This week, as I mentioned last week, I wanted to play another Blitzkreig Commander or Cold War Commander attack-type scenario against an entrenched force, but with more artillery… I also wanted to wear my new hat… So our scenario takes place in sunny South Vietnam!
Dong Bong, Republic of Vietnam, August 1966
Long-range patrols of the 11th Cavalry Division (Airmobile) have located NVA forces, identified as elements of the 235th NVA Regiment in strength on Dong Bong. For the past four days battalions of the Division’s 5th brigade have been pushing their way up the mountain, which is covered in a network of caves, tunnels, bunkers, trenches, and booby-traps. The 7/5th Cavalry has moved up to carry on the assault.
A and D company of the 7/5th Cavalry will be assaulting up the east side of Dong Bong towards a pair of gullies. Before the gullies are a series of trenches and bunkers believed to only be held in only platoon strength. The US player has 12 turns to move half his force into wither of the two gullies (off the far end of the table).
A and D Coy, 7/5th Cavalry, 11th Cavalry Division (Airmobile)
2 Rifle Companies (each with):
12x Infantry Stands
1 scheduled assets – napalm
C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 32nd Artillery
3x 105 howitzers
2 Platoon, 3rd Company, 235th PAVN Regiment
3x Infantry Stand
2x RPG-2 Upgrades
4 AP Booby Trap Assests
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
The field of battle. Imagine that the field is sloping upwards from left to right…. On the left are the Americans deployed in the jungle making their way up the hill. To the right are the Vietnamese in their trenches and beyond them the entrances to the two gullies.
The NVA line from the south.
The NVA line from the North.
A company, under the command of Major Bertolini, moving up through the jungle.
The two American companies in their start positions.
D coy moving up through the jungle.
The two American commanders Major Betolini on the left commanding Alpha Company– who wanted to wear the marine Corps cover even though they were playing army airmobile cavalry… - and LCol Chappel, on the right, battalion commander (and OC Bravo Company).
Gary had some trouble getting his guys going at the start – John’s A Company boys can be seen leading the way through the jungle to the left.
The commander of the Vietnamese; Major Duc Se Qwak.
John and his cover again.
The yanks made it to the treeline just in time to see the Phantom drop Napalm on the NVA lines – suppressing one MG in a bunker and the HQ… that’s about it… Gary advised John to make a run for it – then decided to stay in cover for another turn himself.
Alpha Company caught out in the open take small arms, machine-gun and RPG fire suppressing nearly half the company. One platoon was trailing behind due to stumbling into some booby-traps in the jungle.
There’s Gary’s boys, in the distance there, waiting in the treeline to see what happens…
It took john a few turns to creep his troops forward – constantly being suppressed by the fire being poured down on them by the Vietnamese.
After a couple of turns of fussing about in the jungle – and running into a their fair share of booby-traps – the men from Delta Company move out.
After being plagued by some bad command rolls earlier in the game the boys from Delta decided to make up for their slow start when Gary diced a 2 and they did a double move across the open to within range to assault!
John tried a frontal assault and lost a section in the process.
Eventually he maneuvered enough guys around he was able to turn the Vietnamese flank and it winkled them out of the trenches. They were a tough, tough band of fighters defending John’s end of the line though.
After falling back out of the trenches John tried to shoot them up in the open and they just kept falling back further and further up the mountain but they just would not break!
Gary in the meantime had stormed the other end of the line and took out two sections of Vietnamese plus one of the MGs forcing me to start taking break tests.
Two turns later – on turn eleven my force finally broke. The MG in the bunker on John’s end of the line was still fighting and the HQ had taken refuge in the bunker with them. The other section had nearly fallen back to my own table edge but was still there! Gary had thoroughly cleared his end of the line and was pushing further up the hill towards the mortar postion in the gully – had he another turn and a couple good command rolls he might have gotten a few guys off. As it was they had to settle for a minor victory for breaking my force.
Losses: 3 American sections, 2 Vietnamese plus an MG.
I imagine the second MG team and the HQ that were in the bunker when the force broke would have surrendered the remaining PAVN infantry section (that had already been falling back toward one of the gullies) and the mortar team would have hightailed it to another line of defense.
Pretty light for the Americans, considering they were assaulting an entrenched enemy with excellent fields of fire. They did have a big numbers advantage though. I think Gary and John thought they were going to be massacred when they got caught out in the open – but because of their advantage of numbers I had to keep spreading my fire around just to try and suppress them all and stall the advance so I never really had the opportunity to concentrate fire long enough to knock out many squads. It was that numbers advantage that really won it for the Americans.
I tried a number of new things this evening. Bunkers, scheduled air strikes, called in air strikes, napalm, and booby traps.
The artillery and airstrikes (other than the scheduled napalm) I think caused one hit the entire game with no suppressions they were calling it in from too far away and it scattered too much. I did kind of miss the American Accurate Fire Support (use one less die for scatter) and Danger Close (double attacks from aircraft once per game) rules. Of course I also failed to remember that AA fire from my HQ could have caused those aircraft to abort or at least lower their attacks. I’ll have to try this all again and REMEMBER all these things.
Originally I had thought I’d give them 2 napalm assets, then read how napalm worked and decided that was a bit nasty. I think I’d like to try the same scenario with just one American company but with more air – more aircraft, more napalm and maybe some attack helicopters….
I had also thought of trying out a sniper, but then didn’t. Maybe next time. Of course I don’t really HAVE an appropriate NVA sniper figure.
Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:
I should get some pics of things I’ve bee painting lately up. A lot of what I’ve been doing over the last week or so has been mostly organizing and basing and prepping piles and piles of plastic figures. I did finish up a bunch of Afghan DRA and a couple stands of 15mm Normans for DBA (oddly enough!). Those three PAVN infantry stands were fresh of the painting desk and I’ve got my third and final unit of Russian VDV just about finished…
I think perhaps I should make a generic sniper figure that could be used by anyone – find a prone figure (there’s a few left over from various plastic 1:72 kits), paint the rifle and boots – but then cover most of the figures with static grass/camoflage – presto generic sniper figure that could be used by any army…?! Well… I’ll give it a try and see how it works.
Hey - if you made it this far why not post a comment below and let me know you were here and what you thought! Cheers!