Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Playtesting Vietnam - HOT LZ!

Once again I met up with Thomas (Peabody Here!) to have a game on his exquisite Vietnam setup. He has been working on a reinforced platoon size rule set. Apparently there is a bit of a dearth of 'modern' (i.e. more recent and streamlined ones that recognize people don't have tons of time) rule sets for Vietnam.....particularly at this scale. I'm sure this is a controversial statement for some, but I'll leave it at that.

I've been encouraging Thomas to develop this set and wander further from the original inspirations in order to achieve fun, fast, and smooth game experiences. One of the complaints previously was the resolution of artillery....totally clunky with too many die rolls. This also bled into helicopter (aerial artillery) attacks as well. To be honest, you almost didn't want to use the stuff b/c then you'd have to resolve it (I joke....sorta). It was particularly grating as the basic move, fire, suppression, morale, order rules were pretty tight and played well.

In our last brainstorming session over copious amounts of tea, we made some heavy revisions for the artillery, spotter helicopters and aerial artillery, and 'Hot Lz' VC card/ability. The artillery rules included prep fire.....so we decided to make a 'HOT LZ!' mission to try and test our revisions most efficiently. The FFW plots some prep fire, the VC sets up his blinds, artillery is fired, and the FFW arrive in their choppers. GAME ON!

AAR after the jump....

The idyllic Vietnamese 3x3 foot country side. Near left is all heavy jungle, ignore the separate islands of trees. The LZ's (2) can be seen as red numbered squares along the 'road'.

Numerous blinds (black bases with minidice frames) indicate the terrain is rife with potential VC.

The prep fire pins some potential VC near the centre of the table, but inspires one to great things.

As the first chocktaw helo comes racing into the Norther LZ '1', a hidden heavy AA Machine gun opens up. I made an error reading the table and it ended up doing more damage that it should have.....but we got to play more of the rules as a result.

The effective gunfire knocks the bird from the sky.

Even worse for the Free World Forces (FFW) is the crash table yields NO SURVIVORS! It's as bad as it can be. A full squad of marines, and an M60 gun team have bought some Vietnamese real estate.

A second chocktaw comes howling in to the other LZ, #2, and encounters 'Hot Lz!' card/ability. Luckily the site has been surpressed by the prep fire, and it avoids any serious effects.

The VC reveal and attempt to fire, but are utterly inept in their attempts to kill the marines.

A poor choice, as their fire reveals their positions, and allows the Marines to extract some heavy vengeance. 2 cells rout and the hq team waffles about hanging around (Thomas kindly decided they would be a separate target so were not routed at the same time).

The FFW luck has not changed in the slightest, however, as a hidden RPG team (inspired by the same morale chit pull caused by the routing VC cells) launches at the grounded helo.

The effects are........unfortunate. The Helo brews up, and the Marine player is only just hanging onto the game, being within a whiff of having his entire morale collapsing.

A largely ineffectual fire fight brews up between the remaining marines and VC in the south. Meanwhile, we discover the company hq had actually been on the 2nd helo downed....we decide they skeddaled behind the helo and that's why they didn't fire earlier. They attempt to call support.....a med vac (in order to boost their morale), and their medic sets up a aid station close to the one LZ still open......#1.

The VC continue to pressure the FFW, and as the medical helo arrives, they are in the tree line, exchanging fire with the door gunner.

We ran out of time about this point, but it looked decidedly in the bag for the VC (after some inadvertent cheating to take down the first helo). In the closing moments of the game we even managed to bring in a scout helicopter and a huey hog to lay waste to the forces in the south. Despite the scout helping, the deviation managed to go the absolute furthest, and worst, direction for the FFW, and one of their squads was seriously maimed by rockets (as was the VC).

All in all, a quite successful playtest, with the skeleton of a scenario created, validation for some new rule procedures, and some cleaning up and clarification on some rules. Thanks again to Thomas for letting me play with his toys.

1 comment:

  1. We sure did put a lot of new material to the test!
    I had a great time playing the Hot LZ with you, David. Truly appreciate the productive feedback, fantastic photos and detailed notes.

    Brilliant collaboration all around.