Top 10 Vietnam War Games
Robert Carroll
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Below is my Top 10 list of games covering the Vietnam War. These are games that meet all of the following criteria: (1) focuses on some aspect (e.g., air, naval, ground, operational, tactical, battle(s), etc.) of the Vietnam War; (2) addresses the "theme" in an interesting or compelling manner that leaves the player with a better understanding of the conflict (or the specific aspect of the conflict); and (3) fun to play (understanding that this can be very subjective, especially for wargames). This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

As always, thanks for reading and participating!
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1. Board Game: Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:2120]
Robert Carroll
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#1

A CDG covering the Vietnam War covering most of the major events of the period, including political influence.
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2. Board Game: Phantom Leader [Average Rating:7.49 Overall Rank:1942]
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#2

The Vietnam Air War as seen through the eyes of one of its pilots. This "improves" on the Hornet Leader series. Each pilot has their own skills and can improve from mission to mission.
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3. Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.39 Overall Rank:1751]
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#3

Maybe the most comprehensive treatment of the Vietnam War with battalion and regiment size unit counters. This attempts to cover all aspects of the conflict (ground, ari, politics, morale and commitment, strategic bombing, reinforcements, pacification, etc.) starting with "less" complex scenarios and building up to the Campaign Scenario which covers the entire war from 1965 to 1975.
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4. Board Game: Downtown: Air War Over Hanoi, 1965-1972 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:1817]
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#4

Relatively "deep" game covering the major air operations from 1965 to 1972.
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5. Board Game: Lock 'n Load: Forgotten Heroes – Vietnam [Average Rating:7.40 Overall Rank:2368] [Average Rating:7.40 Unranked]
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#5

This, along with the next entry, are the few, the proud, the squad level Vietnam War games. An "evolution" of squad-based wargames (e.g, Squad Leader, Advanced Squad Leader, etc.), the game’s impulse system attempts to keep players actively involved in every minute of play.


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6. Board Game: Fields of Fire [Average Rating:7.73 Overall Rank:1130]
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#6

Interesting concept--following the 9th Infantry from WWII, through Korea and into Vietnam. Unfortunately, the game is not as intuitive as it should be and suffers from some vague rules. However, given the limited offering for tactical Vietnam ground actions (ala Squad Leader, Advanced Squad Leader, Combat Commander: Europe, Combat Commander: Pacific, or Combat Commander: Mediterranean), especially solo-play--this is well worth the effort.
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7. Board Game: Winged Horse: Campaigns in Vietnam, 1965-66 [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:6975]
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#7

This "magazine game" covers the critical fighting during the first months after massive conventional US intervention into Vietnam.
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8. Board Game: A Week In Hell: The Battle of Hue [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:4746]
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#8

This solitaire "magazine game" covers the fighting of five USMC companies for the liberation of downtown Hue from January 31 to February 6, 1968 using an aerial map of Hue.
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9. Board Game: Silver Bayonet: The First Team in Vietnam, 1965 [Average Rating:6.71 Overall Rank:5360]
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#9

This is a company-level game focusing on the conflict between a full North Vietnamese Army Division and the U.S. 1st Cavalry Division just west of Pleiku in Vietnam's Central Highlands between October 23 and November 25, 1965.
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10. Board Game: Vietnam Solitaire [Average Rating:6.83 Overall Rank:9486]
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#10

This is by far the lightest (and lowest production value, by far) offering on the list and PNP to boot; however, it provides a very tough, fast pace, rough "feel" of the conflict by merging the relative effectiveness of the different forces, options for the Americans and political influences.
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