Friday, June 6, 2014

"In Country," Game 16 (8 January 1968)


It's the morning of 8 January 1968, and the squad is hurting, but there's a job to do.  They're leading the assault into the NVA-held town of Kham Duc.  To accomplish this task they've been reinforce with armor from the 25th Infantry Divison.  The squad has one M-48 and two M-113s in direct support.  Bravo and Charlie Companies are in blocking position to the east on Hwy 14, sealing off any support from the outside, while Alpha punches into the city from the east.  Due to heavy casualties, the 25th is taking an 'operational pause' to regroup and reorganize in the north, west, and south.

Sgt Malone, now running the show, rounds the men up and gets them ready.

Overview, north is up.  The east edge of Kham Duc is at far left, and is occupied by the enemy.  The NVA also have infantry at top (north) and bottom (south) center, while the squad enters from the right (east), right down Hwy 14.

NVA in north, with AKs and RPG.  All NVA are unspotted (pink beads), and these are prone as well (green beads).

In Kham Duc, a recoiless rifle team.

And a 12.7mm HMG.

In the south, more rifles and another RPG.

The squad, looking east.

On the north side of Hwy 14, Kruczek, Thomas (w/M-79), Hinkle, and Bradley (w/M-60).  Sgt Malone is on the road behind the tank.  I don't usually put unit markings on my vehicles because I like to use them for various units/periods, but I couldn't help myself.  If you look at the M-113 you can see my feeble attempt at the 25th ID's "Electric Strawberry."

South side of Hwy 14: Bradshaw (now S&D4), Kolb, and Abercrombie.  Kolb has been in enough fights to be S&D4, so has Thomas, but they've both been so shaky.  That is, fantastic one mission, then break your heart the next...

The fight starts with the enemy recoiless rifle (bottom center firing on the tank, and missing by a hair.

Then the south NVA slam an RPG into the M-113 there.  Bradshaw goes prone and, amazingly (I've been notoriously bad at spotting rolls for the squad in past games), spots the NVA on the hill.  For this he receives a bunch of NVA fire, though it all misses.  Then the ridiculous strikes again; the third NVA rifleman on the hill opens up, puts Kolb down and seriously wounds Abercrombie.  @#$%!!!  The track tests and decides to sit tight and think things over (yes, I believe in having vehicles make morale tests too)...

The NVA HMG (bottom right) opens up on Kruczek, Thomas, and Hinkle (top left), missing, but those .51 caliber rounds cause quite a bit of self doubt.  Bradley goes prone with his M-60, but can't spot the giant HMG (ahhh, there's my spotting dice!), while the NVA rifle next to the HMG fires at him, missing.  Bradley can see HIM.

Hinkle (far right, in paddy with green bead; Bradley to his left, with Malone below him) tests and goes prone, fires at the NVA on the hill (far left), trying to help the south team out as they're down to only Bradshaw and a damaged track.  Well, he got one of the bad guys!

The NVA RPG in the north fires at the north M-113, not even close (top left)

Thomas (top far right, with Hinkle below him, Bradley to bottom left, and Kruczek to left) tests and goes prone, fires a grenade that hits the NVA in the north (top left): one serious wound, one light wound.  Kruczek goes prone and fires, while the M-13 moves up and fires, neither hitting anything.

Malone and the tank are looking for the recoilless rifle (top center right).  It takes three tries, but Malone manages to spot it.  But the tank is a bit shaky due to the recent near miss, and they decide to paint their nails (you know, Army stuff).  Bradley is just right of the tank.  With the recoilless rifle spotted, he opens up and lets a whole belt go.  Nothing hits, but it makes the crew run!

Malone and the tank creep forward, and the 90mm gun roars, but misses terribly (please recall that the blue bead is the intended target and the white puff is where the round actually hit).  But then the tank opens up with its coax, and an NVA drops, seriously wounded.

There is one NVA remaining in the north position, and he's taken a lot of stress, so much that his morale test modifier is -12; once again I'm sure an enemy is about to run before my eyes.  But he somehow passes, goes prone, and fires wildly in the direction of Kruc/Thomas/Bradley (off camera to right), hitting nothing.  Malone returns fire, lightly wounding him.  Next time he tests he has to run, he has like 15 stress!

Then the still unspotted NVA HMG (bottom center) opened fire again, this time on the northern M-113 (top center), badly damaging it.  The HMG is finally spotted...

The south M-113 moves forward, with Bradshaw in tow, exchanging fire with the two NVA on the hill.  No one is hit.

On the right, Thomas (bottom right) assumes the fetal position while Kruczek (far right) and Hinkle (left of Thomas) shoot it out with the two NVA riflemen in Kham Duc.  Lots of furious firing, no one hit.

Bradley (bottom center) fires another belt at the NVA HMG (top center, you can see the red 'stress' dice), nothing...  But the HMG crew runs!!!

The south M-113 and Bradshaw both pass their morale tests, and fire on the NVA on the hill (left).  Both hit an NVA trooper, both are seriously wounded and the hill is now clean.

The south is now clear, leaving only two NVA riflemen, with no anti-tank weapons, in this section of Kham Duc, and one wounded NVA with eight million stress points on him in the north.  As the M-48's turret traverses left towards the town, the two NVA decide discretion is the better part of valor.

The boys close in on the northern position, capturing the NVA soldier there.  The NVA suffered 5 KIA and one captured, along with an abandoned 12.7mm MG and recoilless rifle.

The squad moves up, consolidates, preps its wounded for evac.  The tank is low on ammo and both tracks are damaged, but everyone knows how important it is to at least gain a foothold in Kham Duc.  Shortly thereafter the CO comes on the radio, orders the squad to fall back.  Night is falling, and the NVA have really turned up the pressure in the east, so reinforcing the squad's position is impossible.  The wounded are loaded on the back deck of the tank, the men on the tops of the tracks, and the weary force withdrew back to the battalion's lines for the night.  The boys are not happy...

Kolb got hit pretty bad, is being evac'ed to Japan for a couple months, but Abercrombie will be okay, just light duty at BAS for five days.

I can't take it anymore!


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