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Manuel Aguilar
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Part two - 1966

Turn 6 Jan/Feb, 1966

Communist Aid from China/USSR efforts failed.

The Communists spent a couple of cadres influencing the hearts and minds campaign in their favor in II Corps. They managed to slip a couple of supply units and an NVA division from the northern map edge area but the vast majority of their forces moved back into the Plain of Jars box. This kept them from violating Laos’ neutrality.

The NVA and VC took another crack at the heavily fortified Green Beret base in hex 2504. This was a huge attack which consisted of three divisions and three cadres. Allied air power hit the attackers hard and the attackers failed again losing a cadre.

The Allies finally managed to occupy all the cities/towns in a corps zone, I Corps, for a small boost to their political score.

Unfortunately, these gains were offset by the loss of three units. Two were lost in an effort to retake Gia Nghia in II Corps. The NVA had moved an inverted division, the 305th, on top of a face up cadre. This was so they could ambush any single allied unit moving in to attack. Somebody had to go in and it was the ANZAC unit which was eliminated. Six other U.S. and SEATO units moved in with cover from the air and a fire base. The Allies lost and the 1/1 Air Cav Brigade was eliminated.

The other battle was at Long Xuyen in IV Corps. In that affair, the 173rd was lost in an even fight.
The only combat success was the destruction of the 5th NVA Division which was bombed in North Vietnam.

Random Events = None

Political Point Score = 72




Turn 7 Mar/Apr, 1966 (Monsoon Turn)

[Oops! This was not a supposed to be a monsoon turn. I didn’t notice this till I had completed the next turn. I went ahead and moved up the two turn monsoon season up a turn. I still played two consecutive monsoon seasons though not exactly in the order listed on the turn track. In effect I swapped the monsoon effects from Jul/Aug over to Mar/Apr. I just pretended the monsoon season came early in 1966.]

The Communists finally destroyed the Green Berets in hex 2504. The attack was not quite as large but the allies had no air support due to the monsoon. Some of the survivors retreated to Khe Sanh, others towards Quang Tri.

In II Corps, the NVA 305th Division flipped over to ready itself for another ambush at Gia Nghia.

In III Corps, a cadre occupied Xuan Loc.



The Allies played it a bit safer. They moved a fire base to Khe Sanh and withdrew the two Royal Laotian divisions a further south.

The Allies did manage to retake Xuan Loc and Di Linh. They left Gia Nghia alone for the time being.

The bombing campaign suffered more reverses as no enemy units were destroyed but two air units were!

Random Events = UN supported U.S. involvement in Indochina and the Allies got 5 political points. This was helpful as the South Vietnamese were on the cusp of demoralization.

Political Point Score = 51




Turn 8 May/Jun, 1966 (Monsoon Turn)

The Communists used some of their cadres to move a few hearts and minds markers their way.

Three NVA divisions, a SAM unit, and three supply markers finally broke free from the north map edge and moved into southern Laos. Another division and supply unit moved deep into Cambodia into the Parrot’s Beak area.

Three attacks were launched. Two were in Laos and one at Quang Ngai in I Corps.

In Laos, a couple of Pathet Lao cadres attacked a Royal Lao militia unit at Savannakhet. A second attack occurred against a lone Green Beret unit occupying hex 2201. Both attacks failed resulting in the loss of a couple cadres.

The Viet Cong attack at Quang Ngai was conducted by three VC cadres and was successful.

During the Communist Politics phase the point count dipped below 50 and South Vietnam became demoralized. This had the effect of lowering the combat ratings of all ARVN units by 1. ARVN unit strengths range from 1 to 3 so this was significant.

The Allies conducted two attacks. They managed to retake Quang Ngai but with some difficulty. With the aid of the fleet and a relocated firebase they rolled well and eliminated two VC cadres.

The second Allied attack occurred at Hua Bon in II Corps. Despite having good units and a three to one advantage, the 1st Air Cav was defeated.

The bombing campaign went well with the two remaining Pathet Lao units both destroyed while in cover along with an NVA supply unit.

Random Events = None (Haven’t seemed to have many even though there is a 50% chance each turn)

Political Point Score = 35


Turn 9 Jul/Aug, 1966 (Monsoon Turn but played as clear due to error on Mar/Apr turn)

The Communists used three cadres for hearts and minds in I Corps. They also promoted a couple of VC cadres to VC regiments in III and IV Corps.

This turn was mainly used for movement and position adjustment. Three inverted NVA divisions all with supplies moved across the Laotian border into the mountains of I Corps zone. Two other inverted divisions moved into III and IV Corps from Cambodia to give the Allies something to worry about. Up north great quantities of supply markers moved into the panhandle of North Vietnam.

The Communists believed the war would be over soon as the Allied political point count was on life support and there was very little reason to hold back.

There were no Communist initiated battles.

The Allies knew they were in trouble. Somehow they had start figuring out ways to move the political point needle more towards the black side of the ledger. The problem was that they continued to suffer losses in their attacks. These losses were politically expensive to replace. And since South Vietnamese forces were demoralized, they were less effective on the battlefield.



The Allies launched three offensives. No ARVN units were used in these combats.

The first of these was at Gia Nghia in II Corps where the 305th NVA Division had caused them so much grief earlier. They moved in some SEATO forces and a U.S. Air Cav unit. The 305th conducted an ambush as the Allies approached but suffered a reverse and was itself wiped out. With the coast a little bit clearer, other Allied units came in and the remaining face up cadre was narrowly defeated.

The second attack was at Hua Bon, also in II Corps. This town was easily retaken.

The last attack was at Tay Ninh in the swamps of III Corps. The NVA had an inverted regiment and a face up cadre located there. The inverted regiment decided to not ambush and simply participated in the defense against three U.S. infantry units supported with airpower. The Allies rolled well and retook the town eliminating the cadre.

There were strategic air strikes all over the map which resulted in the loss of one CV air unit and an NVA division adjacent to Khe Sanh.

It was a decent enough turn for the Allies but South Vietnam was too deep in a hole to recover.

Random Events = None

Political Point Score = 25



Turn 10 Sep/Oct, 1966

This turn featured hordes of Communists seemingly attacking from everywhere.

Both Khe Sanh and Phu Bai were attacked in I Corps. At Khe Sanh, the NVA brought in 4 Divisions, a couple of artillery units, a SAM marker, and supplies. The Allies used two air units for air support and both were shot down! The firebase was overrun with the elimination of an ARVN unit and the retreat of an air mobilized Marine unit.

Phu Bai was a smaller attack with two NVA divisions against a demoralized ARVN unit and a U.S. Air Cav Brigade that flew in as a reaction move. The Communists just barely succeeded which eliminated the ARVN unit and forced the Air Cav to retreat.

Elsewhere the VC attacked the city of Quan Long at the southern tip of the country. The hope was to get the city on the cheap as it was defended by a lowly demoralized ARVN infantry division. Due to air support it turned out to be a bit more expensive as the Communists were defeated and withdrew with the loss of a cadre.

The last attack was at An Loc where two VC regiments and cadre eliminated an ARVN unit which led to the withdrawal of a late reacting South Vietnamese airmobile unit.



For their part, the allies retook Phu Bai in I Corps. They would have taken a crack at Khe Sanh in order to reestablish control of all the towns but couldn’t get any units up there.

In the Phu Bai attack a lone NVA division was killed.

In II Corps, the Allies moved to assault Luy Duc which was held by an inverted NVA unit and a cadre. The inverted unit turned out to be a SAM unit left behind there by another NVA division. The Allies went ahead and brought in 6 units as they would not have known that this unit was not a combat unit. [I myself had forgotten what was there] The VC cadre was crushed and the SAM unit retreated into Cambodia.

The last offensive action was the recapture of An Loc and with that triumph the Allies occupied all the urban areas of III Corps. Of course that success was cancelled out by the loss of Khe Sanh in I Corps.

Random Events = Loss of Foreign Confidence which led to an abrupt end of SEATO reinforcements and replacements. [Randomly generated but appropriate.]

Political Point Score = 8



Game Over!

There is no need to play the Communist portion of the Nov/Dec, 1966 turn. The political point score is at 8 and the Communists control 8 towns and have one pro-Communist Corp zone. That would bring the score down to -1 without doing a thing. That was just 10 ½ turns before the points ran out!

I’m not sure if I played the scoring correctly. It seemed too easy for the Allies to bleed out in terms of political points. I don’t recall but I thought, in the original game, VC cadres or Communist supplies were a bit more difficult to come by. In this edition you get three of each per turn unless the Allies manage to gain hearts and minds control of areas. I don’t see that happening quick enough to offset Communist political point gains for the occupation of towns/cities. It is tough for the Allies to root them out of any towns/cities as many of these are in mountain, jungle, or swamp terrain.

The real kicker though is that the Communist player gets to harvest the political points for occupation in both his player turn and in the Allied player’s turn. The Allies only do so in their turn.

I have read some other NTND AARs where the Allies had 200+ points a bit deeper into the game. I’m not sure how that would happen unless the VC player did very little. With three cadres, three supplies, and two NVA divisions/artillery/SAM units almost guaranteed each turn there is no risk or much cost to do a lot of attacking. Yes they will lose some units and hence the political points for them but the Allies will suffer some losses as well. The Allied losses cost more political points to replace while the Communist replacements cost none.

Anyway, I hope that I played wrong or at least poorly. I’d hate to think that this game is unbalanced. I’ll have to play more and find out.

Thanks for reading.
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Kim Meints
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Thank You for the wonder AAR of the new edition. Back in the day when I was wanting to play a Vietnam game but Victory's Vietnam was just too big and long for a faster session I would pull out No Trumpets

I don't have the new edition yet but I'm going to go look for my 1st ed and see about if the Communist score Political Points in both their & Allied phases . May need to tone it down in this edition to only scoring Pol Pnts in each friendly phase
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Kim Meints
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I dug out the 1st ed(Boy was that map garnish badly & frankly somewhat ugly).

It also has the Communist subtract his political points from the Allied points in the Allied player turn to give the final total.

Leaving it out to play again.Need to get the new edition for sure
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Manuel Aguilar
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Yes, I saw that game is pretty much the same procedure wise from a review over on Grognard.com.

I'll have to try something different for the Allies next time.

In this AAR game my Communist strategy with respect to the Viet Cong was simply to start occupying as many cities/towns as possible. On turn one, the Viet Cong can grab 9 towns if they want. That is potentially 18 points right of the bat, more if some of those occupied locations are cities. Sure, some of those units may get eliminated but their simply won't be many Allied units on hand to cover every thing or launch a large number of offensive actions for a while. It seemed too easy to get 15 to 20+ points per turn by keeping up the number of urban areas occupied vs the loss rate.

Maybe the Allies need to do more on the Hearts & Minds front but if your spending replacements points to move those markers around you are not spending them to replace losses, build firebases, or deploy militia. The Allies don't get that many replacement points anyway. They get 4 guaranteed with another 4 possible if they are doing well. The Communists get 5 per turn (Viet Cong and North Vietnamese)and a bit more depending on Chinese and Soviet aid. So there is a trade off for every choice the Allies make and there are a lot of cities/towns to garrison. If you don't garrison many so that your units can launch attacks, the Communists will simply place new cadres near those places and occupy them for the points.

Like I said I will have to try again.

I liked and enjoyed the game so much that I'm eager to get back at it.

And you are right. It is quick playing so you don't have to burn a few months playing it to see if something works or not.



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Edward Pundyk
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I've played a couple of solo campaign games so far. I found that spending most of the 4 to 6 Allied replacement points on Hearts & Minds works better than replacing units. The Allies get quite a few reinforcements in the first couple of years, so they can afford to leave some units in the dead pile. If they can keep the H&M markers on their side of the track they will force the Communists to spend most of their replacements on reversing that, which reduces the number of units they have for occupying ungarrisoned towns and cities.
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Manuel Aguilar
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fightinlegalist1 wrote:

I've played a couple of solo campaign games so far. I found that spending most of the 4 to 6 Allied replacement points on Hearts & Minds works better than replacing units. The Allies get quite a few reinforcements in the first couple of years, so they can afford to leave some units in the dead pile. If they can keep the H&M markers on their side of the track they will force the Communists to spend most of their replacements on reversing that, which reduces the number of units they have for occupying ungarrisoned towns and cities.


I've started another game of this scenario and implementing the strategy you've suggested. So far it's working very well. It is the beginning of 1966 and the score is 173. The Allies have just taken complete control of IV Corps zone and are threatening to do the same in III and I Corps. They have the momentum. The Allies have also won nearly every battle as well.

It looks like this game will be more balanced.
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Paul Brown
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Yes super AAR, I do like games that generate exciting narratives. I've just acquired the first ed nd can't wait to get it on the table.
 
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