Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vietnam Contact! Contact! AAR

KayJay and I got together for a 1500 point game of Flames of War-Vietnam using the Tour of Duty book.  KayJay provided the terrain and table and I provided all the models.  As you can see I am a bit of an enthusiast for the period.  We played the Contact! Contact! mission from the Tour of Duty book, which involved the Free World forces being ambushed and reinforcements riding to the rescue.  The winner would be determined after Turn 6, barring a company morale break.  The US would win if it held either objective, and the PAVN if no enemy teams were within 16" of either objective. Alternatively if one side started with 6 or more victory points than the other side, that side would win. We played that the entire table, unless otherwise marked (woods, cleared village) was covered by waist-high elephant grass, giving all infantry concealment.  Vehicles would treat this as slow going.  

Here are our lists.

American Airmobile Rifle Company List:
Rifle Co. HQ w Medic
Rifle Platoon (Airmobile)
Rifle Platoon (Airmobile)
Aviation Platoon (Airmobile)
Aeroscout Platoon (2 Loaches)
Aeroweapons Platoon (2 Hogs)
Blackhorse Cavalry Platoon (3 M113 ACAv, 3 Sheridans)
Field Artillery Battery (Airmobile)

PAVN Infantry Battalion:
HQ w 2 HMG nests
Infantry Co w/2 Platoons
Infantry Co w/2 Platoons
Local Force Co w/3 Platoons
Mortar Co 82mm w 6 tubes
Recoiless Gun Co w/3 guns
Anti-Air Co w/3 12.7mm guns
Booby traps (2)
Mine Fields (1)
The US started with the Aeroscout Platoon on the table, and the Aviation Platoon and one Airmobile Infantry Co. off table.  All other forces were in delayed reserve. 

The PAVN delivered an ambuscade with the AA Platoon, doing no damage at all.  

US Airmobile Infantry drop on the LZ objective.

 A PAVN Company show up in the wrong place, too late to save the AA platoon which is annihilated by the Loaches (White Team).  1 VP to the US.

On Turn 2 the US sets up a perimeter on the LZ.  The company commander, 2IC and Medic are also present.  

Another PAVN company arrives, this time in the right place.  They head toward the objective.

Some long range LMG fire wounds a few US teams as the PAVN advance.

On Turn 3, the US dig in and the PAVN get a VC company, who deploy along a ridge and rain fire on the US LZ.  Now dug in and benefiting from the special Free World Medic rules, the US have become very hard to dislodge.  The Loaches do some damage to the PAVN company and pin them down.  Also, the US discover they have landed on a minefield, but pass their tests to dig in and avoid the mines!

 VC on the ridge are mostly ineffective, being armed only with rifles.

 In the distance, the ill-deployed PAVN company approach the LZ.  The US appear to be in dire trouble.

However, an early assault by the red PAVN company fails miserably.

 The US Cavalry arrive to save the day!  However they are slowed by the woods and by waist-high elephant grass, with is slow going and limits them to 6" movement.

The armor advanced line abreast and rained MG fire on the rear elements of PAVN yellow company.

 The US remain dug-in on the LZ objective and mostly unharmed.  The 2IC is killed, however, and two wounded teams become casualties of the Medic!  

PAVN yellow platoon withdraws, failing their motivation check and thus being worth 1 VP to the US and also count as 1 platoon toward company morale.  Red company also withdraws but passes their morale check.  

Que the Wagner music!  Here come the Huey Hogs to even up the score.  Both Hogs rain destruction on the PAVN, heavily damage on the PAVN.  A new Red company has "reappeared" behind the Hogs and Yellow company appears closer to the LZ.  The noose is tightening but US firepower is holding off the worst the PAVN can do.

The PAVN swarm underneath the Hogs and fire everything at them they can!

The full firepower of an infantry company only downs one chopper, however.  Score 2-1 for the US.

More PAVN reinforcements arrive as the mortar company deploys on the table to rain shells onto the LZ.

Just in time, more Air Cav land.  The LZ is pretty hot and their deployment options are quite limited. KayJay picks the optimal spot to place them in order to avoid being chased off by enemy infantry approaching within 4".

The full might of the Air Cav is on display as choppers swarm the battlefield and lay down heavy fire on the PAVN.

Meanwhile the Blackhorse slowly trudge forward.  They are really wishing that Vietnam had more roads!

The US still cling to the LZ despite taking enormous amounts of fire from the PAVN.  Bulletproof cover plus the medic rules make them extraordinarily hard to dig out.  

 The PAVN recoilless rifle teams and MGs damage and drive off three of the Huey slicks, preventing them from deploying their passengers.  Only two teams make it off the choppers to aid the LZ defenders.  The large PAVN yellow company prepares to assault, but fail their motivation test to go through their own minefield!  A crucial opportunity passes them by.  One turn later, they try again but the two new teams add 8 dice of defensive fire and the assault is beaten back with heavy casualties for the PAVN.  

KayJay measures out where his choppers can land.  

 And they try returning again to unload more infantry.  PAVN red platoon is now within 4" of teh objective and contesting it.  So the game continues past turn 6.  

Yellow company abandons the field, passing morale, and reappears conveniently close to the objective.  They rush to the relief of Red Company, which cannot abandon the field as they contest the objective.  The gunship and Loaches continue to live a charmed life, shrugging off the fire of all PAVN weapons.  The fire from two revealed HMG bunkers also fails to down them.

More PAVN fire drives off one more Huey, but two disgorge their passengers to reinforce the LZ!  PAVN fire has destroyed 5 choppers so far, making the VP score 2-2.

US armor finally approaches the LZ, and the PAVN are running out of time to destroy the US infantry.

The VC retire, failing morale and a new company appears near the LZ.  Their inferior weaponry means they cannot help very much, however.  

Desultory VC fire fails to harm the US reinforcements.

The PAVN bunkers finally down a second Hog, giving the PAVN 2 more victory points, making the score 3-4 for the PAVN.  The brittle state of several PAVN units makes this a tenuous lead, however.

The US armor now seizes the central ground of the battlefield.  They lay down heavy fire on the VC platoon, pinning them and destroying several teams.  Loaches mop up the remaining mortar platoons, making the VP tally 4-4.

Taking a risk at the top of turn 8, the PAVN attempt to withdraw Red company in order to generate a new platoon, but they fail their morale check and are destroyed for VP and morale purposes.  This means the PAVN have now lost the minimum 3 infantry companies and must take a morale check.  Having lost 5 platoon with only two on the board, they roll for morale and get a "1"!  The PAVN have had enough and retreat from the battlefield.

The US is the victor, and the VP tally is 5-4 in their favor.  Checking the Vietnam VP chart, this gives the US a minor 5-2 win by tourney scoring.  I have played this scenario a few times now and it seems very difficult for the PAVN.  If the US can entrench on the LZ, the PAVN are forced to contest it or lose the game.  But ejecting the US from a dug-in position is quite difficult.  In this game, the PAVN also had a very hard time making infantry saves so casualties were high and the chance to launch a decisive assault elusive.  KayJay and I agreed that the APVN could use more AA and AT assets, probably instead of the mortars, which did little.  We also noticed that there are lots of little questions about the interaction of the Vietnam-only special rules (of which there are many) and the basic FOW rules. Some reasonable agreements are necessary between the players to solve all the little issues that can crop up.  We had a great time, though, and I am sure we will be playing a Vietnam game again soon.

EDIT:  The actual tally was 7 VPs for US (5 Infantry co's withdrawn or destroyed plus the AA and Mortars and 5 VPs for PAVN (6 helicopters is 3, plus 1 for the Hog platoon, plus 1 for the 2iC, actually!)  But the result is the same, 5-2 minor victory.  


Anonymous said...


Nice! Do you have any close ups of the figures?

Bob Burnham

Anonymous said...

The pictures don't do the choppers and armor justice. They are very nicely done.

I was lucky in getting my delayed reserves reasonably quickly and Brian was failing about half his infantry saves.

As Brian pointed out the intersection of teh regular FOW and 'NAM special rules cauased a bit of head scratching at times.