Sunday, November 25, 2012

Battle for the Aw Shucks valley, Vietnam 1967

Last Wednesday Pete and I did a 15mm Vietnam game. We use the old AK47 rules modified for this period. The modifications give the US air mobility and off table artillery fire support, and give the NVA ambush capability, booby traps and snipers. Basically, when a US unit arrives on table they are placed wherever the commander likes (in clear terrain) via helicopter. When an NVA unit arrives it can appear anywhere, but not closer than 2d6 to any US unit. Artillery fire, booby traps, etc are handled by card draw.
       The Aw Shucks valley with Montagnard camp and airtrip

A Green Beret training team has joined with Montagnard tribesmen to build a camp astride an NVA infiltration route on the Cambodian border. The NVA has moved an infantry battalion into the valley to take out the camp. Montagnard scouts report the advancing enemy and a US Air Cav company is dispatched to relieve the camp.
Camp Zinderneuf
Pete commanded the NVA and managed to roll all of his units on the table at the start of the game. My dice were less cooperative and I started with only one rifle platoon plus (of course) the camp defenders. I chose to land my platoon in an open field next to the camp and Pete attacked them from both sides (the swine!).
A swarm of NVA rise from the elephant grass and pour fire into the LZ
Two companies of NVA attacked from the south and one from the north of the LZ a fourth company attacked the NW corner of the camp while their mortars supported from a nearby hill. The Air Cav platoon lost one of its Hueys to machine gun fire as it touched down but the rest of the troopers deployed quickly and fought back. The NVA tried to overrun the LZ with their superior numbers before the rest of the Air Cav showed up, but I was lucky in the card draws and was able to direct off board fire support onto the attackers which caused heavy casualties.
Air Cav, son. Air Mobile
My good fortune continued as 1st platoon and the heavy weapons (mortar) platoon entered the fray. The Mortars landed and deployed NE of the hill and opened an effective fire on the rear of the NVA attacking 2nd platoon on that side. 1st platoon landed behind the hill where the NVA mortars were positioned and started making its way up the slope.
The battle ended as I drew another artillery fire mission card and called it in on the NVA caught in the open. Seeing the writing on the wall, they departed the battlefield, standing not upon ceremony.
Overall, a simple and fun game. The NVA commander enjoyed a very lucky initial deployment, but that was the last break he caught. The event cards that might have hit the US with booby traps, etc never appeared and his firing dice were pretty cold.