I decorated and played on the "Brown Water Navy" table. The other two tables were Pleiku City and a firebase in the jungle.
The fire base
So, this is the Navy's boat dock and refueling station, prior to deployment. The Vietnamese would have to set up roughly 24" back from the perimeter. That parked boat was decoration and inoperable for this scenario, though there would be a working patrol boat arriving later.
My co-captain, Brad, commanded the VC to begin with, and I commanded the NVA regulars. The VC troops are the guys in classic black pajamas.You can see our brilliant plan in the two pictures at the left. Without any sort of heavy support units, it was going to have to be human wave tactics and a good amount of luck! The game would begin pre-dawn so we'd have a turn or two of darkness to shield our advance.
Mike and Dominic deployed their company. They'd get two units of Green Berets and a PBR as reserves and could request an air support visit.
My first move of any importance was to push my recoilless rifles forward to blast the base from a pretty safe distance across the lake.
The first American reinforcements arrive. John Kerry and friends would become a thorn in our side for quite a while.
VC wave number one across the fording point goes poorly. Towards the upper right, the VC assault was also repelled. This does not bode well.
I managed to get my mortars ranged in on the defenders protecting the river. This turned out to be huge later in the game.
Wave 2 against the wall was much more successful. Sappers managed to blow a gap in the wall and we assaulted with the remnants of the first VC platoon and a platoon of PAVN regulars. The defenders made a critical error by concentrating their defensive fire on the VC, wiping them out. This left the NVA platoon wide open and they swept through the defenders.
The aftermath of assault 2. Brutal.
After the failure of the first assault across the river, I got two platoons in position to advance together. A third platoon begins advancing up the road.
Mike calls Broken Arrow! Their ais comes in the form of a pair of Little Birds with miniguns. A lot of NVA regulars get shot to pieces and Mike is able to consolidate his defenders back to a tenable position.
Napoleon's most important piece of advice, "Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake." Mike drops his first Green Beret unit near my mortars to shut them up. In hindsight, they'd have been much more useful:
a) dropped behind our advancing troops
b) defending the town
c) not here
Mike wanted the artillery gone. Nothing terribly wrong with that rationale except that the Americans were starting to lose troops and needed to either take the air out of our advance or put as many bodies in our target area as possible. To this point, the mortars has only caused pins and killed one infantry stand who'd left his foxhole.
By this time, Brad and I'd simply taken command of different fronts. I handled the river crossing while he managed the road side. I sent my two flamethrower teams ahead and finally made a dent in the defenders' position! You can see that the second Green Beret group has just landed inside the perimeter - feh!
Tragedy for the Americans as a lucky RPG shot connects with the Huey! Three of the six teams are killed in the wreck.
The boat pulls up and thrashes my remaining platoon in the river and blasts three stands from the bridge! You can see that although I cleaned out the defenders pretty solidly, I lost a platoon and a half in the process.
A bit of revenge a turn later.
Green Berets sneaking up on my recoilless rifles. Balls. They were having so much fun blasting away at the base,
The base is well and truly overrun now!
The Green Berets across the river watch the base get overrun. We assume they called in napalm on us before they slink back into the jungle.
We played for a good six hours and I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.The Americans were much more successful on the other two tables - the firebase held and Pleiku City was successfully defended. Mike and Dominic chewed through seven of our platoons, plus the mortars and recoilless rifles during the engagement, to four of theirs. It was a classic meat-grinder and went pretty much as you'd expect. Mike would have like some artillery support at some point and probably could have used it, though I imagine the Vietnamese wouldn't have stood much chance of achieving their goal if there'd been more tools at the defender's disposal.
Quite a fun afternoon and thanks a bunch, Mark for organizing it!