Sunday, August 21, 2016

Apparently I've Become a Vietnam War-Gamer


Well, it all started about a year ago now.  For some reason I'd decided to buy 'just a few' 15mm guys to do some skirmishing (actually, that's all Techno-Phil's fault: I wanted some 10mm Marines with M-14s but couldn't get them, so I looked to 15mm!).  As part of that I was on Brookhurst Hobbies' website and ordered a single pack of Peter Pig LRRPs (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol, for the uninitiated) and VC (Viet Cong, or Varmint Cong if you listen to Bill Murray).  I painted and based both sets up, and a year later neither has seen the table.

But then I (virtually) met Jimmi over at Flashpoint Minis and, well, now I'm a Vietnam War gamer.  Previously you've seen me post my Flashpoint Minis US Marines (with M-14s, about 70 figures), then Peter Pig Viet Cong (about 30 guys), and then more Flashpoint Minis, this time ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam, AKA South Vietnamese, about 50 figures).  And then recently I went nuts and bought a bunch more stuff.

This post is simply to confirm to the world that I am, indeed, a Vietnam-era gamer, and to give a quick overview of all the stuff I recently purchased and finished up.  I will be doing my 'usual' separate blog post for each subset of troops/terrain/vehicles, but I'm quite proud of myself getting all this done and so wanted to show it off in one grand post.  So let's get to it.

Here's everything, all my recent purchases painted and based, ready to play.  What do we have?

Well, I had a bunch of Peter Pig VC, so I turned some of them (and bought some more) into NVA (North Vietnamese Army) regulars.  There are AKs, RPDs, RPGs, leaders, a Soviet MG (not sure which; it's on a wheeled carriage), a recoiless rifle, and a mortar.

For late war Laos and Fall of the South I got a Zvezda 122mm SPG and a Peter Pig T-55.

A got a bunch of Peter Pig VC casualty figures and some heavy weapons; again, an MG, an 82mm mortar, and a recoiless rifle.

On the US side, I finally painted up a Battlefront US 'leg' infantry platoon I've had lying around for almost a year.

And I couldn't help but buy a couple of Battlefront OH-6s...

Then I picked up a Peter Pig M-48 and two LVTP-5s.

With 'tank riders' from Flashpoint Minis.  Those are not permanently fixed to the vehicles; I rather ingeniously glued the guys to popsicle sticks (visible on the guys at top, that have their backs to us), so I can pull them on and off as necessary.

I bought a Peter Pig PBR.

And some Flashpoint Minis sampans.

And then a bunch of cool terrain from Flashpoint Minis.  Here you can see a bunch of pots and barrels near the village well, a Buddhist shrine, a fish farming pond, some thatch huts, some spare stuff I threw on a base to make a weapons cache (dead center, you can see the recoiless rifle), some bamboo, and some palm trees.

Another look at the Flashpoint Minis terrain.  Excellent stuff, easy to paint up.

A close up of some scatter terrain for the ville.

Like I said, I'll be doing separate posts for the various troops, vehicles, and terrain posted here, so stand by for that.  And stand by for some Vietnam games!  So let me pontificate on that for a moment; I know a lot of you out there in the ether-land love the photos of stuff, but I also know a lot of you enjoy hearing (and/or making fun of me for) my project plans.  So here goes.

First, I'm very conflicted on two accounts:

1) I am absolutely committed to fighting out a campaign for the US battle of Dai Do, where 2nd Bn 4th Marines (reinforced by C/1/3) fought an entire NVA division to a standstill.  I originally planned on doing this in 15mm, but the overall battle seems to me to lend itself to a series of company-level actions, and that's pretty big for 15mm (for me at least).  So, my issue is whether to do Dai Do as company-level fights (about a dozen of them) in 6mm, or do it as a series of platoon-level fights (about 35 of them!) in 15mm.

2) (and this affects Dai Do as well) I have quite a few ideas for Vietnam projects, but I kind of don't want to play them as Vietnam campaigns, I want to work them into my existing Cuba Libre alt-history blog.  That is, I'd be playing Vietnam fights with Vietnam figures, vehicles, and terrain, but for my campaign purposes the troops would be Cuban Expeditionary Forces rather than US Marines, US Army, or ARVN.  This is pretty much solely in the interest of time; I've got too many projects, and so this is a means of sorting of killing two birds with one stone.  I get to play some Vietnam gaming AND advance my Cuba Libre stuff.

So, what all do I have in mind?  This is a list of stuff I will get to (someday):
-Dai Do, USMC vs NVA
-Operation Buffalo, USMC vs NVA
-Operation Starlite, USMC vs NVA
-Lam Son 719, ARVN vs NVA
-1972 Easter Offensive, ARVN vs NVA
-The movie "Platoon," USA vs NVA/VC
-Some "Apocalypse Now"-style Air Cav, USA vs VC
-I'd like to do some Phoenix stuff, though the troops aren't ready for this yet
-I'd like to do some SF w/Mike Force stuff, though I don't have troops for this yet

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for right now.



  1. Really looking forward to reading this as it develops.
    Your stories will have some surprises I think :)

    (Also love what you've done with the LVTP and the Loaches. They look superb).

    So will you be using 'No End in Sight'?

    1. Duc,

      Thanks man, I appreciate it. I am indeed looking at No End in Sight, and I'm also thinking about 5Core Company Command, but using the base unit as fireteams. I also just heard Peter Pig is re-doing "The Men of Company B" for platoon level.


  2. A superb collection, something to be proud of.



    1. Thanks Pete, I appreciate the kind words!


  3. Very nice looking models and terrain! Are the "No End in Sight" games similar to 5Core in as much as you roll once and immediately know the outcome?

    1. Jeff,

      Thanks man, I appreciate it. Regarding NEIS: negative, these rules are much more conventional in terms of their combat, with lots of modifiers and multiple rolls to determine fire results. The beauty of the rules is in their activation system, which is non-conventional but still very much different from 5Core.

      I really like the rules, or at least the idea of them. I just finished reading them again, as a matter of fact. I love the idea of them, but I'm getting old and crotchety, and all I can think to myself is "man, I'm not doing all of that just to figure out 'x' or 'y,'" and I immediately begin playing out how I'm going to make 5Core work in its stead.

      Which, if we're all honest with each other, is probably what my destiny was to be all along. I've just grown too set in my ways ;)

      After reading NEIS again, I'm looking at essentially playing platoon-level with 5MAK-style activation (one action die per squad, weapons team, and vehicle), with regular 5Core react (if you react you don't get to act).

      Maybe fire like NEIS volume: 1S per rifle, 1K per two rifles, but still using 5Core combat mechanics (pin/hunker/man down/out of fight). Probably use group activations (move OR shoot) to simulate USMC fireteam tactics.

      My only issue is, I'm not sure if I have enough USMC with M-14s to make up a whole platoon (I want to play early war, start around Operation Starlite)...


  4. I thought you were a Vietnam gamer when you played 20 'Nam games straight back in 2014 with Some Corner of a Foreign Field. So this admission to me just sees you moving out of the denial stage into acceptance :-)

    1. Shaun,

      Yeah, I see what you mean. But my justification there was this: I bought those 10mm Vietnam guys, but my intent was always to use them for something else (Cuba Libre), not for Vietnam. Using them for Vietnam was an accident, a one-off opportunity that matched up with playtesting SCOAFF for Matt.