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Vietnam 1965-1975» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Lost in Vietnam, Fall 1969 - OFFENSIVE rss

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Bob A

North Carolina
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Fall 1969

No pictures at this time, I wanted to get this up and out. If anyone wants any sort of pics, I do have full map shots I might be able to work with. Or I can just let this go until the next report.

And to my fellow Americans - Happy Thanksgiving!

And to those who may read it later - enjoy your next holiday, whatever it may be ;-)


Pacification Stage

The Phu Yen gamble paid off for the US. A single box drop didn't change the population, but bad rolls in key places limit their gains. A three point gain is the result of the season, leading to 276 controlled population.

On the other side, the NLF looks closely at the numbers. A new plan has been hatched, since the US player seems capable of handling the small forces without US units, even when placed in awkward locations.

The new plan is for 2 offensives in the next 3 seasons. The numbers support this, with one big "IF."

84 VC population gives an 8:1 ratio at 672. The hope is to be able to squeeze 2 more drafts at the 2:1 personnel ratio. A surprise(?) VC offensive will be launched this season, with another using 3 NVA divisions planned for the spring alongside a smaller VC force. A 93 attack offensive (25 morale hit) is the target

This season's plan was to use about 100 personnel, but that makes the draft sit 5 points below the cutoff, and a single point drop in population now kills their chances. This season will be dialed back to 88 points, 17 points below, or where a drop of 2 population still allows the 2:1 rate. This is skating the edge, but if the VC hits their 93 attack mark, they will bug out. They will see where the population stands in winter, and hopefully be able to disband enough to stay under the limit for spring.
Three divisions plus 25 commitment for draft can be afforded. 50 battalions for the spring will be good, 25 would not.

Strategic War
The US cancels all bombing this season. Hardly any seen commitment was spent last season, so the assumption is that they sent everything last season.

They didn't. 10 commitment delivers 110 supplies.

But how much does that really hurt anymore? The limitation now is population, not supplies.

Political Phase
Leader replacement: I Corps is a forced replacement, and it is a success. The replacement is drawn: it is the same leader. (A+2). Loyalty roll of 3, he sits at 6. Did I actually do anything?

Coup roll: 7. Said leader goes pro-coup, and will drop back to 5. We'll do it all again next season.

Loyalty adjustment: a 5 is rolled. You'll never guess: (A) leaders drop a point. Now the Paratroopers will roll for a new general in the winter as well.

These rolls are really playing along with my story line now! Army faction leaders, who are the smallest minority, are angry and their loyalty keeps dropping. The schism between the Army and the other 2 groups is quite surreal. There have been at least 3 (maybe 4) negative and zero positive rolls for A leaders in the game's 18 rolls, none of which occurred on the poorest column.

SVN Morale: +4 to 186
US Morale: +2 to 402
NVN Morale: +36 to 507

Reinforcement phase

US/ARVN do nothing. The time is not right to extend to 300, which is my ultimate goal ceiling.

NLF: Offensive time. This one will be almost exclusively VC in nature. There are 50 commitment (after the 10 for supplies and 10 for buying the offensive) to spend. There are 254 VC Supply.
As was stated above, 44 commitment will buy 88 VC personnel, and the rest go to NVA RPs.

The 88 personnel are divided up to buy 48 battalions, 5 regiments, an HQ (to fill out 2 full VC divisions) and 54 RPs to bring their total to 86. Three supply depots are also purchased for Vinh Binh (5 pop) Khanh Hoa(10) and Binh Dinh(7). Two regiments are built up near Chao Doc in Cambodia, and the new division is created on the Khanh Hoa border with Phu Yen (2 regiments) and Binh Dinh's border with the latter (reg & HQ). Two points are used in Phu Yen for the northern regiment so 8 are used from Binh Dinh, and the remaining 6 creates the HQ.

The US and allies are unprepared for this, and are scattered across the delta and II Corps, leaving some units vulnerable. They will have to use strat movement to get to safety, thereby unable to hold or counterattack later in the first turn.

Again, the large majority of VC ends up in the delta, but only because that is where the bulk of the vulnerable units are. Some hits could be delivered even with single battalion attacks. Or the US will have to use up airpower, but with the NVA waiting in the wings and on map, they cannot afford to use it all.

Both NVA divisions exit the trail (along with all VC) and the offensive is declared. The free regiment is built on the North's border, and will eventually simply retreat to the trail to wait to be upgraded next season. The NVA has more replacements for an offensive they largely won't play a part in than they did for their large assault last winter.

Effectiveness roll of 3. IV corps independents and our Saigon Pair are ineffective.
The IV Corps failure will hurt without the ability to hold.

Operations Phase

The US, burned last time by holding too much, selectively holds in vulnerable locations, and usually not the entire stacks. US units are left available for countermeasures. The NLF doesn't patrol anywhere. So the US grumbles as it seems like this will be more of a suicide mission after all.

The US moves massive numbers of troops to more defensible positions, mostly into towns, but it's not always possible.

The VC then start their attacks. Some one and dones, others tally 2 attacks. Then, an NVA in Cambodia moves to meet a US battalion and 2 ARVN regiments guarding the border road in Tay Ninh. A VC cuts off the road from behind and attacks. This uses up 20 air and a free fire, and the NVA gives up after one attack. The VC survives this attack, and attacks again with horrible odds and dies. The NVA remains in Cambodia, so it is safe unless the US pulls the trigger and invades.

Elsewhere in the delta, a 2 strength battalion makes a dangerous path towards Truc Giang in Kien Hoa province. They attack across the Mekong against a lone 4-8 marine battalion at half strength. The US does not offer air support (50 have been used so far, and only 2 VC regiments have attacked in Chao Doc and one NVA regiment, so they want to save it.

Unfortunately for them, they don't realize that the attacker will always be on the first column as there is no available artillery support within defensive reserve range, and since it is a 2 strength unit, they won't have to be destroyed until the VC wants them to be. They could drain their entire 70 points remaining with at least 35 attacks on the same town - just from one unit!

They give in after four rounds, seeing they will not stop attacking, and retreat to Go Cong province. Another VC is activated and strategically moves into the capital. Quite a blunder!

With this turn of events, the NLF ponders the future of this offensive. They already stand at 51 attacks and have 20 more battalions and 4 VC regiments available for first turn attacks. The goal was 93 attacks for -25 morale. But Tuy Ho can be surrounded and attacked at 1:1 odds (even with full air support) forcing an airborne retreat and possibly a very large negative population modifier with a full division in the province.

To the south, a surprise capture in Kien Hoa could divert former suicide missions (7 battalions) to flood the province, making it very difficult to retake the capital and could build up a very large modifier there as well. This will only help to serve the future offensive by pressuring 2 provinces' populations. A true suicide offensive will leave the country vulnerable to a large population shift, maybe not this season, but the next.

Counting up, another 21 attacks could be gathered this turn for another 7 morale, totaling 18 instead of the original goal of 25. The second turn may be able to add a few more, but that is too far out to be able to judge. But also, the US could be forced into S&D with that many VC still alive, which is the equivalent of 9 additional attacks.

The decision is made. The new strategy will be employed.

More suicide attacks are run, starting in the south, jumping to Quang Tri, and then to what was left in III Corps. Then the large scale attack commences on Tuy Ho. First, the HQ and the northern regiment strategically move to 5739 so the HQ can reach both towns and 5638 on the road to block support. Five VC are activated.

The US has only an infantry battalion 3/0/8 and an ARVN armored unit 1/0/10 on hold. There is zero chance for support with only a sea hex will likely be open, and units are 1 hex too far to be airlifted in. Free fire is engaged, and 24 air support will be added.

Tuy Ho is then surrounded by units activated for the S&D, which include 2 regiments and 7 strength worth of battalions. 19 ground and 10 artillery vs 10 ground (4 factors doubled +RF) and 24 air.

2:3 odds, but the VC sees by drawing back one attacking point, they will drop back to the 31 casualty column without suffering lower odds. Modified result of 3 - air unit lost, and 4/2 for losses. The US sees that holding this town with these odds will not only increase the number of attacks (which now stands at 68), but also the RP losses on their side, and a 33% chance of getting 2 losses again. Having lost only one other capital, and the odds of getting another are non-existent, the US orders a retreat of their battalion, as the ARVN battalion stands and fights to the death. The Americans are airlifted out to the north (5636). The VC eliminate one 2 strength battalion and take 2 RPs, down to 30. A unit with a pursuit value moves in to capture the capital. Two political sections roll into the southern Phu Yen cultivated hexes. As it currently stands, Phu Yen would suffer a -10 pacification modifier.

In the south, four more VC flood into Kien Hoa, unused NVA retreat to the trail and operations are given to the US, who only has 18 air points remaining.

A pair of security ops are run, one successful in clearing the road in Chao Doc (forcing a regiment to retreat) and a second in northern Phu Yen which is cancelled after a 2/1 result. A full fledged S&D will need to take place. But first, a battalion who attacked a lonely artillery unit must be dealt with in Phu Yen. Attacking with only adjacent units, the battalion takes a hit but isn't destroyed. It retreats, and the ARVN paratrooper follows, engaging again with the 2 HQ supporting. It again escapes destruction, retreating even farther north. Offensive reserves are activated from the road and finally corner and kill the unit, but 6 ARVN units are used to do so.

An S&D op is initiated to root out that regiment that thwarted the security operation. 15 ground and 27 artillery are brought to gain 3:1 odds. Three hits are gained, the regiment absorbs them and retreats out of range of all but 9 ground factors and into town. There will be no further attack. Movement into the hex allows the HQ to react and pull back to the town as well.

There aren't enough troops available in the south for large scale operations, but the Marine unit who was forced to retreat gains a foothold next to the Kien Hoa capital to prep for an assault next turn to take the town back and wipe out the VC presence.

Units in the north reposition themselves for an assault on Phu Yen to reclaim the southern half of the province. With the NVA threat gone, the 3/9 Brigade rolls out of Hue and meets with the 23rd HQ and artillery units, among others at Phu Lac for what looks to be a very formidable security force (17 ground and 60 artillery factors.)

End of turn status:
There are still 16 VC units in the Delta, 4 in III Corps, 3 in the Kontum province area near the border, and 8 in southern Phu Yen.

RPs:
VC: 21
ARVN: 100
US: 21
NVA: 40

No holds or patrols, the massive 3/9 security force rolls out with an additional 20 air points to hammer units out of existence. Encountering no zones of control, they arrive in Tuy Ho unmolested, meeting a regiment, HQ and a 2 strength battalion. Defender's strength is 16, attackers ground is 17, so with allowable support, a +4 for odds, -1 for town to the roll. Attackers on 22, defenders on 76 columns. Modified 6 results in 2/9 casualties. That's the maximum the VC can absorb without having to eliminate everything, so they eliminate the battalion and take 7 RPs and retreat. The stack moves on to the next hex - only a regiment there, and it rolls a 1/10 result. There are no other units on roads, so the security force heads back home to Phu Lac.

The VC forces in Phu Yen bug out to the mountains south of Phu Bon, out of range of foot movement of the forces that had begun to encircle them in Phu Yen.

Kien Hoa is then assaulted by US/ARVN forces, which had seen reaction moves into the town by 3 adjacent units. The assault was successful in retaking the capital, but no units were killed, until every unit spread out into different locations. Two pursuits were engaged and destroyed 2 enemy battalions.

There still remain 5 battalions inside Kien Hoa, and now take positions using the Mekong as defense (half attack ratings) and the lack of roads make it difficult to enter except via airmobile, which stands at 10. With mostly only ARVN/FWA regiments within possible reach, those will dwindle quickly and approach to the division in Phu Bon would be impossible to manage. Also, the VC there had retreated to an occupied hex, so now the locations of units are no longer known with accuracy. There will be quite a few VC units left on the field at the end of the fall season.

The rest of the season consisted of a lackluster effort on the part of the Allies to corner and kill VC units. The Phu Bon division and other assortments used each other as shields to evade combat, leaving 8 units in the province, but only in 6 hexes.

In the south, the same played out in the An Giang/Chao Doc region, with 3 units escaping to Cambodia, and 3 others (in 2 hexes) nearly surrounded but not eliminated in An Giang. The Kien Hoa 5 survived, 4 in that province and one crossing the Mekong into Vinh Binh.

RPs at season's end:
VC: 5
NVA: 40
US: 13
ARVN: 99

There were 70 attacks made on the season (-18 for US morale), and 2 captured capitals.
There should be enough concentrated presence to keep the population from exploding, giving hope to the launch of a Spring Offensive.
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Curt Chambers

Arizona
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Good report. I'm just starting my first Offensive vs. Randy so it was interesting to see how yours played out. The NLF scored fewer attacks than anticipated but the provincial successes will probably put them in a better population position for the next move.
 
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Bob A

North Carolina
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Yeah, the change in strategy for this offensive did pay off, at least for the next season's population. It's still yet to be determined what spring will bring, but the net effect was the NLF actually gaining a point of population in the winter. This gives them a slightly larger buffer - they are able to lose up to 3 population points and still be able to run the full offensive they have planned for the spring.

Draft is 655, and 82 population's 8:1 cutoff is 656. They stand at 85 controlled. A tightrope, no doubt.
 
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Fred Buchholz
United States
Middleton
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"No holds or patrols, the massive 3/9 security force rolls out with an additional 20 air points to hammer units out of existence. Encountering no zones of control, they arrive in Tuy Ho unmolested, meeting a regiment, HQ and a 2 strength battalion. Defender's strength is 16, attackers ground is 17, so with allowable support, a +4 for odds, -1 for town to the roll. Attackers on 22, defenders on 76 columns. Modified 6 results in 2/9 casualties. That's the maximum the VC can absorb without having to eliminate everything, so they eliminate the battalion and take 7 RPs and retreat. The stack moves on to the next hex - only a regiment there, and it rolls a 1/10 result. There are no other units on roads, so the security force heads back home to Phu Lac."
I think you miss interpreted the rules on the security op the regiment is 6 the battalion you said was a 2 that is 8 for losses, I don't remember HQ counting as "1" unless they are the "only" unit in the hex or are actually taken as a casualty... I think the first die roll blew them all up.
OF course maybe I've been playing that all wrong for ages but it's why I don't leave a HQ sitting in a 1 point battalion's hex if I can avoid it.
 
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Bob A

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For those looking for an answer to Fred's question, here is a great explanation of how to handle losses:

https://boardgamegeek.com/article/21121255#21121255
 
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craig grinnell
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speer
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Dren608 wrote:
"No holds or patrols, the massive 3/9 security force rolls out with an additional 20 air points to hammer units out of existence. Encountering no zones of control, they arrive in Tuy Ho unmolested, meeting a regiment, HQ and a 2 strength battalion. Defender's strength is 16, attackers ground is 17, so with allowable support, a +4 for odds, -1 for town to the roll. Attackers on 22, defenders on 76 columns. Modified 6 results in 2/9 casualties. That's the maximum the VC can absorb without having to eliminate everything, so they eliminate the battalion and take 7 RPs and retreat. The stack moves on to the next hex - only a regiment there, and it rolls a 1/10 result. There are no other units on roads, so the security force heads back home to Phu Lac."
I think you miss interpreted the rules on the security op the regiment is 6 the battalion you said was a 2 that is 8 for losses, I don't remember HQ counting as "1" unless they are the "only" unit in the hex or are actually taken as a casualty... I think the first die roll blew them all up.
OF course maybe I've been playing that all wrong for ages but it's why I don't leave a HQ sitting in a 1 point battalion's hex if I can avoid it.


5.5 Allocating losses. Second column, middle of section.
 
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