Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Playtesting Vietnam 2nd game: Cordon & Search redux

This weekend I had the fortune of once again playing a Vietnam game on Thomas' (peabody) lovely gaming setup. He continues to work on his Vietnam game. I met a new gamer, John, who took the free world forces, while I took on the VC. It was interesting watching John grapple with the exact same issues I had when I played, there is a steep planning curve for the FFW to decide how to break up their units, how to approach the village to Cordon it, where to land, and how radio checks work for the integral air transport and the divisional assets.

Strangely (or perhaps not) we chose very similar attack plans, with a squad and the company hq walking on, and two helicopter lifts available. John walked his M60 on as well. The pace of play was much slower (I suspect I'm a fast-ish player) as the US has much more assets to work with in this particular scenario.

It was certainly noticeable that this is in alpha. While the movement, actions, shooting, pinning and killing works quite well, the helicopter artillery felt like the flow hit a brick wall. We had some talk at the end of it all. Similarly, the spotting rolls to reveal VC blinds is interesting, but unlimited spotting for everything in sight was a bit too much (especially when the scout copter showed up and initiated about 8 or 10 rolls). It was suggested to bump it down to 1 per unit, or 2 for the scout copter (per turn).

We only finished about 3 turns in our allotted time, so there wasn't much in the way of morale chit pulls. Therefore not much chance for booby traps, airplane strikes, and other items to come up. Due to the scout chopper removing so many blinds early, the VC were really stuck out, with little flexibility on the board. They crashed into the FFW and hugged them, but they were getting greased pretty quickly. It would seem that dividing them up to cells (rather than the full squad and double cell strength I tended to) would have been move valuable.

My dice luck was almost completely in the negative, so I was thinking it'd probably be a good time to pull out the troops and give up the objective.

 More pictures after the break.

We can see the VC hugging the eastern edge of the village. One unit is pinned and will withdraw (hit and run....which ended up not working out well for me). The other unit is chewed up by the american m60 machine gun team and another fireteam. 
 The VC Recoiless rifle has some fun pinning the divisional command. Shortly thereafter some preternaturally accurate helicopter artillery destroys them.

With all the VC blinds off the table, the americans waltz into a hot lz (more like lukewarm), and are able to positively interact with the villagers. Minor objective to the FFW. 

My full squad of VC was ready to race from the North of the village and extract some pain, but were promptly pinned by Johns hot dice rolling. Leading me to conclude that smaller units are probably the way to go. 

A larger shot of the action at the end. The Hog artillery has just iced both the VC recoiless (bottom right), the VC medium machine gun (lower middle in the crook of the lichen/bushes). On the left the last VC cell to the east of the village is being closed on by 3 fireteams.

To the left the firing of the large concentration of VC has been pretty ineffectual. Time to pull out I think.

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