Keywood Cheves
United States
New Bern
North Carolina
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“Lieutenant, tell me again why we are out here defending this rubber plantation for Ann Margaret." said one of the men on the 1/W/1 weapons team. "Smith, you aren’t defending this plantation for Ann Margaret. You are defending it for your country and to keep VC from overrunning you and me and our Night Defensive Position (NDP). Forget about Ann Margaret and concentrate on watching for VC." 2LT Cheves was in a good mood. The morale of the company was excellent even though the unit had been beaten up a bit in its first mission. The company was still very green and also under strength but at least the commanders had more experience. Company Commander Creighton, XO 2LT Cheves, and 3rd platoon Commander SGT Phelps were all now experienced. 1st SGT Platoon Commander Arrington, wounded in the first operation, had been sent back to the States and had been replaced by LT Walker who would be in command of a platoon for the first time.

The company had been assigned to spend a night defending the NDP located on Filhol plantation. The NDP was a nine area square with the landing zone (LZ) in the middle. LT Cheves and a weapons team plus mortar and artillery Forward Observers (FO) had been sent to defend a small rubber plantation on the perimeter of the NDP located NE of the LZ. LT Walker’s 1st Platoon was in a village N of the LZ with one squad in a gully NW of the LZ. SGT Hardee’s 2nd Platoon was defending a village S of the LZ and a gully SE of the LZ. Located SW of the LZ was veteran 1st SGT Crowll with a weapons team and the Forward Air Controller (FAC). SGT Phelps’s first two squads had been sent on patrol and were unavailable, but the 3/3 squad was stationed in brush W of the LZ together with SGT Phelps. LT Teague’s experienced two-squad 4th platoon was held in reserve at the LZ with CPT Creighton and an attached engineer squad. They would defend the LZ and an open field to the E. The company had been allotted four night vision devices. CPT Creighton assigned them to the three forward observers and the mortar team. The LZ was assigned a bunker facing the open area to the E. Two other bunkers were also available. One was given to Hardees’s men in the village, the other to Phelps in the brush (a wise choice as it turned out). The company was also assigned an AC47 Gunship "Spooky", capable of operating over three areas. Spooky was initially assigned to defend areas to the N, NE, and E of the LZ. The company also was assigned three Claymore mines. They were placed in the two gullies and the open area.

At first things were quiet. Then, however, the company began to receive mortar fire in the areas S, SE, an E of the LZ. The fire caused no damage, but "Is this just harassment or are they probing for an attack?" wondered LT Cheves. Suddenly there was a large commotion in the village west of Cheves’s position. The cry went up "Tanks to the north!" which was then followed by much cheering. Headquarters had sent a platoon of M48A3 tanks from the 1/69 Armor to support the company. "Thank you Headquarters!" thought LT Cheves. "They knew we were under strength and wanted to help us - or were they suspecting an attack in this area?" The tanks were quickly assigned to the LZ and the villages N and S of it.

Mortar fire increased and a VC squad was seen trying to infiltrate the brush area W of the LZ. US troops were having trouble spotting and hitting targets in the darkness. Suddenly though, there was more good news. Two UH-1M helicopters arrived for support! They were assigned to help the units in gullies NW and SE of the LZ. This should be easy now, thought LT Cheves.

Things began to pick up though. The VC infiltrated the village N of the LZ and advanced another unit into the brush W of the LZ. The VC also advanced into the open area E of the LZ but took heavy damage from the Claymore mine there. A VC machinegun and rocket team (fire base) opened up on SGT Crowll’s unit in the village and a VC mortar team advanced into the rubber plantation NE of the LZ where LT Cheves was located. Cheves asked the Arty FO call in a strike against the VC mortar team. The strike arrived but somehow the VC mortar team was able to survive it. SGT Crowll had better luck with the FAC. An airstrike against the machinegun and rocket team caused them heavy damage.

Things now became much more serious. SGT Phelps was attacked by mortar and assault teams (a so-called "target-rich environment") and a human wave appeared to be forming in a mangrove swamp to his W. One of the tanks was immediately dispatched to Phelps to help out. Even worse though, a VC assault team managed to break through into the LZ from the village to the N.

Meanwhile LT Cheves was having trouble with the pesky VC mortar team in the rubber plantation. A mortar causes extra damage when it hits in a plantation and the VC team was able to incapacitate Cheves’s mortar FO. The VC in the LZ began to fall back to the village to the N defended by the 2nd Platoon but in the ensuing fighting SGT Hardee was injured. SGT Crowll finally eliminated the VC firebase south of him but in the process his FAC became a casualty. Unpinned VC units began to fall back but one VC unit managed to break into the LZ.

At this point three of the nine areas were US controlled and totally free of VC. Three areas had a least three VC strength in them (including the brush area where Phelps was up to his neck in VC). The LZ area still had a two-strength VC unit on it and two areas had only a one strength VC unit (Cheves rubber plantation and the gully SE of the LZ). To accomplish the mission of having six clear areas the company would have to clear three more areas (probably the LZ, the plantation, and one gully), but it didn’t happen. The company was unable to clear any of the remaining six areas of VC.

“LT Cheves! Could you come over here please?" It was the voice of the Battalion Commander. "We think you are not really cut out for the infantry, but we do need some good people to help out with supply. You know, paper clips, toilet paper, that sort of thing. We are reassigning you to a desk job in Saigon." "Well I guess I won’t be hurting for paper clips or toilet paper" said LT Cheves as he gathered his things for the trip to Saigon.

Comments: I enjoyed the game but I underestimated how much tougher it is to damage units under night conditions (+2 modifier). Even though I had a small chance of completing the mission at the end of the game, I think I should have tried to get more concentration of fire and cross fires to offset the +2 modifier (I actually had several extra commands during the game that I never used).

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Christopher
Belgium
De Panne
Bachten de Kupe
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Thanks for the nice AAR!

But I would prefer to see this in the session forum of FoF, rather than in the general wargaming forum... (I'll GM Octavian to do it...)
 
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Matthew M
United States
New Haven
Connecticut
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8/8 FREE, PROTECTED
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Moved to FoF >> Sessions.
 
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Lawrence Davis
United States
Indiana
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Does the Spooky (AC47) really lay down H fire into THREE CARDS? From reading the rules I thought it meant it could Illuminate three cards......anybody know?
 
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