Monday 11 August 2014

The Road to Hue : A Vietnam BatRep

On Saturday Posties Reject 'Smiffy' (Mark) ran another Vietnam game using all his growing collection of figures and his own rule-set. This is the second time I have played the rules and aside from a few minor tweaks they remained unchanged from last time. Overall the game went very well and the rules work excellently to convey the period, equipment and tactics of this period.  I was the US commander, with Clint as my 2iC facing off against Postie and Surjit as the VC (as in the last game). It was an epic game, starting at ten in the morning and ending after nine PM because we literally played to the death. 

January 1968 and the Tet Offencive has exploded into action. Across the country, Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army units have created havoc everywhere. Even Saigon is under attack. A Few miles east of the city and American unit has been tasked with holding a small village that sits across a road leading directly into the ancient Vietnamese capital. Although the village only contains a few buildings, your forces have fortified the village area. Makeshift bunkers sit either side of the road and barbed wire fencing raggedly strung out in a few places. You must defend the village and rout the enemy forces. 

Order of Battle
Oops...I actually forgot to copy these down. If I get them I'll update this section.

The opening turns of the game saw all hidden movement for both sides, so no models at all on the table.

Players used a dry-wipe pen to mark the position of their units on a tactical map. The red cones show where we placed our Claymore mines!

The VC players look unhappy...or maybe that's just confused?

The Village that the US/Aussie players had to hold. Until units were revealed by observation no models were put on the table. Hidden somewhere here is a US Army Rifle squad, a team of US Marines, a two man Mortar team and a HMG.

The VC begin to be spotted and so the US Marines decide to open fire, which also reveals them to the enemy. At this stage I wasn't sure if this was a feint attack designed to draw us away from the front of the village. 

We (the US/Aussie players) made a lot of use of smoke rounds to obscure LOS for the enemy or to screen our own movements. 

More VC appear on our flank. What initially looked like a feint is actually turning into the main assault on our defences.

The VC push hard and fast and force back the Marines. We fall back and give ground to regroup and form a better firing line for next turn.

Smiffy did an excellent job as Umpire.

Aussie reinforcements arrive, but they have a long way to run to reach the battle.

More Australians appear in a better position and are straight into the firefight.

VC reinforcements also appear but they are a long way from the battle and will take five or six turns of movement to reach the battle.

The battle for the village is a fight of attrition with high casualties on both sides.

Surjit moves his forces again trying to dislodge the defenders but being forced back several times. He fought a stubborn battle right to the end.

Smiffy taking it easy as the rest of us battle on for hour after hour.

Reinforcements?, just a supply vehicle with some much needed ammo for the US Army troops. 

Most of the US troops are dead but the Australians fight on and regroup for another push to shift the remaining VC from the edge of the town.

One constant thorn in our side was the VC mortar which rained down accurate fire on our positions for most of the game.

The orange markers show troops with one wound. The brown markers two wounds. A third wound is a kill.

Casualties continue to mount as the last VC unit presses forward fanatically.

The endgame arrives with the last two VC continuing to fight to the bitter end.

The final scores. An American/Aussie win but bot buy a huge margin.

The game lasted an epic 11 hours but in the end Victory never tasted sweeter!

The final score was 44 points to the VC and 57 points to the US/Australian forces. In short the game was a bloodbath with both sides fighting almost to the last man. Overall we all thought the rules worked very well although with hindsight I think the Morale value for the US/Aussie forces was probably a bit too forgiving. We took over 80% casualties and I think most forces would have broke and run long before reaching that level. Mind you I'm not about to hand victory back to the VC, we fought a long hard game and we damned well intend on enjoying the win!


  1. Great read.80% casualties! That's not acceptable Mr. President!

  2. Wow, now that was gruelling encounter - eleven hours and 80% casualties! This is a period, I have often considered starting, I blame all those Vietnam movies in the eighties.

  3. Sorry mate I have not managed to get anything posted today. I am very pleased to have been on your side and appreciated the chance to team up with you.... apart from you moving my troops. But you did apologise so that's ok. What is not OK is you trying to concede like Ray does far too early in the game, when we actually went on to win the game. Always darkest before the dawn.

    1. When that US unit failed its moral and retreated I really thought that it was game over. I never expected them to recover and return to the front line just a couple of turns later. Ultimately it was their added firepower in those last few turns that ensured we hung on in the village.

  4. What? You won? Oh my God!!! Can't believe the game went on for 11 hours, we haven't had one of those for many a year!!

    1. I was soooo tired by the end of the game. Thank crunchie we won after all that effort!

  5. Epic game. Looks like it was great fun.

  6. A very interesting AAR, Lee and many congrats for the win!
    Sounds like an epic game which took strength to master.



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