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Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNAM AAR

 
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Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNAM AAR - 7/11/2020 2:09:27 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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This is the Vietnamese (attacker) side of the second scenario I've created based on a fictional world. The first scenario ended in a draw: https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4700787

SECURING THE IRRAWADI
22nd June 1940
Union of Vietnamese Socialist Republics vs Indian Raj
Hotseat/PBEM Only

The fall of Mandalay into Indian hands couldn't be avoided, but we managed to significantly slow down their advance and evacuate the communist government. The rest of the country refused to bow down to the provisional government installed by the invaders, and allowed us to move the I and VI Cavalry Corps into it to drive the Indians away.

Enemy units have spread out to occupy the rest of the country. Your orders are to set up a counteroffensive and drive them away of the country entirely, taking back Mandalay and, if possible, encircle as much enemy units as you can.


TURN 1
I have three Fast Divisions made of Tank Destroyers, Light Tanks and Mounted Infantry and Armored Battalions that can help punch through enemy lines. Four Motorized and one Cavalry Divisions can follow their advance, so I have a highly mobile force at my hands.

My forces are highly mobile, while India's Assault Divisions are still recovering from the earlier battle. They are still very powerful, though, so I'll try to set up as many encirclements as I can to soften them up, and attack from several vectors to avoid them concentrating all their firepower in a narrow range. I'll also try to sneak fast units in the enemy's backfield and hunt for their Heavy Artillery Brigades: those formations hit HARD and can melt any troop concentration so they are the highest-priority targets around.




TURN 2
The enemy has quickly reinforced La Drang, sabotaging our attempt to encircle it with a quick move. The 80th Fast and 42nd Motorized are now stuck in the woods E and SE of the city, facing a solid defense. Bad situation. 2Nd Cavalry and 6th Motorized will still try to attack from the NW, maybe we can still catch the Indians off-balance, although the forward elements have been intercepted by an Engineer Battalion clearly guarding the western approach to the city. A hasty attack that tried to push back an enemy Assault Regiment fails miserably. A hundred 122mm howitzers start shelling enemy positions.

Vector A immediately finds itself in a very bad supply situation in the plains west of the Saat River, so I decide to reassign the 5th Motorized Division to Vector B with the order of taking Tosula (guarded by a reorganizing Recon Battalion), then turn east and add its weight to the battle for La Drang.

Vector C is still going: an enemy Recon Btn spots our columns and I decide to encircle and destroy it. The enemy knows our position and direction. Too bad, we are still moving west. Supplies are not good in this area.

My offensive will be three-pronged:

A) 2nd Fast Division and 5th Motorized will advance west of Tosula and engage Mandalay from the west.

B) 80th Fast Division, 2nd Cavalry, 6th Motorized and 42nd Motorized will encircle then storm La Drang

C) 9th Fast Division and 33rd Motorized will drive straight west toward Mandalay. I'll consider a river crossing just north of the Iwadra-Saat Swamps, though: it may surprise the enemy.



< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 7/11/2020 2:17:23 PM >
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/12/2020 3:57:59 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 3
The offensive is taking a bad turn, and it's taking it fast. Supplies are inexistent in both Vector A and Vector C, and Vector B has encountered strong resistence. The entire 80th Fast Div is reorganizing after the Indian counterattacks and artillery strikes out of La Drang; I'm shifting the 42nd Motorized north to exit the forests and maybe look for a better approach.

NW of La Drang the 2nd Cavalry and 6th Motorized Division may have found a possible weaker point in enemy lines, and are trying to push here, with little success. Our Tank Destroyers are doing well against Indian armored units.

Tosula is being surrounded. The 2nd Fast Division has aborted the attempt to advance further south toward Mandalay: the enemy has spotted us and the supplies are so low it's unlikely we could break through whatever defenses the Indians will surely dedicate to Mandalay. New Objective is to swing east, cross the Saat river and join the battle in the plains between Mandalay and La Drang. Vector C will do the same.




TURN 4
All forces are trying to converge in the area between La Drang and Mandalay. Vector C encountered enemy Engineer Btn in the plains SW of the Great Forest. 2Nd Fast Division is trying to destroy an enemy Recon Btn north of Mandalay. 5Th Motorized has encountered enemy infantry in its path.

80th Fast Division is moving around La Drang, trying to reposition itself west of the city, but I found a path for its Recon Btn to move south. Artillery Brigades are moving in position to support an attack from the NW from the 2nd Cavalry and 6th Motorized Division; enemy forces in the area are substantial.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/13/2020 9:05:06 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 5
5th Motorized attacks the Indian defense perimeter north of Mandalay, with some much needed success. Unfortunately, 2nd Fast Division is in a very bad position, with what seems an entire Indian Armored Division attacking it and pushing it against the Saat river.

Vector C keeps advancing, overrunning much of the enemy Engineers in the open.

2nd Cavalry Division tries an attack against advancing Indian armor west of La Drang, but fails. Its Recon Btn has found a route through a forest and advances SE, hoping maybe to link up with the recon elements of the 80th Fast Div that are advancing from the mountains. Our troops are still moving from the eastern side of La Drang to the western one.




TURN 6
2nd Fast Division is trying to push back against the armored Indian units.

5th Motorized keeps pressing against enemy positions north of Mandalay.

80th Fast and 42nd Motorized are still repositioning west of La Drang. 2Nd Cavalry has given up trying to break through the enemy armored division west of La Drang, and it's now positioning itself to attempt a push near the city itself. Its Recon elements are trying to cut off supply lines for the city. This could be a decisive move, although 80th Fast Div's own Recon Btn has been intercepted by enemy infantry and forced back on the mountains.

Vector C spotted enemy defensive positions SE of Mandalay, so 33rd Motorized is being sent directly north through a gap in enemy lines. The objective is to link with the Recon Btn of the 2nd Cavalry div and cut off La Drang.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/13/2020 10:22:48 PM   
Hellen_slith


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Looks like a fun scene! Is there a link that we can download the scene?
Also, saw some time ago where you were thinking of adding events?
Well, thanks, I look forward to trying this one!

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/14/2020 7:08:25 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

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Thanks Hellen!

There are events that determine the escalation of the scenario when (if) Vietnam takes Mandalay: the Indian side can decide to bring in an entire Corps as reinforcements at the cost of 100VP with a Theater Option. If it does, Vietnam gets a Theater Option to activate its own reinforcement Corps at the cost of 50VP. They both work fine, although I was trying to activate both Corps in two "waves" through a couple turns but instead they both appear in a single turn. Strange.

I'm also planning on introducing an event at turn 30 for both sides to ask for a ceasefire if the situation is still at a stalemate, because when I played this test run I noticed around that turn the battle was unlikely to be won decisively by the two sides, so having an option to cut it short if both players agree is a good way to avoid boredom.

I'll probably release my scenarios in some way, probably uploading it here in the forum.

(in reply to Hellen_slith)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/16/2020 6:53:47 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 7
The 33rd Motorized Div has slipped past the enemy lines and can now properly threaten La Drang's supply lines! Part of the Division is still engaging Indian lines SE of Mandalay togather with 9th Fast Div, but the situation there doesn't look very promising.

2nd Fast and 5th Motorized's position looks dire: the enemy is pressing against the lines, supplies are low and the river complicates everything. 5Th Motorized will dig in and try to keep the enemy occupied, while 2nd Fast will keep counterattacing enemy armored units before it disintegrates.

Around La Drang, an Indian armored offensive overran the 6th Motorized division, obliterating its artillery. A counterattack is immediately set up by the 2nd Cavalry Division.




TURN 8
Situation is deteriorating rapidly: the enemy blocks all our attacks, losses are mounting and most of our units are low on supplies. The remains of the 2nd Fast Division are crossing the Saat river and reuniting with the 5th Motorized; here they will try to resist the inevitable enemy's counteroffensive.

The 33rd Motorized has been blocked and can't advance to cut off La Drang's supply route. The recon and engineering units we sent from the north to link up with them has been intercepted as well and are now surrounded.

Attacks in the SE of Mandalay have met little success.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/17/2020 7:02:57 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 9
With our left flank disintegrating rapidly (5th Motorized is folding under enemy infantry and artillery pressure, 2nd Fast's remains are reorganizing and fragmented) and all offensives seemingly failed, we try to lash out with a decisive strike against La Drang. Recon Battalions divide into companies and cut off the city once more, while our troops launch several attack against the enemy armored division that is trying to retreat SW. Infantry and Cavalry from the 42nd Motorized and 80th Fast Divisions launch a surprise attack on La Drang itself, entering the periphery and attacking the garrison's HQ and artillery park.




TURN 10
Vector A is retreating toward Tosula. Vector C is establishing a defense perimeter against a probable enemy counteroffensive from Mandalay.

Vector B, our only hope to at least draw this battle, is struggling but still trying to take La Drang or at least inflict enough losses to the enemy forces. More reorganizing is taking place to ensure maximum efficiency for the planned attacks NW of the city, while our light units keep pestering enemy's backfield. The enemy has re-opened the roads leading to the city, chasing our light units away.




TURN 11
All our efforts are toward the encirclement and conquest of La Drang. Only this could salvage the entire operation. Fighting is bloody and progress is slow, but it's progress nonetheless! 2nd Cavalry's tanks are suffering losses, but their armored attacks are finally denting the enemy lines: enemy armor is countered by our fast Tank Destroyers, while our light tanks and armored cars successfully engage enemy cavalry in the open fields. Unfortunately, rain is changing grass fields into mudpits.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/18/2020 5:23:22 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 12
The constant pressure against the flanks of the enemy units at La Drang are finally paying off: several enemy units are fragmented in the attacks and only a single line connects the encircled city garrison to the rest of the Indian troops. The enemy armored units are retreating SW, guarded by our Cavalry units, while our infantry and artillery concentrate on the city.

33rd Motorized starts slowly moving north, trying to escape the enemy infantry that kept it pinned for several turns. Vector A is struggling and facing encirclement, while Vector C is resisting every enemy attack. An enemy armored battalion shows up NE of Tosula, where we intend to form a stronghold to keep the Indian units busy, away from the main offensive at La Drang. Indian Assault Regiments concentrating in the south are bad news for our troops there.




TURN 13
La Drang is finally surrounded! Our mobile forces and infantry manage to push back enough enemy units to encircle the garrison in the city center and now we can start shelling it properly. We form a solid ring of units to prevent a rescue or breakout. 80Th Fast Division goes into reorganizing at the worst possible time following a series of attacks on enemy infantry, but the 2nd Cavalry Division is ready and keeps attacking the enemy 1st Armored and 25th Motorized Divisions.

In the south, recon and cavalry elements of the 9th Fast Division escape from the (metastatic) stalemate SE of Mandalay and make a run for the main supply route from Mandalay to La Drang. Every possible advantage must be exploited. The 33rd Motorized has been intercepted by several Indian units and had to stop her advance north.

Around Tosula not much can be done, except preparing for the imminent Indian attack. Fast units are sent to investigate the sudden loss of Bagan, that could spell doom for Tosula's defenders by cutting our supply lines.




TURN 14
Several breakout attempt are foiled by our troops, and by the end of the turn, 6th Motorized Division storms La Drang's city centre and takes it, forcing the remains of its garrison to surrender. The Division is immediately assigned to the upcoming offensive toward Mandalay.

2nd Cavalry and 80th Fast Division start to push SW, brushing aside enemy screening units. It seems the enemy is retreating and forming a MLR down the road. With the conquest of La Drang, 42nd Motorized Division is starting to move slightly SW and will take part in the next offensive. 33Rd Motorized Division is still slowly moving NE to link up and take part too.

Tosula is almost lost: the enemy is making progress and the attemp to scout toward Bagan has located fairly strong enemy armored and recon units guarding our backfield.

SE of Mandalay we are trying to form a new defensive line, but enemy units are numerous and strong.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/19/2020 7:23:55 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 15
The main offensive is yet to start: most of the divisions allocated for the push aren't in position yet, and only a couple probing attack are launched by some cavalry elements (and fail). 33Rd Motorized has been attacked by overhwelming Raj troops and is now in grave danger; let's hope the main offensive takes the pressure off it.

Not much to do around Tosula and SE of Mandalay except fighting to the bitter end.


TURN 16-17
I start to push against the receding Raj defensive line, beating back forward elements but not much more. Mud keep preventing my troops to properly engage the retreating enemy units. Two fast units are ravaging enemy supplies. Elsewhere, our troops are on their last leg. Units are getting fragmented and giving up ground.


TURN 18
Several attempt to break through enemy MLR fails, so I decide to send more and more fast units into the gaps of the enemy lines, disturbing its supply routes. Two of them engage a Corps HQ and beat it back, and later they occupy Mandalay. This could be a turnaround for the entire battle: we managed to completely cut off every enemy unit from supplies, and our offensive starts to gain momentum. Even the constant retreat from the other fronts have stopped now that the enemy is low on supplies. We may win this battle in the end!



< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 7/19/2020 7:28:05 PM >

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/20/2020 6:39:05 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURN 19-20
The Raj escalates the conflict! Our politicians are discussing the implication and evaluating the possibility to call for reinforcements as well. Meanwhile, we must accelerate our push for Mandalay: our cavalry troops in the city have reported several Indian units converging on their positions.

Unfortunately, the 80th Fast and 42nd Motorized Divisions choose this turn to reorganize. Our offensive is carried out only by the 2nd Cavalry and 6th Motorized Divisions, that push back some enemy units but can't punch through.


TURN 21
Given the Indian escalation, we decide to call for the Ayutthaya Corps for help: four Infantry Divisions will descend on the Irrawadi from the north, with the hope of breaking through the Indian lines and secure the final victory. Meanwhile, the offensive goes on, pushing the enemy further west. [THEATER OPTION ACTIVATED: -50VP, four infantry divisions will enter the battlefield]





TURN 22
Indian defenses seem to be on the verge of collapse, and not a day too early: their reinforcements must be already en route and we must win FAST. Several attempt are made to encircle some enemy infantry regiment, but despite some early success, the enemy is still numerous and will probably break out. Light Armor and Tank Destroyers are nonetheless forcing the enemy rearguards to engage at every step.

Our troops in Mandalay has been surrounded and will probably be forced to surrender in a day or two. The light troops we infiltrated behind enemy lines are being engaged by enemy reserves and won't resist any longer, too. Our main thrust must gain more momentum.

Units near Tosula are reporting no more attacks on their lines: the enemy might be preparing to fall back here too. The situation SE of Mandalay is instead still difficult for the remains of our formations there: the enemy is still pushing them into the Great Forest.

Ayutthaya Corps is marching south, but we fear it's too far to be of any help before the enemy reinforcements hit us near Mandalay.


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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/25/2020 5:17:57 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

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TURNS 23-24
Mandalay is lost, and the predicted breakthrough of Vector B has failed. We are pushing back the enemy units, but they are retreating in good order; the attempted encirclement of several regiments near the Great Forest is failed, and further advances are costly and slow. Our light troops we infiltrated behind the retreating enemy has all been intercepted and destroyed.

The good news is that the enemy has stopped pushing against our lines north of Tosula and seems to be retreating. Some light probing counterattacks encounter some limited success. The sad remains of Vector C has now joined the main push in the center. A couple light units keep trying harassing the enemy backfield.

The Ayutthaya Corps is crossing the Yua Nang river at Yuath and Akchivu.






TURN 25
Tosula and Bagan are retaken. The enemy starts to lose cohesion, but its reinforcements might be close to Mandalay by now. I plan a branching armored offensive with the objective of cutting off the retreat of enemy units around Tosula: armored and cavalry units are to strike west and reach the Saat river; the initial attack meet resistance from light units, but stronger ones are seen just behind them. It won't be an easy task, but the potential reward is very high. Unless we start annihilating some Indian units, it's likely the enemy will successfully reform a MLR near Mandalay, and we may not be able to break it.


(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 7/28/2020 6:57:54 PM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 514
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From: Italy
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TURN 26
Our first encirclements of retreating units happen, but they are small rearguard units. Most of the enemy troops have successfully retreated in a tight perimeter around Mandalay. We must press on, but the overwhelming feeling is that Indian reinforcements are close to join the battle and once they arrive, a stalemate would be pretty much unavoidable. Our own reinforcements are still on their way to the battlefield.

The Recon Battalions of a couple Divisions have been sent to retake Loikaw, and 's Recon Btn is sent south to look for Raj's incoming reinforcements.


TURN 27-28
Most of our movements are spent reorganizing our lines to maximize Divisions' cohesion. Some preliminary attack against the enemy lines are met with a mixture of little success and high losses. Tosula front tries to carve some encirclement, but the enemy is always quick to plug any big hole in their line.


TURN 29
The Ayutthaya Corps has now reached its final positions in the central sector. We are concentrating units for an infantry push followed by mechanized exploits. Artillery pounds enemy lines, but we are suffering heavy losses from enemy's heavy artillery.

The northern front keep advancing, but fails at forming more pockets. Some fast unit is trying to cross the Saat River and threaten the enemy's western backfield.


TURN 30
Most of the Ayutthaya Corps has reached attacking positions, but the assaults are met with limited success and heavy losses. The enemy has formed several defensive lines with heavy artillery support and plenty of reserves: every hole we punch in their lines is immediately plugged by other defending units, and progress is almost non-existant.

We can't try to buy our time and soften their lines with artillery either, since they have several brigades of what seem to be 152mm heavy howitzers that are wrecking every troop concentration we muster.

Chances to conquer Mandalay are slim.



< Message edited by StuccoFresco -- 7/28/2020 6:59:39 PM >

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 8/1/2020 6:52:57 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 514
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Italy
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TURN 31
72nd Infantry Division has been shattered by enemy counterattacks. Several attacks against supposedly vulnerable parts of the enemy lines fail to break holes in aforementioned lines, and come at great cost. Our tanks, despite numerical superiority, fail to inflict significant losses on the Indian counterparts.


TURN 32-33
66th Infantry Division tried to concentrate for an attack, but enemy artillery shelled it badly, inflicting enormous casualities. 6Th and 33rd Motorized failed to penetrate enemy defense perimeter. 72Nd Infantry Division has been pushed back with grievous losses by enemy counterattack. Enemy armored forces from 37th Assault Division are blocking our way in the NW flank, and more Assault Regiments with accompanying Infantry Divisions are spotted trying to outflank us in the SE.

In Turn 33 the High Command decides to call off further offensives and reach for the Indian counterpart to establish a ceasefire.


[the battle was turning into a slow attrition meatgrinder so I decided to roleplay a ceasefire, check and print the casualities, and "freeze" the game by skipping every turn till the end. The scenario was intended to end at Turn 40, but for some reason went on until Turn 50.]


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RE: Fictional Scenario - Securing the Irrawadi - VIETNA... - 8/7/2020 10:52:43 AM   
StuccoFresco

 

Posts: 514
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From: Italy
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The battle has been a mess. Several divisions were forced to change their plans and move a lot before finding a suitable target, and the supplies dried out incredibly fast in open terrain. An entire division was more or less destroyed when I was forced to pull her from the western shore of the Saat river, trying to put her in a supplied area. The whole Tosula offensive was a trainwreck that costed me several divisions.

The attack SE of Mandalay also went out of supplies very fast, and failed to threat the city. Trying to move units toward the center of the map was a good idea, but I committed too few units to it, wasting a lot of others in failed attempt to reach the city or at least cripple the defenders.

The initial push East of La Drang failed miserably in the woods, forcing me to move two entire divisions in a counterclockwise pattern to redeploy them NW of the city. Here, finally, I was able to breach enemy lines and surround the city, triggering the enemy's withdrawal toward Mandalay.

The chase was a sad affair: mud slowed everything down, negating my fast unit's main strenght (their speed, that should have helped during the pursuit). The enemy was able to break off from every engagement I tried to start, and his light units stalled me all the way. Once I reached Mandalay, enemy reinforcements were in place and with the help of their heavy artillery I knew I was done.

I think I could obtain better results with a more sensible initial approach, but this will never be an easy battle.


THE SCENARIO
I will slightly increase the power of the Cavalry Regiments, who definitely lacked the capability to threaten same-peer targets.

(in reply to StuccoFresco)
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