Friday, May 8, 2015

Playtesting Vietnam Cordon & Search

I was very fortunate recently to join in a game that Thomas hosted at his buildings activity room. Thomas is a fan of the Vietnam era, and has some lovely kit to game with, but has found that there isn't a rule-set that really resonates with him. Cribbing from a number of other games and synthesizing, he has been working on a set for the reinforced platoon/company level.

The rules largely use squads as the maneuver unit, but they can be broken down into fire teams. Activations are rolled at the beginning of the turn and allotted to units (pips essentially).  Units that become pinned/suppressed are *very* difficult to re-motivate. Army morale degrades by (semi) random value chit pulls after losing units. There are also some non-onerous spotting rules for effective (non suppressing) fire that make sense in the jungles.

More eye candy after the jump.....

Early free world forces using the Sioux scout choppers and Chocktaws. 1 platoon of marines, with an M60 team and mortar section (weapon section for the platoon) plus the company commanders drop into cordon a village and locate the presumed cache for the VC.

One squad walks off the table edge, split into 2 fire-teams. They easily enter town and begin to set up a cordon, but already the VC blind tokens are racing in.

 Meanwhile, the second squad & M60 weapon team lands at LZ1, which turns out to be hot. They manage to avoid deaths, but are already under fire by multiple unidentified troop concentrations.  (VC blinds are round bases marked with mini dice)

With some spot checks the M60 find themselves bracketed by a squad of VC as well as a scout team. Choosing to open fire on the exposed scout team across the field, they hope the light foliage cover will save them from the troops overlooking them from the heights (right and below). 

The VC turn finds both units pinned, and some lucky rolls with an RPG resulted in (against high odds) the helicopter being damaged and driven off. This has damaged free world morale. 
 After screaming on the radio for additional support, the company commander manages to charm the locals, achieving the secondary objective of showing US good intentions.

This achievement causes the VC to draw a morale damage token......some of which are actually bennies for the pulling side! A mine explodes under the command teams feet (no doubt some green horn picking up a dolly). Luckily no one was hurt.....perhaps a click and delay before the blast?

The radio calls were effective and a Huey hog swoops in to lash the VC pinning down the M60 team. 
 Similarly a Sioux scout chopper places a marking rocket near another VC unit and manages to call in the platoon mortars.

Much pinning but no deaths....yet.

Deaths happen here. The 1st marine squad, who walked on and set up a partial cordon had been pinned and pinned again. A followup attack by a full VC squad in a close combat charge sees SEVEN men killed outright, and the remainder skedaddle.

The platoon and company HQ are left wide open in the village, which villager stands that COULD be hostiles as well (when the VC get too close that is). Eek!

The aerial artillery massively punishes the VC this turn and breaks the squad on the heights. The m60 uses this interval to destroy a small scout team lurking nearby.

The Sioux scout chopper and the mortars pin the squad threatening the village, buying the hqs some breathing room. 

Unfortunately, the morale chits betray the Free world forces again, and a unit becomes full of FNGs.  With the VC tottering on the edge of breaking, they manage to gun down half the squad, who suddenly seem unable to find cover to, quite literally, save their lives.

Despite this evening up, the VC are broken the next turn with the USMC at half their own break value. They even have time, and arguably *just* enough men to complete their operations. They have approximately 12 KIAs though, and goodness knows how many MIAs from the runners.

A great time was had by both players as well as the GM Thomas. Props to the fine looking terrain and models, and the highly promising draft ruleset. 


  1. Wow... Thanks for such an awesome write up of the day's game. It was great to see all the toys in action with such a great mix of things going on!
    The feedback - from both yourself and Mr. J.- is greatly appreciated.

    1. It was good times all around! Thanks again.

  2. Fantastic AAR of what was obviously a fun game.

    Your terrain and model collection is really wonderful. Love the Choctaws and Sioux
    Peabody's hooches are about the best I've seen! I wish they came in 15mm :-)

    1. I am pretty envious of Peabody's gear. The Hooches are made out of rolled & woven bamboo mats. The roofs are some sort of teddy bear fur, I think matted down with glue or something.

  3. Paul, glad you like the table. :)
    Those hooches are indeed old place-mats stuck onto plasticard frames. Dave has it right about the thatch; it's fake-fur, trimmed and chopped. I 'fixed' it with Future floor polish, then hit it with a bit of paint and matte varnish to finish.