Jim Dietz
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FALL 1974

Shortly after Nixon’s resignation, the new President, Ford, grants Nixon, a ‘full, free, and absolute pardon’, ending all investigation into his activities. It’s obvious that the Reds are unable to maintain the momentum past summer (if only that was true in Vietnam!) as the Dodgers head to the World Series to face the Oakland A’s, a collection of characters matched in modern times only by the Bronx Zoo. Hank Aaron homered in his final at bat of the season, #733--the question is whether he’ll be back in Atlanta, he’ll be traded (Milwaukee is rumored), or if he will retire after one of the two or three best careers in baseball history.

Two bands appear on the scene who are influential. The first is the Ramones and the second was Angel and the Snakes. Haven’t heard of them? It’s because the name stunk and they changed it a year later to match the lead singer’s dye job: Blondie.

Fall 1974-1

A quick turn in terms of playing time. There’s not much maneuvering to do. The NVA wants to hammer the ARVN and the ARVN has no room to back up as it defends the last couple rows of jungle hexes north of Saigon. On the coast, NVA units are bypassing isolated ARVN units (only 50% of the ARVN is effective this turn) and heading down the coastal highway. I suspect they would reach the Saigon area in Spring, presuming the game lasts that long.

North of Saigon, the NVA lost fifty replacement points, but killed off four ARVN replacements, well short of his seasonal goal. That was because I chose to eliminate units instead of taking the replacement losses--I am trying to maintain some flexibility in terms of where and when I retreat. Once the replacement points are completely depleted, I’ll lose that. I suspect that’ll happen in Winter 1975-1 at the latest. For posterity, I should note that instead of the replacements, I lost three 105mm batteries, three infantry regiments from non-critical sectors, and two division HQ. The loss of the HQ would normally be crippling for activation, but with most units left with no maneuvering room, I’m gambling that maintaining replacements is more important than unit effectiveness the last couple seasons of the game.

Fall 1974-2

Another quick turn to play. Along the coast, NVA units are racing south, ignoring unnecessary battles against ARVN units, looking to reinforce the battle for Saigon in time to make a difference (and if the game reaches Spring 1975, they could make that difference).

North of Saigon, three of the remaining four ARVN replacements were destroyed. In addition, another ARVN HQ was destroyed as were two more 105mm batteries and two more infantry regiments. The loss of HQ could cripple me in terms of effectiveness, but really, I’m in trouble as it is and have tough choices to make regarding losses. This means there are five ARVN HQ that are out of commission.



Territory-wise, I gave ground in a couple of spots in combat (wasn’t voluntary since no units were effective). I would’ve killed for my artillery units to be effective in the province. After combat and with bombardments, I got the NVA down to EXACTLY zero replacements. Ineffectiveness paralyzed 40+ points of ARVN artillery. That will be one of the big "What If" questions from the late war period.

Pacification saw things go well in all but two provinces. Unfortunately, those have -8 or -9 modifiers and so the overall result was another drop in population, moving me below the 281 threshold for SVN morale. Looking back, I think I put too much emphasis on SVN morale and population control to raise it. I should have stopped once I was assured that I wouldn’t lose the game due to VC control of population. That would’ve allowed me to conserve replacements and American activity (the counter-argument is that less population controlled means less draft level and less replacements anyways)

The SVN government and military remain happy as clams. The US provided enough supplies to rebuild all destroyed 105mm batteries, leaving five unused supply.

The coming winter will not be fun (from my perspective). Once the replacement point is gone, I suspect he’ll go for lower odds attacks in greater quantity to force unit destruction and there’s not a thing I can do about it.
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Henrik Reschreiter
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I see you wrote ' once the replacement point (!) is gone...', in singular. Are you down to the last point, or is this a typo originating in the fear and anticipation of things to come.... Freud anyone?

Great write up; I have been following your campaign since the start, and I so wish I had a game partner, the time ans space to play it as well. Keep em coming, great stuff :)
 
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Jim Dietz
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Oh how I wish it was a typo! No--that was definitely singular. One replacement point remaining.

* * *
In my fantasy of how to win, I asked Erick if I could bring in a reinforcement. He asked "What?"

So I told him I was going to bring in Dr. Manhattan from The Watchmen cmoic/movie. He said no, but we figured out stats for Dr. M. He'd be a 0-99-99. He can absorb all damage in a combat he is involved in and can use his 99 support regardless of total strength in a combat. His support has a range of **.

...now to just make the counter for Dr. Manhattan.
 
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