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Subject: New Campaign Has Begun Winter 1965 Operations rss

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Randy Knight
United States
Westerly
Rhode Island
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Winter 1965 Force Deployments and Game Turns 1&2

This Winter Season surprised the Americans very much. My advisors are scrambling to come up with an effective response!

The US controlled forces deployed prepared for another season of hunting down VC, expecting them to be spread throughout SVN again…

US Deployments:

101st Airborne Division is brought in in the ports of north and central Vietnam. All the 155mm Artillery is placed evenly throughout the ports in SVN, since the US never knows where the NVA and VC will focus and concentrate units (this is because the NLF player gets to deploy after the Us player). 15 US replacements are created to replace those lost in last seasons ambushes.

SVN Deployments:

12 ARVN REPL
9 ARVN Regiments
1 armored cave battalion
1 HQ (25th Division)

These are deployed mostly as garrisons to free up more Effective ARVN formations and help US units in operations.

NLF Deployments:
Wow.
Not what the US player was expecting at all.
The NLF build another full NVA Division with independent artillery support. (The 3rd NVA Division. Consisting of 3 Regiments, a HQ, and an independent Artillery)
The NVA added 30 NVA replacements. The VC added some replacements as well. This new division was established in the Northernmost box of the Ho Chi Minh Trail as required.
So where are the VC we were expecting? The VC were deployed in two main groups.

Group 1 was on the SVN/Laos Border (as in, actually ON the border). Not spread throughout SVN where my US troops were scattered and waiting for them.

Group 2, likewise, was deployed ON the SVN/Cambodian border in IV Corps. Specifically, they occupied a line of border hexes in the Kien Phong Swamps on the Cambodian border, between Chau Phu and Moc Hoa.

There were no new VC within SVN!!! The existing VC clusters that survived last season (perhaps 8 battalions) were hiding out where they ended the last season in the mountains of II and III Corps. Also the half dozen or so VC who had found sanctuary in Loas and Cambodia at the end of the Fall season were still there, of course.

My initial thoughts:
So what is my NVN enemy got up his sleeve? Pacification began to go well last season for the US Player, and his deployments this season seem not to be focused on getting into SVN in the normal insurgent manner?

The Reality:
Well, the VC had some surprises and ambushes planned for the unexpected US player. What developed was very interesting and exciting throughout the winter!

Turn 1 Winter 1965:
Because the NFL Player (controlling the VC and NVA) decides who performs Operations during the game, the US player simply got to watch as the VC performed a series of strategic movements to open the Winter Season:

The season begins with a true exodus of the remaining VC survivors still within mountain sanctuaries in II and III Corps making a literal dash for the protection of the Cambodian and Laotian border with SVN. Every VC unit remaining from last season that was still inside SVN fled toward or across the border into Laos and Cambodia, or as close as they could get. This exodus consisted of perhaps a dozen battalions, of whom about six made it out of SVN. The rest were on or near the border.

Then the US got to perform some operations.

So coming off the previous season, the US Marines begin operations in the Delta and move toward the newly built VC lurking in the marshes of Kien Phong, on the SVN border.

Typical operation, right? Wrong. This search and destroy operation went amuck. The US Marines, supported by a couple of artillery and a riverine craft, glide into one of the VC hexes, to help pin the enemy and assure that they cannot escape.

But instead of running, the VC player takes two reaction moves with two VC units adjacent to the Target Hex. BOTH of these additional VC units move into the Marsh hex with the original target VC and the US Marine Battalion. It turns out that the three VC are decent representatives of the Vietcong, and they have a total ground and artillery strength of 9 factors.
So the Marines are very much outnumbered, facing an enemy who isn't fleeing (for once). So the poor odds and marsh terrain cause negative pursuit results and casualties for both sides. So the annoying gang of marsh-loving VC decide not to retreat. They don't leave the hex. Then I realize I cannot withdraw from the hex because my pursuit result was too low, and my interdiction of the original target hex also hinders my own escape. That was a plan which backfired. I radioed for immediate offensive reserves, both ground and artillery, but they sort of had to trickle into the fray because they were scattered across the Delta. So after a couple of more rounds of trading US Replacements for VC Replacements, the Offensive Reserves and some better pursuit results cause the VC to decide to retreat across the Cambodian border into safety. *** sigh*** I lick my wounds and realize I was ambushed this time.

So for a change of scenery, I decide to perform another Search and Destroy operation up in the Northern mountains on the Laotian-SVN Border. Target hex contains a VC unit along a chain of VC on the Laotian Border…

Would you believe I make the SAME mistake again. Flying right into the mountainous Target Hex to pin the VC unit and help prevent its escape, it turns out that there is a VC Regiment (which is still unknown to me) next door to the Target VC Battalion. The Regiment Reaction Moves into the target hex occupied by the US unit, and again I find myself in a poor odds, poor terrain battle from which I cannot escape. The fates converge against me and I take six US replacement losses before the tide turns in US favor with the Offensive Reserves and pursuit results increasing enough where either I could leave or the VC decide to retreat. ***ughh***

I think I took more US Replacement Point losses in those two Operations that I had the entire prior season. So lessons were learned! Too much prior success led to overconfidence and failure to begin the winter season.

Then things began to get really wild, and the current situation on the map changed DRAMATICALLY.

The US player, armed to the teeth, but finding the VC hiding in the Cambodian Neutral State, outside of SVN, makes an exciting maneuver.

INVASION OF CAMBODIA:
Yes I know. Perhaps I need to think before I act. But this was truly humorous.

I run this massive security operation with the proper stack of units with enough Ground and Artillery Firepower to blow most anything off the roads of SVN…. and Cambodia. The Security Operation destroys or disperses at least five VC Battalions and 2 Political Sections who were on "safe and protected" roads within Cambodia. hehe.

Of course, with the US declaration of Cambodian Invasion, the dozen plus VC battalions in the Delta rice paddies within Cambodia decide its time to flee the wrath of the now angry US formations who have violated Cambodian neutrality. So they move right off of the play area onto the Ho Chi Minh Trail, muttering thats its better to be alive and fight another Season!
So I have this inner thrill, wondering just how the US citizens will react to such blatant aggression during next Morale Adjustment Phase. But at least those dozen VC and the rest killed on the successful security operation wont be in South Vietnam to affect pacification!

More Operations wrap up the season, and SVN is virtually free of Vietcong for the second season in a row.

Regarding the NVA:
One new NVA division was bombarded out of the DMZ by the Us Navy and the 175mm artillery in Khe Sanh and near Con Thien in Quang Tri Province. The Air force worked in unity with the artillery and navy for several significant bombardments of NVA units there. Caused about a dozen or so NVA Replacement Point losses. The NVA pulled out back onto the protection of the Ho Chi Minh trail, so they can move south along the Trail next season!

Final Results:
All in all, the season was another winner, in most respects. (Or perhaps I'm just being publicly optimistic like many of the US politicians of the Vietnam Era...)

Though the VC ambushes cost the US a precious dozen or so replacement points lost, yet the SVN Population gave their hearts and minds to SVN. Seven more population points came to Papa Khanh, as I lovingly have dubbed the SVN 3-star leader

So Population controlled by SVN is 227 at the end of the Spring 1966 Interphase.

More about the Spring 1966 Interphase details and the unusual events of Spring 1966 operations coming soon.

Enjoying the game!
Randy Knight



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Charles Lewis
United States
O Fallon
Missouri
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Wow! Sounds like a really interesting game!
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Noel Mitchell
Ireland
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Great stuff. What a fantastic game.
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Mark Evans
United States
Berlin
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NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT PRESS RELEASE

By abandoning South Vietnam we are really taking a beating on the hearts and minds battle, but the amount of American casualties is sure to catch the eye of the American public. The invasion of Cambodia was somewhat expected. Randy can be emotional from time to time and lacking anything to kill I places several units in a bad position in Cambodia hoping to draw him in. Losses were worse than expected, but he did invade Cambodia and we made sure the press corp was there taking photographs.

Bulking up in mutually supporting positions and fighting him straight ahead caught him off guard. Losses were high for him and more importantly he backed off from being so aggressive. This give me some breathing space. I hope to get back to the hearts and minds game within 6 months. I can't stand watching pacification go his way.
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Martí Cabré

Terrassa
Catalonia, Spain
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This AAR is getting better every post! These couple of NLF ambushes were really unexpected!
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