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Monday, December 19, 2016

Viet-Nam, 1952, France vs Viet-Minh, Force-on-Force (Fall-In 2016)

I was able to make the drive down from Canada to Lancaster, PA for Fall-In 2016 this year.  While my main goal was to see old friends, buy more miniatures I don't need, and play in the Flames of War singles tournament put on by Kurt Reese for Wounded Warrior Project, I did have a spare day to partake in some other games!  

Anyone who has been to an HMGS convention knows that with the small description of the game in the convention book, it can be tough to discern if the game will be any good.  As soon as I saw the jungle table, I knew I had to try and play it!   

This one features French forces landing from the carrier group "Arromanches" near Hue, in order to clear out a 'ville' of some pesky Viet-Minh.  It used Force-on-Force rules, 28mm scale, and was being run by Pete English.   The game/table also won some award, as the convention organisers paused our game to hand out a prize and take pictures and all that!  As the only actual person on either side who is French (Cdn) I obviously chose to be on the French team!

The 'ville' had only civilians visible, working the rice paddies, though we knew they had a box full of soldiers yet to be seen.  As the french, we had an LVT4 Amtrac,  2 Chaffees, 3 mech platoons initially as tank riders, an Amphib command jeep and 2 M20s.  

The first M20 hits a mine here, so at least we know we can road-move up to this point.  I ended up deploying our LMGs in that white sideboard church.

We had ten turns to push into the 'ville' and clear out supply tokens, like the loose stuff on the porch there.   This forced us to push and not sit back and just mow down the treelines all game. So we used our remaining M20 to do just that, push, on the far right flank after a big road-move..

At this point, the Viet-Minh players could interrupt our turn and deploy satchel-charge throwers out of the civilians.. luckily they failed their morale roll to rush up, probably thanks to the Chaffee in support!

Meanwhile, one of our players, Bill, insisted on trying to cross the large paddy with the LVT and the C-Jeep.

The civilians in front of the Viet Minh could take random hits.. and each civilian we killed was negative victory points!!  I was ruthless and wanted to just drive through them.. but with the failed satchel-charges, we were able to wipe out the soldiers with MG fire into that tree-line..

And on Bill's left flank, these 'civilians' are still nervously 'working' the paddies.... suddenly Pete tells us we can spot green flares coming out from behind this treeline.. turns out they were trying to call in off-board mortar fire.. and failing their rolls!

We had some support of our own, from the carrier group, but would need to make a 9 or 10 on d10 AND use up a radio to try and call in this Navy F-4U-7 Corsair.. sadly, we never made the roll....

We see more Viet-Minh, still using the civilians as a screen, this time with grenades and a recoiless gun, which ended up take out Dave's M20, before we rushed in and captured the gun (positive victory points for heavy weapons captured/destroyed)

I have bad dice rolling at the best of times, so a quad-1 on d6s doesn't faze me.. but on 2d8 and 2d10!?!?! Cmon man!!!!

Bill and my LMG team about to deploy into the next treeline in front of the wide open paddy.  We figure with the twin .50's on the LVT and my LMG we should be able to sort out the next treeline.. Another green flare spotted, so says Pete....

Corsair's-Eye View of the table.. our right flank is now clear, we push on, while Bill thinks about crossing that last open field..  while Sam and the other Viet-Minh ponder what sneaky trickery to pull on us next.

Except wouldn't you know it, we get half way across, and a bunker is revealed in the treeline!  HMG fire from that hidden bunker mows down Bill's mech platoon stuck in the open.  To make matters worse, the enemy command section reveals, and charges my Chaffee.. they bring it down with satchel charges and grenades.. while another Viet-Minh platoon materializes on the far left, and NOW their mortars come down, on Bill's survivors!   "I got a bad feeling about this one, Sarge!"

But Bill's men have tied down the Viet Minh elite troops, allowing the last Chaffee and 2 platoons to start clearing the crops at the outskirts of town.  Short of something drastic, we will at least make it into the town center by turn 10.. though we have killed enough civilians and lost Bill's men that the Viet-Minh players might still win on points.  And we still don't know what other tricks they have up their sleeve!

Bill down to one guy left, pitching a grenade into that HMG bunker, and the Amtrac.  I mount up my LMG into the CP Jeep and push up as well.

Turn 9, the Viet-Minh command section, fresh from blowing up my tank, move forward to slow us down from clearing out their town.. the huts are on stilts though, so we MG the heck out of them by shooting UNDER the buildings..

..until all that is left is this banner guy and 2 civilians (who simply refused to die when allocated hits!)

At this point, Pete calls the game, a narrow French victory.  Though there are sure to be more guerillas coming down the river (see below).........  What a great game, I lucked out that the game I thought 'looked interesting' from the blurb in the convention booklet turned out to be amazing!

If he fires that PKM on full auto, will the raft go backwards from the recoil??

Matt Varnish AKA Dennis Campbell, plays Flames of War up in Canada with the lads from Surprisingly, I don't even have a Canadian army............ yet!

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