Fall 1968 Interphase and Game Turns 1 & 2
Pacification for Fall 1968 results in a gain of +2 population loyal to the SVN government under Big Minh. Total SVN population is now at 272. [The average pacification roll (on 2D6) was 6.51.]
The SVN Government is currently run by Big Minh (3-star leader). Yeah, don't worry. He was appointed in the Spring 1968. He lasted through the Summer, but the gov't was unstable during his short reign. So Fall 1968 is a good time for another…… COUP to throw Big Minh out of office!
There was a COUP this season. (The second this year, with a nice interlude of instability That's SVN for ya.
Another -8 SVN morale loss for the COUP.
Guess who is back in charge of the SVN gov't for the season, at least. Papa Khanh! (+1/0) is the new 3-star leader.
SVN Morale drops by a net of 4 point, to 92.
+3 population controlled
+1 Papa Khanh 3 Star leadership
No bombing of the Trail or the North this season.
US Player Recruitment Phase:
*** US commitment remains at 250.
Westmoreland still wants more helicopters. That worked well last season to have the added mobility. It is no wonder the historians dub Vietnam "The Helicopter War".
Continuing our "More Flags" Policy, we fund the Thai Black Panthers, who have become available over the last few seasons.
South Vietnam needs to rebuild 6 armor and armored cavalry battalions as well (which were chosen as casualties in the heavy fighting over the last two season), so we send 7 SVN military supplies to Saigon to rebuild these tanks.
The US withdraws the remaining 6 points of the 1st Division, which allows the following purchases:
7 SVN Military Supplies (spent on tanks)
Partial Thai Reinforcements
NVA Recruitment & Deployment:
Look at the huge deployment of new VC on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and throughout SVN. This is BEFORE Infiltration. Almost all the VC come out to play.
There is a lot of strength being build up there. During Operations this season, intelligence finds the following:
*** The HQ of the VC 8th Division is spotted in Cambodia as it bombards the ARVN.
*** The HQ of the VC 5th Division is spotted in Laos as it bombards the ARVN
*** The HQ of the VC 9th Division is spotted in Laos as it bombards the ARVN
Many VC Battalions appear and are hunted down in Vinh Binh, Quang Gnai, Tuyen Duc, Quang Nam, Thua Thien, and Quang Tri.
Vietcong deployment included a concentration in the Delta of IV Corps in and around Vinh Binh.
There was heavy use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail this Infiltration Phase, as the NVA divisions moved southward to position themselves opposite Tay Ninh and the Cambodian Parrot Beak area.
The NVA and some VC take the season off and move down the Ho Chi Minh trail to Lurk here (See the NVA poised at the end of Fall 1968):
Here is how I deployed the ARVN to receive the NVA next season:
The NVN Morale increased from 338 to 370 this season. So the NLF received +32 new commitment this season.
Here are the US analysts projections of what the NVA purchases were:
FALL 1968 NLF Expenditures (likely)
30 NVA Replacement Points = 10 Commitment
60 VC Replacement Points = 5 Commitment
Personnel for Replacements = 5 Commitment
1 NVA Regiment = 3 Commitment
40+ VC battalions/personnel = 12 Commitment
NVA replacements go from 62 to 92
VC replacements go from 53 to 113
So that's how the Fall Season of 1968 found the two combatants deployed.
Fall 1968 Operations
Hidden VC Artillery opens up on ARVN stacks from across the borders in Laos and Cambodia, causing 4 ARVN replacement losses in four separate attacks. ARVN move out of range of such VC stacks for Game Turn 2. Ouch.
Here are two such deployments by the VC, who then ambushed the ARVN with bombardments:
The newly arrived Thailand Black Panthers moved into Vinh Binh and spent the Fall of 1968 working in conjunction with US Airpower and ARVN Rangers. Some of the Delta VC were political sections, in addition to VC battalions.
Combat was generally light this season. The first several operations saw the VC battalions escape with good alert movement. (The ARVN spies who alerted the VC have been detained in dark places).
Their was a plethora of US Air power available for the light operations, and most of the combats ended after the second round resulted in high pursuit modifiers. The surviving VC dispersed or died where they stood.
The Koreans in I Corps end the Fall season blocking main infiltration routes into the provinces. They have positions on and abutting the roads there:
US Operations & Military Strategy
The United States is pleased with the situation in the ground war. We have had good success with our mobility and artillery and air support. Westmoreland has found the right balance between ground forces and support forces for the moment. The upgraded ARVN have pulled their own weight, also.
The United States is rather distressed with the abysmal 5 morale of the various disloyal 2 Star leaders . Coups look to be the order of the day unless we get some replacement leaders.
This will be a constant drain on US and SVN Morale, and will harm ARVN effectiveness rolls.
The total casualties for the VC this season were light:
6 political sections
12 VC battalions
0 NVA units
US Morale actually increases this season. It started at 473:
-3 due to the SVN COUP
+3 due to the 42 NLF units eliminated last season
+2 for population controlled
+0 for no US S&D last season.
US Morale ends at 475
END of Fall 1968 Summary:
* The US player is readying for an assault from all over Cambodia and Laos.
* Lots of VC divisional strength is harboring in the Laos and Cambodia sanctuaries.
* The NVA is massing in Cambodia near Tay Ninh and Phouc Long.
* Almost all the FWA have joined the US/ARVN efforts.
US Total Commitment 250
US Replacements 28
US Total Air Points remaining 116
US Riverines 4
US Helicopters remaining 38
US Divisions in SVN 5
US Morale: 475
NVN Morale Level 370
NVN Replacements 92
NVA Divisions remaining 3
NVA Eliminated 0
SVN Morale 92
SVN Draft Level 130
SVN Replacements 27
SVN Population Controlled 272
VC Population Controlled 88
VC Replacements 113
Enjoying the Game!
Randy Knight (playing with Mark Evans)
Here is a copy of the NLF thoughts for Fall 1968:
This season there was a coup in Saigon. That is barely newsworthy these days. We made a strong build up of Viet Cong in the I Corp area. Still hurting from back to back NVA disasters all the NVA were recalled to the interior. We had the VC regimental Headquarters bombard the units he had sitting near the border to help run up his casualties. He attempted to have ARVN clear I Corp. At the conclusion of the season there were 2 VC units still inside I Corp. This is a huge victory for us.
We also had a small buildup of political sections in the Mekong River Delta. He used his Thai soldiers and lots of airpower to root them out. Overall we are happy with the way this season went. My losses were low, his losses were a positive number and the Saigon government is focused on internal power struggles rather than hunting us.