Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Israelis

Photo from Peter Pig website
Some time ago I bought a few packs of 15mm Israelis from Peter Pig as another force to be used with Ambush Alley/Force on Force.  As I already have desert/arid terrain with Middle Eastern/North African buildings as well as Arab forces, adding in the kick ass Israelis was an easy decision, plus I know my friend Dances with Clydesdales (his TMP handle) would definitely be interested in playing as he is a bit of an Israeliphile (an understatement to be certain).

Some chaps on TMP has turned me onto a couple of good resource sites:

What I do still need looks to be a few M-113s (maybe, haven't decided if I want to spend the money for vehicles yet), but other than that I have the workings of an Israeli platoon.  (16 infantry with Galils, 8 carrying LMGs, 8 with RPGs, 8 command, and 8 radiomen)

I had put out a request on the new Ambush Alley Games forum (now on The Wargames Website) to see if folks have already rated the Israelis for Force on Force but have had only a few bites as of this writing.  Shawn, from Ambush Alley Games, did offer this:

I haven’t done a lot of reading on the conflict, so I’m not really able to get down in the weeds on troop ratings. You can’t go too wrong by remembering the following things, though:

TQ D8 troops represent decently trained professional troops. If they’re poorly led, their Confidence may be Poor, while if they’re very well-led, it may be High.

Troops who are highly motivated will have a D10 or higher Morale. Troops with average Morale will throw D8s, while those that would really rather be somewhere else will roll D6s.

And that does help a bit.  

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Thoughts on the Vietnam Project(s)

With my recent gaming experience using Two Hour Wargames' FNG rules, my interest in gaming Vietnam has dramatically increased.  I stopped at Half Price Books over the weekend and snagged three mass market paperbacks, two of which I had owned and read years ago.  The Village, by Bing West, is a great read about a Marine squad and their experiences within one village, and I was glad to buy it again for a penance.  I also picked up Inside Force Recon, a detailed look at some of the best operators in Vietnam, that starts well before Vietnam then delves into numerous stories of missions that involve Force Recon; this was also a title I owned some years ago.  The last title is The Proud Bastards, about a young Marine's journey from Parris Island to his severe wounding while serving in the 4th Marines.  The last title is another of a huge number of solid memoirs, although at times it is difficult to plow through as the author really gets you inside his head with long rambling trains of thought.  

I have always enjoyed small unit actions, which of course the Vietnam War has numerous examples far beyond reckoning.  And gaming actions described in books or movies is a great way to jump into a project.  I already have some painted Flames of War American infantry, and while I am waiting for Flashpoint to make some Khmer Rouge for my Koh Tang Island project, I am considering some other Vietnam diversions.

One diversion is something based around Go Tell the Spartans, a movie that is set during 1964.  An American advisory team, some Nung "regulars', and some local forces, facing off against some fairly experienced Viet Cong.  Without trying to buy too many buildings and trying to do the movie as is, I think I will use it more as an outline to replicate the forces and setting.  Flashpoint make a Montagnard patrol pack, that would work well for the local pro-government militia types or possibly the hired gun Nungs.  Some of the figures from the Flashpoint RFPF pack could be used for the Nungs as well (some of the figures are carrying AK-47s and M-16s).  The local force VC packs can be used as the Viet Cong of course.  Flashpoint will be making both a Free World fire-base and a CIDG camp bundle at some point, and I am thinking that there should be items in both bundles that might be cobbled together to suit a Muc Wa-type setting.  I already have those Eleven Tree Designs jungle buildings, and Sarissa make many more laser cut buildings for the Far East that includes a watch tower.

The American advisors would probably be best suited by using a mix of World War II figures and other suitable Nam figures, as most are carrying M1/M2 carbines or M3 grease guns with some wearing steel helmets and others with soft covers and boonie hats.  Flashpoint is going to make some CIDG/MIKE Force support figures and infantry with M2s.

Of course, once I develop terrain suitable for a Go Tell the Spartans inspired adventure, I should have enough to then delve into other Vietnam projects with little effort beyond figures.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

FNG - First Thoughts

Today I had the chance to try out FNG 2nd Tour, the Vietnam era rules from Two Hour Wargames.  I have been looking forward to trying these rules for some time, as they get a lot of mention on the Field of Fire Vietnam forum, especially from Garryowen (Tom).  Tom has invited me in the past to come game with his group on several occasions, but I could not make it work out schedule-wise, until today.

I will admit that I have read through both Nuts! and the Korean War supplement (entitled Fire in Korea), and was not impressed, mostly from a layout and rules flow viewpoint.  But having had a chance to push through a game of FNG, I feel like I have a good grasp of how this system of rules is supposed to work.  Tom had a nice QRS and turn sequence he shared, and that really helped.

Tom has quite a collection of miniatures (from several historical eras) and an awesome gaming area, and he had already set out the gaming table we would use before my arrival.  He went over the basic rules mechanics, and we jumped into playing.  Each side had four figures, with the Americans having a goal of moving towards the hooch from the jungle, and the North Vietnamese trying to keep the Americans away.  On the first turn I was able to force back one of Tom's troopers, but in return I lost one of my own.  On another turn we traded kills, leaving Tom with three remaining figures, and myself with only two, and one of Tom's figures was an M-79 grenadier, so I was usually outgunned when it came to figuring out reactions.  We circled around the rice paddies, and Tom made a dash towards my two remaining figures while they were both prone, but I won the activation the next turn and killed both the grenadier and leader, but at the expense of running out of ammo for both my figures.  Tom's remaining grunt gave it a go, killing one of my two figures, but after hunkering down, reloading, I was able to have my leader figure pop up, win the in sight test, and kill his last trooper.  To be honest, I thought he had me when he came after my prone troops, but two of his figures got caught in the open and that swung the balance towards the NVA.

I have skipped over many of the things that happened along the way, because the point of getting together was for me to learn the basic game skills.  After going through the pre-game need to knows, I felt like I was able to pick up the flow of the game, when to do in sight tests, and firing and reaction fairly well.  

While this isn't really a rules review, I will share that I did enjoy learning the core of FNG, and certainly want to keep gaming these rules to see how other mechanics play.  Now if Darby would just finish the third edition....

After the game we went to a local Vietnamese restaurant, which was quite good.  Sate is a spicy mother though, but my first 33 beer helped cool my throat a bit.
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