Monday, May 26, 2014

"In Country," Game 10 (13 Nov 1967)


Following the vicious fight for Hill 475, the Brigade pulled back to its base and sent out patrols to the west, chasing the NVA towards the Cambodian border.  Little contact was made and it appears the NVA made good their escape.  Routine patrols resumed until two UH-1s were shot down in two days by HMGs to the west.  Aggressive patrolling was conducted to try to locate and destroy the NVA HMGs, which had downed three helicopters so far, to no avail.  Intel suggested the NVA was working more closely with the local VC, and the weapons were being kept on the move throughout the local network of villages so as to keep them hidden from the Americans.  To counter this, Brigade decided to implement the "Strategic Hamlet" initiative, wherein smaller villages would be packed up and moved to several larger villages which would theoretically be easier for the Brigade's forces to keep an eye on.

Several of these relocations have been conducted by the Brigade and have gone off without a hitch.

It's 13 November 1967 and the squad has been sent west to the village of Kai Yao, where they will pack up the villagers and move them east to a larger village...

Overview, South is 'up.'  The ville of Kai Yao is at bottom right, the squad in column on the trail, entering from bottom left, with rice paddies to either side of the trail.

The squad, from right to left: Fuqua, Stallworth (w/M-60), Brown, Russell, Thomas (M-79), Sgt Banaszak, Ham (M-79), Swan, Bradley, Shell, and Kolb as 'Tail-End Charlie.'

The village, with the villagers standing by for evacuation as leaflets were dropped three days ago notifying them (and the VC) of the pending relocation.

The squad moves up and Banaszak confers with the village honcho.

Team 1 (Russell's) provides security at top right while Team 2 (Bradley's) provides security at center left and Banaszak begins to lead the villagers out of their homes.  Explosives were set on a one-hour timer to raze the village once evacuated.

The squad begins leading the villagers east to their new home...

As local VC move in on the east, blocking their escape route.

And the south, in the treeline (at top of board).

And even taking up positions to the west, in the just abandoned village.

And all hell breaks loose.  The VC in the east (top left) open up first, initiating the ambush.  A LMG opens up lightly wounding Kolb and Russell (center, two guys with yellow beads), quickly followed by rifle fire from the same location, and Sergeant Banaszak goes down (center, on the trail just in front of the villagers)!

This is quickly followed by the VC in the south (top) opening up on the column, and Russell goes down, seriously wounded.  The VC LMG in the south opens up, missing everything but adding quite a bit of stress, while Stallworth (bottom center, on trail) goes prone and returns fire with the M-60.

Lastly, the VC that infiltrated the village (far right) open up, and Brown goes down, along with three villagers.  The rest of the villagers go prone.

Then the unmistakable 'thump' of outgoing mortar rounds is heard, three of them (blue beads for target locations).

Kolb (center, in paddy with black, yellow, and green beads) drops prone and returns fire to the east (left), and Swan (left most GI on trail) does the same, while Spec4 Shell can't take it anymore, drops his weapon, and runs screaming to the north through the paddies and into the treeline (off camera to bottom).  Incredibly, Fuqua does the same, following the trail blazed by Shell, while Ham (bottom left) drops behind the bushes and begins sobbing...

Something finally goes right when Thomas musters the testicular fortitude to actually get in the fight.  He drops prone and fires at the VC in the village (blue bead for his M-79 grenade).

Perfect hit!  One man is down while the other two are lightly wounded and take quite a bit of stress.

Bradley can't take it anymore and he, too, flees.  However, he doesn't keep running, instead he runs north and drops behind a paddy dike (this will prove costly for him, but not as costly as it will be for Shell and Fuqua).

And then the mortar rounds hit.  While the first and last rounds are wildly inaccurate and have no effect, the middle round hits right on target, killing three villagers and two water buffaloes (I don't have waterbull carcasses!).

The squad regains its equilibrium and the fight begins to turn, thanks to Thomas and his M-79, and now Stallworth (bottom center), who opens up with devastatingly accurate machine gun fire on the south treeline (top).

Stallworth starts left and sweeps right, firing off a whole belt of ammo.  On the left the two VC receive a light wound and a serious wound, while in the center both VC are put out of the fight.  On the right, the last VC receives a bunch of stress.

Then I apparently missed a picture...  Swan, near the eastern end of the US column, opens up on the VC in the east, lightly wounding one, while they return fire and lightly wound him.

Then Ham snaps out of it and gets his Blooper in action, firing two rounds into the VC in the east.  The first misses the target, but lands on the LMG gunner (far left), lightly wounding him, while the second round hits on target, seriously wounding the center and right-hand VC.

Kolb (bottom far left, with seriously wounded Russell just to his right and 'down' Banaszak to bottom right on trail) can't muster any guts and drops prone, sucking on his thumb, and receives more enemy fire from the south VC (top).  So does Stallworth (bottom right), but no one is hit.

Thomas (bottom left) remains in his steady prone position and cranks out two more grenades at the VC in the ville, with first first missing horrendously (top center), and the second hitting right on top of a VC rifleman, putting him down.  Four M-79 grenades in rapid succession, putting two of their comrades down, is too much for the remaining VC rifleman and the VC 50mm mortar, and they both high-tail it out of the area!

Meanwhile, three badly wounded VC (two in the east, one in the south) manage to escape by crawling off board.

Stallworth keeps firing his M-60, the barrel glowing white-hot, putting the far right (top right) VC rifleman in the south down, but missing the far left VC (top left), who somehow passes his morale test and opens up on Kolb.  This is just too much for the young lad, and he hops up and runs to the north.  Luckily Bradley is waiting there, having somewhat regained his marbles, and he tackles Kolb, keeping him from completely running off into Indian Country.

Swan (bottom left) passes his test, moves up, and fires, putting the last VC (top center) down, fight over...

The VC suffered 6 KIA, and three WIA.  The three WIA escaped, along with three of their uninjured brothers who ran.

US casualties:
Sgt Banaszak - Had a round bounce off his helmet, gave him a concussion, light duty until 18 Nov 67.
Pvt Brown - Took a round through the forearm, China Beach until 26 Nov 67.
Sgt Russell - Took a round in the hip, China Beach until 3 Dec 67.
Pvt Swan - Took some bullet splinters in his face, patched up and back in the lineup.
Spec 4 Shell and Pvt Fuqua are Missing in Action.
Sgt Bradley and Pvt Kolb were reprimanded for cowardice, and Bradley was reduced in rank to PFC.

On a side note, four villagers and two water buffalo went down, so while the village was relocated, not a resounding success...

Hope you had a good time!



  1. Nice report, very atmospheric terrain!

  2. I've nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award :

  3. Thanks Phil, glad you like it.

    Justin, thanks to you as well, I appreciate the nomination, but to be honest, I'll have to look it up ;)


  4. Well, that was short and fast; deadly compared to other battles. And interesting. Keep it up. You are making me look forward to playing a campaign!