Pacification. Khanh Hoa gets -1 modifier. Column shift to the benefit of SVN.
SVN gains +7, even Quang Tri gains a point. Binh Dinh, Kontum and Phu Yen gain too. From now on, SVN morale can sustain Thieu, population is at 259 now. The Bombing of the North can be stopped, at last. [Hooray! SVN population over 256. This is the turning point for Thieu's government.]
109 air points to bomb the trail. 4 hits, 1 permanent damage, 1 lost air point. Trail operates at 9/4 level.
Purging the disloyal officers: I corps leader remains, not pro-coup, but fully disloyal. Parachute division - becomes ineffective. 3rd division, a B2, remains, does not become ineffective. 5th division, a B5, replaced and comes back, B5 at loyalty 8. 18th, A-3, is replaced. Replacement is C1, loyalty 7. No coup or instability.
SVN morale does not change. US morale drops by -2, (-3 from operations, +1 from population) now at 339. NVN morale rises by 36, now at 465. 40 commitment available for this turn.
No next stage of the Thais. US withdraws the 173rd airborne brigade (-5), and the armored cavalry of the 25th division (-1). US brings in the 199th Infantry brigade (4), it lands at Cam Ranh. -2 US new commitment. US commitment now at 293.
NVN buys 45 VC trail supply for (5). Trail improvements for (10). 2 VC regiments (20 supply pool, 8 draft), 4 political sections, 7 battalions (14 supply pool, 7 draft) - the recruits cost (5). (20) saved. NVN commitment at 445. 5 trail supply promised for the next turn.
A regiment and two battalions to Binh Dinh. A regiment and 2 political sections to Khanh Hoa. 5 battalions and two political sections elsewhere. (Including Bac Lieu and Vinh Binh again - if ARVN is ineffective enough, US will need to clean those (-3 US morale) or lose some population. But, these builds are a bit too little - strategic moves are not totally shut down with these. Without regiments, 8 more battalions could have been built, allowing more patrolling. Could have been better, but no taking back.
Supply pool is now at 101. Draft at 505 vs population of 101. That is exactly at 5:1. Saved NVN commitment should allow an Offensive next season.. or, NVN could save more, and build a few divisions and lots of repl, and an offensive, in two seasons. Hmm. What to do?
Infiltration - NVA still waits for the correct moment. VC can have this round, again. Go VC! NVA appreciates your effort!
ARVN effectiveness roll is a 6. Two divisions are effective, nothing else is.
At the start of Spring 1969:
US Repl 14
ARVN Repl 31
VC Repl 18
NVA Repl 29
Trans 7 (of 10, monsoons)
Air avail 45, total 169 (Also, monsoons. And massive trail bombing.)
NLF patrols adjacent to roads. 4/3M stragic moves to the capital of Quang Tri. Some strategic moves to reposition ineffective ARVN.
The VC presence is weak - 18 VC counters. ARVN already has enough population to prevent morale losses from Thieu, and enough to give +1 US morale per season. Only two ARVN divisions are effective. If US did not participate in S&D operations, several provinces would still get large negative modifiers. This cannot be accepted, SVN population controlled needs to rise still.
So, US participated in operations.
Binh Dinh: 198/23, rangers, the battleship and divisional assets destroy a battlion. 3/3M, rangers, air and 175mm artillery destroys a battalion and 2 VC repl, losing 1 air. 11/23, 155mm artillery, rangers, a cruiser and air disperse a battalion, losing one ARVN repl.
Phy Yen and Khanh Hoa: 1/101, Korean CA and rangers, supported by 101 HQ catch a political section. 2/101, 155m artillery and rangers destroy a VC battalion, losing 1 ARVN repl. 199th and rangers, supported by a cruiser and air catch a political section.
2/25, a Thai regiment and rangers, supported by air, attack a VC counter - a regiment. The VC regiment alerts through a US battalion, 1 VC repl and 1 US repl, and enters a jungle hex. All remaining support was used for the incidental attack, the regiment is adjacent to the US battalion and the Thai regiment, meaning the US casualties would be expensive. US does not attack it, it would be 8 to 4 casualty columns at -1, and there are no units available as offensive reserves nearby.
3/25 strat moves to western Binh Dinh for the 2nd turn - there are 2 VC counters nearby.
This picture shows the area of the above operations at this point. The Ops Comp VC unit is a regiment:
So far, 6 VC bn equivalents, 2 VC repl (after adjusting for dispersal), 1 US repl, 2 ARVN repl, 1 air lost. Typical amount of support in an operation has been 24, halved to 12, leaving 5 after using 7 for interdiction. A typical operation has had one US regiment or brigade, rangers, and occasionally FWA allies. The operations swept from North to South, the last available troops in this area found the regiment. The few scattered US units seen here come from pursuit combat.
3/101 with divisional AC, a battalion of Australians, rangers and 155mm artillery disperse a battalion at the cost of 1 air. 1/25 with rangers, divisional assets and air disperse a battalion at the cost of 1 ARVN repl. 9/3M without rangers or support force a battalion to alert away. (This was a "movement operation" instead of a real S&D operation).
1/1C, rangers not available, supported by 1C HQ and air catches a political section. 3/1C, rangers again not available, supported by the 1C HQ and a 155mm artillery catches a VC battalion, which alerts through an US battalion, 2 VC repl - the battalion disperses (to save repl for the coming offensive.) All possible support being used now, 2/1C will not try to catch a VC unit.
There are still 8 VC counters on the map.
Some VC units still patrol. The known regiment moves to a mountain in Binh Thuan with good escape prospects.
The entire 199rd is airmobilized. Together with a battalion of Australians, rangers, 155mm artillery, a battleship, a cruiser and Free Fire to the fully loyal Binh Thuan, it attacks the regiment. The regiment alerts a hex, and is attacked 8 to 31 casualties - 1 ARVN, 1 VC, no pursuit rolled. But, it cannot retreat far enough to be able to avoid being attacked again with full support - at least not without ending up on a road in the already Free Fire Binh Thuan, so it disperses for 5 VC repl.
In An Xuyen, ARVN 2nd division, 1/1C and rangers catch a political section. 2/1C, rangers, 2 cruisers and air fail to catch a battalion. It then moves to cultivated.
In Tuyen Duc, 1/25, divisional assets, 175mm artillery, rangers and air attack a battalion which alerts a hex. 1 ARVN repl lost, +1 pursuit. The divisional armor battalion pursues and attacks alone, supported by 175mm artillery and air, and destroys it.
In Bien Hoa, 9/3M and 3/101, with rangers and air destroy a battalion, losing a trans.
2/25, 2/101, 101 HQ and Thais attack and destroy a Political section in Khanh Hoa.
In western Binh Dinh, 3/3M and 3/25, rangers and a battalion of Australians, supported by 175mm artillery and air find a regiment. 4 ARVN repl and 1 air to disperse the regiment and cause a loss of 4 VC repl (total, after +3 VC repl from the dispersal)
Total losses in Spring 69: 20 VC bn equivalents (including 2 regiments, 5 political sections), 4 VC repl, 9 ARVN repl, 1 US repl, 4 air, 1 trans.
Two VC counters survived. There will be -1 to An Xuyen pacification (VC) and -2 to Binh Thuan (Free Fire).
The almost fully ineffective ARVN forced US to operate (-3 morale next turn) and cost ~3 US commitment in losses. US got +1 morale from population, and withdrew 2 commitment - this season was worth of 3 points in closing the morale to commitment gap.
NLF lost ~22 population worth of personnel, and has only 101 left before dropping to 2 recruits per NVN commitment. NLF cannot sustain this kind of fight much longer. This could have been the last season where VC tried to maintain a presence on the map for pacification modifiers and US operations.
US Morale: 339
US Commitment: 293
NVN Morale: 465
NVN Commitment: 445
SVN Morale: 144
SVN Draft Level:133
SVN Population: 259
NLF Draft Level:505
NLF Population: 101
NLF Supply Pool:101
Note to Saigon,
Please change the die you are using to roll for ARVN effectiveness.
Throw the old one away.