Following their last fight, the battalion spent several days recuperating at the LZ, performing working parties in support of the battalions in the line, and conducting security patrols around the LZ perimeter. On 28 Oct 1967 1st Battalion was thrown back into the line, and the squad was on point for a combat patrol heading up Hill 475 as the 201st Brigade continued its attempts to wrest control of the hill from the NVA entrenched there.
The squad received no replacements, but several of its previously wounded members were returned to full duty (Corporal Ham, Sergeant Bradley, Spec4 Stallworth, and Pvt Brown). The squad's mission was to patrol up the main axis of attack, locate the next enemy defensive line, and punch through it on their way to the top. They crossed the friendly lines at 0830, the line of departure at 0845, and the previous enemy line (from which the enemy had fallen back from) at 0915, and we pick up the action at 0945.
With that, Bradley (bottom center) sprints up to the knoll, flops down behind cover, and manages to spot Bunker1 (top center). You can see the badly wounded Swan at far right.
At this point I am severely unhappy with the NVA in Bunkers 1 and 3; both bunkers (and now, even Bunker2, as the RPG gunner is down) are down to one man, and both of those men had a ridiculous amount of stress on them (one had 12 and the other 8), but neither ran! I really thought/hoped they were gonna run, but they stuck it out...
Swan begins dragging his seriously wounded behind back down the trail towards the US baseline, while the seriously wounded NVA in Bunker3 does the same.
Well, the grenade misses. Okay, stuff happens. But I roll to see where it lands, and here's what I rolled: 10 inches at one o'clock!!! He threw a frag at a bunker 3 inches away, but managed to throw it 10 inches past the bunker!!! You can see the blue bead marking the grenade in the jungle at far right. Don't misunderstand, I'm loving these rules, I just think the scatter roll needs to be revisited for hand grenades as I don't believe this has any 'real-life' precedent; that's some depth perception problem, or, "Gee, I didn't know my own strength!"
So, seeing his grenade sail off into the wild blue yonder, Banaszak decides to just empty the remainder of his magazine into Bunker3, and ends up lightly wounding the NVA in there. The NVA tests and passes, so he fires at Banaszak and misses, then turns and fires at Shell (top left) and misses.
Another mission accomplished, another fun game. To me it's great in these rules how you never know what's going to happen, how one action can suddenly swing things (I was really worried when the RPG put Mansfield out of the fight), and how you can't overly influence things; I thought Banaszak was going to do the hero thing again, but it didn't really matter what I wanted or thought. I do want to do something different with the scatter roll for hand grenades though; that's about five times that I've had a guy throw a grenade then end up missing by at least 8 inches...
The NVA suffered three KIA and two captured (both seriously wounded), while one man got away by running early in the fight. The squad took three casualties as well:
Swan - Rock/bullet splinters peppered his face and temporarily messed him up, he's on light duty until 1 Nov 1967.
Brown - Brown had a round crease his shoulder, he's at BAS until 3 Nov 1967.
Mansfield - Poor Ray had that RPG impact directly under him, looks like he's losing a leg and being evacuated to the World, tour finished.