Updated: Aug 16, 2022
I have spent the last 18 months putting together my 20mm Vietnam collection and wanted to use as much of it as I could it in one big weekend wargame. We have been using Charlie Company rules on Friday night sessions which have been slighted adapted to play a very large game. Most of the players are the US forces and the VC / NVA are played by umpires.
I stretched reality quite a bit when I set up my scenario to have US marines in the Mekong Delta defending a fire base which were also rare in this part of the world. I set the game in December 1968, 11 months after TET the offensive. We were going to play this over a weekend starting Friday night in my “War Room” on a 22’ 4” x 6’ 1” table.
The fire base (about 4’ by 5’) was deployed at one end of the table. The rescue forces entered at the other end of the table (16’ away from the fire base) along a river at one edge (12’ long) and the other along a parallel road. There were 3 villages and a temple with areas of rice paddy fields and elephant grass. Most of the terrain was Forest but with areas of Jungle in parts, most along the river edge.
The briefing given to the US commander started as follows; Significant enemy forces, in particular large elements of regular NVA are massing to capture a US fire base held by one of our artillery batteries, to increase the pressure on the US public following the TET offensive earlier this year. We suspect they are trying to do a quick Dien Bien Phu on one of our units. They know you are coming and are waiting for you!!
The US players were split up into 4 team teams. the Command Team led by Paul (AKA Forest Gump) who controlled battlegroup reserves, air support and artillery. Team Foxtrot who are the Fire Base defenders with a USMC company (Juan, Kamall) and an artillery battery and supporting infantry, in particular 12 HMG squads (Brian). There were two rescue teams Team Bravo the Brown Water Navy (Phil) with a Game Warden elements (PBRs and minesweeper) and River Assault Section 91carrying an infantry company (Noel) and Team Mike with the Armoured Cavalry of 2 troops (Tim on Friday/ Simon) and a Mechanised Infantry company (Trevor) with various supporting elements such as engineers, bridge laying and ARVs .
All players were given individual packs with their own mission objectives and victory points. The US players were not quite aligned which was designed to cause a little of bit of friction on the US side. There were also terms of engagement issued in respect of civilians their property and a scared temple further restricting the use of artillery and air support.
I was chief umpire and very ably supported over the weekend by Piotr (Friday), Jonath
an (Friday & Saturday), Pete (Saturday), Mark (Saturday), Tim (Sunday), and Pat (Sunday). Attacking the Fire base was 2 regiments of NVA a battalion at a time. Blocking the two rescue teams were 2 companies of main force VC and 3 platoons of Local Forces supported by numerous heavy weapons in particular heavy AA weapons, MHGs and Recoilless Rifles.