Thursday 28 August 2014

I Love the Smell of Wargaming

Ade and Keith came over for a Vietnam game last night using Men of Company B from Peter Pig. We have started to game semi regularly outside of our activities with Stoke Wargames Group.In homage to Graham Evans and his group, I think I will christen these mid week sessions the Thursday Night Gang, or TNG. The homage part being that we wont be necessarily meeting on Thursdays. In fact, there is an ad hoc meeting of the TNG tomorrow at Ade's house to play Bolt Action all day.

I have taken MoCB down to the Stoke club a while ago but it didn't go to well. This time it went a lot better with Keith playing as the US Infantry and Ade as Victor Charlie. Keith had a small force of two platoons at his disposal, travelling in 3 M113's. Included in his force was the commander of Company B, James Lazarus, 3 rifle squads per platoon plus a specialist 'tunnel rat' group (Elias?). The US mission was to move out from the deserted ville of Ad Hoc to nearby Ha Tai where VC sympathisers had been identified and to capture as many as they could for interrogation back at base.

Ade as the VC commander was given a choice of forces and went for the one with a bit of everything. This included several bases of Local VC Militia, a couple of bases of Hard Core VC, a couple of RPG's and a HMG.

Mid game picture, Ha Tai is towards the bottom of the picture.
In MoCB, the VC use a system of zones represented by tokens initially to indicate where their forces are. The US patrol the locale, engaging with these zones to activate them. The VC spreads his forces across the zoens, with the only stipulation being one zone must be empty and the others contain at least one 'stores' token for which the US gain points at game end for recovering. I got this bit wrong when explaining it to Ade and when splitting his force across the zones, sneakily put most of the stores in one zone. A zone located fairly centrally contained 2 RPG's, the HMG and the 2 Hard Core VC bases to pack a heavy punch in an ambush. Keith set off with all haste to get the mission done hoping to catch the VC sleeping but on passing the loaded up zone was hit in a devastating ambush that saw him lose two M113's, and two bases including the Company Commander. 

 Keith chose US Gunships for his support. He could have chosen off table artillery or airstrikes. The pciture above shows the first of two gunships roaming the battlefield. Ade was able to shoot at the them and also to make a roll indicating the pilot bugging out due to the zone being thought to be too hot but he failed on both counts during the course of the game.
 Here we see a quiet farmer going about his business. Keith was suspicious of him all game and contemplated shooting him. I reminded Keith that his mission was one of 'Hearts and Minds' chosen at game start. Civilian casualties would be bad for him.
 The surviving M113 crossing a field. Please excuse the handpainted star. I'm not much of a modeller and I didn't have any transfers to hand.
This is the scene of the ambush at the start of the game. Keith was able to bring superior firepower to bear and cleaned out the VC, At the end of the game points added up to a small US win. Keith didn't manage to find any of the stores but did manage to enter Ha Tai and secure a base of VC sympathisers which he raced back to his start line. US loses were 3 bases of infantry and 2 M113's. Ade lost 9 bases of troops. Had I got the rules right regarding placement of stores then Keith may have been more succesful. The rules felt ok, but I may look at using the firing mechanism from AK47 which is similar to MoCB but a bit more granular. The rules certainly reflected the frustration of US forces dealing with an enemy fighting in his homeland and able to appear and disappear with ease amongst the harsh terrain. For instance the VC move far more easily than the US when in scenery and with some thought can run rings around the US leaving them chasing shadows.

We had a suitable soundtrack throughout the game, with Ride of the Valkyries accompanying the arrival of Keiths gunships. Both Ade and Keith enjoyed the game and Ade on reflecting on his performance identified a couple of things he could have done differently which would have swung the result.

So, Bolt Action at Ades tomorrow day time followed by Dreadball at night down the club. Then an all day game at Jeff D's on Saturday to look forward too. Can't wait!

More soon...


Trebian said...

Helicopters on up-turned wine glasses. It'll never catch on.


Sean Clark said...


Cant think where the idea came from...