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  • in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155972
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Ha! Not me man, life has been so much better since Rob got his stuff together.  Him and Correa will be sticking with the boys into their second tour.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155934
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1400 Local Time
    18 July 1966
    Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
    Operation Hastings

    The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. Yesterday they were helo’ed into the area, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo’s commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded. At approximately 2015 the NVA launched a full-scale assault on Kilo Company’s hilltop, which the Marines threw back owing to some brutal close-in fighting buttressed by supporting fires, with both sides suffering significant casualties.

    This morning the Marines of Kilo Company pried themselves out of their holes with the sunrise, and were greeted with an NVA mortar barrage for their efforts. It didn’t last long and there were few casualties, so the rifle company got itself in order and not long after was back on the move, proving south towards the Ngan River. There was good news in that 2/4 had been told to hustle up and move west with all practical speed in order to effect a linkup with 3/4, owing to the tough resistance the Marines were running into, and radio traffic reported that 2/4 arrived at LZ Crowe* at approximately 1400. So there was a strong base behind Kilo Company, to the north, but it kind of left Kilo as the lone, dangling appendage to the south, still under orders to find and force a crossing to the south side of the Ngan River.

    Needless to say the Marines were none too happy to be flung out so far to the south, without support, to an area they’d already gotten a good bloodying in, but order are orders, and so Kilo Company again attempted a crossing of the Ngan River, and again they were repulsed with casualties, by NVA on both sides of the river! The beleaguered company beat feet back to the hill they spent the previous night on and dug in, and it wasn’t long before the NVA were making their presence felt, and about 1930 local time the NVA mad their push. The Marines were once again able to hold on, but Doc Eakle was killed, and two more Marines were wounded and had to be evacuated, bringing the squad down to a total of six bodies, seven including Holland, the attached machine gunner.

    Kilo 3/4 was ordered to hold fast the next day (17 July 66), sitting in their holes all day as Lima Company, 3/4, was dispatched from LZ Crowe to move south and reinforce Kilo on the hill just north of the Ngan River. Lima Company arrived that afternoon and dug-in, taking over a share of the hilltop perimeter, which allowed Kilo to pull some men back into reserve, which meant more sleep for the beleaguered company as they finally had a relatively quiet night in the bush. At some point intel came in that the NVA, who had suffered their fair share of casualties too, had withdrawn from the Ngan Valley, so the new plan was for 2/4 and 3/4 to move out and exit the valley to the northeast, sweeping back towards the coast. So on the morning of 18 July 1966, Kilo and Lima 3/4 packed up, stomped in their holes, and trudged back north to LZ Crowe, arriving just as Mike 3/4 and all of 2/4 stepped off to the northeast.

    Lima 3/4 took off not longer after they got back to LZ Crowe, and the plan was for Kilo Company to hang around and blow up all the NVA weapons and ammunition that had been captured, as well as the three damaged helicopters still sitting on the east end of the LZ. So that’s what the Marines were doing, split up into squad-sized elements they were packing up gear and prepping stuff for demolition, when all of a sudden, at about 1400 local time, gunfire was heard from multiple directions. Sergeant Little, with the squad at the far western end of the LZ and substantially distant from the rest of Kilo Company, further east, ordered the rest of the squad to grab their gear and get ready to move in a hurry!

    *With three helos already grounded there from damage caused by collisions, then the NVA shot down a Marine CH-46 yesterday evening, the LZ Crowe area was now being referred to as “Helicopter Valley.”


    Overview of the west end of LZ Crowe (which actually extends further east, off camera to right-top), with hills and trees in the northwest (to left) and southeast (bottom right). There is a cache of enemy weapons and munitions in the southwest (bottom left), which is where the squad was located when the NVA attacked, and the rest of Kilo Company, 3/4, is to the northeast (top right), which is where the squad needs to get.

    The squad is in the southwest (bottom left), salvation (in the form of Kilo Company’s perimeter) is in the northeast (top right), and there are NVA squads pressing in from the northwest (top left) and southeast (bottom right), meaning the squad has to run the gauntlet in order to reach safety.


    Here is the squad’s initial dispositions: Sergeant Little and LCpl Jackson, the RTO, are at top center, with Pvt Holland, the machine gunner, just to their left. Corporal Benavides is at far left, Pvt McCaffrey, the grenadier, is at bottom center, and Danny and Nikki are at far right.


    Sergeant Little and Jackson (bottom center left) are standing there arguing about which targets rate priority of fire for fire missions as the rest of the squad wires captured enemy weapons and munitions for demo, when the rattle of gunfire to the northeast (top left) startles them both back to the moment. Rob stops mid-sentence. Looking to the east (top), he is taken aback when NVA soldiers suddenly pop into the LZ (left top and center right), between them and the rest of Kilo, 3/4 (top left)!!!


    The Marines (bottom left) immediately open fire, quickly realizing they are in immediate danger of being cut off by NVA between them and the nearest friendlies.


    The Marines move out, but they’re in a bad way; Sergeant Little makes the tactical decision to stay in the center, using fire and maneuver to advance across the LZ to reach Marine lines but exposing the squad to fire from both flanks, rather than move into the dense brush on either side of the LZ, which would provide cover and concealment, but would put the Marines face to face with an enemy of unknown strength at point-blank range and thus unable to utilize supporting arms, with another enemy element of unknown strength coming in behind them, albeit in a position of having to cross the open LZ in order to get at the Marines.


    Casualties begin to mount as Sgt Little lays down fire with his M-14 and Jackson calls for arty.


    The NVA continue to assault the beleaguered Marines.


    But the squad keeps going, bringing their casualties out with them! Nikki (far right) continues laying down fire to the north as Jackson moves up behind the lumbering Holland (center, carrying Corporal Benavides) and Sergeant Little covers Danny (bottom left), who lifts the wounded McCaffrey onto his shoulders and begins moving east.


    Marine arty begins to fall…


    As the squad (left bottom) nears friendly lines (top right)…


    But the NVA (bottom right and off camera to left bottom) aren’t finished with them (top left) yet!


    Driving Nik to perform some (more) heroics, driving into close assault the NVA positions…

    To see the whole fight, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/05/two-brothers-fight-23.html

    So that’s the end of Operation Hastings. I hope you enjoyed it; all five fights were based on real fights that Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, took part in, to include the getting left at LZ Crowe and almost being overrun. I really enjoyed the games using KR-16, particularly the river crossings and the first hilltop defense (and was proud of my DMZ tables), they were lots of fun, and it felt like I was able to still keep some personality in the games despite playing with elements, rather than individual troops. It actually felt kinda strange going back to 5MAK after playing KR-16, but the next fight proved it didn’t take me long to get back to normal.

    Last fight of the boys’ first tour coming right up!

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155646
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1930 Local Time
    16 July 1966
    Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
    Operation Hastings

    The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. Yesterday they were helo’ed into the area, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo’s commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded. At approximately 2015 the NVA launched a full-scale assault on Kilo Company’s hilltop, which the Marines threw back owing to some brutal close-in fighting buttressed by supporting fires, with both sides suffering significant casualties.

    This morning the Marines of Kilo Company pried themselves out of their holes with the sunrise, and were greeted with an NVA mortar barrage for their efforts. It didn’t last long and there were few casualties, so the rifle company got itself in order and not long after was back on the move, proving south towards the Ngan River. There was good news in that 2/4 had been told to hustle up and move west with all practical speed in order to effect a linkup with 3/4, owing to the tough resistance the Marines were running into, and radio traffic reported that 2/4 arrived at LZ Crowe* at approximately 1400. So there was a strong base behind Kilo Company, to the north, but it kind of left Kilo as the lone, dangling appendage to the south, still under orders to find and force a crossing to the south side of the Ngan River.

    Needless to say the Marines were none too happy to be flung out so far to the south, without support, to an area they’d already gotten a good bloodying in, but order are orders, and so Kilo Company again attempted a crossing of the Ngan River, and again they were repulsed with casualties, by NVA on both sides of the river! The beleaguered company beat feet back to the hill they spent the previous night on and dug in, and it wasn’t long before the NVA were making their presence felt…

    *With three helos already grounded there from damage caused by collisions, then the NVA shot down a Marine CH-46 yesterday evening, the LZ Crowe area was now being referred to as “Helicopter Valley.”


    Overview, north is up. Another night-time hilltop defense battle by the Marines, where they are dug into the top of the hill at bottom left, a bend of the Ngan River visible to the northeast (top right). As usual, this is the DMZ, so lots of grass, some scrub, and pockets of trees in places the wind couldn’t blow them out of.

    You can see the Marines dug into three bunkers atop the hill (bottom left), while the NVA are infiltrating the hill in an arc from the northwest (top left) to the southeast (bottom right, with their MG team in the northeast (right top).


    Once again the boys (bottom right) find themselves in the thick of it, firing down slope on advancing NVA (far left, top center left)…


    But their bunker takes a rocket, putting Correa out of the fight…


    The NVA push relentlessly forward, close assaulting the bunker…


    Which is enough for Danny and Nik to decide to get out of Dodge! They each grab Correa under an arm and fall back, behind a nearby hedge (bottom left, from center), as the nearby NVA (top right) toss grenades into the recently vacated bunker.

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/04/two-brothers-fight-22.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155473
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Well, hope you find your motivation, but I grabbed the pair, coming soon to a table near you!

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155440
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Jebediah – It’s no myth, and I shall keep a sharp eye out for Green Peace’s paramilitary arm.

    KR-16 gave some fun games, and yes, very deadly.  The search continues for the “perfect” set of platoon-level rules…

    Darby – Thanks man, I appreciate the kind words and hope you’ve enjoyed the tour, hope it’s giving the proper Vietnam vibe.

    Regarding the -34, I bought it off EBay from some dude in Germany.  It’s actual 1/100, not 1/87 like a lot of the kits I found, and it’s pretty old, probably left over from the 60s.  I think it’s from Heller, but could be Roskopf, I don’t recall exactly and I threw the box and paraphernalia away after I built it.  It came with West German ‘SAR’ decals.

    How long a wait on the -46?  I’m about set to buy a couple off EBay, but could wait.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155397
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1500 Local Time
    16 July 1966
    Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
    Operation Hastings

    The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. Yesterday they were helo’ed into the area, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo’s commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded. At approximately 2015 the NVA launched a full-scale assault on Kilo Company’s hilltop, which the Marines threw back owing to some brutal close-in fighting buttressed by supporting fires, with both sides suffering significant casualties.

    The Marines of Kilo Company pried themselves out of their holes with the sunrise, and were greeted with an NVA mortar barrage for their efforts. It didn’t last long and there were few casualties, so the rifle company got itself in order and not long after was back on the move, proving south towards the Ngan River. There was good news in that 2/4 had been told to hustle up and move west with all practical speed in order to effect a linkup with 3/4, owing to the tough resistance the Marines were running into, and radio traffic reported that 2/4 arrived at LZ Crowe* at approximately 1400. So there was a strong base behind Kilo Company, to the north, but it kind of left Kilo as the lone, dangling appendage to the south, still under orders to find and force a crossing to the south side of the Ngan River.

    Needless to say the Marines were none too happy to be flung out so far to the south, without support, to an area they’d already gotten a good bloodying in, but order are orders, and so we catch up with Sergeant Little and his squad about to make another attempt to cross the Ngan River.

    *With three helos already grounded there from damage caused by collisions, then the NVA shot down a Marine CH-46 yesterday evening, the LZ Crowe area was now being referred to as “Helicopter Valley.”


    Overview, north is left, for my second big DMZ map. The western area (bottom) is pretty open and flat, a couple spare trees and scrub, the Ngan River is narrow and shallow and flowing in a southwest to easterly direction, but the big deals are the two hills, the massive Hill 212 dominating the north (left to top left) and Hill 104 on the south bank, in the southeast (top right).


    Sergeant Rob Little leads his squad towards the Ngan River (right top), looking to get across while avoiding any contact with the NVA, hugging the base of Hill 212 (left), Hill 104 looming ominously across the river (top center right). Sergeant Little (bottom left) called the squad to a halt and had them pull security; behind them (off map to bottom left), the rest of the platoon halted as well. Rob called his fireteams over and explained his plan: “we’re not walking into a mess like we did yesterday, and I know that hill across the river’s gotta be housing some NVA on it, so you guys sit tight, Jackson and I are gonna hustle up front and put some arty on the hill.”


    They (bottom left) get in behind some scrub and raise supporting arty on the radio; Jackson spent a couple minutes providing the data to the battery, then called out “spotting round on the way, shot out!”

    “Splash!” “Splash, out,” replied the battery. “You’re dead on, fire for effect!” (you can see the cotton ‘blast’ atop the hill at top center)


    Danny’s 2nd Fireteam nears the river (center, with Cpl Benavides’ 1st Fireteam off camera to left), the freshly cratered Hill 104 still looming ominously across the river…


    And the mid-afternoon stillness is shattered by the NVA squad on the south bank of the Ngan River opening fire at point-blank range on Danny and 2nd Fireteam…


    Correa is still in shock (center right) as Doc dashes up to him, while Jackson (bottom left) gets on the radio, trying to get that arty support back on the hook!


    Worn out Marines catch a quick breather. Sorry, I just like the closeup of the figures, great sculpts from Jimmi at Flashpoint.

    It’s gonna be another long day for the jarheads. To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/04/two-brothers-fight-21.html

    Only three more fights left in the boys’ first tour, next one coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: A Whole New World #155396
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Absolutely gorgeous, as always.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155113
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Clementine,

    “Those NVA vets should have rushed the Marines so they couldn’t use arty.”
    They did, pretty much overrunning both fighting holes! The arty was definitely ‘Danger Close,’ coming right in on the Marines’ line.

    “Those Marines were taking a lot of casualties.”
    Certainly, and it just gets worse from here, just like what happened in real life.  I don’t think most folks understand the meat grinder the Marines endured with only 3rd Marine Division covering the entirety of the southern end of the DMZ (northern end of I Corps).

    “I don’t know who you like picking fights with more, the NVA or the Army.”

    Well, I don’t hate the NVA… 😉 Relax, it’s just a joke…

    V/R,

    Jack

     

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #155072
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    2015 Local Time
    15 July 1966
    Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
    Operation Hastings

    The boys are with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (K/3/4), on their first trip up to the DMZ. They were helo’ed into the area this morning, then found themselves in a sharp firefight trying to cross the Ngan River which saw them repulsed with two Marines badly wounded. The Company tried twice more to cross the river, but the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars of the 90th Regiment threw them back both times. Kilo Company then fell back approximately 200 meters to the north and dug in, but the NVA pursued them, harassing with mortars and snipers, and by 1930 Kilo’s commander reported to battalion that the company was entirely surrounded.

    The squad is tasked with holding a section of the company’s perimeter on the northeast side of the hill, and it’s gonna be a long night…


    Overview, north is up. The squad’s section of the hill is at bottom left, with its highest point in that corner and fingers jutting out to the north (far left) and east (bottom), a steep draw pushing into their center (the cluster of trees at center marks the point where the draw comes together and the hill begins rising to the southwest (bottom left). There’s nothing but trees, grass, and some scattered brush out here.

    The Marines are set up thusly: Sergeant Little and his Command Element are in the center bunker, looking down into the draw (left bottom); Danny and the 2nd Fireteam are in reserve, not dug-in, just chilling behind a hedge further up the hill (bottom left), while Nik’s 3rd Fireteam is holding down the northern finger (far left) and Cpl Benavides’ 1st Fireteam is holding down the southern finger (bottom center). I didn’t put out Claymore or wire because 1) I’m stupid and 2) I wasn’t sure how to handle Claymores, afraid of making them too powerful.

    The Marines are currently at 50% (half are sleeping, half are on watch), and they will have off-table arty support, subject to availability rolls.

    The NVA are spread across the table from the northwest (top left) to southeast (bottom right), with rifle squads in their assault positions at top left, top center left, center, right bottom, and bottom right, while their mortar and MG teams are positioned atop the knoll at top right.


    Another look a the Marine positions, giving you a better idea of the topography (the finger running to the north at far left, the steep draw at top center/right).


    Another look to the north, from behind 2nd Fireteam’s reserve position. Nice and lumpy, starting to look like some real terrain 😉 Notice the fall off on the back side of the northern finger, far left.


    The NVA cut loose with a B-40 rocket…


    And the rocket slams into a bunker, pinning the Marines inside!


    The NVA move up the slope of the north finger (left bottom), silencing the Marine machine gun and overunning Nik’s bunker! With the gun out of action the NVA immediately exploit the situation by rushing to the bunker and opening fire on Sergeant Little’s command bunker (top right, with 1st Fireteam’s bunker visible at top center).

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/04/two-brothers-fight-20.html

    More coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154944
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “I keep thinking Flames of War Vietnam would ave Ch-34 or CH-4(6) and I keep getting disapointed.”

    That would certainly make my life easier, but I too have been let down.

    “I saw a V-22 one time, very random. Happened to be looking up and there it was flying over head. “Ha! They found me””

    Getting warmer…

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154910
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “I assumed it was the same as in original FUBAr rules where a hit can be either supressed or casualty.”

    Nah, I’ve never played (or even read) FUBAR.

    “from what I remember playing it was an interesting trade, take some casualties and keep moving, or get pinned down and save some lives.”

    I’m too big a chicken to play games like that! Given the choice I’ll always pick pinned down and never get anything done.  So it went with Crossfire; I think Crossfire is a fantastic set of rules, but my father (a Vietnam vet) and I gave it a few tries and never got anything done, too afraid to push guys up and risk losing the initiative…

    ”I saw a V-22 one time, very random. Happened to be looking up and there it was flying over head.”

    You have really got to work on your storytelling 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154885
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “Now you got me curious. What did you change in the rules?”

    I don’t like the 1 hit = 1 suppression, next hit = 1 casualty but no suppression, so I split it, rolling to hit then having unsaved hits knocking a guy out and saved hits causing a suppression, which also means you can rack up more than one suppression, which you have to roll over for your activation roll, plus more suppressions than men means the team routes.

    “Ever get to ride in those V-22s?”

    Not while I was in the Corps, I got out in 2004 and they didn’t hit the fleet until 2007, but later, yes.

    “Zoe is fine I guess,but its also the name of my imaginary ex-girlfriend.”

    You had your chance…

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Pavlov’s House #154862
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Fantastic work there, quite the masterpiece!  And entirely scratch-built, too?  That’s quite a talent you’ve got there.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154822
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Zoe,
    “Is it me or KR-16 bloodier than 5Core?”
    I agree, and I was a bit shocked at how many guys went down so quickly, even in cover.  Having said that, it’s my fault, as I’ve changed that aspect of the rules.

    “Which did you prefer?”
    I prefer 5MAK for squad/skirmish, I typically prefer 5Core Company Command for company-level, but my bugbear has been platoon-level rules, where I just can’t seem to find something I love.  I could just use 5Core Company Command and call stands fireteams rather than squads, but I do actually like to play different rules sometimes, so I beefed the squad up some and gave KR-16 a runout for this operation.

    “No CH-46 in sight, Phrog needs love.”
    I received a 1/100 CH-34 not long ago, have assembled and primed it, and I plan on getting a couple CH-46s.  I spent plenty of time crammed into various Phrogs, definitely not my favorite airplane.  Having said that, I’m still alive, so…

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154805
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1230 Local Time
    15 July 1966
    Ngan Valley, Quang Tri Province, RVN
    Operation Hastings

    This morning Marine A-4 Skyhawks and F-4 Phantoms pounded LZ Crowe, followed by an artillery barrage, before the CH-46s carrying 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (3/4) descended into the valley and began disgorging their heavily-laden Marines. The LZ was too small and quickly three Marine helos were down, badly damaged; two collided, and the third hit a tree while trying to avoid the other two. Even worse, the incidents left two Marines dead and seven more injured, all before the enemy had even fired a shot.

    Nevertheless, 3/4 formed up and began setting about its tasks: India Company was charged with holding the LZ’s perimeter, while Lima Company marched off to occupy a nearby hill, Hill 200, which it took after some light skirmishing. Meanwhile, the boys set off with Kilo Company, which was charged with moving south to cross the Ngan River and establish blocking positions for 2/4, which was being lifted into LZ Dove a few klicks to the east and was scheduled to sweep west, into K/3/4 and Hill 200. As Kilo Company moved south there was a brief firefight as they encountered some lightly-armed North Vietnamese Army (NVA) regulars performing a rearguard action; when the dust cleared the Marines were hardly prepared for what they found: a building containing a 200-bed hospital, and an ammunition dump containing 1200 rounds of small arms ammunition. “Hold up,” Nik begged. “How the hell did they get all this stuff down from North Vietnam, and how’s it just sitting here, unmolested, like they’re not in somebody else’s country? And how many of them must be out there right now if they’re comfortable enough to build permanent-ass buildings up here?”

    The Marines destroyed all they found and then continued their trek south towards the river. Kilo Company halted and sent out scouts locate a river crossing, and that’s where the squad ran into trouble.


    Overview, north is to bottom left. This is my first attempted rendition of the geography up near the DMZ; lots of hills, cuts, saddles, ravines, heavy forest in the draws, small, shallow rivers, with clumps of bush clinging to the hillsides/hilltops. It’s hard to see here, but there are significant elevations in all four corners of the table, with forested draws at left, top center, right, and bottom center.

    The hills are: Hill 110 at top left, Hill 155 at top right, Hill 142 at bottom right, and Hill 160 at bottom left. The Marines are clustered on the hill in the north (Hill 160, bottom left), while the NVA are clustered on the hill to the south (Hill 155, top right), across the river, though they have pushed a squad north across the river (in the trees at far right bottom, near Hill 142).


    A look south from the Marine Command Element’s position on Hill 160. You can see the MG Team at far let, the fireteams in column moving down the hill and up to the river at right, and even some NVA on the far hill, Hill 155.


    As the sound of small arms fire reverberates throughout the valley! The NVA squad near the river crossing (bottom right) opens fire at point-blank range on Nik’s 3rd Fireteam (top left)!


    And then a rocket comes screaming in from the west!


    Sergeant Little (bottom left) tries to assert control: he gets Jackson on the radio to call for support and directs Doc Eakle to move downhill to help 3rd Fireteam’s casualties as he fires on Hill 155 with his M-14 and McCaffrey fires his M-79…


    The NVA at the base of Hill 155 (left) rally as their MG Team (bottom left) continues dueling with the US MG Team (top right)…


    A fierce fight breaks out at point-blank range ont he Marine right, atop Hill 142, trying to drive back the encroaching NVA squad in order to keep 3rd Fireteam (at the river, just off camera to top center) from being overrun.

    To see how the fight turns out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/04/two-brothers-fight-19.html

    More to come.

    V/R,
    Jack

     

    in reply to: Project Slow Burn #154595
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I absolutely loved the new terrain, it looks great, and definitely gotta be mindful of violating GS’ recipetorial sovereignty, the training those young ladies get is fierce, surpassed only by their thirst for blood once the line has been crossed.

    Lots of fun, as always.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154594
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I was just happy Nelson got out of there alive! And nah, just the ‘regular’ old RPG, the squad wouldn’t be much for a volley of (on target) katyushas…

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154490
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1045 Local Time
    19 June 1966
    5 Miles North of Phu Bai Combat Base, Thua Thien Province, RVN
    Operation Dodge

    Nikki and Danny were having a rough time, their first time back out in the field after being hit during Operation Utah, their bodies weak after their extended recuperation period. But here they were again, humping the bush for the past two days after having trucked up north of Phu Bai from Da Nang. Attached to 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment (2/4), the whole battalion had been scouring the area of operations without even a hint of the enemy, but that was all about to change. 2/4 was approaching a cluster of hamlets along the coast (dammit, I was supposed to use my beach mat, with dunes, but I was in a hurry and forgot!) and began fanning out to try and get in as quickly as possible, hoping to catch the Viet Cong before they’d made their escape. But the VC were crafty, had long played this game along the “Street Without Joy,” and were already evacuating, leaving behind only a handful of fighters to harass the advancing Marines. And, or course, the squad was about to run into one such group of stay behinds.

    Sergeant Little called a halt and motioned for his fireteam leaders to join him, briefing them on the situation. “So the El-tee wants us to split off to the northeast, so we are on the far left, there are no friendlies to our left. As usual, battalion wants us to rush in to catch Charlie before he dee-dees* outta the area, but we all know how that goes, so let’s stay frosty and take our time on this.” “Roger,” replied Corporal Nelson. Sgt Little gave Cpl Nelson a furtive glance and murmured “I’m sorry brother, if there was anything I could do, I would…” “I know, Rob, and it’s okay. Don’t you jokers sweat me, I’m two days and a wake-up, I’ll be back in the World in no time,” replied Cpl Nelson. “No, it ain’t alright,” Nik erupted, “I can’t believe battalion’s got Rock out here humpin’ with only days left in country! This is [email protected]#$%!!!” “Alright, alright, calm down, and get your @#$% together, we got a job to do, now move out!”

    *”Dee-dees” is a bastardization of “di-di mau,” which is Vietnamese for ‘leave,’ or something to that effect.


    Overview, north is up. The area is nice and flat, the river running from northwest (top left) to southeast (bottom right), with small villages dotting the area (top left, bottom left, top right, and far right), a hardball road running north-south west of the river (left), rice paddies dominating the north and northeast, and heavy foliage scattered throughout.


    The initial set up: Sgt Little and Nik’s 3rd Fireteam search a ville (bottom center) as Cpl Nelson’s 1st Fireteam (bottom right) and Danny’s 2nd Fireteam (left center) pull security.


    The Marines warily cross the river.


    Where they set about searching the next hamlet.


    Nik (far right) takes a puff on his cigarette and tosses another stone at Danny (left) as 1st Fireteam completes its search an steps off (top left) for the next village.


    But the enemy is out there and about to act…


    And the VC (bottom center right) trigger the ambush, cutting loose with a long burst from the RPD at Cpl Nelson’s 1st Fireteam (top left, with Danny’s 2nd Fireteam at top right)!


    Once again things get bleak for the beleaguered Marines.

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-brothers-fight-18.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154489
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “…that makes quite a lot of sense in the context of this campaign.”
    If you say so 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154467
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Bravo 6 – Thanks, and the hootches are also from Jimmi at Flashpoint Miniatures.

    John – Thank you. I didn’t cheat for Doc, he was just lucky to survive all those dice rolls, but I did have to cheat for Nikki.  As I recall, the die roll for his wound turned out worse than I portrayed, but I assigned it to Danny as I figured it made more sense, particularly as Danny’s roll wasn’t so bad.  So essentially I just swapped wounds between the two boys because I thought it made more sense that Danny was out of the fight and Nikki was able to get back into the fight.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Project Slow Burn #154466
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Entertaining as always, and I simply can’t say enough about the threat posed by illegal cookie cutter patterns 😉

    No gaming this past weekend, too much baseball going on.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154218
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Come on man, I know things are rough, but you’ve got to hang in there and seek out the good stuff, get over there with that little granddaughter of yours.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154200
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1600 Local Time
    5 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    The boys had accompanied Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines (L/3/1) in the final assault to secure Hill 50, and now they were attached to Mike Company, which was attacking the fortified village of Chau Nhai (3), which lies just east of Hill 50, from west to east, while India Company had swung around to the north and were attacking from east to west.

    The boys’ platoon was attacking on the far left flank of Lima Company, with the boy’s squad on the far left flank of their platoon, on the left end of a line running north-south. “Our job is to break into the northwest end of the village, securing a foothold, as the rest of the platoon swings in from the front. We’ll be tying down their left flank, making sure the NVA can’t filter in behind them as they push east to clear the rest of the village,” Corporal Little briefed the squad. “So, what, Corporal, the seven of us are gonna assault the village, all by ourselves?” Jackson asked. “No Jackson, we’re gonna have all of Lima Company out there with us assaulting the village. They just won’t be anywhere you can see them. But trust me, they’re there,” Corporal Little replied, as the squad busted into nervous laughter. “Let’s go, Marines.”


    Overview, north is up. You can see the far eastern end of Hill 50 at bottom left, and the northwestern end of the fortified village of Chau Nhai (3) at bottom/far right. Air and arty has worked the area over, leaving a significant number of craters dotting the landscape, which is otherwise covered with hedges and rice paddies. The squad is approaching from the northwest (top left), seeking to get as close to the village as possible before the shooting starts.

    The Marines have entered the area at top left, while the NVA occupy the village, from bottom center to far right. The most important aspect to this is that the enemy has a bunker on each flank (right bottom center and far right top. Each bunker has a rifleman posted outside it for flank protection, while the NVA leader and last rifleman occupy the trenchline connecting the two bunkers.


    The squad is beat to hell, down to seven combat effectives, including the Doc! Corporal Little is very concerned with this mission, knowing it’s going to take everything the squad’s got if the enemy puts up even light resistance in this area of the village.


    Right on time, the Marine 81mm mortars came in on Chau Nhai (3), hitting the center and east end of the NVA defensive line.


    Jackson, Nik, McCaffrey, and Doc Johnson (top left) look on as Danny, Rivera, and Corporal Little begin traipsing across the rice paddies…


    The NVA have sucked the Marines in, allowing the assault element to advance out into the open rice paddies, devoid of cover, when the two NVA riflemen in the West Bunker (bottom right) finally breaks the tension: 7.62mm rounds snap and zip past the exposed Marines, plowing into the paddies, kicking up geysers of dirty water. Luckily for the Marines, non one is hit, but Danny (right) and Rivera (center) are suppressed, as Cpl Little (left) is pinned!


    And the East Bunker (bottom right) immediately joins in, spraying with their AK-47s on full auto at the advancing Marines (top left to top center).


    Corporal Little (bottom right) and Doc Johnson (bottom center right) are both suppressed by the fire from the East Bunker (top right); “@#$%!!!” screams Nik (bottom left), “return fire, return fire! I don’t have a shot at that bunker on the right (the West Bunker, just off camera to far right), hit it with the thumper!” Nik ordered McCaffrey, as he poured tracers from his M-60 into the East Bunker. “Roger that!” replied McCaffrey, as he fired a 40mm HE round.

    “Jackson, get on the horn and let’em know we need help, they’re pinned down and dead meat out there in those rice paddies,” Nik continued. “Already on it, boss!” Jackson replied.


    Back in the rice paddies, Cpl Little (bottom left), Rivera (left), and Danny (top center) are in Death Ground, with no way out but to fight, so all three open fire on the West Bunker (top right) with their M-14s on full auto…


    Danny crawls up the firing port of the NVA’s West Bunker. He rolls onto his side, fishing a frag out of his pocket, then sweeps the safety clip off, pulls the pin, lets the spoon fly, and begins cooking off the grenade…


    But the NVA rifleman in the trench (top right) spots him and fires, hitting Danny (casualty figure at far left) in the back, though he still manages to roll the frag into the West Bunker, then flops backwards, away from the firing port, as the grenade goes off, killing the NVA inside!

    To see the thrilling finish of Operation Utah, which would see a Medal of Honor awarded, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-brothers-fight-17.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Thomaston's random project #154060
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “This is already 5 minis I have to paint up for a single character”

    Stop your whining, it’s unbecoming.

    “I’m not that crazy.”

    Umm, look around this thread, yes you are. Now get cracking!

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Thomaston's random project #154052
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Fantastic, I knew you’d get around to it at some point! Still need more poses though: running, crawling, throwing a grenade, casually, etc…

    And since you’ve got a pistol drawn, need rules for changing magazines and running out of ammo 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154051
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Not me, I’d always hoped he’d have been the solid squad leader, wouldn’t have even brought in Sergeant Garcia if he had been.  Just those first few games the dice were completely against him.  Now the worm has turned 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Thomaston's random project #154019
    Just Jack
    Participant

    For goodness’ sake, you’ve done it again!  Those look absolutely amazing.

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #154018
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Darby – Indeed, the dice have truly been on his side, and at this point I’m really nervous, really hoping old Rob Little is going to be around for awhile.

    Thomaston – Meh, I don’t play the type of rules where I’m tracking each round fired, so magazine changes aren’t really a part of the game, they’re just assumed to be happening as appropriate.  Still waiting on the call from Hollywood 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #153991
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Thanks, John.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #153982
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1330 Local Time
    5 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    Earlier this morning 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines pulled back and the boys humped over to join 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, which was now charged with securing Hill 50. The squad linked up with 3/1 and was briefed on the plan to assault Hill 50 from the northeast, with ARVN units attacking further west; as a matter of fact, the ARVN were claiming they had already secured Hill 50. However, preliminary recon by 3/1 proved that was not the case. So the battalion marched south, to its jump-off positions, where the Marines flopped down in the grass to enjoy a nice C-ration lunch and enjoy the show put on by the 105mm howitzers of 12th Marines and assorted airstrikes by Marine A-4 Skyhawks and F-4 Phantoms. The Marines even joined in with the occasional ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs,’ as napalm sent flame and roiling black clouds into the sky, as Willie Pete burst on the slopes, sending its white tendrils in every direction, or a string of 500-pound bombs went off, sending shockwaves across the valley. All a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend one’s lunch hour.

    “Look at all that,” Rivera exclaimed. “This’ll be a walkover, nobody could survive all that pounding.” “Don’t kid yourself, Rivera,” Cpl Little replied. “Don’t any of you kid yourself, there’ll be plenty of dinks up there waiting for us, and they’ll be plenty pissed of, just like yesterday. So you keep your @#$% wired tight, we’re gonna be in for another helluva fight, and we’re gonna need everyone pulling his weight,” said Cpl Little, shooting a glance at Contreras. “And I do mean everyone.”


    Overview, north is up. The northeast corner of Hill 50 is visible from far left to bottom center, with two NVA bunkers present, linked by communications trenches and otherwise dotted by patches of jungle and craters from the Marine artillery and airstrikes. Too the southeast is the western end of the village of Chau Nhai (3), which is known to be fortified and occupied by the NVA as well. The squad will be entering from the northeast (top right), looking to make use of the few hedges and thickets of jungle offering cover amongst the slew of rice paddies.

    The NVA have both bunkers occupied with troops, men in the trenchlines in the west, and several men manning the trenchline in the ville (bottom right), while the Marine squad is in its jump-off position (top right), ready to launch their assault.


    Nik hammers away with his M-60 (bottom right) at the bunkers atop Hill 50 (top center left) as Cpl Little leads the assault element forward (center, from right), looking to get into that stand of trees below the hill (far left).


    The assault element reaches the copse of trees (far right), then begins pushing into the ville (far left).


    But they’ve gotten away from the base of Hill 50 (center left top), far enough that the NVA in the East Bunker (bottom right) can spot them and open fire…


    A Marine is hit (casualty figure in the grass at right, between the craters and the urns) and Doc fearlessly dashes forward to treat him, ignoring the torrent of NVA fire coming his way.


    Two Marines (left and center) are able to work their way out of the village (far right) and clamber up the slope of Hill 50, towards the East Bunker (just visible at far left).


    The NVA in the East Bunker saw movement go off to their right and realized they are being outflanked, so they fall back out of the bunker and come left to meet the threat…

    To see how the fight turns out, please visit the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-brothers-fight-16.html

    Next fight (the last of Operation Utah) coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #153659
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    2300 Local Time
    4 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    2nd Battalion, 7th Marines had been in contact all day, for the first time in a stand-up, knockdown drag-out fight with the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in and around Hill 50. The Marines had been in heavy combat, and while they’d certainly put a hurtin’ on the NVA, they’d taken a pretty good beating themselves. They’d managed to break contact, fall back to the south, and establish a night defensive position, where they could treat and evacuate their wounded, replenish their ammo, and grab a bit of grub and rest. But while things were relatively quiet on the ground, Marine Air was having a helluva time, drawing heavy fire every time they came near Hill 50. Three helos and an F-4 Phantom had already been shot down, and approximately thirty more choppers shot up by NVA antiaircraft weapons, mostly Dshk 12.7mm heavy machine guns, which the Marines often referred to as “.51-cals”.

    But the Marines cut a lucky break; firing to the southwest drew the attention of one of the battalion officers, who grabbed a few Marines and headed over to check it out. “I’ll be damned,” he thought, somehow the NVA gotten a .51-cal HMG in behind them, dug into a trench and expertly camouflaged. The officer headed back into the Marine perimeter to inform the Colonel what they’d found. The decision was made to launch a raiding party to destroy the NVA anti-aircraft emplacement. Not long after, Corporal Little was informed he’d be leading the raiding party.


    Overview, north is up. 2/7’s night defensive position in Chau Nhai (4) is off camera to top right. At top right is a small knoll that Corporal Little used to screen the squad’s approach on the enemy AA Position, which is located to the south (bottom center/left). There is a thick patch of jungle in the southeast (bottom right), while the rest of the table is covered with scattered rice paddies, one of which has a stand of trees located nearby (center top).

    Overview, this time with troops. The NVA are manning their AA emplacement, with everyone in the trench except a single sentry out on foot, to the south (in the trees at bottom left center), while Cpl Little has placed his base of fire element in the copse of trees in the center, and led the assault element up to the dense stand of trees to the east (center right).

    The plan is for the base of fire element to get into place while Cpl Little and the assault element cover from the knoll. Once Jackson signals Cpl Little the base of fire element is in place, Cpl Little will begin moving the assault element into their jump-off positions at the corner of the western point of the patch of jungle in the southeast under the cover of a pre-arranged fire mission by the battalion’s 81mm mortars. Once the mortars lift the base of fire element will engage the AA position while Cpl Little leads the assault element into the east end of the enemy trench, clearing west to destroy the NVA’s HMG.


    A look at the NVA position: two riflemen in the west (bottom left), the HMG in its emplacement (center left), two riflemen in the east (far right), a picket to the south (in the trees at center right), and the NCO, LMG, and a rifleman in the center (center top).


    The base of fire element gets into the copse of trees in the center (right), signals Cpl Little, and he begins moving the assault element up (bottom left).


    The battalion mortars begin pounding the NVA trenchline…


    Covering the approach of Cpl Little and the assault element (bottom left, with the base of fire element off camera to far right and the NVA position at left/top). Cpl Little peers out around the copse of trees. “Well, I guess we’re ready,” he murmurs as he signals Jackson with a red penlight, letting the base of fire element know the assault element is ready to jump off.


    The mortars lift and the base of fire element (bottom right, with the assault element at bottom left) cuts loose, Rivera on the M-60 and McCaffrey pumping 40mm HE rounds and flares out of his M-79…


    Corporal Little leads the assault element forward (right, from far right), at the NVA trenchline.


    But NVA fire catches them in the open, hitting White and Floyd while pinning Nik and suppressing Cpl Little!


    Only one Marine would make it into the NVA trench, for which he would be awarded the Silver Star.

    Please check the blog for the whole story:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-brothers-fight-15.html

    More to follow.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #151668
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1800 Local Time
    4 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    2nd Battalion, 7th Marines had been in contact all day; even before they were landed via helos they were taking fire on the way in, heavy enough that two Marine choppers and an F-4 Phantom had been shot down, and more than 20 helicopters had been damaged badly enough they’d had to head back for repairs, necessitating another helicopter squadron be committed to the fight. Once on the ground, the Marines joined an ARVN battalion that landed before them, and it was being mauled by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) defenses on and around Hill 50. 2/7 sprung into action, basically coming online and pushing east, with Fox Company to the left (north), tying in with the ARVN, Golf Company in the center, and Hotel Company on the right (south). The ARVN were hard pressed and weren’t keeping up with the Marines, so Fox Company was pulled farther and farther north as Golf and Hotel struck the NVA defenses on Hill 50. Now it was the Marines turn to be mauled; the enemy were numerous, well-armed, and dug in, letting the Marines get close enough so that it was very difficult to leverage supporting air and artillery (“hugging the belt”). The Marines, Golf Company in particular, were able to breach the enemy defenses on Hill 50 in several places, but they were spread too thin and didn’t have any reserves to exploit the success. And then battalion realized another problem brewing; while Golf and Hotel were essentially ‘stuck in’ and not going anywhere on Hill 50, a gap had opened between Golf Company and Fox Company, with NVA pouring into the gap, near the village of Khanh My.

    The boys had accompanied Golf Company on its assault of Hill 50, reaching the enemy trenches but not able to push past, while suffering heavy casualties. They settled into a bit of a stalemate (like the rest of Golf and Hotel), but were then pulled back and sent north to reestablish contact with Fox Company, where they had a short, sharp firefight with a squad of NVA, sent them packing, and linked up with Fox. But now Hotel Company was being counterattacked by NVA on the southern side of Hill 50 and was in danger of being overrun, so the boys were sent south to help them out.


    Overview, north is up. Enemy entrenchments atop the southern tip of Hill 50 are visible at far/top right, while the northern tip of the village of Chau Nhai (5) (not to be confused with Chau Nhai (3), which we’ll see tomorrow), and the rest is scattered jungle. The beleaguered Marines of Hotel Company have withdrawn into a relatively small defensive perimeter to fight off the marauding NVA, the northern tip of which is visible at bottom left, while the squad will be entering from the northwest (top left), seeing to relieve pressure on Hotel Company.

    You can see several Marines from Hotel Company in the jungle to the southwest (bottom left); the rest of their perimeter stretches off camera to the south, where they are already heavily engaged by attacking NVA infantry. The squad is entering in the northwest (top left), as the NVA Platoon, split in half, is entering through the village (bottom center) and streaming down Hill 50 (center right).


    The NVA push through the dense undergrowth (top left to bottom right), closing in on the Marine positions (top right)…


    Where they launch an RPG!


    Doc is treating the wounded (far left)…


    As Nik (bottom left) keeps the M-60 hammering away…


    And Danny moves to the flank (bottom right), where he’s able to catch the NVA (top left) with enfilading fire!


    But the NVA have already dispatched three men (far right, from bottom left) to flank him (just visible at top right, behind the bamboo)!

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/03/two-brothers-fight-14.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #151387
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1700 Local Time
    4 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    The squad crept northeast through the rice paddies, hustling from cover to cover as best they could, the sounds of gunfire to their front, right, and rear. It felt very strange hugging the west side of Hill 50, knowing NVA were still up there, somewhere, but they were in a hurry. They had to get up, through the village, and into contact with Fox Company, knowing the NVA had probably infiltrated between them and the Marines on the far left flank. Not to mention, they really didn’t want to get caught out in the rice paddies, all alone, knowing the battalion had precious little troops available to send to bale them out, and pretty much all the air and artillery assets were being used in support of the rest of the battalion, with all three companies in contact. “Let’s go,” Sergeant Garcia hissed, “keep it moving.”


    Overview, north is up. The village of Khanh My (1) is at top right, the northwestern tip of Hill 50 runs from right to bottom center right, with enemy trenchlines, which appear to be abandoned, and craters from earlier air and arty strikes visible, along with several patches of dense jungle. In the northeast (top right) is a similar patch of dense jungle, which leads to the isolated Marines of Fox Company, while the left side of the table is nothing but rice paddies dotted with a few hedges. The squad will enter from the southwest (bottom left).

    You can see the squad moving across the rice paddies in the southwest (bottom left), some Marines from Fox Company in the northeast (top right, in the jungle), in a fight with NVA off camera to top right, while the NVA involved in this fight are coming down off of the north end of Hill 50 and occupying the village of Khanh My (top center).


    The Marines push north (you can see the pointman, Rivera, in the narrow paddy at left top, followed by the rest of the squad), nearing the ville (top right). Private White (bottom left) is ‘tail-end Charlie,’ and he’s keeping a nervous eye cast up Hill 50 (far right).


    And, after all the nervous, tense waiting, it happens: NVA in the trenchline running through the village open fire on 1st Fireteam (top left)!


    Nikki gets into position (bottom right) and gets the M-60 going, sending a steady stream of tracers into the village (top center), which allows 1st Fireteam to pull back into cover behind a paddy dyke (far left).


    Nik (center top) continues laying down fire as Danny (bottom left) moves up the slope of Hill 50, looking to flank the NVA positions in the village (off camera to far right).


    Nik and Danny take a quick breather next to the body of an enemy soldier.

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-13.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #151194
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Darby,

    Yeah man, a helluva fight and a helluva lot of fun.  I played five fights for Operation Utah, and they were my favorites of the entire first tour.

    And yeah, that sucked about Zamora.  He was one of my favorites and I had big plans for him continuing down the path with the boys, but ’twas not to be.  He’d already dodged the bullet several times (err, sort of; I guess I should say “he’d already gotten several dramatic scars”), but his luck didn’t hold out.  He certainly was a bullet magnet…

    I appreciate it man, glad you liked it.  Fight #12 marks the halfway point through the first tour.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #151134
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    1500 Local Time
    4 March 1966
    Near Hill 50, Quang Ngai Province, RVN
    Operation Utah

    “So, you really think we’re gonna get out and tangle with the North Vietnamese?” Nikki asked Danny. “Hell, I dunno man. On the one hand, look around, we got all these boots, loads of new gear, everybody’s fired up like it’s the 4th of July. But hell, dontcha remember, they said the same thing about Operation Double Eagle.”

    This time HQ had it right: Operation Utah was the Marine Corps’ first contact with the North Vietnamese Army, and it was a doozy. At 0900 on 4 March 1966, US Marine helicopters lifted an ARVN battalion into an LZ 7 miles northwest of Quang Ngai City; heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered, downing a Marine UH-1 Huey and an F-4 Phantom! The ARVN didn’t encounter much resistance once they were on the ground, and they begin maneuvering towards a cluster of hills, Hill 50, 97, and 85. The helos returned to Chu Lai to pick up the waiting Marines of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (2/7), and began ferrying them back to Quang Ngai, but only one platoon of Kilo Co, 2/7 (K/2/7) was able to be inserted before another hellacious bout of antiaircraft fire cut loose. K/2/7 was isolated for about 15 minutes before the rest of Kilo could be landed, followed by G/2/7 and the battalion’s Command Group, which was complete by 1130 local time. The boys were with H/2/7 as part of the third wave, waiting for the helos to return, and were shocked when their pickup was delayed because so many of the twenty of the helos had been shot full of holes, and two of the UH-34s had been shot down! Another helo squadron was quickly scrambled to support, and by 1300 on 4 March 1966, the boys were on the ground in Quang Ngai Province, north of the cluster of hills.

    Golf and Kilo had taken Hills 85 and 97 against very light resistance, while the ARVN were working on Hill 50, which was beginning to show sings of being a tough nut to crack, so much so that the ARVN battalion commander was now desperately pleading for 2/7 to support them. As word came in that the ARVN and US Marines were facing the 21st North Vietnamese Army (NVA) Regiment, and that the NVA intended to stand and fight, the Marines’ overall commander, General Platt, immediately called up reinforcements, in the form of 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, which would be landed the following day, 5 March 1966.

    It took awhile to get into position because the ARVN had been held up and thus weren’t where they were supposed to be, but LtCol Utter (2/7’s commander) got this companies reorganized and moving, now east to west against Hill 50 with Fox Company on the left, Golf in the center, and Hotel on the right, with the ARVN to the battalion’s left. Fox Company’s job was to maintain contact with the ARVN, Hotel’s job was to screen the battalion’s open right (southern) flank, while Golf Company was charged with securing Hill 50.

    Naturally, the boys’ platoon was now attached to Golf Company; “Up and at’em, @#$%birds, time to go earn your pay,” Sergeant Garcia said, and they fell in on the far left flank of Golf Company, which was moving east in a company-sized skirmish line, not yet taking fire, though they could hear sounds of battle to their left, where the ARVN were engaged.


    Overview, north is up. The center of the west side of Hill 50, showing signs of earlier airstrikes by Marine A-4s and F-4s, runs north to south across the east (right) side of the table, where you can see the hill is honeycombed with NVA defensive positions. There are a few clumps of dense jungle present, but mostly it’s the hill and the open rice paddies to the west, which the Marines will be crossing in skirmish line.

    The NVA are now occupying their defensive positions: the North Bunker (top center), the South Bunker (bottom right), the AAA Position (top right), and the trenchline running across the hilltop. There is a destroyed bunker at bottom center (taken out by the airstrikes). The Marine mortar team has taken up positions in a hedge in the southwest (bottom left), while the entire squad is fanned out in skirmish line from top left to bottom center left. 1st Fireteam is on the far left, then 2nd Fireteam, the Squad’s command group, and 3rd Fireteam.


    A traditional fight: the opposing forces, with the Marines on the left and the NVA on the right. The squad is actually overstrength, with sixteen men, two above their allotted table of organization strength.


    And they’ve got a 60mm mortar team attached!


    The Marines inch their way forward under heavy fire, taking casualties, in order to close with the NVA bunkers.


    Despite a plethora of difficulties, a handful of Marines reach the enemy trenchline on the right flank (left center)!

    To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    https://blackhawkhet.blogspot.com/2021/02/two-brothers-fight-12.html

    Next fight coming soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: A look at Victrix 12mm WWII #151064
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Those Shermans look great Norm, very effective with the mud on the tracks.  The infantry look very good too, really remind me of the Plastic Soldier Company 15mm figures.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Battlegroup Overlord in 6mm Jagdpanzer IV fun. #151063
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Great game, James, though I must say the German victory is suspect, particularly given your desire for the Germans to win one and that incredible panzerschreck shot! 😉

    Very cool, I’m glad to see you back gaming WWII, and don’t worry, you’re not even remotely alone in trying to make a dent in the lead pile.  Good luck!

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Two Brothers in Vietnam #151015
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Simmer down, Francis 😉

    “That sweep was too effective and now the VCs are all gone.”
    I’m not sure that’s the case.  Or, to put a finer point on that, they capped a bunch of Marines and got out of Dodge…

    The next game sees the beginning of Operation Utah, the first stand-up fights against the North Vietnamese Army, and my favorite string of games in the whole first tour.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Tinier Air Combat #151014
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Very interesting, thanks man!

    Pretty big, not sure if I can live with that…  I need some like the ones you’ve got posted up above.

    V/R,
    Jack

    in reply to: Managed to get to 500,000 hits on my blog #151013
    Just Jack
    Participant

    It’s true.

    And tell me more about the two drawers dedicated solely to WWII.  Seems like it should be 7 or 8, but two will work.  For now.  Probably could use a bit more attention 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

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