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Vietnam 1965-1975» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Fall 1969 Turns 1 and 2, Fall-Winter Interphase rss

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Jim Dietz
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FALL 1969 and Fall-Winter Interphase

Fall 1969-1

Crap. It was a wonderful summer for the Cubs, but Durocher played his boys every day and they wilted, out of gas, and the frickin’ New York Mets are going to the Series. It wouldn’t be so bad, except that football season has made it apparent that Gale Sayers’ knee injury last season has cost him a step, making him an ordinary running back rather than the Kansas Comet. Sigh.

The first turn of the season wasn’t overly eventful. With American forces blocking the trail, the NVA’s attempt to send a large force into the southern part of South Vietnam was foiled. American forces remain on the Trail and have been reinforced to occupy multiple boxes and make all Trail use impossible; American forces were stunned to find that in some places work had been done on paving the road to ease the use of trucks and motorized vehicles, a sure sign that the NVA was taking over the fight entirely.

With NVA forces disrupted on the Trail, there weren’t many places to fight and that meant that once again, General Abrams was able to have American forces remain in a defensive posture while South Vietnamese units take on the NLF. For the turn, those efforts were successful as nine VC units were destroyed.

Since I was unwilling to use American forces offensively, the turn ended rather quickly. There aren’t enough VC units to cause serious damage and with limited activity, Erick was leery of the 170+ unused air points. The difficulty for him now is trying to force the US into action so my morale drops while I try and do everything possible to maintain the US presence in Vietnam so that SVN survives. I’m anticipating a third VC buildup and offensive declared, but I don’t see that coming until 1970.

Fall 1969-2

And now for something completely different: the naughty bits of Reginald Maudlin. Leave it to the Brits to find humor in a world gone mad in the fight against godlessness and communism as Monty Python’s Flying Circus debuts. Unfortunately, the war on Vietnam continues and it is more obvious now that President Nixon’s promise to pull the US out of Vietnam was campaign rhetoric, at least according to his detractors.

Activity is initiated mainly by ARVN forces in the Delta where they eliminate more pinned-down VC units. The Delta is substantially different than it was one year ago during the NLF offensives that seem to have permanently shifted US public opinion. Across South Vietnam, there are now less than 30 VC units active, and I suspect that 6-8 of them are Political Sections. If there is a downside to the success of the ARVN, it is that flooding the Delta (no pun intended) with units has left large parts of the countryside ungarrisoned. This means there could be a shift in VC activity to II and III Corps’ sectors, though MACV sources believe that the VC is finished (just as Westmoreland announced before the first VC offensive) and that the burden of war will continue to be shifted to the North Vietnamese Army.

The only other activity are a couple of ARVN Marine missions in Quang Tri that kill a couple of VC replacement points, but don’t succeed in eliminating any more units and the USAF’s Operation Pinkeye which bombards an NVA unit inside Laos.

Pacification continues to go the American way and the controlled population rises to 274--providing the US with a larger morale boost (which effectively cancels out the negative of remaining on the Ho Chi Minh Trail). With the VC crippled and the NVA busy moving into positions and avoiding US might where possible, I hope this means that the Winter of ’69 is a mild one. The NVA are building up serious replacement points and there aren’t many American ones, meaning sustained combat for US forces isn’t realistic. It’s going to be fight one round, then withdraw, for all of the combats. The question now from my perspective is whether I should voluntarily reduce the US effort a significant amount (perhaps 100 points of troops worth) to slow the escalation of NVA forces. With no VC to fight, I’m wondering if that is a realistic option to pursue (and not having played the campaign before,I have no clue).

US Morale: 403
US Commitment: 403
SVN Population: 274


NOTE: The delay between turns has come because of my coaching job as well as my son getting to play "The Narrator" in his school's performance of Our Town. We're anticipating it going faster again now that my season is over and Thanksgiving and Christmas Breaks are approaching!
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Mark Riley
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Keep 'em coming Jim - your reports inspired me to get a copy of this game recently. Are you playing it FtF or solo? Roughly how many hours would you estimate the full campaign taking?
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Bill Lawson
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Love the reports! I'm rooting for the U.S.. I played 2 campaigns years ago and have been convinced the U.S. couldn't win it. I've been looking at this game again and am really tempted to dust it off and give it a go!
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mike clark
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Still enjoying the reports! How's fighting the NVA? Do you find your forces much stronger or are they pretty evenly matched?
 
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Jim Dietz
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We are playing it face-to-face. I'm a bit old-fashioned, but nothing on a computer can replace the feel of moving pieces and rolling dice. And my ego is pretty huge knowing people read these or its inspired them to pull out copies to play again. We're having a great time--especially since it is our first time. We're groping for strategies as we go and it's making it feel a lot like it must have at the time.

In terms of fighting the NVA, we've had only a few battles. He's hit a couple of isolated units, but the fighting lasts only one round, then I skedaddle. At that point, in come the 40-50 points of US air to bombard the crap out of the NVA. I've also got a couple of brigades in combined formation running around so that if I can go hit an NVA with a lot of force (including ARVN to absorb casualties...), then I do. It's worked so far, but I'm not sure how long it can work given the replacements he can build and the stretched US commitment. Something's got to give (and unfortunately, it'll be US forces that go away...)
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Randy C
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I am enjoying the reports.

Please keep them coming.
 
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