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Vietnam 1965-1975» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Lost in Vietnam, a solo (re)learning AAR - Setup rss

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Bob A

North Carolina
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As I have stated elsewhere, I haven't picked this game up in about 25 years, but finding this website and then VASSAL has me uber-excited to give it a whirl again!

I've poured over the rules again, played a couple of the smaller(single map) scenarios and I'm ready to roll. I would like this to be a very open discussion of tactics and strategies, I will be implementing several that I have found on the site in this game, and I will go over them in detail below:

House Rules (mostly copied, with slight alterations)

US New Commitment is limited to 25 per season for the first 2 seasons. (I've seen what 4 did with Petri, so this is an alteration to it.

ARVN divisional units:
- are ineffective if not in the same corps as their HQ with a 2 hex grace area, but will return to same corps ASAP if no enemy in this range
- may cross borders and boundaries by strategic movement to the corps which has their HQ
- HQs will get +2 penalty to effectiveness roll for the next season, if they change corps
- US player decides the side of border a divisional unit is for effectiveness (also for HQs)

ARVN chief of staff:
- first one has at least effectiveness 2, loyalty 8
- subsequent ones have at least effectiveness 1
- is also the corps commander of Laos and Cambodia
- changing corps for Marine and Parachute division HQs does not cause +2 penalty

Free fire and pacification:
- US decides which side units on borders are for free fire.
- NLF decides which side units on borders are for pacification.

Coups:
- there is a -1 modifier to coup rolls for each previous coup


About hidden information:
- NLF Battalions will be drawn randomly and placed without regard to their value.
- US will ignore what the NLF units are, consideration of targets should pretend to not include this knowledge. I am extremely good at ignoring this information
- NLF battalions will, unless under severe pressure, move as if they have 6 MPs.

Initial setup for US/ARVN
I will be using the "ARVN Leadership Development" from Randy, building only the AC units and placing them in port cities.
We will disband the unit if the leader is bad (0 or less)
All capitals are garrisoned
Saigon and Hue get a Marine and a Paratrooper regiment, respectively
Deployment:
- 18 infantry battalions (6 draft, 12 supplies)
- 17 armored cavalry battalions (17 supplies)
- 12 armored battalions (12 supplies)
- 10 4 point artillery (40 supplies)
- 2 regiments (2 draft, 4 supplies)
- 28 replacement points (7 draft, 14 supplies)
- save 1 supply

ARVN leaders
I need a name! Unbelievably, I get our mystery man (+1,0). This has significant implications for my first turn strategies.



And here's my first question:
The scenario states that the "totals [for leader loyalties] in excess of 10 are treated as 10. I didn't notice this when I made the image, but believe this means their loyalty cannot be above 10, is that correct?

I have made this adjustment in the game, but not the image above.

Naval commander and Corps II will attempt to be replaced at the 2 star level, and 4 one star leaders have to be attempted. I will also attempt to replace the 18th Div (A/0) and will disband the 23rd AC. I hope I get a good result for B leaders later, but I haven't even looked at that table yet.

US/ARVN Strategic/Tactical Plan for Year 1:

The US will try to stay under 150 commitment for as long as possible to limit offensives.
Since we have the mystery man leading the country, we are very close to being able to have over 70 SVN Morale in turn one.

I will use unrestrained bombing (+4) and 1 aid package to try to reach that in the Summer, to avoid the lower column pacification roll in the Fall.

Plan for US commitment:
25, 25, 50, 24 in the first year, bringing in 1st Cav in Summer, 23rd and the rest of 3M in Fall, 101st and 1st in Winter for 4 full divisions in the first year. Air, replacements and support are sprinkled in along with 8,8,9 in SVN supply for the first 3 seasons to build their forces quickly.

Of course, this is all planning prior to contact with the enemy, and we know how THAT goes...

SVN Mobilization Plan:

I had figured on removing 3 battalions to replace leaders before the rolls, so the plan is based on that.
In both summer and fall with 56 supplies coming from the US, we would bring in 4 "full" divisions (3 brigades and HQ) each season, starting with the best leaders and placed to be able to react to VC initial placement. Also, 2 rangers each season and either battalions or RPs to round out the supplies.

Winter would see 63 supplies and finish out the other 5 divisions and rangers.

The US wants a strong ARVN and hopefully the leadership will develop well.

Another question:
With regards to upgrading, I plan to also upgrade these regiments in the future, is there a good reason to do so with the infantry battalions? Since they take personnel also (and AC/Armor does not) is it a good idea to strengthen them over time as well? Or does that just waste supplies that could better be used as replacements for the end?

NLF Deployment:

45 battalions and 4 Political Sections will be deployed across the countryside, fairly evenly divided, near roads mostly to restrict movement. The summer will see builds in contested provinces and in undefended capitals first if any were to exist (highly doubtful) and harder to reach towns. NLF will try to force out the Imperialist population in our good Communist Brothers' lands, and in contested areas first.

NVN commits 7 points to trail supply and 3 points to sea supply for the next turn.
NVN purchases nothing, and holds 10 commitment.


US Morale: 520
US Commitment: 25
NVN Morale: 10
NVN Commitment: 0
SVN Morale: 65
SVN Draft Level: 15
SVN Population: 217
NLF Draft Level: 45
NLF Population: 143

Picture coming....


Last question:
In the summer, if I were to swap out the 6 marine battalions for 6 others from 1M, I would keep the 2 3M HQ's on the board for free and add 2 others from 1M, correct? This is legal on the first turn?

All comments are more than welcome, I am trying to learn my way around again, and all critiques and helpful tips would be great, not just for me, but for anyone else who may come across this.

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Bob A

North Carolina
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I almost forgot about this and that I wanted to add it:

I read here http://boardgamegeek.com/article/10834503#10834503 about the "unlimited" use of free fire.

Per my plan, I will have roughly 40 air points for the first 2 seasons (100 by Spring '66) and could implement Free Fire on some sort of automatic basis. Maybe if it looks like I will run more than 1 op in a province? Or maybe just wherever I run an op? Or just by feel?

Thoughts?
 
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Patrick
France
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-Leader moral have a maximun of ten at the set up (and just add +2 to the dice roll)


-For the Ac/armored
I will upgrade the armored, ground force +1 mvt +1 pursuit bonus +1
Allowed for S/D or defensive ope.

I will not do the same with the AC.they are the best unit you can destroy.

Yes it s legal

6 points for 6 points
the fisrt marine Hq are free, because deployement of the 3 bat
By the way if you retire the 3rd marines unit,you could think to remove the 2 hq to and replace them by two 155 arty
i guess its a better option for offensive and defensive support.

For the free fire during an offensive.
Have to check point by point same as it worth or not during normal turn.
I think with medium dice roll for pacification , it will not change a lot if the area its pro NLF or SVN. If it s help for kill more Vc units and bye this way do not change the Roll why not.


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Petri P
Finland
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Some comments, about free fire, or actually, the population battle. And house rules.

Free fire is about equivalent to a bad column shift. If you look at the expected population change values, it is something like "with a good column shift, there is no way VC can win population in the long run, with a bad column shift, VC doesn't need to do much to start gaining population, but a bit of something is still needed".

Of course the population loyalty in that province also effects this - but for the average, not fully committed provinces, it should be about correct.

A morale based bad shift + free fire in a province, If I remember correctly, should be enough to press most at start provinces down on the average.

So it is very important to get rid of the bad shift immediately, the beginning is the only time VC can actually win by population, and having the bad shift makes it easier for them. Blasting VC away from an important (undecided) province with free fire, during the beginning, would be about as bad as allowing some VC units to remain there.

I don't have an exact formula for using free fire. However, some gut feeling based opinions:

Use as much as you like in the hopeless provinces, especially in the early game. (i.e. those which are not likely to raise before you have 140 SVN morale for the good shift).

Using some free fire in very loyal provinces, i.e. those which are not likely to drop even if free fire was used, is ok. However, if they drop, it might, with bad luck, start a downward spiral. Even if on the average they should bounce back by themselves.

Of course, in the early game VC will not hang around in numbers in the disloyal provinces (no reason to) or the loyal provinces (too difficult to cause change in them), and thus the above simple suggestions will not help.

But the important thing is to raise SVN morale as soon as possible. The +1 guy of course helps, but the early game still can have a coup, giving you for example Thieu, even with the coup protection drm. That protection basically just limits the coups to a small number, reflecting history - whoever wins, will likely remain. Like Thieu did.

Getting rid of the bad shift should make an actual VC population victory all but impossible. Getting the good shift will give SVN hopefully enough replacments. The end game (and thus victory) is almost totally about reducing SVN replacements, if everything went as supposed (i.e. several years of NVA vs ARVN and air).

House rules - those seem to be mostly modified ones from the ones I used, which in their turn were cherry picked from a selection of house rules from an old Wargamer article. (I left out more detailed monsoon/weather rules, at least - those had the map divided to weather zones, monsoon being in effect in some areas in some turns, and in other areas in other turns, mud effects (?), helicopters being reduced during monsoons - it felt too complicated for too little effect for me).

I was actually happy with the effect of 25 per season for a year - apparently historically the infrastructure (ports/airfields) was not sufficient, and it took a year to build them up.

And, at least at the time the article was published, the common wisdom (from a Victory insider article) called for immediate massive build-up, which prevented any chance of VC population victory or initial success. Historically, during the early war, VC saw their chances to be so good that they actually seeked battle. The 25 points for a season would allow that too, but I did not try it in that experiment I posted here.

However, a campaign by Randy and drmark64 posted here showed VC winning by early aggression, but I think I remember, might be mistaken, US did not priorize getting rid of the bad modifier in that game. So a year of 25 per season might be a good incentive for attempts at early aggression - without a limit it might be too easy to use economic aid to get rid of the threat of population victory.

Mechanics for solitaire play - I used the Cyberboard module instead of Vassal, as it allowed both sides to move without showing the counter faces of VC. It made it quite easy to lose track of what was where.
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Curt Chambers

Arizona
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Hi Bob. Glad to see you getting back into this game.

Question #1 - that is correct. During game setup ARVN rolled initial loyalty cannot be above 10.

Question #2 - I would absolutely upgrade ARVN battalions. Every value (combat, artillery, movement, pursuit) increases. In an augmented status they are very effective on counter-guerilla ops.

Question #3 - I agree with Patrick. It is legal.

Question #4 - I wouldn't use unlimited Free Fire. Especially in the beginning. There are too many provinces in swing status. The pacification model generally favors the U.S. in the long run but it can get dicey at the beginning.

Since you've invited an open discussion I'd like to comment on the house rules you are using. In general I'm against house rules except when needed to address a glaring loophole in the rules. In most cases I think the designers got it right and playbalance adjustments are simply not needed.

As for the rules you are using...

U.S. comittment restrictions - I STRONGLY disagree with this house rule. Historically, the U.S. brought in 50 comittment worth of troops during the summer of 1965 so why can't the player? If it is for playbalance then it is misguided. A heavy early buildup comes with trade-offs and does not give the U.S. any long-term advantage.

ARVN Divisional units - I agree with this house rule. Unfortunately it is necessary to prevent the ahistorical and totally gamey move of piling all the HQs in the most effective corps zone. I believe it was an oversight of the design to allow this loophole. Now the penalty for changing corps zones is an interesting twist I haven't heard of before. Is there a historical basis for doing so?

ARVN Chief of Staff - I disagree with this rule. Simply not needed. If you get a lousy C.O.S. then you just have to modify your war plans accordingly. I know from experience how difficult it makes the defense of Saigon but it's not an insurmountable obstacle.

Free Fire & Pacification border hexes - I disagree with this one too, especially the Free Fire part. Historically, the NLF knew about U.S. free fire zones and they would intentionally remain in areas that were restricted. So it makes sense to allow them to determine which side of the border they are on.

NOTE: I do think that the rules on deciding which side of a border a unit is on seem convoluted and counter-intuitive. In my solitaire games I've tried a couple variations to see how they worked out 1) allow the owning play to decide in all circumstances 2) determine visually which province is more prominent in that hex based on how the border runs. In most cases it's obvious.

Coups - Disagree. There were times during the Vietnam War when the government changed hands every 3 weeks. There were periods when it changed multiple times within a month. There were times when no one was in charge. The designer modeled this brilliantly and I see no need to tinker with it. If one felt compelled to reduce the effect of coups then a better and more subtle solution would be to reduce the morale effect of consecutive coups. For example, on the turn following a coup the morale penalty would be halved if another coup occured. Two turns after a couple the penalty is reduced 25%, etc.

Looking foward to reading future updates on your game.

EDIT: I didn't see Petri's comments when posting this. RE: U.S. committment. It is true that the U.S. found the port facilities lacking. But they still managed to land 50 CPs worth of troops/support/supplies during that summer (I have the arrival schedules of U.S. units and I think it's actually > 50 CPs). The upgrades to the ports were done primarily to accomodate the large quantities of economic aid that were being shipped.
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Petri P
Finland
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For the house rules:

Coups - actually, during the time period of this game, there were NO coups historically. The buddhist uprising, and the french speaking hill people (can't remember the name - southwest area near border) troubles would count as "instability". As would the early instability between 1965 and 1967, when Thieu was the head of one Junta, or another Junta.

After he was elected president in 1967, he never lost power before the end of the game period.

However, there *was* a series of coups just before the game started (December 1964, February 1965 - Thieu was the winner in the end, other possible leaders in this game were involved in those too). The political crisis which prevented SVN from fighting back - the war/insurgency was several years old at that point - was one of the reasons US decided to increase their presence, likely.

The game does not force SVN to play with Thieu for the whole time, allowing alternate history. The early instability and the preceding coups give historical validity to alternate "what if someone else won?" history, but that, for a historical-feeling result, should stop the coups after a couple of years. The coup protection drm does that.

However, for game balance reasons, I might now suggest "each time coup protection drm prevents a coup, the drm is reduced by one towards zero".

The initial balance issue is that coups cause disloyalty which causes coups, in the worst case a vicious circle, where the game (lasting 200+ hours) is actually decided by a few coup rolls. However, getting stuck with Thieu is painful, so some loosening of coup protection, even if ahistorical, might be useful. However, in my posted replay, I got stuck with Thieu, by chance, and the game still went to the end.

The chief of staff, and the exemption of marines and paras from another house rule in the original set (+2 inefficiency drm from changing home corps) is partially historical - chief of staff was never a really bad one, marines and paras were much more effective than the other divisions) and partially from game balance reasons - permanently ineffective SVN artillery is a too large penalty from random chit pull + random dr, as there is no way players could replace him after a bad result.

The 25 point per season in that original Wargamer article was mentioned to be within historical deployment rates. In the context of the game, or the rule, the initial setup does not count against this limit - is it that one you object against?

The penalty for changing corps zones in the original Wargamer article was based on the bad results caused by normal divisions being moved to new areas long away from their normal garrisons. The personnel had family and local ties - after being ordered to a new area, some divisions apparently suffered so much desertion/mutiny that they became absolutely worthless as a combat force for several months.

The free fire zone/pacification decision split is just a play balance modification with the most streamlined execution. The only place where the free fire actually really matters is the capital on Cambodian border. The pacification advantage (NLF deciding) counters a *lot* of the pro-US house rules here.

One original Wargamer house rule missing here, and missing in my declared house rules in the "A lone search for Charlie" experiment (from which these here were apparently copied from and modified, totally ok to do so, btw) is "US divisional HQs and divisional artillery/armor/ac can only be brought in if at least two regiments/brigades of that division are brought in/already exist on the map".

The reason for that was the perceived imbalance of upping US artillery count by bringing in just one brigade of a division + division HQ (+ artillery for 23rd), (for EVERY division) which apparently would never have been done historically even for one division, according to the author of that original article, but apparently was a popular tactic in the late 80's for the players of this game.

I did not list that rule in "A lone search for Charlie", because I wanted to possibly do it for a division or two if there was a need for that. However I never planned to do that for the whole US army, which apparently was considered game breaking good/bad in the 80's. I might actually have done that for a division or two in that replay.

EDIT: saw your response on the ports. I should have a photocopy of the original wargamer article somewhere.. I might be motivated enough to find the reasoning for the 25 commitment per season.
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suPUR DUEper
United States
Villa Hills
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This is great! I am in the process of playing my first game and doing it solo. Am in the Summer of '65 "pre phases" and have already picked up some good tips.

I wish the rules were written a little differently. The sequence of play is really difficult to follow in the Interphase as the rules are laid out topically and the sequence of play is not very detailed. The timing of certain things seems important but much of the sequence is hard to tease out of the rules.

Honestly, it feels a bit like am doing my taxes. It is not very streamlined:
-charts are everywhere
-the "spreadsheets" don't clearly discern things that you count this turn versus next turn
-the sequence of play is choppy
-etc.
 
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Curt Chambers

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Hi Petri. Really enjoying this discussion and reading your comments. Few players have put as much thought and analysis into this game as you. On the subject of house rules, however, we might have to agree to disagree.

petrip wrote:
For the house rules:

Coups - actually, during the time period of this game, there were NO coups historically. The buddhist uprising, and the french speaking hill people (can't remember the name - southwest area near border) troubles would count as "instability". As would the early instability between 1965 and 1967, when Thieu was the head of one Junta, or another Junta.

After he was elected president in 1967, he never lost power before the end of the game period.


Both Ky and Minh held power during the period covered by the game, albeit briefly. Ky at the beginning and Minh at the end. But your point is well taken that the government was more stable than would be reflected by a series of bad coup rolls.

Quote:
However, there *was* a series of coups just before the game started (December 1964, February 1965 - Thieu was the winner in the end, other possible leaders in this game were involved in those too). The political crisis which prevented SVN from fighting back - the war/insurgency was several years old at that point - was one of the reasons US decided to increase their presence, likely.


This is probably the period I was thinking of in my previous response.

Quote:
However, for game balance reasons, I might now suggest "each time coup protection drm prevents a coup, the drm is reduced by one towards zero".


A decreasing coup probability is already built into the game. Over time, 2-star loyalties tend to rise. By the end of the game they're almost always more loyal than at the beginning. And as they rise the odds of a coup naturally decline. There's no need to reduce it further.

Quote:
The initial balance issue is that coups cause disloyalty which causes coups, in the worst case a vicious circle, where the game (lasting 200+ hours) is actually decided by a few coup rolls. However, getting stuck with Thieu is painful, so some loosening of coup protection, even if ahistorical, might be useful. However, in my posted replay, I got stuck with Thieu, by chance, and the game still went to the end.


The thing I like about this game is that it models the war, it doesn't recreate it. Taking out too much of the uncertainty pigeon-holes the game into a simple reenactment. Not very interesting and has the same result every time.

Besides, I don't think the game is decided by a few coup rolls. They are one of many factors, some random and some not, that will influence the game. And as you pointed out, sometimes a coup can be a good thing.

Quote:
The chief of staff, and the exemption of marines and paras from another house rule in the original set (+2 inefficiency drm from changing home corps) is partially historical - chief of staff was never a really bad one, marines and paras were much more effective than the other divisions) and partially from game balance reasons - permanently ineffective SVN artillery is a too large penalty from random chit pull + random dr, as there is no way players could replace him after a bad result.


See my previous comment. I just think that these house rules are trying to take out too much variability. It would be easy to make each division follow it's historical effectiveness and reliability, but then it wouldn't be the same game. I do agree that the C.O.S. is unusually influencial. But keeping effectiveness above an aribitrary number seems to be a rather blunt solution.

Quote:
The 25 point per season in that original Wargamer article was mentioned to be within historical deployment rates. In the context of the game, or the rule, the initial setup does not count against this limit - is it that one you object against?


I've never read the article you are referring to. Are they claiming that the United States was incapable of putting that much comittment into South Vietnam during Summer 1965? I find that hard to believe.

First, the U.S. brought in around 15-20 battalions during the summer. Then you have replacements, air support, naval points, airmobile, riverine, economic aid, and SVN supplies, none of which we have accurate data to convert into to committment points. In addition, the house rule does not consider that air units can and did operate from outside Vietnam and didn't need a port. Naval units and naval points (blockade points) of course stayed on station at sea most of the time. When they needed service they could go to Guam or the Phillipines. I believe the game designer took all of this into consideration. I'm not so sure about the article however.

Quote:
The penalty for changing corps zones in the original Wargamer article was based on the bad results caused by normal divisions being moved to new areas long away from their normal garrisons. The personnel had family and local ties - after being ordered to a new area, some divisions apparently suffered so much desertion/mutiny that they became absolutely worthless as a combat force for several months.


Ah, now that makes sense. I don't know if I support the rule but I'm glad it has a historical basis.

Quote:
The free fire zone/pacification decision split is just a play balance modification with the most streamlined execution. The only place where the free fire actually really matters is the capital on Cambodian border. The pacification advantage (NLF deciding) counters a *lot* of the pro-US house rules here.


Fair enough. But if you limit the house rules to the absolute minumum then you won't need extra rules to restore the balance.

Quote:
One original Wargamer house rule missing here, and missing in my declared house rules in the "A lone search for Charlie" experiment (from which these here were apparently copied from and modified, totally ok to do so, btw) is "US divisional HQs and divisional artillery/armor/ac can only be brought in if at least two regiments/brigades of that division are brought in/already exist on the map".

The reason for that was the perceived imbalance of upping US artillery count by bringing in just one brigade of a division + division HQ (+ artillery for 23rd), (for EVERY division) which apparently would never have been done historically even for one division, according to the author of that original article, but apparently was a popular tactic in the late 80's for the players of this game.

I did not list that rule in "A lone search for Charlie", because I wanted to possibly do it for a division or two if there was a need for that. However I never planned to do that for the whole US army, which apparently was considered game breaking good/bad in the 80's. I might actually have done that for a division or two in that replay.


I'm not sure I follow this correctly. If the entire brigade/division is not brought on then the U.S. has to pay extra to bring in their respective HQs. They don't get them free. So there is absolutely no advantage for the U.S. to bring in a single battalion and HQ from any formation. In fact, it's a horribly inefficient way to build up.
 
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Bob A

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Awesome replies! Thanks Petri and Curt for this discussion.

I was on the fence about the -1 coup piece, and I think I am going to end up taking it out. The more I think about it, the less I think I want it - if there's a bad leader that comes up (I don't think my mystery man will last very long) I'd think it may sometimes be in the US's best interest to attempt a coup, and the modifier cuts into that.

As for the Chief of Staff, I think I may just keep the first part (original CoS has certain level) and let it develop naturally from there to see how it plays out.

Petri, I also read that article with the rules, because I remember the weird weather thing - so strange that I didn't even finish reading it. Maybe it's on this site somewhere too?

As for my commitment levels, I guess I am making more of an executive decision (yes sir, Mr. President) as to how much the United States is investing in the first 6 months. And this President is stubborn enough to not waiver in his convictions until the mid-term elections are done.
That's kind of what I meant by this rule.

On Cyberboard vs Vassal: I have a Mac so I cannot use the former, so with all the lumps it may have, the latter it will have to be for me.

I'm also rethinking what I'm doing in Summer with 1 and 3 Marines from what Patrick was saying first - I'm not sure I want to retire 3M, because I like their stats better than the infantries, but I may just bring the entire 1M division in and cut back on air or something else to fit it in. And maybe a bit more artillery than air points early on, too. I'll just have to find where to cut back.

@Ted - that's part of the reason I haven't played in forever - too huge! But with the computer simulator, at least with Vassal, it actually takes some of the record keeping over for you, I think. I think once you go through a couple seasons, you'll get the hang of the order, especially if you pull up one of Petri's threads (and maybe the others) as he goes through some interphases in great detail which is easy to follow.

I've actually gone through the political phase of Summer, and will tell you only one thing: Mystery Man survives as SVN leader.

I have to leave for hockey soon, but I will get a pre-Summer deployment picture up sometime soon.
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Petri P
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Raindem wrote:

I'm not sure I follow this correctly. If the entire brigade/division is not brought on then the U.S. has to pay extra to bring in their respective HQs. They don't get them free. So there is absolutely no advantage for the U.S. to bring in a single battalion and HQ from any formation. In fact, it's a horribly inefficient way to build up.


I think the supposed exploit idea was to get an unnaturally high artillery proportion for the price by purchasing (with commitment) divisions with a single full brigade and a division HQ, over getting division HQs free from full unit purchases. (3 battalions + 2 excellent artillery for 4 points per such a "brigade-level division" - two of those are cheaper and have better artillery than a "normal division", and it is the artillery which is important). Anyway there was a Wargamer house rule there to explicitly forbid it, regardless of it actually being an exploit or just waste of commitment.

And about the coup / CoS, yes, the entire idea was to limit the extremes, to give a more guaranteed "fair" game. On the assumption that, like, starting the game with -2 loyalty 10 chief off staff, or a cycle of coups which might never stop, would make the game unenjoyable and predetermined.
 
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Curt Chambers

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petrip wrote:
I think the supposed exploit idea was to get an unnaturally high artillery proportion for the price by purchasing (with commitment) divisions with a single full brigade and a division HQ, over getting division HQs free from full unit purchases. (3 battalions + 2 excellent artillery for 4 points per such a "brigade-level division" - two of those are cheaper and have better artillery than a "normal division", and it is the artillery which is important). Anyway there was a Wargamer house rule there to explicitly forbid it, regardless of it actually being an exploit or just waste of commitment.

Does the rule prohibit bringing on an entire brigade and then withdrawing the 3 infantry battalions the following turn?

Quote:
And about the coup / CoS, yes, the entire idea was to limit the extremes, to give a more guaranteed "fair" game. On the assumption that, like, starting the game with -2 loyalty 10 chief off staff, or a cycle of coups which might never stop, would make the game unenjoyable and predetermined.


I understand. I'm going to be posting the final session report soon for "Second Clash", in which I complain about the ARVN and other variable factors. Even though I support randomness I can still complain when it doesn't go my way, right?
 
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Petri P
Finland
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Raindem wrote:

Does the rule prohibit bringing on an entire brigade and then withdrawing the 3 infantry battalions the following turn?


Can't remember, but it was accompanied by arguments about how the formations should be whole, and follow the way they were intended to be used. (The case in point being the division HQ/etc accompanying the larger part of the division. Doing what you suggest would obviously be against that, and would be frowned upon.)

There was no such railing against NVA, and as the absolutely best, no competition, NVA division deployment is the already reasonable "two mechanized regiments with 1 HQ", maybe there was not even need to.
 
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Bob A

North Carolina
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I am close to the end of Summer 1965, and will post a second thread in the next couple days.

Just to recap how I used the rules above:

I am removing the Coup roll adjustment
I am removing the restriction on replacement CoS (the initial rule actually had no effect anyways)

My house rule for commitment restrictions is not really a house rule per se, but a role playing type of variant where the President will not allow large early commitment.

Early realizations:
Air power should be used to save overwhelmed, semi-isolated capitals early
It's hard to catch VC when there are a lot of them in the Delta
Liberal Free Fire may induce President Johnson to loosen the reigns on US commitment

One more question regarding dispersed VC:
if they disperse prior to the first roll of combat (instead of alerting away) do they still count towards the units destroyed total?

Total destroyed is now in the 20's and I am trying to avoid the US getting to 30.
 
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Curt Chambers

Arizona
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mrboba1 wrote:
One more question regarding dispersed VC: if they disperse prior to the first roll of combat (instead of alerting away) do they still count towards the units destroyed total?


I have always played that they count as a KIA. But as I re-read the section on dispersal it only says they are "removed from the map" which could be construed different ways. So... I dunno.
 
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craig grinnell
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speer
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scenarios count them the same. So I would think that the campaign would as well.
?
 
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Curt Chambers

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Good point. Also there's section 16.1 on the morale effects. The last paragraph on the page specifies "eliminated or dispersed".
 
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Patrick
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Haha , it s very long with Vassal , specialy need switch side often.
I don't finish the first season yet.

Wait for your session

Have fun .
 
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Bob A

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Well, I was going to post today around lunch (it's all written), but my images didn't transfer to dropbox as I ran out of time to actually upload them here.shake

Guess you'll have to wait a little longer.

Teasers:
-The US did not reach 30 destroyed (22) and about 45 units remain in SVN
-Most free fire provinces were cleared of any additional downward modifiers
-The VC regiment was killed (I left it to defend a captured capital - that was a mistake)
-Kontum will become a VC stronghold unless major ops are run to clear it soon. It is the only province who held its captured capital (it was not a priority since VC were all over the coastal cultivated areas
 
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Randy Knight
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Raindem wrote:
mrboba1 wrote:
One more question regarding dispersed VC: if they disperse prior to the first roll of combat (instead of alerting away) do they still count towards the units destroyed total?


I have always played that they count as a KIA. But as I re-read the section on dispersal it only says they are "removed from the map" which could be construed different ways. So... I dunno.


Yes dispersed VC count toward the total eliminated NLF unit count for purposes of any calculations regarding U.S. Morale bonus.
 
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Petri P
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An ifern wrote:



Haha , it s very long with Vassal , specialy need switch side often.
I don't finish the first season yet.

Wait for your session :)

Have fun .


Missed this. One point for Cyberboard (which otherwise is inferior to Vassal in most games) is that it has a Referee save at the start. That one can be used to play the whole Vietnam Campaign through, with no need to change sides, and no forced revelation of VC units.

Another game where Cyberboard is clearly superior is the WWW GMT game series. And for many games, it is as good as Vassal.

I use Cyberboard through wine on Linux, Vietnam is extremely stable when ran this way.

However, in Vassal, it is possible to easily modify the games. More than in Cyberboard. I modified for limited sharing the Virgin Queen to allow a 2-player mode without changing sides, and Struggle of Empires to fix the missing naval units.

It should be possible to modify the Vietnam module for Vassal to allow a solo game without changing sides, at the least. Not so sure if it would be possible to prevent forced visibility of VC. Does the automatic bookkeeping work in it nowadays? Last I tried it, it gave incorrect results.
 
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Curt Chambers

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petrip wrote:
Does the automatic bookkeeping work in it nowadays? Last I tried it, it gave incorrect results.


It's about 98% accurate. For pacification it doesn't always add it up correctly so the vital stats usually has to be adjusted after each pacification phase. Also, once in a while if a province is 100% SVN controlled and you roll high during pacification, it may deduct a step (goes from #+ to #) instead of just staying where it is. Since it is such an important index I keep a seperate pacification spreadsheet to help resolve any discrpencies.

It does a good job with the ARVN, keeping track of ineffective units and such. But again, once in a while it loses track of a leader's loyalty and you may have to fiddle with the leader to get Vassal's internal loyalty value and the display to agree.

All the other bookeeping functions work without problem.
 
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Bob A

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Yeah, I just ran pacification today, and one province went from 7+ to 8+ (full capacity) and I noticed it didn't increase the total SV population.
I double checked my records and found that I was correct and it undercounted by one.
 
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