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Winged Horse: Campaigns in Vietnam, 1965-66» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Campaign and Storybook rss

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Pedro Barradas
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This is a new session report for this very interesting game.
Last time I did a session report it ended with a "cat" accident, so this time I'm keeping the door shut!

I acquired the full campaign counters and rules from S&T 251, thus providing for a much more exciting game.
However, some concessions had to be made due to me not having a "real" opponent, so I made a "custom" modification to allow for solitaire play.

- Dummys are used as normal, except that when they are "discovered" (either by combat or SOG or bombardment), the comm player has the option to roll a die. On 1, he gets to draw a VC unit and replace the dummy with it. On a 2-3, the comm player can switch that dummy with another communist unit within 6 hexes that has not been used yet during that turn. On 4-6, nothing happens. On all rolls, the dummy counter goes through the URT.

With that, I am able to maintain a certain degree of uncertainty, crucial for this game.

Also, I am starting the game in I March 1965, but according to the OoB, the Communist only has 2 units to deploy at that time, Div325 and PL1.
With an average roll of 3 for the "beggining-of-the-month" political points (this is a campaign rule), 5 units (at best) to spread around Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and prevent the Allied player to start accumulating points for the communist not having mobile units on those areas, it's not an easy task at all! As such, I allowed for rolls starting from the official beggining of the War (January 1965). That gave me a total of 13 points for this game. (3D6).

With this session report I intend not only to provide gamers with a fun account of the progress of the war, but also to provide new gamers with an extended example of play. I hope you like it.

NOTE: All texts and excerpts in this post are totally ficticious! They were created just for flavour.



INITIAL SETUP, ALLIED

March, 8, 1965 8:15AM
USMC Pvt Joe Simmonds, BLT 3/9

It was indeed a very strange feeling when we first set foot in this far away place. Humid, hot.
Beautiful beach though. We might even be able to do some surfing here!
Everyone looks a bit tired, but excited at the same time, and the welcoming, while unexpected, was very heart warmimg!
Back in the US, when our Seargent told us where we were going, there was a mixed feeling of enthusiasm and a weird sense of fate. And now being here, those feelings seems to have vanished. I'm happy.
We should be shipped out to Da Nang still today. Let's hope I get out of this alive...
For now, let's focus on the job at hand.

From Gen. William C. Westmoreland's diary:

The 1st corps area deployment did not have much science behind it. The communist presence here should be fairly heavy and become one of the main vectors of attack. Therefore, the troops are distributed according to the location values. The cities of Quang Tri, Hue and the bases at Da Nang and Chu Lai get the main numbers. It would be an undesirable outcome to lose these in the first weeks of engagement.
SF Camps are located 50 miles out of the main bases, so that we can be aware of the true nature of any incoming foes. The White Star unit, due to it's very capable nature, will be stationed between two major Communist bases, so as to prevent easy reinforcements from the North.


(Setup in 1 Corps)

The 2nd Corps area, will also focus on defending our bases at Pleiku and Nha Trang, while keeping the cities of Kontum and Da Lat well garrisoned. Troops can be streched so much, so, certain cities will have to fend for themselves with their own garrisons...

In the 3rd Corps area, along with Saigon, is where most of our forces will be stationed. After all, in a very small area we have the capital and the two main bases, Bien Hoa and Long Bin. That is why I've decided to place the ARVN Firebase close at hand. Any attack to or from this area will be greatly enhanced in our favour.


(Setup in 3 Corps and Saigon)

The 4th Corps area, while being the one with the most communist bases, is probably less prone to problems in the first few weeks. And I'm sure that the high command will send reinforcements soon, which will be promptly diverted to that area. Still, most troops are being deployed to the main bases of Soc Trang and Can Tho.
I believe that in the next few days we will see what we are really up against.
May God bless our brave American soldiers.


INITIAL SETUP, COMMUNIST

NLF Soldier Van Le

I am starting to feel that the skyes will no longer be blue, that the trees will fade their green, and that our children will forget their smile.
I've heard that the americans are filled with the desire to bring what they believe to be right into our lives.
All I can hope for is that they soon realise that we have our own ideas for our future. I am sure that they are men of wisdom.
I've heard their soldiers march,
I've heard their planes in the sky.
But I've also heard news about their bombs in the North.
I don't know what I'll hear tomorow, probably just the sound of my own last breath.

From Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap's Memories

It was time to show these off-springs of colonial vermins what we are made of! What proud nation of a thousand battles we are!
The Americans were deploying everywhere, but like scared insects, they barricaded themselves in their bases and cities. Our brave 325th descend on their cities from the North, marking the beggining of the freedom for the South! From Laos, our valiant units would put fear into Kontum, threatening their base at Pleiku.


(Setup in 2 Corps)

Two other regiments moved from Laos through Cambodia, to help our brothers in the south retaliate.
The B3 region at that time was mostly a hoax, a long spread of rumours, creating the illusion that base 238 in B3 was ready to plummet our steel into their forces! So easy to fool these Americans!
In the B1 military region, diversions were planned to draw the americans out of their lair.
Same for B2. Unfortunately by that time we hadn't been able to gather as much support as we desired, but that would soon change! Ho promissed!

In the Saigon area, the imperialists were too strong, and our bases were within reach of their guns. I believe that it was the best to wait for reinforcements from the North, and make them pay with blood if they tried to assault our bases!

The Delta region was somewhat ripe for grabbing, but for that first week, we just considered sieges on most of their cities. Flush their troops out, flush them out, as soon as they got out into the open fields, we were sure to envelop them!


(Setup in 4 Corps)

TURN 1, I March 1965
Communist Movement


The 325th Division is moved to attack Quang Tri, with the aid of another regiment that wedged between Quang Tri and Hue. If the battle results in a Tactical Stalemate, the Division will still be left there to conquer the city in the next turn. If the die helps, then besides holding a strong position, I will also siege two cities at once!
The PL1 unit moves towards the CIA WS Unit. While still not strong enough to attack it, it will at lest reduce it's movement capability while being in a very good defensive position at the same time.


(Quang Tri siege and PL1 intercepting CIA)

From Laos, I moved units toward the SF camp near Kontum. While not the main objective, getting some Military VP from their demise will be good. The other two units in Laos move towards Cambodia. While the intention is to go south, they can easily move towards B3 quickly if needed.


(Attack on SF camps and the reserve moving through Cambodia)

As for B2, I moved to siege Da Lat, hoping that I might also be able to conquer the city.


(Da Lat siege)

The Delta units (and dummies) all spread out, attempting to lure the allied out of the cities to prevent sieges. At the same time that will allow for all communist bases to remain free from mobile units so that reinforcements can be easily deployed.
As for Saigon, silence is the order of the day. Not much of a move, but it has the added advantage of keeping all those ARVN units around Saigon pinned down, not risking to go out of the Corps area.


(Delta region multi siege)

Communist Combat


(Attack at Quant Tri)

Ratio 8:5, translates to 1:1. Rolled a 3.
That's a Tactical Stalemate. Not bad. Both regiments shattered, division remains. As planned.
URT for NVA, 6 (+1) - Next game turn
URT for ARVN, 2 - Permanently eliminated.
1MP for each side.

-------------------


(SF camp attack attack near Kontum.)

1 dummy plus 1 regiment attacking. Let's resolve the dummy.
Dummy die Roll - 4 (Darn!) Just rumours... URT for dummy, 2 (+1) - Returns five game turns later. I guess I'll still go with the regiment.
Ratio: 2:1. Rolled 4.
TS again. hmmmm.... Oh well.
URT: NVA - 3, SF camp - 4
1MP each side

-------------------

SF attack near the top of B1.
Ratio 2:1. Rolled 2
SP! Cool! That's better. Eliminating the SF camps, while not that interesting in terms of Solitaire Play (SF Camps reveal the true nature of Communist units in the adjacent hexes), is still a good idea.
URT: SF Camp - 5
1MP Communist

--------------------


(Attack at Da Lat)

2 dummies! Let's try our luck!
Dummies die roll: 6 - nothing, 1 - Draw VC! I got a 2 combat strength one!
Although this is not very sane, let's go for it!
Ratio: 4:5, that's 1:2. Rolled 1!!
TS!!! Not too bad for an attack started with dummies! I'm still testing this solitaire variant, so I will perform actions that probably shouldn't be taken in the first place, from an operational point of view.
URT: VC - 2 (+2), ARVN - 1 (there goes another one!)
1MP for each.


(Final Situation at Da Lat)



Communist Comment

Well, this IS the start of the game after all. B4 looks good, and will probably make the Allied player send reinforcements from other corps areas. It is always a good idea to maintain the iniciative, to keep the Allied from gathering momentum to start their own operations. As it is right now, the Allied will only respond to moves. I also belive that Keeping the two NVA regiments in the North is a good idea. Keeps some reserve nearby, keeps the Allied wondering, and it's mobile enough to cause problems in B1 quickly.
Of course they could have been used for offensive operations in order to get some more VP's, but I'm guessing I'll have time for that. Decent Allied reinforcements will still take some time to arrive. And losing VC units is not all that bad, because with the URT they are always garanteed to come back. That's why
I think 1:1 attacks are good enough. After all, with 1-2 result in the URT, ARVN units go away for good!

Saigon is at a stand still, mainly because of the big concentration of fire power on the Allied side. Better to keep the VC units in bases where they can survive a little bit better until more units come.
Another good reason to keep those NVA regiments in Cambodia is to prevent the Allied from getting heaps of VP's if any Corps area suddenly loses all of it's Communist mobile units.

Long live the Revolution!
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Lawrence Hung
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Great AAR! Will it continue to another turn? I like your presentation with the actual situation photos. I wish I could do the same for some of my games although I really don't know the software to do the arros stuffs.

The random drawing of the VC combat units is pretty basic and easy to do in order to change the game into a solitaire experience. Please keep on trying to see if the system works in the long run.

Good gaming!
 
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Marja Erwin
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Very interesting. I just tried the short game, and got the impression that sieges were too effective. It's hard for the US and GVN to assemble the troops to break the sieges. It's easy for the VC to revive old regiments and keep things going. I understand that I'm missing something, bt it's hard to figure out what.

BTW, the ARVN infantry got misprinted/scrambled:

I think the 1XX and 2XX should be in I Corps,

the 22XX, 23XX and 42III should be in II Corps,

the 5XX, 18XX, 25XX, 43III and 48III should be in III Corps,

and the 7XX, 9XX and 21XX should be in IV Corps.

Please correct me if I got any of that wrong.
 
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Pedro Barradas
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Thanks for the support guys!
I do love this game, but it seems that my luck isn't helping!
Soon after this AAR, I had to pack up and leave, my lease was over and the landlords wanted to return to their house!
So, my beautiful WH is now inside a box, waiting for a decent playing area.

I did enjoy writing this AAR,(my second attempt) so as soon as I've settled, I'll post a COMPLETE AAR.

Oh, and by the way, soldier Van Le did exist, and he was sort of a poet!
Hope no one got offended with the remarks, just tried my best to keep true to the era and the perceived attitudes of the commanders.

Cheers all.
 
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Pedro Barradas
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Marja E wrote:
Very interesting. I just tried the short game, and got the impression that sieges were too effective. It's hard for the US and GVN to assemble the troops to break the sieges. It's easy for the VC to revive old regiments and keep things going. I understand that I'm missing something, bt it's hard to figure out what.


Indeed, it is quite so. I had the same feeling and asked the designer about it.
According to him (and I tend to agree), it is quite realistic, and the allies just have to plan, attack, plan, and then plan some more. With the new rules (that include some ZOC), you can "try" to prevent movement more easily. Also, the oob as I'm playing it in this total campaign means a lot less VC and NVA in the first engagements. I might be doing something wrong though...
It would be cool if Joseph Miranda would check this AAR and gave us some idea if what I'm doing makes sense (regarding initial VC roll for PP).

Honestly, get the extra counters. Rules and OOB are in their website, and I've posted some tables with a chronological deployment here on BGG.
It's a whole new game.


Marja E wrote:
BTW, the ARVN infantry got misprinted/scrambled:

I think the 1XX and 2XX should be in I Corps,

the 22XX, 23XX and 42III should be in II Corps,

the 5XX, 18XX, 25XX, 43III and 48III should be in III Corps,

and the 7XX, 9XX and 21XX should be in IV Corps.

Please correct me if I got any of that wrong.


Do you mean, historically? Or is it some new errata?
As I am playing with the full campaign, that now stopped being an issue I believe. But... correct me if I'm wrong!
 
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