Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"In Country," Game 3 (4 Oct 1967)


It's 3 Oct 1967, four days later and we're in the sh!t again...  First off, a few days ago a Sergeant named Banaszak was transferred in from the 199th Infantry to replace Sgt Greene, and everyone is back on full duty except Spec4 Harris, so the squad is out beating the bush with ten strong backs.

The battalion has continued to spend time looking west around Ap Bac14, but no contact has been made since the squad eviscerated that VC supply train.  The battalion has shifted north, and 2nd Platoon has squads patrolling north of the hamlet called Nam Pla 6, while the squad is patrolling south.  The squad actually had moved southeast about a klick past Nam Pla when 2nd Platoon past a sitrep stating they were in contact on the north shoulder of Nam Pla.  They hadn't hit anything in the nearby jungle, but as soon as they turned in towards the ville all hell broke loose, and Alpha-6 believes Nam Pla is the VC's base of operations.  2nd Plt confirms this with reports that the VC are putting up a pretty stout defense to the north, trying to hold open a hole for numerous teams of porters to escape to the west with all their food, weapons, and ammunition.

SSgt Bleier gets the squad turned around, but can't link up with the rest of 1st Platoon in the dense vegetation; from the chatter on the radio, it sounds like the other two squads are totally disoriented.  The Lt orders all three squad leaders to make their own way to blocking positions on the east side of Nam Pla to halt the VC evacuation.  Bleier gets his squad moving, but they have their own troubles with the terrain, a series of razorback ridges and dense forest.  When the squad finally hits the flatland and is close enough to hear the firing, they are in the treeline directly south of Nam Pla, with token enemy forces swinging about to cover the retreat of their comrades carrying heavy loads west towards salvation...

Overview, north is up.  The eastern edge of Nam Pla is at top left; the VC MLR, in contact with 2nd Platoon, is off camera at top left.  There are a few VC fighters in the ville, while five porter teams can be seen departing the village, and a few more fighters are in the top right (NE) corner on Hill 45.  The US squad is at bottom left and bottom center.

Nam Pla, with three riflemen at the wall covering the porter teams making their way west, hoping to escape between the US forces.

The VC on Hill 45: a SMG, an LMG, and a 50mm mortar.

Fireteam 1 on the US left, with SSgt Bleier at far right.  Tm1 is down one man.

Fireteam 2, on US right.  Directly off camera to top are the VC porters, while Hill 45 is off camera to top right.

Tm 2's grenadier, Spec4 Ham (center of the guys on left, flanked by Sgt Russell on right and PFC Stallworth on left) spots the VC in Nam Pla and fires a 40mm frag their way.  Not even close, maybe not even in the same province.  Hope it didn't hit 2nd Platoon.  Good Lord...  He reloads as the VC 50mm mortar on Hill 45 pops out three rounds (aqua beads).  Gulp...

Sgt Russell sprints right (near trail intersection), goes prone, and fires (miss) at the LMG on Hill 45 (top right).  The LMG goes prone and returns fire at Russell and Pvt Holmes (bottom left, on trail), missing both.  The VC SMG gunner on Hill 45 opens up on Ham and Stallworth (behind bushes at far left), missing both.

Holmes tests morale and passes like a champion (he's been very reliable in all three fights so far).  He sprints ahead up to the intersection (bottom center, with Sgt Russell on other side of trail), using the palm trees at right to screen him from fire coming from Hill 45.  Holmes knows they need to stop the VC porters (top), so he sights in a fires twice, missing both times, but adding stress.

VC at the wall (top left) opened up, getting a light wound on SSgt Bleier (dammit, I missed him!  He's just off camera behind the bushes at bottom center, you can see the red dice for stress and the yellow bead for light wound).  The VC then fires at Stallworth (left hand guy behind bushes at center right), but miss. This does help him fail his morale test though, and Stallworth drops prone.

PFC Blount, Tm1's grenadier (left center) sprints forward, drops prone, and fires a grenade at Nam Pla (top right), missing horrendously (what is with my grenadiers?).  VC at the wall return fire, getting a light wound on him (wow, that's two men hit, two light wounds, pretty damned lucky).  Greenwood (top left) sprints forward, goes prone, fires at the VC at the wall, missing.  The last VC at the wall activates, returning fire and getting a(nother) light wound, this time on Greenwood.  PFC Swan sprints up (top left, 2nd man in), goes prone, and fires at the VC behind the wall, but missed.  Sgt Banaszak sprints forward (top center), goes prone, and tosses a grenade: the aqua bead is where I wanted it to land.  I roll to hit, it misses, and the scatter roll is a 8 (17), so somehow our dear Sergeant tossed it into a different zip code...

Meanwhile, the first Porter Team tests morale and fails horribly: they drop their stuff and head for the hills.  One team down!  SSgt Bleier tests morale and passes.  He fires three rounds at the porters, missing with the first two but putting a serious wound on one of the teams.

Two more Porter teams have to test, but, of course, they both pass, so they and the last Porter team move up.

Then the mortar rounds start landing...  The first one (far left) misses, hits nobody but causes some stress.  Then I realize Doc White (bottom left) didn't act yet...  Second round falls short (top right), nearer to Sgt Russell, but nobody hit.  The third (center) hits where it was supposed to, but nobody's there anymore.

I let Doc White take his move: he moves up, goes prone (bottom center, on crater), and fires at the LMG on Hill 45 (top center), but misses.

One of the VC in Nam Pla (left) opens fire on Sgt Banaszak (center), missing three times but causing three stress.  Swan (right center) returns fire, putting the center guy down.

Back in the NW on Hill 45, the VC machine gunner tests morale and runs!  SSgt Bleier activates, targeting the VC mortar man on Hill 45, and pops him, putting him out of the fight.  He sends a few rounds the SMG gunner's way, but misses.

Another successful morale test sees Sgt Russell (left of intersection) pass and fire three times at the SMG on Hill 45 (top right), missing all three times.  The SMG gunner tests morale, and I really hope he's going to run like the LMG gunner did, but he does okay and just drops prone.  Holmes sprints into the thicket (dead center, you've really got to look close to see him) and fires twice at the SMG gunner, misses twice.

The first Porter team moves ahead (top), while Blount (bottom left) tests and passes.  He fires a grenade and eliminates one of the Porter teams, putting stress on the other.  Of the five Porter teams, one fled, one is eliminated, one is seriously wounded, one if moving in good order (top right), and one has a whopping eight stress on it (meaning it's not likely to be useful next time it activates).

And that's what happens.  They fail their test, but don't run, just drop prone next to the dead and the dying (red bead).

Back in the ville, the stress is starting to tell, and one of the VC riflemen (top right) fails and splits town.  Similarly, Sgt Banaszak (center) fails his test and curls up in the fetal position.  Greenwood passes, and lights up the VC at the wall; no hits, but +6 stress, for a total of 10 on the remaining VC rifleman in the village.

Ham and Stallworth (bottom left) both fail their morale tests and drop prone.  Doc White (bottom right) passes, opens up on the far right Porter team (top center), getting a light wound.  The seriously injured Porter team crawls forward (top left).

Now I'm absolutely sure that the SMG gunner on Hill 45 (far right) is gonna fail his test and run away screaming like a little girl (he has about a dozen stress; okay, not that much, but a lot!).  But he passes.  He opens up, firing at and missing Pvt Holmes (in the thicket at center, you can see the red dice for stress); then he fires at Sgt Russell (just left of intersection), and hits him, seriously wounding him, before taking a shot at Ham (top left), missing.  Doc White (far left, almost on the trail) returns fire and puts the SMG gunner on his ass.

Doc then calmly assumes a kneeling position (bottom center) and fires at one of the Porter teams, but missed.

The last VC rifleman in the ville tests and fails, and runs off, so Sgt Banaszak (bottom left) hops up and sprints to the wall while Swan, Greenwood, and Blount (bottom center) all move up.

On the right, Stallworth and Holmes move up.  The enemy's fighting capability is depleted, and the two pincers meet up to take prisoner the porter teams.

VC losses:
5 down KIA
6 captured (2 seriously wounded and two lightly wounded)
5 others survived by running from Bleier's trained killers

US losses:
PFC Blount was hit in the arm but is immediately available for duty.
Sgt Russell was hit in the calf but is also immediately available for duty.
Pvt Greenwood was hit in shoulder and was evacuated to BAS for 9 days.
SSgt Bleier stayed in the fight, but it was actually a lot worse than they first thought.  He thought he'd had a round bounce off his ribcage, but it turns out the round came apart and he's suffering pretty bad internal injuries.  Bleier is being evacuated to Japan and will be gone for the next couple months.

The games are rolling off the assembly line, having a great time.  Probably a couple more games against VC, then time to go up against the NVA.  Don't misunderstand, I'm not going to mess around with troop ratings ("Skills and Drills"), but it will change the mission profiles/scenario options quite a bit.  Can't wait, hope you guys are enjoying it.

I'm a little worried.  I've been a terrible husband/father, but next weekend is Mother's Day, so I'm not sure what, if anything, will get accomplished here.  Hang in, I'll definitely be back.


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