Sunday 7 October 2018

The Times They Are A Changin'

A few rules ideas and Patrol Scenario

I am constantly thinking about ways to improve and expand on the Chain of Command - DMZ rules.
For those who have picked up the latest Chain of Command Blitzkrieg 1940 hand book there are plenty of opportunities for adding additional VC support options by adapting these from the Shabby Nazi Tricks.
(As this handbook has recently been released I will not list them here)

The Stuka Bombardment rule would easily be adaptable also.

I have also spoken to Michael Moore from the US and he has provided me with suggestions for Night Fighting and CIDG forces which I will look to add to the blog shortly.

For our recent game I added the following changes.

Victory Conditions
Secondary Victory Conditions for the NVA/VC have been changed to allow them to achieve an alternative Victory by reducing a Free World Forces Morale to 4 or Less and withdrawing all on table units from the table whilst their final morale remains above 0.

This is a change from the previous reducing Free World Forces Morale to 3 or Less.  Although this change may appear small it fits nicely into encouraging Hit and Run tactics for the NVA/VC and aligns with command breakdown. (Morale 4 is when a force has their command dice reduced by one)

Changes to Army Lists
US HQ has had the M60 GPMGs with 2 crew (attached to squads) removed and added to support List 2 as M60 GPMGs with 3 crew 

List 2 would now look like this:
M60 GPMG with 3 crew (2)

This will change the Force Ratings of the US force as follows:
Regulars Armed with M14: +1
Regulars Armed with M16: +4

Changes to Forces
We experimented with a new idea taken from the Charlie Company rules to better reflect forces in the field.
This change requires players from both sides to roll for their platoon at the start of the game to determine it's Platoon size.

Force ratings are not adjusted by these rolls.

NB:  A platoon may never be bigger than it's original starting size.

HQ size is determined by rolling a D6 treating a 1 as a 2 and a 6 as a five.
Alternatively you can roll and average dice.
This determines how many men are in the HQ.
Any roll above 2 are additional men that can be used to supplement squads.

Standard squad size:
13 = D6+7
10 = D6+4
9 = D6+3

So a standard NVA squad of 9 will roll D6+3 for each of it's 3 squads to determine their size.

Once all rolls are made players can adjust their squads as they see fit supplementing them with additional HQ men but not exceeding and original squad or platoon size.  Any additional men are ignored.
Players can decide which weapons from the original squads are maintained.


Patrol - 1968
Main Force VC vs US Army

We played the standard Patrol scenario from the Chain of Command main rule book.
Level 3 support was rolled

Main Force VC
A 4 was rolled for Morale making this 9.
HQ - 5 rolled giving 5 men in HQ
1st Squad - 5 was rolled making this 8 men
2nd Squad - 6 was rolled making this 9 men
3rd Squad - 5 was rolled making this 8 men

2 men were taken from HQ to increase squad 1 and 3 back to full strength with the additional man discarded.

VC player took a MMG (.30cal) with 5 crew as support (List 3)

US Army
A 2 was rolled for Morale making this 8.
HQ - 4 rolled giving 4 men in HQ
1st Squad - 4 was rolled making this 8 men
2nd Squad - 5 was rolled making this 9 men
3rd Squad - 1 was rolled making this 5 men

2 men were taken from HQ and 1 man moved from squad 2 to increase squad 3 to 8 men.
This made HQ of 2 and 3 squads of 8 men each.

US player took a M60 with 3 crew (List 2) and 1 x LAW (List one) assigned to 1st squad.

  • Brown patches and Roads treated as open.
  • Grassed areas treated as light cover if stationary open if shot at whilst moving (from over watch or interrupt)
  • Bush areas treated as light cover with visibility inside of 6+D6 inches.  
  • Units on over watch inside Bush can roll 2 dice to spot taking the highest. 
  • Stream counts as shallow and open terrain.  Banks do not count as cover.
  • No running allowed in Bush areas or across Stream.
Table Layout.  US Patrol Markers start on centre left VC top right.

View from Ground level.
Our Land
VC Patrol Markers use 14” as both their move distance and the distance from a friendly Patrol Marker within which they must remain.
Other than this additional 2” they operate as normal Patrol Markers.

Patrol phase ended.  VC Red (Top).  US Blue (Bottom).

The VC have managed to hem in the US.

Coloured smoke used for US deployment points. US Patrol moving next to path.

Tunnel entrances used for VC deployment points.

First Turns.  VC stay quiet.  US deploy on over watch with Scouts pushing.

M60 team deploys and is placed on over watch by the platoon SGT.

2 man scout team moves up on right of screen covered by over watch.

The elusive VC remain hidden.

The US scouts continue to push forward cautiously.

The VC roll a turn end and decide to deploy. They do not shoot to avoid over watch fire

A VC Squad and .30cal MMG open fire now that over watch has ceased.

They cause casualties amongst the US wounding the SGT.

The US return fire causes some casualties.  Targets are hard to hit.

The VC pour more fire into the US squad this time killing the SGT.

With their morale down to 4 the US deploy a 2nd squad and press the attack.

All maybe too late however as the VC attack ceases and they begin withdrawing.

The US are unable to locate the VC force as it slips away having inflicted light casualties.
The VC exploited their National Characteristics very well in the patrol phase allowing them to effectively shadow the US force. A well timed hit reduced the US force morale down to 4 and the VC withdrew from the firefight intact.

The variable Platoon size changes gave the necessary feel for the period.

I think it was one of those rare occasions when rules adjustments worked extremely well and the game had a very 'NAM' feel about it.  The Secondary Victory conditions allow the games to better suit the Vietnam conflict. The US can benefit from aggressive patrolling and the VC can use hit and run tactics to exploit opportunities.

All in all it was a very enjoyable game.


  1. Really enjoyed this , awesome work !

  2. Very cool, I think you could use the variable platoon numbers and the hit and run tactics for fighting in Afghanistan too.

  3. Great idea to adapt the rules