinese Peoples Volunteer army are by Outpost Miniatures - now sold through Under the Bed Enterprises - (plus one formation of ESCI plastics). As you can see from the colour photo's, these are nicely proportioned and realistic looking 20mm's.

Figures are all block painted, then given a blackened varnish glaze to shade them, my standard mass painting technique, and one that works especially well with 20mm moderns.

The Game itself represented a communist attack in the Fifth Phase Offensive of April-May 1951. Using my own rules, a much more involved set than the 'made for kids' rules I posted at Xmas, we played a battalion attack on an entrenched reinforced company position.

Early in the game the Chinese pressed forward quite effectively, Phil deployed and moved his forces in Company sized blocks, which allowed his simple command structure to function. On the down side it meant he didn't get the best of his support weapons, as the support platoons had to operate together.

Chris on the other hand was able to control his smaller force in Platoon sized elements, with his heavy weapons operating independently. However, it didn't save him in the long run, both his Machine gun bunkers were mortared to oblivion, and his motorised gun carriage (M16 GMC half track with four .50cal's) was first flushed out by lucky artillery, then routed by a combination of enemy unit's fire.

The Communists got in to the enemy lines, and were ambushed by combat engineers with flamethrowers; but the Chinese proved unstoppable all day. Their large unit sizes and high morale when going forward meant that they seldom did more than take a breather. On their next turn they captured the engineers.

Next stop for the Chinese was the enemy trenches themselves, where around half a platoon of Americans were captured, elsewhere in the line Americans were breaking, though the Chinese right had finally been slowed. In the end the communists having broken in to the trenches where the UN forces were pinned down gave them a massive advantage, and assured them of rolling up the line down to the river.

It was the first use of my main rules in some time, and I was pleased they seemed to work well, though not yet perfectly. Several sections are still needing finishing, but the core of the game mechanics seemed to work well.

Units are activated one at a time by using command chits from a limited pot, a player can have more units than commands to use for them, and so has to make choices about who does what. They can also plan multiple unit actions, or interrupt other actions by putting by (saving) actions through the game, the shooting system is designed so you need only measure once for the entire firing group, the morale is designed so that units that fail tests can end up breaking forcibly into separate formations; and frequently end up firing randomly at unseen enemies.

There are other bits that needed reworking, clarification or finishing, but both players enjoyed it, and Phil at least who has more experience of the historical stuff, seemed to respond well to the structure and style of play.

I'm happy with that...

1 comment:

  1. Fifty years on from the Great War but little change for the Chinese - when people are plentiful and expendable in the eyes of the heirarchy.