Friday, October 19, 2012

Into El Qualeed - Campaign Update

Don´t remember what happened up to now? Look here:  Last Campaign Turn

After securing Mul Qasr and clearing the area south of El Qualeed from enemy resistance, the US Forces prepare for their thrust into the heart of the Lagashkar Valley to take the district capital.

Situation after resolving all engagements of the last turn

Intelligence reports indicate massive Taliban presence in the eastern part of the city. To overcome this threat, US High Command orders Mechanized Support to be flown in by helicopter to support the urban fighting. Furthermore, Government Experts are dispatched into the area to establish a functioning administration once the district centre is controlled by Coalition Forces.

The offensive begins

Troops are shifted from the south and from Mul Qasr to support the Operation. Once the initial defence of the Taliban is overcome, US High Command is planning to advance into the city centre to quickly erase the remaining opposition and secure the city.


As you can see, the operation is moving along well for the Americans. They have essentially driven the Taliban out of Mul Qasr and almost secured half of the valley. If the operation in El Qualeed is successful, they will have the opportunity to develop the province and weaken the guerillas.

But don´t be fooled by the seemingly good performance. As you can see, the forces are beginning to stretch thinner and once the Americans have secured El Qualeed and proceed further into the province, they´ll have to divert forces from protecting their gains and supply-lines.
Furthermore, casualties are already mounting which is not good for their war-exhaustion score (Right now already at 16% after 4 played engagements). If that score reaches critical levels, support for the operation will be reduced.

They still have some COIN-Points (43)  from their generous starting budget (which was 65 COIN) - the Government Experts and the Stryker cut deep into the budget - and the mortar support in the last mission didn´t help either. They´ll have to bring in more reinforcements eventually, which will cost additional points. Furthermore, building up the province with aid, government experts, buildup-teams and hunting lone Taliban cells requires more COIN to be expended in the future.

I guess the next part of the Campaign will show how well the system is balanced. Right now, both sides are moving towards tighter budgets in terms of COIN and Cells in the Forcepool. Right now I´m a little concerned that the Taliban resistance might crumble too easily. On the other hand, my concern might be an indication that I need to change the playing style towards a more asymmetric approach, which would actually testify that the system is working well by generating plausible results. -  Using Guerillas like regular forces ends in desaster? Try using them in guerille warfare!

Thus, I´ll not make major changes to the system for now, but monitor the results created by the engine closely to intervene if necessary. I´m also trying to create a legible guideline for all of you who are interested in using the rules in similar campaigns.

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