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.

Friday 2 March 2018

Where have all the flowers gone?

Creating bombed out wooded terrain for NAM

I was looking at trying to create terrain on my table to represent bombed out or burnt wooded areas something similar to the areas around Dak To.

The following is a short pictorial on the process I took.

Cheap tree armatures from E-bay

I stripped the majority of smaller branches from the trees.
Bases were made from MDF coasters.

The trees were painted with a grey/brown mix and the base stems trimmed.

Trees were glued to base with some branches place around trees.

Dry coloured flocking added to the bases.

Finished trees with added grass tufts.

Aerial view

Finished trees on the table.

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Gimme Shelter

Flank Attack - Kon Tum Province 1967

A Chain Of Command - DMZ After Action Report

Below is an After Action Report using the Chain of Command Flank Attack Scenario

Kon Tum Province June 1967

A U.S Platoon, part of the 503rd Airborne Infantry has been isolated and flanked by elements of the 24th PAVN Regiment.

Attacker - NVA
Defender - U.S

Additional CoC-DMZ Victory Conditions
Free World Forces
Free World Forces may achieve an alternative Victory at the end of any phase/turn in which they currently have control of or have captured a total of at least 2 enemy Jump off Points and their current morale level is 4+.
They can also win scenarios under normal victory conditions.

NVA and VC Forces may achieve an alternative Victory by reducing a Free World Forces Morale to 3 or Less and withdrawing all on table units from the table whilst their final morale remains above 0.
This victory condition fits in well with the CDS "Three Strongs Attack" objective.
They can also win scenarios under normal victory conditions.

Withdrawing from the Table
In order to retire from the field a NVA/VC unit may leave via a friendly jump off point or any table edge provided no enemy units are within 12 inches and line of sight to the unit at the start of it's move.
Each unit leaving the game this way via a JOP or table edge will not return and will roll with the risk of dispersing on a 5+ if from a friendly JOP or 4+ if from any table edge.
If a unit disperses a roll is made against section wiped out on the morale table and immediately effects the players morale.
Snipers and immobile teams may withdraw from where they are deployed with the risk of dispersing on a 5+ if there is no enemy within 12 inches and line of sight or 4+ if there is enemy within 12 inches and line of sight.

  • Broken ground for foot movement.
  • Vehicles treat as Heavy Going.
  • Wheeled and partially tracked vehicles may not move in Heavy Going.
  • Variable Line of sight is 6 + D6 inches.
Light cover
  • Clear Ground
  • Open Terrain
Fallen Logs
  • Light Cover
Grass on the mat is treated as Light Cover if stationary and Open if moving.

Multiple Phases
Any time a player rolled 2 sixes or more for consecutive phases the subsequent roll was made with one less dice.
e.g. Player 1 rolls 5 dice 6,6,5,2,1.
Next roll they roll 4 dice 6,6,3,1.
Next roll they roll 5,2,1.
It is now Player 2 turn.

Pre-Planned Ambush
Replace the CoC Dice(1) support option in any army lists with Pre-Planned Ambush(1).

Pre-Planned Ambush
A player may choose this support option to perform a pre-planned ambush. A pre-planned ambush
differs from a normal Ambush.

A Pre-Planned Ambush allows a single, as yet undeployed infantry team OR SQUAD/SECTION to be placed anywhere within 12” of a friendly Jump‐Off Point and further than 6” from any enemy

The unit may then fire immediately without further activation. An ambush conducted like this
represents a pre-planned ambush site.

The unit will make their attack and then must be kept on the table in the ambush position at
the end of the phase.

If the player’s opponent has troops on Overwatch covering the area from which the pre-planned
ambush is made, they may fire after the ambushing unit has fired.

The Forces
NVA 1967 - Morale 9

Support - 10pts
  • Recce Squad
  • Forward Observer with 60mm Mortar Section (covers a 12inch square area)
  • Pre-Planned Ambush

The Forces
U.S 1967 - Morale 9

Support - 3pts
  • Sniper Team

The Game
The Table Layout.

NVA table edges bottom and right of screen.

End of Patrol Phase.  Red NVA. Blue U.S.

Jump off points deployed.  Tunnels NVA.  Coloured smoke U.S.

NVA Jump Off Point.

View on U.S right flank.

U.S deployment zone near open area at top of screen. 

Brown ground treated as open terrain. 

NVA first phase.  Scouts from Recce squad probe U.S flank.

NVA scouts move through wooded area.

NVA Recce squad deploys in an attempt to find the U.S flanks.

NVA Recce squad.  Support option.

A U.S squad deploys to establish the perimeter.

U.S Sniper also deploys.

The NVA have found the U.S positions as the second U.S squad deploys.

Enemies close.  Visibility is fleeting in the thick Jungle.

Second NVA squad deploys to flank the U.S.

The NVA begin to emerge from the Jungle flanking the U.S on two sides.

With repeat phases and the use of a Planned Ambush
the NVA pour fire into the left flank of the U.S

Through weight of fire the central U.S squad becomes suppressed.
The tide starts to turn however as the U.S bloopers go to work on the NVA
squads wounding leaders.  The sniper then opens up killing
the 60mm mortar observer before he can call in a bombardment.

The NVA begin to close in on the U.S right flank.

The U.S are pressured on both flanks but fight on stoically.

With their morale impacted through injured leaders and the loss of their
observer the NVA begin to move into close combat range through the Jungle.

The U.S Squad top right becomes isolated as the squad to their right
off screen is wiped out.

Two NVA squads launch an assault against the isolated U.S squad hoping
numbers will tell against an enemy who is not pinned.

Close combat ensues.
Casualties occur on both sides however more NVA leaders are wounded.

View of NVA right flank.  U.S squads in the centre of screen have
suffered several casualties.

View after close combat.
The U.S squad pulls back but with NVA morale badly affected by loss of
leadership the NVA retreat to the safety of the Jungle to regroup.

A very fun game.  All was going well for the NVA as they hit the U.S on two flanks pouring in aggressive fire.  The U.S were never out of it however as their firepower began to tell in the firefight.  With several wounded leaders and the killing of their 60mm mortar observer from a blooper round the NVA morale took several hits (plenty of 6s rolled for Bad Things Happening morale rolls) causing them to leave the fight.  What looked like the U.S position being overrun turned into a U.S victory albeit a costly one.