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Hearts and Minds: Vietnam 1965-1975» Forums » General

Subject: Hearts and Minds: further reflections rss

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Dan Raspler
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Studied the set-ups for '65 and '66, and there really is a mountain of difference. Not only are the Allies much stronger in '66, but the Reds are much weaker. Seems that the Reds are heavily favored in the former, and the Allies are favored (maybe not as heavily) in the latter.

We played a 3-year game last night, but we started in '66 so things would be more stable.

In '66, the US/ARVN concentrated on pacification, and attempted to press a campaign in zone II. The Reds attempted to thwart blue actions. Blue had a generous hand of cards, and some good luck during various ambushes and evasions during the year which allowed them to maintain strong stacks and limit ARVN casualties. While they only managed two successful campaign turns due to red pressure, they kept the ARVN government from collapse.

In '67, both players went for campaigns, the Red driving hard in Zone II, and the blue shifting their efforts south with SEALORDS in Zone IV. Because of the specific territorial requirement of the Red campaign, blue was able to thwart it by seizing and holding Pleiku with a veteran kill-stack. In the Mekong Delta, on the other hand, blue was basically unopposed, and had serious firepower in support. Red casualties in '67 were much higher than the allies, and amidst the chaos, blue still managed to pacify a region or two.

In '68, Red's dreams of a powerful Tet Offensive were dashed when it was realized that the SRP cost required a lot of long-term planning. Neither side went for a campaign, and both just focused efforts on political control. Blue kept significant pressure on the Reds, hammering exposed concentrations, and hitting Red flags as often as Red planted new ones. By year's end, Blue was in auto-victory territory, and we called it in favor of the Allies.

Once Blue has a handful of pacified provinces, military expeditions are a lot more practical since they can afford a few ARVN casualties. Also, rather than keep all it's units in powerful stacks, Blue left a number of individual ARVN units on garrison duty adjacent to VC units... which made things tricky for Red since it required the NVA to clear the ARVN singletons before the VC could place a Red flag.

Very psyched to get H&M back on the table soon.
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Mike E.
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Thanks, Dan. I must admit that this game has come out of the blue for me--I guess I need to visit consim and other places where it might have been advertised--it sounds very interesting. I was wondering if you (or anyone else) could comment on how it compares to Ici, c'est la France, which deals with the French-Algerian War. It sounds like there might be parallels. A second question is whether or not you feel H&M has good replay potential. Thanks in advance, Mike
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Tim Korchnoi
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Mike,
I've played the Algerian Game and H&M. The Algerian game is more about population support and the insurgency/counter insurgency actions are more detailed. So for example, you can try to break political cells as the French thus making it easier to swing the population in that province to your side or, conversely, as the FLN, you can try to establish cells to pull the population to your side. So in Algeria, you have to keep an eye on population support more especially with the possibility of the referendum vote coming in the future.
Algeria has more of an operational feel to it whereas H&M feels more strategic in nature.

Random events play a significant role in Algeria. These are reflected by chits which you draw at the start of the game as well as each turn. Playing the chits has a big impact on French public opinion which in turn is what takes you toward the referendum.

Both games have a lot of merit and I like each one of them for slightly different reasons. Algeria is the longer, slightly more complicated of the two and does not use cards at all. H&M is the more sweeping and shorter of the two. Both are very interactive in the sense that you have to keep a close eye on what your opponent is up to as well as considering your own plans.

If you are into asymmetic warfare with a lot of political emphasis, I recommend getting both.
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Mike E.
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Thanks, Tim. That's very helpful. BTW, you're a man after my own heart--when in doubt, buy BOTH games! Sounds like a plan!

A few months ago,I wanted to learn more about the Algerian War, and picked up Alistair Horne's A Savage War of Peace. The book completely enthralled me, so after finishing the book, I ordered Ici, C'est la France but haven't had a chance to go through it yet. H & M will definitely be worth checking out!
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Dan Raspler
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Never heard of "Ici, c'est la France", but it sounds interesting. H&M is a card-driven game, like Paths of Glory or Hannibal:Rome vs. Carthage.

I only learned about it myself in conversation with developer Stan Hilinsky. I played it during last year's WBC convention in PA.
 
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Kim Kanger
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Dan,
Regarding Ici, take a look here: http://www.legionwargames.com/legion_ici_cest_la_france.html. You can download the rules there. You can read some comments here: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/2937...
 
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John Poniske
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Dan, you should check out Kim's innovative design. It's making some positive waves among those who gravitate toward insurgencies.
 
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