Saturday, February 11, 2012

Vietnam Gaming

Binhan, a friend of mine, wishes to run small campaign with some club members and has been working on some house rules - so we ran a test game here at the house last night.I played NVA/VC, Rick and Reto played Americans and Binhan ran the game.

We began play at about 8 and played until 12. From 7 to 8 we drank scotch, set up and chatted. 

Having laid out the terrain and dictated the American entry points, I was asked to plan the defense of a village against the capitalist invaders. So, at the ford over the local waterway, I laid a clever trap. An HMG bunker (staffed by local VC) is hidden in the wooded area immediately covering the crossing. While from a nearby hill, NVA spotters will be ready to call in mortar support. Also, the wooded area on the "American" side of the crossing would be the site of a booby trap.

The idea is to halt the infantry with the machine gun fire, drop a couple mortar rounds on them and cause some of them to flee into the woods for cover where the booby trap would hopefully finish off the elimination of a some of the invaders.

Assuming that the bunker would soon be overcome, I secreted some NVA support in various places to nit-pick at the American advance towards the village. In the village, I had more NVA and a recoilless rifle. The idea is to bleed the attackers with aggravating attacks to deplete them enough to avoid losing the village. The real fight would be at the village.

The American, with an M48, an M113 (loaded with infantry), an M125 and lots of boys on foot came on with the Marines on foot in the lead.

At the crossing, I sprang my trap...blammo! I did cause some casualties and caused some men to fall back. Wisely, they did not go into the woods. Soon the M48 took care of the bunker, the VC inside having scurried back down the tunnels, taking their losses with them. Some marines investigated the bunker and discovered a booby trap, but it did not cause any losses to the Americans.

The Americans then fanned out across the rice fields and down the road towards the village. I kept up my mortar attacks, causing more delays than casualties, and sprung a couple surprise general my efforts were in vain. One of locations of my NVA positions was given up when an American commander interrogated a civilian in the rice fields...forcing me to deploy a squad too soon...they were soon chewed up. I'll have to report that civilian to the local committee.

Later in the battle, that same officer interrogated another civilian who was really a VC sapper. The sapper detonated a charge and caused losses and suppression on the command team. I guess he'll be a little more careful in the future about approaching civilians.

By the end of the evening, the Americans had just contacted the village, a squad of marines on foot, supported by the M125 and the M48. As they approached the village, NVA inside opened up causing them to fall back in haste after taking losses.

The important thing to note at this point was that the NVA plan had been successful to this point. Sure, many NVA have been killed and wounded. But many Americans had also. Most of the American losses had been made good by expending Medics, but the Americans had only 2 medic points left and had three wounded fighting at the village, the American losses were gonna stick.

There is no doubt that the Americans could have taken the village with their firepower, but Dan Rather would not have had a pleasant report for Walter Cronkite's evening news. Yes, there was a news crew team on the American they had to be good, this was not a free fire zone!

So, calling the game at the village meant that the NVA side was horribly beaten in points. I think that playing another hour would have brought it more into balance - I would have lost militarily of course, but may have done enough to win the "media victory".

One of the best things on the evening, was Rick's awesome rice paddy terrain. It is that cool rubber stuff from JR Miniatures, and comes painted and simply looks incredible. I need to get some. This is highly recommended!

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