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Subject: New Campaign Has Begun Winter 1966 Interphase Game Turn 1 rss

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Randy Knight
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Winter 1966 Interphase and Game Turn 1

Vietnam, Victory Games 1965-1975

Good Pacification / Stability Returns

Finally (after two seasons of coups) a stable SVN government appears again under Papa Khanh's loving return to SVN from exile! People are happy again

The people of SVN flocked back to the SVN government with the return of their beloved leader Papa Khanh. Six population points were added to the loyal ranks of South Vietnam. Population is at 236.

Unfortunately, the ARVN effectiveness roll was a six this season (bad). So only the several ARVN Divisions with the best leaders remain effective.

Invasion of Laos Penalty:

The Communists must have control of the US media, because the penalty assessed against US Morale for the ARVN invasion of Laos last season was the maximum. Rolled a six/2 = Loss of 3 US Morale. Ouch. [This penalty had an equal chance of being zero]. So the communists must have send pictures to Time, Life, and the New York Times


US Player Deployment of Forces:

The United States:

1.) US Commitment: Remains at the 175 level
2.) US withdraws 2 battalions of the 23rd Division to go on winter leave.
3.) The US Player sent 2 commitment of SVN Military Supplies to the ARVN. These 14 supplies were used to make the following purchases:

…………………………….……….. Personnel / Supplies
HQ (9th Division)..…..……...…………………. 1 / 3
1 ARVN Regiment (1st Division) …....... 1 / 2
12 ARVN Replacements…………...……... 3 / 6
Upgrade 3 Armor Battalions ……………. 0 / 3
……..…….…………...………….…….. (Total 5) / (Total 14)




NLF Player Recruitment:

The NVN Morale Increase for Winter 1966 was +23. Here are the US analysts projections of what the NVA purchases were:

WINTER 1966 NLF Expenditures (likely)

12 VC Replacement = 1 commitment
30 NVA Replacements = 10 commitment
60 Trail Supply (guess) = 6 commitment
7 Sea Supply = 1 commitment
1 Lost Trail Supply = 1 commitment
Upgrade Ho Chi Minh Trail = 4 commitment

Total NVA replacements stockpiles were at 51
Total VC replacements stockpiles were at 67

NLF Deployment of Forces:

The VC encampment

In the VC encampment in the mountains of Quang Gnai (which was not eliminated in the Fall season), the surviving VC stronghold grew to large proportions in the Winter. This group basically TRIPLED in size. There were 9 VC units on holding operations in the mountains - deployed in a large continuous cluster - which must be dealt with immediately before they start causing massive population swings with all their communist leaflets and lies to my people. (Please note that my SVN population is very easily swayed to believe the communist propaganda). So we must be vigilant at any cost to eliminate such VC strongholds…

The 5048 VC Cluster

In the 5048 mountains (located near the tri-provincial border where Khanh Hoa / Tuyen Duc / Phu Bon come together) new VC units appeared.

New Cambodian VC, plus NVA

More VC were built in Cambodia along the border with SVN at Kontum. It should be noted that some VC and NVA used the Ho Chi Minh Trail to enter Cambodia in the region adjacent to Kontum (lateral with Pleiku and Kontum city). It looks like an effort may be made to infiltrate into South Vietnam through the Central Highlands. This is likely in response to the blocking actions the US performed to the north (Quang Gnai) and to the south (Tuyen Duc). Looks like some NVA and VC strength will be moving into Kontum. Observation planes have alerted nearby US formations...

Cordoned in Cambodia

A very large mass of VC started the Winter Season on the SVN Border of Phouc Long. These are the VC who had become trapped in Cambodia last season by the US chain of units. They used strategic movement at the end of last Fall Season to move south along the Cambodian Border to clearer pastures.

NVA and VC in Delta

An NVA Division with HQ and Artillery left the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the infiltration phase. These were accompanied by four other VC units near the parrots beak. Here are the NVA as they came off the Ho Chi Minh Trail and bombarded units of the 3rd Marine Division:

The group of Green "Operations Complete" Markers are from a US Search and Destroy operation that eliminated a VC unit squatting in a cultivated hex on the SVN Border.

VC in the Forested Hills

A group of 5 VC units were taking up high ground positions in the forested hills of Kontum.

A second group of 3 VC units were screening the NVA, both of whom moved into Kontum, which can be seen here:


United States Troops (in response to the incursion by the NVA) have moved closer to the enemy this turn to contain them if they are able.

So that's how the Winter Season of 1966 found the two combatants deployed.


US Military Strategy and Winter Operations:

Before the US Player could begin to anticipate the Vietcong's plans this season … the VC in Cambodia used strategic movement to rush across the border into SVN and took up firm positions in the mountains and hills of Kontum. This was likely an NLF Response to being cordoned off and blocked from entering Phouc Long and Tuyen Duc last season. The VC - and elements of the NVA division (2 regiments) - crossed into Vietnam from their sanctuaries and spawning grounds inside Cambodia…

Reducing the VC encampment:

The resources of the United States were immediately applied to Search and Destroy operations to wipe out the now large and dug in (hold operations) VC encampment in the Quang Gnai mountain region. 9 VC units on HOLD… including 3-1-6's - yikes. Units were flying down from the Quang Nam Border region where they were operating last season against the NVA / VC armies that were there. About ten search and destroy missions later (including a rare declaration of free fire), this entire group was destroyed or dispersed in Operation Clear Nam

Free Fire in two adjacent provinces:
1.) Kontum
2.) Quang Gnai

Operation Net:

Koreans and US units surrounded the Tri-Province VC. We had to use strategic movement to get close to these remote units on Game Turn 1. The Koreans deployed in a loose net around the cluster of VC. They hope to Search out and Destroy them in Game Turn 2.

Surrounding the 5 VC in the forested hills:

The US player performed three search and destroy operations against the entrenched VC in the forested hills of Kontum. Two were eliminated, but one VC escaped across the Cambodian Border to safety. The remaining two VC must be eliminated in Game Turn 2. Here are the rather reduced group that remained of the original five at the end of Game Turn 1 Winter 1966:


Highlights of Winter 1966 Game Turn 1 Summary:

South Vietnam Government stable again...
US Total Commitment still at 175 points.
VC clusters appear in I Corps and II Corps
VC in Cambodia near Parrot Beak and Tay Ninh
NVA in Kontum and in Parrot Beak area.
20 US Search and Destroy operations destroy or disperse about 14 VC units on Game Turn 1.
VC and NVA aggressive presence in Kontum area.

Enjoying the Game!
Randy Knight (playing with Mark Evans)


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Mark Evans
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NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT RESPONSE

It must have been a slow news day when you invaded Laos, we had nothing to do with it. You should plan your invasions to coincide with a Royal or Celebrity Wedding, so the Laos invasion would be the number 2 news story. Fighting the Free World Allies with Randy at the helm is like fighting the Borg. Commitment stays the same and reinforcements come and go, the board looks completely different each season. We are hoping to make an impact in Kontum this season. It is strongly anti-communist. We just need some time to explain to them the benefits of a communist system. The pesky Americans keep chasing our emissaries away.
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Jim Dietz
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drmark64 wrote:
NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT RESPONSE

It must have been a slow news day when you invaded Laos, we had nothing to do with it. You should plan your invasions to coincide with a Royal or Celebrity Wedding, so the Laos invasion would be the number 2 news story. Fighting the Free World Allies with Randy at the helm is like fighting the Borg. Commitment stays the same and reinforcements come and go, the board looks completely different each season. We are hoping to make an impact in Kontum this season. It is strongly anti-communist. We just need some time to explain to them the benefits of a communist system. The pesky Americans keep chasing our emissaries away.


Ignore the strongly anti-communist provinces--stick to the moderate ones and tip them to your side.

Also--I'm not sure about the search/destroys the Americans used--as the Americans, I was never able to run ten missions in a row to smack the VC. The minute enough Americans came nearby, they ran across the border (if US forces were deployed as seperate formations) or scattered to the winds if the US units were in division formation.

Run away from battle every time and bide your time until '67 or '68.
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Randy Knight
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jollyrogergames wrote:


Also--I'm not sure about the search/destroys the Americans used--as the Americans, I was never able to run ten missions in a row to smack the VC. The minute enough Americans came nearby, they ran across the border (if US forces were deployed as seperate formations) or scattered to the winds if the US units were in division formation.

Run away from battle every time and bide your time until '67 or '68.



The mobility of American troops is phenomenal:

Helicopters can bring American battalions into the target hex from 9 hexes away (using a hot landing zone to pin the enemy units in the first round of combat). Add in a +2 interdiction from 155mm airmobilized artilery. With American units involved (no ARVN), the only way for Mark's VC to "run away from every battle" is to Roll a 6 (d6) on the alert roll. Otherwise the VC must face the American wrath. It isn't easy to run away. There is no place to hide within SVN. Cambodia and Laos are good sanctuaries, yet both have been invaded just once since our campaign inception. So even these "sanctuaries" are not safe if the US player declares they are unsafe.

If the US Player centralized his Airmobile units and assets that can be airmobilized (and this is not hard to do; knowing which provinces of SVN are targets of VC activity and pacification) SVN can be a very dangerous place for the VC units.

If you centralize your airmobile assets at the end of every season (as circumstance allows), there are very few places within SVN for the VC to hide. The US has a search and destroy diameter of 18 hexes from a friendly unit. Usually support (air,naval,artillery) is also available to make positions untenable for the VC that are caught. Mark had some success building regimental VC surprises.

I wish very much that Mark would build and bring MORE VC into SVN. That way I could nail them all and get the Morale bonus for killing 30 or more. I got it once, and Mark hasn't let me hit that level of success again. He retreats into sanctuaries. But then next Turn of Season it becomes a liability to come back across.

It has been a tough war so far for the VC. But Mark knows their value in causing some casualties to US and ARVN troops in defending against search and destroy ops on HOLD in the mountains. It takes a toll. That is one of his strategies at this time.

Of course, I agree it is only a matter of time until the US must withdraw. Then he has his vengeance.

Awesome gaming!

Randy
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Jim Dietz
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I understand the power of artillery.

But I'm saying that when American forces are close from the impulse before, he should activate first and use strategic movement to get out of Dodge. Will it work every time? Nope.

but if it forces Americans to use airmobile points to catch him--that means a chance of killing them. If pinned, the VC unit dissolves with the excess back into the RP pool.

If that # of Americans are activating to hit a single hex--there WILL be hexes of VC left untouched to run amok.
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Randy Knight
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We are truly having a great time with this Campaign Game.

I feel like I'm working toward a doctorate on Vietnam History because of the reading I'm doing about Vietnam and the Vietnam War between our playings. These are the books I've devoured concurrent with our campaign play:

Tiger Force (Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss)
Steel My Soldier's Hearts (David Hackworth)
The Vietnam War (Bernard Nalty)

The last is a broad history of the Vietnam War (yet very precise). I'm going to loan it to Mark to read next, when we play again the first weekend of March, continuing Winter 1966.

Regarding helicopter losses (which I agree, Jim, is a serious drain on the US, and part of the reason the VC should leave Dodge and force the Us to chase them, as you say), I have been watching some sad footage of the war on DVD, which has shown several lost Hueys, and their crashes. Definitely brings the loss during Search & Destroy Operations vividly to life.

Randy

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Jim Dietz
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Randy,

A couple other good books include the memoir "We Were Soldiers" was based on and "On Vietnam" by Harry Summers--an interesting application of Cluasewitz to the war.

My favorite quote in there goes something like:

Summers (to Vietnamese general when war was over): "You know, not once did you beat us on a battlefield."

NVA Gen: "You are right, but that is also irrelevant."
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Mark Evans
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A friend loaned me a historical fiction book about the war written my a former VC/NVA soldier. I had no idea how the other side was looking at things. Morale was a constant problem for them. I can see why, the way Randy takes my pieces off the board.
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Volko Ruhnke
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Outstanding after-action reporting, photos, and discussion. How wonderful to have the time to play out this classic campaign game! I did the same in the mid-1980s, shortly after this game was published--a wargame memory forever.

Best of luck as the struggle continues. - Volko
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Mark Evans
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Thanks Volko. I am a huge Volko fan.
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