Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Down the highway and through the brush, to Ho Chi Minh's house we go!": A Charlie Company Battle Report

Our friend and commenter Dobbers Wargames had wanted to put on a Vietnam game for quite a while, and he chose one hell of a night to do it. Not only was Honest Dan in the house on leave from Fort Bliss, but just about everyone in the group managed to show up, and Mr. Dobbers brought his own friends along to fill out the crowd.

On one side: Dobber and his evil communist advisor the Old Sarge.

On the other: myself, Anton, Honest Dan, R.U.P., Housemartin, Crowag and a host of others trying to work within a chain of command.

Oh, this was going to go swimmingly...

(NOTE: I may confuse R.U.P. and Housemartin's squads, as I had trouble figuring out who was running who the night I was playing, let alone multiple months after the fact. If I get it wrong, you can literally just switch them around.)

The small bit of road we were meant to go down. Harmless enough, right?
American Forces. I would be playing a green Patton crew, while everyone else would be taking a fireteam.
The American entry zone.
The first squad enters, lead by Sgt. Housemartin (I think), encountering some of the locals doing some landscaping.
The second team pushes into the brush, while the Sgt keeps an eye on the locals.
Sgt R.U.P.'s team enters on the left, slowly advancing and checking for traps.
My entrance! I had the crew paint the international symbol for luck on the side, hoping it would help.

Ahead of me, Army engineers are working to clear the road. I believe at this point we had found a mine, and they were in the process of disarming it.
SNIPER! Platoon Sgt. Honest Dan is winged by a sniper. The wound is non-fatal and does not take him out of the action, but things slow as people search for the sniper.
"So... that's a long road."
"Yeah. Whole lot of road."
Ambush! Sgt. R.U.P.'s squad gets ambushed, with his subordinate's fireteam taking the heat. My tank, having already been winged by an RPG round, gets a call from the rear phone and heartily toss a round down-range at them.
Against orders, one of the fire teams forges far ahead.
"Hey! HEY! Where the hell do you think you're going!?"
With the engineers not being able to clear the road under sniper fire, we advance along the side.
"No, I did not set fire to that house. Trust me, you'll know when I do something by the loud 'BOOM'."
Apparently Housemartin's subordinate has gone rogue after spending too much time in-country.
Ambush from the side!
A squad suppressed in the nearby paddies.
Fire support from the tank is generally ineffective, but it looks and feels pretty damn great.
CasEvac area is being settled on, as well as discussions as to whether a house was cleared.
What, I can't run down the street with an RPG over my shoulder any more?
The rogue element continues on, ignoring its commander's pleas/demands to stop.
The convoy slowly begins to move onto the board.
With things having quieted down again,the engineers resume their activities. On the left side of the road you can see my tank and Crowag's M60 team slowly advancing up. The bingo chip in the middle is yet another mine discovered.
What remains of the ambushers: a few dead bodies and empty casings.
My green crew gets a bit brave after surviving an RPG hit (which damaged the engine) and plays close-support for the forces advancing up the road.
Flares are set down on the left side of the road to mark CasEvac.
"Uh... guys, you might want to backup just a bit."
"Where the hell did those assholes go!?" wonders Sgt. Housemartin.
Sgt. R.U.P.'s forces advance on the left, while I believe Anton's squad (along with PSgt. Honest Dan and Lt. Butterbar) take the right side.
Taking care of casualties as the convoy passes.
That moment R.U.P.'s subordinate wonders "Why the fuck am I in Vietnam?"
So... much... more... road...
I cover the right side of the village while R.U.P.'s subordinate maneuvers 'round the back of the villgae.
Sgt. Housemartin decides to take a covering position on the hills dominating the second half of the board.
The rogue fireteam begins to move into the village with haste and nary a care of ambush. Going to get someone's poor boys killed for no damn reason.
Mr. Westpointe leads from behind, just like the Army taught him.
Crowag's M60 team decides to advance right infront of my barrel, looking to move into the village quickly to make up lost time on the road.
... Hey, wait a sec. Is that a bunch of Viet Cong in those bushes there?
It is! It is s bunch of Viet Cong in the bushes right there! Too bad for R.U.P.'s subordinate, whose squad is annihilated in the ensuing fusilade at point blank range.
Realizing they let the Patton get too close to fire RPG shots, they put one into the lead truck, immediatley knocking it out.
Apparently being right infront of my barrel was exactly where Crowag's M60 team needed to be, because he hoses down the ambushers with ruthless efficiency.
Getting closer to our objective, but the village needs to be cleared...
...And the sniper reappears, suppressing the poor engineers.
The rogue squad running behind buildings without clearing them. If the Viet Cong don't get him, Sgt Housemartin will after they get back to base.
"Move forwards? Did you see what happened to the other guys?"

Crowag's team picking up the slack and clearing houses.
The rogue fireteam, looking to set fire to more stuff, advancing and leaving no building searched.
The trucks gets into a mess as they all decide to off-road at the same time, nearly causing a collision.
"Hey... are thoe Viet Cong or our missing fireteam, Sarge?" "I don't know, but both deserve to be shot, so..."
Crowag's team takes up a position at the first house on the left side.
The final ambush is laid bare!
... And the rogue fireteam pays for all their indiscretions!
"I think his letter home is going to start with 'He totally deserved this.'"
Better-commanded American troops moving forwards.
"Welp, all's well that ends well, I suppose. At least, for us."

   And thus ended the mission. Yes, we had one player apparently go rogue and just start lighting fires. It was just as confusing for us as it probably is for you. And in the end, it was a pretty fun (if chaotic) game. Having around a dozen people trying to coordinate with each other, as well as being limited with who they could talk to by how far away their figures were, made for a pretty interesting experience. In the end, though, the Old Sarge whipped us pretty thoroughly.
   The Charlie Company rules did well, though it was hard to get their feel with the chaos of command going on around us. Definitely something I'd like to try again in the future!


  1. Great looking game - ah the perilsof command :-)

  2. hehehe... The VC are tricky little guys. Lucky for you no NVA.. It was a great game..